Our team have extensive experience in revamping properties to transform them from shabby, sometimes virtually derelict buildings into beautiful contemporary living spaces to increase rental yields and capital value for their exclusive club of property investors.
Here are our top tips for transforming your home!
1) Get to know the property
If you have recently bought a property, we would always advise living in it for a few weeks or even months before you start making any significant changes. Really get to know the property and any strange quirks, lovely details or snags it may have. Decide what to update, what to scrap and what to preserve.
2) Maximise floor space
The best way to realise your property’s potential is to maximise its floor space. The easiest way to do this is usually to knock through walls to create larger open plan living spaces. Look for unused dead space and put it to use, even if only for storage. Examples might be an unnecessary corridor running through the house which could be used to extend the rooms, space under stairs, unused foyers, unused attics or basements. Think about the design and layout of furniture and whether it makes best use of the space available.
3) Think about how you use the home
You need to understand how you and your family use and move around the living space in order to formulate a plan of improvement. Any changes must be practical and support the demands of contemporary living. For instance, do you want your kitchen living room set up so the person preparing food can also chat to everyone in the lounge area or watch TV?
4) Preserve original features and detail
While many properties are in dire need of modernising, stripping away the 1970s stained wallpapers and tearing up the lino floor is clearly a sensible move but don’t strip away all of the property’s original features. Depending upon when it was built the property may have some stand-out elements such as large bay windows, structural beams or pillars, exposed stone walls or a large stone fireplace – there are countless examples. While you can choose to rid the property of all its antiquated detail, it can really add to the unique character of a home if you preserve and celebrate such unusual features.
5) Consider current trends and fashions if you want to sell
If you are refitting your home with an eye to selling it a few months down the line, bear in mind current interiors trend. While you can of course put your own personal stamp on it to avoid it looking like a faceless show home, try and avoid interior décor that will have a marmite reaction. The Scandinavian trend for simple sparse design, clean lines and natural materials is not going anywhere – soft timbers and a neutral palette creates a calming space. There is also a growing trend for more retro details such brushed brass fittings and art deco elements with a modern twist.
6) The bathroom to bedroom ratio
If people have a choice between a bigger garden, more living space or a second bathroom, what should they go for? This very much depends on the size of the property but as a rule of thumb, we think if there are more than two bedrooms then an extra bathroom is sensible. No-one wants to be queuing for a shower in the morning. A small wet room can be designed to take up very little space so does not need to eat into other living areas and could be placed under the stairs if that is structurally possible.
7) Don’t forget about storage
It is absolutely vital that you include plenty of storage space in your interior plans if your home is to remain looking tidy and elegant for more than a few days. A simple fact of life is that once you have a permanent dwelling, you will acquire a large amount of ‘stuff’ and you will need somewhere to put it. Deliberate displays of clutter such as packed bookshelves and framed photos on mantle pieces look great but most of our possessions are best kept stashed away in cupboards out of sight.
8) Think about the entrance
The entrance to a home is so often overlooked and yet it is the first thing people see on entering and so sets the tone for the rest of the property. Make your entrance hall a welcoming stylish space as well as a practical spot for people to leave their coats, bags and muddy shoes. An eye-catching painting, a display of family photos, a beautiful rug, an exotic plant, a few simple embellishments can transform this space.
9) Use artwork to give a home its final flourish
As we’ve said it’s important to decorate your home in a way that will appeal to others if you’re thinking of a future sale. However, clearly this might restrict some of your bolder design choices. This is where art can be a fantastic vehicle by which to stamp your individual style and taste on it without making more permanent stylistic changes. A room of neutral tones can be bought to life by one large bold and colourful painting or print.
10) Leave plenty of time
This is absolutely vital. Building works of any kind virtually always take longer than predicted. At Hubb we pride ourselves in how quickly we project manage refurbishment projects but that has come with years of experience. Refitting your home is not something you want to hurry. Calculate how long you believe it should take based on your own capabilities and your suppliers’ advice, then add at least a quarter again, if not half. We always advise people carrying out full structural refits to leave 12 months if they are living there at the same time – and even longer if they have kids.