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Home remodelling bathroom

HOW TO PLAN YOUR HOME REMODELLING PROJECT

Are you adding an extension to your home or have you just moved into a new place and feel that it needs entirely reconfiguring? It’s time for a remodelling project!

This is one of my favourite parts of my job – making space work – I can spend hours just staring, and imagining different scenarios; how rooms could and should be used, where I’d appreciate light, where storage is necessary, and how to control noise, smells, congestion and draughts.

Sadly, there’s no model to follow as all houses are different, as are their users. I say ‘sadly’ but in truth, I find this ‘puzzle’ incredibly satisfying to solve. Let’s see if I can help you but by all means, get in touch with your specific plans and we can talk through any frustrations you may be facing in trying to ‘squeeze everything in’.

Renovating Your Hallway & Home Entrance

It’s really important that visitors know how to enter your house (or any building in fact). It’s very disorienting for a new visitor to not know which door to use. Make this clear with the use of paths, garden layout and for nighttime, lights. 

Ideally, you’re not walking straight into a room but have a space to offload coats and boots before entering the living space. Make sure this hall, porch or corridor has some storage – for clothing but also post and keys and is lit to ‘welcome’. Also, ensure it has a clear route to the room you’re likely to be entertaining in – most often the kitchen, rather than walking guests through a living space.

Renovating hallway and home entrance. Home remodelling.
Go under the stairs, not through the living room

In this house, the original cottage had already been extended and the two up/two down design was now compromised by having to walk people through one of those rooms to get to the back where the large extension lay. We decided to turn it into a hall room and guide guests under the stairs to the kitchen and avoid the living room. It may not have been what we’d design in the first place, but without moving the staircase, it makes sense and is a fun ‘journey’.

Our Pro Tip – Consider how best to use the space under the stairs – more storage or an eye-catching space for a lit sculpture?

Stair Renovation

Positioning your stairs is a vital decision in home remodelling as it dictates how both floors are oriented. Frequently I see stairs centrally placed with double-height areas, allowing for magnificent chandeliers. Glorious… except the upstairs then has huge amounts of wasted space for gallery landings and they are very difficult to reconfigure.

Home remodelling stair renovation
You could have a party up here!

Our Pro Tip  – Keep transitional spaces (porches/hall/landings/stairwells) efficient, not too big, not too narrow, lit, ideally with some source of natural light, and using materials that are robust to cater for dirty dogs and unwieldy suitcases.

Remodelling Your Kitchen & Utility

We’ve written a fabulous blog on remodelling your kitchen and ways to get this important room right, please read the blog here.  

The Kitchen is where we spend an inordinate amount of our home time, so getting it right is key. An additional thought – consider putting the utility room upstairs which will stop you having to schlepp clothes downstairs to wash and dry them, only to have to return them to the drawers and wardrobes upstairs. This works unless you hang your washing out in the garden, in which case you get fab eco credits!

Remodelling Your Home, Open Plan Pros & Cons    

  Open Plan Pros 

  • Open plan has wow factor, especially when ceilings are high or open to eaves
  • Large open plan areas tend to have access to the back garden and suit bi-fold or large sliding doors
  • When the kids are little, it’s great to have them visible and kids like to trike/stroll/push buggies around the open plan ‘circuit’
  • Kitchen, dining, living areas are conducive to conversation (rather than excluding the chef). They’re great for family living (if you want to talk to your family)
  • They’re fab for parties

Open Plan Cons

  • They’re noisy. Make sure you put in sufficient fabrics and upholstered items to cater for the potential acoustic issues
  • Kids are messy – it’s great to have a room where all their plastic clobber can go that you don’t need to tidy up to a high standard (showing my sloppy parental skills here!) 
  • As kids grow up, they do and watch stuff you don’t want to (I’m thinking X-box here)
  • If you cook curries or kippers, everyone knows about it
  • They’re not as cosy as living rooms or snugs 

Answer

  • Have both if you can – an open plan kitchen/dining area, a living room or more formal space and a playroom or cinema room
  • If you don’t have the space, it’s time to compromise but try and future proof your design within your home remodelling project, by thinking beyond the next 5 years

Remodelling Your Bathroom

Let’s start with looking at how many bathrooms your home needs. Ensuites are a real luxury and lots of developers will now automatically put in a bathroom with each bedroom. I’m keen to explore whether that is strictly necessary.

How many bathrooms are strictly necessary? Do you want the ultimate luxury of all guests having their own bathroom? Do you still need an additional family bathroom too? Is one bathroom upstairs and a showeroom downstairs sufficient? Weigh up your lifestyle alongside cleaning requirements, plumbing likelihoods and eco concerns.

Important Considerations to ask BEFORE Home Remodelling

  1. My final point is to seriously consider whether you need to extend at all – can you just reconfigure the walls in your existing footprint?
  2. Bad designs will be ‘bolt-ons’ to the house, probably ‘filling out’ any space from the garden. Don’t do this. Think carefully about how each new element of the house will be used – by present you and future you
  3. Don’t design for what you think the market might want when you sell the house in 5-10 years time. Design it to suit you and your family’s needs
  4. Look at plans and think, how will we use this space on a wet Wednesday in winter and a summer’s evening? How would Christmas work (where does the tree go and is there a plug, or four, there)? How would it feel when there’s only one person in the house and when there’s a gaggle of teenagers? Try and foresee these events and what people need (a drink, the loo, a drawer)

As I said, there’s not a set pattern to follow when embarking on a home remodelling project (unless you buy one of those standardised plans). So it’s best to talk it through with someone who will ask you lots of questions about how you live and how to make the most of your space.

While our normal region for work is Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in the UK, we are able to help with layout work far wider and have worked as far as Japan via Skype. So if you’re in need of a friendly but professional opinion please get in touch. Need inspiration on home remodelling? Check out our portfolio here.

Email: niki@nsid.co.uk

Website: www.nsid.co.uk

Mobile: + 44 (0)7782 256444

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