Thursday, February 15, 2024

Home Renovation and working with what you have.


Work it Baby! It’s human nature to notice the physical beauty of others and sometimes wish we had the same attributes; this also applies with houses when you are undertaking a renovation. You must learn to love the bones and limitations and work with what you’ve got.

Often when I begin a domestic renovation design job, I find myself looking through Houzz or Pinterest mood boards that my client has made. It’s a great way for me to learn about their ideas for what they want and their tastes. I can usually start to pick patterns in what they have saved.

It is quite easy to admire a particular style and want to copy it, but the style you love may not translate to type of house that you have. Behind most successful and emotive interiors photos are unique characteristics of that property that have been enhanced. It is possible that the story you are reading about in a home magazine started out with a brief in a different direction but was carefully steered and moulded to make the best of what they had to work with.

At the early stages of a job it’s important to be realistic and assess whether it’s possible to achieve the desired outcome based on the existing house that you are starting with. For example I can’t turn a Queenslander cottage into a New York loft. Nor can I achieve the same window effects in a house with 2.4m ceilings and plaster board walls if the example image is a vintage French chateau with 4m ceilings and full height billowing curtains. Sometimes acknowledging those limitations can be a disappointing realisation for clients. That said, it is possible to pull off amazing transformations with good interior design. There are many industry tricks that can conceal offending features.

Seeing something you love is the easy part but being able to recognize what elements have made that initial image successful can be more difficult. This is where an experienced designer can help. They can offer the client guidance and options which put a positive spin on what they can achieve with what they’ve got and where possible rework some of the original elements to suit the space.

Approach your renovation with an open mind and know the importance of flexibility during the concept stage. Designers love excited and inspired clients and your finished look may become another person’s inspiration.

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