Think Home Remodeling is Not Possible Right Now? You May Want to Reconsider

To say that recent events have thrown homeowners for a loop is an understatement. No need to rehash all that COVID-19 has unleashed on all of us, but even those whose jobs are safe, and health is intact, may feel that any plan to remodel their home should be put on a back burner until later. While there are definitely some things to take into consideration, if you think home remodeling is not possible right now, you may want to reconsider.

There are good deals to be had right now

Many businesses related to home renovation and remodeling have been hit hard right now, which means they are ready to go above and beyond to earn your business. Materials such as flooring, window coverings, paint and more may be marked to move as businesses look to keep revenue coming in the door. Once this current situation passes, expect those material costs to skyrocket again as everyone jumps back into their home remodeling projects. That goes not only for materials but labor too. Painters, tilers, and the rest are all looking to stay busy and likely willing to negotiate to get the job.

Resources are available for shorter project completion

If you’ve tried to schedule a home renovation before coronavirus hit the U.S., you likely got a lead time quote of 30, 60 or even 90 days depending on how much you wanted done. That’s not necessarily the case right now as customers are abandoning their plans to renovate, leaving renovation professionals with lots of space on their calendars. Want a renovation project done without having to wait weeks if not months to get started?  Now is the time to pick up the phone. That likely won’t be the case as we get close to the holidays. We’ve written before about how projects that need to be wrapped up by the holidays should start in August. Right now, homeowners have the luxury of a shorter project completion timeline while resources are plentiful.

Right now, it’s better to renovate than buy

If you were considering buying a new home to get some of those coveted amenities, like a gourmet kitchen or spa-like bathroom, you may find the challenge taxing right now. Sellers don’t want strangers in their home, so you’ll have to check out your potential new digs through pictures and videos. As a seller yourself, you’re opening yourself up to strangers in your home, or a much slower selling cycle as buyers hold off until they can actually see the house they want to buy. Renovation, on the other hand, eliminates the hassle of the home buying/selling process and provides you with your dream kitchen without leaving your home!

Working with professionals who care about your safety

Kitchen and bath design specialists Interior Innovations understands the concerns of homeowners who want their remodeling projects completed safely and professionally. We can work with homeowners to ensure that every step of the renovation process, from design to completion, is handled with everyone’s safety in mind. Our high standards guarantee that the project will be completed in a timely fashion, the outcome that you want, all while adhering to more strict standards during this challenging time. Before you hit the pause button on that home remodeling project, contact us to see how we can give you the bathroom or kitchen of your dreams!

How to Choose the Correct Size Furniture for Any Room

If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and felt that a room was either crowded or perhaps a tad too sparse, you’ve experienced poorly chosen furniture for a room. It’s surprisingly difficult to choose the right scale of furniture to any given room, considering you typically are standing in a showroom somewhere and can only picture how the piece will fit into a living room, bedroom, or other room of the house. To help the next time you go furniture shopping, we’ve pulled together a few ideas on how to choose the correct size furniture for any room.

Consider the function of each room first

This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it really isn’t! Some people eat in front of the TV, use part of their master bedroom for an office, or workout in front of the TV in the family room. Think about how you use each room to know how much room you’ll really need so you’re not dragging furniture around the next time you want to do yoga in the family room or dig into a pizza in the living room.

Find the focal point for each room

Most rooms have a focal point, whether that’s the bed in the master bedroom, or the TV in the family room. With focal points, the furniture positioning tends to work around it, so if, for example, you have stunning views of the Superstition Mountains from your living room and want guests to really take note of it, think about how you’ll be facing and positioning your furniture to take advantage the point of focus.

Think about the overall style of your rooms

Nowadays, people are leaning towards a more eclectic feel to their home, shabby chic or farmhouse formal… they don’t want to be locked into any one style like modern, Mediterranean, or whatever. However, you’ve likely leaned towards a certain style for past pieces. That may be streamlined, minimalist, oversized, or whatever. Keep that in mind, when you buy new pieces. If most of your existing furniture tends to be sleek and streamlined, bringing in a new, big, overstuffed couch might be overwhelming, even if it physically fits into the space. It’ll look like a monster compared to your other pieces. The same goes for the opposite: if you have substantial furniture pieces and bring in a sleek, modern piece, it might look measly in comparison. Choosing the correct size furniture makes a difference!

Consider basic room spacing rules

Though not written in stone, you want to keep some basic room spacing rules in mind. For example, the sofa should be placed about seven feet from the television. The coffee table should be positioned about a foot and a half away from the sofa, and other pieces of furniture should be placed no more than ten feet from the sofa—that way the conversation can flow freely between those on different pieces of furniture, all the while keeping the space cohesive. Side tables should be approximately the same height as the nearby chair arms (if that’s not possible, lower is better). For coffee tables, the height should be the same height as chair/sofa seats or lower.

Don’t push furniture against the walls

The size of the room will dictate how far you can pull your furniture away from the walls, but even in a small space, you’ll want to give furniture pieces room by allowing a few inches between the backs of furniture pieces and the walls. Believe it or not, this little bit of space can actually make rooms feel bigger. If you have a larger space, you can arrange furniture in such a way that conversation areas are created in the middle of the room, leaving several feet between the walls and the furniture.

Take some basic measurements of the room and measure your furniture

With the above tips in mind, the best way to plan is measure, measure, measure! Take basic measurements of the room, make a drawing, use an online planner, or get an interior design professional to help. When you go furniture shopping, you know what kind of size you need and how it’ll fit in the room to create the ideal space you want. Understanding how to choose the correct size furniture for any room will help you get the look you need to make any room in your house fashionable and functional!

Update Your Laundry Room to Make It More Functional

When people are considering home renovations, they often forget about the laundry room. Though usually out of sight, this room is a space that demands efficiency, and yet they tend to be afterthoughts where a washer and dryer reside, with perhaps a paltry cabinet or shelf to house the laundry essentials. This room can be so much more with just a little TLC! We’ve pulled together a few tips to update your laundry room to make it more functional…and beautiful!

Pick a color that inspires you

Unless you’re one of those unique people that absolutely loves doing laundry, most people disdain if not dread this necessary chore. Why not add a little oomph to the task by choosing a vibrant paint color that will inspire and delight?  Sure, only you will see it most likely but who cares?  Have some fun with color and create a space that is fun and functional. Some good paint color options are vibrant citrus tones like lime green, yellow or orange. A crisp, bright white is another good option that brightens the room and the mood.

Add built-in cabinets

A basic laundry room may already have a cabinet or two, but is that enough for everything you likely house in that room?  You can build cabinets around your washer and dryer if you have room and have drawers and pullout shelves to house those often-used items. While you’re add it, add some nicer knobs and pulls to give it a little extra style. You’ll be much more efficient if you have everything at your fingertips the next time you toss a load of dirty clothes in to wash.

Add counter space

Do you do all your laundry in one room, then haul everything to another room to fold?  If space permits, why not grab and fold right out of the dryer?  Counter space in a laundry room is a wonderful way to add efficiency. Don’t think you have the room for permanent counters?  Shop around for fold down or pull out counters for laundry rooms.

Add shelving

Maybe you have the room for cabinets but adding them would overcrowd a smaller laundry space. If that’s the case, or you simply don’t want full-on cabinets, try shelving instead. It offers all the convenience of cabinets with less expense and space.

Get creative to get more out of your room

Need to squeeze even more efficiency out of your space?  Try pullout clothes bars so you can hang clothes straight from the dryer (they’re also called “closet butlers” or “closet valet rods”). Add a dirty laundry sorting system. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three dirty laundry bins for white, light and colors or dark clothing. Hooks are great for hanging bags and items that need attention later.

Good lighting is a must

Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a window view, chances are that your laundry room has one little light. Add a little flair and style with something more interesting. Try a pendant light or even a chandelier. Why not?! You’re going to spend a lot of time in that room!

Add a few hideaway features

Try adding a fold down ironing board or clothes drying rack that you can easily use when you need it and put away when you don’t.

Create a room that’s functional for everyone

If space permits, why not get more use out of your laundry room by having it double as a mud room, craft room, or even a cleaning supplies storage area? A few very smart people have even created a small office space in their laundry room; chances are no one will ever bother you there!

Look at your laundry room and see how you can upgrade yours to organize and add value to your home. Not sure how to pull it off?  Contact Interior Innovations to see how their professional designers can help you upgrade your laundry room to make it more functional!

Renovating Your Bathrooms Before the Holidays

When temperatures continue to be in the triple digits, many Arizonans start dreaming about cooler weather and the upcoming holidays. If holidays include out of town guests, homeowners start thinking about remodeling projects that can get done by the holidays. Next to remodeling your kitchen before the holidays arrive, the next big ticket item tends to be bathrooms. Here are a few helpful hints about renovating your bathrooms before the holidays.

Decide which bathroom(s) you want done by the holidays

Assuming you have more than one bathroom in your home that needs updating, take a moment to decide which bathroom(s) you want done. Master bathrooms will likely take the most amount of work, with guest bathrooms next in line, and powder rooms first. Look at all your bathrooms in need of remodeling and prioritize what “must” get done before the holidays, and which one(s) can wait until later. Next, do a quick “wish list” of what you want for each bathroom you’re remodeling. Items to consider may include:

  • Bathtub
  • Shower
  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Flooring
  • Hardware
  • Cabinets

It might be a good idea to create a master list with what you need for any bathrooms you’re remodeling to see if you can get all the materials at once, which will help you decide what can be done within a realistic timeline before the holidays.

How long it takes to remodel a bathroom

Obviously, the timeline to renovate a bathroom depends on what you’re having done. A simple coat or two of paint and swapping out fixtures is a fairly quick upgrade, but assuming you’re going for the whole enchilada, that timeline can increase extensively. Let’s take remodeling a master bathroom as an example.  For the work alone, you can expect a bathroom to be fully remodeled in no less than 23 working days. Assuming that no work is done on weekends, this translates to 4½ weeks. Before you get too excited, let’s take a closer look at that. That’s assuming that work is being done in 23 consecutive working days (excluding weekends). Since you’re likely working with more than one resource to get work done (plumbers, electricians, flooring, etc.) the chances of a flawless, consecutive schedule are unlikely. Even with the best bathroom renovation company, it’s nearly impossible to line up all the workers’ schedules seamlessly. And that is just the work itself. You also need to consider permits, demolition, ordering of parts and materials, and other unseen delays. When it’s all said and done, you’re looking at closer to 8 weeks minimum realistically. Keep that in mind when considering renovating your bathrooms before the holidays.

Should you do more than one bathroom at once?

If you’ve ever lived through any kind of major renovation, you know they can be messy and inconvenient. Assuming you don’t have the luxury of moving out while demolition happens, you’ll need to plan on having at least one functional bathroom that has a toilet, sink and shower or tub.

The pros of doing more than one bathroom at a time include:

  • Only living through renovations once instead of twice
  • Cost savings for labor
  • Cost savings for dumpster and other demo-related costs
  • Potential cost savings on buying multiple items for bathrooms (sinks, hardware, etc.)

The cons of doing more than one bathroom at a time include:

  • More cost at once instead of spreading it out
  • Added inconvenience of multiple bathrooms out of commission
  • More time to get project done than if only one bathroom was being renovated

What to consider when preparing for a bathroom renovation before the holidays

Let’s go back to that timeline we discussed earlier. Many homeowners fail to plan on how long it takes for certain materials to come in, especially if they’re looking for upgrades that aren’t off the shelf. Want that cool soaker tub? It might be special order, which can take 2-6 weeks. How about that beautiful Italian tile you saw when you were on vacation? Also special order. Same with lighting, fixtures, etc. If you want to go unique and different, you’ll need to take that into consideration as well as how the arrival of your products impacts worker timelines.

Those special surprises no one plans for during a bathroom renovation

So far, we’ve described a bathroom renovation without any surprises. Ever done a remodeling job before?  There’s always at least one surprise delay in bathroom remodeling, including:

  • Delays in permits
  • Approvals from homeowner’s association
  • Backorder of products
  • Products coming in damaged or incomplete orders
  • Electrical issues, such as getting wiring up to code
  • Weather-related delays
  • Structural issues – slab leaks or mold found upon demo, necessity to move support beams, rerouting plumbing lines, etc.

End of summer is a good time to schedule your bathroom renovation for the holidays

By late August/early September, we’re already telling people that renovating your bathrooms before the holidays is tight. Aside from product ordering, worker schedules and surprises to take into consideration, interior design companies schedules for new projects fill up quickly for pre-holiday work.  If you’re looking to renovate your bathroom for the holidays, reach out to a renovation design specialist now and get the process started for a beautiful new bathroom by the holiday season.

How to Help the Environment When You Remodel Your Home

Many homeowners don’t think about the environment or using sustainable materials or designs when renovating their home, yet most people when asked are open to the idea of helping the environment if possible. People recycle more nowadays, are moving away from plastic, and often forgo products encased in wasteful packing materials. The fact is, you can create a more environmentally friendly home when you renovate or remodel. Every little bit counts, so why not take a few ideas into consideration when you’re ready to remodel your home to help the environment.

Saving water

There are a few options to consider during renovation that can help save water. The most popular choice is opting for a low-flow toilet. Flushing is the biggest water hog in the house. Older, conventional toilets can use 5 to 7 gallons per flush, but low-flow toilets use as little as 1.6 gallons. Since the average person flushes five times a day, the gallons can really add up. You can also install low-flow faucet aerators in your sinks. Conventional faucets flow as high as 3 gallons per minute, but low-flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute. If you’re remodeling your bathroom shower, shower heads that are labeled as WaterSense are more water efficient than the average shower head. Keep an eye out for these types when shopping for a new shower head. And although they are considered a luxury, steam showers use the power of steam to keep clean, but they are also very water efficient. They use less water than a traditional shower and are very relaxing to use. Luxurious and environmentally friendly!

Saving materials

Oftentimes, a major remodeling project entails a lot of demolition, resulting in a lot of materials going straight into the dumpster. Sometimes that can’t be avoided, but with a critical eye, you might find a way to recycle or reuse some of those materials during renovation. Instead of coming in with a big hammer and demolishing the interior of your home, take it slow and steady. Give yourself and your contractor a chance to see what can be repurposed or refurbished. Old kitchen or bathroom cabinets could be reused in the garage or workroom. Same with certain lighting fixtures. The less you put in the dumpster, the less goes into landfills.

Reusing materials

When you think of reusing materials, think outside your own home for resources. One of the benefits of the farmhouse chic trend is the use of reclaimed wood for mantels, barn doors or decorative beams. If you’re thinking of adding these or similar features to your home, talk to your home designer about reclaimed wood options. Some of those most stunning home pieces used to be something else in a previous life!

Low-energy appliances

If you’re creating your dream kitchen, you’re likely replacing your appliances to go with your vision. Take the time to scout out appliances that are beautiful, functional, and low-energy. There are many options to choose from nowadays in a limitless number of colors and features. This applies to washers and dryers too, if your renovation includes adding or expanding a laundry room.

A change of view

If you’re doing a major remodeling project, you have the opportunity to change the orientation of your home, or at least how certain rooms are laid out. You could reconfigure your family room or home office, where you spend most of your daytime hours, so that it faces south. This will give you maximum sun and heat during the winter, reducing your home heating costs. If your master bedroom windows face west, causing your bedroom to stay too warm well into the evening, you have the opportunity to move windows are invest in window coverings to help keep your bedroom cool, reducing energy costs.

Remodeling or renovating your home can be exciting! Work with your professional home remodeler to help you look at eco-friendly options that will save you some money and help the environment. Win win for all!

Remodeling Your Aging Parent’s Home for Safety and Comfort

Elderly parents are staying in their homes longer than ever before, which is creating new challenges for adult children who want to keep their parents safe and comfortable. If your parents want to stay in their home, it may be time for renovations to make sure they live comfortably. Below are tips for remodeling your aging parent’s home for safety and comfort.

Aging in place is becoming more popular

Aging in place is when a person lives and ages in their residence of choice, for as long as they can. It means a person being able to live in the place of their choice without losing their quality of life when they reach senior age. But ideally what aging in place should be addressing is not just to maintain the quality of life that the person is used to, but also to make it better whenever possible.

Remodeling bathrooms for older parents

One of the most common areas in a home where elderly parents fall is in the bathroom. With slick surfaces and sometimes tight spaces, it can be hazardous unless upgrades are made for safety and comfort. Here are a few ways to remodel a bathroom to make it more age-appropriate for elderly folks:

Shower seats

If your parents prefer taking a shower over using a bathtub, shower seats are a great way to safely shower.

Shower grab bars

Grab bars a fantastic way to provide stability in a shower.

Low or no shower curb

Nowadays, there are many low and no-curb showers to choose from. Ask a remodeling professional for recommendations.

Non-slip bathtubs

Non-slip bathtubs come in a variety of styles and help elderly people safely get in and out of a bathtub without the risk of slipping

Bathtub grab bar

Many people don’t know that grab bars are available for bathtubs too, but they’re a smart addition for any home looking to increase safety for aging parents.

Walk-in tubs

These tubs have been around for years and are getting more and more stylish. As a bathroom renovation professional about options.

Creating a safer kitchen for the elderly

For self-sufficient parents, cooking doesn’t go away with age, but safety becomes an even bigger concern for elderly cooks. Care.com put together a great list of ways to remodeling a kitchen for elderly parents:

  • Install a pull-out pantry
  • Round the edges
  • Keep the sink close to the stove
  • Opt for a shallow sink
  • Place the microwave at or below counter height
  • Choose standard counter-depth appliances and cabinets without any frills
  • Make corners accessible
  • Pick drawers, not doors for easier access
  • Focus on clearance space
  • Ensure that floors are slip-resistant

Other useful ideas for remodeling homes for aging parents

While the kitchen and bathroom are the two more challenging rooms for elderly parents, here are a few ideas for other rooms in the house, depending on their level of mobility:

  • Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers
  • Install lever-style door knobs that are easier to grip for arthritic hands
  • Replace flooring with slip-resistant material
  • Add a wheelchair ramp
  • Adjust kitchen countertops heights
  • Install a chair lift or elevator

Most expenses for home renovations will need to be paid out of pocket. However, Medicare or private insurance may cover the cost of medical equipment that’s installed in a home, but they generally don’t pay for home remodel projects. Do your homework to see what renovation costs may be covered. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask! Some seniors may qualify for a limited number of home improvement grants, based on their income and where they live. The Department of Health and Human Services’ ElderCare.gov website has more details.

Staying at home as long as possible is usually the desire of most aging parents. To make sure they’re both safe and comfortable, try these ideas for remodeling your aging parent’s home.