When it is time to take on a renovation – whether it be something that you are doing immediately after purchasing a new home, or something that you’ve planned for a long time, be sure to take a step back and visualize your plan. Some people are really good at sketching out what they would like to see, others find inspiration in a magazine and some just reach out to a local design professional for help. These are all good choices…. but no matter how you move forward with your renovation, think about what you like and what you don’t like about your current space. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
Does the space have good flow? That generally means, can you easily navigate around the space and accomplish what you want to without running into anything. In a previous post I mentioned that I was motivated to tear out an island in the middle of a kitchen and convert it into a peninsula simply due to the fact that when the dishwasher door came down I couldn’t get around it and was “land locked”. It was truly bad design and it prompted me to make this an immediate change. (see KITCHEN REMODEL: Modernizing and reconfiguring the space for better flow | posted: April 29, 2015).
is the space set-up for your needs? In a recent bathroom renovation my design was greatly affected because two generations shared the space. On one hand there is an elementary-aged girl that still needs a step stool to reach the sink, and her mother also shares the space from time to time so it needed to be functional, yet modern and elegant – but not too “girlie”. The overall design concept and functionality was greatly affected by these two very different individuals.
Do you need a lot of storage? Today’s kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities come in all different shapes and sizes. You need to think about how much storage you need and if multiple people will have access to the space. Do you need any specialty drawers for any special equipment like a stand mixer in the kitchen, or a medicine cabinet in the bathroom? If you have limited room for cabinets, look around and think about putting up one or more stacked shelves on a wall. There are many options out there. As far as I am concerned, you can never have enough storage! 🙂
How is the light? In any space light is important. New home buyers are drawn to rooms that are bright and wide open. Lots of light gives the illusion of a larger space. If you have a small space with a window in the corner, I would recommend a light to medium colored floor with light paint on the walls. Countertops or the base cabinet can be darker. The available natural light will reflect off of the lighter floor, finished countertops and wall tiles (if applicable) and make the space more inviting. If you are looking to have a feeling of a more dramatic, richer space… then darker colors are likely for you. Sometimes natural light just isn’t an option, especially if you are in a basement or interior room. Give special attention to how you feel in the space if it were darker or lighter. Light affects everything, including your mood.
These are just of few of the questions that you should ask yourself before you begin your design project. Be bold and jump in there and take on a project. Whether you take on the task yourself or seek advice and help from design and building professionals, it will be a lot of fun and can be very personally rewarding!
ROUGH ILLUSTRATION SHOWN: BATHROOM GO-BY