As a weekend hobby, I often spend my leisure hours perusing the neighborhood’s Open Houses, to monitor and track real estate prices in my local area and also, let’s be honest, to have an invited sneaky peek into neighbours’ homes.
What I have found is, many older homes have undergone a series of makeovers during their lifetime, the results of which is that they have become a Hodge podge of a variety of owner’s tastes and fads.
One particular home which comes to mind was an Edwardian house which had been repeatedly renovated over the years – losing both its charm and identity in the process. A 1980’s green laminate kitchen has no place in a turn of the century classic!
This underlines the fact that a cohesive home renovation, which is sympathetic to the origins of the house, is vital to both the value and aesthetics of the property.
Plan for the future
If you are one of those families transforming your home gradually, having a set master plan as to the final vision of your home, is critical in maintaining the home’s personality through every stage.
Research the history and period your home was built and consider modern twists which can be incorporated without losing sight of its origins.
This master design must encompass:
- Interior and exterior (think landscaping)
- Colour palette
- Period / era
- Window treatments
- Room flow
As the heart of the home, the kitchen is the logical basis from which to structure the blueprint for the remainder of the home. Homes undergoing kitchen renovations in Melbourne would do well to call on the expertise of professional kitchen designers who can model a floor plan which seamlessly flows from this central hub.
Since the kitchen will act as the model for further improvements, it should complement other wet areas such as bathrooms and outdoor kitchens with a uniformity in tiling, bench tops, fittings and cabinetry selections.
Selecting a fundamental colour palette will encourage continuity throughout the home, acting as a reference point for ongoing renovations.
Not all rooms need to be the same colour but creating complementary hues and picking them out in furnishings–mixing and matching the colours to create a continuous theme, will form a strong basis for blending a naturally cohesive feeling into the home.
As an example of this, versions of grey may be used throughout the home with warmer tones in the sleeping areas and cooler tones in the kitchen and bathrooms. These may be enhanced by artwork and furnishings combining with alternate feature colours, such as blues or reds, which can then be picked out in the fabrics of bedding, cushions and curtaining.
Once the style of the home has been agreed upon, there also needs to be a consensus as to furniture and furnishings. Furniture can’t be purchased on a whim or because it serves a purpose–it needs to complement the style, colour and era of the master design.
Repurposing or ‘upcycling’ through paint can provide an economical solution to creating a harmonious theme with furniture.
Flooring, doors and window treatments
The flow through the home of complementary textures, fabrics and tones can be continued with flooring. Mixed and matched flooring will give a cluttered feel and detract from the feeling of space.
Floating flooring throughout the living areas and carpet in the bedrooms is often used to create flow whilst maintaining warmth.
Dressing – Furnishings
Furnishings, like furniture, need to be purchased in accordance with a decorating master plan. Often economy means placing quality furnishings and window treatments in the high visibility areas of the home but all decor should complement and fit with the theme.
A good example of this of this is in the instance of window treatments.
Plantation shutters are the epitome of style and classic beauty, but cost prohibitive for a whole home. Compromise can be made by introducing shutters to the street windows and wooden blinds to match on other, less prominent windows. Double layer filter blinds are also are a wonderfully economical option.
Whatever plan you instigate, viewing a renovation with a holistic eye is the biggest step to reinventing a home as a contemporary, comfortable and uniquely YOU, a masterpiece.