The Mole Man
Mountain House and Home
If you close your eyes and start letting the memories of your past envelope you, then I’ll wager some of the best memories will be centered around the moments spent in the kitchen. Whether it be memories of good food, good coffee or good companionship, this room is where it all seems to happen.
Of course, there may also be the memories of that Thanksgiving when you had your parents over for the first time and forgot to take that little package of innards out of the turkey before you baked it, but after a while even those memories can bring back a chuckle or two. It’s no wonder, then, that we all want the kitchen to be a reflection of who we are and where we came from. As a result, the styles and structures of a home’s kitchen are as varied as the people who use them.
If you are looking to remodel your kitchen completely, or just give it a face-lift, here are some things to consider. Based on budget, you can either remove everything down to the bare walls and start from scratch or rejuvenate the existing room by changing colors and updating old appliances and fixtures. Today, designers and contractors specializing in kitchen remodels are readily available. As a first step, you should strongly consider using their expertise and your vision to create the room you want within the budget you have available. When working with a designer, always remember this is your home and your memories, and it should end up being what you envision. So once you’ve made up your mind to get started, then the fun begins. And hey, if the kitchen is out of service, you get an opportunity to sample all those restaurants you’ve been longing to try.
No matter if you’re embarking on the complete re-do or just a face-lift, think about the following things from the bottom up. How is the floor? If it’s in good shape, you like it and it can be cleaned easily, then don’t mess with it. But if it is a carpet that was installed during the Eisenhower Administration, you may want to consider replacing it. Stone, tile, hardwood, laminate or vinyl flooring are all good options based on your budget.
Replacing cabinets and countertops can have a dramatic effect. Once again, the sky is the limit based on budget figures. If replacing cabinets is not practical from a cost standpoint, then how about just replacing the doors and drawer fronts or applying a new coat of paint and replacing pulls and hinges? New countertop treatments can run the gamut from granite or marble to tile to Formica style laminate. Metal countertops are also an option. Your choices are only limited by your imagination ” and your budget.
Next to cabinets, the biggest investment will be in appliances. Don’t scrimp here, because a higher-quality appliance will save you heartache and frustration in the future. Be sure the appliances you finally decide on will fit in the spaces allotted for them in your design, otherwise you may be frying up a pork chop in the laundry room. If you are starting from scratch with a completely new space, make sure you are comfortable with the “work triangle” (the placement of the sink, stove, and refrigerator) so the space will be as functional as possible. Think about placement and types of light fixtures ” you don’t want to be cooking in the dark. Save mood lighting for the dining room.
Finally, choose wall and accent colors to make the kitchen space uniquely yours ” one where family and friends can create more memories to be cherished for years to come.
Bob Moore, aka ‘The Mole Man,’ is a handyman and remodeling contractor based in Glenwood Springs, Colo.
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