A client recently explained their thinking in building their new home. They had decided they wanted to downsize but they didn’t want to compromise on the things in the house. So he explained, they decided they would downsize by building a much smaller house but while the house would be smaller, it would also be “Bad Ass”. 

We stood there for a moment trying to process what he had just said and then we started laughing. Not because it was funny but rather because it was genius. You see, it’s not the size of the house that matters, it’s what you DO to the house. They had indeed built a “Bad Ass” house with custom cabinetry and hand glazed tile backsplashes. The shower in the Master bathroom has two benches and two shower heads. There is a man cave out back and a she den inside. They bucked tradition by moving the fireplace to the entry so that they had room for a custom-built in ET Center in the family room and they used stacked stone on the fireplace. They chose High Definition Luxury VINYL planks instead of wood or engineered wood. The over all look is indeed “Bad Ass”. 

So let’s talk about using this philosophy in every day design for a second. Something usually has to give and in the clients home it was the square footage. But in everyday design of an existing space, maybe the trick is to make the most of the finishes that will give you that “Bad Ass” feeling in the room.

Instead of doing a HUGE kitchen remodel, maybe you work around a few elements to get the most beautiful counter tops.

Remodel the entire kitchen and keep the elements on the more simple side but splurge on the backsplash. 

Instead of borrowing space from an adjoining room for a huge closet, design the space from floor to ceiling to make it work for you and all the things your closet contains.

Putting in a larger shower instead of a tub and shower would make sense for a lot of homeowners. If you are only replacing the shower you can add a second shower head or pebbled flooring.

Take the Master bathroom to the next level by using custom cabinets with simple tiled floors and pre fab white marble vanity tops. 

Keep the dining room furniture functional and pretty but choose a knock out light fixture above the table.

Splurge on something fantastic for the coffee table, get the wow factor in fabrics, spend the money on the rug that will be passed down for generations all while keeping the furniture pieces and draperies simple and to a minimum. 

Buy the original art that makes your heart sing and use simple bedding on the bed.

We do this constantly in clients homes. In this particular client’s home we kept the kitchen lighting simple to have the budget for the dining room light fixture, we splurged on a few pieces while shopping for much more inexpensive pieces elsewhere in decor. Mixing high-end with discounted items is interesting and it allows the budget to be spent where the most impact is to be had. The process is different for each client based on their space and their budget. Custom cabinetry and built ins with simple tile floors for one client and stock cabinets in a rich finish with beautiful marble countertops for another. An heirloom rug in one clients dining room with a mid range dining room table and luxurious draperies in another to hide the less than stellar architecture in the room. 

Living with less things makes room for nicer (Bad Ass) things, we like that philosophy a lot. What do YOU think? Could you live with less to get more?