I’m taking time off this week to spend with family and friends so there is no blog this week. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2017!
I’m taking time off this week to spend with family and friends so there is no blog this week. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2017!
This past month I have had the opportunity to view two properties that were potential flip properties. Both properties happened to be in foreclosure and both were in dire need of a massive renovation. While both had great potential, it was important for me to create a renovating budget to see if these properties could be renovated and sold for a profit. There’s not point in purchasing a property if there is no ROI (return of investment).
For the sake of this blog, I’m going to be using one of the properties that I viewed that is 1021 sq ft, has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath. There is an unfinished basement with rough-in plumbing for an additional bathroom. This particular home falls in the ‘starter home’ category.
As you may know, kitchens tend to draw the biggest attention for potential buyers. In looking at an estimated budget for the kitchen, it’s very easy to pick a number out of thin air and make a guess. Would I suggest that? Absolutley not. When creating a renovating budget for property investments, it is important to think ahead and be proactive with a budget. There is nothing worse that either over renovating and/or being over budget!
When I went to visit this home, I took care and attention to measure the kitchen as I knew it was one area that needed to be gutted. Here is a picture of part of the kitchen as it currently sits.
In just looking at the kitchen, I originally thought it was perfect. There were not a lot of cabinets to change out, it was a really good size, and it definitely had potential! I’ll admit, I was excited!
Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the next spaces that get a lot of attention from potential buyers. In this particular house, there was only one bathroom and all it needed was a facelift. I started to get excited more thinking of the potential.
The rest of the home was going to need some TLC! New flooring, new interior paint, newly painted baseboards and casings, newly painted doors (they were in good shape and could really use some fresh paint), and all of the ceilings were going to need to be either repainted or resprayed. The image below may give you a sense of the state of this home’s interior.
If you take a quick look at the wall and the cold air return, you will quickly see how filthy this home currently is.
After viewing the property and spending quite a bit of time with my contractor and my real estate agent, I was pretty excited about the potential of this property. What really got me excited is that I would be able to turn this home from basically a shit-hole into a home for someone where they would love coming home to every day.
When I got back to my office, I started to pull numbers together. My contractor also started to pull his numbers together for his his labour and work that was needed.
Knowing that this was a starter home, it was going to be important for me to choose finishes that would not fall into the ‘over renovating’ category. I was looking at stock cabinets from a big box store or IKEA cabinets for this home. I was also looking at very economical finishes such as taps, sinks, flooring and carpet.
I use a system that I have created to help me pull my numbers together pretty quick (and by pretty quick I mean in one day). In my system, I have everything listed and a price associated for each line item. I have this system broken down into categories:
to name a few. Each of those categories are broken down to include everything and anything that may be needed. Below is a sneak peak at my list.
By having this system in place, it was easy to pull a potential renovation budget together to see if this property was going to be one that had a good ROI. It is important to note that my final numbers included a basement renovation that included a full bath, a new bedroom, a recreation room as well as a laundry room. Here are how the final numbers came together.
For this particular property I have 30% listed for unexpected costs. While this may seem high, this particular home was in foreclosure so it is a ‘sold as is’ property. I wanted to make sure that there was money in the budget for any curveballs that this property may throw at me since there would be no home inspection allowed.
By having my system in place, it was easy to discuss the numbers with my real estate agent to see if this was going to be a property to proceed with. When I take the asking price of this home, incorporate a very lean renovation budget (and by lean I mean I had gone over my renovation budget a number of times to tweak and make changes to tighten up the budget), and then look at what the property could be sold for (looking at all the comps in the area), it was clear. This property was going to be a no-go. Although I would love to get my hands on this one and create a beautiful home for someone, the asking price would have to come down between 15-20K for it to be worth my time and effort.
In one week I went from being super excited to super bummed. In the end, I know this property is not the one (unless they price can come down). I’ will be watching it like a hawk to see if there is some room to move with the price. Meanwhile, I’ll be continuing my search for my next flip.
There are many moving parts to ensure a renovation project is successful. I believe there are 4 essential components to a successful renovation. One important component is having a renovation calendar. For the examples in this blog, the project that is used as an example is one that is actually going on as we speak.
1. A design for your space. This is your idea of what you would like to achieve.
For this kitchen renovation project, there were no walls being moved. The biggest impact/change will be brand new kitchen cabinets, new counters, and some cabinet reconfigurations.
2. A drawing of the design. By having a design, everything is planned out prior to construction starting.
3. A budget to go with the design. Creating a budget for all materials as well as labour ensures you stick to a budget.
4. Someone to carry out the design. Whether you are doing the work yourself, you are hiring someone, or you are doing a combination of both, it is important to have a renovation calendar in place.
There are many ways to create a renovation calendar. Some contractors like to create a timeline in list format. I’m an extremely visual person, so I like to use a ‘month at a glance’ formatting. Here is an example of a construction calendar that was created for a kitchen renovation project. As there are no major structural changes being made, my client will be getting a brand new kitchen in just over 3 weeks! It is important to note: while the construction time is just over 3 weeks, I started working with my client near the end of October. The total time for this project will be around 65 days.
For this particular kitchen renovation, custom cabinets were being built and installed. The way this calendar was created was to work backwards from when cabinets were going to be delivered and installed. Once I had the date of cabinet delivery, all work that was needed prior to cabinet delivery was scheduled in and trades were booked.
Once I knew when cabinets were being installed, all of the work that comes after was also scheduled in and the trades booked.
I truly believe that when you have a renovation calendar that you share with your client as well as your trades, you are setting yourself up for success. The age old saying: Failing to plan is planning to fail is one I truly believe in. Communication is truly a key in keeping the stress down during a renovation. Having a renovation calendar is one way, and one important step, that I believe every renovation project should have.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is an active renovation that is currently going on. Here are just a few shots of the progress so far:
We have 7 more days to get this all done and ready for my client to move in prior to Christmas! Stay tuned.
I’m so excited for today. Today is a demolition day! You may be thinking, “So close to Christmas?” Oh yes baby – we’ve got 4.5 weeks from start to end to get this baby done.
Ms. Client was referred to me by some fantastic clients I worked with the past year. When I met Ms. Client, I was able to see her home and get a really good understanding of what she was looking for.
Ms. Client has a lovely home and was looking to update her home. The more we talked, the more it was evident that she was not looking to blow out any walls or doing anything drastic. Although the potential for her home would be spectacular with blowing out one wall, Ms. Client has no intention on moving any time soon. Ms. Client also loves the layout of her kitchen and really likes that it is not an open concept. She can cook and never be worried about guests seeing her pots and pans. Here are a couple of images of what the kitchen looks like.
Can you believe the ceilings? They are so gorgeous! And just so you know, they are staying.
Knowing that there were no walls going to be moved, the footprint of this kitchen was not changing. In consulting with Ms. Client, the common theme was the lack of storage and/or useable space in her current kitchen. The other comment was that her kitchen always felt dark.
A few things on the list of priorities were:
I created two new kitchen design options. One option had a built in oven and microwave in the tall cabinet and one option had a stove and OTR (over the range) microwave. After discussing the pros and cons of each design, the decision was to go with the option of an OTR so that her tall pantry could be utilized for food storage. Here are a couple of renderings of what her kitchen is going to look like. In these renderings, the ceiling has not been vaulted however the original wood ceiling is staying (as you will see in the before pictures).
Once the design was hammered out, Ms. Client and I worked on solidifying the pretty. Ms. Client wanted a white kitchen and as you may be well aware, there are over 140 different shades of white. In looking with the rest of the home, we chose a beautiful white that falls in the cream category. After choosing the right white, all of the other decisions stayed in line with the cream foundation palette. We chose the following:
Stay tuned to see the progress of this kitchen on my Facebook page. As always, I’ll be sharing this completed project when it’s all done along with all of the fixed elements for this space!
I have recently been working on pulling together elements for a bachelor. I have to admit, this client is my very first bachelor that I’ve worked with. With all of my other clients, there has been a Mrs., who for the most part, has been the decision maker. Not only is this particular client a bachelor, he has been out of the country so the contractor and myself have been making decisions. No pressure!
I am so thankful that I have worked with this contractor before because he knows my process and I know his. It’s also nice to be able to be brutally honest without having to worry what he’s thinking.
Since this entire home is getting renovated (maybe that’s why Mr. Client has left the country for a bit – LOL), the new kitchen cabinets were going to dictate the foundation palette. IKEA cabinets were chosen ahead of me being involved and as such, the foundation palette will be off-white.
Mr. Client had a vision of having white cabinets, a lighter counter, and then some kind of splashy-flashy backsplash. With the cabinets being off-white, I chose a beautiful quartz.
It’s not often that I lose sleep over specifying elements for a renovation, but this particular home had me unsettled. I was tasked to find kitchen backsplash that was, ‘…timeless and exotic.” Oh boy….those two words put together stressed me out as I don’t believe there is such a thing and I don’t think those 2 words belong in the same sentence when talking about backsplash tile. I also knew that an entire wall was going to be tiled so I had to find something that would wow yet not be crazy. After bringing a number of samples and going over the pros and cons of each, it was decided to go with the following tile:
What stands out for me and this tile is that it is going to look super with the stainless steel appliances and plays well with the quartz counters. It is also quite masculine as well.
In keeping with this bachelor pad theme, I wanted to bring in the masculine feel yet soften things up a bit for the bathroom. I was not going for the ‘man cave’ feel in this space! In the end, we ended up going with the following tile for the floor, the walls around the bath, and the mosaic.
Once the hard finishes were chosen, the last thing to choose was the paint. While the tile in the kitchen has a definite blue undertone, the tile in the bathroom has a green undertone. I chose 3 different paint colours for this home: the main living area including the kitchen (blue undertone paint), the 2 bedrooms (blue-green undertone), and the bathroom (a green undertone). Here is the colour palette for this home:
**the colours on your screen may not represent the actual paint colours chosen**
And here is everything pulled together:
I’m looking forward to seeing all of these elements pulled together for Mr. Client.
This past week, I was overjoyed to be able to bring my photographer, Ruth Skiffington Photography, to a home that has gone a complete honey oak transformation.
When I first met my clients, they were ready to rid themselves of the honey oak that was all over their home. Not only were they ready to get rid of the honey oak, they were also ready to get rid of some of the elements that they felt dated their home. As I typically do when I first meet clients, we talked about what was going to stay and what they wanted changed. The only thing that was going to be staying was the newer carpet.
Seeing the carpet and hearing Mr. and Mrs. Client’s wishes, it was very clear right off the start that this was not going to be a grey and white home (that a lot of my other clients were moving towards). These clients loved the warm and cosy feeling of creams. I was glad to hear that as their carpet was definitely in the ‘cream’ category.
With the kitchen being the heart of the home, we discussed how we could make changes to their existing kitchen while checking off many items on their wish list. While in the back of my head I knew cream was our foundation palette, and I knew the cabinets would be cream, creating a functional kitchen was priority. Here are a couple of renderings that would give my clients a really good idea of what their new space was going to look like.
There was one driving force in the kitchen design: the counter depth fridge and freezer. Mrs. Client really wanted their new fridge and freezer to be in the kitchen. Mr. and Mrs. Client have two active teens which equals an active family. As such, the fridge and freezer (being counter depth) took up a large portion of the wall. As such, the corner pantry was removed.
Once the counter depth fridge and freezer were solidified in the kitchen design, it was time to create the rest of the kitchen. Mrs. Client envisioned a clean and clutter free new kitchen. As such, there was an area that I created to accommodate an appliance garage. Instead of having appliances shown on the counters, a space was created to hide those daily appliances. What is great (and code by the way), is that the electrical outlet shuts off when the appliance garage is closed. This ensures that no appliances are accidentally left on when the door is closed.
Since we took out the corner pantry, and although there are more useable drawers on the island, we needed to still make a spot for some sort of pantry. We ended up converting a broom closet to house a pull-out pantry (for those large Costco sized items) and we had enough room beside the fridge to provide a smaller broom closet.
Mr. and Mrs. Client love to entertain. The island design needed to be able to seat at least four people – if not more. In our planning, we were able to confirm that the built in bookcase was able to be removed along with the pillar.
In being able to remove the pillar, it allowed me to design a larger island with seating as well as storage on all three sides.
In taking out the built in bookcase in the kitchen area, we were able to get rid of one pilar and really open up this space. This room now has a flow from the kitchen to the family room. Due to the two pillars that we were not able to take out due to mechanical and electrical items running through, I designed a glass cabinet to close off the eating area and provide a little bit of ‘functional and pretty’ to the space.
Here is an image of the built-in bookcase before we started.
There was nothing wrong with the wood so it was decided that the bookcase would be sprayed (painted) with the same colour as the kitchen cabinets. When the new hardwood flooring stain was chosen I picked out the dark colour that the new oak floor would have for the back of the bookcase. By choosing the dark colour for the back of the bookcase, it really made things pop in this space!
Oh the stairs. This was a topic that we re-visited a lot! Knowing that the hardwood oak floors were going to be re-stained a darker colour, and knowing the budget of this entire renovation project, we discussed keeping the staircase and spraying it two colours to go with the rest of the home. However, we also looked at the option of replacing the entire staircase with a new, modern railing.
To replace the railing with a brand, new modern one was going to be a lot more money than spraying it. After having many discussions with my clients, the decision was to not exceed their renovation budget and stick with the original plan. Mr. Client was also very happy that there was not going to be any ripping out of perfectly good wood. You can read more about the entire staircase here.
This entire home is officially in the cream foundation palette so of course we would continue that for the rest of the home. The Powder Room has a gorgeous cream pedestal sink (and toilet) with an oil rubbed bronze faucet and gorgeous vanity light (not shown). Mr. and Mrs. Client installed the wallpaper themselves and I’m glad they chose this sample (this was one out of three that I suggested to use).
This was a lengthy renovation project that has really given my clients a brand new home. The minute you open the door, you get a sense of warmth and love that will fill this home for many years to come. Although I’m sad to see this project come to an end, I know for this family, the beginning of new memories has just begun!
And of course, we couldn’t resist getting in a few photos of Gibson. He was so excited at the start of the photo shoot but of course, at the end, he pretty much had enough.
My business is so funny sometimes. I seem to go in waves when it comes to designing spaces for clients. This past summer, my head was involved with bathrooms. Four to be exact! You could say I had my head in toilets for about 3 months. This fall, my head has been in kitchens and I am currently working on 5 different kitchen designs for clients. While I love working in bathrooms, I really love working in kitchens as there typically is a major changes taking place. I have always knows how important it is to have an interior design renovation plan and I’m going to share you how I have saved my clients money by having one.
I have been very fortunate to be working with some great clients in preparing them for a massive renovation in their home. I’ve also been extremely lucky to be working on this project with an Architectural Designer. While Ray has been working on the entire ‘as is’ plan, the exterior and roof lines (as there will be an addition for this home and a new vaulted ceiling is going to be added to parts of this home), I have been busy working on the interior and creating bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. Although my clients will be working directly with a kitchen cabinet company to design the kitchen (they have a great relationship with them prior to working with me), my clients asked me my opinion on walls vs no walls.
When my clients were starting to see the potential of their home, they asked about a wall coming out by their kitchen.
To do this, I needed to add some cabinets to create a very quick kitchen plan. With a click of a finger, I was able to add a wall, throw in some cabinets (remember: I’m not designing the kitchen – just giving an overall feel for my clients) and voila! My clients have an idea of what it was going to look like. The image below is looking into the home from the front entrance (and we can see the roof line isn’t quite right yet on this plan that I was working on).
When they saw the wall, they asked if I could take it out to see that option. Again, with a click of a finger, I was able to delete the cabinets and delete the wall. The image below again, is looking into the home from the front entrance.
Here is where I have saved my clients time and money! This is what could have potentially happened if they chose the plan with the wall. If during construction they didn’t like the wall, they would have asked for it to be removed. It would have added on the following:
If they decided the opposite (they didn’t want the wall and then decided they did), they would have added on the following:
For another kitchen project, I am working with another great couple in redesigning parts of their kitchen. We will be taking out the corner pantry and I’m redesigning the island. The rest of the kitchen is getting tweaked and will have all new cabinets and finishes. So while some of the layout is being changed, some of the layout is not.
During the redesign phase, I was adding in some things I heard my client talk about during our time together. One thing that Mrs. Client really loves is the colour red. She even talked about having a funky, red, feature wall (tile of some sort). When I sent draft one of the kitchen, I had just that. A funky red backsplash that would certainly make a statement.
After we met to go over the two options I had come up with, Mrs. Client admitted that while she loves the colour red, she wasn’t ready to make that huge commitment with a fixed element. After making some changes to the kitchen design, I took the feedback and created a darker island, white outer cabinets (like they requested) and put in pops of red ‘decor’ items to give my client a vision of what their space could look like. Voila – changes were made and it didn’t cost any extra money to make that change!
Here is where I have saved my clients money! IF my client went with a splashy red backsplash, she would have to live with that for a long time. A kitchen backsplash isn’t impossible to change, but it’s not as easy as a paint change would be. It’s a committment! I often ask my clients, “Are you ready to be married to that?” when it comes to fixed elements.
My very dear friend Claire Jefford with Creating Contrasting Designs in Burlington, Ontario had a great analogy this week. She recently got new professional head shots (and they look amazing). Here is where the analogies come in:
Claire planned months in advance for her photo shot. She booked her photographer, her make-up artist, her hair stylist and the location she was going to use. With renovations, you really should be doing the same. Design work, procurement of all supplies, securing trades….that is all done with a renovation and it’s called planning!
Hiring the Experts
Although Claire admits she does a good job daily with her hair and her make-up, she hired experts to go the extra mile. With renovations, if you hire an Interior Design Professional, you know you too will be going the extra mile – as that is our job! We use our trade only sources to take your project to the next level!
When you hire professionals, their goal is to get you to the finish line faster than what you could do on your own. With Claire, it would have taken her hours to do her hair and make-up. It would have taken numerous shots that her photographer was able to capture in a timely fashion.
When you hire an Interior Design Professional, they take you on your renovation journey to have a successful result much faster than what it may take you. It just makes sense: hire the professional and you can’t go wrong.
I was fortunate and blessed to be able to work with my clients for a second time – this time getting their master bathroom updated. When I started to work on this bathroom layout project, I immediately started brainstorming what I would call this project (as I do like to name all my projects). With the wishes for the new master bathroom from my clients, I created two bathroom layouts giving them the items on their wish list. I’ve called this project: Swinging Single – and you’ll see why below.
Below are a couple of before images of the bathroom they were living with.
In having multiple meetings with Mr. and Mrs. Client, part of my process is to really listen and take that information and create a design with all of their hopes and desires for their new space. My clients knew they were not going to be selling any time soon as their twin boys are settled in their school and extra curricular activities. Knowing we were not renovating to move, we looked at the function of their bathroom strictly for them. There were a few things that I heard during out meetings and took into consideration when planning out some bathroom layout options for this lovely couple:
In listening to their hopes and desires, it was time for me to put some magic into the limited square footage of this space.
I started off with conceptual renderings and this was Option 1 that included a double vanity (no change from their current bathroom), the same size shower, but additional storage by the bath tub. Of course, absolutley everything would be updated. The one wish that was on their list that was not included was a larger shower. There’s only so much space on the wall where the vanity sits (and was not going to be moved). This rendering would show my clients what their master bathroom could look like with the extra storage and everything updated.
The Option 2 conceptual rendering included a much larger shower (which was on their list), the additional storage by the bath tub however with the larger shower, my clients would have to go from a double sink to a single sink. Again, all of the finishes would be totally updated.
The function of this bathroom really came down to the double vanity vs a single vanity. Most people would say it’s crazy to go from two sinks to one. I even had a little poll on my social media sites asking opinions (just for curiosity sake). The majority said they would love a double sink vanity. What you do need to remember is that:
The decision was to go with the single sink option. We were officially swinging single!
Once the conceptual design was agreed upon, then we got to work on nailing down the fine detail of the cabinets and their configuration, and of course, picking out all of the pretty. We originally started with looking at creamy coloured cabinets but moved to a darker, stained oak cabinet. Once the cabinet stain was solidified, I then worked on tile selection, tile layout, counters, all of the finishes and then paint colour. We ended up changing the original paint colour to a darker taupe colour to ensure the tile was not reading pink (which is was doing with the lighter colour). Here is the final conceptual rendering we worked off of.
My clients loved the idea of adding additional storage by the bath. Although the cabinet is not very deep, I used the entire vertical height to allow for maximum space. Having 2 rows of pull out drawers and a bank of adjustable shelves, there is a ton of storage – not to mention the 2 beautiful glass cabinet doors at the top to display some ‘pretty’.
For the vanity, because we were adding in a drop in sink, the configuration had to be changed a bit to allow room for the plumbing. The final cabinet allows my clients to each have two pull out drawers each, as well as a common area in the middle.
I think the outcome came out very sophisticated and rich in colour and depth. What do you think?
You can check out more of the renovation photos in my portfolio on Houzz.
While my photographer Ruth was getting ready, she happened to take this great photo of the family dog, Cody. Couldn’t resist adding this sweet, sweet dog. I’m sure the look on his face is really saying, “I hope this is the last disruption to my day.”
Photo Credits: Ruth Skiffington.
Last week I was shopping for tile for a couple of clients. I visited three of my trade tile sourcing stores and in all three stores, there were people shopping who were sent by their contractor to pick out tile for their space(s).
I always find it interesting when I go sourcing and run into people who are trying to pick things out on their own and are clearly struggling. Don’t get me wrong, there are many people who are great at choosing elements for their home, it just happens to be that last week, in all three stores, there were people who were clearly struggling to pick out tile.
In the first tile store, there was an older couple who came into the store with their cabinet sample. A beautiful, off-white, shaker style cabinet was in their hands. They were trying to find a great back splash tile for their kitchen. What they didn’t have (and later I found out they had not even picked out yet), was their counter. How can you choose a backsplash without having a counter chosen?
I’m not sure what order the elements were chosen in this image however I am going to guess that the elements were chosen individually without a lot of thought going into how the ‘big picture’ would look when they all share a space. The island granite would sing IF the backsplash tile was a solid. In my opinion, there are competing elements in this space – and I’m not a fan. Who is the star of this space? I’m not sure.
When designing a space, it is really important not to look at elements as individual pieces. In that I mean, you always have to take into consideration the big picture of the space. You need to consider how each element is going to play with each other. Are there competing patterns? Are the elements in the same undertone (and yes – this matters)? Here is the order I use when to choosing elements for a kitchen and /or bathroom that would have tile:
Here’s a sneak peak at a master bathroom and the elements that were used to pull this space together. For this space, the cabinet colour and style were chosen first. Then the counter and then the tile. The wall colour was chosen last. The palette for this particular master bathroom gives a lot of choice as to adding in accent colours. Final photos are being taken this week and I can’t wait to share this with you!
Last week, I was actually on holidays. This past summer was full of renovations and a summer holiday was just not in the cards. When thinking of where to go for a quick break in October, Las Vegas was on the top of my list. Although Hawaii is my absolute favourite destination to holiday, Las Vegas is perfect for a smaller holiday. It’s just under a 3 hour flight, we can typically get a really good deal on flights and hotels, and when we go, we ensure the weather is hot enough to sit by the pool. The hotter the weather the better (which is why we typically go in July)!
One of the things my hubby and I love to do in Las Vegas is walk in the morning. And by walk, I mean walk, and walk and walk. We will get up, get dressed and start walking the strip. This trip we walked roughly 15 km a day (thank you iWatch for keeping track). Part of our morning walk is going through the various hotels. As my husband is drawn to the casinos, I am drawn to the decor and interior design of each hotel. While some hotels still have themes, others are moving away from that.
Las Vegas seems to be moving towards ‘Urban Chic‘ for their interior design style. For me, I first started seeing this trend when City Center was built. All of the following properties are part of 68 acres that MGM spent upwards of 9+ billion dollars to create.
This entire project all falls in the ‘Urban Chic’ style. All have a ton of bling (like only Las Vegas can pull off), and all scream ‘up-scale‘. Who wouldn’t want to stay somewhere that looks like this?
With millions of people flocking to Las Vegas to holiday and vacation, of course this city needs to keep up with the trends. Who wants to go on a holiday to Las Vegas and stay in a 1980’s hotel room? I know I wouldn’t and I know that because we got stuck in one at Caesar’s Palace one year. The room was extremely ‘tired’ and it just wrecked my Las Vegas experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way a diva. However, when I go to Las Vegas, I am expecting an experience. And part of that experience is staying in a spectacular hotel. Whether it be in an urban chic style or my favourite of all time, The Bellagio. All of the hotels on the strip keep up with trends and are forever upgrading and renovating. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in one of those design meetings. To pick out elements for one of their renovations – yes please!
While Las Vegas can pull of being trendy, most of us in our own homes don’t have the budget to renovate and/or decorate every five to ten years to keep up with the trends. What’s important to know about trends is that they last roughly 10 years. And depending on where you live, you may not see the current trend hit your city or town until it’s in year 4 or 5! Does this mean you have to have a boring, generic home? No – absolutley not. What it does mean is that you can make some smart choices in your home that will stand the test of time of trends coming and going.
The heart of the home: your kitchen. Although there are over 140 shades of white (blue-white, true-white, off-white and cream), white is still the most popular choice for kitchens to stand the test of time. Why? Most people consider a white kitchen timeless because you can work with any colour with white. Look at this gorgeous kitchen designed by my friend Adrienne Gerein. The first word that comes to my mind when I see this? Fresh!
Fixed elements are those items in your home that are not easy to change out (either due to the cost of changing them or due to the labour it would take to change it out, or both). Things like flooring, counters, tile, fireplace surrounds, etc. all fall in this category. While we are still in a grey trend in Calgary, that trend is not going to stay forever. Just like the brown, Tuscan trend did not stay, neither will the grey. When looking at fixed elements, some might say timeless elements are boring (white kitchen, medium brown hardwood, subway tile…). My answer to that? You’re right. When you think of them on their own. But why not decorate with the trends around the timeless fixed elements? Isn’t it way cheaper to change a wall colour than to rip out your once trendy grey cabinets? Isn’t it cheaper to get toss cushions, an area rug and some art compared to changing out your trendy grey hardwood floor that is now out of style? Of course it is.