Week Two: One Room Remedy

This week has gone by so fast, and I am looking forward to the weekend ahead.  Because I am going out of town for a couple days, I am trying to get as much done as I possibly can around the house.  I already have my house sitter in place, the house is straight, and now I get to bask a little bit in the warm glow that is my 26th birthday weekend.  This week for the One Room Remedy, it’s time to star planning things out for the big kitchen renovation.

  • Decide What Activities You Want To Do in Your Home and Where They Will Take Place.  My condo is only about 900 square feet, but I needed a house that functioned like it had about 300 more square feet to work with.  For the things I need to do at home, I was to write down all of the actual rooms in my house and then match them up with the rooms I actually wanted/needed in my house.

Rooms that I have:

  1. Living room
  2. Kitchen
  3. Hallway
  4. Bathroom
  5. Master Bedroom
  6. Guest Room

Rooms that I need:

  1. Living room
  2. Dining room
  3. Kitchen
  4. Breakfast area
  5. Bathroom
  6. Hallway
  7. Master bedroom
  8. Guest Room
  9. Home gym
  10. Home office

That’s three more spaces than I obviously have room for in my house!  So I have worked it like this:

  1. Living room and dining room
  2. Kitchen and breakfast area
  3. Bathroom
  4. Hallway
  5. Master bedroom
  6. Guest room with home office and home gym

Once I have discerned where everything is going to go, now it’s time for me to make a choice.  Where do the compromises come?  Because I wanted a dining room in my living room, I cut down the amount of living room furniture that I had from a couch and a love seat with side tables and a huge coffee table down to just a couch with one side table and a smaller coffee table.  Because I reduced the amount of furniture, I opened up enough space to fit a dining table that can fit four people and a hutch, and I use two of the dining chairs as extra seating for when guests come over.  My guest room could have been a full bedroom, but I took out the closet space and put a home office in the closet and I made cabinets to store away my exercise equipment.

The key in this exercise is that everything has a place if you decide to keep it.  If you have a dining room but need a home office and have no where else to put that room, ask yourself do you really need that dining room.  Where do you eat usually?  If your answer is not the dining room, then giving that space up to become a home office may be a great solution for you.  But once that space is defined, be sure to keep that space confined.  Don’t have your work documents strewn throughout the house.  This creates clutter and disorganization.  The key here is to keep everything in it’s spot so it’s easy to find and the flow is better.

  • Buy, Borrow, or Make a Floor Plan Tool

Despite being a realtor, I am not very good at working out floor plans.  It’s an issue that I am working on, but until then, thank goodness for technology right?  I decided on an online floor planning tool at floorplanner.com. You get one free floor plan, and I have been using this tool for years with the one free floor plan.  I simply take a photo of my work and save it to my computer before wiping it and starting all over.

  • Map out the room that bothers you most and work out your solution

Since the kitchen is my main concern right now, I worked out the floor plan based on the kitchen.  I used a point and shoot laser room measurer as well as a measuring tape to get all the dimensions of my kitchen together, down to the thickness of the walls as well as the size of my doorway and window. I entered them into the floor planner and the hard part was over.

012414085154This is eventually what I want my kitchen to look like.  The flow is good with a triangle going between the fridge, sink, and stove. The benefit of the floorplanner.com technology is I can also see my room in 3-D as well as 2-D.

012414085428There are some glitches in the system(or maybe me, the operator), however, with the shelf height being a little off, but I can see what my actual plan will look like once executed.  But I took the liberty of also drawing out what I want the kitchen to look like once I am finished.

012414085450Look at all that storage and counter space.  I am so excited about this!  The color scheme is not totally set in stone, though.  I am going to be playing with colors soon, as well.  But the open shelves, pantry, wine rack, counters and base cabinet are additions I am definitely making to the kitchen.

  • Name Your Vision.  I call this one the “Minimalist Kitchen.”  Everything is stored away and there is not much clutter on the counters because I want to free them up for food prep space.
  • Build a Shopping List.  I have been working on this for a while, but here it is, my kitchen shopping list.
  1. 30″ Base Cabinet $120
  2. 24″ Wide Pantry $225
  3. Perfekt Wine Shelf from IKEA $70
  4. Countertops with Installation $750
  5. Moldings $25
  6. Light Fixture $50
  7. Paint $50
  8. Sink $150
  9. Shelving $50
  10. Appliance Paint $40

Subtotal Purchases Only:  $1530

Tax (7% in SC): $107.10

Incidentals (5% of budget for cushion in case anything comes up): $76.50

Grand Total: $1713.60

At this rate, I am about $280 below my budget.  As long at I hit on or below that number, saving myself some serious cash, I can pull of the kitchen renovation of my dreams just by putting in most of the sweat equity myself.  Once this kitchen is done, it will be incomparable to any other kitchen I have seen in my neighborhood.  It will be great for me for the time I am living here, but it will be spectacular for the next owner because they won’t have to do a thing to it.  But because condos are still selling freakishly low in my neighborhood (thank you foreclosures), I don’t want to put too much money into a kitchen renovation by totally ripping out the old cabinets and putting new ones in.  By working with what I already have an like, I am adding value into my home by creating something I will truly love.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Have any rooms that you are having an issue with?  What kind of floorplanner do you use when you are working out a new solution for your home?


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