Older condos often have great square-footage, but may not have the best layout by today’s standards. A well-considered renovation can transform the space. MAC Renovations photo
Victoria is fortunate to boast many older condominiums with spacious layouts of 1,200 square feet or more. The challenge? They may still look original – say, circa 1985 or even 1975.
So if you’re not ready to live like it’s pre-1999, what do you do?
The answer probably starts with a review of your strata rules or a chat with your strata council, suggests Srdjo Djurkovic, Project Leader with MAC Renovations.
Unlike single-family homes, where renovations are contained to a single residence or property, condo renovations typically involve common spaces and adjoining walls, ceilings and floors, meaning owners likely need written approval before physically altering their residence.
Some stratas will also have rules about how and when renovations can take place, for example, or mitigation measures to limit the impacts on neighbours.
So with the “how” understood, the next step will likely involve the “what” … as in what will transform an outdated space into a modern home you’ll love?
- The floorplan. While older condos often have great square-footage, they may not have the best layout by today’s standards. The kitchen may be cut off from the living area or interior walls may create a dark, compartmentalized space. While these kinds of changes are among the most involved of condo renovations, they can help create a light-filled, open home that flows well and maximizes the space you have.
- Kitchens and bathrooms. Yes, if you’ve inherited those 1980s blonde oak cabinets and laminate counters, you know it’s time for a change. Whether you keep the existing configuration or open up the layout, new solid surface counters, cabinets, new appliances and features like large-format tiles and modern fixtures will make a big difference, Djurkovic says.
- Lighting. Like plumbing fixtures (we’re looking at you, avocado green sink), lighting can also date a space. Modern, recessed pot lighting, updated pendant lighting and even details like cabinet or under-vanity lighting can all give your space a fresh new look.
- Paint. “People often underestimate what a great paint job will do,” Djurkovic says. While it’s not as permanent as a structural change, choosing the right colour for your space is important – you don’t want to re-paint because your favourite shade of blue looks different at home than in the store. One solution is to call on an interior design professional who knows what to look for, what questions to ask, and can walk you through the process.
- Flooring. Yes, what’s on your floor matters, especially in a condo, where stratas may have rules governing a product’s sound deadening properties, for example. Older condos often feature wall-to-wall carpet, which most new owners remove. Whether you replace it with vinyl plank, hardwood or laminate will be governed by your taste, but also practical matters like whether you need an extra muffling layer. Once in place, consider new trims and baseboards as the final piece of the modernizing puzzle.
To put a fresh face on your condo, visit macreno.com or call the design team today at