Renovations and solid surface selections...

Mary here today! SOLID SURFACE SELECTIONS, saddle up, this is a loooong one…

We hope you had a chance to tune into our new vlog. Who knew there was such a thing?! So much social media hoopla to keep up with these days!

If you viewed our first vlog you know there are lots of reasons for testing out this new social media format.  Number one, there are just not enough hours to tackle our “to do lists” AND we have lots of great info to share.  

Most importantly, we would like to address all the BAD RENOVATION INFORMATION out there!!!  You know it has reached a critical juncture when my ire is raised to a level to which I can put aside my intense fear and dislike for the camera and create a vlog! 🤔😬😂

It makes my blood boil to see so-called ‘experts’ quoting full kitchen renovations for under 20K - oh come on, let’s get real people!  If that were the case I would be enjoying my luxe new kitchen with all the accoutrements, absolute poppycock!!! In reality a full renovation in any part of the home is going to be a substantial investment. That doesn’t mean you can’t see a huge improvement by making some cosmetic changes! (Tune into next weeks blog, there is plenty of hope for those who cannot afford a full blown renovation!)

In our neck of the woods (Boston!), a master bath renovation requires, at a minimum, a budget of 60 to 70K - and that does not even translate to high-end materials and finishes across the board.  I know you are all guffawing (my husband included), but that is the reality in our region.  And no, we are NOT getting rich off of these projects.  By the time the dust has settled, interior design fees (for kitchen and bath projects) are typically 20 to 25% of the project cost, and a good designer is worth every penny of that, trust me! Percentages go up when there are more moving parts and layers…and when clients micromanage and don’t trust their designers.

Is 60 to 70K sufficient to deliver a very nice master bath update?  Yes, and in my opinion, there is plenty of luxe included, even for our high standards!  That is, as long as you don’t run into major obstacles or plumbing nightmares after opening up the walls and floors…owners of old homes beware!  This budget range will typically allow for semi-custom cabinetry and storage areas, heated floors, linear shower drains, glass shower enclosures, nice fixtures, fittings, and tile. 

So what are we talking about when we say solid surfaces? At minimum we are talking about flooring, ceilings, walls, countertop and backsplash materials. But we also need to pay VERY close attention to: cabinetry materials/colors, appliances, fixtures, fittings, moldings and architectural details such as beams, trims…yup, lots of moving parts! Pay very close attention to your white surfaces, they are NOT all the same. Marie Killam teaches a class called “White is Complicated” and boy has she got that right! Check out all the great info she has to share here.

Whether embarking on a renovation or a simple refresh, you need to be sure that ALL of these elements work together. This does not happen magically.  It takes time and effort to coordinate all the moving parts, even for the experts.  If you are looking to DIY you need to do your homework.  If you can’t “see” color, enlist a color savvy friend or hire help! Tap into the talented pool of design savvy helpers at our favorite local haunts. Their knowledge base and expertise is extensive, they have so much to share and best of all you are supporting local business! One of our favorite tile suppliers is the Art of Stone and Tile in Wellesley. Joe and Lane are uber-helpful and friendly!!! They are also busy bees so make an appointment in advance and do your homework; arrive with samples of selections made thus far in the process.

We see so many mistakes in our travels, most often with a bad combination of backsplash and countertop materials.  Remember, less is often more.  We frequently use analogies to get our point across, pick one star of the show, one focal point and build on that.  If you love a “show off” backsplash and know it will make you happy for years to come, go for it but keep the counters quiet. Let the backsplash do its thing…the counters need to whisper!

See how the counters below take a back seat to the star of the show - the backsplash!

Myself and Kylie are both dreaming of kitchen renovations and planning accordingly.  As you can imagine we see soooo much eye candy in our travels, what to do!?  Our advice, when it comes to solid surfaces tread lightly/carefully.  Ask yourself, is this backsplash tile going to thrill 5 years down the road?!  If the answer is yes, go for it. Not so sure? Then you really need to ponder this decision carefully!

high end residential interior design boston

We sometimes hear industry luminaries poo poo white cabinets and white subway tile, so pedestrian, we say poo poo to that.  I personally will never tire of either as they are clean, fresh, bright and timeless.  A clean and neutral backdrop allows endless opportunities to introduce new colors and textures.  Like many of you, I am constantly dreaming about my new kitchen and white cabinets will definitely play a big role!

high end residential interior design boston

As you start to gather and make decisions on your solid surfaces, make sure you are factoring in all the UNDERTONES . This is critically important to the success of your project!  What is an undertone you ask? Take a look at our previous post addressing this subject!  If you still don’t get it, then enlist or hire a helper.  Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish!  It is painful to witness foolish spending on improvements that don’t work well, we see too many.  Pay very close attention to your backsplash and counter selections. An unfortunate combo can torpedo an otherwise gorgeous kitchen!!!

Hope you are not in a tailspin - we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure all your solid surfaces sing together in harmony.  The end results will justify the extra time and money spent! 

Don’t forget to tune in next week, we will sharing lots of tips and hints for the budget challenged!