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A Fixer Upper Challenge: 9 Design Tips for Abandoned Buildings Back to Blog

A Fixer Upper Challenge: 9 Design Tips for Abandoned Buildings

There’s something special about embarking on a fixer up; rather than wiping away the old to replace with the new, you embrace the challenge of saving something that’s been there a long time. It’s like taking a little piece of history and placing it into the renovation. Despite this, it can be a difficult pursuit, especially if the building has been unused for a long time. If you have the challenge of renovating an abandoned building on your hands, then read on for nine design tips to make it shine once more.

1: Strip it Back

The building must be stripped back before you can start working on it. Take out any leftover items, equipment, and anything else that might be in there. Think of it as starting with a clean pallet. It will help give you a proper sense of the place before you decide on what sort of layout and design you will be going for.

2: Sketch Multiple Floorplans

You might decide to keep the floorplan the building already has, but if not, sketch out a few. Keep in mind what the building is going to be used for – if it’s an office building, then remember to include ample space for offices, desks, etc. Your first sketch probably won’t be the one you end up using, so make sure you keep drawing.

3: Wide Windows

Often, abandoned buildings have small windows. To create something modern, try putting in tall, wide windows. It will let the light stream in and bright the whole place up. Whatever the building is becoming, the chances are natural light will work well.

4: Lighting

Once you have the natural light conquered, you must think about the design of the light fixtures. Lighting can completely alter the atmosphere of an area, so make sure you use it wisely. If you aren’t experienced with light design, then 299 Lighting will help you illuminate the space perfectly. Whether you’re aiming for moody, atmospheric lighting or absolute brightness, the designing will take some consideration.

5: Outdoor Space

Just because you are focused on the building doesn’t mean you should ignore what is outside. Does the building lead directly to a path? Is there greenery outside? It all plays a part in the design. If there is a picturesque view on one side of the building, make sure to take advantage of that with enough windows. The exterior of the building should also complement what’s around it - you don’t want it sticking out for all the wrong reasons.

6: Budget Wisely

When designing, you must think about your priorities and how much budget you have. While, in an ideal world, you would have limitless funds to create the perfect place, in reality, you need to figure out how much you can spend. It’s best to budget as early as possible so you don’t get stuck into a job, only to realise you won’t have enough funds for something else that should have taken priority. It’s all about planning.

7: Remember Storage

When designing floorplans, remember to include room for storage. You don’t want to create a space where people have to leave everything out in the open. Cupboards and small rooms will be helpful here, and they don’t need windows. The amount of storage room you’ll need to put in depends on what the building will be. If it will be used for healthcare, then there must be ample room for storage, as there will be a lot of equipment throughout the building.

8: Think About Noise

Controlling noise is a huge part of designing a building’s layout. There might be some rooms that will need to be further away from others due to noise control. If you are designing a building that will turn into a hotel with a bar, you need to make sure the bar isn’t too close to the bedrooms. Otherwise, hotel guests will have trouble sleeping due to the noise. Bars are best kept at the bottom, as noises from above are louder.

9: Keep Size in Mind

It’s easy to get the scale wrong, so you should keep it in mind while designing. You don’t need a bathroom that’s as big as an office for 10! It helps when you’re sketching to write out measurements.

As you’re working with an abandoned building, it is useful to let the old floorplan guide you. Of course, changes will most likely be made, but the sense of scale you get at the beginning will help you understand how much space you have to work with.

Renovating an abandoned building is a worthy venture. While it will take time, effort, and a lot of planning, the outcome will be more than worth it.

 

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