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How we find freedoms in home remodeling
We designed a room in the basement for this client's Civil War collection. - photo by Annie Schwemmer and Ann Robinson
This past weekend, we celebrated our countrys independence and the many freedoms we enjoy. In our profession, we have discovered that we find freedoms even when it comes to residential architecture and home remodeling.

Freedom from walls

We find it liberating to show our clients freedoms they dont even know they have when designing their home remodel. For example, when a client comes in, they often see a wall or a staircase as something they will have to work around. We dont see those as barriers. Walls can be moved. Staircases can be relocated. Of course, every house has limitations (structural as well as mandated, i.e. code restrictions and building ordinances) with which an architect needs to deal. However, an architect can typically see more freedom within a house than the average homeowner.

Yes, architects are trained to see the potential of a house, but it also has something to do with looking at the house with fresh eyes. Honestly, even architects have a hard time seeing past the barriers in their own homes. It is the same concept as not being able to see the forest for all the trees.

Freedom from clutter

A lot of our clients come to us with freedom goals. One common goal is freedom from clutter. The need for more storage is apparently universal.

This goal can be accomplished in many ways. We see it through garage remodels, mudroom additions, basement and attic overhauls, or by creatively adding closets, shelving units and cubbies in different areas of the house.

The goal of any remodel is to make a home function better than it did before. In the design process, we try to make all the space in the house have a purpose or maybe even two. We are always looking for unused nooks and corners that can be turned into functional storage spaces. One other advantage of a major remodeling project is that it requires you to clean out existing areas, hopefully cutting down on clutter as you go.

Freedom to entertain

Another common goal many clients have is to be able to comfortably entertain family and friends.They want great rooms, gathering spaces, media rooms, decks, outdoor kitchens, and opportunities for plenty of other fun-filled, extended-family-friendly projects.

It is a common theme for our clients to want more gathering space for their personal family as well as for holiday and dinner guests. We recently had a client who didnt set out to create a party house. However, after the remodel, her home was so comfortable and functional that all the get-togethers now end up at her house by default. She doesnt mind because she is finally proud of her house and happy to be the hostess.

Freedom to choose

When clients walk into our office, they quickly begin to feel their freedom of choice. Some clients find this liberating, while others find it daunting. In either case, you have the freedom (and the responsibility) to make the many decisions required to complete your remodeling project. You choose everything from the color scheme to the toilet style. Believe us when we say there are a lot of decisions to be made! With each decision, you are creating your new home and improving your lifestyle. Your choices as to which professionals you involve along the way will also affect your remodeling experience and the outcome of the project.

We hope we all remember, in the midst of our Fourth of July celebrations, where the freedoms of this country came from our God-given freedoms and the freedoms for which our soldiers fought.
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