Upscale Remodeling on a Budget

I always smile when I hear the saying “Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget”. It means something to me. When I give (free) estimates to homeowners, I hear about their visions and their dream kitchen/basement/bathroom, but they can be horrified when they hear just how much that dream will cost them. My advice is always the same… “together, let’s look at what we can do to give you a spectacular look, within your budget.” And with over three plus decades of expertise, I must share that we do accomplish this: successfully.

Interior Excellence is an interior renovations company that can make your desires into a reality. We specialize in kitchen, bathroom and basement renovations. We are a One Stop Design Shop, and can meet all of your design and renovation needs. You only deal with us, and we handle permits, architectural plans, plumbing, electrical, flooring and all design needs. We take you shopping, provide you with 30 plus years of design expertise and pass our designer discounts on to you.

We can turn any home, in any neighborhood, into a showcase, and we do that on your budget. And, I am happy to share some of the tricks of the trade with you.

Kitchens:

Here, at Interior Excellence, we love to remodel kitchens. We take them from old and outdated to updated and beautiful! We discuss all details with you and come up with a grand plan, within your budget. I promise to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. I will take you shopping to kitchen showrooms, and help you pick out the cabinets, countertops, hardware and your backsplash, all within your price range. (I also pass my designer discounts on to the homeowner.) We will discuss your lighting and flooring needs (so many options out there to meet design and budget needs). We don’t leave any stone unturned.

 

Interior Design and Budget Secrets:

Knowing when to splurge and when to save.  For kitchens, we will choose beautiful cabinets, along with accompanying hardware, countertops and the backsplash, all  within your price range. When it comes to lighting, we take extra care because we know eyes are often drawn to the lighting above the kitchen island, so we want those lights to make a statement. When it comes to flooring, wood floors always work, but ceramic tiles also give the room a feeling of design and warmth and we can pick affordable tile to complement your design. Not just what tile we pick, but the manner in which we lay the tile, can make all of the difference

Bathrooms:

How many times have you walked into a hotel bathroom or spa and thought, “if only.” Well, now is the time to replicate that spa in your own bathroom.  Why not, it’s easier than you think. Just think “luxury”, let your imagination soar and turn your bathroom into your sanctuary. Together we will discuss your color preferences, do you want earth like tones (think nature), neutral colors such as pale greens or pale greys (think relaxation and calm), or do you want to go all white (think upscale luxury.) We will discuss bathroom cabinets (and the hardware). We will discuss tub preferences (soaking, stand alone, Jacuzzi) and showers (massaging shower heads.) We will discuss flooring and lighting options (Dimmer switches are a necessity for your in-home spa, as is interesting lighting above your mirror.) And speaking of mirrors, do you want a standard mirror, or more of a design statement?  And most women tell me “their must have” is the hanging magnifying mirror.

Interior Design and Budget Secrets:

While a soaking tub is the essence of a spa-like bathroom, most manufactures have a wide variety of soaking tubs (and price ranges.) Depending on your budget, we can discuss high-end options; temperature controlled medicine cabinets, heated floors and warming drawers for your towels or more budget friendly ideas such as warming bars for your towels. Often spas are minimalistic (think de-clutter). We can discuss a closet in your bathroom (to hide your toiletries and towels) or visual storage space where you can store your towels (think about rolling them) and toiletries (think storing cotton-balls and Q-tips in apothecary jars on display, or add a tray (mirrored, silver, gold) to your counter top to display items). Adding some artwork can run from high end to very inexpensive (look at antique shops, furniture stores, frame your own photographs.) We can share other budget design ideas that will give your bathroom a huge bang for your buck (i.e. adding beautiful towels and area rugs, adding scented candles and adding aromatherapy machines (so many at every price point), and of course, a tub tray for your champagne bottle and glass (we did mention unwinding after a long day, didn’t we?)

Living Spaces (living rooms, family rooms):

Often it takes little in the way of renovations to update your family living space. In terms of wall color, I urge my clients to pick a color palette (often a classic neutral shade) that flows (I spend a lot of time with customers, discussing color, painting samples on your wall and giving you time to live with it.) Crown molding is an excellent option to add to your rooms. Flooring is also important. Do you want hard wood floors (upscale) where you can add rugs or do you want ceramic tile.  Does your flooring flow from room to room? Furniture, of course is a personal choice. But, keep in mind that an over-accessorized living space can appear messy and unkempt, while scaling back on accessories (which also scales back on expenses), and keeping a balance to the room creates a more sophisticated space. Most importantly, it is the extras that we add to our living space that can “scream” luxury.

Interior Design and Budget Secrets:

The secrets to upscale living space are simple and do-able on any budget. Be mindful when you walk into upscale stores or hotels. Often the spaces are clean, without clutter. If you have an entryway, use it to make a statement (perhaps a table, a vase with flowers, a hanging mirror, a leaning mirror or a piece of art.) Keep your living space clutter free and organized.  If you love high end materials but can’t afford them, utilize them on a smaller scale (i.e. if you love marble then buy a table with marble inlays, if you love sculptures, scour antique stores or consignment shops for unusual pieces (many of my clients have found that furniture stores carry interesting modern sculptures.)  I have found unique (and affordable) antique vases that I have displayed in our homes. Art also is a personal choice, and can be purchased on any budget. Unique pieces can make all of the difference (think antique stores, furniture stores, art or craft fairs where local artists display their work.) I have been told that Etsy is a sight where you can buy unique and creative pieces for your home, although I have not personally shopped there. I do however check out the local Home Goods. Think about your window treatments. Most designers would agree that draperies are worth a splurge because they “scream” luxury. Lighting is also important. Do you want extravagant lighting, recessed lighting, dimmer switches or lights with ceiling fans? I have found fabulous, one of a kind lighting at antique shops. My last word on the family space… the big TV.  From a design standpoint, it brings down the sophistication of the room. Do you really want the television to be the focal point of the room? As a designer, I would opt to create a design where the television blends in, rather than stands out (Personal choice, as I know many families who would not agree with me!)

Bedrooms:

As with living rooms, bedrooms don’t necessarily require a tremendous amount of renovations. They can often use some fresh paint, and perhaps some crown molding. Faux painting can also make a bedroom stand out. But when it comes to taking a bedroom from drab to upscale, it is the details that count! And those are easy to accomplish on a budget!

Interior Design and Budget Secrets:

To present an upscale feel, keep the room clean, organized and clutter free. If you have a piece of furniture that no longer matches the current color scheme or décor, think about refinishing it. (My wife had a lingerie chest that she loved, but no longer matched the décor and once refinished, she loved it all over again.) If you are keeping dressers, think about changing the hardware. If you currently have a headboard and footboard, you might want to get rid of the footboard and utilize a bench, ottoman (or interesting trunk for storage) at the foot of the bed. Think about putting a tray on your nightstand to hold collectibles (functional, beautiful, and available to match any decor.) If you have hard wood floors, think about adding an interesting area rug. (I have found beautiful rugs, when upscale stores have huge sales.) Simply changing your comforter and pillows to match a new color scheme will change everything (available for all budgets, think Home Goods!) You can also add a throw blanket to the end of your bed (my wife has her eye on a faux fur one), which will always add a level of class and comfort. On end tables, don’t forget you can add interesting lamps (for a luxury look, think about hotel rooms, where they balance the bed, with the same end table and lamp on each side. You can find lamps with interesting, unique lamp shades). As in the living room, custom draperies can be a splurge and add luxury to the room. And don’t forget artwork, which gives a personal touch and impact to the room.

It is time to live in the lap of luxury, on any budget. You deserve it!

For a free in-home estimate, call  Myles Albert at (908) 218-0200