Just Married. The Age of Commitment.

April 14, 2020

Saying “I do” to a new build or renovation.

A little while ago you said “yes” to the dress. Then you said “I do”. Marriage vows are the first of many commitments you’ll make together. And some of them don’t come with an easy “yes”. When facing a renovation or a new build, you’re going to have to share the load pretty much 50/50. Not just costs, but ideas, plans, dreams, too. Creating a space where both of you will not just live, but flourish and grow together, means committing to a fair amount of compromise. And saying “yes” to the stress!

Get your win-win goggles on (they’re right next to your big girls’ blouse in the coping cupboard!) and share your visions.

Build something and grow together. Let’s assume the honeymoon’s over, and you’re back home in the space you currently share. Suddenly, it’s not enough. A couple of scenarios here. You both need more space and decide to extend – a spare room would be great for friends, for a home office, even ‘time out’ for either of you. You like the space but you’re not living it; it’s longing for some fresh looks and upgrades (if that tired living room carpet isn’t ripped up soon you’ll murder someone).  Or (and here’s all guns blazing) you decide a new life together means a totally new house together, from the foundations up.

Don’t miss the memo. Whichever is your scenario, may we respectfully suggest that you don’t miss the memo that says: DON’T BUILD OR RENOVATE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE HONEYMOON. PLEASE. Create your team-of-two first, before you have to rely on it for trust, support and scarily honest feedback. Give it a while.

Who does what? One of you is the big picture thinker. The other is the small detail person. You know who you are, so stick to your lane and perform the planning, decision-making and execution tasks best suited to you. Know up front that one of you will be calmer and one of you will cry. A lot. (We’re willing to bet the big picture thinker is the calmer of the two.) Remember, sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. There are moments that will be maddening, but try to remember that there are priceless lessons in every leaking pipe, missing fixture, wrong paint tone;

you can use them to your relationship’s advantage. Trust us. We’ve been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive.


Get a third person. If you can afford it, avoid conflict from day one and bring in a project manager/interior designer. He or she will become your mediator slash marriage counsellor and help you find common ground; often you’ll be shown a third option that neither of you thought about but both love!  Failing that, ask us about the role our residential agents can play, or speak to one of our sales advisers; they’re trained and certified in interior design and can offer very useful advice when you can’t agree on a design/look.

Design trends and looks. A new fashion in design is a trend; some of them come, some of them go. Then ones that hang around become timeless looks. Our suggestion is always go for timeless contemporary style when making investment purchases. Fashions can be expressed in your less expensive finishes (like throws and cushion covers).

A few brushstrokes from our current lookbooks. Italtile has an eye for fashion, finely honed after over 50 years in the bizz, and we hunt out the very best expressions of contemporary trends so you can live beautifully and remain on-trend for years to come. The matt black trend is big, and it’s showing no sign of going anywhere for a while. So what about a set of Program One statement taps in your bathroom: Italian design with a New York Apartment attitude.

Program 1

Talking of bathrooms, take a look at our eco chic Almar Watersaving Showerheads. Living beautifully in the 21st century means making mindful, planet pleasing choices. No matter what tiles you are browsing through in our online store, you can be sure that they have been designed and manufactured by suppliers who lead the way in sustainability.


Although we have this thing with Italian tiles, we are no less proud of our local floor and wall tiles, like Spazio, Magnum and Legno, which all carry our LiveGreen logo.

Kitchen gadgetry is part and parcel of a sleek, modern kitchen, so if you are looking to turf out your old sinks, consider Smeg and Franke sinks with Waste Disposal features. 

You’ve got bigger buying power with shared income, you’ve got the ideas, you’re fully committed, but before you dive in, a few points:

1.Don’t expect perfection. No matter how much money you spend, and how much you try to control events and specify, there are going to be things beyond your control that will go wrong. Most of them are easily fixe, but it will take time and patience. Don’t rush the process.

2.Do your research. Recommendations will come in thick and fast when your friends and fam realise you’re renovating or building. Check references! Also, it’s good to firm up on important details like: does the contractor get the materials, or do you? When it comes to installations of baths, plumbing, sanware, showers, sinks and tiles, speak to us first. When you buy Italtile style, you’re investing in superb quality, which needs professional treatment. Read more about the Italtile Installation Service here.


3.Don’t add too many fixtures. Liveable space is real currency in the property market. Every now and then a house is sold on its feature fireplace, intriguing built-in tables or seating, tricked out entertainment centres and forests of floating shelves, or incredible kitchen island with built-in everything including the kitchen sink. But the best estate agents will concur, that square footage is where the value lies.

4.NEVER WORK WITH AN UNLICENCED CONTRACTOR. (Sorry about the shouty upper case, but we’re raising our voices for a reason!)

5.DIY or DDIY? So you adore spending a Saturday morning wandering around builders’ depots, but this does not make you an Olympic Angle Grinder Medallist.

When in doubt, don’t DIY. Hire an expert. (See no. 2)

6.Workflow, workflow, workflow. Seems a no-brainer, right? But a lot of (tearful) people get their strategy wrong. Poor planning can result in delays and added costs.

For example, you don’t want to finish your floors and then paint. Paint and painters can really damage your new floors; the savvy Italstyler ensures flooring is done last.

Talking of planning workflow, remember to either hire a dumpster for all debris, or a truck to haul away the building rubbish on a regular basis.

7.Whatever you budget for, set more cash aside. Whatever your upgrade mission, it’s always going to cost more. Always. That way you plan for surprises

(like finding killer beetles in a torn up floor). We recommend setting aside 20% more.

Do it together (with a little help from your Italtile specialists to avoid conflict), and live beautifully.