Building or Renovating? Read on…

Renovating and Tile Selection

Written by: Alana
Posted: April 4, 2014

Most people don’t realise how many decisions need to be made when building or renovating and it can add huge stress to an already stressful situation. In this post I will share some tips to guide you to first decide on a style and then how to get an idea of the outcome. If you are anything like me you love things from many interior styles but how do you narrow it down to what you actually want to live with?

If you have never done this before a great way to start to get a feel for what you like is to visit display homes. For instance you may like the idea of timber floors but realise that every time that you walk into a home with polished porcelain floors you think ‘WOW’. Even if you like many different things this exercise is sure to separate the likes from the loves. I feel this is the best way to decide on the main items such as flooring type, wall colours and kitchen cabinetry etc. This shows you how the materials look in a large area and what they feel like to walk on, sit on or touch. It also shows you how you feel in a space which is so important.


Above: Medallion Homes Display Home Blackwood SA. A great example of how much a display home can showcase, this is just the entrance!

Main elements of the home you can use

Once you get an idea of some of the main elements of the home you can use them as a base on which to build the rest of the scheme. The next step I find useful is to flip through interior magazines tearing out anything that immediately catches your eye. Alternatively set up a Pinterest account and start creating boards for each room (visit Hopefully after about an hour you will have a collection that hints at a particular look. Have you picked out a bathroom with a charcoal tile 9/10 times? Or is every interior modern? Or is there an abundance of a particular colour?  Even if you choose a few different styles hopefully this paired with the display home exercise will greatly narrow things down for you.


Now that you have a clearer picture of what you are looking for you can hit the showrooms. Too many times I see people  visit showrooms with no idea of what they want getting more and more frazzled with each trend they come across.  Visiting showrooms at a later stage is less overwhelming and you will feel more in control of your decision making saving time and stress. This is also a great time to find out the pros and cons as well as costs of the products that you are deciding between, again narrowing the choices.


Tip: Collect as many samples as possible as you may need more than one option when it comes to putting the final scheme together.

The last step

Create a materials board by simply laying out the colours, materials and any other selections to ensure they all work together. This can be done using photos, samples or on the computer, there is no right or wrong just ensure the samples are proportionate so the things that will cover large areas take up more of the board. This will help you to visualise the final outcome and pin point if there is any issues with your selections. For instance you love your flooring and the kitchen benchtops but you have just placed them near each other and the patterns clash. Or the whole board looks really dark and you realise you need some lighter elements to break up the scheme. It is also a great way to choose between a couple of your favourite ideas.


Above: Materials and finishes board example


Above: Using a photo as inspiration for a board can make it easier to create as seen with this furniture and accessories board.

After taking these steps you should be on track to creating your dream home or renovation.

If you feel you need a second opinion you may want to ask friends or family with a similar taste to you what they think. You can also get advice from a decorator by visiting one in a showroom or hiring one. They can look over the scheme and tweak it where necessary and may also help you by sketching up the look in 3D to get an even clearer idea of the space. Lastly and most importantly don’t forget to remember to try and enjoy the process! Good luck 🙂