Most people undergoing a renovation typically start with wanting to fix the main pain points; broken appliances, a leaking shower, while also struggling with how their existing space could be better used. As professional designers, we have an advantage of not living with the current space and can see the re-design more objectively to meet the design objectives of the owners’ wish list…and then make it look beautiful. There are also some paradigms that our clients struggle with when it comes to re-thinking the space. It is our goal to shift the paradigms.
Load Bearing Walls
Paradigm blocker no. 1: Is the wall bearing? – who cares! Well, we really do care… we want your home to be a safe place. Many people ask about this in kitchen renovation and the real question is, how much do we change a structural piece of the home and what is the value to the people that will live there. Short-term cost is often worth the long-term gain if it changes how you use a space for the better. The good news is in most instances people are asking to open things up, which is bettering the way we interact with our family. We want to be closer and able to make eye contact with one another as we move through the day- these are changes worth the cost in our book.
Paradigm blocker no. 2: Fixtures are expensive to move so we should work around them. There are usually more options than most folks think are possible, and If you were doing a larger renovation and the cost of a major design solution was relatively low to the improved design solution it will be worth the added expense. Aligning the budgeting process in tandem with the initial design work helps our clients with the tradeoffs that can be made for gains with the greatest impact. Imagine finding additional space for a mudroom room because you were able to move and tuck the powder room under the stairs where empty space is now well utilized.
Changing Floor Plans
Paradigm blocker no. 3: “That is the dining room, and this is the kitchen.” Realistically a homeowner uses their house differently than the original owners did say 20, 40 or in the case of some antiques, 100 years ago. Just because rooms have been assigned names, it is OK to change them. That is a difficult concept for most folks who have called a room the family room for a decade to suddenly hear the word dining come in to play. Because our clients are people looking for a better lifestyle and a long-term solution, it is important to look at how a newly renovated space will impact the rest of the home. This is where a professional can look at the flow of the home and shed light on the bigger picture of possibilities in ways not often visible until the “walls are broken down” so to speak.
So with a new year upon us, let’s break down the paradigms that we must live within our current reality… unless it is already awesome. Let’s think big…and bold…and different. Changing things that drive us to want to move out and instead discover the things that make us want to settle in and stay awhile.
Happy New Year, Ray