Time after time I see renovations that don't fit with the lifestyle of the owner(s) of the house. The girl who hates to clean but is designing an all-white house. The mother of three who has tiny white tiling in the main floor bathroom. The world's most giant kitchen with shiny granite counters that need to be polished in order to look fantastic. None of these renovations follow my simple rule to successful renovations.
It's deceptively simple but not often thought about - your finished home needs to align with your chosen level of cleanliness and maintenance ability. In other words, a high maintenance home is not a good choice for a mom who works and has three kids. She will not be able to keep it looking good and the purpose of the renovation - to have a home that looks nice - will be a dream that is continually out of reach.
The secret to successful renovations is to align your finished home with your desire for cleaning and maintenance. Unless you love to clean, give yourself the gift of a low-maintenance home. That way the money you are investing in your renovation will be money well spent rather than money that gives you extra work and stress.