Transitioning Your Home to be a Multi-Functional Space

Transitioning Your Home to be a Multi-Functional Space

With a world that seems to be spinning out of control, we are realizing that if everything else gets taken away, family, faith, friends, health, and our home are most important.

Our homes are now more than ever a refuge from the world.

Our homes also need to function for our lifestyle, something that normally takes some time and experimentation for a homeowner to figure out.

However, in the past few weeks, our homes are now having to function as homeschooling areas, remote working areas for perhaps several different people, home gyms or workout areas, and added storage might be needed in the kitchen. Overnight our homes are being taxed with the new demands without the needed time to prepare. This is adding unneeded stress to an already stressful time.

Here are some tips to help transition your homes to a new multi-functional space:

1.

Take one day to just re-group and contain things. I know this is hard, but take some time just to temporarily organize and get your home feeling more settled. Store the kid’s backpacks and items that you might not need the next few weeks, this will eliminate some of the chaos. Go through each room and eliminate anything that doesn’t need to be out. Put things away and make some room to be able to function better for the next few weeks. Eliminate any unneeded piles of mail, outerwear or items that can take up valuable space.

2.

Designate some areas in your home for work, choose areas that can be closed off easily from noise, well lit (this is important when you are conference calling or meeting with clients virtually; like I often do in my own business), and with a good wifi signal. An extra bedroom or dining room area might work well for this right now.

3.

Work together as a family to schedule your time in designated areas if needed. If you have one space and you must share it with a spouse for work at home-schooling, discuss your needs and create a schedule of blocked time to share the space so that everyone can get there work done. Communicate this to each other and come up with a plan.

4.

Keep an open mind! Last week I took delivery of my new Peloton bike, something I’ve been thinking about purchasing for several years as I hoped to create a home gym in my extra bedroom. Now that all gyms have closed and my regular spin classes will not be happening, I knew I wanted to do this immediately. Because of timing, I set up this temporary home gym in my downstairs study knowing that I can relocate everything upstairs once things settle down and I can remove furniture, paint, etc. However, I realized that I actually love working out in this sunny study, so I definitely will be planning my home gym project and considering using this sunny space instead of my original plan.

Now that you are spending a lot of time in your home, take a moment and make some notes about things that you have noticed about your living/working indoor space during this experience. This can be a great time to make note of changes that you would like to make in the near future.

Until next time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

Every homeowner seems to have a list of projects that they would love to do in their home. 

Many of these projects involve organization, small design changes, furnishing purchases, window treatments, or a full-scale interior design and renovation project. One thing seems to read true with all homeowners: The “Project List” seems to build and build over time. Over the years these thoughts and ideas about what we would like to do in our home tend to pile up. We become overwhelmed, which project should we do first?

How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

All the ideas… organized.

There are so many ideas that you have been thinking about. Every time you open a closet or a drawer, you may think about needing to sort and organize these spaces. When you cook a meal, you might think about improving your kitchen’s work-ability and storage. Maybe when you are entertaining you think about the lack of comfortable seating space in your living room. Or when will you ever be able to create that warm, luxurious master bedroom or bathroom space with a custom tiled shower?

Steps to help you to take action on your interior design goals:
4. Choose one project from your list and write down a few action steps toward that one project.

The questions.

Some common questions you might have are: Does it make sense to do these projects in our home? Can these projects actually be done in our home and how much would it cost? Where should you start? Do you need professional help with this project? So many of these questions are really important but so many are homeowners struggle to find answers especially when the list of projects seems to keep building, sometimes for several years.

Steps to help you to take action on your interior design goals:

1. The first step to take action on your goals is to make an actual list.

So many times we mentally drain ourselves by keeping all of the thoughts and ideas for our homes in our head. Try to spend a few minutes and make a list of all of the interior design ideas and improvements that you would like to make in your home. In this first step, your goal is to just get all of your ideas out of your head and on an actual list. You will be able to think more about each project later.

2. What projects on your list would you like to take action on this year?

Review your list and choose a project that you would like to tackle this year. This could be one project or a few. This step will help you prioritize your list and to get into action on some of your projects.

3. Look at the items that you selected step 2. Do any of these items affect each other?

For instance, if one of the items on your list is to organize your kitchen drawers or replace the flooring in your kitchen, and you have a kitchen renovation on your main list, it might be best to hold off on the flooring until you renovate, but organizing your kitchen drawers could certainly be done without affecting a renovation down the road.

Or perhaps you would like to add window treatments to your living room, if you are planning to replace furnishings or professionally design this space later, maybe pre-made inexpensive window treatments are a good solution temporarily, then when the living room is being designed, that is the time for custom window treatments to coordinate with the new space. (If you do not know how any of these projects affect each other or if this step stops you in your tracks, this might be a good time to get input from an interior designer as a plan of action could be discussed helping youth phase your projects in a way that makes sense and keeps you from backtracking and re-doing things.)

4. Choose one project from your list and write down a few action steps toward that one project.

If your one project is to organize your hall closet, your action steps might be:

  • Empty the closet completely and clean
  • Purge unnecessary items
  • Decide exactly what you need to store in this space
  • Measure closet
  • Add shelving if needed
  • Paint closet
  • Add customization and storage items, purchase hooks, hangers, bins, etc., that fit the space (notice that purchasing these items is the last step, not the first, this allows you to purchase only items that you know fit the space and will be used to store specific things.)

5. Meet with a designer.

If you have larger projects that involve large purchases or renovation on your list for the upcoming year, your first step would be meeting with a designer to clarify goals, discuss design ideas and explore costs. This step early on will help you to schedule your project for this year or to plan for it in the upcoming years.

These 5 steps will certainly help you to get into action on your home projects. Even accomplishing a small project will help you to feel good about your home and about making progress on your Interior Design goals.

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

How To Work With An Interior Designer – Part 3 – Implementing Your Project

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 3- Implementing Your Project

Part 3 of my series on how to work with an Interior designer. 

Implementing Your Project:  Even the most beautiful and well thought out design plan cannot transform into reality on it’s own. If only we could wave a magic wand and have a space transformed into it’s visionary’s creation. Implementing your project and knowing how to translate that design plan into reality requires numerous project management skills, craftsmen, contractors, and vendors.  What does a professional designer do in the process of implementing a “design”?

How To Work With An Interior Designer - Part 3 - Implementing Your Project

In parts 1 and 2 of my blog series on how to work with an interior designer, we discussed the value of the interior design initial consultation and the preparation of an interior design plan.

This week we discuss step 3: Implementation of the project!

After having a detailed design prepared by a professional, most of our clients then ask us to implement the project. This might include a total renovation, all furnishings, accessories and window treatments. The scope of work might be different for each project, but the process is still the same.

This is where we take on the role of managing the implementation of your project. Designers experienced with construction might do this themselves by taking on the role of the project manager, this creates a seamless experience that ensures the final details are consistent from design to completion.

This week we discuss step 3: Implementation of the project!

Thorough knowledge of the renovation process and the experience managing complete projects will ensure that the construction costs are quoted after contractors have a thorough inspection of the site and an understanding of the design plan. The designer/project manager now presents projected costs to you, oversees the ordering of all product purchases and deliveries. The scheduling of deliveries and labor will be done at the proper times and in the proper order which heads off numerous issues.

If unforeseen construction issues or unexpected problems come up during your renovation, solutions will be developed immediately and presented to you. Any design challenges that these problems present are met with the proper design changes that might be needed to address any challenges presented mid-project. This is often an area where as a homeowner trying to manage your project yourself, could bring your project to a complete standstill!

With a design firm implementing your project, you now have available to you the resources that you would not ordinarily be able to access on your own. Your designer knows how to quickly and efficiently procure materials and products for your project, dealing with reputable vendors. Your designer will also know how to quickly and efficiently deal with any vendor errors, shipping issues or manufacturer problems that often occur when dealing with a large project requiring numerous products and materials.

Craftsmen and contractors that your designer has handpicked and has many years of experience working with might make up a team that blends perfectly with your project. This is exactly how it works in my business. If a homeowner hires me to implement a project, I bring in my team of contractors whose expertise is in line with the scope of the project. This will ensure the level of quality in the finished space.

We hope you are enjoying this series! Although all designers work a bit differently depending on their business model, these series will give you an overview of how a design/build firm will work and some of the ways that you can work with an Interior Designer.

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

Part 2 of my series on how to work with an Interior designer. 

THE DESIGN:  The most crucial step in any renovation project. Yet, when homeowners are embarking on a renovation project it is the step that most people tend to skip, moving forward with a few random design ideas. Design planning consists of much more than shopping for products that you would like for your space. What does a professional designer do in the process of creating a “design”?

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

Design Plan

First, what exactly is a “design plan”? Every designer, depending on their area of expertise works a little differently. As a designer who specializes in renovation planning and implementation of our projects, this is my process: After meeting in an initial consulting meeting and after discussing all of my client’s desires and goals during the consultation, I create a realistic design reflecting my recommendations for the space. This is done with my client’s goals and desires in mind.

This design plan will includes

This design plan will include the following:

  • Floor plans
  • Elevations of walls showing all design details
  • Color recommendations
  • Material selections
  • Fixtures
  • Cabinetry design
  • Furnishing
  • Any other customization suggestions

Some or all these details will be included in the plan depending on what we’re trying to achieve within the space. Discussing and incorporating these elements into the conceptual design is crucial for you to understand and visualize the final product before materials are purchased and quoting for construction begins. Space planning is done to ensure that your space has all of the required clearances and space for moving around and functioning in the new space.

This extremely detailed design plan also gives construction professionals all the details needed at this stage of the project to assist with their planning, again giving them the ability to head off problems and prevent backtracking. The ability to head off design and construction problems before they happen is one of the biggest benefits of a professionally designed space.

Then I will present this design to my client in a design presentation meeting where we can discuss the details of the design, receive input and make any changes that might be needed.

Sometimes after seeing this design presentation, clients can have some clarity as to the overall look of the space, they may consider ideas that they might not have considered without this process. Allowing our clients to be rest assured that the finished product will look and function as a professionally designed space.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 1- The On-Site Consultation

How To Work With An Interior Designer

Part 1: The On-Site Consultation

 

This on-site consultation is the first step in the design process and this is where we start every project. This appointment takes about an hour or so and has a high value to the planning of any design and renovation project. Like most highly experienced interior designers, we have a fee for this first appointment.

You might have seen offers of “free design”, usually this is an offer made by a retail company who has an interest in selling you a product, and that free design is not necessarily being done by an experienced interior designer but perhaps a sales professional, and is not necessarily “free” in the end. Keep in mind, the level of design skill needed for a renovation will come at a cost.

This cost could save you thousands of dollars in the end by avoiding expensive mistakes throughout the renovation process.

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 1- The On-Site Consultation

So what happens during this first appointment?

First, I walk through the home with the client, then I will discuss the client’s concerns about space, listen to their thoughts, ideas, and goals, addressing any problem areas that the client wants to discuss. During this appointment, we answer specific design questions, make general suggestions, and offer ideas as to the best way a client can reach their goals. A site visit also allows the client to get a general frame of reference for the cost of the projects that they are thinking about so they can prioritize their needs and determine the best use of their funds and the overall project scope.

Add rich color.

During the Site Visit

CLICK and scroll through some BEFORE and AFTER Photos!

For the client that wants our full-service design and build/implementation, we will discuss design fees and review the next step in the process, which would be creating a conceptual design.

For the homeowner who wants to do the project themselves (DIY), this consultation can be very valuable, providing information that will help steer them in the right direction and help them to avoid common pitfalls.

During our site visit, you will walk away with ideas and insights that took me 20 years of experience to develop. From the moment I enter your home, I look for ways to help my clients avoid many of the common and costly mistakes that homeowners make when undertaking an Interior Design or Renovation project.​

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Preparing Your Kitchen For Holiday Baking

Preparing Your Kitchen For Holiday Baking

As we see the last colorful leaves of fall hit the ground and the temperatures dropping along with them, we know that the holiday baking will soon begin. Whether or not you have recently renovated your kitchen or you have not quite gotten around to committing to a newly designed and renovated kitchen, holiday baking and cooking will be a lot easier with a well-organized kitchen space. Here are a few tips for preparing your current kitchen for the holiday baking season:
Preparing Your Kitchen For Holiday Baking

Start your holiday off right, aware and organized.

Deep clean your kitchen
Your kitchen will soon be covered with flour and filled with the scents that come along with holiday baking. However, if you give your kitchen a thorough deep cleaning before the holiday baking marathon begins, this will make for a quicker cleaning up after baking or cooking and will certainly make entertaining prep time a little shorter.

Make your holiday baking list
Make a list of all of the recipes and goodies that you will be baking. Compile a list of now perishable ingredients list and stock the kitchen now to avoid all those last-minute dashed to the grocery store. This is also a great time to organize your holiday recipes, over the last few years I have been photographing my old recipe cards and organizing them in digital folders for easy access. I use Evernote, but you could also use other cloud storage so you can retrieve them from any device and share them with family members easily.

Sort through your pantry or cabinets
Remove everything and wipe out the pantry, then sort and re-stock everything. Discard any expired items and make a list of any items needed. Those opened boxes of baking soda and baking powder should be replaced before you start baking. Be sure your sugar, flour and brown sugar are fresh by restocking these items if needed.

Dive in.

Organize your bakeware
While you are cleaning things out, organize all your bakeware. Figure out what pieces you will be using and be sure they are easily accessible. You might want to update your cookie sheets or add a few more to your collection to speed up the baking process. Find that special tart pan now before you are in a hurry to start baking.

Organize and refresh your spices
Whether your spices are stored in a cabinet, pantry, or drawer, it’s likely this area needs some attention. Discard any spices that are not fresh and update with what is needed for the season. You don’t want to run short on ginger while baking those gingerbread cookies.

Clean off your kitchen countertops
This is a great time to clean off those kitchen countertops eliminating any unnecessary items (holiday decor is considered a necessary item) and give yourself some space for baking. If you keep your mixer stored, this might be a great time to keep it out on the countertops where it might be getting a lot of use.

Clean out your refrigerator
Give yourself the added storage space that you might need for your holiday baking supplies and for extra food storage, give your refrigerator a quick cleanout. This is also a great time to stock up on food storage containers for those baked goods and any holiday leftovers.

Check your appliances
Be sure that all of your appliances are in working order, arrange for any necessary repairs. Don’t wait until for the last minute to call for appliance service, this is a busy time of year for servicing.

As you are going through the holiday baking season, make some notes of how you can set things up differently making things easier for next year. Knowing the limitations of your current kitchen can be helpful when preparing for next year or for when you decide to redesign and renovate your kitchen space.

Happy Baking!

​Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

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