7 Designer Tips for Renovating a House + What To Avoid
October 18, 2016
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When it comes to renovating an entire house, it can be quite the challenge to creative a cohesive look throughout. That's exactly why these home owners sought out the expertise of Austin Bean Design Studio, who took their expressed love for blue and designed a fluid home. From one room to the next, they nailed it. Revamping your own home? Grab their tips below for a smooth reno and catch more of the tour in The Vault with Alyssa Rosenheck!
From Austin Bean Design Studio... Our clients expressed early in the process that they wanted a clean aesthetic with deliberate doses of color, and that they particularly desired blue in their home. Many of the rooms takes a slightly different approach to this request while maintaining a consistent dialogue throughout.
Dining Room - Removing dated trim details and creating a clean palette of white walls and rich wood floors provided a stunning canvas for this space. The large windows allow ample natural light by day, and the selenite chandelier and art achieve a dramatic mood lighting by night. The clients have a love of geology, and the rug is an organic take on an agate. When designing with bold colors incorporated in rugs and art, we recommend letting these pieces take center stage while creating a soft neutral palette around these focal points.
Formal Living Room - The custom steel fireplace and moody bookcases were chosen to achieve drama and a modern element in the formal living room, and the deep blue draperies were selected to balance these elements visually. The wool and silk rug and subtly textured arm chairs layer in pattern, while the velvet, leather, glass, and mixed metals create depth. Careful editing played an important role in this space.
Powder Room - The original black tile was the starting point for this dramatic space, which we are often told is the favorite room in the house! We paired the striking black and white wallpaper with the black tile and established a glamorous vibe with a glass and marble vanity, a brass and alabaster light fixture, and another geology inspired element in the gilded artwork.
Breakfast Nook - The breakfast room exists in a heavy traffic area en route to the covered porch and pool beyond. A round table best fit the space and eliminated troublesome corners that would surely be bumped in such a space. We achieved a serene setting capped by the chrome and glass light fixture, which adds a bit of sparkle without distracting from the focal point of the window beyond.
Kitchen - We were charged with updating the existing kitchen, and started by creating a strong focal point with the Wolf range and custom hood. White paint and Calcutta Gold countertops and backsplash brightened the space, and the antique rug adds softness and personality.
Master Bedroom - A serene refuge was the intention in the Master Bedroom, and we started by layering cozy textures. The natural texture of the bed contrasts the metal nighstands and provides warmth in a space of white, blue, and gray. The wool and silk rug, flowing drapes, leather bench, and silk bedding add luxe softness.
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1. Start early. The most successful projects are those in which the client has allowed plenty of time for the design process. This will vary based on the scope of each project, but do not wait until your contractor is ready to begin before you reach out to your design and architecture team. Beginning a project already playing the "catch up" game sets the team and the stability of the entire project up for failure!

2. Hire the right team. You may be faced with a choice between several qualified and capable professionals when choosing a designer, an architect, and a general contractor. Although vision alignment, timeline, quality, and compensation terms are very important we have found the success of a project is largely a result of maintaining harmonious relationships. Find a designer, architect, and contractor you trust, who you feel will effectively communicate when the going gets tough, and can collaborate well with one another. A lack of trust will ultimately poison any relationship and impact your overall satisfaction in the end.

3. Create a holistic vision. We encourage our clients to resist the urge to purchase anything until we have approved an overall design concept and made the majority of the selections. Depending upon the project, this may mean architectural design, material selection, millwork design, lighting specification, appliance and plumbing selection, or may also involve furnishings selection, specification of window treatments, art, and accessories. One seemingly small change can send a ripple through the other selections.

4. Consider lead times. While there are more quickship options available than ever before, it is best not to limit your choices simply due to a lack of awareness of lead times. Many furniture sources have a lead time of 8 weeks or more, and a custom rug can sometimes take in excess of 6 months. Consider this when determining how early to involve a designer. We believe it is best to include the designer early in the architectural phase.

5. Create realistic expectations. When it comes to renovations, be prepared for surprises. It is often more difficult to stick to a budget and timeline in a remodel than in new construction. You never know what you will find when you begin tearing out walls- we have found floor joists that have been previously cut leaving no structural integrity, surprising plumbing catastrophes, and more. These are unexpected costs and if you have not allowed a cushion in both budget and timeline, this can cause serious stress.

6. Don't neglect lighting. Pay attention to how natural light affects your space at different times of day. This is a very important element in determining paint colors, fabric selections, window treatments, and more. The information you gain will inform your interior lighting design. Indirect lighting is your friend! Highlighting art pieces, shelf displays, and furniture surfaces will provide general illumination without the glare. Avoid cramming the ceiling with a grid of recessed lighting and instead be deliberate with lighting locations

7. Be adventurous. Respect the architectural style of your home but not to the point that it disables you. Whether it's a colorful rug in a white kitchen, a bold painting, or a dramatic wallpaper in a powder bath, don't be afraid to show your unique style!
Vendor Credits
Formal Living Room Chrome Chairs
Lee Industries
Master Bedroom Night Stands, Dining Room Gold Chair
Made Goods
Dining Room Rug
Powder Bath Wall Paper