Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ramblings about the reno...

We met with a real estate agent yesterday...
the one that sold our last house and helped us in buying our current one.
She graciously came over to look around
and give us her input as to what buyers are looking for in kitchens
and what competitive houses currently on the market are sporting these days.
I'm happy to say that she loved all the improvements we've done in general.
She'd just come from a new listing of an older home listed $XYZ,000 above our home's
purchase price and said ours blew this new listing away.
We all agreed that our kitchen now is quite lovely
but
if we want to bump it up to the next level in resale pricing
then this kitchen reno would do that.
For us its the best return on investment.
We are fortunate enough to live in one of THE best housing markets...
as long as the med center keeps booming
real estate around here keeps going with it
{on a bad note so do our taxes but I'll take it.}
 Now that the real estate "expert" has been here
 my husband feels good about our decision to move forward.

So here's where we are on the reno front...my wish list if you will:
The sink that started it all...the Shaw Farmhouse Sink
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Rohl Perrin and Rowe Two Handle Faucet U.4719L-PN 2 Polished Nickel
not sure which finish though...
we've changed all our hardware from brass to oil rubbed bronze
ROHL Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Lever Handles and Sidespray | U.4756L-EB-2
  These aren't cheap but again we're going for what the market comps use...
Note...if you want a similar but quite affordable version look at this one
from amazon.com of all places and for a tenth of the price...
So to me those are the "KNOWNS" in this kitchen equation.
Let's move now to the "unknowns"...
1. counter tops...

The other great note of our visit with the real estate agent was that she said

quartz counter tops are "IN"
and that buyers, in this market anyway, consider granite to be "standard" 
{that's her op-ed not mine...if you have granite please don't take offense}.
She said thanks to great marketing
quartz products like cambria have really taken off.
In particular she said caesarstone.
I'd been telling my husband this ever since my visit a few weeks ago to the slab yards.
Today he decided this was the way to go.
Sometimes you just have to plant the seed and wait for it to grow.
After looking at honed granite and thinking something like this was the way...
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I did a 180 and am now leaning towards white counter tops.
White granite or Caesarstone in particular...
to get the low maintenance with the look of marble...
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The only downside?
According to the slab yards I visited last week
 these quartz products cost
nearly twice what granite does.
Ouch.

Right now I'm leaning towards Cambria Torquay...
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OR
 
Casearstone Misty Carrera
seen here in Aubrey and Linsday's new kitchen...
{this post has TERRIFIC tips for counter tops!
A big tip I learned was to ask for a "Mitre edge"
so that you don't see any seams!
If you're doing a kitchen reno this is a must read}

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OR
  Silestone Lagoon...
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 Still not sure...
Anybody have one of these quartz products in their kitchens?

2. Backsplash
 
From my visit to daltile you'll remember
that I fell for a marble backsplash
in a herringbone pattern.
For those of you who don't know this pattern
let me simplify...
Chevron.
Anybody shocked here?
Not if you know me.


and of course it was the most expensive of all the materials I saw that day...
around $33 per square foot.
But you know me...I'll find a deal.
I hope.
It might look like this with our white cabinets and dark ORB knobs...
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or this if the tiles were smaller...
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 Just not sure if we should spring for this pattern
or keep it more simple with subway tiles...
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or marble subway tiles... 
 
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this pin says the backsplash is Thassos marble tiles 
and the counter tops are super white granite

  or just to throw a ringer...
what about a trellis-looking tile?

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 I know what you're thinking.
I too am thinking stick with a classic
but I did find a terrific source for these types of tile.
Wish somebody would hire me to online shop for them.
Just saying.


 3. Hardware

When we moved in we switched out every knob, door handle, and pull from
 brass to oil rubbed bronze.
I still like it and really don't want to spend money on changing it out.
Again.
Moving on...

4. Lighting

We're having the dreadful florescent light box above our island removed.

Dreadful because it gives us both headaches.
Its days are numbered.

I've dreamed of using smoke bell jar lights

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or maybe this type of lantern...

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 or this type...

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Now I like this one too from circa lighting...

SMALL ARCH TOP LANTERN

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but you know me...
I'm not spending $1260 on a light fixture
{times two}

I found a similar light

for drum roll please....
$150
{note its currently out of stock}

I just can't decide if it will block the view and be a distraction.
One more thing to consider.

So those are the materials...
still have to consider what this will do to the current paint job.
We used SW Celery in the kitchen because of the green in the granite
and I have my Waverly "lovely lattice" fabric in the window.

{notice how big those new displays are...super huge and $45 each!
A friend bought one and I've since moved mine to another counter.}

I love my lovely lattice cafe curtains but they're faded on one side now...
should've used outdoor fabric.
Live and learn.
So I'm open to new fabric...and since its been two plus years since
I updated the family room I'm thinking now is the time to pull it all together at once.

So...
I'm opening it up to new fabrics for curtains in the family room

Here's the breakfast nook with our new table...

the light fixture and bamboo shades are staying...

but I'm open to something new besides the hip chocolate floral...
maybe apple green and various shades of blue?

and this time if we do new fabrics (?)
then I'm only going to do
a couple of big pillows
and not a hundred little ones :)



and I'm thinking its time to say goodbye to the bean bags and our little table and chairs...

and the harry potter castle on the mantel...
toys spread like weeds don't they?

We're thinking of re-purposing the granite from the kitchen...
maybe hone it down to replace the tiles around the fireplace (?)
and the tiles in the bar area...now command central


But another big question was raised yesterday...
should we get rid of this bar area...

 and lower it to be one big slab at counter height?

 sorry for the woozy picture but you see how its raised?
 One more shot so you can see there's no room to add to the island
like I've seen before where they have a little bar that juts out
with counter height stools...
like this...
 
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 Honestly I hadn't thought of it before the agent mentioned it yesterday

 
so I looked and here you see it in the famous Sally Wheat kitchen...
 
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{its in our neighborhood so this could be considered a comp}

Which reminds me...
would it be a good idea to something like the plate wall above
on this wall in our house?

 
to hide the thermostat, door bell box, etc that bothers me?
 
That's just what I thought when I saw the plate wall...
that it might hide a multitude of the builder's "sins" :)

So in sum I'm confused about:
 
1. which counter top and backsplash material to use
 
2. should we use pendant lights over the island and if so which ones
 
3. do we keep the bar height bar area looking into the kitchen or
replace it with one big slab at a lower height?
 
4. do we nix the green wall color in the kitchen?
 
5. how about painting the island itself?
 
6. do we tie it all together with new fabrics for drapes and pillows
in the family room
or keep what we have now?
 
7. along the same lines can we tie the whole downstairs together
so it flows from entry foyer to the family room
or am I just off my rocking chair completely?

I think this was the longest post I've ever done.
That's a lot to take in right?
I know.
For me too.
That's why I'm seeking professional advice.
I'll give you a hint...
 

I fell in love with this kitchen and when I thought of my "dream" kitchen
this popped in my head immediately.
Actually her whole house is dreamy too.
Be sure to click through to see her home...
her before and after's are off the chart!
If you don't already read Mary Ann's blog
definitely add it to your list!

1 comment :

  1. YOUR house is beautiful! Thanks for the mention. Looking forward to speaking with you by telephone.

    ReplyDelete

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