Until you’ve done it, you don’t know.
We started a kitchen remodel this week. Actually, the process of starting the kitchen remodel began months ago with the realization that we did not want to remodel the kitchen out of necessity because the house wouldn’t sell with an outdated kitchen. We decide that we should enjoy a new kitchen instead of building a new kitchen exclusively for some future owners. Might as well spend a few year of our lives not being disgusted by the floor and embarrassed by the cabinetry. Live a little, we thought. Other people don’t worry that the bottom of the cabinet under the sink might be carrying a flesh eating microbe, so why should we?
This decision, which in retrospect caused more angst than it was worth, was the easy part. The next phase was Indecision, and it is a phase I fear will never end. The monster of indecision is one reason we put off updating the kitchen for as long as we did. We were afraid to pick the paint, the floor, the appliances, the cabinets, and counter, the backsplash and the lighting in the abstract with the hope that it would work together in the concrete. We are not professionals.
Our mission, should we decide to accept it, was to take a 4” x 4” piece of granite countertop and match it with a 1” x 1” sample of paint, while considering the visual impact of the floor from a 12” x 12” square, while never forgetting the hue of the wood cabinets and the variant lighting during different times of day and different seasons of the year. You can close your eyes and visualize all you want. Picking full room wood, stone and color components from swatches is the ultimate in guesswork.
Designing this kitchen is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
Oh, and I almost forgot – there’s a budget and it’s low. Pick a number. Then go lower. That’s it.
Day One was demolition. With the exception of the final delivery day when we reclaim our lives and dishes are no longer washed in the bathtub, this could be my favorite day in the entire process. The drawer that never fully closed is gone. The cabinet doors that closed with a thwack that could be heard throughout the house are gone. The floor that would never look clean (and we did clean it on occasion despite its permanent dingy appearance and popular opinion) is history. Nothing is as exciting as an empty space (Cherie once said that about me). The possibilities seemed endless!
Which brings me back to indecisions. We are committed on the cabinets, and they have arrived. We settled on a countertop and it is being cut to our specifications. The floor tiles have been ordered. Appliances are financed and delivered. One thing left – paint color.
The paint color will need to contrast with the floor, accentuate the granite, brighten the room, coordinate with the living room, not overpower the cabinets, and be self-cleaning. This narrows the choices down to all of them. We could opt for parsley sprig, peacock tail, or moonlit pool. If we wanted to stay within the brown family, we have golden chalice, camel, honey moth or social butterfly. It is unclear if we are ordering exotic teas or semi-gloss paint. The names provide no information for me beyond a sense that these options will cost more than ‘green’ or ‘brown’.
I’ll skip the discuss of trim color variations of the color white since you already know that the shades cloud, salt and ivory pretty much represent plain white with a keystone markup.
The indecision will give way to a decision, and once it does, we will sit back in our makeshift temporary kitchen in the living room, hunched over our paper plates and cups, and relax as best we can when camping indoors for 3 weeks with a family of 5. This too shall pass.
In the end, we will love our kitchen. Of this I am certain because if we don’t, let me know if you know of someone looking to buy a charming suburban home with a newly renovated kitchen whose cheerful colors will make you think of having a cup of tea all day long.