Usually a blog is all about sharing but I’ve purposely avoided burdening you with the Great Obsession of the last few months, my kitchen remodel. As you can imagine, it’s not the most scintillating topic on earth, even for the person currently experiencing it. Not to mention, it is hellish in nearly every aspect. Let’s put it this way, my contractor gave me seven things to choose (appliances, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, floor, fixtures, and I totally forgot the seventh one… cabinet hardware?) and I’m on 1.5. That is to say, I have 3/4 of the appliances chosen and am 75% sure of my cabinet decision. Some people would say that’s not even one thing but I try to be optimistic.
But here’s something most people, home-owning people, try not to think about and I usually do too, because my home is my castle. It’s kind of like the tiny castles in the landscaped fish tanks but still. Anyway, we all tend to forget that someone lived in our homes before us. I know, it’s horrifying. I spent a lot less on the jeans I’m wearing and I assume no one wore those before. I live with the decisions of the previous owners of my apartment in just about every way. The only change I made was to paint the bedroom (it was wedgewood blue and I felt like I was living in a Delft teacup). I painted it myself; I learned how from Trading Spaces. Seriously! If those idiots could do it, I knew I could. But the rest was just fine and that’s why the previous owners (we’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. Irritating Lawyers) decorated that way (to sell) and why I bought it (not much to change, nothing offensive). It’s done in classic, neutral style. There are thoughtful touches. There are vast built-ins and California closets. There is a jacuzzi bath. There are pewter light fixtures. It’s nothing I would have chosen yet pleases me immensely. How is that possible? Because I have the inability to make any kind of decorating decision. Did I mention? The bedroom color took me four months to decide on. God bless those people for making all those decisions so I wouldn’t have to. (I’m aware I ended the last two sentences grammatically incorrectly, sue me, but I’m going somewhere with this, bear with me).
The only thing they didn’t renovate-to-sell was the kitchen. The real estate agent told me helpfully that they had decided to go to Greece instead. What did I get out of that, I ask you? Sure, it probably cost me less but someone would have made a decision. I mean, I get it. If the kitchen is in as sorry a state as mine is (and it’s primitive…if I told you those cookies you bought at the last bake sale came out of a kitchen with a 20″ oven and no base cabinets you’d laugh and laugh), you probably figure, “let the buyer gut the whole thing and do it in her taste.” Except I spent all my money on the apartment, so I couldn’t. But now I can! Sadly, it involves decorating decision making. Oops.
Here is the issue. I will be taking down a wall. The kitchen will now enter the dining room which is one with the living room. They are cream. I want a white kitchen, though. White and cream do not match, unless you are a snowflake and a dirty snowflake. So I thought maybe off-white. The cabinet guy gave me four samples of varying shades to try but I don’t really trust myself. Since I can’t bring him or the kitchen store lady into my apartment (except by kidnapping, which I’ve considered), I figured I would find the paint can and maybe it would have the number or the name of the color on my walls. This is where I began to feel like an archaeologist. Mr. and Mrs. Irritating Lawyers left all the paint cans and some other stuff, like samples of the kitchen floor, in one cabinet above the fridge (they were short, I guess that was like a black hole for them). So I opened it for the first time (in over six years!). They were labeled! I assume by the painters, unless they are two attorneys who spell foyer as “foiler” and cabinet as “cabernet.” It felt a bit weird to look at stuff that wasn’t put there by me, like a time capsule. Unfortunately, the names of the colors are not on the outside and the paint inside has turned a weird rusty hue. So it was a non-starter. But strange nonetheless. Like spelunking in my own cabernets.