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Renovation 101: A full guide for newbies (with 2022 design trends)

Itching to renovate your home but unsure of where to start? Here’s a guide to the renovation process plus a rundown of the latest design trends!
home renovation trends

Giving your home a full makeover can be overwhelming, even if it’s not your first time. There’s so much to do and plan – picking a design, consulting professionals, acquiring permits, and overseeing the entire renovation.

Still, there’s no reason to delay your project any longer. In this guide, we’ll give you a full walkthrough of the entire process. We’ll also share 20 of the hottest trends in 2022. By the end, you’ll also know exactly what to do to turn your home from dated to dazzling.

Let’s begin!

home renovation consultation with designer

Steps in full home renovation

With adequate planning, getting work done on your home doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds. Here is a general guide to the process, so you know exactly what to do and what to expect:

Step 1: Planning and budgeting

Start by creating a list of must-haves and want-to have items. You can check our inspiration gallery if you’re looking for ideas. Don’t be shy to create a vision board so you can compile your needs and wants.

Then, check online for the average cost of those items and the materials needed to build them. Generally, labour should account for 20% to 40% of your budget. Add a 10% to 20% contingency fund, as well. This should give you a ballpark figure of how much you will need to spend on the renovation.

If you would like a clear idea of how much you need to spend, ask us for a free quote. In case your wishlist goes over your budget, feel free to make adjustments by increasing your budget or decreasing the scope of work.

Step 2: Design consultation for the renovation

After deciding what type of renovation work you would like to do, it’s time to look for a professional who can make detailed construction plans for you. Make sure that the professional is experienced and qualified to do the work. You can also ask for their portfolio of before and after images, so you can get a clue about their style and skill level.

At Dreamspace, we can give you access to our curated network of reliable and experienced building design and drafting professionals. We also can also help you find dependable builders who can execute the renovation project for you. This takes the stress away from searching for the right person for the job. 

Once you’ve found a qualified professional, you can brief them about your vision. They can make suggestions, alterations, or improvements to ensure that you have the best design for your future home.

At Dreamspace, we also have a proprietary 3D visualiser which allows you to see your design in three dimensions. That takes the guesswork out of planning and allows you to really see the end result.

couple in home renovation design consultation

Step 3: Getting permits for the renovation

Once you have settled on a construction plan, the next step is getting a planning permit, a building permit, or both. The former is a legal document that you are approved to use the land, based on local zoning and planning schemes. Meanwhile, the latter shows that your plans meet local building codes and that you have permission to proceed with construction work. 

We help you gather the requirements and coordinate with your local council on getting approvals. That way, we can ensure that your project proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Step 4: Preparation and demolition

Before demolition, you should make sure that all your belongings are well-protected. Even if you’re staying throughout the renovation, pack up as many things as you can and cover all your belongings with tarps or blankets. This ensures that they won’t get damaged or get dirty because of the dust and debris.

Note that if you’re demolishing surfaces with asbestos, mould, or lead-based paint, it’s best to move out during the renovation process. This will ensure your and your family’s safety.

You can do some of the demolition work yourself, but we recommend that you leave it to the professionals. This will help ensure that the demolition will be performed as smoothly as possible.

Step 5: HVAC, electrical, and plumbing

After demolition, it’s time to start working on the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. Make sure that these professionals have a copy of your working drawings so they can carry out the work with ease.

plumber working on P-trap

Step 6: Framing, drywall installation, and painting

Once the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing work has been completed, the next step is to install sheets of drywall. Your builder can also move construction walls and add support beams, if necessary. 

After the drywall has been installed and sanded smooth, you can begin painting.

Step 7: Cabinet and fixture installation

The next step is installing all the fixtures. These include cabinets, taps, basins, lighting fixtures, and bathtubs.

Step 8: Door and window updates

After all the fixtures have been installed, your builder can start installing doors and windows. We recommend adding double or triple-glazed windows for added insulation and better soundproofing.

installing windows during home renovation

Step 9: Cleaning

Before moving any further, it’s time to do a major cleanup. Clear away dust and debris then hire a professional to clean your home’s vents and furnace.

Step 10: Flooring

In some cases, it’s better that you leave out flooring installation until this stage to ensure that the new floors won’t get scratched or damaged during the construction process. However, if your new floor requires extensive sanding and also needs plenty of time to cure, you might want to start with flooring first. This applies especially to hardwood flooring.

installing vinyl flooring during home renovation

Step 11: Handover and final certification for the renovation

Before you can say that your builder’s job is done, be sure to have a final walkthrough so you can check if all the elements have been installed correctly and that all the fixtures are working. You will also need to schedule a final inspection with your local council so that they can give you a Certificate of Final Inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy. These documents show that your property has been inspected and is considered safe to live in.

Step 12: Interior finishing

After the walls, floors, and fixtures have all been installed, you’re free to add the furnishings, finishes, and appliances.

renovation trend: neutral colours

General renovation trends in 2022

Now that you’re familiar with the steps needed to give your home a full renovation, it’s time to see what’s hot and what’s not in the interior design and architecture world. Here are some general trends you should know:

1. Building with reclaimed materials

Climate-conscious homeowners, building designers, and builders have increasingly begun favouring more sustainable materials like reclaimed wood and stone. Using these lessens the need to cut down more trees or mine more materials for construction. We’re also seeing a lot of designers using textured natural stone everywhere from wall panelling to splashbacks.

renovation trend: natural stone and distressed wood

2. Barn conversions and warehouse renovation

Converting existing structures instead of building completely new ones is becoming increasingly common. For example, old barns are being converted into community centres and warehouses are being renewed into residential lofts.

converted modern barnhouse

3. Multi-generational living

Due to the high costs of housing and elderly care, more and more Aussies are opting for multi-generational living. This involves building flexible spaces where multiple generations can live harmoniously. Expect more separation between common spaces like kitchens,  home offices, and living areas, to give way for greater privacy.

multigenerational home

Kitchen renovation trends

1. Dark and moody kitchens

While white kitchens remain dominant, more and more people are starting to prefer dark, moody kitchens.  Even if you don’t want a matt black kitchen, you can go halfway and pick navy blues or emeralds.

modern black kitchen

2. Kitchen cabinets with pull-out inserts

Practical and stylish kitchen cabinets are trending this year. Install cabinets with pull-out spice racks, dedicated drawers for utensils, and even pull-out inserts for rubbish bins.

renovation trend: pull-out cabinet inserts

3. Pastel colours

By now, you’ve probably heard that Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2022 is Periwinkle Blue. You know what that means – pastels are back! Pastel colours are excellent at livening up neutral tones and adding personality and excitement to a space. In the kitchen, you can see pastels being used on cabinets, splashbacks, and benchtops. These elements also pair well with a retro-style refrigerator.

pastel coloured kitchen

4. Geometric splashback tiles

Subway tiles have become extremely popular in the past couple of years, especially in industrial-style homes. But due to their extreme popularity, it’s no surprise that almost every newly renovated home has some form of subway tiles, either in the kitchen splashback or in the bathroom. 

If you want your newly renovated home to stand out, do away with this predictable trend. Instead, try going for coloured geometric tiles that will inject your home with plenty of charm and personality. Don’t overlook grout, either – feel free to experiment with coloured grout for maximum impact.

geometric splashback tiles

Bedroom renovation trends

1. Statement headboards

Headboards have a huge influence on the aesthetics of a bedroom. This year, we see a lot of homeowners taking it up a notch by adding statement headboards that show off their unique style.

renovation idea: headboard design

2. Panelled walls

Panelled accent walls bring plenty of charm into a bedroom. Use the panelling to highlight picture frames or wall art, and you’ll have a unique bedroom that reflects your personality.

renovation idea: panelled feature wall

3. Curated clutter

Gone are the days when bedrooms are expected to be 100% free of clutter. This year, we expect to see more and more homeowners displaying curated pieces that show off their hobbies and interests.

bedroom with unique accessories

Living room renovation trends

1. Biophilic design

Biophilic design is one of the big trends that’s set to continue this year. After all, incorporating greenery inside the home allows people to visually connect with nature. Studies have also shown that having house plants reduces stress and improves one’s mood.

living room with house plants

2. Handcrafted decor

Slowing down and staying home has given more people the opportunity to discover new hobbies like pottery, painting, and sculpting. They’ve also started gaining a deeper appreciation for handcrafted decor, now that they’ve experienced firsthand how difficult it is to produce a masterful piece.

handcrafted decor in living room

3. Maximalist furniture

As they say, trends come and go. While minimalism reigned supreme in the past decade, maximalism is bouncing back from the ashes. Expect to see more boldly coloured palettes and huge patterns on furniture and decor. Aside from that, furniture pieces with curved shapes and soft corners are also making a comeback.

eclectic maximalist furniture in living room

Bathroom renovation trends

1. Go big or go home

Bathrooms have been increasing in size in recent years to make way for soaking tubs and enclosed showers.

spacious bathroom renovation

2. High-efficiency fixtures

High-efficiency showerheads, sprays, taps, and toilets are all the rage this year. By using these products, you can expect to save an average of $175 per year from reduced water bills and less need for water heating.

rainfall showerhead in bathroom

3. One-of-a-kind fixtures and decor

More and more people are becoming more selective and whimsical about bathroom fixtures and decor. Expect more bathrooms with one-of-a-kind basins and statement chandeliers this year.

natural stone basin

Outdoor renovation trends

1. Outdoor cooking renovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has enabled many homeowners to rediscover the joy of cooking. This trend carries over to outdoor living. Expect more homeowners looking for an outdoor kitchen and barbecue grill. Wood-fired pizza ovens are also making a huge splash.

outdoor kitchen renovation

2. Outdoor living renovation

Outdoor entertainment has always been a huge part of the Aussie lifestyle, but this year, many homeowners are looking to take it to the next level by adding stylish patios and pergolas. Aside from that, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular.

outdoor pergola with fireplace

3. Luxury outdoor furniture

As people spend more time outdoors, they’re going to start looking for stylish, comfortable, yet durable outdoor furniture pieces. These pieces make people’s backyard or terrace a true extension of their living space.

renovation trend: luxury furniture

4. Growing produce

Growing produce and gardening were some of the biggest trends during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we expect these trends to continue in the future as more people stay and work at home. People want vegetable patches and greenhouses so they can plant and grow their own food.

renovation trend: building a greenhouse

Which renovation trends are going out of style?

1. Faux distressed furniture is out

Most designers agree that faux distressed furniture has no room in 2022. Instead, designers recommend going for actual vintage rugs and authentic, well-worn pieces.

renovation trends: distresed furniture

2. Safe neutrals are becoming too… safe

Most designers agree it’s no longer the time to play it safe with neutrals. Though the white, beige, and grey colour scheme is timeless, it’s also extremely boring. Feel free to use bolder colours to inject life and richness into your home.

neutral-coloured living room

3. Open-plan living is becoming inconvenient

While open-plan living isn’t completely going out the door, it did pose a challenge to a lot of homeowners in the past couple of years. Remote work and distance learning have become the norm, and it’s pretty clear that they’re here to stay.

Instead of a completely open and free-flowing layout, most people these days prefer ‘broken-plan living.’ This is a midway point between the open-plan layout and the traditional layout characterised by creating separate rooms.

To create semi-divided, flexible broken-plan areas, add room dividers so people can have a dedicated space for working or studying at home. Instead of walls, you can use privacy screens, internal glazing, or bookcases to divide spaces.

renovation for open plan living room

Get started on your home renovation project

Updating one’s home is a huge endeavour, but it doesn’t have to be too stressful. With careful planning and coordination, you can give your home a trendy new look on time and within budget.

Dreamspace can help you find skilled building designers, draftsmen, and builders. We also have a complete project planning dashboard where you can oversee your project with ease.

Sign up for our free platform now!

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