Thu | Dec 2, 2021
DREAM HOUSE: ESSENTIALS

Give your home a dramatic new look and feel

Published:Saturday | October 23, 2021 | 12:11 AMBarry Rattray - Contributor
What kind of flowers do you like? It’s important to plan for your garden as you would your house.
What kind of flowers do you like? It’s important to plan for your garden as you would your house.
The modern furniture and an area rug bring new energy to this living space.
The modern furniture and an area rug bring new energy to this living space.
1
2

So many individuals have shared with me over the years their wish to live in a house like what they have seen on the island, on TV or in magazines. Homes that impress and inspire.

These people delight themselves with the romantic notion that one day, someday, this dream will come to pass.

But you know, I find that more often than not, one’s present living environment has the potential to make dream-come-true stories, for far less money than could be imagined.

With imagination (that magic word), you can remodel and redecorate your surroundings, giving the place a dramatic new look and feel. What do I mean?

Walls can be given a facelift with new surface material, including framed pictures and other works of art. Floors retiled and/or enhanced by area rugs. Furniture can make a statement after a reupholstery exercise. Windows can be treated with stylish drapery or shades.

Bathrooms and kitchens (the two main selling points of a house) can be remodelled to uncompromising standards. If needed, do an extension for more space. Make very sure that adequate verandah/patio area (if space permits) is there for dining, living and entertainment purposes. And because we in tropical zones, we should try to make much more use of the climate we have been blessed with. I do believe that a major spatial component of any house in the tropics must be this open, roofed area which, more often than not, is woefully inadequate compared to the space allotted for interior dining/living areas. The funny thing is, people in colder climes have to subject themselves to climate-controlled, glass-walled/glass-roofed extensions just to enjoy the outdoors – that we take for granted.

So add a bay window here, stick a skylight there – just do some eye-catching special effects that will help pronounce and uplift your immediate environment. Make the most of the home you have. Don’t move – just improve!

Rarely have I ever seen an appealing house, which did not have an appealing garden. Landscaping cannot be divorced from the architecture, as architecture cannot be divorced from interior design/decorating. It’s a relationship that allows man to be at complete harmony within his shelter. Plan for your garden as you would your house.

So settle down with your family and reap the dividends of the money, time, and energy you will put into this rejuvenation plan.

It’s time to make your home the best it can be – to look better and live better at the same address. Here, your investment in refurbishing will yield the highest pleasure over the years and for generations to come.

- Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email feedback to barry-rattray@hotmail.com and lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.