emodeling can be daunting tasks without the right tools and information. Questions abound and we may find ourselves losing sleep deciding over what color tile to use in the shower or which soapstone counter would best fit into our design scheme. Before you lose too many Z’s, take time to evaluate your needs and rely on the two P’s of home improvement – Practicality and Personality.
Keep it Practical
We would all love to have a limitless budget that would surrender to all our home furnishing wants, but for most of us this is not the reality. Instead we must pick and choose and in doing so apply a sense of practicality to our planning. I find that two of the best questions to ask when planning a home renovation are the following:
What can I expect in terms of traffic, wear and tear?
Addressing the issue of traffic, wear, and tear can save you money and grief in the long run. Those of you with children, pets, or just messy houseguests or partners, know how hard it can be to keep things looking fresh and clean. If you’re living room is often victim of spills or pet stains, combat stains with deeper color rugs. Have a fur problem? Choose furniture that blends with the occasional evidence of Fluffy’s coat. The same is true for your kitchen. If you find yourself with stains constantly seeking refuge from your formica and consider choosing something darker, easier to clean and repair such as a versatile and consistently unique soapstone countertop.
How long do I plan on living here?
For those of you who are settled and happy with your current home, your personal preference may not interfere with your practicality. However, for those of you who plan to sell your home within the next few years, practicality should have a direct and almost dominate interplay with your personal tastes. You may find that bright yellow countertop to be the “bees knees,” but potential home buyers may not be able to get past it. If this is the case, choose something that fits your personality but is neutral enough to catch any eye. That same soapstone counter that could stand tall against wear can also be a safe bet for prospective buyers. Use your best judgment.
Keep it Personal
Paging through magazines, pursuing the local hardware store, and spending hours with color swatches can give you some great ideas but at the end of the day, the overall appearance of your home is something that should be unique to you. Being practical can help alleviate some of the stress that often accompanies overwhelming options, but once you’ve decided what you need, it’s time to decide what you want. The question then becomes:
How can I make this house my home?
Many times we see picture perfect replicas of kitchens no one uses, living rooms that aren’t lived in, and bedrooms that have never shared a Z. These “show rooms” are great ways to get your creative juices flowing but the ultimate outcome should be something you’re comfortable with. If you love the rustic yet romantic bathroom featured in your home magazine but aren’t a fan of cold tile floors do a little research and find out about your other options.
You may be able to get the same aesthetic feel by swapping out the ceramic tile for something more conducive to warmth like the soapstone flooring that has become so popular. Likewise, you may find that that cozy dining room motif you saw online would be great but not feasible for your entertaining needs. Let your eyes to the searching but let your heart decide how everything comes to fruition.
All in all, keep your heart and your mind in your home improvement projects. This should be something you enjoy doing, not something that causes you to lose sleep over! Take your time, analyze your options, and in the end you’ll love your new living space.
Violet has worked on many home improvement projects using a soapstone countertop