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Top interiors bloggers team up for #myfirsthome campaign

25 Nov 2013

Three of the UK’s most influential interiors bloggers have joined forces for the first time to offer thrifty advice to first time home buyers.

With more and more people able to take their first step on the property ladder again, the high profile interior designers behind the Dear Designer, Patchwork Harmony and The Treasure Hunter websites have come together to share their top creative tips for making your first home your own – without breaking the bank.

Putting your stamp on a new home can be a daunting task, both creatively and financially. After saving up a deposit, paying legal fees and making sure you’ve enough money for the monthly mortgage repayments, budget for interiors is often tight. But with some savvy shopping, inventive DIY and creative inspiration, the three bloggers guarantee you can create a look that is beautiful, impactful and most importantly, personal to you.

Taking the latest trends in interiors and memories of their own first homes, the bloggers were challenged to create three different home sets in a London location, all with a strict budget of £500 provided by online bank first direct , who commissioned the project to reach out to first time buyers. Galleries of the bloggers’ room sets are available on to inspire first time buyers to think creatively about their first step on the property ladder.

Carole King of Dear Designers created a chic, contemporary take on countryside classics with a rich mix of textures, quirky accessories and artwork made out of wallpaper samples. She said: “You don’t need a lot of money to create style in your new home. It’s such an exciting time because you’re not constrained by anyone else’s tastes, it’s your own blank canvas.

“Keep it fairly neutral, then you can change schemes without having to start all over again. Remember luxuries come later - buy your essentials first.”

Caroline Rowland of Patchwork Harmony chose a more vintage look with a modern take, typical of her thrifty statement style. “Car boot sales, markets and charity shops are my thing,” she said. “I bought a few vintage crates from my local florist for a steal and made them into side tables and shelving units - they’re so versatile and give the home a lovely rustic vibe. Go with what you love. That’s what will make you happy.”

The Treasure Hunter’s Jenny Wood opted for her usual eclectic look, bringing a mix of high street combined with clever DIY. “It’s your first home, celebrate it! You can be fun, bright and vibrant without spending loads of money. I spray painted this old picture frame yellow to give it some life. All you need is some staple items and the rest will grow organically.

“Get into creative DIY, it really makes you proud of what you achieved and you’ll treasure it more. I remember when I tiled my first home. I couldn’t stop looking at it.”

More clever cost-saving tricks and ideas from the bloggers are available on the first direct  Facebook page. The bank is encouraging people to upload their own images and share their first home memories and advice using the hashtag #myfirsthome.


Top 10 tips for great interiors on a budget 

1.     Set yourself a budget. Doing this will avoid you overspending, but also force you to be more inventive and resourceful. Remember luxuries can come later, so buy your essentials first.

2.     Don’t always follow trends. Instead go with your heart and do something that appeals to you. It’s your home, you need to love it.

3.     Get creative.  Try making your own mark on your new home. Turn your hand to crafts and make something not only unique, but that you’ll be really proud of.

4.     Recycle or ‘upcycle’. Use existing products in new ways, frame wallpaper, use packaging or old products as interesting features. Vintage crates were put to great use by one of our bloggers and one of the rugs used in the feature was two bath rugs stitched together.

5.     Mix it up.  Blend high street deals and DIY with the odd more expensive piece to achieve a chic look for less.

6.     Get online. There are loads of independent online craft sites that sell interesting items at low prices. Start with Folksy and Etsy.

7.     Explore vintage. Visit flea markets, second hand shops and car boot sales, there are plenty of bargains to be had if you are willing to hunt for them.

8.     Find inspiration. There’s a whole world of inspiration at your fingertips with Pinterest, blogs, Facebook and other social platforms all bursting with ideas.  There are a whole host of people posting their favourite items, take a look, be inspired.

9.     Think about colour. Keep the base neutral that way you can easily refresh the theme using accessories rather than breaking the bank on new wallpaper and paint every time you fancy a change.

10.  Shake things up. Try moving items of furniture and features around your new home to keep things fresh, it’s amazing what a difference it can make.

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