Thursday, September 28, 2017

5 Things You MUST do for A Quick House Update

The Headlines:

You have a home.  

That needs a little updating.

Here are 5 things you MUST do.

And 2 things you should.

By now you may know me.  Or maybe you don't.  But if you do... you're pretty aware I like to make over things.  Take something mediocre and make it (close to) miraculous.

That can be done easily with tons of money.  But it can also be done with a little money, plus some resources and a knack for design.  That's what I did with this house:

This was a rental property which had been used, and somewhat abused, for years.  It really hadn't been touched much since it was built in the early 90's.  This is what the kitchen looked like.

Pretty bad.  But I knew I could take this place and turn it into something a little more special!
Here's the 5 things I did to do that:

1 - Counters
In many cases these days, if a house is in desperate need of new counters it's because there's an old Corian, laminate or in bathrooms, often times there is "cultured marble."   That, by the way, cracks me up... it's such a nice sounding name for TOTAL CRAP!  These days people are doing a lot of quartz (a man made product) and marble.  There's some concrete.  They're also still doing some granite, especially quartzite which is a more exclusive/expensive type of granite.

For the kitchen in this house I wanted to do a pretty Marble-looking white space.  But I did not want the upkeep of marble so I decided Quartz was my best option.  I like how clean it came out.  As for the edges, I'm always about classic so straight edge works best.

In the bathrooms, there are two, I decided to keep them consistent and do a White Ice Granite on both.  Granite has been on the way "out" for a few years but I'm not sure it will ever be totally gone.  At the time I needed it, it was the best option for my project.

2 - New Sinks/Faucets 
When you get those new countertops in, you most certainly, will have to put in new sinks.  Everyone is doing rectangle vs. oval now.  Also, it's all under-mounted sinks.  I like a bright white ceramic.  I know big surprise.  Just can't go wrong.  For the kitchen... stainless is still not a bad option.  I also like the big huge tubs versus the partitioned ones.  That is a matter of preference but it also seems to be more "in" right now.

Then, the faucets continue to set the tone for your area.  For instance, I wanted to go a little more "mainstream/classic" in one bath but for the master, I wanted it a little more special.  Hence, different faucet choices.   For the kitchen faucet, I wanted a simple goose neck.  That's what I got.  

3 - Painted Cabinets 
Once you get new counters in... you almost positively will want to do your cabinets.  And the fastest, most economical way to do that is paint them.  Period.  It just is... they can completely transform your house.  See for yourself.

I went with white but obviously the sky is the limit.  You can do light or dark gray, black or I've seen lots of blues lately too.  Just find someone who can do the job right.  They have to be sanded and sprayed.  Not just any painter can do this...

4 -  New Hardware
This is a no brainer.  Once you get those cabinets painted just add new hardware.  This is usually not that expensive to do.  Especially if you keep the pulls on the smaller side.  3 inches will cost less than getting a 5-6 inch pull.  Even though the larger sizes are really what people are doing today.  I also like changing up the pulls per space, like I did here in the Master Bath (pictures above in the cabinet picture) but that's not necessary if you want to keep it simple.

5 - Paint Walls/baseboards
Painting is always quick and easy.  It can dramatically change the look of your house.
This especially needs to be done if you have 10 different colors and 3 different accent walls in your house right now.  First of all, and I can't say this enough.  Choose neutral colors.  The days of purple, deep reds and hunter greens are over.  Those left when "Trading Spaces" was cancelled.  Remember that show?  I could not get over all those crazy paint colors.  If you stick with a gray, caramel or dare I say white... you will never regret it.  You may regret painting your dining room a bright orange.  Commit to colors with decor or maybe some furniture.  That way you can change things up when you feel like it.

Now, with that said, I will say crazy color can be super great in some cases.  I even saw a room painted black recently which was really intriguing.  But those cases are rare.  So tread lightly.

All in all, this was a quick house remodel update that worked.  Just check out the Before/After pictures:

Bath 1


Bath 2 (Master)

After those 5 things... you almost have a full remodel.  But not quite.  The next 2 things seal the deal entirely.  I did not do the following 2 in the home above.

6 - New flooring
This will make your remodel.  Choose the right stuff and bam - you're in business.  Wood is super hot right now.  Yet it's classic and will never go out of style.  It's not possible.  Concrete is always cool.  Tile is another great option.  So many amazing choices.  Here's my friends house.  She chose to go with a polished tile.  It ups the fancy factor a bit and looks almost like marble.  But it's not.

** Program note - if putting in new floors, don't do carpet.  For 3 reasons: 1, it's hard to clean.  You can never really get all the "germs" out.  2, your allergies will go away instantly.  No joke.  3, carpet chops up a room.  One floor throughout a house or continuous in large spaces makes the house look bigger.  I know, some people like the comfort of carpet between their toes in their bedroom.  But all in all, it's not worth it.

Finally tonight,
7 - New light fixtures   
This is the jewelry after the dress.  It's the icing on the cake.  The cherry on the sundae.  I did a blog about it HERE.  New light fixtures will take your remodel from fabulous to gorgeous.  Promise.

Now... you're done.

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