When I was walking around in my threadbare sweaters and ratty old t-shirts, I would get those loose threads caught on things, or discover in an awkward moment that people could see through my sweater or my pants. Or, the horror of the hole in my leggings... in a particularly embarrassing location.
I never thought that I was worthy of the higher end clothing. Rich ladies shopped at high-end retail locations. I was a bit sloppy. I am careless and rough on my clothing- why would I spend the money on something high end just to damage it and feel that much worse about it?! My solution? I got a few high-quality items that I adore and feel really great about and scored a couple of other great items on consignment. Seriously... Eileen Fisher for $20!! I still managed to get my bargain deal but went for a quality piece that I knew would last and really make me feel good about wearing it. Not only that, but a big surprise to me is that these high end pieces take my abuse and last a LOT longer!
Designing our home is the same. No, we can't all afford brand new custom cabinets, the highest end recycled glass tile, produced locally, and designer furnishings. However, that doesn't mean that we should go all out on one thing and skimp on the other. A designer home deserves a conscious decision on furnishings and decor. A professionally designed space should have finishes to match the quality of the design work. Those bargain finds are simply a waste of your money.
Do it right or don't do it at all.
Going designer on the remodel and skimping on the furniture is like wearing a designer outfit with a bad haircut and smeared mascara... we end up looking like these ladies (who are kind of awesome... but... um...)
So, what am I saying here? Well, getting a bargain is fine. But, it still should be a quality item. If an Ann Sacks tile is on sale, you've hit the jackpot. The cheap imitation at the big box store... not so much of a deal if it is going to crack after 6 months... I don't care what the great sale was on it if it's not quality. I say this as I sit in my own house with a kitchen in desperate need of remodel. I am waiting until I can afford to do it right, respecting my home. There is just no need to do a cheap botched job full of regrets. I absolutely practice what I preach!
So, back to those example projects. The quality of the product should match the integrity and quality of the products that were installed in the home upon its origination. Porcelain tile countertops in that 1920 home may seem cheap, but back then, that was the high-end choice. When it is time to replace that material, go with today's cream of the crop choice to maintain the integrity of the home.
The bathroom in the 1920 bungalow deserves no less than a higher end tile. The original tile was likely a ceramic octagon and dot, based on the other finishes. I don't care how popular vinyl tile is and how many convincing ads or stories we've heard that it's actually a lot better than it sounds. If you have to be convinced that it's not as cheap and crappy as all that... it's as cheap and crappy as all that. Not to mention the off-gassing of vinyl, the fact that it doesn't breathe, and the production of the finish that has negative health effects. If we can't produce a product and feel good about the materials around us during production, do we really want it in our homes?
Next up, the vinyl floor that can hang out because we don't want to be wasteful. Yup, it's already there... so we're not hurting anything by leaving it there, right? And, really... why increase production and waste by installing a new finish and having to throw this one out? I won't lie... it's a hard case. I still vote for the new finish, and here is why. First, I just don't feel comfortable around vinyl. As I mentioned, the production alone is so harmful... why take the risk of surrounding ourselves with something that is inherently so volatile? Next, this is not a product that is made to last. It's like the $10 plastic tablecloth thrown on for a kids' birthday party. By the end of the party, it's torn and in the trash. Please do not reuse it for the next party because ... oh, yuck. This goes for that vinyl floor too. Every scuff mark showing, every dirt stain embedded in its unbreathable existence, and the scratches and pulls will make it just look ugly.
Rachel, stop being such a design snob, you think... right? Let's get right down to the nitty gritty of the pretty. Beautiful surroundings inspire us. They fill us with creative energy, peace, calm, and well-being. Sure, we can make due with the cheap stuff, but our refuge, our homes... they should move us.
Do you have any memories that you want to revel in forever? For me, it's lying in the freshly cut grass on the first really hot day of summer. The grass is still soft, and my skin smells like coconut. It's peaceful, there is a delicious warmth around me, and I can take that delicious warmth and joy into my home and hang onto it all year round! All I have to do is accept that beauty in my home is more than expensive snobbery. It's inspiration, joy,
So, Waldron Designs will work with you to make your space function. We will work with you on a tight budget. We will not encourage the use of finishes, fixtures, or choices that will devalue your home or insult the integrity of the home. It is not because we are on a high horse. It is because when homeowners hire us, they are instilling their trust in a design firm to do the right thing.