Starting a renovation project is in equal measures exciting and daunting. ‘Out with the old’ and ‘in with the new’ means making lots of decisions for which you may not be fully prepared.

Are you someone who flips through style magazines and luscious interior design coffee table books? Do you wish you lived in a space like those you see in the books and magazines? If you are planning a renovation project, then all the options and ideas can seem overwhelming.

Like most projects, a plan and some expert advice helps to alleviate stress and provide structure to your renovation project.You need a starting point and a clear pathway from A to B to C and beyond.

When I provide an Interior Design Report, I often include a budget template to help homeowners understand just how MUCH there is to think about.

renovation project

For example, in a bathroom renovation, you may have to think about not only tiles, sanitary ware, and taps, but also floor versus wall tiles, framed or unframed shower, adding contrast and texture, mirrors, lighting, electrical, plumbing, building and installation, hiring skips, a schedule of works and delivery of supplies, how high to fix the toilet roll holder and a whole heap more.

However, that’s a detailed article for another time. Right now, I have renovation project tips to help you decide how you want your home to LOOK before anything else progresses.

Here are some first step renovation project tips to help you.

  1. “Take your time. Live in a new house for at least six months before making renovation and decorating decisions”.

Living in a space for at least six months will give you time to adjust to the living flow, which areas you use the most, how the light works inside the home, and other very important elements of loving where you live.


renovation project

Don’t Call Me Penny

  1. “Collect design magazines and books from across the globe, old and new. Inspiration can come from surprising places”.

When re-designing rooms, think of them as ‘blank spaces’ NOT by use. A bedroom could be a dining room. The sink in a kitchen could be moved to create a better use of the space.

  1. “Create a file from magazine clippings or moodboards via Pinterest and Houzz. Include rooms, wall colours, furniture shapes (ignore the fabric and look at the form), fabrics, curtain styles, lamps and lighting, flooring and rugs. You will discover trends that will define your favourite look or room style”. is a great source of inspiration for any reniovation project. You can create a free account and folders to store images you love in different categories.


renovation project

  1. “Look in your wardrobe for inspiration and clues to your preferences in colour, patterns and silhouettes. Is your clothing, minimalist, tailored, fussy, monochromatic, eclectic? Chances are that if you love colourful, ruffled clothing then you’ll probably like living with colourful, ruffled décor.”

This tip does come with a disclaimer. I wear a lot of black, but I wouldn’t want my home to be all black like most of my wardrobe. What my wardobe tells me is that I like structured pieces in beautiful fabrics with some surprising elements.

For example, black skinny jeans with WOW ankle boots. Or a black sweater with a WOW necklace or colourful scarf. I also like textures and fabrics that FEEL gorgeous and I only ever wear 2 rings at a time – one on each hand. So my decor is similalrly pared back but with eclectic and surprising twists.


renovation project

renovation project

  1. Map out furniture on the floor with painter’s tape to ensure the pieces will work in the room. Painter’s tape removes easily when you’re finished.”

Using graph paper and scaling a room is another method but you have to ensure all measurements are exact. Cut out furniture to scale on stiff paper and ‘move’ around the room.

When you are in a position to hire an expert, they will take exact measurements, such as for drapes, furniture, and appliances.

renovation project

(with thanks to the Better Homes & Gardens ‘New Decorating Book’ for additional information)