Adding Value by Design

Whether you are planning to live in your house for years to come, or if you want to maximise its resale value, Context Architects takes you through our recommendations for Adding Value by Design. We make what can seem complicated easy, and explain the important areas to invest in; whether you are renovating for resale or to improve your enjoyment of your home­

Design to suit a lifestyle
Apart from negotiating with your significant other if you have one, you’ve pretty much got free rein if you are the client. But if you are planning to sell consider your target market – young families, singletons or retirees for example and keep them in mind when making decisions. Even if you aren’t selling now, but think that you will one day, you might want to keep enough back in the budget to remove that mirrored ceiling or convert the military re-enactment wing.

More is more

The number of bedrooms is the top feature that sells a house, particularly if you have three or more. Extending into your roofspace, over-garage additions, high-end sleep outs and straight out extensions are all good ways of adding space and value.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms have a big impact on how a home feels. A renovation of either adds instant appeal for homeowners and buyers alike. A top of the range kitchen or bathroom can come in at many thousands, so avoid overcapitalising if you think that you might sell in the short- to medium-term.  You can keep the costs within the few thousands if you shop for proprietary items and Trade Me is the home of many a bargain for the careful shopper.  If you don’t have a bottomless budget for a new kitchen and bathroom, consider:

  • New paint

  • Updating handles

  • Replacing work surfaces

For kitchens, good connection with outdoor spaces is a winner. You can improve the relationship between the dining, kitchen and outside areas with folding glass doors.


Great lighting adds value and good looks. Don’t underestimate its transformative powers -it can make an average room look great. Light reflecting off something is better than direct lighting and more forgiving.  Natural light is best of all, and if it comes from windows on at least two sides of a room, then it is much more diffused and balanced.

Outside lighting

Outside lights can jazz up the street appeal of your home, as well as add a bit of fun to your outdoor entertaining areas. Fairy lights are an ethereal and cheap way to add interest.

Window dressing

Curtains or blinds are also a functional way to add a style. More is more with curtains. Drapes that go all the way to the floor with double fabric width of your fabric will add opulence and improve thermal performance.


Tried and true materials like wood, brick and stone have a timeless appeal. They are familiar constructions that don’t date, age gracefully, have a low toxicity and hold their value.

For more design tools and architectural inspiration, check out our website

Scott Cracknell, Associate Director and residential expert at Context Architects
Context Architects operates nationally and specialises in large scale commercial developments, retail and residential projects.

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