The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling // Outdoor room via Better Homes and Gardensvia BHG and Simple Details Blog

As we are in the midst of renovating our side yard and planning our future interior remodel, I’ve been reminded of one thing you need that will always lead success with a remodel. If you don’t have this one thing, you probably aren’t ready to start renovating.

You have to have FLEXIBILITY if you want a successful outcome to home remodeling projects.

It’s really nice when projects come together just as you expected (that’s definitely a good goal), but being prepared in advance for a few unexpected experiences definitely makes the whole process less stressful and more successful.

Being flexible means you’ll be less stressed.

Last week I was told our concrete would be poured. It wasn’t. That’s not the contractor’s fault. It was the weather’s fault. If we had a big party planned for next week, we would’ve been totally stressed by the delay and the mess.

We have been inconvenienced by not having a fence around our yard, by having contractors outside of our window (and inside when we’ve done interior work in the past!), we had rats in our garage, we have stuff laying around outside that won’t be cleaned up until the projects are done. Remodeling projects often come with chaos, mistakes, messes, delays and rescheduling of contractors, so the ability to go with the flow will give you a greater sense of control.

1950s Ranch Patio Makeover - Before

Being flexible offers you opportunities to make better decisions. 

As our project got underway, it became clear that the existing porch we had originally planned to keep wouldn’t look as great or flow as well into our new patio or steps. If we left it as it was, we’d be somewhat disappointed in the finished project. We really wanted our porch to be attractive next to our new concrete and of course, next to the dream Dutch door. : ) That future visual sealed the deal for us, ha! Being flexible allowed us to make the right choice for this project.

Exterior Concrete Porch Removal

Being flexible allows you to correct mistakes and not perpetuate more problems.

We wished we had made the decision to redo the entire porch when the rest of the concrete was removed, but our budget conscious side had originally resisted doing more than seemed necessary. And darn, that delayed decision and lack of careful planning cost us more money. Being a little flexible with your design plan and budget helps you to swallow your pride to correct the mistake. Flexibility allows you to be confident in your new decisions so you’ll avoid additional problems that you may eventually regret.

Being flexible helps you to navigate the decisions without a breakdown.

Unexpected things happen when you remodel. Decisions need to made. Sometimes you realize as you go that you want or need to do a bit more (or less) than you originally planned on, you and your spouse might disagree on decisions, or your contractor might find a problem he didn’t expect. Flexibility will definitely help you to navigate the unexpected and maintain your sanity.

Framed Steps Progress

You save money when you are flexible with expectations and creative with solutions.

Being flexible means you can save money along the way, too, and still end up with a great project! Sometimes you save in the long run because you are able to group projects together to save on labor costs. But flexibility doesn’t always mean you have to do more or spend more money to get the results you want. Flexibility while maintaining a budget means you will be creative with solutions and complete projects at a pace and timeline that makes sense for your family.

Side Yard Progress

Wanting to finish the side porch now means we need to be flexible. We stay on budget by being totally fine with choosing not-as-expensive concrete surfaces as opposed to insisting on finishing with beautiful stone work. It means we will save additional projects in this space for a future time. It means we had to limit this project to the side porch this year, and not go on to the back patio or the front porch until we were ready to tackle another project. It meant we had to start our renovation outside instead of inside.

When you have a big vision and want to do ALL THE THINGS now, it’s hard to be patient and content on a budget! Flexibility means we will be able to do the best we can with what we have right now and be grateful for what we are able to do (rather than be impatient about what we can’t do or be tempted to overspend).

Renovating a house inside or out can be a stressful (and expensive) experience, but the more flexible you can be, the better the end result for your project, your family, your budget and your sanity.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

17 Take Away Tips from HGTV 2015 Dream Home

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Back Patio

Hello! Have you all seen the HGTV 2015 Dream Home? I just stumbled upon it over the weekend. I love so much about it, I couldn’t stop staring at the photos thinking about all the details! There is much that could be said about this lovely home, but today I thought I would share some take away tips so we could create this feeling or style in our own home! Don’t believe your house could look like this? Well, for most of us, it probably won’t. Let’s be honest. BUT, there are design lessons to be found and plenty of inspiration to motivate us so let’s take a look at this fine house and see what we can learn and take away!

Take Away Tips - The Inspired Room

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Built in Bookcases and Fireplace in Great Room

1. Built -ins

I’m a sucker for built-ins. They add so much character! Sadly I don’t have any in my house, but they are on my list of dream additions for some day. I have had aspirations of adding built-ins to this house, but I’m still deciding whether or not the cost would be worth it to me if we ever moved. Not that I’m planning on moving (I’m loving staying put these days!), but our son will graduate from high school in a little over four years (NO!!!! Stop the clock, please!) so I know life will change. And with change comes new possibilities and opportunities, so I’m keeping an open mind.

Built-ins have to stay with the house, obviously, so that’s why I’ve been going the route of adding furniture rather than built-ins. With that said, in many houses built-ins add good value so they are worth considering and investing in. In some cases, adding built ins can be even more cost effective and make better use of space than free standing furniture, especially if you can do the work yourself or have a good affordable contractor. You can also get the look with free standing furniture nestled into feel more built in.

The backs of the bookcases are emphasized with dark paint, which adds even more drama and interest to the built ins.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Connected Living Room Dining ROom and Kitchen

2. Large rooms can have multiple seating areas and purposes.

This large room has a seating area, a dining area and extra chairs dispersed around the room. Large rooms can be awkward to furnish, so dividing the room into usable zones can make sense of all the space. See my post with 10 Tips for Styling Large Living Rooms & Other Awkward Spaces for more advice on furniture arranging!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Great Room Design - Neutral with Pops of Blue

3. Repeating elements.

I love the repetition throughout the room.  Notice what elements are repeated! The blue fabrics and art, the dormer windows on each side of the room, the two matching dressers, pairs of chairs, and the three curtain rods with curtains that unify the door with the two windows.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room

4. Classic pieces.

Notice the use of classic furniture, fabric, and the overall timeless design choices. Buying furniture in classic styles and fabrics is a great investment, as they will make a home feel just as fresh even years later!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room Design

5. Bold statement lighting.

Wimpy lighting in a big room like this would be lost. But you don’t want to get carried away and add something so crazy dramatic that it distracts from your room. This lantern is a great example of statement lighting that fits into a room. It has enough character and style to hold it’s own in a big room like this, but also has enough glass to make it light and airy enough to not be a distraction.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room View Into Great Room

6. Architectural detail.

The high cathedral ceilings and walls are covered with white painted wood paneling, textural rustic wood beams contrast to the white wood, skylights and windows add unique shapes and trim work is interesting throughout the space. While your room might not be as dramatic as this one (if it is, SEND ME PICS! I want to see!!!), adding even small touches of architectural detail can make a dramatic step towards the feeling you like. I have added small bits of architectural detail to every home I’ve had and it really does make a difference. Even if you don’t own your home or cannot directly add to the structure, adding in architectural detail in non-permanent ways can transform a space.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room with High Ceilings

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room - Wood Floors and Wood Beams

7. Warm wood.

All white rooms are lovely but it’s the contrast between the white and the warm that bring a room to life. In a big room like this, the wood grounds the space and makes it cozier. (See my post with more white and wood inspiration here!)

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room Vaulted Ceiling

HGTV Dream Home 2015- White Kitchen Design with Wood Countertops

8. Cozy kitchen.

For the grandeur of that great room, I was pleased to see the manageable scale of the kitchen. It’s tucked into a smaller niche, which makes it feel cozier and more homey. The scale of the island is in good proportion to the room (an island that is too big makes a room feel awkwardly designed, is more challenging to clean and makes maneuvering around the room less efficient). While the kitchen isn’t huge it offers everything you need in close proximity and plenty of counter space for multiple cooks. While it has the more comfortable feeling of a separate kitchen, it is open enough to the great room that the chef can still feel a part of the activities.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - White Kitchen French Doors

9. Light and airy.

If you are building or remodeling, more windows and skylights can transform a room and your mood!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Kitchen View to Living Room

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Wood Beams on Ceiling

10. Rugs.

A large area rug grounds the conversation area and makes it feel cozier.

HGTV Dream Home 2015- Great Room - Natural Light

11. Color flow.

Notice the blue art in the room just beyond the great room. It invites you to the next space with the pop of familiar blue. In the hallway on the other side of the room, you are drawn in to the repetition of blue on the lamp, but also the warmth of the lamp and console table, and the blue room beyond.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room and Hallway

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Navy Blue Lamp - Hallway

12. Shades of Color

I love this home’s shades of blue throughout. Sea blue, navy, dark teal, baby blue, gray-blue, royal blue, and turquoise flow throughout the home on ceilings, walls, rugs and accessories. The various shades make the home interesting! While the blue of the bedroom below is a little bright for me in an entire room, check out the blue ceiling a couple of photos down. Color is a personal thing, so whether you choose to add it on the walls, to accessories, to textiles, on rugs, or painted ceilings, there are so many ways to bring shades of colors you love into a room.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Blue Master Bedroom - Cathedral Ceiling

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Master Bedroom French Doors

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Blue Master Bathroom

13. Views of outdoor spaces

My dream has always been to work on both the inside and outside of my home so I can enjoy the outside even when I’m in! Since we live in the NW we have nice weather in the summer and fall, but it isn’t like San Diego or any place where you might be able to live outside year round. It’s nice if you can have a yard that is pretty enough to look at, even from inside, so you can enjoy it in all seasons. This house is obviously amazing and I certainly don’t have this type of view or amazing architecture to look at, but I try to find happiness even in small improvements to what I have.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Guest Bedroom Corner Patio

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Guest Bedroom Private Patio - Singled Exterior

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Master Bedroom Outdoor Lounge

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Master Bedroom Patio with French Doors

14. Small outdoor rooms

While this home has some amazing outdoor rooms and patios with views, you can make the most of even small areas by furnishing them with comfortable spots for lounging and relaxing. Add details like you would add to an interior room: small coffee tables, lanterns, and even pillows for sunny days!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Exterior Design - Patio with French Doors

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Back Patio with Copper Exterior Lighting

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Copper Outdoor Exterior Lighting

15. Unique outdoor lighting

These copper lanterns are unique and make interesting statements on the house. Scour old house part stores to find lighting or lanterns you can have refurbished for your home!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Patio with Outdoor Lounge Furniture

16. Unexpected surprises

I dream of fun unexpected surprises outside to make our small property fun and interesting! What about an outdoor shower or a super cute dog house or charming shed?

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower - Shingles

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower and Dog House

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Exterior and Bike Rack

17. Curb appeal.

I’m really into the curb appeal of a home. While my budget doesn’t always match my dreams, it’s fun to think about what details would be fun to add or ways I could add them for less. A tidy yard and shrubs, shutters, window boxes, a place for bikes…what details could you add for curb appeal?

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Front Entrance

OK, that was the longest list of take aways ever. And I don’t feel like I even scratched the surface of all the beautiful ideas one could incorporate to even a more modest home.

What more would you add to the list of take aways? What were your favorites?

Be sure to go see all the galleries for the HGTV Dream Home! There were so many inspiring spaces that I didn’t include here so enjoy the rest over at HGTV!

Exterior Lighting {Charming Outdoor Lanterns}

White Farmhouse Exterior - Copper Outdoor Lanterns and Sconces - Southern Living Idea House 2012 - Historical ConceptsSouthern Living Idea House by Historical Concepts

One of my favorite design elements in a home is charming outdoor lighting. I’ve added an outdoor lantern to the porch of almost every house we have owned in the past. So far in this house we haven’t changed any outdoor lighting, but these delightful ideas are inspiring me!

White Paneled Outdoor Shower - Turquoise Lantern - Outdoor Lighting - by Jen Langston interiorsJen Langston Interiors

White Exterior - Hanging Lantern - Outdoor Lighting - T Olive Propertiest-Olive Properties

Outdoor Lighting Ideas - LanternsBHG

Outdoor Lighting Ideas - Lantern Sconces by the Front DoorBHG

Exterior Lighting Ideas - Lanterns on a Gate ArborBHG

White Farmhouse - Wraparound Porch with Hanging LanternsWendy Posard & Associates (you might remember this one from one of my all-time favorite dream house tours in this post!)

Archer and Buchanan Architecture Ltd - Lantern on Light Post - Exterior LightingArcher and Buchanan Architecture Ltd, Bryn Coed Farm 

Outdoor Exterior Lighting Ideas - Copper LanternsBHG

The Inspired Room Dining Room - Christmas Decorating and 2014 House Tour

I know we just took a sudden jump inside after checking out some exteriors :), but don’t forget you can use outdoor lighting inside too! Many of the lights in my home are actually labeled as outdoor lighting, including my dining room light! See the source list for all of my lighting here!

PS. It’s time for nominations at the Better Homes and Gardens 2015 Blogger Awards! I was beyond honored to receive the Reader’s Favorite Decorating Blog 2014. This year’s nominations are open now and it’s super easy to do! Thank you all so much for your support!

Related Posts:

Curb Appeal: 3 Memorable Exteriors

Curb Appeal Wish List

My Hanging Faceted Terrarium {on the front porch!}

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