Earlier this week, I met with one of my clients at her home. She and her husband purchased this house within the last couple years. Last Fall, I helped with redesigning her kitchen, and now we are working on creating on office space and furnishing the rest of her first floor.
As I was measuring a space off her master bedroom, I caught of glimpse of her master bathroom. From my view point, it looked particularly pretty and well done – lots of white marble tile paired with aqua glass mosaic, a huge frameless glass shower, a soaker tub and a double vanity.
After I finished up and was getting ready to leave, I mentioned to her how pretty it looked and asked if she had remodeled it. She said no, that the previous owners had remodeled it. And, then she took me into the bathroom and showed me that while it was pretty, it wasn’t very functional and that certain details were very poorly done. She said, “I think they just went to (insert big box store name here) and had everything done through there.”
As I thought about it more, I realized what a shame it was that the previous owners hadn’t hired a professional designer to help them through the process and make sure that the project was executed properly. I estimate that this bathroom cost between $30,000 and $40,000, which is a lot of money for something that doesn’t work and isn’t perfectly finished.
For example, the vanity was obviously a stock piece and didn’t fit in the space properly. The countertop had gaps around the edges that the contractor attempted to cover up with pieces of marble trim (not a good look). The storage was less than ideal, and instead of medicine cabinets, they used decorative mirrors. Those can look great but not if the lack of storage isn’t made up for somewhere else.
If my client is ever up for it, I’ll suggest completely tearing out the vanity and having a new one made from semi-custom cabinetry to fit exactly, swapping the mirrors for medicine cabinets and recessing some shelving into the adjacent walls. The sad part is that this solution probably wouldn’t have cost any more if it had been planned for from the beginning.
So, if you’re considering any sort of renovation project, think about calling an interior designer first. She may be able to more than make up her fee by saving you money on costly mistakes. Even if you don’t think a full service designer can fit into your budget, many designers, myself included, would be happy to meet with you for a couple hours to answer questions, make suggestions, and do some quick sketches to get you off on the right foot.