Your 6 step guide to create a high impact renovation

Deciding to renovate your home is such a big and exciting decision, full of possibilities and creative ideas! But when the decision-making process starts, the renovation planning can become quite overwhelming. Typically, your decisions are split into two criteria…

  1. The design elements to make your home highly liveable and enhance your own personal needs and lifestyle; and
  2. Design inclusions that will add the most value to your home.

To help you balance those criteria and navigate the decision-making process, we’ve listed 6 things to consider to create a high impact renovation that will enhance your lifestyle and increase the value of your home.

So here we go….

1. Planning is key

Know the plan for your home  is this your forever home, your home for the next 10 years or are you renovating to enjoy the house for the next 2-5 years before selling? By answering this question, you’ll have clarity on your budget, the areas to invest in as well as the spaces you need to create.

An expert team – taking the time to select an experienced team to work on your renovation is extremely important! Having a great team can actually save you money too, by bringing all their experience and expertise to your project, having solutions to challenges that pop up along the way, helping you make faster decisions and saving you from making common mistakes. This could include an architect, builder, interior designer, and other experienced trades.

Know your budget – try to have as much clarity on your renovation budget as possible, as when you brief your team of builders, designers, etc, it helps them to know the scale of your project and therefore what options to recommend that will fit your budget.

Renovation planning

2. Layout & Space Planning

To optimize your home’s potential, space planning is critical. This includes the overall flow of your home, the layout of each room and how the different zones connect to each other. Open plan living/ kitchen/ dining is extremely popular these days, so creating this layout will make your home extremely appealing.  However, if it’s not possible to knock down walls to create open plan, that’s ok – just ensure you’ve got nice flow between the spaces, so it doesn’t feel boxy or disconnected.

Pro Tip: With open plan, create zones within to help define each space clearly. For instance, for your lounge area anchor the space with a generous rug, or place a pendant light over a dining table to help ground the dining setting.

Floor plans McMillan Design, high impact renovation

3. Prioritize Kitchens and Bathrooms

You know that saying ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell houses’… well it’s true! Investing in these spaces is always a good decision – not only for resale purposes but also because they’re the most frequently and heavily used zones in the home, so it’s important they function well and feel good to be in, so as to enhance your daily life!

Kitchens truly are the heart of the home and are where friends and family often gather.  The kitchen can play an important role in setting the scene and style direction for the rest of your home.  And given the kitchen is generally one of the biggest costs in a home renovation, selecting finishes that will stand the test of time is critical here.

Bathrooms are where you can add luxe, spa-like vibes by selecting beautiful tiles and fixtures, unique pendant or wall lights and a generous size bath or shower. If you want to be savvy, and not over invest – you can create one feature wall with a special handmade tiles for example and use a simple (less expensive) tile on the other walls.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget functionally when it comes to bathrooms – good storage is imperative and have a well-considered lighting and electrical plan – especially for the vanity and basin which is a hardworking area.

White kitchen design, high impact design
Mosman Project | McMillan Design

4. Include a work from home space

How we work and live our daily lives has changed forever (thanks to Covid) so now a dedicated WFH space is a must-have inclusion in a home! They can be scaled up or down depending on how much room you have available, and whether it’s an integrated study nook off the kitchen or living room or a dedicated study, you’ll be surprised how much it gets used.

You can also have fun styling and adding personality to the space too – decorating the shelves or creating a nice sitting nook in your study.

Pro Tip: Ensure you include storage in your WFH space to keep your space clean and tidy – some drawers or joinery are essential to hide away your paperwork, stationery, printer and electricals.

Work from home space
Double Bay Project | McMillan Design

5. Lighten and Brighten

Natural light is a huge value add to a home – it brightens your spaces; creates a stronger connection to nature and allows air to flow into your home. So when renovating, think about window placement, glass doors and incorporating skylights. Consider how to improve cross ventilation with window placement – it’s a clever way to potentially reduce air-con costs on those hot summer days.

Pro Tip: Consider highlight windows for your walk-in-wardrobe or ensuite bathroom. These are spaces that need a window for natural light and ventilation but have limited wall space to create a traditional window.

Bathroom design, bathroom renovation
Mosman II Project | McMillan Design

6. Plan for outdoor living and street appeal

The Aussie lifestyle is all about indoor-outdoor living and we know being outdoors is a massive mood booster!  Create a second living space with a generous deck, outdoor kitchen and a dining space to entertain, a servery window that connects the kitchen and balcony or a relaxed lounge area. If you’re living in an apartment or townhouse, you can still create a lovely outdoor space on a balcony or in a courtyard.

Ensure you also put aside budget to create a high impact exterior design for your home! The front of your house is the first impression people have of your home and your style, so think about the colour scheme, the materials, lighting, and landscaping. This can be quite simple too – a good colour scheme, tidy yard and some great potted plants can go a long way!

Pro Tip: For more tips about how to create a beautiful outdoor space, click here to read one of our previous blog articles.

Outdoor living space
Wollstonecraft Project | McMillan Design

I hope this advice has inspired you to think about how to create a high impact renovation that will add value to your home and create something special for you and your family.

And remember – you can always phase your renovation project so you’re not taking it all on at once. We often recommend executing the interiors as the priority so your living spaces are livable and then finishing the exterior design in phase 2.  Just try to keep the design styling flowing and looking consistent between phases.

If you’d like some help planning your renovation and home design, we’d love to hear from you! You can book a complimentary 20min Discovery Call by simply clicking here.


Anna x