Archive for August, 2014

Renovation and Design Entails More Than a Fresh Coat of Paint

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
deckFor many Los Angeles clients of mine, I’ve found that the adventure of remodeling is a roller coaster that begins on a high note, drops to a stomach-churning low point, and then settles out at the end with a feeling of exhausted accomplishment. Recognizing that interior design and renovation are more than just slapping a new shade of paint on the walls and actually demands expert planning and a realistic budget will reduce unpleasant surprises and improve the atmosphere for everyone involved in the re-design. 

Predictable Steps:

Every renovation-whether for a single bathroom or an entire home-has the same carefully executed steps:

  • Organize
  • Budget
  • Execute
  • Inspect

Each step, of course, has details to it, but keeping a sense of the overall scheme of progress will help you to weather any momentary setback and keep an eye on your goal. I’ve found that keeping the long term goal in sight and charting out the renovation in a detailed plan will help reduce getting side tracked and deadlines are met with the desired results to show for it.



If you’re like many clients of mind and a kitchen remodel is the plan, I highly recommend you organize and plan for a temporary kitchen elsewhere in the home. Before a sledgehammer swings, you’ll want to make sure you’ve set yourself and the rest of the project up right. Too often, I see people just jump in and start tearing down wallpaper or pulling down drywall with no plan beyond demolition. I’ve seen homeowners undergoing renovations start breaking things down and have gotten too deep into it to a point where it’s hard to get out of and make any fixes.



Part of organizing the renovation is an appreciation of cost and affordability. Don’t skimp out on quality! Remember, this is an investment, so invest in quality materials (green ones whenever possible), use a reputable contractor, and challenge unexpected costs.

Using a licensed contractor will actually save you money over time. An easy way to check credentials is with the California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. For example, D. C. Keeton is a registered, professional contractor, License Number 715043, fully bonded and insured.


Return on Investment:

Some projects provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than others. If you want to boost up your property to make the most of resale value, I like to suggest considering one of these renovations:

  • Attic bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Baths
  • Home offices
  • Sunrooms


Interior Design:

A good contractor will recognize limitations and engage trustworthy subcontractors to handle some tasks, such as landscaping or even interior design. Lighting is often overlooked until late in the process, when it should be incorporated from the beginning, since it requires changes to the electrical system.

Think about how trendy a home you want to live in-fads have low resale value and become grating for day-to-day living. Depending on the room you’re designing the interior for, you can get trendy and modern, but don’t skip out on functionality. For example, if you’re revamping your kid’s bedroom, opting for quality kid furniture specifically, such as bunk beds or themed accents would be ideal, but I recommend looking into styles that can still be utilized as they grow older such as detachable bunk beds and dressers that will appeal to them at any age. If you’re redesigning for a standard guest bedroom, maybe look at neutral styles with trendy accents like pillows, rugs and window dressings. These items appeal to any guests, keeping the style unisex and are easy to interchange if you ever want to revamp again.


Permits and Inspections:

Good planning means proper permits and inspections from plumbing to electrical to structural. Don’t skip out or avoid permits! I can’t stress this enough to those looking to perform a thorough renovation. A common error is to ignore code-required updates to the electrical system. Be wary of any other contractors that tell you a job does not need a permit. Avoiding permits during your renovation can hinder your chances of getting back that ROI I touched on earlier if you ever look to sell the home, not to mention there are major consequences if you get caught without a permit.


Final Thoughts:

Renovation can be a rewarding feat to accomplish. And when it’s done properly due to excellent planning and organization, execution, and having the permits to show for it, you can sit back and declare a “job well done.” The ROI and new appeal of your freshly renovated space will start to flow in and you’ll be thanking yourself and your contractor for having kept to such a well thought out game plan, making you ready for any and all other renovations to come.



1.   Visit my website ( to learn about my company.

2.  Reach out to me at: with any questions you may have.

3.  Call me at at:  213-232-4783 for a personal conversation.

4.  Have a GREAT summer!

Renovating Your Sunroom into Something More

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Sunrooms are probably one of the most underutilized rooms in any home that has one. They’re most commonly occupied by a decorative patio table set or a couple chairs for lounging, making them perfect areas to host a get together or sip your morning coffee while enjoying the weather. But this particular space in a home makes me want to explore other ways it can be enjoyed or at least optimize the recreation it has to offer. Here I list some unique examples of how to enhance and reform your average sunroom into a personal and more functional living space.

From Sunroom to Office Space

Whether you work out of your home full-time or operate your business as supplemental income, these days most everybody has special projects, products, and services they work on from home. Imagine creating a custom business space that you can’t find in any typical corporate or private location that’s just a few paces from your own bedroom. How many offices do you know of in LA that allow you to enjoy the scenery and convenience of your own backyard? But sometimes, you can’t work at your desk if certain weather conditions don’t allow it.

o if you’re like most home owners with a decent sized sunroom, I recommend upgrading from screen only windows to installing actual window panes that give you the option of letting all the weather has to offer in on a good day and keeping out the chillier weather as the colder season sets in while still enjoying a personal backyard view.  You’ll still want to ensure the entire area is properly sealed and secured to avoid any leaks going out when windows are closed or more importantly, to keep anything out that shouldn’t make its way in. As to the flooring of the space, especially if you’re looking at bringing clients into your new office, there are many other flooring options to look into such as carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl or ceramic tile. Industry experts will tell you, though, that with each of these options comes much needed floor care and maintenance in order to protect them from damage and wear, especially in areas that absorb as much sunlight and weather as this room does. So if you’re willing to make this sunroom-to-office renovation a success, be prepared to put in the extra work to make it presentable and long lasting.

From Sunroom to a Game Room

A cozy couch set and a decent rug are perfect for the average sunroom. It occupies the space and makes it functional and appealing whenever you pass through or want to get away to be alone and cozy up to a book, have a private conversation with a friend, or simply relax without interruption.

ut I want to take this up a notch or two or six and make this a much more active environment for everyone in the family to use. Here, you can create your own entertaining cave without going over any budget. Throw together an old couch, TV, some entertainment pieces like books, movies, and gaming systems and you’ve got the perfect place for your teens to hang out with their buddies without being too shut off from the rest of the home. For younger ones, create spaces in the sunroom for them to play dress up and add shelves for their board games and books. Again, the perks of having the sunroom completely transparent and attached to the home gives kids the space to be alone and play by themselves while still allowing the parents to check in with ease.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the “big kids” either. You can get real fancy here and along with a comfortable seating set and TV, hang up team plaques, trophy shelves, pictures for the wall and throw in a mini fridge. Heck, why not install a custom mini bar while you’re at it and now your sports fans in the family have a new go-to man-cave to watch the big game or now you have the perfect room to entertain when visitors want to come and share in all the enjoyment.

From Sunroom to Personal Gym

There’s a reason why California is one of the Top 10 Most-Fit States in America; we love to workout, stay strong, and be fit!  Creating a designated area on your property for the sole purpose of working out is a convenient motivator to inspire you to work out even more! Start by clearing the sunroom space completely out and start planning your layout. Gather all your home gym essentials and figure out exactly what you want where in order to optimize your workout experience.

For example, if you have a treadmill or machine you’ll want to bring in, I recommend having it face the outside scenery to give you something to enjoy while getting your sweat on. For gym-friendly flooring, I recommend opting for thinner carpet installation or large area rugs. Remember that you’ll probably find yourself on the floor from time to time depending on your workout and you’ll want something with comfort and grip. More importantly, you’ll want flooring that will be able to withstand a constant beating from heavy weights being dropped. Another important factor I like to remind those seeking an in-home gym, try to have a wall that’s completely mirrored. This definitely ties the whole gym effect together. Lastly, because it’s a personal gym, I can’t stress enough how perfect a screened sunroom is for proper ventilation. Keep in mind that you may want to add windows to keep the room sealed during cooler months as you would with any of these suggestions, but at least you can have the convenience of the gym in your own home without letting it smell like one.

From Sunroom to Conservatory

The key to a proper conservatory is sunlight. What better room to attain this vital component than, well, a sunroom. A sunroom is perfect to use as a greenhouse and it’s actually not that uncommon at all to utilize this attached area of the home to shelter plants. If you’re looking to get super active in your greenhouse and plan on making a few messes, I highly recommend taking out any carpet or delicate flooring and sticking with cement if that’s the foundation or installing laminate flooring you don’t mind wearing out.

This flooring choice will prove to be extremely convenient to hose out excess dirt or messes and can take the moisture that will come from daily watering. Your plant setup should be based on areas of the room that will get the most sunlight depending on the direction of the rising/setting sun. Keep plants that will