Friday, September 2, 2016

Kitchen Renovation Part 3 - Decisions, Decisions

Just a tip if you're thinking of renovating your kitchen and have an opinionated, impatient husband... know what you want BEFORE you begin.

We had an idea of what we wanted, and I had very particular ideas about what I did NOT want, but when we had chatted about the end result, it was in terms of vision, not actual, concrete ideas. That is a recipe for some irritation and a fair whack of bickering!

First decision was the new hood. Goodness! There are SO many options!

Source: Google Shopping

I learned that there are two basic models: vented and recirculating. We definitely wanted vented, so that narrowed it down a bit. A bit! Do you know how many different options you have available? Well, I finally chose two after a few hours of research (yes, hours) and presented them to Himself for a final opinion.

"No, we have to get LG or Whirlpool!" he stated firmly. "Those are the only two reliable makes." Say WHAT? I've just spent hours researching the very best models, learning about power and air circulation and dunno-what-else and he knew what models he wanted up front? Share, much? Only.. neither of those models had turned up in my searches. I found out why - neither of them offer any model in our price range of under $500. Back to the first two I had offered.

Just half a day on that. Not a killer.

Then we had the cabinet finish discussion.

I started by "painting" the cabinets in a photo editing program, which I unfortunately did not save to show you. Then we tried staining some wood and comparing it against the existing cabinets. We did not love any of them! Eventually Himself had an idea and experimented on the side of one cabinet. Bingo! It is awwwwwwwesooooooome! But I'm keeping it a secret for the big reveal.

Those were the easy decisions. Next up was wall paint color, which was slightly more painful. I went to Home Depot and got some samples that I pinned on the far wall, plus a whole slew of booklets to go through. Himself wasn't too impressed with any of them.

Then I happened to see some colors in a magazine that I liked, ripped out the pages and took them to Home Depot and asked them for a copy. I also found a room on that I liked and took a screenshot on my phone and asked them to copy the wall color there. I was really impressed with the software that allowed them to do that. Then I brought all the samples home and painted swatches on the wall. We liked the Chili Pepper color, so it got an extra big swatch!

We liked the pop of color it gave to the room, so we decided we would go with it. However, I'm a distrustful little puppy and did NOT order a whole bucket of the stuff. Instead I painted a small piece of drywall with it. I am soooo glad I did!

Bickering levels increased when it came to the cupboard reconfiguration. Himself said we would "play with placement" a little when we started putting it all back together. I did not realize it meant we would rearrange mentally and then put them in position physically just once. When I wanted to move stuff around and re-position, Mt Vesuvius erupted! "Make up your mind!" and "You said you wanted it there!" was hollered in frustration, along with "You keep changing things!"

Eventually it was all sorted out and cabinets were hung back up on the walls. I was adamant I did not want a cabinet back up on the wall by the windows, blocking the light again, but agreed to open shelving instead, which would allow the light through.

Of all the discussion and argument, our biggest head banging was tiles. We decided we wanted to get a mural to go beneath the hood, but couldn't find anything we liked. No, scratch that. We DID find something we liked. Isn't this gorgeous?

Not so gorgeous is that price tag! Ms Paul has several murals we liked, but no freaking way on the prices. And that's before shipping too!

So the Great Mural Hunt began. Hours and hours and hours online. Traipsing around every tile shop in three different towns, and then multiple drives down to San Antonio to go to the big tile shops. Not one single thing that made our hearts beat faster! Lots of tile, lots of very expensive tile, but no murals. Eventually we bought a bunch of Mexican picture tiles and came home to see what we could put together. I patched it all up like a quilt pattern and presented it to Himself for approval.

"That looks like a collage," he frowned. "I don't like it."


Eventually we found something online that we were both willing to live with, and it was on sale, so it made me very happy.

Finding backsplash tile was another exercise in patience. The Bratness coined a phrase that totally summed it up. I was fross. That's frustrated and cross. Yup, this entire decision making process made us both very fross!

I brought home dozens of samples and we stuck it up on the walls over and over again. I was almost on a first name basis with the ladies at the return counters of both Home Depot and Lowes! Nothing got final approval.

And here's where my wily refusal to buy the paint came in handy. When we put the paint up against the wall with the tile and the cabinets, it just didn't work. There's so much pattern and shape and texture in the kitchen now, that dark color just really didn't pop any more. It overpowered and was dark and gloomy.

One morning I happened to mention that the plain, primed walls were very good against all the pattern. The neutral finish was soothing and comfortable. Himself agreed. (We had agreement! Woot woot!) By sheer fluke, I had just bought a five gallon drum of paint from the oops department. It was going into my paint stash for furniture painting, but I pulled it out to paint the walls as it looked like an antique white. It wasn't. But the color is fabulous and I'm in love with it, so... phew!

Next up, we begin the reconstruction.

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