You might be thinking of a change of design in your home, or want to start transforming a new home with your personal style. Or you might want to create a wow factor in your house when you’re putting it on the market. Whatever your reasons for contemplating a change, there are a number of considerations to think over before starting work. Planning your project effectively will save you time and money, and cut out any unnecessary stress, so don’t just plunge into moving furniture and stripping walls without taking these important factors into consideration.
Before you do anything else, you need to work out how much money you want to allocate to your project. You need to look at what capital you have available and weigh up your credit options so that you have a sensible pot of money to work with. If you can’t afford what you want with the savings you have, then credit is a viable option, but only if the repayments are going to be manageable. Getting into debt that you will struggle to repay, will negate the pleasure and satisfaction of the finished work. Don’t forget to add in a contingency just in case you have to spend more on anything than you originally predicted. The likelihood of price increases needs to be covered, and it’s also possible that you may find structural problems that need extra funding to sort, for example, if you start stripping wallpaper only to discover the plaster starts crumbling away.
Ideas and inspiration
Once you have your budget in place, you can begin the fun part, which is choosing the design of your new room. Even if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it’s still a good idea to browse through design websites and furniture catalogues to refine and enhance your design. Unless you look at a lot of different designs and styles, you won’t be aware of all the possibilities, both in terms of colour combinations, furniture design, flooring options, curtains and blinds, and accessories. If it helps, you could create what designers call a mood board, where you collect pictures of all the styles and colours you find that appeal to you and stick them onto a board, or even just a large piece of card. You can then visualise more clearly how your ideas will work together and what combinations create the optimum effect.
Selecting the right style
How you design your new room is ultimately a matter of your personal choice if you are planning to live there for the foreseeable future. If purple walls, yellow curtains and black ceilings painted with stars are what make you happy, then go for it. However, if you’re revamping a room with a view to selling your home, a more mainstream approach is preferable. If you’re selling, you need to adopt a more neutral, classic design that will appeal to potential purchasers. It’s an established fact that most buyers find it difficult to see beyond the current décor of a house and strip it back to its basics, and many viewings don’t result in an offer because the buyer says they didn’t like the colour scheme. It seems odd when it’s something that’s so easily changed, but nevertheless, you need to bear it in mind if you want to attract the best offers.
Making good buying choices
A fresh coat of paint, new carpet and curtains, and in many cases, your existing furniture will look just right in its new setting after a bit of a polish up. On the other hand, sometimes furniture can look even more tired and dated once the room has been redecorated, so you may need to look at replacing certain pieces. Always choose the highest quality products you can, because cheap furniture nearly always looks just that – cheap. Investing in a new suite of contemporary Italian furniture, for example, will add a note of distinction to your living room. If you have to choose between replacing everything cheaply or buying just one expensive piece, go for the latter option. It’s better to buy good quality used or antique furniture than poor quality new items, so don’t assume that new is always best. If your existing furniture is basically sound but just needs a lift, you could look at stripping it, and distressing, varnishing or painting it to give it a new lease of life. If well done, these upcycled project pieces can be very effective and save you a fair bit of money.
Flooring and soft furnishings
The choice of floorcoverings is now extensive and is a good example of the wide range of styles available that you may not have been aware of. Carpet is still a popular choice of course, and it does make a room quieter and warmer; plus it’s comfier for bare feet, too. If you like the idea of carpet but are not so keen on the cleaning side, a wooden, laminate or tile floorcovering with a selection of rugs might be a better choice. Before you decide on the type of flooring you want to put down, check the condition of the existing floor. You may have floorboards that could be sanded down to make an attractive floor or some modern concrete and composite floors can be painted to make them more attractive. Curtains and blinds are available in so many fabrics and designs you really need to have a look at a good selection before deciding what you want, but think about the practical needs of the room as well as the design elements. Regarding accessories, minimal is often best to avoid the cluttered look, particularly if you’re looking to sell. One or two original paintings or framed photographs on the walls will look far more effective than a cheap print on every wall.
Taking on a redesign project in your home can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience, and the results will speak for themselves if you get your plans and designs in place before you begin.
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