Do you recall my excitement last summer when I learned that we would be moving forward with the renovation of the St. Michaels kitchen?
While we were in St. Michaels the past few weeks, I fantasized, measured, and started drawings in the awesome modeling program SketchUp. (Which is a great program, by the way – and it’s free. A fabulous new SketchUp guide co-authored by yours truly will be coming out next year, as a matter of fact…)
Given that we’ll be doing the St. Michaels renovation this fall, I’m working on a client’s kitchen renovation this fall/winter, and hopefully – HOPEFULLY – we’ll be starting our own kitchen renovation next summer, I have kitchens on the brain.
Today I thought I would tell you about a little exercise that’s helpful before starting ANY renovation project, kitchens included.
Before you begin planning in earnest, ask yourself, “How long do I plan to be here?” The answer to this, Gentle Readers, will affect every decision you make.
Be specific. Ask yourself:
- Will we be here for 1 or 2 years? (Or are we renting?)
- Will we be here for 5 years?
- Could we be here for 10 years?
- Is this our 30-year house, the one we’ll raise our family in?
- Will they be carrying us out feet first?
I know there are gaps in there – please try to push yourself in one direction or the other. In general, the less time you plan to be in your house or apartment, the more you should focus on cosmetic changes.
There are exceptions, of course: if your kitchen is a 1980s relic…
…or mildew has overtaken a bathroom, renovating will almost certainly improve the resale value of the house. But even then – especially then – you’ll have to make decisions about how much to spend on x, y, and z parts of the renovation.
This is going to be fun.
Pictures of the green kitchen, kitchen with artwork, and stripey kitchen are from xJavierx’s Flickr photostream. Picture of the ’80s kitchen from a funny but kind of mean blog called Ugly House Photos.
Annie Elliott – aka bossy color – is an interior decorator and design blogger in Washington, D.C. She has been quoted in publications from The Washington Post to The Seattle Times and is considered an expert on color, residential space planning, and telling people what to do in the nicest way possible.