Happy Spring readers! With the crazy, busy remodeling and building season upon us, I’ve noticed a reoccurring issue that I want to share. I attempted this post 3 times, trying to nail the right tone. But it keeps leaning “annoying lecture” so bare with me. Is this what they call writers block? lol
As my projects grow in size, I’m involved in quite a number of remodels and new constructions. Every project is unique but generally there’s a lead contractor/foreman and many other tradesman and vendors involved. If you’re working with a design/build firm you may also have the convenience of a designer. But very often there’s no designer involved throughout.
A key to success, seems to be a stellar lead contractor/foreman who will be on-site daily to make sure every detail is perfect. However, the process often lacks a designer to serve as the visual foreman. Now some homeowners are naturally talented with design and call the shots perfectly. But I tend to receive calls from distressed clients-to-be who feel lost in the process.
Everyone involved has an opinion on which material, layout, finish, etc. they recommend. Often these opinions are piecemeal. Sometimes they’re based on avoidance of labor or with sales in mind. Clients listen to opinions as we all do and make decisions that don’t feel comfortable.
Here are a few examples- “I wanted the ceilings to match my cream trim but the painter said he always uses blue/white paint for ceilings.” “I had espresso wood floors in mind but the finisher said I should match the gold tones upstairs.” “I wanted a shower niche with accent tile but the installer suggested a metal insert and now I hate it.”
And it’s so sad because these details prevent you from nailing the perfect aesthetic.
So here are a few tips, based on my own experiences, for what they’re worth :) >
• Take ample time before work begins to research your look. Pull photos from Houzz and Pinterest and observe patterns in your selections. Stay true to this vision. A surprising number of clients skip this step- it’s so important.
• If you’re not visual and already feel overwhelmed, hire a designer. For a small percentage of the total cost, you can bounce ideas off of a professional throughout the process. An independent designer has no strings attached.
• Try to find a designer with at least a decade experience. The art of balancing selections and understanding how they work together comes with many hours under the belt (in my opinion).
• Don’t let anyone talk you into different finishes at the last minute. The designer can help advocate.
• Opinions are unavoidable- some good, some bad. You can have the most stunning space and someone will dislike it. Go with your gut. I notice my clients’ gut instincts are almost always right-on.
• Consistency throughout your space is extremely important, often overlooked and crucial to resale. Think carefully and/or discuss with your designer.
Have you learned lessons in the remodel/build process? We would love to hear about your experiences. And if you need help with an upcoming project, contact us anytime.
(thank you pinterest for the images)