Benefits of a Kitchen Remodel: How It Affects Your Health and Relationships

I've come across a lot of people who are interested in remodeling their space, but wonder if the investment and effort are worth it. I can tell you that for my clients, their remodels have resulted in bettering their lives as a whole. Their remodels resulted in happier individuals, bettered relationships, increased positivity, and even more nutritious living. It never ceases to amaze me how much a well-design living environment affects our lives.

Happier Individuals. I had a client recently who had lived in her home for about 10 years but had never made it her own. She had lived before in a chic apartment in Boston with red brick and beautiful furnishings, where her personality was reflected and where she felt very at home. She had since then moved to Arizona, where she was living in the suburbs in a stucco home that very similar to each of her neighbors. She loved it in Arizona. There was so much going on and so much to do. There were great schools for her kids and she had wonderful friends. But, she had never taken the time or made the investment to make her home her own. To me, this is the equivalent of living out of a suitcase for 10 years. She made some really simple changes in her home - replaced the tile and carpet with luxury vinyl planking, replaced the laminate countertop with quartz, got a whole new backsplash, and I came in and helped her with her décor and furniture arrangement. She had all these beautiful artwork and sculptural pieces that she had collected from traveling the world but had never put on display and we were finally able to give them a home. She had blank walls we were able to finally fill and organizational needs we were able to meet. We made the home completely unique to her and her family so that she could truly feel at home. It is circumstances like this that prove to me that good design individualized to our circumstances can truly make us happier individuals. Suitcases unpacked, at ease in our environments, with an increased desire to share our homes with others.

Bettered Relationships. This is a personal story. I designed a remodel for my parent's home a few years back. To give you a mental image of how the kitchen looked before, it was a u-shaped kitchen and on the inside of the cabinetry, it was about a 4'x4' space. The fridge was placed so that it boxed in the kitchen and no one could pass by if the door was open, even though it was a French-door refrigerator. At one time, there had been seven of us living at home, and working and eating in that kitchen was all but pleasant. I remember there being a lot of arguments at mealtimes, dirty dishes, and quickly-prepared meals like corndogs. When we remodeled, we completely opened it up by taking out the refrigerator wall, and by adding a large island with seating on both sides. Suddenly, we loved gathering in our kitchen, mealtimes were no longer contentious, and we often brought extended family and friends over to spend time with us there. Our relationships with each other most certainly improved!

Increased Positivity. I had another client recently who had sold the home she raised her kids in and moved into a retirement community to downsize. The home she moved into was a great size for her and in a great little community, but it was very bland and confining in places. It didn't reflect her personality and it didn't serve her functionally. We came in and expanded the entryway by removing a hall closet and replacing it with a bench and coat rack, and opening up the kitchen and laundry room. We painted the cabinets a fun, earthy green, and brightened up the space with modern lights. We used elements such as copper, mother-of-pearl, and black walnut that she had always had a love for and that even represented her past. After she moved in, she expressed how all her disappointments of moving there had dissipated. She felt at home, had a much greater outlook on her situation, and was excited to invite friends and family over to her new dwelling.

More Nutritious Living. Let's go back to that corndog scenario. I just have to clear this up - I love corndogs. When I was in high school I would watch this show called, "Big Time Rush" about a fictional boyband. It was a ridiculous comedy, but in one episode, one of the boys gave his girlfriend a bouquet of corndogs and I just thought that was the most amazing thing. You know a man truly loves you if he makes you a corndog bouquet! All kidding aside, I definitely still eat corndogs, but something I noticed that changed immediately following the completion of our remodel was that we were all excited to cook. We were trying new things and making more nutritious meals. Every once in a while we still enjoy throwing something quick in the oven, but it inspired us to take more time to make our meals, and my family definitely ate healthier from that time forward.

Again, it never ceases to amaze me what positive outcomes good design can have on someone's life. When I talk about a remodel changing your life and about "loving the way you live", I am not exaggerating. I had talked about that with a client recently and she emphasized that it truly did change her life! I know that remodeling can be a challenging thing to take on. It is a large investment, can be a rough process at times, and the outcome can be uncertain. But, in every case I have worked on, it has had many, many more positive and life-changing outcomes!

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With love always,

Jamie Nell