After two years of thought, planning and saving, we are finally renovating our kitchen this week.
I don’t want you to think we’re updating the kitchen purely for aesthetics. I currently only have two of four burners that actually heat and both 27-year-old ovens are calibrated way off and are releasing tremendous heat from the top. And while the 27-year-old dishwasher still cleans, I feel certain it’s a fire hazard. Plus for some reason it was never attached to the counter above so the entire thing tips forward when you open the door to put dishes in.
So while I’m thrilled not to have a kitchen that look like it’s straight out of an ’80s movie, I’m also happy to have appliances that won’t burn down my house.
I’ve been looking at granite, appliances and tile since the summer. I give the same story to each salesperson: “I have three kids. I cook all the time. This stuff has to be practical. It can’t stain easily. It can’t have sharp edges. It has to be able to withstand a lot of rough treatment!”
Keith ran across a story in The Washington Post Magazine about an interior designer who has developed an niche as a designer for families.
“I was a lot more formal, more into chintz,” Debbie Wiener remembers. “Then I had my two kids, ruined the house and had to go back to work. I went back with a whole different mind-set….”
” ‘Vomit happens,’ Wiener says matter-of-factly, before going on to enthuse about the ease of cleaning a solution-dyed acrylic rug she installed in a client’s home. ‘The day after we put it in, their daughter was home from school with a stomach bug. They called to say [the mess] wiped right up. That makes me feel so good. …’ ”
“The goal is to create interiors that are not necessarily jaw-dropping, but are attractive and, better yet, enduring.”
Two big tips from Wiener: choose stain-resistant nylon rugs and Crypton fabric, an antimicrobial, stain-repellent fabric originally engineered for the health-care industry.
” ‘With over 20,000 [choices], ranging from velvet and chenille to damasks and Ultrasuedes, why would I source anything else when budget is a factor?’ she asks.”
I love to look through the AJC Home Finder Private Quarters photos all the time and am constantly amazed at what people put in houses with kids. I just keep thinking my kids would destroy that!
For example, check out the splurge house featured this week. The house is Deane and Erika Johnson’s and they have a son maybe a little younger than Walsh living there. It’s absolutely beautiful but they have white marble countertops in the kitchen – can you say Kool-Aid stains?? Also lots of breakable knick-knack displays. I would be a nervous wreck.
This is another one that makes me nutso. It’s a replica of a Savannah house. It’s owned by Kara and Bill Pumphrey who have twin 7-year-olds. I think it is a beautiful, beautiful home but I’m pretty sure I’d end up ripping my hair out yelling at my kids not to ruin all my stuff!
One of my favorite houses featured was that of former Gov. Roy Barnes and wife Marie. Their children are grown but they live very close to their grandchildren. I thought Marie had some really beautiful yet functional and practical features in her home. One of my favorites was a slide out drawer refrigerator close to the ground where the grandkids could find snacks – saves energy and only lets them get what you want them to have. (Very smart!) I also love the little girls’ room and the chandelier for it.
So the question is: Can you have great design and a beautiful home and it still be practical for kids? What are some of your favorite features in your home? What features work well for families with small kids? What do you think of Debbie Wiener’s tips?
Have you ever renovated? Give me and others advice?