Before moving in with Ms. 3013 I lived with my brother for a good number of years. We shared a small apartment together and enjoyed the many terrific benefits of its location. Neither of us however, spent much time thinking about what the apartment looked like.
We were minimalist at best and for all the years together, we never had so much as a single piece of art or decoration hanging on any of our walls.
We rarely arranged anything outside of practicality, and never once thought about customizing a piece of furniture. Feng shui we were not.
As I get older I find myself being drawn more towards the comfort, style and design of our home. For the past year or so, Ms. 3013 and I have spent a lot of time finding the right pieces to fit into our townhouse- something I hadn’t previously done before.
It’s not an easy task and often you can fall into the trap of the impatient, impulse action of decorating your entire house at once.
The IKEA-izing of your house is a tempting venture. Shop, swipe, assemble. But anyone with IKEA experience will know that while there are many benefits of the store, living in one is far from homely.
Where do you start when you want to decorate YOUR home?
For us, we started with the big essentials, the can’t do withouts; the beds and the couches. We started looking at beds and couches at IKEA but found them terribly uncomfortable- the one quality neither can afford to be.
We found Snooze’s bedMATCH feature to be a good tool to use. You really can’t tell how you’ll like a bed by sleeping in it for 5 minutes, so this tool really helped match our bodies and sleeping patterns to the most suited bed.
Spend money on your bed; I cannot reiterate this enough! You’ll spend most of your life in one and there is no sense to go cheap. A relaxing night’s sleep will do wonders for your everyday life and I’d recommend spending no less than $1000 on the best bed you can afford.
Like your bed, your couch needs to be inviting and comfortable. Don’t spend less on a discount couch and instead, think of it as investing in your body’s long term comfort and well-being.
We took the next best option outside of purchasing a luxurious $6000 couch from places like Dare Gallery. We got one second hand. For about $1500, we found Dare’s Spacey 6-seat modular lounge to be the perfect fit. It’s an incredible piece of sofa-mechanics that you will really only discover once you sit/lie/sleep in one.
WHAT KIND OF ART?
One of the most personal touches you can give your house is by infusing your walls with your personality. As renters, we do not have the option to paint or change colours, but we do have the option to give the walls a new temporary look.
When it comes to hanging up paintings or photographs, avoiding a singular motif or look is essential in avoiding that ‘staged’ look. You’ll find plenty of tacky, easy to buy pieces at your local Target, but if you spend a little time and money on personality, then you’re bound to find the right art for your home.
We decided to piece together the walls over time- one painting at a time, one print at a time. We cringed at the thought of having a house look like a catalogue, so our thinking is that in time, we’ll get the cosy, warm and inviting home we want.
You can find personalized prints from various locations, but we’re liking Etsy for its vast array of designs and artists. Speaking locally, Ms 3013 and I are big fans of Esther Frieda whose work can be found on our walls. Alternatively, for those looking for offbeat cityscapes and movie-themed modernity, I’d recommend checking out Calm The Ham.
The rest of the house needs the same kind of patient approach. We are filling the house piece by piece and found that when you mix and match you’ll get a house with a bit more character. Buy a coffee table from Gumtree, buy a dresser drawer from IKEA (the good ones), find your dream lights from Bunnings- it’s all about taking the time to find what’s right.
Don’t forget if you’re feeling ambitious to try and customize a piece of furniture to suit your needs. We did it for our Bar cart but you can do it for just about anything!
The great thing about your home is that it doesn’t need to be finished now. Furnishing your home comes down to patience and personality. Like your life, it’s perpetually unfinished, but tuneable. Spend a little bit of money on the things that’ll give you the most of being at home, but take your time to find them. The best things they say…