I debated whether I should show these photos or not. In general, any designer is rather reluctant to show a before without an after. (Do you really want to be associated with ugly things? Of course not.) But I am still quite excited about my new place and I want to start talking about it even though there’s really nothing to see yet. So here it is in all of it’s underwhelming glory.
So the apartment is (SURPRISE) nothing spectacular at the moment. In fact it is a really good case study in How Not To Renovate. Seriously people – yes you DO need a designer and this is why.
My 1970-something apartment has actually been redone – in the last few years, even. However, poor planning and questionable materials used just do not pass muster.
I can imagine that the original kitchen was tiny and ineffectual and that this was an improvement. Cleverly the previous owners expanded out through the dining room. Great idea yes – but for some reason they still used apartment sized appliances in the new kitchen even though they no longer had to. Usually I live with normal sized appliances and a lack of cabinet space but in this suite I have the reverse problem: tons of cabinets and teeny tiny appliances. Plus, there is no built-in microwave range hood because they just don’t exist in a 24″ size. (Dear appliance manufacturers: get on that.)
The cabinets themselves are ok – not my style – but ok. However, the other materials used here are absolutely crazy making. This is how you make nice cabinets look cheap: buy everything else from the bargain bin with no forethought whatsoever. Why else would you have grey stick on floor tile, black countertops and green backsplash tile (that incidentally doesn’t even go all the way up to the upper cabinets – what?). Also, they installed a built-in desk at the end of the kitchen but the placement just looks like an afterthought. Probably because IT WAS.
So the cabinets are staying but will be getting painted white (hopefully before I move in but that remains to be seen). The black granite is staying. It’s just fine even though it sticks out like a sore thumb next to everything else. I definitely want to rip out the backsplash and replace it with…something (tile? stainless steel? This has yet to be determined). I am probably also going to remove the cabinet above the fridge so that I can replace the fridge with a taller unit. That fridge is shorter than my mother! I mean, come on people…
Hello disco 70s light!
The rest of the unit is in ok shape. The carpet (which is cheap, poorly installed and already dented beyond saving) is being replaced by laminate. The oddly placed light fixtures are getting switched out and I’m installing pot lights in the hall, living room and bathroom. Plus I’m getting that nasty popcorn ceiling removed. All of that alone without the getting the cabinets painted will make a huge difference but I’m hoping I can have it all wrapped up before I move in (in just over two weeks – eeek!)
Pro tip: leave extra TP for your trades!
Needless to say I am very excited to be elbow deep in a new project! Stay tuned for the progress photos!