troo designs

Budget Series Part 1: Expectations vs. Budget

In this budget series we’re discussing the topic that everyone dreads: your decorating budget. Whether you recently moved into a new home, are flipping a home or maybe just want a fresh look, there is one inevitable question: How much is this going to cost? Renovating, redecorating, or even just staging a home to sell it can be an expensive undertaking. Whether you have $10,000 or $100,000 to spend, you can create a beautiful space – the key is setting a realistic budget that fulfills your needs and expectations.

If you’re starting to explore a renovation, you may be asking yourself the following questions: Where do I start? What is worth splurging on? What even is my style? How do I attain what I envision my place looking like while staying within a reasonable budget? The reality is designing your home, finding your style, and building an eclectic collection that fits you is tough. It is time-consuming. You may have been inspired by images found on Houzz or other social media outlets, but the reality is, it’s way over your budget. Here is where I recommend starting:

1. Understand your space. 

For example, are you designing your forever home or simply flipping a home to gain profit? Before you can start looking at the potential cost of your project, you’ll need to figure out exactly what you want your space to look like. Create a list of items you like and dislike about your current design. It is important to carefully align your needs with your budget. Make a list of items that are absolutely must-haves, and ensure that their costs are covered first and foremost. This is a great time to put a story board together to help with your must-have list!

2. Determine the costs in comparison with your budget. 

It’s important to be realistic with your budget expectations – you don’t want to get halfway through your project and realize that you just can’t afford to keep going. Determine an amount you would feel comfortable spending even if you don’t know the exact costs. Most likely you have a figure in mind to get started. As you continue to develop your final budget, refer back to this number to make sure you’re staying on track. This could also be a collaborative process between you and your designer. Almost everyone tends to go over their budget so it’s important to create a breakdown that provides a contingency of about 15 to 20 percent. I recommend having this to cover unforeseen issues that may arise during a project.

3. Show your cards. 

From firsthand experience, it becomes tough to give you what you want without knowing what you want to pay for it. By showing your designer your budget, they’ll be able to tell you if the amount is reasonable and help maximize your funds. A professional designer will also be able to tell you what is cost worthy and ensure you’re spending wisely! 

Stay tuned for future posts in this series where I will explore tips and costs associated with designing a lifelong ‘dream home’ and also costs associated with a short-term investment property. I will discuss where best to spend money in both situations without skimping on quality, along with ways to prioritize. For more help getting started on your design project, contact us. We’d love to work with you and make sure that your investment pays off with a functional, aesthetically pleasing space!


Making a Statement

I recently was featured in EASTside Austin Homes Issue where I discussed my thoughts on ‘making a statement’. People seek me out looking for a unique design, something creative above industry standards, something that creates a true wow factor. Often, their vision comes from an image found on social media or a recently viewed project of mine. Social media has significantly influenced interior design. There are endless images to inspire. The question becomes…’How can this be incorporated into my home? Will it be over the top or too much?’ Usually this ends up requiring the client to step outside of their comfort zone and shy away from their ‘normal’. I have noticed a clients biggest struggle is when to say yes to edgy and different... something a little crazy.

Color is an essential aspect of interior design but as I mentioned in the article, less can be more. Too many colors and patterns can seem overwhelming and cluttered to those struggling with an overall vision. This is usually the reason they seek my expertise. I suggest starting with a focal point and designing from there. During a consultation, and usually in 5 minutes or often less, I know exactly what color their room in question should be painted. Or what color/material the countertop and backsplash should be… or what color cabinetry and floor tile should be. Designing a story board comes next and this is the part of my job I love! I layout a mix of textures, finishes, patterns, and colors and then carefully work to incorporate them in the home staying true to the focal point. (see my featured story board below!) 

EastSide Mag

If you’re looking to spruce up your home with some color or unique textiles, spring and summer are awesome times to visit showrooms and look for new products. Vibrant colors fill the showrooms and colors tend to be hot and sultry or pastel and soft. My advice – have fun and take some chances but make sure the space always feels like you.

1. Rotunda Calacatta Gold | 2. Custom Yellow Glazed Porcelain Tile | 3. Edge Glass Chevron Mosaic | 4. Gothan Field Tile | 5. Hexagon Cement Tile | 6. Geometrica | 7. Arrowhead Glass Mosaic | 8. 2” Black Gloss Hexagon | 9. Elmwood Cabinetry | 10. Elmwood Cabinetry | 11. Axor Faucet | 12. Penny Round Mosaic | 13. 4X4 Field Tile | 14. Decora Cabinetry | 15. Elmwood Cabinetry | 16. Axor Faucet

The Tile That Inspired Me

I found this image on the internet in 2014 and fell in love.

I found this image on the internet in 2014 and fell in love.

When I was searching the internet in 2015 for inspiration, I didn't realize this very image above would make such an impact on my design career. 

I didn't know what this tile was called, but I was on a mission to find it. I was designing my very first shipping container studio for myself, so I wanted every single design element to reflect me. I couldn't stop going back to this image without getting excited. It was the color, the pattern, the shape that was just so perfect. Just a few months earlier I had been to this wonderful tile shop in North Austin called "Clay Imports". I decided to take a visit to the store and I kid you not, as I was walking up the steps to the front door, there it was, the single tile waiting for me. 

There it was. Waiting for me.

There it was. Waiting for me.

Needless to say, I placed my order right then and there for 100 square feet of "Dandelion" cement tile. So, step one, finding the tile and its name was complete. Now, step two, incorporating it into my shipping container. Here I go. 

I wanted my studio to feel light and bright, natural yet energetic. I wanted a lot of natural wood elements with pops of color and bold patterns. I thought it would be overwhelming to cover the entire floor with the Dandelion pattern, so I came up with a mixed design of natural wood tile 3"x 36" planks in a herringbone pattern (sketch below). It sounds crazy, but little did I know I would have clients years later reference this floor pattern. Nor did I think it would be featured on HGTV, used as an advertisement for "Clay Imports" in Austin Monthly Magazine and be published in Austin Home Magazine. 

I recently went into the new Google office in Austin and walked into a bathroom that was floor to ceiling covered in the Dandelion pattern. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little honored haha I would like to think I started this fabulous trend in Austin, even though I know I 100 percent did not. 

I am very happy to see my personal studio celebrated in so many ways. I am grateful for the image that caught my eye and inspired me. I hope my design continues to inspire others. 

Capturing light and bright. Photo by Julie Holder

Capturing light and bright. Photo by Julie Holder

Austin Monthly Magazine 2017. That's me! Photo by Julie Holder

Austin Monthly Magazine 2017. That's me! Photo by Julie Holder

Another One To Be Thankful For

Unit A Kitchen - Natural Hickory mixed with Painted off white cabinets

Unit A Kitchen - Natural Hickory mixed with Painted off white cabinets

I have many feelings today, completing my latest personal project located in East Austin. I am excited, I am exhausted, I am anxious, I am thankful. I am excited to show the world another artistic twist on a spec home. I am exhausted after 12 straight hours of staging with my mom (what would I do without her!). I am anxious to see what people think about the quirky details of the home. I am thankful to be able to express myself 100% through design. 

troodesigns-2preview.jpeg

I never like to duplicate a design. I see duplexes as a huge opportunity to give two homeowners their own special space. 

Unit B Kitchen - Black, Hickory, Painted Oak Cabinets by Troo Designs 

Unit B Kitchen - Black, Hickory, Painted Oak Cabinets by Troo Designs 

We used shipping containers as the entrances to the homes (this is a duplex). We collaborated with Starbucks' senior designer Victor Melendez to create the coolest murals EVER! We stepped it up a notch on our back-splash selections and we pushed the envelope on the cabinetry colors and mixes. All cabinetry provided by my company Troo Designs KBI. 

Shipping Container Entrance - Photo by Scott Gordon

Shipping Container Entrance - Photo by Scott Gordon

So thankful for the future owners of the special project 

So thankful for the future owners of the special project 

Unit B shipping container entrance 

Unit B shipping container entrance 

Ever since I laid eyes on Victors work at Starbucks, I knew I had to work with him on a project one day. These murals are his perspective of Austin. I enjoy the Mexican inspiration. 

Unit A - Austin Mural 

Unit A - Austin Mural 

Unit B - Electric Guitar Mural 

Unit B - Electric Guitar Mural 

I cannot thank everyone enough on all the help and support I constantly get. Everyone encourages me to push the envelope, which results in original homes just like our Reyes project. These homes are on the market now and now we anticipate a great offer and a smooth closing. I am so thankful.

How can you resist all of the colors? I believe color gives you positive energy. I always want my homeowners to feel energized and inspired by the design surrounding them.