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RE: When planning a kitchen - words of wisdom (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: sweeby on 01.09.2010 at 12:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Great wisdom so far. Let me add a bit more.

One: Go through what you have now and give away or throw out the stuff you never use. How many coffee mugs do you have that you never use? How many cheapo spatulas that you'd only use if pigs flew? How many freebie koozies in the back of the drawer? How many mismatched plastic cups and plates you'd never use? How much lidless Tupperware? How many grody pots & pans leftover from your college days or Hubby's bachelor pad? Get that junk out of your soon-to-be-beautiful space! Use the 'Would I buy it at a garage sale?" test if you're not sure.

Two: Once you've thrown out the junk, inventory the stuff you have, and classify it by function and frequency of use. For example:
- One 36" drawer of daily use pots & pans,
- One 36" drawer of weekly/monthly use cookware,
- Two 24" shelves of every day china dishes,
- One 24" shelf of every day glassware,
- Two 36" shelves of fancy (Holiday) china and glassware.

Having this inventory is invaluable for planning your new space. Without it, you just won't know how much of what type of space you need, and you could end up with too little storage, or else sacrificing something you'd really like for storage space you didn't need. The security of knowing that 40% of your storage could actually go into a back room pantry (turkey roaster, lobster pot, espresso maker...) with hardly any loss of functionality gives you a huge amount of design flexibility.

Three: Prioritize lifestyle choices and preferences. Things like:
- One seat near the prep area so I can help Sonny with his homework while I cook dinner,
- Buffet zone for casual entertaining,
- Cozy seating area for two for morning coffee with Hubby,
- Open sight lines to the TV-watching area or PC so I can supervise the kids,
- Closed sight lines to the dining area so I don't have to see the mess while I eat!

This may sound crazy, but make a list of how your ideal kitchen will function, then rate the items on that list for how important they are to you. Which are deal-killers and which are 'nice to haves'? Also include what activities are daily and what are annual. There's an old adage in real estate: "Don't build the church for Easter Sunday." Apply that to your kitchen plan; plan for your maximum regular use, not for your maximum ever use.

You may not be able to get everything on your list (who can?), but at least you'll be able to choose wisely. By having my inventory and lifestyle choices, I was able to confidently choose the design that met 95% of my lifestyle wants and all of my storage needs over a design that offered much more storage and counter-top space but only 80% of my lifestyle list. Knowing that I didn't need more storage space got me a much better kitchen!


clipped on: 07.25.2010 at 08:04 pm    last updated on: 07.25.2010 at 08:05 pm

RE: after a disaster: post fire or flood rebuilding (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: nicemac on 03.07.2008 at 01:33 pm in Remodeling Forum

Did your policy specify replacement coverage? Many, possibly most, do. If it does, then you want your damaged stuff replaced. Smoke damage is damage...

The labor associated with removing a few studs and prepping them (removing nails, etc...) for re-installation will be far higher than just using new studs. (I paid $1.62 each for 92-5/8" studs for a new project last week) Additionally, softwood lumber that has been installed, especially in interior walls for several years tends to REALLY dry out, making splits much more likely when reinstalled. No builder is going to want to refurb burnt studs when they are this cheap and you should not accept them.

Same goes with a toilet. Get a quote from someone to remove, clean, and replace the internals in a toilet (possibly damaged from the heat), then reinstall it. A new toilet will seem like a deal for the insurance company compared to that expense.


clipped on: 02.24.2009 at 12:28 pm    last updated on: 02.24.2009 at 12:38 pm

RE: after a disaster: post fire or flood rebuilding (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: juliatallmadge on 05.20.2008 at 10:09 am in Remodeling Forum

yes :( we're still in the thick of it, i'm afraid. the lastest after months and months of what feels like jumping through hoops of requests from them (including providing detailed architectural plans for the rebuild- not inexpensive!) the insurance company made a verbal offer to raise their estimate by 4.5%. Great. That brings them to 65% of what all of our builders say it would cost to rebuild our home. this is a HUGE discrepancy. i'm also infuriated that they have not submitted any kind of revised estimate in writing that reflects the discrepancies that we have pointed out/contended-- instead they throw out this verbal offer and say that they are waiting to hear a counter offer(?!) from us. Yes, we're confident in our lawyer- and are hoping that things will be stepped up in a real way soon. It's really difficult to remain positive when our whole life is wrapped up in this.... and we really feel like they are jerking us around. sorry i should also mention that the amount we are asking for to rebuild our house (per the builder's estimates) is almost 40K less than our total policy coverage. In other words, our insurance company is not even remotely close to the coverage which we've been paying into all this time.


clipped on: 02.24.2009 at 12:37 pm    last updated on: 02.24.2009 at 12:37 pm

RE: Really soft blue for library (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: girlwithaspirin on 09.05.2006 at 09:12 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I tried Palladian Blue in my kitchen. I thought it was pretty but way too much for what I wanted. I ended up with Iced Marble, which is a really soft (but not sweet) blue-gray. Dunno if it's baby blue to you, but I think it'd make a gorgeous backdrop for a black baby grand.


I think this is BM iced marble, but not sure. Very pretty, and she has choc cabinets.
clipped on: 09.06.2006 at 02:16 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2006 at 02:17 pm