An Essential Checklist For Renovating And Decorating Your New Home

Have you recently bought a house or moved home? If you’re planning a major overhaul or you’re keen to inject your own style and personality, here is an essential checklist to help you out. Follow these golden rules, and you’ll be enjoying your beautiful new home before you know it.

Renovation work
Are you taking on a project? Would you like to alter the layout of your new home? If so, it’s likely that you’ll need the help of builders and architects. After you’ve had structural surveys done, you should be able to determine what kind of building work you need to complete. If there are existing issues, such as damage to the walls or supporting structures, missing roof tiles or damp, make these your priority. With problems like this, the longer you leave them, the worse they get. Call in the experts and ask for some quotes. It’s also wise to ask for a rough timeframe so that you know when you can start thinking about the next steps.

Once the structure of your home is sound and you’ve addressed priority issues, think about any other changes you’d like to make. Would you prefer a large, open-plan kitchen? Do you want to knock through upstairs to make a family bathroom? Is there is a loft space calling out for conversion? If you are planning to do work, you may wish to complete it before you move in, if this is possible. If you’re not sure whether or not to take the plunge, ask your architect to show you some images and flick through some magazines. Get some ideas of what the space could look like and get some quotes. Loft conversions are one of the best ways to add value to your home. If you have vacant space, an attic conversion could be an excellent long-term investment. Likewise, with a large kitchen, you may find that spending money at the beginning pays off. For most people, the kitchen is the first room they look at during a house viewing.

Plumbing, wiring and plastering
Before you start thinking about patterns and colors, it’s a good idea to check the condition of your wiring and plumbing. If you have outdated heating systems, you may wish to upgrade them before you move in. You may also want to add power sockets or invest in some air conditioning units, for example. Any plumbing work should also be done before you start choosing wallpaper or looking for a new sofa. If you’ve bought an old house, you may want to replace damaged pipes. If you’re eager to add a new bathroom suite or a new sink in the kitchen, call some local plumbers and ask for some prices.

Before you can start painting or papering walls, you may need to enlist the services of a plasterer. Plastering fills holes and gaps and creates a smooth, even surface.

Interior design
Once you’ve got all the building and preparation work done, you can get on with the fun part and plan how your new home will look. Take each room and think about themes, styles and colors. Look in magazines and home stores and browse online to get ideas. If you find that there are lots of looks you like, cut out images and write down stockists. Some people like to create a mood board so that they can put different looks together and see what works.

Choosing paint colors
When you’re choosing colors, always take paint samples home and test them on your walls. Choose a patch close to natural light, so that you can see the true shade. If you’re deciding between a few different colors, try them next to each other and see which you prefer once the samples have dried. If you love a color, but you feel like it’s a little overbearing, combine it with white or neutral shades on other walls. Feature walls are very popular, and they enable you to play around with colors without making your rooms look dark or garish. If you have small rooms, try to avoid deep colors. Choosing lighter shades will help to make the space look larger. Go for soothing, calming tones in the bedrooms and fresh colors for the bathroom.

If you’ve got a whole house to paint, you may wish to think about getting some help. Painting is something you can do yourself, but it can be time-consuming. You can either rope in friends and family for a mass painting day or get some painters and decorators to do a professional job. If you are getting your rollers and overalls out, make sure your prepare the walls first. Wipe away any dust, and apply a coat of primer. Put dust sheets down to protect the floor and let the first coat dry before you start the second. Cover sockets and switches with masking tape. Use a roller for large spaces and a fine brush for areas that require more precision.

If you’re adding or replacing floors, there are all kinds of options to choose from. You may want a combination of materials to create distinguished spaces. Or you may prefer to put floorboards or carpets throughout. Have a look around some showrooms and think about the style of your home.

Finishing touches and accessories
When the paintwork has dried, and you’ve got your furniture in place, it’s time to add those all-important finishing touches.

You can add color with accents and accessories and tie themes together. Go for vases, candle holders and storage jars in the kitchen. Create a cozy snug with floor cushions, throws and beanbags. Add cushions and blankets to bedrooms and living rooms to add warmth. Use side tables, footstools or magazine racks to bring a front room to life. Add some lamps to provide ambient lighting and turn your hallway into a photo gallery.

If you’re looking to mix and match styles and go for unique, quirky accessories, it’s wise to shop around. You may find hidden gems at yard sales or on online auction sites. Take a trip to some antique stores or head to a vintage street market. If you’re looking for contemporary touches, visit some galleries or peruse independent interior stores. If you have a relatively plain room, an eye-catching piece can make all the difference. Think a statement lamp in a modern study or a unique armchair in a living room. Look in magazines for inspiration for how to add texture with soft furnishings and mix colors and styles. It’s also worth searching online. Read interior design blogs and get bean bag ideas here.

Personalizing your home
The final stage of transforming your home is personalization. They say home is where the heart is, and you should feel comfortable and cozy in your own home. Adding photos and pieces, which reflect your personality or tell a story, will help to create that familiar feel. Print out some photographs and scatter frames around the house or order some canvases for the kitchen walls. Use initialled cushions or personalized wall stickers to add character.

Gardening and exterior design
With summer fast approaching, you may be hoping to get all the interior jobs sorted, so that you can focus on getting out and enjoying the sunshine. If you’re gutting the garden and starting from scratch, you can really put your own spin on the design. Start by clearing the backyard and working out a basic design. Do you want the entire garden to be turf? Or would you rather have separate sections? Do you want to add a patio, some decking or an entertaining area? Would you rather go for pebbles or chippings than a traditional lawn? Once you’ve decided on a plan, you can start implementing it. You may wish to get professionals involved if you have grand plans.

Once the turf has been laid or the patio has been created, pay attention to the details. Finish the look off with planters or potted trees. Add a water feature or a wall made from glass tiles to add interest to a modern low-maintenance space. Create a chill-out area with floor cushions, draped material and oversized standing lanterns. Get prepared for garden party season with a rattan sofa set and a personalized bar.

If you’ve made an effort to make your home look stunning on the inside, it’s only right that you add curb appeal outside. Give the exterior a lick of paint and add a new front door. Tidy up the driveway and mow the front lawn. You may also want to add hanging baskets or planters to the porch to make your home look welcoming.

Buying a new home is incredibly exciting, but it can also be stressful. Although a project gives you scope to create your dream home, the process of renovating can be arduous. It's essential to take things step by step and get priority jobs out of the way. Call in the professionals to sort plumbing, electrical and building work. Once you’ve ticked these jobs off, you can think about interior design. Have a look in magazines and showrooms and search online for inspiration. Use your creativity, style and taste to choose patterns, colorways and themes. Pay attention to detail and add a personal touch. Most importantly, enjoy creating the home of your dreams!

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