If there is one thing that working in corporate America for 12 years has taught me, it is that feedback is a gift. And you should not only ask for it, but actually consider changes as a result of it. Therefore, when I finished my first “extreme home makeover,” I actually couldn’t wait to get the feedback! After putting so much time, energy, heart into a project, I really did want to grow and learn from this so it was critical that I reflect with Jennifer, the homeowner. Check out our e-interview below as I wrap up my final post of the Hamilton Home Makeover (holding back tears…). Oh and if you missed any of the before and after reveals, scroll all the way down the links are there for you to check them out!
AU: On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest, how would you rate the overall makeover? Feel free to elaborate!
JH: I would rate the entire project a 12. The main reason for this was the EASE of making it happen (FOR ME that is!!!). Ann, you asked me questions on how involved I wanted to be, how I would make decisions, etc. I essentially told you that I would be overwhelmed going through a ton of fabrics, paint, etc so you always gave me 4 – 6 choices. It was PERFECT and easy. I knew after the day of “choosing”…paint colors, carpet and fabrics, that we had similar taste. This was based on the process of elimination and me asking you after every “removal” if your top pick was still there. Which it was in most cases!
The place is BEAUTIFUL…me, Chris, my nanny and my weekend babysitter all LOVE it! Funny story. My babysitter, who I’ve used a dozen times and is getting married next year said to me “I LOVE what you have done with the place….would you ever help me decorate my apartment?” The look on her face when I said “NO” was priceless. I then of course proceeded to tell her that I had absolutely nothing to do with the phenomenal-ness (I know not a word) of the place and had NO talent is design/décor.
AU: What were three words that came to you when you saw your new first floor?
JH: BEAUTIFUL, meaningful and home.
AU: Out of the seven rooms, which room were you most shocked by? Why?
JH: The LIVING ROOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!! The Piano…the piano that has spent the last 5+ years against that East wall. Yes, I know Avdo had the idea, but then the rest of it. The yellow chairs/lamp/reading area. The gallery wall, the old pictures, the one my mother painted…the DOORKNOB…I mean how COOL is that little item!???? And the chairs….THANK GOODNESS we reupholstered those drab gross chairs. I mean really. I now love this room!!!
AU: Out of the seven rooms, which room do you like the most? Why?
JH: The dining room. I absolutely love love love the color! I also love the décor. The wall of plates, the mirror above the fireplace…the man/booze area (Chris switched out a couple of bottles for more “high end” booze)…he’s taking it very seriously and appreciates that you thought of him in all of this. There may be a tie for favorite room but isn’t it weird to want to stay and linger in my new BEAUTIFUL French inspired bathroom? Et tu ecrit “salle du bain” on the chalkboard. I was pleased I studied French for 8 years.
AU: Out of the seven rooms, which was your least favorite? Why?
JH: No comment. No really…I have thought of this because I am so happy with every square inch of what you have done. I can’t even say the hallway because you put my sentimental painting there…in the most perfect spot…that other people may not stop and look at but I do. every. day.
AU: My overall vision for your place was personalization and secondarily, it was to combine old with new for a modern vintage feel. Do you think that was achieved?
JH: Yes! We said goodbye to grandmothers rug and updated other grandmothers chairs with the yellow fabric and kept all the old mirrors, the vintage entryway table and grandma’s piano. The modern meshed with the vintage beautifully.
AU: Do you think, overall, that the new design and decor fit you and Chris’s personality and style? Why or why not?
JH: Yes. I actually have started dressing better at home (ha). On a serious note yes. It is not “girly”…no florals as requested, but still masculine colors and a sophistication that Chris and I both try to pretend we have when we are truly dorks.
AU: One of my personal challenges was to ensure that your space was child friendly while still maintaining an adult perception. Do you think it does that? Why or why not?
JH: YES and it took me several days to figure out how Avdo secured that shelf to the wall! Our home was actually never that “child proofed”. I didn’t want my home to be taken over by my children and also didn’t want to put giant rubber protector things around every table, chair and fork. They sell so much crap to protect your kids that they never learn that perhaps running head first into a coffee table isn’t such a great idea. I guarantee it will only happen once however. They haven’t even touched the cool red and white straws since the first day!
AU: For each room, tell me your 1-2 favorite things about them!
- ENTRYWAY: LOVE the chandelier…it has a very cool reflection at night. Also LOVE the piece you created for us. It’s beautiful and incredibly thoughtful.
- LIVING ROOM: The yellow chair/lamp/reading corner. The gallery wall.
- DEN/Playroom: The pictures….especially the one of Luke and Chris sitting on the dock at the Hamilton cabin. The rug. SO fun.
- DINING ROOM: The color. The plate wall….very cool.
- KITCHEN: The Subway tile, the new freshness of the white. Also love the use of the classic mason jar…and that my favorite hors d’oeuvre plates are on display. (On that note…did you buy the larger plates that match my little ones before or after you saw my little ones?)
- BATHROOM: WALLPAPER!!! Love it…truly. And the gold mirror.
- OFFICE: The color! The RUG!!!
AU: Do you think what I delivered was under value, valuable or above value for the money you spent?
JH: Above. I immediately thought you MUST have gone way over budget and that to get some good material to launch your design career you emptied your savings account! You bought SO much stuff…I had no idea all of that was going to happen and I was THRILLED to say the least.
AU: After doing your very own ‘extreme home makeover’, would you do it again?
JH: YES YES YES. A lot of people say they could “never do that” as in leave and let it happen without picking out everything. I am so much the opposite. I showed up at my own wedding not knowing how the tent would be set, I didn’t choose the menu or anything….it was so much more fun for me!!! And by “would I do it again” I mean get started on the second and third floors!! Okay…Chris said I have to wait a bit. We just paid the tax bill…ugh.
AU: Anything else? Budget process? Meeting process? Feedback is welcomed and needed! Bring it on!
JH: Ann, I can’t say anything negative. I can’t…and if you really truly knew me as a person as a leader of others, you would know that I am extremely comfortable with feedback…positive and negative. I appreciated you informing along the way about the budget and letting me decide about increasing it, etc. Meeting was great…you were drawing out of me what my thoughts were and not necessarily saying anything negative about the former space….except for my table not being under the chandelier bugging you! Ha.