Renovate Like A Designer: Start With Your Foundation Palette

Renovate Like A Designer: Start With Your Foundation Palette

When I work with individuals and families with their upcoming renovation (whether it be choosing new colours for their home or a full scale renovation), the first thing I always look at is what is the home’s foundation palette.

Foundation Palette: What are the choices?

Your home will fall into one of two categories:  white or cream.  That’s it.   How do you determine what it is?

  1. Look at your existing cabinets.
    • Are they wood stained?  If yes, then most times your foundation palette will be in the cream category (warm).
renovate like a designer
  • Are they white?  If yes, then most likely your home’s foundation palette will be in the white category.

renovate like a designer


Foundation Palette: What if there’s a mix?

I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a home where there are warm, wood stained cabinets and screaming white baseboards and trim (when all of the trim work should have been cream or wood stained).  It is evident at this point that either some renovations have already occurred (whether it was by the previous owner, the owner themselves, or the builder just used a true white and didn’t know what they were doing).   So what do you do if this is the case?  Pick a lane!  Your fixed elements will be dictating what lane to be in.  Unless you are willing to change the fixed elements, they will force your decision.  Let those drive your decisions from this point on.

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Foundation Palette:  You are making a mistake when you mix

renovate like a designer

I came across this image on Pinterest and thought, “This is a perfect example.”  This is what happens when you mix a cream with white (and you don’t know what you’re doing).  The creamy subway tile by the bathtub looks very dirty because the white it so crisp and fresh.  In addition, this bathroom was painted with a fresh paint colour making the creamy subway tile look even dirtier (and very yellow).    How could this bathroom look like it was designed by a designer?  Change out the creamy subway tile to white.  Even though the counter is also creamy (not as creamy as the subway tile), you could keep that counter and pull it off with some creamier towels.

Foundation Palette: Moving Forward

When undergoing a renovation, there is typically a domino effect.  It’s just the nature of the beast.  If you want to renovate like a designer, then start with your foundation palette.  Every decision that you make for your renovation should go back to staying true to your foundation palette – for your entire home!

Have you made a renovation mistake?  Don’t be shy…I’d love to hear about your adventure (as we can all learn from mistakes).

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Download my FREE Renovate With Confidence Printable Guide HERE!


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