Making unexpected renovations an opportunity

Sometimes life throws you an unexpected curve, it trips you up and you are forced to re-evaluate things. I am writing from home after sustaining a back injury and needless to say I have had A LOT of time to think! Every week I meet a client who has had some kind of unforeseen change to their lifestyle which drives them to visit our store. Everything from job transfers, new babies, floods, fires…dogs eating their drywall. There are sometimes surprise reasons to renovate, whether you want to or not.

The upside is that it sometimes takes an unwelcome incident to allow us to change our environment. While the initial feelings of fear or frustration set us off kilter, the final results are encouraging and can allow us to make our interiors better. Often we are afraid of change and to have change forced upon us can be upsetting. This might be a good time to make a list of all the things you need to do to relieve the stress you are finding yourself under.

What can you change going forward that will make this new environment the very best for you? This is the perfect opportunity to decide what you want out of your new space. List items that were in the old space that you may not have been happy with so that you are not destined to repeat them. I see many clients who complain about not liking their current carpets yet spent a lot of time choosing ‘new’ carpet that look very similar! It’s time to challenge what you have been comfortable with and change your path. Maybe your puppy chewed your drywall because he didn’t like the paint colour either.

Okay, I know dogs only see in black and white.

Do you look at this as an incident or an opportunity? Your attitude going forward will have a remarkable impact on how successful you are at turning an unwelcome renovation into an opportunity. Make a determined effort to use the time you have to get the most out of contractors, insurance agents and yes even your friendly local designer. You have a new palette and new colours to try that you wouldn’t have entertained if this ‘thing’ had not happened. Try to re-set your personal dialogue to ‘I get to’… instead of ‘I have to’.

Will this unexpected event change the way you do things going forward? You can look at everything with new perspective and you may be pleasantly surprised at the ideas you come up with! You can look at your new project with pride and accomplishment and marvel at what you have achieved. When a flood destroyed a client’s bathroom I watched her move from frustration to triumph as we completed her project. She confessed that she had always disliked that bathroom and that she was thrilled with the results. Now, believe me I wouldn`t wish tragedy on anyone but if it happens what are you going to do — wish it away or take every opportunity to make it successful.

We all experience those moments in life which scream at us to hit the `reset` button. It can seem like such an awful thing when it happens but sometimes. But if you are paying attention, it can reshape your interior and possibly your perspective.

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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