When setting up your marital home as a couple, not only do you have to find a place to live in, but you also need to think about what you will need to fill it with. The whole experience can be an enriching one strengthening your nuptial bond or a totally chaotic one pushing you to the brink of insanity. Here are a few simple guidelines to ensure it is the former.
WALL TO WALL
Setting up your home within the confines of four walls can be a great bonding experience especially if you have had an arranged marriage. It gives you a glimpse of your spouse’s taste and also teaches you the first lesson of marriage – compromise. However more often than not, Indian men always leave the interiors of the home to their wives. Keeping your husband in the loop will not only ease your pressure but will also stop you from constantly doubting yourself and wondering if he will like it or not. So involve him every step of the way and watch your relationship blossom.
Moving boxes of your personal things from your paternal home into your new love nest can be an insightful experience too. The move itself is a bonding opportunity. All the heavy lifting and shifting can be great grounds for a relaxing timeout amidst all the rubble. There is nothing quite like squatting among half emptied cardboard boxes visualising your future together with a cuppa Joe in hand. The first night that you spend in your new home together is a very big deal. Even if you end up eating a pizza while sitting on the cartons, try to make it romantic.
The most basic requirement in any home is painted walls. Be it a bold colour or a more subtle one, your walls always reflect the character of your home. With a lot of urban couples going the DIY way, you can now paint your own walls and use this time together to get to know each other better. Several leading paint retailers now have a small step-by-step training guide to help you paint walls so your ‘paint date’ is likely to go off without a hitch.
Having to buy a host of new items for your house can sometimes seem like a chore. You probably have been up and down every furniture shop from here to Timbuktu searching for the perfect coffee table or the right sized dining table. The key is not to view it as a task to be ploughed through but as a fun outing. Go shopping only when both of you are in the mood for it. Also consider this as another way to spend time together.
When you make your first home, it is tempting to want to buy all that you lay your eyes on but since you are just getting started, minimalism is the key. You may be a home decor nut but restrain yourself from buying every cushion and flowerpot you see. Click a picture of the item you covet and store it for posterity, to be bought when a suitable opportunity presents itself, especially if you alter your interiors at frequent intervals. If you do not believe in a regular change of look for your house, choose high quality merchandise that will last long instead of just good-looking pieces. When shopping for furniture or appliances, initially buy only the essentials and later on you can slowly start picking up luxury items based on the expansion of your purchasing power.
One of the biggest advantages while setting up your first home is all the wedding gifts you receive. Even though we have not fully caught up with the western way of gift registry, there is still a major chunk of your home interiors that comes as gifts from parents, relatives and sometimes even friends. It certainly helps if you are included in the decision of what to buy. But beware. Wedding gifts are always a double edged sword. You sometimes land up with the most outrageous antiquities and in spite of your best efforts to blend it with your interiors it stands out like an embarrassment. Choose wisely what you use and what you store.
As newlyweds, you will definitely want to display pictures of your wedding and also pictures of yourselves to add that personal touch to your home. Place poignant and candid images in prominent nooks and niches. Remember that as a new couple you will probably have to entertain more than your fair share of guests, relatives and in-laws. So keep the living and dining areas a bit more formal, but make sure your bedroom is a relaxing spot that you both will love to return to at night. Don’t go overboard with the flowery upholstery and towels. Subtly balance bold and floral prints without it seeming too ‘girly’. Use pastel shades combined with graphics. Using stripes combined with floral prints in dark shades can also be a good balance for a ‘his’ and ‘her’ style bedroom.
At the end of it all, remember that your first home will not be perfect. It may have mismatched curtains, a sofa that does not fit, fussy showpieces, but that is exactly how it should be: warm, snug and ‘you’. Don’t let the pressures of setting up a new home turn the experience into a nightmare. Ultimately it is up to you to convert your dream house into a dream home.