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Vail Design at Altitude column: Create the home you love this spring

Yvonne Jacobs
Design at Altitude
By tackling small projects every year, homes feel and look cared for.
Kimberly Gavin |

Sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all you need to make your home feel updated and welcoming. However, sometimes it takes a good deal more to make the house you own into the home you love. Spring is the perfect time to tackle a remodel. Few of us are ready for a full-on, down-to-the-studs remodel, so I recommend breaking it down into small projects that ultimately result in an exciting finished project.

By tackling small projects every year, homes feel and look cared for. The key, though, is to make sure it melds with the rest of the house so it feels cohesive and not like either a one off or an after thought. This year, I am going with clean, white lines and paint. I can hardly wait to see the finished project.

Make a plan

Before tackling cosmetic projects, pay attention to the unglamorous side of a renovation: the guts of your home. Make sure the heating and AC is working correctly and efficiently. If it’s in your budget, then install some up-to-date, energy efficient smart appliances and replace filters. Clean out grout — small things such as this help keep your home looking fresh.

A few other tips I have learned along the way: You get what you pay for. I am not saying this because I am a designer by trade, but because it’s true. Pick materials carefully otherwise the project won’t look as polished as you hoped or might even end up being in disrepair much sooner. Spending money on a trained professional, especially for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, architectural or construction needs, is money well spent.

That’s not to say a reno can’t be DIY. Being prepared makes the remodel go as smoothly as possible. No matter the size, whether you’re tiling or tearing out a kitchen, prep. Create a plan, figure out the materials you will need and prepare the area. Boring? Yes. Time and cost savings? Yes. It’s worth the time it takes. This is also the time to create a realistic timeline and to plan to be out of the house say, when the hardwood floor is refinished. Remember, renovations can take longer than you think it should. Don’t forget to check about permits in your town and county. It’s a shame to put a ton of work into a project to find out it’s not legal.

Have fun with it

A few easy projects that can transform the look of your home include replacing lights. Change from an outdated chandelier to something sleek and contemporary. Add baseboards or wainscoting to increase the visual appeal of a room. Really it just depends on your style, your budget and what you want the finished home to feel like.

Are you ready to take on a home renovation? Have fun with it. And don’t feel like you have to go it alone. There are so many artisans in this area who have excellent ideas and tips and they make the process so much easier.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She loves working with color, whether it’s a small splash or bold statement.


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