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The golden rules of renovating

Fact 1

Are you renovating for investing or nesting? If you’re nesting, you can afford to splash out a little more and choose luxurious items for your home. If the purpose of your reno is for renting, look at the elements that tenants will find useful such as storage, built-in robes and finishes that are easy to maintain.

Fact 2

Identify your style. Use your wardrobe, collectables and fave pieces to help unearth your style, then express this in your home to ensure it suits you.

Fact 3

Determine the tasks that you can do yourself to save money, but also work out those jobs that are worth spending some extra money on to hire a professional.

Fact 4

With flooring, consider what the room is going to be used for – is it a high-traffic area? Will kids and pets be playing on the floor? Will there be moisture in the room? These factors make a big difference.

FACT 5

Get to know the products you are buying − check out all options available before making an informed decision based on price, availability and quality.

  1. Layout + function

    Use a free interior design application such as Sweethome3d.com to model your space. Make sure you have the correct dimensions for each room and don’t forget to include furniture measurements on your essentials list. Use the aerial and virtual view tools in the program to see how it all works together. For example, make sure you can walk past furniture comfortably, have plenty of space to open doors and drawers, and so on. Then use masking tape on the floor/walls in your real space to see how it functions as a room before deciding on major furniture pieces. Keep it simple – especially in a small area – and remember the main function of the space.

  2. Creating an e-moodboard

    Take advantage of technology and use image searches on platforms such as Google, Pinterest and your mobile phone camera to keep track of your design ideas. Start by researching your room or desired style in Google Images and then pin your ideas to boards in Pinterest to create your individual style. Try to mix and match rather than stick to one theme/era – it’s less likely to date, and you’re less likely to get bored of it. Once you’re confident with your design direction, create an online e-moodboard using Powerpoint for Mac or an alternative graphics program. Creating an e-moodboard has the advantage of being easily modified. Save it as a picture on your mobile phone so you have a reference when shopping for furniture and decorator items – it’s a great way to keep track of your colour palette and to visualise how your space is coming together.

  3. Focal point

    Budget is usually the main design constraint for most renovators. Find a few key pieces you love and allow extra budget to splurge on these, then combine with simple, more affordable pieces. Your focal point might be gorgeous timber floors, a stunning oversized pendant light, an artwork, wallpaper, or even a few expensive, statement cushions. If choosing bold pieces, don’t forget to mix in some understated items to achieve balance and harmony.

  4. Key decisions

    Flooring, lighting and home automation all need to be decided relatively early on in the renovation process. Look at your subfloor and decide on the best flooring options within your budget. Don’t skimp too much on your floor choice – it’s wise to spend a bit more and get it perfect from the beginning because it’s a big job to change it. The floor also determines colour choices for the rest of your design. Lighting – don’t go for downlights everywhere. A pendant over the dining table and a few pendants in the kitchen are often a winner and help resolve the overall look of your space. Home automation is definitely worth considering. It may cost a little more in the beginning but the energy-saving opportunities and convenience later on will be well worth it.