We know no two renovation projects are alike, but in general, what are the steps you follow
in a home renovation project?
I usually start from the inside, working out. I start with the plumbing and electrical layout, identifying
fixture height, valve placement and specifications. I take into consideration lifestyle and room layouts
when looking at a lighting plan. I like to understand how a client lives in order to develop an overall
strategy. Work spaces, such as a kitchen or bathroom, need a lot of task lighting. In general, I prefer
more ambient lighting to create a mood for each space. My plans take into consideration future room
configuration and use as well. A good plan will allow for change as a family’s needs change. People
get bored with a furniture layout so you have to be prepared for any space plan scenario and have
electrical in place.
Next I look at the overall architectural detailing of the home – cabinetry, built-ins, flooring and surfaces.
In my own home, I worked with a neutral palette, inserting a lot of textures. My den is a little more
dramatic with an accent of bolder colors.
The living room was “inspired” by my collection
of one-of-a-kind pieces, the antique Barrister
bookcases, the cream-ware and my antique prints.
When working with a homeowner I try to listen intently to their needs. The design
process is a continuous series of
questions. Are there patterns you like or
don’t like? Are there allergies? How do
you like a space to function? How do
you live within your space? For example,
I might say, “Do you see the den being
used as an office space, a music room
or a home library? Do you entertain? On
average, how many people do you like
to seat comfortably in a room?”
Once we determine the functionality of
the rooms, I work with my client to identify
one “inspiration” fabric as a starting point
for all of the other selections. When
choosing furnishings, I love incorporating
one-of-a-kind pieces into my client’s
spaces, something that speaks to them,
whether it is the unique shape, texture
Was it different, working on your own
home versus designing a space for
Yes it was! As a designer, we are exposed to so many options so when the decisions were my own
to make, for my own home, I truly struggled with every one. I joked that I needed to hire a designer
myself to help with narrowing my choices.
Now that your own renovation is complete, what is your “favorite” part of your new home?
Well, a home is never done. Design is a continual evolution over time as people’s needs and
individual tastes continue to change. My hope is that my clients are as excited and thankful to go
home as I am.
To view a bio and additional work samples from Jimmy Angell, click here.