Additionally, they can create a visually cluttered look that shrinks a room's perceived size. Removing your popcorn ceiling is a great renovation project if you're looking to modernise your space.

This guide will walk you through the process of popcorn ceiling removal, from understanding the benefits to tackling the removal itself.  We'll also discuss when it's best to call in a professional.

Why Remove Popcorn Ceilings?

preparing for popcorn ceiling removal

Potential Health Concerns:

Popcorn ceilings applied before the 1980s may contain asbestos, a hazardous material that can cause serious health problems if inhaled. Testing for asbestos is crucial before starting any removal work.

Improved Aesthetics:

Popcorn ceilings can make a room feel dated and visually busy. Removing them creates a clean, modern look that opens up the space and allows for a more contemporary design aesthetic.

Easier Cleaning:

Popcorn ceilings' textured surface traps dust and cobwebs, making them a nightmare to clean. A smooth ceiling is much easier to maintain and keeps your living space feeling fresh.

Increased Lighting Efficiency:

Popcorn ceilings can absorb light, making a room feel darker. Removing them allows for better light reflection, which can brighten your space and potentially reduce your lighting needs.

Preparing for Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Before you grab your scraper and get to work, some crucial preparation steps are necessary for a safe and successful removal process. If your home was built before the 1980s, it's crucial to test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos content.  Asbestos removal requires specialised techniques and should only be handled by licensed professionals. DIY removal is not recommended if asbestos is present.

Safety First:

Popcorn ceiling removal can generate a lot of dust, so proper protection is essential. Wear a respirator with an appropriate P rating to filter out harmful particles. Safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing are also recommended.

Protecting Your Workspace:

Minimise dust spreading throughout your home by sealing doorways and vents with plastic sheeting. Cover furniture and flooring with drop cloths for easy cleanup.

Gathering the Right Tools:

You'll need a few essential tools for the job, including a wide scraper with an extension handle, a sprayer bottle, a putty knife for detailed work, sanding tools, and plastic bags for debris disposal.

Removal using wet vs dry scraping methods

There are two main methods for removing popcorn texture - wet scraping and dry scraping.

Wet Scraping:

This is the preferred method for most popcorn ceilings.  A light misting with warm water helps soften the texture, making it easier to scrape off without generating excessive dust. Spray a small section of the ceiling at a time and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes before scraping. Work in manageable sections, and be careful not to over-wet the ceiling, which can damage the drywall underneath.

Dry Scraping:

This method can be effective for unpainted popcorn ceilings with minimal texture.  However, it's generally more labour-intensive and creates a lot of dust. Dry scraping is only recommended for small areas or if wet scraping is not possible.

Regardless of the scraping method chosen, work carefully and avoid gouging the drywall beneath the popcorn texture.

When to hire a professional

why remove popcorn ceiling

While popcorn ceiling removal can be a DIY project, there are situations where hiring a professional is the best course of action:

Suspected Asbestos:

If your popcorn ceiling tests positive for asbestos, professional removal is essential to ensure your safety and proper disposal of the hazardous material.

High Ceilings:

Removing popcorn ceilings from high ceilings can be dangerous and require specialised equipment. Hiring a professional with experience working on tall ceilings is a safer option.

Extensive Popcorn Ceilings:

If you have a large area of popcorn ceiling to remove, the project can be very time-consuming. Hiring a professional can save you significant time and effort.

Heavily Textured or Painted Ceilings:

Popcorn ceilings that are heavily textured or painted with oil-based paint can be very difficult to remove. A professional contractor will have the experience and tools to handle these challenging situations.

Get your tools ready, and let’s give your home some fresh new improvements. Here are some quick and easy do-it-yourself (DIY) home renovation ideas to give your space a special look—no contractor required.

Paint Your Walls

If you’re on a budget but still want to give your home a revitalised interior design, one of the most affordable and easiest techniques to do is to paint your walls. Painting the walls of your living room, bedroom, and other parts of your home can help eliminate dirt, cover stains, or replace fading wallpaper and give your home a fresh and clean atmosphere. 

When choosing the right colour, start by thinking about the mood you want to create and selecting a paint colour that aligns with the principles of colour psychology to help achieve your desired result. For example, yellow paints can make small kitchens look bigger and make people feel calm and happy. Experts also suggest painting the living room blue. When paired with white hues, blue paint colour brings a vibe that’s cool and relaxing. 

If you’re not sure which colour to choose, pick an area that’s quick to paint, such as your powder room, bathroom, or accent wall. Painting small areas first allows you to see the results sooner and make adjustments accordingly until you’re satisfied.  

Tweak Your Existing Cabinetry

Another home improvement idea is to update your existing cabinetry. You might want to repaint your drawers and bookcases a new shade, replace door handles and other cabinet hardware, or add undercabinet lighting to your kitchen cabinets; all these quick and easy improvements can give your cabinet a huge makeover!

Upgrade Your Flooring

Installing new wood or tile floors to refresh your interior flooring may require a significant amount of time and, of course, money. If you wish to revitalise your floors while sticking to a budget, rolling out rugs and carpets can be an instant option. A wide range of antimicrobial carpets are available on the market nowadays, which effectively inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria, and dust mites within the carpet fibres.

In outdoor areas of your home, artificial grass can add vibrancy to your surroundings. Mimicking the appearance of natural grass, artificial grass is resistant to fading and can maintain its aesthetic appeal for 10 to 15 years.

Replace Old Caulk

Replacing old caulk is an easy DIY bathroom remodelling hack to maintain the freshness of your bathroom and prevent the growth of mildew. 

Before applying new caulk around your bathtub, shower, or sink, it is necessary to remove the old caulk. New caulk won’t adhere to old caulk, so leaving the old caulk in place can prevent the formation of a watertight seal, potentially allowing moisture to penetrate areas where it's unwanted

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are an appealing option for your home, especially if you’re aiming to save more money on electricity bills. Ceiling fans reduce air conditioning costs and lower heating expenses by circulating warm air away from the ceiling.

When searching for the right ceiling fan, consider the height of the ceiling, the type of blades (wood, plastic, or metal), and the fan motor.  

Customise Storage Areas

Customise Storage Areas

Besides having new shelving, it may be a good idea to create custom storage in different spaces in your home. This will allow you to keep seasonal items such as decorations and curtains, old books, mementos, and blankets.

The best area at home to create custom storage is under the stairs if possible, but you can also opt for a headboard with storage in your bedroom or go for a bed frame with drawers.

Update The Light fixture

Another do-it-yourself home improvement idea is to enhance your home’s light fixtures. You can simply swap all the old light bulbs with new LED lights to improve illumination and energy efficiency. But before swapping out any old bulbs, first assess whether or not your fixtures are worth keeping or if a light fixture refresh would suit the look and function of your space. 

You can also consider adding a chandelier with several pendants to give your space a game-changing focal point.

Change Your Kitchen’s Backsplash

Replace your kitchen’s old backsplash with trendy kitchen backsplash,  one that adds visual interest. With a variety of options such as glass, stone, ceramic, or beadboard, you can choose the perfect material that’s also right for your budget. 

By trying out some of  the ideas above, you could prove that sometimes the smallest and simplest change in your home can make a huge impact. Have a go at one or more of these easy home renovation projects and see how easy it is to refresh the look and functionality of your home without spending much!

Resurgence of Stained Glass in Interior Renovation

Timeless Elegance: Stained Glass in Interior Design History

The origins of stained glass can be traced back to the 7th century, when artisans began to experiment with coloured glass, employing a technique known as "glazing" to create intricate designs and patterns.

These early works, often depicting biblical scenes and figures, found their way into churches and cathedrals, adding an ethereal dimension to the spaces dedicated to worship. Over time, stained glass evolved beyond its religious confines, gracing the windows of homes and secular buildings.

By the 14th century, stained glass had become a ubiquitous feature of European architecture, decorating the homes of nobles, merchants, and artisans alike. These panels served not only as aesthetic embellishments but also as social markers, reflecting the wealth and status of their owners.

Current Trends: Stained Glass Beyond Traditional Applications

Stained glass is no longer limited to traditional forms; it finds expression in modern, minimalist designs, adding a touch of colour, texture, and visual interest to diverse interior styles. This adaptability makes stained glass a dynamic and sought-after element in the toolbox of today's interior designers.

Today there’s a whole world of stained-glass trends that go beyond historic applications. From statement windows to artistic room dividers, designers are pushing the boundaries to create unique and visually stunning interiors.

In modern homes, stained glass finds a myriad of applications, from ornamenting windows with vibrant designs to creating striking focal points in living spaces. Stained glass accents can transform ordinary rooms into captivating havens, adding a touch of artistry and elegance to any interior.

Stained Glass Revival: Influences on Modern Interior Design

One of the main reasons people are revitalising stained glass is for the authentic touch it brings to interior spaces. We live in a world where furnishings and décor as mass produced, and so stained glass offers a refreshing unique element. Stained glass tells a story, boasts an aforementioned rich history, and exudes a sense of individuality.

At its core, stained glass is a celebration of craftmanship. In an age marked by the prevalence of machine-made goods, the artisanal and handmade find renewed appreciation. Stained glass, with its meticulous artistry and intricate detailing, stands as a testament to the skill and dedication of craftsmen.

The revival represents a deliberate departure from the mass-produced uniformity, with each stained-glass piece being a unique work of art, contributing to the distinct character of a space.

Incorporating Stained Glass into Renovation Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Determine Your Desired Style: Before diving into the renovation process, take the time to reflect on your desired style. Would you like your stained-glass design to be simple and minimalistic, or intricate and ornate? Consider the overall look you want for your home and select a design that blends well with other elements.

2. Identify Suitable Spaces: Once you have decided on your preferred design, choose where you would like to install the stained glass. Some popular options include windows, doors, room dividers, or as decorative wall pieces.

3. Find Reliable Suppliers: Next, find skilled suppliers who can provide the quality of materials and workmanship you require for your stained-glass project. Research their reputation in the market to ensure that they can meet your needs both in terms of design and quality.

4. Consult an Architect or Designer: Since incorporating stained glass into renovation plans requires careful planning and expertise, it's essential to consult an architect or designer who can advise on structural stability and proper installation techniques.

Depending on the complexity of your project, they may also suggest additional framing support or specialized methods for attaching the stained glass to existing structures.

5. Analyse Cost and Time: With a clear understanding of the scope of work involved in installing stained glass in your home, obtain price quotes from various suppliers for comparison. Make sure to factor in shipping costs if necessary. Also, determine how long it will take for the stained-glass piece to be completed and delivered.

6. Acquire Necessary Permits: Depending on your location, you may need permits or other approvals before commencing work on adding stained glass elements to your home. Consult your local building authority to understand the regulations governing such installations.

7. Begin Installation: Once you have received the necessary approvals and your chosen stained-glass piece has arrived, coordinate with your architect or designer for a professional installation that ensures the integrity and beauty of this exquisite art form.

8. Add Finishing Touches: After installing the stained glass, don't forget to add finishing touches such as lighting, decorative borders, or complementary colours to accentuate the beauty of your new focal point.

9. Maintain Your Stained Glass: To preserve the vibrancy and longevity of your stained glass, regularly clean it with a gentle cloth and mild cleaning solution. Additionally, consider applying a UV-film to protect it from excessive sun exposure, which can cause fading.

As with any artwork, stained glass requires proper care and maintenance to ensure its longevity. Regular cleaning to remove dust and debris is essential, and any repairs or restorations should be entrusted to experienced stained glass conservators.

And there you have it! It’s time to get behind the stained-glass resurgence and embrace the elegant stained-glass can bring in your next interior renovation.

The key to achieving this realistic view of your dream home lies in home design software - an innovative and advanced tool used by professionals
and amateurs alike to conceptualise stunning designs.

Home design software serves as a powerful tool to breathe life into your ideas. With its impressive array of features, users can construct detailed homes and designs that appear remarkably real. The market offers a plethora of designing software options, including both free versions with limited tools and affordable interior design applications that offer comprehensive functionality.

There are plenty of benefits of home design apps, namely easy visualization. See your dream home come to life as you view the design in 3D. The ability to visualise your desired design helps you gain clarity on how your home will ultimately look and feel. Having a clear initial design makes for efficient communication between you and your contractors or designer. Home design apps allow you to consolidate your ideas into one comprehensive layout, making it easier to communicate your preferences for colours, materials, and other

Here are some our favourites:

Renovating your home is a great way to enhance your lifestyle, comfort and health, plus it can be a smart way to increase the value of your home on re-sale.

If you want to maintain the original look of your home and/or retain its character, then you can retrofit modern systems into the home in such a way that they are not noticeable, and retain your home’s original charm.

Or you can remodel and create an entirely new look – the choice is yours.

Either way, if you plan on living in your home for the foreseeable future, then remodelling it to suit your needs is a great way to get full enjoyment out of it, so feel free to run wild with your plans.

But if you plan to move in the next few years then it is smart to take a moment to consider if your changes are going to have wide spread appeal.

It is important to understand that not all renovations add instant value to your house.

In fact, some modifications can depreciate the value of your home and drive potential buyers away.


Adding a new bathroom or kitchen to a house are the two renovation items that time and time again prove to push up the price of a property. So, on the outset a bathroom overhaul appears to be a smart renovation decision.

But before you rip out your old, dated shower to install something flash and new, take a moment to break down the cost of the job.

The price of a bathroom renovation can quickly add up, some of the factors that can seriously push up the price include moving load bearing walls, moving plumbing, rewiring outdated electrical systems and replacing water damaged drywall. These necessary evils can empty your wallet and outweigh the financial benefit of a bathroom renovation.

Spare bedrooms

Once the children have flown the coup it can extremely tempting to turn that spare bedroom into a study, hobby room, or maybe your own personal gym.

But by essentially removing a bedroom you are limiting your home’s appeal to a large percentage of the market. The average Kiwi family is on the hunt for a three-bedroom home, not two bedrooms and a study.

This is not to say you shouldn’t go ahead with your project, but make sure whatever renovations you do make can be easily undone and converted back into a bedroom.

Swimming pools

On the surface, installing a swimming pool in your backyard can make your home look pretty impressive.

But let’s face it, we can have pretty limited summers and sometimes we’re lucky to get six weeks of hot weather when you can freely use a pool.

Bearing this in mind a pool can be considered an unwanted burden by many potential buyers who don’t want to wear the cost of maintaining it. This investment is very unlikely to pay off in the long run.

Five tips for avoiding do-it-yourself disasters:

1. Safety first - Protect your ears and eyes when using power tools, and wear a mask to prevent breathing in fumes, or dust particles. Use tools properly to avoid any accidents and make sure kids and pets are at a safe distance.

2. Be prepared in case something goes wrong - Do you know where the power box is if you need to shut off the electricity? How about the fire extinguisher? Or clean up gear for paint spills? And is your mobile phone handy, and charged, if you need help?

3. Read the instructions - This goes for both tools and products because getting it right the first time saves you time and money.

4. Know when to get the professionals in - If you’re not qualified to do a job, such as electrical work or adding an extension, it pays to hire a professional. They can advise on legal restrictions and building consents. Remember to make sure the professional you hire, and their contractors, are also insured.

5. Do it once, do it right - Remember, faulty workmanship that contributes to the damage of your home may affect any resulting claim, whether you have done the work yourself or it was the home’s previous owner – so get it checked out!


When done well you cannot tell the difference between an existing home that has been renovated and a newly built home – unless of course the homeowner intended it to be known within.

Extensive refurbishment tends to prompt bigger functional requirements and it is essential this potential scope is recognised and strategically dealt with early in the process by a well-briefed and well-resourced project team.

Avery Associates Team Architects, the Auckland-based practice of Team Architects, is best known for its expert undertaking of alterations and additions to residential and commercial properties throughout New Zealand.

Its consortium of studios across the country have the scale, expertise and resources to deliver across a range of unique and complex project types, as well as the local knowledge and trusted networks to benefit even the smallest projects.

“Scale and complexity is probably the trigger that encourages, if not necessitates, the use of an architect as distinct from other designers,” says Avery Associates Team Architects Limited director, Kerry Avery.

If doing major renovations, clients will likely need a good site topography survey plan. It is also recommended a full measure of the site is undertaken and a digital model prepared, to which the new design-work can be fully integrated.

Ensuring that alterations and additions fit the desired character of a home’s heritage or location is easier said than done – one can’t just demolish a chimney or put up a large street-front fence.

Herein lies the advantage of having an architect who is well experienced with the renovation process.

“Design strategies need attention to ensure the client’s needs are satisfied while meeting the requirements of the district planning rules,” Kerry says.

“The need to fully understand and manage the design process within council’s planning constraints is essential.”

Modern lifestyles are drawn to open-plan living, often with the focus centered around a kitchen island bench, a flow between living and dining and ease of access to the outdoors.

Then there are the many layers on top of this that activate clients’ interest – sustainability, warmth, ergonomic optimisation, smart-enabled services, low maintenance factors, the list goes on.

“We listen and are responsive to our client’s request. With that in mind our designs take their cue from the existing house – they accentuate the positive and obliterate the negative in line with the client’s vision.”

Available in today’s market is an almost unlimited abundance of material finishes, building systems and product services at varying price points. Building standards are forever increasing as they are reinterpreted for compliance, and cost estimation and control is more important than ever.

“We work closely with a specialist quantity surveyor cost consultant and bring experienced builders into the design process so the best options for construction can be assessed and relative values and likely cost understood,” Kerry says.

“We also get great satisfaction from recycling or up-cycling building materials and elements and reducing construction waste.

“Every day we work to provide spaces that are exciting, memorable, functional and enduring. Our vision is to ensure that every built environment we create delights and meets the needs of its users.”

Contact any Team Architects practice nationwide for your architectural renovations or restorations.

Team Architects Ltd
101/23 Edwin Street
Mt Eden
(09) 638 4449

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