Getting your hands on the keys to your new home is an exciting milestone for many couples.
But before you have time to celebrate, there usually comes another financial and time consuming headache – furnishing your home.
To make this important journey easier on your wallet and mind, I Love Children sought three couples for their experiences.
Deciding on the overall look and feel of your home is a pertinent yet risky decision. Without good communication and clear expectations, these conversations can quickly become a source of heated arguments.
Here are how our couples made decisions on styling their home.
Kalvinder and Tinem (K&T) , 33 & 30 , 5-room Resale
We worked as a team as this is a project that should reflect both our personalities.
We made decisions together as equal partners right from the start and the result?
An incredible feeling of pride when we come home!
Shahana & Yusof (S&Y), both 27, 5-room Built-to-Order
We talked about how we wanted our home to feel like after a long day at work and agreed we needed a clean and uncluttered home.
So, we went with the minimalist look and feel.
This style ensures we have enough space to accommodate our large family gatherings and the clean-up would be hassle-free.
Eshwaaree & Yuven (E&Y), 27 & 30, 3-room Resale
We shared our expectations early on to get on the same page on how we wanted to style our home.
Through these conversations, we found that we (luckily) had complementary style ideas.
We then went onto Pinterest to help us visualise the pairing of our desired paint colours and patterns.
This helped because when we got our keys because we were able to start our renovations with a clear focus.
Shopping can be fun and a leisurely activity, but sometimes, the shopping trip could result in you buying more than you initially set out to buy.
Mr Paul See, senior financial services director from Professional Investment Advisory Services (PIAS) shares what you can do to prevent that from happening:
- Set out a budget you can spend on furnishing your home.
- Do up a list of necessary furniture needed for your home and if need be, break them up based on priority.
For example, if you are moving in soon, you will need a bed; then bed should be your top priority.
- Don’t buy on impulse, do your research and compare prices.
- Go to warehouse sales as you can sometimes purchase showroom pieces (e,g, fridges, cabinets, etc.) at much-discounted prices.
While many of us prefer first-hand furniture, with good research, second-hand furniture can look brand new too with the right treatment.
K&T: For hygiene purposes, our living room furniture and kitchen appliances are brand new.
We wouldn’t mind buying second-hand television consoles, tables and cupboards.
Give them a good shine to restore the original style or even repaint them to suit the style of our house and no one will ever know they are second-hand items.
S&Y: We bought most of our electrical appliances like the washing machine, refrigerator and television as we figured we might as well invest our money in the things we were going to use for a very long time.
This was also advice we received from our parents and friends who had already purchased and furnished their first homes.
We saved some money on our furniture, coffee table and sofa by buying them second-hand.
E&Y: We furnished our living room and bedrooms with new pieces because those were the two places that we spend the most amount of time.
We saved on cutlery by getting them from immediate family members and relatives who had spare sets.
K&T: Everyone has a budget; there is really no need to feel bad about it. We took our time to browse online sales like ‘moving out’ or warehouse sales.
It helps to be practical when making important purchases for your home.
And don’t just believe us regarding this, believe the experts! Every home improvement programme that we have caught on the TV says the same.
S&Y: There were certain brands that we may prefer, but after some research, we realised that there were some items that had ‘cheaper’ brands which were comparable to our preferred brands.
E&Y: Budgets are a reality of “adulting”. We identified the things that are of absolute importance according to us and created a timeline to purchase them.
This allowed us to split our purchases without creating too large of a hole in our pocket.
S&Y: Our scented candles and air diffusers. I love it when guests can associate my home with a pleasant scent.
Plus, who doesn’t want to come home to a great-smelling home?
E&Y: Our kitchen, because it was the only room that was completely torn apart and rebuilt.
Every physical aspect of our kitchen was painstakingly chosen by us. It was really cool to see all our choices come together like how we had envisioned it to be.
K&T: Our couch and television. Nothing beats a good relaxing couch to kick back on after a hard day at work.
If you’ve been invited to a housewarming party and you are not sure what to get for the couple, here are some tips couples wished their invited guests knew:
- Ask: It would be ideal to ask what the couple needs to avoid buying duplicate gifts.
- Cash Voucher: As guests to a housewarming party, chances are the couple would already have the essentials. You can never go wrong with cash vouchers.
- Practical gifts: Don’t gift clothes, food that will be expiring or decorative items. They may not suit the couple’s lifestyle, taste buds and style of their home.
I Love Children thanks Mr Paul See, senior financial services director from PIAS for his input.