How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation In 2021 And Beyond

How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation in 2021 and Beyond

Renovating can be a complicated process. If you tackled a renovation before either on your own or with experienced professionals, then you’ve had a little taste for the process. Delays, product issues, shipping issues, inspections, and many decisions need to be made quickly. Now add to this process a global pandemic: additional supply chain issues, long lead times, and labor shortages. However, you have been waiting patiently to tackle a large renovation project in your home. You saved for it, you are tired of looking at the old dated kitchen or bathroom, and you are ready to go.

Especially now that you’re spending more time at home, you are excited about making these much-needed improvements in your space, and you are looking forward to entertaining at home. How could you possibly set yourself up for success in a renovation in the current climate of renovation now and in the future?

broken floor tile

Here are a few tips for setting your renovation up for success:

ONE

Have a realistic idea of the cost involved before starting construction on your projectresearch with local pros. Googling average construction costs in your area and info given HGTV will not give you accurate construction costs for your project, in your area, on your home. Homeowners are often misinformed by general information about renovation costs. You might have an idea or a number in your head as to what you think a project should cost, but unless that number is based on research with actual local professionals and local building code requirements, it’s just a guess. Going into a renovation project with unrealistic cost expectations can be much more problematic than facing the budgeting facts while still planning your project. Looking at the budget early on allows you to pivot or make the scope of work changes while it is still easy to do so; this is especially important now with the current product cost fluctuations.

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TWO

When you meet with local pros, you need to know exactly what you are asking them to build right down to the final details. This is the only way you can get accurate numbers on predicted renovation costs. This leads to the importance of having a complete detailed design. When you have a complete detailed design, the pros can then use it to quote the renovation, labor, and product cost. Without a detailed design, even a pro is forced to guess what the cost might be since they don’t know the details of what you would like to build.

THREE

Planning is everything. Planning has always been the most important part of any renovation. However, it’s usually the part that is quickly rushed through to get to the excitement of demolition and building. Accurate and detailed planning is so important for the success of your project, not only for the budget and to estimate cost, but for the outcome design-wise. The planning is the place where the most time should be spent. Design elements can easily be changed in the planning stage, and ideas can be explored before ground breaks on your project. Allowing for a more seamless construction project since decisions have already been made and products already ordered.

FOUR

Use an experienced project manager. Management of a renovation project is not for the weary or the inexperienced. Unfortunately, homeowners sometimes assume that this is a quick and easy, straightforward process easily done with a few phone calls. Managing renovation projects for more than 20 years, I can tell you that it is anything but simple and easy. Now, trying to navigate the current construction climate, it’s even more important to utilize a pro who is very experienced with the ins and outs of the industry and the daily twists and turns of supply chains. Experienced pros can navigate a renovation seamlessly because they know where to anticipate problems, plan for them, or process solutions quickly when issues do come up. They also deal with vendors and contractors daily and know how to keep things moving efficiently. Moving into the future of renovating, this will be so important in the next few years for the success of any renovation project.

FIVE

Good contractors, craftsmen, are laborers are hard to come by, and when you do find one, they will be busy working on projects and will always have a stream of incoming projects. When a contractor does not have an organized system of processing new projects, you are often forced to keep calling until they can fit you into their schedule. So for many homeowners, this can be frustrating; even getting a phone call back from a contractor can be difficult, especially now in the current climate. Using a complete team for your design and build project is the key and will be the key to renovation projects especially in the next few years. Designers, project managers, and design-build firms have connections with the most skilled and reliable contractors and craftsmen. A precious resource for any homeowner that is considering a renovation. Especially if you are a busy professional with your job to do or business to run. Taking on a renovation project, hiring individual professionals, and navigating the system will be the time equivalent of another full-time job. Hiring a team that usually works together will ensure a seamless process from start to completion. With a design-build firm, your project begins with the initial design, continues throughout construction, and ends with the final details of furnishing your space after construction. This full-service process allows for the necessary planning, purchasing, and implementation of the complete design vision.

SIX

Patience is the key. Getting that designer look involves planning, custom finishes, and products, perhaps furnishings and products made to order, fabrics that are sourced to the trade only. So lead times on these items are often much longer than a quick trip to a local store. The result, patience pays off when the outcome of your project is magazine-worthy and exactly what you had hoped for, a totally unique design to your tastes and lifestyle, with quality craftsmanship and finishes that will stand the test of time.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Re-Designing Your Empty Nest

Re-designing Your Empty Nest

You’ve reached the point where the children have grown up and are out of the house. They may have come and gone for a temporary stay, but you now have the house to yourselves for the most part. After many years of putting off those major renovations or buying new furniture, you start to look around at your home to assess its condition. Everything needs repainting, furniture needs to be updated and purchased, and the list goes on. You consider whether you’re going to relocate, but you decide that you would like to update your current home instead.

You know that it needs some major renovation and now is your chance to renovate your home. On the top of your wish list are your dream kitchen and a new master bathroom. These current rooms have worked hard for you and your family, and they are showing some wear and tear. You realize that it’s time to re-configure your space and think about how you use it., but you don’t know where to start. You do know that you have waited long enough to do these renovation projects, so you want it done right. You want to be happy with the results, so you know that you should hire a professional designer. Now is a great time to get the help of a designer, and it is a time that many of my clients call me to assist with re-designing their homes.

broken floor tile
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From my years of experience working with clients, here are a few tips on re-designing your empty nest.

ONE

This is a great time to look at your entire space differently. A room that formally made a great kids’ space might now take on the role of a great entertaining space, or it might be just the extra space that you need to create that dream kitchen. Look at your space differently and decide how you can improve the layout of your home.

TWO

Think out of the box. An empty bedroom can easily be transformed into an office space or a home gym. An empty bedroom could also be transformed into a beautiful new master bathroom or master closet space—time to create an oasis that you can enjoy in your own home.

THREE

Have a designer assist you and create a new design plan for your entire home. Having an extra set of skilled eyes can help you to imagine the possibilities for your new space. Having an overall plan for your entire home will help you visualize the space and create a coherent look throughout your home. A designer can help you create the design and help you understand the renovation and implement your project best. Based on the scope of work that needs to be done, your designer can help you create a phased plan that will help you implement your design smoothly or overtime if needed.

FOUR

Time to sort and purge items. Even if you decide that you would only like to make small changes, assess the items in your home. If that old coffee table has seen better days and you always wanted to replace it, now is the time to sort and purge closets and storage areas. Purging items might free up the extra space needed to enhance one of your renovation projects or help your existing space function better than it has in the past. Looking at your whole space in a different light can be much easier when the spaces are cleared and organized.

FIVE

Add some luxury. If you always wanted to have a white sofa but were nervous about maintaining it, now is the time to go for it. Designer fabrics are so user-friendly now and are very easy to maintain if chosen carefully. Adding accessories or finishes, even small additions to a room can enhance comfort and give you a touch of luxury. Enjoy using all those finishes that you have been thinking about including in your home someday.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

When you shop for design elements for your home or scan through the latest Pinterest pins, HGTV episode, or design publications, you start to see definite patterns of popular design trends. Interior design trends come and go just like the latest fashion trends. Some design trends might last longer than some of the fashion trends you purchased last summer, but they still, in fact, have a cycle of popularity.

Some design trends last a few seasons, and other design trends could last for a decade or so. When designing your entire home or shopping for a few simple home accessories, it’s hard not to be influenced by the current design trends since we see it when we are shopping at a retail store. There are ways to utilize current design trends in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling regretful in a few years about the choices that you’ve made. More significant, more permanent design elements can be pricey, and you want to be sure that the products you choose are something that you’re going to like in the future. Here are a few tips when making design decisions to avoid “design trend regret.”

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

ONE

Be patient. Take your time when shopping for your home. Don’t buy the first thing that you see. You might be shopping for a simple throw pillow, and yet everyone is showing orange throw pillows. You want a blue or green, but you don’t see many in those colors to choose from. You finally settle for the orange because it’s readily available. Take your time when making design decisions. A few custom-designed throw pillows can give you any look that you like but will take longer to customize than a quick trip to the store. As a result, you might be ready to get rid of those orange throw pillows after a few months, but the well-thought-out design selection choosing fabrics and styles that customized to your look could last you a very long time.

TWO

Incorporate trendy items in small ways. You might love a popular pattern or print, and you want to incorporate it in your home. You’re not sure that you want that super trendy pattern on a sofa since that will last you a lot longer. Try incorporating the pattern in a throw blanket or a few inexpensive pillows or accessories; this will allow you to integrate trendy patterns and colors in your homes without a large investment.

THREE

Use classic shapes and fabrics for large purchases. A classic white sofa can stand the test of time, allowing you to use trendier fabrics and patterns on top of that traditional white background.

FOUR

Choose all of your construction and renovation elements carefully. You might only be renovating that kitchen once, so choosing a super trendy countertop or backsplash tile might be something that you regret a few years from now; this is where the help of a designer can be very valuable. Knowing what design elements are trendy and what elements are classic can help choose tile countertops, cabinet design, and fixtures. If you love that super trendy light fixture, then go for it, but at least you’ll be entering into that decision knowing that you might find that it starts to feel dated after a few years.

FIVE

I am a firm believer in using items that you love in your home. If you choose items that you love, you might love them five years from now or even ten years from now. We all love seeing those design trends and the beautiful items that we can choose from to decorate our homes. Just don’t feel like you have to have a specific item or color because that is popular. Our homes should be an expression of ourselves. We are all unique individuals and can express our personalities through our homes, and the result is a unique blend of styles colors that fit you, your personality, and your lifestyle for many years to come.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How A Designer Can Help You When You Are Moving Into A New Home

How A Designer Can Help You When You Move Into A New Home.

Purchasing a new home is exciting. But planning out how your new home will look and function can be a little overwhelming. Are you excited about designing your new space, but you’re not sure if your existing furniture will work in the space or if you should plan on some new pieces?

You know that you would like to renovate the kitchen and bathroom in your new home, but you’re unsure if you’ll get to that right away. Where should you start?

The living room and dining room might not be as costly to renovate, but you know that you would like to add the new furniture to that space. Should you start there?

There are so many things to consider.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

ONE

Involve an interior designer early on in the process. Suppose you’re thinking about purchasing a home based on the idea that you envision a beautifully renovated kitchen in the home you’re looking at. In that case, you might want to get some professional advice early on. Then you can be sure that you can create the kitchen of your dreams in this existing home. Sometimes people aren’t aware of how much space it takes to do things. You might envision a large kitchen with a beautiful island, but in reality, once things are measured out and designed, you might not have room for that in the space you’re looking at. Having involvement from a designer early on in the process can help you make intelligent decisions on a house right for you. A small amount of advice from a designer is well worth the cost if it keeps you from buying the wrong home or confirming your decision that this house will become what you would like it to be.

TWO

Have your designer take a look at your new space and your current living space. If you purchased a house and are awaiting your moving day see if you can arrange a site visit with the designer to review the new home and visit your existing home. Viewing both locations will allow the designer to see all of your furnishings and how you currently live in the space and help you create an idea and interior design plan for your new home. Doing this before you move can help you decide which pieces of furniture will work in your new home. Then you can avoid moving items into the new space that are not going to work.

THREE

If you’ve just moved into a new home involving a designer early on can help you settle into your new space. Before you go too far into your plans, a designer can help you decide how to set up your room. If a renovation is something you’re thinking about, your designer’s input is invaluable in creating a phased plan of action for your new home. Helping prevent backtracking as many times, homeowners dive into a project and then later down the line start an extensive renovation project like a kitchen or bathroom and realize that adjacent rooms will be affected when renovating some of these more complicated spaces. You don’t want to have to be putting holes in that expensive wallpaper in your dining room because now you’re going to be renovating the adjacent kitchen and need access to the walls for piping or electrical work. Your designer will help you create a plan of action that makes sense for your goals and for the process of renovating a home.

FOUR

A designer will help infuse YOUR personality into your home. Settling into a new space can be difficult. You have so many ideas, and you want to make the place feel like you’re home. You can accomplish this quickly and easily by getting the help of the designer. Creating a warm, inviting, functional space is essential, but a good designer will easily create a space that reflects the homeowner’s personality. Discuss your ideas with your designer; giving them insight into your likes and dislikes will help them use their skills to create a design that you will love. It’s the quickest way to help your new space feel like your home.

FIVE

If you want to move into your new home knowing some of the big projects have already been taken care of or knowing that you are ready to re-design your home from the beginning, contact your designer as soon as you know where you are moving. A design plan for your entire home can be created so that the bulk of the work can be done before you move in, with thorough advanced planning. You are allowing plenty of time to create a detailed design plan for your furnishings or perhaps renovate the space before moving in. Once you move in, your designer can set up your entire home from the beginning. I have all items delivered at once.

Several situations can be encountered when moving; the stress of packing, planning, and relocating can be very disorienting. Knowing that you have a design plan for your new home from the beginning can help you feel confident that you will be able to tackle putting your new space together, whether you do it over time or all at once.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

7 Reasons Why A Renovation Project Goes Astray

7 Reasons Why A Renovation Project Goes Astray

We’ve all heard the stories. A homeowner begins a renovation; maybe they decide to put in a new kitchen or bathroom. They are very excited about the project; therefore, they jump right in and are anxious to get going. They hire a contractor that put in their roof or garage because they liked him, and he calls them back, and they’re off and running. This contractor assures them he can put in a kitchen for their home, and he’s anxious to get started on it right away.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Until a few weeks in, the contractor starts to ask you some questions about what you’d like to see in the space. What kind of a sink do you want? What kind of cabinets? How tall is your faucet? What is the new layout? What thickness is your floor tile? You dig through your endless file of Pinterest boards and design ideas that you’ve been collecting, and you show him photos and ask his opinion because you haven’t made a final decision. You figured you had a little more time to make these decisions since they just started the demo.

broken floor tile

Then one of two things can happen from here. The contractor decides that you can take all the time you need to make your decisions, then promptly packs up his tools and leaves and asks you to give them a call back when you’ve decided on all these things. Or your contractor, anxious to keep construction going, will quickly suggest to layout and tell you that’s the best way to do it. He’ll pick out a sink and faucet for you.

What I have just described is the number one way that a project goes astray, by not having a complete detailed design plan before construction begins. Although many contractors are very skilled, and some might even have a good design sense, it is not their job to design your project. They will build what you tell them to build. It’s not their job to guide you through all of the options, all of the design elements and help you make decisions that are right for your household or decisions to accomplish your design goals.

 

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ONE

Lack of detailed design. In these previous scenarios, the homeowner skipped a vital step in building a new kitchen or bathroom or any renovation, the design. The design consists of every decision made regarding layout and all materials: the floor plan, the elevations, the product, material selections, and placement directions. For the best results in any design project, these decisions happen before construction begins. Knowing the thickness of the tile that you plan to use in the shower allows for better planning with everything around that tile, etc. When these elements are not known, things cannot be appropriately planned, leaving some awkward details in the final results. Although many savvy contractors will talk with a homeowner at the beginning stage of a project and steer them towards hiring a designer to prepare a design, many do not allow the homeowner to navigate the process. Much to their demise, this creates numerous delays in the project, pauses on your project, and in the end, there is not always a cohesive design, so the results may not be with the homeowner anticipated.

TWO

Using materials that might not be suitable for your project. There are so many options when it comes to design elements that go into a renovated space. They are decisions to make regarding flooring, tile, wood woodwork, molding profiles, lighting placement, and numerous other design choices. Thorough knowledge of what is available and where it could and should be used is essential to get the desired results. Also, a thorough knowledge of the price point of these items is necessary. When a homeowner does this on their own, they may quickly fall in love with a particular decorative tile, not realizing that it’s not meant for the floor or that the price point will drastically increase the total cost.

THREE

Improper space planning– Measurements matter, measuring the products going into the space and how everything works together and the necessary amount of space that it takes to do all of the work that needs to be done to place that item. For instance, the vanity sink measurements might look like it works for the size vanity that you’ve chosen, but you have to allow for areas of attachment on an under-mount sink and for plumbers to be able to attach all fittings properly. You couldn’t possibly know these things unless you are a pro that does this every day or you have made this costly error yourself previously.

FOUR

Hiring the wrong contractor for the job. There are so many levels of skill involved in building. Contractors all have their specialties and areas of more remarkable talent. You want to find artisans that specialize in the type of project you are doing, which is extremely important in the kitchen and bath renovation area. A contractor that does kitchens once in a while most likely does not have the skill level, and I have a contractor specializing in this area, hiring a design and build firm like mine becomes so valuable. As a designer, I know the level of skills needed for every project that I design. I bring a team of professionals to my projects to implement all projects with a high level of skill, creating a seamless process from the initial design through the construction, creating the best results possible.

FIVE

Starting a project based on no design and only”rough numbers”- Not having a detailed quote. One way that a project truly goes astray. The key to your project’s success has a well-developed design plan that allows contractors to know precisely what they are building, right down to the final details. In return, this allows the opportunity for you to obtain a detailed quote for the project. The nature of construction is that there will always be extra things that come up during the build—opening up a wall and finding a pipe that needs to be moved or adding some additional details while you’re in progress. However, designing the entire project as you’re going is a sure way to create a financial disaster. Without a detailed design plan, you might get a quick number that a contractor throws out in Lou of a quote. Then while you’re in progress and you start choosing design elements, your quick quote can easily double or triple while you’re in progress. It’s always better to figure the cost as close as possible before you begin a project. And at least you know the reality of what your project is going to cost, and you could factor in a percentage for unexpected issues.

SIX

Not sifting out all your design ideas before construction. A huge reason why a project might go astray. Your very patient contractor might continue moving that same wall repeatedly until you decide what you want to do, but I assure you that this is not the best way to design your project if you are paying him by the hour. Hiring a designer does not mean that you will be unaware of what your project will look like when completed. In reality, A good designer will listen to your ideas and discuss what additional options might be available for you and your home. Designers have a wealth of experience to bring to your project. The designer will design the right project for you and your family so your newly renovated home will reflect you and your lifestyle.

SEVEN

Homeowners thinking that they should know how to design and manage a renovation project. Homeowners, take the pressure off yourself. Why would you expect to know everything needed to produce a professionally designed and implemented renovation? We are bombarded with the oversimplification of the design and renovation in media and advertising. However, I assure you, the process itself is not simple. Hiring a pro will be the best decision that you make throughout your project. It will allow you to breathe easily, confidently knowing that you are making the best possible decisions for your project and that you will love the final results.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Common Design Mistakes

Common Design Mistakes

Recently I was interviewed on a local television show; I’ll share this interview with you soon. The host of the show asked me a question, “what are the most common design mistakes that you see people make in their homes?

The truth is, there are several very common mistakes that I see when I go into people’s homes. I don’t always consider poor design choices mistakes because I believe anytime someone is trying to improve their home, it’s a great thing and a great way to learn. However, for a busy homeowner that doesn’t have the time or extra funds to experiment and learn by experimentation, some professional advice or a professionally designed project is always the best way to go.
Unfortunately, because of reality TV, homeowners are led to believe that the solving of their design issues is very simple as long as they buy specific products and use generic design ideas. No wonder homeowners are not getting the results that they want. They are confused and led to believe that they could quickly and easily achieve the equivalent of high-end design.

broken floor tile
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Here are some of the most common things that I see:

ONE

Trying to fit too much into a space. Most people do not have a great idea of spatial awareness and can visualize how much space an item will take up in a room. Therefore, when homeowners are doing projects independently, they vastly overestimate the number of items that can go into a room and the size of those items. Proper spatial planning involves knowing the exact size of items you’re bringing into a space and the amount of room you need for clearances for traffic flow and maneuverability. The amount of room and space that it takes to live in a room around the items you put into the room leads to buying expensive furniture pieces that do not fit and do not function well in your home. These are problematic errors to correct, as it usually involves replacing pieces or changing the design of a room to Accommodate these poorly oversized items.

TWO

Conflicting design ideas. This is another common mistake I can see. People are over-exposed to so many different ideas, design trends, and products for their homes. Design ideas are like tools; You must know which ideas to use and when to use them. If I have a specific design challenge that I’m trying to solve in a space, I know which design ideas will accomplish this as an experienced professional. Homeowners often have access to design tools but don’t know how to execute these ideas we needed properly. For instance, not every home needs an accent wall or crown molding. These are great design details and tools that I use when I’m trying to create something specific. Also, not every design idea should go into a home. Homeowners are confused; the media and corporations are trying to sell products to homeowners trying to solve their design issues. The problem is purchases do not solve some design problems. The result is homeowners are purchasing items for their homes more than ever, but not necessarily solving their design problems.

THREE

Purchasing products too soon. This is quite common as everyone is excited when they take on a new project. A well-executed design project involves thorough and exact planning well before products are purchased. When this step is skipped, the desired results are always compromised. A complete and detailed design plan prepared by a professional will eliminate design errors, and you will be able to draw from the years of experience of a pro. This will give you the desired finished product, a beautiful and functional room, without purchasing items that you regret buying.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

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