When I begin
to consider just one look, genre, style or price point, I truly almost pass out with excitement! Most people in the industry might call this utopia- I call it my job. For me, it always begins with a budget. I never- I repeat NEVER, ever start a job without a budget. It’s my business after all and I should know what I want to invest.
Right? So how do I begin this process? Well I begin by doing some research, like reviewing the selling price of the home and comparing it to its neighbourhood. I also analyze needs versus wants, figuring out what is absolutely mandatory. In this case that was pretty well everything. Calling this space a diamond in the rough is an understatement. Basically its 3,200 square feet all needed to be addressed. Little was salvageable.
Overwhelmed yet? Nahhh the fun is just beginning.
I take a good hard look at the budget. Then I prioritize – and that is key to a successful project. Once I calculated all the fees and supplies and construction costs, I went back to the budget to make it work. Sometimes that means deleting items; other times just re-arranging things.
It’s fun when there are enough funds left over from the basics to plan some great finishing details as well. Actually that is more than an option – it’s essential that you allocate a portion of your budget to the finishing touches.
A key to remember is that there is no point in dreaming or drooling over design elements when they are not affordable. The idea is to enjoy the process and to fall in love with the elements that are actually within your budget.
This is why it is important to know your comfort zone. In this case it was my home and I was doing the work so I had the luxury of zero costs for services in my budget. Nevertheless, the rules remain the same; every area in this house was affected and accounted for in the renovation.
I am thrilled with the results. This 32-year old home was dated and tired, in need of much TLC. The Jennifer Brouwer Design team and this house seemed to be a match made in heaven. We love a challenge, we love working hard, we love being inspired and yes, we even love taking the proverbial lemon and making lemonade.
There is power in design. It uplifts my spirits. It gives me oxygen. I can think of no better way to get a daily breath of fresh air. Pinch me. I am so very blessed!
A few words about pictures
- Even though this space is small, this family room feels grand as every inch of square footage was utilized. The original door to the dining area was closed off and a custom sectional was made to suit the space. The art work is framed and hung collection style, which works to enhance the height of the room. We installed a two sided fireplace looking out to the pool and the original window above sink was switched out for a set of sliding glass doors creating a brighter, more spacious feel.
- The original dining room from 1978, was a diamond in the rough and while utilizing it as a dining room was the initial plan, I dine about as often as I entertain, that is to say, oh yes, never! The practical girl that I am, I decided to design a space that became a main floor inspirational dream, my new office! We began by closing in the single doorway, then opened into the hallway and added a double pocket door entrance. We eliminated the tray ceiling, added electrical, changed the window, installed new flooring, painted the walls, then wallpapered the ceiling ala “Jennifer Brouwer Style.”
- Being in the industry, I wanted the art work to reflect inspiration for future projects. I wanted to embrace as much natural light as possible and be in close proximity to my sourcing room. My idea was to create various mood boards then frame and mat them.
- Blood, sweat, tears, oh yes and a fair chunk of money and we have a stunning new kitchen, galley style. Complete with two sets of eight foot sliding doors, custom cabinetry, ample storage and most importantly, great flow and continuity!
- As always the world of interior design can be like having a genie in a bottle, your wish is your designers command. We took/borrowed seven feet from the full width of the overall space and divided the family area, and the kitchen with a Fabulous multipurpose eating and/or games area.A highly anticipated catastrophe from clients, is often mixing and or blending fabrics in open areas. We actually defined each space with coordinating albeit different fabrics and installed them side by side.