Kitchen & Bath Remodels
So you’re finally ready to pull the trigger and update that tired-looking kitchen or bathroom. If you’re like me, you’ve spent months on Pinterest and pinned loads of design ideas to your designated boards. Now comes the time to find skilled people to bring your vision to reality. (I wish I was a DIYer, but I don’t have the know-how, time, or talent.)
Years ago, when I first ventured into the land of remodeling, I had a tight budget. In an effort to save money, I found and hired: the plumber, the electrician, the flooring, tile, and counter people. I survived the experience, though deeply battered, and promised I’d never put myself in that position again. (I’ve kept that promise.)
Trying to get the artisans to my house at the agreed upon times was like herding kittens with a feather duster. On some levels it was entertaining, while on others, frustrating. The constant delays and shifting of schedules brought on fits of heart palpitations and escalated blood pressure. I considered keeping an EMT on standby.
Seven years ago I bought a home, knowing the kitchen and bathrooms would need to be redone. Over time I’ve tackled those projects. To avoid the unpleasantness I’d suffered before, I researched companies that had at least two decades of experience, and had remodeled countless kitchens and bathrooms. I wanted a reliable company with long-term employees, and all trades under one roof.
After an exhausting search, I decided on Kitchen Mart, a company with forty years of experience. They had a good reputation, so I signed on the dotted line.
Kitchen Mart gave me an estimated start date, and as demolition drew near, I got a color-coded calendar that showed when each crew would begin and end work. Kitchen Mart’s attention to detail and organization was impressive. I was never disappointed. (I’ll keep comments focused to the kitchen remodel, but the bathrooms were completed in similar fashion.)
The not so fun part of the process was emptying the kitchen cabinets. To combat stress, I worked a little each day, and completed my mission in a week’s time. Plates, pots, and cooking gadgets were boxed and stored in the living room. The upside to removing everything from the cupboards was that I decluttered, and Good Will received all unused items.
During the reno, I had use of my refrigerator. I created a makeshift kitchen on top of the dining room table. It held a coffee maker, a toaster, and a tiny cheap microwave. The mini galley saw me through the two and a half weeks of construction. (I couldn’t eat out every meal!) I used paper plates as much as possible; I loathed washing dishes in the bathroom sink.
The segment of the project I enjoyed most was picking out the pretties to go into the kitchen. Kitchen Mart had given me several supplier lists; my first stop was to a plumbing company to pick out the sink and faucet.
At first I was overwhelmed by the number of options. Who knew there could be so many faucets vying for my attention? I got busy and started pacing up and down the aisle, eyes glued to the elegant water devices. Splashed across a large wall were finishes of all kinds: stainless steel, white, chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and nickel. My target was stainless steel.
I kept coming back to one faucet that had a graceful curve, like the neck of a swan. The more I looked, the more I felt it belonged in my kitchen. I grabbed it, and purchased a Blanco undermount sink. I chose a white finish for a clean look. (Whatever you select, make sure it “tickles your fancy,” and you feel like you can’t live without it. That’s what I want to wake up to each morning––things I love.)
My next stop was to find a backsplash. When I walked into the tile store, I was greeted by a salesperson. I smiled and said, “I’d like to see some backsplash.”
The woman’s expression changed to disappointment. “The white subway tile is on the back wall.” She barely lifted an arm to point.
“I don’t want subway tile.” I said, frustrated. “I’m looking for something with bling.”
The woman’s brows raised, and with renewed interest she gestured for me to follow. I was led to an area full of unique and colorful tiles. Now this was what I had in mind.
At this juncture, I must tell you about a mistake I made, so you can dodge it. I’d already selected a gray countertop, but I neglected to bring the sample with me. (This error created more work for myself.) Once I’d found a beautiful multi-hued backsplash that I couldn’t live without, I had no idea if it would blend with my counters. Luckily, the tile lady furnished me with gray quartz samples, and I found one that looked stunning alongside the backsplash.
I traipsed back to Kitchen Mart and put the sample of my backsplash next to the quartz countertop I’d chosen. (That act saved so much money.) When I held the two products together, it turned my stomach. They clashed. In that instant, I learned not all “grays” were alike. Some were tinged blue while others were tinged brown. It was necessary to change my countertop order to the gray quartz sample I’d discovered at the tile store. (Remember – always travel with your floor, paint, tile, cabinet, and countertop samples.)
Thanks to Pinterest, I already knew what style and color scheme I wanted for my new kitchen. The brown oak cabinets would be refaced with a bright white Shaker door front. (I’d lived in a cave long enough.) Against the white, the black handles and knobs I’d purchased would pop.
I envisioned a different look for the kitchen island. I chose a light gray Shaker for the cabinets, and Corian’s White Onyx quartz topped the island. The white and gray cabinets and countertops, along with the unique backsplash, blended in perfect harmony and made my heart sing.
The Kitchen Mart employees were professional and friendly. I glowed when several men told me that my designer had done a wonderful job picking out the finishes. I thanked them, and confessed that I’d created the look myself.
I love my kitchen. The renovation brought me more happiness than I’d imagined. So much of life happens in a kitchen. Meals are cooked, stories get told, tears are spilled, and homework gets done. Without knowing it, foil-wrapped memories get stored in cupboards, only to be discovered later and savored. Kitchens become hallowed ground.
May you create a sacred space that brings you nothing but joy!
Written By Erin G. Burrell
Author Of – That’s Why You’re Here