How to fix that problem room
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    How to fix that problem room

    We all have one - that room that’s a bit of a problem.

    It might have colours that make it feel cold and uninviting. Or, a bathroom/kitchen that’s out of date, not reflecting the lifestyle we’d prefer. Or, a room with patterns that make it too busy. Or, the spare room that is so cluttered we can hardly open the door.

    It takes a little to do it in your own house, but step back and think what it is that trouble you about the room.


    Modernising a room or property can be done in many ways.

    Start across the road and take the time to look at the front or your property. Does it have a modern colour scheme? Is the garden in line with your own personal style? What would you change?

    Look at the fixtures and fittings used throughout the property. They give visual clues to others about your home’s modernity. Is it worth considering updating the lightshades or fittings, switches and power points? How about the door handles and wardrobe door handles?

    Consider tap fittings and bench-tops in kitchens and bathrooms. Could you use a new splashback? Are the appliances letting the room down? Do they still work well?


    Colours have a dramatic impact on the rooms we live in but they can become quite complex.

    For example, ceilings painted in a lighter colour can make the walls seem taller while certain colours are said to evoke certain emotions. Different colours used together can make rooms seem deeper, shorter, smaller, broader, etc.

    If you’re choosing the colour scheme yourself, the important thing to remember is that you want the room to suit your needs.

    Start with a colour that is already dominant in the room. It might be the honey brown polished floorboards or perhaps a colour in a piece of artwork that will be the room’s focal point.

    Once you’ve done this, you are in a position to choose an accessible, warm, and natural off-white with shades that complement that dominant colour. Be careful with whites that are too cold or too warm. 

    For those who want to exercise a little more flair that’s OK, but you would be well served by getting professional advice.


    Just like colour, lighting can have a dramatic effect on the way a room looks and feels. There are three kinds of globes:

    Incandescent globes (traditional filament) give off a warmer and relaxing yellow

    Halogen globes, used in downlights, give a whiter/purple light to a room

    Fluorescent globes make a room feel cold and grey although it’s now possible to get ‘warm white’ in the energy saver globes which are OK behind a fitting.

    If it’s too bright the room can feel cold and bare so we recommend matching the wattage to the size of the room and ceiling height.

    Lighting should be treated in layers:

    • Eye-level light often comes from windows, wall lights or spotlights on artwork. For this reason, a home should always be shown with the blinds open
    • Mid-level light from lamps
    • Floor-level light from stairway lighting or up lights (which often look great in the garden)

    All light sources should be used during open for inspections, but don’t overdo it on the wattage. Look at another person’s face in every room in your house. If they look a little under the weather, you may have too much light.

    Storage solutions

    If you have the dreaded junk room, look through it to see what’s been put there.

    Then, employ a two pronged attack:

    1. What items in the room belong in other locations throughout the house? What kind of new storage would work in those locations?
    2. What items in the room should be there? What new storage system can you put in place for it?

    Finally, updating your own home isn’t always an easy thing to do. If you need help call in the professionals!

    Richard Armstrong is the Director of Melbourne firm, The Makeover Group. He has worked with thousands of clients to modernise and enhance their property, fully managing the whole process.

    To find out more contact us directly or call 1300 768 464.