So, you've bought your first home and everything is new and exciting. Perhaps you went for a foreclosure or simply a lovely entry-level home that's smaller and more modest than what you hope to one day own. One of the most common things first time homeowners experience after the purchase is the feeling of never truly becoming accustomed to this first home. Some avoid becoming too comfortable, saving their dream landscaping, renovations, and decor for their trade-up home. Why pour time or money into something that you have no plans to stay in long-term? Well, because it's still your home. Yes, things could change to make you stay there — you might love the direction the neighborhood is going in or end up budgeting for something other than upsizing. But staying doesn't have to be the only reason you invest in and get acquainted with your first home. The fact of the matter is, this is your current home and its best to feel at home during your time in it. If you're worried about spending money on projects or improvements that won't actually increase the selling value of the property, here are 7 ways to make your starter home feel like home, on a budget!
Paint It Yourself
Professional painting can be expensive, and it is a good thing to consider right before you sell your home. But when you're just moving in, why not do it yourself? It's a win-win situation. You get to save money while completely transforming your home — plus it's fun. Invite friends to help and stop for refreshments in between coats. Nothing brings people together like painting a house, and nothing quite matches the feeling of having put your own handiwork into your property!
You can mimic a full-out, swanky redecorating job by simply shopping used. This doesn't mean you have to settle for an eccentric mash-up of themes based on whatever items you can find second-hand (unless that's what you want!) It just means that you'll have to spend a little time digging. But what they say is true: you can find some true gems among the junk. Just take the time to search thoroughly and you'd be surprised how many people give away high-quality products that fit into classic themes well and show minimal signs of use, if any.
Also put out a call on your social networks, asking your friends if they have any used furniture, decor, or appliances that they're willing to sell. It's incredible how many people you know already have items they want to sell or simply get rid of due to newer versions or a lack of space. Not only will you get great value on items from people you trust, you'll be doing them a solid by taking it off their hands!
By getting handy and dabbling in basic woodworking you can transform cheap furniture pieces you found in second-hand stores or even on other peoples' front lawns, into your home, you can easily create a beautiful, hardy interior without spending a fraction of what you would otherwise. Repurposing is all the rage these days, so if you're able to alter furniture based on needed use, you'll be at an advantage and will naturally accomplish a chic look.
Host A Housewarming Party
A surefire way to feel like you belong in your new home is to celebrate with loved ones and create memories within that very home. Invite your friends over for a potluck or home cooked meal to celebrate your first property and start things off right. It sounds cheesy, but the whole ambiance of the home can become more comfy and appealing once your friends and family have spent some time in it!
Spend Time At Home
The most important thing you can do to make your house feel like home is spend time there — physically and mentally. If your head is distant, filled with ideas of future dream homes and thinking about how much better they'll be, you'll never have the chance to improve and appreciate your current one.
Add Ornate Details
Faux detailing like wainscoting, paneling, and beamwork is easy to accomplish. Throw up a decal backsplash or add DIY crown molding. Incorporate beautiful artwork and finishes, remembering that a house is bones; you can create anything you like out of it. Rather than just settling for what you get, think of your home like a canvas. In some ways, it's more rewarding to create your dream home out of something modest than to just buy it as-is.
Make It Cozy
As much as your home should look beautiful, it should also look approachable and welcoming. Luxurious decor is all well and good, but unless you find the home cozy and inviting, you won't have any emotional connection to it. You don't want your house to feel like a cold museum that you can't curl up and relax in. Choose features that will give your residence that "welcome home" feeling where you can unwind, shed your worries, and just be yourself.