Moving home is said to be one of the most stress-inducing things you can do in your lifetime. As things improve economically in Ireland, and more of you are starting to relocate, or take that first leap of faith onto the property ladder, your interest in interiors has shot up of late (we can probably thank the arrival Pinterest for much this too). To help keep your stress levels to a minimum, and ensure you start out on the right foot on your journey towards your dream living space, here we consult the help of Arnotts’ interiors expert Lisa Ennis, who shares some of her most practical and helpful advice.
How important is it to live in a space before you fully furnish it?
It’s very important but not always possible! It allows you to figure out the flow of a home or room. This may influence your decisions with furniture placement or even change your mind completely on what a room needs in order to be used to its best advantage. With new builds or when buying your first home, moving in without furniture may not be an option. One of the best ways to combat this is, when you are looking at new furniture, to explain fully to your sales person what you are looking for, and why! Don’t only focus on how the room or furniture should look but how it should feel. Our sales staff are experts in all of the furniture on the floor and have some brilliant ideas, so use them as your guides to get the most out of your furniture.
Buying a bed is one of the most important purchases you can make. What can you do to get the most out of your new bed?
Different beds and mattresses are made up of different materials. Some are pocket sprung, some are continuous coil, some are made from foam. Make sure you are happy with the feel of the bed. Take your time in the showroom trying out the beds. If you are not comfortable, your bed won’t last at all! You’ll instantly want to replace it, so lie on the beds. Lie in the position you sleep and see how it feels. We won’t tell anyone you if you grab 40 winks! Sit up like you do if you are reading and see how that feels too, and think about how the headend feels. Is the bed long enough? Wide enough? Check the height of the bed from the floor, is it comfortable to get in and out of? Are you wearing heels? Take them off and see if the height is still comfortable! If you are buying a bed or mattress with your partner, make sure both of you choose the bed. If you are both there, you can see how you both feel, and if you are both happy, this will definitely help the bed last. If you like different tensions, ask our experts about dual tension or split mattress options so the both of you can have what you want. And whatever you do, make sure to FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER’S CARE INSTRUCTIONS! Each piece of furniture you buy will come with a care guide or supplier guidelines for use. Follow these and your bed or mattress will last longer. Last tip? Use a good mattress protector!
What are the most common mistakes we make when furnishing a new home?
Access and size are the most common mistakes we see; I would have to say. It’s easy to get caught up in the look and feel of your new furniture and home, so much so, sometimes practicality gets left behind! Making sure that your sofa or bed or table is the right size to fit through your doors, up your stairs or around turns and corners that are in your home is very important for obvious reasons. Once you are sure you can get your new furniture into your new home safely then the size of your furniture is next. Making sure that your furniture doesn’t take over your room is important, your new purchases should enhance your room, not over crowd it. Check access around your dining table or bed for ease of movement. Can you serve between your dining chairs? Can you comfortably pull out a chair and walk behind it in your dining room? Furniture will always look smaller in a showroom, with our high ceilings and no walls, than in your home. We have some tips though: We recommend laying templates in your home before finalising your purchase with our team. Newspaper cutouts on the floor or moving boxes are good indicators in terms of figuring out what the room will feel like when it is fully furnished. It allows you to judge space and alignment. Having done this myself, I can tell you it saved me from a very expensive mistake.
Tell us what we should really remember to budget for, things we might overlook – e.g. blinds!
Soft furnishings tend to get overlooked a lot. I think it’s because, relative to the price of your sofa, it seems a small purchase but scatter cushions, pillows, throw blankets or accent pieces add so much to a room and help a house feel like a home, so make sure you have this in your budget. Things like a well-placed area rug will bring a whole room together. Paint can also be expensive but getting the right finish on a wall will enhance all of your furniture and help the light land better, so make sure you have enough in your budget to get the finish you want, whether it’s egg shell to diffuse the light or matte to add some classic drama. It’s an easy thing to forget when you are doing up a room!
Your ultimate top tips for making moving home easier. Go!
My favourite question! My inner OCD gets to fly free!
1. LISTS! (it’s so close to my name it’s clearly in me to love lists!) Lists are your best friend when moving. Whether it’s timelines for when things need to be ordered (check all of this with your salesperson) – Excel is great for this, you can list it in date order and see what needs to happen when – or room order to see if you have all the pieces you need, lists are essential. You need to keep on top of date order for when things will be ready to be paid for so that you can have what you want when you want. Don’t forget lists of what’s in what box. Can you imagine the added stress of trying to find something in one of your many boxes when you don’t know what is where? No Thanks! Mark each box for each room and put a list in or on each box (if it won’t get torn off) of what exactly is in there.
2. Have more than one key cut on the first day so that if you are moving in car drops, you are not waiting at one address or the other for access.
3. Knock into your neighbour on your first day and say hi. Nothing makes somewhere feel like home quicker than a friendly face, and they will have all the information you might need about your new neighbourhood.
4. Put a ‘New move survival kit’ together on the day before the move. A box with all your essentials for the first night and day in your new home! Things like a kettle, milk, tea bags (or coffee if you also suffer from my caffeine addition) a table setting or two, some take away menus for the new area, chocolate! A list of your local shops and what time they close at. Work passes and phone and laptop chargers so that there is no panic in the morning. An alarm clock! Bathroom essentials and a set of bed clothes. A fire log, a bottle of wine, a cosy pair of socks and a DVD, as chances are your TV won’t be set up yet. Any creature comforts that will make this process easier and help you feel at home straight away is always worth remembering.
Browse the gallery above for the interiors essentials to get you started, as well as a few items that will add a homely feeling to your living space.
For expert advice on how to make your dream home a reality, head in store to Arnotts, and browse the homeware section of their website right now for all the inspiration you could possibly need!
Shop the gallery!
1. BSM ZEUS 7007B ARMCHAIR €449.00, Arnotts.ie 2. Ethnicraft Mikado Dining Table €2,199.00 3. Kartell Masters Chair Set Of 2 Sage €402.00 4. Ercol Teramo 2681 Kingsize Bed €1,249.00 5. Ercol Teramo 2683 5 Drawer Wide Chest €1,099.00 6. Ercol Teramo 2682 Bedside Cabinet €369.00 7. Vita Silvia Hanging Shade Copper 45 x 45 Cm €89.00 8. Vita Eos Hanging Shade Feather Large White 65 x 40 Cm €249.00 9. Louis de poortere Vintage Patchwork Rug Spring Leaves Green €539.00