We’re renovating and I’d love–no I NEED–your advice. Renovation advice. This is my second attempt at the project, because just the idea overwhelmed me last year and I took solace in the escape that travel provided. This year, M is going to take a bigger role, so I feel more comfortable. Three months of mess is what we’re preparing for, although we expect contractors to tell us that it’ll be quicker.
Surely some of you have been through this and have renovation advice that will save us a boatload of aggravation.
So here is the backdrop for my questions:
What started all this is that our modestly-sized kitchen is bisected by the door to the laundry room and garage. We’d like the two sides to look more cohesive, to minimize the bisection –without moving walls. One wall on the smaller part of the kitchen is dominated by a large window that overlooks a really pretty part of our garden. There, we will move the window up two inches (making in two inches shorter) to install built-ins on the sides and a long counter across the window wall. We’ll eat casual meals at the counter (looking at the garden) and will enjoy having additional culinary work space. We’re avoiding a kitchen table as it would only emphasize the bisection and we’re the only ones who will eat there as we have a dining room with a large table for entertaining.
We’re tearing out all of the current cabinets in our kitchen, the sink and the stove to replace them with … something else. So new cabinets for the entire kitchen are needed, along with a sink and a gas stove.
Family room renovation
We’re also finally furnishing the family room –doing a bit of a makeover and maybe some custom shelving and cabinets. It’s a smallish family room with a fireplace we’re redoing with gas. One of the walls has French doors to the back yard and garden. There will be a big (but not massive) TV screen and I have my heart set on a sectional with a chaise so we can relax. That’s the key word for the family room: relaxation.
Part of the kitchen is visible from the family room, so I require color palettes for both rooms that would coordinate but are not identical.
I love color. M. is color blind and sees only reds, oranges and yellows, but they are not the most restful base colors. We prefer bright color for accents, only. The base color of our living room, which is NOT visible from the kitchen/family room, is purple so I don’t want to duplicate that look.
Color is a possibility for our kitchen counter tops–both the long counter we are installing on the window wall but also the counter in the working part of our kitchen. I am not a fan of the normal granite colors (grey, brown, black, beige) and patterns and am inclined to do something more colorful and maybe even wild for one of the counters (at least), something my designer says is bad for resale. But resale is not one of our considerations, because we are “aging in place.” I do like patterns and colors that make a statement, and that statement is for me–so the palette will be one that I can look at every day and smile. No problem with two different but complementary countertop colors or a pattern and a solid.
Color is also a possibility for some or all of the custom cabinets in either room. Our designer likes that idea better than the colorful counters, but I think there is a compromise.
We intend our family room to be the place we spend most of our free time, so we’d like it to be more restful than our colorful living room and our soon-to-be bright kitchen.
What did you learn from your own renovation that we need to hear?
Or what would you do if you were going to renovate–what do you miss having?
In your own renovation, what kind of cabinet and drawer configuration was most useful?
We’re upgrading the gas range as it doesn’t heat evenly. Do you have recommendations?
We are replacing the kitchen sink. What worked best for you?
And now, palettes:
I’m looking for color palettes for each room that would coordinate. I’m going to show you some color combinations I respond to. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, so I’m asking if you see any trends in what I like, combinations that immediately pop out because they seem to keep showing up.
Given what I’ve said about our general needs and desires, what are your thoughts on what you see below?
The thing about throw pillows is that they’re meant to be accents and so there’s no hesitation about combining fun colors. These are some that spoke to me.
I like this in theory, but I’m afraid it is too bland for me and I’d get sick of it quickly.
See why I’m confused? I have a lot of “loves.”
This would be lovely in a country kitchen. I don’t rule it out for our home, but we’re not in the country.
This is typical of me–I’m changeable.
But I don’t want it to look beachy.