Designing your home yourself? Here are some useful renovation tips

Getting a brand new home can be overwhelming, and at times stressful, with lots of factors to consider.

There are cost factors, what colour to paint your walls, which pieces of furniture to invest in, and even down to the nitty-gritty of which light bulbs to pick and which shower heads to fit.

Of course there are the professional to help you with the design aspect, but if you opt for the DIY route, here are some expert tips to get you started.

We talked to Anais Tourneux, the Architect Senior Designer of designphase dba, to tell us how to begin designing your home, as well as how to elevate the look of your interior without too much effort, such as adding lights in certain ways to add depth to your apartment. Read on to find out how to do it.

1) Think your layout through

Before you even begin thinking about themes, you should focus on the layout, says Anais, as it is the bones of any design concept, after all.

Though it seems like a no-brainer, Anais explained that a good layout is more than sorting your floor plan so you have enough space to walk around. It's about being able to flow into your space without having to twist and turn every couple of steps, she explained.

The layout is also important as the play with spatial aspects, big or small, helps you to feel at ease. If you feel more comfortable in open spaces than cosy corners, choose decorative pieces that are slender or blend in more easily. For example, opt for wall paintings instead of big plants and sculptures to beautify your place.

Here's a pro tip: Find out where your light sources. "Figure out how much light you want in your space and work around that," says Anais. If you like sun pouring in, invest in day curtains and make use of large mirrors. If that is not for you, get thicker curtains and add lamps for dimmed lighting.

2) Create a moodboard

"Mood isn't just an emotion," explained Anais. "It's the feel of a place.

"Get magazines and take clippings of what you like. When you put them all together, you might notice that you have a number of concrete walls or floors in your moodboard. That means you have a liking for decor that has a more unrefined finish, kind of like industrial chic," explained Anais.

This method is extremely useful for spotting your favourite colours, which you might not have realised you liked. A moodboard is also a great way to see if colours clash.

3) Details should come last

Instead of planning the details of what furniture to buy first, leave it to the last step.

Many people identify the furniture they like and try to design their homes around these pieces, which is a very tedious process. But if you follow Anais' steps to focus on your layout first, then design a moodboard, finding the right furniture to fit your home becomes a lot easier.

4) Use lights to distinguish rooms and add depth

When you use the same fluorescent light all around your home, it looks a little lacklustre.

"Add spotlights to show off your art," says Anais. "Or use pendant lights, say over a dining table or living area to define it as a separate space and make it stand out."

Good lighting doesn't just create an inviting atmosphere, it creates a special space. Try using a warm-hued round pendant light over your coffee table to create an inviting space to congregate around.

5) Make your bedroom super cosy with softer elements

Anais strongly recommends adding softness to your bedroom to make it go from spartan to spectacular.

Imagine plush armchairs, downy duvets, feather-filled cushions, and voluminous curtains. These are some of the things you should consider purchasing when decorating your sleep den.

6) Design the bathroom as your workspace so you can work it in the mirror

Anais says one thing you should pay more attention to in the bathroom is the vanity, as it can be revamped to look classy easily. "When you see posh hotel bathrooms, there are very little things on the counter top. You should try to put everything in drawers, cabinets, or pigeon-holes."

To give you quick, intuitive access to everything, Anais suggests using small pigeon holes to store folded towels; drawers with compartments to keep makeup, and cabinets for bigger items such as toilet rolls and hairdryers. The way you arrange everything should be intuitive to have quick access to your tools in the morning.

This article was first published on Her World Online