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25 Design Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Home

Whether you've decided to dive into a full-blown renovation or you're planning to give your place a little facelift we are here to guide you through it.

Starting Your Renovation Journey

Whether you’ve decided to dive into a full-blown renovation or you’re planning to give your place a little facelift, there’s a whole world of design decisions waiting for you. 

Navigating this exciting journey can be a bit of a maze, but don’t worry — we are here to guide you through it. After chatting with some industry pros, we’ve compiled a list of common design missteps and how to gracefully sidestep them. Let’s make your home renovation smooth sailing!

1. The Art of Patience: Living In Before Living Large

Before you rush into renovations, take a moment to live in your space. Understand how the light illuminates the rooms, where the groceries naturally want to be stored, and the paths you take walking through your home. This patience will reward you, making sure your renovations enhance your home’s personality and functionality.

Stunning white bathroom renovation with bath

2. Budgeting: Expect the Unexpected

Remember, renovations often come with their own set of surprises—usually on the pricier side. Add a 20% cushion to your budget for those just-in-case scenarios. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than caught off guard.

3. Flexibility Is Your Friend

No matter how much you plan, expect some curveballs, especially with older homes. Prepare for the unexpected and remember, flexibility during renovations can save a lot of headaches (and heartaches) down the road.

Beautiful renovation with natural light

4. Design Professionals: Worth Their Weight in Gold

Thinking of going it alone? Consider this: hiring a designer from the get-go can ensure your space not only looks amazing but functions beautifully too. They’re the experts for a reason, and their eye for detail can transform your space in ways you might not have imagined.

5. Choosing the Right Team Is Not Just About the Price Tag

While it’s tempting to go with the lowest bid, remember that you often get what you pay for. Investing in a quality team means investing in the longevity and beauty of your home. Don’t skimp on the folks who are helping you build your dream.

6. Compatibility Matters: Finding Your Design Soul Mate

Just because someone has a great portfolio doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you. Make sure your designer or contractor understands your vision, lifestyle, and quirks. A good match goes beyond aesthetics—it’s about shared communication and values.

Kitchen renovation with plenty of entertaining space

7. Do Your Homework: References Are Key

Always check references before signing on the dotted line. Past clients can offer invaluable insights into what your experience might be like. And don’t forget to peek at ongoing projects to get a feel for their current work style and ethics.

8. Early Contractor Consultation: Save Time and Money

Loop in a contractor early in the design phase. They can provide practical insights and help ensure your dream design aligns with your budget before you’re too emotionally invested.

9. Blueprints Be Gone: Visualise Your Space

Struggling to read blueprints? You’re not alone. Try using painter’s tape to outline your design in real space. This hands-on approach can help you better understand the flow and feel of your future renovation.

10. Question Everything

Never be afraid to ask questions. Your project, your money—you deserve to know exactly where it’s going and why. There’s no such thing as a silly question, especially in the world of renovations.

11. Change Is Not Always Good

While it might be tempting to tweak your design mid-project, remember that even small changes can have big implications for both timing and budget. Consult with your team before deciding to move that wall or switch that light fixture.

12. The Importance of Timelines

Work with your team to establish a clear timeline and decision-making deadlines. This will help keep your project on track and prevent those last-minute, stress-induced decisions.

13. Exterior First: Protect Your Investment

While it’s fun to dream about decor and finishes, make sure your home’s exterior is sound first. No use in beautiful interior work if your roof is ready to spring a leak. Prioritize projects that protect your investment.

Contrast in this modern kitchen renovation

14. Interior Matters: Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

Conversely, don’t let the interior design become an afterthought. The finishes, furniture, and decor you choose are what make your house feel like a home. Budget for interior design to ensure your space reflects your personality and style.

15. Navigating the Stress of Renovation

Renovating can be a stress test for relationships. Consider tackling a small project together first to learn how you work as a team. Understanding each other’s styles and stress responses can make the larger renovation process smoother.

16. Invest in Everyday Luxury

Spend on items you interact with daily, like door handles and faucets. Quality touches you can feel every day elevate your home’s overall experience.

17. Smart Splurging: Where to Save & Where to Spend

Don’t assume the most expensive items are where you should splurge. Sometimes, it’s the smaller accents that make the biggest impact. Be strategic with your budget to maximise both style and function.

18. Window Wisdom: Think Before You Replace

Before swapping out your windows, consider their historical and aesthetic value. Sometimes, a good repair and adding storm windows can be just as effective for energy efficiency, preserving the character of your home.

19. Measure Twice, Buy Once

Knowing the dimensions of your space and the size of your furniture is crucial. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a piece that just won’t fit. Keep measurements on hand to avoid disappointment.

20. Furniture Faux Pas: Size Matters

Similarly, ensure your new finds can actually make it through the door. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this detail is overlooked until it’s too late.

21. The Right Rug Size

A common mistake is choosing a rug that’s too small for the space. Your rug should anchor your furniture, creating a cohesive look. If standard sizes don’t fit, consider custom options to get just the right look.

22. Keeping Everyone Informed

If you’re managing the renovation, keep a binder of specs and installation instructions accessible on-site. This ensures everyone from contractors to subs has the information they need to do their job right.

23. The Role of a General Contractor

While taking on the role of general contractor can save money, remember the value of accountability and expertise a professional brings. Their relationships and experience can be invaluable, especially on larger projects.

24. Tech Temptations: Choose Wisely

Technology evolves rapidly, and what’s cutting-edge today might be obsolete tomorrow. Invest in tech wisely, focusing on updates that genuinely enhance your home’s functionality and comfort.

25. Focus Your Efforts

Rather than spreading your budget thin across multiple rooms, concentrate on the spaces where you spend the most time. This focused approach ensures you get the most enjoyment and value out of your renovations.

Contact Nouvelle About Your Renovation

Renovating your home is an opportunity to create a space that truly reflects you. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you’re on your way to a successful renovation that brings your vision to life. 

As professionals, we know what we are doing regarding renovations. We know how to maximise the use of your space, design to reflect your lifestyle and renovate to budget and agreed time frames. 

Our state-of-the-art Business Management System, unique to Nouvelle, allows us to operate with a level of scheduling expertise that sets us apart from other providers. It takes the headache out of your renovation, so you enjoy your new space without the stress.

If you enjoyed our post, let us know your thoughts on our Facebook Kitchen Renovation and Design Ideas group!

If you have questions about your renovation or remodel and want to know how to make a statement in your home, contact us at Nouvelle.

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