Remodeling Your Kitchen: A Happy Thought or One That Fills You with Dread?

fan deck and blueprint

Whenever I hear women talking about remodeling your kitchen, it’s usually a conversation filled with animated excitement. They talk about the new appliances they’re going to buy, the colors they’ll use, and the beautiful cabinets filled with every convenience.

But every once in a while, the “remodeling your kitchen” talk turns to the horror stories they’ve heard from friends about remodels gone bad. They bring up things like project budgets that have gone way beyond what they planned for. They worry about all the chaos and clutter that they’ll have to deal with. And worst of all, they agonize over the lengthy process and whether they can even stand to do it.  Does this ring a bell with you?

Remodeling projects don’t need to end this way.  It should be a fun and exciting time for you.  Now, I’m not saying that it will all go perfectly.  But I am saying that I’m passionate about helping you have a successful kitchen remodel.  It’s what I love to do!

But I can’t do that if I don’t know what your biggest concerns are.  You know, the things that fill you with dread, and might even keep you from starting your project. So please take a minute to complete this poll I’ve created, and then look forward to making memories in your own dream kitchen!


Project Burnout: When Your DIY Stops Being Fun

Decision to Survive Unexpected Things

I love a good DIY project every now and then.  But sometimes the vision in my head isn’t the way it turns out.  And the number of Do-Overs is directly related to how burned out I get.  The joy in creating something new suddenly gets stolen from me… and the drudgery begins.  Has this ever happened to you?

This week a bargain flea market table became the project du jour.  The silly postcard of a Victorian women that had been glued on top, finally had to go.  The top was sanded, supplies were ready, and I was filled with excitement!

table with gel canThe gel stain can be used as stain on unfinished wood.  But on a painted surface, it goes on just like paint.  After two coats, with 24 hour drying time in between, it was time to apply the clear wax.  Love the color!!!!!

IMG_7360Adding clear wax is fun because you get to see the richness of color come through.

waxThe trick is to brush it on, wipe off the excess, and buff it until it shines.

finished topI love it!  The old crackle comes through to give it an aged look, which is exactly what I wanted.  So far, no project burnout.

Now I’m really excited to add a new color to the legs.  Since I have several different colors of Annie Sloan Chalk paint, I opened the first can and painted on a sample.

CocoYUCK!  The paint is too thin.  One coat is supposed to cover the surface.  I know that I shook the can, stirred the paint, and even let it sit upside down for a while to mix.  What happened?

Primer RedThere’s still time left in the day to finish this project, so Primer Red was painted on… but it’s not what I expected.  This is where project burnout set in. Clean up time was made longer when I sealed the lid to the Java stain and it squirted all over the tile floor!

Now the floor is clean, days have gone by, and my table still sitting in the same place on the floor. The excitement is gone for now. Maybe I’ll finish it tomorrow….

DIY projects can go awry no matter how big they are, or how experienced you are. When it comes to designing your remodel or renovation project ask yourself if you’re up for the task before you start.

My friend, Marla, recently completed her DIY kitchen remodel and reminded me that it’s not as easy as it looks on HGTV. After almost coming to blows with her spouse, she vows to “never look at a box of subway tile again!”

When Ashley, of Vintage Refined decided to use Java Gel on her kitchen cabinets, her enthusiasm turned to burnout when she realized it had to be painted over her existing finish.  Though she loves the results her comment was… “All I can say is our next house better have my dream kitchen, because I am officially burnt out with painting cabinets (at least for the next month)! “

Yes, the unexpected will always happen in life and the only control you have over it is how you choose to handle it. Do you choose courage, grace, or humor? After all, you’re the Queen of your own life, and the choice is yours.



The #1 Step To Creating Your Dream Kitchen

What do I wantWhen we first realize that it’s time to explore getting a new kitchen, suddenly every product that goes into that room is on our radar. Remember when you wanted to get pregnant, and all you noticed were other pregnant women? That’s how it is when we want something…it’s everywhere!
Where do we start? With a design, a budget, a contractor? Though each of these is important to the finished project, my #1 place to start is with a list of what you want. And then I break my “wants” into two groups…what I want it to look like, and what I want to bring into my life by having this new space.

I know, for some of you this last list of “wants” might be a little deep for you. After all, your kitchen is ugly and outdated. You just want to replace it and move on. You don’t care how your life will be changed….or do you?

What's your dream

 Sometimes referred to as the dream list, this step can’t be ignored. It’s important to put some time into it. By doing this one step you’ll have a head start when it comes to the planning stage.

Let’s take a look at a few creative ways to make this step fun. And, really, at this stage of planning, if it isn’t fun maybe you should put it off until you’re really excited about it!

frustrated woman

1. The Basic List. Easiest way to start using paper and pen! Divide the page into 2 columns…column one is for your list of wants….column two is for a list of everything you hate about your existing kitchen.
2.  Order the List. Prioritize your list by listing most important first. Some of us are a little particular about scratching things off or drawing arrows. We like neat and orderly lists. If this is you, it’s time to move your list to the computer. For those of you who are even more creative, mind-mapping might be just what you need. Did you know that you can download a mind-map software for free at www.freemind.com? It gives you a place to brain dump, and at the same time keep it organized and even color coded.


3. Create a vision board or a vision notebook. This can be a fun exercise, and one that keeps growing and growing. Start by going through home decorating magazines; visit showrooms, home shows, and model homes. Whenever you see something that you would LOVE to have in your new home, cut out the picture, take a photograph, and add it to your vision board or vision notebook.

design board

Don’t forget to make a note about manufacturer or model number. Remember to include color combinations that you like, you’re going to need that as well. And one last thing… Be sure to ask yourself why you like it and write that on your list or board too.

Last of all, sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Turn on some soft music, and begin your list of why you REALLY want this new kitchen. Have you been avoiding cooking because you hate walking into the ugliness? Are you embarrassed to have friends over because they all have nicer kitchens than you do? Maybe you want your kids to have friends over more often, and a bigger, open kitchen would let that happen.

Whatever your final dream for the space, and we all have one, it helps to begin with the end in mind. That’s when planning your dream kitchen finally comes to life!