Pro tips: Reno done right

April 9, 2019 Tags: , , , , , ,

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When it comes time to do renovations, it can be easy to get lost in all the details of such a big project. Where to start? Which contractor to choose? What’s trending in home renovations? We talked with Élaine Fortin, partner designer at Bipède ( www.bipede.ca), a multidisciplinary design studio in Montreal. 

What’s trending in home renovations?

For Élaine Fortin, 2019 will mark the return of Terrazzo, a cutting-edge material that is becoming increasingly affordable for the general public. “It’s a rich material that adds texture and has a strong personality. It comes in all kinds of colors, from high contrast to softer shades,” says Élaine Fortin. She adds that it’s available in prefabricated slabs for various types of surfaces, including floors, counters, and backsplashes.

Curved liness are another big trend this year—think kitchen islands with rounded corners, for instance. “Arches and cylindrical and spherical shapes are transforming interiors with softer geometrical lines and spaces.” According to the designer, this may be a response to the wave of more angular shapes and patterns of recent years.

Rethink the way you renovate

Green renovations and local materials are in (see our article about green buildings: https://www.bardagi.com/en/green-building-the-way-of-the-future). For the folks at Bipède, using local wood species like ash, maple, white oak, and walnut isn’t a question of fashion. The company automatically recommends its clients opt for “noble and sustainable natural materials strong enough to stand up to wear and tear and timeless enough to outlive passing fads.” The designers also choose materials based on the structure of the property being renovated. Every project is unique and it takes a deft hand to successfully blend the original architectural details with modern touches.

What are the steps?

First, you have to identify your needs. “If possible, live in the space for a while before you renovate. Taking your time to think about it will give you perspective and a better sense of the work to be done,” says Élaine Fortin. Then, it’s a good idea to contact your municipality to see how long it takes to get a renovation permit. “This is especially true if you’re planning an addition or making changes to the exterior,” she adds. 

According to Fortin, hiring design professionals can take your project in new directions and give you design options you might not have imagined by yourself. Having the trained eye of a professional will also make it easier to see which aspects of the project are doable and which aren’t. Like a real estate broker when you’re buying a house, a design firm will guide you throughout the process, provide expertise, and help you avoid mistakes along the way.

With all these great tips, you’re now ready to start your renovation project! Ready, set, renovate!

See all the projects of Bipède: www.bipede.ca

Main picture: Résidence A (St-Bruno-de-Montarville) Picture credits: Adrien Williams

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