The Re-Design of the Re-model

The Re-Design of the Re-model

We already know there’s a big difference between an interior designer versus an interior decorator. Yet, did you know that there’s a significant difference between a remodel and a renovation? The words are often used interchangeably but in reality, they both have a more nuanced meaning. Let’s unpack those differences and also explain how Johanna and IDC/Interior Design Consulting can handle both for you.


To renovate means you’re working with what you already got. Like a fresh coat of paint or a new stair railing, you are only doing basic cosmetic changes to your home.  Structure-wise, your home’s blueprints will stay the same. Renovations are the less expensive, the faster option of the two and can usually be done by avid DIY’ers or a handyman. The more detailed a renovation, the more likely it is an interior designer could make a significant positive impact on the project.


A remodel means you’re making big structural changes, such as turning the guest bedroom into an en-suite master bath or moving the washer, dryer, and all the plumbing and electrical that goes with it to the second floor of your home. Remodels are more costly, in most cases require permit approval, take up more time, and call for a contractor as well as any other expert professionals.

Design before demo

Whether it’s a remodel or renovation, the expertise, and ingenuity of a licensed designer with construction knowledge can make all the difference. You might think, “I just want a new kitchen, I don’t know what it takes to get there, but I want a new kitchen.” Having someone who knows what it takes, can nail out the changes and specifics will save you stress, time, and most importantly money.

Anyone can gut a kitchen and start from scratch, but a clever designer doesn’t always go straight for the sledgehammer to destroy cabinets or a pneumatic drill to bust tile. Design takes the flow and use of the space into consideration. Designers ask themselves “What does the client want and need? Where is the problem area, where do they need a solution? What do I have to work with here? How do the bones of the house look? Where can we save the client’s money? Is there something we can salvage so we can check off everything on their wish list? How long will this take and how MUCH will it cost?”

The art of salvaging

Believe it or not, changing the finish of your cabinets can change the whole look of your kitchen. Instead of destroying your outdated finishes, consider a professional spray paint or stain. Cabinet paints and stains are better than ever and the professionals know exactly how to get those showroom finishes.

We recently had a client invest in re-spraying their kitchen cabinets and it looked like they remodeled overnight. In fact, overnight is the operative word. Time was a major factor for this client; thus, this was the ideal solution.

If your cabinets just have to go, consider using them in other parts of the house before driving them to the dump. You could add a workspace to your utility room or a bar to the man cave, both ideal solutions at a minimal cost. Alternatively, on those occasions when a re-use just isn’t practical, there are several charities and organizations eager to take donations. In fact, we work with a contractor who regularly donates items on behalf of his clients to Habitat for Humanity.

The salvaging state of mind can be applied to anything. Why get brand new floors if you could re-stain them?  Even if there are patches you need to fix, you could pull from closet floors to get the perfect match.

Salvaging is the absolute best way to save money during both a renovation and remodel. It is a huge consideration when planning a design, new or renewed. Johanna and IDC/Interior Design Consulting is especially adept on thinking pragmatically. It’s as much about saving you money and time, as it is being an expert at interior design and fulfilling our commitment of creating a one-of-a-kind experience.

Still eyeing the sledgehammer?

Sometimes the best thing to do IS to remodel. Whether it’s moving a window or changing the plumbing, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a fresh start. An interior designer with years of experience can make sure you’re making the best choice for your space and doing it properly.

Whether it’s a renovation or remodel, with Johanna and IDC/Interior Design Consulting, your house will feel brand new.

Contact Johanna today for your initial consultation.

Johanna G. Seldes, ASID IDC/Interior Design Consulting is a full service, award-winning Tampa Bay interior design firm that works with custom home builders, remodeling companies and individual clients. We provide interior design project management services throughout the entire construction process, including preconstruction design, selections, and installation.

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Her attention to detail, knowledge of scale and light were spot on.  

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