Video Tour Of One Of Our Recent Projects! Master Suite

Video Tour Of One Of Our Recent Projects! Master Suite

I am so excited to show you the transformation of this master bedroom and bathroom space that we recently completed. Our homeowners were troopers as they were both working from home in adjacent bedrooms during the construction of their project.

When I first met with these homeowners and toured the master bedroom and bathroom, it became clear to me that they were looking for a much more luxurious master suite space.

The bedroom was dark, and my homeowners wanted to update everything, including adding a luxurious master bath. The original master bath was very small and dated with a very small window and a very small master shower stall with no light. After reviewing all of my client’s needs, I created a design that would transform the space into a luxurious master bedroom and bathroom suite.

We needed to create some additional storage space in the two existing small closets without adding to the room’s space. We added some additional space by incorporating a small jut out in the bedroom that currently held a dresser. So, we had to do our best to create useful storage and meet the needs by reconfiguring and customizing the space.

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The master bedroom design included additional lighting, fixtures, a new color scheme, new carpeting, custom window treatments, custom bedding, and new furniture. This beautiful blue and white color scheme is classic and has created a restful environment for the master bedroom suite. When designing custom bedding and window treatments, we can design all the details of every piece, including trim, cording, filling, and the exact size of every pillow. We could bring in color, texture, and pattern that complemented the design by choosing beautiful designer fabrics. In the Master bathroom, I wanted to create the feeling of a luxurious spa-like bathroom. Beautiful porcelain tile was used on the flooring. I created a custom shower with the same porcelain tile, designed niches for storage, shower seat, and added beautiful gleaming chrome fixtures.

I designed the vanity with plenty of storage and included quartz countertops, under-mounted sinks, beautiful high-quality lighting, and tall mirrors to elongate the space. Custom window treatments here were designed to tie in the custom fabric work in the adjacent bedroom. Of course, my team of highly skilled craftsmen pulled together to implement this design with high-quality artistry, right down to the final details. I am so happy to share this quick video tour to show you the transformation of the space. Check out the before and after. My videographer added in my quick “demo day before video” to show you the transformation.

Also, I am thrilled to share this quick testimonial from my lovely client:

“A renovation project can be a daunting task, but Gia and her team make it as easy and painless as possible! Starting from the initial tour of our space, Gia was extremely knowledgeable, professional, and equipped with ideas on how to best reconfigure our space to meet our needs. At every phase of our project, from design to planning, selecting fixtures and finishes, construction, and more, Gia was always accessible, communicative, and kept the project on track, on time, and on a budget! Her team was highly skilled and respectful of our home as they worked keeping things neat and tidy despite the typical construction environment. We are beyond thrilled with our finished project and appreciate how smoothly and professionally Gia and the team got us to the finish line. I especially loved how Gia guided my choices on fabrics and other finishes without imposing her own preferences; she even said, “I can tell you if these will work together, you have to decide if you like them!” and that allowed me the space to choose finishes I really loved, knowing that the overall design would still work. I highly recommend Designs by Gia!” …LC

Thank you, LC, for the great testimonial! I enjoyed getting to know you and your family and enjoyed creating this luxurious space for you!

Until Next Time,
Gia

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Tips For Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

Tips For Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to renovating, the bathroom is one area that homeowners are excited about transforming. When designing a bathroom, many homeowners find out that having a well-thought-out professional design is the key to a successful project.

Unfortunately, some homeowners realize this once their renovation is well underway and their project takes longer than necessary. Either way, a bathroom renovation can take a toll on your everyday life. Here are a few tips to surviving your bathroom renovation.

broken floor tile

ONE

Do not start construction unless you have a professional design. A bathroom renovation is complicated, oversimplifying the process because you don’t know all of the details you need to know to design space can cost homeowners enormous additional time and money. The best way to succeed with the bathroom renovation is to capitalize on the experience of the pros and know that your design will work and accomplish your goals.

TWO

Prepare for the fact that you will be without a bathroom for the entire renovation. In past blog posts, I’ve talked about the process of deciding where to start in a home renovation. A second-floor bath renovation might require plumbing and electrical work that affects the downstairs rooms under the bathroom. So if you have two bathrooms aligned on the first and second floor, any work you might’ve done on the first-floor bath might be affected when you’re renovating the second-floor bath. So if you can start upstairs, most of the time, that’s your best bet. If you can do one bathroom at a time, this will still leave you with a working bathroom throughout your renovation project. If that remaining bathroom does not have a shower or a tub, you’ll have to make plans accordingly.

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THREE

Many of my clients decide to do a few bathrooms at the same time to be more efficient. This is an excellent option if you can live offsite for the duration of the project. If you have that option, consider doing more than one bathroom at a time, making the process more efficient, which could provide some cost savings in the long run.

FOUR

Don’t underestimate the amount of time that it takes to do a bathroom renovation. Most people assume that because the bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in their home, that it will be a quicker process than it is. Your bathroom is put together like a jigsaw puzzle. One element goes in, and then the other element fits into place; only then can the next step be taken. So numerous things really cannot be done at once. Also, you can only have a few people working in the bathroom because of the amount of space that there is. This makes the project more labor-intensive, causing it to take more time. Also, elements like a custom shower require several steps. Templating a custom glass shower enclosure can only be done after all of the tiles are in place, then those custom-sized tempered glass pieces can be cut and sized accordingly before installation. So there is some waiting time between templating and the installation. These elements make the process take longer and can be frustrating when you don’t understand the logistics that go into a bathroom renovation.

FIVE

I understand that you might see lots of framing, plumbing work, and electrical work before you start to catch a glimpse of the finished project. All of these elements are necessary to complete a bathroom renovation, and they take time. Understand that you will not see the transformation in the early stages of your renovation.

SIX

Your bathroom renovation might affect some areas in the rest of your home. We’ve already talked about adjacent areas being affected by the possibility of plumbing and electrical. However, the process of renovating a bathroom requires space. A bathroom usually doesn’t have a lot of additional floor space. Therefore tools, materials, and lumber needed for your project cannot all be stored in the bathroom space while the renovation is happening. For our bathroom projects, we time our deliveries knowing exactly what we need on-site to save space and keep things organized; however, even under the best circumstances, carpenters need lots of tools and supplies to do their job. We always discuss with our clients before starting our renovation to let our clients know what to expect and prepare the job site to minimize the impact on our clients.

SEVEN

The idea of a beautiful new bathroom can be very exciting. You will be tempted to buy accessories, towels, and all kinds of elements to go into your new space throughout the process. Your designer would be glad to assist with these details, and this will provide you with the best possible finishing touches to your project.

EIGHT

Renovations take time, and sometimes unexpected elements pop up during construction and demolition. These things can extend your project time. When starting the bathroom renovation, don’t give yourself unnecessary deadlines. If you plan on having house guests for Christmas, a wedding, or any other hard deadline, you should begin the process of talking with a designer at least a year or so ahead of that deadline. You are allowing time for the design process, contractor scheduling, ordering materials, and of course, the actual renovation processes. You don’t want to be rushing the final finishing when investing in a bathroom renovation.

NINE

Enjoy the final results. Your bathroom renovation is something that you will enjoy for years to come. With proper planning and implementation, your bathroom project will exceed your expectations.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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Tips For Starting Out Fresh In A New Home

Tips For Starting Out Fresh In A New Home

As an interior designer, I’ve had the privilege of assisting numerous clients in getting settled into a new home. Whether that is an existing client or a new client, people consider hiring a designer to figure out their new spaces. It’s an exciting time to start fresh, but it could be a monumental task. Not only are you weary from the process of shopping for a home, buying the home, and packing. You now have to think about how you’re going to use that new space and how it will work for your family.

The design of the new home might be very different from your existing space. And you might not have spent a lot of time in this new home as of yet, so it can be hard thinking about how you want to use the different areas and how they will function for you. You also might be thinking about how you can use existing furniture pieces in your home. Do you need to buy new things? Will your area rugs fit in your new furniture arrangement? What about window treatment? If you have time, should you attempt any projects before moving in? These are questions that run through every homebuyers head when thinking about making that transition to a new property.

broken floor tile
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ONE

Thoroughly document your new home. Take photos and measure rooms; look at the existing condition in the new home so that you can make a plan before you move. Create a plan of where things will go and what needs to be done in each space. This will help you wrap your head around the numerous tasks that need to be accomplished before transitioning to your new home.

TWO

Decide how you want your daily life to function differently in your new space. Perhaps you have a larger kitchen in your new home and want to new space to be more of the heart of your home. Will that kitchen function the way you need to function as is, or are there other changes you will need to make in the space. The kitchen is one of those areas where numerous tasks are performed daily. Additional space in the kitchen, a larger room, doesn’t always add up to a more functional kitchen. Think about what you are trying to accomplish in your new home and whether or not it could be done with the existing kitchen, or you might require a renovation.

THREE

Look at the storage in your new home. Again larger spaces don’t necessarily add up to better storage. You might have to rethink the way that you store things in your new home. For instance, your existing home might have a large linen closet. Your new home might be larger but without a needed linen closet. You might have to make up for that storage by adding a closet or a piece of furniture that will function as that much-needed linen in storage.

FOUR

Involve a pro before you make expensive mistakes. The most common costly mistakes are jumping into a renovation without a design, purchasing random pieces of new furniture without a well-thought-out plan, selecting new paint colors before you know what will be in the space. These are just a few examples of mistakes that new homeowners make in the early stages of homeownership. It’s understandable because it can be exciting to anticipate moving into your new space, and you want to design and decorate as quickly as possible to settle into your new home. Time taken to review and think out an overall design plan could save thousands of dollars and could produce a more remarkable result in the end.

FIVE

Once you move into your new space, it might feel and function differently than you initially thought it would. Don’t rush to make significant floor plan changes before moving into space, or at least until spending a considerable amount of time in the space.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That Homeowners Make During A Renovation Project?

What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That Homeowners Make During A Renovation Project?

The design and renovation of a home is a complicated process. Homeowners often feel discouraged when some of their ideas or attempts at design and renovation fall flat, even after spending a lot of money on their renovation. However, it’s not the homeowner’s fault. We are given the impression from the media and advertising that it is all quick, easy, and simple and wraps up beautifully in a big reveal after 60 minutes of well-edited renovation. As many come to realize, this is far from the truth.

During my many years of designing and renovating homes, I have spoken to countless homeowners, many of whom shared their experiences with a former renovation; I can tell you that many of these failed, nightmare renovation projects had two things in common.

broken floor tile
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What are the two biggest mistakes that homeowners make during their renovation project?

ONE

They start construction without a detailed design – You’ve likely heard me talk about this before, so many unsuccessful renovations start construction without even having a design. What does this mean? That means you do not know exactly what you are building, which means you are forced to design space while in progress. You have now put yourself in the position of making design decisions in the order of the construction process, which is not a good way to design a space. Why? Because the order of the construction process is different than the order of the design process. For instance, when I design a space, I choose certain elements before other elements. I might choose fabrics for furniture before selecting a paint color, so my paint color can now be precise and deliberate to what I am trying to accomplish. If I have no design, finishes, colors, and materials are chosen according to how your contractor needs those elements, “I need a tile choice because we are ready to install the tile.” Never a good way to design a space. Projects always take longer, and it is next to impossible to quote a project without a design. Any numbers that your contractor gave to you will certainly increase now that he knows that you want a porcelain farmhouse sink instead of the simple stainless sink that he was envisioning you choosing.

TWO

They try to manage their project on their own. – Homeowners assume that managing a project should be easy. “I’ll call a bunch of contractors, and they’ll know what to do and work together, right? “Unfortunately, no, that’s not the way it works. Many feel as though they should be able to do this easily. But as most people quickly realize, it is far more complicated than it looks and needs industry experience to pull this off. This is where some homeowners stop and call for help, distressed, overwhelmed, and feeling defeated. Many homeowners perceive their design problems and contractor problems to be unique to their situation. However, I can tell you that many missteps can be made during the planning project, and they are common issues that most people will step into without the experience and knowing how to avoid them. Many of these renovation “nightmares” result from inexperience in the project management of the project or lack of a buildable, professionally developed, detailed design.

When designers, contractors, electricians, and other tradespeople assist you with your project. Numerous details overlap and must be coordinated between the designer, contractors, and other tradespeople and artisans—a job of whoever is managing the project, not the contractors you have hired. If you do not have a project manager you have hired to manage the project, the project manager is you. Some contractors are hired to manage the project and build, but this needs to be established initially, and the contractor should be compensated.

What happens when there is no project manager? Problems are not headed off and will arrive. Everything that goes on behind the scenes in a renovation project is what people don’t see. Things that you will see chaos, expensive mistakes, and problems if they are not happening. I do most of what I do on a normal day as a designer/project manager to communicate information and head off problems to tradespeople and contractors. Knowing who needs what information and when it is essential, there are nuances in the construction field unique to the industry. If you call the plumber into your project and he gets there and tells you the project needs several things before he can do the finish plumbing, don’t expect him to be able to drop everything when you do figure out when you need to call him in. All tradespeople manage numerous projects at once. When he’s called in, and you are not prepared, he has to leave someone else waiting and will now have to re-configure his schedule to get back to your house. You can also expect additional charges from tradespeople when they are called in to do a job and the job site is not ready for him to do what he needs to do. This point is an important one as it takes experience to know when and when not to proceed with certain tradespeople. An area that homeowners can quickly add on additional costs and extend the overall duration of a project.

These are just a few examples of how a project goes astray. Design and construction should be left to the pros, and don’t worry, part of our job as design professionals is to ensure your needs are met with the design. Renovations can be costly, and you want to be sure expensive mistakes and poor choices don’t leave you feeling disappointed with the results in the end.

Until next time,
Gia

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The Benefits Of A Long Term Relationship With An Interior Designer

The Benefits Of A Long Term Relationship With An Interior Designer

The interior design of someone’s home requires a very personal element. As designers, we strive to make our clients happy and to create spaces that are very personalized to our clients, their needs, and their lifestyles. To do our job properly, we get to know our clients, and we spend time in their homes. We meet their families, learn their pets’ names, and invest in those client-designer relationships.

Over the years of designing spaces for many clients, I can say that one of the real benefits of a long-term relationship with an interior designer is that over time a designer learns about your likes, dislikes, and how your home functions, and your tastes. Very beneficial to clients, especially as life brings on numerous changes that require changes to your home; this could involve adding a new family member, changes in stage of life, or even moving to a new home, or adding an additional home.

broken floor tile

This client-designer business relationship usually only improves over time. I love when I hear from a client who has used our services before or has implemented some of my suggestions and has now called upon me to help with additional projects. Seeing a home develop, even over a long period, is very rewarding to me as a designer. What’s even more rewarding is seeing how the home changes improve my clients’ lifestyles. I have recently been reflecting on this as I recently heard from several established clients who are buying new homes and are calling on me to develop a design for their new homes.

Here are some of the benefits of establishing a long-term relationship with the designer.

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ONE

Your designer knows your taste, dislikes, and likes, which will be reflected in any additional projects that are worked on in the future. This requires less of the homeowner’s time, time that could be spent elsewhere. For busy professionals, active parents, or clients that like to travel, this is very important.

TWO

When completing a project with a client, a very familiar designer and your home can continuously help you improve your space by keeping an eye out for specific pieces and design elements that will help you reach your design goals. I love when I am sourcing an item for a project and then stumble upon just the right piece of furniture or artwork for another client. As I always have my clients and projects in mind, this could be an added benefit that continues for my clients even after a project completes.

THREE

The designer who provides a full-service element has contacts with numerous craftsmen. Clients often reach out to me for assistance when trying to complete a simple project. For a client with which I’ve had a long-term relationship, I often can facilitate craftsman much quicker than a client can do on their own. Especially when my craftsman has previously worked on a project in this home. My craftsmen are familiar with the systems in their home and can help resolve simple issues efficiently should they come up for a client involving other issues in their home.

FOUR

You develop an element of trust due to past projects. When you trust that your designer is looking out for your best interests to design and implement your projects, the designer trusts the homeowner to communicate their needs and honor their part in the business relationship. This creates a very successful and low-stress experience for everyone.

Creating a new design for a client we have previously designed for can be a much easier process. We know the space, we know the client, we are familiar with the existing conditions in the home and familiar with the client’s furnishings and overall goals for their home.

This is a great time to reach out and thank all of my long-term clients whom we have serviced for many years. As usual, we appreciate your business, and we value these incredible relationships.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation In 2021 And Beyond

How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation in 2021 and Beyond

Renovating can be a complicated process. If you tackled a renovation before either on your own or with experienced professionals, then you’ve had a little taste for the process. Delays, product issues, shipping issues, inspections, and many decisions need to be made quickly. Now add to this process a global pandemic: additional supply chain issues, long lead times, and labor shortages. However, you have been waiting patiently to tackle a large renovation project in your home. You saved for it, you are tired of looking at the old dated kitchen or bathroom, and you are ready to go.

Especially now that you’re spending more time at home, you are excited about making these much-needed improvements in your space, and you are looking forward to entertaining at home. How could you possibly set yourself up for success in a renovation in the current climate of renovation now and in the future?

broken floor tile

Here are a few tips for setting your renovation up for success:

ONE

Have a realistic idea of the cost involved before starting construction on your projectresearch with local pros. Googling average construction costs in your area and info given HGTV will not give you accurate construction costs for your project, in your area, on your home. Homeowners are often misinformed by general information about renovation costs. You might have an idea or a number in your head as to what you think a project should cost, but unless that number is based on research with actual local professionals and local building code requirements, it’s just a guess. Going into a renovation project with unrealistic cost expectations can be much more problematic than facing the budgeting facts while still planning your project. Looking at the budget early on allows you to pivot or make the scope of work changes while it is still easy to do so; this is especially important now with the current product cost fluctuations.

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TWO

When you meet with local pros, you need to know exactly what you are asking them to build right down to the final details. This is the only way you can get accurate numbers on predicted renovation costs. This leads to the importance of having a complete detailed design. When you have a complete detailed design, the pros can then use it to quote the renovation, labor, and product cost. Without a detailed design, even a pro is forced to guess what the cost might be since they don’t know the details of what you would like to build.

THREE

Planning is everything. Planning has always been the most important part of any renovation. However, it’s usually the part that is quickly rushed through to get to the excitement of demolition and building. Accurate and detailed planning is so important for the success of your project, not only for the budget and to estimate cost, but for the outcome design-wise. The planning is the place where the most time should be spent. Design elements can easily be changed in the planning stage, and ideas can be explored before ground breaks on your project. Allowing for a more seamless construction project since decisions have already been made and products already ordered.

FOUR

Use an experienced project manager. Management of a renovation project is not for the weary or the inexperienced. Unfortunately, homeowners sometimes assume that this is a quick and easy, straightforward process easily done with a few phone calls. Managing renovation projects for more than 20 years, I can tell you that it is anything but simple and easy. Now, trying to navigate the current construction climate, it’s even more important to utilize a pro who is very experienced with the ins and outs of the industry and the daily twists and turns of supply chains. Experienced pros can navigate a renovation seamlessly because they know where to anticipate problems, plan for them, or process solutions quickly when issues do come up. They also deal with vendors and contractors daily and know how to keep things moving efficiently. Moving into the future of renovating, this will be so important in the next few years for the success of any renovation project.

FIVE

Good contractors, craftsmen, are laborers are hard to come by, and when you do find one, they will be busy working on projects and will always have a stream of incoming projects. When a contractor does not have an organized system of processing new projects, you are often forced to keep calling until they can fit you into their schedule. So for many homeowners, this can be frustrating; even getting a phone call back from a contractor can be difficult, especially now in the current climate. Using a complete team for your design and build project is the key and will be the key to renovation projects especially in the next few years. Designers, project managers, and design-build firms have connections with the most skilled and reliable contractors and craftsmen. A precious resource for any homeowner that is considering a renovation. Especially if you are a busy professional with your job to do or business to run. Taking on a renovation project, hiring individual professionals, and navigating the system will be the time equivalent of another full-time job. Hiring a team that usually works together will ensure a seamless process from start to completion. With a design-build firm, your project begins with the initial design, continues throughout construction, and ends with the final details of furnishing your space after construction. This full-service process allows for the necessary planning, purchasing, and implementation of the complete design vision.

SIX

Patience is the key. Getting that designer look involves planning, custom finishes, and products, perhaps furnishings and products made to order, fabrics that are sourced to the trade only. So lead times on these items are often much longer than a quick trip to a local store. The result, patience pays off when the outcome of your project is magazine-worthy and exactly what you had hoped for, a totally unique design to your tastes and lifestyle, with quality craftsmanship and finishes that will stand the test of time.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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