Tile 101

Kitchen Remodeling Q+A with Bria Hammel

Bria Hammel, photo courtesy of Aimée Mazzenga

Last year, we introduced Bria Hammel, our first Brand Ambassador. Bria is the principal designer and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors as well as CEO of Brooke & Lou and co-creator of Hammel House & Co. She leads a talented team of women who are dedicated to designing beautiful, inviting homes for clients. Her designs remain true to her signature traditional style with a hint of southern charm. 

We connected with Bria to talk about one of her passions: kitchen remodeling! Lucky for us, she was happy to share pointers.

remodeled kitchen
A St. Paul home got a beautiful refresh. This kitchen remodel features the Tile Shop’s Oxford White 2×6 tile.

Q&A with Bria

Q: Where do you start when deciding to do a kitchen renovation? What considerations should the client/homeowner have? 

A: I think it’s always important to start with the layout. Make a list of all of the needs, and then all of the wants for the space. Make it a point to capture all of the needs, and then if you can get all of the wants as well it will become your dream kitchen!

Q: When in the process should I pick out my tile vs. cabinets, appliances, paint colors, etc.?

A: We suggest to have everything selected before the actual construction starts. This really allows your whole process to run a lot more smoothly and efficiently. It ends up speeding up the process because if you have everything ordered, contractors can get in there and work quickly because they aren’t waiting on anything to come in. In what order you select things, is completely up to you. However, if you have a stand out tile that you know you want to use you can use that as your inspiration piece and go from there!

Materials including The Tile Shop’s Nord Ris Hex tile helps to envision the whole room’s look.

Q: What are some of the harder decisions/parts of the process for your clients and how do you navigate those? 

A: I think one of the hardest decisions for clients is where to take a risk. Clients tend to see tile as a pretty permanent fixture in their homes so it feels like a bigger risk to do something playful and fun. I always encourage our clients to pick one or two areas in the home that they can do something unique and special – and then keep the rest classic. I’ve often found that clients actually love the areas they took the risk in most!

Q: How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen? 

A: It’s all relative to size but if you are doing a complete overhaul and starting from scratch you can plan on spend up to $100,000 on a kitchen renovation alone. However, we always recommend taking your budget and figuring what details are the most important to you and take priority. For us, we recommend splurging on appliances, tile, and light fixtures and saving on hardware, accessories, and countertops (look into remnants!). 

Q: Any tips for how to best work with a designer?

A: Be open and honest about your budget. There are things designers can do to help you prioritize and creatively come up with solutions that are less expensive and can fit within your perimeters. Let your designer push you outside of your comfort zone a little bit too! We take pride in taking clients’ visions and bringing it to fruition and to the next level. 

Thank you to Bria for all this great information, and stay tuned for our next post featuring tips for renovating small kitchens.

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