from start to furnish (2).png

From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

The Harsh Realities of Your Home Remodel

Spoiler alert! Remodeling all or part of your home isn't always as fun and easy as HGTV makes it look.  Although you're going to love the end result, there are some things that are sure to happen in the process. 

You DON'T want to be caught unawares, so I, as a seasoned professional interior designer, want to educate you as to what they might be.  Here they are.

You're Going To Go Over Budget

I cannot tell you how many remodeling and new construction projects that I have been party to and I assure you that you will go over budget.

But never fear, if you're prepared for that reality, it will be less painful.  I can help you perhaps arrive at a closer estimate on your budget.

Don't forget what happens after the construction dust settles!.  You're planning this new space.  You've planned the paint, the tile, the floor, the lighting and you cannot wait to step into your dream.  But's not going to be like those HGTV reveals if you haven't budgeted for furnishing your new space.  Don't forget window treatments, rugs, furniture, art...the finishing touches.  If you allow those things into your budget, you're going to be much happier than you will with a lovely but empty room.  It's so disappointing when you've been through all of the trials and headaches of the project and discover... you'll have to wait to save more money to furnish it.

So look at that less expensive flooring or mid-priced chandelier so you'll have something to sit on when the room is done.


Try as well as you might, it's going to be a mess.  A responsible contractor will try everything he can to minimize mess but it's inevitable.  If you're ready from that from the beginning, you'll save yourself a lot of heartaches. 

If it causes you too much stress, and it's in your time and dollar budget, move into a hotel or better yet, take a vacation while construction goes on!

And take heart - that responsible contractor you hired will leave you with a clean finish.

Don't DIY

You may think it'll be fun and maybe save you some dollars to do some things yourself.  My advice is "don't do that".  If you've done your homework and hired a qualified professional, leave everything to them.  It will save you stress and money.  Just stay out of their way and let them do the magic they have experience in.

The Unexpected

Expect the unexpected.  It WILL happen.  When you start tearing down walls and removing flooring, you'll find things that you didn't expect.  Rotten wood and asbestos and rusted pipes aren't the end of the world, but they will have to be dealt with. 

Weather happens.  You can't pour concrete in the rain.  

If you expect the unexpected, you'll be emotionally prepared and handle those surprises like a champ.

Lack of Privacy

You're going to be coexisting with contractors and workmen for awhile.  As soon as you welcome them into your household and make them limited time members of your family, everything will go smoothly. 

Some food for them isn't ever a bad idea.  Bake them a cake and you'll have them in the palm of your hand.  When you need a small favor, they'll be more than delighted to help out.

Fair warning, don't get too comfortable with them.  When you invite them for lunch or get into a long conversation about your son's baseball team, you're delaying the progress.  Love them and then get out of their way.  

It's Going To Take Longer Than You Think

All of the best-laid plans... No matter how well you've planned, you'll move in later than you planned (see above re: THE UNEXPECTED).  The best way to avoid stress over this fact is to accept it from the beginning.  So, if you want this project done for Christmas dinner or your daughter's wedding, you can't start soon enough.  

Another thing you can do is to have your own ducks in a row.  So when the contractor needs a decision made, you won't keep him waiting for you, because it's already done.

It Will All Be Worth It

Another thing I can tell you from my vast experience of going through this process, is that no-one is ever sorry they did it.  Really!  In my experience, after all is said and done, people are in love with their new kitchen, bathroom, or whole house all redone.  I've had clients weep actual tears of joy!  So, if you're prepared for all of the un-joyous realities, go ahead and take the leap.  You'll be happy you did.

If you need more help from a professional interior designer who's been through the process countless times, click here. I'm happy to help you every step of the way. 

Jill OrnelasAmbiance