Renovating Right Part One

Given the many renovation works we see on a daily basis with our clients, I thought I’d give a bit of advice to those thinking of doing some remodeling. I myself have renovated a few places here, and to some degree, it certainly is a case of trial by error.

Rather than regurgitate obvious tips, I thought I’d cover some stuff that we’ve come across that may not seem so obvious during the planning stages. Hopefully the following can give you a bit of guidance and save you some of the headache (and a few baht in the process).

Kitchens

• Design wide walkways – paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 3 feet wide and add another foot for paths within the cooking zone
• Find the right height for the microwave – a foot above the countertop is the very highest you should put a microwave. On the countertop is preferable.
• Kitchen island – determine its function. If you both cook and eat on the island, plan enough space, or a separate tier, so the cooking area is safely separated from the dining space
• Make it kid friendly – if you have kids, have a designated area specifically for them for snacks, etc. that is far away from knives, cleaning products, etc.
• Break up cabinetry blocks – avoid boring rows of upper cabinets by adding details such as glass doors or display shelving
• Use light colours in a small kitchen – dark colours shrink small spaces even more. Use softer shades to give the appearance of more space

 

Bathrooms

• Plan for shower storage – recessed inlets add a nice decorative touch and break up the monotony of wall tiling. Hanging shelf units can also be nice but there’s not always somewhere to hang them.
• Accent tiling – same as above, mosaic and glass tiling break up the monotony of wall tiling and add a lot of character for very little additional cost (though your tile guy may scoff a bit).
• Get creative and smart with the lighting – bathrooms generally have pretty boring lighting. Fluorescents have always been the standard but are actually quite horrible. Put in an option for soft lighting for a nice relaxing shower, though be sure to have nice bright lights above your mirror.
• Have a nice focal point – like any room, there should be one thing you’ve splurged on that draws attention. A nice antique counter unit or an expensive mirror can really make your bathroom look great.

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