Surviving A Home Renovation: A Decorator’s Personal Guide and Tips

Surviving A Home Renovation: A Decorator’s Personal Guide and Tips

Whether you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer or a first-timer, a remodeling project can be intrusive and overwhelming to every aspect of your life.

That’s why hiring a professional can save time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress. Recently, my husband and I decided to finally renovate the last room in our home that remained untouched — our master bathroom. My vision was to transform our 1969 master bath into a modern, stylish space but I didn’t want anything too custom as we may sell our home in a few years. The design and décor needed to appeal to our personal style, as well as potential future buyers.

Our 1969 Master Bathroom was Cramped and Outdated.

The first step of the renovation was deciding if we could knock down the wall between the master bathroom and our guest room closet to maximize the space and upgrade to a double vanity and larger shower — the most important elements of the project. Once my talented carpenter determined we could, I was off and running with the design.

As my own general contractor, I managed every element of the project and deciding on the design elements was particularly daunting, since this was a project for me and my family. I ultimately decided on a modern, spa-like design with an earthy color scheme — dark espresso vanity, glass tiles and a stone shower floor.

The actual renovation involved taking the original bathroom down to the studs and building from scratch (remember, this shower lasted 44 years). Working with my carpenter, excellent vendors, and my own knowledge of renovation projects helped the process along to final completion just a few weeks before the New Year.

 The Entire Bathroom was Gutted to Provide a Blank Canvas for the New Layout and Design.

The final reveal, pictured below, features a frameless shower door, which opens up the space, accent glass tiles on the walls and floor, modern 8-inch faucets, and jeweled light sconces affixed to the wall-to-wall mirror. We also added a silent ceiling fan for air flow and circulation.

The New Master Bath Features a Modern, Spa-Like Design with an Earthy Color Scheme and Includes an Espresso, Double Vanity.    

 Throughout the process, I kept a journal and noted some key tips and advice for all homeowners when taking on any renovation project including:

  •  Have A Written Plan. Be sure you are absolutely clear with your interior decorator, contractor, and carpenter — whomever you are working with — regarding the remodeling job and have a written plan and contract.
  • Plan Ahead. Make sure you have all of your design plans and materials for your remodeling project ahead of time (including windows if applicable). Sometimes, though, things do have to change once the remodeling starts. For example, I opted for one large mirror instead of two as originally planned. Be flexible and plan for an additional 10-15% above your budget for “just in case” scenarios.
  • Don’t Skimp Where It Is Important. When putting in a shower floor, for example, make sure your contractor is using the right materials to prevent leaks, mold and mildew. Sometimes spending more on better quality items will save you money in the long run.
  • Have An Alternate Space For Getting Things Done. If your bathroom or kitchen is under construction, where will you cook or manage everyone’s personal daily routines? Set up a makeshift kitchen in a basement or garage, color code towels in the bathroom, or add temporary storage in a hallway.
  • Think About The Big Picture. How will your remodeling project affect any other rooms or even future plans for your home? Will a wall being knocked down impact another room? If so, you may have to consider painting or repairing any walls in the impacted space. Are you thinking of selling your home in a few years? If so, you’ll want to make changes you’ll enjoy now but will appeal to potential buyers in a few years.
  • Plan Around Any Entertaining of Special Events. Don’t plan any holiday dinners, parties or invite friends over on a Friday night if you are in the middle of a major remodeling job. No matter how good your contractor might be, dust goes everywhere!

 

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