Preparing for needs before wants

With spring finally reaching our area the flurry of spring renovators has arrived. I know Carpet Colour Centre is buzzing with people excited to work on their homes before they commit full time to yard work. I can imagine the home centres and garden shops are also inundated with masses of people wanting to jump into home renovations.

The hype and exuberance is a wonderful thing but I have a few red flags I have seen in the past few weeks that I want to caution you about. Often when a person has been bitten by the renovation bug they start out at a feverish pace and can sometimes make hasty and disastrous decisions. It is not uncommon for me to be working with a client trying to create a beautiful interior when they ask the dreaded question ‘do you have this in stock’ – nope! I work with completely custom order materials in order to develop one of a kind interiors. The sad thing clients at this point tend to panic and say, well we are installing this weekend. Poof, there goes my vision for their home as they rush out the door to find something in stock.

Plan for your renovations and give yourself time to find those cherished items, especially items like tile, flooring, lighting and furniture which you will have for the next decade. When you default to cash and carry items and in stock product you will get the job finished but it will resemble 100 other interiors right in your neighbourhood. Careful planning and execution is the guaranteed formula for a stunning custom interior and a look which is truly your own.

We all know the cliché of putting the cart before the horse, in design it is very similar when clients put their wants before their needs. We all have a wish list for home renovations and I strongly advise you to put your lists into two categories of wants and needs. The needs are obvious; shelter and comfort (floors/walls/heat), privacy (window coverings), lighting and appliances. The wants can be subdivided into infinity based on how we organize them. I often see homeowners creating interior spaces based on their wants which can result in the ‘needs’ side of the list being rushed or not carefully chosen. I have seen clients in such a hurry to slap down tile in their kitchen that it is done improperly only to cause problems later. Like hastily installed flooring when you really should have repaired the leaking ceiling which just ruined your new tile. I could go on and on but I think you get the drift.

Plan it carefully, if you are replacing backsplash tile in your kitchen – add those extra outlets you have always wanted. Renovating your bathroom? Make sure the plumbing is in top shape and ensure the shower is properly protected against mold and mildew before installing new materials. Take the time to check the state of your basement before putting in new flooring to guard against seepage. These simple steps of preparedness will assist you in creating a beautiful interior which meets your needs and satisfies your wants.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at

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