A big shout out to the single ladies…and especially those single moms…this post is for you! After 17 years of marriage, I found myself single once again after my divorce. I found myself wanting to crawl under a rock for the first six months of being single. I just wanted to live a quiet and simple life as I dealt with the loss of the family unit I had once known.

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A good design is beautiful, but it’s also functional at the same time. If it’s not, you’ll end up hating it and changing it down the road. Anytime I design a space, it has to be both beautiful and functional. One aspect of functionality is to keep your kids in mind when you design a space. There’s the actual design that needs to keep the kids in mind and then there are other ways you can infuse your kids’ needs into the design.

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Having a plan for your renovation project may mean the difference between hiring an expensive designer/builder or being your own designer and general contractor and saving a ton of money. If you can plan the whole project out as I describe below, you may not need costly advice from the experts. You may just be able to do the whole thing yourself. So, what are some strategies for planning out a big project like a professional designer?

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When I buy a new house, I make sure to get a thorough home inspection. And I make sure to be there for the 3-4 hour process myself so that I can go through the house, understand how everything works, see what issues need to be fixed and when all the issues need to be fixed. If there’s anything unsafe or expensive, I would negotiate with the seller about getting it done prior to the closing. When I get my inspection report, which usually contains photos, I map out when I’d like to complete any of the needed improvements. I take out a document and type headings such as Fall 2019, Winter 2019, Spring 2020, etc. I take every needed repair and improvement and map out when I’m going to get the work done.

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Since I posted my first few blogs, I’ve gotten some feedback. My grandma told me I need to post pictures of my kitchen. So, I decided to use this blog to post pictures of how the kitchen looks before the renovation. And I’ll talk through why it needs to be changed.

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Whenever I renovate a room, I always have a little debate in my head. Should I go with what is trendy, which seems really beautiful now but could become outdated fast, or do I go with what is more timeless and will be in style for years to come? Right now, for example, I’m trying to figure out what flooring to use in my kitchen project. If there’s hardwood underneath the vinyl, I’ll go with that. Because it fits the house, matches the rest of the rooms, and is timeless and less expensive. But if there’s no hardwood, can I find a material that is new that will fit the old house?

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Before you start any renovations, it’s a good idea to gather ideas and put the good ones in a portfolio. This opens you up to things you never thought of before. It shows you newest trends and helps you sort out what you like and what you don’t like. 

Before you begin, you might want to check out my blog on trends vs. timeless so that you know what your priorities are. 

Parade of Homes

Every year my town hosts a Parade of Homes and I know a lot of other towns do this as well. Builders feature one or two of their newest homes built by local citizens. They show how colors and materials go together, and are usually decluttered and staged. This is a great place to start. You can see how tiles, flooring, and paint colors work together in real life, instead of in pictures or on samples that are tiny and hard to picture in large quantities.

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shabby to chic

Before I begin my kitchen renovation project, I’d like to do what I do: bring meaning into my work. I think everyone wants to do something meaningful in their lives. So, what meaning does a kitchen remodel project have for me and for others who might want to renovate their rooms?

The Redemptive Process

For me, I’ve always enjoyed the redemptive process. I love taking something old, broken, and shabby, and turning it into something new. Something it was intended to be. There have been many times when I’ve found an old piece of furniture at a rummage sale and had a vision of what it could be. One time I found an old dresser with these gold, gaudy handles. I sanded the dresser, painted it an off-black, and put new handles on it. I weathered it a bit and it looked good as new. I later painted the same dresser a muted shade of red to go with my new color scheme and it shined once again. Another time I found an old coffee table. I added slates to the bottom creating a shelf, painted the shelf and legs green and refinished the wood top with a creamy pine finish. It looked beautiful. Before, these pieces were discarded as old, odd, and disposable. But I gave them new life.

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