Planning a Home Makeover
Planning a makeover
Before you rush out for tools and materials, plan carefully. Take your time — and don’t indulge in any impulse or spur-of-the-moment buys!
How far do you go?
Do you want a quick fix, or a more permanent change? Are you likely to stay in your home for some time, or will you be moving on soon? A complete transformation will need careful planning and may involve a lot of effort and mess. Often, a comparatively small change — fresh paint; a new rug or bedlinen; designing a new window treatment — can make a disproportionate difference.
What you can and can’t do will, to some extent, relate to your budget. You may decide to put some plans on hold while you save up for a special piece of furniture or can pay for some professional help.
What are the priorities?
Try to decide which rooms are really in need of a makeover and which can wait. The hall may beg to be done first, as it is the first area you see when you come in. The sitting room is frequently the most used area, and the previous owner’s flowery wallpaper or the developer’s bland magnolia paint may irritate you every time you sit down. Bedrooms are personal spaces where you can impose your personality, but are often shared, so a new look may be a joint decision. Kitchens and bathrooms are the ‘working’ areas and may take longer to plan.
Once you have decided which area to tackle first, follow these guidelines:
Assess the situation – how you use the room; how to make best use of the space; and how much to spend.
Plan a practical layout – make a scale plan and work out where to position furniture and appliances. Don’t forget to leave space for ‘traffic flow’.
Think about the look – will your preferred style work? Frills and flounces can look good in a bedroom, but are impractical in a kitchen, and a stark modern look is not always a comfortable choice for a sitting room.
Be objective – what are the room’s good features, and what would be better removed or camouflaged? Create a focal point fireplaces are no longer to be found in every sitting room, but installing one will create a ‘heart of the home’ feel. An alternative might be the view, or the window itself. Use an eye-catching piece of art or furniture, or an unusual treatment on one wall to grab attention.
Think about lighting – consider the three basic ways of lighting a room: background glow from ambient lighting fitted with dimmers; decorative lighting and fittings to relate to the overall style; and display lighting to spotlight a specific item or architectural feature. The cheapest, most instant form of lighting is kinetic — candles, oil lamps or flickering firelight.
Don’t underestimate accessories –to underline the basic style add contrast and life to your scheme. Accessories also add a personal touch.
Compile a sample board. A sample board will ensure that you will be happy with the finished result.
Draw up a schedule – if you plan to redecorate the whole house, start at the top and work down, and from the back to the front.
Once you are clear about what you want to achieve and how to do it, you are ready to begin that total transformation!