DIY Home Building with Karen Ray
We partnered with Karen Ray on her kitchen + bath remodel, find out what her DIY build consisted of!
Karen Ray (@ourblissfulcottage), is well-known on Instagram for smart building and beautiful DIY projects. Throughout her page, coastal hues, farmhouse styles and low country vibes can be seen and her page is the best inspiration for those building.
Karen provides us insight on where the majority of her inspirational ideas reign from, how to handle a budget while building and advice for those planning or who are in the middle of building their home.
Karen’s love for interior design began when she started a construction company with her brother. She later opened her bakery and the creativity from customizing cakes and designing the decorations sparked her interest. Karen’s design style incorporates “coastal cottage, modern farmhouse and low country”. The combination of these 3 styles can be seen through the stunning interior photos on her Instagram. She also finds a lot of design inspiration from diverse sources such as Instagram and Pinterest but also in person at showcase homes and Parade of Homes and through reading magazines and books.
After completing her own builds, Karen’s most often encountered challenge is staying on budget. A budget for any remodel but especially a build can be exceptionally challenging because things commonly don’t go as planned and issues can be identified along the way. These unplanned issues tend to cost additional money which make it very difficult to stay on budget. One tip Karen has for anyone who is thinking or getting ready to build is to “set a little extra money aside and be prepared”. There may be some fixtures that need to be changed that were not originally planned for, so having an extra cushion of cash can be extremely helpful. Karen stresses the importance of planning ahead to ensure you are prepared for any surprises.
When asked the best way to stay on track for a build, Karen highly recommends “shopping for products and for contractors prior to starting any project”. This not only helps stay on top of the budget but it also helps to keep the project aligned with the design plan and inspiration. Karen chose Kingston Brass for fixtures in her kitchen and bath. Kingston’s Heritage Bridge Faucet with a Side Sprayer, Water Filtration Faucet, and Pot Filler can be seen beautifully paired in Karen’s kitchen. In the bathroom, Karen utilized Kingston’s Widespread Bathroom Faucet in a charming Polished Nickel finish.
Throughout any project or design build, there can be many challenges and aspects that can be rather frustrating. With good planning, research and preparation, designing your home can be a worthwhile experience. Karen’s advice to those planning or in the middle of a build is to “relax and enjoy the journey”. Although it may be difficult, “don’t sweat the small stuff because the end result will be something beautiful for you and your family to enjoy”.