I have already discussed some of the stages you should go through when planning the layout and design of your property at a ‘high level’.
At a ‘low level’ (more detailed) you will need to give some thought to interior design and style issues. If you have a vision of the ‘finished product’ the whole project will be easier.
I do recommend that anyone restoring a building should accumulate hundreds of magazines, pictures and books. Then you can search for pictures of exteriors or interiors that you like, and try to work out what it is you like about them. A couple of hundred euros spent on books and magazines is money well spent if the ideas can translate into adding thousands of pounds to the value of your house and, more importantly, if they can make it a nicer place to live.
The property renovation magazines that I buy are usually not immediately applicable to the work I am doing, but they come into their own when I am later planning a bathroom, a shutter colour or anything else for the property and I am looking for ideas.
Looking at interior design and decoration magazines may seem a bit ahead of yourself at this stage of the project, if you find you are looking at different designs of curtain before the room even exists. But the more of these ‘ideal’ interiors that you look at, the clearer the idea you will have of what you want.
The other good reason to look through magazines and books is that they will help keep you motivated during the long winter nights, or the rainy days when the mason can’t start his work. Sorry to say, but on a rainy day in January your enthusiasm for being surrounded by mud and building materials might fade just a tiny bit. A few magnificent magazine interiors will soon help you get your enthusiasm back.
Even better looking at magazines is looking at the real thing. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, go into other houses and have a nosy around. Most people are happy to show off their houses, and you will get loads of good ideas for interior design. Invite people in for a coffee, and soon enough they will invite you back. You might make some friends into the bargain.