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10 Small Renovation Details that Make a Big Difference in Your Home Remodel!

As the saying goes … “the devil lies in the details”. This certainly applies to any home makeover project; after all, the details make all the difference in the quest for an outstanding renovation design.

Little things, which may not seem significant to you at first, actually play an important role when it comes to making your remodelled home stands out in terms of practicality and usability.

Here are 10 ‘little’ things that can make a huge difference:

The Living Room

Design: Adroit ID

A living room acts as a reception, socializing area for guests and also serve as an entertainment, lounge room for family members. It is also sometimes referred to as a front room in other countries since it is usually located near the main entrance of the house.

Image from Electronymous

1. Mind Your Cabinet Door Design

It is no secret that the size of the HDB  flats and private apartments has been shrinking for the last few years, hence the size of the living area has become more compact over the years as well. This makes the designing of the carpentry works more challenging, especially in the living room where there is a lot of human traffic and activities being carried out. There are generally 2 types of door designs; casement doors and sliding doors.

What this means to you?
You need to be mindful of how the various types of the cabinet door designs will impact the human traffic flow. If you have opted for casement doors which open outwards, be mindful that they are not too wide and block any oncoming human traffic while they are open. Sliding doors save more space and thus are more suitable for narrow places. However, the sliding doors with floor track need to take up a minimum of around 6 cm of space. Furthermore, the ones with the top sliding track are more challenging to construct as the doors will slide open prematurely if they are installed on an uneven ground. In addition, such sliding doors tend to dislodge from the top sliding tracks over time.

Image from pinterest

2. Reinforcement Matters

Since the living room is also a place for socializing and entertainment area for the family members, this is where big and heavy family portraits, flat TV screen and sound speakers are installed. Ceiling to floor cabinets are also gaining in popularity since they are usually constructed as part of the TV feature wall.

What this means to you?
It is important that you work closely with your renovation professionals to work out places where the family portraits, the TV screen and sound speakers are hung since their walls need to be reinforced. In addition, you have to find out the weight of these items before the commencement of the renovation works. This is because increasingly, dry-lined plasterboard walls are used, hence they need to be reinforced before the professional quality mounting brackets are mounted. For the floor to ceiling cabinets, you have to ensure that at least 6-8  door hinges are installed to ensure that they do not dislodge overtime.

The Kitchen

Design: Department of Design

The kitchen is the workhorse and the hub of the home; a place where family and guests gather to have meals, socialise and mingle together.

Image from Pixyform

3. Materials Determine the Maintenance Efforts

Efforts to upkeep the kitchen will take quite a bit of work when wrong materials are chosen. The laminate of the carpentry and the material used for the countertops will impact the amount of work needed to clean up the kitchen.

What this means to you?
If the laminate used for the kitchen cabinets are of textured grain, the grease and fumes from the cooking will accumulate and build up overtime. Therefore, you should consider choosing the smooth laminates instead. Materials such as marble and concrete is more porous and therefore easier to stain, vulnerable to scratches, cracks and chips. Granite and Quartz are fairly durable since they are harder, less porous and therefore require lesser maintenance.

Image from Lifehacker

4. Kitchen Zones Impact the Power Point Locations

The 5 kitchen zones are mainly consumables zone (where the food is stored), non-consumables zone (where food utensils and cutlery is kept), cleaning zone (where the sink sits), preparation zone (for preparing the food)  and finally the cooking zone (where the oven, stove top or induction hub is installed).

What this means to you?
Discuss with your renovation professionals how to zone these 5 kitchen areas. For each zone, decide on which kitchen appliances would be used. For instance, you might decide to use a dishwasher at the cleaning zone, food mixer at the food preparation zone and even a microwave at the cooking zone. Therefore, spread your power points evenly across the various kitchen zones in order to avoid squeezing all the appliances at one corner.

The Service Yard aka Utility Room


A service yard is also commonly known as a utility room, where the laundry is treated, washed and dried. Hence, it is normally equipped with a washing machine and sometimes, either with a clothes dryer machine or a drying rack. If the space permits, a small washing basin is also installed. Usually, aside from the washing machines, racks are also installed to store laundry tubs and tins for laundry detergent, powder and washing nets.

5. Weather Proof Your Service Yard

Design: Rezt & Relax Interior

Most of the new BTO HDB flats and some private apartments are equipped with a service yard, which do not come pre-installed with windows. As a result, the laundry equipment such as washing machines and or clothes dryers are exposed to the harsh weather elements and they will impact the durability of these electrical appliances. Furthermore, if you are using a clothes drying rack, aside from the associated paraphernalia, your clothes will be wet from the heavy rain too.

What this means to you?
Set aside an additional budget of at least $3,000 for the installation of the windows in the service yard. You can consider the fully retractable windows to let in plenty of sun during the warm sunny days.

Image from  Pinterest

6. Keep Your Laundry away from Cooking Fumes

Since the service yards are usually constructed next to the kitchen, the cooking smells and fumes will affect the clothes when they are hung on the clothes drying rack or left in the laundry basket.

What this means to you?

You have to be more conscientious to prevent smells and fumes from affecting your laundry. This will mean having to install a stronger exhaust or extractor hood, which hangs above the stove or cooktop, to remove grease, fumes and odors more effectively.

The Bedroom

Design: I-Bridge Design

The bedroom is a private retreat, and a tranquil getaway from the stresses of the day, and most importantly a place to wind down and get at least 8 hours of restful beauty sleep!

Design: In-Expat

7. Date the Night Early with Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are a must when it comes to blocking out all the light.
Blackout Curtains are no ordinary curtains, they are premium curtains made of a thin foam-backed fabric which made them opaque. Due to the dense material used, they are able to block much of the light and even sounds that would disturb a good night’s sleep.

What this means to you?
Blackout Curtains are heavier than ordinary curtains and therefore may require additional reinforcement for the installment of the curtain railings. Ensure that the dimensions of the curtains are longer than the width of the windows so that they will drape over each other sufficiently to keep out all the light.

8. Insert a Touch of Hotel Grandeur with a Tiny Kitchenette

Increasingly, homeowners are looking at extending the functionality of their bedroom to suit their lifestyle changes. Some have even added a small kitchenette into the bedrooms to emulate the hotel rooms.

What this means to you?
Having a tiny kitchenette is actually a very practical idea since you do not have to make your way to the kitchen to get drinks at the wee hours of the night, especially when you are sick. Work with your renovation professionals to maximize the limited bedroom space by carving out a small kitchenette in a closet.

The Bathroom

Design: Inspire ID Group

While the bathroom is where the personal hygiene activities take place , it can be a personal oasis, a peaceful gateway for resting and relaxing after a day’s of hard work. Although the bathroom is one of the most highly utilized spaces in the house, it is also typically the smallest and hence the most challenging to renovate. So it is vital that it is designed to ensure that it is functionally working 24 hrs a day.

Image from Apartment Therapy

9. Lighting is Everything

Imagine waking up late only to realize that your bathroom light bulb has fused. Since you have no time to replace the bulb, you had to grope around blindly in the darkness to get ready for work…while hoping that you do not run into any mishaps.

What this means to you?
The bathroom is usually the first thing you would use at the start of the meeting. So it is worth the extra efforts to install a secondary bulb or lighting point. In fact, the other lighting also pulls double duty to create a different ambience for your bathroom. For instance, if your main lighting is white in color, you can use another color such as warm white for your secondary lighting.

Image from Architectureau

10. Keep Mold at Bay with Bathroom Ventilators

When you have mould in your home, your family is likely to be exposed to respiratory infections. Mould also affect the immune system of the young and elderly or family members with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma. Air ventilators help to keep the bathroom dry, free from nasty mould and smells too.

What this means to you?
Installing air ventilators requires you to work closely with the renovation professionals since they have to incorporate the wiring and the position of the lightnings and the air ventilator together. A general rule of thumb is that HDB owners have the flexibility of choosing either a window mounted bathroom or a false ceiling mounted one. Whilst the private apartment owners can only choose to install the false ceiling mounted ventilator. This is due to the strict building facade code which private owners have to adhere to.


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