You’re excited, you’ve got your ducks in a row, your Pinterest boards are full, your Houzz account is overflowing with images… you’re finally building your dream home. Exciting! What could go wrong?
I’ve been in the home building business for 20+ years now (please, don’t do the math) and I must tell you the 3 things that happen EVERY SINGLE TIME we build a new home that surprise the client. Seriously, every single time.
1. Your slab is going to look too small
I know this, I preach this, but guess what? When we built our last personal home, I went to my lovely husband, the General Contractor extraordinaire, and informed him that our slab, was indeed, too small. He laughed. I cried. We measured. Guess what, it was exactly correct. How could I doubt my dear husband? The lesson here is, for whatever reason, the slab will look tiny, but it’s still correct. I know, I know. How can you possibly take a shower in that teeny tiny rectangle? It’s going to feel much larger once the framing goes up. I promise.
2. Your interior paint color is going to look too dark. Like way too dark.
Color is funny. By funny I mean tricky, mean-spirited, and anxiety inducing. You’ve researched this color, pinned this color, bought samples, dreamt about it…why does it look so different now that it’s on the walls? Several reasons.
First, looking at a color in FRONT of you is very different from having the same color SURROUND you. Imagine looking AT a large red wall, now imagine being INSIDE an all red room. It’s a completely different experience. Give yourself some time to adjust.
Second, you’ve gone from the whitest-white plaster everywhere to a rich, beautiful color. The shock of that alone is enough to put you in panic mode.
Lastly, there’s nothing in the house to help balance (aka suck out) the wall color. Cabinets, flooring, tile, fixtures, trim paint…they all bring color into the space and help balance out the walls.
Take a breath, stick to your original choice. You’ve researched it to death, remember? 🙂 Once everything goes in, it will become the beautiful masterpiece you’ve envisioned. Pinky promise.
3. Your sod is going to look dead
Lovely image, isn’t it? You’ve worked with the landscape designer, selected just the perfect amount of shrubs versus flowers versus trees. It’s going to be a garden for the ages!
Then they deliver the sod. What is this shit? Why are you ruining my dream home with this? Take it away! Get it out of my sight!
Relax! It always looks a little, umm,“less than perfect” when delivered. Maybe it was the long trip, maybe it was the installation, who knows. Once it’s laid in place, watered, and starts to “take,” it will magically transform into the green lawn you’ve always dreamt of picnicking on in a few short weeks. 🙂 I swear.
Well, there it is. These three things have happened on every single house we’ve built. I even fell into the trap of the slab being too small after preaching this for years.
Take a breath, relax, stick to your guns, and trust those pinterest boards full of ideas you’ve been creating over the years. You got this!
What surprises have you encountered while building your new home or remodeling? Please share below! I’d love to hear or talk you off the ledge if needed. 🙂
Meditation room? Chef’s kitchen? Mother in law suite? Cinema room? Evans a laundry chute?! Name it and this dream home in Gainesville, Florida has it! Built by Evans Construction & Design for a fun family of five, this home has it all. Travertine floors, stacked stone accents, two story ceiling ad much, much more. Let’s take a look!
Did you know you can print out A LOT of prints for FREE online? Yes, it’s true. Good quality, designer prints are yours for the taking. A few of the best sites are here, here and here. Print them at home or take them to a local printer. Either way, you can create a wall full or artwork for super cheap.
Now, for the frames. You don’t have to spend much for great frames. Target, Wayfair and other online retailers have every option imaginable. I like to stick with clean, authentic materials. If it looks like wood, it should be wood, metal should be metal, etc. Light or white frames put the focus on the print or art inside. Dark or black frames put the focus on the structure and layout of the arrangement. A few of my favorite with links below.
Perfect frame in white or black with nice, big mat, here
So, you have the artwork, you have the frames, now where are you going to hang them? You need a plan! If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can cut out templates of your sizes with paper and try a few arrangements on the wall. Here are a few to get you started.
Family photos instantly tell a story. To keep things current, try frames with an extra wide mat and keep the photos either all black and white or all color. Consistency is key. Another way to go is blow them up nice and big, with no mat. Both look fresh and not like your Mom’s house. 😉
So, no excuses for a big empty wall! Calculate a plan, buy some inexpensive frames (my favorite are $18.99!) and print out some artwork online. Mix in a few of your existing pieces and boom, you’ve got a super chic wall!
Have you heard of Christopher Peacock? Many people have not. If you love Kitchens and Baths like I do, you may want to get to know him. Love the striking white on white on white Kitchens you see everywhere? He started them. Designers and homeowners use his designs for inspiration every day, myself included.
Always made in the USA, Christopher Peacock Cabinetry was launched in 1992, beginning with a single kitchen display inside a small store in Greenwich, CT. The vignette drew the attention of architects, designers and a discerning clientele. The rest is history.
Peacock Home now encompasses everything you need for a stunning Kitchen, Bath or really anywhere in your home. Check out a few of my favorite rooms below.
Kitchens, my favorite. Notice the details in the hardware.
Bathrooms, too. Fresh, clean and understated.
Dressing Rooms to die for.
It’s easy to see why Christopher Peacock is an industry leader. Which is your favorite?
I know, I know, you think warm colored rooms are out. You want gray, it’s everywhere. But, warm is not a bad word. A warm room can look chic, inviting…cozy….while still being fresh and current. I promise! I have a trick, so stick with me.
When you think of a room with a warm color scheme, you likely think of the 1990’s “Tuscan” look that was prevalent. It was bad. Really, really bad. Let’s take a look.
So, what was so bad about these rooms? Let’s break them down before we look at how to do a warm color scheme successfully.
Each room had
-huge bloated furniture
-matched sets…bad ones
-dated furniture pieces
It’s not the coloration that’s wrong with these rooms. It’s the items IN the rooms. Dated, ugly and just tacky.
What To Do Instead
Let’s take a look at some rooms done in a warm color scheme done “correctly”. Timeless, classic, and WARM. Then let’s talk about that trick. 🙂
What is so great about these rooms is that they are warm AND fresh. Hard to pull off? No, not really. I have a trick.
MIX WITH WHITE
Do your thing with the warm furnishings…leather, cinnamon fabrics, rich brown accents, you name it…but mix it all with white. Keep the walls fresh and clean, slightly bare. This keeps the warm palette from becoming too much and will definitely never look dated. My favorite white paints EVER area all in a nice little chart for you here.
Let’s look at some more.
Do you see what I mean? The rooms are fresh and still warm. This whole gray fad is going to go away, I promise. A warm, cozy room will stand the test of time. Mix with white and you’re golden!
Here are my favorite white paints again for your reference. Plus not to pin to your Pinterest boards for future reference.
Your bath should be a retreat, an oasis. Something you look forward to coming home. But, what if it just isn’t? This fun couple in Gainesville, Florida had this exact problem. They called us to help and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Fresh, clean and traditional. Perfect for them!
Check out the before, the process and the after below. Click on the links at the end for all the sources!
We are seeking a part time Office Assistant/Paid Intern for 6-9 hours per week for the 2018 Summer semester, possibly into Fall. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.Candidate will work directly with the owner. Duties will include general office tasks, social media posts, research, document handling, ordering, email correspondence, billing and some phone calls. Any interest in Interior Design, Marketing or Construction is a bonus, but certainly not necessary. Professional appearance and a positive, pleasant attitude are required.Email resume to Lori@TheEvansEdit.com
All this in just a year! Whew. To be honest, I always wanted to start a blog but put it off because I thought my writing wasn’t so great and I tend to cuss a bit. Well, my writing still isn’t the best and I may throw in an f word every now and then, but here we are. Thanks for sticking with me! It’s our birthday!
I thought we’d revisit our most popular post of the year. 7 Ways HGTV Is Lying To You. Enjoy!
HGTV lie to us? No way!
I’m certainly not anti-HGTV, but honestly, they create problems for us on a daily basis! Remodeling a home doesn’t take a week, although I wish it did. How does HGTV deceive you?? Let me count the ways.
1 Trends Are Your Friend
Ship lap walls and sliding barn doors are certainly fun, but do you REALLY want them in your house? Like forever? Like forever-ever? Trends are fun and look great in print, but you might not feel the same way about a sliding barn door in 10 years. The person who buys your home (whenever that is) might not either. My suggestion is have fun with trends via inexpensive, temporary pieces like pillows or artwork. If you love the Farmhouse look that’s hot right now, maybe freshen up your home with a few farmhouse accessories. When you go to sell your house, it won’t scream 2016.
Barn doors are super cool, but will they be dated when you go to sell your house? source
People on HGTV love granite. They say it every 5 minutes. If a home on house Hunters doesn’t have granite, well it’s obviously not the choice. Granite is great, but there are so many more options! Other natural materials like marble and soapstone are AMAZING and look great in a home. Much more solid in color, they distract less than granite. Other solid surfaces like quartz (under various names) hold up well and offer a wide variety of colors that granite just can’t. Although HGTV wants to shove granite down our throats, I say resist! Look around and see what other options there are and you might be surprised.
I can’t tell you how many times this belief causes issues. I wish remodels were like a week long, I really do! Sadly, they’re not. If you want something professionally done, not only does it take time, you might even have to wait to get on the list of projects. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth. Remodels (or any home project, really) are labor intensive and messy. They just are. My suggestion is ask for an estimated timeline from your contractor, see if it works for you and then hold them to it.
Big, expansive areas with super large rooms that open into one another is what HGTV assumes everyone wants. It’s definitely what’s popular here, in Florida and many markets around the country. They look great and are perfect for entertaining but they have a few drawbacks to them. Not having a quiet area (besides your bedroom) to sit and read a magazine or scroll through Pinterest may come back to bite you when the volume level rises in the evening. Having your Kitchen completely open to your Family Room requires a certain level of cleanliness you may not want. Not to mention, there’s the noise from the sink or dishwasher while your watching your favorite show a few feet away. I love open floor plans and they’re certainly not going anywhere, but there are more options available. A Den/Living Room/Study with doors might be your new best friend.
This is beautiful, but you might want a little quiet time at some point. source
Look, a Kitchen with a door! Before you say no, consider the possibilities. source
5 $1,000 Will Prep Your Home For Resale
You can’t do much for $1,000, there, I said it. Really getting your home ready for resale, for top dollar, requires you to look at the space with a fresh eye. Pretend you don’t live there and see what needs attention. New paint throughout? Trim paint? Landscaping touchup? Actual (costly) repairs of plumbing, electrical, etc? It adds up and takes time. I know HGTV has told us otherwise, but it does.
Open shelving looks great, like amazing, really. Stacked up white plates and bowls on a wood beam with a beautiful backdrop really is picturesque. The bad news is that grease and dust want to join the party! No matter how clean your house is, how often you dust, cooking and living create grease and dust that has to go somewhere. Wiping down counters is easy, but pulling down a stack of bowls to individually wipe them down is time consuming. Most people end up using the same few (top) plates and bowls over and over. The ones underneath just collect. If you have your heart set on open shelving in the Kitchen, my suggestion is to keep it small and locate the area away from the cooktop.
Keeping open shelving away from the stovetop gives you a fighting chance. source
7 Product Placement? Where?
This one is pretty obvious, but it has to be said. That wood flooring looks great and the designer/host probably does really like it, but the company is paying big bucks to have it on the show. Same with the appliances. Same with the car parked in the driveway. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Just keep it in mind when looking for something for yourself.
I love this floor, but just know the company paid to have it here. source
How much does it actually cost to hire a designer? Well, it depends. It depends on what you’re looking for, the size of your project, who you are actually hiring and how pleasant you are to work with (it’s true).
The term “Interior Designer” is often used by decorators, furniture store salespeople, stagers and even stylish friends. Knowing what you’re actually getting can be tricky and you might need to do a bit of research. Searching the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) website for designers in your area is a good place to start.
So, what are the different types of designers and what do they offer?
Straight-up professional Interior Designers you work with directly in your home
The most expensive option, but also the most comprehensive. This scenario has a licensed Interior Designer meet you in your home, work up a plan of action and handle everything. Professional Interior Designers are equipped to handle any design project you have. Furnishing a room, providing new home selections, built-in designs, simple updates, they’ll handle it all. You can (typically) expect an overall budget, allowances, floorpan, concept board, material selections, and final plan before anything is finalized. Know the fancy boards you see in movies with samples attached…you’re getting them, yippee! Once you agree on everything, the designer will typically place the orders, receive the merchandise, coordinate any subcontractors, deliver and install all items, and set the room up completely. Everything is handled and you can enjoy the space! You can expect to pay either a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the designer. Speaking for myself, I prefer charging a flat fee, so that everyone knows what the project will cost upfront, but each designer is different.
Depending on the scope of work and size of your project, you can usually expect to spend around 20-25% of the overall budget for the project plus 20% on top of any items ordered and delivered by the designer. It might sound pricey, but ordering, receiving and delivering these items entails a lot of work and liability. This 20-25% range is true for a variety of project types and is a good rule of thumb. When you get into new home selections or remodeling, the fee can go up from there. Plumbing, lighting, paint, cabinetry, etc are very detailed and take time. The fee will reflect that. A typical new home selection will run around $5,000 and remodeling projects will fall back into the 20-25% of the project range.
TIP: Offer to have the items sent directly to you and hold them there until installation day and forgo the upcharge. Personally, I often offer this to my clients and it saves us both! Win-win!
New to the game, this is an efficient and cost effective way to design a space. It sounds a little crazy… handling everything online without the designer even seeing your space… but it really isn’t. Trained designers can easily work off a plan, dimensions, photo and a budget. This set up typically goes like this for a room design. You provide the designer with an overall budget, a few inspirational photos, brands you like and a floorpan with photos of the space. The designer comes back to you with a concept board, to make sure you are both on the same page. Once approved, you move into the actual selections for the space and the designer provides a rendering of the room with the items, right where they’ll go. The process typically goes for 10 days or so and you go back and forth until you are completely happy with each and every item. The designer keeps the budget and preferences in mind throughout. In the end you receive a final package with a furniture plan, final design board, a shopping list with direct links to order, and set up instructions.
You can typically plan to pay between $500-$1,000 for a comprehensive room design, which is really a great deal. Personally, I LOVE providing online design to my clients, locally or from a distance. In fact, my first year offering online services, I completed 50+ rooms in 3 countries and loved every minute of it! You can work with a designer directly (me! me! right here!) or through a design website like Laurel & Wolf (me, me, here too!)
TIP: Find a designer with a large portfolio online that you already like and you’re halfway there!
This can really be hit or miss and it totally depends on the store.
Best case scenario is with a great store like Koontz Furniture in Florida. Stores like Koontz have top tier, professional Interior Designers who also work on their sales floor and offer design services as part of the furniture selection process. What? It’s true! If you’re looking for help picking out a room full of new items, this is a great way to go. You can get professional design services and end up not paying anything more than you would have paid for the furniture from their store. Let that sink in for a bit. You end up paying nothing. Often, you can also hire these designers to help you with more than just the furniture, for an additional fee. They, then , charge a design fee and help you with whatever you need; paint, cabinets, flooring and furniture, too.
Worst case scenario has you working with a “Decorator” in a dark, dingy chain furniture store who’s really just trying to sell you what they have. Is that middle aged man in a short sleeved button up and tie trying to sell you on the hottest trend? Run! The truth is you don’t know until you do a bit of research. Furniture stores can be an absolute treasure trove of talent, or not.
TIP: Find a store with brands you like, set a budget and see what they can do for you.
Your stylish friend who claims to be a decorator
We all have one. She’s well dressed, trendy and “knows” decorating. She just can’t let you spend money on a designer, because she can help you for free! Tread lightly here. If it’s few accessories you’re looking for, by all means go together to TJMaxx and have a fun afternoon. If it’s paint colors, furniture pieces, overall design of a room, please use a trained professional. When she’s in over her head, she probably won’t tell you and your room (and friendship) will suffer. Expect to pay nothing or little to nothing.
As I initially said, it all really depends. If you’re looking to spruce up your space with a few touches with a designer online, it can be $99. If you’re looking for a traditional room design and implementation, I’d say around $2,000+. If you’re looking for a whole home design, $5000+. It all depends and part of it depends on you!
Next week, we’ll break down what should you expect from a professional, licensed Interior Designer.
What do you think about these fees? Does this fit with your experience? I’d love to here about it below 🙂