A happy home renovation may seem like an oxymoron, but it is definitely possible. Good planning and the right help will ensure you have a painless experience
I am sure even the Queen of England sometimes gets bored of the draperies in Buckingham Palace! So it is absolutely fine if the rest of us—mere mortals—can’t stand our regular homes after living there for a few years. The colors once chosen with such care look dull and lifeless, that overstuffed sofa that was perfect for vegetating in is too old-fashioned and let’s not get started on the bathrooms! Boring, boring, boring.
Fret not, a home renovation is exactly what the doctor’s ordered. But what is that I hear—a scream of terror? I completely understand. Home renovations can be scary. You are turning your world topsy turvy. Walls might have to be broken down, tiles uprooted, paints scraped off, old furniture sold off while new ones need to be selected. That doesn’t sound relaxing or easy, does it? Let me share a little secret—get a good interior designer or architect, especially if you are planning heavy home remodeling.
Whether you go for professional help or not, home renovation does not have to give you nightmares.
First, keep these mantras in mind
When embarking upon this life-changing and, hopefully, life affirming project keep these three home renovation mantras in mind.
- Functionality: Imagine you are done with the renovation and have heaved a sigh of relief. But what’s this? Your spare bed linen, cushion covers and curtains are competing for space in your wardrobe? Tch, that won’t do. Right from the planning stage focus as much on improving utility as making your house look fabulous.
- Budget: It would definitely be a nightmare if you realise that the bank account is empty just as the kitchen cabinets have been thrown in the garbage bins. So sit down before you even start finalising what you need to change in your house and create your budget. Also, remember every change you make comes with a hidden maintenance cost. Keep that in mind right at the start and your wallet will thank you later.
- Design: Unless you are super rich this home is it. You are not going to build homes every few years as your needs grow. So ensure the design is in tune with your requirements, aspirations and vision for a suitably long-term.
Choose the shubh muhurat – when to renovate your home
Most importantly, do you have enough funds saved up? Then can spend enough time on picking that right shade of colour for your foyer or the lovely fabric for your living room furniture? If the answer is in the negative to any of these questions then do not start on this journey. Also, are you doing this to have a smashing new look to welcome home your newborn or maybe for the wedding of a grown up child? If yes, do ensure you have put in enough buffers in case the construction crew goes missing midway due to a festival.
If you are concerned about weather, in India you can take up home renovation and construction during most of the year except the monsoons months. Even when it is pouring, interior work can be done. As home interior designers in Bangalore will tell you the rainy months aren’t a good time for work like painting, roofing or extensive civil works. Sometimes even cold weather can delay project completion.
Want something quick and easy? Tips for a quick home upgrade
How much ever you plan, life is going to be chaotic for a while. Especially if you live in your home when the work’s going—you are trying to live in a construction zone and can sometimes feel like a war zone. Budgets and timelines tend to be a little opaque. For instance, it might be when you are re-tiling the bathroom that you realise that the pipes too need to be replaced.
A good solution could be doing renovations in a phased manner. This can turn out to be more expensive, but that’s the price you will have to pay for peace of mind.
Now, if a complete renovation, which involves civil work, makes you want to hide, why not refresh your home with some loving design decor makeovers. A few ideas:
- Change the lighting in one room or all the rooms. You do not even have to remove all your existing light fixtures, just change a few accent lights by opting for some striking pieces. This will give the entire room a new look.
- Create a feature wall with wallpaper or texture paint. You can take this a step further by adding a mirror with a beaded frame on this wall and placing statement furniture like a pair of carved chairs below the mirror.
- Install a piece of art in your living room that you have had your eye on for ages.
- Something as simple as updating the loose furniture in your home, like adding some funky cushions and curtains, can go a long way in freshening up the look of your home.
Slightly more extensive home renovation work is adding false ceilings to enhance the room with direct or indirect lighting. Also, false ceiling materials give you a freedom of forms and shapes that you can incorporate in your designs both in bedrooms and living rooms.
If you are truly hard pressed for time, go for floor overlaying. Opt from options like laminated wooden floors, vinyl floors and woven or synthetic carpets. By using one of these materials you can completely change the way your home interiors look in a matter of days. Add a few deft changes in your home décor, like getting new cushions and curtains, or updating just a couple of pieces of furniture so you can highlight your new floor, and it will seem like you have moved to a new home.
I cannot stress enough on the need for a trained architect or home interior designer if you are opting for some heavy duty renovation. They will make a detailed plan for items that you would like to renovate with cost and time implications. Be sure to get a Plan B from them in case, God forbid, the first plan does not work. Also, even with all the planning possible beforehand, some things will turn up as surprises in a renovation, therefore being open to them will ensure a less traumatic experience. Maybe take up meditation during this time to calm your nerves.