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If you weren't able to join us for our Ask an Expert event at The Shop a few weeks ago with Sestak Remodeling Solutions, not a problem! We've got you covered. Here's a quick summary of a few of the topics that were covered.

Q: I'd like to add a historic, or at least historic-looking, mantle to my fireplace. Where do you find them?

Josh Young art on top of historic marble mantel in Washington, DC.
Mantel sourced by Mantel House DC; art by Josh Young Design House

A: We loved this question! Mantel House DC can help you procure a gorgeous, historic mantel. These pieces are stunning and they're often coming to you for their second life (i.e., they're vintage or antique). We hate the idea of these beauties going to a landfill. Stunning and sustainable, what more could we ask for?!

Another option is to have a mantel built by a local carpenter if you don't have the budget for stone. It's one of the many tricks we have up our sleeve. :)

Q: What is it like working with an interior designer for a kitchen remodel? What should I expect to get out of it and is $30k a reasonable budget for my Capitol Hill row home kitchen?

Navy blue kitchen cabinets interior design Washington DC
Sanabria & Co., Massachusetts Ave Kitchen

A: Great question. Different designers offer different services, and the scope and budget can vary depending on the client's needs; however, in general for a kitchen renovation we do the following:

  • Recruit your contractor and trades team, referring you to professionals we know and trust.

  • Ask you a series of questions about how you use your kitchen and first floor spaces, what works and what does not, then design a space that functions around you, not the other way around.

  • Provide product selections across lighting, tile and stonework, appliances, cabinets, hardware, flooring, fixtures, and furniture.

  • Develop detailed budgets and schedules.

  • After construction is complete, we style the kitchen and add final touches.

In our experience, in the DC area a $30k budget will not go very far for a new kitchen, but you can likely do a refresh of your existing kitchen if you are able to save existing cabinetry and / or appliances. When it comes to a brand new kitchen, homeowners should be prepared to spend $60k and up. Curious about what it's like to work with a designer on your project? Check out our Should I hire an interior designer? post for more insights.

Q: My home is over 100 years old and has a mix of different types of door knobs, some of which need to be replaced. I'd like them to be a bit more consistent throughout the house but I also love the antique/historic look of the older knobs. Where should I look?

A: Check out Nostalgic Warehouse. They have a nice collection of knobs, levers, pulls, and other accessories that pair nicely with older door

hardware. Rejuvenation and House of Antique Hardware also offer great options for historic hardware.

If you have questions that we didn't cover above, let us know in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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