Tips For Designing And Renovating Your Condo

Tips For Designing And Renovating Your Condo

Condos provide a great lifestyle, especially for homeowners that don’t want to worry about exterior maintenance, landscaping, and the many chores of homeownership.

The advantage is that you do own the space, and in most cases, you can treat the inside of your condo however you’d like. However, every condo is different. The beautiful waterfront condo that we renovated in Charlestown Massachusetts had a whole different set of guidelines for interior renovations, then the condos we renovated in Foxborough, or Arlington, Massachusetts.

broken floor tile

 

When renovating, most condos have condo associations or a homeowners group that sets the rules, guidelines, and requirements needed. Every association or group regulates things differently, and so the preparation for a design and renovation project is essential.

Here are some tips and things to consider when thinking about the design and renovation of your condo.

Add rich color.

ONE

Contact the homeowners association or the condo board several months before you’re considering renovating. Sometimes there is a long process to go through to get permission and approvals that might be needed by the association for your renovation. If your particular condo association does require any approvals for interior work, you would much rather know this before starting the design and improvement of the space. Involve your designer/contracting team early on. Doing so will help prepare the proper drawings to present to your association if needed or required.

TWO

When designing an interior space of a condo, think about ways that you can utilize your space wisely when it comes to the storage and flow of your floor plan. Some condos have a very conventional floor plan; others have a unique floor plan. It’s essential to think about how you want to use the space and reconfigure the floor plan so that it works for you. Sometimes the series of small rooms can be opened up to create ample fully functional space, which can be more user-friendly than a lot of small rooms. Sit down with your designer early on to discuss all of the options before you dive into a project. Keep in mind; you might love what your neighbors have done with their similar unit; however, don’t limit yourself to what they have done, explore the possibilities of making your condo a unique design that works for you and your lifestyle.

THREE

Consider the natural light in the space and devise ways to utilize it or enhance it if needed. Some condos come with the benefit of large amounts of natural light; this can be wonderful. Still, it also can be a challenge in the area of privacy or controlling that natural light when needed as no one wants to be fully exposed with a wall full of windows at night, especially if you are in the city. Middle condos may lack in the area of natural light. Light may only be coming in from the front in the back of your condo. Adding additional natural light in your renovation project, opening up space from front to back will not only improve the floor plan and the flow, but it also increases the natural light as it now pours in through the entire space. Because of the lighting in your condo, a particular amount of consideration needs to be placed on color selection, as this can help to enhance and balance whatever lighting issues you are dealing with in your condo.

FOUR

When renovating your condo, depending on how your building is built, contractors, plumbers, and electricians might need access to adjacent units to renovate your space. Renovations should be discussed early on with your team of contractors and, if required, with your neighbors. Has access to wiring, plumbing, etc. might slow down your renovation if you do not have access to adjacent neighbors if needed. Any potential impact to adjacent units if this applies should be discussed in the design phase of the project. Doing so will save you a lot of hassle later on during the time of construction.

FIVE

Find out if there are any working restrictions in your building or complex. Again all condos in associations are different. Some buildings have various requirements for contractors coming in and out and working in the building. For instance, hours that contractors are allowed to work in the building, reserving an elevator for transportation of construction items. Parking, or other construction issues that could be required while working in the building to the building in general. Always try to find out what requirements the building has before your project begins. This will allow you and your contractors to plan accordingly. For instance, in a building in which you must reserve an elevator up to a week’s notice is sometimes required so that the building’s elevator can be covered and padded to avoid damage. This is not something that you want to find out the day that your contractor shows up with your kitchen cabinets, but he is ready to install. Taking the time to find out the rules in your building not only prepares you in the way for the timing of the project tasks, but it also helps you to define the additional costs for your project.

SIX

Enjoy the process of planning your condo and personalize it, add architectural details, and customized finishes or furnishings. Creating a beautiful condo can be a challenge, but with some preparation, with the proper process, you will be sure to have the best design for your home!

 

Until next time,

Gia

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Summer is a great time to be entertaining outdoors and with so many people working on the preparation of their backyard spaces, it’s so important to learn a little bit more about fabrics that are appropriate for outdoor use. 

The sun is shining and you are preparing those outdoor spaces, but what you don’t realize is how much those outdoor furnishings really take a beating. The sun, heat, wear and tear, chlorine, rain, tree sap, really can shorten the lifetime of fabrics that are not specifically made for the outdoors. Those beautiful brightly colored fabric cushions might look great the first few weeks or months but their long-term use might be shortened by the choice of fabrics used.

Today there are so many types of fabrics that are specially made for outdoor use. These fabrics can be made of synthetic fibers, acrylic, or cotton blends. They are treated with a chemical during the manufacturing process that allows them to resist water which reduces rot and mildew. Sunbrella is one brand name that is popular. However, today most fabric companies do offer an all-weather outdoor fabric option that is specifically made for the outdoors. 

Gone are the days where there are only a few color selections and manufacturers of outdoor fabric. The early outdoor fabrics were stiff, uncomfortable, and hard to work with. Today’s outdoor fabric is really an outdoor/ indoor fabric. Soft to the touch, easy to work with, and the options are only limited by your imagination. The highest quality outdoor fabrics are available in almost any color or pattern imaginable.

Add rich color.

Most designers have access to superior quality outdoor fabric, as most “to the trade” fabric companies make outdoor fabric. This confuses consumers because they believe there is only one manufacturer of outdoor fabric and that if they ask for this they are seeing all the options.

Here are some facts:

  • Any fabric, cushion, or pillow that’s left in the outdoors will experience more wear and tear than a cushion that’s indoors.
  • Outdoor fabrics have built-in UV protection and water-repelling properties that make it easy to wipe off.
  • Most of the designer type fabrics that you are seeing on outdoor furniture are custom options. There are some retails that offer some custom options on outdoor pieces. You will choose from the fabrics that they offer.
  • Don’t be afraid to explore custom options for cushions and outdoor fabric work. The choices are endless.
  • The best way to lengthen the life of your outdoor cushions, bring them inside or cover them in rain or bad weather. I try to suggest pieces that have removable cushions. This makes it easy to bring the cushions inside. It also makes it easier to replace the cushions or re-cover the cushions when they wear out. Remember that a soaked cushion with eventually deteriorate quicker than one that only experiences a quick shower and then is dried off.

Until next time,

Gia

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After A Successful Kitchen Renovation

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The dust has finally settled.

After months of working with your designer and construction team, construction is finally complete on your beautiful newly renovated kitchen. You can hardly believe it. Even after watching the process of construction go on every day anticipating the end, you weren’t really sure that it would end, but you persevered. Then one day toward the end of construction, it seemed as though a magic wand was raised, and then suddenly it was transformed. Your gleaming new appliances awaiting your first real meal in your new space. Your beautiful new cabinets stand tall waiting to house your treasured dinnerware and collection of wine glasses, in fact, your kitchen is so beautiful, you now feel the need to run out and buy new dinnerware and wine glasses, to match the new kitchen, of course.

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Trusting pays off.

Your kitchen turned out even better than you imagined, even after viewing and studying all the detailed design drawings and design plans from your designer, touching the beautiful samples, and gently being walked thorough the designer’s well-planned step-by-step process, you still could not really imagine your dated dark kitchen turning into your dream kitchen.

But it did. You trusted in the process, invested in a design professional and now you are standing in your new designed and renovated space soaking up every detail and savoring that feeling of finally having your dream kitchen.

You recall the conversations about countertops, lighting, and some of the design details in your space. You are so glad that you approved and trusted some of your designer suggestions, now you can finally see the results all put together like a piece of fine art. One detail dancing nicely with another and then leading your eyes throughout the space in anticipation of the next sight.

It all falls into place.

It all falls into place.

Everything coordinates perfectly, yet nothing really “matches” or looks the same, you aren’t sure how that happened but you now see the difference in a professionally designed space. You can’t wait to start planning your first gathering with family and friends in your new kitchen.

This is how you should feel after a successful kitchen renovation. Unfortunately, many people who try this process on their own express regret, frustration, and disappointment. Over the years I have been very honored to create beautiful kitchen spaces for many clients. I wanted to share some of the feedback that we get at the end of a major project.

My team and I take this trust very seriously and it is always so exciting and gratifying to see our client’s reaction to their new space. Thorough planning and expertise really do make a difference in a successful kitchen renovation.

Until Next Time,

Gia

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Merry Christmas and Happy Decorating!

Gia

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