26 Aug 2017

Tips for Choosing What Colours to Select for Your Home

Today I visited the Colour Studio ... again. When we first went there I felt overwhelmed by the choices and options, but the more I go, the less overwhelming it becomes.

Another reason why I'm spending so much time there is because hubby's left me with the task of choosing the colours. We just have slightly different taste and he was like, "it's your domain anyway, and I know you'll choose only the best." I can't argue with that, so it's my task to choose the internal and external colours. On the flip side, he's deciding on all things electrical cause that's his domain.

Choosing every component of a home isn't everyone's cup of tea but if you are building a home you plan to settle and live in for a long time, there's merit in the effort. Just like doing your taxes, you could either view the task as something you're required to do and just lodge it, or you could view it as an opportunity to get an understanding of your financial pulse and really put effort into the task.

Even as I write this post I'm still undecided on some options and colours, however I thought I'd share my how or tips I've used to help narrow in on selecting colours for our home.
  • Visiting a colour and flooring studio frequently doesn't sound like a lot of fun for most people. But if you approach each visit with only looking at stuff for one or two rooms in your home at a time, instead of trying to look at everything, you're utilising your time more effectively and more inclined to stay focused when you're at the show room. This also helps with decision making as you're breaking down each component of the home into small pieces instead of trying to tackle it all at once.
  • Grab samples and take it home. I always grabbed samples of colours or materials I really liked. This allowed me to see how they all look together and allowed me to show hubby my ideas and get some feedback on stuff I wasn't 100% about. 
  • Stop looking at Pinterest. I realised Pinterest contains images of dream kitchens or bathrooms from designers homes. Designer meaning they're one of a kind, hence custom, therefore expensive. That beautiful wave shaped porcelain tiles you pinned might not be available at with tile shop your builder has contracted to do your (and the rest of the state's) homes. 
  • But do get ideas for colours or styles from sites like Pinterest or home magazines. Pinterest helped me realise my style personality. Just like someone might suggest a dress would look great on you because you have the height for it, doesn't necessarily mean it's your style. For example, I know wood or darker coloured cabinetry is very popular at the moment and even though they look great, when I looked back at my saved images, I can see I pinned and gravitated to all white cabinetry. So although those trendy wood accent cabinetry look great, I think I will stick to all white theme for our kitchen. 
  • Think about how each room will be used, where furniture will potentially sit in that space, and any additions you think you will be adding to the room in the near future. For example, I don't know what light fixtures I want over the kitchen island but I know I want three light points over the island table. Or how I use a hair straightener a lot so will need an electrical point in the bathroom near the mirror.
  • Keep it simple, stick to your original ideas, and stuff you liked. Chances are they're what you really want, you're just being confused by images you've seen, other people's ideas or opinions of other people.
Here are images I gravitated to and will probably try to replicate in our home. 

1 Aug 2017

Why We Went Over 100K From Our Base Price

Firstly, what you see in the display home versus the actual base design of that home is always going to be different. There is a reason why it's a display home. Master builders they hook you in with their beautifully designed homes which has extra rooms and upgraded everything. It's only when you ask for the base price you'll realise the basic design probably doesn't include the study room or the butler's pantry, and you're going to have to add those extras that you fell in love with at the display home. "Oh, you want handles for your doors? ... That's extra"

Right now we're yet to do our colour and electrical appointment but already we have gone over 100K from our home base price. I've mentioned previously we've been forced to have a rendered home, as this is a requirement for the area we are going to live in. So even before we made changes, already we've had to go over the base price by a few thousand dollars.

Here is a list of our notable home design variances:

1. Lots of Structural Changes

We moved walls to create bigger rooms. In particular, the bedrooms and entertaining spaces like the meals and family rooms. We plan to never do this again and we don't want to outgrow our home so we wanted to make the rooms as big as possible. Fortunately, we have a big piece of land and if it was up to me I'd make the house even bigger! Unfortunately, Hubby wouldn't let me. 

We also changed the structural location of our laundry. In the original design (and in the display home) to access the laundry, you had to walk through the pantry. We instead created a new room behind the walk in pantry for the laundry, leaving us with lots of pantry space too. Laundry spaces are considered a wet area, therefore tiled. Since this is now a big laundry space (2.7m x 2.4m) this also meant there was an extra cost for tiling too. 

Current design on website and display homes

Our design. Created a new laundry room. We know it's a huge laundry but it will double as a storage room too, hence why we didn't add any cabinetry in this room.

2. Third Garage

We have the land space and it's something we knew in five years time we would regret not doing, so we added a third garage to our home. 

3. Kitchen Upgrade

How it works with our builder is, after you have selected which home design you like, you select what quality fixtures you want to determine the starting base price for your home will be. We decided to stick to the middle range, which they currently call Sapphire range. However, we opted to get the Diamond range for our kitchen because we wanted higher end finishes for our kitchen. 

We also extended our kitchen benches, the island and moved our fridge cavity location. Refer to images above. 

4. Added Shower

The base design of our home didn't come with a shower on the ground floor bathroom. We expect and want family and friends over, and we want to accommodate our love for entertaining by adding this to our plan.

5. Extended Ground Floor Ceiling Height

Currently, the ceiling height of the ground floor for the Sapphire range is 2600mm we've extended the height to 2750mm.

6. Floor to Ceiling Tiling in Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms were areas we are prepared to spend money on. They're spaces that are used every day so we wanted quality fixtures and finish. Floor to ceiling tiling is something we really liked and looks great when done right.

Other notable costs that caught us: 

  • Air conditioning. There was a promotion where we could choose either solar panels/power for free or air conditioning for free. Solar panels were always going to be something we would get very early on. We've seen their benefits from our parent's homes when they get close to nothing, or in credit when they get their electricity bill. And moving up north where we probably will use the air conditioner a lot well, we opted for the solar panels. 
  • Types of windows and doors. Front doors are surprisingly expensive. Stacker doors and awning windows are extra, so is making the windows bigger or glass translucent. 
  • Sliding mirrored wardrobe doors are extra. 
  • Home facade. They always make the standard facade basic and ugly. I'm sure the builders do this on purpose. So of course you're going to want a better designed exterior, which cost more than the standard.  
  • Council application fees.
  • Structural and building requirements such as earth works, electrical connection and drainage. 
  • The quote for our custom cornice order cost more than our Diamond kitchen! So we went back and reviewed which rooms we could exclude this cornice style in, such as the garage and walk in pantry to reduce this cost. 
Like I mentioned earlier we haven't even had our colour and electrical appointment yet - yikes! I just remind myself and my husband we're never going to do this again, so let's think of everything we want and depending on the cost scale back accordingly. Also, we'll be paying for this for 20+ years so the stuff we do really want just add it to the mortgage. 
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