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When you finally get your foot on the property ladder and move into your first home, it is nice to be able to put your own stamp on your home and add some personal style. Here are my simple ideas on how to add interior style on a budget:

How to decorate your first home on a budget - by Andrew Loveday

Neutral base

All of our new homes come with a neutral palette of internal materials and décor, which is the perfect base to add your own style to. Opt for neutral colours for the main big money items such as sofas and beds too so that they will stand the test of time. These are probably the most expensive pieces you will invest in and a good bed and mattress should probably be top of your list of priorities. An L-shape sofa can be a great use of space – Ikea has some good modular sofas, making them easier to manoeuvre into place.

Don’t impulse buy

You might want to go on a shopping spree and bag a bargain but think clearly about what would work for your space and plan it out.  A mood board can really help to focus your ideas – and if you don’t fancy the traditional scrapbook style, why not make one on Pinterest? You can bring together pictures of things that inspire you, colours and textures and perhaps come across things you never thought of before.   You can also check out Countryside on Pinterest for inspiration!

Accent colours

If your base colours are neutral, you can choose whatever accent colours you like. Scatter cushions, blankets, rugs and lampshades all bring a splash of colour without too much cost. Go for warm colours such as deep reds, orange or mustard to create a feeling of cosiness at this time of year. Other stylish tones include teal, bright cobalt blue and deep emerald green.

Have fun with art

One cost effective idea for instant impact is to create a gallery wall using a variety of different picture frames to frame photos or prints. This is about the overall effect of having an eclectic mix of lots of pictures on one wall, so frames should be of varying sizes and designs. Frames can be picked up cheaply from a car boot sale or homeware shop.


Think about layering the lighting to achieve different moods – lighting does not have to be expensive (Ikea offers a great range for excellent value) but it really helps create ambience. For example add table lamps or floor lamps to make a cosy and inviting living area or add two or three low hanging ceiling pendants over the dining table to create an intimate dining setting.

Add in some vintage

To add a touch and individuality and humour to your interior, add in a few vintage pieces. This can be surprisingly cheap – have a trawl on ebay or at flea markets and car boots sales and you never know what treasures you might find, from vases and glassware to decorative ornaments and small pieces of furniture. Don’t go over board here – the aim is to create an eclectic mix of accessories but often less is more.

Fresh flowers

Colourful single stem flowers in simple glass bottles or vases are a cheap and easy way to decorate the room. Line up a three in a row along a mantelpiece, windowsill or bookshelf for an immediate pop of colour.


Mirrors are an easy way to add a feeling of space and light, which is especially useful in hallways and smaller rooms. Find good value vintage mirrors again at car boots sales or go for something simple and contemporary.

For further inspiration see examples of showhomes we've created on Instagram and Pinterest


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Andrew Loveday,
Sales Director

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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