Everything I Learned from Renovating Our Condo
This November will mark the three-year anniversary of buying our townhouse. We both feel that we are quickly outgrowing the space, but then we just think about how cramped we would be if we lived in New York City or London, and realize we have it pretty darn good! I have had a few friends reach out recently about their own renovating woes, wanting to know what I would do differently—if I had known then what I know now—or if I would change any of the decor choices since trends come and go. I’m very lucky in that even though this was our first renovating project, I am still very happy with the outcome. That said, certain decisions get made because of budget, stress, or a tight timeline, so I would imagine it’s pretty impossible to get it all right the first time. Here are five lessons I learned in doing a condo renovation, three years post remodel. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we get to do it again! Want to know more? HIt me up in the comments!
I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH GRAY: The kitchen still remains our favorite room in the house, and after all that arguing over where to put the refrigerator and where to put my desk, the layout has worked out really well for us. I even still love the gray cabinets, and if I had to do it all over today, I would actually still choose the gray and would still go with Ikea! While the subway tiles were inexpensive and remain on trend, I would switch those to something more unique. Now that natural wood is a big decor trend for 2017, I have freshened up our kitchen with inexpensive wood items like this cutting board and these bookends.
DON’T GO CHEAP ON THE FIXTURES: We are in a pretty expensive mess right now, because we went cheap on our guest room shower i.e. off brand, made in China, and now it sprays water everywhere except where it should. Our plumber informed us that Chinese made faucets/showers are very difficult or impossible to fix, so we may have to completely redo the shower. We have loved all our Delta fixtures.
ONLY BUY NATURAL FIBER RUGS: I tried to save money in the guest room by buying a beautiful and cheap hot pink rug for under the bed. It was not made of natural fiber and smelled so badly of polyurethane, that we had to air out the room for several days, not to mention it was impossible to clean. I had to throw it away within a few months of purchasing. I found that saving up to buy good quality rugs will save you money in the long run. I love all our West Elm Rugs.
HOT AIR RISES: We did not have the air-conditioning ducts re-insulated during construction, which was a huge mistake. This building was built in the early 70s, and the insulation is almost gone. It will cost $10K to have them redone now because the entire upstairs laundry closet would have to be ripped out. Basically, in the summer, I’m always hot upstairs and freezing downstairs.
RE-WIRED: We also should have rewired the house. The costs would have been minimal, and we would have been able to run an ethernet cable, and thus solved our current wifi problem.
Photos Jessica Sample Photography