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Christine Bradley's Blog

By Christine Bradley | Agent in 30339

Renovation decisions shouldn’t be made alone

To me, the kitchen is the most important place in the house.  Yes I love to cook, but I hope even for those who are domestically challenged that the kitchen is a focal point and a status symbol of a home.  I know this is an investment home and “who cares it’s just a rental.”  But I care, maybe I care too much?  Not sure, but don’t think so.  Don’t sweat the small stuff….hello, it is all small stuff.  So as the status symbol of the home I want it to be big, open, and modern and at the homes center.  If you have a property where the kitchen is a galley style, oh well, all you can do is move walls.  That may not be cost effective.  I have a giant square of 15×12 and an electrical box on the kitchen wall, ac vents in the floor, door and windows to work around.  After hours and I mean at least 15 hours of considering how to make the space work.  It comes down to….some expense must be incurred toredesign the kitchen.  I’ll close up a window (cheap) but leave plumbing and gas and water right where they are (most cost effective). 

Sometimes you need a fresh eye to help you see it better.  Call a friend (with experience or taste) but remember this is an opinion – not a professional.  They don’t know what the budget is, and nor should they.  So listen as if they were a potential buyer or tenant and make decisions from there.  I notice that on FLIP shows the “flippers” never ask anyone for a professional opinion, not even their partners or the host of the show who has been around the block a few times with renovations.  I have asked one girlfriend to come by…she was scared to death and couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  Note to self:  call her once the walls are painted and she will be amazed.  This goes back to my point about the “retail buyer” and the Gruen Transfer in the blog “why do we want an ugly duckling (March 29).  So I called an old friend and designer.  She used to work exclusively with new home builders and homeowner that moved into new homes.  So re-design was not what I thought she knew.  Well to my surprise Lisa is JUST PLAIN OLD GOOD AT ALL OF IT.  She is wonderful.  She can see it all.  She didn’t necessarily give me the answer to my kitchen dilemma, but she could see my vision and liked it.  That really helped me.  If you need a full blown designer or someone to help with curtains, paint colors and furnishings Lisa is your girl.  She can design from scratch; she can redesign what you already have in your house.  She cuts right through and is budget minded.  She won’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.  You can contact Lisa Teate on Facebook .

Now that the kitchen is headed in the right direction I still find myself at odds with our builder, he is a great guy and I have loved working with him for years.  On this house for some reason we have very different ideas.  He never liked the house when we were considering buying it and that is fine he didn’t put any money into it!  But now we are moving walls and changing the floorplan up and I would really like to know that we can share the vision. I would like a consensus but I may not get one this time.  The living room area is “sunken”, yea remember the sunken feature of the 70’s – very cool in the 70’s but not so much these days.  Over the years we have all stepped backwards in a house and fallen into the “sunken living room” before.  What a hazard and a dated feature.  I want to get rid of the “sunken” space, so in part of the living room where the floor is already higher I  we will raise the floor in the other area to match it.  The ceilings are high and can handle it.  I’ll just have to raise a couple electrical outlets to complete the room.  The small change will take  the only “step up” in the house to the foyer.  A step up is better than a sunken room and less hazardous.  I have also opened up the kitchen to the living room, an opening from the common hall to living room, created a dining room and added windows which are on the front of the house (much needed).  Sounds like a lot, but not really.   The space needed to be updated.  We have a lot of room and just needed to change the perspective.  We opened the kitchen and living room together and their common focal point is a wall of windows that over look the creek and wooded (almost mountain like) property. 

When I stand in the house now, I can SEE the final product.  It’s really coming together.

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