House & Home

Remodeling: Envision Your Dream Home

Posted September 9, 2014

Just about everyone has a vision of their dream home. Even if you built it yourself or had extensive remodeling done before moving in, after several years in residence you've likely come up with ideas about how your living space could be improved. It's human nature to want to create a "nest" that's as cozy, attractive, and practical as can be. Clarifying your needs and wants before you hire a professional remodeler helps ensure that the work will be done to your satisfaction. Mentally walk through your house and picture how you'd like it to look and feel.


Find Your Personal Style

Your personal style will determine the direction your dreams flow in. Do you prefer casual or formal mode, vintage or industrial chic, lots of open expanse or small cozy nooks? Which décor materials and colors are you drawn to? How about outdoor space – is a flower garden, fountain, tennis court, or swimming pool your idea of bliss? Check online or in decorating magazines to find home remodels that you love. Or take a course in planning and building your dream home. Then think about how these ideas could be adapted to your own abode.

Stretch Your Imagination

For some of us homebodies, dreaming of remodeling wish lists for our house – and practically every home we visit – comes as second nature. Coming up with the perfect vision is a mental exercise that will stretch the imagination and let your mind have fun with ideas. And on a more down-to-earth level, brainstorming is a useful technique which encourages you to think out of the box, identify your needs and wants, and come up with creative, feasible inspirations.

Make a List

Choose a place – whether a hardbound journal or an online document – to record your ideas. Keep a running list of the essential and not-so-essential features of your dream home. At the same time, write out an inventory of the features of your home as it is now – both pluses and problems. You may find that your home is closer to your personal ideal than you thought – great! On the other hand, if the negatives far outweigh the positives, this may spur you to move ahead with remodel plans.



The kitchen is considered the heart of the home, so it's no wonder that it tops the list of rooms which homeowners choose to remodel. What do you want your kitchen to be? A center for feeding the family, entertaining, and relaxing? A high tech laboratory for experimenting with gourmet cuisine? A showplace that will be used more for impressing clients and other guests than hands-on cooking? The answer will determine whether you want a large central island with comfortable barstool seating for a crowd, for example, or a safe place for your kids to sit away from the heat of the cooking action.


If you enjoy pampering yourself (and who doesn't?), a dreamy bathroom can be your own in-home spa. Take your pick of luxurious features like an oversized soaking tub, multi-jet shower, magnificent view-framing window, chandelier, or tubside fireplace. On the other hand, you might prefer a high tech bath that gets you clean and ready to face the world with a minimum of fuss.

Living Room

Do you go for windows galore or would you prefer a subtly lit, comfy cave? Which would you choose – a chintzy, old-fashioned vibe or ultra-modern concrete surfaces? Do you thrive in a bustling hub of household activity or do you crave a more serene space where you can recharge after a busy day? Is an urban, Los Angeles remodel what you'd like for your living room, or would you be more at home with French country farmhouse style?


It's generally believed that asking your bedroom to multitask by serving as a work area as well as a sleeping space can interfere with the quality of your slumber. You may wish to dedicate this room to total relaxation, or prove yourself the exception to the rule by making room here for the ultimate home office. It's your call.

Laura Firszt writes for

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