One of the most fun parts about renovating is the planning stage. Compiling ideas and inspiration into a sublime sexy finished look is right up there as everyone’s favourite stage of the whole process. Some of us might even need to reign in the planning and inspiration stage a little…
I might be guilty of getting distracted throughout the actual renovation just to go back and play around with my inspiration boards yet again. (Hmmm… I wonder what these other cabinet handles would look like in my kitchen… and OMG, how awesome would THAT tile look as a splashback!)
But sometimes competing ideas can get confusing and sometimes we can run out of inspiration. Or we can have too many different ideas clashing in our head with no way of sorting them into a cohesive look for the room.
These websites are my go-to for renovation inspiration – both to come up with new and innovative ideas and also to visualise and organise the total look. Hopefully you will love them too!
Best Websites for Renovation Inspiration
I really love Houzz and Pinterest for creating inspiration boards and as a great place to start. You can literally look through pics of products and other people’s finished rooms for an eternity to gather new concepts and look for motivational muses.
Houzz is so incredibly comprehensive and is beautifully organised by all the search terms you can think of, with links of course to houses in Australia. The professionals who list there often provide detail about the materials and products, and you can also link to people like builders, architects and designers directly.
Pinterest is great because you can create separate mood boards for each room, theme or material – in fact you can categorise these boards however you like. The images tend to be mostly American but it is a good place to get your creative juices flowing.
Other favourites include:
- Style Sourcebook; I’ve found Style Sourcebook to be a great website for creating mood boards from local Australian suppliers. But a word of warning, you can lose hours playing and creating mood boards!
- The Undercover Architect is a wonderful resource for ideas, design & building layout and as an extra bonus has great podcasts to listen to.
- Dwell is another great website for beautiful international inspiration and functional architectural design.
- Dulux Snapshot Colour App and the Resene Colour Palette Generator are fantastic to help you visualise what colours would suit where. The options are endless, and these apps are fab with helping with decisions!!
Domain and Realestate.com
If you like some real-life inspiration or need to see things properly you will get great use out of the Domain and Realestate.com.au websites or apps. You can take virtual tours and even plan and visit local open homes to see what has been done well and what, well, just hasn’t.
Online Magazines and Blogs
Content which is updated often is great to stay particularly on trend, and online blogs and magazines are fantastic for this. The images are obviously spot on, but the articles are great for how to tips and new suppliers to pay attention to.
The Homes To Love Website is one of the best central sources of Australian online magazines. This home styling hub incorporates a lot of the stunning local renovating magazines including Belle, Real Living, House and Garden and Inside Out with great articles for planning, inspiration and product information.
Some of my favourite blogs include:
I especially love the ‘before and after’ articles as they really help you to plan and to see what is possible.
Social Media Inspiration
The search capabilities on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook mean that you can easily find whatever you are looking for. The focus on quality images on Instagram especially is perfect for your planning and creative ideas.
On Insta you should follow architects, suppliers, interior designers, and, of course, Renovating Mums Sydney!
Facebook Groups are the gifts that keep on giving for recommendations, local suppliers and sources as well as support. Again, if you are a local, you have to be a part of Renovating Mums Sydney!! I also love Home Decorating Mums as an Australia wide group.
Inspiration from Television
A lot of the stuff on TV these days is not what I would call inspirational, but when it comes to home renovation you can find some pretty good sources for your home design creativity.
I love watching Grand Designs (both the UK & Aussie versions) for envelope-pushing on what can really be done if you think outside the box. Some of the budgets they have to stick to here can be really helpful to see what you can do when money is restricted, while others are so opulent they are more of an ‘I wish’.
I also like the reality renovation programs like The Block, House Rules and Reno Rumble. Again, they are great for local products (although can be a little saturated by the big-name brands, at least you can easily source the things they use).
I watch these mostly for the inspiration, not as a How To (they are more like How Not To, remember these timelines are not realistic!). And it is interesting to see how much make-up some people need to do a hard day’s home reno work 🙂
Hopefully, some of my favourite websites for renovation inspiration help you too (and not just as a distraction from the real work!). If you have another one you love which we have missed please comment below as we would love to know!