The Renovation Revision – A Guide to Crafting Your Dream Home

Accompanying a friend on a tour through a display home recently, I felt an unfamiliar twinge which I am loath to say may have bordered on envy. Don’t get me wrong I love my little house but everything looked so superbly spacious, streamlined and luxurious that it got me thinking – how can I get this look in my own home without completely demolishing it? The answer is: thoughtful renovation.

Let’s begin with some design ideas for renovating on a budget, before moving on to major renovation considerations.

First things first

Unless you’re living in Buckingham Palace, a room usually consists of four walls, so what qualities do some rooms have which others don’t? The answer seems to be, in no particular order:

  • Light
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Design
  • Style

For me personally, since buying a new house was completely out of the question, I decided to look at ways in which I could renovate the home I live in to incorporate a designer feel (without the stamp duty!).

Living light

Natural light is a checkbox which most home buyers have at the top of their wish list and one which always features heavily in modern display homes. Short of tearing down walls to install picture windows, the fastest way to achieve the effect is by installing skylights; designed to bathe rooms in sunlight and increase feelings of space. Since we have a flat roof, I opted for a contemporary roof access hatch which combined all the advantages of a skylight with the ability to venture up on to the roof for maintenance or to repair our Foxtel satellite.

The introduction of natural light also has other benefits including improved mood and mental health as well as lower energy bills. Skylights are particularly effective to light dark hallways, bathrooms or walk-in robes or any other area which may not have direct access to windows.

Space and style

When renovating, even the smallest home can benefit from smart design ideas to trick the eye and create optical illusions. Professional home stagers suggest the following:

  • Where possible, opt for glass. Staircase balustrades are an example of where glass can be installed to create a feeling of space. Simply removing wooden handrails and poles can ‘unblock’ vision and open up a room.
  • Choose polished boards over carpet. The reflective surface and clean lines make rooms feel more spacious, light and airy.
  • Use white paint strategically. Ceiling paint in a few shades lighter than walls can give the impression of height to a room.

Designing a dream

If you decide to go all out on a major renovation, call in the experts. Begin with an architect who has an understanding of what your current and future family needs will be. Some pertinent questions should be:

  • What shortfalls does my current home design have and how can these be best remedied?
  • Is my family growing or shrinking? What will my family’s living requirements be in five, ten or twenty years?
  • How can my kitchen and family rooms be better designed to flow and blend with outdoor areas?
  • Can storage be optimised through clever design features such as window boxes, recessed shelving and built-in cupboards?
  • Do we really need a home cinema, formal lounge or dining room? Could these spaces be better utilised to create larger living or social zones?
  • What technological infrastructure can I incorporate into the design to optimise connectivity and hide messy cords and wires?

Renovating your home can be a wonderful experience which allows you to fall in love with your home all over again.

Whether you are undertaking a full scale renovation or just implementing some minor improvements, there are hundreds of ideas perfect for creating a more livable, comfortable home. A good place to begin is by taking a tour through a display home – it’s free and will give you a wealth of ideas you may never have dreamed of.