December 2, 2009

To the victor go the ... design decisions?

Today is December 2nd. I think. Yes, according to my computer it's the 2nd. Whew, for a moment I thought I lost a day there. Anyway, since our self imposed, not-quite-strictly-followed month of home improvement time out is officially over, we are back to the grind. And to be completely honest, we got back to it over Thanksgiving. And really, we never totally stopped because, well, we're spastic, we can't help it. As Will often says, I'm a slave driver. But more about that in a bit.

Last week Will made a list of things that MUST BE DONE before Christmas. My parents and brother are coming for Christmas (hi Mom and Dad!) and although I know THEY wouldn't expect things like, say all the lily bulbs planted or the ceiling medallion painted, we work best on a deadline. There was some jockeying with the list (Will, I don't think we REALLY need to get the windowseats built in the bedroom, Yes we do, but we don't need to have a credenza/craft storage center bought and organized int eh dining room Gillian) and there is no way we will get all the things done, especially since we keep adding to it, but it helps to have a goal.

Two of the big items on the list were a hood over the stove (Thanksgiving day had more than one smoke alarm incident due to a lack of ventilation and something on every burner cooking away) and a pantry. Why is a pantry suddenly so important. Well, I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell Will I bragged.

I won


Oh, sorry, what did I win?

I won the upper cabinet battle.

When we designed this kitchen in our heads, it was totally unlike what we have had before. Usually we are 1920's period kitchen (minus the cool stove but only because Will wont let me have one- inefficient- bah!) type of people. Crystal knobs, pastel cottegey doors, old fashioned taps, the whole nine yards. And I will fully admit that's been a me thing. I LOVE old houses. I LOVE them. I don't care about drafts and creaky floors and glass china cabinets that barely open. I love them. And my poor architect husband hasn't been able to convince me to go modern in our whole lives together. Because we have almost always lived in 1920's houses (except for that 1700's building we lived in in Dublin, but we didn't own that so we couldn't remodel, and it had weird purple cabinets anyway, where are you going to go from there?), my love affair with the old has seemed logical.

When we first looked at this house my thought was to go old, make it look like a bungalow. Then Will started showing me photos of more modern looks, including one from a crazy blue industrial kitchen that I fell madly in love with. Suddenly, out the door went the old fashioned ideas. Including the idea of upper cabinets. Open Shelving! That's what I wanted! (Will, by the way, remains amazed since I normally like to shove things away where I don't have to think about them, because if I think about them, I have to organize them. I keep telling him I'm just maturing in my architectural thoughts, it sounds plausible)

And so began the battle over the upper cabinets. None! I said. At least some! Will argued. No NONE! I battled back. Where will we put our food? Will asked. The island, the basement, who cares, just NO UPPER CABINETS! Logic was with Will. I know that. The poor (very tall) man has been bending over to fish food out of two tiny little cupboards in the island. I could feel my resistance giving way and then, then, I got a brilliant idea (Does that sound snotty? Maybe brilliant is going to far, at least good though) The bathroom off the kitchen has at least a foot of dead space between the door and the wall. Too narrow for much to go there other than a shelf, and since it's not our main bathroom, we don't really need any shelves there. So at present, it has a little potty and nothing else. And that wall adjoins the kitchen, right where a pantry should go. Bust out the wall (I make it sound so simple!) put in a pantry, good to go, no need for pesky upper cabinets. And without upper cabinets, we could get a nice big hood. Win-win.

It took a little convincing, but the idea of a big pantry space rather than a few more measly cabinets won him over. Good thing he's such a good sport. He is the architect, after all. Now I better make darn sure he gets the garage he's been wanting. Tit for tat, right?

So all of that is to say that we now have a newly tiled wall (our Thanksgiving project) and an almost all the way up hood. We had to pull out a few more of our newly in place tiles that expected. Mostly because we were impatient and didn't wait for the hood to arrive to put the tile in, but you know, it only took a few tries, and a few (or ten) holes in the wall to find the right spot for the vent to vent, the electricity to electrify and the hood to hang. I'll put up another picture when it is truly done. Will called halt at one last night (this morning) when we finally got the electrical in, I was all for carrying on (hence the slave driver comment) but am hoping that tonight or tomorrow we will be finished because there is a very cool "pantry" sitting in my dining room at this very minute just waiting to be installed. And I cant wait.

Man, see what happens when I skip writing on a week day? I get all crazy wordy!