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{2f09113ecd7e766169d213037c53a47c47462b75a59f6c22c45b51e5db72dd50} 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…)

Communication Was Responsible For 1970s Ranch Remodeling Success

Communication: The Key That Unlocks The Door To Remodeling Success!

 

Communication helped transform the front of the 1970s ranch-style home

Communication helped everyone transform the 1970s ranch-style home: New dormers and new semi-circular wall surrounding the new private patio.

The return trip home, after leaving Mark and Anne’s yearly Thanksgiving open house, presented a wonderful opportunity to think about everything that made their major 1970s ranch home remodeling project special. Then, a familiar question, “How can more homeowners achieve the best results possible — with fewer anxieties, hassles, and regrets?” Here’s what made a big difference for Anne and Mark when they remodeled (and added onto) their home, and what can make a big difference for you:

Everyone took responsibility for communication, making this a successful remodeling project!

(more…)

A Microwave Oven (Or Two) Is A Necessity

Microwave Oven Concerns for Homeowners

microwave and hood combinations are an unsafe and poorly-working option

Microwave-Hood units are an unsafe and poorly-working option!

Microwave oven options was the topic of several discussions during our former internet radio program, “Today’s Home.” We expressed concern about microwave-hood combinations and drawer microwaves. Both appliances are potentially dangerous. You’ve got someone on your side, to help you make informed decisions about products that can affect your safety.

According to National Kitchen and Bath Association design guidelines, the best (and safest) location for a microwave oven is achieved when the bottom of the unit is 3″ below the main user’s shoulder, or a maximum of 54″ above the floor (whichever is lower). If a microwave oven is placed below a 36″ high countertop, the bottom of the unit must be a minimum of 15″ above the floor. There should be a 15” wide by 16″ deep landing area above, below, and/or adjacent to the handle side of a microwave oven, from the front edge of the adjacent countertop. (more…)

5 Ways To Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders — The LAST Thing You Want!

Remodeling change orders may be included automatically with low estimates.

Caution: The lowest estimate often comes with change orders.

Remodeling Change Orders. You’re surprised, and feel betrayed.  Just when everything seemed to be going well, your contractor says, “We’ve run into a problem,” or, “If you want it, you’re going to have to pay more.” There are (sometimes) valid reasons for Change Orders, but most of the time, they can be avoided. You do not want to feel like your home is being held hostage. Here are five ways to avoid Change Orders:

How to Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders during a building or remodeling project should be an exception, not the rule. Here are ways that you can avoid them: (more…)