Keep Calm and Redo

Partner Content: Design Studio West dishes on the secrets to surviving a home renovation.


Surviving a Renovation

Feels Like Home

Once the excitement (and champagne toasting) ends post close on a new-to-you old home, the reality of remodeling an older home can seem daunting. “A top-to-bottom renovation is a massive undertaking and not everyone has the budget, time or resources to do it all at once,” says Karl Utzman, partner and designer at Design Studio West. “Renovating in stages is becoming more common. You might do the kitchen now, the bathrooms in a year and then focus on the outdoor space after that.”

While this seems more manageable, even remodeling one space at a time invites chaos into your house for weeks. Luckily, Karl has a few tips to help you stay sane when you embark on any reno.


“The best remodels happen when clients are on vacation,” Karl says. “It eliminates the stress that can accompany the day-to-day frustrations.” Obviously, technology makes it easy to make decisions from afar, but not having to deal with the mess 24/7 will help everyone breathe easier.


This may sound simple and obvious, but musts have a way of getting lost in the mix of a hundred decisions you need to make during a renovation. Staying focused on the things that are most important to you will help you survive the process. During frustrating days, it helps to visualize your walk-in pantry, wall of windows or graphic flooring.

Know what to replace and what to keep

Part of the charm of purchasing an older home is the original architectural details. “If you’re renovating one room at a time, you want to look at the house as a whole so that it feels cohesive even if it takes a few years to complete. We might keep or replicate a passageway, door style or leaded-glass window we did in the kitchen in the bathroom later on, so there’s a cohesive feel and look throughout the home,” Karl says.

PLAN FOR THE EVERYDAY:  “You still have to go to work, feed the kids and go about your life,” Karl says. With kitchen remodels, he creates a sub kitchen somewhere else in the house. Maybe it’s the garage or another room. Or maybe you plan to renovate when barbecuing and eating outdoors can be part of the routine.


Feels Like HomeLearn more: Contact Design Studio West Company



Categories: Home Design