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Small rooms can be cosy and inviting.

They can be spacious too – if you know how to make the most of what you have!

Just because you have less space to work with does not mean your small room cannot look as amazing as a larger counterpart. Many small room ideas involve tricking the eye into making the room appear light, airy and spacious, and work to ideas around scale and perception.

 

small rooms

KEEP IT LIGHT AND BRIGHT

It’s an oldie, but a goldie – use light colours for your walls, furniture and décor to open up the room, and avoid dark colours that tend to make a space cosier. White surfaces reflect light, as do mirrors, so utilise this wherever you can. Large windows will also help enlarge the room because your eye will be drawn out and beyond the home to the great outdoors.

 

small rooms

AVOID CONFUSION WITH TOO MANY PATTERNS

Keep things simple in a small room and let texture and colour guide your choices, rather than pattern. Too many conflicting patterns can create confusion and clutter, which will instantly shrink the perceived size of the room. Stick to bold, full-coloured items, and only use pattern on a small-scale.

 

small rooms

KEEP IT TO SCALE

A common misconception is small rooms should feature small furniture – this is not the case. Several small pieces can actually make a room appear cluttered and even smaller than what it is! You are far better off selecting one or two larger pieces and filling up the space this way – it will appear grander. Choose sleek pieces without skirted bottoms that allow you to see through to the other side. Be sure to keep furniture such as couches and coffee tables ‘floating’ as well. This means keeping them away from the walls and ensuring a person can comfortably walk past each piece, creating the illusion of more space.

 

small rooms

MULTI-PURPOSING IS YOUR FRIEND

Beds, couches, nooks and crannies are all wasted space in a home. Make the most out of it and repurpose these spaces! Beds with in-built storage underneath are perfect for hiding away mess. Coffee tables and couches are the same. If you don’t have room for your computer, a simple nook with a desk and chair is the perfect alternative! Don’t have a nook? A foldaway desk on a hallway wall is another great option! Finally, built-in shelving can create storage and display areas that won’t intrude into your space. You can also try shallow shelves above doorways and windows.

 

small rooms

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LAUNDRY

Small rooms like your laundry offer a world of space, you just don’t know it! Start by stacking your washer and dryer, and invest in new wall cabinetry to claim thi
s newly-found space instead.

How do you save space in your small rooms? Let us know in the comments below!

Visit hotondo.com.au for more

 

Converting a garage into a bedroom is a great way to add additional space to your home, provide space for a teenager or elderly relative or create additional income by renting it to a tenant.

Converting a garage is typically cheaper than taking on a full-blown extension, but the downside is you will lose your indoor parking space (obviously).

There is much more to converting a garage to a bedroom than simply adding furniture. While it is considerably cheaper than an extension, renovators should prepare for significant upfront costs.

To that end, there are a few structural changes you will need to attempt first.

Proper insulation, flooring and waterproofing

Garages typically do not have the same insulation as the rest of your home would. When poor weather comes through, the tenant is likely to either freeze or fry depending on the season. Correctly insulating the room is your first step. You should also cover the cold concrete flooring with new carpet or floorboards. Nothing screams “this was a GARAGE” quite like tire treads and oil-stained concrete. Since garage floors are not elevated, you will also have to make sure water cannot enter the room. You may need to elevate the floor or have an expert check it out. Below is a garage that has been converted into an office:

converting a garage

Windows, lighting and power

Adding appropriate lighting will do wonders for the liveability of the room. If there are no windows, you will need to add some. Windows will increase the light and ventilation of the room, which will make it feel much more like a part of the home.
You will also need to arrange for an electrician to install power points for lighting, heating and cooling units if required.

Interior walls

If you are looking at three walls of brick, you may want to consider installing new walls. You may also consider building an insulated wall in front of the existing garage doors to complete the illusion the room is a part of the rest of the home. Just like a quick paint job can instantly lift a room, so too can adding standard plaster.

Design

Once you have the structural elements ready, you can begin on the design. If you have a double garage you are generally going to have a fair amount of space to play with to add a bedroom suite, lounge suite or whatever your family requires. A garage typically does not come with built-in storage space, so allowing for free-standing wardrobes, drawers or shelving is wise. Don’t be afraid to move things around to look for the optimal and most efficient design.

READ MORE: How to create a bedroom you will love

Whenever adding extensions or additional rooms to your home you will need to contact your local council to obtain the correct permits, so be sure to do this straight away. If done correctly, a garage renovation can be a great benefit to your family. Be sure to get professional help if you are not confident, and do not cut corners to ensure your new bedroom will be a safe and comfortable one.

What do you think about converting a garage to a bedroom? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Having to choose the perfect design for your home can be a fun, yet overwhelming experience.

With so many different builders and floor plans out there, it is important to ask yourself a few simple questions before decision-time arrives. Below are tips from our design team which can help you work out the most important features you need to choose the perfect design.

Timeframe – it is important to consider how long you plan to live in the home. If your plan is short-term, you’ll learn very quickly what works well, what features you like, and what you want to change for your next home. If it is long-term, you will need to think about how your lifestyle may change over the coming years.

Single or double storey – if you already have land, you will need to consider what type of home is going to best suit it. With lot sizes generally decreasing, a double storey home is a great way to get extra space for your backyard, as well as in your home. However, single storey homes are more age-friendly and energy costs can be significantly cheaper. Think about what kind of home is going to best suit your current and future lifestyle.

Children – the age and number of children will determine many factors. In addition to the number of bedrooms, parents of young children might want a rumpus room for the kids to play in, while teenage children might require a quiet space away from living areas to study. A home that has zoned the kid’s area in a separate wing is a great way to close the doors, dull the noise and hide any mess.

Location of bedrooms – your bedroom is your sanctuary. You will need to consider whether you prefer it at the front of the home or the rear, and how close you want it located to the other bedrooms. You should always consider the proximity of bedrooms to the bathroom, laundry and living room noise as well.

choose the perfect design

Versatile design – a versatile home is one that will adapt as you need it to. A rumpus room can be turned into a study as kids get older. Second living spaces can be converted into bedrooms for elderly parents. Be mindful of how your chosen design can adapt with you.

Lifestyle – your lifestyle will influence what features you have in your home. If you are an avid movie fan, you might consider a home theatre. If you love entertaining, an alfresco or formal lounge could be ideal. If you run a business from home, a home office located near the entry would be perfect.

Kitchen – always consider the kitchen work triangle when looking at your design. The kitchen work triangle is made up of the distance between the most used items in the kitchen – your cooktop, sink and refrigerator. These three elements need to be close together for convenience, but not too close it becomes cramped. You will also need to decide where you will store everything. A good way to work out the best location for your pots, pans, plates and cutlery is to imagine serving dinner, unloading the dishwasher and baking a cake.

choose the perfect design

Block of land – your design must be suited to the block of land. If you have a narrow inner city allotment, your options are more restricted compared to a rural acreage block. In addition, if the land has a slope, you may need a split level design. Every land estate has different design requirements, so be sure to check your contract thoroughly.

Backyard – what you would like to achieve with a backyard will impact the size of the block of land you need and the size of the home. Keen gardeners, entertainers or people with pets may want a larger backyard than those who don’t spend much time outdoors.

Think about the furniture you currently own – many people like the look of a home, however when it comes to moving they realise there isn’t a place for their current furniture. Quite often new home buyers may find their couch that fit perfectly in their old home does not suit the configuration of their new one. If you have a piece of furniture you cannot let go of, make sure it fits!

Storage – builders and designers are very savvy when it comes to incorporating storage into your home. There is no wasted space with every nook and cranny being used wisely. If you need more space room though, consider extending the garage to allow extra room for storing bicycles or a boat. You also may want to add extra storage inside your home for toys, linen or coats.

Study/computer nook – if you don’t want a complete study but you still want somewhere to store your computer or charge your laptop, a study nook is a great compromise. It is an efficient use of space and provides the perfect place to store all of your electronic devices, without giving up an entire room.

choose the perfect design

Room usage – while a third living area or home theatre may look amazing on the plan, practical applications need to be considered. If you are not going to be using a particular room it is wasted space. Utilise it for some other means or omit it completely and extend other, more practical rooms.

Don’t lose sight of the goal – keep referring back to why you’re moving in the first place. If your reason for moving was to downsize, make sure you don’t get caught up in the design process and end up with a bigger home than you started with. Similarly, if it’s an investment, consider the versatility of the home to suit a wide audience.

For more on how to choose the perfect design, visit hotondo.com.au

Few people realise the difference window coverings can make to your home.

Not only are there valuable energy-related benefits, but beautiful curtains, blinds or shutters can make a room look ‘complete.’

These days, there is a huge range of window coverings you can choose for your home. Brett Martin of Dollar Curtains & Blinds says the two most important factors when choosing your window coverings should be deciding what kind of interior design you want, and what kind of functionality you need.

“Different rooms in a home can require very different coverings,” Brett says. “These days it is quite common to mix and match blinds and curtains to suit the individual needs of each room. This can look especially good when done correctly.”

We have listed some of the most popular window coverings below to help you decide which window coverings would be best for your home.


YOU LOVE: PLANTATION SHUTTERS

Shutters have grown in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. They are easy to clean, block light well and look amazing.

“Shutters are a great feature for your home,” Brett says. “Some people opt for shutters at just the front of the home for street appeal. Shutters look attractive from both inside and outside, and they can actually add value to your home, unlike some other options. Consider them an investment if you like!”

window coverings

 

YOU LOVE: BLINDS

If you are unsure what you need in a home, blinds are a great choice. Available in a huge range of colours and fabrics including blockout, sunscreen, translucent and sheer, blinds are a budget-friendly choice. They can control light, they block out heat and glare in summer and retain heat in winter and can disappear whenever you want to open up the room.

window coverings

 

Roller Blinds

Roller or Roman blinds are well suited to a modern-look home. For functionality, Brett recommends dual roller blinds.

“A popular trend at the moment is to use dual roller blinds,” Brett says. “Having one blockout blind and one sheer blind means you can still enjoy views during the day, and have complete privacy and darkness at night.”

window coverings

 

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds allow you to rotate the direction of sunlight into the room. Ideal for large windows with long drops, they can be stacked to one side or to the centre, depending on what you prefer.

window coverings

 

Panel Blinds

The ideal solution for sliding doors, panel blinds offer a modern alternative to vertical blinds. With large panels that slide from side to side, they stack at the end to keep the room open when you need it.

“Panel blinds can be matched to your roller blinds to help create some consistency through the home,” Brett adds. “But people should be careful, they don’t block out light 100%.”

window coverings

 

YOU LOVE: CURTAINS

For a stunning visual impact, curtains come in a range of colours, patterns and fabrics. With multiple headings (the way the drape is made) and tracks to choose from, customising a curtain to suit your home is a great way to complete your interior.

window coverings

Drapes

Drapes can add warmth and elegance to your home. Great at reducing outdoor noise levels, they also have the added advantage of staying cooler in summer than other window treatments. These days there are many modern alternative curtains you can choose, with plenty of colours and patterns that will help block out most light.

window coverings

 

Additional extras

window coverings

 

Sheer Curtains

If you have home with a beautiful view you do not want to obstruct, sheer curtains may be the way to go. Sheers defuse sunlight which can soften your home, while still being able to see outdoors.

“A lot of people opt for a blind with a wavefold sheer curtain over the top to get that good balance of privacy and openness,” Brett says. “It is a very delicate look, and it ticks all the boxes for both appearance and functionality.”

window coverings

 

YOU LOVE: MOTORISED COVERINGS

Homes are becoming more automated and technological in every way, and so too has the curtain industry. Motorised blinds can be controlled with just the touch of a button, eliminating the need for cords and chains.

“Motorised blinds are great if you have a skylight or windows set too high to reach,” Brett says. “They can also be used on alpha awnings or bistro blinds which can be used on your patio or alfresco space. It adds just a touch of luxury to your home.”

window coverings

 

For more information on choosing the right window coverings for you, contact Dollar Curtains & Blinds today.

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