What To Consider When Renovating Your Interior/ Building A New Home

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season and finally getting to unwind after all the craziness of Christmas!

If you’re renovating over the holidays or building a new home there are a few elements of your Interior you need to take into consideration before you get started, here are just a few to get you thinking.

*SKIRTING & ARCHITRAVES: Consider the style (are you going for a traditional or more modern look), the size (is the skirting height in proportion to your ceiling height and are the architraves in proportion to your windows) as well as the colour (do you want it to blend with the wall colour or be defined as a border). The proportion of these should definitely be balanced with what’s happening around them, also keep the colour in mind- if you paint these the same as the walls and you re-paint the walls in future will they still match?

*CORNICE: As above the 3 elements of style, size and colour are still very relevant. Do you want the cornice to be a feature in the home or do you want it to fade into the background?

*DOOR STYLE & COLOUR: Do you want the design of the internal doors to be a feature, whether subtle or more grand? Would you prefer the colour to match the skirting and architraves, be a stained timber, a feature colour or something completely different and out there?

*DOOR HARDWARE: Do you want your door handles to be a feature, square, round, slimline, chunky, gold, black, chrome? Whatever you decide it should be consistent throughout the home, you should match the theme of the internal door hardware with the handles of the cabinetry (Kitchen, Bathrooms, Laundry, etc). If you prefer a matt/ satin finish it’s still ok for the bathroom handles to be a bright finish if your tapware is also in a bright finish. Everything is in the detail, if the smaller elements don’t match the bigger picture of your home they will either look like an after thought or like you ran out of money to complete the look you’re trying to achieve. This also goes for the door stops, be sure to buy something durable and that is in keeping with the style of the home. Magnetic door stops are handy for front entry doors and external laundry doors when you’re hands are full and you need to prop the door open.

* LIGHTING: In common areas and task areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries it’s best to have brighter lighting so as not to strain your eyes. In bedrooms and living rooms it’s much more comfortable to have warmer/ mood lighting to make it a more relaxing environment. Lamps can help to create an inviting and relaxed setting and pendant lights can add a focal point and feature to a space.

*FEATURE: Do you want one main feature in your home or would you love to have one in every room? This could be a stone wall, timber beams, light fittings, wallpaper, paint colour, tiles, water feature, etc, etc. Be sure not to overcomplicate the space and create too many points of interest for your eye to be drawn to- then nothing becomes a feature.

*INSULATION: I believe higher density exterior wall insulation is a must! This helps to keep the heat out in summer, cold out in winter and also keeps your energy bills down because the air conditioning (or other methods of heating and cooling) are not escaping through these walls as easily. It also helps keep away moisture and may assist in reducing some of the exterior noise. Internal insulation may be of benefit for the same reasons but may be a waste of money if you don’t have a better grade of exterior wall insulation. There are also many benefits of soundproofing insulation between internals walls or floors of multi level homes as well as external walls if you live in high traffic areas.

*PAINT COLOURS: You really need to be mindful of how you’re going to use each space. If it’s a bedroom or living room you may want it to be a quite environment, however if it’s an office or a playroom you might want it to be very high energy and bright. Don’t be afraid of colour, so many people are scared of this but it’s only paint. Use colours that make you happy and excited to come home at the end of a long day, your home should reflect who you are and not everyone else’s tastes and opinions.

*BUILT IN ROBES: Is the size of the room quite small, is it best to have sliding doors on these so you can fit more furniture in without needing to be mindful of the door swing? If so it can look nicer if these are mirrored (reflect light and make the room look bigger) or matching the style of the other internal doors. If these are left plain (flush panel doors, with no pattern/ design) they tend to look cheap. Also think about the frame type and colour if this is applicable.

*CAVITY SLIDING DOORS: Do you need to save space for the same reason as the wardrobe doors? If you use cavity sliding doors keep in mind that the pocket inside the wall will always be open, this means a room can’t be as soundproof and you can’t install towel rails or hang artwork on the wall the door needs to slide in to.

*CABINETRY: What size Kitchen are you wanting? What sized Bathroom, Laundry or Butler’s Pantry? Do you want overhead cupboards for additional storage? Do you need bulkheads over the cupboards, or a dropped ceiling as a feature? Also think about media cabinetry, wardrobe fit outs and any other custom joinery (such as a fish tank). All of these elements need to be well thought out and planned before you make adjustments to walls, flooring, plumbing and so on. Alternatively if you’re ripping out existing joinery and not replacing it, has this been taken into consideration when measuring for the new flooring?

*FINISHES: These should also be consistent throughout the home. The material and textures can be more luxe in the Kitchen (for example more expensive stone or gloss polyeurethane for cabinetry) but the bathroom’s and/or laundry shouldn’t look as though they were forgotten about or be disjointed from the style of the rest of the home. If you have a tight budget you can still make these in keeping with the other main spaces.

*DECORATING: As with the cabinetry consider how you use each space- do you need a larger master bedroom so you can have a parent’s retreat, or does the dining room look great on the plan but not fit a large enough dining table? Interior Decorators can help you measure out each space and create a layout of what will fit in each room. Consider things like artwork, furniture, rugs, storage, curtains, blinds and features.

I hope this helps and you feel a bit more energised and confident about the process ahead- if you weren’t already. I wish you all the very best in your advenutre and would love to hear your renovation/ new home stories :)