If you have recently moved in to your very first flat, you must be feeling pretty excited – it’s great, finally having your own place away from the suffocation of parents or housemates, with your very own roof over your head.

Now you have so much freedom: you can do whatever you like, and all of the design and decorating choices are entirely yours!

For the first few weeks, you’ll probably be trying to scrape enough money to buy all the essentials – a bed, some chairs, a table and so on. Function comes in way ahead of form in those vital beginnings.

However, you will soon tire of living in a shell, and will want to start the decorating proper. Put a bit of thought into it, and you’ll have a flat you can spend years in. Here are some tips.

home-color-palette

Get the Look You Like

Before you go about snapping up this and that, take a look at the pieces you already have – can you incorporate them into your vision of the flat’s future? Take a look online and plan a theme or a colour palette; do you like vintage or modern, wood or metal? Maybe you prefer things a little more eclectic?

Look at other fully decorated rooms for some inspiration, then get cracking.

Colour In

Get your colours sorted – even if you’re not allowed to paint the walls, you can still choose the colours of your furniture, and this will have a significant effect on the overall feel of the room.

Warm colours can work well in a bedroom, and coloured seats can really bring together a living room. Remember that you can work in rugs, curtains, coffee tables, prints, and throw pillows to further enhance the living space.

Measuring-tape

Measure It Twice

Before you decide to buy any larger pieces of furniture, make sure you’ve measured the rooms in which they’ll be going very carefully. Do it twice for good measure – it’s better to over-prepare and get it right than buy something which won’t fit.

Measure any doorways and tight corners or hallways too – you want to make sure you can get it in there! Take a look at the Portmeirion Online website for some good ideas.

Buy Big, Then Small

As the bigger pieces of furniture will serve to “anchor” the room together, you should make sure you buy them first. This has the added advantage of preventing you having a squeeze a sofa in between a small beanbag and a shelf-load of trinkets.

Make sure that these big pieces fit with the style and colour that you decided on; once they are securely in place you can start going about collecting all the bits and bobs that you’ll need to complete the look.

Shop Around!

Don’t go for the first thing you see – take some time out to visit some discount stores and browse the internet, and you’ll surely find some great bargains. As you’ve only recently moved in, money is bound to be tight (things like deposits and monthly rent payments can quickly burn a hole in your savings), so you’ll want to cut back as much as possible.

Sites like Freecycle and Gumtree are truly amazing if you’re on a tight budget; don’t be too snobbish and overlook them.