I have a client that has just taken possession of her house this past weekend. We have met several times prior to discuss flooring choices, renovations, colours, etc. Walking through the empty house with her yesterday, helping her finalize and prioritize her renovation (including her new paint colours) had me realize again how dangerous it is when you first walk into your new house.
Remember this article I wrote on the 10 ways to save money now by creating a focal point. Read it again, right before you start sinking money that you cannot afford into renovations. My clients honey maple cabinets are very orange right now. She has a black/charcoal formica countertop with white specks in it and her backsplash is 4 x 4 black tile. The floor tile is going. Right now the kitchen looks very dated and orange. So here is where the danger comes in:
When you first walk into your empty house [unless it’s brand new] this is what you see:
1) It’s dated.
2) None of it is or would have been your choice in the first place.
3) The colours are [generally] so bad it’s hard to see past them to how great it would look if just the right colours were on the wall.
Prior to my arrival yesterday, my client and her husband had just completed a conversation about the kitchen. She is clear she wants to paint the orange cabinets white so her husband said “Well if you hate it that much, why don’t we just renovate it?’” He left and we proceeded with the consult. Since I have been working with her already, I have an idea of what their budget is, so I asked her this question:
“Would your husband spend the same money on decorating and furniture [they are moving from a small condo and will definitely need new furniture] that he would on a kitchen renovation?”
Well we all know the answer to that question right? Men seem to understand nailing something down to the house. They seem to get the value of that piece of making a house beautiful. Furniture and drapery? Not so much. Their ensuite bathroom and laundry room is currently the priority for a renovation, a kitchen would stretch them to the limit. So they would have a brand new kitchen and nothing great to sit on.
“Even if you did renovate, the footprint of your kitchen would not change that much, it’s already open into the great room. There’s nothing wrong with the cabinets [except for the colour], and they will look a hundred times better painted white (which, in my opinion, is the best cabinet colour anyway) with new hardware, flooring and paint colour (right now the walls are a bright, screaming, clean, wrong yellow) your kitchen will be like new and you’ll even have some money left over for furniture!”
And that’s exactly what she did. . . and it looks fabulous!