6 Things Before You Renovate – Getting It Right

Let’s face it renovations are not all sunshine and smiles. A dream home doesn’t come easy – especially when you are dealing with a bunch of different tradies. Most of us brace ourselves for a fair amount of sweat and tears – it comes with the territory, right?

RELATED: 5 Famous Interior Designers Share Their Best Colour Tips

Well, yes and no! There are ways to help minimise the pain – even though you may still encounter a hiccup or two, it is possible for it all to run to budget and on time. So how do you ‘get it right’ and make sure it is a (mostly) sunshine filled experience?

Well, being organised is undoubtedly a good start – think timing and coordination – otherwise these 6 pointers should set you on the right track…

renovation, landscape, hipages

© Outside In Landscape Management

1. Planning

Planning is all about considering every aspect of your project and what it involves. Here you need to think outside the box and work out:

  • Scope of your project
  • Budget for your project
  • Materials to be used
  • Who is going to carry out the work?
  • Timeframe for all stages of your project

2. Budget

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of any reno – and goes hand in hand with a thorough project plan. If you don’t take every single cost into account, you are likely to encounter some nasty surprises down the track. That means itemising every material and labour cost down to the last nut and screw. Then add a 10% – 15% contingency – for anything unforeseen, quite a likely scenario.

3. Regulations and red tape

If you are doing any structural (building) work to your home, it is very likely that you will need to get the relevant permissions from your local council. Even a relatively small project like building an outdoor deck may require this. So it pays to research this beforehand. The tradie who is carrying out your work may also be able to assist in this process.

4. Hire the right team

Getting the right team to work on your project is another must. Besides having all the right licences and insurance – tradies should ideally also come recommended by other homeowners. Don’t take anything for granted! Personally inspect their licences and insurances to make sure they are valid. Larger projects may also require you to enter into a formal contract with the tradie. All this may seem like a hassle, but it is your best protection in case anything goes wrong during (and after) your project.

Standby Electrical Services, renovation, home design

© Standby Electrical Services

5. Schedule

Having a schedule helps to keep your project on track – and is especially useful for larger, more complex jobs. Here a calendar or spreadsheet can help you keep on top of it all – including your expenditure and the timing of the various elements of your job.

6. Get inspired!

Last but not least – and definitely the fun bit – collect ideas and inspiration for your project. Besides the obvious sources – blogs, magazines, TV and forums – I also get cool ideas from these three sources:

  • Commercial and industrial buildings often have innovative materials and design solutions which could look awesome in your home.
  • Hotels and spas are full of inspiring ideas to take back home – so take note when you are on holiday.
  • The homes of your friends, family and neighbours may have reno ideas you can ‘borrow’ 🙂

Bottom line is to have fun and try to think of any obstacles as stepping stones to the greater goal!

By Craig Gibson, the online editor of hipages.com.au, Australia’s largest network of trade professionals. Helping more Australians complete more jobs everyday. Why don’t you let us help you find the best tradie for your job.

February 3, 2015

Spring 2014 Ushers In A Fresh New Season Of Colour

Luxurious copper-based metallics, earthy greys and calming blues and greens will dominate interiors this spring as homeowners cast off the deep and decadent hues of winter to add a lighter touch. That’s the forecast from Dulux experts, who have studied design, colour and finishes from around the globe to develop the season’s predictions.

Dulux colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr says:

“It’s natural to want to welcome the first blush of spring after a long cold winter and there’s no better way to do that than with a fresh coat of paint.”

Popular colours are likely to include Dulux Sun Sensation – Design Metallic, a luxurious copper-based metallic; the earthy ambiance of neutral Dulux Malay Grey; and the fresh, cooling tones of Dulux Antarctica Lake Quarter.

Dulux also has two serene greens – Dulux Classic Calm, which is easy to blend from inside to outdoor space for spring entertaining, and Dulux Gentle Calm, a mid green suitable for any room. Partner the greens with light and bright Dulux Whisper White to inspire a stylish spring space. The hero colours for spring come from the Dulux Precious Elementals palette, which is influenced by the earth, minerals, natural stones, and geographical formations.

The director and head designer of Zuster, Wilhelmina McCarroll, styled the Precious Elementals and says the 2014 Spring colours of greens and greys are perfectly paired with blonde timbers and a touch of warm metallic. She says:

“Consumers can be adventurous with colour by painting architraves and skirtings in different colours and adding some of this season’s gorgeous warmer metallics, such as copper and gold in a small way.”

For example, using a subtle, soft green like Dulux Gentle Calm in a bathroom creates a sense of luxury and the perception of a larger space. Adding a touch of glamour with Dulux Sun Sensation in metallic brings out key features in the space.

“I don’t think colour will ever go out of fashion. We are currently seeing many colours being mixed and clashed with fantastic results. There are no rules anymore as to what colours should go together, if it works it works!” 

May 25, 2014

5 Famous Interior Designers Share Their Best Colour Tips

Thinking of giving your home a makeover? You don’t have to spend a fortune or months redecorating. Colour is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your home, just follow these simple yet brilliant tricks from some of the world’s most famous interior designers.

1. Incorporate wallpaper
Once a trend from the past, wallpaper is currently a hot interior design trend, not only for the incredible, unique patterns, but for the texture it adds to walls. Designer Barbara Berry says, “Use a patterned wallpaper to strengthen a room, and an unpatterned paper to soften a space.” Let you imagination go wild – choose to walloper one panel in a room, or mix-and-match different wallpapers for an exotic feel.


2. Mix patterns and colours
A home that matches too much will appear stuffy and anything but cozy, which is why it’s important to layer patterns and texture, according to designer Barclay Butera. His philosophy is that decorating the home is similar to fashion where you should accessorise the space with patterns, texture and colour. Avoid anything too matchy-matchy.


3. Use tone-on-tone palettes
Incorporating colour into your home doesn’t have to me loud and colourful.Remember that you home is not just a place that should look good, but also a place to relax and feel comfortable Designer Celerie Kemble enjoys creating serene environments with her design with soft blues and greens that complement one another.


4. Lighting is key
Designer Shawn Henderson recommends carefully choosing your lighting. “Always have good reading lights in every room and put everything on a dimmer,” he says. Too strong or bold lighting can wash out the space and make it feel uncomfortable. So if you’ve spent days agonising over a new paint colour, remember that your lighting will affect how that colour looks in a room.


5. Add reflective objects
It can be easy for rooms to appear overly colourful, which is why designer Susan Ferrier recommends using reflective objects throughout the home. “Add something that’s reflective, instead of another colour.” This will also add a unique detail that stands out amongst the surrounding decor for plenty of balance. Mirrors make a space look bigger, or look for shiny or silver paint or walloper to add a reflective accent.

Renovated lately? What are your best home makeover tips?

February 7, 2014

How To Give Your Kitchen A Stylish Makeover

Is this the year you give your kitchen a much-needed makeover? Interior stylist Lucy Weight of the Cool Edies shares her top tips for creating a stylish and personalised kitchen.

1. Begin by selecting a neutral base colour
Whether this is dark and moody, white and fresh or even a warm, natural cream tone, the neutral base will harmonise the finish of your appliances.

2. Add feature colours
Selecting a feature colour or a combination of colours can be daunting so only commit to items that are changeable around home or can be put away such as vases, fruit bowls, platters, pitchers or linens.

For example, when the Cool Edies styled the Electrolux Inspiration Kitchen, we established our neutral base and then selected a complimentary colour palate. We then hunted for cushions, table decorations and moveable accessories in our colour palate. Remember, a pop of colours are fun but shouldn’t feel permanent.

3. Take your colour little further by incorporating a natural element
Wooden accents can range from a pale, modern blonde, to silvery driftwood or dark walnut. Elements like stone and marble can also be cooling when the heat gets too much in the kitchen. Stone and marble can be incorporated underfoot in a kitchen work surface or as large serving boards.

4. Add a metallic
A metallic can really lift the mood of your kitchen and you probably already own some pieces; think copper cookware, modern stainless steel utensils or nostalgic brushed aluminium vintage cake moulds. Showcase key pieces on your shelves, hanging, or on bench tops.

5. Flowers and produce
Flowers belong everywhere in the house and the kitchen should be no exception! To keep arrangements in the kitchen relevant and organic you can create fresh produce bowls to celebrate what’s in season at that time. A blossom or gum branch all work well, and air plants like succulents are sculptural and striking. The best thing about using produce is that you get to reinvent your creation every week as you eat the produce on display.

6. Keep a 1:1 ratio of decorative to functional items in your kitchen
For example, choose one beautiful appliance to showcase that serves both as a functional item and a decorative piece. Or, if you want to keep all your utensils out on the bench, choose a beautiful vessel to hold them.

Tag your home renovations on Instagram with @shesaid_editor!

February 4, 2014