You’ve taken the plunge and purchased your first home. While you may want to furnish every room immediately, the wisest thing you can do is take time to properly budget and plan for everything you’d like to do in your home over the next few years. Not to despair; there are a few essentials you can invest in now that will make your first house truly feel like a home.
Lighting A good lighting scheme can make or break a place. Consider what type of fixture you’d like in the each room. A quick change that will allow you to instantly change the mood of a space is to install dimmers on your lights. Another inexpensive way to play with your lighting is to invest in some clean-lined candle holders (simple clear glass holders are always classic) and a substantial supply of white candles. If you tend to host dinners or parties that last for hours, consider votives instead of tealights (votives burn longer than tealights so you can spend the evening with your guests rather than replacing tealights throughout the night).
Towels Stocking your linen closet with a full set of thick, luscious quality towels, is worth the comfort and pleasure you’ll get from them every day. The best way to shop for towels is to touch them in the store and examine the texture; look for a heavy weight all-cotton terry that is soft against your skin. In terms of colour, white is classic and clean, but if your bathroom is neutral, adding a juicy vibrant shade of towels is a simple, noncommittal way to experiment with colour. And while you’re in the linen department, pick up some cloth napkins—they’re more eco-friendly than the paper variety and will add polish to your table setting.
CutleryThe mismatched set you own does have a certain charm for a more whimsical place setting, but a proper set of cutlery is essential if you plan on hosting dinner parties in your new home. Besides looking for a design you like, pick up the cutlery to check if its weight is pleasing to use. A basic set of quality knives will also do you well. A chef’s knife, a paring knife and a bread knife is all most of us need.
Kitchen Tools What gadgets you need in your kitchen depends on your cooking and entertaining habits, but a few must-haves include: a rabbit-ear style wine opener, a salad spinner, an electronic can opener and a knife sharpener.
Sofa If you’re still using the old couch from your parents basement or that starter couch from your very first apartment, it’s time for an upgrade. This is a substantial buy but It’s worth investing in now as you use it everyday, from reading the newspaper to catching your favourite TV show, and it will help establish your living area. Check for comfort and size (ensure it fits not only the space you’ve set out for it, but that it can also get through the doorway and stairwell to your place), but also ask about the sofa’s frame (a hardwood frame is preferable) and springs (avoid the wire coil type).