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Miscellaneous

Remodelling Your Home Effectively Without Incurring a Small Fortune

Every so often we find the need to do a quick refurbishment on our home either to rent, sell or even add a touch of life. However, what we don’t want to get into is to go overboard and turn a small refurbishment into a total overhaul, which could cost too much time and money. So what are some sure-fire ways to change our living environment without having to incur excessive resources?
Assess your Situation
The first thing we will need to do is to assess the site conditions and determine what techniques would work for the space. Ask yourself a series of questions with regards to the following categories in order to identify what you need to get done.

  • Colours Used Cleverly
  • Lighting
  • Feature Walls
  • Furniture Type
  • Versatility

Colours Used Cleverly
When dealing with colour tones, we need to judge for ourselves whether the overall ambient feel is too warm or too cold. Usually this is matched up with the colour tones of the flooring and skirting. What we don’t want to do is get into a habit of changing the physical materials of the room, which would end up being a very costly affair. To create an instant change to a room, consider playing around with different colour mood sequences.

As a guide, avoid having one dominant colour throughout the room. For example, if you have a beige/brown tone flooring, avoid beige coloured walls, as this injects an overwhelming lethargic sensation into the space. Instead, introduce an opposite contrasting colour to balance out the colours in the room. Playing with the yin/yang colour effects allows our visual senses to delineate the space (floor, walls, ceiling) to create a more sophisticated environment. Similarly, darker tone woodworks should be counterbalanced with a lighter coloured wall to highlight the flooring effect and give definition to the room.

Lighting LEVELS
Identify if the lighting level of the room is too high or low. Think of what you want to use the space for and adjust your lights accordingly. For living areas you may work with downlights or wall washers to generate the overall brightness, while selected spotlights may be included to highlight key features along the walls.

For more private settings such as the bedrooms or study, directed spotlights may be used as these allow for high intensity light sources to be isolated, leaving the rest of the room slightly dimmer, thereby creating a more soothing, relaxing ambience. Lights offer a cheap and simple yet effective solution to create different mood settings within the room.
Feature WALLS
Look for opportunities to create “features” within the house, as these can create a focal point for each space, thereby adding uniqueness to the overall experience. For example, we may consider using traditional feature walls by introducing a different material palette onto the wall to set it apart as a backdrop. Or we could think out of the box and work around the space by creating visual illusions such as playing with glass and mirrors to create a sense of depth and space, or by creating vignettes of frames to utilize the landscape and exterior as part of the interior design.

Furniture TYPE
When dealing with furniture, there are two basic categories – the functional and the occasional.

“Functional furniture” defines items that are essential to making the space usable, such as closets, headboards and even TV-mounting; these are typically referred to as built-ins. Depending on what we want to do with the space, either to rent it out or to live in it) the choice of what kind and quality of functional furniture we choose would depend heavily on the budget. Therefore, the first step is to look at existing cabinetry and identifying if anything can be salvaged. Sometimes a simple coat of paint or re-lamination can instantly revive existing cabinets. If we have to build a new item, consider creating multi-functional cabinetry such as bookcases within the bed headboard, or storage within odd corners and nooks, as it allows us to save space within the room through dual functionality.

“Occasional furniture” refers to store-bought items such as beds, tables and ottomans. So when selecting, take note of these key points before purchasing.

Size - determine if the piece is too big, too small or just right for the space. Having a floorplan handy is a good tool to understand your space further.

Colours - make sure the fabrics or colour tones you choose fit within the space. Don’t introduce conflicting colours that create visual disarray.

Arrangement - there is a fine line between having too much or too little furniture in a room. Allow for movement of 4ft around each piece as a general guide. Any less space would create a constrictive feeling.

Versatility
Every so often, try to rearrange your furniture in a multitude of configurations to create a new look for the space. This is why neutral colours are commonly used as they give us the flexibility to shift our furniture around without creating awkward design clashes. Another point to note when selecting furniture is to pick pieces that may be configured in a multitude of arrangements, such as turning an L-shaped sofa into a 3-piece configuration. By doing so, it gives the design flexibility for creating different seating arrangements, which can be changed from time to time to create a different feel for the room.

The next time you want to remodel your home, first identify your ultimate goal, then create roadmap on how to get there by thinking out of the box and being inventive in your decisions. Look at how an easy coat of paint can transform a space, or how rearranging furniture can create a different feel. Simple tasks can save you a trip to the bank yet achieve the same results of revitalizing the home. And most importantly, make sure you do not dwell too long on a single space as the longer you spend working on a space, the more change you will incur, resulting in wasted time, effort and cost. Set a goal then get the task done.

Remember these three key tips – Create a Goal, Get the Biggest Bang for your Buck and Watch your Time!
For more Interior Design services and consultancy, contact Chris Yeo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (September/October 2013)". To subscribe, please click here.