Choose Kitchen Appliances First!

Choose Kitchen Appliances First For Best Functionkitchen appliances must be chosen first, because your kitchen is planned around them

Why choose kitchen appliances first? It’s human nature to focus on cabinets and countertops, when you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, because you’re concerned about how the new kitchen will look, unless a high-priority item is a commercial cooktop or range and large hood as a focal point. This will ultimately lead to frustration, and possible expensive mistakes. You can avoid problems, if you select your appliances first (unless you’re including new doors and windows), then move on to other kitchen features. (more…)

Bathroom Remodeling: Plumbing Is Selected First

Bathroom Remodeling: Why Select Plumbing First?Bathroom remodeling requires you to choose plumbing first.

Bathroom remodeling involves hundreds of decisions, and at least 100 steps in the process. Everything in your bathroom is placed around the plumbing. Locations of a shower, tub, toilet, and sinks are important to achieving ultimate safety and function — and a beautiful new bathroom. Here are some guidelines to help you: (more…)

Remodeling Reality Shows Can Be Misleading!

Have Remodeling Reality Shows Got You Frustrated Or Angry?

Remodeling reality shows can be misleading

Remodeling reality shows can be fun, inspiring — and frustrating!

 

Misinformation Is Rampant!

Remodeling reality shows are still popular, despite the bad press they’ve received.  I don’t know about how you feel, but it frustrates the heck out of me, because these programs spread misinformation to Homeowners. There’s a glut of home remodeling shows on several channels. Although they are fun to watch, they should be viewed as entertainment and not as serious “How-To” guidelines. There are several categories of misinformation that get my blood boiling:

•  The time it takes to do a project
•  Overall cost of the project — what consumers would pay for something similar
•  Realistic cost of labor and materials — how much the Homeowners actually paid
•  You’ll save a lot of money if you do the work yourself!

The Time It Takes To Do A Project

The audience has no way of knowing how much of  the actual filmed project ended up on the editing room floor. This can cause serious problems for D-I-Yers and remodeling consumers who think that a bathroom can be remodeled in a week or less. A standard 5×8 bathroom remodeling project can take four to six weeks (or more), from demolition to completion. And the time frame they tell you doesn’t include the time required to make decisions or get permits before construction starts!

(more…)

D-I-Y Kitchen Remodeling Success IS Possible!

D-I-Y Kitchen Remodeling Success: Know What You Can Do and Cannot Do

D-I-Y kitchen remodeling success requires skill and patience

                                                           D-I-Y Kitchen Remodeling required skill and patience.

D-I-Y kitchen remodeling was the last thing that Naomi wanted, but Michael was confident that he could be the general contractor. Like a lot of homeowners, they had been thinking about remodeling ever since they bought the home. Everything about the existing kitchen was dated: white laminate cabinets with continuous oak pulls, white laminate countertops, a dropped ceiling with fluorescent lighting. (more…)

Serenity: See The Possibilities

Seeing The Possibilities, A Journey of Discovery

 

Serenity in a Japanese Temple

Asakusa Temple, a Haven of Serenity in the middle of Tokyo

Serenity was discovered in the middle of Tokyo, one of the world’s most populous cities.  In the middle of busy schedules being met and the noise of everyday life, we found a haven of serenity in the Asakusa Temple.  It was an opportunity to go inside and explore a beautiful, peaceful garden during our vacation.  The photos we took that day serve as a daily reminder that it is possible to find peace within, even when we’re surrounded by chaos.  I look at this picture, then close my eyes and feel the warmth of pure connectedness with the universal spirit. We took hundreds of photos while in Japan, but this particular photo has always been my favorite.

This photo helped me maintain composure when I was taking the two-day National Council for Interior Design Qualification examination.  Although I’d studied and practiced, my test anxiety had gotten in the way the first time I attempted to take the test.  My new approach was to find inner peace, and acknowledge that I was ready and able to pass the test.  In addition to continuing the program of studying and taking practice tests, I also meditated, using this photo as a tool, while listening to Japanese flute music.   My husband suggested recording the music, which I was allowed to listen to during the  practicum (drafting) section of the test.  In preparation for the drafting section, I arranged all my drafting tools, and placed the photo at the upper left-hand corner of the drafting table, and turned on the music.  With these tools, I conquered test anxiety, and got a very high score on the practicum section. (more…)

Home Improvement Goal: Get (Most of) What You Want

Defining Your Home Improvement Goal Is Like Walking A Tightrope

 

Achieving your home improvement goal is like walking a tightrope.

Your home remodeling goal requires careful step by step progress, like a tightrope walker, until you reach your destination.

Get most of what you want of your home improvement  goal. Not everything  you want? That’s right. I’m being totally honest with you.

Unless you have a bank account that equals (or surpasses) Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, you’ll have to do research, and make informed decisions about every aspect of your home improvement project, one step at a time. Your decisions will include making tradeoffs, substituting lower-priced products, to stay within a reasonable budget. Below are time-tested, successful strategies to help you. Writing may be difficult for you, but you don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or J,K. Rowling to write your priorities. You don’t have to do it in one sitting, either! Pour a cup of decaf coffee, or a glass of wine, and pour out your deepest home improvement desires. Doing this will help you to think of the possibilities.

 

You Don’t Have To Be A Famous Author to Create Your Home Improvement Goal List (more…)

Successful Ranch Remodeling: Six-Step Process

Successful ranch remodeling -- before and after pictures

1970s Ranch Home Before and After Master Bedroom-Bathroom Addition

In ta previous, we explored reasons why this was a 1970s successful ranch remodeling project. Now, I’d like to share the six steps required for me to help the Homeowners achieve the best results.

1970s Successful Ranch Remodeling Beginning to Completion

Step One: Ask Preliminary Questions

  • Does the neighborhood have a particular or predominant style?
  • What needs to be improved — how can it be improved?
  • What do the Homeowners want to achieve?
  • What is the Homeowners’ target budget and target completion date?

The ranch-style home, when viewed from the street, was overwhelmed by the roofline. The garden was well-manicured, except for a large area on the left-hand corner of the property, which looked like an attempt to create a vegetable garden.

During the first meeting, the Homeowners shared their love of entertaining and their idea of enlarging the kitchen to cover most of the wasted property on the left-hand corner. We also viewed the awkward chopped-off second floor above the garage, where their master suite was located.  We were on our way to a successful ranch remodeling! (more…)

How To Avoid Home Remodeling Anxiety

 Avoid Home Remodeling Anxiety: 4 Easy Steps

remodeling anxiety getting to you?

        Remodeling anxiety getting to you?

Remodeling anxiety? It’s a very real phenomenon for most homeowners. There have been very few homeowners in the past 33 years who didn’t feel anxious and overwhelmed about their project before we met.  Hundreds of homeowners, with different lifestyles, different needs, and different budgets. Pretty amazing.

During a meeting four months ago, I was reminded how overwhelming the remodeling process can be, even if someone has been through a renovation before. Five years ago, my client remodeled her kitchen. Her contractor did a wonderful job, but she didn’t have a designer. When she talked about choosing the material for her kitchen countertops, that long ago, it’s easy to see (and feel) the remodeling anxiety she’s reliving. Have you ever been through a remodeling project? A home addition? An updated bathroom? A new kitchen? (more…)

Warm Colors Impact You and Your Home

Warm Colors: Red, Orange, and Yellow

warm colors are at the outside upper edge of a rainbow

Warm colors at the outside edge of a rainbow

Warm colors and cool colors affect everything we do, because they’re part of light’s energy. We cannot see the colors of light rays, but we see colors because of light’s spectrum. When the atmosphere intervenes, becoming a prism, we can see light in the form of a rainbow. Rainbows are meaningful because they contain seven colors that evoke emotional responses: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. This article, Part 1 of 2, will discuss only the warm colors.

During a heavy spring shower, traffic slowed to a crawl. “Smart drivers” was my second thought, after the usual thought (you get the drift!). But people weren’t slowing down for just the raindrops. They were slowing down to look at a very bright double rainbow! The colors were glorious! How do you feel when you see a rainbow?We use colors to describe our moods, “In the pink,” or “Green with envy,” or “feeling blue.” We say, “I’m seeing red” when we’re angry, or “He/she is yellow-bellied” when we think someone is cowardly.

(more…)

Bathroom Remodeling Problems Can Be Avoided

Bathroom Remodeling Problems Do Happen — Unfortunately

Mike Holmes helps people recover from major bathroom remodeling problems

           Mike Holmes believes in Do It Right!

Bathroom remodeling problems make me sick when I hear about them. Most of the time, problems could have been easily avoided, if homeowners had asked lots of questions, gotten reliable (honest) information, thoroughly checked references and credentials, and trusted their gut feelings. Homeowners are not stupid. Many are very well-educated, but they lack the experience and knowledge to protect their investment. They also tend to be trusting, which makes them easy prey for charlatans.

Have you ever watched “Holmes on Homes”? The program is about a great contractor, Mike Holmes, and his crew, who finish botched home remodeling projects.. He really cares about homeowners, and cares about what he does. I applaud him for getting a great message to a large audience. It’s a message that needs attention, because sooner or later, 95% of all homeowners embark on a major remodeling project.

Dream Project Turns Into A Nightmare

If Mike Holmes could read this, he’d be shaking his head and saying, “Why?” Why did a dream master bathroom renovation become a nightmare? Why, after six months, were the homeowners still  having to use the guest bathroom? Why were all of the plumbing fixtures and fittings — including a 36″ by 72″ whirlpool/air tub — taking up     an entire corner of the master bedroom? Because the homeowners trusted the designer that they hired.

(more…)

Page 4 of 7« First...23456...Last »