After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own home, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she shares some of the tops tips she has learnt along the way for furnishing a house.
As a homeowner and a person who has rented for an extended period of time prior to buying, I’ve lived the experience of dreaming, believing and creating the house I want to live in. Just buying a house or securing the rental property you want is an achievement as you have to go through a long and emotional process to get it. Here’s where the fun starts though, now you’ve secured your house, it’s time to furnish it. So here are my top tips on how to furnish a house based on my own experience and the expertise of those I work with every day in this space:
Planning is everything
Typically you’ll have a period between when you secure the house and when you actually move it. This is a crucial time to start your planning process. It’s a time for reflection on what styles, themes and feel you want to have for the house and it’s also a time for research to support your vision.
Build a timing plan for your house furnishing project. It doesn’t have to be complicated and can be as simple as a handwritten plan in a book or a spreadsheet on your computer. Listing the room and then action items beneath each room is the easiest way to do this. You may also want to place an estimated budget next to each item to gather and control costs.
Embrace the journey and the resources at your disposal. Resources such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and home magazine publications build a great foundation of ideas and knowledge. This will get you thinking outside the box to create ideas which you can build upon. I recommend using the digital resources you have or even a scrapbook to build mood boards of styles and also products you are interested in. There are a number of key things you will achieve through this process:
- Themes and styles you want for your house and each room
- The furniture items you want to place in these rooms
- Potential retailers/ suppliers for those furniture items and the estimated cost so you can fit a budget
- Delivery lead times from when you place an order (This is crucial as you’ll need a timing plan for the furnishing of the house to keep on top of things)
The shopping process
When it comes to shopping for furniture items for your house, online shopping is the best way to accumulate information as it gives you exposure to the entire range of products that retailers have, whereas you may not find those items on a store visit due to shop size or store room constraints… As outlined in the planning phase of furnishing a house, there are so many online resources to help direct your shopping focus that you can do almost everything at the touch of a button.
As you complete decorating a room, the best advice is to complete furnishing that room before turning your attention to the next room. Your first action per room is to place the main feature piece of furniture in the room, making sure that:
- The size is appropriate
- It matches and complements your colour scheme
- You establish the direction or exact positioning of the item in alignment with your vision for the room
Once you’ve done that you can then build your entire room of furniture and furnishings around it. You’ll be amazed at the impact placing your first item into the room has.
Your state of mind during the furnishing process
We often overlook our state of mind during the furnishing process. Through the planning stages, then the shopping stages and then into the final stages of placing products we forget to think about how we are feeling about our current living situation and we forget to address the little details that may help us feel more at ease.
A successful remedy that was shared with me and worked well is furnishing entire rooms one by one. What this means is, focus on furnishing one room at a time as it gives you two great outcomes:
- You have at least one completed room which offers sanctuary from the rest of the house that’s not completed.
- Each room you completed brings you one step closer to your vision. You’d be amazed at what this does for your motivation and enthusiasm to complete the project in the right way.
Using this simple approach and my project plan, I found I was much more motivated when completing rooms and I found that each room gave me a real sense of satisfaction and pride that I was making progress. It also really helped my partner too as we got to enjoy the experience together and appreciate the results. My advice is, do the main bedroom first so you get solid sleep in a comfortable environment.
Include other people in decision making
Including other people in decision making is crucial, especially if you live with a partner. If you’re in a relationship then the obvious benefit is this helps keep the peace. More importantly than that, it makes a huge difference when you look at another person’s perspective. For example; Is the height of the bedroom mirror functional for both people? Ensuring to ask your partners opinion will increase the functionality and their enjoyment of the space. Sometimes we can get tunnel vision and this leads us to make poor decisions like:
- Overpaying for items
- Making hasty purchases due to lack of patience
- Not checking the fine print on delivery times and specific product details
- Not considering the wants and needs of others and selecting the wrong item
- Getting off-plan with the project
Be strong with your own ideas and opinions but don’t let that stop you from using others for feedback and ideas. I actually found that the best ideas and retailers I identified came from other people’s advice and shared experience. Ultimately, furnishing a house is an emotional experience and the more inclusive you can be with the right people, the better results you’re going to get.
The journey to furnishing your house
This might seem an odd point but we are who we are and like what we like because of the influences and experiences we’ve had in our lives. For that reason, I think it’s important we acknowledge the journey we’ve been on in arriving at a moment where we furnish a house. Think of the people, places and specific things you’ve lived through that shape your opinions and visions. We do tend to overlook this fact and it leads to people becoming confused about what they want to achieve when furnishing their house.
Personally, I wrote out a list of these things even prior to my planning process. I was reminded to do this by my Mum who, as a quintessential Irish woman who believes strongly in the presence of heritage and family memories in her house. The same principles applied to me and helped me shape my choices throughout this project.
My final point is about the journey never being over when furnishing a house as it never ends. That said, don’t allow to end. Continue to look for items that complement and work with styles and themes you’ve built out. You’ll find quirky and nuanced items that fit and that speak volumes of your personality. It’s something I always do so the journey is never over for me.
To start your house furnishing project, head to our Products page for thousands of products from the UK’s leading retailers and get your transformation underway!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it helps bring ideas and perspectives to your own projects. For any questions you have or to discuss your thoughts on this article or any other article feel free to contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org