Thursday, February 17, 2011
My business philosophy is to spend it where you need to, and fill in the blanks with chic, yet cheap finds – The perfect mix of Rich with Poor. Like I always say …“If you keep your big mouth shut, they’ll never know…”
So… it’s almost spring.
Whether you are going or staying, the induction of spring seems to be the cue for home makeovers. Just like the longing for a fresh breeze through open windows, homeowners are ready for change. From simple updates like a fresh new paint palette, to the restless rustlings of bigger remodeling projects; this season seems to burst forth home makeover needs like the crocuses popping up in your lawn.
In this series of three articles, I’ll be offering insight on how to go about a home makeover project. The 1st of the series is “Where to Begin,” followed by two other articles “Style & Details Defined” and “Current Trending & Savvy Shopping Sources.” Hopefully, your makeover needs will be more defined, and if not, I’ll be getting a call (708.448.7500.)
Where to Begin?
The 1st step to home makeover projects is to define your room goals, create a plan, and be realistic of a budget. Unlike the makeover shows you watch on TV, unless you had stock options for an Internet IPO, any home project will cost you more than the materials you purchase.
DEFINE YOUR ROOM GOALS. Is it that darn lack luster living room in need of a décor boost and a color correction? Is it your kitschy out-dated kitchen that will never appeal to the 30-somethings that will be the ideal buyer for your home in need of an overhaul? By sketching out your goals, you’ll start defining the steps you’ll needs to complete the makeover.
When I work with my clients, my 1st step in defining your goals is to use adjective packed sentences to describe how you want to define the space. As an example:
“I want my lackluster living room to feel warm and inviting - a cozy place to curl-up on the couch to read a book, or engage in the latest news with my favorite neighbor. Buttery tones, soft, tea-washed fabrics, with simple, yet sophisticated French flea market inspired accents will fill this space.”
Or, “I want to update and redefine my kitschy out-dated kitchen, complete with duck-with-bows wall border into a turn-key ready, for a family of four, with smart, shiny new appliances, envy-evoking, trend forward cabinets and irresistible, yet no-fuss quartz countertops – so that the kitchen appeals to the target buyer of my home.”
CREATE A PLAN. Create a workable outline of all the projects you’ll need to do to complete your makeover. From wallpaper stripping, to accessory shopping, define, outline and calendar your plan. The best and most effective way of succeeding in this plan - is to take a hard look of what you are and are not capable of. Please, just because you once read in a magazine “3 Easy Steps on how you can reface your cabinets in a weekend with Contact® paper,” doesn’t make a saleable worthy kitchen remodel. Consider your time restraints, knowledge and expertise in all project details, and understand that if you really want to get this done in a timely matter, you’ll need to seek professional help in certain areas.
ATTACH A REALISTIC BUDGET. Once your goals have been described, a plan has been defined you can now attach budget estimates to each of the projects. By attaching a budget to each of the projects, you’ll get a realistic view of your financial investment. By far, the most faulted area of any home makeover is not being realistic of the costs to complete it. It is not an educated guess that your new complete furnishing dreams for your living room will cost $399.00 because that’s what the price quoted on the HGTV show. News alert, a side table for your living room is around $399.00 – Just the side table! Be smart, weed through catalogs and jot down home décor pricing, scour over Sunday newspaper flyers and the internet, and get estimates by referred professionals for deeded work.
Once you’ve established your budget projection, completed your goals and plan - you can proceed to “Style & Details Defined” step of your home makeover. This style definition exercise will help you understand the psychology of the home makeover, understand your home and your lifestyle - which will help you choose color, materials and the overall look of the makeover.
Since 1999, interior stylist Julea Joseph has owned Chicago area based interior design and home staging business - Reinventing Space. Your can see her work on HGTVor in the news giving homeowners expert insight on how to refresh, style and celebrate their space -Whether prepping their home to go on the market, just settling in, or just in need of a change. Julea also offers her expertise with certification training and mentoring offerings to Realtors and Home Stagers in the industry. Visit her site, JULEA.com more information oe email her at Julea@Julea.com.