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HGTV; realtor.com

If there’s one thing Christina Anstead knows, it’s how crazy the life of a working mom can be—and how much easier life is with a well-designed kitchen. Unfortunately, while shooting the first season of her new show, “Christina on the Coast,” she doesn’t have one. She and her two young kids are living in a small rental while they look for the perfect family home to start a new life with her new hubby, Ant.

So Anstead is particularly sympathetic to the plight of Sunshine and Erik in the episode called “Getting a New Kitchen.” In fact, in an effort to multitask, Anstead and Sunshine meet with their kids on a play date in the park to discuss their remodeling project. Sunshine has one toddler and another baby is due in just over two months, so they’d better make it quick!

Sunshine wants to convert the old, dark kitchen in her midcentury modern home into something lighter, brighter, and more practical—all before the baby comes. She and Erik have budgeted $50,000 for the project.

Anstead thinks she can give them a new kitchen on that budget, within the limited amount of time. But we all know that she has never met a budget she couldn’t bust (at least, not on this show). Then again, that’s often because the homeowners end up asking her to do more than they’d budgeted for, and this time is no exception.

The only question is, will Anstead finish on time? As she races against the calendar, she gives us some excellent remodeling tips that we can most assuredly try at home.

Dark cherry wood cabinets are out

A few decades ago, dark cherry wood cabinets in the kitchen were considered elegant, yet warm and inviting. Now Sunshine and Erik can’t wait to get rid of theirs, because they think they make the kitchen look dark and closed-in. Anstead is more than happy to rip them all out and replace them with soft gray modern cabinets.

Incidentally, she also replaces the gold granite countertops with bright, white, easy-to-maintain quartz, which is ideal for a busy mom.

Christina on the Coast
The elegant new kitchen Christina Anstead remodeled for Sunshine and Erik

HGTV

Coffee stations are in

Your coffee maker is going to take up counter space anyway (unless you install one that’s built-in), so why not have a dedicated place for it? One with open shelving for mugs above, a cabinet with a drawer for spoons and other coffee-making paraphernalia, plus a cabinet below. Anstead has one built for Sunshine, and notes that you’re seeing dedicated coffee stations in a lot more kitchens these days—they’re very practical and an excellent use of space.

Wine makes an excellent kitchen accessory

Since wine bottles are colorful and attractive, why hide them? Anstead has a stylish open wine rack built out of the same cabinet material used in the rest of the kitchen, and it makes an excellent design element that is also extremely practical.

If you can’t move a wall, add a door

Once Anstead gets started on the kitchen, Sunshine and Erik decide they’d like to open the kitchen to the rest of the house and to make one big light, bright great room. She says that’s an excellent idea, but it will cost at least an additional $60,000 to pull off. Yikes!

She does have another solution, however. Why not put a floor-to-ceiling folding glass door along the back wall, letting in much more light than the room had previously? It will give the impression of an expanded room without the expense (well, only a third of the expense). When Anstead reveals that the new door will cost only an extra $20,000, it seems like a bargain to the couple.

Christina on the Coast
A floor-to-ceiling folding glass door brightens up the room.

HGTV

Flooring that flows

When Erik considers the chic, slate gray tile Anstead has picked out for the kitchen floor, he realizes how shabby the wood and carpet flooring in the rest of the main living space will look in comparison.

In order to further unify their main living space, Anstead suggests continuing the new flooring through the rest of the space. Erik thinks the same tile they’re using in the kitchen will seem a little dark throughout the rest of their home, so she selects a lighter, complementary tile for the living room area and entryway. It costs an extra $5,000, but at this point, what does it matter?

When to vacate the premises

The couple move into Erik’s mother’s house while their kitchen is being renovated, even though they have to sleep in different bedrooms (the spare rooms have only twin beds) and there’s an “amorous” little dog on the premises.

“When you have a toddler, you can’t eat takeout every night,” Sunshine explains. Plus, all of those construction smells aren’t great for a pregnant woman.

Some people opt to camp in while their homes are being remodeled, but when it’s a kitchen that’s being done, it’s usually best to get out of Dodge.

So does Christina Anstead deliver?

Yes, but not before Sunshine does. She goes into labor earlier than expected, and delivers a beautiful baby girl several days before the kitchen is finished. She and Erik decide it was worth the wait when they see the completed product, however.

“This is incredible!” she exclaims. “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

And they’re fine with the fact that they ended up spending $75,000 (or $25,000 over their initial budget). Their new kitchen and living room are more beautiful and functional than they’d ever dreamed they could be.

Anstead is happy that “everything came together really well,” and is looking forward to the same thing happening in her own life. She cruises off into the sunset with Ant in one of the many cars he features on his own show.

 

The post ‘Christina on the Coast’ Reveals What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Kitchen appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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