Remodeling Checklist – Do you know what you need?

Are you unhappy with your dated kitchen/bathroom, or with the overall flow of your home and are considering doing simple upgrades or planning to take out a wall or add a room?

Do you know where to start? 

You always should start planning. Planning does not mean talking to a contractor first. Most contractors are realizing your project, but can not always help you to find out what exactly you need. 

You should have an answer to these questions before talking to a contractor. If the following questions overwhelm you, or you like to have a professional to help you, feel free to contact us for a complimentary virtual meeting to talk about your remodeling project.

Kitchen remodel:

  • Do you like the layout? Are the appliances in a place that makes sense to you? Do you have enough space to walk around? Do you have enough light?
  • Does the workflow work with your lifestyle? Do you have/need a bar area? Which height of bar do you prefer? Do you need a coffee/cocktail area?
  • Does your kitchen have everything you need? Is the fridge large enough? Do you need a prep sink? Do you have a wine fridge but don’t use it?
  • What is missing in my kitchen? Do you have enough drawers? Is your pantry large enough? Do you have enough space for your herbs/spices?
  • Plan every detail: Floor material and color, Wall material and color, Backsplash material and color, Cabinet material and color, Doorknob shape and material, Countertop material and color, Sink size, material, and color, Faucet, choose all appliances, under cabinet light, ceiling light, plan the inside of the cabinets, 

A Full Kitchen Remodel can cost between $60-$150K, the services of a designer would add between $3000-$8000 (depending on your kitchen size).

If these questions overwhelm you and you need help to find answers it is the right time to talk to a designer. We are happy to help to design your dream kitchen. Hiring a designer will take away stress during the remodeling process. Contact us now.

Bathroom remodel:

  • Do you like the layout? Do you have enough space to walk around? Do you have enough light and mirrors?
  • Does the layout work with your lifestyle? How many sinks do you like to have? Is your vanity large enough?
  • Does your bathroom have everything you need? Do you need a shower only? Do you need a shower and a tub? Do you need a smart toilet/bidet? Do you need a makeup station?
  • What is missing in your bathroom? Do you need a storage cabinet? Does the vanity provide enough storage?
  • Plan every detail: Floor material and color, Wall material and color, Backsplash material and color, Cabinet material and color, Doorknob shape and material, Countertop material and color, Sink size, material, and color, Faucet, Mirror, Shelving, Cabinets, Spout, Shower bar, Handheld shower, fixtures, light, ceiling light, toilet roll holder, towel bar

A Master Bathroom Remodel can cost between $35- $100K, the services of a designer would add between $3000-$8000 (depending on your bathroom size).

If these questions overwhelm you and you need help to find answers it is the right time to talk to a designer. We are happy to help to design your dream bathroom. Hiring a designer will take away stress during the remodeling process. Contact us now.

House remodel

Cross-section of residential house. 3D image.

If you consider a whole House remodel, plan to move/take out walls, or add an area, you should always talk to a professional. Ideally, your architectural designer or architect helps you to find a contractor and engineer for your project, they work together toward your goal.

Costs for a full home remodel vary a lot because every project is unique, and everyone has different needs. It can be anywhere between $300-600 per sq ft. Adding a bedroom is less than adding a bathroom or kitchen, if your home has a concrete slab costs will be on the more expensive side.

It is important to us to work together with experienced contractors and engineers to make your dream home come true.

Architectural Designer – Architect – Engineer 

Who should you talk to and what are the differences? 

Architectural Designer – SurroundYou Design LLC

An architectural designer is a designer who is involved in the design process of buildings but is not licensed by the state. Usually, architectural designers have a degree in the architectural field, this can be a bachelor’s or even a master’s in architecture. Architectural designers are legally not allowed to call themself “architects”. Architectural designers are working closely together with contractors and engineers if structural calculations and drawings are necessary for your project. 

Licensed Architect

A licensed architect has at least a bachelor in architecture, goes through an internship- and testing process to become a licensed architect. An Architect can help you from start to finish for your home remodeling project. Architects work usually together with structural engineers, so you only need to talk to the architect. 


An engineer makes calculations to ensure that all materials used for your project can support your home. They help to design and analyzing the building and materials of load-bearing structures. They can sign architectural permit plans with structural calculations and drawings.

  1. Architectural Designers will help you finding a structural engineer and contractor to realize your project.
  2. Licensed Architects organize a structural engineer for you and they will take care of the organization part of it.

Do you still have questions about your remodeling project? Please contact us for a complementary virtual meeting to talk about it. We are happy to help you and provide you with a personalized quote based on your needs,

Best of Houzz 2021

I am happy to announce that we received the “Best of Houzz 2021 – Service” award.

Here is my latest review on Houzz, so you get an idea what to expect when working with us:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have been very pleased with Inga’s work. She is professional, always on time and uses technology and tools very well to help with the process. She listens well and has been able to translate my half coherent thoughts into a masterful design that has surpassed my expectations. I also love that she is accommodating and is patient with all my questions. She’s also been more than willing to come up with alternatives for pieces that I love but want to find less expensive alternatives for. I have pretty much handed her the reins of all the details and design choices in my house, even down to the what the house number should look like and exactly where to put it. I recommend Inga highly and have loved working with her.

Houzz Announces Best Of Houzz 2021 Winners

Coveted annual award highlights home remodeling and design professionals with top ratings and most popular designs among the Houzz community

Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home renovation and design, today announced the Houzz community’s picks for Best Of Houzz 2021, a homeowner-to-homeowner guide to the top kitchen and bath remodelersarchitectsinterior designerslandscape pros and other residential design and remodeling professionals on Houzz. This exclusive award recognizes just three percent of the more than 2.5 million active home professionals and interior and architectural photographers on the Houzz platform. 

“The Best Of Houzz awards are an emblem of trust and credibility for home professionals across the U.S. and around the world, and we are excited to celebrate this year’s winners,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our critical need as homeowners to feel comfortable before inviting pros into and around our homes, and the Best Of Houzz badge is a powerful way to communicate the trust that homeowners have in a pro’s business. It’s just one of many tools on the Houzz platform that help pros convey their unique expertise, and help homeowners find the right professionals for their projects.” 

Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a professional’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews for projects completed in 2020. Photography badges are awarded to architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular.

A “Best Of Houzz 2021” badge, specifying the category won, appears on winners’ profiles to help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals on Houzz locally and around the world. Houzz Pro members can also add the ‘Best of Houzz’ standout tag to their profile, which will appear in their directory listing and convey credibility. Winners have been announced globally. 

To see the most popular home designs visit:

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. On Houzz, people can find design inspiration, research and hire home professionals, and shop for products to complete their projects. For home professionals, Houzz Pro ( provides an all-in-one software solution that empowers industry pros to stand out, win clients and manage their projects efficiently and profitably. The Houzz community is made up of millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals around the world. Houzz is available on the web and as a top-rated mobile app. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit

Backyard planting ideas

Here are my personal favorites on how you can improve your backyard with easy DIY Projects.

Cinder Block Planters:

Cinderblocks are easy to purchase in every hardware store, not too heavy and easy to paint if you need a different color for your space. Have a look at this great Tutorial on how to create Cinder Block Planters by “The Garden Glove”, click here.


Vertical hanging Garden:

If you have a large wall or fence visible in your yard and don’t like the look of it, you could add a Vertical Succulent Garden. Succulents are low maintenance and don’t need much water. Stephanie Lynn wrote an easy to follow step by step guide on how to make your very own planter click here for details.


Combine Planters with light:

Light is important to have in your outdoor space to create a nice atmosphere at night. Here is a do it yourself project by On Sutton Place which shows you step by step how you can create your own planter with lanterns.


Tree Stump Planter

I like the look of Tree Stumps a lot, adding some color with plants can convert them to beautiful planters for indoor or outdoor. Stacy Risenmay has a detailed Blog about how to hollow the Stumps and shows you what you need to do to make them look nice for inside your home as well:


Outdoor light

Adding outdoor lights to your Back or Front Yard are easy improvements to your space. You can add spotlights to your favorite plants, light a walkway or simple place them to add ambience at night. Think about how you like to enjoy your space and also what you like to do best outside. Here is a collection of my favorite outdoor lamps:

Globe light by Smart and Green

This battery operated globe light is great for all spaces, it comes in different sizes and you can easily change the brightness and color. 

Follow Me by Marset

You can carry this rechargeable lamp everywhere you go. Take it out for a night time picknick or place it close to your seating area as a reading light or simply as an accent light. The handle makes it convenient to take it anywhere. 

Tree Stump light by Duncan Meerding

If you prefer a more natural look these Tree Stump light might be a prefect fit for your space. These Tree Stump lights can be use as stools or side tables. 

Halley by Vibia

This timeless light can be used for any outdoor space. The light is made out of light weight materials, easy to assembly and also easy to move around in case you like to use it somewhere else. 

Tolomeo XXL Ground by Artemide

This lamp is an amazing accent piece, but not suitable for every space. You should have plenty of space around it. 

Plant Pot Lamp Rumba by Smart and Green

Imagine your outdoor planters light up at night. These amazing planters do exactly that. You can bring more colors into your space even at night. 

Bolleke – Hanging Lamp by Fatboy

This is such an easy way to illuminate your trees, you can simply hang the light to the branch. These lights are cordless and rechargeable, with an 8″ diameter.

Bamboo Outdoor Floor Lamp by Vibia

The Bamboo outdoor Flor Lamp is available in different sized, you can light up a pathway or cluster them together, almost like a light sculpture. 

Hanging LED Column by Shopwildthings

This Fairy light Column can be hung as a column or you can spread out all strings and hang them like a roof over an outdoor seating area.

CD Cover Wall Art

This is a great way to reuse all your CD Covers. We had our CDs just laying around in a box, and did not use them any more. Since we have a lot of memories to the time we listened to them every day, I decided to put them on the wall.

The design is totally customizable, depending on your space on the wall you have a lot of options and can do any shape you like.

Items you need:

– Carpet knife

– Metal ruler

– Ruler

– Measuring tape

– Cutting mat

– Sticky dots/double sided adhesive roller

– CD Cover/Books

– Coroplast

– Pencil

– Packaging tape

Step 1: The shape

After you decided which shape you like to do, make sure the Covers fill fit. One CD Cover measures 4.72 x 4.72 inches. Just imagine you are doing a square with 5 CD Covers in each direction. 5 CD Covers next to each other measure 23.6 inch. Since we only want to see the CD Covers and not the Coroplast, you can use a 20 x 20 inch coroplast sheet.

Step 2: Glue all booklet pages together

Use sticky dots to glue all pages together. For this project, I needed about 10 of the adhesive rollers.

Step 3: Mounting CD Covers 

Start mounting CD Covers on the Coroplast sheet. Best way to do it, put all Covers on it without using glue or sticky dots, to make sure that they overlap at the edges.

Step 4: Mounting on the wall

You can just use Nails to put it at the wall. Hold you Coroplast CD Cover Sheet straight at the wall, put the nail at the corner were 4 CD Covers meet and nail it into the wall. Depending on your size you might want to split your project into more pieces and hang put them together to one large piece on the wall. This project is made out of 4 pieces.

Which Backsplash would you choose?

During this kitchen remodel my client contacted me after the cabinets and countertop where already installed. They needed help with choosing a backsplash. These are the two tiles I recommenced: 

To help to imagine how these tiles would look in their kitchen we created realistic 3D renderings:

Please comment and let us know what your preference is.

What size should my rug have?

There are a few things to consider when choosing the right size for a rug. The most important one is how much space you have.

Here are three options which work for most living areas.

  1. Small Rooms: If you have a smaller living room it is best to choose a smaller rug as well. That way the room has a more open feeling and looks more spacious. Make sure all your furniture fit around the rug.



2. Medium size Rooms: Your rug can be a bit larger than in a small room. The benefit of having the front of your furniture on the rug is that it stays in place.


3. If you have a large Room, you can also have a large rug where your furniture fit completely on your area rug.



Upgrades on a budget

Door Knobs!

One very easy way to upgrade any cabinet door is to exchange the door knobs. Little details like this can have a huge impact. Whether you find door knops at a second-hand store, at your favorite furniture store, or even on your vacation. Choose the one you like best. It is always good to personalize your home with something you have a story to tell about.



I feel often like I am cleaning my kitchen all day long and do nothing else. I don’t like the idea of having a lot of items on my kitchen counter, and always try to keep it clean. I am making one exception! Items who have a purpose and are used daily are allowed to be on my countertop. Here are some ideas how you can update your kitchen with some herbs.


Removable Wallpaper

Do you have a wall in your home where you absolutely don’t know what to do with? Some walls speak for themselves and they don’t need any decor, consider to add removable wallpaper. It is a great way to add some pattern and it is easy to remove. This is especially important if you are renting. Here is one I like a lot.


Wait for discounts

Be patient when you found an item you like because most stores have reoccurring Discounts. One month curtains are on sale, the next month rugs and so on. It is worth watching prices online before buying. You can also contact me: I receive a lot of catalogs with coupons and discount offer. Show me the item you like and I can help you to find the best deal.


Have plants in your home!

Having plants in your home has a lot of positive benefits to your home and well being. They look beautiful and attractive and also reduce stress and create a well-being feeling. Interior landscaping has also a positive effect on your level of productivity,  people in offices are more productive and take fewer sick days, make fewer mistakes and are happier.


Adding plants to your bathroom in hanging pots on to the shower curtain is an easy way to add some green. They help to clean the air and can also eliminate bacteria. You probably won’t even forget to water them.


Plants and their benefits:

Anthurium – decreases our stress level

ZZ Plant – helps you to feel better and heal faster from injuries

Majesty Palm – improve your job satisfaction

Peace Lily – most efficient natural filters, makes our air fresher

Snake Plant – good to add oxygen at night. Good plant for your bedroom

Red Aglaonema – boosts up your energy level

Dracaena – efficient air cleaner for chemical compounds

Orchid – they add a touch of exotic elegance and are a great filter for indoor air pollutionUntitled4

Get ready for fall

We are in the middle of October already, the days get shorter and it is getting colder. Time to change your living area a little bit to get some blankets and pillows out.

Interior Design - Architectural Design - Landscape Design - Designer - design - contemporary design - midcentury design - modern design - remodel - extension - living space - accessories design - decorHere are some Ideas for easy changes:

Enjoy Fall, one of my favorite seasons…