So, you’re ready to renovate your home. Where do you go from here?
From budgets and goal-setting to products and appliances, before undertaking renovations, there are a series of things to consider.
Interior designer Darren Palmer (who you might have seen on The Block or Reno Rumble) takes us through a few important steps to consider before you even contact your tradies.
1. Create a brief
If you hire or contract people for your work, you’ll usually create and supply them with a brief explaining your wishes and goals. Do the same with your home.
Your brief to a contractor should include inspiration pictures, like this one, to set the tone of the project.
“The brief should include timeline, budget, mood, style, inclusions, exclusions, needs and requirements of occupant, as well as any other details to help guide your every decision, purchase and inclusion,” Darren explains.
“Have visual references so you can keep track of the aesthetic impacts on your purchasing and design decisions. You want to make sure that you have the desired result on completion.”
You don’t have to have a stylist to create your own briefing document — you don’t even have to share it with anyone. It can just be a useful tool for organising your thoughts and plans for your renovation.
2. Draft your budget
Alongside your brief, Darren recommends creating a detailed budget to dictate your purchasing decisions. Remember, you’ll be making a hundred decisions over the coming months and drowning in information. It helps to have a budget to limit your options.
“Create a budget spreadsheet based on as many actual confirmed costs as possible,” Darren recommends.
“That means sourcing as much as possible before you begin, working through the best pricing and finding the best deals. If you have clearly mapped out all your inclusions, you might get lucky during the process with some items being on sale. Remember though that a discounted item that doesn’t work inside the brief isn’t a bargain at all.”
Darren also advises that a budget will be particularly important if you’re renovating to sell or renovating an investment property, as you need to keep your profits in mind.
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3. Create your mood board
Inspiration boards are “essential”, according to Darren.
A mood board will help you decide on a colour palette to guide which materials and items go with each other.
You will view a lot of inspiring images when first thinking about your renovation. The key is to dump everything you love in one place — whether that be a physical folder of magazine cut-outs or a Pinterest board — and then look for common elements that recur throughout your references,” he explains.
“You might see the same type of furniture, the same patterns, colours or textures, the same architectural styles or detailing. When you edit out all the references that don’t fall under this umbrella of commonality and refine the selections, you should have a good basis for your aesthetic and design decisions.”
Furthermore, Darren notes these references can be highly beneficial in the instance that a product is unavailable, allowing you to make an easy decision for a replacement.
4. Visit showrooms (don’t rely on the internet alone!)
The internet is a modern saviour, allowing us to research and compare all aspects of our renovation. But you simply can’t skip visiting stores and showrooms — you need to see items ‘in the flesh’.
Whether you’re picking appliances, paint, furniture or flooring, it not only helps to see things with your own eyes, but you can gain a wealth of valuable knowledge from talking to an expert in-person.
Curtains, blinds and carpets are all textural items, so it helps to be able to touch as well as see them.
At Carpet Court, for example, you can view the different types of flooring and have a tactile experience as opposed to looking at photos through a computer. The experience will prove particularly useful when selecting carpets, rugs or window furnishings.
Further to that, you can collect physical samples to view in your space.
Once you have your fundamental ideas and restrictions in-mind, you can start sourcing your tradies, getting council approvals (this can take time!), ordering products and creating your dream home.
Once you begin to see it all come together, that’s when all the hard work pays off!
All pictures by Ross Campbell or supplied by Carpet Court.