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Why are you renovating?


Why are you renovating? Contributed by Melanie Van Kuyk, Founder + Creative Director at Home By Lumi.

Like any renovation; at its surface this question seems straightforward enough – but until you delve a little deeper and start to expose some of the underlying uncertainties you can’t truly know what is involved unless you are completely honest about your why.

With a prevalence of reality TV shows and the hype around the real estate market it is very easy to be caught up in the ‘Reno hype’; with the all the glamour and affordability of products being thrust at us from every direction it’s no wonder we emotionally buy in to our ‘new’ home before truly understanding how we get there. The most important thing you can bring to the renovation process is honesty.

Who are you doing this for?

It seems an easy enough question, but so often renovations become about resale or adding monetary value to the property, not always considering those that live in the house. I’m not discounting resale as a contributing factor; but I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

What is your motivation?

If I had a dollar for every client that tells me they need ‘more space’ and hence need to extend, I could happily retire. However, when you explore the motivation a little more deeply you may discover the current layout isn’t working as well as it could. Perhaps it’s a case of a lack of storage (or the need for a good cull!). Sometimes it’s the simple case of taste; a cosmetic refresh to bring more personality into the space. If you dig a little deeper and your motivation may be different to what you had initially thought.

How long will you be living in the home?

If you are going to live in it for five or more years; own it. Make decisions based on how you live (or want to live, this can be a different discussion!) it’s important to remember your home is an extension and an expression of yourself (and your family) showing how you want to feel and live.

How flexible can you be?

Don’t be slave to things that are currently ‘on trend’ (unless of course, you love it!) but the greater danger is trying to recreate a look you’ve seen and liked at a surface level – but it may not be possible to recreate in your space for logistical or financial reasons. It is easy to be disheartened when you realise the tiles you want for your ensuite is your entire kitchen fund! It is absolutely possible to work within the constraints you have and still create a beautiful space if you are flexible in your approach.

What is your budget?

Oh yes, that old chestnut. This is the hardest question of all! At the risk of opening a can of worms – I am here to tell you the can must be opened before you begin. Understand your available funds, where it is coming from and how your cash flow will work. There is power in a plan! When you feel inclined to splurge (and that will happen frequently) revisit your spreadsheet, and see how adaptable you can be.


How confident are you?

This is something I consider to be a deal breaker when renovating. Have you done it before? Do you understand how it works? Do you have the budget and/or bravery to outsource the parts you’re not sure about? A good idea is only as good as your ability to make it a reality. Be confident to know what you need; but also what you don’t, saying it out loud as required.

How much involvement do you want?

You don’t need to be an expert on every aspect (you can hire professionals for that) to create your dream home; be honest with yourself about where your skills are best utilised to maximise value for your project.

When the boots are hung up and surfaces are dusted; you will love your home if you’ve enjoyed the journey of creating it. Find the courage to add value to your lifestyle. Chances are, it will do the same for your resale anyway! Be brave enough to transform the space you have into a space you love.

Our Guest Contributor:

Melanie Van Kuyk, Founder and Creative Director 
Home By Lumi

A qualified Interior Designer & serial renovator; Mel brings a wealth of experience, creative flair and some cheekiness to every project. Curious by nature Mel will delve with you to explore exactly your desired outcome and her creativity will bring your vision to life.

Mob: 0447 523 427       @homebylumi


Whether you are thinking about building or renovating, or have already started a conversation with builder, Build in Common Toolkits are designed as your go-to guides. They will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to ask the right questions, to the right person at the right time in the build cycle. Shop Build in Common Toolkits here.


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