by Don Vandervort, © HomeTips
With any remodeling project, a homeowner usually spends considerable resources with the goal of creating successful spaces that will last for many years. With this in mind, it’s important to get it right.
Remodeling means choices—and lots of them. Because options in floor plans, styles, materials, and products are innumerable, creating a plan that weaves these together for a successful result can be a real challenge. What’s the key? Great ideas.
Great—or even pretty good—ideas can make a huge difference in both the function and form of a new kitchen, bathroom, or home addition. Smartly combined cabinets, counters, and appliances can “make” a kitchen. Nestling a soaking tub in a bathroom alcove or running a circular stair up to a new second story can create stunning spaces.
When remodeling, it’s important to put together a collection of ideas that showcase the designs, products, and features you like. This collection can both inspire your own ideas and communicate what you have in mind to an architect, designer, and/or builder.
So where do you go to gather ideas? Here’s a helpful list:
• Recently published home design and decorator magazines are filled with fresh ideas. For contemporary ideas, thumb through Dwell or some of the European home magazines such as Abitare or Trendir. If your tastes are more traditional, check out Traditional Home. Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Southern Living, and Sunset are great for regional style. Just visit a magazine stand, the racks in a home improvement center, or a library to see recent offerings. Also look for home idea books produced by companies such as Sunset Books and Southern Living in home improvement stores and spin racks at hardware stores.
• Home improvement centers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s can be great for gathering ideas, as can higher-end retailers that have showrooms. One of the great things about a home improvement center is that you can pull together various samples of countertops, floors, window coverings, paints, and the like to see how they look together.
• Other great sources for inspirational ideas are real estate open houses of recently remodeled homes, home tours, idea houses, and model homes.
• Consider setting up an initial consultation with a designer. Whether or not you hire this person for your project, he or she may be able to give you good ideas and suggest additional idea sources.
To get free recommendations for top-rated local contractors, call the most reliable and comprehensive referral service, HomeAdvisor, at 866-350-2983 (toll free).