Made with HAPPY has started a new series we’re calling Life with Kids. In this series are interviewing parents from around the world who inspire, empower and encourage the rests of us!
For our first post, we interviewed one of our very own DnH Contributors, Amanda Andrew. She and her husband recently remodeled their kitchen in their beach house bungalow, and we were catching up with her on the redesign.
What made you decide that a full remodel was in order as compared to partial?
In our case the cabinets were over 40 years old–we’d already painted them and put on new hardware years earlier.
I also wanted to remove the soffit in the ceiling which allowed for taller cabinets and more storage.
In every day homes, where is a good place to start when deciding on a kitchen remodel?
For most people budget is going to be the driving factor. A few other things to consider are how long are you going to be in the home? What kind of return on investment can you expect? What condition is the current kitchen in?–maybe new cabinet faces, updated hardware and perhaps a new counter tops are all that are needed to change the whole feel. Adding a back splash can also add a lot of dimension and update the look considerably.
What is easier to do yourself and what is good to have a professional?
The easiest to do on your own (and most cost effective) is paint. That being said I would always recommend taking one of your cabinet doors to your local paint store for advice on the proper prep for the material. If cabinets are not sanded & primed, the paint will most likely peel.
We have also done our own tile work–it’s relatively easy and a simple tile saw isn’t all that expensive. I would leave installing new cabinets and counter tops to the professionals.
How to decide colors?
Color is such a personal choice! I usually tell people to compile a ton of images (Pinterest!!) on spaces/colors/styles they like–more often than not, their style and color preferences become obvious fairly quickly.
What’s the big ticket items?
Cabinets, counter tops and appliances are all big ticket items…of course all are required in a kitchen which is why this is typically the most expensive area to renovate.
What’s the most inexpensive, but makes the biggest impact?
Paint, always paint 🙂
How do you know if you need new faces or whole new cabinets?
If the frames of the cabinets are in good shape and the layout works well, you are a good candidate for new faces.
Counters – how do you pick the material?
Counter tops are another area that are such a personal preference. I chose granite for our kitchen because, although I would have loved a Carrara Marble countertop, marble is much more porous and stains. Given the small space and the high use it just wouldn’t have been practical. Luckily we found a granite slab that works really well and fit the aesthetic I was going for. Another great option is quartz. If I wasn’t able to find a granite I liked, I would have gone with quartz; it functions much like granite and is just as durable.
What do you have to consider in terms of a family or kids when thinking about a remodel?
When thinking about a remodel it’s always important to consider how your needs from the space will grow/change as your family and kids grow. In any renovation it’s also important to consider how the changes you are making will impact the value of your home–is it your “forever” home or will you need to take changes you make into account for future resale.
Biggest challenge with a full kitchen remodel?
With any remodeling the dust and disruption is a big challenge when you are living in the house, even more so with kids–a kitchen is particularly disruptive because you have to move meal making to another space. Most end up with a microwave and toaster in the garage (along with a stack of take out menus).
Living with kids… how does this play into remodel?
As with anything with kids, I tend to gravitate towards materials that are easy to clean and durable.
In our kitchen I knew that I wanted to do a two-tone color scheme with the cabinets. One thing that has worked out well is that the darker color on the base cabinets hides little finger smudges much better than the white base cabinets we had before. We also chose to do our bar area all at one level, lowering the 42″h portion to be one continuous 34″h countertop. This has made eating at the counter much easier for the little ones.
You can see much more pictures of the design at Amanda’s blog AJCooperDesign