Designing a Kitchen, Bath or Home Office Virtually During COVID

There's no denying the challenges of social distancing. It may be necessary for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, but that doesn't make it any easier to handle the cabin fever that naturally accompanies endless hours at home.

Following several months of adjusting to a new way of life, homeowners are understandably eager for a change of pace. For many, that has arrived in the form of remodeling. If nothing else, we'll emerge from this COVID era with beautiful, functional spaces that make staying at home easier to handle.

 

Why This Is the Perfect Time for Remodeling

It's easy to see why home projects such as remodeling are such a big deal right now: we're in desperate need of distraction. Netflix and social media can only occupy us for so long. Renovations help us get our minds off the pandemic, and, instead, focus on one of the few things in life we can actually control.

From planning layouts to choosing design details, and finally, executing the project, every step of the process allows us to exercise our creativity. The final product delivers an undeniable sense of satisfaction.

Beyond fulfilling the need for a creative outlet, remodeling projects offer a variety of other advantages during this difficult time. These include the following:

  1. The opportunity to optimize your house for a social distancing lifestyle. Chances are, you and your loved ones currently make full use of several spaces that once went neglected. Your bedroom, living room, and kitchen have become offices, classrooms, or rec rooms when needed. These new purposes will be easier to fulfill if such spaces feature a more flexible layout.
     
  2. Previous plans to purchase a new home have been scrapped, forcing you to make the most of your existing space. With the right touches, your home can feel like a completely new environment — without the hassle or expense of moving.
     
  3. Designers and contractors currently have more time available to assist you with the remodeling process. As the economy begins to open up, they are already seeing an uptick in demand. Virtual visits provide flexible scheduling while also allowing you to get a head start. For now, designers have more time to dedicate to details, thereby ensuring that every aspect of your project is done to perfection.
     
  4. A variety of package deals and other special offers are currently available. These discounts can make the renovation process surprisingly affordable.

 

Finding the Right Designer Or Contractor During COVID-19

Selecting a designer or contractor is never easy. A variety of considerations should be taken into account, including everything from scheduling and budget to aesthetic preferences. Add COVID-19 into the mix, and the process becomes that much more complicated.

As you seek a trustworthy professional to handle your renovation project, keep an eye out for these key attributes:

  1. Your designer or contractor should be willing to meet with you virtually. A strategic system should be enacted for handling the potential complexities of digital consultations. If you intend to complete any portion of the planning process on an in-person basis, your designer should also clarify which precautions will be enacted, such as sanitizing offices or requiring face masks.
     
  2. Don't forget precautions when the actual process of renovating your home begins. The potential for spreading the virus will still exist at this point, but it can be mitigated with the right measures. Discuss specifics for various aspects of the project, such as cabinet or counter installation.
     
  3. Regardless of your designer's specific social distancing and sanitizing strategy, communication is key. You should enter the process knowing exactly what to expect. This will ensure that you feel confident every step of the way.
     
  4. As with any renovation project, all designers and contractors should be licensed and insured. A detailed contract — complete with payment terms and a timeline — should be reviewed and signed prior to beginning the project. The contract should also include provisions for fixing any imperfections that become evident after the job has been completed.

 

The Benefits of Virtual Meetings

You've decided to move forward with a remodeling project — and you're excited to get started. Now, it's time to schedule that initial consultation. This is your chance to explain your vision and learn more about your options.

At one time, this first step was typically completed in person. Increasingly, however, many homeowners prefer to tackle this part of the process online. Virtual meetings provide an extra element of flexibility while also making it easier to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

With a digital approach, there's no need to worry whether designers will wear masks, remain socially distant, or properly sanitize offices and showrooms. Instead, meetings can be conducted from the comfort of home. Beyond protecting you and your loved ones from the coronavirus, virtual meetings minimize the usual hassles associated with traditional appointments, including traffic, parking, and finding childcare.

 

How to Prepare For Your Virtual Design Meeting

Thorough preparation will help you make the most of every minute of your virtual get-together. Keep the following considerations in mind as you get ready:

  1. Do you want to remodel a specific area within your home? Or are you ready for a full renovation? Which spaces require the most attention?
     
  2. What does your project budget look like? Keep in mind that, while the coronavirus economy may prompt some cutbacks, renovations represent a valuable investment that could pay off both in terms of current usability and future home value.
     
  3. What do you envision for the final product? Do you hold any aesthetic preferences that you'd like the designer to incorporate? Look to resources such as Pinterest or Houzz for inspiration. Let your designer know if any looks are off-limits.
     
  4. If your renovation project involves cabinet construction, determine which styles fit your needs and aesthetic preferences. Begin by examining the differences between traditional, transitional, and contemporary design, as well as door styles: inset, full, or overlay. Likewise, you may prefer a painted or stained finish. A specific type of hardware can complete the look.
     
  5. Another key consideration for cabinets: storage and accessories. Options such as roll-out trays or lazy Susans can make a huge difference in the functionality of your space.
     
  6. Examine different types of counters — especially as they relate to your preferred cabinet style. Which materials will fit the overarching theme of your renovated space? Which options allow you to remain within your allocated budget?
     
  7. Take a close look at other design elements, such as backsplash, flooring, light fixtures, and appliances. The goal should be a cohesive look that allows you to make the most of your budget and also improve the general functionality of the space.
     
  8. While it's possible to view styles online, it's sometimes easier to get a sense of your options if you view them in person. Inquire whether your designer is willing to ship or drop off materials for you to examine on your own time.

With a detail-oriented approach to the renovation process, it's possible to transform your home while still abiding by social distancing protocol. Make the most of this exciting opportunity to create a look you love.

At Plain & Fancy, we are committed to meeting your interior design needs while also keeping you and your loved ones safe. We follow all recommended CDC guidelines and are pleased to offer virtual solutions. Contact us today to learn more.

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