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The Emotional Roller Coaster of a Renovation

A roller coaster of emotions. This phrase can be used to describe a thrilling page-turner or the latest drama on Netflix, but did you know it can also apply to home renovations? It’s true. As an interior designer and homeowner with 11 personal renovations under my belt, I can confirm that the term “emotional roller coaster” accurately captures the experience. 

Like a roller coaster, home renovations encompass a full spectrum of emotions, from highs and lows to that satisfying conclusion. Unlike a roller coaster, most people don’t know what they are getting into when they start. There is no visible track stretching into the distance to prepare you for what is in store. 

So, that is exactly what I will aim to do today: reveal the emotions, stages, and realities you can expect while on the roller coaster that is renovating your home. I hope you will join me for the adventure.

Phase 1: Design Discovery

The Anticipation: Every project starts with a Discovery Call. We will get to know each other, talk about your project goals and decide whether to meet in person, and if so, we’ll schedule your initial Design Discovery Session. Like purchasing a ticket to your favourite amusement park and walking through its gates, your initial excitement is palpable. You have taken the first step, and achieving your goals feels closer than ever before. 

The Line: Now, it’s time to wait in line. With our services in high demand, your appointment is likely to be a few months away. Your initial excitement may start to abate, replaced by impatience or even boredom. If you have ever stood in line for hours for just ONE ride at Disneyland, you know the feeling.

Buckling Up: You have finally reached the front of the line. Your Design Discovery Session has arrived, and you are boarding the ride! As we discuss your goals, your lifestyle, and the home itself, your excitement starts to build again. The ride might not be moving just yet, but you are getting settled in your seat, building trust with the team who is there to support you, and laying important groundwork for the project’s success.

Phase 2: Design & Sourcing

Launching Out of the Station: Your project finally kicks off when your Trade Day arrives, and it is a high-speed launch out of the station. Your home will be bustling with people (including many members from our trusted community of trades). Together, we gather information, bounce ideas off each other, and answer important questions. With so much activity surrounding you, you feel thrilled that the ride has finally begun.

The Ascent: After your Trade Day, our team returns to our studio to develop design concepts, prepare drawings, source materials and furnishings, design custom elements, collaborate with our trades and obtain estimates. This process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the scope of your project.

Since this highly involved process happens entirely behind the scenes, it can feel like your project has stalled. It hasn’t. In reality, this stage is equivalent to a roller coaster’s first ascent. Clicking your way up the track may be slow and uninspiring, but important progress is being made as we crest that first hill.

The First Drop: On Design Presentation Day, the fun really begins. Like the first drop on a roller coaster, you will feel exhilarated as we unveil your home’s complete design concept. We present you with visuals of your new space, colour palettes, materials samples, furnishings selections, and more. Every detail has been artfully and strategically selected for your home and lifestyle, and you are finally able to envision your family living in the new space. 

Phase 3: Procurement & Project Management

The 2nd Ascent: After the delight of flying down the hill, it will probably feel uncomfortable when your ride starts to slow again. Don’t worry — there is another flurry of activity happening behind the scenes. Before any hands-on demolition or construction can begin, we have to order materials, track shipments, and receive and inspect deliveries. As items arrive, we inch toward the next peak.

A Drop with a Loop: Once everything for your renovation arrives, we will schedule your Demo Day, a “drop” that will feel even more thrilling than the first. You will finally SEE progress being made — so much so that it can feel like your home will be done tomorrow. You can imagine the feeling of flying down the hill, entering a loop, and spiraling out of it with your hands in the air. Now, this ride is moving!

The Final Ascent: Once construction begins, however, progress will be slower than you would like. You will start to see drywall go up and flooring laid and the cabinets begin to take shape but the small adjustments and fine tuning will feel like they are taking forever. This is the final ascent, which takes the longest and requires the most patience. Then, there will come a critical point when you just want everyone out of your home for good and that comes just before the finishes are installed — countertops, hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures, etc. 

If you’re living at home during the renovation, be prepared for little inconveniences to add up quickly. (I know from personal experience.) My best advice is to be patient and remember that the final ascent is also the most rewarding.

Phase 4: Installation & Project Completion

A Curve with a View: When construction wraps up, it is our team’s turn to install your furnishings, accessories, and decor during a scheduled Installation Day (or two, if we are working on a full home). These are the final details that make your home feel extra personal, meaningful, and designer-worthy.

Although we ask you to vacate your home during installation, you have officially reached the pinnacle of the final drop. The track is simply curving to offer you an incredible view and enough time for your anticipation to re-build to full height before the final descent.

The Final Descent: Your Reveal Day has arrived! All of your ups, downs, and infinite patience culminate in an incredible experience, hurling you down the most exhilarating hill yet. We walk through each space in your home, pointing out the design features, functionality, and personal touches. As you see how every step has led to this special moment, it’s quite normal to feel overjoyed and even emotional.

Docking Safely: Our final work is to wrap up any loose ends and present you with a package that includes samples, material/furnishing care instructions, product warranty information, and more. This is similar to coasting safely into the station. We make sure you feel supported and prepared to hop off this ride and start your life beyond it — in your beautiful new home. 

Are you ready for the ride?

If you’re considering a renovation, I highly recommend downloading our complimentary guide that walks you through how to uncover the hidden potential in your home.


Want a partner on this ride? Reach out to us here, and let’s start the conversation.



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Uncover the hidden potential in your home.

Whether you live in a mid-century gem in need of an update or a modern new build ready for personality, these creative solutions will change the way your home looks and lives.

Thank you!