Updated: Apr 25
I recently interviewed a young married woman (well, it was about 2 years ago, actually) at the time she was about to purchase her very first home. One of her questions was, "When should I splurge and when should I save?" I've heard that same question from many of you. So I thought I'd expand on that a bit here, where I can give a more complete answer than I did in front of the camera. But here's a full interview I gave on this topic. You may need to tap a few times to get to it, but it's there.
So you bought your first home. Congratulations!!!
I remember when my husband and I bought our first home. I felt so grown up. :) But part of me felt like a little girl playing "house" with my pretend husband and children.
Turning your new house into a home can be daunting, so let's simplify that for you.
What to splurge on:
Sofa or sectional
You and all your visitors will spend a lot of time on your sofa. Make sure that it's comfortable and high quality, so it looks new for a long time. Because you're spending good money on it, choose a neutral fabric, and then accessorize with pillows to bring in color, texture, and design. Also, consider ordering a custom sofa or sectional. Custom doesn't necessarily mean "out of budget." Custom just assures you quality for your money. Many designer stores will have budget-friendly options that don't sacrifice quality.
(If you have difficulty finding one, please contact me. I would love to help.)
Well, I don't need to tell you that sleep is essential to your health. So please get a good mattress.
Most furniture stores will have a mattress section and a rep available to educate you on the products they carry. What's more, most mattresses come with a 30-90 day sleep test. How else would you know if you like it or not?
So take advantage of the sleep test, and return the mattress if it's uncomfortable.
Light Fixtures are jewelry for your home. They change the style, feel, and age of the house. Many builders sell homes with standard light fixtures. You will be amazed at how different your home can look just by customizing the lights.
If you buy a new home, you likely won't need to worry about the paint. However, if you fall in love with an older house, then paint is a must! Swipe on this slide show to see a before-and-after paint job. What a difference!
Before you close on your house, see if the owners will be willing to repaint it in the color of your choice, or if they will include a paint allowance in the sales price. Painters are not cheap, but you can really tell the difference between a professional paint job and a DIY one. And if you've never painted before, let me tell you, it is A LOT OF WORK!!! Especially if you have high ceilings.
Living room rug
I left this one for last because it's really a matter of opinion. But let me tell you, a nice area rug makes everything else look nice. It will elevate your whole living room.
When choosing an area rug, make sure to follow a few rules, so your rug doesn't look like a flying carpet. A rug's purpose is to ground your furniture.
What to save on:
Pretty much everything else. But here are a few clarifications:
Think "accents". Like plants, art (unless you're an art collector or have a special love for artwork), accent chairs, accent sofa (like the green one I have above), no one hardly ever sits there, so get one that looks good but maybe not the best quality.
Kitchen, bathroom and entry rugs, picture frames, dishes, bedding, towels, end tables, coffee table, desk... The list can go on and on.
And any of the above can easily be moved to the "splurge" category if your budget allows.
I hope this gives you a little bit of direction as you turn your house into a home.