Renovations And Remodeling: What You Should Know Beforehand

I love renovations and remodeling projects. The smell of the lumber and the noise of the power tools invigorate me. I find the whole “reno” scene, at every stage exciting and a bit addicting. Okay I confess, extremely addicting. I always want more. That is because I know it means something is about to get a whole new fabulous look. Something old is about to be new again. Now, doesn’t that sound exciting?

I have had the pleasure of helping many clients with their homes but also have gained much experience with renovations first hand. My own home has been through many transformations. It started as a little cottage that many thought my husband and I were over ambitious for buying (maybe we were). It quickly grew to a ranch and then years later transformed again when we added a second floor.

My husband and I, along with our children, lived in the house throughout the whole second-floor addition. I remember somebody asking me if I was okay. The concerned and caring person thought I must be stressed out beyond belief. I shocked them with my reply, “Are you kidding, this is great.” I was in my element and in my glory! I was so wrapped up in the excitement of the transformation journey that it didn’t matter that I was living in the middle of it.

If you are about to start a renovation or remodeling project, here are some things I have learned as a designer and from personal experience that WILL HELP you throughout your project.


A mess of papers for a renovation

Be Organized Throughout Your Renovation

From the planning stage throughout the completion of your project, being organized is essential. I dedicated a whole post to this advice a few weeks back. For details on being organized from start to finish throughout your project: big or small read, Headache saving advice for anyone starting an Interior Design project.


Hire Contractors Carefully

Having the right people on the job can make all the difference in the world. Start by gathering recommendations from friends or on social media community pages. When interviewing and getting bids, ask a lot of questions. The information you collect will be helpful when you are comparing proposals, so you know you are comparing apples to apples. Of course, you want to hire someone talented, honest, and reliable but also pick a personality that you will not mind in your home for an extended amount of time.


floorplan being drawn for a renovation
Photo by Lex Photography on Pexels.com

Understand Your Design Plans Fully

If you have hired a designer or architect to help with your plans, make sure that you understand the floor-plans and designs. If you are not used to reading a floor-plan, ask for 3d renderings to help you visualize the design concept.

It is also a good idea to ask for a furniture plan when having a new space constructed. Furniture on the floor-plan can give you a reference to understand the size of the room. Also, if the furniture is not laying out to your liking, you have the opportunity to tweak the design plans before construction begins.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Review And Check The Work Completed Each Day

Errors can be made even by the most qualified crew. But if you catch them early, they can be corrected without too much backtracking. If a wall goes up and it is a few inches shorter or longer than the plan calls for, it can drastically change things, for example, not enough room for a double sink or a smaller hall than you wanted etc.


Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Check Deliveries As You Receive Them

All deliveries should be checked thoroughly to make sure that nothing arrives damaged, and that all the parts needed are on the job site. You do not want to find out on installation day that something is damaged or missing. Not having all the components needed will cause your job to be delayed while you first wait for replacement parts and then wait for the contractor to be available again.


Expect Bumps In The Road

If you find yourself hitting a bump in the road, have faith in the people you hired to smooth it out. It is impossible to control everything. Sometimes things get back-ordered, dye lots don’t match, or the weather doesn’t cooperate. Whatever the obstacle is, keep it in perspective. Remember it is temporary and fixable.


Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Budget For Surprises

Things can pop up unexpectedly that need to be tended too. Have some extra money budgeted so that these surprise costs do not financially burden you. The insurance of a slush fund takes the stress off, and if you don’t need it for a “surprise” you will complete your project under budget. If you need help with establishing a budget, Home Advisor’s website has a ton of information about average remodeling costs per zip code.


If you are about to start a renovation enjoy the journey and take lots of photos; before, during, and after!

If you are enjoying my posts please subscribe.

Advertisements

2020 Furniture Trends Presented by Seigerman's Furniture and Design Center

Seigerman’s Furniture Showroom

What 2020 furniture trends can we expect? I headed to Seigerman’s Furniture and Design Center in Farmingdale to find out! Seigerman’s is a fantastic furniture store that also has a design center for trade professionals. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to bring my clients. They hosted an event showcasing a few manufacturers and summarizing the trends they saw at the Highpoint Market. The presentations were informative and enjoyable. I was so happy that I was invited and able to be there.

To the Trade Design Center Upstairs at Seigerman’s
A Fantastic Resource for Interior Designers

Design Trends Have Shifted

This year we will see a significant shift in furniture design trends. 2020 will guide us away from the straight-line, minimalist trends that we have been seeing and reintroduce curves and embellishments.


One of the 2020 furniture trends you will see is curved furniture

Curved furniture in living room showing 2020 furniture trends
Furniture with curves are a trend for 2020

Curvy is in! Curves can be found in crescent-shaped sofas, barrel-shaped chairs, rounded headboards. But not only upholstery is getting curvy. Case-goods trends show a shift from straight lines too. Bombay chests make a reappearance. Did you know Bombay means curved in French?

designer bedroom with upholstered headboard
Curves are a furniture trend for 2020

You will see metal details on furniture as another one of the 2020 furniture trends

John-Richard Cabinets
Metal accents on furniture are a trend for 2020

Furniture trends follow fashion trends, and it is so evident in the addition of metal details. We have been seeing metal on heels of shoes for a while now. Metal details transferring over to furniture is AMAZING! Such a smart and classy look which dresses up everything from bed frames, upholstery to case goods. Most of the time, the metal shown is gold. You will see in occasional tables as well. Gold is classic and here to stay.   


In 2020 you will see mottled furniture as a furniture trend

Mottled Credenza
Mottled Credenza shown at market by Artistica

When I think of mottled, I always think of car interiors, and never in a pleasing way. However, after seeing it on occasional tables, dressers, and credenzas, I have a new appreciation. It adds texture, depth, and interest! I can’t believe I LOVE it!


In 2020 you will see marbleized furniture as a furniture trend

coffee table with marble top.
Marble top coffee table.

Marbleized furniture is a nod towards traditional and classic design. Expect to see it on dresser tops and occasional tables.


Another trend for furniture in 2020 is acrylic furniture

Acrylic Furniture by Bernhardt
Acrylic Furniture by Bernhardt

Acrylic furniture is chic and can work in virtually any room. Since it adds very little visual weight, it allows other design elements to be the star, while taking on a functional role.


In 2020 you will see swivel chairs

Table and chairs
Swivel chairs by Design Master

I have always been a fan of the swivel. Who doesn’t love its flexibility? Also, they are usually extremely comfortable chairs.  Swivel chairs will be popular for dining and accent chairs.


In 2020 you will see shaped ottomans as a trend

liviing room white and teal
A furniture trend for 2020 is shaped ottomans

Round, square, and hexagon-shaped ottomans are hot in 2020. Clustering a few together is also a trend to expect.


In 2020 you will see over-sized hardware trending

living room display by John-Richard
Geode hardware on cabinet

Much more attention has been given to cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. In fact, hardware has become a defining design element. In 2020 expect to see over-sized hardware with a significant impact on its furniture piece.

Universal furniture cabinets and dressers
Hardware that makes a statement is a trend for 2020

Seigermans did a great job presenting these design trends to the trade. If you have not been to their furniture and interior design center, treat yourself and stop in. Everything shown in these pictures is available there. Also, the showroom is full of breathtaking displays, and the customer service is unsurpassed.


I hope you found the time to read my posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun, What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group, and The Gary Mead Gallery. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subscribe.

Does Your Kitchen's Functionality Need Tweaking?

For a kitchen to function well, things must be stored efficiently.

Kitchens are the heart of the home. How is yours working for you? Is there anything you can do to make your current space more efficient? During the holidays, we spend an abundance of time in the kitchen, cooking, eating, and cleaning. It’s a great time to tweak things, so your kitchen functions as well as possible. Below are some ideas for quick fixes, along with suggestions to keep in mind future improvements.

How well are the contents in your kitchen arranged?

Some kitchen items can be decorative while not being used
  • Are the dishes and glasses that you use every day in a spot to be easily put away when emptying the dishwasher and dish drainer? Ideally, it would be best if you did not have to take steps to complete this task.
  • On the other hand, it makes sense to have the flatware, including serving pieces, near the table, if possible. When emptying the dishwasher, you can take the whole silverware caddy over to the drawer to put the utensils away, and you won’t end up walking back and forth.
  • If you like to bake, are all your baking needs—including bowls, and common ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, salt—within easy reach of each other?
  • Are the cooking utensils and pots and pans that you use regularly stored next to the stove? And are they organized a way such that you can quickly retrieve the one you need?
  • If you have a collection of herbs and spices, are they stored close to the stove? Are they organized so you can immediately find the one you want?
  • Do you have potholders stored next to the oven?
  • Are there utensils, implements, gadgets that you use only occasionally taking up room and cluttering up your core storage locations? Could they be relocated to a less central location to free up central space?
  • Is the trashcan located next to, underneath, or within easy reach of the sink?
kitchen with pots on shelves
Shelving can add additional storage.

Some suggestions on kitchen storage:

  • Within a cabinet, try to group things that are the same height on the same shelf—like cups and mugs, for instance. Then, if you tighten up space above, you may be able to add an extra shelf.
  • Add decorative storage baskets above cabinets to store things used infrequently.
  • Retrofit an antique hutch to look like a built-in cabinet to add storage.
  • Seek out vertical wall storage systems that could organize kitchen utensils and gadgets.
  • Or use a utensil crock/holder on the counter next to the stove to hold your most often used cook’s tools—it’s almost like a chef’s bouquet!
  • Put a two-tiered lazy susan inside your cabinet to hold herbs and spices. Lazy susans make them easier to find and keep less frequently used spices from getting lost in the back. 
  • Add a wire rack suspended from an upper shelf to hold a platter or two and free up shelf space.
  • Do you have numerous platters and trays piled on top of one another? Stacking the boxes that they came in, if sturdy—or obtaining suitable flat ones—opened on one edge, allows you to easily slide any of them out, even from the bottom of the pile, without chipping them.

Suggestions for future kitchen function improvements

More suggestions to improve a kitchen’s functionality:

  • Install recessed, pendant, and under-the-counter lighting.
  • Install outlet strips to make sure there is an outlet where you need it.
  • Install a swan neck faucet to make your sink able to accommodate large pots and pans.
  • Use a kitchen cart to create a coffee bar to free up room on the counter.
  • Create a built-in dining nook with storage drawers under the seats.
  • If your kitchen has a door to the outside, consider replacing it with an all-glass door to let more light in, and make sure it has a screen.
  • Buy things that require little maintenance. Don’t waste your time with dishes that are not able to go into the dishwasher. Your time is better spent doing things that make you happy!

The Container Store is a great source for ideas on how to organize specific parts of your kitchen. They have ideas for utensil drawers, spices, pantries, junk drawers and more.

I hope you found the time to read my lastest posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun , What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group, and The Gary Mead Gallery. Coming soon will be a post about furniture trends for 2020. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subsribe.

Email Address

SUBSCRIBE

Sherwin-Williams’ 2020 Color Forecast is a “Home-run”

2020 Colormix ® Forecast by Sherwin-Williams

The color forecast by Sherwin-Williams, known in the industry as the Colormix® Forecast, is an event I look forward to attending every year. This year’s color forecast was, by far, my favorite one. Sherwin-Williams introduced “Color in Balance” and emphasized that Interior Designers should not only care about aesthetics but how a space makes a person feel. If you read my blog Design To Be Happy, What Does That Mean?, you are aware that this is in line with my design philosophy.

I am thrilled that Sherwin-Williams recognizes that our home environment is a tool that can be used to assist with our well-being. This theory is very timely, considering the fast pace and stress modern-day life throws at us. More than ever, our home should be our sanctuary.

One reason I feel Sherwin-Williams Colormix® Forecast is a “Home-run” (PUN INTENDED) is that I love their message. But, I am also excited about the color palettes. Honestly, I am in awe and obsessed with their 2020 color palettes. I can identify with all of them (first time) and believe that most people will connect with a few.

Colormix Forecast 2020

The forecast introduces 45 great up and coming colors and groups them into five color palettes. Each addresses a different emotional need. Sherwin-Williams says the palettes “bring joy, serenity, and focus to the mind, body, and spirit. 

Below is an introduction to the 2020 Colormix® Forecast Palettes by Sherwin-Williams. Be sure to read my thoughts and summary afterward.


Color Forecast Palette “Alive”

Sherwin-Williams Color Forecast Palette Alive

The 2020 Colormix® Forecast Palette “Alive” is about living in the moment and enjoying all the wonderful things life has to offer. Sherwin-Williams says that this palette was influenced by Optimism, Authenticity, Globalization, and New Local. They say this palette says to “be present.” The deep navy and olive green are the colors that keep you grounded and focused. Their cool tones are supported with warm neutrals, creating balance, which is essential for wellness.


Color Forecast Palette “Mantra”

Sherwin-Williams Color Forecast Palette Mantra

The 2020 Colormix® palette “Mantra” introduces soft muted colors in a well-balanced mix of both warm and cool colors. These colors are a perfect representation of what influenced them, Minimalism, Serenity, Scandinese, and Sanctuary. Sherwin-Williams says this palette is where the styles of East and West meet.


Color Forecast Palette “Play”

The 2020 Colormix® palette “Play” boasts a collection of fun and lively colors. Sherwin-Williams says the colors were influenced by Escapism, Humor, Joy, and Energy. The colors Pure White and Caviar are perfect companions to the other bright colors in the palette. They allow you to enjoy fun colors and at the same time, keep them from becoming overbearing. We all need more Play in our life!


Color Forecast Palette “Haven”

Sherwin-Williams Color Forecast Palette Haven

The Colormix® palette “Haven” is connected to nature. The colors are shades of the sky, sand, forest, and sea. Sherwin-Williams says the colors were influenced by Simplicity, Wabi-Sabi, Conservation, and Material Health. The shades in this palette are subdued, easy to live with, and create a warm, welcoming environment.


Color Forecast Palette “Heart”

The 2020 Colormix® palette “Heart” is comprised of corals, cocoas, and pinkish beiges. This palette was influenced by Bauhaus, Bohemian, Fusion, and Humanity. These soft, muted colors are earthy with a romantic edge.


My Thoughts about the 2020 Trend Colors

  • Many of the colors have been de-saturated and muted to the point where they can be used as neutrals when decorating.
  • The color palettes that lean towards low contrast, making the addition of textures important.
  • Soft muted colors are being used to translate tranquility, order and sanctuary.
  • Clearer colors are being used to solicit focus, balance, and happiness.
  • The new grays and whites are warm-toned.
  • Beige’s have a pink undertone.
  • Mustard, clay, and cocoa are our new earthy colors.
  • Reds are pink-toned resulting in shades like Juneberry and Erics Pink.
  • Navy and dark green have become neutrals, that work well as a grounding color as black has been used traditionally.
  • There is some harmony between palettes.

Special thanks to Sherwin-Williams for allowing me to use their marketing material to share these great new color palettes with you. Visit their website for more information on their products. If you would like to learn more about their Colormix® Forecast click here.

If you enjoy keeping up on trends, and receiving ideas on how to create the perfect home for you, enter your email below to subscribe.


			

The Interior Designer-Client Relationship and how to make sure it’s awesome

I have the best clients! Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have some fantastic people hire me as their Interior Designer. Many of my clients have been with me since I started designing nineteen years ago. Some say they will not conquer a home project without me.

I started thinking, what makes these relationships successful? What advice can I give to those seeking a designer? I think most people know to choose a designer who can create warm and welcoming interiors and has a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of design. It is also common sense that he or she should have knowledge of products, brands, and trends. But there are additional qualities to look for, which are not the first things that come to mind. Also, there are things you can do to make sure your designer-client relationship is successful.

Compatibility is key

Hire an interior designer with whom you are compatible. Designing your home should be a collaboration in which your designer helps you make the best choices for your style, taste, and budget. Often it is a give and take of ideas that are shaped by both the designer and the client. I genuinely believe that with my long-standing clients, our successful track record is because we make a great team and work well together. Look for a designer who will be a good fit for your personality.

Make sure your Interior Designer is a good listener

Keep in mind; all designers are different. One essential point to note when hiring an Interior Designer is to make sure he or she is a good listener. You want to be sure that your wants and needs are heard and used to make design decisions and purchases.

A good interior designer creates a space that reflects the personal taste of the client. If the client is traditional, it will be traditional. If the client has a contemporary flair, their home should reflect it. All too often, I am asked, “What style do you do?” I do my clients’ styles. I help them make choices that they like and that works for them in the best way possible.

My work is not a reflection of my taste. When my clients love their home, I feel the project was successful. In the end, that is the only thing that matters. Anyone you hire should have a similar outlook and goal.

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay
Make sure your interior designer listens to your “wants”

Make sure you communicate your “wants” clearly

As important as it is for your designer to be a good listener, it is equally essential for you to be an excellent communicator. Initial consultations are idea sessions in which design goals are determined. You will benefit a lot from providing your designer with a list of wants, “must-haves,” and a budget. It is also helpful to have pictures collected of styles that you like. In this case, pictures are worth a thousand words because sometimes words mean different things to different people.

I have had clients express their taste to me in words. Then came to realize in time that their verbal portrayal was not an accurate description of what they meant. Pictures would have eliminated this communication error and saved us some wasted time. Having a folder of inspiration pictures can give insight to your taste and style. Also, it can help you pinpoint your authentic likes and dislikes. This knowledge will help your designer with shopping selections.

Your designer should be easily accessible, reliable and trustworthy

Often on the job, your contractor will have a question, and you will need to get an answer from your designer as fast as possible. It is best to pick a designer that is good at returning phone calls promptly. Also, you will be making many appointments with your designer. You want to make sure they show up when they say and that you are their priority for that slotted time. Also, you need to be able to trust your designer. You will be writing them checks to make your purchases. You will need to know that you can count on your designer to order on time, and follow through with your project appropriately.

interior designer returning a client call
Image by AllClear55 from Pixabay
Your designer should be easily accessible to answer questions during your project

Establish a Budget

Be sure to establish a budget with your designer. A budget will give your design professional a guideline when developing a plan. It is a good idea for you to do some preliminary footwork to have a sense of a range that things could cost. They will help to make sure your budget is realistic and that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you do not have experience with home projects, you may be in for a surprise when you start costing things out. Don’t use television design shows as a guide for the cost to do a project. Prices vary from region to region, and some of the shows omit labor costs. Most importantly, always keep a buffer in the budget for unexpected expenses. Feel free to use my printables to help you with this.

Free printable form for kitchen remodeling budget
Free printable form for kitchen remodeling budget and others available

Hire an Interior Designer

If you are losing sleep and are overwhelmed with a design project, stop! Hire an interior designer. Follow this advice, and you will have a rewarding experience. A designer will make the project fun and take the stress out of it for you. Interior designers are creative people with a keen eye for detail and balance and bring with them much experience. Working with a designer has many benefits, and can keep you from making a costly mistake.

I hope you were able to read last week’s post on clutter. I have been taking my own advice and cleaning out some neglected storage closets in my home. If you have started some organizing projects you may want to check out the Container Store’s blog, it has great ideas!

If you are enjoying my posts, please subscribe.