Far too often we see renovation projects that end up a mismatch of ideas with a total lack of coherence, the spaces created are ok, but they could have been great.

The most inspiring renovations are intrinsically linked with social, cultural and family considerations. I love it when a client desires to reshape their home to accommodate their unique family circumstances or to promote a social space for their loved ones. These kinds of projects transcend the built form, become loaded with meaning and develop that thing we call a feeling……. I know this is sounding like something my father would call ‘touchy-feely type stuff’ but the best renovations invoke a response. 

I have spent the last few years designing all kinds of things in diverse parts of the world and one of the most important things I have learnt is that renovating is not only a physical process, it is an emotional one. Of course, it involves a careful consideration of budget requirements, construction methods, council regulations and a multitude of other components, but the best renovations also consider the way to invoke an emotional response.

So how do you renovate a home to have that special feeling we are all after? Well, there are many ways to create the right vibe in your home; it can be done through the use of colour, light, space, furniture, maybe a feature wall or a painting. But the most important thing is to find the right designer. One who specialises in renovating, who accurately assesses your home and one who really listens to you. I am not talking about a designer who gives you exactly what you say; I am talking about a designer who makes judgments based on your unique circumstances to propose options you have not even considered.

The second thing is to determine the primary goal with your renovation and to be realistic about what you can achieve within your budget. Grand ideas are often toppled by insufficiently assessing budget restraints in the initial stages of design. So, before you spend any money on design fees, establish a point of focus and only start work on the areas that you can afford right now. Projects can often be built to evolve over a number of years and you can pay the design fees for each component as it develops. 

If anybody reading this would like some advice on how to create the right feeling in their renovation, feel free to contact me.

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Jimmy Mitchell works as a design with architect and renovation specialist Nick Leko. If you have any questions on house renovations you would like Nick and his team to address, get in touch

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