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Ready or not?

Probably not ready, but here we go. As a (not-so-seasoned) professional in the design industry, I'm taking my career a step further by throwing myself (and my wonderful husband) into the chaos of remodeling our first home together. All this in an attempt to gain insight, experience total disarray, and learn to manage my toughest client......myself.

As always when I start a project, I spend countless hours designing, planning, researching and obsessing over every detail. That said, there is still fear in taking that first step, especially when its my own reputation (and money!) on the line. So 2 weeks in to major demo, here are a few important lessons I've learned:

1. Hire someone you trust, and trust them. Even as a designer who can easily visualize the final "outcome", there are always unexpected twists and turns as the project unfolds. My husband and I selected a contractor/carpenter who has been honest and a good communicator from the beginning. A good working relationship can go a long way in helping you sleep better.

2. Once a decision is made, don't look back. Trust the homework you've done to reach your final decision (hopefully you've done your homework), and move forward with confidence. This will go a long way in creating a cohesive finished product. I have to remind myself of this daily, just so you know.

3. Always speak your mind. No matter how much money you're spending, or how detail- oriented the people you've hired are, nobody cares about your project as much as you do. If you don't understand something, ask, and if you're not comfortable with the way something is handled, speak up. Always.

4. There will be dust. Everywhere. In any major renovation (ie. kitchen) where walls are being removed, etc., the dust will be exceptional. Protect what's valuable, and then live with it. It won't be like this forever.

5. Create a "safe haven". If you're living in your home while things are torn up, its important to have somewhere to go that takes you away from the mess. Creating this type of space will go a long way in maintaining your sanity.

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