Danger: The First 24 Hours after you take Possession

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.

My client loves turquoise – these images are for her!

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:

Her daughter’s room will be turquoise and orange

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.

She also adores white and would have painted her entire house white if it wasn’t for this post I wrote.

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:

Her powder room will be turquoise

“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.

Because I understand the power of colour, this was my advice to her:
All images from the House of Turquoise

“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!

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person consultations.

Related posts:
White Kitchen Cabinets
White is a Snob
Why is it so hard to choose yellow paint colours?
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  1. Just last night, I was looking for pictures of white houses with gray shutters because the new brighter blue door looks terrible with the old navy shutter color the builder chose 18 yeas ago. I only found pics of white houses with black shutters, which husband doesn’t want because he is afraid they will fade and are a real pain to repaint on a two story house.

    I let him know that Houzz didn’t have pics white with gray shutters and included a mention of that design blog I read and that you say black is the way to go. He simply said “okay, black it is” and went about his business in the garage. AND my orange wood cabinets will be painted in the next week or two. He was a convert the first time I had a pro come select paint colors with me. Men can come over from the natural wood and leather side.

    Mine realized it is much less expensive to do not well the first time.

  2. Such a timely post for me, Maria. Just coming out of one of those occasional funks when I see a new neighbor in the community with a dumpster and a half dozen pickup trucks out front and a beehive of activity going on inside the house, the garage and on the driveway. Much of the time, they haven’t even officially moved in. Not really resentful but sometimes a little frustrated that after two and a half years, I’m still cash poor and for my biggest project – re-doing the floors throughout my 1350 sf home – I don’t yet see any sign on the horizon that my ship is coming in.

    On the very blessed and positive side, I’m so glad I didn’t have the big bucks – I was forced initially to choose a house within my budget that I could live with satisfactorily until …, and by doing so, I’ve learned so much about what I really want and don’t want. I really love my little house now (I’ve claimed it as my forever home) but I also know when I finally make the big changes, they will all be the right ones and I’ll be even happier. Thanks for bumping me out of my funk!

  3. Great post and still relevant so long after it was written! We are moving in one month so i completely see myself in this scenario. Great country style kitchen with beautiful maple cupboards with the most God-awful colour! They look yellow with a green tinge! I am not replacing them but definitely will be painting them. I will hire someone to spray them (some shade of white but as yet undecided) since i figure this is my third house and my last one so i better get it right. My last kick at the cat, so to speak…lol.

  4. Loved your advice for your client and loved the colors and design in the photos ! I like to live vicariously through your blog and imagine it is my home in all of your makeovers ! Isn’t it amazing how much a gallon of paint can change your life !

  5. Kelley Brown Designs

    Help! I just read your post and your last sentence is “and this is what she did”. There are no pictures or links to follow. I scroll down and it just has your ads and arrows to go to the “next and previous” posts. What am I missing?