A lot of people decide to renovate/rebuild their newly purchased home before moving in. While this may be appealing because you don’t have to spend any time living in a home that doesn’t work for you, there are important reasons why it is not advisable. So, how can you make your home more liveable and homey so you can take advantage of the benefits that come with living in a space before beginning?
I asked a few homeowners who’ve done it and discovered this: think like a home stager. Do things that will boost the emotional appeal of your home for a short period, on a small budget, so it feels like a home and not a renovation/rebuild project in waiting. Here are a few ideas from homeowners who’ve been there.
Disguise distracting walls
“Paint,” says Sarah of Sarah Lang Life Coaching. “It’s amazing what a little paint can do to spruce up a space.” White works well and generally makes a room feel larger, but I know others who have used black paint to hide wall imperfections. Strategically placed artwork can also work well where imperfections are concerned. Overall, a bit of paint and art can give the space a much fresher feel for not too much money.
Be resourceful with furniture and appliances
A main point of living in the space first is to help figure out what really needs to happen to it to make you happy. Buying stuff for the end vision may be risky because you could find your vision changes over time. So, make do with existing furniture and appliances, and supplement as required with inexpensive purchases that can be resold or given away. “Basic furniture is essential to a liveable space” says Kelly Koellner of the Penny-Kelly team at Forest Hill Real Estate. Make sure you have what you need. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be functional so you can relax and feel comfortable entertaining in your home. Craigslist and Kijiji provide great options, but friends and family are also great sources as they look to shed some of their belongings.
Make it warm and homey
Even though you are planning to make change to your home, “it’s important to be able to create that homey space” says my neighbor Kim. She advises you hang your art and unpack the things you really love to create your homey space, and leave the rest packed away until the project is completed. You could also treat yourself to a few decorative items that make you feel happy, and add a bit of colour and life to the space. Ideas include inexpensive rugs, decorative pillows and plants. A great accessory or modern lighting can make all the difference in a dingy old space, taking it from dreary to urban rustic (or whatever the style de jour is), making it much more enjoyable to live in.
In short, I highly recommend you read why living in a house before renovating is a good idea. If you can stomach it, make the space more livable like a home stager would: inexpensive and resourceful quick fixes that can be implemented fairly easily, then resold or even reused later.
If you have any further questions about preparing for a major project or why I advise living in the space first, don’t hesitate to contact me.