Whether you cook gourmet meals from scratch, lean on Blue Apron to do the planning, or just heat up something you just picked up, it all happens in the kitchen. When everyone comes home after work and school, chances are they go straight into the kitchen, the hub of the house. It’s also the center of entertaining: the last time I had a party, I could not get anyone out of the kitchen!
The East Cobb Blog asks, “Does your kitchen function well for you and your family?” Do you like the appearance of your kitchen? East Cobb’s real estate boom started in the 1970s, took off in the 1980s and continued in a big way through the mid 2000s. Many of the homes built in the late 90s early 2000s have large master suites, larger secondary bedrooms, wonderful terrace levels, and beautiful architectural details. The lots tend to be larger than newer homes. However, kitchens of that era had what some of us call “spaceship” islands. Many had desks built in for desktop computers, and cabinets were stained, floors were tiled, and there was a lot of brown and gold.
According to National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Study conducted in July 2017, “A complete kitchen renovation or a kitchen upgrade and a bathroom renovation are the top two things that bring the most appeal to buyers and that bring value to the home for resale.” Even more important, the homeowners reported a joy score of 9.6 and 10 after either a partial remodel or a complete remodel. The percent of value recovered from remodeling projects varied by city and project, but the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates are that you can get 57% of the value from a kitchen upgrade and 62 % from a complete kitchen upgrade.
Chances are your kitchen has already seen at least a partial remodeling, depending on the age of your home.
I recently sat down with Stacey Black, professional interior designer of Metropolitan Design Group ,LLC and East Cobb resident to talk about the local design scene and what she sees in working with clients in the metro Atlanta area and in East Cobb.
“In East Cobb homes, timeless and classic design elements work best for the hard elements, including cabinets, countertops, and backsplash.” Stacey went on to say, “Make sure to consider the architectural style of your home when you are planning your new kitchen remodel. If your home is traditional, then you will want to select traditional, transitional or even design elements of the Farmhouse style that are popular now rather than investing in an overly conterporary kitchen. Clients have been eager to use Farmhouse elements like shiplap on walls and reclaimed wood shelves instead of a full wall of upper cabinets. ”
I had to ask these two questions…Is granite out and are white kitchens out? Stacey had helpful answers…”Granite isn’t completely out, but we see it used much less. When we use granite it is honed or leathered black granite used to simulate soapstone or an almost all white granite used to get the look of white marble. Currently there are exciting counter top options out there, with the most popular counter tops being quartz. Both quartz and porcelain tops offer the look of a classic white marble, without the worry of staining or etching. Of course, we still love natural marble and its more durable natural counterpart, quartzite, but these surfaces do require a bit more care.”
She went on to say that white kitchens are still very popular no matter what National Kitchen and Bath says. Locally, white cabinets, counter tops and white kitchens in general can be quite classic, and she does not see that going away.
Stacey also had lots of examples for us to follow if we choose to remodel our kitchens. “The “Bold and Blue” white kitchen shown in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Jan. 2018 magazine is a wonderful example of a classic kitchen that is functional and will be in style for many years to come. Notice the inset shaker style cabinets reaching all the way to the ceiling. The marble backsplash and quartz counter tops are white, but the island has a dark stain and you see pops of blue all around the kitchen.”
The photos below were taken in a 30 year+ East Cobb home after a kitchen remodel.
When asked about whether or not to incorporate the open concept model in your kitchen remodel, Stacey responded, “Open concept living is so desirable, now that some homeowners are remodeling homes to get rid of the formal living and dining rooms, and building a kitchen with a massive statement island where families can gather, cook and entertain. People really want to use their homes and not have unused rooms that no one ever enjoys.”
As a Realtor, my clients often ask if they can get by with painting their kitchen cabinets or if they should replace them as they prepare their home for sale. While that is a case by case decision, sometimes it is not whether or not to update the kitchen to get a higher price, rather it may be that in order to sell the house, the kitchen must have some updating.
According to Stacey, “Many clients want to try and get away with just painting existing kitchen cabinets to give the kitchen a fresh and updated look . Sometimes, it seems like the most logical, and economical thing to do in a kitchen. However, I ask clients to look at their existing cabinets and consider their style and design. Cabinets with exposed hinges, raised panel doors, and the face frame showing around the doors tend to look out of date in 2018. The photos below are typical of the late 1980s and 1990s in East Cobb homes. Even if the cabinets are painted, counter tops are replaced, and back splash is updated, the outcome can still seem tired and dated.
Are you ready to make some changes in your home that will increase your joy score? Consult a professional. A professional designer will be knowledgeable about costs, contractors, and can help you decide the best course of action to have a kitchen that works best for you and your family.
Are you interested in discussing your kitchen update or remodel options with Stacey? You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.