May 19, 2024

Whos

Who’s On the Move in Architecture and Design This Fall?

Fall marks a time of transition, heralding in a slew of promotions and movement within the architecture and design industry. From Gensler’s appointment of the firm’s first global co-chairs to a new chief creative director at Flos, don’t miss the newest additions at today’s top firms.

Design Industry News: Who’s Making Moves?

Gensler

After nearly 20 years of leadership, Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins will transition from their roles as co-CEOs to become the firm’s first global co-chairs. As part of a planned succession strategy, Cohen and Hoskins welcome a new generation of collaborative leadership, naming Julia Simet and Jordan Goldstein as incoming co-CEOs to lead the firm’s day-to-day operations, effective January 1, 2024. Goldstein and Simet each bring over 25 years of leadership to their new roles. They currently serve as co-firm managing principals, splitting responsibility for the firm’s U.S. and international regions. As co-CEOs, they will manage Gensler’s day-to-day operations across the firm’s 53 global offices and 33 practice areas, oversee more than 3,500 client relationships, promote a culture of diversity and inclusion for over 6,000 Gensler people globally, and maintain standards of innovation and design excellence. 

Jordan Goldstein, Julia Simet, Diane Hoskins, and Andy Cohen, co-CEOs at Gensler.Jordan Goldstein, Julia Simet, Diane Hoskins, and Andy Cohen, co-CEOs at Gensler.
Jordan Goldstein, Julia Simet, Diane Hoskins, and Andy Cohen, co-CEOs at Gensler.

Sims Patrick Studio

Atlanta-based luxury interior design firm Sims Patrick Studio has announced six new team members, comprising two leadership, one administrative, and three design roles. They are: Stephanie Head and Katrina Garcia, design directors; Philip Zein, design lead; Jake Schibi, technical lead; Ansley Kaase, project designer; and Nicole McCrimmon, studio coordinator.

Perkins&Will

The Dallas studio of Perkins&Will has made two new additions. Eurico Francisco has joined as design principal and Amber Wernick as director of practice development. Francisco has an extensive portfolio that includes healthcare, government, academic, research, hospitality, multi-family, and mixed-use facilities. Amber Wernick is an award-winning interior designer who worked for Perkins&Will between 2008 and 2015.

Casey Kent has joined the Austin studio of Perkins&Will as its new corporate and commercial, civic, and cultural practice leader. Kent will oversee project design and delivery for a diverse range of clients, including both public and private organizations while expanding the Austin studio’s presence in the growing Central Texas region. In recent years, Kent has focused on commercial projects for clients such as Hines, Vantage Data Centers, Interpublic Group, Google, USAA, Cloudflare, and Unico Properties.

Additionally, the firm has opened a studio in Philadelphia, a move that grows its northeastern US practice. Leadership of the Perkins&Will Philadelphia studio will include regional managing director Bill Harris; managing director Robert Clemens; and health practice leader Laura Morris. The local Philadelphia practices will closely collaborate with Northeast regional teams in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., and will leverage the firm’s global expertise to respond to the unique design challenges faced by clients in the greater Philadelphia area.

Casey Kent, corporate and commercial, civic, and cultural practice leader at the Austin studio of Perkins&Will.Casey Kent, corporate and commercial, civic, and cultural practice leader at the Austin studio of Perkins&Will.
Casey Kent, corporate and commercial, civic, and cultural practice leader at the Austin studio of Perkins&Will.

SGA

The multidisciplinary architecture, design and planning firm SGA has made the addition of a director of sustainable design in the Boston office. Sadaf Jafari has a decade of experience in both architecture and engineering fields, with successes in maximizing energy-efficiency strategies, implementing energy modeling, and ensuring code & certification compliance. The addition furthers the firm’s commitment to improve the built environment.

Legrand

Jane White has joined Legrand in the newly creative role of chief diversity and engagement officer for Legrand, North and Central America. She will be a part of the executive staff and will lead efforts to attract, retain, and develop a diverse and highly engaged workforce. White brings over 25 years of experience, notably serving an instrumental role for several groups including LNCA’s Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and the Black Professional Network ERG.

Multistudio

Bridget Lowe has been appointed chief marketing officer at Multistudio, working out of their Kansas City studio. She brings 15 years of strategic and creative marketing expertise across design, architecture. In her role she will operate as a member of the leadership team and will oversee the brand’s marketing, creative, consumer insights, and holistic communications. Lowe previously served as a principal and director of marketing for the Americas at Populous, where she oversaw marketing, communications, public relations, and business development.

Bridget Lowe, chief marketing officer at Multistudio.Bridget Lowe, chief marketing officer at Multistudio.
Bridget Lowe, chief marketing officer at Multistudio.
Natalie Ruiz, associate principal of luxury multifamily residential and senior/later living at WATG.Natalie Ruiz, associate principal of luxury multifamily residential and senior/later living at WATG.
Natalie Ruiz, associate principal of luxury multifamily residential and senior/later living at WATG.

WATG

Natalie Ruiz has been appointed associate principal of luxury multifamily residential and senior/later living at WATG, a leader in luxury hospitality design. Ruiz joins WATG as an industry expert within the multifamily and senior/later living sector.

HOK

HOK has added senior design leaders in several of their studios. The new appointments are Ryan Barnes, director of design, interiors for the Denver and St. Louis studios; Marianne Weiss, director of design, interiors in the firm’s new Boston studio; and Alia Centofanti, director of design, interiors in London.

Pandul

The Danish lighting object manufacturer Pandul is now a part of Carl Hansen & Søn. The company’s operation will continue unchanged in the new set-up, and Carl Hansen & Søn will continue distributing Pandul’s lighting fixtures through existing sales channels. The Pandul collection consists of iconic lighting objects designed by master architects Hans J. Wegner, Erik Magnussen, Henning Koppel, and Jørgen Gammelgaard.

Perkins Eastman

Ray Brower has joined Perkins Eastman as principal in the firm’s Washington, D.C. studio and is now part of the firm’s healthcare practice. Brower is an expert in strategic facility planning, pre-design operational planning and programming, medical planning, and project management with more than 40 years of experience. Select projects include the Jefferson Health system-wide master plan in southern New Jersey, Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

Ray Brower, principal at Perkins Eastman.Ray Brower, principal at Perkins Eastman.
Ray Brower, principal at Perkins Eastman.

Spectorgroup

NYC-based architecture and interior design firm Spectorgroup announced three new hires. They are: Sefako Ketosugbo as senior designer, Olivia Holub as senior architect, and Sol Seong as intermediate designer.

Hirsch Bedner Associates

HBA has promoted Sarah Hullinger and Brian Schaer from senior project designers to associates in San Francisco and Atlanta. Hullinger has more than two decades of experience in hospitality, commercial and residential design, with 10-plus years at HBA San Francisco. She has contributed to the success of recent projects such as Elusa Winery at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley and The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Schaer has spent the majority of his 24-plus-year design career immersed in the world of luxury design, working with many of the industry’s most esteemed brands, operators and clients. is project history includes Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers in Azerbaijan; The St. Regis Abu Dhabi; and the former BLT Prime by David Burke in Washington, D.C.

Array Architects

Maureen Carley-Vallejo has joined the team at Array Architects, a leading healthcare design and architecture firm. She is an award-winning industry leader with over 30 years’ experience, and her work has been selected for INTERIOR DESIGN’S Best of Year Awards.

Maureen Carley-Vallejo.Maureen Carley-Vallejo.
Maureen Carley-Vallejo.

Arte USA

Arte USA, a division of Belgium-based wallcoverings designer and manufacturer the Arte Group, has appointed Adriana De Martino to the newly-created position of area manager for the northeast territory.  She will report directly to Bill Calhoun, the president of Arte USA and will be based in New York City. Prior to joining Arte, Adriana held senior positions with several European and American companies including Cosentino, DEDAR, Inc. and Zimmer & Rhode USA.

Carnegie

Carnegie has acquired the Xorel Artform manufacturing division of DFB Sales, Inc.—a leading New York based producer of interior finish products. This acquisition will give Carnegie end-to-end control of Xorel Artform from design to manufacture and distribution, allowing for an increase in overall production volume and expanded product options.

Michael Graves Architecture

Julie Yurasek has been appointed international director of interior design at Michael Graves Architecture. Yurasek previously held the positions of senior interior designer and director at Michael Graves Architecture during her earlier tenure there, which began in 1996. She cites her work on the St. Regis Cairo at Nile Corniche in Egypt as one of her greatest accomplishments.

LSM Studio

LSM Studio has promoted three new partners: Rebecca Montesi, Donnie Morphy, and Mario DeGisi. The three will work out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. studio.

Rebecca Montesi, Donnie Morphy, and Mario DeGisi, new partners at LSM.Rebecca Montesi, Donnie Morphy, and Mario DeGisi, new partners at LSM.
Rebecca Montesi, Donnie Morphy, and Mario DeGisi, new partners at LSM.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects

RAMSA has appointed two new partners and named a new CEO. The two new partners, Kevin J. Kelly and Kyung Sook Gemma Kim, will join an existing cohort of 17 esteemed partners. Lisa M. Matkovic, who previously served as chief operating officer, has been appointed to the role of CEO. Kevin joined RAMSA in 2011 and has supported the firm’s growth across domestic and international markets. Leveraging his design expertise, he has managed several important projects in RAMSA’s international portfolio, including numerous large-scale planning projects in China; the Kaplankaya Marina Village in Bobruk, Turkey; and the Kowloon Peak apartment complex in Hong Kong. Gemma has been with RAMSA for over 15 years, playing a key role in expanding the firm’s international presence. She spearheaded RAMSA’s entrance into South Korea, leading a signature corporate showplace in Seoul for one of the country’s most prominent companies.

Kevin J. Kelly and Kyung Sook Gemma Kim, new partners at RAMSA.Kevin J. Kelly and Kyung Sook Gemma Kim, new partners at RAMSA.
Kevin J. Kelly and Kyung Sook Gemma Kim, new partners at RAMSA.

Springs Creative

Springs Creative has acquired the Frank Cassata Design Archives that will now be part of their Baxter Mill Archive, making it the largest such design archive in the industry with more than 1 million fabrics, documents, and other design assets. The Frank Cassata Archive library specializes in traditional to modern designs, one-of-a-kind apparel and home decorative archives, as well as an extensive collection of over 700 wallpaper and fabric swatch books.

Tom Dixon

The British design brand Tom Dixon has announced the promotion of Henry Jones to the position of CEO. Jones previously served as managing director at HAY and senior vice president. Prior to HAY, Jones held the positions of European president and CEO at textile giant Himatsingka and global sales and marketing director at the renowned British brand designers guild.

Moody Nolan

Moody Nolan has hired Garfield Peart as director of operations for its Atlanta studio. Peart spent the first seven years in the United States Air Force where he honed his skills on active duty, specifically in military project management, working on a slate of international projects from Washington, D.C. to cities across Europe. Following active duty, Garfield remained in the Air Force Reserve, and after 28 years of service, he retired from the United States Air Force this past June. Garfield’s portfolio of work largely consists of projects in aviation and government, industries he looks forward to championing in his new role.

Henry Jones, CEO of Tom  Dixon.Henry Jones, CEO of Tom  Dixon.
Henry Jones, CEO of Tom Dixon.

Keilhauer

Keilhauer has announced the addition of two new leadership team members to their marketing department. Susan Anderson has joined the company as VP of marketing and customer experience, and Sarah Lostracco has joined as the new senior marketing manager. Susan joins Keilhauer from Mastermind Toys. Prior to Mastermind Toys, Susan spent almost a decade at P&G leading brands such as Pampers, Swiffer, and Crest. Sarah joins Keilhauer from McCann Canada, where she worked for over 15 years, most recently serving as Group Account Director for well-known organizations such as Petro-Canada and Suncor.

HLW

HLW has appointed principal and workplace sector lead Melissa Strickland as managing director of the firm’s New Jersey office. Melissa will lead the Madison practice in strengthening and diversifying its portfolio of work with an increasing emphasis on agility, sustainability, and innovation, while continuing to cultivate the talents of its dynamic designers and consultants. She joined the team in 2017 and has overseen projects totaling millions of square feet for long-standing clients such as Prudential, Everest, and Kyowa Kirin, and recently completed a string of new headquarters spaces for organizations including Audible, Eisai, Integra and Kering.

Kostow Greenwood Architects

At Kostow Greenwood Architects,  Lena Dau-Ping Fan has been promoted to principal from associate principal and Gary Li has promoted to principal from associate architect. The two new principals bring extensive project and client experience to their new roles having worked closely with founding principal Michael Kostow and having benefited from the culture of design excellence and learning embodied in the firm.

EMU Group

Outdoor furniture solutions brand EMU Group has welcomed Enrico Cavallari as its CEO. extensive international experience in leading FMCG companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Ferrero and Reckitt- Benckiser, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, sales and general management in Italy, Luxembourg, New York, Istanbul and London. In 2010, he returned to Italy for Technogym as Business Unit Director. In 2013 he worked with Axa, then came back to Technogym in 2017, where he was responsible for Technogym Home. In 2022, he became CEO of Tecno and Zanotta.

FLOS

Barbara Corti has been named chief creative director of Flos. In the new role, she will she will set the creative strategy for the development of product lines in every division, as well as content creation strategies through all the brand’s online and offline channels. Corti has been global chief marketing officer at Flos since 2017 and a member of its steering committee since 2019. She is the first person to take on the position, which until previously did not exist at Flos. Corti worked for more than 10 years as creative director in communication agencies and for seven years as creative director at Condé Nast Italia, as well as gaining experience as a consultant and mentor for various start-ups in the world of fashion.

Buzzispace

Tommaso Baldini has been appointed CEO and managing director of the Belgian acoustic design brand BuzziSpace. Baldini will succeed Steve Symons, who will now act as President of the supervisory board. Tomasso will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of BuzziSpace and will work closely with Symons on product design direction. Genevieve Lemire, director of North America for BuzziSpace, has accepted the role of chief commercial officer.

Heller

Paolo Cravedi has been appointed vice president of wholesale. He will work alongside president and CEO John Edelman and chief operating officer Andrew McPhee to expand Heller’s reach across North America. Cravedi is an experienced home, design, and lifestyle industry executive, with a track record of leading sales growth across various channels. Cravedi most recently served as president of Calligaris Group Americas, where he oversaw the management and development of the Calligaris Group’s business in North, Central, and South America for their entire family of brands and in all channels, including wholesale. Prior to that, he held positions across a variety of top design and lifestyle brands including Moleskine America, where he worked as president, and Alessi U.S. as managing director for more than 10 years.

Lingrove

Talley Goodson, the founder of Felt Right, a company dedicated to providing transformative material solutions for both living and workspace environments, has joined Lingrove’s board of directors. Prior to Felt Right, Talley served as the visionary leader behind 3form, Inc., a company that revolutionized the world of translucent resin architectural design materials. Under Talley’s guidance, 3form garnered numerous industry accolades and recognition for its groundbreaking contributions to design, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.

Vocon

The national strategy, architecture, and design firm Vocon has announced the expansion of its New York team with workplace leader Wyett Baker. Baker brings more than 25 years of experience in the design and construction of corporate, educational, and cultural projects nationally. Prior to joining Vocon, Wyett served as an account leader and design manager specializing in large and complex projects at Gensler. His work spans the United States, and he has spent the last ten years working with some of the largest professional and financial service firms on corporate headquarters projects in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Wyett Baker, workplace leader at Vocon.Wyett Baker, workplace leader at Vocon.
Wyett Baker, workplace leader at Vocon.

TPG Architecture

Alejandro Gala has been named TPG Architecture’s newest creative director. Gala brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to his new role, including a global portfolio spanning the retail, hotel, commercial, and building repositioning market sectors. Having worked and traveled to over 65 countries, Gala is passionate about immersing himself in different cultures and uses this as the foundation for his designs. After spending many years in places where language presented itself to be a barrier, Gala naturally developed a visual communication skill set that he has since used throughout his career, showcasing design ideas through photos, drawings, and graphics.

Alejandro Gala, creative director at TPG Architecture.Alejandro Gala, creative director at TPG Architecture.
Alejandro Gala, creative director at TPG Architecture.

Who’s Prepared For Slide Household Routine maintenance Recommendations?

Fall Home Maintenance

After 1 of the worst summers at any time, I think absolutely everyone in North Texas is on board with the initially part of that query, in any case. It’s formally slide, and though the temperature could nonetheless be in the 90s most times, pumpkins, Halloween decor, and earth tones are busting out all in excess of. The time is shifting, and that indicates it is time for some drop dwelling servicing. So grab yourself an iced pumpkin spice latte, and let’s dive in.

Verify Your Gutters

Both of those of these photos were taken just lately, so even although it’s only been tumble for about a minute, individuals leaves are presently piling up. Falling leaves and other debris from wind and storms never just happen throughout the tumble, in any case. As we go into a rainier period, it’s important to test your rain gutters and downspouts. Apparent them of debris, operate drinking water by way of them with a hose or electrical power washer to guarantee there are no clogs, and make sure every little thing is hooked up securely to your property.

The very first photograph is a rain gutter with no display, and the 2nd is a single with screens. Some people today are under the misapprehension that if they have screens, they don’t have to clean up their rain gutters. Nope! Acquiring screens does make cleaning simpler, although, and cuts way again on clogged downspouts, mildew, and attracting bird nests or vermin and pests who like to dangle out in there.

Check your Hose Bibs and Exterior Faucets

Diy house repair fails like this just one are not seasonal, but during the summer time the area all around the hose bib or exterior faucet can get dry and cracked, at times coming unsealed or unfastened. Tumble is a very good time to test these to make confident they are awesome and restricted and seal up any gaps in which critters, pests, air, or water can get into the home. Choose up some silicone caulk for sealing a hose bib, and the accurate screws, ought to any faucets have occur unfastened.

Seal Vents & Gaps

Fall Home Maintenance

As the temperatures awesome, critters start wanting for sites to hunker down, and you really do not want them to decide on your household. This helpful house owner gets a flag for extreme use of caulk, but one particular assumes they were being sealing up this crawlspace vent for just these a reason. Wander your house and test all the openings like dryer vents and crawlspace vents, making certain they are screened or caged for vermin (not slathered with caulk and blocked completely so they simply cannot vent appropriately).

Look at The Attic

There are numerous issues that can go mistaken in the attic, and I’ve said right before, as owners, we could all stand to spend additional time up there. As the seasons alter, it is a wonderful time to get up there and acquire a search all around. As you see in the movie earlier mentioned, consider this on a rainy working day to examine for any leaks. Although you are up there, test your drinking water heater for drinking water in the pan. Improve your AC filter. Seem for your furnace flues – are they linked? Adhere to together your ductwork and check out for blocked or disconnected ducts.

Examine Sprinkler Heads

We saw this movie in the spring, but I could share it each spring and drop simply because it would make me snicker out loud each and every time I see it. For the duration of the summer, your soil might change, your lawnmower may well have strike a head or two, or you may perhaps have some heads not functioning, or pointed in the mistaken path. Now is a fantastic time to test your sprinkler heads, examine their placement, and replace any that are damaged or malfunctioning.


If you have issues about your slide dwelling maintenance, you can have a seasonal property inspection whenever. Love these non-triple digit drop days! And might your blessings be as abundant as the autumn leaves, and may they not get stuck in your pool filter.

10 Helpful Home Renovation Tips, From a Pro Who’s Been There

We’re all drawn to novelty—it’s human nature. The shiny and new all present opportunities for innovation, growth, and progress along the path forward. Of course, change doesn’t come without challenge, and when design experts are doling out home renovation tips, they’re quick to express caution. But Jamie Haller, an interior designer and founder of Jamie Haller Shoes, knows a thing or two about avoiding the biggest and most common pitfalls of remodeling a fixer-upper.

Today, she’s taking us through the ins and outs of remodeling and flipping—all through the lens of one of her recent projects: a gorgeous Los Angeles Koreatown Craftsman remodel. Her primary piece of advice: “Be discerning about the characteristics of a home you cannot change.” When asked to share renovation red flags to look out for, she emphasized that while “bad foundations and cracks in the wall” don’t phase her (in fact, she sees them as an opportunity!), it’s the physical details of location, community, and environment that call for considered reflection.

Photo above by Belathee, all other photographs by Jenna Peffley

But first, if you haven’t ever flipped a home before and are looking to enter a hot market, Haller recommends taking a little time to reflect and question if it’s a good option for you. “I actually see flips as a red flag. But for every good flipper, there are 10 terrible ones and the work I see done most of the time is usually of bad quality, bad taste, and is sometimes unsafe.”

A few key things to consider before deciding whether or not to flip:

  • Check the permit history while in escrow. “It’s easily available information and it would be a tell-tale sign or red flag if work was done the right way or the wrong way,” says Haller.
  • Hire a good agent. Ask around—it might take a little time to connect with the right agent, but the effort you put in upfront will pay dividends. Haller emphasizes: “Be thoughtful in who you work with. It matters.”
  • Find character. “Look for inherent charm,” says Haller. By this, she means original windows, moldings, and floors. Once you find character, she concludes, you’re well on your way to a good flip.

Let’s dive deeper into the red flags to look out for. What questions should homeowners ask themselves before purchasing a fixer-upper?

Haller shares a laundry list of questions that every future homeowner would be wise to ask themselves when purchasing—fixer-upper or otherwise.

  • How close does it sit to the street?
  • What are the views like out of the window?
  • Are there trees? Can you plant some?
  • How busy is the street?
  • Are you near anything unhealthy or unsafe like a freeway?
  • Are you too close to a commercial area or a gas station?

“These are the things that will cap your spirit and you cannot do anything about it. They will also limit the financial upside of your project,” notes Haller.

On the flip side, once you’ve considered all potential red flags, remember this truth: “You can change anything about a house if you want to,” says Haller. Foundations are fixable problems, she wisely adds. Of course, there will likely be some added expense and time to your project, but seeing the potential and knowing the challenge can be solved will likely be to your benefit.

As far as home renovation tips go, what projects and tasks should be prioritized first?

It might come as a surprise (it did to this writer), but Haller advises approaching your renovation from the inside out, beginning with the home’s structural elements. Foundation, framing, then rough plumbing and electrical, roof, doors, and windows. Last but not least, she says to address the finish work (tile paint, cabinetry) at the end of your renovation.

Haller notes that many people go into a project wanting to see where they’re spending their money—but that can lead you astray. “I know a lot of people want to immediately update their bathrooms and kitchens without addressing the structural issues that exist in a home. However, your big investment is at risk if the structure of the home is not sound,” she warns.

The easiest (well, most streamlined) way of making this happen? Prioritize getting good inspections with people you trust. It’s one of the hardest parts of any remodel, Haller says: “finding good partners you can trust.”

So we have the home’s structure secured. How do you approach your design plan?

Haller lets emotion lead the way, asking herself the following:

  • What do I want to feel in this room?
  • Where is the gravity in the room?
  • Is it going to come from a color or some element in the room?
  • Where am I going to fall in love in this house?

The process of reflecting upon and answering these questions provides you with a strong framework to begin. From there, Haller will take out anything that she feels doesn’t support that vision. “If I am working with a Craftsman house and there are built-ins and carpet from the 80s, I rip it out. If there are textured ceilings from the 60s I scrape them off.”

This is one of her favorite parts of the remodeling process because inspiration abounds beneath old floors and opportunity can be found at every turn. and opportunity abound beneath old floors or behind any door. “I go back to 0 and get a sense of who the house was before adding to her.”

We Love that process and approach to a project! But If You had to pinpoint any one tip that can transform a renovation or flip, what would it be?

As with most things in life, you reap the most reward when you approach anything with patience. “Take the time to really think about it and have a plan,” Haller advises. If you can, she says it’s best to work with an architect, draftsman, or designer. And—while she hates to add this—she cautions against making choices based on what your contractor shows you.

A key distinction: “Contractors are not designers,” says Haller. “Do your own research and find your own materials or hire someone to help.”

When you approach anything with patience, you give yourself the added benefit of time to conduct research. This, Haller says, is key. “Bad choices covering up more bad choices isn’t a good fix. I would suggest saving a little money and hiring someone to help. It’s important to be thoughtful, even on a budget.”

What are your favorite ways to create maximum impact while still keeping costs low?

Of course, staying within budget is the goal—and coming under is the dream. Haller’s favorite ways to make that happen? She shares her secrets on the areas of focus that can create the most significant upgrade for the lowest cost.

  • Paint is #1. An entire home can change with a strong paint palette.
  • New flooring. There are good options at all price points and bad flooring sets the tone for everything.
  • Bathroom fixtures and hardware. These can change and be swapped out easily.
  • Drapes and lighting. Both are easy ways to completely turn a room around. Custom drapery is lovely, but really beautiful drapery can be found off the shelf as well.
  • Opt for wallpaper. Wallpaper is one of my favorite transformational materials. It offers emotion and inspiration and goes up quickly. It isn’t that expensive to buy, and if you want to you could do it yourself. Wallpaper in combination with new paint is a HUGE transformation.

With good taste and the right eye, Haller says, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. “So many of the lights in my home were something I found at a reuse or salvage sale for $10 and I just loved them.”

With the budget settled, what’s your favorite way to save time on a project?

Haller is all about the mini makeover. Reflected in her list above, she lauds wallpaper, paint, and lights for their transformational effect. “If you aren’t working with a designer, do the research to pick colors that work. Try lots of options, putting two colors on a wall to select from isn’t going to work. I often put 10 options on a wall.”

What are your favorite sources for affordable renovation materials and décor?

Haller steers clear of big box renovation stores and instead finds more inspiration in local tile shops. “If you need to buy electrical tape and lightbulbs and HVAC filters, by all means, go.” But, she says, smaller, more specialized stores can be more helpful. “They’re experts. They have options at all price points and are usually very happy to help you come up with a story for your home.”

Keep small businesses in business, Haller emphasizes.

Below, Haller details more of her favorites.

Which projects would you give homeowners the green light to DIY?

“I think it all depends on your ability to overlook mistakes you might make,” says Haller. She suggests sitting down and reflecting on what you value most: Time, saving money, or a final result that looks good and that you’re confident was done correctly. From there, you can decide what is and isn’t worth the effort.

She illustrates this further: “Sometimes, time is more valuable. The truth is you can do anything, you just have to learn it.”

YouTube is one of her go-to resources—but know that it can lead you astray. “I’ve changed lights and outlets by watching YouTube videos,” admits Haller. “I’ve also electrocuted myself doing it.”

Below, Haller shares her cheat-sheet for what should be left to the pros:

  • Anything involving gas or electrical work.
  • Stripping paint and wood.
  • Height.
  • Drywall mud. (Don’t kill yourself—this is hard!)
  • Demo. TV shows make it look fun to swing a hammer into a wall, but demoing is hard and dirty work.

But even when you leave a project in the hand of professionals, Haller can’t emphasize this enough: “No one will care as much as you do. Stay engaged in the process, watch the work being done, and ask questions.”

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