Making the Most of Your Space

Underused space is common to a lot of homes. A spare bedroom, a raised house with nothing built underneath, or a junk-filled garage are all examples of wasted spaces in homes that are full of potential. Many property owners wonder about the possibilities for these spaces and dream of converting them into something special.

In our Designer Series video ‘Making the Most of Your Space’, Lauren Pearse from Rylo Interiors takes you through the transformation of the downstairs area in a Queenslander-style home. Read on to learn how we made the most of the space and get tips on how you can do the same for underused spaces in your own home.

Give the space a purpose

Often, wasted space in homes becomes haphazard storage space, taken over by old junk that prevents valuable real estate from actually being useful. The renovation featured in our video is a great example of getting the most out of your property by using the space more efficiently and giving it purpose. In this instance, the owners of the home wanted to convert the downstairs area of their property into a self-contained unit. In addition to adding a new liveable space to the home, the design is flexible enough to enable the owners to rent it out in future if they wish. Consider turning your underused spaces into functional workstations, hobby rooms, or relaxation spots.

Downstairs unit kitchenette

Create a harmonious design

When renovating an under-utilised space, match its look to your home’s existing style for a more harmonious design. The home in our video is a Queenslander, a distinctive style bursting with traditional charm. Aesthetically, it was important to make the renovated space reflect the character of the rest of the home while still sticking to a budget. The existing flooring and stairwell is timber so the goal was to use flooring for the new space that would complement this warmth and texture. Karndean Looselay Vinyl Plank was chosen because the authentic-looking texture of the planks offers the feel of timber flooring while being more cost-effective. If your space transformation doesn’t require new flooring, you can still tie the look of it in with the rest of your home through choice of wall treatment or window dressings, or adding furniture, fixtures, and decor objects in colours or finishes from your home’s existing palette. For more on creating a harmonious home design, you can watch our video here.

Wooden stairs

Decor objects on coffee table

Be practical

Making practical decisions when renovating your unused space will help to prolong the use you’ll get out of it. In our Queenslander home space renovation, the homeowners required a space that would hold up to wear and tear. As the space is located off the swimming pool, a waterproof flooring option was necessary, and the possibility of renting the space out meant the flooring needed to be durable enough to withstand any rental mishaps. Being durable, waterproof, and also low noise and low-maintenance, Karndean Looselay Vinyl Planks were the perfect choice. As the the vinyl planks can be replaced individually, any scratches or dents can be fixed with minimum fuss and cost.

If you’re considering a similar renovation, remember not to underestimate the effect your choice of floor will have on the space and keep your mind open to alternatives. You might be surprised by what you can achieve. For more expert advice on how to renovate your home, watch the rest of the Andersens Designer Series videos here.

You can get more advice on the best flooring and window covering options for your space transformation at your nearest Andersens showroom. Our friendly team members will be happy to assist you.

Key benefits of interior shutters

Interior shutters can add a very cosy, modern, and timeless look to your home. Here are some features and benefits of shutters and just a few reasons why they have become such a popular addition to Australian homes.

  1. Buy once. Interior shutters are a permanent addition to your home, unlike many other treatments which must be periodically replaced.
  2. Block light. In rooms that you wish to darken, shutters are extremely effective at blocking out light. Their solid opacity means they are more efficient than a lot of other window coverings.
  3. Get more lighting control. Light can be filtered in different ways by rotating louvers to various angles.
  4. Add value. Quality window shutters can increase a home’s resale value.
  5. Minimise allergens. Shutters have a solid surface which means dust can’t linger and they can easily be wiped clean.
  6. Cool down in summer. Shutters keep your house cooler in summer by deflecting direct sunlight.
  7. Warm up in winter. Wood shutters keep the house warmer in winter by providing additional insulation.
  8. Save money. Because of their insulating quality, shutters can also help to reduce your utility bills.
  9. Inject timeless style. Shutters look beautiful from both outside and inside the home. Adverse to trends, they have been consistently used for decades without looking dated.
  10. Prevent fading. Shutters don’t fade to the extent of drapes, shades, or curtains.
  11. Enjoy durability. Shutters are durable enough to withstand regular daily use in residential or commercial environments.
  12. Match your aesthetic. Interior shutters are available in an endless number of paint or stain colours to match your existing décor. Interior shutters are versatile enough to suit any décor, from ultra-modern to traditional to transitional.
  13. Achieve upscale looks for less. Shutters appear upscale while having a price tag that’s lower than that of many designer draperies.
  14. Get a style to suit. A large variety of panel configurations allow shutters to be installed on almost any window size or shape. They can also be installed to cover only the bottom of a window (café style).
  15. Be eco-friendly. Wood shutters are naturally constructed from sustainable woods, like basswood.
  16. Get full use of your window. Shutters are hinged in the window opening so they can be opened for maximum access to the window.
  17. Increase privacy. Louvers may be opened slightly to achieve privacy while simultaneously allowing natural light to enter the room.
  18. Improve safety. Interior shutters are absent of strings and cords which can be dangerous for children.

If you would like a free measure and quote to fit your home with some stunning shutters, contact your local Andersens store today.

Top Tips To Keep Your House Cool This Summer

With summer just on the horizon, it is time to start preparing for those intense heat waves. Don’t spend this season sweating it out in a hotbox or blowing out your electricity bill by blasting the air-con around the clock, follow these simple tricks to keep your house cool this Summer.

1. Let night air in

Nighttime, when temperatures drop, should be your cue to open as many doors and windows as possible and make the most of the cooler temperatures. You’d be surprised what a difference opening a few doors will do to help improve the circulation of cool air in your home.

2. Make the most of your outdoor area

Do you have a barbeque or outdoor kitchen? It might be worth investing in one. In the summer it is best to avoid using heat-generating appliances like the stove, oven and dishwasher in the house. Make a habit of using an outdoor grill as often as possible to keep your house cool this summer.

3. Plant plenty of trees

Create natural shade for your home by planting plenty of trees around the areas of your house the get the most sun. This is a long-term solution but will certainly pay off when you no longer have to blast the aircon 24/7.

4. Invest in quality blinds

A lot of the heat in your house comes from the sun streaming through your windows and essentially creating a greenhouse effect. This is especially the case with southwest facing windows. Shading your windows with blinds is a great way to cool down your home and save money on power bills. Andersens has a range of window blinds that are not only quality but also aesthetically pleasing so as to not detract from the look of your home.

5. Get window shutters

Another great way of cooling your home is by investing in shutters. Shutters can provide climate control for internal and external areas. They can control airflow reducing the need for air-conditioning. Check out our wide variety of window shutters here.

Get The Luxury Look For Less

We all want our homes to look like something out of a Vogue magazine. Unfortunately, the one thing that can get in our way is the price tag. From affordable flooring alternatives to DIY furniture, we have put together a list of ways to help you design a luxury home on a budget.

Keep things minimalistic

When it comes to creating a luxury look in your home, it helps to keep things simple. Focus on removing clutter and instead create a clean sophisticated aesthetic with a few eye-catching feature pieces in each room. This might be an interesting piece of vintage furniture or a unique light fitting. 

Hang your curtains high

Luxurious houses often have high ceilings and large windows that let in plenty of natural light. You may not have such windows in your home but you can replicate this look without blowing your budget by simply hanging your curtains as high and close to the ceiling as possible. This will fool the eye into thinking the window are bigger than they actually are.

DIY furniture fixups

A good way to freshen up your home is by giving your furniture a DIY fix up. Simple things such as reupholstering couches with some unique material or giving your chairs and tables a fresh lick of paint will give your home a whole new life.

Use plenty of white

White walls have a tendency to make a room appear more spacious. If you have a room that feels a little too small and pokey, consider giving it a fresh new white paint job this will make the room appear larger and will also make the space feel lighter.

Don’t forget the smaller details

When it comes to creating a luxury look in your home, the key is in the small details. You might like to start with the bathroom by cleaning out your sink and replacing messy looking mixed lotion bottles with matching reusable ones. Spend the weekend looking for unique items that will add detail to your home such as vintage hand painted door nobs, interesting light shades, or artwork.

Luxury Vinyl

Have you been dreaming off hardwood floors but simply don’t have the budget to get them installed? Vinyl is an affordable flooring option that will help to achieve a luxury look for less. Vinyl flooring is available in a variety of styles and is designed to mimic traditional flooring choices such as timber or stone. The wide available of styles will allow you to design a luxury home for an affordable price.

Searching For More Affordable Flooring Alternatives?

If you’re searching for more ways to design a luxury home for less, view our range of affordable flooring online or visit an Andersens showroom today.

Timber Flooring 101: An Introduction to Timber Flooring

Hardwood Vs Softwood Flooring; What’s the difference?

Hardwood Flooring

Traditionally, hardwood is considered the higher quality wood and has been used for flooring for centuries. Hardwood tends to have a higher density then softwoods, which makes it more durable and longer lasting. That being said, it is also more expensive and harder to work with than softwood flooring. Some examples of popular hardwood timbers include; beech, mahogany, maple, walnut and probably the most common type used for timber flooring; oak.

Softwood Flooring

While traditionally hardwood is considered the higher quality wood, 80% of timber is actually softwood. This is because softwood is generally easier to work with and is less expensive. Softwood grows a lot faster than hardwood making it the more economic and environmentally friendly choice of flooring. Some examples of popular softwood timbers include, Douglas Fine, Juniper, pine, and spruce.

Timber Flooring Options

Oak

Oak flooring is an extremely hard wearing timber flooring option that has been used for centuries. This type of timber flooring has earned a positive reputation for it’s strength and durability. Today you can buy 200 year old oak flooring that is still durable and looks great. When looked after properly, oak flooring will actually improve with age.

Lounge room with blonde hardwood flooring

Oak Flooring Specs: 

  • Hard wearing
  • Strong and durable
  • Can improve with age

Pine Flooring

Pine is technically a softwood however pine timber flooring is often described by builders and those in the industry as a ‘hardwood’ as it is actually denser than some hardwood timbers. Pine timber is extremely durable for a softwood making it a great option for affordable timber flooring. In Queensland ‘hoop pine’ is the most common type of timber flooring.

Pine Flooring Specs:

  • Softwood but often described as hardwood due to high density
  • Extremely durable
  • Affordable flooring option

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is technically a hardwood but is often referred to as a ‘softwood’ as this type of flooring is lighter, cheaper and easier to use then almost all hardwoods. Bamboo is the most environmentally friendly form of timber flooring, since it is extremely fast growing. This also allows for bamboo flooring to be more affordable than most hardwood products. Bamboo flooring comes in an exciting range of colours and makes the perfect flooring for kitchens, bedrooms and living areas.

bamboo

Bamboo Flooring Specs:

  • A renewable source of flooring,
  • Recognised for its hardness and durability
  • Cost effective
  • Environmentally friendly
  • luxurious
  • exciting range of colours

Laminate Flooring

Laminate provides the look of timber with added durability. It is a manufactured product with a wear resistant protective layer, a decorative layer and a high-density fibreboard base. Laminate flooring is fade, stain and wear resistant. It’s high durability makes it perfect for high traffic areas such as kitchens, hallways, dining and living rooms.

Laminate Flooring Specs:

  • The look of timber with added durability
  • wear resistant protective layer, a decorative layer and a High-Density Fibreboard (HDF) base
  • Fade, stain and wear resistant
  • Requires minimal upkeep.

Engineered Timber

Engineered timber is designed to minimize the inherent problems with solid wood namely expansion and contraction that causes bowing and cupping. It is made up of two or three layers, the top layer is usually genuine timber roughly 2-6mm thick. This type of timber flooring often creates stronger more durable floor boards but are also much easier to install then regular timber. This technology allows for even more variety of floor boards to be available then ever before as exotic species and rich colours can be simulated using oils, heat and pressure.

Engineered Timber Flooring Specs:

  • Designed to minimise the inherent problems of solid wood, namely the expansion and contraction that causes bowing and cupping.
  • Made up of layers, either three or two.
  • The top layer (the lamella) is normally timber and can run from 2-6mm thick
  • more stable than solid planks
  • offer alternative, easier methods of installation.
  • The technology has enabled the production of much wider boards
  • Allows for a variety of interesting finishes.

Find Timber Flooring Online

View a selection of our timber flooring range, or visit your local Andersens showroom to see our full range of timber and hardwood products.