Reno focus: Bedroom

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Of all rooms and spaces in your home, the bedroom is the one place where you really want to feel relaxed. Creating a warm, welcoming bedroom space means having the forward thought to look at how you can improve your sleeping environment.

Whether you’re renovating your own home or a rental property, there are plenty of things you can do to upgrade this space. When renovating a bedroom, it’s worth considering how it fits into the house as a whole. Is it the master, requiring extra space? What potential elements could impair sleep? For example, is there a busy street outside? Does the room border the living room? Is there a noisy washing machine nearby?

Details like these may seem insignificant, but the reality is that an uncomfortable bedroom space could make the difference between your tenants renewing their lease, or opting to move elsewhere. It is easy to concentrate on the main thoroughfares when renovating your property, but it’s important to keep some of your budget for the bedrooms.

In a property with multiple bedrooms, it’s rarely advisable to get rid of one – not unless the house is a mansion and has five or six bedrooms to play with! By reducing the number of bedrooms you are reducing the size of your prospective tenant pool. So it’s important to think ahead and renovate the property for the type of tenant or future buyer that you want to target. Adding a bedroom, if that makes the property more desirable, is another story.

Step one: Power up
In the current tech era, having several power points in a room is crucial. There are numerous electronics that people have next to their beds – alarm clocks, phone chargers, lamps, electric blankets. Many people also use their phones in bed to wind down before sleeping.

Therefore, it makes sense to place ample power points in the spaces near the bed, such as beside a nightstand. This allows for multiple devices to be plugged in at the same time in a convenient location with little hassle. You can even use power points with integrated USB ports.

Top tip
Double power points fit perfectly into the spaces near a bed and are ideal for charging phones and tablets. You can opt for power points with more outlets for appliances like lamps to avoid clutter.

Step two: Maintain privacy
While open spaces are ideal for areas such as the living room and kitchen, the bedroom is one place where you definitely want privacy. It’s important to keep your bedroom hidden from the outside world with window coverings.

Window coverings such as blockout curtains, privacy curtains or blockout blinds are a great touch, which won’t go unnoticed by your tenants.

To keep from limiting your natural light source in the daytime, you can choose to layer a blockout curtain with a sheer one.

Top tip
When layering curtains, use contrasting colours to give the window a decorative pop. Blue blockout curtains can look smashing against sheer white ones, especially when complemented by light cream walls.

Step three: Create storage space
Though its most obvious function is to provide you with a good night’s sleep, the bedroom also serves as a place where you store your important belongings. Therefore, having adequate storage contributes to a great bedroom layout.

Wardrobes, in particular, are a key feature of the space – they store not just your clothes but your accessories and other items that you use regularly or want to keep safe. The ideal fi x here is something practical and attractive that suits your tenant’s potential needs.

Built-in wardrobes do tend to add perceived value to the property, and adding a mirror door might also be something to consider.

Top tip
In need of some wiggle room in your wardrobe? Wardrobe inserts provide a wealth of shelf space, along with standard-sized drawers for additional storage. You can also fi t shoe racks to maximise the space.

Step four: Keep it neutral
Your bedroom is your personal space, but if you’re looking to lease out your property you need to make it a space that your tenant can personalise. Therefore it’s wise to go with a toned-down design scheme.

 Just as a neutral colour scheme is recommended throughout the living areas of a home that’s to be rented out, this is no di­fferent in the bedroom. Remove any loud wall coverings such as wallpaper and wall friezes, and o­ffer a neutral base for tenants to build from.

You don’t want to box in your tenant by creating a specific kids’ room either. This would again reduce the size of your potential tenant pool.

Top tip
Warm white shades are great for bedrooms as they are easier on the eyes. Paint with a matte finish minimises reflections of light, keeping surface imperfections from becoming obvious.

Step five: Consider the elements
A beautiful floor adds to the appeal and warmth of a bedroom. However, it’s not just about the look; you need to consider how the elements affect the material.

Think about the climate of the area the property is in. For example, tiles work well in Queensland because the climate is humid, but putting tiles in a house in Tasmania may not be such a good idea as they become incredibly cold in winter.

Carpets work well in bedrooms, but you need to be consistent with your choice of carpet. Use one type throughout the whole property to avoid the ‘fun house’ look.

Top tip
Carpets look cosy and feel warm, but they need regular maintenance to stay clean. Generally, it’s accepted that carpets need to be replaced every 10 years or so, as wear and tear makes them frayed, worn and tired.

Step six: Leave out the nostalgia
While vintage has its appeal, it caters to a specific market – and you want your property to catch the attention of as many people as possible.

It’s common for older homes to have interesting features such as plaster-stippled ceilings and strange privacy glass, but it would be advisable to get rid of them. These features date a property very quickly and will impact on your rental return and overall property valuation.

You can create a more temporary, subtle vintage aesthetic by installing lights that evoke an older era without defining the room.

Top tip
An important way to create appeal is to go for a timeless look. If you want to inject your personal flavour into a room, it’s best to keep to temporary design elements that can be easily removed.

Step seven: Pipe down
Keeping the bedroom free of external noise is a must, because this space should be a haven of peace and quiet, not an area where you can hear the laundry going. Think about the type of noise that could enter the bedroom and disrupt sleep. For example, if the bedroom is near the TV in the living room, consider placing the built-in wardrobes against that wall to help mu­ e the sound. Also, using thick blockout curtains will help mu­ e the sound from the street if you are not planning to replace windows.

Top tip
Acoustic panels are great for keeping noise out, but the best option is to minimise noise within the home by getting things done early. In the evenings, relaxing can be the order of the day

Step eight: Bring on the hooks
A great way to store items without taking up space is by hanging them on hooks. The hooks are also easily removed and put away.

Your tenants will want to hang things on the wall, so rather than risk them doing it themselves and damaging your walls, pre-empt this by putting in your own hooks or hanging system.

Ultimately, as the property owner, you have more at stake than they do. When you provide as much of a tenant’s basic needs as possible, you leave less room for them to ‘experiment’ with what’s there.

Top tip
Many older houses have built-in picture rails. You can pick up the picture hooks for these from your local hardware store so that your tenants are ready to go when they move in.

CASE STUDY
Kristen’s story proves that in the world of bedroom renovations you can make a big splash in a short time by doing the right alterations

Kristen engaged Jane Slack-Smith’s Done-For-You service, which resulted in the purchase of a three-bedroom art deco bungalow in Melbourne. She went on to complete a six-week renovation, which increased the value of her investment property by $68,000.

Before

“We used Jane’s Suburb Selection Service to pinpoint the suburbs and even the streets. It was also important for us to target the typical property for the area that was located in the best pockets, where the renters wanted to live,” she says.

Kristen bought the property as part of a ‘buy and hold’ strategy, with the intention of renovating the property and renting it out.

“I am self-employed, so I wanted to start planning for my retirement. I chose property investment over investing in shares, after I gained the knowledge to confidently choose the right property for my goals.”

The house had three good-sized bedrooms – two in the front of the house and one at the back that was added as an extension during a prior renovation. On examining the property, Kristen determined that, for the most part, there would be little need to do anything significant to the bedrooms. The renovation of these spaces was mainly cosmetic.

“The changes were pretty consistent through all the bedrooms. We ripped up the original carpet and changed the flooring. We also painted and exchanged the curtains for blinds. Then we altered the direction of the doors, bought new doors and changed the door handles,” she says.

One major change Kristen did make was the removal of an internal door connecting bedrooms two and three. She decided to close up this obstacle and regain valuable wall space.

“We wanted to keep the theme of the home as consistent as possible. However, this became a little tricky when we got to the bedroom at the back, because it did not have floorboards like the rest of the house. We had to use carpet instead,” she explains.

After

As a result of the changes, Kristen was able to boost the property’s value considerably in a short time, with an increase in rent from $370 to $470 per week.


Jane Slack-Smith is a bestselling author,
media commentator and creator of the
FREE video course: How to Find, Renovate and Profit from Run-Down Properties.

For more information visit freerenocourse.com.au.

 

 

Disclaimer: All products and prices listed are correct at the time of printing. The advice contained in this article is for general information only and should not be taken as financial advice. Please make sure to speak to a qualified professional person before making any investment decision.

 

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