Breegan Jane, who you probably already know from the latest season of HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, is lending her expertise for this month’s Do As a Designer Does. The interior designer, children’s book author, TV personality, and mom of two made her name in Los Angeles, where she has designed and styled anything from music studios, real estate projects, and luxury yachts.
My question for you has to do with renovations. Where do you draw the line between designing for yourself and recognizing a resale in the future?
Simply put, always consider what has stood the test of time when designing your home. Go for a look that’s been around in some capacity for decades, instead of one that’s just popular right now. For example, marble countertops are definitely having a moment, but if we look back at history, marble slabs are definitely not “trendy”—they’ve been around for centuries! In a way, drawing inspiration from 18th-century European castles, for example, is a safer bet than only considering new, cutting-edge materials. You should also consider the year your home was built to select finishes and materials.
I also think it’s important to trust your gut, even if you’re not a design professional. I’ve learned that staying authentic to who I am as a designer actually produces my best work. If you have your eye on a finish that’s a bit avant-garde or artistic, that may create more value in your home in the long run. Remember, you can always tone down something that’s a little “out there” with a neutral color palette. Classic, palatable colors will ensure that your home will still appeal to a wide range of people!
When it comes to selecting materials, focus on quality and durability. If you’re installing new countertops, for example, pick a stone that’s tough, stain-proof, and will still look brand-new when you leave the home years later. If your space features brick, don’t overcorrect it—you can’t unpaint it later! Hardware can be switched out, but keep permanent drill holes in mind. For a backsplash, running a slab up the back wall is simple, easy to clean, and timeless. No matter what you choose, don’t equate quality to the dollar amount spent. For me, quality is endurance and longevity.
Fortunately, the sky’s the limit when it comes to anything you can pick up and take with you to the next house. You can always change the wallpaper or repaint walls. Mirrors, plants, throw pillows, blankets, furniture, and the like are all places for you to infuse your personality. Have fun with it!
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