I promise today’s Remodeling 101 isn’t nearly as long as yesterday’s, mostly because I employed some videos to get me most of the way there.
Here’s the big reveal for the mud room/laundry room/new half bathroom.
Remodeling lessons learned:
Stick with what you want – I noted in the video I wanted a wooden bench. They painted it. I had them redo it because I had a specific look in mind. Similarly, I fought for rehanging the off centered light and reframing off centered connections. If it’s not done like you want it, then ask for corrections.
Spend on what you really want – I’ve always wanted Roman Shades. They are expensive. Even with double coupons, I spent more on the six Roman Shades (4 for the laundry/mud room, one for the kitchen eat in area, and one for the new master bath) than I did for my new bed frame. But it’s exactly what I wanted and we saved money elsewhere.
Reuse where you can – The front half of our home is Saltillo tile. We reused much of that in the laundry/mud room space so we didn’t have to buy new tile. I wouldn’t have picked this tile but it flows with the rest of the house and saved money. Plus, we had left over marble slab from our master bathroom so we reused it in the laundry and half bath. Again, it’s not the material I would have picked for those casual spaces, but I could still dress it down with other materials so it didn’t look as formal as it did in our master. And I love the look now that it’s done.
Okay, here’s the big reveal for the master bathroom. I also added photos of our master bedroom. We didn’t remodel it per se but we did paint it grey like the bathroom and we sold our old oversized furniture and bought smaller pieces. The tufted headboard is from Wayfair, the side tables are $100 finds from Home Goods, and the new dresser was 75% of its original price at the West Elm Outlet in the Hill Country (my big black Friday find!).
We still aren’t done. I haven’t hung pictures or put everything away, plus we’re selling our exercise equipment and having to fix our new ceiling fan, but we’re close.
Remodeling lessons learned:
Understand your materials – We purchased Carrara marble. It was the only material I could find with the colors and veins I wanted. I absolutely love the look and color. HOWEVER, it is porous. Despite my (non) designer saying it’s mainly what they use in bathrooms, they didn’t warn me about how water can stain and it can ding easily. I had the marble sealed twice but still I’m already seeing it change. They suggested that’s part of it’s natural beauty. Still wish I’d been warned.
Don’t spend on what doesn’t matter – I wrote yesterday how I scoured for the right knobs and pulls. I nearly spent a bundle on them. But honestly, knobs and pulls weren’t what mattered to me. So I took our Kohler bathroom accessories to the Home Depot and found the knobs and pulls which had the same look and feel. Less than $3 each. And I still love the look. Also, on line shopping is your friend. I fell in love with the Kohler Kelston faucet. Kohler makes it so easy because the towel racks and toilet paper holders all coordinate. So I checked all the websites and coupon codes and got the best deal on all my bathroom accessories.
Buy materials first, if possible – This goes for finalize all design first too if you can. In our situation, as I’ve described, we had terrible contractors who wouldn’t design with us and then they’d want a decision immediately. What kind of framing on the shower? What kind of storage in the closet? What kind of lighting in the bathroom? We didn’t get everything we wanted because some decisions had to be made on the fly (I should have pushed back). Even though we had agreed on the entire floor plan, we hadn’t agreed on the elevations. I still don’t have the appropriate shoe storage in my new closet because of this (simply one of many examples). Even the sconces, if I had bought them first, I would have realized they were a bit too modern for the space. But as it was, the contractors had us in a time lock and I didn’t have time to vet all my options.
Find others with your design ideas to test them – I loved the idea of a storage tower on our vanity. I still like the look and I, only I, like its function. But take a look. It opens out so the person on the back sink, in this case my husband (who did request this sink), can’t access it. If we had thought through the design practicalities, we would have done two small doors or left one of the spaces open. Also, his closet is smaller than we thought because of the built ins. The square footage is the same as his old one, but it functions less well. On the flip side, the light which comes on when the door opens and closes in my closet is wonderful. I wasn’t sure but it’s an excellent design feature. So is the oversized shower. It really steams up and the only downside is that I take longer showers now. And the electrical outlets in my middle drawer is a MUST! It’s where I stow my hair dryer and flat iron and hair brushes. Love it – so much less clutter on the counter.
I don’t want to write forever today so I’ll just offer to answer questions if you’re going through a remodel. And also sound off on what happened to you or worked for you so others can learn. A wrap up on the post-remodel issues tomorrow! (Thanks for hanging in there with me!)