A Kitchen Remodel or A Cobbler’s Kid Get Shoes

Let me give you a little background first. I am a designer who is remodeling her own kitchen as I am writing this. I work out of my home in Colorado Springs. Although I have designed many kitchens for clients I have never redone my own. This is the story of that process and should be a great guide for you if you are considering remodeling your own kitchen.
A kitchen remodel could be used as a test of your emotional and psychological well being. It will test your marriage, it is a challenge of your ability to live in chaos, to live with strangers freely going in and out of your home, to scavenge for food. It is not for the faint hearted.

The first step in the process is to determine what it is you want to accomplish in gutting your kitchen. In my case it was the following:

1) It’s embarrassing me. Occasionally I have clients come to my home for meetings. I think they expect your house to look, well, “designery.” I have actually had one say to me ” you need to do your kitchen.” It’s not that I didn’t KNOW I needed to remodel it but I don’t have the same income level that most my clients have, it just wasn’t in the cards.

2) It is a one-butt kitchen.
Jon and I both like to cook. We USE our kitchen. Most of the rooms in my house are a nice size, but the kitchen is a postage stamp.  Jon doesn’t share well, he likes to be alone when cooking and gets irritated when he has to share the small space. Although the two of us get along perfectly in any other room of our home in the kitchen he seems to loom threateningly over me, we need more room to maneuver.

3) It’s what I call “early ugly” style.
Our house is thirty years old. The oak cabinets and white (yes, I said white) laminate counter tops are dated and no amount of scrubbing makes the kitchen look clean.

4) I deserve it.
It took me a long time to figure out how to expand my space, I had to come to the conclusion that the nook table would have to go and I would have a bar in it’s place, that was the only way to make the room larger without blowing out an exterior wall, I was not willing to go that far.
It is a great help when working with your design team to cut photos of what you like out of magazines or to do some preliminary shopping in order to know what you like and want ahead of time. Make lists of what you absolutely must have, and what you would like if you have the funds to add it in. Everything will cost at least twice as much as you think it will. Try to have a budget number in mind when you meet with your team, they may tell you what you have in mind is not reasonable within your budget but it is good to find this out early in the game. It could be that a total remodel is not for you and a refacing of your existing cabinets with a new counter top will suffice.

Stay tuned…

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