I was recently asked by Compass, a New York City based real estate startup company that helps match clients with the perfect listing (something I would have been dying to use during my single days and all those dreaded apartment search meetings - that's a story in itself!) to share my Starter Story as part of one of their initiatives. Seeing as home design is on the up and up in this home, I was happy to share my story! I ultimately decided to share how we're transforming our home from drab to fab and the tips I have from our successes and failures.
Upon looking at our list of projects, we decided the most important was painting the first floor bedrooms. After that was competed, we selected our bedroom set and focused on the finishings. We painted the upstairs portion of our home and our downstairs hallways. Our focus shifted back to our dining room and we learned what happens when you go off the beaten path (see tip #3)
Along the way, I've learned a few tricks to help you transform your space. Whether you're moving in with a significant other or just purchased your first starter home, use my tips to transform your home from drab to fab.
1. Paint, paint, paint - baseboards too!
- There's nothing like paint to transform a room. We love Behr paint and always choose eggshell enamel as our base color. Make sure to buy paint with primer added and save yourself a step! Painting takes patience and attention to detail. I love edging but hate rolling, so make sure you paint with a friend, family member or significant other who is the ying to your paint yang.
- We knew we were limited by space for our bedroom furniture and didn't want to select anything that we might not want for our next home, so we chose to purchase from Ikea. We were able to select a bedroom set that was both cost effective and fit our style.
2. Know when to bring in the professionals.
- If you aren't sure about a project, don't hesitate to get a professional opinion. Our ceiling was cracking, so we stripped the paint ourselves. It was horrible and also led to a brief panic called "wait, is that paint lead?" Luckily, it wasn't, but despite our best efforts, we ended up having a professional come to fix and finish the ceiling with plaster. Know when to call someone from the start!
3. Invest in higher quality pieces that you can grow into.
- We loved the idea of a rustic dining room table, but knew we might have a bigger dining room in our next home. We looked for inexpensive options, but couldn't find anything that we loved. We brainstormed and decided to select a style we loved, but decided to pay more to have the option of removable leaf inserts. That way, our table fits our home now, but can come with us in the future to our forever home.
4. Sell what you can't use.
- One man's trash is another man's treasure! We sold our old furniture on Craigslist and used those earnings towards the purchase of our new items.
What's your Starter Story?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, just happy to participate and share my story.