Have you heard of the idea that a goldfish will only grow as big as his bowl allows? In a world full of massively large fish bowls, many people would rather keep our goldfish teeny weeny, and by goldfish, I mean the mortgage, household duties and yes, even the clutter. And although there may be less glamour involved in owning a tiny home, it’s certainly the right lifestyle for some.
With that said, small spaces present their own set of design dilemmas, and homeowners with minimal spaces must often embark on a research-heavy adventure to find out exactly how to utilize the limited space they have. One of the incredible benefits to renovating is the amount of information available online. From kitchen planning, layout designs and tips & tricks to renovation checklists, the opportunities for a feasible and efficient remodel are better than they've ever been.
By far, the best advice you will ever receive is: Every family is different, and every home should reflect these differences. This doesn't mean simply personalizing a space, although who doesn't love a classic set of weather wood monograms every now and then. What we're talking about is actual customization. So for instance, does your family spend 5 out 6 nights running the kids in different directions for hockey and dance and scouts. So hectic that as a family you rarely sit down for a meal together? Then why would you have a complete dining room set in your kitchen? If your long list of friends and family lives close by, why do you need two guest rooms?
Ask yourself questions about your specific lifestyle and answer honestly. Whether you desire a long stream of guests or a sit-down dinner with your family each night, the presence of the space alone won’t change your lifestyle. Yet, by catering each space to your activities and thinking in terms of areas rather than rooms, your livable space and love of your home will increase tremendously.
Learning what you love is a difficult task to achieve because it is directly affected by your experience or exposure to all the options. Problem is, most people end up more confused and overwhelmed after browsing thousands of options than before they started. For this reason, we often our suggest clients create a free Houzz account for themselves. This way they can create an unlimited number of Ideabooks (like scrapbooks) of visuals to help organize their preferences while shaping and growing their preferences as they are exposed to new products, textures, designs and layouts. Depending on the project a client is pursuing, we will suggest several concepts they can build their Ideabooks upon. Once they are built, clients can share their books with our Design team and communicate ideas back and forth.
Home Renovation Checklist from Real Simple:
Based on the concept: “Carve out an oasis for you”, this general planning checklist is a great place to start. Proper planning is key during a renovation, so if you can’t phase your project to avoid construction dust, loud noises and general interference, you may want to think about staying elsewhere in an effort to sustain your sanity especially if you have a large or active family. You'll be happier for it.
Budget Checklist from TrustyGuides.com:
Everyone wants to have some sort of guideline or breakdown of how much your renovation will really cost? Although this site offers figures based on US Consumer spending, many of the figures will help guide you on your overall spending allowances. Keep in mind there is roughly 25%-30% difference in buying power of the loonie VS. the US dollar and typically labour in America is considerably lower than Canada. Still, by following a few simple tips from Trusty Guides, along with a helpful budget template you can try and maximize your bang for the buck.
Planning Your Kitchen:
For those ready to hit the meat and potatoes of their renovation plans, this free tool is a wonderful way to start looking at your space and planning functionality. Self-explanatory and worth its weight in gold. We’ve had clients plan (and re-plan, and re-plan again) their layout multiple times with this handy tool without them spending a fortune on Designer input. A great first step in phyically planning a layout.
The ultimate landing pad for the endless inspirational images found on blogs, sites and the like? Keep your amazing finds in one spot with an easy, visual pin board at Pinterest.com. (You can see more than 25 boards of our favorite interior images on our Cochrane Floors profile!)