First time renter? This one's for you : Evewoman - The Standard
Evewoman-logo

Your Home

First time renter? This one's for you

 

ALSO READ: Love mint green? How to use this fresh colour in your home

You have finally decided it is time to get a real sofa and stop eating off plastic plates. Perhaps you are just starting out on your own - with a new job and a new apartment - or you are adapting to living on your own in a space where you can redecorate and no one will ask why the table was moved two centimetres to the left. Either way, like many people, you may be on a shoestring budget, with little left over for decorating after bills.

To help you get started, we have rounded up tips on how to make your space look like a grown-up lives there without taking a loan.

First things first

Spend money on the big ticket items like sofas, beds and dining tables. You can always accessorise with inexpensive things like throw pillows, bedding and lighting to pull everything together.

Investment pieces are like that little black dress or the perfect-fitting blazer in your wardrobe; they will act as a foundation you can build on.

Portability

ALSO READ: 4 natural ways to keep your bathroom smelling fresh all day

If this is your first place, it is likely that you will move in a few years. A well-made sofa or bed will always go with you, but you are not going to take the wallpaper.

Similarly, it does not make sense to splurge on custom curtains that will not fit the windows in your next home. If it will only work in the current space, do not buy it.

Art, on the other hand, makes a huge impact on your space and can move with you from one apartment to the next. Splurge on original paintings from your favourite local artists, because nothing will make a space feel more like you than personally curated art. Custom framing can take any hand-me-down or garage sale art-find from drab to fab.

Swap your lighting

Changing the lighting is easier than you think and can make a huge impact. It is also easy to swap it back when the time comes for you to move out. Cost of labour for changing a light fixture is between Sh200-1,500. Unbelievable, huh?

Skip pricey accessories

Do not blow your budget on throw pillows, blankets or towels — or anything else that you know you will have to replace regularly. Apart from the wear-and-tear aspect, our taste in home décor can sometimes change as often as our taste or trends in fashion. Changing small things like these is an easy way to refresh to your space. A sofa you have had for years will look fresher with new pillow covers.

Garage sales

If you are on a budget, pre-owned items are your best friend. Online sites are a great source for reasonably priced gently used household items. Our country is a hub for several multinational organisations so there is always an expatriate leaving and selling items. The savings are big when you find quality items for a steal.

Mix new with vintage

Unless you want a space that feels as cold as a furniture store’s showroom, throw in a few old pieces. If you want a home that is warm, cozy and inviting, a good rule of thumb is to always have at least 25 per cent used, vintage or hand-me-down items.

The kitchen

You can do a lot with everyday objects to liven up the kitchen. Bottles of wine, a basket of fruit or a good cutting board will add colour and warmth to any counter. When it comes to glasses and dinnerware, keep it simple.

For example instead of buying specific wine glasses, buy stem-less glasses because they can be used for all kinds of drinks, so you don’t have to waste space or money on different types of glasses. Buy three good quality knives and a few really good pots and pans that you can keep forever.

Buy factory direct

Before buying any household appliances, do thorough research on price and quality. Sometimes buying from the manufacturing factory costs less than buying from a supermarket. Always ask for discounts when shopping for big ticket items.

Restrain yourself

In the excitement of moving into their first apartment, people are all too often in a rush to do everything all at once and fill the space immediately with one shopping trip. It would be much better to live in your home first and understand the space before gradually furnishing it and adding colour.

By gradually adding items, it gives you a chance to come up with décor that suits your personality. Investing in one thing at a time will also allow you to save up for higher-quality pieces. Start with essential furnishings for where you will sleep, eat and sit; side tables, credenzas, consoles, bookshelves and curtains can all come later.

By gradually adding items, it gives you a chance to come up with décor that suits your personality. Investing in one thing at a time will also allow you to save up for higher-quality pieces. Start with essential furnishings for where you will sleep, eat and sit; side tables, credenzas, consoles, bookshelves and curtains can all come later.

SignUp For Newsletter

Get amazing content delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our daily Newsletter.

Latest Stories

Popular Stories