Many people planning their renovation begin by gathering pictures from Pinterest and other online resources and from family, friends and neighbours.

While this is a great way to get design ideas, it can also be the perfect way to make your home look like mutton dressed as lamb.

I recently helped some clients with this exact issue. They were about to renovate their bathroom and kitchen and had shown me photos of a renovation their friend had done. They loved the  renovation and wanted a similar result.

The friend’s apartment was built in the 1960s or 1970s, and she had done a beautiful job renovating it in a way that perfectly suited the architectural style of her apartment block.

My clients, however, own a Victorian terrace house, so copying their friend’s design was never going to work for their style of house.

One of the key design concepts you should always consider when renovating your home, is to take the original style of the house into account.

This doesn’t mean that if you have an 1980s-style house that you have to renovate it to match the 1980s. What it does mean is that you modernise the majority of the spaces with contemporary colours and materials while subtly linking back to some of the design choices of the era of the house.

It’s essential to the longevity of your renovation to consider the era and style of your home. If you do a super-slick modern bathroom or kitchen in a house that doesn’t have a super-slick and modern style in its bones, it won’t work well design-wise.

It’ll probably look great in the short term, but down the track you will find it stands out because it doesn’t gel with the style of house. You want it to be modern, but also have a “nod” towards the architectural style of the house.

With my client’s house, I ended up using a Victorian-style patterned floor tile and heritage-style light fittings, then juxtaposed these with modern wall tiles, vanity, shower, bath, mirror and accessories. The overall look is modern but there is still a link to the heritage of the home.

No matter what style of home you have, you can avoid the mutton-dressed-as-lamb problem by following this one simple rule.

Have a look at the photos in my Facebook group and you’ll see that I’m creating a contemporary look, but also injecting some of the flavour of the architectural style of the house at the same time.