What’s the difference between a home renovation and a house with design?

Good afternoon internet!

Today I want to talk about the single most important question in home renovations:

How do I renovate my house so that in the end it looks like a well-designed home?

The singular answer is DETAILS!!

Typically, an interior designer is someone who has their eye on the details … if you want a well-designed home, you should seek the input of an interior designer, or, if you’re lucky, a general contractor who is also involved in home design (like my company American Dreamers Renovations!)

I’m going to use a previous project to demonstrate the difference that details make. Are you ready?

Here is the BEFORE space of a living room in a colonial-style Pittsburgh home:

American Dreamers Renovations updates this Pittsburgh home living room

Isn’t it a beautiful space? The homeowners contacted American Dreamers Renovations because they wanted to add some built-ins around the window. The space was open and beautiful but also clunky, lacked purpose, and had no storage for books, movies, and games.

We discussed all this and more during the estimate appointment. I asked them all kinds of questions like, “Where do you plan to put your TV?” and “How do you envision this space functioning for your family?” Through that process I also got a sense of their personality in this new (to them) home – they were fun, hip, and modern … in this very old though seemingly updated colonial.

Their taste in furniture was also not traditional. If we had to classify it, I’d call it “modern,” but do you think they would call themselves “modern?” No! They love brick and beautiful wood … wouldn’t that make their style “traditional?”

All those questions and the search for answers is where every Homeowner can find me. I’m always in that space combining honor to the home while also seeing who will be be living in it and how they will use it. For this particular space, in order to craft a home with great style and function, I knew what we had to do … build out the bookcase with some rounded corners to balance out all the traditional squares.

Check it out!



















What do you think?

Here’s a fun fact about this project – my Dreamers didn’t even want rounded corners and they didn’t like the idea of rounded corners on their bookshelves. But after seeing their furniture and the style of the rest of their house? I knew they would be stuck in something that would look dated and old if we just did a very traditional bookcase with square corners; and they are too fun for that!

In order to get the look, I asked them to trust me and promised to re-do the entire thing if they didn’t like it. Talk about an exciting leap of faith!

The bookcase with rounded corners lived to see the days – it’s one of our most-loved Living Room Renovations to date.


American Dreamers Renovations is a home construction and renovation company in Pittsburgh, PA led by leading female contractor and award-winning designer, Morgan Kumpfmiller. At American Dreamers Renovations, our American Dream is helping you maximize the potential and design of your home. Call today to get your next project started! 412-290-1108