Kitchen acceptance

OlychickMay 29, 2014

I think lots of members follow Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, but just in case....I enjoy all her posts so much, but this just was too good to not share.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tyranny of luxury kitchens

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*a new one will not bring you health or happiness*..... but may deplete your bank account! It's turned into a competition of kitchens, and IMO, the online kitchen forums only feed the frenzy of the 'competitors'.

The designer kitchen of today seems to be adding upscale items for 'bragging rights' rather than use~is that in the same category as form over function?

I love my basic 'pretty' kitchen, and expensive upgrades would probably be wasted on me. I've never been *in* the competition, so don 't have to worry about my kitchen being 'out', although my glazed cabs will more than likely be laid to rest in the not too distant future.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:58AM
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Ollychick, thank you for posting this link, that is one of the funniest blog posts I have read in a long time. Ouch!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 6:20AM
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I loved this. Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:11AM
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VEB - what a way with words! She posted a couple of my inspiration kitchens.
You know its tough getting burned out on something you once loved.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:25AM
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Joining in the thank you chorus.
I am no doubt exceptionally shallow, because I particularly appreciated the comment about how before the internet and our expanded competition pool, at least we knew the context -- (the folks who wore too much cologne).

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 8:39AM
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She is great. It's funny how it never feels like a trend when you are in the midst of it, but rest assured it always is!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 8:59AM
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That's so interesting, thanks for posting, olychick. I confess to finding big luxurious kitchens boring. They all look the same to me anymore. Those kitchens are beautiful, but I think they're more a place for the catering staff to work in than for a home cook feeding a family every day. Sure, a little bling in the kitchen can bring some cheer and beauty is a value all its own, but when everything is a luxury item down to the smallest detail, what's the point?

I want this instead:

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 9:30AM
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I think it was a great post, thanks for sharing! I agree, and I was laughing when I read it :-)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 9:33AM
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One of her best! I really hope she finds a way to recreate Pilar Guzman's kitchen. That kitchen is fantastic, grand but so unique.

Amw03- I love that kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Right on, mtn!

"In fact, I will probably be required to travel to a small town in Italy to mine the marble slabs myself."

Hear, hear!! LOL!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Holly- Kay

Oh my gosh Oly, that one had me giggling, though her blog on the Kingdom mirror had me totally flat out hysterical.

Just think of the thousands of dollars that I could have saved if only I had read this before my complete kitchen reno and accompanying case of extreme scope creep.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:20AM
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awm03, that kitchen is luscious. Seriously luscious. And while I will admit to a certain amount of "luxury envy", I'm not sure that I'd trade my 1940 space for many of the over-the-top, positively palatial kitchens that have boggled my mind on occasion. I've kinda reached the point in my life where I don't really want a room to have less bumps, bruises, wrinkles, and overall imperfections than I do.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Well, I certainly liked her kitchen musings. However, what about luxury bathrooms (i.e. marble hexagonal tiles)?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Very true in my mind though - I'm unhappy with mine. I would be happy with mine if I could just have a little more prep space available. Just another foot and a half would be good and cabinets that didn't waste so much space and actually had shelves in them on the bottom so I could fit more.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:36PM
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I enjoyed reading it. I really like, my 1968 kitchen. The space is great, I have enough countertops and lots of storage space, and I really like my walnut stained birch solid cabinets with their original finish. I do admit, I hated the peninsula that came out into the kitchen, but, that was removed along with the walnut paneled ceiling, and the walnut paneling on the walls. I also admit, I am not 100 percent in love with the looks of the avocado wall oven, although, I sure love the way it bakes, and broils. Since it was once a very popular wall oven in my area, and I see several in the habitat restore, I keep looking, for either a black or white door to replace that lovely avocado. So far, I have found gold, coppertone, ivory color, turquoise and some type of red, but, no black or white. I will keep looking. :-)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Love her blog and she is right on the money -big money drives kitchen design.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 2:52PM
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This was great! I posted this not long ago, but this reminded me of what my son said as we were getting ready to rip out our kitchen.....mind you----28 year old cheap builder grade cabinets that I painted glossy white 15 years prior and were in pretty bad shape, white formica off the shelf counters from HD that DH diy'd, a laminate floor that had separated at the sink due to a dishwasher was time and in real need of a redo----he said "mom, do you know how many people in the world would love this kitchen?"

Our remodel was fairly modest.....I don't enjoy cooking so no fancy range, mantra was "Oh, I don't want to actually BE in here, I just want it to look pretty as I'm passing through."

My SIL hates cooking even more than I do but she got a huge Dacor range that always breaks down. Her kitchen is only 7 years old but her expensive cabinets already show lots of wear.

We had old neighbors over last weekend....they both have good jobs and she, unlike me, has always worked so they are definitely more well off than us....we were talking about HGTV and how the 25 year olds complain if there aren't hardwood floors, granite counters, new cabinets, etc. She just laughed and said "I'm 60 and just got rid of my formica counters 2 years ago."

Obviously, there comes a time when you have to redo and replace things, but I do think TV and the internet has made us think we HAVE to have the latest and greatest.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Thank you for posting - that was great! I am right in the middle of a kitchen renovation, so it was perfect timing.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 4:19PM
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That was so refreshing and absolutely hysterical. However, I'm so confused now. I'm not in love (but I don't loathe them like some) with my orangey oak builder cabinets in my new-to-us house. Do I not like them because I actually don't prefer them or am I just caught up in the "light and bright", MUST BE WHITE trend? Do we like things because someone tells us they are good and beautiful or do I independently decide what I like. Some of both? I think there was a post on here not too long ago along those lines. I have a physical aversion to some of the ideas these designers put forward, but really... some of those kitchens are drool-worthy.

I was in stitches over the not-so-subtle stabs at blog-land perfection. Squiggly lines and dots all over pictures and DIY marble mining... it's so true that it's almost incredibly sad.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Well I definitely HAVE A KITCHEN (lol) complete with newer appliances, but cabinetry is a pale orangey/brown birch, custom built in 1980! They're still in mint condition. I'm like sundance; I'm not in love with them and I would LOVE white cabinets. But my husband reminds me of the maintenance of white compared to the 'blend with everything brown' . A good example is my bathroom vanity I painted white (which I love), but I need to touch up the paint due to getting hair color on one of the doors. I do think we are greatly influenced by trends.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 6:09PM
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That 1940's kitchen is the one my mom had, along with the metal table and chairs. The chairs had caps on the end of the metal tubes that came off; that's where my sister and I stuffed our broccoli when mom wasn't looking.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

The joy of contentment! How hard it is to get. Interesting post!
The thing that is rarely mentioned is budget; if you have a properly funded retirement, insurance, take care of your family and pets rightly, are generous to others, have an emergency savings and are debt free, go ahead and update the kitchen as often as you want. So often, debt is acquired and/or the other more important elements are ignored in the "keeping up with the Jones".
I want a new kitchen too and that other stuff is getting in the way!

This post was edited by Bumblebeez on Thu, May 29, 14 at 19:53

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:30PM
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awm03, I would have sworn that was my Aunt's kitchen if it wasn't for the pass-through. Loved that kitchen! Still do.

The best thing I've done to prepare for my kitchen remodel was to go on our area's annual charity Kitchen Tour. Instead of coveting a bigger space and more bells & whistles I came away with a Kitchen Excess Hangover. I was so grateful to come home to my bland, but sane, little kitchen.

Two broken main appliances have forced the issue, but I've had the good fortune to connect with a great KD whose vision for my remodel is to make the best use of space and light while having it be in keeping with the rest of the house.

This was an entertaining read that hit the marks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Sundance, we like things that others tell us to love and those are the same people that had us chopping up and destroying the oak and birch cabinets, replacing them or painting them white to the bone and just painting everything in sight, pulling out the walls and countertops. These same people whose livelihoods depend on the follow the leader will soon tell us about the mischief or bacteria created by stone and how there is a miraculous new countertop manufactured that prevents any infections or bacteria and will keep the whole family free of E coli or other bacteria, and that the white cabinets are so yesteryear so everyone must go back to wood cabinets and they are so scarce because everyone took them out and put in the faux wood white ones. It is coming. Just hold on to your wood cabinets. It might even take the white cabinets all being painted green or red, but the wood cabinets will return and all who have white cabinets will be rushing out to find all the old wood cabinets in salvage stores if they are not able to find wood cabinets in the commercial marketplace.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 11:36PM
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I had to give my 'take' on the kitchens posted, but forgot to mention the humor~makes me see those fancy smancy ones in a whole new light. We can only hope a few KD's read it and stop wasting people's money.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 1:44AM
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The interesting thing about her dream kitchen is that it is more impractical and ridiculous than the one she rails against. It has no ventilation and about 42 inches of continuous counterspace. Similarly, she has taken out a perfectly functional hood and replaced it with open shelving -- can you say sticky Mason jars?

This post was edited by gooster on Fri, May 30, 14 at 2:18

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 2:16AM
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>>I personally think it should be THE-KITCHEN-I-HAVE-IS-FINE trend. We should all STOP redoing our kitchens. It is MADNESS people. Do you have a stove? A refrigerator? A place to rinse stuff and chop it? Then you HAVE A KITCHEN.

We unfortunately, barely had a kitchen. There was a stove (cooktop) and half of it even worked, but there severe wood rot under the floor and it had actually spread into the cabinets at some point because a couple of those had started to delaminate and decay. Combine that with a lot of electrical issues and there was no choice but to redo it all down to the earth underneath the house.

That said, I understand what she's getting at and in the long run that is our goal. Redo it once / redo it right, pick an architectural style that plays nicely with the other rooms and the actual house. For a lot of things it has gotten a bit spendy but that has more to do with shopping for quality above other factors. I would rather put in something like LED lighting now than pay less upfront but more later.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Funny. I think kitchen acceptance is quite sensible when the issues are the looks of the place. When there are functional problems, I think a remodel becomes more reasonable. And, of course, there's no reason a remodel has to involve making the kitchen bigger or chosing the much reviled on GW white kitchen. (I'm totally putting in white shaker cabinets btw, because that is what's in the original to the house 1926 kitchen we will be tearing out as a result of some significant functional problems).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:07AM
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I think it is the internet and the media who drive most of the desire, I think most kitchen designers design kitchens for someone who already wants a new one--they aren't recruiting.

I think the key, (which also relates to designing the kitchen so it's right for the house) is to design something that you won't think is ugly somewhere down the road. Sure everything gets "dated", I suppose, but not everything gets ugly.

Strict adherence to multiple trends, trying to fit it all in, trying to put 10 lbs of s--- into a 5 lb bag, etc., is the problem.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 10:52AM
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In defense of many of her images, those are homes that can handle $100K kitchens, and you know if you have one of those homes or not. As noted in previous posts, the key is keeping it all in context. If you live in a suburban $250,000 home and you're spending time pining over million-dollar homes on Pinterest, it's not the Internet's fault.

And I would argue that we should resist a kitchen remodel just because we have a stove, a refrigerator and a sink. That's touting the other end of the spectrum that she's railing against. There can be balance.

Nonetheless, she's a fantastic writer, and I always enjoy reading her posts.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Another fan of the post and the blogger here. I'm also in the middle of a kitchen renovation and it's just embarrassing how easily I can get sucked into a cycle of spending more just to keep up with the mythical Jones, who mainly exist in cyberspace. We live in an absurdly expensive area, where people spend obscene sums of money on tiny old houses, so I actually don't know all that many people with the islands/continents and all the fancy stuff that passes for normal on GW and Houzz. Even the fancy kitchens are pretty modestly sized.

Even still, as we got started, my neighbor - who lives in a teensy 2br/1ba house that she just sold as a tear-down - came over and asked if we were putting in an island. I laughed, but then spent the next day or two wondering if I was making a big mistake not to have figured a way to stuff an island in my house. Oh well, too late!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:24AM
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'In defense of many of her images, those are homes that can handle $100K kitchens,"

I agree with this statement 100%. If we saw the rest of the editorial content---the other rooms of the houses these kitchens occupy--the entire house lives up to the kitchen, and they may have $100K living room to match.

The tyranny comes in when someone feels they have to shoehorn the $100K kitchen into a $200K house, and the rest of the house suffers for it. Or in a house at any price point where the kitchen is the only really "complete" room in the house.

I live in a region where the suburban model is a gigantic house with a large expensive kitchen and most of the house is sparsely furnished (especially the bedrooms) with bits and pieces of ready-to-assemble pieces of furniture from Target.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:36AM
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I think Pal has come up with a a great and useful insight.

"... everything gets "dated", but not everything gets ugly."

I am going to try to remember that one!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:44AM
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I have had to laugh at this . I put in a white kitchen way back when two kitchen desighners told me that white was cheap and dark wood was in. Wood and painted cabs some and go and both are classic if done well. With our newest kitchen we went with wood because I let my husband pick the color and design and I got to pick all the bells and whistles. I bake so I really thought out the kitchen design and what I needed. Shortly afterwards a few friends and family members put in new kitchens and put in over the top spendy appliences. The funny thing was none of them cook. A tube of cookie dough is what they consider homemade. Years later my husband still loves telling people how much my new kitchen caust everyone elses husbands.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:56AM
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I agree that those huge fancy kitchens are almost certainly in huge fancy houses. I always think the price thing is funny though because I live in a rather small (1700 sq feet) old house. But real estate here is insane. No way am I spending $$$$ on my kitchen remodel, no matter what the percentage value of the house gauge calls for. I'd have to work pretty darn hard to spend that much on a ten by ten kitchen! Lol.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 4:25PM
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that faucet make me LOL

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 7:05PM
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"that faucet make me LOL"

I know! It also made me wonder if it comes with an engineering degree because I would have no clue where to start to just turn the freaking water on.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 3:57AM
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Yeah, and I thought for a bit I was nuts for going with Grohe / Hansgrohe.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 5:59AM
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What is interesting is that at a time when chef appliances with 6-burner ranges and pizza ovens are "in" in certain neighborhoods, people eat more out, and ready-to-serve food sales are at an all time high.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Loved it! Did this get posted over in the kitchen forum? I scrolled through the first few pages and didn't see it. I would love to read the reactions from the kitchen obsessed folks.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 9:16AM
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So glad I found this thread. I spent a good part of yesterday evening reading this month's Consumer Report magazine which features a kitchen which would eat up most of the floor space of a modest to mid-sized house. Been feeling a little sorry for myself that I don't have double ovens or a ten foot pantry in the new build, but I do have aisle clearance and a high cfm range hood that vents outside. All is not lost.
My carpenter told me yesterday that he thought too many people tried to cram too much into their kitchen design, even in a large space.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 9:33AM
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deee, good idea. I don't hang out there much and seldom post.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:08AM
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Having gone through a kitchen remodel, most of it here on GW, I can certainly laugh at her post. I did mine within a reasonable budget in a 250K suburban house but it was funny that any time you asked for advice, most of the advice offered would have tripled my modest budget. So I certainly can see how things get out of hand. Loved her post! Love her!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:24AM
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deee and olychick, that's a good idea! This is such an interesting thread- would love to see what the kitchen people think!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Just posted the link over in kitchens. Hopefully most people over there have a sense of humor!

Ugh - Just noticed the other post. Sorry! Deleted mine.

This post was edited by deee on Sat, May 31, 14 at 12:07

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:02PM
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"In defense of many of her images, those are homes that can handle $100K kitchens"

I think this is very subjective, specially if you live on the coasts. I'm in the LA area and my town is back to peak prices. You can spend $2 mill and you'll still want to gut the kitchen, as they don't look anything like those shown in the photos. The nicer homes are in the $650/sq.ft range and fixer uppers are in the $450/sq.ft. range. I doubt you could build any of those kitchens here for $100k, just the labor would probably be bid in that range.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:28PM
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"I doubt you could build any of those kitchens here for $100k, just the labor would probably be bid in that range."

Wow! You can buy decent houses here all day long for $30-50/sq. ft. Some newer customs on the lake might bring $100-120/sq. ft but they are going to sit on the market for months. You can build a brand new home in the 2500-4000 sq. ft range for under $400k if you don't need an elevator or marble walls.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:33PM
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mrsmortarmixer, sadly even the houses in the $650/sq.ft range have nothing close to elevators or marble walls!! Nice houses mostly, but at those prices nothing like the high end photos we see on houzz. A 1950's tear down on an acre (huge lot for this area) was listed for over $3 mill and got an offer in less than a week. I think around 30% of the sales are cash and most sales have multiple offers. Buyers are crazy at the moment. The coasts are very different markets!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I've spent my entire life in the rural midwest, so I really have nothing to compare it to. I knew properties were expensive and assumed lots were small, but WOW!

The most expensive property I could find was 3 hours away. $8 million.
143 acres
7 Bedrooms
11 Bathrooms
4 Partial Baths
20,580 Approximate Square Feet 13,000 in the mansion, the rest in business office and guest home.

The kitchen looks to be horribly laid out with barrier island between range and sink and about 12 ft between the two. And it looks like the granite doesn't match the cabinets. Could just be the photos though.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:55AM
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Just looked very quickly and found a $8.2 million listing in San Francisco for about 4,400 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The lot size wasn't on the quick view, but it won't have much of a lot at all. (I don't know what it will go for. In the $800,000 to 1 million price range things are getting bid up over asking and selling quickly, but the higher end of the market is always a whole different animal and I'm not familiar with what's selling or for how much.).

I grew up mostly in the Midwest and real estate is a whole different world out here in the Bay Area. Even people coming from HCOLAs get sticker shock around here.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 3:16AM
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"In defense of many of her images, those are homes that can handle $100K kitchens"

I don't think that the point of this comment was how much a particular house costs in a particular area. I think the point was that the Entire House that those featured kitchens were in was, (most likely), as detailed and decorated as the kitchens.

It's really pointless to discuss real estate prices in different parts of the country because you can't really make comparisons. A lot of if has to do with the value of the empty lot the house sits on.

And in urban areas it starts to become pointless to discuss price per square foot, too. Large houses almost always have a lower price per square foot than a very small house in the same neighborhood, because the very small house has to contain everything the big house does except the volume.

The new construction down the street is $400 a square foot, and does offer parking and an elevator. This is the same price per square foot as my currently run down house would sell for, because the house is much smaller volume-wise, and this is the going price, roughly, in the neighborhood.

The very small, very well done house of a former GW member is currently on the market and the price per square foot works out to over $700 a square foot. Not because it is gold plated, but because it offers all the amenities of the larger houses except space. (And no elevator).

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 7:45

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 7:43AM
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Pal, I think the cost is important. Isn't there a "rule" that a kitchen should be around 10% of the value of the home? When I look at sales the last six months in my area, even the sales at $3, 4 and 6 mill didn't have any kitchens that compared to the photos linked in the blog. Some were nice, but didn't have the level of quality and details of the linked kitchens, most were old and ugly. So when I look at those photos I think it is a $10+ million house and they must have spent several hundred thousands on the kitchen. Just a different perspective from the $100k/$1mill perceived by the other poster. Obviously people in LA (Kardashians and their ilk excluded) seem to be good at practicing "Kitchen Acceptance" :-)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:08PM
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Sure, the general guideline is "no more than 15%".

But with in a high cost of living area and a low cost of living area toward the ends of the spectrum these percentages don't make as much sense as they do in the middle.

My first condo, in a depressed market, cost $40,000. It was in desperate need of a new kitchen. There was no way a completely new kitchen with updated electrical was going to come in at $4000-6000. Same with places where you can buy a decent house for under $100,000. The house may warrant much better than $10K kitchen.

The same is going to follow at the high end of the market. There are 72 properties in my local listings in the $5M-25M price range. Three right at $25M. I guarantee that you could count on one hand any of the houses that have a kitchen costing anywhere close to 10% of these houses, which would be $500K-2.5M

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:07PM
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You make a good point. Here at the low end, to spend 10-15% of the value of the average home, you'd have to spend between $3-10k. I think that's why the majority of the kitchens here haven't been touched in the last 20-30 years. Our kitchen is likely going to come in right at 40-50% of what we paid for the house/property ($25k). I THINK it's worth more than what we paid, but only because it will pass an inspection now and there's not a dump in the backyard, not because we added the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 3:03PM
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It's funny how at one time I wanted a great big kitchen. In the last house there was no room for that so during the remodel I made it more usable but still had (oh the horror to many) an over the range microwave. My new house has a kitchen that is pretty big, around 22' by 15 or16. I miss my old kitchen where I could multi task where everything was at hand. I even miss the over the range microwave. In this kitchen it seems like everything is a half a mile away. It's a workout I tell ya.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 3:16PM
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FWIW, the guideline to spend 15% of a home's value on a kitchen renovation is meant particularly for homogenous neighborhoods with comparable property assessments, such as suburban developments. This discourages the Smiths, whose 2,500 sqft "X" model home chosen from the The Developer's home plans worth around $300,000--compared to the Jones next door in their 2,675 sqft "Y" model home worth around $310,000--from putting in a $100,000 kitchen remodel.

Fast forward 5 years, when both families are ready to sell, the Smiths' poor realtor is going to have to convince them that they cannot ask $100,000 more for their home than the Jones are asking just because the Smiths spent $100,000 on their kitchen remodel. They may sell it faster... but not for $100K more in a homogenous suburban neighborhood.

This 15% guideline does not apply to market extremes, in either end. If you have a $2,000,000 home in the Bay area, you're not going to spend 15% (or $300,000) on a kitchen remodel. Likewise, if you're buying an under-valued property, or one that needs extensive renovations, as Pal notes above, you're going to have to go far over 15% of the value.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:11PM
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WOW! At least one person on the Kitchens forum didn't see the humor. The reference to the Pyramids was hilarious!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 6:33PM
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graywings - I have been DYING to ask the cranky poster if he/she drives a corvette :)

"And even if you might have liked their car for yourself, you knew for a fact that they wore too much cologne, misused the word Machiavellian, and were just generally unlikable people who let their dog poop in everyoneâÂÂs yard."

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 7:42PM
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I dunno that that poster's opinion about the subject blog is completely without merit. I tend to find people who are more funny than they think they are funnier than people who are less funny than they think they are, funny though they may be.

The thing is that it's not really a tyranny, because one doesn't have to be a subject to it. There are plenty of people who could care less about having a kitchen that is new or looks trendy as long as everything works and they don't personally find it downright ugly. Lots and lots of people. So maybe now *I'm taking the post too seriously, but the humor is a bit forced, because ultimately the subject matter isn't something to get so worked up over.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 9:17PM
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But it keeps blogs viable and people talking and talking and talking.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Here is a $250k kitchen remodel from 2013. See link.

A quote from the article:
"2. Budget accordingly. The cost of a luxury kitchen remodel can range from $80,000 to $350,000 ... or more."

I have a GC here, working on a bathroom so I'll ask him tomorrow to give me a guesstimate on what it would cost to gut/remodel our kitchen. My guess is that once he ads the "zip-code tax" it will be in the $200K range.

Here is a link that might be useful: Luxury kitchen

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:35PM
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In the NY metro, kitchens like the ones posted are 200k and up,not 100k. A lot of that is labor, a lot of it a lack of focus on value.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 11:19PM
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The dissenting poster's opinion does have merit. Unfortunately, when he tried to prove the point by comparing a luxury kitchen to the pyramids, I think he inadvertently made a case for the other side.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:03AM
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deee, you don't say we might have posters who are the devil's advocates amongst us, now, do we? LOL. It keeps the conversation lively.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:36AM
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robo (z6a)

My kitchen is DEFINITELY on par with a wonder of the ancient world -- I'm going to be remembered through the ages!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Too funny, robo.

That's a terrific kitchen, AWM. The irony is that, even with a very generous budget, it's very hard to create kitchens that look like that because all the production resources are focussed on making what everyone wants.

Reminds me of one of my fave kitchens (posted before so apologies to those who have seen it). You cannot get formica like that, period.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:16AM
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robo (z6a)

I completely agree that the cheapest option (for the unskilled like myself) is definitely what everyone else is going for. I'd have loved to have all kinds of quirky original touches in my kitchen, and I'm an inveterate craigslist/ebay hunter, but it requires a huge investment in time and knowhow to make it all work.

Plus every single other person trolls CL and kijiji to get the awesome vintage flavour du jour. Anything cool like vintage warehouse lighting or metal medical cabinets is either a jillion dollars or a reenactment of cinematic masterpiece Gone in 60 Seconds. Don't they realize I DESERVE vintage holophane pendants?

It's interesting to contrast renovation and decorating budgets. For me, coming from a lower middle class background, I would be much more likely to invest in improvements to my house than expensive furniture and drapes. So I will always be that person with a nicer house than furniture, simply because I see more monetary value in the shell of the house than the decor. Even though I know kitchen renos will depreciate when I go to sell, the return on expensive decorating (in my context) is near zero, so decorating is a total luxury whereas renovations are only a partial luxury.

The sad part is I DID end up spending 15% of my home's value on the kitchen (well, on renoing half the first floor, but mostly on kitchen) and still ended up with a pretty plain room - but that's because we moved the kitchen and did a bunch of other stuff that ate up the budget. I'm hoping we'll see most if not all of it back at resale, but I also don't plan to sell any time soon.

I also enjoy thinking about house value vs. land value. Lots in my neighbourhood are worth about half the cost of my entire house + land to buy, maybe a little less - lots are about $200K, my house is about $400K. One would conclude the structure my house is worth 1/2 the total purchase price. But yet it would exceed the entire cost of my house + land, by quite a bit, to build an equivalently sized house new, without land. And my house is in REALLY good shape. The premium on new construction is so high.

The other ridiculous thing is that there are many houses in my neighbourhood (small postwar bungalows) that only exceed the land cost by $50K, maybe even less. Sometimes they're listed at the price of land. But people buy them not to tear down but to live in. Real estate prices are weird.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 10:22

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:14AM
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"Plus every single other person trolls CL and kijiji to get the awesome vintage flavour du jour. Anything cool like vintage warehouse lighting or metal medical cabinets is either a jillion dollars or a reenactment of cinematic masterpiece Gone in 60 Seconds."

OT, but I know what you mean. Chicago has some fantastic antique and industrial salvage stores that have succumbed to the reclaiming movement. The prices are so inflated. I'm patiently waiting for the reclaiming trend to fade so I can return to buying for my future unfitted kitchen. At the current prices, it probably would be a $100K kitchen!

CL isn't much better anymore. I do enjoy reading about VEB's CL finds. Unfortunately, my CL quests have not been so entertaining or amorous.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:01PM
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I've read through a few of her blog posts, and her entries (perhaps due to her desire to make things more comic) come off a bit like a "train wreck". That last entry about that oversized mirror made me only sympathize for her husband. Adding to this perception is that her own choices come off as contradictory (the all white trendy bathroom) or silly (the hood removal) or both (the "Liberace meets Versailles" mirror from CL).

In any case, IMHO I think this concept of "kitchen acceptance" is really all about "budget and space acceptance". Once you have come to terms with your space and budget, things go on with a lot less angst, whatever your personal style preference may be.

I also agree the internet is the worst in fostering high expectations -- what is promoted, featured and celebrated is often relentlessly high end. Even when you filter on budget in Houzz, for example, you still come up with plenty of things that aren't truly in a budget category (as opposed to a site like AT)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:39PM
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" the internet is the worst in fostering high expectations -- what is promoted, featured and celebrated is often relentlessly high end"

Agree 100%.

Last year there was someone who was extremely disappointed in a tile job, and when she posted the pictures, it looked like a typical tile job with cut tiles toward the corners, and a pony wall that was tiled, and unfortunately took bullnose tiles + a narrow piece of cut tile to cover the thickness of the wall. However it was tiled correctly.

When asked what her expectations had been she said "just a typical tile job like you see posted on Houzz and sites like that", and then posted a picture where there was a pony wall that was exactly one full tile wide with bullnose wrapping from each side.

I explained that something like this goes All the Way Back to the design phase to make sure that the entire room is designed to accept a full dimension of tile, and that this needs to be checked at each step from framing to drywall or backer board to installation, It's Extremely difficult to do and it's not a routine design, routine framing, or routine tile setting. Of course none of this is explained on sites like Houzz.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:39PM
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I hate when people educate me on details like that. I'd prefer to not notice that there is a fancy-schmancy way to do tiles and pedestrian way. It is hard enough to get competent work done without raising the bar all the time, sigh...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:23PM
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I would LOVE a new designer kitchen but I need to pay this house off. We refinished our 60 year old wood cabinets and they look like new. Unfortunately new looks old fashioned (vintage if you like) but the wood is solid and everything fits together like a glove, even though the PO's raised 5 kids in the house. I guess Biltwell really did mean built well, but maybe not built beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:52PM
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I don't see it as only being the internet as there are many( i'm sure)with Houzz, Pinterest, and such~my best friend for one, and another woman i've recently made friends with. Their view is thru the eyes of decorating magazines, as i'm sure are many.

Like pal has stated, things need to be planned way ahead in advance, but that's not always the way it is, leaving frustration, or expectations that cannot be fully realized. Think of it like a vacation, and plan, or forget about having any expectations for the good.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:09AM
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A GC can't read your mind, so if you want something to look like a photo on Houzz, you need to show it to the GC and discuss before the start of the project. I did this with a few items and asked the GC if he could achieve the same look ... he broke down the steps that it would require, said he could do it and how much it would cost. I do a lot of research and even drew a diagram of how I wanted the switches arranged for the fan/light/nightlight. Everyone has their own preferences or quirks, but you have to let the contractor know what they are.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:39AM
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Loved the blog - too true. Although I have always wanted a white kitchen, I am sort of sad that they are so popular today. I do not want to be "on trend".

One of my closest friends has a 40's kitchen very similar to the kitchen shared by awm03 - only red and white. Have always loved her kitchen, although it is a bit too tiny for me, my mom's 50's kitchen was much larger.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:52PM
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For those of you who don't follow her closely, there is another new post about her quest for a kitchen. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea, but she really tickles me.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:39PM
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There is more to a kitchen than a stove, a fridge, a place to rinse things and to chop - I want a place where it is comfortable and efficient while I do those things, where I can store the tools for it, that cleans up easily and is safe.

I can't understand her taking out a hood to put open shelves right over the range. In addition to grease and dust collecting on them, it seems like an opportunity for a grease fire to spread quickly.

Our old kitchen had artistic bumpy 70's tile with wide grout so I never felt like it was a clean food safe surface.

A kitchen redo can make the kitchen a lot more comfortable and usable for a family without being a luxury remodel. My son and DIL remodeled the kitchen on the modest house they recently bought. It is difficult to extract the exact cost because it was done along with non-kitchen remodeling like taking out a wall and fixing code issues with the electrical in the whole house but the kitchen costs were much less than 10% of the house cost: The old cabinets were maple with a light finish. They were able to find the same color and a close match for the door style in frameless cabinets so they kept the sink run of cabinets but replaced the range run which became an island with a lot more storage and added cabinets including a pantry cabinet on one wall of the dining area. It cost about:
~ 10K for new cabinets including the installation
~ 4K for granite including fabrication - a glimmery slab of galaxy blue for the island and prefab white with black markings for the rest including fabrication.
~ 3 K for an induction cooktop, a GE single double wall oven (a scratch and dent discount model) and a hood.
plus something for plumbing, electrical and lights that is lumped in with costs for other rooms - say 1-2K.

They got something that looks nice, provides the function they wanted (including separating the burners and oven for nights when one is baking something like nan or pita bread while the other is using the burners), has a lot more storage (and easier to use than the old cabinets with a stile down the middle) and more work surface. They didn't want the expense of a tile back splash and went against current fashion by using a 4" granite backsplash. It ends up looking right in their kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:38AM
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"I personally think it should be THE-KITCHEN-I-HAVE-IS-FINE trend. We should all STOP redoing our kitchens. It is MADNESS people. Do you have a stove? A refrigerator? A place to rinse stuff and chop it? Then you HAVE A KITCHEN. "

I DO - I actually bought a used bisque coil top stove! and I like formica. not sure I'll even replace the old with new. the old only has 2 chips in it...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:11AM
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I agree wholeheartedly that part of the reason a high end kitchen in Manhattan or anywhere else is so outrageously expensive is due to a lack of focus on value, as Mtnrdredux said. But I also think everyone has his or her weakness.....perhaps a custom range hood for one, handmade tiles for another, pendants made from lights from an ancient Italian monastery, etc. One problem is that you lose control of the budget when every aspect of the kitchen becomes that precious, and yet, when you have one truly fabulous showpiece, the rest of the fittings have to be wonderful enough to provide the right context for it. I can easily see how people go crazy with a total gut renovation of a kitchen or MBA.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 5:05AM
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I've been practicing kitchen acceptance with my abundance of orange oak cabinets installed by PO for almost 15 years. They're not my style and I've often wanted to change them but it's been a great kitchen and holds happy memories. Before we bought this house, my first 2 kitchens in the 80's and 90's had basic white cabinets. They were actually much more modest in size and fixtures, but I loved those kitchens!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:38AM
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