Do not get me wrong, I LOVE MY HOUSE, as you know if you follow me on Instagram! However there are some things I definitely with I would have done differently. Time and money were a constant issue when we moved into our home. We were living in the back half of our house with two babies that were both under two years old at the time, and we had more projects then dolla bills. You can see tons of before and after photos HERE of our home pre-renovation.
First, let’s talk wall texture. We have this chunky orange peel texture in our home and because we were knocking out a whole room and lifting our kitchen ceilings we had an opportunity to pay a little more to have the whole home re-textured to a beautiful modern smooth texture. Due to being exhausted of this renovation and the fact that we were already living in half of the home (how would we retexture the part we were already living in?) we decided to just match the existing texture and hope for the best. The best meaning that we had plans to shiplap most of the house any ways. Surprisingly it has bothered me more then I thought. Orange peel textured walls make simple things like wall papering, wainscoting and painting fun patterns on the walls way more difficult. You can’t get straight lines and need to add wood or try making your own smooth texture when putting up any architectural wood detailing. Wallpaper sticks to the texture of your walls, if you have textured walls, then you have textured wall paper. That bothers me! Ha hindsight is 20/20 right?? If you have the money and the time, I highly suggest smoothing out that wall texture to give you a beautiful smoother surface to build on. Since then, we have added more shiplap but kids rooms and bathrooms are still textured and hinder my ability to create some of the spaces I have been imagining.
Second, lighting. We added quite a few canned lights in common areas as best we could imagine while our house was torn apart and covered in insulation. After we put the house back together I found quite a few spaces that were in need of extra lighting or that would look great with beautiful wall sconces or pendant lights. Although I have found a great electrician, it has been a messy process to add can lights to the hall, wall sconces to the family room and pendants in the kitchen, and guest room. I wish I would have slowed down and really thought about where I needed lights before we dry walled everything back up AND I AM A FREAKING INTERIOR DESIGNER! You would think I should have known better. Well when you are in the school of life, you learn as you go. Take it from me and save your self a mess in the future.
I am an interior designer by profession and yet this was my first fixer upper. I was surprised by how difficult and stressful it was to live through and accomplish all of the changes and upgrades our home needed. They make it look so easy on HGTV and I was crying everyday in my car as I pulled up to that red and yellow house, knowing I had to go face the mess and late nights of living in a renovation. So my last piece of advice is, if you can, DO NOT LIVE IN YOUR RENOVATION! Ha sleep at your in laws or your parents. Heck, sleep at a hotel, but take it from me and do not bring your three young kids to a ceiling-less house with no kitchen and try and be happy. You will gain ten pounds from all of the takeout food you are forced to eat and your marriage will surely suffer! Hahaha I hope this helps and I hope you learn from my mistakes, because watching an old beat up house become the house of your dreams is worth it! Do not be afraid of a fixer upper, just plan ahead. Love you friends!
Leave me all of your home decor and renovation questions in the comments, and I will answer them Saturday Dec 2nd in an insta live video!