Consider the day-to-day experience of living in your home. Then try to describe the vision you have for your renovation. Don't worry about the nuts and bolts involved in doing the actual work, concentrate on defining the end result. For instance, if your existing kitchen is a problem, describe how your dream kitchen would work. Perhaps it would read something like this:
"I'll be able to cook a complete dinner without having to stop and clean up all the time. There's plenty of working space right near the stove and there's also a big area for setting out dishes and serving plates. Everything I need is close at hand, but not on the counter top-there are lots of drawers and cupboards for everything. And there is enough space so that someone else can sit at the kitchen table, and we can carry on a conversation without bumping into each other."
By describing your personal renovation goals this way, you focus on the real point of your renovation-how it will impact your lifestyle, not how the actual work will be done. That comes later.
In setting down your renovation goals, there are three important aspects you should pay particular attention to:
How you use a room determines the amount of space required and the extent to which the space needs to be open or closed to surrounding areas of your home. What activities will take place in the room? What existing or future furnishings must fit into it? Will noise from this room be disruptive to others?
What are the lighting requirements of the activities planned for each room? Do existing windows provide adequate sunlight and a feeling of spaciousness? Will you use this room more during the day or in the evening? If artificial light is needed, would general lighting or task lighting be more suitable?
What are the traffic patterns through each area of your home? Does a room provide access to other frequently used parts of your home like the kitchen or bathroom and does this conflict with the activities you plan for this room?
With clear goals, you avoid becoming overwhelmed by choices, not an uncommon problem when planning a renovation.