“Renovating an apartment is quite different from renovating a house but in ways that are not immediately obvious – and you don’t want to discover that when you’re halfway through the project and all work is suddenly halted, because you failed to ask permission from the Executive Committee of your building and its members are annoyed and have decided to play hardball,” explains Jimmy Thomson from www.flat-chat.com.au.
Before you begin your renovation, Thomson says you can “save yourself a lot of grief – during and after your renovation” – if you
You can request permission through the appropriate channels, get your neighbors involved, and choose a tradesperson/builder who has worked in apartments before.
Once you’ve sorted out all the organizational details, it is now time to start your low-cost renovations.
1. The best options are bright, white, and light.
Apartments offer smaller living areas than separate houses. In order to make each room feel spacious, you’ll need to use white paint. White paint can create the illusion of light, space and spaciousness. “A fresh coat of paint can really lift the atmosphere within a home, but when considering colours, remember that everyone’s taste are different, so the safest colour choices are neutral tones,” suggests the Real Estate Institute of South Australia. “If you decide that painting throughout is not necessary, a thorough wall clean and paint touch-ups in high traffic areas will still make a big difference.”
2. Change the carpet
The flooring can change the look and feel of an apartment. Carpet Choice estimates the average bedroom or living room to be roughly 15 to 18m2, and decent quality carpets can be found for around $20 per square metre if you’re prepared to shop around, which means you’re looking at around $300-$400 per room (not including installation or underlay). A lighter-coloured carpet will have the same effect as a wall if the property is being rented. If you prefer a more spacious feeling, however, a darker-coloured floor may be the best option.
3. Make the most of the handles
To make your cupboard doors modern, you can easily change the handles. The cost is minimal and you’ll be surprised at the improvement it makes to the overall look of each room.
4. Clean lines can be created by using storage
Look for storage options in every room. Some clever design elements include a daybed that opens to a storage trunk, or kitchen islands that store plates, pots, and pans. “Clean and free surfaces make an apartment seem more open and relaxed,” says Sydney-based architect Eva-Marie Prineas.
Any exterior modifications or renovations that will significantly impact the building’s appearance will require approval from apartment owners. REISA states that approval might be required for several items such as a new kitchen or building a balcony, changing window frames, or tearing down a wall. If you have any questions, your corporate manager can help.