Steps to do "Remodeling Project" in 2019

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If you are a follower of our blog, you guys know that KD & I moved here in Bay Area early 2017. We bought our house here within 6 months, ever since then, I am working on a massive remodeling project of my own (along with many other small projects). When we both looked back and think about all the homes we put the bid on in 2017 and try to process ourselves that which home didn’t need any remodeling projects; it came down to 2%-5%. This blog post, I would like to dedicate all those new home buyers (especially in Bay Area) and all those who are interested in our e-design services. Before you embark on any kind of “Remodeling Project” here are a few steps you need to take:

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Write down all your wishlist before you contact anyone (i.e. Interior Designers, Architect, Structural Engineer or Contractors)

As an interior designer and recent remodeler, this is my first and foremost advise to anyone. Sometimes, we become so narrow in terms of thinking after exhausting home search (especially in Bay Area) and just think that - “I guess let’s change the flooring of the home”/” I just need to color my kitchen cabinets, will do next later” or “we need bathroom to remodel but right now but we will just paint the home and move”. You hear these kinds of quotes from your friends and family, but for me, it is RED LIGHT!!! It is good to decide that how serious you are and you want to move in first and decide or you are already living there and what you want to take on first, but I would suggest - go to each and every room and create a simple spreadsheet which will identify things you like and things you don’t like. Even though you know, you don’t have a budget for it. It is better to think first “idealist way”.

Contact professional once you have your list of things handy

At this time, you do not have “a project” yet! It is just list of things to do room by room basis and you want to gauge time and money associated with these tasks. One of the biggest challenges for any first time home remodeler is - who to call? Do I need a contractor? Architect? Interior Designer or just call City for a permit?

In my opinion, if you think, you have better taste/knowledge in terms of building material and process, go ahead and call a contractor first! (and skip below step for now!)

But you think, you need someone who can explain the material, texture, and process of remodeling ins & out (based on your location)- I would call Interior Designers/ Designer or Architect (if work contains structural calculations such as roof height change etc.). Interior Designer will provide you more in-depth knowledge in terms of permit requirements(based on the city you live in), contractor’s contacts and overall sources for your project. Once you contact the interior designer, it Is better to call contractors. (our 30 min free consultation will give you a synopsis on what exactly you need for your project).

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Call Contractors at your home and ask for bids and work with the designer as well (It is a gray area to call contractor but you have to do it!)

Here many couple or family will start feeling in their process such as - “why no contractor is coming to my place and giving me “Bid””, most of the time you will hear, “do you have “drawings ready” once it’s ready, I will provide you bid”, but your dilemma is - I need to know how much will it cost, first? Am I reading your mind correctly? If yes, then, it is still better to call contractors (be pushy!)for looking your place and ask for suggestions and “verbal bid” (this is based on your excel list you will explain to the contractor that what you need to get done). It is the best way to make them engage in the design process early. Asking design suggestion might help you to gauge their expertise as well as, what kind of time and money commitment you can provide to yourself with your contractor in this task. (This might be one parameter if you want interior design to take over on your material choices and ordering material).

Call minimum 5 contractors. When KD and I went through our renovation project, we called approx. 6-7 contractor and ask for verbal bids & some design suggestions. In my opinion, It was one of the best steps we took. If they can give you a ballpark number, it would be a great measurement for you to go back to your list and find out what to omit and what to keep. After this process, your list will convert in to “a project”.

Work with your interior designer/designer very closely on your narrow down project and permit drawings

Next step is to start having your interior designer/architect or designer involve in narrow down project goals and get innovative options for you. Every designer work as per their business model but in terms of Simple ‘N’ Chic we give client style quiz based on their needs, and provide 2-3 floor plan options/3D plans as per request. With every revision, Simple ‘N’ Chic team needs the 10-15 business day to finish the final product. (But many other designers work as per their own business model). These permit drawings/3D can send it to a structural engineer or city based on project requirement(if a permit is needed for your project, a determination can be done with the help of your designer). Simple ‘N’ Chic team can be the facilitator in this process with contractors on preparing their bid for your project as well. If you want to facilitator then, It is important to talk to your all short-listed contractors and show them drawings, so that they can get multiple “Written bid offers” as early as possible.

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Decide on your Contractor and Figure out- do you need further Designer/Interior Designer support or not?

Deciding contractor is the most crucial step in this process. Before deciding on the lowest bid, it is good to ask all contractors to show them their finished work, ask their clients about contractors’ work ethics and track record on finishing up their work on time. During this time, you should look for finishing the interior design style. Your design style might be different but you want the same kind of finishing ( I meant ‘perfect’ finishes). KD and I went to several peoples’ places and ask all of them about contractor work ethics. In the end, we finalized a contractor which doesn’t have the lowest bid. Sometimes quality matters when it comes this kind of work. After this process, the contractor can go and pull the permit on his name. It is also one of the crucial steps to have his name for as a “permit-pull”. This will help to make the contractor accountable to finish his/her work in a timely manner.

Last and final step is to decide whether you need designer support or not! After your work start, any designer can help you developing mood boards. Moodboard can be created through your Pinterest inspiration and designer will help you to give you exact sources or similar sources of material. Material purchase and contractor remodel work can be compromised through the critical path method (which I will explain in to later in another blog post). This method will help you to eliminate any remodeling delays from your side.

(ps: Simple ‘N’ Chic is going to publish free template which will explain critical path method and you can work on your bathroom/kitchen or entire home remodel without any problems).

Most couples & family are able to manage this process but sometimes designer help can elevate your interiors drastically.

At it is a satisfactory process and some of these tips might help many home remodeler. :)

Let me know what do you think about these tips!

Meantime see you next time :)!

Ciao!

Simple ‘N’ Chic Team




Watercolor Art and Interior Decor

Art by Simple ‘N’ Chic Interiors

Art by Simple ‘N’ Chic Interiors

When it comes to art and interior design, I feel it is a broad subject to discuss (Duh). KD & I were not able to buy a single piece of an art piece in our first condo since we were so clueless & newbie about what and how to select art pieces, how to fill up the huge wall with statement pieces etc. Decorating a big and large wall with artwork can be daunting especially now we have a huge home in the bay area; I would love to take this opportunity with the large wall art pieces

During the holiday time(since we had time for ourselves after 3-month long guest visits), I started experimenting with watercolors. I tried to keep in mind what kind of interiors we are leaning towards and apply watercolor art techniques in my art pieces. As our home is more transitional styled home, I tried more abstract and botanical art prints. I used gouache water paint color to give more depth into the pictures. These art profiles can go well with modern farmhouse as well as modern contemporary house decor. I would not even second guess myself if I need to put these art pieces in the mid-century modern home. To go well with home decor, I would pay attention to interior material choices, furniture and overall theme of your home. Since this topic is too wide, I would like to shorten my wisdom over here :) feel free to ask me any questions via email or comment section.

In my opinion, this was the perfect blog post to start for this year to beat the January Blues. I feel art is the best outlet to keep the spirit up while there is cold outside, short days. I would love image myself with - a nice bowl of warm soup or tea + Water Color Painting and some excellent Interior Design Inspirations.

To hang my art, I truly followed guidelines from one of my favorite interior designer Studio McGee. I am attaching the links of the guidelines:

https://www.studio-mcgee.com/studioblog/2017/4/6/hanging-art

Designed by Simple ‘N’ Chic Interiors

Designed by Simple ‘N’ Chic Interiors

Designed by Simple ‘N’ Chic

Designed by Simple ‘N’ Chic

This is how I am battling with January Blues. I would love to hear from your side, how are you all dealing with this cold winter?

These watercolor prints will be soon available for our reader to download in our shoppe section!


Love to hear in our comment section.

Xoxo,

Simple ‘N’ Chic Interiors







Happy New Year

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/

Hello All! Wish you a very happy 2019. We as Simple ‘N’ Chic team and myself would like to welcome 2019 with lots of excitements and many more interior design projects. In this coming year, our hope is to define and discover promising interior design themes and present it to you via blogposts or our projects.

These past couple of days, KD and I spend our valuable holiday time in our newly renovated place (which we are planning to show it in our blog soon!). In this time,I took step back and think about all positive changes happen in 2018. I also looked in to my mistakes and tried to put a positive spin as “a lesson learn” for myself and my company for upcoming year. I truly feel that it is important to acknowledge your achievements and enjoy it to fullest before you move on to future. I am so happy for past 2018 and hopeful for 2019. Hope to see you all here in our virtual hang-out place soon!!



Happy New Year again! and see you soon.



Ciao,

Simple ‘N’ Chic

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

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Growing up in India, we never acknowledged our self and surrounding family to be thankful for the life. But I am all about accepting new cultural tradition and adopt positiveness in my life !! I love this american festival where people gathered around and be thankful for everything. In last few years, I developed a practice to myself to spend ten spare minutes and think about there’s so much to thankful in my life. We had pretty rough year in personal and professional end and I am thankful that I got strength to face these challenges. I am always more critical to myself but sometime it is nice to give a break to yourself and think about accomplishments instead just failure. I am excited for coming years and grateful to have wonderful readers!! :)

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving this year, and a healthy serving of pie!!!

Xoxo,

Simple N Chic

California is burning

Photo Source: The Japan Times

Photo Source: The Japan Times

Hello All,

As an interior designer, I truly believe that home is one of the most essential element where a person gets comfort & peace in their life. Home is the one where you would like to remember all sad and happy memories and build your life! I always tell KD that for me comfort and freedom in my home are the most essential things.

As you all know, last two weeks were toughest for California. Two wildfires and gun shots brought series of sad news in our state. As a cali resident, I am truly saddened and stunned with these events. I can’t not imagine what will happen if a person looses the house and there is no where to go while at the same time, San Jose area which is too far away from wildfire, is covered in smoke for a week!!! This last two weeks of November, I am trying to reconcile myself and think positive as much as I can for the victims and at the same time feeling grateful that I am in the position to help someone in-need.

I truly feel as a human being, if we can provide mental and financial support those wildfire victims by providing donations. It can be a great effort of ours. Due to these, this blogpost I would like to urge you all to donate for all these victims.

For donations, please contact Habitat for Humanities in California: https://www.habitatca.org/california-fire-relief/

As it mentioned in Habitat for Humanity website, “Prior to these fires, new housing for low-to moderate-income families was already a significant challenge in California.  It is now critical for affected communities to prioritize rebuilding. Our local affiliates and volunteers will serve a critical role in rebuilding these communities once the fires are contained.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help serve the areas devastated by the wildfires.”

Thanks for all your support!

Simple N Chic