Please give us some more details on PMQ for Two. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart from the rest?
"PMQ for Two" started when my husband and I moved into our first military housing. They used to be known as Private Married Quarters (PMQs) in Canada, and there were just two of us moving into them. The blog started as a place to share exceptionally affordable DIYs to make rentals feel like home. As my style evolved, it was less about military housing and more about rentals. We've owned our own home for a few years now (and just moved into a new build!), so while my projects are no longer necessarily renter-focused, they focus entirely on style and quality.
Was this project a new build or remodel? Were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others?
It was a new build! As a military family, we're always moving. In our community, people talk about their "forever home," and that's the one you'll retire into once life in the military community is over. Most choose to build that forever home.
Given all that we've learned along the way with our home renovations and DIYs, we know the learning curve on some things can be steep. We didn't want to build a home for the first time and have it be our forever home. So with a few years left at this current location, we decided to tackle a build as a learning experience.
The entire build was challenging for a variety of reasons. Covid, supply chain issues, problems with our build team, etc. It was an incredibly valuable experience, and we're over the moon with how the house turned out, but we learned a lot.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Viaggio Hardware?
We chose hardware with great care. Door hardware, especially, was going to be seen in every single space, so making sure it captured the stylistic elements we wanted throughout the home was crucial.
We have a very eclectic taste, but this house was a chance to try a more restrained style. We opted for a European farmhouse that meets Scandi modern look, so the hardware choices had to suit both.
We opted for a black finish because brass didn't feel suitable for this space. And we went with circular knobs and square backplates because of the contrast the two shapes provided. They tied the scandi modern/mid-century angle to the shaker-style doors on which they sat. The visual tension created is a stunning balance of form and style.
How long did this project take to complete?
We started planning the build in January 2021 and closed on our home on December 21st, 2021. Not everything was complete, but that's as much due to COVID as supply chain issues. We were into our house for Christmas, and that's what mattered to us.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home? If so, why?
Absolutely! Although the home is now complete, any new hardware or stylistic additions will revolve around these pieces. They are the constant and the thru-line that runs through the house, so they're considered for everything.
Did you learn any tips and tricks about door hardware that you think would benefit others?
I did! It's obvious now, but the door's functionality dictates the choice of hardware on sits it, as well as the size. Good, solid hardware should be as necessary a consideration as flooring and lighting. Splurge on those pieces if you can.
Where do you find design inspiration?
Everywhere! I've realized that throughout the years, what my style has ultimately revolved around is character. Elements and overall styles have changed, but I'm always drawn to statement pieces, contrast, pattern, and colour. This house may seem without colour, but that's just because I haven't finished decorating yet!
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
I love a vision board with all the items/products and their images, a spreadsheet with location and use, and other details. We also had a coded spreadsheet that ran budget numbers. Ultimately a work back schedule will be your best friend, especially with shipping delays.
What are some recommendations for readers who want to do an extensive remodel project?
Save up, save some more, and then have an extra cushion - ESPECIALLY if it's a renovation. You never know what you'll find once you start. Building from scratch is always easier because you're not trying to fix someone else's mistakes.
Currently, building and renovating can be tricky because of unstable material costs and supply chain issues. Get prices and contracts in writing and sign them into action before estimate delays expire. The price you get quoted one day may not be the price they can charge two weeks from now.
What are some tips for readers who wish to transform their home?
Depending on your budget, start by looking at how you use the space you want to transform. Use the transformation process to cancel any pain points you have. Are you forever frustrated about the lack of shoe storage in your mudroom? Think about how you'll handle that problem in an ideal world, and THEN make design decisions. Transformations for the sake of change are fine, but most people renovate to fix something they don't like.
Are you working on any other projects?
We're working on our backyard landscaping plans and how to best bring our desires for an environmentally friendly and sustainable setup to life.
What is next?
Slow decorating. The house took forever to progress, and then everything happened at the last minute to get us in before Christmas. I felt like I didn't get to enjoy the completion stage. Now that we're in, I'm taking my time with design decisions and avoiding putting too many holes in walls while figuring out my art setup.