After spending over an hour cleaning the floors in our home, I decided it was time to write a blog post of all of my tips when building, or remodeling, your forever home. This quick read will provide all of the things I wished I had considered when building.
*These are strictly my opinions and should be taken with a grain of salt and consideration. No affiliated links are provided, just my thoughts, to help you with your build process*
1. Choose those floors wisely.
Yeah, you read that opening statement correctly. It was my committed time cleaning my floors that prompted me to write this blog for you, because, I'm angered and I'll tell you why. Our dark wood floors are absolutely gorgeous for our modern styled farmhouse. My husband and I both love dark hard woods, you know this simply by looking at all of the details surrounding our home, inside and out. But I have to tell you, they were flat out a mistake. Dark hardwoods show everything, and I mean everything. Every single speck of dirt. The process of cleaning my floors consists of this: vacuum, sweep, sweep, sweep, vacuum, mop, sweep, sweep. That is no exaggeration. After the 4th sweep, I am feeling nothing short of defeated. It's exhausting.
I know what you're thinking though, either, okay I'll choose the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Nope. JUST AS BAD - case in point, my shed. Save yourself the blood, sweat and tears, and opt for a finish that is somewhere in the middle of the two.
(great in theory - but these floors are a living nightmare)
2. Take your sweet time envisioning living in these spaces.
This probably, actually I know this, should be my number 1 tip, but truth be told, I am irate about my floors and I needed to get it off my chest first HA! When I say take your sweet time, I truly mean it. Take all the time your little heart desires. The more time spent envisioning living in these spaces, the more likely you will be able to see the things that are just not practical.
Let's talk about our master bathroom. I can't tell you how many comments I get gushing over our large shower, and yes, I love it just as much as everybody else, HOWEVER ... practical? I think not. In hindsight, had I "lived" in this space, I would have cut that massive 2 (well actually, it's more like 8) person shower down a couple of feet, thus expanding our walk in closet and limiting the space where the toilet resides. So much wasted space in that bathroom and it makes me want to cry everyday I try to squeeze my butt into the closet to grab my favorite pair of jeans. It is DEFINITELY not in the budget to renovate ...I can't even talk about it. So moving on to point #3.
(one day, we will reconfigure this space)
3. When working with a budget ... BONES > FINISHES.
When you're renovating your home, it is beyond exciting. You cannot wait to get your spaces looking as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing as possible, I get it. But what most don't think about are the bones of their projects. Let me explain by throwing in my kitchen example:
I absolutely NEEDED my butcher block and quartz countertops. (Needed NOT wanted - we've already established in Instagram posts that I have a very difficult time distinguishing the difference between those two words, I know.) Had I sat back and thought for a millisecond that the appliances should take priority, I wouldn't be in this predicament. Looking at the area with our refrigerator, I should have installed double ovens. Well, I didn't. I was more focused on the "look" than the practicality of our forever kitchen, and here I am begging for a kitchen remodel and it's just not in the cards. Select the finishes you want, yes, but make those necessities a top priority. The finishes, if not in your budget, can 100% come at a later time.
(if only we added that double oven here - makes me so sad)
4. Do you have children? Plan accordingly when decorating.
Are your kids messy, disgusting, filthy, germ infested dirty swine? No? It's just mine, eh? Got it. (HA!)
IF your offspring is like mine, that does NOT mean you have to sacrifice your preferred style for the sake of them. This is definitely a hot topic, and many just don't agree with me, and that's completely okay, but, hear me out.
There are options out there on this crazy thing called the world wide web where you can find crazy similar dupes for that incredible Restoration Hardware sofa you've been eyeballing for a half a century, you just have to commit to taking the time to find it. The reality is, your furniture will not last forever, probably half of that time even when little ones are involved. So why spend thousands of dollars furnishing your home when it will ultimately just get demolished sooner than later anyway? Some of my favorite incredible alternatives for temporary furniture are IKEA and Target. (Just know, and be prepared, that they will not last forever but will at least stand their ground until your children aren't monstrous life, and couch ruiners)
(we recently replaced these slip cover couches and side chairs - but we got YEARS out of them. They were from Rooms to Go, and with kids, SUPER easy to pull off those covers and toss in the washing machine!)
5. Design with intention.
What does this mean? I don't know - I just made it up, but I'm rolling with it, so listen up! :)
Just like point #3, the bones of your home far surpasses the furnishes. Same goes for decorating. You all know I am THE QUEEN of neutrals. For lack of better terms, I'm borderline obsessed with them. But here's why. It is beyond budget friendly when decorating, especially seasonally. Keep those walls, and large furniture pieces neutral and then throw in those pops of colors with accent such as throw pillows, blankets, wall art, and especially rugs. All of which are incredibly easy, and affordable to replace, and makes decorating super fun and budget friendly! Not to mention, when you stick with neutrals, you are given a clean, fresh canvas to work with. Thus, leaving you the time to figure out how you want to commit to a specific design. (See the before and after of our all white kitchen!) While speaking of budget friendly decorating, I have to mention my absolute favorite online rug store.. rugsusa.com . They have crazy good sales, upwards of 75% off, and the quality is pure perfection.
(Before: Essentially, a fresh canvas)
(After: The drastic change, a simple black accent wall)
Paint color: Black Fox by Sherwin Williams
So, yeah, these are my top 5 dos and don'ts when finishing up those builds and remodels. Am I an expert? No, not really. But I DO consider myself to be an expert when it comes to regrets and "wish I haves".
Regardless of your final decisions, your home is YOUR home. YOU design your spaces how YOU want to design them. Don't do it for social media strangers, and more importantly DON'T design your homes based around what others will think. Love the home you live in, and just know a house isn't a home without the love that's poured into it.