Author: Katie Conley


About Katie Conley

Katie is a local artist creating original artwork: paintings, murals, mosaics, event props, etc. She also offers staging & interior decorating for your home, office or event. She will help you create a beautiful space that “feels” right!

To redo or not to redo?

Our next door neighbors have taken the plunge and are in the thick of a complete kitchen remodel.

Their previous kitchen was in perfect working order but a little outdated. They took it down to the studs and are replacing the floors, cabinets, countertops and some appliances. It’s been two months of screeching tile saws in the driveway – right outside my studio window where I work from home as an artist. I have seen these neighbors time and again in the garage where they have their makeshift kitchen set up amongst the boxes of tile and buckets and bags and boxes… microwaving breakfast or dinner. This temporary kitchen not only shares space with the remodeling supplies but also the lawnmower & garbage cans and is also the workers hub of activity.

We have a similar kitchen and have been planning a remodel ourselves. But after witnessing the dust, mess, noise, loss of privacy and inconvenience of our neighbors project, I’m thinking I’m ok with the green Formica for a little while longer. My husband and I both work from home so where would we work? I’m an artist so temporarily moving my studio would be difficult. My neighbors took the trouble of hanging plastic sheeting everywhere to protect the non-remodeled areas but to little avail. The entire house was consumed by dust within the first week. The workers loud music, colorful language and cigarette smoke, not to mention a slew of parked cars all along the street have become fixtures of our daily existence.

Sooo, to redo or not to redo? That is the question!

Maybe you need to update your kitchen in order to put it on the market or you just moved in and want to do it for your own enjoyment! Or like us, you’ve been in your home for several years and have diy’d all you can throughout the rest of the house, the only project left to make your home “perfect” is a shiny new kitchen.

If you are following the lead of my neighbors (and many other friends in the neighborhood who have done it), what are some things to consider? “Visualize the functionality and design it to be that” says Jeremy who redid his kitchen last summer. “The biggest mistake was budget to your personality. If you like nice, you better budget for it. The other thing is if you don’t hire a general contractor, you better be there to inspect every piece of work the sub contractors do”. He also recommends “adding into your budget eating out a lot and make sure your grill works! We washed dishes in the utility sink and had our fridge & microwave in the dining room.” He said his kitchen remodel took between 8-12 weeks. His wife Kirsten chimed in with “overestimate the amount of contingency money you need (for unforeseen expenses). Only go trendy with details, keep major elements classic so your kitchen isn’t outdated in 10 years. We sealed the doors to the kitchen with plastic to keep down the dust and increase privacy”.

Another friend Krista recommends “finding a contractor you trust and don’t micromanage. Know your style (check out houzz). Invest in a few big, expensive items and mix in cheaper things. Mixed materials/styles look great! We did some Nantucket, some industrial and some modern and love the result! Don’t be home during a remodel if possible. We were away for most of it and that was a good call. Plan to eat out a lot but have a toaster oven and electric skillet in the garage or elsewhere”. She said her kitchen remodel (+ 2 baths) took 3 months.

Lindsay says to “pack up every room that is getting renovated & move it out of the area because it’s messy & dusty. We are out every day for a month while our kitchen was disassembled. My advice is to move out of the house during the renovation because it is stressful!”

Have you remodeled your kitchen? What tips & tricks do you have to share? Was it worth it?

Thanks for reading! You can find my artwork and staging at: or