My “second” life began about ten years ago, when I got to know a friend from my past in an entirely new light. For that reason, it only seemed natural that after we dated, courted, married, rented for awhile in Marin County and then purchased a home in majestic Folsom, CA, our lives would change both course and setting. So it will be for the kitchen we are about to create from scratch.
I have come to realize from the onset of this project that a major remodel begins with familiarity, attraction, and respect, just like a relationship. It took us time to become familiar with our new lives in this house, as we formed an appreciation for the space we are about to transform and fostered a respect for one another’s tastes. Now we are about to dive into territory that often wreaks havoc with a lot of couples’ relationships.
Why such drama? Because what is in the offing isn’t a cosmetic treatment to a 1996 kitchen that screams “outdated” from every angle. It’s our own, very personal reality show, where decisions will have to be made that we’ll be doomed or thrilled to live with for another 15-20 years. And since we are no spring chickens, this is the last kitchen remodel we will probably ever do in our lifetimes, which makes the “resale” aspect of it for the next generation important as well.
Having spent most of my career writing about real estate and construction for newspapers, magazines and web sites, I have a dangerous knowledge of what is about to ensue. I’ve thrown countless articles and blogs on design, structure, building materials, appliances, and returns on investment out there for all to digest all surmising I might someday be considered an expert on these topics. What I didn’t anticipate, however, is how difficult it might be to make decisions about all these things in real life and in real time with another person.
George and I are both concerned with aesthetics, his being more traditional and mine being more contemporary. And while we both can cook, he is the master chef while I happily take “B” actor status. So we decided to compromise. George will get choose the appliances and I will have more input on how it will all look from afar. So far, so good.
But what will it be like when we finally do all the legwork and I have to pack up box after box of dishes, pots and pans, move the fridge out to the garage until it is replaced by a sleeker working model, and the area that used to be my kitchen is laid waste? Will we have regrets and make changes along the way we could not envision right now? God, I hope not. But if you follow my blogs, you’ll be the fly on the wall, just as I am when watching an HGTV remodeling reality show, except there will be no annoying commercials.
So will you come along for the ride? I can’t promise the road will be a smooth one, but I can promise you’ll get a “piece of my mind” as we travel this path to my kitchen Valhalla. And once it’s done, don’t be surprised if you see a picture of me setting up a cot next to my new kitchen island so I can wake up to my gleaming new dream-come-true.
Just don’t draw up the commitment papers, please.