Make most of expert help
Before taking on a project, it’s critical to not underestimate the time involved. Building and renovations all take time and delays are common. In extreme cases, couples have been driven to divorce due to the stress. “A major kitchen renovation can easily take up to a year to complete,” says Salamon. “Delays can happen at different stages of a project.”
Everybody’s concerned about keeping to a budget. Change to a design at the inception is expected, but when changes are requested after the design is finalized, you can get headaches.
A simple example is the client who decides to purchase an appliance or two larger than the allocated space - usually 30 inches for a refrigerator or stove. Cabinetmakers can sometimes find a few centimetres to accommodate the extra girth, but “99 per cent of the time, they can’t, without it affecting something else,” says Salamon, who specialized in kitchens and bathrooms.
In most such cases, “the designer has to go back and revamp the drawings - which is time-consuming, costly and contributes to delays.”
Most people underestimate a room’s lighting requirements. Don’t rely on pictures from home fashion magazines, says Salamon. A professional photographer augments a room’s lighting with his own to make pictures more effective. What looks good in one setting may not be suitable for every kitchen.
If using energy-efficient fluorescent or LED lights, she recommends including in the mix some incandescent lights to warm things up in the room. Using the former will make a room seem cooler, because they have a blue hue.
When people downsize, they should consider replacing oversized sofas that overpower a room. Purchase furniture that is size-appropriate for the space. Hint: You know the piece is too large when it won’t fit through the door.
“Measure and mask out the outline of the new piece on the floor before you bring it home from the store,” advises Tony Martin, owner of Monarch Furnishings. “Walk around it and make sure it’s not in the way of doors, etc.” If possible, bring home a fabric swatch, as well, because the lighting in a store is very different from a home environment.