Starting my own blog has been a definite learning experience for me. I thought in no time, I’d be churning out blog posts at a rate of knots. I enjoy writing, and I love interior design, so it seemed like a perfect combination. However the reality of working full time, having two dogs, a horse and a social life, and not forgetting trying to study part-time for a diploma in Interior Design, has proved to be somewhat of a challenge. I also quickly realized that to write a blog post on “wow” room make-overs every week was unrealistic, as I’m fast running out of rooms to renovate! So from now on, I will be writing more frequently, but instead of waiting for my renovations to be fully complete before I write, you can come along with me on my journey and experience the struggles of a real DIY house renovation.
The first of this series, is the TV room make-over. It started life out as a drab downstairs bedroom that hadn’t been touched since the 1970’s. The previous owners had been using it as an office, and it did have some nice built-ins, but they were looking a little dated. The grasscloth wallpaper wasn’t an offensive color or anything, but again looked dated, tired and made the room dark.
Something I’ve learned through my diploma is before doing anything, assess the room for what it is. What are its good points that you want to create focus on? What are its bad points you want to hide, change or minimize? And also, how do you want to use the room? For us we started by planning it as a 4th bedroom.
The reason being, was that through renovating many houses for sale, and watching an inordinate amount of buying and selling property shows, I learned that you need to show the house as it is meant to be seen. I.E. if it’s a four bedroom home, then show it like that. There’s a scarily large percentage of prospective home buyers that can’t imagine a room in a different way to the way it is presented. So showing your fourth bedroom as a TV room, office, or playroom detracts from the value of a house. It in effect makes it look like a three bedroom home, and you’re asking the prospective buyer to imagine the fourth as something else that they might have trouble visualizing.
However, we’re not renovating this house for sale, we’re renovating it to be a home for our family. But it is hard when you’ve been in that mindset for a long time to not think about the eventual day when you do come to sell it, and I think it’s good to keep one eye on this, as you don’t want to devalue your home in the long run. But furniture can easily be changed or moved to stage it as needed when the time comes. For now, having this room as a second TV / games room makes much more sense for us and how we live.
Once we’d made the decision on the use of the room, and assessed its good and bad points, I started by taking all measurements and 3D modelling the room. I used Floorplanner to do this. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is affordable. They have three pricing plans: Basic which is free, Plus which is $14.95 per year and Pro which is $29 per month. I opted for the Plus account which let’s you create five projects per year and 20 3D renders per year. Which for me, is enough right now. They have some good user tutorials on their site and You Tube, and on the whole it’s fairly easy to use. The downsides to it, are that you can’t import your own photos for custom textures. And you can’t change the color of furniture, which is a major drawback for me. But they do have a large range of different styles to chose from, so you can usually get somewhat close to what you’re looking for.
Once I had the basic shell of the room I could start to try out different furniture at scale to really understand what fitted and what didn’t. You can read about this and the various mood boards I created to arrive at the final design in my next blog: TV Room Make-Over – Part 2.
For now, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you look forward to hearing from me a little more often. 🙂