Wow. The response to yesterday’s post about creating a decorating system that will assist you in creating the home of your dreams got so much positive response that I’m now trying to speed this train up….and get this new decorating system into your hands as quickly as possible. I’ve given myself till the end of April to accomplish this…but in the meantime I want to give you some very practical help to create the most beautiful home possible.
Here’s the Top 5 Mistakes I see people make when undertaking big projects around the house
In my award winning book “101 Things I Hate About Your House” I take readers on a trek through homes I’ve visited in over 20 years as a residential interior designer. We laugh a little at the mistakes everyone (myself included) makes and we promise to do better. No harm, no foul; just a lot of fun and some great lessons learned along the way.
One lesson everyone wants to master is how to avoid costly mistakes when tackling big projects around the house.
Here’s My List of the 5 Biggest Mistakes Homeowners Make when Remodeling a House:
- Short Changing the Kitchen: It’s not news that kitchens are the heart of a home but if that is the case why are we shy about delivering big design punches right in the heart of the house? Maybe your budget doesn’t allow for the all latest and greatest of everything; but know that the comfort of your home will be impacted when you offer up questionable tile countertops, equally questionable cabinet styles and comically colored appliances.
- Anything Less Than an Open Floor Plan: Given the active nature of family life today the “open floor plan” is an important feature appreciated by homeowners, particularly young couples with children. In older homes this can mean moving a wall or two. Yes it’s an expense but time and experience has proven this investment pays off handsomely each and every day you live in your home.
- Corner Cutting In the Bathrooms: Every home has at least one (bathroom) and it’s an opportunity to deliver memorable moments without breaking the bank. Yet how many times do we see old porcelain fixtures, scratched stainless steel faucets and inadequate lighting? At every price point owners today expect a “Spa Experience” and will pay for something that moves them in that direction. Leverage your own “Spa Experience” and gain value along the way.
- Mismatched Hardware Finishes: A quick way to tag yourself as a remodeling newbie is to mix the finishes on your cabinet hardware, handles and lights. If you’ve decided to work with what you’ve got and you have polished brass then any additions you make in that room need to be polished brass. If you’re working from an empty shell the choice is yours (nickel, brass, bronze…etc.) and the key is consistency. This is a small but telling detail.
- Mistaking “Polar Bear in a Snowstorm” for a Paint Color: A fresh coat of white paint should not be confused for a smart decorating move. Remember there are more than 50 Shades of White in any paint deck. In fact a quick count shows me will over 100 shades of white. And make no mistake about it, there are strong pluses and equally strong minuses associated with the use of each. Clear emotional reactions are associated with color and you want only the most positive emotions associated with your home. Get the color pallet right and you’re golden. Get it wrong and you’ve missed an opportunity to create real and lasting comfort.