·1. Decide if you plan to live in this house for 5 years, 10 years, or a lifetime
Before anything else, ask yourself this crucial question: How long do I plan to live in this house? If it’s only for a short while, then making decisions are easier since it’s unlikely that you’ll be making huge changes to your home. However, if you plan to live it for the next 10 or 20 years, you’ll have to consider the needs of anyone living with you. Do you have kids now, or are planning for one? Are your parents staying with you in the future? Think about the space that each person needs, and go from there.
Tip: Leave one bedroom empty if you are planning for kids. Use it as a storage or entertainment room before that, and renovate it before the arrival of the little ones. Instead of fixed carpentry, consider having loose furniture such as a chest of drawers, wardrobe, etc. You can easily replace the theme and furnishing of the room once your toddler has outgrown them.
·2. Analyse your family dynamics and flow
Have family members who need loads of quiet time? Or maybe you need a quiet personal office at home. How about lively kids who may disturb the grandparents’ rest when they play? Such family dynamics should be considered when it comes to planning and allocating the space in your home.
In the mornings, will there be a squeeze in the hallway with sleepy bodies shuffling off to the bathroom? Prevent this by paying attention to traffic patterns in your home, to ensure that everything flows smoothly during stressful mornings at home.
Tip: Consider having a multi-purpose study room, as it can also double up as a make-shift guest room for your parents who might want to pop over for overnight visits from time to time. You can also add child-friendly stairs for the little human to meet their needs.
·3. A renovation should be an investment that adds value to your home
You can skimp on most things, but a renovation is not one of them. Cutting costs by going for cheaper materials may seem tempting, but can you guarantee that they won’t end up breaking on you in the long run, with you forking out more to cover the original slipshod work?
Think of a renovation as a long-term investment that increases your gains, by going for workmanship and materials that are good quality and long lasting.
Tip: Workmanship is not just about design materials. It is also about the hardware and mechanism, such as soft closing, doors, wardrobe hinges, etc. Invest in good stainless steel fittings or appliances to save yourself the hassle of replacing them.
·4. It's all in the details
The smallest details count, so make sure that you are paying adequate attention to them! This is especially important when it comes to kitchen or bathroom renovation decisions, which many people gloss over. What kind of kitchen splashback will best serve your kitchen needs? How about draining solutions, and are you more of a top mount or undermount sink type of person? Every decision counts towards the overall look that you envision for your home.
Tip: Little nitty-gritty details will improve your life tremendously. Thinking through the layout and organisation of your bathroom and kitchen will minimise future frustration. For example, tiles are one of the most common backsplash materials that not only add great style to your kitchen, but also are easy-to-clean surfaces great at combating merciless oil splatter stains.
·5. Design your space around your appliances
The last thing you want to find out is that your oven doesn’t fit into that tight spot on your countertop. To avoid this, ensure that you have all the dimensions of your kitchen layout, and also your appliances such as the fridge and microwave. Give your appliances a little wiggle room to ensure that everything fits in nicely. Built-in appliances such as an oven are also great for a seamless, clutter-free appearance.
Tip: Instead of placing your oven below your stove, consider having your built-in appliance installed at a comfortable height to reduce having to bend when you need to use it. Plan your kitchen such that the workflow facilitates easy movement between the refrigerator, stove and sink. This is called the kitchen triangle that keeps everything within arm’s reach while you are cooking.