First-World Problem

Cory Sekine-Pettiteby Cory Sekine-Pettite

Recently, I renovated one of the bathrooms in my home. I tore it down to the studs and started from scratch. The process wasn’t easy or swift, but it wasn’t the work that was the difficult part – it was the decision-making. My wife and I spent months determining what materials, fixtures, furniture, and paint colors we wanted to incorporate. We weren’t arguing over tile and faucets – in fact, we generally have the same taste in home décor. What took so long was actually wading through web pages, sifting through materials samples, and working with our wise contractor to create our ideal bathroom.

As you know, home renovations often can seem like herculean chores. Why is it easier to help make design choices for clients (or even friends), but borderline impossible to decide for yourself what tile and fixtures to install in your own residence? Have you experienced this with your own home improvement projects?

Anyway, as I’m sure you can attest, just as soon as the new bathroom started coming together – my “renovation brain” still in high gear – I started thinking of other potential home improvements to tackle. Why do we torture ourselves like this? Why was I already thinking of new ways to stress myself before I could even take a shower in the new bathroom? Was I nesting? Are men actually capable of nesting?

Truthfully, I just want to make a few improvements to my home before moving into a larger space. So now a new fireplace surround and mantle sit atop my renovation list. In this case, the choices are perhaps even more overwhelming. For materials, I can choose among brick, stone veneer, river rock, tile, and so on. Beyond that, I also need to settle on a color scheme. Do I go for a traditional design, or take a more modern approach? And lest I forget, what can I actually afford?

You might be thinking: “Cory, this is where professional designers come in.” And you would be right. The folks who helped us with our bathroom – the same people who helped us redesign our kitchen several years ago – have been invaluable. I have total respect for their broad knowledge, and by extension, the expertise of the larger design/build community. Struggling over materials selection for a home improvement project is a total first-world problem, but I sure am glad to have a wealth of professional assistance just a phone call or email away.