SAN DIEGO, January 21, 2019 – Spaces Renewed has won “Best Of Customer Service on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. Spaces Renewed was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2018. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award.

A “Best Of Houzz 2019” badge will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“Best of Houzz is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, remodeling and other home improvement professionals for their projects,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favorites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app.”

“When you’re updating a home, space planning is key. That kind of remodel should never be just cosmetic.”

If your home looks and feels out of date, it may take more than new appliances and fresh paint to bring it into the modern era. “The way we live, use and enjoy our homes is much different now that it was 30 or 40 years ago,” says San Diego designer Beth Booth, who co-owns design-build firm Spaces Renewed with her husband, Marshall. “The rooms themselves have changed.”

Mind for design.
Booth was pursuing a master’s degree in education when she realized she was more interested in doing residential design. In 2008, she and her husband, a contractor, opened Spaces Renewed. “My parents were in real estate and I’d grown up fixing up houses,” she says. “I’ve always loved the challenge of finding the best design.”

Bringing vision to life.
Your remodel starts with your unique style and aesthetic, and the design process is about bringing that vision to life “Every space is different,” Booth says. “San Diego’s coastal style is super eclectic, so you’ll have a lot of styles in one house. With the right design, it all comes together.”

Ready to see your home in a whole new light? These three tips from Booth will show you some possibilities.

1. Rework Your Layout
If you’ve lived in your house for a while and are accustomed to using the rooms in a certain way, it may be difficult at first to think about removing walls or putting a family room where a bedroom has been. “Don’t be afraid to start thinking differently about your home,” Booth says.

The owner of this coastal Del Mar home was unsure about adding a pass-through door from the kitchen to the family room. “She didn’t want to lose kitchen storage space,” Booth says. “But we were able to show her where additional storage could be placed.” The pass-through provides much more flow and function.

2. Size Up Your Space
Though you might have your heart set on a professional stove or elegant farmhouse sink, Booth urges you to make your first priority a good floor plan with enough room. “This will completely change how you can use your remodeled space,” she says.

For this large home in Vista, the homeowners’ initial thought had been to re-face the small existing kitchen with contemporary materials. “We quickly realized that the super-small kitchen was wrong for the house,” Booth says. The clients, who love to entertain, postponed remodeling the master bath to create an addition with a spacious eat-in kitchen that opens into a new dining area and family room.

3. Take a Design Risk
Consider a few changes that might initially be outside your comfort zone. “As a designer, I won’t let you make a mistake that you will hate, that will look bad or will be too trendy,” Booth says. “But I get feedback all the time that people are glad I gently urged them to push the envelope.”

At this Craftsman beach house in Del Mar, the client wanted to modernize while at the same time preserving the feel of the original home, built by her father in the 1950s. “Midway through the project we discovered that we could easily have a cathedral ceiling,” Booth said. “The client took the risk and they loved the end result.” It gives the space a fresh, airy atmosphere.

This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.

HGTV lists grey cabinets as their #1 kitchen trend. This national trend is also heavily seen in the San Diego market. We have found that grey can be just as neutral as white or beige, but with a more modern and contemporary flair. Don’t be afraid of a light grey color pallet for your kitchen! We can pair this cool neutral with natural wood floors or a dark stained kitchen island in order to create warmth and contrast. With a timeless and elegant appeal, grey is the new white!

We also see the mixed use of black and white, to form a simple yet striking color pallet. This color combo can span vintage, modern, or even industrial design. It is so versatile, any home can pull it off!

What if you prefer wood grain cabinets instead of paint? No problem! There are so many stains and wood species that can leave your new kitchen feeling fresh and modern without abandoning the look of natural wood. Try a grey wash stain, instead of a grey paint. This will enable the beautiful natural grain to telegraph through, which still staying cutting edge by using grey tones. Dark espresso stains are also still very popular. These dark rich colors are still very neutral and allow for any type of color scheme to come to life. Try using dark stained wood cabinetry as an island or feature area in the kitchen to bring contrast and warmth.

Textured veneers are an emerging trend. These products can be natural wood, exotic wood species, and even synthetic materials like thermofoil and melamine. The surface can be smooth to the touch while showing vertical or horizontal grains or have an actual texture that can be both seen and felt. The colors range from warm natural wood tone neutrals, to grey washes, to dark wenge and espresso finishes.

Lighting trends and options

When it comes to lighting, the sky is truly the limit! Dress up a kitchen island with fun, glitzy pendants for a touch of glam. Or, use black metals and irons to bring in just a touch of industrial modern or farmhouse warmth. Large scale pendants are popular in kitchen spaces, while mini pendants are emerging as a fun twist to bathroom sconces. Feel free to mix metals when selecting lighting. Even if the hardware throughout the home is industrial black, the lighting features can range from polished chrome, to matte gold! Other unique finishes like winter gold and mercury glass are emerging as alternative choices to an already endless array of option. We see the use of crystal in both the traditional space and the contemporary. Lighting is a great way to bring in character and trendy elegance. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new!

First, consider the long term goals of your home. If the plan is to sell in 1-5 years, let your design/build team know that so they come up with a plan that will bring you enjoyment, but also one that will be versatile and attract the most potential buyers. If this is going to be your forever home, our design approach will be sure to reflect that. We may suggest more custom design and layout applications, solutions for again in place, and even multi-generational living accommodations.

Second, what kind of neighborhood do you live in? We always incorporate this into our initial design and build agenda. We don’t want to overbuild for the area. If a client spends too much on a remodel, they may not be able to get their investment back upon selling. Take into consideration what is owed on the property, what it was originally bought for, and where the value is estimated at now. We also want to be sure that we don’t under develop the design and build plan. If the highest equity value in the neighborhood is a 3200 square foot home with 5 bedrooms, we don’t want to design the addition to only have 3 bedrooms.

Finally, what do you feel comfortable spending? If the contract with the stated scope of work is significantly under budget, then ask your design/build team what the most bang for your buck add-on options would be. Maybe the outdated fireplace should be remodeled at the same time. Perhaps the single paned windows could be replaced with new, energy efficient windows that would bring value and enjoyment to your new space. If the contract is significantly higher than you are comfortable with, let your design/build professional give you tips on which areas to either remove from the scope altogether or ways to streamline or value engineer in savings to the project.

Start with a Design Contract that will cover all of the steps required in order to help you make the best decision. A Design Phase contract should include;

Design Feasibility Studies: In this phase, we will gather measurements and put together a plan that outlines layouts and options that we think will accomplish your design goals. Clients will sit with the design team in the studio and go over the floorplan and collaborate together on changes and revisions. Homeowners may also receive broad pricing information during this initial phase. We want clients to know if their scope of work and budget are possible. What benefit is it to a client if their design team draws a plan that is twice their stated budget? We try and eliminate that potential problem early on so clients can explore the realistic possibilities.

Engineering: Only after a floor plan is decided on should the engineer be called in. To do this step prematurely only makes the homeowner pay for professional services that most likely will have to be redone once the floor plan is finalized. The Design/Build team should provide this service and the homeowner should not have to find their own engineer. After the engineer makes the final structural call outs and calculations, the pricing and proposed budget may be updated to reflect these changes, if any were made.

Construction Drawings: At the end of the engineering phase, the homeowner will have a design and budget that they are ready to proceed on. At this point, the Design/Build team will then create a set of plans that are ready for city submittal. This process may take weeks as all of the information needs to now to be integrated into the final set of build ready plans.