Is it time for a change?
Is making changes in you home part of your plans for 2022?
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions or setting goals we tend to think about areas of our life such as losing weight, improving our fitness, changing jobs, but perhaps one of your plans for this year is changing some aspect of your home (maybe you have realised that, in the current property market, you can’t afford to move).
It might be
- The layout
- The purpose for which you use a room
- Or simply that the decor needs a refresh
Do you need help?
Perhaps you don’t have the time, you lack confidence in your ability to put things together, you’re afraid of making an expensive mistake or perhaps you simply aren’t that interested in interior design and you want someone to just do it for you and present you with the finished results.
In this month’s blog I am going to share some tips to hopefully get you moving ahead with your plans.
Where To Begin
If you have decided to make changes to your property this year then you may know exactly what your plans are. However equally you may feel overwhelmed. Or you may have that niggling feeling of unease that you you can’t quite put your finger on. That sense of dissatisfaction. This can sometimes lead to people thinking that they have to move but perhaps that isn’t the answer, after all moving is stressful and expensive so it’s not a step to be taken lightly. Talking it through with an outsider i.e. someone who is able to bring that objective viewpoint can be very helpful in the situation when you can’t identify what’s wrong. Even better if that objective person has a background in property and interiors, they will not only be able to help you identify their issue, but they will be able to offer solutions.
If a lack of space is your issue then what is the best way to fix it? There are a range of options which can range from the major to the simple.
- An extension – when we think of a lack of space, building an extension can be one of the first thought that springs to mind. This kind of remedy will normally require input from an architect who will be able to advise not only on the design but also practical aspects such as planning and building regulations.
- Conversion – a simpler option maybe to convert an existing space such as a loft or garage. Whilst this is more straightforward, and can often be undertaken by an experienced builder, it is always sensible to again check matters such as planning building regulations etc.
- A garden room – cheaper than an extension, a garden room is an extremely versatile option and can be used for a variety of purposes.
- Reconfiguring the layout – I’m going to talk about this in the following paragraph.
- Simple tricks – sometimes simple steps such as getting rid of, downsizing or repositioning furniture and clever storage can make a big difference to how spacious a room feels.
I refer to this in the previous paragraph because the layout of a property can impact on the sense of space. However the key area where layout becomes a problem is to do with the “flow“ of a property and how that impacts on how you and your family use the property. You may find that problems with layout mean that there is a room, or part of a room, that doesn’t get used and therefore becomes wasted space. The starting point with dissatisfaction with layout is to really consider what the actual problem is. Why doesn’t the layout work? To do this you may need to spend some time analysing how you currently use the space. Keep a log of how much time you spend in each area, think about the various needs of you and your family. It can help if you go onto property portals, have a look at some of the properties that appeal, study the floor plans and print them off. This can give you some useful ideas. Again, input from an architect or architectural designer can be well worth the investment because they will undoubtedly have ideas that you hadn’t thought of. This is a key benefit of employing relevant professionals.
Perhaps the problem that you have with your property is that you have a room or space that lacks purpose or needs its purpose to be changed. With working from home set to become a more permanent feature of our lives, there is no doubt that creating a home office or carving out a workspace in another part of your home is high up people’s wish lists. Or it may be that you would like to create a home gym or fitness area. You might want a hobby or craft room. Here the question is how do you fit out that room or space so that it meets its new purpose?
The least complicated issue to fix is that of a refresh. You have lived in your property for a number of years and you’ve noticed that it’s begun to look a little shabby or perhaps you have simply grown tired of the decor. This could apply to the whole house or one room. In this case what you might need is someone to pull everything together. To listen to you, to create a design (or choice of designs) and, if necessary arrange for your chosen design to be implemented. It may not have occurred to you that even with something that, on the face of it seems easy, some professional input can pay dividends.
Too Much Choice?
I want you to imagine the prospect of a Saturday morning at a well known furniture store or DIY store. How does it make you feel? Does it fill you with dread? One reason why this sort of experience is so daunting is that the sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming. It is well known that having too many options to choose from can lead to decision paralysis and dissatisfaction – the old chestnut that you wonder whether a different choice might have been better. In the end people may end up simply walking away and not buy anything. Sound familiar? It’s much easier if you are presented with a small number of carefully curated choices based on an understanding of your likes, dislikes and needs.
Not Enough Time?
Time is a very precious commodity, something that we are all short of.
We have many different demands on our time – work, family, hobbies, a social life. Most of us struggle to fit everything in and we have to juggle. We prioritise around what is important and what we enjoy doing. There may be things that we outsource such as cleaning or gardening or even taking advantage of a mobile car wash while you do your shopping. If you are planning some sort of interiors project whether it’s a major undertaking such as an extension or even simply having a refresh then enlisting the help of a professional frees up your time to do other things. If you had that extra time what would you choose to spend it doing?
One thing that can hold us back when making any decision is a lack of confidence. This is especially the case if it’s a choice that we don’t often have to make, for example, buying a new car. Similarly, if you are undertaking any decorating project, big or small, and this is something that you don’t do very often, then you may lack confidence in your choices. This can particularly apply if the project involves various elements. To take the example of wanting to give a room an update. This could include replacing flooring, choosing paint and/or wallpaper, new window treatments, and furniture. Not to mention accessories! You may be worried that your choices won’t work together. Collecting samples is very helpful but if you are choosing several pieces of furniture seeing how they work together can be difficult.
Although I am passionate about interior design I get that not everybody is. We all have our likes and dislikes and indeed, the world would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things. However if interiors are not your bag then this can hold you back when it comes to an interiors project. Perhaps you are someone who would prefer to simply be presented with the end result. It’s a bit like when you are house hunting and you want a house that you can just walk into, you don’t want to have to do work. This is a reason why new builds are popular.
Fear of the unknown. Whenever we take advantage of a service for the first time cost is a concern. I know because I’ve been in this position myself. In some cases the thought of a particular service doesn’t actually occur to us because we have an assumption that it’s going to be expensive. This can cause us to miss out on opportunities or to dismiss a thought if it occurs to us. If a range of options is available this can mean that a particular service is viable after all.There is also often a cost associated with making a decision and later regretting it. Have you ever regretted your choice of a significant piece of furniture or choice of paint colour?
And finally …
I hope that I have given you some ideas and also given you some reassurance in terms of fears that you might have about a forthcoming interiors project. For more information check out my full range of services or if you’d like an informal chat, do give me a call on (07745) 876182. For in-person consultations I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, the North-West and North Wales. If you are further afield then my E design service is intended for people like you.
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