John Lewis Anyday Velvet Palm Cushion
You finally have the keys! Time to transform this place into your dream home – here’s where our ANYDAY brand can help…
Buying a house or flat can be a long slog, but it won't totally feel like home until you’ve made it your own. If you’ve just moved from a rental, the temptation might be to go all out in a decorating frenzy simply because you can, but our experts advise that you pace yourself and treat your new home as the long-term investment it is.
If you are buying furniture for the first time or are updating to suit the new place, think flexibility. In living spaces, smaller pieces of furniture such as comfy armchairs from the ANYDAY Living range are more flexible than an over-sized sofa, while a sofa bed will provide an additional option for overnight guests.
First-time buyers in particular can often find themselves trying to squeeze dining areas or work zones into their living room. ‘If you’re tight on space, invest in a surface that can function as a desk in the day then transition to dining at night,’ says Wil Law (@johnlewis_wil), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘Your additional seating can be a bench that tucks under when the desk is pushed against a wall.’ Folding chairs are also brilliant for seating extras indoors and out.
Partner & Home Design Stylist Alexandra Fox (@johnlewis_alexandra) agrees and also recommends being flexible in your thinking. ‘A space to entertain lets you really open up your home but it doesn’t need to be stuck indoors,’ she says. ‘Taking open-plan living out onto a decked area, balcony or pergola-covered patio instantly creates a feeling of space. Easy additions such as festoon lights and a pop of colour in outdoor furniture and cushions will help define it as a space designed for living.’
‘I love how a lot of our ANYDAY brand is designed with flexibility in mind,’ adds Wil. ‘Our homes have to work hard so pieces that are not only stylish, but can help transition a space from one part of the day to the next are so important.’
If the previous owners were no match for you in the style stakes, paint can be an instant winner. ‘Painting a room something simple like white to start with is an inexpensive short-term fix, giving a neutral canvas to help you visualise or build your dream scheme,’ suggests Emma Morton-Turner (@emmamtstylist), interior stylist and founder of Inside Stylists.
If you've been locked in an Instagram and Pinterest loop since having your offer accepted, you might want to go bolder straight away safe in the knowledge it’s easy to change later on. ‘But tackle one space at a time and choose which room you want to escape to when the DIY gets messy,’ says Emma. ‘That’s almost always the living room or the bedroom.’
Not sure what shade to go for? ‘Finding colour confidence can take time and practice,’ assures Wil. ‘You can always layer colours as blocks in prints, rugs, cushions and accessories, and live with the look for a while before committing to bigger buys or any large-scale decorating.’
“The ANYDAY brand offers John Lewis quality at a more affordable price point”
One of the quickest rooms to transform is the bedroom. Layering up new bedlinen makes a big impact (and ANYDAY Sleep offers plenty of choice), but don’t forget the windows. If you’re a light sleeper, layers can work wonders here too – try combining curtains and blinds to create privacy by day and block light efficiently at night.
If your first place is on the small side, you’ll want furniture that makes the most of every centimetre. ANYDAY Sleep includes a wide choice of both freestanding wardrobes and modular pieces. And if buying your first home has coincided with having your first baby, ANYDAY Nursery & Babywear offers great value, helping you get off to a great start without compromising on style
To create an effective lighting scheme for your home, think beyond the classic pendant and spotlights. Floor lamps and table lamps are perfect for putting pools of soft light where you need them – try them out in different spots and in various combinations. Plug-in wall lamps are a great solution for bedrooms, living rooms and dining areas, delivering light where you need it without having to call in the electrician. Moving home is an expensive business and our ANYDAY brand will help stretch your remaining budget.
‘First-time buyers often come to us for help in spending wisely,’ says Bethan Harwood (@johnlewis_bethan), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘They want good advice for investment pieces such as the bed, sofa, dining table and curtains, and they want the quality, guarantees and service offered by John Lewis. The ANYDAY brand offers that quality at a more affordable price point.’
A new home is also a great opportunity to think outside the box and to be creative in how you use the space. Need a quiet spot for working from home? Carve out an ‘office’ in the hallway – ANYDAY Work has desks of all sizes to suit. Kitchen not quite big enough for a diner? Check out the compact dining sets in ANYDAY Dine. Looking to create an instant hit of homeliness? Wil Law suggests it’s as easy as making the home accessories work hard for you.
‘I often work with first-time buyers who are influenced by their parents’ way of decorating, thinking that they should invest in new flooring, walls and window dressings throughout,’ explains Wil. ‘In many cases this is the right approach, but not always. The layering of beautiful forms and strong colours across furniture, lighting and accessories can totally uplift and transform a space, and make a house a home in no time.’
Want help designing your first home? Book an appointment with our Home Design Stylists.