When my husband and I bought our current home we immediately wanted to fill it with beautiful furniture, art and décor pieces in addition to the much needed refurbishment work. We wanted to create a space we would enjoy living in and love sharing with family and friends. It was a challenge exercising restraint and constantly being mindful of a finite budget (and that devilishly tempting creditcard!) to achieve our “insta-home”.

If you, like me, spend many hours on Pinterest, Instagram and various decor blogs, ogling the never-ending images of sumptuous interiors, it’s easy to feel pressure to create your own perfect home – and QUICKLY. With an over-proliferation of homeware stores, that stock everything from ottomans and occasional chairs to toasters and Jamie Oliver branded utensils and appliances, it’s easier than ever to turn your house into a fully functioning home over a single weekend. Stores like @home and Coricraft have raised the bar in terms of quality and quantity of products available, so you’re now assured that the pieces you buy are stylish, in line with international trends and long lasting.

After some thoughtful consideration however, we decided to take a step back and not rush into buying everything at once. Yes, we want a beautiful home filled with beautiful things, but what is the real value of having these things if they have no personal value to us? Without a story or history an object remains just that, an object, and not a treasured heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation.

Here are my thoughts on creating the home of your dreams:

Live in your home

A wise friend recommended that I live in my home for at least one year before I do any major renovations or make any major purchases. I love this advice as it makes sense to get to know a space, and how you occupy it, before you make any commitments to the way it will look for years to come.

Follow your own intuition

Your home is the one space where you can find refuge from the chaos of the outside world, so it is vital that it is an area where you express your individual style. I like to mix influences and experiment with a range of decor styles so that each room in our home is a reflection of our own spirit and journey.

The phased approach

Rather than doing everything at once, plan your home makeover in stages. In the interim, come up with inexpensive decor solutions for the rooms that will be decorated at a later stage. If your kitchen cabinets are old and drab, for instance, a fresh lick of paint and funky doorknobs can work wonders as a temporary solution.

Unearth hidden gems

Nothing tells a story quite like one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. I plan to visit vintage decor shops and unearth unique pieces of furniture that are crying out to be restored or upcycled. It’ll be fun choosing my own upholstery and paint work.

Consider and reconsider

When it comes to buying big-ticket items for your home, it’s always best to sleep on your decision. This will help prevent buyer’s remorse.

Quality over quantity

In terms of longevity and aesthetic appeal, quality always triumphs over quantity. Even though a piece of furniture may be over your budget, sometimes it’s worth buying as an investment piece that will last a lifetime.