What makes someone beautiful? How much of that beauty is attributed to good genes and how much is good grooming? We have all seen the off-the-street makeover shows that take an average looking woman and give her a new outfit, a new hair style and the right makeup. Voila! She walks out looking gorgeous! They didn’t change the woman, just the presentation.
It is amazing what a little TLC can do for a person’s appearance. Your house is the same way. It has the potential to be more beautiful, even without the benefit of a total remodel. Consider adding a little TLC to your home.
Now, we are sure you have seen some amazing transformations with home remodels. Talk about extreme makeovers! However, you don’t have to do a major remodel or expensive addition to create some dramatic improvements in your home and in your quality of life.
Even small changes to your house (a quick off-the-street makeover) can make your home more beautiful. We know that the goals of a successful remodel are not all about beauty, but also about function and space. Often when you work to create or uncover extra space and functionality in your home, you will find more beauty, too.
Nothing stands in the way of your home’s potential beauty like clutter. It is like a bad haircut and ill-fitting clothes on a person. When you are analyzing your house, make sure you are seeing it for what it is, by which we mean try to look at your home through a stranger’s eyes. We can become so accustomed to piles of papers, stored boxes, or deferred maintenance issues that we literally don’t see them any more. We are not exaggerating when we say that you may not need that new addition if you get rid of the "stuff" you no longer use.
We suggest that before you start the remodeling process, you vigorously purge your house of clutter and unused and unwanted items. In the assessment process of your house, it is important to objectively see what you really use and need for your current lifestyle. If your last child has graduated from high school, odds are that you do not need that 1980s baby food grinder. No, you will not need it when you have grandchildren.
You may consider hiring a professional organizer to help get your house in order. At the very least, you are going to need the assistance of a friend or relative to keep you on track so you don’t save every drawing from Junior’s preschool days. Once your house is fully organized, you will be in a better position to determine if you still need an addition and — if so — what the correct amount of additional square footage will be. If you do decide to remodel, you will have much less to move and store until the construction is finished.
The old adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” is still true. Many modern-day conveniences make it possible for us to conserve space in our everyday living. We now have full-sized washers and dryers that can stack, minimizing the floor space required. Computers allow us to scan and store all kinds of pictures, information and records; filing cabinets can now be discarded and the space used for something else. New flat-screen TVs no longer consume huge amounts of floor space, and even appliances multi-task: The combination convection/microwave oven is a great space-saver in a new kitchen.
Remember that woman and her quick makeover? She didn’t need an extreme makeover to look like a million bucks. The professional stylists just rearranged what she already had and gave her the look that worked best for her, which made her look beautiful. Even the homeliest of homes will look better with clean windows and organized contents. This will not solve every architectural problem (thank goodness or we would have to retrain as professional organizers!), but it is a good place to start to discover what you truly have and what you actually need.
Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the principal architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to [email protected]