The clients I meet and am fortunate to work with all have the same vein of stress running through their lives – they are all working on home decorating projects. Whether building or renovating every single one of them have major decisions to make and often a great deal of money to consider spending. The reasons why someone would put themselves into this stressful position are varied; some are working on homes for investment or income reasons and others are looking to fix up their homes to sell and move on to another project.
What I see in multiples are the people who seem to borrow this stress – I communicate with clients who are renovating or building for reasons far beyond the here and now. I had a discussion with one lady who was renovating looking at the resale value it would impart on her home. When I asked her when she was putting her house on the market she said, “Oh not for years. I hope to retire in this house.” This woman wasn’t even in her 30s!
Looking forward 20-plus years into a renovation for added value is a fool’s mission and most likely the renovation will be outdated and in need of upgrading in just 10 years. I told her she needed to look at this renovation as something for her enjoyment and to take the pressure of a possible resale off of the table. Hopefully this let her relax and begin shopping for what she loved and not what some futuristic buyer might want.
When working on a home renovation project it is good to remember that most things will last about 10 years. Yes you may buy products with 20, 30 and even lifetime warranties but the truth is the cycle of fashion and even your enjoyment of a product is about 10 years. This applies mostly to soft surface and materials in your home. Carpets, drapery, furniture and linens will have a style and function lifestyle of approximately 10 years due to dirt and cleaning. Harder surfaces such as hardwood, stone and tile can be expected to have a much longer lifespan if the style is still appealing to the eye.
When considering styles of appliances and larger purchases in your home, realize that styles and colours of these items are pretty stable but be careful to avoid trendy colours in appliances and hard fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens if you want longevity out of your purchases. A reputable brand name appliance or bathroom fixture in white will outlast and stay current much longer than an impulse purchase of a wildly coloured item. If you are okay with purchasing new appliances in 10 years then by all means, go ahead and buy that retro-styled turquoise stove but buyer beware – the style will go and something so trendy may not appeal to the next buyer of your home.
As renovation season kicks off into high gear, I encourage you to shop and dream and make your vision a reality for your home. Keep your expectations realistic and worry about the here and now and what makes sense for your life and let the future take care of itself. Home renovations aren’t forever and you may find yourself surprised in 10 years when you are still in your home and needing to spruce it up again!
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.