Six Steps To Home Sweet Home
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Published by TOP4 Team
From perfecting a workable floor plan to choosing the right furniture, flooring and accessories.
A home should make you feel proud, happy and at ease, from the moment you open the door.
DEFINE YOUR LOOK
The path to a complete home begins with ideas, so thumb through magazines and books and search the internet for inspiration. The style of your home should reflect the area, for practical reasons if nothing else. In a suburb with heritage-building restrictions, going avant-garde could lead to drawn-out disputes with the council.
Regulations on setbacks and building heights will ensure any extensions are in proportion to the neighbours’ homes. A modern extension can work well at the rear of a period house if you can create a visual connection, such as brickwork or archways in both the old and new sections.
Choosing the style of the kitchen and bathroom fit-out is more clear-cut. Most people want modern kitchens and bathrooms, regardless of the age of the house.
PLAN YOUR RENOVATION
For an extension, budget for about $2000-$3000 per square metre. And, if you want to go into the roof, add a 20 per cent premium. Who should you turn to? If depends on the scope of your project. A kitchen or bathroom designer can tailor the room to your individual needs. Because they work solely on kitchens or bathrooms, functionality is a given.
PERFECT YOUR FLOOR PLAN
Sort out your short-term and long-term objectives. What are your lifestyle, work and family needs? Will you entertain a lot? Will you want private zones for time out? Those objectives might not all be immediately affordable, so prioritise. Short-term, you might install a new kitchen or create an outdoor area, while the grand plan may be to build an extension.
SELECT YOUR FURNITURE
The builders have gone, so it’s time to decorate in your individual style. Great chairs add the personal touch. It’s good to have a mix of styles such as Louis-style or English oak furniture in a minimalist home. People are more receptive to mixing styles. You don’t need new furniture for a new house; you can make existing pieces work.
CREATE DECORATING LAYERS
Glossy surfaces and lighter colours lend more formality. A bit of gilding, fabric with sheen, silk ottomans. Sofas and chairs with skirts tend to look more formal, so are best saved for these areas. Less formal rooms are more textured, with linens and knobbly cottons such as kilims and natural timbers. And these spaces can carry more clutter - bookcases work well here.
ADD THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Choosing art is a personal thing, but there are standard techniques for displaying it well. Coordinate artworks by subject. Hang portraits or still lifes in a variety of frames, or mix your subjects and make them cohesive by placing them in similar frames. But, if you have only one thing to accessorise with, make it flowers and foliage, such as twigs, leaves and seed pods. A vase full of roses never goes out of style - naturally placed, not as part of a formal arrangement.