My Top 5 Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Craftsman stunner home kitchen

Over the last decade, I’ve been sharing my design projects in print and online with the hope that they bring you enjoyment and inspiration. During this time I’ve noticed that there is no clear guide for building and remodeling. While I believe that designing is a form of art, I know that the process can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. To help you avoid potential frustrations, I’d like to share some common mistakes I’ve seen over the years.

1. Know your hardware + fixtures before determining height placement.

You will only make this mistake once! Or hopefully not at all. I was fortunate to learn this one early on. If you are doing a major remodel with new plumbing and electrical fixtures, selecting the items that go inside the walls happens early in the process. You know you want two sconces here, and a flush mount there, but knowing exactly what you want and where it goes is essential. All fixtures should be selected before determining a fixture’s height or location. Clients often think I’m being overly cautious about this when I’m actually avoiding some significant pitfalls. 

Historical home kitchen with light blue subway tile and white cabinets

2. Not everything has to be builder-grade. Add some charm!

If you live in a builder-grade home you are not alone. That’s okay. There are ways to add charm even after the home is built. Select light fixtures that are unique and interesting. Paint cabinetry or an island in the kitchen a bold color. Add accents and artwork that are unconventional. Including artwork in the kitchen is one of my favorites! Mixing in a few sentimental, antique items really speaks volumes when wanting to add a little charm.

3. Use trendy permanent finishes with caution.

Relying on trends for architecture, windows, doors, and flooring can be expensive if you ever want to change them out. The best way to use stylish designs is with furniture, decor, and lighting. Selecting bold light fixtures or paint colors is a great way to incorporate a specific design trend.

4. There is such a thing as too much furniture!

Even if you have the space to add more furniture and decor, leave some breathing room. Having a little less in the space can really show off the other details of the room and will avoid making your space feel cluttered.

5. Always have a plan before DEMO.

It’s important to keep in mind that a renovation or construction project is a complex process with many moving parts, and delays can happen frequently. Unfortunately, many factors that can cause these delays are beyond your control. To minimize the chance of delays and ensure a smoother experience, it’s important to have a reliable team in place, a well-planned design, and all necessary permits and materials ordered before starting any demolition work. Doing as much preparation work as possible in the beginning will save you from living in a construction site for longer than you anticipated. While there may be moments when your patience is tested, I can assure you that the end result will make it all worthwhile.

Listen, we’ve all been there – making mistakes during a renovation is just part of the creative process. However, I do hope these guidelines will help you avoid some common pitfalls. If you want a true partner in your project, don’t hesitate to contact me today.

I’d love to discuss your upcoming project! Let’s make a design plan.

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