When modernising or doing up a house, many people will spend their renovation dollars on bathrooms and kitchens. However, you may not be aware that other rooms in your house can easily be modernised to add extra appeal. Here are some tips and tricks that the experts use.

OPEN PLAN LIVING

These days open plan living is what most families prefer. It desegregates a family by allowing for multiple types of activities in the one space while also making a home look more spacious.

Three common areas really work well together when opened up – the kitchen, the dining room and the lounge. Sometimes opening the space up will involve taking out a wall or two, so check which walls are structural and get costs before you commit to any plans. Structural walls can still be removed; it’s just a case of finding which method of support suits your design and budget, so don’t let this put you off making the change.

After the space has been opened up, it’s time to look at the flow and interaction between the spaces. It’s a good idea to use the same flooring and wall colour throughout all the open plan areas to enhance the sense of spaciousness. However, you do have to be careful that you don’t just have a vast sea of openness. One way to do this is to ensure each space is visually defined in some way. Visually defining the space establishes the purpose of each space without physically closing it off the way solid walls would.

Starting with the kitchen, one way to separate it from the dining area and define it is by hanging pendant lights directly over the island bench. If you prefer down-lights in the kitchen, a pendant light over the dining table could work well. You could have pendant lights in both dining and kitchen, but it’s a good idea to use aim for a different style of pendant light for each so that you have clear definition between both areas.

Adding a centrepiece or table mat to the dining table and a floor rug under the dining table will also visually anchor and define the space.

I also like to visually anchor the living room with a rug, and I deliberately face the furniture away from the kitchen and dining area and towards the television or a piece of artwork so that the layout of the furniture frames and further separates the areas.

EXTERIOR

Irrespective of the style or materials of the exterior of the house, you can modernise it and enhance curb appeal while retaining its architectural origins by focusing on three key areas – colour, focal point and visual balance.

Too often older style houses show their age through the colours used on the exterior, so bring your home into 2018 by repainting in a fresh, modern colour.

You can create a lovely focal point by using your existing entryway and enhancing it in some way. For example, you could build a new pergola, add a deck and new balustrades, or simply place some beautiful pot plants by the front door.

Next, it’s time to see if the front of the house is visually balanced. This doesn’t mean everything has to be symmetrical; it just means you have to balance visually heavy items. For example, if you have something visually heavy like a garage door or large tree on one side of the house, try and put something equally heavy on the other side of the house.

OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES

An outdoor living space is really another room of sorts, so I like to blend a bit of the indoors with the outdoors in these areas.

What you create outside will depend on your budget and the value of your property, but a deck is a great way to help modernise an old-fashioned yard space. You could go very basic with just a slightly raised deck (depending on the height from the ground of course) or more elaborate with a full deck with a roof and balustrades.

To keep the deck looking modern, give a bit of thought to the materials and colours you will use. I tend to keep the deck in the same architectural style of the house, but I add a bit of a modern twist.

Once the deck is built, it’s time to dress it up a bit so that it acts as a gradual transition from the house to the yard. The aim here is to try and blend a bit of the inside with the outside. You can do this through things like fairy lights, vines and pot plants as well as your deck furniture. You can create a focal point and maximise views through the layout of your deck furniture so give their positioning some thought.

So, those are a few expert tips for you to try when you modernise your own home. If you need advice when planning your makeover or renovation, get in touch with us heat Hotspace.

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