Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Allure of Home Improvement

It was love at first sight three years ago when we toured the home we subsequently purchased in Talking Rock Ranch in Prescott, AZ. The layout, the finishings and fixtures, the view - everything was to our taste, and we could easily visualize living here.

Of course, when you live in a home for a while, you start to think about what you could do to make it even better - more your own. Now we have two projects in mind that we think would be welcome enhancements to our lifestyle.

Yesterday we met with a designer/landscaper/builder who has done a lot of work in our community. We stood on the back patio and discussed our vision for an expanded entertainment space, with more seating, a fire feature, and a hot tub. There are limitations on what we can do, because of Talking Rock design standards, but we believe that we can easily work within those guidelines. We are about to sign a contract and begin the planning and approval process. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy the results during the height of the golf and social season here.

On the interior of the house, we would like to reconfigure the entertainment wall. The space for the TV and audio components needs to be a little larger. The fireplace mantel could be extended across the entire wall. We'd like to add art niches and accent lighting. This project will probably be deferred to 2014, but we wanted to plant the seeds of thought in our contractor's head. He's a creative guy.

Home design project planning has been greatly enhanced in recent years by technology. We were shown lifelike, animated, computer-generated renderings of patio projects with crackling fireplaces, plants waving in the breeze, and actual backdrops of the client's view to add realism. You can even see a daytime versus nighttime view. It's so much easier to imagine the end product of your investment with these models. Amazing stuff.

Sample from
We were also encouraged to create an account on, which describes itself as "A collaborative platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community." After creating an account, we can build a folder of ideas that appeal to us, and share them with our contractor. This will help him get a feeling for our design aesthetic, and may spark ideas for features that will work in our plan.

This is the fun part - the dreaming and design. The reality of digging, dust, noise, invasion of privacy during construction, and writing checks will be the not fun part. But I'm sure the results will be well worth it.

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