Monday, January 30, 2012

TO BEAD OR NOT TO BEAD

Well, it's back to work Monday which means it's time for me to hit the idea boards again for the cottage kitchen I'm designing.  While my client has agreed eliminating the upper cabinets will free up much needed money from our tight budget, if you've shopped for a new kitchen in the last decade you know what wallet busters they can be.  Kitchens, hands down, are the most expensive part of a home to update.  But, I'm not giving up despite the big challenge of a tiny budget, so I headed to Lowe's for an estimate on kitchen cabinets.  As I've mentioned in past blog entries, Lowe's is one of the only big box stores that provides free drawings and free estimates while you wait (make sure to call and make an appointment first, especially if you live in a big city).  They carry an impressive range of cabinets at just about every price point, with lead times (time it takes from order to install) of 4-6 weeks.  Now, you might ask, how will modern day cabinets fit into a hundred year old cottage?  To make my budget-conscious client happy, I priced the least expensive cabinets and suggested adding a little design twist for a big impact: bead board paneling inserts.  Bead board typically comes in 4'x6' sheets for $40-$60 and can make a dramatic change in any space.  If we choose the least expensive, flat cabinet fronts and add breadboard to both the wall behind our shelves and the cabinets, we can achieve a classic look for a lot less than you'd think! The look above was achieved merely by adding bead board paneling for less than $200 and picking the right paint color.  It's that simple (sometimes).