SF Apartment Renovation Update

We live in a 4-unit building in San Francisco. Before the holidays it was looking like it was going to be sold but instead we decided upgrading and renovating the entire building was the way to go! This was very relieving to us as the thought of having to relocate from our neighborhood and change schools on top of the incredibly challenging real estate market was formidable to say the least.

Renovations have been coming along at full speed. Scaffolding has gone up on the building, the exterior has been scraped and two of the units have had the kitchen and bath demoed down to the studs! Plumbing is going in and new windows should be arriving in a few weeks.

This is the gutted kitchen of the other unit.

This is the gutted kitchen of the other unit.

We haven’t begun work on our unit yet and we are still in the planning stages. We may have found the extra funds we need to pull it all off so please keep your fingers crossed really tight for us, ok? We will be gutting our kitchen and the upstairs bath.

I have been concentrating on figuring out what type of cabinets we will put in and the general design plans. There are excellent drawings already for the other units which are the same size and layout as ours, so I will likely go with those plans with a few small tweaks.

Gray or white cabinets? (White image is from Zillow Digs and Gray is from Flikr - The Estate of Things.)

Grey or white cabinets? (White image is from Zillow Digs and Grey is from Flikr – The Estate of Things.)

I’m debating between grey and white cabinets in the kitchen. I love the color grey and have for years. If I had had a boy I would have named him Grey. Recently grey cabinets have become the kitchen trend. Pottery Barn Kids is even doing cribs and changing tables in grey right now. I love how grey will hold up better and not show every bit of mess, but I am worried they are too trendy. White is a classic option and good for our smaller kitchen. Arrrgghhhhh! So hard to decide. I asked the Our Urban Playground followers on Facebook and I got so much helpful feedback. What do you think? Grey or white? I am going to go look at cabinets this weekend.

The main thing we have been doing is getting rid junk, clothes we don’t wear and general build up of things we don’t use. I am really trying to attempt the all-truistic ideal that we will only possess things we love and that have use. I feel a little silly writing that, but I have spent the past 10 years accepting anything for the house even if we didn’t need it or I didn’t even like it. It had left me feeling trapped by possessions I didn’t want. Now I feel back in control. It’s liberating.

San Francisco Apartment renovation

This past weekend Chloe and I went through all the cabinets in the kitchen as well as the girls’ rooms. We had a great time sorting through everything and doing a strong edit of what we could let go of.

Steve has been waking up at 5:30 am daily because he is acting as the project manager for the entire building in addition to his full time job. He will pretty much do anything to stay where we live, so working 15 hour days has become his norm.

Well, that’s the update. It is a little surreal that this is all happening. We have wanted this for so long. There have been paint samples on the walls in our kitchen for 10 years. I am glad we are doing it now though. I am much more certain about what I like and want than I was 10 years ago.

Thanks so much for following along and thanks for reading.

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3 responses

  1. Working on renos of my house right now, so I have a few tips for you! :) Granite Expo in Berkeley is a GREAT resource for kitchen cabinets and granite counter tops, as well as sinks. We used them for our bathroom. Our kitchen is Ikea cabinets and butcher block counter top (already like this when we bought the house) and they are surprisingly pretty awesome. If you look on Woot.com right now, they’ve got some good deals on faucets. I have been keeping a list of things we need (like faucets, lights, towel racks, etc.) and watching these deal-type sites, as well as Amazon Gold Box, Home Depot’s deal of the day, etc. and have been able to save good amounts of money on these items. I love white and grey, so it’s hard to decide. But I think I love white a tiny bit more. ;) Good luck!

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    I just recently discovered your blog. It’s wonderful!

    For your kitchen, instead of having to choose white over grey, how about using grey as an accent color in nooks or crevices. You can have the best of both worlds. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/34356576

    As for Ikea cabinets, the house we purchased was remodeled Ikea cabinets by the previous owner. We’re not at all impressed with the quality. In less than 6 months, the drawers are already lopsided. However, my mother in law has Ikea cabinets from more than 10 years ago that hold up great. It might just be that our set isn’t great and you’ll have to examine the joints and internal hardware carefully.

    Good luck on your renovation. With your exquisite sense of style I’m sure you’ll end up with something you’ll love for a long time.

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