When you’re investing time, energy and money in to a home project it’s important to get as much out of it as you can by creating a feeling of luxury in the finished space. With an infinite budget this is fairly straightforward but if you’re looking maximise the cost benefit of your finishing touches here are some of the areas I like to consider making a priority.
1. Tall windows create a really strong connection with outside which gives an added dimension to any living space. You can also use low cills as a way to provide additional seating but remember that your windows will need to provide appropriate ‘guarding’. This may mean using laminated glass, avoiding low opening lights or restricting their opening and checking with your window supplier that the frames are sufficiently robust. You also need to think carefully about where to position radiators. The default position for them is below windows so you may want to use lower height variations or find an alternative place for them to go.
2. Everyone knows it’s bathrooms and kitchens that sell houses. So if you’re looking to add some wow factor in a way that will also enhance your own enjoyment then including a hotel standard bathroom is bound to be a good move. Flush ‘walk-in’ showers are a good starting point which are becoming increasingly viable with various proprietary trays on the market designed to simplify installation into new and existing floors. Tiling your surfaces and incorporating electric under floor heating also really enhances even the smallest of ensuites or bathrooms. In fact, the smaller the room, the less of it there is to tile so there’s really no excuse for not splashing out on the level of finish! And finally carefully selected brassware and lighting can have a real impact so budget generously for these areas when you’re planning the work.
3. Light fittings are a natural focal point and as a result have the potential to make or break a space. Think carefully about material and design language with feature fittings and position them to identify key spaces in your layout. Using lamps is also a great way of setting a slightly softer tone, particularly for living spaces, so give some thought to your socket positions. Be generous – I’ve never met anyone who’s regretted putting too many sockets into a space! For added convenience I like to plan a ring of 5 amp sockets which are operated from a wall switch – that way you avoid having to switch all of your lamps on and off individually. Always consult with a competent electrician to make sure you’re doing things safely.
4. Don’t forget to budget for your fixtures & fittings. Whilst delaying spending on the loose items can be a good way to financially recuperate after a home improvement project there’s nothing more damaging for morale than having to bring your tatty old sofa back into a space that you’ve just spent your savings improving. Good furniture provides the finishing touches for a space. Rugs are great as they deaden reverberation improving acoustics and making rooms feel more cosy. And pictures on wall are not to be overlooked either. They lift the eye-line in a space and give it a sense of detail and inhabitation.
Giving some thought to a few key features of a scheme can really help to bring the whole space up to a higher standard and give you a better, more luxurious finished project. Make sure you make room in your budget for these moves at the outset. For more general guidance on budgeting for your work refer to my planning a build budget page.