Looking back at my career, I find it interesting how much my views have changed on the interior design and construction industry. Back in architecture school at the University of Nebraska, I scoffed at the idea of working in the residential market. The interior design program was architectural in nature, and so I assumed that I would be in an architecture firm doing commercial projects for the duration of my career.
That’s exactly where I started – working on banks, assisted living facilities, healthcare offices, schools, hospitals, public buildings like town halls, operations for investigative agencies, courthouses, rec centers and of course the endless remodels of offices for a new tenant coming in. Working on commercial spaces is relatively easy. There are less emotions involved from the board/decision makers and the budget is built into the company, so changes and additions to the scope do not have a direct affect on any one person’s salary. This makes decisions easier to make and keeps projects moving forward.
After several years working in the Architecture/Design community, I decided to branch out on my own – right as a recession hit. Of course, funding for commercial projects was slim or delayed with many projects tabled until the financial sector was more stable. And so, I begrudgingly entered the residential market. From my view now, this was the best thing I’ve ever done.
I started with builder spec homes. Setting up the model home ‘showroom’ for the realtor to make selections from and making things as simplified for the builder as possible while still giving the homeowner a feeling of choice. New construction is interesting, but primarily based on volume rather than creating something unique for each individual homeowner.
As I entered into more remodel and decorative projects, I found my niche. Transforming a home from something dated and drab with the wrong flow into a comfortable, functional and personal space is an amazing process. Not only do I get to see the home change dramatically, I also see the change in the homeowners. At the first meeting, they explain away why the house looks as it does. Over the course of the project, I see the homeowners get excited by the possibilities and potential their home has – something they never quite saw before. At the end of the project, when the construction is over and the art is hung and the furniture and drapes are in, homeowners have a new sense of confidence and pride. It is now the place they always want to be and the central hub for their family and friends.
Renovating is not for everyone. It takes a lot of strength to take the leap of faith and invest in your home. It is personal and emotional and stressful at times. Every decision not only affects the way you live, but it also directly impacts your personal financial security. I’ve worked on hundreds of residential remodels, including some of my own homes, and each one has unique challenges that push the comfort zone of the homeowners, and sometimes the contractors too. Having a strong team is the most important part of a renovation. Having someone to verify information and give you all the facts and be your cheerleader is a game changer. That’s what I view my role as – your shoulder to lean on and your guide to keep you on track and avoid the rabbit holes that will inevitably appear. The best part of my job is getting to know my clients and watching them, and their home, transform.
Renovate with Brooke Wegener, Call or Text to start your project. 402-509-5588
All locations are welcome!