By Donna Webeck.
Picture this: you’re the proud owner of an impeccably renovated home or sophisticated new bedroom or living area, now transformed via renovation. This is also the time when some people opt to re-hang the flowery drapes they’ve owned since the ’80s and move back in much-loved (but well-worn) fittings and fixtures.
“I’ve certainly seen clients do this,” confirms Tom Bentley, Operations Manager, Refresh UK. “Clients will spend thousands on a project and then keep the old carpet or put back on furniture that is either tired or unsuitable.”
It begs the question then, what should be considered, both pre-renovation and post-renovation when it comes to styling?
What styling considerations should I contemplate pre-renovation?
“Plan before you renovate,” advises Claire Ball, owner of Look Property Styling. “Make a list of what you have to have, what you would like to have and what you don’t like. In most cases it’s a matter of keeping pieces you love, sometimes recovering upholstered pieces and maybe changing cushions, accessories or adding in new artwork.”
Your local Refresh Renovations expert can also be a great source of information.
“Any advice needs to be given diplomatically,” Tom warns. “Why not sit down with your client pre-renovation and gently suggest some new furniture or fittings might need to be factored into the budget. This may not be something they have even considered, and they will no doubt be grateful for you raising the issue.”
Should I hire an interior designer to help me style my home pre or post-renovation?
“We have a client who is working with a space planner/interior designer,” advises Refresh franchisee, Guy Allenby. “They have a number of fine pieces of furniture that they want to keep, and some they realise they may need to get rid of. The designer has drawn up the floor plan, adding the particular pieces of furniture they are going to keep into the scheme. It’s not an approach that works for everyone, but it’s an honest one.”
Claire also agrees this is a great styling strategy to help confused clients. “A consultation is cheaper than you think and can quickly and easily help to get things right.”
Should I be wary of trends when styling, post-renovation?
“Styles change all the time,” Claire confirms. “My advice would be not to follow a certain style, eg. Hamptons or Scandi as it won't be popular forever. Instead, embrace elements of these trends which will stand the test of time.”
“Classic shapes will always be in style and updating is easy with artwork, cushions and accessories,” she says. “These pieces are much cheaper and easier to change than big items.”
What if my pre-renovation furniture is in good condition?
Some people want to use all their existing furniture, but this can be difficult in a home or room which doesn’t look or feel the same as the original. For example, consider the size and scale of furnishings to be placed in the renovated space. “If your renovated property is a lot larger, your furniture could look too small. In that case, consider switching smaller pieces for more appropriate sizes.”
What if I have no choice but to put old furniture into my newly renovated home or room?
“How many of us have the budget after a renovation to change major pieces of furniture?” asks Guy. “It’s why inevitably some people end up with tired or unsuited furniture.”
It’s also why Guy believes there is no right or wrong way to style your home or room, post-renovation, yet there is one trick he swears by. “The secret is to have enough storage to be able to put away stuff that doesn’t need to be out.”
“Decorating a home is a lifetime’s work,” he admits. “It’s about surrounding yourself with objects that have personal meaning. There’s nothing more soulless than a place filled with new things, rather than an eclectic mix of the new and the old — the bought, the rescued and hand-me-downs.”
It’s a sentiment Claire agrees with. “Make sure you always have things you love around you,” she says. “It’s your home and you should walk in, breathe out and think ‘I love being here’. That’s when you know it’s just right.”
Talk to the experts in home renovation today to see how we can assist with all of your renovation requirements.