Episode 8:
Should We Stay Now?

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As a designer I am often called to give advice on updating a kitchen or bath when a homeowner decides they want to put their home on the market. Many times their real estate agent will make this suggestion or the homeowner themselves feel the house will sell more quickly with a bit of a facelift. And it is true, a beautifully renovated kitchen and/or bath DOES help sell a home.  Studies have found on average that homes updated with new “high-end” appliances added over 4% to their resale value.

Our first kitchen remodel was brought to us by the owner/agent for that very reason. They wanted us to “design to sell”! Although the homeowners were very active in the design process and material selections, we all kept to the plan…update and entice a future owner who falls in love with the kitchen.

This particular home has an incredible amount of charm and personality the kitchen nonetheless was in need of some character of its own. Our homeowners knew in order to sell this house we were going to need to roll up our sleeves and tackle the kitchen first. We modernized the space by changing up the footprint of the kitchen somewhat allowing for an easy flow workspace. We also replaced existing cabinetry with new alder wood in an espresso stain complete with sleek contemporary built-in hardware. Counters were replaced with light and bright granite to offset the dark wood cabinets and floor. By removing the soffit and replacing lighting we were able to contribute to the new open feel everyone wanted to achieve.

Home 1

With every space designed a personal touch always sets it apart. In this case caution was added when discussing personal flair knowing this home was being designed for the masses. A custom created built-in wine rack enabled the existing homeowners to house their personal wine collection but also added to the unique redesign of this project.

And now that the job is complete this home and show piece kitchen is ready to be introduced to the public and scream out “take me, take me”! However, my last visit with our happy homeowners indicated that they just may not be leaving anytime soon.

Our second kitchen was remodeled solely for our existing homeowner’s pleasure and comfort. Unlike our first example, these homeowners are staying put and want their existing kitchen, which they did not originally design, to fit their large family, entertaining, aesthetic and functional needs so they can enjoy it for many years to come. The well designed kitchen already had a good flow with the exception of needing to create a larger cabinet space to accommodate additional and superior appliances. The island lends itself to easy food prep, serving and gatherings so we knew that was staying.

Home 2

Aesthetically we wanted to modernize the look without losing the originally created charm. We were able to do this by re-facing the existing cabinetry and adding rich molding, introducing granite countertops, replacing the existing flooring and designing a “stone meets glass” backsplash which enabled us to integrate both old world and contemporary into our design. Upgrading the appliances and plumbing, richening up the existing ceiling beams and adding a fresh coat of paint in the perfect color also helped achieve this look. We then pulled it all together and personalized it with a gorgeous mural reflecting the homeowner’s love of palm trees that encase their outdoor surroundings.

Whether you are contemplating staying or going there’s no better time to update, improve, beautify and enjoy a newly remodeled kitchen. Perhaps you’ll get years out of it or just months until the right buyer comes along. Either way I promise you will be smiling, living and entertaining a lot more.

Copyright 2010 Denise Teichert, Fine Wine & Design


Crabtree Custom Cabinetry
Image Home Improvement
SunWest Appliance Distributing
Ferguson Bath & Kitchen Gallery
Passion 4 Murals