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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kitchen Intervention and The List

My mother experienced an intervention on Christmas Day.  She and my dad have been married for 41 years.  During that time, mom has continued to use some of the same kitchen gadgets that she received as a bride.  Things in her kitchen were really starting to show some wear.


Over the past few holidays, my goal was to start replacing some of her beloved kitchen gadgets and utensils with new ones.  Her old things had a good run.  41 years is a nice shelf life for almost anything.  Over the last few years, Judd and I, as well as the rest of our family, have begun giving her and my dad a few new items here or there to replace the old ones.  We have given them a stand mixer, a new coffee maker, personalized wooden cutting boards, a new food processor, new frying pans, new bake ware set, etc.

This year my sister-in-law (Laura) and I both got on board and gifted mom new cooking utensils.  So, just after opening presents on Christmas Day, we had a kitchen intervention.  Laura and I (as well as my brother and husband) got together in mom’s kitchen.  We quickly decided what was trash or treasure in her utensil holders and drawers, and we replaced the old with the new.  Mom was a good sport about it, but being the serious southern cook that she is, I could tell she was a little anxious for us to be making such brash decisions.


The intervention sparked a renewed interest for my mom in renovating her kitchen.  Their house was built in the early 90’s and the kitchen has not changed since it was built.  Renovating the kitchen is something she has put off so many times for various reasons (i.e. getting her doctorate, breast cancer, putting my brother and me through undergrad, our weddings, etc.)  You see, she is a good and generous momma and it’s about time she do something that will bring her joy.

Several years ago, I put together a list of all of the home improvements my parents could make to update their house and improve its value.  It’s a long list, real long.  Maybe now, mom (with my help, of course), can start taking on a task or two at a time.  She had a man come last week to measure their kitchen floor to replace the linoleum with hardwood.  That is a step in the right direction if you ask me.  I think we will start tackling taking down the kitchen wall paper this week.

The list is as follows.  Maybe by posting it, she (and I) will be held more accountable and will be able to accomplish more.  Any of you designers, decorators, real estate professionals, or home renovation enthusiasts out there feel free to share what will be the most bang for her buck or any other ideas you might have.

Ways to Increase the Value of Mom and Dad’s House

· De-clutter whole house

· Install hardwood flooring throughout the first floor

· Take out all linoleum

· Tile bathroom floors

· Install granite/marble counters in kitchen

· Install granite/marble counters or new lavatory units in bathrooms

· Paint kitchen cabinets

· Install a backsplash in kitchen

· Scrape popcorn off upstairs ceilings

· Install recessed lighting throughout

· Paint all rooms neutral coordinating colors

· Update all fixtures (lighting, door knobs, faucets, air vents, etc.)

· Install a new front door

· Hire a deep cleaning maid service 1 or 2 times per year

· Update all ceiling fans

· Upgrade kitchen sink and faucet

· Install garbage disposal

· Look at closet with critical eye and install professional organizers

· Repair or replace broken/worn furniture

· Install tankless water heater

· Upgrade to all stainless energystar appliances

· Paint/clean exterior trim

· Seal and pressure wash back porch and back of house

· Install crown molding throughout

· Clean and professionally organize garage

· See financial planner to find a way to pay for and plan for home improvements (i.e. sell extra car, etc).

· Fix built in ironing board in laundry room

· Install cable jacks in all bedrooms

· Paint shutters an appealing and warm color

· Paint front porch rocking chairs and get/make new cushions

· Get inviting front, back, and side door mats

· Get a new patio umbrella with umbrella lights

· Buy and install plantation blinds

· Buy new den furniture that fits and seats everyone comfortably

· Hang den TV over mantel

· Change light fixtures by front door

· Take down wallpaper in kitchen, ½ bath, and master bath

· Install surround sound speakers in den

· Fix and upholster dining chairs

· Re-upholster or slip cover existing furniture to match new décor

· Sell brass king size bed

· Purchase new master bedroom furniture

· Trim and clean herb garden

· Remove, replace, reposition??? fish ponds

· Add gravel to edge of driveway for parking court

· Order pane inserts for any windows that need them

· Replace hollow interior doors with solid wood doors

· Replace carpet on staircase and in bedrooms


  1. "Scrape popcorn off upstairs ceilings"--this honestly not worth the hassle. You can not scrape it all the way off completely. You basically have to tear down the ceiling and put a new one up.

  2. Thanks for the tip. It did seem like a huge undertaking (there are 3 bedrooms and a bonus room upstairs). That is a lot of popcorn. Ha. Thanks again.

  3. Amazingly, some of these things have actually been accomplished. We hired a crew to take the popcorn off the upstairs ceilings. It worked out just fine, but now the walls still need paint. Ha. We have hardwood in all the downstairs rooms. Now that we can get wireless TV, there is no need for more cable jacks. How funny. We have a new hot water heater, but did not get the tankless one;however, it is energy star. We changed the light fixtures beside the front door to ones that are appropriately sized, but now one is not working. So I guess I need an electrician to fix that and to put in some pot lights in the den. Know a good one anybody? ~Mom