Inspirational Instagram blogger @diaryofanewbuild is a young working professional and passionate interior design follower. After purchasing her first house with her partner at age 24, she set her sights on creating her dream home. She sat down with our Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, to talk about and answer questions on the inspiration for her home interior design and how she achieved her home goals.
This is your first house and you’ve done very well to achieve a beautiful home. Tell us about the journey to purchasing your own home. How did you plan out and achieve it?
I actually purchased my first home at 21. It was a really small 2 bed house that was the perfect size for me to live in on my own. This new home I bought with my partner as we wanted to get a bigger space that we could grow into over the longer term. In order to by our new home I had to sell the old 2 bed house as it gave me the financial freedom to have a deposit.
Buying our new home sort of happened on a whim. We had money saved for a deposit and with the help to buy programme available we were confident that we could find the right place that we loved. So, one Saturday we were on a day out so decided to stop into a Village Taylor Wimpey site to see what was on offer. We literally found the plot we liked, fell in love with the house option and decided there and then to go for it! We reserved the plot on the day we found it! We used the help to buy programme to purchase the home as we could quite comfortably buy a 4 bed within our budget under the scheme.
The most exciting part of buying a new build home was that we saw the house at all stages of development. From the initial pile of mud that the plot was, we watched it grow and develop into our home with all of the amazing options we had chosen for each room being installed.
I absolutely love your home and you’ve done a fantastic job with the interior design. Tell us about your inspiration for the interior design theme:
Thanks for that. I really like warm tones and calming colours in the house. White clean walls and natural colours like beige and cream make it feel so homely to me. Greys and silvers contrast the warm tones so we choose our furniture items carefully to ensure a measured mix. For us the core items of furniture are like sofas are always beige and cream colours and smaller pieces like cushions are greys and silvers. I feel that larger pieces are best as classic colours that remain on trend where smaller accessory pieces change with trends over time.
The colours I place in my home are in my nature as I love the plain and simple style so I wanted that to flow over in the way I decorated my house. In building my inspiration for the interior design I reviewed catalogues like Neptune, Next and Laura Ashley because they provide so many great ideas. I also love walking around home stores so I spent a lot of time heading out on weekends doing this. For me personally, visualising is believing.
The selection of products against each room is beautiful, can you share with me how you identified and found the products for each room? Do you have any tips for others who need to furnish their home?
My strategy for most rooms was to buy 1 main furniture piece for each room and build other furniture items around the main piece. The larger items were always the first selected and the smaller items followed. I matching ranges of products in rooms based on look and feel of the rooms that I wanted to achieve.
A key part of my thought process was to make practical decisions based on the space in the room after I had placed the main piece of furniture. For example in the living room, I looked at sofa sizes to decide what would work best. I ended up going for a large sofa (3 seater) and a snuggler chair (2 seater). I’m now looking for another armchair to complement these sofa pieces. The house has built-in storage so we didn’t go for products with storage or multifunction. The storage units we do have tend now to be full of candles!
What are your favourite furniture items in the house and why?
My favourite furniture items in the house are the sofas, our main bed and the dining table. The dining table was actually my parents’ dining table initially. They lived in a converted chapel and I always loved/ wanted the table. Years ago the table was sold to friends of my parents but the friends ended up moving abroad and sold the table back to me! It was a long-lasting goal to have the dining table as it has sentimental value. My Mum loves the fact that I now own the table!
Furnishing a home is expensive but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to achieve your perfect style. Do you have any budgeting/ cost management tips for people out there?
Yes, absolutely I have tips based on my own experience. It is expensive to furnish your home but some furniture items are definitely worth investing in. Sofas and Bed are key where you want to make an investment in quality. You can also buy some items that look good but are not expensive. Ikea furniture that is styled correctly can appear to be more expensive than it is. Example: I bought a dressing table from Ikea (the Malm range) and I styled it couple with an ornate mirror from William Wood Mirrors. The mirror literally made the dressing table look so much more expensive.
Budgeting is a process and my advice is to keep different budgets for home. We break our savings into a separate account so we have an essential items account and non-essential items account. The budget on a month to month basis based on outgoings and equal contributions. I don’t really budget for things like accessories and photo frames as I tend to find most of them whilst doing general shopping and can get them at a more reasonable price on my shop.
Do you follow any particular design trends or themes that give you inspiration? If so, what do you love about them?
I look on Instagram a lot for home inspiration and stores that have room setups. I also receive catalogues quarterly from various furniture retailers and I take my time going through them in detail. I have a favourite account on Instagram that I follow @thehomethatmademe as she has lots of inspiration and an interior business which does décor for show homes. I like to follow what she does and so she is the favourite. I also have grown up with Mum’s style and she is the main inspiration for home design. Our homes are very similar so my Dad does an inventory check of house their before I arrive for visits in case I take stuff!
Since discovering Kuldea I’ve started to use the platform extensively as it has the most extensive choice of products across the entire market in one place. Another cool feature that you’ve built at Kuldea is the ability to build collections when you create an account. I use this to build collections of furniture by room as I can place furniture products from across the market to create my perfect room design!
What are your future goals for the house both on the interior and outdoor garden area? Where will you draw your inspiration from for future home goals?
We have plans for the garden styling to begin this summer. That involves landscape gardening and planning a decking area that is to be completed by next summer. I’m also eager to incorporate wall panelling throughout the house and bring a modern country style to the house. @debbies_house has provided me with a lot of ideas for this and it’s a style I love and you can achieve it at low cost.
Other house and furnishing goals mainly finishing rooms and adding more accessories and lighting to each room. We also have a small area in between the house and garage that we want to convert into a home office for my partner as he is self-employed. This space will give him a break out area in the house and create another room in the house for me to fill with furniture!
@diaryofanewbuild it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you and thanks so much for sharing all the inspiring ideas and top tips that you have. We wish you all the best with your home furnishing in the future. For readers who wish to follow @diaryofanewbuild on Instagram and connect with questions be sure to follow her stunning feed and blog. Be sure to find all the furniture products you need and want on Kuldea along with more top tips and inspiration for your home.