11 renovation mistakes every designer should avoid
To go too far…
Not all renovations have to be a gut job. “Deviating too much from the original architecture can really open a box of worms,” says Jeff Andrews, Los Angeles director Jeff Andrews Conception. “It’s very easy to cross the line between ‘are we renovating’ and ‘are we just demolishing this?’ Going too far can end up stripping a house of its inherent charm. “Keep the big picture in mind and know when to use compression,” says Andrews. “Consider what you love about the space as much as what you want to change. “
… or don’t go far enough
That said, don’t let the existing floor plan be a barrier to discovering what a space can become. “It’s important to let architectural details influence the design, but the future potential is only up to your imagination,” says Rob Blood, Founder and President of Lark Hotels and Co-Founder of Elder and ash, the design agency behind many Lark Hotels properties. “And the imagination can be hampered by existing floor plans.”
For Blood’s current project, a refurbishment of an 1812 ship captain’s mansion into a boutique hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, “there’s a spectacular meeting room we’ve redesigned as a chic cocktail bar. », He explains. “If we had built a bar, the room would have shrunk too much. So we removed a closet from the room and turned it into a secret butler’s pantry.
Forgetting to measure
It sounds obvious, but who didn’t make this mistake? “Always remember to measure your doors and check your entrances, any corners or the dimensions of the elevator when ordering new furniture to make sure it will fit into the home,” says Meg Kimball, architect. Boston-based Interior Designer and Creative Director of Modern relik. “A lot of times we don’t think about doing this and when the furniture arrives it doesn’t fit in the front door. After waiting so long for a piece of furniture, it’s a decorative disaster!
Ignore the “fifth wall”
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It’s easy to go for a white cap when trying to get a job done, Blood says. But the ceiling, or fifth wall, is an important consideration. “The fifth wall is often the wall you look at the most in a bedroom,” he says. “Some of our best design moments come from the great wall coverings we choose for the ceiling. “
Aesthetics aside, never underestimate what might be hiding beyond that cap. Depending on the age of the building, there could be specific issues with existing HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems that will need to be addressed. “If your renovation is more than aesthetic, you will most likely need to make some upgrades or modifications,” says Mary Alice Palmer, manager and director of hotel interiors at HKS Architects. “People often forget the importance of the mechanics of things when they focus on aesthetic improvements. But ignoring these requirements can easily eat into your entire budget if not factored in up front.
Be content with “fairly close”
When you are renovating a room that is adjacent or connected to another room and you need to match something like hardwood flooring, for example, the biggest mistake you can make is choosing a similar material instead of finding the match. exact, says Taniya Nayak. , the director of Boston Design by Taniya Nayak. “If this is just a close match, your renovation will be much more obvious and your home will not be seamless,” she says. If you can’t find an exact replica, go for something completely different instead. “For example, use tile if you can’t match the rest of the hardwoods in your home perfectly,” she says.
Yielding to your every design whim
Sometimes the biggest mistake you can make in a home improvement project comes right at the end. Over or under-accessorizing a project can make it easily cluttered or, conversely, empty, says Kristen Peña, interior designer from San Francisco. K Interiors. “Use restraint when selecting accessories to [focus on] things that have personal value or that are beautiful, interesting or topics of conversation, ”she says. “We’ve all been in a situation where a customer has a lot of treasures. Request a hierarchy of articles and distribute them over different areas.