Whether it’s because of a growing family, general lack of space or being priced out of the market to upsize, more and more people are seeing the potential in what they have and are opting to renovate and reconfigure their home. Coming from an Architectural background here at House Edit, we are big advocates of embracing existing buildings and while renovation isn’t for the faint hearted, the end result is almost always worth the stress, tears and effort. There is no question that where budget permits, the professionals can make the whole process less intimidating, easier and have the ability to take the stress out of building. Ultimately, experienced architects and designers can give you ideas and solutions that you may not think of yourself, whilst also keeping the budget under control. Denise O’Connor of Optimise Design knows a thing or two about renovation. An architect by trade, TV presenter for the first series of RTE’s ‘The Design Doctors’ and an architecture and interiors columnist for the Irish Times, Denise has had more than her fair share of renovations. Talking exclusively to House Edit Denise shares her top 5 tips on renovating your home.
- One sure way to guarantee a successful and stress free outcome to your home renovation or extension project is to have a really great builder. Never make your choice based on a website or flyer that has been posted through your door. The absolutely best way to select the right contractor is through a recommendation from someone you trust.
- It’s very important that you are upfront about your budget. There is a misconception that telling an architect or builder how much you have to spend is a bad idea. This is absolutely not the case. Without knowing how much you have to spend it is impossible to advise you appropriately. Understanding what funds are available is vital as it will allow your architect to prioritise and steer you in the right direction in terms of where your money would be best spent and what, if any, compromises need to be made.
3. The best advice I can give anyone planning an extension or renovation is to spend some time re-evaluating the layout of your home. The single most important element of any scheme is to get the space working right. So before you start, assess the layout of the room or house. Identify any unused spaces or rooms and re-work the plan so that it all pulls together. You might actually find that simply reconfiguring the existing layout would be a better solution to extending.
4. The key to significantly increasing the value of your home is to make the most of the functional living spaces. This might mean sacrificing the formal areas such as dining rooms to create more space for family living areas and open plan spaces. These kinds of upgrades, if planned properly, will pay off as family living is now firmly centred on large combined living and dining areas, making them a huge selling point.
5. Don’t forget about the practical things when you’re planning the renovation of your home. There is so much to consider when you are planning a refurbishment that it can be easy to focus on the aesthetics and forget about the less glamorous elements. Things like coat storage, laundry room, linen cupboards for storing towels and sheets – they all sound pretty mundane but without properly planning these areas your beautifully designed home will soon look pretty chaotic.
You can find out more about Denise & her team here
Photography: Optimise Design