The Two Most Popular Rooms To Renovate, According To Survey
Forget kitchen sinks and bathroom tiles, the two most popular rooms to renovate might surprise you.
ACCORDING to a recent survey by Houzz, renovators’ average spend in 2016 on the laundry and master bedroom increased 24 percent and 23 percent respectively, making them the savvy renovator’s new top priorities.
While a utility space is not the sexiest room, it can still be beautiful. “Add a patterned tile splashback, pendant light, or timber shelves,” says Lara Staunton, Interior Architect at La Haus. “A beautiful space might inspire you to do the washing!”
“Your line should be outside the laundry,” Staunton says, “and your laundry should be linked to the kitchen for easy access, flow-through and practical living.”
Design and layout
“Functionality and ease are paramount,” says Sonia Simpfendorfer, creative director at Nexus Designs. “If your laundry is in a shared space like the kitchen, white goods should be concealed. In a dedicated laundry room, keep them exposed for easy access.”
Consult your plumber and cabinetmaker when installing. “Your laundry sink cabinet should be next to the washing machine,” Staunton says. “Recess the laundry water taps into the sink cabinet, not on the wall above, and have the water and drainage pipes feed into the washing machine from the side of the cabinet. Have a hole drilled through to allow for a clean aesthetic.”
A laundry featuring a light, airy colour scheme feels more like an oasis than a cave. “Keep it fresh, white and clean,” Simpfendorfer says, “and ensure that the colour palette is a continuation of adjacent rooms.”
Have dedicated drawers integrated into your cabinetry allocated to washing, ironing and hanger storage. “It’s a space-saver and keeps the room in order,” Staunton says.
Light and ventilation
“A functional space needs natural light and ventilation,” Staunton says. “Louvre-style windows are perfect as they allow an open, but secure, window, or add a bathroom extractor and self-condensing dryer to help with condensation levels.”
Regardless of room size, furnishing should be minimal and design accents strong. “Be bold here,” Staunton says. “It’s the best room to showcase your style.” Add unexpected details like a vintage chandelier, luxe floor rug and artwork that warm up the space.
“I love to subtly inject colour here,” says Sarah Elshaug, interior decorator at Maitland Street Interiors. For an on-trend colour scheme, try Pantone colour of the year, Greenery.“It’s a vibrant, rich primary green that creates a calm environment. Colour forecasts are pointing to a less vibrant tone of green coming through, like Dulux Deep Artic.” Staunton says opting for a subtle shade is best if you are planning to sell your house. “It will appeal to the buyers’ market. Use your light fittings and soft furnishings to make your style statement.”
“A comfortable bed is your focus,” Simpfendorfer says. “Opt for a simple upholstered bedhead integrated with the bed base, ensuring it doesn’t dominate the room.” Alternatively, hang a quilt or wall hanging above the bed to soften the space and work double-duty as a headboard.
When choosing bedside tables, look for function and good looks. “If you hoard books, you need one with storage,” Elshaug says, “otherwise a more minimalist style looks chic.”
If you are tight on budget or space, try swapping the traditional with the unique, like a milk crate or old chair. “Regardless your bedside table should be really generous or extremely tiny,” Simpfendorfer says. “If no drawers are required, a stool is a chic stand-in.”
“Lamps with articulated arms are best for reading,” Simpfendorfer says. “Place on your bedside table, or wall mount to free up space.”
For ambience, dimmer switches are ideal. “Opt for a wall-fixed light or pendants above the bedside tables with dimmers,” Elshaug says. Carefully consider where switches are located. “I recommend a two-way lighting switch for your main light,” Staunton says. “Have a switch located at the door and a second one next to the bed, so you can switch your main light off from there – it’s a marriage saver!”
A rug should establish the bedroom as a luxurious retreat. Avoid bold designs and look for subtle shades and patterns. “Rugs made from natural fibres feels luxurious underfoot,” Simpfendorfer says.
Size counts, Elshaug says. “The rug’s scale should be in proportion to your bed. I suggest a rug that is 20-30 centimetres wider than your bed and placed up to 50 centimetres under the foot of your bed.”