Let’s face it: renovations are stressful! After dropping thousands of dollars to make your home better, the last thing you want is to find an annoying flaw in the design! Well, we’re here to help you avoid that. Read on to find out the 7 common design flaws to avoid in a renovation!
Have you ever loved that one common detail that ties a house together? Maybe all the rooms have the same colour palette, or the same angular lines. Either way, it’s great to have continuity in a home design, but it’s way too easy to overdo it by matching everything, and have your design come off garish.
Balance is key in room design, so even though it’s great to have one dominant theme, visual breaks are equally important to add character into your home! So avoid having too many matching pieces clustered together – if your dominant theme is a certain style of design, use the same styles in different colours. And if your theme is based on one colour, be sure to add contrasting pieces to keep your room interesting!
#2: Scrimping on the wrong things
With renovations costing several thousand dollars minimum, it can certainly be tempting to go for cheaper materials! There’s nothing wrong with that by itself, but when deciding where to cut costs, try thinking along the lines of “what don’t I need?” instead of “how can I make the things I need cheaper?” Provided you can stay within your budget, splurging on the things you absolutely need is usually going to be worth the extra dollar.
Why? Simple – generally speaking, cheap materials and appliances tend to be less reliable and more prone to breaking, which is the last thing you want when you need to use something on a regular basis. So for the essentials (i.e. your shower, toilet, stove, overhead cabinets, and your other necessities), go for quality that lasts. The more often you use it, the higher its priority!
#3: Splurging on the wrong things
That’s not to say you should splurge on any semi-permanent fixture in your home, though! Staying within your budget is still exceedingly important, so even though you want to go for quality, it’s probably okay to save on the parts that aren’t absolutely essential. The main thing in this area is extravagant décor – you want enough quality that your supports are sturdy, but any frills beyond that might be unnecessary. Don’t burst your budget!
#4: Badly placed electrical outlets
One of the best things you can do in planning a renovation is to think how you’d like to use your electrical appliances. Some places to install outlets are no-brainers – after all, of course you need an outlet where you want to put your TV! But what about the small things? Where would you want to use an electric mixer, or a hairdryer? Where would you like to charge your phone? Do you use a laptop at your desk?
All these small electrical appliances can mean it might be useful to install electrical outlets in some hard-to-think-of places: near your kitchen counter, in your bathroom, under your desk, and so on. It might seem like a small thing, but well-placed electrical outlets can make your life a whole lot easier in the long run.
#5: Not optimising your space
It’s always hard to design a home that maximises storage and minimises clutter, but it can get especially tricky in the kitchen corners. For many of us, we might be tempted to just add an extra corner-counter (that’s rarely going to be used) and call it quits. This goes for any other awkward space in the house. Instead of leaving it as wasted space, try to think “how can I turn it into something useful for me?” You could try vertical drawers to turn small and tall gaps into extra storage, or corner pull-outs to make it easier to access the stuff you store in those corner cupboards. You only have a finite amount of space in your home – use it well.
#6: Designing based on “how it looks” instead of “how it’s used”
We all want a beautiful home, and it’s true: looks are important! But when you’re designing your home, remember that you’ll need to live in it and use it on a daily basis. And so, functionality is key! Make sure your appliances and furniture are laid out so it’s as convenient as possible for you.
Remember the kitchen work triangle, the bedside tables, the angle of your couch, and anything else you can think of to make your home work best for you. And once you’ve got that sorted, then you can start adding your own touch of style!
#7: Bad lighting
And finally, the biggie – lighting. It’s surprising, but something as small as lighting can actually make such a huge difference to the atmosphere of a room! Having ambient lighting for each room is a no-brainer, but there are other more subtle things you may want to consider too! For example, do you want your lights on a dimmer? In one room, do you want some lights controlled by separate switches? Are there dark spaces that ambient lighting won’t reach (e.g. under the kitchen cabinets, directly above a desk)? Is the ambient lighting too glaring for a room with mirrors?
Carefully consider how you want to use each room before you decide on the lighting you want in your design. You might also want to check out our guide to different types of lighting here!
So here are the 7 design flaws to avoid in a renovation! Follow these guidelines to ensure a smoother renovation process.
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