Planning Home Renovations (Without Knocking Down Any Walls)
For many, the idea of home renovation evokes images of knocking through walls and living in a building site. For every successful episode of Changing Rooms, we’ve seen ten episodes of Grand Designs where the budget was trebled, and the owners were forced to live in a caravan without heating for two years.
While dramatic structural changes might be tempting, they’re a sure-fire way of driving up costs. Become an organisational machine and you’ll be able to use both time and money efficiently and won’t find yourself surrounded by rubble and running out of cash before you’ve finished.
1. Get Inspired
When you’re planning any sort of DIY or home improvement project, prepare to make Pinterest your best friend. Use boards to plan out concepts you love, save images with colours and furnishings that you want to incorporate, and generally feel inspired. Houzz is another fantastic resource and as it’s focused on interior design, you’re sure to find a few ideas that’ll get your creative juices flowing.
If you have a vision of what you’re trying to achieve from the beginning, you’re much less likely to get sidetracked and end up buying bits and pieces that don’t quite work together.
2. Think Smart
If you can’t afford to change everything at once, prioritise. While furniture can be changed gradually, once you’ve started moving things in, it’ll become increasingly tricky to paint or to change carpets. Get the space itself sorted before you consider changing smaller details and ordering custom-made fittings.
If you get bored easily, keep your walls simple and furniture neutral. You can mix things up by changing your cushions and curtains to make it feel like a brand-new room.
3. Don’t Fight The Daylight
Everyone who has painted a room knows that colour is affected by light. You might also know that there’s not much point fighting the lighting you’ve been given. Light from the north is cool and harsh, so while you might want to pick a light palette to make the space feel bigger, it might be better to embrace what you were given, and pick dark shades and moody tones.
To make sure your colour scheme is going to work throughout the room and at different times of day, paint a large piece of paper in your chosen colour. By moving it around the space you can get a reasonable impression of how it’s going to feel on a greater scale.
4. When To Spend & When To Save
Once you’ve worked out palettes, patterns, and set your heart on your dream pieces of furniture, it’s time to shop around. For every company designing beautiful and stylish soft furnishings, there are many who are borrowing their ideas and doing it cheaper. Buying a cheap sofa might be a false economy, but cheaper cushions can be just as lovely as their pricy counterparts.
Second-hand furniture shops and auctions are great places to pick up bargains, and with pre-loved, you’ll be able to get a lot more for your money than if you were to buy something new.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, know when to get someone in. You can probably do a lot of the planning yourself, and you’ll be the best person to decide whether something is or isn’t to your taste, but when it comes to carrying out the work, sometimes it’s better to call an expert. You’re likely to actually save time and money that way too.
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