Today’s guest post comes to us from Edward Stuart with FramedArt.com. Read on for 4 “Ds” to avoid during your next kitchen remodeling project.
It’s a common desire for individuals to mark their space, as if to say: this place is mine, I earned it, and I want it be unique. Many people will act on this urge, refusing the status quo or traditional model, and opting for a design that truly speaks to them. This can work, and if performed well, a unique design can really bring life to your space.
Kitchens often fall into this “unique” category, and it has resulted in some amazing kitchen designs. Unfortunately, I have seen some terrible designs, as well. What is the common thread of these kitsch kitchens? An overbearing theme—such as malt shop, strawberry, and cowgirl themes—which can result in tacky and sometimes dated décor. This article takes a look at why giving your kitchen a theme can be the worst thing possible for the home.
Dating: This is referring to timestamp, not your love life—though that may be affected as a result, as well. A themed kitchen lets everyone who enters your home know exactly how long it has been since your last kitchen revamp, and how long certain elements of your kitchen have been allowed to stay where they are. Because there is such a strong visual theme to your kitchen, it holds in people’s memory much starker and longer than a neutral-based kitchen. It is the equivalent of leaving your Christmas decorations up all year long—people view it as being stuck in one place. They know you are not working to keep up with expectations within your home.
Distracting: A themed kitchen will definitely draw attention and drive conversation; however, this might be the wrong sort of attention and conversation. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and often ideal for entertaining because it is so close to the food source. It is quite common for folks to flood into a kitchen space during a house party or gathering to keep the cook company during the time she spends on prep. In this setting, people’s attention will be focused on the surrounding décor rather than a compelling conversation. If the guest is new to the space, they will want to hear the story of how the theme came to be; if they are already familiar with the space then they will inquire about new artifacts. Either way, there will be little new or stimulating conversation in this area because the environment will be too distracting.
Disenchanting: The theme of the kitchen will say a lot about you, but this might not be the side you really want the world to know about. You may have begun the theme seeing it as an extension of your own space, like a bedroom. Now, as you grow older and branch out, you realize this is no longer an intimate place and you will begin to feel very exposed. You might have actually outgrown the theme, but now a total kitchen remodel is all that could remove the reminders of what was once there—the process of which is not only challenging on a technical level, but is bound to be emotional as well.
Demotivating: There are some problems with having a themed kitchen if you decide to move, as a themed kitchen is demotivating to the buyer, and possibly a reason for a buyer to negotiate a lower the price. Kitchens and master baths are the two biggest selling points for a house, meaning they can also be the factors that cost you the deal. A remodel is a must at this point, unless you are willing to take a huge hit on your asking price. Planning and executing a last minute kitchen remodel is no easy task, especially when coupled with the headache of moving. The idea of having to “clean up” before you leave might be a demotivating factor for you to sell as well.
It is too easy for a themed kitchen to define you and your house. I saw this in my own family. It took years for my aunt to makeover her strawberry-themed kitchen, even though she hated the room within a few years after creating it. She continued to receive strawberry decorations and gifts for years, before finally saying it was enough. Her kitchen is now gorgeous and timeless, and while she has no desire to move, the kitchen is now at a point where it is an asset, not a hindrance.
Take some time to really plan out your kitchen—remember, you will spend hours in this room, often with people outside your family. If you really want a room that represents a unique aspect of your personality, consider creating that personality with items that are more easily changed, including accessories and artwork.
Edward Stuart is an interior design aficionado, and follows all things design and fashion. He is an online publisher for the framed art expert FramedArt.com and blogs on the topics of interior design, home decor, and fashion tips.Pin It
Definitely some good points you mentioned. A good kitchen design must be based on a classic look, with hints of a theme. At least its easy to remove later then if you dont like it anymore.
Christmas decorations up all year long—people view it as being stuck in one place.
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I think when done right, themes can be amazing. I especially love a lot of the steampunk themes out there. But, you’re right about the demotivation factor. What works for you might not be the case for the next person, should you decide to sell.