Keeping the stress down during home re-design

In life we have choices and the quality of our life is often a reflection of those choices.

In home décor and design there is a plethora of choices and it often causes anxiety in people who are building or remodeling. I would love nothing more than to ease the stress I see in my clients and help them have fun with this decision!

As you know, I am remodeling my basement with my wonderful contractor. This has been a no stress process for me because I refuse to ‘over shop’ for this space.

I have a concept rolling around in my head for what I would like the finished space to look like including general colours BUT I have not spent hours searching and re-choosing my interior finishes. Think about this, I work in a home design store where we have new products coming in weekly – I could drive myself mad designing and re-designing my basement.

I meet clients who shop for materials for a project they are finishing next year! If you aren’t doing your project immediately materials can change overnight and that tile you fell madly in love with is no longer available. I am patient to wait until the time to order is upon me as dictated by my contractor.

The second reason I have no stress about this space is I know my limitations. I know the maximum amount I am willing to spend and I understand that this is not our forever home. The process of improving a space to sell in a few years is easy once you understand that over-valuing the renovation doesn’t do you any favours in the long term.

Even though I have not chosen particular items I plan to spend a specific amount of money on flooring and tile. Will finishing my basement in hardwood and granite raise the sale value of my house by $20,000? Probably not. Will I get as much satisfaction out of laminate flooring and a less expensive bathroom vanity for around $10,000 or a warm carpeted basement for $6,000? Absolutely.

Reason number three does come from my experience in home renovation; I have realistic expectations of timelines.

I understand that my contractor will work full force one week and not even darken my doorstep the next. I realize that materials sometimes take time to deliver and can be backordered so I set my expectation to either wait for what I want or choose an alternative.

When you go for dinner and they say ‘we are out of roast chicken’ do you panic and get angry at the server? Or do you read the list again and decide on the salmon? It’s not that you aren’t disappointed about the chicken but your expectations are looser in a restaurant and it’s easy to make a quick alternative decision. What if you applied that decisiveness to your home?

If the floor tile you chose is on a slow boat from Italy and you can’t move into your new home until you have kitchen tile – try to roll with it and embrace all the wonderful tile options you have yet to discover!

A world of fun awaits you if you are blessed in life to be able to build or renovate your home. Remember to breathe, smile and take every unexpected situation with grace as you interact with home professionals. Your end result will be just as fabulous and much more relaxing!

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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