Works in Progress

Remodeling Grandma’s Kitchen

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Matt’s grandmother passed away in January at the age of 104, she was a lovely woman who lived a full life and we miss her very much. Her small home that she shared with Matt’s grandfather needs to be sold, so we are evaluating the task of remodeling the kitchen before it’s placed on the market.

It’s a small kitchen with a nice L shaped layout that receives natural light from an adjacent courtyard. The location of the appliances makes sense so we have no plans to alter the configuration. We want to stick to a budget and not over improve the space, so we’re looking at affordable upgrades like laminate countertops instead of stone, and cabinets from IKEA or another similar brand that offers quality at good prices.

The remainder of this 1,100 square foot home is in good condition but the kitchen cabinets and appliances are dated and could hinder the sale. We stopped by over the weekend to take measurements and wrap our heads around what needs to be done to upgrade the space.

grandmas kitchen before

The cabinets are not horrible or bad looking but they are very old and layers of paint have left them sticky in places and dingy on the inside and upon inspection not appealing to a future buyer. The Formica countertops and appliances? Same issue, old and funky.

grandmas kitchen appliances

One of the debates we’re having is about this cooktop. We believe it was lowered decades ago before his grandparents moved in to accommodate a wheelchair bound person but to us it looks odd as it is.

lower cooktop

With any other remodel, we wouldn’t hesitate to raise it up but this home is in an age restricted 55+ community, so the issue remains whether to keep it at this height or raise it up to a standard countertop height.

sink cooktop

The sink and oven are a standard height, but not the cooktop, so we don’t really see the rationale of the lowered placement which makes us want to raise it up to a standard height for consistency but then again, is there value in having it lower in a retirement community? I welcome any insight you may have on the issue !      

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Contemporary Fireplace Ideas

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

One more project on our To Do list this month and next at the fixer house is the fireplace. It’s an architectural feature and focal point so we want to get this right.

This one is in a corner position in the family room which is never my favorite location, I do prefer a fireplace that is flush against a wall but I’m not totally opposed to this one especially since just to the right there is a 48” space for a media console below and flat screen above which means I can avoid hanging the TV above the fireplace. Not that it would be bad or wrong, quite the opposite, hanging a TV above the fireplace is a common these days and one of several ways to decorate around a television. I still plan to put some art or a mirror there instead.

corner fireplace

There are several issues here, the first is that random niche off to the right side. I apologize for swearing but What The Hell. I don’t understand the rationale of that niche so it’s the first thing to go with a framed sheetrock patch. Before it goes, I may stage some random vignettes on Instagram for fun, I have the perfect empty liquor bottle + fake flower combo in mind. Or perhaps a shrine of thrift store animal figurines.

fireplace 2

The boring beige tile is next to be removed followed by a restructuring or rescaping  (just made up that word) of the mantel surround. My first idea is involves very clean lines and an extension of the gas line to make it less visible by repositioning it. I like the idea of a box of framed smooth textured wall (inexpensive) for the surround, perhaps with a tile inset, or a stone mantel (way expensive). These ideas caught my eye.

contemporary fireplace elledecor

elle decor

mod fireplace paper city

paper city mag

house beautiful 

modern fireplace facade

 sweet something designs 

modern fireplace styleathome

style at home 

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