Living

You're redesigning your home. Here's your checklist to make sure you're happy when it's done.

What was important here? Storage, storage, and more storage. That along with chef-level functionality and colors that reflect the homeowners' love of the beach.
What was important here? Storage, storage, and more storage. That along with chef-level functionality and colors that reflect the homeowners' love of the beach. Newview Photography for Distinct

Remodeling takes your time, energy and money, and it can be daunting.

So how can you make sure you'll be happy when you are done?

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind and some questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge, no matter the size of the project.

1. Be true to yourself.

What are you trying to achieve with your redesign? A fun place for friends and family to gather? A calm space for relaxation? Keep your goals in mind when making your decisions.

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Leslie Cohen is a designer with Distinctive Remodeling LLC. She specializes in kitchen, bath and whole house remodels. Lindsay Aikman

Do what is right for you and for your house. Don’t follow trends. Trends are created by manufacturers to sell you something new. Trends evolve as people get bored, economic climates change, and new technologies create new materials. Every trend goes out of style. Every trend comes back.

What makes your heart sing? Do certain colors or textures just plain make you happy? Then use them. Unless you are flipping a house, forget everyone else and do what makes you happy.

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Creating a coffered ceiling in place of the old acoustic ceiling, adding a rustic wall finish, a custom wine cellar with a built-in humidor, and practical LVT flooring makes for a cozy basement wine cellar and cigar room. Newview Photography for Distinct

2. Buy the best quality that you can afford.

Think of this as an investment. Life has a habit of taking over. For example, you’re newly married and buy a sofa with a plan to replace it in five years. The next thing you know, 20 years have passed, your kids are heading off to college, and you are sitting on a poorly made, saggy, beat-up, outdated sofa wishing you had bought the well-made, timeless, more expensive sofa you had contemplated at the time.

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Handmade tile, soft neutrals, and impeccable detailing reflect this client's personality. Ed Gohlich Photography Inc.

Make it worth it. When buying products or hiring people, ask yourself, “Am I rich enough to afford the cost of poor quality?” The headaches, repairs, time delays, early deterioration, and other problems caused by poor quality typically are not worth the savings.

Consider hiring a professional designer or architect. He or she can help you explore your options, avoid pitfalls and create a home that reflects you and stands the test of time. Good professionals listen closely and use their resources and experience to develop designs that implement your wishes in ways that expand your thinking and delight you with solutions.

3. Don’t be hasty.

Creating amazing, personalized places takes time. Time to contemplate, time to explore, time to create, and time to build. Pushing to meet artificial deadlines can cause you to regret certain decisions for as long as you live in your home. Rushing through decisions causes you to second guess yourself. Second guessing result in changes midway through the process resulting in additional costs and delays.

This goes for the designers and contractors, too. Pushing them to finish work out of order or before items are ready can cause missed details, faulty construction and problems that show up well after your project is finished.

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Packed with needed storage, this long rectangular bath is softened by sensuous curves. Plumbing fixtures and hardware add an Asian influence. Ed Gohlich Photography Inc.

Understand that designers, architects, artisans, and craftsmen do not directly control every aspect of your redesign. There are many variables that will affect your project, including manufacturers, weather, government permitting and inspections, just to name a few.

Be realistic. Creating realistic schedules for design and construction will allow the designers, artisans and craftsmen involved to properly implement your design. Most of us want to do good work and have you happy with the results. We can do that when not rushing to meet impractical deadlines.

The designers who participate in the News & Observer design series are members of the Alliance of Interior Designers at allianceofinteriordesigners.org.

About the designer

Leslie Cohen is an award-winning designer with Distinctive Remodeling LLC. She specializes in kitchen, bath and whole house remodels. You can reach her at Leslie@DistinctiveRemodeling.com or 919-772-3335.

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