Pro Tips | Planning for a Renovation

We’ve been doing more and more renovations recently. Some are small, single bathroom updates, while others are large. Renovations are hard. Period. They’re hard on everyone involved because they are never convenient, never cheap, and never without issues. They are usually so exciting at the end, though! A brand new room in your house…and most likely a room you’ve disliked or wanted to change for a while, is now brand new! Who wouldn’t be happy?! But there are ways to help prepare yourself for the process of enduring a renovation that we want to share. Whether you hire people to do the work or do it yourself, you will always need to be involved in a big way, so here’s what you need to know!

IF you choose to hire someone to help with the work, be sure to do your research! And remember, price shouldn’t be the first concern. We are strong believers in the “you get what you pay for” mentality and people should be compensated fairly for their time…or else, they’ll try to cut corners (to save money on the back end). So get all the info on the people you are hiring—examples of previous work, a clear and mutual understanding of timeline, a detailed scope of work and even a rating on how well you feel that they communicate. Don’t get us wrong, there is a certain level of trust you need to have in your contractor, however, there is also a certain level of communication you should have with them. Be sure you feel comfortable with how they communicate because that one element will be key to a successful renovation!

Have the money talk very early on. Discuss your budget with your contractor, designer, or project manager so that they know where things need to be. If they express concern about how much you are wanting to spend, listen to their concerns. A tight budget can make for more issues and it may be worth it in the end to either adjust your scope of work or wait until you have enough money to fairly cover the costs involved. Do research in advance as well so that you have a good idea of what you think it should be. You don’t want to get scammed by someone over estimating costs but you do need to trust their professional opinion if the conversation goes that direction. We always advise clients to have a 20% cushion for any sort of construction. There WILL be unexpected items that pop up that WILL cost money. Save yourself the headache and have the money available.

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Get out! If you are doing a major renovation, move out! For the sake of your mental health, your marriage, and your kids’ sanity, remove yourself from the stress of living in a construction zone because it’s HARD. It’s loud and dirty and distracting and puts everyone in a bad mood. It also adds a whole new level of stress to the entire process that could be avoided. If you’re just doing a small one bedroom remodel and can live in another part of the house during the construction process, that’s a little easier. But if you’re doing any major updates to your home, be sure NOT to be there.

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We understand things can change, but it is always best to have as many of the major decisions made BEFORE construction begins. Issues may arise that require you to change your selection, but the least amount of decisions you need to make under pressure and stress, the better. Select colors and tile and make layout decisions when you have a clear brain. Stressed brain doesn’t always make the best choices.

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Finally, understand that your involvement is required, not matter what. A renovation is almost never a one man job. Multiple people are involved and even if there’s a project manager who is supposed to be overseeing everything for you, your involvement matters too. You don’t want to turn into a micromanager but you don’t want to be in good communication with the people involved so that there’s no guessing on anyone’s part. For this reason, some of your budget decisions should also involve time….not just money. Consider your daily schedule and plan for the time you’ll need to take out of your day to be involved in this project. It will require it.

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Ultimately, look forward to the finished product. Keep the end in sight so you don’t forget what you’re working towards. If you have nothing to be excited about, you’ll quickly become negative which will only delay the process. Positivity and encouragement always makes for a smoother work place.

Design Tips | Tabletop Styling

It’s summer and things aren’t in their normal flow since the kids are out of school and families are traveling, so we’re just doing a fun little styling post for today. Something simple; a quick, easy summer read that may spark some ideas for fluffing when you get home.

There are many layers to interior design but the most fun and most sought after part is styling. Accessorizing and styling is the finishing touch of every room and can really make a room come to life. But even though a lot of well-designed spaces look effortless, there is a certain method to styling. This article breaks it down well so we thought we’d share some tips for styling tabletop spaces or small vignettes.

Just like in a large space, a small space needs a focal point. This could be the largest or brightest item, but essentially, it’s the item that you want the focus on. There has to be a star…not everything can be the star, so you have to decide what you’re trying to highlight.

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Be sure to select items that vary in size and scale. These differences create a balance and flow that makes it appealing to look at and adds to the overall aesthetic. Everything at one height creates a hard line which eliminates flow and too many small items make it hard to know what to look at. Variety equals balance.

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Consider your background or backdrop when selecting pieces. You want a background that adds to the overall look but be careful when pairing items. A very busy background calls for simpler, more streamlined accessories while a simple backdrop can handle something in front of it that is dramatic and makes a statement. Too much movement, pattern, or color creates the same problem that too many small items does — it doesn’t give the eye something to focus on.

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Too much of a good thing is bad thing. So make sure you select items that contrast each other in color (light and dark) but are similar in style and feel. The common thread of style and/or texture will tie the entire grouping together.

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Always add something natural like a pop of greenery. Even if the greenery is fake, it still provides a little warmth and coziness to the vignette. And fake flowers can look pretty real without the maintenance, so don’t write them off until you try them!

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Finally, always consider your surface. The piece of furniture that the items are being placed on is part of the whole look as well. Be sure it’s color, size, material, and texture are taken into consideration when accessorizing it. A bunch of great accessories on the wrong piece of furniture can look misplaced or out of whack. Don’t overlook what’s in plain sight.

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Recent Happenings | Parade of Homes

If you’re local to the Central Florida area and are into home building and interior design, you may have toured the 2019 Parade of Homes. The Parade is hosted by GOBA, the Great Orlando Builders Association, and features over 100 of the best homes in the Central Florida area. It’s a showcase of interior design, architectural design, outdoor living, and energy efficiency. GOBA desires to promote the building industry by highlighting quality design.

Each year awards are given out for a number of different categories ranging from kitchen and bath design, to production homes, to interior design. It’s an honor to be awarded any sort of recognition but this year, we received the coveted Grand Award. The Grand Award is highest honor of all of the awards given out by the Parade of Homes Committee. It’s essentially, the best of the best. This year, our model, the Brantley, built by WJ Homes won the Grand for production Single Family homes!

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This model was our baby. We worked closely with the builder to specify every single finish that went in this house along with all of the special wall details and applied moldings. We also furnished the home once it was completely built. It was a labor of love but turned out beautifully and we are so proud of it! Check out some of the photos of the interior below. (Thanks to Stephen Allen for the amazing photos!)

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Construction Tips | Kitchen Remodel

Nobody likes a remodel. The end result is exciting but the process to get there is usually full of surprises that take up time and cost money. The end can never come fast enough. The thing about remodels is that the places people often choose to remodel are normally kitchens and bathrooms — the two most used rooms in a house. So when you remodel, you’re basically shutting down a space that you need and use frequently. It’s not easy.

There are things that you can do to prepare for a remodel. It doesn’t necessarily make the whole process go smoothly, but preparing can help ease the blow of the inconveniences that come with major construction happening in your home. Since kitchens are normally at the top of the list for updates, today we’re going to focus on how to prepare for that particular type of remodel.

The first most basic thing to do is meal prep. This seems strange since you’ll be loosing access to your kitchen, but there are actually a lot of simple meals that you can prepare without any of the major appliances. In order to get by without eating out for every. single. meal. which gets old FAST, plan ahead by preparing for quick meals that can be made with your smaller appliances.

Don’t forget about your grill! So many food items can be cooked on a grill and, let’s be honest, grilled food tastes amazing. A kitchen remodel is a great time to put that outdoor cooking to good use. You can have a hot meal and enjoy dinner on the porch so you don’t even have to see the remodel mess!

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Don’t forget to stock up on your dry goods. Quick, easy breakfast, snack and even lunch items that don’t need to be stored in a refrigerator or cooked in an oven.

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Make sure you’re fully stocked on disposable items — plates, cups, utensils. You may not be able to wash dishes (or just may not feel like washing dishes) at multiple times during the remodel so disposable paper goods will make clean up quick and painless.

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The important thing is to keep the end goal in sight! If you have a rendering or drawing of what your new kitchen will look like once all of the work is complete, keep it close by! You will want a reminder of what you’re suffering for at multiple points in the process. But if all else fails, get out of town! If you’re comfortable enough to leave the construction in someone else’s hands and don’t need to be there to manage the project, give yourself a break from looking at it and take a mini vacation. Remodels are stressful so you’ll need a getaway for sure!

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Design Tips | Calm and Collected Master Baths

It’s easy for master bathrooms to get neglected because they are used so often. It doesn’t really make sense when you say it out loud but if you think about it, it’s true. Because a master bathroom is a personal space rarely seen by guests, on top of the fact that it’s used frequently by EVERYONE, it often gets used and abused and doesn’t end up looking so hot. But a master bathroom should be calming space. Even if it does need to be functional, it doesn’t mean that it should be ugly or cluttered. So today we’re talking about ways to try to lighten up and declutter a master bath so that it doesn’t feel like it’s closing in on you when you walk into it.

The first very simple way to streamline the look of your master bathroom is by keeping the color scheme neutral and monochromatic. Tone on tone works for a functional space like this and is actually best for color when it comes to make up. So don’t worry about figuring out ways to add pops of color or crazy pattern, just keep it chill. It will function best that way in the end.

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Even though there are like a million fun shower curtains out there, glass is always better in a master bath. More specifically, frameless glass. In the evolution of glass, you’re not pigeonholed with your glass options anymore. Glass can work in a shower and in a tub/shower combo. You can also make it pretty without all the hardware and do the frameless glass for either scenario. This will make a huge impact on the look over your bathroom. Not only does it elevate the style but it will immediately open up the space to make it feel more airy.

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While this next tip can go more modern, there are definite ways to keep it within the transitional style. It won’t hold up in a traditional style bathroom but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good! Wall mounted vanities immediately open up a bathroom and will instantly give the illusion of more space. We’ll admit that it’s not the simplest swap since it does involve plumbing changes, but if it fits into your style, it really is a cool look that will work for you.

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This next little tidbit relates to mirrors but gives you options! We are huge fans of countertop to ceiling frameless mirrors that have the lighting inset. It adds a ton of reflection in your space and is visually much cleaner than a framed mirror (no matter how pretty!) However, if that look or even the cost of that look doesn’t work for you, selecting a mirror with integrated LED lighting is another way to visually declutter your master bath by eliminating the visual noise extra layers can create.

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Final tip: Chill out, folks! We all need some chill time. :)