We clearly aren’t a news source (and have no intention of being one) but we are Americans which means going on like Wednesday never happened felt well, UnAmerican. So this is how we feel. A. we are elated about Georgia and the historic Senate wins that hopefully mean that Biden and Harris might be able to really push through some of their solutions to help the environment, racial and economic inequality, and the pandemic and B. we are unbelievably disgusted by what happened at the Capitol, the hypocrisy of ‘law and order’ with how it was handled versus BLM protests and, well, everything about it. And finally, C. We are so thankful that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will officially be our next President and Vice President in 2 weeks!!
So while there is so much work to do in the fight for justice and the continuation of our democracy, we are a design blog that is here if you need a momentary breather.
I have a big question for you… As I’m researching for my book I’m texting, calling, and emailing a lot of my designer/contractor friends to get more inside information on renovations. I obviously don’t know everything (thus the impetus of this book), I only know my own experiences in renovations and you can’t really find this kind of stuff in typical textbooks or school. I have a LOT of them already included in the book from my experiences, but I would love to hear yours – what do you wish someone had told you before you renovated or designed? What are the ‘good to knows’ or ‘buyer bewares’ that you’ve experienced first hand?
Here are some examples:
- Choosing a flat wall finish will cost you exorbitantly more than a ‘hand trowel’ finish on your walls because it’s WAY more forgiving. Every time you have to change anything with the drywall (move holes, etc) the contractor has to be brought in, whereas with ‘hand trowel’ finish a painter or even a project manager can usually patch it well enough.
- Teenagers don’t like scooting in and out of dining booths (I still don’t know why but an architect friend, Annie Usher, told me that so confidently that I believe her). As we are designing my brother’s house, we were going to put in one and she was adamant that we’d regret it in 10 years (instead we are doing a bench with two chairs)
- Large fancy two-person showers (like the ones with two shower heads) are actually SUPER COLD unless all shower heads are on or there is a steam shower. They are just too big to stay warm unless you live in Hawaii (or so says some of our Insider Community members).
- Drawers are much more efficient and comfortable to use than cupboards on your lower kitchen cabinets (are we done with cabinets on your lowers except for like cutting boards, baking sheets and under your sink storage?)
- Solid dark rugs (and solid light rugs) both show a lot of ‘mess’ with pets and/or kids (I previously thought dark rugs would be fine!). It’s textured and patterned rugs for the win – even if light, that are more forgiving.
- Older folks (and a lot of men in my life) don’t love to sit on deep loungey sofas in the living room because they are hard to get in and out of, or to quote Brian “I want to be able to put my legs on the ground and not sit ‘criss-cross applesauce”. HAHAHA.
- Know where you are placing the furniture before you choose expensive upholstery fabric – if it’s near a window you better check that it’s not going to fade (more poly blends, don’t), and maybe that hand-washed french linen should not be your choice.
These and a million more ‘good to knows’ or ‘buyer bewares’ are in the book, but heck, I think we are just cracking the surface here. A lot of contractors and designers might not even know this stuff because maybe it’s newer technology or a newer style but they put it in or recommend them on your approval and then 2 years later you realize ‘well shoot, I wish I had known that’ (which is why I think it’s important as a client to let your designers know feedback – we can all learn!).
This could be about decor, renovation, kitchen/bath, literally anything that has to do with the home that you wish someone had told you… (and if we use it in the book or on the blog we’ll quote you so if you are a designer – or if you want credit in any way – make sure to give your info!) xx