We’ve all been there. Sitting in your lounge room, staring at the walls around you, thinking ‘now wouldn’t this room be that much more inviting with just a lick of paint and pop of colour. But how? And when? And with what money?!’ Sometimes, it can feel like there are so many reasons not to renovate, when you consider the time, money and effort it would take! But we believe there are so many more reasons that you should. If you are reading this, it’s time to pick up those trusty overalls, dust off your paint cans you’ve retired to the garage and boot up your Pinterest inspiration page. It’s time to take the plunge—because a happy home is a happy you.
Words by Danielle Grover
Here at the Reno Home Show HQ, we know all about renovating and designing homes. We also know it can be hard not knowing where to start, and how costly it can be to pursue a dead end. Because of this, we wanted to let you in on all our little secrets that we have been collating that can make beginning your renovation that much more enjoyable.
1. Find your inspiration
This is where you began to go down the designing rabbit hole. It’s where you started to wish and hope and dream of a homier home. Perhaps you saw a divine pic on your Instagram page that sparked your imagination. Or maybe you peered in through the windows of a boutique furniture store and pictured yourself in that showroom. This step is where it all starts.
We recommend that you create a mood board—tangible of course. But not just any old mood board. The mother of all mood boards; with colours, patterns, designs, vintage pieces, artwork, inspirational quotes, fittings, fashion, appliances—anything that makes your heart happy. Rip pages out of magazines. Print photos off your Pinterest. Find paint chips. Take photos. Just don’t look at the prices yet. You’ll need to immerse yourself in a design wonderland and you’ll come out a new and inspired you.
2. Begin the cull
It’s all well and good to dream of that Basquiat art piece, but does it fit in your budget? And how does that white shag carpet fit in with your three young kids and that tiresome dog? And can that 3 metre farmhouse dining table comfortably fit in your 3bed 2bath home? These are all important considerations to think about before getting your heart set on a certain piece.
Maybe you need more storage. Or maybe that vintage piece would only be captivating in theory. Don’t be disheartened by setting realistic limitations. This step will serve to cut the dream list down to only the very best and most suitable items for your home. Only the pieces that really make your heart sing get to progress past this stage and besides, I’m sure you could find a more budget friendly Basquiat-esque piece somewhere!
3. Assess your current belongings
When redesigning, it’s always desirable to cut costs where possible. While it’s exciting to dream of throwing out all of your old belongings and starting afresh, that can be a very expensive endeavour. One great method is to evaluate what pieces you can keep from your current space and see if they fit in with your new vision.
To do this, take photographs of the items in your home, print the images and add them to your mood board. If they blend in, great! That’s money saved later on. But if they stand out like a sore thumb, would a lick of paint save it? Some new fixtures and fittings? Or perhaps that piece is better off donated, gifted or sold for someone else to enjoy.
You should always endeavour to make a shopping list to keep track of your spending. Be realistic—add a sensible buffer. Renovating will be costlier than you think. That’s why it is important to figure out your maximum spending for each stage of your renovation project, and decide what is most important to you. Is it worth it to splurge on that one show-stopping handle from Lo and Co Interiors or stunning surface from Earp Bros? Or could you find what you’re searching for at a pre-loved vintage store?
You should decide on your timing approach now too. Can you realistically afford to revamp your whole house at once, or is it more of a slow and steady wins the race moment? Some people elect to collect their pieces slowly over time, but then you run the risk of over-spending and changing tastes. On the other hand, if you choose to do one big shop for the convenience of readiness, would that compromise your spending capabilities? These are all important considerations when styling your dream home.
It’s time to evaluate your mood pickings. Do you notice a theme running through it all? Perhaps there is a surplus of edgy classic or Hollywood glamour. Find your style and run with it.
Now that you have an idea of what you are after and what you have to spend, research what’s out there. Gather your findings, keep track of your quotes and consolidate it into one space. Depending on your budget, perhaps engaging an interior designer could be worthwhile? We love the the talented people at Oliveaux for that. Once you look at your findings all as one, you should be able to see it all flow together.
6. Measure, measure and measure again
It’s every renovator’s worst fear: finally getting that beautiful centrepiece delivered, only to find that it doesn’t quite fit. To avoid this, make sure you measure out your floor plan, measure out your items, and plot it in the space. If it all fits, your rooms are ready to be styled.
7. Ready, set, renovate!