BY CARLA RIEDEL
When you think about it, we ask a lot of a new kitchen.
Three of the most important expectations are 1) it must increase the value of our house, 2) it must provide better storage, make the household more organized, guide us to preparing healthier meals, and 3) it must be a reflection of who we are and inspire us to be who we want to be.
Let’s talk about these three things for a bit. To the first point, you’d have to put a lot of effort into a remodel that devalues your house, but it can be done. Choose a wacky-trendy color combination or cabinetry style that clashes with the era of your house and you’re well on your way to heading the wrong direction on the value chart.
For instance, every real-life example of DIY cement countertops I’ve ever seen proves that they only work on half-hour home improvement shows. I’ll bet even the ones on TV crack and stain and chip during the closing credits. And, I’m sorry to say, I have never seen flooring laid by a homeowner’s ‘handy’ nephew/brother/dad/neighbor/co-worker that replicates the work of an actual professional. But if you stay away from these and similarly short-sighted sorts of strategic errors, your remodel is surely going to help your home value rather than hurt.
To the second point, as far as organization goes, my remodel clients always vow to clear out the old utensils and give away the dishes they never use. And they stay true to their word. I have yet to see a charred aluminum cookie sheet or 7-Eleven cup in a newly re-modeled kitchen. The new spice bottles are always lined up in what I call their ‘stadium seating’ rows, usually placed in alphabetical order from left to right.
Kitchen designers (and the National Kitchen and Bath Association) believe in equipping new kitchens with the best contraptions to maximize your storage and make cooking easier. My clients look happier, brighter and more attractive after a remodel. I’m going to attribute that to their new healthier cooking model rather than to their profound relief that they finally have a working sink again.
Lastly, to the third point, I’ve always believed that every re-modeled kitchen should be at least as wonderful as its owner. And so far, I haven’t ever been disappointed. Everyone rises to the momentous occasion of a stud-to-stud remodel to choose fabulous light fixtures, brilliant accessories, snazzy fabrics and trims.
These decisions coupled with an informed, expert kitchen design are a winning combination. My clients’ new kitchens match their beautiful selves, inside and out.
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