To Renovate or Not to Renovate

To Renovate or Not to Renovate


Story By Liesel Schmidt

Image by Sarah Marcella of The Scout Guide Alexandria

If you’re like most people over the past year, you’ve thought long and hard about your home and might be rethinking things…like, a lot. You might think about where you would make changes, what you would fix, or how you would like things to look and feel. While you may lie awake at night, contemplating the possibilities and then getting overwhelmed about the actual scope of the project and what it would take to do it all, it’s really not as bad as you think. It’s all about who you know—and what they know.

“The difficulty of a renovation depends on a lot of issues,” says Kristin Try of Kristin Try Art + Interiors in Alexandria. As a designer for the past 10 years Try is an invaluable source when it comes to the ins and outs of renovations and remodels. “For instance, what is the scope of the renovation? A renovation you can live in throughout the process can be more difficult than when you move out, but both require good planning and a team to help make the process as easy as possible. We enjoy working with our clients, architect, and builder to do as much of the legwork as possible before you start the demo. A lot of decisions have to be made during a renovation, and having a team that stays on top of the process with the client makes a renovation much less stressful and can save you money in the long run. The team is used to problem solving and dealing with a majority of issues that come up, so they can pivot and move forward more quickly than a homeowner that is managing a renovation on their own.”

So out of all the rooms in your home, which ones should get your attention? “I believe the best rooms suited for renovations are the rooms that aren’t serving your needs,” Try advises. “In our area, a lot of older homes have rooms that just aren’t functioning in a way that meets the needs of our lifestyles. We love to come in and help determine how to carve out a mudroom or command center for all the stuff that seems to accumulate. Also, unused formal dining or living rooms that would be better served as family rooms are a great renovation. We can help determine what flow makes the most sense for your needs and design to that. We also love opening up kitchens to allow for more family interaction and to better suit your entertaining needs.”

So how long will it take to turn my house into something that I absolutely love? Naturally, that depends on the scope of the project you’re tackling. But with so many people renovating their homes right now, there’s another factor in creating a timeline: competition with other renovations. “You can plan on renovations to take longer than expected during this time, as the supply chain challenges are real,” Try observes. “We’re having to wait for many appliances up to and over six months—the same for kitchen cabinetry and many other materials including tile, countertops, and lumber. Your team will be able to advise you on the best options and often know what is in stock or if a company offers to expedite your items for an extra fee. We are recommending that if you have flexibility and patience, you can move forward with your renovation. However, if you aren’t able to be flexible in the length of time and cost, it is better to wait until the supply chain and demand challenges ease up a little.”

Wise counsel, indeed. Still think you want to renovate? Now you just need one more thing: a designer and a team of pros to handle everything. But the time to hire them is sooner rather than later. “You can’t start talking to your team soon enough; and you should bring in an interior designer at the start of the project, as we really think through the flow and function of the spaces down to the smallest details, from where your light switches make the most sense to what you store in every kitchen cabinet. We also get to the final touches like textiles and decorative lighting that really set your home apart from others and make it feel like you!”

For more information on Kristin Try Art + Interiors,


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