Renovations don’t have to set you back too far

I am so fortunate that I am able to work with renovation clients in Central Alberta. I also enjoy working for my builders helping their clients build their dream homes but my foremost passion is the renovation process.

I have bought and sold several houses that emerged beautiful after many years of neglect and bad design and each house has been a rewarding experience!

Now I am living in a brand new build made possible by Falcon Homes which I love but I find my creative spirit is yearning to paint or tear up flooring or SOMETHING!

It is the strangest feeling when everything is brand new and absolutely perfect to want to replace or repair already – I must be a true renovator at heart.

My solution for this is to dig deep into your homes and projects – bring me your worst. There is such huge satisfaction in taking something old and dated and making it sparkle and shine.

Your renovation project may be overwhelming and exasperating to you but to me it is a refreshing challenge and nothing makes me happier than creating a beautiful space for someone where they used to have an eyesore.

Now, let’s be real on the cost of things – renovation shows on TV now make me boil because they show entire home renovations for $30,000 which is a ridiculous goal, especially with the finishes they are putting into these homes.

I work very closely with clients to establish a budget and see what is possible and what is not possible based on that budget.

If you are looking at a quick touch up beginning with paint you can splash a room for about $6 a square foot. Carpet is also going to cost you about the same per square foot when you consider removal, furniture and the price of a superior underlay.

Hardwood/tile/cork all fall into the $10 per square foot price range with exotic species and specialty tile shapes driving that price skyward.

Window coverings will be varied in price with blinds ranging from $20 a square foot to over $100 per square foot. Drapery can cost a little or a lot depending on whether you are using premade panels or working with a custom drapery workroom and seamstress.

Estimate lighting at $300 per room for bedrooms and living rooms, $500 per room for bathrooms and kitchens and $1,000 for a main dining room or entry fixture. You may come under budget but at least your cost expectations will be reasonable when you begin to shop.

The list goes on and on but these will be your hard costs for the beginning of a renovation.

Get out your measuring tape and measure you room top to bottom and side to side and work out the cost of your ultimate renovation; once that number is established you can see if your wants are over budget and may have to scale back to your needs.

This helps eliminate frustration when you are shopping, we all know we want what we can’t have. Establishing a realistic budget and list of what will be replaced is the best design tool to begin your project, after that it is time to have fun – and to visit me to help you with your renovation.

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