What could have been...

>> 5.18.2010

First, I have to say I felt a bit like a dummy yesterday when I said that my rough estimate of the kitchen was $8,000... thanks to a little questioning from Sara (she'll keep you in check!), I redid my math and realized that I added in one of the numbers twice (duh!). The total will be more like $6,000. I'll look through my receipts so that I can come back with a completely accurate number next time!

Do you ever wonder what a space in your home might have looked like if you went in a different direction while decorating? Lucky me, a neighbor with my exact same layout (but mirrored) has his home for sale! I stole a few pictures off of the MLS listing to show you what my house might have looked like if I went in a different direction...

His house:

My house:

 See? Same 1980's cabinets and galley layout!

His house:

My house:
I'm sososo glad that I ripped out those upper cabinets, scraped the popcorn, and updated the lighting!

His house:

My house:
It does look like we have similar rugs in the dining room... weird!

Can you imagine how much better that kitchen would look if he just painted the cabinets white to match the appliances?! Just spending a couple of hundred dollars on the paint and new knobs would work wonders on the space instantly!

Have you ever had a chance to compare your decorating decisions with those made in your house's twin? If you were my neighbor, what would you put your money into changing first?


Sara @ Russet Street Reno May 18, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

I knew it! Wow, 6k is a great price for that space, some people spend that just on appliances! I agreet that people with 80s oak cabs should always paint them. There is no other way to take them out of the past. If only he read your blog....

Ashley @ The Design Thief May 18, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

I love your kitchen (more than your neighbors). We did actually look at a house with the same floor plan as ours. Not that I'm biased but I feel like ours was better!

McLaura May 18, 2010 at 9:32 AM  

I did the same thing with my old apartment! http://someoneelsehaslmcwethy.blogspot.com/2009/02/being-snoopy.html Your kitchen came out fabulous - much fresher and inviting than your neighbors. :)

Meredith Travels May 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

woah. shockingly different. I would love to live in your kitchen and I would be itching to re-do the other all the time and cursing those unpainted doors.

And I agree, taking the upper cabinets out made a HUGE difference.

The Brick Cottage May 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

Fantastic! Your place has to be valued a LOT higher than his. Great, great job!

Our house also has a mirror twin and it's so much fun to go over there and see the differences. One huge difference between the two houses is that she still has the butler's pantry in her house (whereas in ours the wall was removed and we have more open space in the kitchen).

Kerry May 18, 2010 at 10:33 AM  

I'd probably put some money into it to freshen it up... but that's just me!

I don't think we'll ever have a chance to find a house with the same layout. It was built in 1920 and NONE of the houses nearby look like our's. Plus, I think some major work was done at one point because the kitchen is massive. Not a typical size for a 1920's build at all... (I want to find the original floor plans!)

Mrs. Chic May 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

You did a wonderfull job!! For only $6k :) You better submit your before and after to Young House Love! I'm just saying :)

I agree paint can work wonders, I've seen ou house twins around the block - most have old kitchens with the strange layout and seem so dark. I can't wait to paint ours....were doing mostly paint and lighting new appliances later.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards May 18, 2010 at 8:50 PM  

The cabinets would be painted, change out the hardware and lighting.

And, PS. You have the most gorgeous kitchen. Love it all. The tiles. The colors. The opening to the dining room. You are a genius. Seriously.

BudgetBlonde May 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM  

Loving yours more! (Of course, I might be biased, but yours just looks so clean and chic!)

Jenny May 19, 2010 at 4:58 AM  

In college I had a dorm room (to myself, just the bathrooms were shared) and it was always fun to visit other people in their rooms and see what they did to feel at home. Amazing how some people don't seem to care one bit if their places look nice...

Meg May 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

I'm sooo glad to see this! We had our parents over for Mother's Day and my parents were skeptical when I said I wanted to paint the kitchen cabinets. They tried to tell me that painting them can sometimes lead to an amateurish look, fading or peeling of the paint, but I think you've really proved what a big difference it makes. Now I want to go home and paint immediately.

Fabulous job!! Your kitchen looks incredible!

Carole May 20, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

great post! your new kitchen is lovely!

I love looking at real estate listings online--we live in a 1950's split-level, and there are many other houses like ours in the area, and I love to snoop to see the various changes people have made...

our house was a flip, so we got to see the original listing photos before they did the work--now *that* was eye-opening! They're on my blog under "the flip (before and after) if you want to have a look.

Lauren May 26, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

We are friends with our next door neighbor who has the same layout as us and we are always comparing! She is doing a major overhaul of her kitchen and I can't wait to see what she does! (We don't have it in our budget to do it right now.. but I can plan right?}

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