(By Serapelo Mofokeng, Head of Client Services at MiWay Insurance)

Renovating or adding an extension to your home can be both an exciting and exhausting process…

But once the rubble’s been removed and the paint has dried, it’s time to get creative with your brand-new space.

Given that interior designers come complete with a fairly hefty price tag, chances are you’ll opt to take care of that aspect yourself. This can end up being fairly daunting given the countless options available to you.

As such, it’s best not to rush, choosing instead to allow your ideas to settle over time as you become accustomed to the new space. Certain fixed elements like floors, cupboards and windows are things you’re unlikely to change regularly, so it’s best to be sure before hurtling into a decision you might regret further down the line.

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When it comes to more decorative items, it’s important to remember that your tastes and preferences are likely to change over time, so it’s best to add elements gradually, thus discovering what you do and don’t like, rather than pushing yourself to achieve aesthetic perfection as quickly as possible.

Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider as you take on your new space: 

1.     Fixtures

When it comes to fixtures, it’s important to consider the implications of form versus function. For instance, while a certain type of floor might work well with the aesthetic feel you have planned, remember to take into account foot traffic as well as maintenance. It’s also important to bear in mind that certain types of floors can be cold in winter, so try to opt for a balance of style and function.

Ceramic Planter on Kitchen Counter with Sink and Window Background
Plan your fixtures carefully
Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

 

Windows come in countless shapes and sizes, each suited to different areas of the home. For instance, slider and sash windows are great above a kitchen sink, whilst bay and awning windows are particularly useful if you’re surrounded by trees, as they prevent stray leaves and debris from entering.

Casement windows, which open like a door, are optimal if you’re looking to create a sense of space. Ultimately, you should consider ventilation, lighting and your immediate outside environment before deciding on your preferred panes. 

2.     Decor and furniture

As renovations come to a close, you’ll likely be chomping at the bit to start decorating your newly available space. But remember that decorating needn’t be done in a day.

Rather than dashing to the nearest shopping centre to stock up on artwork, house plants, couches, arm chairs and throws, give yourself some time to get a feel for the new space, adding items as you go so as to complete the picture.

Adding your personal touch can be a rewarding experience, so aim to extend it for as long as possible – not only will you enjoy far more personal satisfaction in the process, but you’re also likely to be happier with the end result. 

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3.     Security

Securing your new space is every bit as important as the sturdiness of its physical foundations. However, security devices can be bulky and less than easy on the eye, which can discourage homeowners from taking the appropriate measures.

Your security features need not detract from your design aesthetic. Cottage pane & transparent burglar bars, as well as aluminium security shutters can all be easily integrated into your overall look and feel, but if you’d prefer to maintain a totally clean appearance, security beams and an armed response solution will afford you adequate time to react to trespassers and seek help when needed.

Not only will these security devices keep you, your family and your belongings safer, but they’ll also lower your risk profile and thus aid in reducing your monthly insurance premiums.

Sprucing up your space can be an incredibly satisfying experience but remember that keeping it safe is of utmost importance, especially in an era that requires us to spend ever more time at home.

As such, ensure that your alterations are covered under your home insurance policy, and that all your new furnishings and fittings are properly protected against theft, fire and other unexpected eventualities.

MiWay is a licensed non-life insurer and Financial Services Provider (FSP 33970).

 

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