Tips and Guides

5 Common Mistakes of First-Time Homeowners

Are you a fan of matchy-matchy furniture sets?

Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photo)

You’ve moved in without a hitch and you’ve carefully organized your belongings in the proper cabinets—what comes next? Having a home that you can truly call your own can be fun, but transforming it into a cozy space can be overwhelming.

To help you achieve a home that’s stylish, functional, and welcoming, we’ve asked interior designer Kristine Neri-Magturo for a list of mistakes that first-time homeowners often make and how to avoid each. Remember, like any other endeavor, mistakes are inevitable, what's important is you learn from it and that you enjoy finalizing the look of your home:

1. Forgetting to plan ahead

Many homeowners instantly settle into their homes and complete it with investment pieces and appliances that will surely last for a long time. While it's important to have the basic necessities, you also need to take into consideration how you will grow into the home. If you're planning to have kids soon, do you have enough space to accommodate a nursery or a play room? Those who plan to work from home may also need to think about setting up a home office or a work area.

Aside from these considerations, first-time homeowners also need to think about and plan storage solutions. Are you installing wall-mounting shelves or getting freestanding pieces? Avoid problems in the long run by making a list of the goals you have in mind for your space. Take note of the nooks you want to develop and how can achieve each.

2. Over-styling

"It's usually better—aesthetically and functionally—to not have every table, nook and cranny filled with furniture and decor. Allow the home to breathe a little when you first move in. Once you've spent a few months in your new home and actually experience the opportunities and limitations of your space, the priorities and preferences you had before moving in might change," Kristine says.

Don't rush the process of finalizing the look of your home. It takes time to shop for the right must-haves as well as work on the theme of the space. If you'll just grab and purchase every lovely piece you see, your home might be overrun by unnecessary items. Given that this milestone is exciting, Kristine suggests giving yourself enough room "to ease comfortably into the space." You don't have a deadline to beat when it comes to decorating the space so shop and spend wisely; and always be on the lookout for sales and deals.

3.Prioritizing paint over flooring

"Flooring is paramount. Remember [that] paint is much easier and cheaper to change than flooring. Make sure your flooring is set before you decide on wall treatments and furniture," Kristine says. Deciding on your home's floor finish involves knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type first. You also need to take into consideration the theme or style you're working with and the budget you're willing to spend. To help you make a final decision, click here.

4. Choosing trendy colors

We're all guilty of painting the walls of our rooms in our favorite colors or choosing what's hot in the market to liven up the walls in the living area. While it's okay to go with the flow, it's thinking about the look of your home years from now that should be given utmost importance.

"If you're torn between [different] paint swatches, [it's] best to choose the color or tone that is more classic. It's easy to get bored and even bothered by trendy paint colors [if] we see them every single day. Your personality is often best expressed by styles and colors of decor and furniture, with the walls offering a bit more neutral backdrop to showcase these pieces. Tipping the scale in favor of the more classic paint option is usually better for both the mind and the wallet [in the long run,]" the designer says.

5. Going for matchy-matchy pieces and decor

Kristine notes that one common mistake pertains to the furniture selection—buying complete room sets that are so matchy-matchy. While this can be a budget-friendly option that will somehow give your home a unified look, it's also possible that your neighbors have the same generic set. "In terms of creating a sanctuary that you look forward to coming home to everyday, it makes a big difference if your furniture are bespoke, accent pieces. This is your first home, you've earned it [so] express yourself," Kristine says.

Interior designer Kristine Neri-Magturo is one of Real Living's go-to designers. She is also the co-owner of interiors and lifestyle shop, Urban Abode—a must-visit store for bespoke furniture pieces, customized furniture, and handcrafted must-haves. You can get in touch with Kristine via mobile at (0917) 539-5274. To see more of her projects, click here. Discover more about Urban Abode by following the brand on Facebook and Instagram.

Additional photos: Vincent Coscolluela | ATBO | Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions | Pixabay | Unsplash

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