Kristena Watson of The Wandering Watsons
Kristena Watson runs the Instagram account The Wandering Watsons, which started as a journal of her family’s time living in an RV and traveling all over the United States. They fell in love with Greenville, South Carolina, where they put down roots by purchasing and renovating a beautiful home. Part of the finishing touches of the renovation included adding Grandeur Hardware throughout. Read on to learn more about Kristena and her inspiring home renovation.
Please give us more details on your Instagram account, The Wandering Watsons. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart from the rest?
Our Wandering Watsons Instagram page came about just over two years ago when we decided we needed a major life change. We were living in California, and my husband and I were working so much we were struggling to find family time to enjoy one another. We wanted something different for ourselves and our daughters. We decided to sell our home and most of our belongings, bought a 5th wheel RV, and renovated it to feel like home. We then hit the road for full-time travel across the country while looking for our new little corner of the world to call home.
We loved full-time travel and renovating our RV so much we decided to renovate an additional RV about a year into our travels and lived full time in our little home on the road for nearly two years. During our last year of living tiny, we bought and did a massive renovation on a home in the beautiful North Main Neighborhood of downtown Greenville, South Carolina.
What makes The Wandering Watsons different from the rest is our love for travel, minimalism, and interior design of homes, RVs, and small spaces.
When remodeling your home, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others? Why?
I remodeled the whole 1200 square feet of the existing house, then added 1200 square feet that included a beautiful primary suite, laundry room, and loft apartment complete with its own kitchen and laundry space. The biggest challenge was making sure the build didn’t involve wasted space. When designing the layout, my goal was to be very intentional about the size and usability of each room. There were many moving parts, somewhat like a giant puzzle, but it ultimately worked out so that everything has a purpose and a place.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Grandeur Hardware?
There are so many options when looking for hardware, and it can get overwhelming. I fell in love with Grandeur Hardware for the stunning color of the antique brass finish and the simple yet stunning options available for knobs and entry sets. I love the clean lines and eye-catching look of the products. I was torn between the Fifth Avenue Collection and the Carre Collection. Ultimately I went with the Carre short plate with Fifth Avenue knob for the interior doors, a Carre One-Piece Handleset for our entry door, and Tall Plate entry sets for our other exterior doors. We love the look and functionality of our knobs and get so many compliments!
How long did this project take to complete?
It took one year to complete. Shipping delays and backorders on building supplies slowed us down. Building during a pandemic was quite the experience!
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home?
I will always use Grandeur Hardware in future projects. The products are beautiful with exceptional quality. Beyond that, we did experience one problem with our order, and customer service was fast and diligent in working it out for us! There is nothing better than a company that takes care of its customers while also providing a one-of-a-kind, show-stopping product! I know my husband and I will be customers for life. The only door in our entire renovation that I didn’t order Grandeur hardware for was the door to the backyard shed, and I’m pretty sure it’s already going to get a facelift to Grandeur soon!
Did you learn any tips and tricks about door hardware along the way that you think would be beneficial for others?
We hired someone to install the knobs, making it very easy for us! Since we were in the middle of a massive renovation, we utilized our resources on this project.
What is your design style, and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your home?
My design style is constantly changing! I love a space with lots of natural light, and I love to work with neutrals on the more permanent finishes to mold my rooms to my likes as I change over time. For this renovation, I used warm brass tones, creamy whites, and natural wood as my foundation for design.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I find design inspiration everywhere. If I walk into a home or building that brings me comfort and joy, I’ll begin making mental notes of how the space is designed and laid out and how it can apply to my own home. I also love browsing homes on Instagram and in magazines.
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
Outside! I love decorating with natural tones found in nature. Nature is a great place to pick a color palette that goes together beautifully. For example, if you’re standing in the forest, you’ll see earthy greens, soft browns, rusty browns, and deep blue skies. This can quickly become the color wheel you work from for your living room! That’s what I did!
Many people want to take on large remodeling projects. How do you go about choosing a house to buy and renovate?
For me, it’s a feeling. When we were looking for a home to renovate, I was waiting to step into one that just felt right! It can’t be forced. When we stepped into this home, I knew it was the one and could easily envision how I wanted to transform it.
What are some recommendations for readers who want to do an extensive remodel project?
Decision fatigue is REAL—Schedule small time slots to sit and dream about your space. An organized schedule to make and finalize decisions for the home is vital. Don’t try to wing it at the last minute.
What are some tips for readers who wish to make a small transformation in their home?
You can DIY more than you think. If you have the time, figure out what you can do on your own and hire out for the rest to save money. Times are tough right now when it comes to getting products fast, so source what you need first to ensure the timeline you set for your smaller project is accurate. Most importantly, enjoy the process.
Are you working on any other properties or projects other than your own home?
We also love to renovate RVs and have done a few in the past. Our next project is being dreamt up currently. If everything works out, it will be the largest project we’ve done by far, and you’ll have the option to enjoy it yourself! Stay tuned!