So an engineer, a contractor, and an English major walk into a bar…and the engineer is all like, “this bar layout is illogical and a poor use of space,” and then the contractor is like, “hurry up and tell me what you want to order,” and the English major is like, “I hate how bright the lights are in here, and you’re hurting my feelings with your stern tone.”
Yes, a terrible and non-funny joke, but an accurate illustration of the current dynamic of our renovation. The three of us all have a very specific idea of how the process should be going, but all speak a very different “love language,” if you will. It’s not like anyone is arguing, and I think we actually all really like each other (two of us are married, so…), but we all have been guilty of giving one another some serious side-eye action over the past few weeks. And now that the actual renovating is underway in the kitchen, there has been far more side-eye than regular eye…straight-ahead eye? You get the idea.
Our kitchen is getting a total gut job. The cabinets are out, the weird tiny tiled counter tops are in the dumpster, three layers of flooring have been scraped off, and the mini- ancient oven has been passed along to someone, presumably in a tiny house, who can make good use of it. The only thing we are keeping, literally, is the kitchen sink. Naturally, a lot of decisions have to be made about where things go, what things should look like, which finishes to use, etc. So here’s an example of a conversation that the Three Amigos have had about say…their first impressions of the original kitchen:
Engineer: This won’t work. There’s a door, then a window, then another window, then a door, and two more doors. Too many openings, not enough space to have a modern kitchen. Impractical. A planning nightmare.
English major: Ooooh look at these windows! And so many entryways! Love the flow. This space will be amazing. It will be the best part of the house. It just feels right. Feels good. I’m home. (holds back tears).
Contractor: (silence)……(thought bubble……$$$$$$$$). OK, I will take this job.
Or here’s what the Musketeers had to say about choosing flooring for the kitchen:
Engineer: There was nothing wrong with the tile that was on the floors to begin with. It was undamaged, covered the space, and was fine . Why expend energy and money on something we already have?
English major: Eeeeek! Hardwoods! Love them! Restore them as they once were!
Contractor: You need new tile. Tile goes in kitchens. I’ll make your new tile look great.
English major: Noooo….we need the hardwoods! They were here before, and it’s our job to make them beautiful again. Plus, I already have the finishes picked out in my mind, and the hardwoods are so much easier to coordinate with. It’s like if you’re wearing jeans, and you want to wear a cute shirt and– (feel free to stop reading this paragraph and any point. Everyone in person had for sure stopped listening already)–and you also have to pick out shoes to go with it. You want the jeans to be a neutral, because then you don’t have to see them as a particular color…they just go with everything. Tile is like wearing blue pants, or maybe gray pants. You have to match them. So you have the gray pants tile, the cabinets, the counter tops, the back splash, and the wall color..that’s a very busy outfit guys. Plus-
Engineer: We don’t even know where to put the refrigerator yet, and you already have a back splash picked out?! That doesn’t even make-
Contractor: Ok. Fine. Hardwoods. (side eye).
Engineer: (side eye).
English major: (holding back tears)
Despite our differences, we’ve been able to come up with a plan that we think will work for the kitchen. Here’s a summary of what we have in mind for the final product:
We’ll keep the full window in the picture above because it gets the best evening light, saves money, and we can add a seating area over it (a win for everyone–the lion, the witch, AND the wardrobe). We’re using the picture below for inspiration, but think less modern, more woodsy:
The stove and range hood will be where the current sink is, and the sink will be below where a large full-length window used to be (far right in the pic above). Here’s what it looks like right now…
Not exactly looking like the dream kitchen in my head, but still making some progress.
We are also making the former pantry/laundry area door wider, and just yesterday, had a door added to get to the back porch. Here’s how it used to look:
Clearly, the pictures aren’t exactly stunners right now, but I feel like we’ve got a good thing going. At least Huey, Dewey, and Louie think so.
Contractor: I’ll have this done in 6 weeks.
Engineer: I’ll be here every day making sure our plan is being executed.
English major: Six weeks?! I’ll be on Houzz.com for the next 17 hours making sure my hardwood floor pants match my counter halter top and my back splash earrings and...
If you need Stop, Drop, and Roll, we’ll be at the bar, drinking our martinis with a spritz of side-eye in three separate corners. But we’ll each be planning one helluva kitchen renovation. Cheers to the next six weeks!