Friday, December 26, 2014

Kitchen Hits and Hurdles

When I was in about third grade, my girlfriends and I were obsessed with watching the making of Michael Jackson's Thriller video. There was something about going behind the scenes and learning about all the little details that we just couldn't get enough of. Maybe we just dug Michael. Maybe it made the spooky video less scary. Maybe we all had latent makeup artist dreams. I have no idea, but peeking at the process that led up to the final video was extremely satisfying for our little nine-year-old minds.

Although Mr. W's and my recent kitchen remodel wasn't as scary as the Thriller video (well, maybe as scary as the part with the dancing zombies...), I thought it might be fun to dive into some of the details and share some of the behind the scenes stories with you all.

When you see before-and-after pictures, it's easy to think that everything just fell into place perfectly but we had plenty of blips before getting to our lovely final product.

One of the first was with the hardware we ordered. Mr. W was extremely "particular" about the kind of hardware he wanted, so after spending literally hours researching options, we finally ordered these from Lowe's. And when they arrived, the orientation of them was not what it appeared to be in the picture so we sent them back. Then we ordered these from Home Depot. They had been discontinued, so we had to put in a special order to get the full number of pulls we needed. When they arrived we understood why they'd been discontinued. The quality was awful. So we sent them back... Finally we found these guys in chrome and we felt confident they'd fit well in our space. It's funny because we had talked about tab pulls in the very beginning—clearly we should have trusted our initial instincts.

Another snafu we encountered was with the pendant lights. Again, we did quite a bit of research to find products we liked that weren't a million dollars (like these, which I also loved). We finally settled on ordering three of these from Wayfair. Unfortunately one arrived with a dent in it, so we had to request a new one. The cost to ship back the dented one was high enough that Wayfair told us to just keep it—it wasn't worth the cost to return it. And then they proceeded to send us two replacement lights. Mr. W contacted them and they agreed we could send back one of the undamaged lights. But that left us with four lights....and we quickly decided we only wanted two (not three) in the kitchen. Doh. Thankfully, there's a project in the works at our house right now that involves turning the two extra lights into cool sconces for our smaller bathroom. Stay tuned on the details of that.

When Mr. W went to install the cabinets above the range section of counter, we had another doh moment—which are super interesting to navigate when you're married... I think engaged couples should have to attend weekend retreats where they remodel a room and if they still like each other when the weekend is over, they're cleared for marriage. Remodeling is like the ultimate team-building exercise and can very quickly become fertile ground for fighting if you don't keep the right attitude. So when Mr. W went to hang the cabinets and we realized that making them the same size/height as the range hood created unbalance in the entire room, we quickly had to work together to come up with a solution.

Enter: open shelving.

Yup, these little shelves were totally not planned but I love them and am so glad that our measurements were off so Mr. W could build them. He, of course, was also thrilled that I would have even more surface space for knickknacks...

Ignore the unfinished caulking around the cabinet. We're still working on the final touches in here.

So what did we get right in this room, you may be wondering?

Well, I love the Carrara marble subway tiles and the silestone countertop. I think they strike a nice balance between modern and classic looks.

I had no interest in helping choose a faucet (Mr. W investigated like 100 before finding one that fit his requirements) but I like the one we got a lot. It has a touch sensor which is a blessing and curse. So great to be able to just bump the water on and off when you're doing dishes—but sometimes I accidentally turn the water on my arm when I'm wiping up the sink... Not so much fun.

Another thing we love is the highly functional cabinet additions we ordered for our large, awkward corner cabinets. Before we remodeled, the corner cabinets were like black holes where one might lose a cast iron pot for months or discover a family of tarantulas living inside an infrequently used vase. But now, the lazy susan, slidey outey action makes everything very easily accessible.

Under the two drawer units on either side of the room are a couple more ultra cool space maximizers. These toe-kick drawers are the perfect size for cookie sheets, placemats, and pizza stones. Love that they make such great use of space that would have been wasted otherwise.

Although I really like everything in the new kitchen (boy was Mr. W right about the soft-close hinges) I think the most exciting addition was the pantry closet. When we first started designing the kitchen layout, we didn't have a pantry in the plan. This did not make me happy. After living with awkwardly spread out food for a year, I really, really wanted a pantry. Not sure why it took us so long to realize we could tuck one in the corner where the old hutch had been, but when Mr. W suggested it, I think I jumped up and down and then kissed his whole face off. It was the perfect spot for one and we have it so packed to the gills now, I don't know how we'd survive without it. I luuuurrve it.  

Now that I'm done with this post, I'm not sure it was nearly as thrilling as the making of Thriller. But given how often I dance around the new kitchen to old school Michael Jackson music, the tie-in seems very appropriate.

1 comment:

  1. Can't you monetize this somehow so we can at least try to recoup some of the expense?


Well, whatdya think?