Thinking Through Design, Part I

This post is brought to you by our friend, Julie Laney. She is an independent interior designer based in Oak Park and a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Julie enjoys all design aspects of residential interiors and has assisted many GHE customers with their projects.

Chances are you’ve thought about some version of remodeling, updating, or changing at least one area of your home to accommodate your needs or taste, especially if you live in an older home, where often times, the layout or features might be inefficient or outdated for today’s lifestyles.  Making sure your remodeling decisions are sound and well thought out are key to a successful project, should you decide to transform your space into something more suitable for your needs.


One remodeling decision can impact your entire home, so making sure you’ve thought it all through, including why you wish to remodel, is a must. Really consider what your needs are: Workspace? Entertaining or gathering areas? Yoga, rest or meditation space? Storage? What features need careful consideration?  Well, everything, but just to name a few are function, lighting, scale, comfort –  keep in mind the value those changes will bring to the family dynamics and to the home itself – even for future dwellers. Your home is a composition of space in which to rest, work, play and enjoy the company of those dear to you; make sure you’ve covered your bases in the planning stages, and that the potential changes will make a positive impact on your life, and be beautiful at the same time. This includes traffic flow, properly lit areas, ease of use for all family members, and proper amounts of workspace and storage.

Avoid making short-term choices that may become a fleeting fad or trend; your wise design decisions should be as pleasing and functional years down the road, as when you installed it. Use quality materials and products that are right for the job! Home remodeling can be a huge generator of material waste if we’re not thoughtful about it.  The better we design and implement quality products into our remodeling projects the less waste we’ll be dealing with down the road. We know that there are some great new materials and products that are kind to the environment, and utilizing them to the best of our ability tells us that our homes, our health and our planet are important to us. I’ve found the products at Green Home Experts to be a well rounded collection of inspiring interior finishes, including flooring (have you seen the colors of Marmoleum flooring?!!), tile, fresh paint colors, and top quality custom cabinetry – just to name a few.

Truly thinking through the meaning behind the desired new space is a very important step in evaluating the project. In addition, planning a remodeling project based on available finances requires careful budgeting, but can often lead to choosing inferior materials to stretch the dollars if a good plan wasn’t set into motion right from the start.  Always have an idea of what the desired outcome will cost before diving in and taking a sledge hammer to those old cabinets.  You want to have a good experience and feel that your efforts will make a real difference – don’t get stressed rushing through the planning, and never try to skimp on something that requires quality materials – you’ll spend money needlessly on something that won’t do the job.  Reminds me of those commercials – “Could have had a V8”. You know – you’ve mindlessly eaten a snack that doesn’t have any nutritional value – then you’re sorry you didn’t go for the healthier choice.
Stay tuned for Julie’s second installation coming next week!


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