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Craving Diversity

I have a housing dilemma! My husband and I are planning to move from our quaint little 850 sq.ft. house in St. James to a new home within the next 3-5 years. Being a designer, who works primarily in the residential sector, I am constantly watching real estate listings and looking to see what is out there. We have the basic wish list that anyone starts with when looking for a new home…

  • Itemized spaces (kitchen, dining room, 2 bathrooms, master suite + 3 bedrooms, etc)
  • Area (good neighbourhood, close to amenities & parks)
  • Quality of craftsmanship (architectural details, solid foundation, etc)

When I watch the real estate market I get frustrated by our world of mass production and the repetitive rows of houses built from the same footprint. Older communities are slightly camouflaged by the renovations & changes that have been made over the years by previous homeowners.

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My frustration sets in with the lack of diversity and character within the housing market. I want friends & family to drive up to our house saying, ‘of course this is where Travis & Carrie live.” I crave modern clean lines, custom design details, and a unique and intriguing layout of the house that is outside of the box. My husband is more of a vintage man so our ideal house would likely be a revival of a 1950/60s mid-century modern gem.  The last thing I want is to move onto a street where the house next door is the exact same model with a different paint finish (insert gagging sounds here).

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So here are our options:

  • Build New within the communities popping up on the outskirts of the city
  • Find an infill lot & build new
  • Find an older home & renovate

Likely we will end up choosing option #3 as we don’t want to live on the outskirts of the city where the neighbourhoods are not developed and are far away from downtown core where we both work. Building on an infill lot is intriguing but difficult to do and often expensive & your options are limited. So option #3 seems like the best fit although in the past couple years I’ve come across 1 maybe 2 houses that would actually fit our list of criteria & would be adaptable to our style.

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So I am left questioning, I am the only person in Winnipeg that feels this way?

How many other home buyers are facing the same obstacles?

So if you are like me, I will leave you with a challenge.  Never settle. I challenge home buyers to expect more, not to be OK with a standard model. Be Bold! Be Daring! It is my opinion that it is not OK for us all to live in the same spaces. We are all individuals with different passions, interests & ways of life. Take the time to shop the market or build a custom home. Never take for granted the value of your homes personalization and character and if you don’t know how to achieve your goals give me a call.

Carrie

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basement design

Renovating this Spring or Summer? Start planning today!

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Has winter already got you thinking of renovating when the snow melts? Well, I’m here to tell you that NOW is the best time to get started on the planning process. But, I bet you’re asking yourself…

Where do you start?  What do you need?  Who do you contact?

I’ve been working in the industry for many years now and I can tell you, without a doubt, planning ahead of time is not only suggested, it’s a necessity!

Here are the steps that I think you should take when starting a renovation project:

1. Start planning early: 

Depending on the size of your project, expect to spend 2-8 months in the planning stages. This may seem long, but it’s well worth the effort.  A poorly planned project will end up costing more time & money (not to mention frustration) in the long run.

2. Create a list of needs and wants:

The more decisive you are about your spatial needs, your aesthetic style and your budget, the more accurately the professionals you enlist can do their jobs. As the designer on your project, I truly want to hear from you. I want to know how you want to function in your space, how you want others to function in your space and, ultimately, how you want the space to make you feel. In the end, it’s all about the experience!

3. Enlist the help of professionals:

Interior Designers | Architects | Contractors | Builders | Electricians | Plumbers | Etc

The list goes on… Hiring a professional will be the best thing you’ll ever do! Bold statement, but it’s true. They can assist you with putting your dreams into visual form, making your dream into a reality.  At our office, Elaina, Annie, Carrie and I are qualified to do everything from the space planning to the final finishing touches. It is up to you, our clients, to decide how much or how little assistance you need. Getting everyone involved right from the beginning allows for problems to be solved before they even begin.

Please see our Design Services on our How We Do It page. 

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Renovating will have its challenges, it ALWAYS does (remember it’s humans you’re dealing with). However, if you allow yourself enough time to plan your project; if you hire competent, honest and hardworking people; and if you keep a positive attitude with the end goal in mind, the results are well worth it!

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So, if you’re looking to renovate that kitchen, that basement, or really anything else, come Spring or Summer, call the S3 Team today to get started on the planning.

We’d love to help you out!

Tracy

Tracy Signature Photo