12 Ways To Turn Your First House Into A Home

How To Settle Into Your New Home With Children In Tow

Nothing beats becoming a homeowner for the first time, but settling into your new home with children is an art unto itself.

"Having kids does change your perspective on all things design, as you suddenly have to get way more practical," explains renowned interior designer Abigail Ahern.

Putting the practical requirements first when you have children doesn't mean you have to scrimp on style and swap your second-hand antique fair furniture finds for bright plastic accessories. Even if you're short on space, there are plenty of ways to transform the space so it feels comfortable for the whole family.

What really turns your house into a home – no matter how many bedrooms you have or the layout of your house – is making it your world, a place filled with memories, personal artefacts, artworks and mementoes that celebrate the people and things you love and admire.

"Stay true to your personal style," advises Ahern.

"If you’re not a naturally neat minimalist, not everything needs to be cleared out of the way. And if you gravitate towards dark, inky colours, you don’t have to suddenly paint your whole pad out in primary colours."

Other considerations when kitting out a new home to ensure it's a kid-friendly zone? Focus on hard-wearing, easy-clean fabrics, multi-use furniture (with plenty of storage potential) and comfortable carpets and floors - you'll be spending lots of time on your hands and knees, after all, crawling around for lost Lego bricks and scrubbing up paint spills.

Click through the slideshow below for expert ideas on 12 ways to turn your first house into a home.