Wednesday, September 13, 2006

minor details

As with most household projects, at least in my household, the work on the kitchen is down to the small details, and it's taking a while to get around to doing them. Which explains why you haven't had so many breathless reports of Every. Inch. Of progress lately.

We still need to replace the flooring (a not-so-small detail). We've decided what we want to do, it's just a question of prioritizing it and getting it done. Getting this far seems to have taken some of the steam out of my remodel engine; I'm still really enjoying looking at my "new" kitchen so I'm not feeling pressure to take care of the floor, which, frankly, looks even uglier with all the bright newness around. But in a way, I want to take this in stages so I can let all the excitement of one new thing begin to dim a little, and then introduce another new thing and get the buzz all over again!

One thing that we did take care of right away ... oh, I guess I really should stop saying "we." It leaves you under the impression that The Huz has had one single thing to do with any of this. I'll tell you what his role has been: The Veto King. I've presented my ideas to him in case he wanted to veto any of them. To date, I'm happy to report, there's only one thing he's vetoed: painting the cabinetry. He just couldn't bear the idea of covering up all that flame spruce with paint. And while I happen to not think that flame spruce is anything special, I can kind of understand where he's coming from. So, the cabinets stay spruce-d. I can live with that.

Other than that, he's been good with all my choices, and other than one trip to look at the granite before we purchased it, he's just been sitting back and saying, "Uh-huh" and "that looks real nice, honey." Which illustrates why we get along so well. I'm one of those "Isn't this FABULOUS??" types, and he's one of the "It's real nice" types. So we even each other out.

Anyway, one choice that I did make early on was to replace the cabinet knobs. If you look back at this post you'll see our previous knobs matched the wood of the cabinets. I wanted something that would echo the color of the countertops. So I went to Blodgett's Sash & Door in Lebanon, New Hampshire, a little store that has the most incredible selection of knobs, among other things. I thought I had raved about them in a previous post, but I can't find it to point you to it.

I had in mind to get black ceramic knobs, so I looked through a whole roomful of knobs and didn't find the exact thing, but I did find lots of knobs that would do, including some that are made from the same granite as our countertops (Amazon Uba Tuba). So I took a list to the counter and asked for pricing.

The pricing process took a while as the guy had to look them up in paper manufacturer's catalogs --- didn't know people did that any more! --- so I wandered around some. There's lots of fun stuff to look at in this store. And lo and behold, I came across a few more spots where they had tucked in some knob displays and voila! There they were! So I took the product numbers back to the counter and added them to the list. They were just what I wanted.

And friends, are you ready for this?

They were the cheapest option.

No way. When's the last time you ever picked the cheapest option for anything?

I have about 40 knobs in my kitchen. The Uba Tuba knobs were about $40 each. Do the math. No, never mind, allow me. $1600 for cabinet knobs.

My ceramic ones were $1.95, no shipping charge. Less than $80. Wa-HOO!! And don't they look nice? If you don't think so, this is the time to practice what your mother taught you about not saying anything if you can't say anything nice. In case you were wondering.

The other thing we did that I haven't shown you is get new lights installed over the kitchen sink. These are actually track lights, with the track installed in the ceiling of the cabinet above the sink, which is largely unusable anyway unless you're 6 feet tall. On my tip-toes I can get stuff out of there, but it's a stretch. So the cords hang down from the track right through the cabinet. Works really well, actually. Clever, clever contractors.

Wait! No! It was The Huz who thought of that trick! How quickly we forget. Good thing he never reads my blog. :o)

So, on the list of to-do's: pick out a paint color for the walls (they're only primed), finish installing all those knobs, perhaps paint a black strip along the very top of the upper cabinets, and do the flooring. Oh, and I need to have my handyman install a thin strip of wood in front of the undercabinet lights, which show a little bit too much when they're on. And oh! Big one that I really have to get to soon ... we want to put a full-height piece of granite under the window behind the sink. How quickly we forget, indeed! Sheesh!

Anyone want to offer any suggestions for the color of the walls? Recalling that this little kitchen is a little bit cave-like, so I don't want to do deep colors like brick red or hunter green ... anyone feeling inspired? I have a couple of ideas, but they're preliminary and I won't tip my hand just yet.


Lynne said...

I'm so impressed! That kitchen looks really beautiful!

As for colors, I don't have any suggestions but I can't wait to see what you pick. I'm sure there are all kinds of color schemes that will look fabulous with all the choices you've made.

Kalyn said...

I do think your kitchen is turning out great!! It's so fun having a new kitchen. I'm happy for you.