Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens.

The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing.

This is where it all happens.

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Renew. Rejuvenate. Restore.

Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

It’s natural for homeowners to feel some anxiety when tackling the design of a home whether it be a new home or renovation. There are hundreds of design options and materials to choose from. Design ideas are everywhere and the average person has no idea what to include in their new space. We are made to feel like if our home doesn’t look like the latest design trend, that somehow we have missed the mark.

The bottom line is that it is your space and you should be reflected in it! Your home should reflect your personality.

What does this mean? It means that your home should have and contain things that you like whether that be color selections material selections, patterns, items that you’ve collected over the years or new items that you just love.

In your home, there should always be a place for something that you love (like a unique furniture piece), a decorative detail that you have always wanted (like a modern piece of art that you love, or even a cherished heirloom).

These are the things that give our home personality, and great design can only be achieved by using the right combination of these things woven thoughtfully into a great design plan.

Add rich color.

Get Inspired.

Don’t settle for generic design.

Get inspired by the latest trends.

Incorporate some of those design elements and trends if you really love them and they work for your home.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Often people are afraid to do something a little bit different, like adding a personal spin to the design of your space.

Experiment with elements that you know you will love and will have longevity.

We have so much inspiration around us. It can be tricky you don’t know which ideas to use, what ideas work well together. You have so many ideas! How do you be sure that you will really like all of this when it is all put together?

Working with a designer is a great way to achieve the right balance between creating an updated space and a space that truly reflects your personality, lifestyle, and honors the architecture of your home.

The average homeowner can identify things that they like or would love to include in their space, but it takes experience and a thorough knowledge of design principles like scale, balance, composition, space planning and material knowledge to pull all of this together combined with elements that suit your personality.

A good designer will ask the right questions and listen to your thoughts and ideas can help you to be sure that your personality is reflected in your newly designed space.

It won’t take long for an experienced designer to be able to key in on some elements that can be brought into your space that truly makes the space yours.

A beautiful design is not a great design if it doesn’t feel good to the person that lives in the space.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens. The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing. This is where it all happens. Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

If you’ve never hired an interior designer for a design project, you might not know what to expect. How does the process work? Will your thoughts, ideas and tastes be considered? Will the designer just do what THEY like? Do You have to know what style or design elements that you would like so you can tell the designer? These are all common questions that a first time client might have.
Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

There is a difference.

First, there is a difference between someone who is good at interior design and someone who has experience working in the business of interior design. A designer who has been in the business of interior design for any length of time will be used to working directly with clients. Successful interior designers know how to listen to their client’s thoughts, ideas, and problems, and then use their skills to turn their client’s design problem areas into a transformed space which the client loves but also sees themselves living. A professional designer should be creating a space that YOU love.

Trust the experience

Trust the Experience.

Most clients that come to us do not know exactly what they would like to do. For instance, you might know that you would like to do a bathroom renovation, you might have a few ideas of design elements that you’ve seen and like, but you have no idea how to pull it all together. Or if any of these ideas would really work or look good in your space. Some clients have no idea about really what they would like to see in there space or they can’t really articulate how they want the finished space to look and function.

An experienced interior designer has processes in place that walk you through the design and decision making process easily. Asking questions and learning about your tastes and lifestyle help us to design spaces that are right for each individual client. Discussing, your goals for the space and offering guidance throughout the process. This is much different than what is depicted on tv design shows. You will know exactly what is happening and will have final approval on all design elements before they are implemented in your home.

Most of our clients seek us out because they valve our expertise in design and in the design process. They do not want to spend their time and money guessing their way through a complicated design or renovation project, only to be less than pleased with the results. Involving a design professional will actually ensure that the end product will be something that you love.

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens. The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing. This is where it all happens. Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

Designing your home to support fitness and wellness

The interior design of your home can affect many aspects of our daily lives, especially in the area of health and wellness. With all the planning that goes into a well-designed interior, a conscience effort can certainly in designing a home that supports a healthy lifestyle. Here area few ways to set yourself up for success in the area of designing for a healthy lifestyle:
The Kitchen

The Kitchen

Set yourself up for success by designing your kitchen so that you can easily prepare healthy meals.

  • Add plenty of countertop area for prepping fresh food like those fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include appliances like a steam oven, or a refrigerator with lots of space for all those freshly prepped meals.
  • A large deep sink and a faucet with a sprayer make washing those fresh vegetables easier.
  • Be sure that your range hood is properly venting the space.
  • I kitchen that feels good to be in will encourage you to cook those healthy meals instead of a quick call for take-out meals.

Fitness Area

Include a fitness area in your home. A complete designated home gym space would definitely encourage you to stick to your work out goals, but squeezing that home gym into a dark, cramped, damp, and unfinished basement area will not encourage you to spend time in the space. Create a pleasant area for those workouts. If you don’t have a designated room to create a fitness area, carve out small spaces in areas where you spend most of your time. I always keep my yoga mat under a small area rug at the foot of my bed. When it is time for yoga, I just pull back the area rug and I am ready to melt away the day’s stress. Put your equipment when you can access it easily and where you will really use it.

Fitness Area
Fitness Area

Flooring

The floors of your home harbor can harbor numerous germs and toxins.

  • Older carpets and flooring can house decades-old dirt, grime, and toxins. Install new easy to clean flooring to promote a healthy environment. Greener options are now available for flooring, using fewer chemicals than in previous decades.
  • Remove those shoes. Creating a mudroom or entry area in your home can encourage your family to remove shoes and coats when they enter the space. This keeps germs, dirt, and toxins from being spread throughout your home
  • Use area rugs over wood floors or tile. When these area rugs get dirty they can easily be sent out for cleaning or replaced when necessary. Wall to wall carpet usually stays in place for decades.

Rest

Create areas in your home that are conducive to rest, relaxation, and your overall wellbeing.

  • Keep clutter to a minimum, clutter creates anxiety and restlessness. A well-organized space will be a great step to overall wellness
  • Comfortable seating. We have all heard that extended sitting is bad for our health. We know we must move our bodies as much as possible for our overall health. When you are seated be sure you have comfortable seating and maybe a properly sized ottoman to take the pressure off your back when you are seated. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs in your living room, kitchen or home office area can certainly aggravate back and neck issues. These issues can certainly hinder your fitness goals and overall wellbeing.
  • Design your bedroom sooner rather than later. Many people design their living spaces first and leave their bedroom spaces for last, figuring that they are the only people that see these spaces. Create a bedroom retreat that welcomes and comforts you at the end of a long day. Use colors, fabrics, and materials that you love. Add layers of comfort including lighting, furnishings, pillows, blankets, and sheets and a great mattress. All of these elements will work together to create a relaxing environment. A restful bedroom space will do wonders for your overall health and so will a great nights sleep.
Rest

Until next time,

Gia

Video Tour Of One Of My Completed Projects

Usually, the last day of a design and renovation project is when we take our final photos of the completed space. After my team and I put the final touches on the project we then stage everything for the finished project photos.

Once my incredible photographer arrives we quickly get to work on evaluating the space and discuss the shots that we are looking for. Then we spend hours setting up each shot, moving accessories, and composing each shot so I can share the final photos on my website and in all of my marketing materials. My homeowners really enjoy having these professional shots of their finished space as well and often my client’s set up an open house or an impromptu gathering the following day so they can share their new space with family and friends.

Recently, while preparing yet another project for photography day, I had a few extra minutes so I handed my phone to one of the carpenter crew members for a quick video tour of the finished space.

We dropped in a few before photos so we could show you this transformation!

I Hope you enjoy the tour!

What is “Project Scope?”

Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior DesignHave you ever heard the phrase “project scope” while doing a design or construction project? Have you wondered what exactly is a “project scope”?  Well here are a few answers to some common question.

What is the “Project Scope” and why is it important?

The project scope is basically a term used to define part of the project management of any project. It is the part of the planning of your project, that involves creating a detailed list of everything that your project will include.  This includes projects that our homeowners would like to do, everything that would be needed to complete those projects. This list is clearly defined as to what needs to be done to complete the desired project, what it will look like at the end and all materials used to create this project. This will include everything else that must be done in order for your project to be done.

Think about how you put together a jigsaw puzzle. This is the best way to illustrate the process by which your home is put together or renovated. You can’t put in the last piece of the puzzle unless all of the other pieces are in place, exactly where they need to be to accommodate the last few pieces. If you want to take out a piece of the puzzle that is not on the outer edge, you must remove the necessary pieces in order to remove the piece that you want to be removed, and then replace the puzzle pieces.

This is how it works with a renovation. Let’s say you just want to replace your kitchen cabinets. Well in order to get them out and replace them, you also must remove the countertop, the sink, and faucet and most likely the backsplash. So, for someone that just wants to replace kitchen cabinets, the scope of work would actually have to include removing countertop, sink, faucet and backsplash and in most cases replacing those items as well. Reviewing this in the beginning stages of a project with a homeowner will ensure that they truly understand what the project that they desire would entail.Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior Design

There are many other reasons why clearly defining your scope of work up-front is so important, as we discussed above.

1 – Process-
 many design and construction elements affect each other and knowing the full scope of work from the beginning will prevent backtracking in the process.

2 – Backtracking- causes additional construction costs and adds additional time to your project. Homeowners adding additional projects is common when you are in progress with a project and we certainly can add projects if the homeowners budget allows.  But what we are talking about here are actual changes or deciding on something mid-project due to poor planning, lack of a clear design plan, or changing your mind.  These changes definitely affect your scope of work and could certainly add additional costs if backtracking, re-doing or re-building something is necessary.  These problems almost always happen when a homeowner begins a project without a clear design plan as the design plan is what is needed to thoroughly develop a scope of work for the project.

3 – Budget- the only way to develop a comprehensive quote for a design or renovation project is to have a clearly defined goal. This is your design plan. This is what specifies everything about your project in great detail.  The measurements of everything in the space, the exact placement of everything, all materials to be used in your space. For example, if you are planning a bathroom project and you do not know what size bathtub you are using, then you are just guessing as to the amount of space, fixtures, and money needed for this bathtub, and you are not seeing how it affects everything else you are planning in the bathroom. If you have an exact bathtub, and you know it’s exact placement, specification, etc, then you can more accurately quote not only the bathtub but the rest of your bathroom project.  Yes, there are sometimes unforeseen things involved in construction, but that doesn’t mean that you just wing it. In fact, going in with no clear plan often ends in disaster, especially when it comes to your budget.

4 – Timeline- Tradesmen and contractors run on a schedule, if you are not prepared with a clearly defined design plan or scope of work developed by a pro, your contractor will move on to the next project until you are ready. Or they will jump in and rush you to make decisions as they need them so they can get to work. This is not a great way to design a space. Contractor input is vital to developing the full scope of work for a project as they are construction experts, but it is not their job to design your space, choose your tile and materials or teach you how to manage your own project. Tell them what you want to be built and they will build it, if you do not know how to communicate design elements properly, the outcome might not be what you were expecting. The extra time added to your project for changing your mind midstream, or re-building things over and over because of poor communication can be eliminated with a clearly defined design plan and scope of work. Any of these delays will affect the total project timeline as once your plumber moves on to start another project, he can’t just drop everything because you are now prepared with a decision to move forward. This causes further delays.

What is “Scope Creep”?

Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior DesignSurely you have heard the term “scope creep”. Scope creep is something that can happen easily on a project. Scope creep is when the project increases little by little and is not managed properly. We see this most often when clients attempt a renovation on their own without the assistance of a designer or an experienced project manager. Often homeowners don’t know that if you do one project, it might affect something else. Or “while you are it” you may as well add this or that. All of this is fine if you have the budget and timeline to accommodate these additional things. Working with a professional will help to eliminate the project expanding beyond your means.

When working with clients from the design phase right through to the construction phase, we have processes in place to define the project scope as much as possible before construction or installation begins. Aligning the overall project with the homeowner’s overall goals.


The extra time taken to go through a well-developed design process and plan will always pay off in the end, as well as

  • Create a finished project that addresses all of your needs as far as function, design, and your budget.
  • A project that is well planned will have no questions as to material selection and design details because all of this was clearly defined in the early planning of a project.
  • So our contractors and tradesman know exactly what they are building, what materials are being installed when all specified materials will be on site when they arrive. Allowing for smooth project implementation from start to completion.

For more design realities, inspiration, design tips, and actionable advice don’t forget to sign up for our weekly emails!

Until next time,
Gia

The Importance Of Having A Realistic Budget For Your Design and Renovation Project

As an interior designer and renovation specialist, I love working with all of our clients, whether that be our full-service clients, our consulting clients, or our social media followers and email list subscribers for whom we provide free resources like our information-packed blog articles. I love helping all of our clients by providing services that meet all of their design needs.

When I first meet with a client they may or may not have a budget for the project that they are desiring, or be willing to share their thoughts about the budget. If they do have a budget, that budget may or may not be realistic for the project that they are thinking about completing and the desired scope of work. Homeowners may look into the cost of cabinetry, fixtures, and counter-tops and then make a guess as to what the overall project might cost. This is a very inaccurate way to determine what the cost of your project might actually be.

When looking at what is actually involved in doing your project the cost of professional services is not usually talked about much on television design shows or in publications, but it’s a big cost when it comes to your project. Professional services include everyone from the designer or architect, structural engineer, contractors, plumbers, electricians, installers, and painters. Additional costs may include all building permits and delivery on all products. So much is involved in putting a project together and there is a cost to that above and beyond products and materials purchase cost.

So in the beginning stages of a project,  I try to discuss budget early on to be sure that my client’s budget and scope of the project are in alignment. If the client is prepared with an idea of their budget for the project that they’re looking at doing, this gives us the ability to know this early on and to prepare design elements or suggest a scope of work that’s more reasonable for their particular goals and budget. Or to determine the costs of the projects that they desire and then schedule the project when they are thoroughly prepared for the cost. This helps the homeowner be more prepared later when estimated costs and quotes for projects are higher than with the customer thought they might be.

Couple managing the debtThis is very successful when being lead through this process with a professional. Sometimes when homeowners attempt to go through this process on their own they quickly wind up in trouble by underestimating expenses or even starting a project before totally figuring everything out with regards to design, professional services, and labor cost. Another issue might be not having planned any contingency funds available for unexpected construction issues, or for things that you might want to add to the project scope. The end result is always spending more money than planned and putting the client over budget.

Preparation and planning is the key here. Just because you think a kitchen might cost $20,000 doesn’t mean that this is realistic considering the desired scope of work, the condition of your existing home and it’s systems, the desire to take down several walls to expand the space, and the professional services needed to accomplish to your finished project. The biggest way to control the cost of your project is to prepare the scope of work that you can afford after accurately investigating costs.

Until next time,
Gia

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