home renovation

How to Style Your Home’s Interior Design for Long-term Use

When you want to update your home decor, you may be tempted to jump in and redesign for the current trends and your most recent preferences. However, if you’re looking to stay in your living space for a while, and get the most return on your efforts, you’ll want to upgrade your interior design to get the best long-term investment. Follow these time-tested tips to create a space that will become a long-term haven:

  • Vary dimensions. Create a room with flow, one that keeps the eye moving naturally through the space. To do this, you must be aware of the size and shape of your furnishings; they can’t all be the same. Be sure to have a variety of heights and shapes to your lamps, photos, and more, while sticking to a complementary color/design theme to tie the look together. The varying heights and shapes will create negative space (the area where there’s no embellishment), which is just as important as the areas where you add decor: it will keep from cluttering your room and keep focus on the important design aspects. Being aware of your decor dimensions and heights will create a cohesive, but visually intriguing, look that you’ll never grow tired of.
  • Display embellishments and unique decor in arrangements. Your brightly colored accessories and small decor items shouldn’t be scattered throughout your room; what you may not realize is that similar small items and colors will look best grouped together. For a timeless layout, group similar pieces together to create one dynamic display area. If you haven’t heard the “rule of thirds,” consider this: items will appear balanced and appealing in odd numbers. Group your light-hued candles in one spot on a side table, or place three small photo frames together on a shelf.
  • Create focal points. Each room should be anchored by a focal point to draw the eye immediately in right away; use your statement furniture as the center of the room to design around, or, if in an open-concept floor plan, define your spaces by creating a layout originating from your chosen focal point (or decor item). Typically, in a segmented room, your focal point will be across from the entry, so consider hanging a stunning piece of artwork on the wall, or placing your statement furniture at that end of the room.
  • Design for light. Lighting can make or break a room. Choose the level of lighting and ambiance that you want for each room in advance, and move forward with your lighting choices from there. Natural light is a widely appealing feature, so in rooms with plenty, create a layout for maximum exposure, seating, and views of the light. In other rooms, experiment with layering lamps to vary your decor heights, and to provide multiple options for actual room usage. In living rooms, for example, you’ll want to have various heights of lamps (floors, tables, side-tables), to light the majority of the room while allowing for reading or enjoyment in a variety of ways. Use chandeliers or hanging lights to point to your focal pieces, and watch as your space becomes a classically enjoyable interior.
  • Decorate for your personality. No matter what, you’ll want to love your space. Do you have a photograph you love? A statement piece that speaks to you? Include it! You’ll need an inspiration and mood for each room, so design for your own style and life preferences (for example–inspiration: an exotic elephant statue; mood: worldly, whimsical).

For more expert tips on home interior design and renovations, contact us today.

Your Home’s Renovation Fee: How do you figure it out?

Your home is your biggest investment, and naturally, if you want it to maintain its value, you’re going to have to renovate it periodically.

So, you meet with an interior designer — or a construction company — and they give you a quote for their services. There’s just one problem: you don’t know if the quote is too high, not high enough, or just right. So, how do you determine the right renovation fee for your home? Here’s our list of things to keep in mind before determining if you’ve been quoted a fair price:

  1. Make a list of all of the materials you need. For example, if you’re renovating your kitchen, list the amount of tile you’ll need, any appliances, the amount of drywall, etc. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the room (or of the entire home, if you’re doing a complete home remodel).
  2. After you get a complete list of the materials, get a few price quotes — don’t just settle for the first quote that was given to you. You may even want to get some of the prices yourself — many “big box” home improvement stores periodically have clearance sales that can save you hundreds of dollars!
  3. Next, calculate the amount of labor hours that will be needed to renovate the room in question. Again, be realistic, and be aware that when drywall is removed, especially in high-moisture places like kitchens and bathrooms, other problems with plumbing, mold, and faulty wiring may be uncovered, which will cause an increase in labor and materials costs.
  4. When factoring in the cost of materials, be sure to bear in mind that materials will vary in price, as well, and this variance is dependent on the quality of the materials procured. While a typical porcelain or ceramic tile in a “big box” store can be relatively inexpensive (sometimes as low at 99 cents per square foot!), a tile made from travertine or imported Italian marble can be significantly more expensive. Travertine tiles start at approximately $10 per square foot; Italian marble tiles start at double that price!
  5. When getting a quote from a contractor or designer, be sure to ask about the quality and type of materials they’ll be providing for their price as well.
  6. Once you get all the costs of the renovation together (materials and labor) that you then compare it to the price that a designer, or contractor, gives you. Again — don’t go with the first price that’s given to you. Compare a few quotes, and go with the one that provides the most reasonable price for the proper amount of work.
  7. In comparing prices, be careful of the designer or contractor giving you the lowest prices. Sometimes the cheapest is not always the best, as their experience, quality, and speed of construction may be lacking, which can cost more in the long run.
  8. To that end, too, you’ll need to set aside a contingency budget (better known as an “emergency funds” reserve) that’s equal to about 15% of your total renovation budget to account for problems that may be uncovered during the renovation process.

Contact us today to discuss your home’s renovation project.