Remodel Like a Pro (Wisdom from Mary Jane Pappas)

Mary Jane Pappas, one of the fixtures in Minnesota’s interior design community, does a nice, condensed presentation on fundamentals of remodeling. The Pappas office was generous enough to let me share the points with you.

TRAIN YOUR HOUSE (don’t let your house train you) By Mary Jane Pappas

1. Plan your interior design before you begin. A space plan defines where everything goes—how the spaces works, how people move through the space. Name your decisions, right up front and early, about products and finishes. Creating plans before you begin protects your investment and allows you to be in control of both the design and the budget.

2. Place furniture on your plan. There is nothing worse than creating a space where your furniture will not fit, is out of scale, or won’t pass through the door.

3. Recognize proper scale, proportion, and balance. These elements have an enormous psychological impact, and a professional designer will be able to guide you through them. Even one hour of professional interior design help is better than none. You are buying valuable expertise at the beginning of your project, and it will affect all subsequent work.

3. Create and lighting/electrical plan after you create a furniture plan. Placing lighting fixtures and electrical devices exactly where you need them assures serviceable, functional spaces, and brings your design to life. Install dimmers to control lighting according to mood.

4. Budget your remodeling dollars wisely. If you can afford to remodel or improve your entire home in a single project, do it. You will save money overall. But if your budget is limited and you spread your remodeling dollars too thin, you might not be satisfied with the results. Finish one room at a time so you can realize a transformation and have a haven to retreat to.

5. If you’re planning a project in stages, create a master plan. Avoid having to remodel a newly remodeled space. If you plan to remodel one room at a time, develop a master plan. It will include your whole home and attend to structural and mechanical changes that might affect rooms to be remodeled in the future. Plan ahead, and you will save $$ and disappointment.

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