Blog » Kathy's Kitchen Makeover: Decision Time
We have the grand plan. Now we just have to find a whole crew of people to help us execute it.
We selected Sam Barrow of Lane Bradford Building Company to be our contractor. We picked Sam because he came highly recommended by our designer, Rebecca Pace, and because I just happened to know most of the people on his list of satisfied customers. And he is a nice guy — never underestimate this quality in a contractor. If he is going to be showing up at your house while you are in your pajamas, it just better be someone you actually like.
Picking Sam was easy compared to making all of the little decisions I was now required to make: Backsplash. Countertops. Cabinets. Flooring. Sink. Faucet. New Appliances.
We started with the backsplash. I knew I wanted some sort of natural stone. So I drove over to the tile shop and found exactly what I wanted — a slate mixture that would look cool with the brick and slate in the rest of our house. I also picked out an Italian limestone countertop. All in about and hour and a half. Done.
Well, there are many good reasons I married my engineer husband, Steve. One of them is that he really thinks everything through. And then some. So, his research revealed that the limestone might not be a great choice for a kitchen countertop. And how were we ever going to clean the splashes from the stove off of the slate backsplash? OK. Back to square one. Many discouraging trips to countless tile stores and three months later, Steve solved the problem. Let’s put a stainless steel backsplash behind the stove for easy cleaning, and use slate on the rest of the kitchen. Bingo. We then found a piece of leathered gray granite that is uniform in color and had the feel I was looking for.
As a lawyer, I have done some multi-million-dollar transactions. Let me tell you, that was a walk in the park compared to picking out new appliances. Every store has its own deals and rebates. Every salesperson has their own favorite brand — and this may or nor may not coincide with what Consumer Reports has to say about that brand. Every appliance has so many bells and whistles that I am afraid I am going to have to keep my son from attending college just so he can stay home and work the appliances for me. Shopping on-line was not helpful either. That was really scary with all of the specials and rebates and shipping charges. Finally, said engineer husband did a spreadsheet of the choices and costs. Ultimately, we purchased from two local stores — Garner TV and Appliance and Appliance World. Customer service and an actual human to help mean something to me.
I have always wanted a gas stove, but we don’t have a gas line at the house. Induction has a lot of the same properties as gas, and I really thought long and hard about this as an alternative. But, they are way more expensive and I would have to buy almost all new pots and pans. This seemed so wasteful to me that in the end I just could not justify it. (I will be having college bills to pay after all). And do I really care if my water boils in one minute instead of three? While I like to cook, I am no Julia Child. I have also always had double ovens, but there is no room in the new kitchen for that. So, I opted for a fancy convection microwave and a warming drawer. That should get me through most holidays.
Cabinet selection has been a breeze compared to appliances. This is because Sam-the-Man contractor found Stephan Van Staveven of Xylem, Inc. specifically for our job. Xylem specializes in contemporary cabinets. They really are that different than more-traditional style cabinets. Stephan magically knew exactly what I wanted — often before I did!
Below is a picture of the samples of the cabinets, backsplash, paint and countertop we selected.
Next up: Moving out and demolition.