Regardless of your income, when you buy your first family home you want it to be incredibly special, and that's quite a challenge to live up to. If you've just bought your first home and you're ready to move in, the one thing that can really make you feel stressed is the amount of costs that comes with it. And we all know that houses don't come cheap. But is there anything we can do to make the most of our home for our children without breaking the bank? Let's explore the issue a little bit further.
When trying to make your home the perfect family haven the first thing you really need to think about is making your home as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of your home Comforts comes in very different shapes and forms. If you've got a small home making it cozy doesn't take much effort because the house is small enough. The most important parts of creating comfort in your home are to make your living room the focal point of the entire house. For me personally, the issue of comfort for my family boils down to a relaxing atmosphere where the whole family can congregate, and no one is left out. Modern homes, when they are small in stature, do not tend to accommodate a large family very well. But if this is the first house you have bought no doubt you have scrimped and saved to get this so you really need to make the most of the living room even though it might be small or poky. You can still add a modern touch to the living room but if you really want to communicate the warmth of a small home then going traditional in your style is a safe and sensible option. When thinking about the material for your living room a big leather couch does not scream comfort, it feels a bit colder and sterile. So, instead go for some nice cozy material, and if you are not in the market for a brand new couch then decorating with throws or blankets helps to push that comfy feeling home.
When it comes to designing your child/children’s bedroom, the really important thing is to make it personal to them. And this may be where you end up spending the most money! I'm going by the assumption that you have a young family, and if you have older kids, they should have their own say in how they want their room to look. The important thing to think about when designing for a young child is to arrange the space with their interests in mind. You need to make it a space that they're going to want to stay in, and if you’ve got a young baby and you're experiencing the difficulties in getting them to sleep in their room for the first time, you need to make it as accommodating to their needs as you can. So, for babies, you need lots of bright colors, but make sure to have a balance because you don’t want them to be so distracted that they won't go to sleep! You may decide to have blackout blinds or really thick curtains to minimize distraction. But beware that this could mean your child won't go to sleep unless it is pitch black in their room, which can leave you open to problems if you go somewhere on holiday or it is their bedtime when the sun is still out in summer! If you have older children, such as toddlers, you should ideally make the space somewhere they can spend time playing. If your house is very cozy, then space to play in the living room is rare, so make their bedroom a place where they would want to stay. Set up a toy chest, and that way the mess is always contained to their room! Safety will always be a concern, and there's always going to be something for them to bang their heads on. You can decorate the room with things like bean bags, which is a very compact approach to seating, and you can get items from Comfy Sacks and other suppliers. Bean bags are a simple way to make the most of a space, and it helps that they are really comfy, so if you're done tidying away their toys, you may wish to sneak in a sly nap!
Going back to comfort, the real thing about making a small home comfortable is that it needs to be at the right temperature. It can make you miserable if it’s too cold or if it’s too hot. The underestimation in a small home is that you don’t need to heat the place because the close proximity means that everything will be heated quickly, which is true, but as soon as people vacate that room, the heat will disappear. Installing a smart thermostat is the solution to this. You can set the thermostat to a specific minimum temperature and when it hits that reading the heating will kick in to bring it back up again. So, your house will remain at a constant temperature. It can take a bit of playing with to make everyone happy, but once you hit the ideal temperature, you can keep the whole house at a comfortable level of heat (or cold, if you are cold-blooded!).
While the kids’ bedrooms are going to cater to their personality, your own master bedroom needs to fit in with the style of the home as a whole. I recommend making the bed the focal point when you're limited in space and work around that. The master bedroom in any size house, be it small or large, will usually be a decent size, but this does mean that there might only be room for the bed and little else! King and queen-size beds will only just about fit in an average-sized master bedroom, so you need to think if you really need another TV in there. Besides, you will actually use the bedroom for sleeping rather than lounging if you don’t have Netflix in there! Going back to the blackout curtain idea, seeing as you will need to get some good quality sleep. It is a good idea to get some for your room. While blackout curtains or blinds tend to be quite pricy, you can make do in the short-term with thicker curtains. While space is, and always will be, an issue, you have to make your bedroom a place for sleeping and little else. You have a TV down in the living room, and a space for your children, so do your best to just have a bedroom for sleeping, you'll need it!
And if you have been lucky enough to buy a home that has a garden, or at least, a little bit of space out the back, then you should endeavor to fill it with some color. For the cash-strapped family, start off by working on the flowers and plants, it’s a quick way to brighten up a drab garden area. From there you can focus on making it into a nice space, adding fencing panels and so on. Do you plan on having lots of gatherings out in the garden? It is quite likely if you are the entertaining type but don’t have the indoor space. So make the most of paving slabs and setting down some concrete areas, or if that is too costly, you can fashion some decking. Decking is very trendy right now, and if you're very keen on barbecues, it provides the best place to set the grill up. And if you are the barbecuing type (who isn’t?) and you'll be having lots of people around, then you will have to spend some time on the grass. If you are going to have people trample all over it and have kids, pets, and over-zealous relatives walking all over it, you will have to make the grass nice and springy. This takes some time. Fertilize the grass every three months to give it that nice thick quality, and in doing this, you’ll have your grass perfect for next summer. When it comes to decorating your garden, never underestimate eBay, because garden enthusiasts are always keen to get rid of certain stylish items that don’t suit them anymore, and what's more, they want to get rid of them quickly i.e. cheaply!
Your first family home will always be a stretch financially, but if you can cut certain corners, it means making a space that is undeniably yours while still keeping an eye on the pennies. For those that bought our first home, it was always going to be small, but as your family grows, you don’t have to make the space a cramped, stressful affair! The key is to make the space yours by being economical. If you're economical in your finances and in the choices you make, you don’t have to make a small home a big concern!