Monday, June 1, 2009

making your house your own....

warren recently found pictures of our house when we first bought it (5 yrs ago)...i thought it would be fun to share a little before and after. and it is always good to show people what you can achieve w/ a little bit of imagination and a tiny bit of cash. even when funds are tight (aka. first time homeowners), small improvements can go along way. so let's begin:
here is the before picture: scary, i know.... i carried around a notebook of things that i wanted for the house. we started off by painting the entire house. b/c we have an open floor plan in the main rooms (kit, LR, DR, entry), i decided on a historic charleston color: eliza lucas by lord and evans (i think sherwin williams has now bought that color palette).
now the original 1992 kitchen was awful: the floor were a lovely shade of linoleum, the cabinets a nice honey oak from the early 90's, lovely brass pulls on all of the doors, pink-PINK-countertops, an overmount sink, dated appliances, and some wicker light fixture that screams painful over the eating area. a makeover was a must....
when i said i was putting granite in the kitchen, people thought i was crazy...why does a 25 yr old need granite in a starter home...well, b/c i wanted it. i have a strong opinion that you should make your house how you want it , regardless of the value of the home...also, why update right before a house goes on the market...never enjoying it seems very odd to me. so granite is what i got. i made friends with the guy at the granite shop and he gave me a great remnant piece leftover from a beach house. remnant pieces are wonderful for a smaller kitchen or bath...always check and see what selection they have if you are wanting to save money. you may have a seam but if the installers know what they are doing, then it should barely show....a sink is a perfect spot for one.
since we added granite, we needed to install a new sink, ALWAYS use an undermount sink w/ a solid surface. it makes clean up so much easier; you can just sweep the crumbs straight into the sink. i prefer one bowl. lowes didn't offer this, so i went online and found the cheapest one possible and love it. you can do so much w/ one deep bowl- like bath your newborn baby!!
the honey oak cabinets had to go...we didn't have the money to replace the cabinets so we had them painted...what a difference two coats of paint can do!! i had a painter come and put a glaze over them (wouldn't do this now, but at the time i thought it would add some interest). the last thing we did to the cabinets was chunk the brass hardware and add brushed nickel.
we updated the appliances w/ stainless steel. the one thing i would say splurge on, if possible, is the dishwasher...we got a bosch and it is worth every penny; they are so quiet and clean so well. the lovely linoleum was replaced w/ hardwood floors and the wicker light fixture was updated w/ a fabric drum shade. we added an island for more counter space (bed, bath, and beyond) and i had a roman shade made for the window. all of the updates make my kitchen so much better. they didn't break the bank and have been worth every penny spent. and when we do sell our home, it is an investment that we will see return full if you are living in an outdated kitchen, start saving...i promise the results will feel so rewarding!!

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