I live in a 1980's vintage condo that currently has 30" medium oak cabinets in the kitchen and matching oak railings and post on the stairway to the second floor. I'd like to replace the cabinets and put in a new wood flooring across the entire first floor. The problem I am having is picking the cabinets and flooring that will not clash with the post/railing. I don't want to go with Oak cabinets again. Here are some photos of the kitchen and the floor layout. Thanks for any suggestions.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/84875158@N02/This message has been edited. Last edited by: DaveSNJ,
You could either paint your railing, or have it re-stained to coordinate with your new flooring. There is really no good reason to keep it the same color it is.
I found some cherry cabinets that I liked. One of the photos on Flickr shows a sample of the cherry next to the oak post. Someone told me that cherry and oak don't mix too well because of the different tones. I can see their point.
The suggestions I have received so far are:
* Go with white cabinets in the kitchen, a dark countertop and an oak floor
* Find a wood that goes well with oak (maybe Maple?) and use that for the cabinets and floor
Regarding the railing, I was planning to paint the spindles white. I had not considered sanding down the post and railing because I have the same color railing on the top floor and on the stairs to the basement. I could do it I suppose, but it would be a lot of work.
It would be a lot of work to paint the stair railings, posts and spindles white, but it would have a huge payoff as you could take oak completely out of the picture and use the flooring and cabinets you really like. You also won't have to contend with that orange-ish oak color when choosing wall and upholstery colors.
For me, it's not just the color difference between the oak and cherry. I know some will feel different, but to me, cherry is more formal and traditional than oak. Oak is casual, relaxed.
So, you might consider which "flavor" also goes well with your lifestyle, not just color alone.
I'm wondering if you would be happy with painting your kitchen cabinets white, painting the spindles white, refinishing the bannister. Would be cheaper than putting in all new cabinets.
I'd be happy leaving everything the way it was, but I am preparing to sell in the next two years. The renovation is to make the place more marketable. So, I'd like to find cabinets and a floor that will appeal to the majority of prospective buyers.
If you are planning to sell in the near future, then what are the other cabinets in the building, have they all been left to the Oak ones? In the photo I see they are in great condition.
When I sold my house in Virginia, I asked the top realtors in the area (happened to know through work) what was the popular materials and how where they presented? The model homes showed 'busy' Oak grain (not stained to cover up the grain patterns) and Hickory, another varied tonal wood. I was not sure what to do with our new Oak flooring, and so we left it natural. At our open house, people commented on the flooring, they loved seeing the grain. Personally, I would have covered it up with a stain to soften the appearance.
The stair work, of painting spindles white is a good idea if all your trim is white. You can do the top railing in a black stain rather than Oak to change up the sameness of the colors.
Then, I would put Oak flooring, unless you plan on using a manufactured floor, then go for the cherry, that is IF you get the cherry cabinets for the kitchen. Then I would stain the treads on the stairs in a cherry stain and paint the back riser white.
There is no reason to put out investment of new cabinets and new flooring if your area (the condo complex) does not have other units with upgrades that are to that level. You don't really want an investment that won't pay back.
And what were your plans for the counter top?
GREAT space by the way, and it is good you are thinking of coordinating since the space is more open. The fewer different materials (keeping materials more neutral to each other) you use, and the coordinating of them will make the place have an impact on the first viewing as prospective buyers walk into your space!
To stage for sale, view other condos for sale in your area, sometimes the listing for them have photos included in the listing you can view. You can make yours stand out by its newly refinished state (clean and move-in ready) and with crisp new paint and neutral colors. You can even paint one feature wall if you want to add some punch for not much cost, or hang a large canvas painted with an accent color on the dining area wall, or the furthest wall you see as you walk in, drawing you into the space.
My opinion is that the kitchen is nice as it is, perhaps a good cleaning, and having them sprayed for new sealer top coat, change out hardware, change counter top (even if it is formica, and check out the edge treatments other than square).
Add a few pull out features in the cabinets and at showing, leave that one open, or place a small card on the counter pointing out the feature saying 'open this cabinet'. That was a wow feature in my house, got a lot of attention.
Good luck with your project, looking forward to seeing what you decide.
*****We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are! ***** (Anaias Nin)***** http://pinterest.com/mary_ruth/
@Mary Ruth - Thanks for the suggestions. And, thank you to Cocok, GraciePJ, IndexLady and LoveLu.
Regarding the competition, in this area there are lots of condo developments, some built in the past 10 years, so my place looks dated in comparison. The newer floor plans are completely open and the kitchen cabinets are taller and more modern. The colors of the cabinets vary quite a bit, but I haven't seen many medium oak. I have seen some light oak. The door styles also tend to be flat wood or other modern looks. The countertops in the newer models are mostly granite, quartz, or more exotic materials.
As you suggested, some of my neighbors are trying to dress-up rather than replace the oak cabinets in the kitchen. The cost of new, pretty nice cabinets would be about $13,000 installed. A realtor told me I'd probably get back in resale value 75% of any upgrade in the kitchen.
In the powder room and guest bath I painted the oak cabinets white. In the master bath, I completely remodeled everything and put in cherry cabinets with silver bar handles and a lighter colored Cambria countertop and travertine backsplash.
Regarding the post and railing, you've convinced me that I should paint the risers and balusters white and maybe change the color of the post and rail. The stairs are builder grade pine, so painting may be better than staining. Maybe I'll have a flooring contractor handle that.
Thanks. Any other ideas are appreciated.
Realtor told you that return on $13,000 investment would be 75%. Right there you are losing money.
I decided to sell a house I owned for 35 years. My son had been living in it. I completely overhauled it spending about $40 to $50,000.
When the realtor went thru it, no oohs and aahs.
He seemed to be a little undecided on how much to list it for.
After considering the Capital Gains tax, I was going to owe, the Obamacare surcharge of 4%, the realtor's fee to sell it PLUS reducing the price to sell it, I decided NOT TO. My son is living in the house again.
He's living in a house with a new kitchen and new bathrooms. I'm living in one with the old:::::laughing:::::::
Bottom line: My advice: Put the condo on the market as is and let the price reflect the condition.
One thing that has been pointed out to me just in the past couple of days. HERE, a lot of mortgage brokers will NOT lend money on condos AND realtors won't list condos because of the financial situation of the Condo Owner's Association. Get smart on the particulars of your own Condo complex before proceeding.
Just my opinion. I don't expect anyone to share it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Love, Lu,
Yeah, the dues for our condo association are $400 per month. So far the association is solvent but any big maintenance surprises result in special assessments. We have had special assessments of $8000, $4000, and $2000 over the past ten years.
Dave, nice place but, unfortunately, sounds like it will be a tough sell, given its age and the competition. Don't know if your dues include super amenities, are average for your area and/or cover vacant/foreclosed units. I'm concerned that some/many buyers will review the condo information, note the previous special assessments and walk. (Were the dues increased to prevent further special assessments?)
Anyway, because you plan to sell, I wouldn't do the more expensive kitchen reno. Yes, your unit would probably sell faster but your realtor's preliminary estimate already indicated it will cost you 25%. And, if I read it correctly, the 13K only covers the cabinets.
Instead, as some have already recommended, I would do the flooring, upgrade the countertop, have the cabinets professionally sprayed and update the pulls. Any way to open up that countertop a little more? Possibly enlarge it? Does it have a breakfast bar on the other side?
If you need any new appliances, you also might consider upgrading that one (only one) appliance to attract buyers, remaining within the stainless family. (They'll often remember the house with the one fancy appliance.)
Didn't notice any mention of your own design style above. Would your most likely buyer be a younger, single professional or couple without children? Have you considered going more contemporary? With the volume ceiling, your unit reads that way to me. It's not my style but it might help it feel/appear more updated and make it more attractive to likely buyers.
Considering your stairway, how about bringing in some sort of contemporary metal/iron/glass railing and/or spindles? In addition, the column appears narrow and outdated. (Sorry, just the way your photo reads.) Why not beef up that column to make it more contemporary?
I know you didn't ask about your other rooms but it appears you have some additional, cheaper opportunities to update your unit. For example, are those vertical blinds? Is that a small fireplace? Changing out the blinds and updating the f/p (to make it more of a significant feature) might make your unit feel fresh and new at a far lower cost.
When you're ready to sell, I would suggest using a storage unit to eliminate (probably) at least 50% of the furniture. For one thing, your hutch appears very large in the photo. WRT the furniture arrangement, you'd probably want to focus it around the f/p, if possible.
You received great suggestions, above. Just wanted to give you another option. Hope something's helpful. I apologize for the unsolicited, other into but hoped to provide a few alternatives to spending the big **$ on your kitchen. You might receive a larger bang for your buck by working on some of the smaller projects.
Good Luck!This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
@tsr-res, Thanks for the valuable thoughts. I appreciate them. Yes, the monthly dues cover pool, tennis courts, exercise room, club house. The dues are a little higher than the competition because in this development there are no neighbors across the street. The cost of additional privacy is a higher overhead burden for snow removal, landscaping, etc. The special assessments were for mold remediation and leaking roofs, and we've had no foreclosures.
The f/p is gas and then there is a second wood burning f/p in the finished basement. I know I will need to replace the vertical blinds.
I am really not sure of the most likely buyer demographics. There are lots of corporate headquarters in the area, so lots of turnover, but about half of the people in this development are retired, some of whom have downsized from single-family homes. So, I guess I am shooting for a middle-of-the-road design that would not be a turn-off to the young, the old, Republicans or Democrats. Pretty tall order.
That's great you're in a stable complex and enjoy amenities and privacy. Hopefully tptb properly estimated your reserve requirements and won't require any more assessments until you sell, at least.
Thinking about it, I believe you can update the place w/o going overboard on any particular style and appeal to your most likely and multiple buyer types. For example, if you enlarged that column, it could go slightly traditional or middle-of-the-road, too. You might simply square it off or round it, depending on your other design choices. Enlarging it would make the place feel newer.
Same idea for your stairs - you don't need to go all the way. If you decide to go that route and post back, I'm sure everyone will provide tons of examples/options for you. You're creating an illusion - same thing like updating 1 appliance to make the entire kitchen feel new or staging to expand the available space.
Sorry if I wasn't clear about the f/p's. What I meant to suggest was using some inexpensive slate or stone to update the surrounds. Depending on your selected style, you might want to add mantle(s), too, if necessary. On the main floor, you wouldn't need to match an expensive kitchen countertop (if you go that route) but could pull out some of the underlying color tones and use them on your f/p surround (say, using slate) or even that wall (if appropriate) to both update and create/enhance the flow in your space.
WRT the buyer/area demographics, that information is readily available online. Or, your realtor s/b able to provide it. IIRC, all the major real estate websites have the stats.
JMHO.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Just to clarify what Lu posted about the "Obamacare surcharge of 4%" - about 95% of all home sales will have zero tax liabilities. The surcharge, actually 3.8% is ONLY for investment property and ONLY for singles with adjusted gross income above $200,000 or couples above $250,000. People with the same AGI's selling a primary residence where the profit on the house exceeds $250,000 or $500,000 for a couple will have to pay the 3.8% on that amount that exceeds the exclusion of $250,000 or $500,000.
Lu, my mother's employer is a real estate wheeler dealer and it has ALWAYS been his practice to sell as is. He also advises to buy the cheapest house in the neighborhood, especially if you will be selling in the future.
SMS....I should have learned my lesson when selling my first house. I had been renting it and the tenant set it on fire. I had to completely redo it. It was darling. Back in the 70's. Done in beiges with a Williamsburg shiny brass chandelier in the dining room. White kitchen. Sold in one week.
About 2 months later, I had to take some paint over for the new owners to touch up a place that had been scuffed. The newly painted woodwork had been painted Wedgewood BLUE and the lovely new chandelier had come down replaced by a one in a country look. No accounting for taste.
Sorry to hear about your nightmare rental situation, Lu. Definitely agree with everyone about limiting the seller's investment. That's why I suggested he scale down his upgrade plans.
Another thing to consider is the unfortunate situation in many local markets where as-is properties sit on the market, riding price reductions, down, down and down. So, there's a trade-off between the holding period/carrying costs and the upgrade costs/net sales price. Furthermore, an extended marketing period can be (personally) far more difficult for a resident seller than an investor.
Don't know your local market, Dave, but these are important considerations. Best of luck to you. All of the above, JMHO.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Yeah, that's exacty what a local realtor suggested. She also said that the rule of thumb is to minimize investment before you sell, but she added that upgraded homes sell faster so you have to trade-off upgrade costs against the additional association dues, property taxes and furniture storage charges you will incur while the property sits on the market. Last year an identical unit down the street with very nice upgrades took a year to sell, while it sat vacant.
If you are thinking seriously about replacing the cabinets, you might consider painting them first, and see how it looks. You can always replace if you're not happy with it. I would suggest a light paint (off-white?), with a mocha or gray glaze. Also, perhaps you could put a mantel over the fireplace to make it more prominent.
Agree, risha. I suggested a possible mantel upthread but that might be a good place to simply use inexpensive stone (e.g. slate) to make the place feel updated. In addition, a mantel sometimes adds bulk, limiting the feeling of space.
Also agree about the cabinets. Don't have to jump in 100%. I suggested having them professionally sprayed. (It has to be done right, IMHO, when painting them.) I would request a sample with say 1 drawer before signing on the dotted line.
Hopefully the market will be much improved when you decide to sell, Dave. Incidentally, I previously posted more about the upgrades, upthread. Hope something's helpful.
It's all JMHO. Good Luck!This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
I'd paint the cabinets you have a nice creamy white color. Garlic clove from Olympic is what I used for color. I used a Benjamin Moore paint that is oil and latex combined. I'd suggest you leave the stair banister the same OR stain the banister a darker color. JMO
Have you seen this blog?
She painted her oak cabinets. If you explore the site more, you can see she went with black first, then switched to this lighter color.
Just an idea.
I would not worry about the railing and let it dictate your room. Do what you like and deal with the railing later. (Restain, paint, or maybe it will look fine with your other choices).
Thanks for setting the record straight, Chuck. You beat me to the punch. And this investment surcharge doesn't kick in until Jan. 1, 2013.This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
Yeah, it's a tax that will hit middle age-older people who have lived in their homes for awhile.
Perhaps next and already being discussed in some quarters is a wealth tax. Yikes!
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