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6 RENOVATIONS THAT WILL TURN YOUR HOME INTO AN ENTERTAINER’S DREAM

By Paul Hodkinson

Winter is approaching, cold and inevitable. Many people will wish for the return of summer when it does, shutting themselves in and hibernating until autumn brings warmer climes and falling leaves.

It needn’t be that way. Your home can easily be transformed into a personal winter wonderland, where you can both shelter from the cold and entertain guests to help the colder months pass by as quickly as possible.

To get you started, we’ve come up with six renovations that are sure to make your home a better place to be this winter.

ENTERTAINMENT OR CONVERSATION PITS

These unique sitting areas are recessed into your floor, furnished with comfortable cushioning and decorated with bright colours.

Trends from the 70s and 80s have a habit of coming back around. The most recent trend to do so is the conversation pit – a feature you might have seen in old films or perhaps enjoyed in your childhood home.

These unique sitting areas are recessed into your floor, furnished with comfortable cushioning and decorated with bright colours.

Pop a retro coffee table in the centre and you’ll have a charming and cosy spot to entertain small groups of friends or family, with food, drinks and good conversation. When combined with the next feature, you’ll take the comfort of your pit to the next level …

INDOOR FIRE

Nothing is better on a cold winter day than a hot fire crackling away in the hearth. It’ll warm the entire house and create a charming homely feel that you and your guests will love. Installing one doesn’t have to break the bank either – Houselogic estimates that it could cost as little as $400.

That’s for a simple freestanding electric fireplace. For a gas installation, look to pay around $4,500 and for a wooden burner expect between $7,000 and $10,000. It’ll be money well spent as a fireplace is both a charming decor feature and an efficient heating method in one.

UPDATE YOUR LIGHTING

During June, in the heart of winter, around half of the country experiences five or less hours of sunshine a day.

During June, in the heart of winter, around half of the country experiences five or less hours of sunshine a day. That means for around 18 or 19 hours of the day, the sun won’t shine in your windows to light up your home.

There’s no better time to update your home’s lighting. Install tightly spaced light bulbs to ensure that your home is always brightly and evenly lit, instead of gloomy and dark.

Use LED lights, which are up to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and will only cost $50 to $150 to install per light point, according to the Archicentre Cost Guide.

PROJECTOR ROOM

There are few things better than curling up to watch a film on a cold winter day. If you’ve got a spare room that’s rarely used it could be incredibly easy to turn it into a winter entertainment hub, complete with HD projector for films and Netflix as well as comfy chairs to snuggle into.

If you’re renovating on a budget, this reno can be surprisingly affordable. A high-quality entry level HD projector can be purchased for $1,149, or less if you buy second-hand. Save even more money and forego a screen and instead project onto a clean white wall.

Done right, such a room will make winter in your home your favourite season every year.

OPEN PLAN KITCHEN AND DINING

That’s why Autumn is without a doubt the best time to renovate your kitchen – so that it’s ready to roll come winter.

The phrase ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’ is never truer than during a chilly winter. When the weather’s too cold for barbecuing and relaxing outdoors, you’ll retreat inside and instead enjoy preparing warming meals and dining with family and friends.

That’s why autumn is without a doubt the best time to renovate your kitchen – so that it’s ready to roll come winter. Make the space more useable and social by adopting an open plan design between kitchen, dining and lounge if you can.

That way the chef can talk and drink with guests while they prepare meals, or the whole family can participate in food preparation in some way.

WINTER READY DESIGN 

Make your home a warm and inviting bastion of relaxation by applying winter interior design trends when renovating. Think warm deep colours – red, orange and saffron. Luxury fittings such as marble and dark wood will add a touch of elegant warmth, while more vintage, rustic furnishings will make sure your home is as comfortable and charming as possible.

When it comes time to renovate, the changes may not be cheap, but they’ll certainly be worth it if they make winter 2017 a good one. Get in touch with a local mortgage broker that you trust to find out how easy it may be to finance your winter renos.

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