Staying Creative During A Condo Renovation.

This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and SToK™. All opinions are mine alone. #SToKCoffee #cbias #CollectiveBias

Having a love affair with SToK ™  Cold Brew.

Having a love affair with SToK ™  Cold Brew.

It's a never a dull moment when you are living with a serious boyfriend of 6 years who is equally as creative as you are. We live in an incredibly modern condo in an incredibly old historical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My sweet Lin graduated with a degree in architecture but then found himself starting a mechanical and electrical engineering firm and going that route. But he can never shake his love for architecture and design. He designed our present condo from the bare bones and it's truly a masterpiece. When we travel, we love visiting art museums and I am the one admiring the art and he is the one admiring the building. We go to a fabulous new restaurant or drive by a really cool looking home or office building and we have to pull over so he can check it out. I am the one pulling over for something I see in nature and the one ready to go ignite my five senses INSIDE the restaurant or building, especially if said building has coffee.

It's seriously the strongest iced coffee we have ever tasted. We am now addicted and have to stock up every time we are in Texas or other states that stock it. This inspiration in a bottle is so worth it. Lin loves that there are no weird ingredients and he really enjoys the Brazilian Blend flavor profile. This coffee helps creative people do creative things and I am needing it to be fully stocked in my fridge at all times. It gives us so much energy and creative powers. There are two flavors to chose from too. There is an un-sweet version and a not too sweet version. We personally love both and enjoy switching it up. It literally got us through the hardest parts of a renovation that I am about to tell you about!

So rewind to about a year ago, the unit next to ours went on the market. In about 24 hours my sweet Lin came home and casually mentioned over dinner that we were now the proud owners of that unit. Gasp. Big, big gasp. It was in the worst shape. It did not even have a kitchen, and let's not even talk about the tiny bathroom. I nearly died. It's hard for me to sometimes see Lin's vision most of the time. His mind works so differently than mine. He paid way too much for it and that's exactly why he didn't even tell me because there would have been zero chance of me agreeing to this purchase. But what happened was done and we decided we would demo it and fully renovate it and throw it on the market. Lin adores a creative project and loves the architecture side of things and I love the interior design part of things. I am so supportive because it brings him so much joy. When he is drawing and planning I just sit back and watch the smile on his face. The passion absolutely is there and it's just beautiful to see someone doing something they love. Seriously pulls on all my heartstrings. Being creative and making things happen for yourself is one the best things in life. 

A condo renovation is a large undertaking, and can be extremely stressful at times. I mean just look at the pictures above. The best way to tackle a project like this is to prepare, and understand exactly what you are getting into. I have prepared some tips for you to make it a bit easier. (P.S. we loved saving everything we could from the demo and reused it in different ways) 

Impossible is one late night away.

Impossible is one late night away.

Experience is Key

A house renovation is complicated; a condo renovation can be much more complicated. The challenge is often due to limited space and work hour limitations. Renovators will be stressed for space and time to work to adhere to neighbors and building regulations. Make sure that the team you hire are certified to work in this environment and are transparent about timing of the complete renovation. In our condo we can only do renovations Monday-Friday from 9-5 and freight elevators must be reserved. So this adds another planning layer. 

Picking paint colors with my fave cold brew on hand. I am actually really good at helping Lin with this part.

Picking paint colors with my fave cold brew on hand. I am actually really good at helping Lin with this part.

Know Your Building

As mentioned before, condo buildings have specific regulations and rules that do not apply to owners of single family homes. These regulations not only apply to workers; they apply to you as well. You need to understand which types of changes are allowed in your renovation, and which are not. Different buildings have different rules, so don’t make assumptions, and find out for sure. It will save a lot of trouble and possibly money in the long run.

Have a Contingency Plan

When it comes to a condo renovation, the budget of the project is extremely important. It’s essential to set aside a portion of your budget as a contingency, not only due to unexpected expenses, but you may switch materials midway or make costly changes to your original plan. A contingency will keep you from going over budget, and help keep the finances of your renovation from getting out of control. This will save you from so many sleepless nights.

Lin's vintage drafting tools from Austin.

Lin's vintage drafting tools from Austin.

Look to the Future

The final tip  is to look to the future. Avoid being overly specific in a condo renovation because you don’t know what your situation will be in a few years. You may decide to move out of your condo and sell it, which will be much harder if your condo is extremely tailored to your tastes. This mostly applies to a condo you are renovating for yourself where ours was a project to flip and put it on the market but tailoring it to a broader audience was important to us. Our condo is incredibly modern and we realize that is not for everyone so with the new condo we renovated, we really wanted to keep it clean and contemporary but add some warmth and features we knew a lot of different types of people would appreciate. 

Drink lots and lots of SToK Coffee.

You are going to work long days, especially if you are doing the drawings, drafting, demo, and renovation.You will maybe change your mind a few times. You may feel like giving up. A demolition and a remodel is super stressful and you feel as though you are running on fumes. The creativity starts to fade. Embrace the coffee and let it lead the way. 

Look forward to showing you the finished condo when it's complete. How do you get through the long hours of the day when you are working on an intense project?

Xo

Sam