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How to improve your creativity for your renovation project ?

How to improve your creativity for your renovation project

How to improve your creativity for your renovation project ?

Use your creativity! 

Just be creative! You will save so much money! 

What if creativity is not in your bones? Then what? 

Easy, you will learn, and practice will make it perfect just like everything else. 

I will give you three science-based strategies I teach at master’s degree business classes that can be easily adapted for home renovations. 


  1. Insights learning theory 

  1. Non Time and no one 

  1. Design Thinking and Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) 


Please note that I teach these theories in a term, so it is worth exploring more if you are interested. 

And when you are applying….as Salvador Dali said: “Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.”  

I am going to explain with examples why creativity enables the renovation to be completed successfully, and what it affects, but first, let’s talk about ways to improve creativity.

Insights learning theory 

Have you ever felt like you suddenly understood something? Or had a moment of sudden comprehension, when you got a joke or solved a puzzle or resolved an ambiguous situation? That’s called insight. The aha momentIt is a useful theory because you will end up creating a solution. 


A German psychologist Kohler hung a banana from the ceiling of a hungry chimpanzee named Sultan. He gave Sultan two sticks and 3 boxes to try to get the banana. He was unsuccessful and exhausted from jumping up and down. Kohler realised that when Sultan seemingly gave up, he sat for a while and thought about what to do. He then put the boxes on each other and used both sticks together and reached for the banana. 


So, the idea is when you give up at the incubation stage, you stop but your brain will continue looking for a solution at the subconscious level. The best way to reach the insights level – this is the stage you come up with a creative solution is to sleep, meditate or laugh!  



Renovation example: Insight learning is a sudden realization of a solution to a problem. Because of its suddenness, insight learning is different from trial-and-error learning, which can be very costly for your renovationYou can also think of insight development as a decision-making process. Since it is difficult to strategize and make alternative decisions at the same time, you tend towards the most obvious. For example, you have decided to start a renovation and you want to change the floor plan, but you are not sure how you want to change it. Take a moment to look at the current plan of the house and identify the worst, unnecessary, non-functional things that caught your eye. Think about how you will live in this house right after (if you have a family, you can think about it altogether) This thinking practice will enable you to improve the living flow in the house. These flows are going to help you make important decisions such as the distance of the children’s room from the bathroom, whether the kitchen is located in the open-plan, whether there is an extra room in the house, and where the storage areas should be located. Because this house is your house and will live with you, you need to have the most accurate renovation plan for your life cycle. Sleep on it, live in it before you knock down any walls! 

And do not forget! for all these insight practices, gratitude, mindfulness, exercise and sleep are non-negotiables for sustained peak performance. I know it is especially hard during renovating 



Non Time and no one 

First no one: A 2012 study run by psychologists at the University of Utah found that after four days alone in nature, subjects scored 50 per cent better on standard tests of creativity. Especially at the incubation stage, be alone 

And the no time concept!


There are 2 aspects of time: 


1) The first is “non-time.” –  take as much time as you need to daydream – Creativity needs this kind of patience.  

2) The second key thing is deadlines. Deadlines are stressors; force you to rarely see the big picture and instead push you to be stuck on the details. This is not going to help your creativity and problem solving with alternative solutions.  


Renovation example: When you are in the renovation planning process, you definitely will not have any shortage of limitations. It is not like a new build.  

Maybe you want a design that doesn’t fit your space  

– A space that needs to be more functional than it currently is  

– A space that needs more light or better insulation, better layout… 


Many architects explain their design stage as staring at the space.


Feeling the room, the light, the wind for hours and days, and day and night…. whether you are renovating a room or a complete house, spend time there, watch, observe, sip your coffee, take notes, and draw some ideas. Browse the social media accounts of the architects you like, google your ideas and save the images. Talk to your friends. Have no deadlines! Do not rush these decisions. Finish design and buy products first. When your builder starts the work, make sure they work within the deadlines. 


Design Thinking and Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) 

Put simply, design thinking is thinking like a designer. Identifying problems and coming up with outside-the-box solutions!  

SIT on the other hand is the tool you can use to force yourself to think outside the box, just like Beatles… The Beatles were innovators, and they applied the same template over and over again to create hit songs.  

SIT is a framework that you can use to break down problems into manageable pieces and then solve them. SIT forces you to think of components, rather than the whole. 


SIT has five patterns. Try to use all these patterns to find a solution for your problem even if you come up with ridiculous solutions and choose the best one.  

Subtraction: Taking away parts from an existing design or process to create a new one. At this stage, it can be planned to transform the existing floor plan design into a more functional new design. 


Division: Divide into components, taking a component out and putting it somewhere else. 


Example: One architectural example I love is the new state of art western Sydney university I teach at. The lifts there have the floor selection buttons outside, not inside the liftInstead of just pushing a single up or down button to call the lift, you push the button for the floor straight away, easier and more effective. 


Multiplication: A component copied but changed in some way, usually in a way that initially seemed unnecessary or redundant. 


Example: If you are satisfied with the bathroom renovation plan you have implemented, you can apply the same framework for the other bathroom by sticking to your plan. Architect Bruce Graham used multiplication for his Sears Tower in Chicago. He produced a collection of nine tubes, each of a different height. When attached to specially manufactured steel frames, the tubes created a building that has significantly greater structural integrity than that of a single-tube building and was $10 M cheaper.


Task Unification: Connecting disparate ideas and tasks into one whole, giving additional tasks 


Example: In a room Boxareno designed, there was a single door that can be used to hang a TV that would end up organising the whole seating looking at that wall instead of the amazing forest view and custom-made fireplace. So, architects designed a coffee table that can hide the TV in it, used only when it is needed not to block the stunning view.  


Attribute Dependency: In many innovative products and services, two or more attributes that previously seemed unrelated now correlate with one another. As one thing changes, something else changes. 



Example: The most amazing architectural example is the Da Vinci building in Dubai. The Da Vinci Tower 68-floor tower and each floor will be able to rotate independently. This will result in a constantly changing shape for the tower. The entire tower will be powered by wind turbines and solar panels that will also provide electricity to five other buildings. The turbines are located between each of the rotating floors and could generate up to 1,200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. 


The renovation process is both a creative outlet as well a means of putting your creativity to use and solving problems. There are many exciting stages such as budgeting and scheduling, which is a perfect way to practice “thinking outside the box.” A setback such as a tight budget or schedule can seem like an impossible problem but with a little patience and confidence, you can use that setback to improve upon the original plan.  

With your original plan, you can be more creative than an architect if you know what you want in your renovation project.  


After taking some consultations from a few architects, I got some pretty good ideas—but they were never what I wanted. Some architects suggested plans that were both more costly and not suitable for my family’s life cycle.   


One of the architects even suggested I open the door from the dining area to my room, which I’m using as a guest room. If I had followed his word, it would have been incredibly costly and made an inactive room. Instead, I created a living space completely independent from the living area with a bathroom inside, a door to the outside, and access to the outdoor kitchen. I prefer this layout because I could consider this room as Airbnb and stay comfortable when my guests come over. I chose a more creative, cheaper way contrary to the suggestion of that architect. 

In short, you can improve your creativity by looking at what you have, by thinking about how you spend your time in a house and trusting yourself. If you need help, I’m here! 

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