Here are some DIY Practical Tips
DIY – Interior Design
When embarking on a DIY interior design project, the first thing you want to do is jump in with a hammer and start making mess. But this usually means you will end up shopping for the elusive “money tree”.
In other words, leaping before you have planned can be very costly.
There are many questions to be asked, and these can be grouped into four areas:
Practical, Budgetary, Aesthetic and Maintenance
DIY Interior Design – Practical Tips
How long do you think you will keep the property, is it long or short term?
This will determine how much money you want to spend. Buying quality products or quick fixes.
Changing wall color or wallpaper can be an ideal quick DIY fix and instant makeover, no new cabinetry required, or expensive floor coverings, and you can make a statement with the walls, look at this great example of wallpaper with impact!
Do you have enough space at present? If no, is there room on the property to expand, upwards, outwards or internally?
Remember that you may think you have enough space, but you need to check with local authorities before planning as generally there is a maximum site coverage that you are allowed to take up.
Do you have children and pets, are their needs presently catered for?
Life can often be easier if everyone has their own space, then play areas can be designated and your whole house doesn’t become the playground. A catdoor can save you being woken in the middle of the night with meows to get out, and save unneccessary accidents inside.
Do you require disabled facilities, ramps, handrails etc?
There are a lot of proprietary handrails for baths, showers and WCs as well as people lifts for stairs etc, this saves on design time and they come with guarantees etc. Ramps generally have to be designed to local authority guidelines so employing someone to come in an review the house would be a good idea.
Do you entertain frequently? Do you need a dining room? Do you eat in the living room/kitchen? Lifestyle requirements, indoor outdoor dining?
Deciding how you use a space is vital, it is no use adding on a dining room because it is the latest fad if you have a teenage family who come and go, eat on the run and you never dine together. It won’t be used, you would be better off building a family room adjacent to the kitchen to cater for the mobile eater.
Are all the areas functional? Kitchen, bathroom, WC, are their enough facilities?
A space can be transformed by simply repositioning a fridge, adding a dishwasher, moving out a bath and adding a shower, or adding a wash hand basin into the WC so you free up the bathroom.
A separate handrail has beed added to this entrance stair, as it is not accessible with the concrete handrail. A child or elderly person could not reach or grip hold to help themselves climb.
Is your storage space sufficient?
No. There is never enough storage. Start with a clean out and have a garage sale. Then ask yourself this question again! Some simple options can be – creating a window seat with storage under, putting a door under the stair, going into the roof space with seasonal things ie ski gear, surf boards etc. Adding shelving to the walls in the garage, laundry, bedrooms etc.
Do you have enough bedrooms, do they have enough space?
Could the purchase of more compact or multifunctional furniture be the solution, bunks for kids, tallboys, trundler beads, futon couches.
Do you need privacy within the household, and a quiet space?
A study only requires a small space and can sometimes be the only space that you can lock everyone out of! Think about adding one if you are going to be making extensions to the house.
Do you need a playroom, family room, study, garage?
As said previously, private spaces can be hard to come by in a family home, often the garage is a safe haven for the Dad, a family room can mean you get to watch the news and not the cartoons, and a study can be a place for Mum to escape and read a magazine with a cup of coffee.
Have a look at the space without furniture – can you use it differently? The dining room doesn’t have be used for those purposes, you could be better off using a kitchen table and letting the kids have a playroom, for all the family’s sanity!
Do you require additional services? Ie gas, additional phone/fax lines, digital tv, burglar alarms?
Make sure you get a price for the installation costs as well as the long term costs, some companies offer super cheap rates to get the product / service into your home then charge you the earth to keep it running. So it doesn’t hurt to shop around and ask lots of questions.
Written by Lee Brown