It’s been a year (well slightly over) since I became the proud owner of my shared ownership Aster home, and I wanted to reflect on some things I have learned in my first year.

The completion excitement and moving stress is now a distant memory and day to day life has taken over. It’s not all Instagram photos and fake realities.


There is the overwhelming desire to put your stamp on every inch of your new home (Yeah, thanks insta!) this doesn’t need to be a thing, even those homes on insta weren’t built in a day.

Before completion my husband and I had a conversation about our expectations for the house, obviously once you’re in, the saving stops and bills take priority, so redecorating needs to be planned and saved for. For us, we knew we wanted to do the garden, we love being outdoors so felt this would be a great additional space we would enjoy all summer. We saved additionally to be able to do this and talked budgets (ok, argued, who can even talk about budgets with their significant other?) and timescales. This was manageable and achievable and have spent every sunny day possible out in the garden. See how we created a garden we love - here.

I also think it takes time to figure out how you feel and find your feet in a new home. It’s safe to say most people visualise where their furniture will go before they even have the keys. I know, as I did that! I of course have way too many ideas on what I would like to do to each room however I recommend taking a step back and take time to get used to your new home. If it’s a new build, it’ll likely have a defect period still. It isn’t advisable to do anything in this period as it can cause issues if you need to report anything. Plus, no one wants to be touching up the paintwork should settlement cracks etc appear. (These are totally normal, so don’t panic!)

During this time, you can move your furniture about and see what works best for you, see the light in each room at different times of the day and what works practically. Don’t rush in spending money to live up to the Instagram hype. Don’t expect your house to look like your vision too quickly, don’t put that much pressure on yourself.


Use Instagram and Pinterest to research your ideas and bring them to life in your own time, after all what’s the rush? Take a look at my blog on Pinterest. This is the fun bit, building mood boards! I’ll admit we don’t have 1 light shade up, I haven’t been able to picture what sort I want so in that case haven’t bothered yet. (See above)

Another thing that has bugged me more than anything is having furniture/ homewares in one home then it doesn’t fit or work in your next home. This can feel like you have disposable belongings per house you live in, like curtains, mine don’t fit in our new home which is ridiculously annoying. Depending on storage space you could keep said items, or another idea is selling them perhaps put the money towards new ones? Facebook market place is good for this, I’ve sold lots of home accessories that I can’t make use of, plus I like that someone else can use it. Things that I really love but don’t have room for here I have stored them for any future use.

This is where my love for minimalism comes into full force. I’d rather have better quality things and less than loads of stuff with no room to move! This makes me feel calmer and our home cleaner. It is tricky when there is SO MANY beautiful home bits out there, I just remind myself things can be beautiful without you having to have every beautiful thing you see. There’s a time and a place so don’t buy just because.

Enjoy it! You’ve worked hard to get here. I’m not impulsive so this really worked for us. I really wanted a year to just relax in my new home, especially after over 2 years of living back with my parents.

This will also give you time to get in a routine with your monthly bills, it can be a juggling act to establish how much things cost and how to balance it all out each month. To be able to have your own home, manage bills and have a lifestyle you can afford, is winning to me!

Don’t forget to share your new home and décor ideas with us on social media to be in with a chance of winning £250!!!! Just share your image using #ThisSOThing to enter. T&C’s apply and can be found on our website just click here.