Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Kitchen - part 1

Get ready... this may be a long post (I mean, it's already long overdue, so why not just make it long as well, right?).  Scratch that - I'm going to write it in phases, pre-dating it so you can see a basic timeline.  Feel free to read it all, or just look at the pretty pictures :)

For Christmas this year, Isaac gave me a card that said we were going to renovate the kitchen.  As that's something we've been talking about since we moved in but never felt like spending the money on, that was awesome and exciting!  If it didn't happen now, one could safely assume it would "never" happen after Baby's arrival, so no time like the present.  This is what we were starting with:

My pet peeves were the orangy tone of the cabinets, and the essentially unusable (and poorly decorated) space above the cabinetry.  My husband's was the white laminate.

We had two contractors come to give us estimates, and essentially we discovered that our "budgets" were quite different... oopsies :)  Lesson #1... at least minimally discuss budget with spouse BEFORE starting to get estimates.  Then we found a neighbor who goes to our church who does custom cabinetry.  Turns out, his price was in the same ballpark as the other folks, though of course it required us to track down our own countertop installer.  And thus came our tour of granite shops.  As it would be, we have expensive taste in granite.  Who knew? 

The whole thing snowballed into chaos - in an effort to find some clarity, we had several design-savvy friends (including my sister-in-law) and a realtor friend come to give us ideas.  Of course, that just led to more confusion, as they all had wonderful - but very different - suggestions.

In the midst of all this, and with Isaac spending 3-4 nights out of town with work for several weeks in a row, our fridge broke.  Appliances were never part of the original plan, so that threw us for a loop.  Praise the Lord, we found a 1-yr-old but unused fridge on Craigslist for essentially half-price.  My "blog-friend" Kim had recently purchased a new fridge, and thus had done all the hard work for me, and the fridge on Craigslist met all the requirements.  Wow.  Total God thing.  So with the help of some cousin-muscle, we brought this puppy home one Saturday in February:
Tax refund unexpectedly put to wonderful use :)  We continued to mull, plan and investigate, all the while realizing that most projects would take 6-10 weeks (order or build cabinets, install, cut granite, install, etc) and that we were running out of time if we didn't want a half-completed kitchen when we headed off to the hospital for delivery.  Add in some potential job changes which essentially served to remind us that we have no idea exactly how long we'll be in this house, and we finally came to the conclusion that the project was not meant to be at this time.  We could have our dream kitchen for way too much money, or we could have a half-baked partial upgrade for more than we wanted to spend for something only half-baked.  The Lord gave us peace, and I slept beautifully for a whole week!

Putting projects on hold... Soli Deo Gloria.