When you’ve got the opportunity to start from scratch, when you’re moving house or renovating your current home, there’s lots to consider. Whether you have children or not, they may be in your future, so it’s worth looking at how family friendly your home is going to be. I’ve put together a renovation guide for family homes, I’m not a house renovation expert, but I have watched a lot of house programmes and moved 4 times and renovated them all, so in my eyes I’m practically Sarah Beeny. So here goes:
Consider open plan:
Open plan flowing living spaces are very in at the moment, every property programme bangs on about knocking walls down to ‘open up the space.’ It can be great, you feel like you have more space and if you’re cooking in the kitchen you can still chat away to people in the dining and living areas, so it’s very sociable. I do like having a separate playroom, because you can close the door on the mess. That said, adequate storage and not taking on too much clutter should solve that problem. Make sure you have defined areas and boundaries – you could use different flooring to define the zones, or go for one streamlined space with the same floor throughout and separate with accessories, rugs and wall colour. Try Floors Direct for a fair price on laminate flooring and a money back guarentee. If you’re not sure what it will look like you can always order a sample.
You could also make use of partitions like sliding doors, archways and split levels to define spaces.
Choose your flooring wisely
Children and beige carpets just don’t go. I’ve been there and no amount of rug doctoring would help the grime. And that was before we even had walking children! Certainly not in high usage areas. The ideal floor when you’re ready to install your flooring is wood, or failing that, a high quality laminate, in a mid tone so as not to show up the dirt as much. Tiles and lino work well in kitchens and bathrooms, anything that is easily cleaned. You can add warmth with underfloor heating and rugs. Carpets work well for the bedrooms and stairs, but get the best underlay you can afford for those high traffic areas, even if the carpet is on the cheaper side.
Lighting can make all the difference
We recently replaced our kitchen bulbs with LED bulbs, it’s made such a difference. We can actually see what we’re cooking! Good lighting in the home can literally light up your life. If you are in on the planning stage of the renovation, opt for a dimmable light switch so you have control over the light intensity. Wall lights work well, especially in period homes and odd shapes of houses. If you’re having an extension done then those skylights that let in natural light are amazing, and the best kind of energy efficiency. I love different kinds of antique or second hand table and floor lamps for the quirky unique look.
Don’t buy all new
I’m not saying anything new will get ruined, but everything new might get ruined, so unless you want a heart attack every time your toddler has a jam sandwich, go for quality second hand pieces of furniture, renovate any feature period pieces your property has and you’ll reap the benefits. Reclamation yards are a great place to go and have a look around, and you may just uncover a hidden gem, at the very least you’ll get some inspiration. You can easily perk up a piece of furniture with paint and changing the handles.
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