Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kitchen renovation project

I don't know if anyone still reading remembers this, but the whole reason that we put our house on the market in the first place is because the Great Kitchen Renovation of 2006 was such a fucking nightmare that we abandoned the project, deciding that it would be easier to just move house. Ha ha ha. How I laugh at my naive younger self. (Of course, we have not gotten to the part in this renovation where they start knocking out walls... )

So, basically, this means that I have had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do. Not that it seems to have helped any. I would generally say that I am incredibly decisive. I know immediately if I like something or not and if it will fit in with my plan. But this time around? I cannot figure out what I want to do. I think a bit of it is due to the fact that for once, I am not just decorating to please myself but with an eye on the eventual resale value. I know, I know. If I am staying here, I should just please myself. But my interiour decorating ego has taken a body blow by all the criticisms during the apartment visits. Sure, tons of people gave compliments but its always the negative feedback that stays lodged in your mind, a niggling doubt that just won't die. And since my partner in the renovation is not known for his rapid fire decision making... I'm just glad that we are almost done. The only thing left to decide is the stone for the countertops. Unless I change my mind, and technically, I have another day or two until these decisions become absolutely irrevocable. So be careful what you say in the comments section, my husband begs of you (he is reading over my shoulder right now).

Here is a diagram of the current situation in our kitchen:

When we first moved in, we decided not to make any structural changes to the kitchen because the kitchen was already tons bigger than the kitchen in our old apartment and I was really smitten with the original cabinets that were there. You obviously can't tell from the photos, but the cabinets are heavy solid wood, lined in zinc, and the paint is enamel.There is a pull out wooden cutting board and a marble slap hidden under one of the countertops for making pastry. We had to remove a wall of cabinetry to add modern stainless steel appliances (because these cabinets are so old, the dimensions are off just enough that we couldn't slot in new stuff) and chose some glass upper cabinets for extra storage. I honestly just love this kitchen and, for me, there is plenty of room for cooking and storage. The only thing that is wrong with it is that there is no room for a table. It might be stating the obvious, but toddlers are messy eaters, to put it mildly. After cleaning our dining room rug for the second time in a year, we've decided that it would be more cost-effective to completely re-do the kitchen to add an eating area than it would be to continue to let her eat at the dining room table.

This is a diagram (very rough) of what the new kitchen will be like. We are going to close off the door to the bedroom and move it to another spot. The wall to the hall will then be knocked out to give the kitchen an extra few meters squared. The door to the dining room will be taken off to just make a clean opening, although I still wanted to keep the kitchen a separate room. We will be adding a large eating island , with an induction cooktop and three long drawers underneath. On the opposite wall, where there used to be the sink, we are putting in two full length columns, one with a fridge and freezer and then other with a microwave and a regular oven. The sink is going to be moved in front of the window and will be underhung. The dishwasher will be moved to where the oven used to be and next to it, we are putting in a glassfront wine refridgerator. In the laundry area, we are taking out the big Ikea pantry that we used to have and are putting in a cabinet that will have a coffee maker built in. The broom cupboard will be taken out and made 20 cm deeper so that it can hold a narrow set of drawers on the bottom and then glass shelving will be put in the upper section, maybe with a flat screen TV set in, lit from above.
All the "technical" part is decided and I don't think we will change anything. The real issue is with the decorating. Which color? Which finish? What do we do with the walls? Do we add wood accents? Do we want a tile backsplash? I've been scouring the web for ideas - thank god for this site- but I haven't found anything that really inspired me. (Actually, thats a wee bit of a lie. I absolutely fell in lust over this kitchen, I love every single bit of it. BUT I decided that too late in the game and had to abandon the idea. Oh well. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, right?) We ordered the cabinets in a standard sort of beige matte laquer although we still have the option of ordering the cabinets in a custom color for a small extra cost. We were thinking of having them done in a really rich expresso brown and putting in light stone countertops, something the color of travertine but not so easy to stain. But yesterday we were at the stone wholesaler and couldn't find anything pale that we liked. We had nearly decided on getting a plain pale ivory stone but having it cut extra thick, like 15 cm, since the price was quite low when the salesman told us that it would be really difficult to maintain as well. The disappointment quickly disappeared when I found a slab of the granite that I had searched for last year after seeing it in a Met Home article. How gorgeous is this? The only problem is that they don't have it in stock, it can only be ordered, and we can only get if they happen to have it in stock at the headquarters in Italy. We picked out a back-up granite in dark brown (actually its the one B prefers. So basically, either I win or he wins, but the compromising thing didn't work out so much on this home improvement project.)
So the kitchen is scheduled to be delivered at the end of December. Which means that B will have to stay here for the Christmas hols. That is another post though.
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Misplaced said...

Wow- the new kitchen will be great- you'll love the island (obviously since you picked)- we did a similar thing to our kitchen and it was wonderful- open it up- you can never go wrong

Sally Lomax said...

Could you not all stay for Christmas? Invite your parents to you....

Nicole said...

Problem is that we already booked tickets for me and Ella.