The First 5 Items We Purchased for Our New Home
We are nearly 1 month into our new home in Virginia! This past weekend we hosted our first guests: my Mom, Sam’s Mom, and my sister-in-law. I made homemade peach lemonade, we gave a tour of downtown Williamsburg, and Sam grilled us dinner in the backyard while us ladies sat in a circle and shared equally funny and embarrassing stories from each of our first homes.
As I’ve mentioned previously, Sam and I didn’t bring a whole lot with us from our place in Baltimore. The only furniture that we felt important enough to keep was our Queen bed set (for our guest room), a couple of side tables, a lamp, and a mirror. With the exception of those items, all of our old furniture was either given away to friends and family or donated. After all, the vast majority of it hadn’t ever truly been “ours” to begin with.
One of the many reasons that I was excited to move was to design and decorate our home from scratch; to really make it feel like us. We intentionally chose a townhome that is big enough to grow into because, while we are renting, we plan on sticking around for at least the next 5 years.
Something I told Sam when we were ready to take the leap is that I didn’t want to feel like our life was still “on hold”. When Sam was traveling for 3 years for work and we were living in different cities, I had the feeling like we were constantly waiting for our life together to begin, and I didn’t want to feel that way in Virginia. If we were going to rent rather than buy, I wanted to actually settle in and create a home that we would be able to host family and friends, celebrate holidays, and create real memories in.
Because of this, we made the decision to invest in quality, neutral-colored, classic furniture that we love and can transition into our next home as well. We didn’t want to buy for the sake of buying simply to fill our home with items we would want to get rid of again when we eventually move.
From the date that we signed our lease, I started designing mood boards filled with inspiration for each room via “Secret” boards on Pinterest. I looked at the rooms individually and as a whole to decide what color palette and style we wanted throughout. Then, I created a simple Excel Spreadsheet with our budget and each item listed out that we would need to purchase over the next year so we can ensure that we are not overspending in any 1 category.
After our vision and budget was formed, I started doing research in the city and popping into different shops to take pictures of items I thought would fit in well. I have to say that I’m proud of my self-control throughout those couple months because I did not purchase a single item (literally not even a coaster) until the week before our move-in date. Reminding myself that whatever I purchased I would also have to pack up and load into a moving truck definitely helped.
Once the first purchase was finally made (our living room sectional), we really took it one step at a time. I wanted to get into the house and get a true feel for the layout, colors, and natural light before I began making decisions and purchases.
My biggest tips for buying furniture for your home:
Spend time planning and designing a mood board for each room in your house (you can do this via a “Secret” board on Pinterest) so that you know exactly what color palette and style you are searching for before you begin
Invest in quality for the big items (couch, bed(s), chairs, etc.) first before buying anything decorative/trendy
Do your research and compare prices online and in-stores
Read the good and bad reviews
Take your time and don’t be afraid of running to the store again and again (it’s not going anywhere)
Think about functionality and practicality, not just aesthetics
Understatement of the year: Overstock and Wayfair have become our best friends. I didn’t shop much at either of them prior to moving, but I have to say they have been coming in clutch with the best priced, high-quality items. We have not been disappointed with a single purchase we’ve made from either of them yet and the reviews/colors/quality have all matched as advertised online.
My only warning is: if you don’t want to assemble the furniture yourself once it gets delivered, pay the extra money for assembly. Sam didn’t have any issues putting the furniture together, but it does require time.
Another thing to note is that they compete pretty aggressively with each other in terms of sales which is awesome for the consumer (aka: you). Sign up for both of their email newsletters and keep an eye out for daily sale alerts and coupon codes. Almost every time I check my inbox, I see an email alert from one or the other with a coupon code for 10-17% off site-wide. They have a very similar selection of furniture and decor pieces, so I highly recommend comparing prices (even on the same brand/piece) to get the best discount. Bottom line is: don’t buy unless there is a sale going on.
I have not taken photos of our home yet to share (except for these detail shots in our guest room) because we are still in the process of ordering furniture. I wanted to space out the purchases and adjust our vision accordingly as items come in. Once everything is complete, I will be doing a full blog post series of before and after photos of each room.
However, since I have been sharing peeks here and there on Instagram stories, I wanted to round up the first (and most impactful) purchases now to be helpful to you babes that are in the process of moving and/or decorating a home!
*All of the items that we personally purchased are linked first in the shopping carousel under each category.
Living room sectional
Canopy bed frame
Do you currently rent or own? What was the first item you purchased after moving? Tag me in your favorite home decor page, or comment on my latest Instagram post and tell me!
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xo Anna Elizabeth