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Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Renovation? Start Here!

Are you staring at your outdated kitchen and bathrooms begging for a renovation but paralyzed with the number of decisions? You' re not alone. Renovating your home is very exciting but can feel overwhelming to know what to focus on and what will add value.

House renovation in sitges

It's incredibly easy to get carried away with ideas and inspirations from Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and renovation TV shows and end up with a long wish list. This is where a Needs vs. Wants List becomes your essential first step.

Step 1: The Needs vs Wants List: Your renovation roadmap

As an expert Interior Designer in Sitges, I always advise my clients to create their Needs vs their Wants List before embarking on any project. By taking the time to figure out your non-negotiables (Needs) and your aspirations (Wants), clarifies what things truly matters and would bring more value to your life. Taking time to refine this list over several days ensures a thoughtful and well-considered approach.

Differentiating your Needs and Wants isn’t an easy task but it is crucial to stay focused when considering your budget.

Needs: The Foundation of Your Renovation

Your Needs List should cover the essential elements that will make your home comfortable and functional for your family. Some home renovations may appear as Wants but can significantly increase your property's value. Here are some examples:

  • Changing the layout to create an open plan living space

  • Kitchen remodelling

  • Bathrooms remodelling

  • Upgraded flooring

  • Energy efficient windows

  • New plumbing and electrical installations

  • Landscaping

  • Built- in storage.

Investing in these Needs often delivers a high return on investment.  For example, a custom kitchen that prioritizes both style and workflow will significantly boost your home's resale value. Transforming that outdated kitchen into a stunning and admired space is an investment well made.

Wants: Dreaming of Your Ideal Space

Once you've identified your needs, it's time to dream big! This is where your wants list comes in. Here, you can explore your dream features, the aspects that will elevate your home beyond functionality and inject personality. Wants may be incorporated later:

  • Home extensions

  • Spa features (sauna, hammam, jacuzzi)

  • Underfloor heating

  • Smart home features

  • Gym conversions

  • Game rooms

  • Cinema rooms

  • Upgraded façade

Needs often take priority because they provide immediate improvements to daily life.

To help you figure out your Needs vs Wants, I've prepared a worksheet what you can download for free:

Needs and Wants List
Download PDF • 1.07MB

Remember, renovation is a journey, and a Needs vs. Wants List is your roadmap to a successful project.  

Step 2: Crafting a Realistic Budget and Contingency Plan

Once you've identified your Needs and Wants, the next crucial step is establishing a realistic budget for your project. As an expert Interior Designer I am always transparent with our clients: our passion lies in crafting extraordinary homes, and there's no greater reward than seeing you live in your dream home. Unfortunately, fulfilling every item on your Wishlist might not always be feasible. Sometimes, clients need to strategically prioritize Needs while creatively compromising on Wants to achieve a budget-conscious balance.  This doesn't have to be a heart-breaking process.  Through collaborative planning with our team and trusted local contractors, we'll provide solutions to strike a balance between functionality and aspirational elements, allowing you to embark on your renovation journey with confidence.

Remember, your meticulously crafted Needs vs. Wants List becomes an invaluable tool during budget allocation.  Understanding your Needs allows you to allocate resources efficiently and potentially incorporate some of your Wants down the line.

Renovations unavoidably involve unforeseen circumstances. To mitigate these, we strongly recommend establishing a budget contingency of 10% to 20%.  This buffer provides flexibility to address unexpected situations that may arise during the execution phase. 

Step 3: Be realistic about your timeline

It's important to have realistic expectations regarding the renovation timeline. While the specific timeframe will vary depending on the project's scope, the average design phase typically takes 16 weeks.  This comprehensive design period allows us to thoroughly analyse your home, meticulously craft a bespoke design that reflects your needs and dreams, explore various design options, and finalize material selections. 

How long does it take to renovate typical rooms in a home, once the design is complete? Here are some average execution times:

  • Bathroom renovation projects: 4-6 weeks

  • Kitchen renovation projects: 4-8 weeks

  • Integral home renovation projects: 8-24 weeks

Step 4: Find an Interior Designer who designs homes you are aspiring to create

The selection of your interior designer is a critical step.  Invest time in interviews, seeking a professional who designs homes you are aspiring to create.  Make sure you connect with them, they feel approachable and professional.

Once you've found the perfect Interior Designer for you, let them do the project and budget for every known cost including sockets, skirting boards, cornices, furniture, labour, absolutely everything!

Spend time processing their proposals and actively participating in the process, reviewing proposal and providing feedback. I always tell our clients that we are a team, and the success of their project relies on our communication and they active feedback.

Step 5: Have a plan A and B.

In reality budgets can be very costly, having a well defined Plan A and a plan B will save you time during the decision-making progress when prioritizing renovation elements. With the project and budget in hand, go back to your Needs and Wants List, refine your renovation scope as needed.

As part of our process, I present out clients with various scenarios tailored to their specific financial constraints. Sometimes, we explore the possibility of phasing the works allowing them to prioritize essential areas while accommodating future aspirations.

If you still have doubts to decide what to leave out of your renovation checklist, focus on the rooms you use the most. These might be the kitchen, living room and master suite bedroom.

With meticulous planning and a the Lady J. Interiors skilled team by your side, you can transform your dream renovation into a reality, minimizing stress and maximizing your results. Get in touch for a free consultation.





We create homes with a sophisticated, classic and timeless style where living is a delight for your senses.
We take care of the details to elevate the beauty of everyday life.

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