I just finished perusing a copy of Sarah Susanka’s book Not So Big Remodeling. What a fantastic resource for anyone considering a home remodeling project! Sarah and I share many of the same ideas when it comes to home remodeling – bigger is not always better.
Clients are often concerned that they don’t have enough space to make their kitchen, bathroom, (insert room here), the room the REALLY want. This belief stifles them into doing nothing. I feel, however, that you truly can create an amazing space – even if it’s small! In fact, it’s often even more accessible for clients to get that “magazine cover” look in a smaller space. With fewer square feet to cover, upgrading your finishes isn’t quite so daunting. For example, that $25/sq. ft. backsplash tile takes a big bite out of a budget when you need 60 square feet to complete your kitchen. However, when the backsplash only requires 20 sq. ft. of tile, it becomes much more affordable to add that custom touch.
I also think builders and remodelers (and, yes, even architects sometimes!) too often add space just to add space. Adding square footage to a room simply for the purpose of making it bigger isn’t enough. That extra space needs to be useful! Adding an extra 2 feet to the width of a living room may mean that you can now fit your grandmother’s antique chair in the corner. Or, it could mean you have a really big walkway through the room! More isn’t always better when it comes down to function.
A better way to approach a remodeling project is to really analyze your space needs. Do you really need to add on to your kitchen? Perhaps your current cabinet space is just fine, but the configuration is all wrong, creating traffic flow problems with more than one cook in the space. Or, maybe your appliances aren’t conveniently located. Or, the lighting is bad. It’s amazing what good design, good lighting, good color choices, can do in a space. More space isn’t automatically the answer; it may be the best choice, but there are other ideas to explore as well.
I would encourage you to pick up a copy of Sarah’s book and take a peek. If any of you have read it, and would like to offer your opinions here, I would love to hear from you!