Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Kitchen Files: Choices

Kitchens and bathrooms have always been my most favourtist parts of houses, so how lucky for me that I married a plumber. (I knew there was something else drawing me to him other than his animal magnetism hehe) So, since the kitchen in this house should be taken out back and put to death by firing squad, I (we) get to completely overhaul it. While looking for houses I would always check the cupboards in the kitchen, to see if we would be able to reuse them…there’s a lot you can do with the look of a kitchen by simply painting or staining the cabinets, and that’s what I was hoping for in the houses we looked for. Because we were looking for houses that were needed  a lot of work, (meaning a lot of time & money) re-doing all the cabinetry wasn’t top of my priority list, but there isn’t really a hope in hell we will be able to use the cabinets from this darling kitchen in our new one. Since the current kitchen space is SOO small – it’s a 6 x 5.5 set up –  we’re planning on takin’ er out and using more of the large 10 x 20 space. But the main reason we can’t re-use the cabinets ourselves, is they are only 33” tall!!! Eegads! Normal cabinet height is around 35/36”, and considering Jase and I want to make them higher, at around 36-38” there is no hope in hell we’d be able to use them…well without having to build a sizeable extra drawer for under them. So we’ve decided to go with everything brand new. I guess our motto is “go new, or go home” with this project. We are trying to keep the whole project within a modest (for a kitchen) budget. Which may be hard since we want things like cork flooring 

that we haven’t been able to find in our research for less than $5/sq ft, or the apron front sink 
(that I refuse to let go of) which average around $1,400…or how about the double drawer dishwasher that we have both recently fallen in love with 
(even though any dishwasher would be a HUGE upgrade for our hands – we’ve decided to shoot for the stars). So we’re going to be calling in every favour in the book to keep ourselves within (and let’s just be honest – well under) budget.

Which is where being married to a plumber comes in handy! He brings home presents like THESE! 

He sent me a text while I was at work that said, “I grabbed as many flyers as I could carry” and considering he has substantial hands, I was super excited. Does my husband love me or what!? It does not make me pathetic that I liked these flyers more Paula Dean likes Krispy Kream bacon double cheeseburgers! It makes me a totally sane, normal woman…albeit a woman who gets more excited over sinks & faucets, than purses and shoes. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I bathed in these things. Now, let me tell you why I was so excited about them…it wasn’t just their aprony goodness, it was the fact that they were all options for us at Jason’s wholesaler price…which means we’d be saving an average of $600/700 on whichever one we choose! (I know that even though we're saving $600/700, the sink is still costing $700, which is an expensive sink. However, it is something I really want, and since we're doing this thing from scratch, I'm not going to settle. This is the kitchen we're going to have to live with for at least 10 years, so I want it to be perfect from the beginning.)
The only “downside” is that it has a four week lead time, but considering we have at least a month to do the kitchen reno that doesn’t really seem like a problem to me. I count this as the first small victory in the “go new, or go home” kitchen challenge.

The second, even better than a  Charlie Sheen "winning" moment - because we were actually winning - was when I found a place online to order our cork flooring from, for CONSIDERABLY less than retail prices! AND they sent free samples, woot woot! Gotta love free samples. So our samples came, and we narrowed it down to two choices.

First is Black Beach, which is a glue down tile, and more of a solid brown is much lighter than this picture depicts. It is only $1.99/sq.ft.

Second is Gemwood, which is a floating floor, and very similar to black beach, with some darker swirly, textural things thrown in there. (This picture is a bit truer to actual colour. It's a bit more, at $3.95/sq.ft
  While we both agreed that we liked these two choices the best, (our of our 4 samples) we disagreed over which one is best. Jason likes the black beach, while I like the Gemwood. Jason can't quantify why he likes his better, but I like the Gemwood better because it has a bit more visually going on, is a bit more textural, and is more "plank-like" as opposed to just longer tiles. Although I do like the price of the other one better. Neither of us are so strongly drawn to either one that we "have to have it", so we'll probably just end up tossing a coin haha.

We went to an auction on the weekend to see about buying some cabinets for cheap, cheap...but we weren't really struck with anything. So we didn't get any cabinets (again, I'm not willing to settle, just to save a few hundred dollars, if it was more than $500 we would've saved, then I probably would've got them) We were however smitten with some engineered hardwood floor. 

It is Armstrong flooring, and generally retails for a minimum of $6.95/sq.ft. and we got it for....wait for it...ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS!!! That's right, we bid and got it for $1.50/sq.ft. We got 300sq.ft. of it, and plan to use it in the dining room, and possibly the laundry room downstairs. It's called "antique hickory natural" and it is antiquey looking, with a some-what distressed look. We love it. We love it even more because we saved a boat load, and are now able to do two floors for the price of one!

Now if only we could settle the cabinet debate, we'd be all set to get things started...but we're on a pretty good roll so far.

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