Home Essentials for First-Time Buyers

Maybe you’ve just bought your first home. Or maybe you’re moving away to university. These are some home essentials for first-time buyers that will save your life.

We definitely take things for granted when we live with parents. They have all the fancy gadgets you’d ever need. Automated tin-openers so you don’t risk breaking a nail. An entire drawer of pans so you can cook that banquet meal you’ve been meaning to do. It’s only when we don’t have these things, we realise how much we need them.

The first 6 months I lived in my house, I didn’t have a garlic press. I was finely chopping garlic by hand all that time. I still don’t have a colander, or tongs for turning sausages or whatever you do with them.

So, I’ve compiled a handy list of home essentials for first-time buyers of things you need (not want).

 

A Mattress

Mattresses can be very pricey. It’s also the sort of item that you don’t want to hand over £600 for. It doesn’t look nice, it isn’t exactly a home statement. Not like buying a nice dining table would be. However, a good mattress is an absolute home necessity. Please note the word ‘good’, too.

Mine and Jay’s mattress was in the Dreams’ sale, so we managed to get £200 off. A fairly good saving, until we bought the memory foam, extra luxurious pillows at £80 each. BUT, my point is you can get some great mattresses if you shop around.

First work out what you do and don’t like: hard or soft, feather, memory foam, gel, sprung, etc. Second, work out your budget so you don’t overspend. Once you’ve figured these things out, find the best mattress deals on Groupon or a similar site to get a great mattress at a great price.

 

Furniture Basics

Furniture can be expensive, so saving money here is ideal. Me and Jay bought most of our furniture basics on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. We only bought solid wood items so we knew they were good quality and would last.

In the picture below, the only things we bought brand new were the armchair and sofa. Everything else is second-hand, even the dining table which we got free!

 

living room with sofa and lighting

 

This is how our house looked a week after we moved in. It looks empty, there’s nothing on the walls, and we’ve since got a new TV. This is what I mean about essentials. We knew we needed a sofa, coffee table, a TV stand and a dining table, so we sorted all of those. The shelving, lighting (please ignore the bare bulb hanging out of the ceiling), and soft furnishings come last.

Since, I’ve added a rug under the dining table, a mirror on the dining room wall, a light in the living room, coffee table books and other decor, an oak beam mantelpiece, etc. None of these are home essentials for first-time buyers, but a sofa absolutely is! You’ll have to forget about home accessories for the time being. They look nice, but they’re not necessities.

Don’t forget, if you’re worried about cost, you can spread things out as a monthly cost. Our carpets and sofas are still being paid for monthly, as they can be expensive items.

 

Gadgets

Gadgets are another thing that can be pricey. I wouldn’t advise buying second-hand either, unless you plan on replacing the item within a couple of months. Gadgets includes a hoover, an iron and ironing board, a washer/dryer, a dishwasher if you need one, even a TV and a computer or monitor. These things can cost. Maybe not so much an iron, but other white goods are expensive if you want to get trustworthy brands which will last.

A hoover is definitely something you should spend your money on. A good hoover will make a whole lot of difference when you’re living by yourself. There’s nothing worse than having one that doesn’t pick anything up, or even worse throws it all back onto the carpet. Me and Jay have a Miele, a brand that I love and a great hoover. Anything to make the housework easier so you can get it done quickly!

 

I hope this list of home essentials for first-time buyers can help you when it comes to knowing what to buy. Prioritise what you really need, and can afford, and go from there!

 

*In collaboration with Groupon. 

Fireplace Inspiration for your Home

One of the things I regret about our house renovation is our fireplace.

Looking back, it’s so easy to say, I should have done this, that and the other. But realistically we just didn’t have the money at the time. We’ve replaced the whole of the downstairs: all re-plastered, re-wired, repainted, new flooring, new kitchen, everything.

So sometimes, you can’t decide to spend £1000 on a new fireplace. I’d love a real log burner. There’s nothing like sitting in front of a real fire: the smell, the look, the feel, everything.

The big problem with our fireplace is that the lintel sits quite low down. I would have preferred a larger space in the wall for the fire to sit in, but trying to drill through a lintel is hard work, and also slightly dangerous as you don’t want to weaken the structure.

 

Empty living room with no carpets or skirting board. Fireplace in the centre back wall.

 

You can see how the fireplace looks now on my Instagram! I’m not unhappy, but I’d love a large log burner in that space, filled with spare logs.

Fireplace Inspiration

There are so many different types of log burners and stoves you can have, and companies that do all sorts of different styles, shapes and sizes. If you’re based in Scotland, you can head somewhere like Stove Scotland, a reputable company who install wood burning stoves in Edinburgh.

 

You can get the traditional Farmhouse look by combining a brick wall with a built in logburner like this one:

 

Brick surround with log burner in the middle on a slate hearth.

 

Or you can get tall ones that don’t have a flue out the top:

 

Modern log burner that's tall and narrow with no flue.

 

There are so many options, depending on the size of the space you have and how much heat you want/need. A log burner is definitely something we’ll look at for the future. They’re so loved in the UK that it’ll work in your favour as a selling point when you do come to move. I’d probably want to take my fireplace with me!

They’re absolutely a sound investment for any home.

Of course, Pinterest would be my first place to look for fireplace inspiration. I found this picture from Karen at Making Spaces. Just look at those daring black walls combined with the black log burner and exposed brick behind.

 

log burner with dark walls

 

Your fireplace is the focal point of your room. The eye should be drawn into the room and you do this by dressing your fireplace suitably. Karen demonstrates this perfectly by adding a large piece of artwork as well as accessories on the hearth.

 

Whatever you choose to do with your fireplace, never be afraid to go bold as it’s a space that can take it.

 

 

*Collaborative post

Interior Design: My Living Room

We’re so close to moving in now, so I wanted to share my living room design ideas.

I’ve booked my days off at the end of the month for moving in. Enough time to pack, clean and unpack. I’m so excited for deciding where things are going to go, and messing about with layout, especially in the living room.

The look’s a bit different to the last living room moodboard I made in this post. 

Our sofa is currently sat in our kitchen waiting to be unwrapped (it’s like Christmas!). We went with a neutral colour, which we might end up regretting. No one’s allowed red wine on the sofa.

Everything’s a bit neutral, but we’ve decided that’s the best way, and then we can add colour in the curtains, cushions and artwork on the wall.

Again, our carpet and paint is neutral, so if we do ever want to change the furniture, anything will match.

Our carpet and sofa are from SCS  and the paint is from Johnstone’s. 

Our main furniture is classic oak. So far we’ve only got a coffee table, but I’ve had my eye on this Next console table for a while.

We still need a TV stand and some form of shelving for my hundreds of books. I’m also looking for an overhanging floor lamp, something a bit like this:

 

I’ve created a moodboard with the carpet and paint we’ve chosen, and our armchair, which I’m in love with.

 

I can’t wait to get everything in it’s place, and focus on the finishing touches, like shelving, lighting and artwork. My love for Homesense will get me through.