Practical tips to get the most from your property
BY CHRISTO KOEGELENBERG
“You don’t have to break the bank when it comes to improvements to your home that add value,” says interior designer Christo Koegelenberg, who has worked closely with Romney Park Luxury Apartments on its recent upgrade. “Making some small but clever changes to your property can make a substantial difference to the price of your residence.” Here are a few tips for effective improvements to help you get the most out of your property.
1. Upgrade the kitchen and bathroom
“Upgrading your kitchen need not be an expensive overhaul, and small changes can go a long way,” says Koegelenberg. If your kitchen has your stock-standard Formica, for example, replace it with granite tops to instantly give a much better look and feel. “Change the colour of the cabinets and use bespoke crystal doorknobs, a luxurious update that was also cost effective,” says Koegelenberg.
In the bathroom, make sure the grouting is all clean and in good repair. “Tiles don’t always need to be replaced, but a good tile paint can be a huge improvement,” says Koegelenberg. And think about swapping out your old taps for a contemporary mixer to give it a new look.
2. Create more light
Being clever with lighting can make your home look a lot larger. Koegelenberg suggests creating additional light by hanging a large mirror directly opposite the biggest window in the room, which will instantly help brighten up the space.
Another cost-effective option is to use lighter-coloured curtains that will allow sunshine to spread throughout the room. And a floor lamp is a great option to get upward light in those dark corners that the natural light can’t reach. Glass sliding doors and large windows allow for ample natural light to enter, and a mixture of sheer and neutral-coloured curtains were used to create a bright room even on winter days.
3. Go green
Energy consumption is a growing concern in South Africa, so making your home more energy efficient will go a long way to adding value. Ensure that all light bulbs are LED and put timers on any outside lights so they are only used when necessary.
In an average household, the geyser accounts for 40-60% of the monthly electricity bill. If a solar geyser isn’t an option, invest in a geyser blanket to clad the water cylinder and hotwater pipes. And install a timer to ensure the geyser is only switched on when it’s needed.
Water usage is also something we need to watch in South Africa. Ensure all taps are leak free and install water-efficient showerheads.
4. Floors and walls must be pristine
“First impressions count, and if your walls aren’t looking great, it can give the impression that the house is shabby in other places too,” says Koegelenberg. Make sure there are no chips, mould or bubbling from damp.
The same goes for the floors. Replace any chipped tiles, and ensure carpets are clean and in good condition. Wood laminate is a cost-effective option for areas of floor that need attention.
5. Make a statement
Use a few statement colours to make your home look luxurious. “I created a luxurious feel at Romney Park Luxury Apartments by using interesting wallpapers that gave the rooms a unique look and a touch of style,” says Koegelenberg.
One wall painted a statement colour such as deep red or a beautiful chandelier taking centre stage can make a room look elegant without costing a fortune.