Thinking of renovating your existing home or building something new? Here are three crucial things to consider to help achieve your dream home.
- Choose the right builder/architect
Possibly the most important decision you make before commencing your renovation or new build is choosing the right builder. And this requires a lot of research. For us, going with a volume builder was more appealing than a custom/architecturally designed home due to affordability and convenience.
Over the year, we visited a stack of display homes. If you are considering a volume builder, you must be prepared to do the same. Ahead of this, narrow down your choices by looking at house designs online. Most of the big companies have very detailed floor plans and some even allow you to take “visual tours.” Try to get a lot of the legwork down online. With your shortlist of 2-4 new home designs, the next step is to visit the display homes of your chosen design. You want to touch and feel the fittings and fixtures and see the quality of the build. This also gives you a strong sense for how the spaces within the home make you feel, and whether a particular home gives you that ‘this is the one’ feeling.
Also, remember that every builder includes different items in their ‘standard’ inclusions and base price, so make sure you get all the facts about what’s included and what isn’t. Ask questions such as: What will the additional inclusions cost? How many of our ‘essential’ needs do this new home design meet? Does the floor plan work for our needs? Can we make changes to the floorplan? Will these modifications cost extra?
The layout and “flow” of a house is crucial so be sure to write down everything on your wish list and find someone who can make it happen (or get as close to your dream design as financially/practically possible).
Lighting is one of the most overlooked elements when people are building or renovating and yet it is something that can have the biggest impact. Lighting can make or break a room and there is a seemingly endless range of lighting choices. Good lighting can create a sense of homeliness and warmth. Bad lighting can make a space appear harsh and unwelcoming. So how do you get it right? It begins by determining your lighting goals.
Lighting is not merely for light. It is also used for ambiance and aesthetics. Lighting can be split into three categories: decorative lighting, task lighting and mood lighting. For example, pendant lights fall into the decorative category. They set a style without having too much of a role in changing light. At the moment, I am in the process of narrowing down pendant lights for my kitchen. I am going with a fairly neutral kitchen so I want to add some “wow” factor. One way to achieve this is with a feature pendant that makes a bold statement over the island bench.
Mood lighting includes table and floor lamps, which can be used to enhance the style of a room. In our design we have a formal lounge room, which is separate to the main living/family zone. In this space, I’ll be using a feature floor lamp placed next to a comfy reading chair to complement the coziness of the space.
Don’t underestimate the importance of good lighting. Just like the colour of your walls, lighting should enhance your space and make it feel warm and inviting! For inspiration visit urbanlighting.com.au. I rather love this Acorn pendant, inspired by the Nordic autumn forests and the shape of the oak acorn. This one is definitely on my short list!
- Interior Styling
Let the fun begin! Styling is one of the most exciting parts about renovating or building a house. Your home is the ultimate way to express yourself. But before you unleash your creative juices, be sure to identify your design style. Your style is an expression of what’s important to you and what sets your home apart from everyone else’s.
Perhaps you like the Hamptons look, or maybe you’re into the Scandinavian minimalist look that is so hot right now. Identify if classic, contemporary or designer floats your boat. But a word of caution here. It’s very easy to get swept away by “interiors porn” on Instagram or Pinterest. Be wary of trends if you can’t afford to update your kitchen in ten years’ time (and let’s face it, not many of us can!). Think about endurance as well as beauty; and perhaps go for a timeless base look and add personality and warmth with décor.
I would also suggest employing someone to do the legwork for you. If you have the aspiration to live beautifully, but not the time or confidence, engage an interiors designer/stylist to help you create your dream home. This is what I have done and I am thrilled to be working with One Girl Interiors to help my vision become a reality.
What else would you add to this list? Please share your design and styling tips below. I want to hear it all!
Disclosure: Not Another Slippery Dip partnered with Urban Lighting on this post.