Cosmetic Makeovers...

Last week we spoke about the “real” costs of home renovation work in our area, daunting, to say the least. But don’t loose heart! If you can’t afford a full-blown renovation perhaps a cosmetic refresh would do?  We have reinvented many kitchens and baths by refreshing solid surfaces and existing cabinetry.  Is it worth it? You bet, as long as your layout makes sense and your cabinetry is worth repainting.  If the cabinetry is junk, don’t bother as the cost of a good paint job is too high. The average cost of painting in the Greater Boston area often ranges from $6k to $10k, depending on the amount of cabinetry.  If you have quality cabinets this makes perfect sense!  What if the boxes are good and solid? You can also look into replacing just the doors and drawers. Either strategy will help keep your budget under control and save our landfills from unnecessary debris!

I have personally taken the refresh path time and again. We purchased a lovely reproduction home in 1997.  I wanted an old home, but my husband grew up in an old home - he knows me too well, I failed to sell him on that game-plan!  Our home had great bones but it was very dark with stained wood throughout; floors, cabinets, doors, trim, beams.  All part of the charm and character but it was too much of a good thing. I was longing for light and bright, in combination with beautiful wood elements.

Our dining room “after” painting the wainscoting and built-ins. The Bees love to add great looking wallpaper inside built-ins and cabinetry! Layers and details create a great looking space.

Our dining room “after” painting the wainscoting and built-ins. The Bees love to add great looking wallpaper inside built-ins and cabinetry! Layers and details create a great looking space.

We painted the cabinets ourselves - this is not something I would recommend unless you really know what you are doing.  It is a ton of work! Hence, the reason good painters get a premium for what they do - they earn it!  If you are not going to take the time to do it the right way, don’t bother, as the “after” could be worse than the “before” and the finish will not survive the intense traffic of your kitchen area. We saved money by taking great pains to do it the right way, thus freeing up funds to hire out an architect and builder to tackle improvements and enhancements that we could not do on our own.

Our kitchen cabinets after painting. The table is “homemade” too, the legs were salvaged and reinvented with a fresh coat of paint! Hubby created the apron and a builder friend helped us source the wood top.

Our kitchen cabinets after painting. The table is “homemade” too, the legs were salvaged and reinvented with a fresh coat of paint! Hubby created the apron and a builder friend helped us source the wood top.

This client wanted a budget friendly refresh so we “reinvented” her existing built-ins and made a few changes to make the space more functional…relocated an awkwardly positioned door, extended the built-ins and added a cozy window seat/storage area. Once again a little paint and layers of details transform the space!

Check out the project below, this is such a great example of a budget friendly project. We worked with the existing floor plan and embellished trims and details, talk about transformation! The client had a limited budget; existing cabinets were painted and the appliances stayed, (the white selected for the cabinets had to play nicely with the white appliances). We added new countertops, a new backsplash, new hardware and lighting…quite the difference! Paint is transformative and dollar for dollar, the most effective way to transform your home environment!

Here is another great example of an effective refresh. This client was blowing up most of their first floor area so they opted to paint the existing vanity in the guest bath. It was in good condition and worthy of painting. They focused on updating the countertop and flooring, with the majority of the budget going towards renovating the kitchen and high traffic areas. They did add additional layers and details to customize the guest bath, such as bead-board and a grasscloth wall-covering. Beautiful results, without blowing the space up, a better alternative for the budget and the environment!

Guest bath refresh!

Guest bath refresh!

We will never tire of the transformative impact of a little paint and elbow grease. Let your imagination run wild and repurpose your space and your furnishings to great effect, the possibilities are endless!

Let us know your thoughts, what do you want to hear next?!

Mary Maloney2 Comments