Renovation trends to inspire homeowners – what are they?

Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Not everything seen and pinned in your renovation trends browsing can work well for a home in Singapore

By: Hitesh Khan/

Everything you do to make your dream house come true; flicking pages of interior design magazines, looking at homes around you, browsing home renovation websites for design inspirations and consolidating numerous virtual mood boards. But not everything seen and pinned in your browsing can work well for a home in Singapore. Apart from style, functionality and ease are equally important. There are two important factors to think about when doing renovation, i.e. our hot and humid climate, and lack of space.

These are 5 simple renovation trends that could inspire homeowners.

1. Hardwood flooring
It may be appealing to place hardwood flooring to add a touch of elegance and a sense of warmth to your homes. However, the high humidity level in Singapore can cause the flooring to warp or swell in the long run. It is not possible for you to switch on your air conditioner 24/7 to reduce the humidity level in your home in order to maintain your hardwood floor as the temperature inside and outside of your home are different and could cause condensation. Different climatic conditions will cause little gaps in hardwood flooring that would attract termites.

Alternative: Choose a wood-like tile & laminate it with wood-grain pattern or vinyl wood-like flooring which are more cost-efficient. If you still want real wood, choose teak. It is commonly used for outdoor flooring which is more durable for expansion & contraction.

2. Small Tiles
Small tiles as an accent for your room will help to make your room look stylish and more spacious. But while they may look great, they are not the best choice for a home in Singapore. The high humidity level will cause bacteria, moss and fungus to grow faster and you will find them more difficult to be cleaned.

Alternative: Keep small tiles to accent walls, rather than the entire surface. You can also play around withthe patterns using small tiles in the wall. Remember…just use it as accent!

renovation trends
Renovation trends that ill work in a kitchen (Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr)

3. Kitchen Island & Freestanding Bathtub
Kitchen islands and freestanding bathtubs are the epitome of luxury and opulence, but because they are positioned in the middle of the room, they tend to take up a lot of square footage.

Alternative: If you insist on having a kitchen island, choose hybrid islands that do double duty; where they can also serve as a dining table or storage space for instance.
Instead of going for a freestanding bathtub, consider a glass-encased shower with a rainfall showerhead instead to achieve the luxury feel without taking up too much space.

4. Walk-In Wardrobe
You love it for the luxurious feel it gives your home, but it’s a luxury that should be reserved for those with a sprawling mansion—or an extra room to spare.

Alternative: Rather than convert a part of your already small bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe, a built-in wardrobe would hold your clothes just fine. As it is flushed to the wall, it takes up minimal room while giving a clutter-free appearance. Wish to parade your fashion accessories? Go for see-through panels or open shelves.

5. Wallpaper
Choose a bold print, and you can create instant panache. Choose a calming motif and your home becomes a soothing sanctuary. But While wallpapers are one of the easiest style changers, they do not do so well in our humid climate. The humidity will cause the wallpaper glue to come off in the long run and causing the wallpaper to curl and peel.

Alternative: If you wish to incorporate wallpaper, stick to feature walls that are away from wind.

In implementing any renovation trends, it is usually best to leave the work to professionals, including, often, an architect or interior designer. A do-it-yourself job that is poorly done detracts from, rather than adds to, the value of the home.

The rule of thumb in home improvements: Stick to the basics. Equal home improvements aren’t necessarily of equal value at resale time. And don’t expect to recoup your entire investment for each improvement. Some can bring a 100 percent return, while others will net no more than 50 cents of the dollar, or less, in the best of times.

There is no rule of thumb on how many improvements you should make to up the home resale value. But even if your pocketbook can handle a big job, you probably shouldn’t do more than one improvement at a time.

And you should always keep in mind that the changes must not only be compatible with the rest of the house, but they should fit in with the neighborhood too.

Cleaning up, finding the right real estate agent, and updating small things like light fixtures will help your home sell fast without expensive staging. The best, smartest thing a homeowner can do is find the right real estate agent for them. Step back and try to look at your home the way someone else would for the very first time.

Whatever renovation trends you choose, knowing how it will affect the property valuation is of paramount importance to a home owner. It can help you determine whether you are overpaying for a home, or whether you have gotten yourself a real bargain. Paying the right price is just one way you can avoid overspending on your property.

Another smart way to avoid overspending on your property is to get the right loan. Getting the right loan can be a much simpler task, but only if you get the right person to it for you.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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