From first-time buyers to downsizers, the decorating tips that will help make your house a home

There's no doubt that there's a lot to look forward to when buying a new home. Whether it's a first time purchase, you're moving to a bigger place or changing locations, it likely will mark the beginning of a new period of your life. As well as the anticipation that comes with fresh starts and plans for the future, there's also the exciting prospect of having an entirely new space to furnish and decorate, and in fact this is many people's favourite part of buying a new home. We've collected some tips and tricks to make the most of this experience.


First-time buyers


Moving into your first house is incredibly exciting. It's your first real chance to make a space completely your own, but it can be overwhelming to suddenly have an entire home to fill. Depending on your previous living situation, you may have some pieces of furniture, or you may have almost nothing. Either way, the first thing you should do is prioritise your purchases. Make a list of things you need, in descending order of importance. You can then work your way down the list, and won't be without anything essential in the first few weeks.

While your budget may be modest, you should also consider where it will be best spent. Don't skimp on key items you'll use every day, like a bed, and good lighting will change how your entire house looks. Don't also feel that your whole space needs to be immediately 'done'. It's often better to live in a home for a while before making any major design decisions, and a rushed purchase may be one you have to live with for some time. People often advise to paint walls white when moving into a new home, and decide if you want to add colour later. However, if you find that too cold, a good alternative is to go for more tonal neutrals, like soft greys or pinks.



Trading Up 

If you've moved into a bigger home, chances are you'll need to invest in some new furniture. Every great interior design is based around a few key hero pieces, whether that's a luxurious sofa in your living room, beautiful kitchen countertops or an eye-catching bedroom rug. Think carefully about where you want to invest, and then other details like paint and accessories can be changed throughout the years.


A larger house also means you have more potential to be bold with your designs. Although dark colours can be used in a small room, print and pattern are much easier to incorporate into a bigger space without being overwhelming.



When moving into a smaller home, it's inevitable you'll have to get rid of some things, but it's a good opportunity to streamline your possessions, leaving only what you really need. Nevertheless, a small home will always need good storage, so this is something to look out for when viewing properties or planning your new space. Built-in styles give a sleek, streamlined look.

Even if your new home is smaller, it's possible that some of your existing furniture will still be suitable, with some adjustments. If you previously had two large sofas, maybe one would be the perfect size as a focal point in your new living space, accompanied by some armchairs. Re-covering is a great option if you want it to feel fresh. Similarly, while your old dining table may be too large, your chairs might still look great with a different, smaller design.

Moving to a smaller space can be an adjustment, so make sure your rooms feel generous with some simple tricks. Curtains hung from floor to ceiling will make your room feel taller then short ones, and continuous flooring throughout a home makes a space feel larger. Light will also make a home feel spacious, so look for large windows, and mirrors are a failsafe way to reflect more light into your room. If you don't have space for a large coffee table, small side tables are just as useful, and will leave you with much more floor space.

No matter what stage you're at, Cairn pride themselves on building your future. A Cairn home is a guarantee of quality, created by the best architects, designers, builders and craftspeople. Visit to find out more about their current and upcoming developments.


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