It’s January and we’re in the thick of it. Knee deep in demolition, selections, and about 5 feet of snow (see below, I’m not kidding).
I felt like I was on decision over-ride at this time, working with my own clients by day and then working on design decisions for my own home in the evening after the kids were in bed. Our new home was built in 2007 and pretty much everything inside was original to the build. While the house had amazing bones and was extremely well built, 2007 was a year big on “Tuscan”-inspired interior design. This included pillared archways, wrought iron hardware, a yellow / beige / brown paint palette and deep red hardwood flooring. For those of you still confused, just Google it. We have definitely all been in a home that fits the Tuscan trend. Needless to say, I had some work ahead.
With the pandemic still hugely affecting our lives at this point, the supply chain was crazy. Decisions needed to be made now so that furniture would arrive in 6-8 months’ time for our intended move date. To give you perspective on this, we ordered our appliances in October 2021. Most of the order arrived in June 2022 but by November 2022 we still hadn’t received our dishwasher. I ultimately cancelled it and found another model somewhere else, but 25 months…for a dishwasher?! I can’t wait until somebody makes a movie about this stuff.
Because of covid, supply chain issues, labour shortages and ongoing inflation, most everything had increased in cost as well, which made it difficult when planning our budget. Everyone’s wish list is different, but for me, here’s a few items I couldn’t compromise on and some areas where we chose to save money:
- Custom lighting. Lighting can really elevate a space and it is a long-term investment.
- Performance fabrics. We have two young kids and love to host so investing in good quality fabrics for our furniture was important.
- A large dining table. As I mentioned, we love to host friends and family so we needed somewhere to accommodate everyone.
- A space to exercise. Over the pandemic we had gotten into the routine of working out at home and we both felt it was important to do our best to maintain this habit.
- Painting the entire home (interior & exterior). Done right, paint is one of the easiest and move inexpensive ways to change the entire feel of a home.
Areas We Saved:
- Re-staining the existing hardwood floors instead of getting new ones (and they turned out amazing!)
- Re-painting the kitchen cabinets and adding new backsplash, hardware and countertop to freshen everything up
- Adding laminate instead of hardwood in the basement since it is mostly a kids / guest space
- Painting the stairs instead of installing new
- Installing a mix of custom and non-custom vanities. We went with custom for our ensuite but purchased good quality vanities online for the rest of the house.
When considering budget, there truly is no right or wrong when it comes to where you spend your money (unless its lighting. Always. Get. Good. Lighting.). It’s all about trade-off and prioritizing what matters most to you now and in the future. Being a designer, I had the ability to come up with creative ways to get the look I wanted without blowing our budget. When looking to invest in your home, timing is important too. I would give someone renovating their “forever” home very different advice than I would to someone looking to move in the next 2-5 years. It’s all about balancing all the considerations to get to the end result that’s right for you.
If you missed it, check out Part 1 of our pandemic renovation journey here.
Until next time!