A home is one of the most substantial investments that any of us will make over the course of our lives. Making wise choices regarding your home will reap benefits for years to come. When you buy a home, your work isn’t over; it’s actually just getting started.
When you sign your mortgage, you aren’t buying a home yet, you’re just buying a house. Turning that house into a home is going to be your job for the foreseeable future. That’s why we’re here to help you do exactly that. In this guide, we’re going to explore what you need to do to make your dream home come true.
We’ll discuss the importance of sticking to your vision for your house and setting your budget. We’ll also review how to properly furnish it and choose the most crucial appliances to get. Now that you know what to expect let’s jump right into the details.
Having a Cohesive Vision for Your Home
Before you even buy the first thing for your house, decide how it’s going to look. Be sure that you have a picture of what you want it to look like in your mind. Always keep that ideal within easy reach as you begin to furnish your home and make it your own.
Whenever you have a dilemma to solve, you’ll always be able to go back to that golden standard. Consider how each choice would complement the rest of your house. This will make it easier to decide which option will fit into your dream house.
Having the end result in your mind’s eye will also ensure that everything comes together well. You won’t be building your home piecemeal and just hope that it all comes together. A quality home is a lot like good music: each constituent part needs to mesh together while still standing on its own.
Of course, it’s reasonable to need inspiration when deciding what you want your home to look like. Don’t be afraid to venture online, refer to social media, and other resources for ideas. The first thing that you’ll need to decide when building your house is its style.
Choosing a Home Decor Style
Picking the kind of style that you would like for your house is probably one of the hardest things that you’ll have to do. You’ll want to make this decision relatively early on. Of course, the house design will contribute to the choice, but you will typically have the final say.
Before picking a home style, you’ll also want to consider what you want to do long-term with this house. Do you plan on living in this house for the rest of your life? If so, then you can design it with complete freedom, because you won’t have to worry about resale. In this case, pick the style that you love most.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to sell your home further down the line, then you’ll want to be more careful. Take a look at what is selling well in your area. You may even want to attend an open house for a home that’s on sale in your neighborhood so that you can get an idea of what buyers are looking for.
Whether you choose to make your home sleek and modern or rustic and welcoming, make sure that you’re satisfied with the choice that you make. Giving up a bit of resale value so that you can love where you live is usually worth it.
Setting Your Budget
When you’re decorating your house with furnishings and appliances, money is usually a major factor. Be sure to set a concrete budget before you even get started. When you have a pre-determined budget, you’ll be much less likely to overspend. Make this decision as soon as possible.
If your budget won’t allow furnishing your home completely, consider furnishing it in steps. It’s always possible to get the essentials out of the way first and then to save up the money that you want for the extras later on.
Just because you can’t get something immediately, doesn’t mean that you won’t get it later. Trying to set up a home all at once has led to a lot of headaches for new owners. Be sure that your budget reflects the type of home you want. Avoid setting your budget so low that you can’t achieve the style or quality you would like.
When you opt for more affordable appliances, be sure that you’re getting good value for money. Less expensive appliances can be less reliable than more expensive models. That being said, you’ll be in a cycle where you need to keep replacing unreliable appliances. This approach may end up costing you more money in the long run.
You may even want to set a separate budget for your appliances and for the rest of the house. This will make it easier to determine what to prioritize when setting up your home. Most owners would prefer a modest home that is filled with the most reliable appliances than the opposite.
The Importance of Each Room When Setting Up Your House
The kitchen is the first room that we’re going to discuss. The reason is it’s typically the first place that new buyers look at when going over a house. An impressive kitchen can leave the greatest impression on visitors. It’s an important room, whether or not you plan to eventually sell the house.
Since the kitchen contains the most appliances, it tends to be one of the most expensive parts of the house to set up. Refrigerators, double ovens, apron sinks, dishwashers, and more will all be located in the kitchen. Be sure your design allows for proper flow between the main appliances and follow a similar look.
A sleeker, more modern kitchen will demand plenty of appliances in stainless steel, as that will keep things looking futuristic. On the other hand, if your home has a more traditional kitchen, then consider white, candy-red, or turquoise. These colors are often counted among the classic appliance colors.
After the kitchen, the bathroom will probably leave the most memorable impression on someone touring a house. A lot of the bathroom’s charm will be in things like the walls, vanity, fixtures and countertop. Additionally, there are plenty of other things that you can add to improve it.
Something as simple as the correct shower curtain can make the difference between an acceptable bathroom and one that stands out. You may also want to adjust the lighting in the bathroom. The light around the mirror will directly affect how you look in the mirror. Ensure you choose the correct color light bulbs to allow for appropriate lighting.
Shelves and cabinets will also be necessary in a bathroom to keep everything properly organized. We would recommend an enclosed cabinet instead of shelves, as it will keep everything hidden away. This will help reduce the amount of visible clutter in the bathroom.
Of course, the way that you furnish the bedrooms will depend on who is sleeping in them. If you’re setting up a bedroom for an adult, then you’ll want to keep the colors relatively muted. You’ll also want the space to not too cluttered, especially if it is a smaller room.
If you have space to work with in the room, then you may want to position a few dressers along the sides so that clothes can be easily accessible. You may also want to place a reading chair in the corner of the room. This will provide you a place to sit down and relax without forcing you to resort to the bed.
Whether or not you place a TV in the bedroom is a matter of personal preference. Some families may rather locate it in the living room. You should also make sure that you invest in quality curtains or shades for the bedrooms in your house. This provides privacy along with blocking early morning light.
Properly equipping a living room for the first time is one of the most surprisingly challenging parts of setting up your first home. There are so many options available. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re setting up this part of the house, so be sure to get plenty of inspiration from friends, relatives, and the internet.
Of course, the way you equip your living room will depend on how you want people to interact when they’re sitting down. If you often have guests over, then you’ll want to make sure that the chairs and couches in the room are facing each other, making it easier for people to interact.
You should also be sure to include a good mix of larger sofas and one-person love seats, as this will give people the option of where they want to sit. Also, decide whether you would like to place a low table in the center of the room or if you wish to opt for end tables on the sides of the seating.
Of course, a dining room will be optional depending on whether or not your home is equipped with one. If you have a combination kitchen/dining room, then some of this advice should still be useful for setting up the table and the area around it in your kitchen.
The first thing that you’ll want to invest in is a dining table, and you’ll need to pick between a full-sized and extendable variant. An extendable dinner table will typically feature one or two pieces that you can add on to increase its area. This provides additional seating for occasions when you have additional guests coming over.
Full-sized dinner tables are typically more affordable. Although, they will take up more space and may make it harder to move around in a smaller dining room. You’ll also want to be sure that you invest in chairs that look good but are still comfortable, as uncomfortable dinner chairs can ruin a meal.
If your home has a basement area, you can use it for a lot more than just storage. Be creative! If you have kids or grandkids, set up the basement as a game room. Be sure to include favorite games like ping pong and air hockey tables. If you are concerned with kids, carpets and spilled food and drinks, skip the carpet. Many people are polishing and sealing basement concrete floors for easy cleanup and an ultra-cool industrial look.
Those who work in a field where they require peace and quiet, like writers, can turn their basement into a private study. Basements often cut off the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house.
You can also make the basement more adult-oriented by turning it into a private bar where you can stock your favorite drinks. You can even turn a portion of an unfinished basement into a make-shift theater room or fitness room. The basement is one of the most versatile parts of a home. You are only limited by the walls and the constraints of your imagination.
The Essential Appliances
Perhaps the most essential appliance in your home is your refrigerator. It ensures that you don’t have to go to the market to get your food every day so that it doesn’t rot. However, picking the right refrigerator will likely make you hate this appliance because they are expensive and hard to choose.
Of course, the most crucial characteristic to look for in a refrigerator is reliability, as you won’t want one that can suddenly die on you at the worst time, losing you hundreds of dollars worth of food. There are plenty of refrigerators to pick from, ranging from basic and affordable models, to the most advanced of smart fridges.
If you have the money to spend, a smart fridge can make it a lot easier for you to keep track of your groceries and what needs to be restocked. One of these refrigerators will also be able to integrate with the rest of the smart devices in your home, making it seamless to share shopping lists.
Oven and Stove
Still on the topic of food and its preparation, the next appliance that you’ll want to look for is an oven and stove-top, and this appliance comes in several different forms. Culinary experts will debate the best kind of stove-top for days, but when picking yours, consider your needs.
If you’re an advanced cook who would like instant control over your stove temperatures and the versatility to make any sort of recipe, you should opt for a gas stove. However, keep in mind that this may require additional work on the home so that a gas system can be set up, and in some cases, it may not be possible.
The next best thing after a gas stove-top is an induction stove-top, which will use magnetic induction to heat up your cookware nearly instantly. Keep in mind that this technology is pricey and will require ferromagnetic cookware. Finally, conductive elements are affordable, yet they sacrifice performance.
A washing machine can save you countless hours of doing laundry, and one will be a near necessity in any household with more than three people living in it. However, choosing the right washing machine for your needs will depend on how much laundry you do at a time and the layout of your laundry room.
Washing machines range from basic top-loading models without any extra features to advanced, modern variants that can notify your phone when they’re done. The most recognizable difference between washing machines is whether they load through the top or through the front.
Front-loading washing machines are usually more expensive. They’re better for small spaces, as they can be stacked on top of front-loading dryers. On the other hand, top-loading models will need to be positioned next to each other. They can still be opened while running if you forget to throw a piece of clothing in beforehand.
Much like with the washing machine, a dryer can save you time having to hang clothes up to dry. They’re great when it’s humid and will ensure that your clothes dry during the colder winter months. Much like with a washing machine, you have a choice between top and front load models, with the same pros and cons.
Like all appliances, stick with a reputable manufacturer. It will likely be more reliable and have more readily available parts should a repair be necessary. Established companies also provide better warranties and greater access to repair centers. The larger investment upfront will typically decrease extensive repairs of less expensive brands over time.
Search for dryers and washers combo deals. Buying in pairs ensures the models are compatible, have the same style and a discounted price. If you’re setting up a new home and you would like to save some money, combo deals are the way to save.
If you want a kitchen appliance that can greatly reduce the amount of work that you have to do, a quality dishwasher would also be worth the money. Some of the best ones on the market are whisper-quiet. They can run in the background and you won’t even hear them while you’re watching TV in the same room. They can clean your dishes as well as you can by hand, making them worth the investment.
Of course, you’ll want to be sure that your cabinet design allows a space for a dishwasher. It’s typically right next to the sink for easy loading and near your storage cabinets for easy unloading. A location directly next to the sink also takes advantage of sharing the sink’s water supply and drain. If this is a first-time hookup, dishwasher connection kits are readily available. Also, be sure to measure the opening in your cabinets where the dishwasher is meant to be installed. Dishwasher owner’s manuals include specifications that measure the height, width and depth of the dishwasher. Also be aware that the whisper quiet models have a lot of insulation around them that deaden sound. Make sure there is enough space under counter and in the cabinet for a snug, but not too tight of a fit.
When looking for the right dishwasher, you’ll want to make sure that it has plenty of rack space for a variety of glasses, dishes and utensils. Make sure that when the door is opened that you still can access all the storage cabinets around it. You’ll want to avoid having to close the dishwasher door, just to gain access to the cabinets. As with your other kitchen appliances, invest in one that has a look which matches the rest of the décor.
If you want to keep your home clean, you’re also going to need a good vacuum cleaner, and a quality one can last you for longer than a decade. Keep in mind that some of the most expensive vacuum cleaners on the market are nothing more than a gimmick. Check reviews online and remember that like with other appliances, quality and performance trump everything else.
Of course, you should also consider the various types of vacuum cleaners. While standing models are usually more powerful, they’ll also take up more storage space. They’re often more suitable for larger homes. If you live in a house with stairs, larger vacuum cleaners are heavy. Consider purchasing one for each floor. You could also have a larger vacuum for the main floor and smaller ones for the upstairs and basement.
If your budget is running low, you can always compromise and invest in a handheld vacuum cleaner for the time being. Until then, you can clean up small messes with a broom and dustpan. You don’t want to rush getting your vacuum cleaner, as you may end up with a poor-quality product that will fail on you soon.
Turning an empty house into a home that reflects you and your tastes isn’t an easy job. It may even be harder than buying the house in the first place. However, once you’ve done everything to make your home a reflection of yourself, you’ll be sure to love it.
We have worked with many new home owners to help them fine-tune their style and their budget. We can help you choose kitchen and bath fixtures that will make an incredible visual impact and stick within your budget. Schedule a free home design appointment now! We’d love to help out!