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A Before and After Affair

Embarking on your home transformation

By Deann Hammer, Broadway Design

During the COVID pandemic, as many people flee to less populated suburban areas, many residents have chosen to stay put and renovate. Low interest rates have also stimulated the trend, as homeowners now have access to low-cost loans to complete their ultimate home projects.

As I wander through the home improvement stores, I see a plethora of people glassy eyed and utterly confused about where to begin. Most have no idea how many decisions they are making over the course of their project, or how much it will cost to get to the finish line. They wander around the store with one tile sample in hand and think, “I got this.”

Here are some things to plan for when embarking on a home transformation:

  1. Have an overall design plan. Look up photos of completed projects on or in magazines. Be very clear about the overall feel you would like to accomplish. Do not focus on one room at a time. Your goal is to create “flow” between rooms so that they all connect within the overall design theme.

  2. Make sure your design goals will not be out of trend or become outdated in the next five to 10 years.

  3. Focus on the exterior architecture of your home, and attempt to keep the design style that exists on the outside to coordinate with the design style on the inside. There is nothing worse than a 1970’s split level with a coastal cottage interior. Don’t do it! Remember to keep a consistent theme from the front of the driveway to the end of the backyard.

  4. Know your budget limitations. Don’t have grandiose ideas that you simply cannot afford. Do your homework and know the cost of each task. Don’t spend all of your money on a super high-end jacuzzi tub if your kitchen is 30 years outdated.

  5. Kitchens and master baths are always the best place to start renovating for resale if you are in doubt.

  6. Always think about the next homeowner. If you like pink, that’s great! But buy a pink scarf—don’t paint your living room pink! Pillows and art are great ways to add pops of color with little commitment. Let’s face it, life can throw us curve balls, and a home is often the largest investment in our portfolio. Keep up your home’s resale value with a timeless, uniform design that works for all who may come to live there.

  7. A design professional will help you avoid making costly mistakes like installing hardwood flooring that your dog’s feet will quickly dent, or a paint color that makes you look sickly. Every improvement costs money, so take your time. The cost of the item isn’t always the most important factor if it won’t fit through the front door or is out of stock. Interior designers can save you money on your investment by measuring accurately, sourcing wholesale items, avoiding material selection mistakes and accurately planning for furniture within the space under renovation.

Deann Hammer is the owner of Broadway Design, a boutique interior design firm in Gig Harbor. She and her team craft spaces that are tailored to each client's personality and lifestyle, while mindful of their budget, creating a perfect harmony between aesthetics and function.

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