My house, My home
I thought it was good timing to share more interiors on my blog since I’m celebrating exactly one year in my NEW home this week, which we (myself and Kevin, my partner) built and project managed from scratch (with massive help from my father I should add. We built beside my parents house, in the countryside, so I didn’t have to move too far.
It has to be said a self-build brings with it lots of stress, hard decisions and busy times ….. but it was worth it all now when I look back. In one sense it’s a good thing going into, what was for us, the unknown, of project managing a self-build, as it’s a really big task and challenge and their certainly was lots of learnings along the way. I can describe it now like going on a very long journey that you know has a final destination but you’re just not quite sure of the route and how the journey will be. The same can be said for project managing your own self-build. You will encounter many obstacles, unknown’s and challenges along the way but there are always good moments to take you through and keep you on the right track. And then when you get to your final destination (move in) you will be so very grateful for what you have accomplished and there is such a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Bricks and Mortar
We started the very first work in May 2011, when we did some ground works and cleared the site, and decided to leave it for about a year for different reasons. Then late in 2012 we started back and 4 years later we moved in to our new home. During the time when we were building, myself and Kevin both lived at home. We were very lucky as this meant no bills allowing us to save of our our house, plus it meant we weren’t in a massive hurry to move out which give us more time to do as much as possible. If we were paying rent on another property this would have put a lot more pressure on us to move sooner. Given the additional time we had on our sides it allowed us to spend time on finishing and decorating our home, which is now a new found love for me… interior design.
New Found Love
So whilst I always enjoyed getting involved in picking interiors for my family home and loved nice living spaces, I never really had the experience of working on a blank canvas and bringing an entire space and room to life. Whilst I got some advice from a local interior designer on ideas for my paint, (which I really recommend when working from a total blank canvas), I picked everything else myself. Lots of my ideas and styling have come from lots of hours of scrolling through Pinterest and keeping a scrap book over the years. Then I picked bits of each design and interiors that I liked, put them together and came up with my own slant. I really got to enjoy it the more I did it and it’s so satisfying seeing a full room and space coming together.
You can see a bit of what I have done on a recent post I did last week called ‘A Week of My House in August’. Here I have shared some of the spaces in my home as part of #myhouseinaugust challenge and I plan on doing a monthly interiors blog post bringing you more corners of my home. For now I am going to share some of my blank canvas interiors tips.
My Top 10 Blank Canvas Interior Tips:
Here are my ‘Top Interior Tips for Blank Canvas in New Homes’, whether it be your own self build or a new home you have bought.
- Do as much decorating as you can before you move in, everyone tells you once you move in your stop and it is definitely true to a point. I did so much up until moving in and found it pretty easy to pick things, but once we moved in we definitely slowed down on the decorating side. I find now that I am in the house it is harder to make your mind up about colours, styles and so forth. Thankfully in the last 3 months we have started more works outside with our patio and gardens and I am adding some finishing touches to some rooms indoors to get them complete.
- So many people advised me to paint all my rooms white and then add colour in time, but I liked the idea of adding some colour before I moved in, so that way it avoids getting a decorator back in and all the hassle that comes with it, moving out all your furniture, the dust and mess etc. So I recommend spending some time picking paint for each room to give them their own look and individual feel.
- Having a blank canvas is good, but it can also be difficult to know where to start, so for my bedrooms I picked all my quilts first and then I built the interiors and colour scheme around that, my paint, paper and accessories, with the aim to create a different look in each. I recommend this or selecting a colour scheme you like for each bedroom and work form that.
- Buy things as you go, the day I decided to build my home I started to buy lots of different household items that I knew would not date and I was always on the lookout for sales on good quality items and brands I liked. I recommend to pick up things like plain crockery, towels, sheets, glasses, cups, ornaments, accessories and so forth and then it really helps having bits and pieces when you move it.
- If you want to go a bit bold and wild, your bathroom is the perfect place for this, as it’s a room in the house that you spend the least time in, so you won’t get tired of it compared to a room you will be spending a lot of hours in every day
- Grey is a great colour and I have it in many rooms throughout my house, in different shades. It’s an easy colour to look at and not one (in my opinion) you get fed up looking at. If you want to play it safer and not opt for colours right away go for light shades of grey, and it will add more depth and character to a room compared to white or cream
- A good way to add some edge to a room is introduce a dark/darker shade to the ceiling, especially if you have double vault ceilings. Using a darker shade compared to what you have on your walls is a good way to do this. I have tried this in my snug tower room where I wanted to do something different as it is a circular room and is double vaulted. I have a light shade of grey on my walls and then on my ceiling I have a very dark shade of grey. That way it emphasises the circular effect and adds some depth, giving it some edge, while its not in your face
- If you like the idea of colour but are a bit cautious about committing to paint and paper, add pops of colour in the form of cushions, accessories, candles and so forth is a good way to brigthen up a room decor. The great thing about these items are that you can easily replace and change once you like the idea of something new.
9. Don’t shy away from material sofas and chairs just because you are afraid they will get stained easily and ruined, if you like them I recommend have them. I always liked the notion of having a fabric sofa and fabric dining chairs and I am glad I did. Yes I have no children, but we just take extra extra care with them and are really careful around them. That said, I definitely recommend having good stain remover at hand in the instance of any accidents so you are ready to treat.
10. Make your house a home and add lots of little ornaments, candles, lamps and photos right from the start… it makes it so much more homely. I need to take a bit of my own advise as I have lots of frames but no photos in them yet, so it’s still on my to do list.
From House to Home
So there you have it, these are some of my general tips for decorating a new home. In a nut shell… document all your ideas and pick out the bits you like and create your own look. Don’t be afraid of colour and to go a bit bold here and there. If you really like it have it and just look after it. You can’t go wrong with grey and add a pop of colour for some edge. Introduce some lamps, candles and photos. Then fill your house with fresh flowers, light a fire and its well on its way to being a home.
Monthly Interior Posts coming here
Watch out here for my Monthly Interiors Post where I will share more specifics of different spaces, corners and rooms in my home, as well as giving more details on how I styled them along with specific details on accessories.
I hope you found this useful and would love any feedback, comments below.