Retro Renovation readers had terrific ideas for paint colors for Veronica’s original 1976 kitchen. I agree with a great many of their suggestions, and also noodled the question on my own. First up, though, I gotta agree with lots of readers on this piece of advice: DON’T DO ANYTHING RASH, Veronica. Don’t move in and right away start ripping out or painting over original stuff – unless there are documented environmental, safety or serious quality issues to address.
- I’m totally agreeing with readers who said to live in your house a while — a year, even — before doing anything major. Okay – paint the walls, yes. But paint cabinets? I don’t recommend it.
- Be sure to work with a professional to get a good environmental and safety inspection. Lead and asbestos are issues we often mention, but there are others. Start smart going in. Also, if at some point you want to rip anything out, consult with environmental/safety pro’s again — you will want to know what is in adhesives and underlayments etc. etc. before you start disturbing them. Stay smart as you gear up for new projects.
- Energy conservation is a big issue today. If you are going to make energy-related improvements, it’s a whole lot easier when the house is relatively empty. Many states are currently running free programs to assess energy efficiency of homes, and offering huge incentives for weatherization. Take advantage of this — quick. Your best new investment may be a high-efficiency furnace, air sealing, and insulation. These are the big 1-2-3 punches of energy conservation of the Northeast.
- I’m also agreeing with one reader who said take a look at the floor. My concern: If you are sitting on a slab down in that walk-out-basement-kitchen, that floor seems to me like it will be cold. And, that inset dining room wood or laminate does not appear to be a well-integrated design. New flooring that is warmer underfoot and which is consistent throughout may also be a preferred long-term investment, for comfort’s sale, and for aesthetics, too.