Selecting finishes for your renovated home

It is very easy to get completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices in the market when it comes to selecting the finishes for your home, especially if you have lost sight of what made you fall in love with your home in the first place. I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to help you feel confident and get it right.


1. Research, research, research

It is very easy to go online these days and look at products online in order to get a feel for pricing, possibilities and the best product for the application. Look at products available at your local stores and make sure what you like is going to be available in your area before you get your heart set on something. Often when we use Google Images or Pinterest the results of our searches can come from overseas and may not be possible to achieve the finished result with the products available locally.

Timing can also play a part in narrowing down your choices. Handmade tiles may take up to 8 weeks to come in and the fabric you like for your curtains may need to come from Europe. Always ask for lead times when doing your research and ask if there are additional costs such as freight charges.

I am a lover of lists and mood boards. I think these are great ways to put all of your ideas in one place to make sure you don’t miss anything. It is also a good way to sort out your thoughts and budgets and not have things swirling around in your head which can be overwhelming.


2. Work with what you have

It is important to remember that you might have to be flexible and work with what you have. Moving plumbing may not be practical or affordable so you may have to forgo the fancy floor mounted bath spout and stick with the existing plumbing. You might not have enough space to create a walk-in-shower so a cubicle will have to suffice. You might not have the necessary structural support to remove a wall, widen a doorway or install a stone bathtub to an upstairs bathroom.

Every house is unique, and it is important to be sympathetic to its original design.


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Every house is unique, and it is important to be sympathetic to its original design.


3. Get into ‘the zone’

Once you have done your basic research and narrowed down what you like, what is practical, and what your budget is, it is time to go shopping. Be ready for this to be a process. Take your lists and your mood boards and stay focused. It is very easy to get distracted by fancy displays of items out of your price range and new ideas but if you have done your research and figured out what you need it is easier to keep on track.

Many times I have dragged my children to tile shops, flooring stores and plumbing suppliers. I don’t recommend you do this, especially when little Jimmy missed his morning nap! Making decisions under pressure is not a good idea. Give yourself the time and space to be able to think things through before plunging in and placing the order.

Plan ahead and make sure they have the items you are going to see in stock and on display. Sometimes things need to come from warehouses in different parts of the country and it can be disappointing when you arrive to view an item that may not be on display at your local store.


4. Use the salespeople

Sale people have been trained to know the ins and outs of their products. They will be a wealth of knowledge when you visit showrooms and start asking questions. Show them what you intend to do and your ideas; they will soon let you know if you are barking up the wrong tree. They will also be able to suggest other products if what you like won’t work while keeping to your budget.

Don’t be afraid to say no. If it isn’t what you like, or you don’t think it will work for you, you are well within your rights to say ‘no’ or ‘what else do you have’.


5. Employ a professional

If it all gets too much, employ a professional. An interior designer has the right qualifications to get things back on track for you and can manage the project so you can sit back and watch it all unfold before you.

They will be able to understand your style, work within your budget, keep to timeframes and manage the trades required to get the work done.

While using a designer might sound a bit fancy and expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Trade discounts and industry knowledge can save on costs and at times, it can work out to be more cost effective to use a professional to manage your project. Be open and honest about your budget and make sure you get a fixed price quote prior to any work starting.

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