With so many spaces to decorate in a home – what will really ensure the most appropriate allocation of your budget to achieve spaces both livable and beautiful? Shaynna Blaze
In reality it’s not always possible to address the decorative needs of every room in a house, at once. What will make your home most livable and enjoyable in the shorter term, then saleable in the long term? What will ensure the most bang for your buck? Seasoned pro and decorative expert from ‘The Block’, Shaynna Blaze shares her thoughts as follows…
As is the practice of all professionals, Shaynna suggests that you start with a well thought through plan (or perhaps get one done for you). This plan should take into consideration both time and money. Specifically thinking through what you want the result for the entire house to be over time as well as what the total long term budget will be. With this information you are then informed to determine the time and funds to allocate to your immediate tasks.
The reality of a limited budget may well mean you need to focus on just two or three rooms initially. From a decorative perspective kitchens and bathrooms will date relatively quickly and so, from Shaynna’s perspective, they’re generally best left for a decorative update closer to your eventual sale time. With this in mind Shaynna suggests you concentrate on the main living areas with a focus on the decorative elements which will have the greatest effect – window treatments, floor coverings, furniture, lighting and colour scheme.
In Australia we love our homes to be filled with light so the bigger the windows the better. With an ever increasing ratio of glass to solid walls in our homes your choice of window treatments becomes all the more important – to let the view in, balance the extremes of temperature and aid decorative balance. Bare in mind different windows will require different treatments. Amongst your choices will be curtains, blinds and shutters.
The floor is undoubtedly one of the hardest working surfaces in the house so it will be beneficial to ensure your choice is durable and serviceable. Rugs are a great way to add texture, colour and visual interest to any room and they're also warm against cold tiles or floorboards.
Furniture should be viewed as a long-term investment, in particular a good sofa a 10 year purchase. Being such a significant item in the home, a purchase that lasts only 2 to 3 years just isn’t an efficient or effective allocation of your budget.
With the plethora of Australian homes being open plan, these days we have a tendency to ‘over-light’ most spaces. Have a think about reducing overhead lighting and perhaps increasing the amount of floor lamps and/or table lamps in your home.
The use of paint is the easiest way to change the mood of any space, internal or external. Shaynna’s view is that colour choice is all about putting a smile on your face. Determine the colours that really make you happy because a room should make you smile no matter how much you spend on it.
When it comes to organising your decorative efforts focus on the fixtures first (window treatments, floor coverings), then paint colour, fabrics (to include larger upholstered items like sofas) and your accent colours (throws and cushions). Perhaps start with the least important room (to you), a place where you can make mistakes such as selecting the wrong colour or mixing styles. This will allow for some necessary lessons and you’ll also be able to shut the door on it if it doesn’t work!
As for a ‘watch-out’, think hard about the size of your TV so that it doesn’t dominate the room. It’s likely that you’ll need to balance your TV with other elements to ensure an appropriate feel for the room or space as a whole.
Rennae Long (twitter.com/@int_insider)