Creating Dreams


What to consider before starting a design/renovation project.

Renovations are disruptive and finding the right designer or contractor is important. When getting a referral make sure that the scope of work is similar and that the person you hire has the right skill set. Personalities are also important as a typical project can last three-six months or even years.

The first question that needs to be asked is who is the renovation for? If you are planning to live in the house 5 years or longer, you can focus on your own needs and preferences: If less, you need to focus on what sells in the market.

The second question is how much money is in the budget? People tend to overspend on renovations. During the course of a project, opportunities always come up to spend more money. More is not always better. Not making impulse decisions will save you money and often give you a better result.

Whatever the size of project take the time to create the vision. The more you know about the finished result the smoother the project will go. A simple change can compound into an expensive fix making everyone unhappy. Plan, plan, plan… there will be enough challenges to deal with.

We always ask our clients to create a wish list and to cut out articles and pictures on their likes and dislikes. The goal here is to uncover your personal taste, not repeat what has been shown. Remember, because it looks good in a magazine does not necessarily mean it will work in your home.

Much of our business has been updating houses to current lifestyles. We will look at a home and consider how the space is being used or underused. We will look for ways to reorganize the space to be more efficient. Moving a few walls and plumbing can be a lot less expensive than building an addition.

When considering an addition it is equally important to integrate that addition into the flow of the house. You may break even in your investment by adding on space but you will add value to your home if the addition is seamless and has that “was always meant to be” feel.

Our construction design is focused on functionality and usability but with detail that adds the “wow” factor. Fine garments are distinguished by stitching details. The same runs true for kitchens, baths, and interior/ exterior elements of a home. It costs more to add detail but finding the right balance adds value.

Respect the house. There are certain styles that work together and it takes experience to know how to update and still have a comfortable mix. Our formula is to lean towards classic design. Our portfolio has a lot of classic French/English country but recent projects have been more of what we would call organic contemporary. We do not recommend trendy as it becomes quickly dated.

At Tamerlane we share our experience and educate our clients throughout the project helping them make informed decisions. Mistakes are costly and taking the easy way out on a design/construction decision has cost many home construction projects dearly.

You can connect directly with Barb Shaughnessy by email or call us at 905 838 5182


Barb Shaughnessy