Real Life Tips for Keeping Cool (and On Budget) During Your Home Renovation

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Small or large, one room or ten, a home renovation is a big undertaking that often involves a few unavoidable hiccups along the way. When I visited Dustin & Maya’s Eclectic Silver Lake Home, I was surprised to learn that they had completely renovated and designed their spacious house in just six short months. I picked up a few tips for you renovating readers when I visited the busy hands-on couple.


Maya was adamant that consistent communication with your significant other is the most important factor in achieving a successful home renovation. The happy couple claim they didn’t have a single fight (regarding the reno) during the six-month process, which kept them focused on getting things done. By consistently expressing what each one wanted aesthetically and functionally, they had zero regrets and/or resentment toward each other when the final product was complete.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Mix high and low

Don’t be afraid to supplement your pricier furnishings with low-ticket pieces or find an inexpensive way to snag that coveted item. There are a lot of great, affordable ways to achieve the look you want if you’re willing to get creative and be patient. Dustin and Maya were happy to score their gorgeous Restoration Hardware Chesterfield sofa on Craigslist for half of the original price. Also, many of the home’s visitors are surprised to learn that the kitchen’s interior shelves and drawers are entirely IKEA, fitted with custom fronts and panels from a local contractor.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Work with what you have

Ok, so maybe you really can’t live with that faded buckling linoleum in the bathroom with the weird stain, but maybe, just maybe, that ’80s Southwestern tile is your excuse to finally go desert chic. Nearly all old homes feature questionable design choices, but, as they say, everything old is new again. Leaving a few dated elements from a home’s former years—like the glam-tastic ’80s vanity lights and mirror in Dustin and Maya’s powder room or the bizarre installation of landlines in every room—can look awesome and save you money.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Thanks, Maya & Dustin!