Samantha Warren and her husband are in the process of renovating their forever home in Lapeer. She shares her family’s home renovation experience, where she sources design inspiration and her favorite room in the house so far.
By Chelsie Dzbanski
1.Tell us about your professional background. I am a small business owner, and I love helping out and being an active member in our community. I love marketing, and I feel design comes to me pretty naturally.
2. Can you tell us about your home and why you decided to renovate it yourself? My husband actually purchased the property our home sits on before we knew each other. Once we started dating we knew it was a forever thing, so we started looking at house plans. We actually were going to wait a couple years to build, but we were so ready to get started it just kind of happened. We wanted to do most of the work ourselves and keep Max (our son) involved in the process with us. We had a lot of fun renovating it ourselves and loved being involved in it and hands on. Building our home is something I will cherish forever.
3. Deciding to renovate your home is a big decision! How did you even know where to start!? Luckily, Ben is very talented in these types of situations. He and his parents own an HVAC company specializing in geothermal. The first step was finding a floor plan that we liked. We actually found three, and had an architect friend combine them for us.
4. What inspired you to start documenting your renovation process on your Instagram account @thewarrenhaus? Honestly, I started posting pictures of Max in our home, and I would get between 20 to 50 DM’s a day asking for a home tour or sources for products. So it kind of happened unexpectedly.
5. How long have your been renovating your home? Is it complete yet? If not, what’s next on the list? We moved into our home on Dec. 12, 2017. We broke ground in June of 2017. We completed our build to move-in status in about six months time. We are far from complete in my eyes. We have a full basement that needs to be finished still, but we aren’t really sure yet what we want to do. We need to finish our kitchen area and another room that will be mentioned very soon!
6. Which room in your house underwent the biggest transformation? I would say our kitchen/living room area. It’s the center of our home, so that for sure was the biggest “wow factor” seeing everything come together!
7. What is your favorite room in the house and why? Max’s bathroom is one of my favorite rooms. I love crisp white rooms with lots of texture. All the white tile is so dreamy. I think the thing that I also enjoy about it is how much he loves it as well.
8. What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced throughout your renovation process? The biggest challenge was installing our hardwood floor ourselves. All 2,224 square feet of it. It was Ben and I every day after work for a good two weeks. Hands down the hardest job I have ever done. Another challenge was working with the contractors that sided our house. It took them almost three months, which is crazy.
9. Where did you source inspiration from when renovating your home? For sure Instagram and Pinterest. I’m obsessed with schoolhouses so I knew I wanted some pieces from them in our home, and designed our kitchen area around them.
10. How would you describe your renovation/design style? Oh gosh, this is always such a tough question for me to answer! I would say bright and simple. Mid-century modern is a style I always lean toward when buying pieces for our home.
11. Can you share a renovation or design tip or trick you’ve found to be helpful? I am a very visual person. It’s hard for me to picture what something is going to look like, so during our design process I would get my computer out and mess around in PhotoShop and get everything into an area I was designing. It helped me so much just to see what it was going to look like, before I actually made the purchase. Also, if you’re working together with your husband or significant other on renovation projects, it’s a great way to grow your relationship. We had so much fun together.
12. Can you share any DIY projects you’re really proud of? I’m pretty happy with our home. I feel like we did a lot of mini DIYs throughout the whole thing. Once we get our kitchen shelves up, that will be my proud moment. We milled trees from our woods behind our house for them. They are currently drying but are almost ready to be finished!
13. We hear you don’t like coffee, but are opening up a coffee shop called Cream! Can you share a little bit about it and your involvement in the design process? YES! I have been taking a step back from social media as this has been a huge time consumer in our lives. My mom and I were put into a situation where this would be a great investment for us. So I started from the bottom up and designed our entire space around certain elements. I knew I wanted a statement piece, and along side my friend George Vidas from Signifier Signs, we designed a hot pink neon piece for our all white tile wall. It is for sure my favorite design element, and it compliments our schoolhouse lights so well.
14. How do you find the balance between working, renovating your home and being a mom? Balance is so hard. If anyone tells you they have it figured it out please give them my contact info. Seriously though, Max is my No. 1. He will always come first, and everything else just kind of falls into place around that. He has spent countless nights up at the store with both Ben and myself, and countless nights while we were renovating our home. It isn’t always easy, but we always manage.
15. Can you share any advice for someone who is thinking about renovating their home? I would start from the ground up. Look at floorpans and don’t worry about the facade of the home, that can always be altered. Ben had to tell me that about 1,000 times, he was right. Don’t tell him I said that though. Don’t forget to have fun with it, either. Building a house is not something everyone gets to do, and I feel very fortunate that we were able to accomplish this moment in our lives.
Follow Samantha on Instagram at @thewarrenhaus for more design inspiration and fun life happenings.