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As life expectancy increases many Australians are wanting to stay in their own homes for as long as possible; allowing them to remain close to their local community and family. If this is a choice you’re considering, it’s important to remember that changes may be required to your home to ensure your comfort and safety as the years go by.
REMODELLING FOR OPEN PLANNING
There’s no denying that most people as they age become frailer which increases the risk of falls and related injuries. Some day-to-day activities around the house can become difficult and even present a safety risk if a home is left unaltered to accommodate for living needs. Fortunately, renovating your home to meet new requirements allows you to continue to live independently for longer.
When brainstorming ideas for remodeling your home, consider an open plan arrangement so you can move around easily in your house and safely access the things you need on a daily basis. One option is to combine the kitchen, dining and living areas together. While the move to combine living areas has been on trend for a few years now, the exercise can go pear-shaped without proper planning. Before changing any space, it would be best to get expert advice on the best place to start. Your discussions should include how you can improve the livability of a space, how best to create the illusion of more space and maximise on natural lighting.
EASY ACCESS SHOWERS AND OTHER FEATURES
For those who live in a multi-storey house, an important feature when redesigning is ensuring that a bathroom and a bedroom is available on the ground floor for easy access so you can minimise taking the stairs if needed. An ensuite to an existing bedroom may be possible depending on the size, position and layout of the space.
Once the placement has been decided, the bathroom should have accessibility features to accommodate for an older person which can be blended in so that aesthetics are not sacrificed for functionality. You may want to consider these options for future proofing:
- Using products which can be multi-functional such as grab bars that can also act as substitutes for towel rails and toilet paper holders.
- Adjust the height of various items such as the toilet, cabinetry and basin to aid accessibility.
- Create a walk in shower space that can accommodate for wheel chair access if required. In addition to being easier to clean, having a shower space that can allow for ease of access and a relatively level flooring is a much safer alternative.
- Install an adjustable hand shower rail and possibly a shower bench. Both these items will make showering and self-care a lot easier.
With the help of an experienced builder and designer you can create a space that works perfectly for your needs, but won’t mean sacrifices when it comes to resale of your home later down the track.
We’d suggest avoiding very hard surfaces like natural stone and ceramic tiles. While some choose to go with carpet in their home to avoid the risk of slippery surfaces and to keep warm in winter, carpet can be difficult to keep clean and maintain- an inconvenience that is hard to justify as you get older. For ease in cleaning and maintenance you can’t go past wooden floorboards that in addition to being more durable than other flooring surfaces also brings an aesthetic appeal which adds value to your house when reselling.
There are many innovative products on the market to provide greater lighting in a kitchen such as strips of LED lighting that can be introduced under the countertop or can really light up a walk in pantry so all the nooks and crannies are made visible. If you don’t already have contrasting surfaces such as your countertops to your flooring, it would be beneficial to do so to make your kitchen safer and easier to see things.
Nu-Look specialises in project planning and delivery for renovations in the kitchen and bathroom so that you get the most suitable living arrangement as you head into retirement. Call us for a free appointment and we can arrange a time to discuss your changed living requirements.Read More >
Subtle textures, ceramic tiles and metals, 2016 is all about classic and timeless style so you don’t have to keep reinventing your kitchen and bathroom.
TREND & INFO DILEMMA
In this digital age, it’s so easy to access information and global trends in home renovations. With so many trends to follow, along with the home renovation TV shows like The Block or House Rules, and enough ideas in your magazine subscription to Better Homes & Gardens to renovate your kitchen and bathroom ten times over - how do you know what will look right for 2016 and also endure for years to come?
Here are some top 2016 trends and tips for you to consider so you don’t regret your stylistic choice.
# 1 TEXTURES
Just about everyone likes the idea of textures, but are they practical? It can be hard to blend seamlessly between textured and smooth surfaces and furniture but it’s not impossible! With the help of an experienced team with an eye for design you can ensure the look is just right.
There are a number of approaches you can take when introducing textures to your bathroom. For starters, you can use patterns or designs that have the appearance of being textured but are actually smooth surfaces. You can also try creating a “strip feature” which is a great way to add texture in a small area such as in the shower, without the texture dominating the whole room. Look below and not above by introducing floor tiles or even a pebbled floor with its organic look and feel.
Another way of arriving at a textured look in the bathroom is through introducing stylish stand out pieces. Try introducing a natural stone vanity basin or why not go all out in glamour and include a marble bathtub if you are into luxury features.
Gone are the glossy kitchens of 2015. 2016 is now all about the serenity and homely feel. Think white tiling, exposed timber and a touch of greenery (say hello to indoor plants) to create a welcoming feel to any family home. Due to its white palette with touches of timber, the kitchen can be both a warm and classic feature of your house that doesn’t date and you don’t have to break the budget to achieve.
#2 ALL THINGS SHINY
Fridges, stoves and ovens are taking center stage in many modern kitchens - with a trend that won’t go away anytime soon being stainless steel appliances. For the more daring, stainless steel is getting mixed with copper, gold and brass features such as taps in the sink basin, a splashback or a pendant light. For an affordable way to quickly introduce metallic elements to your kitchen without remodeling, try some copper-coloured dining chairs or bar stools that will give your kitchen that unique touch it needs.
Equally attractive in a bathroom setting, corrugated metal can give a modern and chic look to a shower. Again if you don’t want to reinvent the whole bathroom, introducing metallic fixtures and accessories can give you the best bang for your buck when revitalising the space. Try a copper round basin with matching taps or a free standing solid brass bathtub with matching bathroom faucet. If you don’t want to take the full leap with metallic fixtures a simple, cost effective solution is to use metallic accessories throughout the room like soap dispensers and mirrors.
Will this metallic trend stick around? Who knows, but our advice is to keep it simple and allow yourself the flexibility to make easy changes later down the track if you need to.
#3 THIN COUNTER TOPS
Say goodbye to the chunky and hello to barely there benchtops. How slim should you go for benchtops in the kitchen? Our experts say the thinner the better. Since they are lightweight, they are easier to handle with the added bonus of being better priced. Benchtops, thanks to advanced technology are now available in slabs as thin as 13mm. This style has been slowly snowballing into to 2016 and it fits in with other trends such as smaller details and letting the texture of each material do the talking.
What do we think? These thinner benchtops look fabulous so are definitely worth looking at, but as always, remember to look at them in the context of the look and feel of the whole room and the rest of your home.
Be careful though as it is easy to go overboard with geometric. Why spoil a good thing? The best approach to introducing geometric patterns in either the kitchen or bathroom is to mix and match but stick to the same colour palate to blend. Less is more when it comes to the geometric look, where blending bold patterns with neutral pieces gives a stunning makeover to any average kitchen or bathroom.
What do we think? Geometrics have the potential to add something a bit different and special to your renovation but we suggest using them in moderation to really make them pop and avoid the room feeling overwhelming.
So there you have it, 4 trends that are on the rise in 2016. What do you think? Would you like to see any of them in your next renovation? Get in touch today for a free consultation and quote to discuss your ideas with our expert team and see how Nu Look Renovations can help bring your ideas to life.
Want to see more great examples of these trends in action? View our Houzz Ideabook now.Read More >
When it comes to bathroom renovations, one of the most important decisions you’ll face in terms of the look and feel of the room is the type of shower screen you choose.
We’re very lucky that the age of mustard brown glass are well and truly behind us and you’ve got some great new options to choose from.
The main decision you’ll need to make is when it comes to framing the glass. These options can essentially be broken down into 3 categories.
This is the style that has been traditionally used for years and is still quite popular. A fully framed shower basically means that the glass has a complete frame around all sides, including the door.
- Affordability - of all the options, a fully framed screen is the most economical choice.
- Versatile - Fully framed screens are suitable for all layouts and sizes of bathrooms.
- Options - Choose between clear, frosted or patterned glass.
- Slightly more bulky looking
- Doesn’t suit the style of otherwise ultra modern bathrooms
This style is by far the most popular choice for our clients. It gives you the best of both worlds with a less bulky look without the higher price tag of a fully frameless screen. Semi frameless also gives you design flexibility in being able to utilise frames on sides needing support with less framework required on others.
- Look - More modern than a fully framed shower
- Low maintenance - Less framework makes it easier to clean
- Affordability - less expensive than a frameless shower
- Lack of frame around the glass means it doesn’t perfectly seal which can lead to a small amount of water escaping (although pointing the shower head away does alleviate this issue)
For an elegant, sleek and ultra modern looking shower you can’t go past frameless. It makes the room feel bigger and showcases feature tiling work perfectly. Made from heavy duty, toughened glass that is thicker than standard to avoid shaking and rely on strong hinges to secure them.
- Minimalistic - with no frames to break up the glass it creates a seamless, clean line
- Reduces chances of mould - with fewer places for water to collect, the chances of mould are decreased
- Flexibility - without a frame restricting door movement you can open a frameless door inward or outward to suit your room
- Cost - this is the biggest disadvantage of this style. They are significantly more expensive than other options on the market.
- Water escaping - not having a sealed door can lead to water escaping through the gap if it’s not setup properly. But don’t let this put you off installing a frameless shower screen. To minimise this issue, we recommend making the shower base level a little lower than the rest of the flooring, so that the water drips into the base.
Whichever option you choose, be sure that your new shower is professionally installed. Leaking showers are not fun and can cause all sorts of problems so don’t take the risk of having to pay a fortune in maintenance and repair costs later down the track - do it right the first time and enjoy the results.Read More >
There’s no doubt that investing in a bathroom renovation will add value to your home. However the design and style of your bathroom really needs to stand the test of time, particularly if you plan on selling your home or growing your family.
Once the renovation is over, you’ll be living with the final result for some time to come, so spend time thinking about how you envisage your future bathroom and if it will suit your style, design and colour palette into the future.
Plan ahead during the initial stages of your renovation by considering how you will future proof your bathroom without sacrificing style. Here are three things to consider along the way.
Future-proofing tip #1: Working with a small bathroom
If your bathroom is small or oddly-shaped, considering remodeling the room to include only a shower, instead of both a bath and shower. Yes, it’s lovely to soak in a nice warm bath after a long day, however when you’re working with limited space, it may be wise to focus on what’s best for the future style of your bathroom.
If your young family has flown the nest, then consider installing a double shower which will be convenient for older members of family and will also go towards adding that ‘wow factor’ to the room.
Future-proofing tip #2: Consider your carbon footprint
Energy efficiency is key when you think about future proofing your bathroom and given that there are so many ways in which we can save energy, why wouldn’t we be smart about it in the bathroom as well? The obvious benefits include saving on your heating and electricity bills, however if you make some bold design decision, you’re likely to have aesthetically pleasing results as well.
Do you have the option of installing high windows to increase natural ventilation and add more natural light into the room? Including a skylight will give a lovely warm feeling to your bathroom as well as go towards reducing the need for switching on lights while you’re in there.
If skylights aren’t an option, invest in some LED lights that that can be used in ceiling lights or downlights to add ambient lighting for character and appeal. There are also options for wall lights that can be useful in bathrooms with a minimalist style and look great on either side of a mirror.
Future-proofing tip #3: Be kind to yourself and choose easy to clean materials
Let’s be honest, no one really enjoys cleaning their bathroom, so when it comes to making decisions that affect your future bathroom, this one is a must. Give yourself more time to do the things you love by investing in materials that are easy to clean.
Here are some neat ideas:
Choose solid surfaces so that you don’t have to spend time scrubbing mould and scum from grout lines.
If you’re going for a minimalist tile look then go with a paint that has a high resistance to mildew.
Consider installing coating your glass shower doors with specially-formulated products that help to repel water and soap scum making it easier and simpler to clean those pesky glass doors.
If you do decide to make some changes to your bathroom it really is imperative that you do some forward planning and consider all design and style elements so that your bathroom remains contemporary for as long as possible. After all, who really wants to renovate their bathroom every season when the style changes?
For inspiration, head on over to our gallery of before and afters to see how we have helped our clients create the bathroom of their future dreams.
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