Looking at Home Designs? 3 Ideas for Better Research

Since you've been thinking about remodeling, this means you are starting the research and planning phase. There are 3 phases to your remodeling project: Research, design and construction. You will experience highs and lows with each of them, so the more advanced your research is on the front end, the more prepared you'll be to take this wild journey. 

With this in mind, we've put together 3 ideas that will help you conduct better research when looking at home designs. Enjoy!

Know Your Long Range Plan 

It helps tremendously to think deeper on the idea of why you are remodeling. I'm sure you've put some time into the initial reasons why you don't like your current home design and what you want to do to make it better, but think about 5 or 10 years from now. What will your family look like? Will you have more children running around or will your children be grown and out of the house? How will you use your home in that time frame? Consider these benchmarks:

long term plan image

Short term approach - You are most likely going to sell in 3 years. Do you think your work will take you to a different location? Is it just too small (even with a remodel) of a house for your growing family? Don't put your heart and soul and money into something that you won't be able to sell. Remodel for the next potential buyer. Its the best decision all around.

5 Year approach - If you are undecided about where your family will be in the next 5 years, focus on functionality. If you desperately need a redesign but don't know if you will be around to really enjoy it, remodel with functionality as your number one priority. Most families are interested in buying a functional home since they can put their own aesthetic touch on it when they move in. 

Long Term Approach - If you know you'll be in your current home for 10 years or more, design for what you will love. Obviously functionality is still a high priority as it will lend you a better quality of life, but aesthetics and style can be just as high of a priority.  Customized home design is ok if you are going to be settled for an extended period of time. 

rooms list to remodel

List of Rooms to Remodel

If you are considering hiring a home designer, this is a very important exercise to go through. It will set you up for success when you and your home designer start to pull it all together. First, make a list of all the rooms you want to remodel. This is helpful because you can see where your design should start and end. Sometimes, it makes sense to remodel one room that is in direct relation to another. Making a list is a great way to start.

Next, take your list and go through each room looking at exactly what you like and dislike about each space. This exercise will help you get everything out of your head and onto a piece of paper so you can see if what you are thinking is truly the direction you want to go. 

Speaking of paper, the best way to do this is to create a profile page for each room. Take a photo of the room and either put it into a word document or print the picture and tape it to a  sheet of blank paper. From there you can type or write all of the qualities you like and dislike about each room. Punch holes in the paper and put them in a 3 ring binder. Hopefully you are already keeping all your magazine clippings in here too. 

Need some ideas on what you should be writing about? Here you go:

  • Lighting
  • Functionality
  • Colors
  • Materials
  • Overall Style

Know Your Style

This may seem obvious to some but once you start digging into it, you'll see there is much more to discover about yourself and your design style. When you finish your project you want it to tell your story right? How nice would it be to have everything just resonate exactly who you are as a person or a family? Oh, it would be so nice.

Start with these ideas: 

What makes you excited or happy? Think about setting your mood. If you are planning a kitchen, what kind of mood will make you happy on a daily basis? Think about who will be in there each day and what they will be doing. Will this include entertaining? Also, if you are redesigning your bathroom, do you want a soothing or relaxing mood? What elements come to mind that would help you feel relaxed in this space? As a tip, layered lighting in a bathroom is very important. 

When thinking about remodeling a space for an office your mood may be much different. In here you may want to be productive or inspired. Maybe some great art would help you be inspired or a nice comfy leather chair will help you enjoy researching your favorite topic on your day off. 

These ideas are really centered around finding your voice. We feel this is an important component but not necessarily a natural component when researching home designs. Take some time to sift through these and connect with how you want your space to speak to you.