July 28, 2011

A Different Sort of Design Project

Life is good these days.  I have some wonderful clients, and I'm giddy with excitement over our Coffee Talk seminar series (the next seminar is August 13!).  I'm also planning a wedding.  This all contributes to my lack of posting as of late.

Our wedding is a lot like any other design project in the sense that we need to convert a space into something different.  It's a unique challenge because it's a temporary space that needs to be constructed and torn-down quickly, with minimal waste.  And we've got very little money or time to work with.

Since the wedding planning is one of the factors keeping me from blogging, I thought I might just share just a few of my inspiration photos (many of which are from JL Designs - she does AMAZING wedding work!).

Main ideas: 
Chocolate Brown & Pear Green
Green & White floral
White vases
White Paper Lanterns

(source unknown)

 Our wedding is going to be at a covered picnic area.  While the location is beautiful (in a canyon very close to our home), the picnic site is simple.  I think this could be so much fun if I only had more time to work with.  Instead, this may become more of a "shoemaker's kid" type project - I think all my creativity will be focused on my clients rather than my own projects.  

Wish us look - we have 2 months to go!

July 18, 2011

Not Just a Boring White Kitchen

Imagine the above kitchen without that ceiling.  Yes, the green island would still add some character, but really, it would just be a simple white kitchen and probably wouldn't really grab your attention.  With the addition of that ceiling, you can't help stopping and looking and saying "Wow!"  Though it's a little too country for my taste, I can't help loving it.  What do you think?

July 14, 2011

Foyer Built-In Cabinetry

You might remember the post I did a while ago about this laundry room and basement remodel in a beautiful craftsman home here in Salt Lake.  Well, I just designed a built-in for the foyer of that same home.  With the rustic finish and hardware, along with the antique mirror, it's hard to believe this piece hasn't been there all along, which was sorta the whole point.

Furnished & installed by Arendal Kitchen Design.  Custom cabinetry from Hallmark Custom Cabinets.  Hardware from Rocky Mountain Hardware.  

July 7, 2011

How Much Does a Remodeling Project Cost?

This is a multi-million dollar question, right?.  And there is no easy answer, especially when it comes to YOUR specific remodeling project.  Because your project will be different in at least one way from every other remodeling project that has ever been done, whether it's cabinet finish, size of the space, types of accessories, ceiling height, age of house...  I could go on and on.

Getting an exact price for your specific remodel will take some exploring.  Anyone who can tell you a price right away obviously hasn't done enough work for that price to be accurate.  Did they even ask you whether you wanted a single or double waste-basket pull-out?  Or what type of undercabinet lighting, if any?  Or what finish on your bathroom towel bars?  These are little detail questions, BUT the answer to each of these questions, and many others, will have a different price attached, and all of these little questions will determine the final project cost.

So, before I say what I'm going to say next, PLEASE keep in mind that it takes time and energy and a lot of work to come up with a price for your remodeling project.  Doing it right, with the right people, will often involve an initial investment from you as well.  Though that may be a little frightening at first, having a designer and a contractor involved in the early planning phases will definitely save you money in the end, and it will also keep you from possibly making some very costly mistakes.

Having said all that, most people have no idea how much a remodeling project is going to cost, and therefore don't know whether or not they can even start planning a project.  This is where Remodeling Magazine's "Remodeling 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report" can be very helpful.  Not only does it help you determine the possible return of investment, but it also gives you average job costs based on your specific region.

For example, if you select "Mountain" region, under the "Mountain - Midrange" section, scroll down to "Minor Kitchen Remodel", you'll see an average price of $ 21,046.  Then, click on the link for a description.  Here you'll see a detailed description of what a "minor" kitchen remodel includes.  Notice this does NOT include new cabinetry - it only includes new cabinet fronts.  It also does not include wood or tile flooring, rather it specifies "resilient" flooring (aka vinyl).

Most people, in my experience, have a different idea in their minds when they think of a kitchen remodel.  So now go into the "Major Kitchen Remodel" category.  The average investment here is $ 56,377.  While this does include new cabinetry, it still specifies laminate countertops (most want granite or quartz).

If you scroll further down the page, you'll get into the "Mountain - Upscale" section, which will give you average pricing for minor and major kitchen remodels using higher-end materials and finishes.  

Please remember, this is just a tool to help with the initial planning.  These are NOT final prices, rather a way to help you determine a starting point.  And they are not always going to be 100% accurate.  For example, I have been involved in several kitchen remodeling projects in the $50,000-60,000 range that include custom cabinetry, hardwood floors, and quartz or granite countertops.  The options are more limited, however, with the right people and the right process, it can be done.

July 3, 2011

Deck Update

This weekend we scored a few chairs from a local consignment shop.  The shop, Now & Again, was reselling all the old patio chairs from the local favorite, Blue Plate Diner.  Unfortunately there were only 3 left when we discovered them.  I'd love to have a few more, but for now we're thrilled to have the 3 we did get.

You can see our blue chairs in their previous home here:

And now back to their new home:

Paired with the new table and bench from Ikea, our deck has new life!  I love the bright pops of color the chairs add.  Since our garden is all veggies and herbs, we don't have room for a lot of colorful flowers, so I need to rely on the planters and accessories to spice it up a bit.