Our home sorely needs tlc in the kitchen, basement, & outdoors.
July 11, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our kitchen has 1950's countertops with no workspace, lots of cupboards but with the old wrought iron look hinges & handles. The basement has old paneling, smelly carpeting in part, & is musty so I can't go down there due to asthma. The outdoors needs a place for the 2 small dogs & a separate place to the family to relax & grandkids to play. I would love some nice landscaping instead of pachysandra everywhere (which we're trying to kill with weedkiller). We don't even know which one to start first!
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I would start by revamping your kitchen. It will make your whole house change and you will enjoy cooking while the rest of the house is upgraded..
5 Likes   July 12, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Are you looking for advice? If so, what kind?
1 Like   July 12, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Leave the pachysandra till last. If you kill it, something else worse will take its place.

Pull out all musty stuff in basement for your health's sake, but don't redecorate it yet.

Then fix the kitchen. If you want to save money look at ikea stuff.
8 Likes   July 12, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
If you need to use the basement as living space, or maybe even laundry space, and it is a health issue, then deal with that first. At least get the carpet out. Put a dehumidifier down there. That might be all you need down there.

As for the outside, rather than spraying a bunch of very toxic chemicals, dig up your pachysandra and sell it at a yard sale or on Craig's List. Pachysandra is a very expensive ground cover if you go to buy it. If you don't care so much about getting money out of it, put an add on Freecycle and tell people to come and dig their own. Trust me - it will be gone in a matter of days. Just be sure to mark off where you want them to take it from so they don't dig where you don't want them to.

As for the kitchen, are you talking about gutting it, or are you trying to use what you have? If gutting it, that is a MAJOR undertaking and you are going to want to do ALL of your homework before beginning. Aesthetics won't help the counter problem, but simply painting what you have - making the wood doors match the cabinet color, whether white or another color altogether - would make it look much more cohesive. I personally happen to like the old wrought Iron strap hinges and pulls, but they would be pretty easy to replace with something more modern (just make sure you measure the holes on center so you get the correct size) You don't really say what your style is, so it's hard to recommend. An immediate problem is the huge refrigerator sticking so far out from those cabinets. Could you possible switch it to another location? As for countertop space, think about getting yourself a kitchen island/cart if there is room. Since you say there is an abundance of cabinet space, it might even make sense for you to take out a cabinet and replace it with an island you can roll around where you need it.

Once you decide which project to tackle first, post it as a separate Design Dilemma. 3 projects is too much to exchange ideas about in one discussion.
12 Likes   July 12, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Six Months ago my wife inherited 2 Shotgun houses that are 90 years old, when her father passed on One House was her grandmothers and the other was her Aunts. They both were rentals until we moved in. Now I'm attempting to do somem remodeling. These houses need some repair work since they have been bandaded to there limits. The Kitchen Cabinets need up dated, the flooring needs replaced, the rear door frame needs readjusted, The Bathroom needs Surrounds around the bathtub, and a new cabinet out fit, and the porch needs redone. This is why I entered your Drawing, because the cabinets I looked at I really likedwoul
1 Like   July 13, 2013 at 4:38AM
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I would re-use that kitchen hardware. It will look great against white or off-white cabinets!
1 Like   July 14, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Basement/health issues first. It may be that all you need to do is pull out the carpet. My last house had a daylight basement with old rose carpeting. We pulled it out and put down a vinyl that looked like hardwood. Looked great, easy to keep clean and if anyone wanted carpeting they could use area rugs. Then do the kitchen - you use it everyday so it needs to be a workhorse for you. Ikea cabinets are inexpensive but have great features and are easy to install. There are also on-line places for cabinets that are great for a small price. Don't go to the big box stores - you can find better quality for less price if you look around. In the Seattle area I found custom cabinets for the same price as cabinets ordered from the big box stores. The plus was that I got wood from the cabinet place to build a fireplace mantle in the great room that matched the kitchen cabinets.
1 Like   July 14, 2013 at 5:26PM
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As wonderful as it would be to begin with your kitchen, it probably isnt wise. Start first with your basement, I agree that pulling up the carpet is the smartest thing you can begin with. Get yourself some dehumidifiers,they really help decrease musty/ damp odors. Regarding your Kitchen, I think the best thing you can do is pick up every magazine that shows Kitchens / remodels that way you begin to get an idea about your style and certain specifics you feel you cant do without. I do recommend a store like Lowes, they can sell you low or high end cabinets, we just bought some reasonable cabinets, the local Cabinet stores can get very pricey. You will save alot it you do the demo yourself. P.S., Houzz is a great website to help you begin to figure out what you want.
1 Like   July 14, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Amy Wax
I can help you. Years ago I authored "Can't Fail Color Schemes" which was a best seller for over a year. My second book is Can't Fail Color Schemes:Kitchens and Baths. It comes with over 500 photos of kitchens and bathrooms and is a priceless tool to see what the possibilities are for rooms of all shapes and sizes. I found the Barnes and Noble link but you can also check your local bookstore. I hope this helps: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cant-fail-color-schemes-kitchen-bath-amywax/1110764475?ean=9781580114134
0 Likes   July 14, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Studio Dearborn
Here you go-- Step 1--gut the basement (whatever has been damaged by water/moisture) Step Two--do whatever work you plan to kitchen (because you may need access to pipes through the basement anyway) Step 3--complete kitchen and basement simulatenously with same contractor (you will get a better price this way) and Step 4 (or simultaneous to all this) list the Pachysandra on craigs list for free (or Freecycle, if you have in your area) and let other people dig it up. I did this and got rid of 100s of square feet of it, it is very expensive so people are happy to dig for free! good luck.
2 Likes   July 15, 2013 at 5:45AM
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What are you waiting for? Rip that musty carpet out and haul it to the dump.

Paint the entire kitchen bright white (including the wood doors on the cabinets). You can keep your hinges or change them out.

You have the perfect place to do a backsplash behind the stove. You're slate is clean.

Add some color pops.
1 Like   July 15, 2013 at 7:04AM
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I agree with leelee about the kitchen. you can also pull off the edge on your counters and tile right over them. I use the matte Olean tiles you can get at Lowes cheaply and it makes old kitchens look new. Would look great with those colorful backsplashes and they are dirt cheap.
0 Likes   July 15, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Jayme H.
Agree with the others in re: get damp carpet out & get the basement addressed. Be very cautious, as you have asthma and the basement makes u ill. By disrupting it all without proper precautions, serious health consequences could result. If u do gut the basement, I would advise your not being there while the work is in progress and/or have it sealed off well. From your friendly R.N.
3 Likes   July 16, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I'd tackle the carpet first. If it's musty, you have a water problem that needs to be addressed and you're never going to find it with the carpet there. Once the carpet is out, inspect your basement floor carefully after every rain storm and after every time you use a lot of water in the house. Do you have a leak? Some stuff is easy to fix. We had downspouts that drained into the foundation. We moved them and voila! no more water in the basement after a storm.

The state of whatever is under the carpet will tell you if you need some kind of improved moisture barrier on the floor.

You can paint the paneling, but I wouldn't do it until I had a good grasp on the mustiness issue.

In the short term, if you have space to stow it, get a rolling butcher block cart from Ikea to use as counter.
0 Likes   July 17, 2013 at 6:04AM
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Savena Doychinov, CKD/Design Studio International
ktbullock54, as a kitchen and bath designer with over 30 years of experience, my recommendation is to find a great local kitchen designer to create a new floor plan (layout) for your kitchen that uses the available space in the best possible way and integrates the kitchen with the rest of the house. I'm not sure what your budget is, but it seems to me that you plan to stay in this house for a while. In that case, it'll really pay off to solve the kitchen problems first. Painting it will not solve any of the problems apparent in your photos and nobody can solve these problems without seeing your space first. Look at local kitchen designers' portfolios on Houzz, also ask friends for recommendations, interview them, try to see some completed projects, talk to prior clients and make your decision. A great kitchen designer will come up with creative, fresh solutions to improve the kitchen and how it relates to the rest of the house. This is not a job for amateurs. You'll also need to leave the basement ceiling open to allow access to HVAC, plumbing and electrical wiring during the kitchen renovation. Remove all the soggy carpet now, but wait to redo the basement after the kitchen. Trust me, with the right designer, your kitchen can be transformed from a dated, disfunctional "Before" into a lovely, cozy, functional "After" space designed around the way you cook and live. Good luck with your project!
1 Like   July 17, 2013 at 7:48AM
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Urbanxt Design
Where to start? That question can only be answered once we establish what your budget is.I guess money is the problem or else you would be seeking the advice of an expert. Freshening and contemporising an interior doesn't need to cost much. I would suggest retaining the kitchen removing existing fittings. Paint everything in your preferred colour. A pastel will work well with its vintage style. Otherwise white high gloss. Replace benchtop sink & fittings. Keep fittings sleek & minimal. Tile splashback in a gloss easy maintenace uncluttered no
pattern no texture finish. Paint walls white. Floor in floating timber gloss or semi finish. Now for the basement. Gut it. When you have a blank canvas decide what use it will have in your domestic lifestyle. If its going to be a theatre keep finishes soft & dark. If a bed or study make finishes light fresh and glossy. Give lighting special consideration. Ventilation might be an issue as well. You can install a vrntilation fan somewhere. Assist for landscaping same formula. Remove the offending vegetation. Once you have a blank canvas here you can take your time designing based upon how you utilize it.
1 Like   July 17, 2013 at 10:21PM
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For health issues I would start with the basement...it won't get any better with time. Remove all the carpeting and see what is under it, if there is a subfloor and it is moldy or mildewed, it will also have to be removed, then thoroughly clean the base prior to laying anything else down. You will also be able to tell if you have just condensation issues requiring only dehumidifiers, or if you have water intrusion issues which will need to be addressed.
0 Likes   July 18, 2013 at 11:49AM
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