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Design Design Tips

Part Two: Remodeling our 100-Year-Old Edwardian

January 27, 2018

If you didn’t happen to catch the last post on our remodel, see here for an overview of the project, including the floor plan and our future plans for the home. Like any project that includes demo, it’s so fun to see the house transform so quickly. I feel some panic at this stage, yet I’m watching with pure joy and excitement. It’s been a year and a half since we bought this home. I’m lucky that the contractor overseeing the project is one I work with regularly on my client projects. It goes without saying that  I would never use a contractor on a client project that I wouldn’t use in my own home. Having trust in your team not only makes the project move smoothly but also brings down the stress level immensely.

How the Scope of the Project Has Changed

A firm scope for a remodel is ideal prior to starting a project; it helps to move it along and on the timeline you set while keeping you on budget. However, when you get into the project, you will often find as walls are removed, etc. that you start to see things that you may not have thought of before. This is common, and it’s okay to add as long as you keep in mind the end goal and don’t start on items that you will have to undo later if it’s a phased remodel.

We added a few things pretty quickly; first was the addition of some lighting. We had planned to do a small header between the kitchen and the hallway, but when it was opened up we decided against it so we could make the two ceilings meet. Since you now have a clear shot of the kitchen ceiling, we are going ahead and adding recessed lighting in the kitchen to be consistent with the family room and hallway rather than waiting to do this in a later phase.

The second change was in the family room; we decided to remove the board and batten. Don’t worry, I love the period details that came with our home, but for us, the height of the molding made it difficult to hang art.  We have so much molding in the home that we wanted this wall to be clean and simple; besides, this seems to let dust cling, and I’m constantly wiping them down.

{ Above: a new plaster ceiling medallion for our home and an old existing corbel that we will have replicas made of for the new opening between the family room and kitchen.}

Period Elements with Edwardians – preserving and removing

I know I will receive some pushback from removing the board and batten, but hear me out; we have a ton of molding in our home, and to be honest, it’s not my favorite.This room also really only has it on one wall as now we have the large opening, and windows and fireplace /bookshelves take up the other two walls, so to leave it feels inconsistent.  It is extremely important to both my husband and me to keep or bring back to life some of the period details that were in the home but had been removed by previous owners/tenants.  I’m working with a local artist that finds and makes replicas from original Victorian and Edwardian trim work and other period details found in SF homes to bring back some of the details that we love.

The Unexpected – the good and the bad 

With any project, you may find yourself with a few surprises in front of you; some are good and some are not so happy surprises. In order to best prepare for these, I can only stress enough that while you have a budget, be sure to keep some money to the side for these little or big {surprises} that need to be dealt with.  For us, there was an old gas line in a wall that needed to be cut and removed and a new water heater that was necessary when the old one didn’t work after the gas was turned back on.  On the positive side – I would rather replace the water heater now than have it leak and cause damage in the not so distant future. So while nothing was a major expense, always set some budget aside for the unknown. Contractors, designers, architects, none of us are magicians and has hard as we try to prepare, none of us can see exactly what is in all of the walls or fully predict what may pop up as a remodel progresses, so keep that fund available.  Having a team that you trust is vital to handle with ease any surprises that do arise.

Planning a remodel and want design help? I’d love to hear from you! Contact me here, I’d love to work together.

I hope you enjoyed this manicured post.

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