How should you style a newlywed home?
Tips for contemporary couples and interior design spaces
By Yanika Liew
Fresh off the high of the new year festivities, decorating a new home can be an intimidating and difficult process, especially for newlyweds. With possibilities such as an expanding family and future work-from-home stations, design choices should be flexible to reflect a home environment couples will be comfortable with. The key to creating the perfect marriage home is to take it one step at a time.
“It’s recommended to start with something simple and cosy that is widely accepted and easy to update in the future if desired,” IQI Concept project director Wong Yie Yee said.
There are two recommended design concepts for newlyweds. The first is a minimalist approach, currently, a trendy style of design featuring simplicity and functionality, creating a clean, spacious and uncluttered feel. The second option is the Scandinavian design concept, showcasing natural materials and neutral colours, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere. These designs often incorporate plant and greenery, complementing the neutrals and natural materials.
“As you continue to personalise your home, you can gradually incorporate bolder styles,” Wong added.
These are templates for a welcoming environment. In a well-lived Malaysian home, the shelves and walls are decorated with trinkets, charms and personal belongings. These showcase history and are built up over the years to document the journey of a family.
Wong recommends warm lighting, neutral warm colour tones, natural materials and soft textiles to foster a cosy and comfy atmosphere.
However, when it comes to interior design for newlywed homes, there are factors that have to be taken into consideration.
“There are several challenges faced by newlyweds during home renovations, one of which is budget constraints. Newlyweds may have limited funds, making it difficult to achieve all their desired goals. Other common challenges include space planning and finding a balance between design aesthetics and functionality,” Wong said.
With limited funds, the pressure to get it right the first time can be immense. Nonetheless, similar to a relationship, these are problems which can be mitigated with communication.
Wong pointed out that to overcome these challenges, it is important for newlyweds to communicate their needs, prioritise their must-haves, and be open to compromise to achieve the best results for their homes.
“Selecting a style and colour palette for your home is a significant decision as it can greatly impact the atmosphere of your home. Determine the desired ambience for each room, whether warm or cool colour scheme. The tip to creating a cohesive look is selecting a colour palette first and then selecting pieces that fit that colour scheme,” she added.
For small homes and apartments, Wong emphasises on placing priority on your needs.
“You can consider combining two functions into one room, such as a study and guest room. Opt for space-saving options like a sofa bed, and choose multi-functional furniture and appliances, such as a dresser that doubles as a side table, or a washer-dryer combo,” she said.
Multi-functional furniture and appliances have increased in popularity over the years, especially when it comes to health and cleanliness.
When it comes to making the most of your space, newlyweds are free to try these tips to create a larger feeling environment.
“Use bright colours and mirrors to visually expand the area, go for full height elements like floor-to-ceiling cabinetry or curtains, it creates a sense of spaciousness by elongating the space, and consider expandable furniture like a dining table for added guests,” Wong said.
In common areas, homeowners are encouraged to make a statement, as this is where the guests are hosted.
“Decorate the powder room and guest room, and don’t forget the dry kitchen – it’s a place where people eat, socialise and gather. To bring a touch of nature and greenery to your home, especially in condos, you can decorate your balcony with plants,” Wong said.
She noted that when designing a home, one must always prioritise function over purely aesthetic considerations, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom. It is important to consider your daily usage patterns and movements in these spaces, as your home should be a functional and livable environment, not a showroom.
“If you are a feng shui believer, it’s recommended to get a feng shui consultation first before meeting with your designer. This will help you avoid any unfavourable layouts, placements, and fittings and also allow your designer to use interior design to enhance your luck and improve the feng shui of your home,” Wong said.
These consultations would also be able to provide a more personalised guideline on styling the new house.
“Newlyweds may prioritise creating a cosy and aesthetic home for the present, but it is important to consider future needs. Taking into account long-term goals can save both time and money in the future by avoiding the need for additional renovations,” she added.
For newlyweds, the journey of homeownership and home decorating requires patience and communication. As you would with a partner, allow your home to have room to breathe and grow.