Monday, March 31, 2008

Smitten Kitchen

It's been almost four years now and we've finally decided to step closer to taking the plunge.... of remodeling our kitchen. By remodel I mean gut, or more possibly, firebomb. That being said, we are completely enamored of our appliances (other than our gas cooktop) and noting that due to electrical problems in our current wiring (see: original installation by Edison, Thomas A.) our "double" oven is technically more of a "single" oven, with lighted storage compartment.

Alas, the local Home Depot was sponsoring the "Ultimate Kitchen Event" wherein, if you spend X amount on such-and-such you get some sort of discount on Y, etc., etc. It's been so long since we scheduled our original measurement I've completely forgotten what discount it was that motivated us to finally do this in the first place.

Part A of this process entailed a strange little man coming to measure our kitchen and utility room, even taking pictures. While he did measure a lot of the aspects of our kitchen, he apparently didn't measure the existing cabinentry or appliances, which has caused somewhat of an issue with our "design consultant" (more on that later...)

Once the measure was finalized we made an appointment to visit the store. In preparation for this visit we perused four years' worth of "This Old House" magazines looking for design ideas and dug up all of the specs for our existing appliances. We also had the hard wood floor guys come back and give us a ball park estimate on refinishing the existing floor (note to self-- we really don't want to find out that what lies beneath the existing floor is either a) dirt or b) the remains of Claude Musselman, thus refinishing, rather than replacing, is our option of choice).

Unfortunately, it would seem, any prep work we did was all but in vain. Once we met up with our "Design Consultant" she made every attempt possible to convince us that the design plan we had in mind was ridiculously impractical and even more simply put: stupid. What about the work triangle? She mused, she, after all, is the "expert"! Why, her design even has room for hidden garbage cans next to the sink and a cubby for a microwave! (Needless to say, Design Consultant doesn't quite grasp who she's dealing with).

We tried to hold our tongue, but only after getting into a semi-argument about why we didn't need to lower the ceiling in our utility room. Then we had a small blow up about whether we could move the door to the utility room. Design Consultant baffled at the concept that the interior kitchen wall is concrete. The initial meeting was more stressful than a conference call from The Job!

We took about an hour and a half (which was frequently interrupted by other customers and various phone answering by DC)... then we rescheduled for a second visit.

In our second visit, DC actually put together a design plan which was somewhat in accordance with our request. Indeed, there is an island and she did have the fridge and stove at opposite ends of the room (work-triangle be damned!) A few moments into our visit, however, DC received a phone call from one of her other co-horts in the design department. From DC's end of the conversation all we heard was an aggravated "these people are real pains-in-the-asses" sound, which was clearly in response to the person on the other end asking, "how are things going?" Only moments later we got into a battle of wills over whether or not there is a three inch waste pipe running behind one particular wall of cabinents. She was convinced it could not possibly be there, as the cabinents are clearly 24 inches from the wall, as depicted in the photos. We said, but there is a waste pipe that comes from the bathroom above and it exits the house on the other side of the kitchen, trust us, the pipe runs *behind* the cabinents. We've seen it, we know it exists. No, you're wrong, it can't possibly be there. (Fact: cabinents are 27 inches from the wall. 24 inch standard cabinent bases, with 3 inch gap... so much for the "photos").

This was much like when DC was convinced that I just *had* to have at least 18 inches of countertop on either side of my existing cooktop. I said, nope, I have not more than 12 inches. She whips out the photos and proceeds to tell me that I have no concept of space.

I went home, just to prove she was wrong and measured... I have 12 inches of countertop on the left side and 15 inches on the right side (however, that fifteen inches is taken up with a utensil bucket, kitchenaid artisan stand mixer and a 3 piece set of Emile Henry bowls so actual usable space is about 4 square inches.

Anyway. DC is then telling us that we don't want marble, it stains. AND, when we told her that we wanted to move the fridge from one wall to another she insisted it was impossible to do so. We also noted that we didn't want any wall cabinents in between our two windows, instead preferring a flat screen tv. DC actually said that she would "compromise" with us and let us have the TV instead of the wall cabinents, but only if we keep the fridge where she had originally intended it.

It took every fiber of my being to keep from asking her just how much of this remodel she intends to pay for....

So, that's how its been so far. We have yet another appointment this Friday wherein I'll have to break it to her that *YES* I do want to move my sink to beneath the second window, despite the fact that DC claims that "no one really looks out the window when they're using the sink." I beg to differ, when your kitchen is effectively in a hole and the window is at ground level, you'll notice you do tend to look out it. AND I'll also get to try and convince her that a) we don't want undercabinent garbage facilities and b) we are the only people in the developed world that do not use a microwave. Wish us luck.

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

Cut your losses and give this chick the heave ho. It's your kitchen and you're paying for it. If you want to paint it polka-dotted and install a jacuzzi in the center, she should work with you on implementing your ideas. For all of her "expertise" she kind of sounds like an idiot. Besides being a complete jerk, she'll probably misjudge dimensions, and you'll end up with a refrigerator that doesn't fit into its cubby.