Today, I’m giving you a tour of my first home tour. It was a seaside flat in Shoreham, in Sussex which I lived in for ten years. I had to be clever with the space as it was small and I was on a tight budget. My coastal home is filled with lots of clever decorating ideas, storage solution and salvage finds that you can try out in your own home.
This is a great post for renters, new home buyers or if you are looking for decorate your first home with a coastal feel (on a budget).
Decorating Ideas For Your First Home
Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home is an exciting experience. I saved up for three years to buy the place, moving in with my parents and working two jobs while I saved up my deposit. I had little spare money to decorate my flat so I have to be thrifty and ingenious with my ideas. And being a one bed flat with little storage, I had to be clever with my decorating ideas which I know you will love to use in your own home.
I bought the flat back in 2005 when I was 26 years old. The flat has been modernised by the previous owners – with a fairly new kitchen and bathroom. But sadly they were not to my taste. I couldn’t afford to change these rooms so I injected my own personality to the flat.
If you are looking to buy your first flat, it’s really worth learning a few DIY skills (my Dad and YouTube were both brilliant). Also invest in a hammer, drill, drill bits, screw driver set, plyers, good quality paint brushes. Maybe ask it as a moving in present as it will save you so much money of you can tackle simple jobs yourself. You can do this!
Finding Affordable Furniture
My bedroom was the first room I decorated. The furniture came from junk shops and charity stores. The bed was £10 and the chest of drawers was £20 which I painted the same cream colour as the walls.
I hated the built-in wardrobes as the doors were always falling off but I couldn’t afford to replace them. I replaced the cheap handles with cut glass ones and I wallpapered them inside to make them look cool inside and out.
The wallpaper was a Cole & Son off-cut. I still love it now. I’m tempted to decorate my current guest room in this paper…
Whatelse? The bedroom was on the street so I put up frosted window film to give me some privacy. All the accessories were from Dunelm Mill as there was a big store up the road and it was cheap as chips.
Picking A Simple Colour Scheme
Being such a small flat, I went for similar colours throughout. I painted walls in an off-white and then brought in accents of chalky blue tones. My idea to go for the same colour was that I could switch up the accessories from room to room when I wanted to change things.
And it helped the rooms ‘flow’ from one to the other.
Investing In Storage
This had to be my fave room in the flat and the one I’m most proud of. And the one where I flexed by fledgling DIY skills. There was a chimney breast but it wasn’t open. Me and my dad knocked it out and installed faux hearth which I filled with beach pebbles and candles. I paid a carpenter to put in a step/ledge which I could use as an extra shelf.
Either side of my new fireplace, the carpenter put in floating shelves and the storage cupboards in. My carpenter had never heard of ‘floating’ shelves – well this was over 13 years ago! – and I had to draw them out for him. I got lattice fronts on the cupboard so that I could hide my stereo and my dvd player inside but still use them with a remote.
The Laura Ashely sofa was a gift from my Grannie as a moving in pressie. It was £500 which felt so much money at the time. It lasted over 10 years so was worth every penny. The chairs were another vintage find for about £30.
I bought the record player off eBay as I was then a keen record collector. I need to dig out that record player out thinking about it.
Creating Multi-Use Rooms
The kitchen was almost new. But I hated the white units. If I Had my way, I would have had a shaker style kitchen. Looking back now, the white units are a classic and look timeless.
My first change was to put in the shelf inside one of the alcoves to make a breakfast bar. When I freelanced, I used to this area as my home office – as well as where I ate all my meals.
In the other alcove, there was a storage cupboard that I ripped out so that I could fit in a freestanding fridge. Again, I would have LOVE a Smeg in a pastel shade but this chrome one was affordable and roomy. I covered it with postcards from my travels to personalise it.
Adding Pops Of Colour
My sister made me a curtain to cover over my washing machine as it wasn’t integrated.
The back wall was painted many shades before I hit upon this sunny yellow. The tolix chairs from Lakeland were brought to match.
Becoming An Urban Gardener
What made me feel for this flat was the 14 foot long terrace. It looked nothing like this when I moved in. It was covered in a horrible tarmac.
It was decked so that I could walk on it bear foot. I put up a real sail from a boat which I bought from a local rigging shop. I painted all the plant pots using left over sample tins from magazine shoots.
My Mum helped me with all the plants. I grew so many salads and herbs. I’m struggling to grow them in my current garden with all the snails. God, I miss this garden and that view. The best sunsets ever. There you go. That’s my first home.
There was no clear plan for how I wanted my home to look but looking back I can see I went for a coastal-inspired theme with lots of pastel shades. I find it fascinating to look through these pictures as I can see how much my taste has changed over the past 12 years. I think this flat looks pretty grown up for a 26 year old.
Have some of these ideas from the budget fixes to the colours, to my love of storage have been inspiring? I’d love to know what you think in the comments box below.