It started out simply enough. The tile has been coming up in our kitchen since the day we bought the house. So when our tax return came back, I decided it was time to replace it. It was also white and white is just an awful color for a kitchen, especially one that a toddler and dog use every day. I could clean it constantly and it would never actually stay clean. But I digress….So this re-tile…I called the contractor we used for our previous bathroom remodel; he came over; gave me a price and told me it would be simple and take 3 days. It seemed so easy, that I felt like dusting off my hands and calling it day.
The next weekend, Alex and I went tile shopping. We walked into a place a friend recommended found tile we liked right away and walked out again in about half an hour. But you see the problem was that Walter was with our nanny, Sandy, and we still had several hours until we were required to be back. Alex keeps repeating, “What would have happened if we hadn’t had that extra time?” Precious, precious free time! What to do, you ask? Well, we needed a new fridge. Our current was bought used when we moved here about 4.5 years ago and it was on its last legs (Alex has revived it more than once in the last year). Alex innocently said, “Let me google an appliance place nearby and we will just go take a look to see what we like.”
Enter University Electronics and Appliances. We walked in and the first thing we saw was the fancy, imported, French oven that Williams Sonoma sells for about $20k. We should have take that as a sign. But we didn’t and we boldly walked on. We started opening refrigerators and debating the pros and cons of french doors versus a single door with the freezer underneath. Then I found my favorite refrigerator, an 36 inch over/under counter-depth fridge made by sub-zero. It was perfect and beautiful and I wanted it. Then I glanced up at the corner and saw this:
I am not sure if you can read that or not, but it says that the fridge is almost $8,000. Holy smokes, I had no idea that a fridge could cost quite that much! It was time to leave. We had just enough time for lunch before we headed home to Walter. Over lunch, we discussed whether or not we were the kind of people who bought an $8,000 fridge. We talked budgets and what our finances looked like. We got out napkins and did the stereotypical drawings of what the fridge could look like if we bought said fridge and tried to put it in to our current kitchen set up. This fridge was the kind that was built into the cabinets with the cabinet door overlaid over its front door so we couldn’t just buy the fridge and stick it in the corner where the old fridge was and then wait til we had more money or the appropriate time for the bigger remodel. So then we started talking about if we built in the fridge for reals in the bigger kitchen remodel where exactly would it go (commence more drawings on napkins). This, of course, led to the idea that perhaps we would replace the other appliances also. Can you see where this is going? By 8:30 p.m. that night, Walter was in bed and I was drawing up a spreadsheet of what it would cost to replace all our appliances with new sub-zero/wolf (they do the cooking appliances) versus how much cash we had on hand and what I thought it would cost to tear out and replace the kitchen (1.5 weeks in and I am already way wrong on those estimates!).
The way I figured it, it seemed like a complete remodel just might be within our cash constraints at the moment (depending on where the contractor came in for the labor). I was floored. The kitchen was my one hesitation when we bought the house. There is nothing exactly wrong with it. However, it is just laid out badly. Whomever did the last remodel just simply wasn’t a cook. Alex and I had made it incredibly workable, with the promise that I would eventually get a remodel. It seemed that my fancy kitchen might be within my reach. So after a talk with the contractor the next day and several days spent reasoning with Alex, we decided it was a go. The next day Alex and Walter worked to take the first stab in the walls that were to come down. Alex had a fantastic time working with the guys tearing down the walls and ripping things apart. Walter thought it was fascinating too! There are just some things, like the love of destruction, that I will never understand about boys/men.
After two days of demolition the kitchen looked like this:
After a week of dealing with the remodel and my lack of ability to do anything to make food to feed us other than make coffee and heat up my lovely meals from munchery.com, I am completely over it. It turns out construction is hard (why did this lesson not stick from doing the bathroom two years ago?) and slightly emotionally unbalancing. I like to cook and I am proud of the tasty things I feed my family on a regular basis. It is a bit emotionally unbalancing to have that ability taken away from me. Oh and did I mention that there is insulation dust on everything?? The good news is that when this kitchen is done, it is going rock. I am going to have an absolutely fantastic place to cook. I just have to make it to the other side……