Home improvement Ideas

When we work from home, we need to be comfortable and inspired.  We also need to want to be in that environment, not dreaming about being somewhere else.  Choosing the right building designer is important to help us find the design options that are available to us. We do, however, need to know what we want and what we like. Here are a few design ideas to consider before you even start your home improvement for beginners adventure.

  • Floor Plans
  • Minimal and de-cluttered
  • Mixing modern, contemporary and traditional
  • Adding Luxury
  • Windows and Lights
  • Street Appeal
  • Easy Access Toilets
  • Functional Bathrooms

Open Plan floor plansLight open living area with vase and books on table

Old homes were designed with pokey little rooms and lots of them. Every daily living function had a room of its own. Separate kitchen, separate eating dining room, separate breakfast eating room, separate sitting and separate lounge rooms. If you were rich you would have a separate parlour for the men or a smoking room.  Naturally there were separate bedrooms and perhaps a separate room for the maid!

In today’s age, we still like the idea of separate bedrooms, and we might even keep them together or in wings of the home. Other rooms in the house have merged together and we like big open plan living areas and open floor plans.  Our lives have changed, but the internal spaces of old houses have not.

Modern housing plans regularly do not have formal living, formal dining and separate kitchens. Have you noticed though, butler’s kitchens are coming into our designs to hide the mess of meal preparation).  Today’s plans are open, they encourage everyone to live in the same area and entertaining is done all together.

Open plan living gives a sense of space by creating a much larger living area with more versatile spaces. The function and practicality seems to suit how we want to live

Minimalistic and Decluttered

Todays first home owners don’t have huge display cabinets exhibiting their wares.  They don’t like the clutter that filled homes in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Their possessions are put away into cupboards and sit on built in feature shelving. The addition of lots of streamlined storage, cupboards, shelving and wardrobes is important for ‘The Look”. After all they don’t want their home looking old fashioned and cluttered.

There are lots of different de-clutter solutions.  Kitchen declutter can transform. Niches in our showers to hold the bottles that use to clutter the floors.  Desks are built into areas such as hallways (which is great for the kids’ homework) and walk-in robes are fully fitted out with shelving units.

Mixing modern, contemporary and traditional home ideasAntique lamp hat box and table

Mixing two designs together makes our homes more original, unique and comfortable. You may decide to add just one piece of furniture or painting from a different era. Perhaps a family heirloom or even an unexpected item from a secondhand shop.  It is the mix that makes our home our castle that we love and enjoy.

Adding Luxury to your home

Including luxury in your home will make you feel good and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.  Furniture and wall colour selection in neutral tones allows you to add colour to highlight items. Soft furnishings such as towels, throws, cushions and rugs are quick and easy. They feel nice to the touch and can complement existing tiles and fittings You can also add high-end touches by using solid wood, marble or gold highlights on ornaments or furniture.

Mirrors, with or without frames, always enhance the feel of rooms. Pictures are an opportunity to add a whole new mood to a room, especially when in tune with a comfy couch with new throws and cushions. The inclusion of houseplants will uplift an area, adding colour, texture and a focal point in the room.

Windows and lights

Adding extra light into a home by changing the windows, can make a huge difference. This can be very expensive but well worth the effort as it improves the livability of our instantly.   By increasing the existing size of windows, changing windows into French doors or maybe even replacing them with bifold doors opens up the house and brings the outside inside. Sometimes all we need to do is add skylights into dark areas. Consider adding a few and making the ceiling a feature.

Simply increasing the amounts of lights we have in our home or the intensity of the lights might be a cheap fix. Older homes notoriously have fewer and smaller windows. A change to light fittings can make the world of difference in a dark home.  A fluorescent bar above a kitchen bench or under-bench lighting on top cabinets in kitchens can transform your cooking experience.  Spotlights pointed onto bathroom mirrors, unlike downlights, are great for applying our makeup. Lamps in the lounge area can give great mood lighting, where we don’t need light flooding the area.

Make sure you have street appeal

The street appeal you create will be the first impression others will have of your house. It is the welcome you extend long before you open your front door. When the time comes to sell and move on,  the greater the street appeal, the inquiry rate increases. This in turn increases the competition and hopefully the higher price you will get.  More importantly, it is the street appeal that will make you proud to come home because you live in this gorgeous house.

Easy access toilets

If you see clients from home,  a toilet that is easily accessed is important.  You don’t want clients walking through bedrooms or living rooms to use the loo!!!!!  Keeping clients and visitors out of personal spaces in your home will make you feel much easier when people are in your home.

Functional bathroomsBathroom vanity and herringbone tiles

Having the extra bathroom can take the chaos away from the mornings when everyone is trying to get ready for school or work, consider removing the bath and adding a double vanity, or putting the toilet in a separate room to make the house more functionally efficient.  New tiles and fixtures will also change the look updating the feel of old drab bathrooms.

 

If you are still uncertain as to what you want your home to eventually look like, go and visit some display homes, browse the net and flip some magazine pages. Have a look at what designers are doing and absorb their ideas. After a little while your knowledge, ideas and style will emerge. You will no longer be needing home improvement for beginners.

Julie G is our renovation queen, growing up with a father who was a builder, she has been traipsing around building sites and home renovations all her life.  With a passion to turn old decrepit buildings into amazing new homes, she really is the expert in renovating your home.  

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