What exactly is

"Phase 1" renovation?....

...and why it might be the answer to your woes


If you're anything like me, the more time you're spending at home is making you want to make more and more updates to your house. Nothing like all of the irritating things about your house staring you in the face all day every day to make you say ENOUGH ALREADY!

But sometimes we can't just take a sledge hammer to the spaces driving us bonkers. Maybe it's because you don't have the $ set aside at the moment to tackle a full renovation. Or maybe you're planning a BIG renovation in a few years and don't want to burn funds on something temporary. Or maybe you're only planning on staying in your current home or rental for a short amount of time.


Just because you can't tackle EVERYTHING you'd like to right away doesn't mean that you have to stare at the void of ugliness indefinitely. This is the magic of the "Phase 1" update. 



A phase 1 update involves making small but mighty changes to your space at a lower price point that will help you love your space in that in-between time. Things like swapping paint, hardware, adding removable wallpaper, and updating light fixtures can make an incredibly huge difference to how you view that space.


In Kristen's kitchen (top photo) that involved new European style hidden hinges, brass hardware, and a coat of fresh paint in blush and white. We're talking just a few hundred bucks for a world of change.


For my kitchen (bottom photo) we went a little more heavy duty. We raised the upper cabinets, added a shelf, new backsplash, paint, countertops, sink, and faucet. About the only things we kept were the appliances and cabinet hardware. Our Phase 1 updates were around $8000 (the engineered quartz countertops taking up a whopping $5K of that total).


Because here's the thing - I design kitchens for a living. They are my JAM. And I obsess over every cabinet customization, material, appliance, and space maximization you can think of. I also cook every single day. So when it's time for me to do THE KITCHEN OF MY DREAMS, it's going to cost a boatload of cash because I am going to do it right. 


But that can be paralyzing, right!? At our first house I couldn't afford to do everything I wanted, so I did nothing, and I kick myself for not doing even small things to help me love that space more. So when we moved into this house I began planning a Phase 1 renovation to help me enjoy the space even if it wasn't everything I wanted in the whole wide world. It took some time for us to get started, and more time than anticipated to finish (thanks to a SURPRISE high-risk pregnancy smack in the middle of it!!) but oh my word you guys it was so worth it.


So let me encourage you, friends. If there's a room in your house driving you crazy, be it a kitchen or bathroom or living room or bedroom, and you don't want to allocate the resources for a full overhaul, consider what a Phase 1 update might look like for you!


Curious about what my kitchen looked like before our Phase 1 Renovation!? 

We blogged the early stages of it and you can see it here. 


Hope you have an amazing week!