Recently I heard someone making banter about lounge spaces – claiming they had no idea why it was called a ‘living room’. Sure if you have a formal lounge, a family lounge, a kids playroom and entertainment room – the options for living are vast but if you live in our home (or most older homes in NZ) you have one option – the lounge. Our lounge truly is the living room in our house - it caters for our children’s play, our family dance parties, quality TV viewing, hang out with friends and wrestle time with Dad (I’m referring to playtime with Alek in case there is any confusion). For our lounge I focused less on creating a magazine cover look that everyone would be wowed by, rather keeping it simple and flexible, functional for our needs and keeping unity in style with the rest of our open plan dining and kitchen.
Our recent renovation project where we set the goal of a 3-week renovation within a 30K budget during one of the busiest times of year, November / December, was no small endeavour. But come December, the moving truck was booked and we moved into a newly and quickly renovated house. When our electrician and his team came around to do the final fix they were completely taken aback by the extent of the progress we had made in such a small time, having seen the house after the first weekend of demolition - “You guys have done in 3 weeks, what takes most people at least 3 months”.
As we shared in our first blog, this project was well planned before we had even received the keys, but as we have learnt, what you plan and what you actually achieve can be too very completely different things. As I find to often with Alice, I may plan out a budget, that doesn't mean she will stick to it! Therefore your planning is only as good as your programming and outworking of that plan. With renovations, you need to allow for extra tasks and costs to come up unexpected, but adjust the plan to accommodate those changes, not allow them to derail of of your preparations.
It is well known that kitchen’s are the heart of the home and we think windows are the eyes. In an understated way, windows draw visitors inside your home, framing and connecting your outlook, create the perception of space and bring light into your home.
The success of your vision often lies in a detailed plan with clear objectives to achieve it. Getting yourself prepared and in a position to execute your plan. From when we purchased this house at auction we had 4 weeks to create a detailed plan on how to achieve our vision and begin to put the cogs into motion to achieve this.
After months of searching and researching, talking with agents, visiting open homes and watching auctions go well above our expectations, our next project has ended up being a house only 7 houses down the road from our Hidden Treasure Project! Being familiar with the area now we think were onto something good. Our approach to finding a new project is to be flexible with our expectations and how we will achieve our objectives - avoiding a list of requirements a property must have and instead focusing on the opportunity.
Dressing a bedroom is your opportunity to give your home personality and draw out an even more emotional pull. I always make a point of dressing bedrooms in a way that woman will love, while men are outside figuring out where to put there BBQ and how easy it is to get their car out of the garage, women are in the bedrooms dwelling on how the space makes her feel. A bedroom needs a sense of space and a feeling of warmth and calmness.
A bathroom may be a small space, but there is a lot to fit in - shower, vanity, storage, toilet, bath, mirror, towel rail, lighting, a fan and that’s just the essentials. Beyond fitting everything into the room there is the need for it to be practical - towel rails by the shower, mirror above the vanity, powerpoints accessible and lighting in the right areas.
Everyone says it, because it true, kitchens are the heart of the home. It seems every time we have people over, the kitchen bench is the place they decide to sit. Kitchens are important; they sell houses and make homes.
Your team can make or break you, you may have a great vision – but without the right team, that vision will become a nightmare. To avoid that, you need to make sure you get the right people on board with you so that the vision of your renovation or project ends up as the picture you had in mind.
Deciding on the paint colour of a home is something I look forward to in every renovation, I have done some pretty bold things with colour in my short interior design lifetime, orange and “bumblebee” coloured curtains or emerald green, midnight blue and yellow walls!
Sometimes you hear people talk about a house needing a renovation as a ‘blank canvas’, if only that was true! The first stage of renovating (once your plannings in hand of course) is getting the house Back to Blank
To be honest, the only plan we were intending on making during Alice’s pregnancy was a birth plan, and 2 months out we had the sudden addition of a renovation and a subdivision. We needed a plan, a good one...
Our latest renovation may have made the cover of "Your Home and Garden" but the house wasn't photogenic when we first laid eyes on it. Have a look at the before photos as we take you through the process of our renovation with a weekly blog.