11 step guide to plan your dream home

A long-term strategy to furnish and style your entire home.

Welcome back! September is an exciting time of newness - schools reopen and university students dive back into their studies. Additionally, many new products and collections are revealed. As the seasons change, a new wave of design ideas and inspiration pour into the marketplace. For those of you in London, we hope you had a chance to go out over the last week for London Fashion Week and/or London Design Festival and soak up a bit of the current design trends. We did, and feel very renewed and inspired.

Last week, we intentionally kept our moving-day essentials list quite small in regards to core furniture pieces. Our design ethos recommends people consider moving in with their existing belongings and the core essentials to experience their new home fully before deciding the shapes, sizes, styles, and quantity of items needed to make their house a unique home tailored to their style and most importantly, routine. If you get quite ambitious before moving in, you may very well buy pieces you love, but that don’t best serve your routine in your new space - and then you most likely won’t have the funds for the items that would perfect the design, layout, and functionality of the space.

If it’s feasible for you, use our essentials list to get you through the door and enjoying your first few nights in your new home. Once you’ve unpacked a bit and have seen the space at all hours of the day, you’ll be able to start dreaming up how you might optimise each space to make it more suitable to your wants, needs and habits. You’ll see the light in each room, feel the air flow, and bump into anything that’s a bit out of place. You will see how your personal belongings fit in the cupboards and realise you might need additional storage in the bathroom or to install built-ins in the lounge. We strongly believe that it takes moving in and spending a few weeks in the space before most people can truly begin to visualise what they want and need in their new home. Some would even argue you need to live through each season of the year before you can truly understand your new home.

Now, if you happen to be an avid planner like me, and this thought baffles you, be true to yourself and do as much as you want and are capable of before moving in. However, please do remember that actually living in the space will bring new discoveries and may even influence your daily routine in unexpected ways. Keep this in mind when budgeting and prioritising the evolution of your dream home. For the rest of you, try to keep it simple and stick with the move-in essentials until you’re mentally and financially ready to strategise the long-term plan of making your house a home.

In this blog we present a list to help you (new homeowners) build a strategic plan to personalise and perfect your homes over time. This will allow you to create and evaluate a long-term plan by considering available funds, monthly income, as well as current priorities and desires within the home.

This expansive home furnishing list is grouped by residential spaces or rooms. Some may not apply to your home, and if you're lucky you’ll have additional rooms we did not cover, so be sure to customise your list accordingly. If your home is a studio or more open plan than defined rooms, please adjust to your liking.

Take a moment to scan over the entire list and then read through our advice on how to customise and turn this list into a long-term plan.


  • Bed

  • Wardrobe/Clothing Rack

  • Bedside tables

  • Chest of drawers

  • Curtains/Blinds

  • Bed Linens

  • Pillows

  • Decorative Cushions

  • Bedside Lighting

  • Shelving/Storage

  • Rug

  • Bench/Accent Chair

  • Mirror

  • Dressing Table

  • Stool/Bench/Ottoman

  • Wall Art

  • Decorative objects


  • Sofa

  • Coffee Table

  • TV

  • Media Console

  • Side Table

  • Accent Chair

  • Ottoman

  • Rug

  • Wall Art

  • Decorative Objects

  • Table/Floor Lighting

  • Shelving/Storage

  • Plants

  • Curtains/Blinds


  • Table/Bar

  • Dining Chairs/Bar Stools

  • Hand towels

  • Dinner Plates

  • Salad Plates

  • Bowls

  • Serving bowls

  • Serving platters/trays

  • Measuring cups

  • Measuring spoons

  • Scale

  • Wine Glasses

  • Glasses

  • Mugs

  • Cutlery

  • Cooking Knives

  • Oven Mitts

  • Toaster

  • Kettle

  • Blender

  • Frying Pans

  • Sauce Pans

  • Oven tray

  • Casserole dishes

  • Mixing bowls

  • Cutting Boards

  • Rubbish Bin

  • Rubbish Liners

  • Table Cloth/Runner

  • Placemats

  • Hooks/handles for hanging items

  • Small rugs/runner

  • Wall Art

  • Plants

  • Curtains/Blinds


  • Dining Table

  • Dining Chairs/Bench

  • Buffet Table/Console

  • Bar Cabinet/Cart

  • Wall Art

  • Curtains/blinds

  • Plants

  • Rug


  • Towels

  • Washcloths

  • Mirror

  • Storage/Shelving

  • Toothbrush holder

  • Soap dishes

  • Hand soap

  • Hand towels

  • Bath mats/rugs

  • Air freshener

  • Candle/Diffuser

  • Plant

  • Rubbish Bin

  • Curtains/Blinds

  • Shower Curtain


  • Desk

  • Desk Chair

  • Computer

  • Table/Floor Lighting

  • Storage/Shelving

  • Rug

  • Wall Art

  • Decorative Objects

  • Plants

  • Curtains/Blinds


  • Rug

  • Coat Rack/hooks

  • Storage (keys, bags, shoes)

  • Mirror

  • Wall Art

  • Umbrella Stand

  • Doorstop


  • Bistro Table

  • Seating/Chairs

  • Lounge Seating

  • Lighting

  • Plants

  • Planters/Pots

  • Outdoor Rug

  • BBQ

  • Decorative Objects

CLEANING SUPPLIES (decide which room is best for your home)

  • Broom/dustpan

  • Dish Soap

  • Glass Cleaner

  • Toilet Cleaner

  • Kitchen Cleaner

  • General Cleaners

  • Rags/sponges

  • Mop

  • Bucket

  • Toilet Brush

  • Hoover

  • Drying Rack (for washing)

Once you've had a chance to fully digest the list and consider your new home, it's time to consider your budget and timeline to break the list down into multiple home furnishing and styling projects. This will help you determine what to start with, and how to prioritise each subsequent project or purchase. Let’s get started!

(We recommend you copy and past the list above into a word processing or spreadsheet app.)

Step 1 - Go through the list and remove any rooms and items that don’t apply to your home or lifestyle. If you need to combine spaces or add additional ones not listed, do so now. Add any items that are missing, or add detail to meet your specific needs.

Step 2 - Check off any items that you already own AND do not intend to replace in the foreseeable future. Move these to the top of each room category. If you have an item, but hope to replace it, keep it on the list and leave it unchecked. (Make the font bold if you are not literally checking these items off).

Step 3 - If you need to add any specific items related to jobs, work, or hobbies that you do at home, add them to the appropriate space which you will store or use the tools, machinery or equipment. (For example, musical instruments, sewing machines, craft tables, drills, etc.)

Step 4 - Now, prioritise the items left in each room. Do this by thinking about what you need most to function in the day-to-day. Then think about what you desire the most in your home and make sure those items are considered priorities as well. Move these items just below the checked off items that you already own and change the font colour to green. Do this again for a second tier of priorities and change the font colour of these items to orange.

Step 5 - Go through each room and consider any specific types, sizes, styles of artwork that you’d like to eventually have. Consider sizes, shapes, and a general budget. Add a note about these details for each desired piece of art to keep it in mind when planning each room. (Most people stumble upon pieces they love at unexpected times, so know what fits in your home (dimensions) and have a budget).

Step 6 - Take some time creating a general price range or ideal budget for each and every item you have on your list. Add a column to the right of the list to note these targets. (If you’re unsure of appropriate price ranges, you’ll need to pause here and take some time to do a bit of research, or reach out to our design team and we can help.)

Step 7 - Total the budget for each room/space. If you’ve listed price ranges, use the highest number in your summations.

Step 8 - Pull out the prioritised items from each room and create new mini lists for each priority group. Total the target budgets here as well. You’re now starting to create an ideal picture of what you want and need most in your home and how much money it might cost. Once you’ve reached the pricing and budgeting stage, it’s time to get iterative and start adjusting budgets for individual items as well as breaking down the priorities into smaller groups.

Step 9 - Decide whether budget or priority is most important to you and split your priority lists into smaller groups that total to acceptable project budgets. Consider your savings, monthly income, quarterly income, etc to decide what an acceptable budget looks like. Once you’ve done this you can order the groups into a target timeline. If an item is really important to you, simply push it down on the priority list and wait until the appropriate funds are available. (As you break down your list, be sure to continue to colour code to help visualise your mini home projects.)

Step 10 - Don’t be afraid to dream and have a mini project at the end of your list that is simply out of your price range - just make sure that it’s something that works in the home you have. You never know when you might get that big promotion, land a big commission, or win the lottery. It’s important to dream. ;)

Step 11 - Allow your list to live and breath, adjusting when necessary. In a year or two you might have a new partner, get married, or add a new member to the family (we recommend trying the four legged friends first). Keep your list up to date as you grow with your home, that way you’re always planning and working towards the ideal version of your home.

By doing all of this, you are creating a systematic way to furnish and style your home in a budget friendly manner that will allow you to live in the property as you grow into it.

It may be overwhelming, but stay strong! It’ll be a fun process and hopefully the results will be incredibly fulfilling.

If it all seems a bit much, and you’d like some help identifying your style, working out your project budgets, or you’d simply like to chat about your journey as a homeowner, please reach out to our design team! Our design and styling services are customisable and we aim to make them accessible to all.

We’d love to help you make your house a home. At NUA x DESIGN we’re creating new beginnings by design.

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