Many Paths to Awkward Space:

Design Tools for DIY-ers

Perhaps you are looking at a deal of a buy as an investment but you are not sure how much it will take to make rentable. Maybe you are a homeowner who knew that if you purchased in an up and coming neighborhood, your scrimping and saving would more than pay off in both the short and long term. Have you watched the neighborhood change around your home and worried that soon your home will be so dated that you'll lose out on the biggest investment you've made in your lifetime?

So fabulously awkward but that's kinda what they were going for.  

So fabulously awkward but that's kinda what they were going for.  

You've found Awkward Space.

There are some basic principles that guide design that are easy to learn. These ideas can bump up your curb appeal instantly. Sometimes when looking at a potential property, it is difficult to see beyond the overgrown weeds and bad paint choices, however, if you can identify the underlying design potential, your skills as an investor will grow exponentially.

There are certain properties which you need to simply not consider. First are brownfields like former meth labs which have toxic contamination too expensive to remediate. It's beyond the DIYer's scope. Then there is the home that needs to be gutted or razed due to a failing mechanical, plumbing or structural system. Often all three. That case goes beyond the basic design fixes which a tight budget can tackle. Lastly, there are strange properties which have been overbuilt with bad additions and it would cost too much to take them out or remediate them to become safe, attractive, and well-proportioned. We will consistently address the last property type to leave alone on Awkward Space. It is often a fine line between identifying an Awesome Diamond in the Rough versus a total Moneypit Fail.

If you are a general contractor, you might pick up some design tips but really, you could take on the properties that need to be gutted. We can't fix all things and the topics here might be too light for what you're doing.

If you are a property manager, you could find advice to attract long-term renters, but the scope here is beyond simple maintenance. We want to fix what is fixable ourselves but focus on overall design and investment potential.

If you are a home decorating lifestyle maven who can skim home decor sites and complete color palettes and finish boards with an intuitive sense of proportion, historic styles, and real estate trends, Awkward Space may not offer you much.

Small moves can add up to great design.

Small moves can add up to great design.

Awkward Space is where someone goes to learn practical design skills. Perhaps you're someone who can't take the Pinterest inspiration board and make it a reality. If you had steps or a plan, maybe.  For some people design is intuitive but for those of us who need a little more help, design just seems to have too many baffling, unwritten rules.

Awkward Space is for you if you are a first-time homeowner, DIY-er who is determined to elevate their property, or someone who flips homes on a very small (one at a time, mostly DIY) scale. You're in the right place. If you have looked through great home and garden inspiration sites and you simply cannot get from those slick images to making color or lighting decisions for your own home, you're in the right place.

Awkward Space is architecture and landscape design for the DIY decision maker.