Before and After, Interiors

The Key to Getting the Best Design for Your Renovation

I don’t like blanket statements in general, but here’s one for you: the most important thing you can do to get the best design for yourself is to be flexible at the beginning of your project.   Be open to the ideas that will be thrown around by your designer, architect, contractor and even your neighbors and your neighbor’s children (these last two are a given).  When you decide to embark on a project, let’s say it’s expanding your kitchen,  most people usually have a good idea of what they want to do with their space.  Sometimes this idea is one of the best for the house and its inhabitants – but many times, it’s just the push that gets the action started on the design.  Big decisions require a lot of flexibility.  

farmhouse kitchen cabinets
Early elevations for a recently completed kitchen project of mine.  I’ve found that hand writing and sometimes even hand drawing things helps my clients intuitively understand that what I’m showing them is changeable and not set in stone.  It’s so important to be able to exchange and share ideas freely.

For many people, it’s really hard to let go of the first design idea.  Be open towards different ideas about your space and remember, it’s not actually happening – you’re just talking about it.  With some clients, I will give them 2 or 3 layout options in addition to the one layout they initially thought of – and it will throw them for a loop.  There are almost always new ways to think about your home that you may have never thought of.  If you hire a design professional, be ready to go on a conceptual journey with them.  It’s all part of the  design process and it is so important to allow time for different ideas at the start of your project.

floor plan for small room
A current project and a new design concept that requires some imagination on the part of my clients who are definitely up for the challenge.

I’ve learned that I tend to think of interior space in a more fluid way than my clients.  First of all, it’s what I do for a living and what I’ve been trained to do and secondly, it’s not my house.  I think the second part of this statement is important – when we’re living in a home it’s so easy to get caught up in the repetitive motions we go through on an almost daily basis.  This repetition can numb people into an acceptance of walls, windows and doors as facts.  Keep your mind open to seeing things differently when you start a project – try not to get upset or distraught when new ideas are proposed.  If you don’t like the idea – try not to close your mind to it right away.  Try it on for size first.  The most successful projects I’ve worked on are with clients who are open and excited about thinking of their space in new ways.

 

Before photos kitchen renovationBefore photo kitchen remodel

Before: A kitchen in Golden with clients who were ready for ideas and for change.  They brought some amazing ideas to the table and were open to others.

kitchen renovation denver
After: Just a few layout and architectural changes later…the same kitchen is a joy to cook in! (Photo by Sara Yoder)

It’s taken me a long time to understand that flexibility in thought comes easier to some than others. It’s a muscle that if not exercised often, will be hard to find when called on unexpectedly, but it’s always there.  Work on accepting the “what ifs” and the “what if we did it this ways” and I promise that your project will be exciting and fulfilling.

“Be infinitely flexible and constantly amazed.”
― Jason Kravitz

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