When your home needs updating or renovating, you probably know exactly which issue or room bothers you most, but it can be harder to choose or visualize the elements of your perfect completed result. Given that, and that many renovations occur one or two rooms at a time, beautifully designed individual rooms can connect into a discordant and uncomfortable overall result.

If you don’t have the resources to renovate your whole home at once, what steps can you take to avoid a piecemeal result? There are a handful of planning strategies you can use while renovating your home overtime to get the big picture cohesive results you want.

How Do You Use Your Home?

While it has a simple enough answer on the surface, this question is worth some reflection. How do you use your home today? What are the ways you want to use it but the design limits you? Consider the future as well, what probable life changes will occur in your life and in your home over the next 10 years?

Consider issues like:

  • Ages of children
  • Retirement of yourself or parents
  • Whether you host friends regularly
  • Space for your favorite hobby

Sometimes our ideas of our dream home and our dream life aren’t actually compatible because we haven’t considered them in tandem. For instance, does your vision of a dream home include a beautiful pool, but your dream life doesn’t include the upkeep? Take the time to really imagine and consider what you want today, and what you hope for the next 10 years. It’s a fun exercise, and it can make the difference in your renovated home being truly perfect for you.

Whether you plan on having your first child over the next decade or are looking ahead to an empty nest can make a big difference in which direction you plan your renovation. Which room will become the nursery, and how well does it transition into a 10-year-old’s room or a room for siblings to share? How will you use the kid’s rooms once they’ve moved out? Will one become a guest room and one become the room for your hobby? Regardless of your choice, it’s important to plan for those transitions when investing in renovations.

Design Ahead

Professional interior designers consider how the look of each room flows together for the end result. This doesn’t mean each room has to be designed the same, it has more to do with making sure that they don’t clash and that there are no jarring transitions between rooms. It’s a subtle but important feature of good design. When renovating your own home, it’s an important consideration to keep in mind.

If you’re only renovating the bathroom, it can be easy to go for a strong bold look that fits your mood, but will you like the same bold look once you’re able to renovate the hallway or bedroom it connects to? Make sure your design choices reflect your desire for the whole house, not just the prettiest feature in the catalog.

As you choose design elements consider which items can be easily and cheaply switched out and which can’t. Rebuilding the bathtub should only need to happen once, but hanging a different mirror, repainting the walls, or changing the light fixture are things you can easily change sooner if you find the design didn’t hold its appeal for you.

Hire a Professional

There’s no substitute for hiring someone who keeps in touch with classic looks and current trends, who’s seen the best and worst of design, who has years of experience in planning a house to be a perfect home for the homeowners. Hiring an interior designer to plan out current and future renovation plans is a great way to plan ahead.

Many general contractors offer design-build packages that can be more economical than hiring a designer separately. Their design experience and expertise will be focused on more long term design features like tile, flooring, cabinets, and coun. Discuss with your contractor how much design input they offer, and see if you’re happy with their offer or if you’ll want to hire another designer.

Either way, a professional should be able to design whichever room you’re currently renovating while discussing and planning ahead for future renovations. They can also help you create flexible mood boards for future renovations. They know the right questions to help you get to the bottom of which design elements are really the most important to you long-term.

Cohesive Doesn’t Mean Boring

The importance of cohesion is that your investment in your home should result in an interesting, creative, unique design, in a style that works for you and your family. A home that looks the same in every room is not better than a disjointed and unplanned house. Your home should reflect you and your family, be a joy for you to live in, and serviceable for you to use. Renovating is a big emotional and financial investment, considering cohesiveness before you start will help you reap a wonderful return on both investments.