Whether you’ve just bought a condo that needs some love, or have been living in one for several years, you have probably been considering ways to spruce things up. While condo renovations are typically far less complicated and nuanced than house renos, there are some key ways to make your project as high-impact and low-stress as possible.
There’s perhaps no better way to feel like you’re in a new space than by adding a fresh coat of paint. But there are some important choices to make along the way. Here are some important considerations for any condo-painting project:
- Use bright colours (typically, the brighter the better in small spaces)
- Make your trim pop by using a different colour for your trim versus your walls
- Protect your floors, furniture, and cabinets by using drop sheets (unless you have significant painting experience, it’s highly likely that you’ll encounter a spill at some point)
- Purchase the highest-quality paint that you can afford
- Use pearl-gloss paint in bathrooms to avoid mold
- Avoid using flat paint in any high traffic areas, as it will mark and is very difficult to clean
You can absolutely transform the feel of your condo by tweaking your lighting setup. In a one-bedroom condo, for example, you may only need to change four ceiling lights. Doing so can have a very high impact. If you’re on a budget, spend some time searching retailers like Ikea or Structube for fixtures that grab your attention, but don’t look like their $50-$100 price tag.
If you want to splurge, $400-$500 at a high quality lighting store can get you a long way to an exemplary “show piece” to hang above your dining table.
If you’re in a typical Toronto condo, your windows are likely adorned with those ‘delightful’ vertical blinds. While practical, they just don’t give the modern feel that many of us are looking for in our spaces. By upgrading to roller blinds you can make your windows feel larger and more inviting. If you go with curtains, you will add texture and warmth to the space.
Other Tweaks to Consider
- If you have a popcorn ceiling: consider scraping it off! While this can be a very messy job, it will have a huge impact and you’ll definitely be happy with the results (Remember to start by testing a section of your ceiling to see what lurks underneath)
- Apply new caulking around sinks, tubs, and toilets to freshen things up
- Install a new bathroom vanity (These run from $300-$2000, depending on size and quality), and may be all that required if the tile in the bathroom isn’t overly dated
- Replace old laminate countertops with manufactured granite or quartz
- Upgrading appliances, or sprucing them up with ‘stainless-like’ wraps.
Things To Avoid When Renovating Your Condo
While the suggestions above can all make a big difference to your enjoyment of the condo you’ve purchased, many projects can quickly turn into a nightmare. Consider the following tips to ensure that your reno doesn’t turn into a disaster:
- Don’t start a repair or upgrade on your own if you aren’t 100% sure you’ll be able to finish it with the time and money you can afford.
- Get proper approvals from your condo board (For example, new underpad for floors must be approved; changes to kitchen plumbing also need to get the go-ahead).\
- Also know your condos rules for excessive noise and moving elevator access.
- Make sure you have all of the steps of a project in order before starting (for example, don’t start pulling down your old kitchen cabinets before you’ve ordered the new ones)
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your condo from old and tired, to new and full of life!