Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Kitchen confusion

This is my kitchen.  Apparently many people who have had showings at my house (which is for sale) have considered this kitchen to be unacceptable, in that it is small and in need of updates (according to them).

Sometimes that assessment feels like an insult, since I personally have no problem with the kitchen (although I'll admit that it's small).  How is it that this kitchen is good enough for me but it's not good enough for other people?

My realtor, who really is good at his job, claims that in the current market, my house will not sell unless I have certain renovations done in the kitchen.

Yes, the cabinets look worn.  They are 50-year-old high-quality cabinets.  They don't look particularly impressive under a microscope but they function perfectly well.

Yes, the oven and stove are dated.  But they work perfectly well.  (The oven is beside the stove, above it and to the right.)

The refrigerator is not stainless steel  Who cares?  It works.

The floors are "vintage".
I wonder if flooring sold today will last 50 years.  Let me guess.........

The countertops - well, even I don't like the countertops.  But....yeah, they work.

Why, I say why do so many people find this peninsula offensive?   Seriously.

When I moved into this house, the cupboards above the peninsula had doors on them, making the kitchen tiny and dark (and yet I bought the house!).  I removed the cupboard doors, which instantly brightened up the kitchen.

As it is, the peninsula divides the room into a (small) kitchen and a (small) dining area.

The renovation recommended by the realtor calls for demolition of the peninsula.  (This was originally my idea, but I have since abandoned it.  The realtor has grabbed onto it like a bulldog.) 

I think it would be a mistake to open up the area into one room.  It will then be about the size of a normal kitchen (although still not a very big one).  The realtor wants me to get rid of my current table (rectangular with leaves) and replace it with a small round elevated cafe table with 2 chairs.  (Augh!   Is he nuts?)  I think the proposed plan will look awkward and will draw attention to the fact that the house has no dining room.

These 2 comparative drawings put it all into perspective:

As it is now, I could probably fit 6 people into my dining area if I tried.  Maybe.  (I have never tried.)

The realtor's (and contractor's) plan includes painting the cabinets white, replacing the countertops with granite, moving the (new stainless steel) refrigerator to the end of what is now the dining area, getting rid of the soffits, removing the wallpaper (I'd do that myself), installing a new stainless steel stove, ceramic floors and of course removing the peninsula.

Here's what I think:  I should replace the counters with black granite, install white and black large checkered vinyl flooring, remove the wallpaper, replace the refrigerator and stove with stainless steel, leave the old oven in place (it can be used for storage if it's not needed for baking).  Leave the peninsula as is.

I am not a realtor, nor am I a renovator.  And I am the type who has a hard time spending money.  But tell me.  What do you think?



Lynilu said...

I was writing a comment this morning when the furnace was finished, so I had to get ready for work. Fortunately I save what I had and finished it out. Here are my thoughts:

Remove the current oven, use the space for shelves, open or closed. I wouldn't add much extra counter space on that side, or just add one of them, not two.

Remove the peninsula ( I did this in my KC house, and it made a world of difference) but don't extend or don't extend far, leaving room for a small breakfast cove. You could even build in a bench under the windows and put a small table in front of it.

I can't tell how much room is in the dinette part but could you put a narrow set of counter &/or shelves against the wall on the side of the refrigerator? I personally find that storage is more pressing in most houses than is extensive counter space.

Whatever you do, good luck!

B.S. said...

Lynilu, thank you for the input. My biggest problem is the removal of that peninsula, so I'm relieved that you think it has to go. That's what the realtor says, but I am resistant because it's such a gamble (we can't be sure that it will look good).

You also agree with the realtor about removing the oven.

The dinette is tiny. In the new plan, it is nearly non-existent, which is what I'm hung up on. No, there is no room for a counter next to the refrigerator.

It's valuable to hear that storage is more valuable than counter space. I wondered about that.

Thank you much!!!!


Big Dave T said...

Your kitchen looks newer than mine. I'd hate to see what the realtor would say about our house. Guess we won't be selling any time soon.

I agree with Lynilu about the peninsula, but I'm no decorator. She sounds like she knows what she's talking about.

B.S. said...

Big Dave, I have to say that I'm baffled by the apparent high standards of house hunters. And I wonder how much they'll be willing to pay for my house after I pay for all of this......

The real estate market may not be as brutal where you live. In this city there are currently 17,000 houses for sale, so I have some competition.


Cinderella said...

I wouldn't touch the Peninsula. I'd just remove the wallpaper and paint the room the same as the color in the living room and bedrooms - that soft butter yellow.

And have the realtor let a prospective buyer know that you will offer them $1,500 cash for new appliances or whatever improvements they may choose to do themselves to be given to them at the close of escrow.

B.S. said...

Cinderella, I like your idea. I can do it myself for very little money.

I have the feeling that all that proposed futzing around, trying to make a tiny kitchen look big, is going to backfire. And break the bank.

Thank you!


Cinderella said...

You are very welcome B:)

Happy upcoming Thanksgiving!

just me said...

Its been a while since I've written. I personally Love your kitchen. Its cozy and feels lived in. The problem is we live in a world where people just want more and bigger and shinier. Honestly, I just sold my house in rural PA and lost all my savings. It was hard to let go of my dream. I trust in God, that he will take me to where it is I am suppose to be.
I hate watching HGTV...all you ever hear is these young people saying. "oh this is so small, or No walk in closet, Oh no this, that or the other". Really, there are so many with less.
Your house is adorable, and as a single mom as well, you did just fine. Do what you can. Paint does wonders for light and a new look.
Best of luck.

Big Dave T said...

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. You know what I'm thankful for. Go blue.