Or you’d like to remodel the home you’re already in, but you:
- Have a unique house that you really love, but aren’t sure
anyone else does
- Have an historic home and are concerned about somebody
- Have a story attached to your house and want to talk with
someone who understands and appreciates it like you do
- Are skeptical ‘cause you’ve had a bad remodeling experience
(or know someone else who did)
You’re stuck…something’s keeping you from getting started.
Maybe it’s too much information - too many shows on HGTV,
too many home design and decorating magazines, too many websites.
Or maybe you’ve heard too much from too many people who
don’t seem to care what
you do, as
long as you spend your money with them
Maybe you’ve collected a file folder full of clippings of
great kitchens, wonderfully-furnished family rooms, and home exteriors that you
just freakin’ love
…but you can’t
imagine that you’ll ever
anything like that
Something’s keeping you from getting started.
Since you were a kid, you’ve been told you should listen
…and you did…to everyone…and found
out that everyone has a different opinion about what you should do, which is no
help at all.
You’re listening to the wrong advice.
You’ve been told you need to “read up” on houses, on design,
on decorating, on remodeling…so you did…and now you feel like you have so many
choices that you can’t make up your mind.
You’re reading the wrong stuff.
You talked to designers, and builders, and decorators, and
all of them wanted to tell what they
thought your house should be- none of them wanted to know what was important to
You’re talking to the wrong people.
You’re looking for answers.
But you’re not going to find them in design magazines, on design
websites, at model homes, or on TV.
Because the projects you see there are about somebody else.
Your House Is All
|(c) RTA Studio|
Of course it is.
That’s not selfish or self-centered (ok it is, but that’s the point). Good design is personal. Good design starts with you and what you
You’ve been waiting to hear just the right magic words that
will make it easy for you to finally get started on your new home or remodeling
project – but that’s not going to happen until you give yourself permission
to focus on you
Give yourself permission to forget about what the newspaper
says you should do. Permission to ignore the real estate agent who says you must have
a formal dining room or you’ll
never sell your house.
Permission to tell the builder who says everyone’s
doing bonus rooms and faux Craftsman details these days,
Permission to make your house about you
, and nobody else.
I’m going to help you get out of your rut, but you’re going
to have to work at it a bit. It takes
conscious effort to not be conventional.
Try these (5) ideas to kick-start your home project:
1) Make a big Wish List
|(c) RTA Studio|
I read lots of wish lists from clients and potential
clients, and can easily divide them into two categories; the ones that have
edited their lists down to only what they think is reasonably attainable, and
those that dream big (big, in this case, means “wonderful”, not “big” as in
Some wish lists are resigned to defeat: “I’d like to have a
(fill in the blank) unless you don’t think we can work it in.”
Others wish bigger: “I want a bright sunny space, with a
fireplace and a window seat, with wonderful views, where I can sit and read and
sip coffee and see the kids playing in the backyard.”
There are only two things that can happen with a wish list –
either you don’t get everything you hope for, or you don’t get everything quite
the way you thought you might. But you
won’t get anything
what you have now if you don’t “wish big”.
Boring, cookie-cutter houses happen when you’re unwilling to
try something truly personal.
When you’re afraid that your neighbors won’t invite you to
cocktail hour anymore if you don’t use those chrome appliances with the big red knobs.
When you really don’t need
each of the kid's bedrooms to have its own
bath, but built them anyway because that was what everyone else has.
It’s hard – really hard – to break out of the status quo
when you’re building a home because there are so many people happy to tell you
that you can’t do that
…it’s too unconventional
A client of mine designed a home a while back with just one
bathroom – for Mom and Dad and
kids. They didn’t need three baths; they
knew that one would do. It had to be
carefully arranged of course, but it works, and they’ve been happily living
that way for ten years.
That house also doesn’t face the street, and doesn’t have a
front door. Weird, huh?
3) Look Elsewhere
Everyone’s looking at the same TV shows, the same magazines,
the same model homes for ideas.
Is it any wonder that so many houses look the same?
Try a few totally illogical sources of inspiration:
Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen? Try leafing through the pages of a book about
Building a new home? Study old barns for a while.
Tweaking a bath? Have
what they’re doing with sailboats
Break out of the status quo by looking in places you don’t
expect to find ideas, and you’ll soon find your imagination revved up.
4) Find Unusual Houses,
and talk to their owners
Lots of blogs and websites catalog unusual and
unconventional homes…you might have stumbled on to some as you surfed the
internet for ideas.
Did you quickly move on, thinking, “Nah, that’s not what I
had in mind?”
If you did, you might have missed an opportunity to learn
something new, and break out of your slump.
You’ve heard the same thing from the same people too many times already,
why not hear from someone completely different?
People who build unusual homes are often more than willing
to talk about them, and about how they came to choose the unconventional. Try tracking a few of them down and ask, “what
were you thinking
They’ll probably tell you.
5) Take Your Time
|(c) RTA Studio|
A lot of people are going to try to push you into a new
house or a room addition project as quickly as possible. They want to get you to a decision, now.
But if you’re like every single one of my clients over the
past 23 years, you’re going to change your mind about the scheme you’re working
on several times before you settle on a final design.
That’s good – in fact, the more design concepts you explore
(especially early on) the better. The
more options you give yourself, the more likely you’ll come up with something
There’s no rush – this is a big thing you’re doing, and you
don’t want to wish later on you’d taken more time with it.
It’s tempting to stop designing once you have a layout that
seems to work, but that’s not how good design happens.
Instead, consciously avoid
finishing your design – even if you like where it’s going – until you’ve looked
at a lot of other options.
Everyone working on design projects – Architects like myself
included – gets stuck now and then.
Feeling a little panicky?
Unsure? Give yourself permission
to try something different.
Before long, everyone will be listening to you
Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio.