Home Improvements: Nailing the Basics



Making improvements and enhancements to your home is an ongoing process. It’s something that is never completed. We never really stop making changes and upgrading. When you embark on a new project, it’s important to get the fundamentals right. This is true for any changes or renovations. If you don’t nail the basics, it’s likely that things will start to go wrong.




Choose the right floor for your project. Your choice of flooring is likely to have a big impact on your overall design. It is often the thing that visitors notice first as they walk through the front door. When deciding on flooring, you need to combine function with personal taste. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will the room be used for?
  • Who will be using the room? E.g. family, guests, children, pets?
  • How long does the flooring need to last?
  • How will the flooring be maintained?
  • What design themes do you have in mind for the room?
  • What colors are you looking at?
  • Will the walls be plain or have patterned wallpaper?

All of the above will impact on your choices. It is important to get this right as everything else is likely to be added later. It makes sense to sort out the floor first, before decorating walls or adding furniture.




Color choices can be tricky. There is no end to the number of hues, tones, and shades. It’s hard to limit the choices and make a decision. Start with small rooms first or areas where there is limited wall space. This will help you to experiment and gain confidence.

Think about the items you have already. For example, furniture, furnishings, and home accessories. These will all need to be incorporated and complement your color choices. Is there a predominant color? Could there be any clashes?

Next, think about the mood you’re trying to set. This will vary depending on the room. For example, you may want the bedroom to be calming and relaxing. Cool colors such as blues and greens are good for creating a restful mood. Whites and neutrals also work well. On the other hand, calming and soothing may not be your thing. You may want to go for drama and opulence instead? So bold, vibrant colors will be better choices in this instance.

Pay attention to lighting. In a bright room with lots of natural sunlight, some colors may be overwhelming. Instead, consider an accent wall or using the color elsewhere in the house. Similarly, dark rooms look darker if you apply dark colors. Lighten them up by introducing lighter shades.

Colors always look different on sample charts and in the tin. Buy sample pots and test a small area first. You can always paint over it if you feel the color isn’t working.



Measure Up

This may sound like an obvious point but it is something that we often get wrong. Many home improvement projects will require that you measure up first. This will help you to determine the number of materials you will need. If you’re buying furniture, it will help you work out what will fit comfortably. And don’t forget to check that large items will make it through doorways and small spaces.

Find the Right Tradesperson

For bigger projects that require contractors, it is important to find the right person. Though the budget is an important consideration, this should not be the only factor. It is important to consider the following:

  • Do they belong to a trade body?
  • How long have they been in operation?
  • What do other people say about their work?
  • Can they show you a portfolio?
  • Do they have all the relevant tools and equipment?
  • When will the job be completed?

Though there are no hard and fast rules for any project, it is important to get the fundamentals right. If you start with the basics, the rest of the project is more likely to be successful.

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