When you first begin to consider a home remodel, whether it’s a whole home renovation or a kitchen or bath transformation, cost and timeline are the most common concerns. However, there are some critical remodeling considerations that can be avoided with some careful planning.

Here are the top ten remodeling design considerations:

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1. USE STYLES DRIVEN BY TRENDS OR FADS SPARINGLY

Whether you’ve purchased a home with lots of potential or have decided to give your existing home a facelift, it can be tempting to use trends and fads to influence your design. However, these in-today-out-tomorrow style statements often don’t age well. To make the most of your remodeling investment, keep structural, architectural, and key materials (such as floors, counters, and cabinets) timeless in design.

There are elements in any design style that you can enjoy long-term, so use those as your foundation. Then, use trendy elements in fabrics, wall colors, and fixtures that can be updated easily and without the need for another major transformation to your home.

The Glenview Bathroom remodel (pictured above) uses timeless elements in both the color and tile selection for flooring and walls. Bright red paint and modern fixtures give the space a contemporary feel, but allow for easy modification should this homeowner decide to make more subtle changes down the road.

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2. MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT

One of the most costly mistakes can be avoided by adequate planning and committing to a budget as well as to design and material selections. While there may be some minor modifications that occur with any home remodeling project, having a detailed plan in place can keep your project moving forward with minimal delays and without breaking your budget.

For large-scale custom renovations like this master suite in Highland Park, defining the space, determining the budget and timeline, and pre-planning the design resulted in this luxurious master suite. Neutral colors, classic design elements, modern cabinetry, and traditional silver-toned fixtures were selected long before the installation team began the project.

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3. UNDERSTAND THE WORK FLOW

Pesky problems such as tight spaces, troublesome doorways, and lack of access are common symptoms of design challenges. Understanding how you plan to use the space is the first step in defining the design and recommended changes.

In this kitchen renovation in Hawthorn Woods, the traffic-friendly design was defined to include easy access to appliances and storage, plenty of workspace, and simple clean-up. Stainless steel appliances flank the cook top while generous marble counters are situated on either side of the farmhouse style sink. A smooth, marble tiled backsplash means easy clean-up after splatters from bubbling pots. Bright lights hanging over the counter area provide excellent task lighting for food preparation.

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4. PROVIDE PLENTY OF COUNTER AND STORAGE

Beyond the obvious needs to renovate, such as updating to a more current or personal style, one of the most common complaints about lackluster rooms is the need for additional counter and storage space.

This bathroom (featured in the photo above) combines basic functionality with plenty of storage and counter workspace. Dual sinks make the most of this smaller space, maximizing the number of people who can utilize the bathroom at the same time. Counter height cabinetry provides this vanity area with extra storage below and on either side of the sinks.

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5. LET NATURE SHINE

While lighting workspaces and primping areas are common sources for lighting, windows also provide an excellent source of both light and heat, especially during cold winter months.

Large, oversized windows (such as those pictured above in this living room) allow plenty of natural lighting and showcase a spectacular view. Additionally, high ceilings adorned with crown molding and an oversized, focal point fireplace make this room a picture of perfection. Another elegant aspect of natural lighting comes as the sun moves throughout the day. Colors look more vibrant in the mornings and shadows play against architectural details such as arched windows, carved details, and high ceiling as evening approaches.

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6. REDUCE MOLD, MILDEW AND COOKING SMELLS

Merge moisture, improper ventilation, and overpowering smells and it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and lasting odors. This is why ventilation is an absolute must in kitchens and bathrooms alike. Not only does ventilation draw out undesirable smells, but it also keeps the humidity level at bay. The end result is that your home will look and smell fresh, and the ventilation will protect your investment by ensuring that your home isn’t overtaken by mold, mildew, and rot that erode material stability.

While this industrial-style riveted hood in this kitchen (pictured above) creates a stunning focal point, it also serves an important role. Hidden behind the steam-punk inspired hood is a ventilation system that alleviates strong cooking smells such as those from boiled eggs, fish, or burned foods, and helps vent excess moisture from brewing pots and pans on the cooktop.

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7. RECOGNIZE YOUR LIMITATIONS EARLY ON IN THE PROCESS

Some projects may be suited for DIYers, such as changing out a light fixture. But when it comes to more complex and grander scale projects, it is wise to recognize when to call in a professional.

The herringbone pattern (above) surrounding this stainless steel fireplace is a perfect example of a project that could easily become too much for a DIYer. The pattern, while simple in nature, is misleading in its complexity. The design requires precise cuts, and alignment. Additionally, installing the fireplace insert itself is not an easy task. It requires the knowledge of natural gas piping and installation, and may require specific alterations to meet the requirements of building code, or to fit in the designated space.

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8. DON’T FORGET TO REFUSE AND RECYCLE

While kitchens often include appliances such as trash compactors and garbage disposals, other rooms of the home may be neglected when it comes to trash and recycling needs. When in the design phase of your project, consider how you can plan for recycling as well as trash needs.

Whether upstairs, downstairs, or on a main floor, laundry areas (such as the one pictured above) often have waste from sources like lint traps and from clothing pockets. Additionally, as fashion changes, there are often opportunities to recycle by way of donating clothing that you no longer need or use.

Mud rooms also often lack adequate recycling since they are generally located near high traffic areas. Provide plenty of cabinets to hide recycle bins, as well as adequate trash solutions to keep school papers and tracked-in-yard-debris at bay.

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9. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

Small details like exposed plumbing or properly finishing drywall are examples of where DIY installations can easily be identified. However, there are more significant details that aren’t considered by DIYers until the project encounters a serious problem.

This elegant wine cellar (above), complete with inlaid floors, stone ceiling, and intricately carved door, bring a bit of Italy into a home. The Mediterranean styling combines a number of materials such as stone, luxury hard woods, and a custom-ordered (or perhaps an antique) door for old-world charm in a new space.

While vintage details and new materials (including built-in wine storage) is pleasing to the eye, this project is filled with opportunities for a project to grind to a halt if handled by a DIYer.

For renovation professionals, however, potential problems and their solutions are easy to identify. Before jumping in and beginning the remodel or new installation, a professional will identify the many trades needed to create a project worthy of your investment. Additionally, remodeling experts establish a design and define the project specifications complete with architectural plans and comprehensive project costs. In other words, a master at remodeling takes on the details and worry so you don’t have to lose sleep during your remodeling project.

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10. SELECTING WHAT’S BEST SUITED FOR THE SPACE.

Imagine white carpet in a mud room, poor lighting in a kitchen prep area, or windows that obscure the perfect view. These are examples where selection of materials, fixtures, and other elements of design are important to the finished remodeling project.

This peaceful lodge-style home office is comfortable and cozy while considering the needs of the space and how it will be utilized by the home owner. Plenty of built-in storage and cabinetry provide ample space for filing, business materials, and other office materials. The hardwood floors are easy to maintain, which is ideal for visitors or customers who may stop by for a face-to-face meeting. The natural stone fireplace provides practical heating during winter months, while the coffered ceilings add a classic “hunting lodge feel” that makes this office space blend with the rest of the home’s eclectic lodge design style.

Whether you’re looking to transform specific rooms or remodel your entire home, Airoom can help you avoid these common (and costly) remodeling mistakes. Contact us today for your free design consultation.

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Photo credits:

• Airoom (Glenview, IL)

• Airoom.com (Highland Park, IL)

• Airoom.com (Hawthorn Woods, IL)

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/443040/Cozy-Cottage-Bathroom-traditional-bathroom-los-angeles

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/312975/Contemporary-Living-Room-contemporary-living-room-phoenix

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/984713/Great-Neighborhood-Homes-transitional-kitchen-minneapolis

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/4080057/Contemporary-Design-contemporary-dining-room-cincinnati

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/1464653/ASID-Showcase-House-Laundry-2012-contemporary-laundry-room-minneapolis

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/1098436/Brownhouse-mediterranean-wine-cellar-phoenix

• http://www.houzz.com/photos/2149423/Fireplace-traditional-home-office-boston