How did I become so invested in empowering women to be strong leaders in their own home improvement projects?
As a young female architect, I’ve faced skepticism and dismissal from male colleagues and contractors throughout my career. But over many years and many projects I’ve learned to push back confidently and achieve the results I believe in. Not everyone has the luxury of building this confidence over time, especially women homeowners who may only go through one or two remodels in their lifetime.
Better Remodels (For Everyone) with a Master Plan
I created the Master Plan method as a direct response to my experience in residential architecture.
15min read You can enjoy every phase of your remodel, from planning to leading to living in your finished home!
I bet you can’t wait to enjoy your remodel … being done. You’re set to tuck into your new banquette with your morning coffee or to slip into your Onsen tub and be so HAPPY that it’s all done.
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wait until everything is finished to enjoy your remodel. You can enjoy every phase of your remodel, from planning to leading to living in your finished home!
I know we frequently hear how stressful remodeling is and all the challenges homeowners face along the way. The process of remodeling is often viewed as something to slog through on your way to the the prize.
Are you hoping to make your remodel more expensive? I bet you aren’t.
But so.many.people make the same remodel planning mistakes that are pretty much guaranteed to make your remodel more expensive than it needs to be! Plus they won’t add any value to the remodeling process, the life you’ll lead in the house when it’s done, or how much you like the look of your finished project.
Now, I can’t tell exactly what your remodel plans will cost or how to plan the idealized, cheapest best project.
Many of the choices you can make that will add or reduce your costs depend on more than one factor in your life.
19min read An owners’ suite has become a must have in modern homes, but less than a generation ago almost half of homes were still without indoor plumbing. So how did our bathroom expectations change so drastically in such a short time? And more importantly, how the heck do you fit an owners’ suite into a modest mid-century ranch?
Does the primary bed/bed configuration – the owners’ suite – in your mid-century home leave a lot to be desired? Maybe you a have a glorified powder bath tucked in next to your bedroom through a pocket door. Perhaps your ranch has one bath for you, the family, and any dinner guests who use the main floor!
If you wish for a little more from your bed and bath configuration … You’re not alone!!
22min read Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.
Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN Sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.
Now when you think about a drawing that’s related to your remodel plan you are probably thinking of a blueprint. If you are, there are two things you need to know. One, blueprints haven’t been blue since, oh, before I went to design school. And two, they are the least interesting drawings in your remodel.
They also take months, years or even decades to complete depending on the complexity of the project. A sketch can be done in moments. It’s simple and yet surprisingly effective and evocative.
And here’s why. It’s not just less, it’s centralized. It shows the details that matter and only the details that matter. A sketch is precise to the level that you create it with no expectation of accuracy. It allows us to talk about the shapes and forms of things, the overall relation of length and width.
This week we’re revisiting the best of our 25 days of design in hopes of sparking your sense of wonder about your home, boosting your remodel confidence and providing concrete advice on making your 2023 remodeling dreams come true.
‘Tis the season! Around the holidays, everyone likes to add a little charm to their home. Shortening daylight makes us think about how to maximize the comfort and joy inside. Bringing out seasonal decorations makes us take a fresh look at the space where we spend our days and share holiday traditions. As well it should – we need a recurring chance to reevaluate how well our homes suit our lives!
This season of revelry and reflection is a great opportunity to dream a little bigger than holiday decor. While you’re thinking about how to make your house merry and bright for the season, let’s also think about how to improve it in the medium and long-term!
13min read Use the holidays to focus your remodel plans.
I want you to use your holiday prep time to plan your remodel.
Okay, Before you tell me, Della, that’s crazy. I can’t plan a remodel right now. The holidays are when I’m busiest.
You’re right. Of course you can’t. You know me. I wouldn’t ask you to make your life harder when it’s already full. But … what if I told you that you could also use this time to focus your remodel planning and make real progress without spending time picking out tile or making phone calls?
Instead, make your future life easier by harnessing all of the satisfactions (and frustrations) that are part of the celebratory times in your house.
14min read If you’ve ever wished to just open up a wall in your house but worried it would be too expensive, too difficult or downright risky, I hope you’ll feel less so at the end of this episode!
If you’ve ever wished to just open up a wall in your house but worried it would be too expensive, too difficult or downright risky, I hope you’ll feel less so at the end of this episode!
True, there are some areas of your house structure you don’t want to carelessly change – for fear of bringing down the whole thing!
You sure do need to know where your bearing walls are and what they are. But once you know where your home’s structure is … and isn’t … you’ll be better able to “see through the walls” and open up some great flow in your home!
Tune in for some rules of thumb for identifying structure AND some easy design cheats to open up space in the structure you have without costly re-engineering!
14min read Make sure you get the best value in your remodel and JUSTIFY your time, energy and expense by considering how you can tweak the layout of your home to fit your life!
Here’s how you can get the best value in a remodel … you can super charge any remodel using adjustments to your home’s layout. By the way … this episode and topic are the PERFECT preamble to this weekend’s Mid-Century Design Clinic. Listen up here and then go save your seat for the Workshop!
Look, beautiful finishes can make your life so shiny and pretty.
You can wake up in the morning and smile because of the color of your bedroom wall.
Touching the surfaces of your kitchen cabinets can bring you genuine joy multiple times a day.
The perfect paver stones under your feet on the patio can be warm, smooth, and classy.
But just changing the surfaces of things doesn’t have a power to change your life the way adjusting your layout can-do.