Wednesday, November 08, 2006

renovation envy

Everyone around me is renovating. Two of my many siblings, friends galore, and across the courtyard, the young childless couple just put in a new kitchen. And me? When I'm not asking my thirteen year old nephew to slow down and really describe the wedgewood blue finish on his mommy's new island cabinets, I'm spying on the neighbors' kitchen with my binoculars in the dark like a peeping Tom, muttering, "why, when you've done a complete renovation, would you bother with laminate countertops when you could have used stone and gotten an undermount sink? Are you insane?"

These usually quiet and courteous people across the way painted their walls mustardy yellow, replaced the old appliances with stainless steel (how 2005!), got a tile backsplash, halogen lighting, and god knows what else that I can't see because I don't have X-ray vision, and despite my nit-picking, it looks so good.

As Stella devours more solid food every day, Bryan and I have been talking about fixing up our own kitchen, since in addition to needing a better layout for more seating (we are blessed with an eat-in kitchen), the former occupants renovated before they moved with the cheapest and often ugliest materials they could find (faux marble laminate, anyone?) and the place is getting that depressing rickety look and I feel depressing and rickety looking at it every day, and somehow our country, myself included, has gotten it into our brains that we need state-of-the-art luxury in every corner of our homes.

So last night we made a list. Well I made a list, but I was very inspired because Bryan's been actually initiating some of these renovation conversations, which is practically like foreplay, at least I think it would be if I remembered what sex was, and so I gleefully started jotting down of the potential cost of redoing our own kitchen, using the Ikea catalog as a reference point.

Like any good American consumer-sheep-mother-woman I am salivating for a kitchen update. It doesn't matter that I prefer washing the dishes over cooking most nights, but after figuring on at least twenty grand, is it really worth it? Will an aqua glass brick tile backsplash cure my aching back? Will a carerra marble countertop keep me smiling when the kids keep us up all night coughing and nursing and demanding sippy cups of water? Will tearing up the stained linoleum floor and refinishing the original pine underneath make my thighs thinner? Will new solid wood cabinets with brushed steel hardware relax me so much that I laugh whenever I hear Lulu retching under the bed? And will a brand new side by side refrigerator make this place any bigger?

Not exactly, but we will be able to store more frozen foods, and seating for four could get us all eating at the table together, at the same time. So maybe it is worth it? I don't know.


K. said...

Faux marble laminate!?!? I am disturbed that such a thing exists. I feel for you. Such a horrible thing to live with. I thought that stuff left with the 70's.

Amelia Plum said...

Looks like Ry just enjoyed a very healthy and messy meal, priceless pic.
You have to find a way to invite yourself over to the courteous couple's house and see the renovations up close. Your dream kitchen sounds really nice, it won't change your world but with your puny monthly maintenance fee, I say go for it! You'll make the money back on the renovation as long as you do quality and do it tastefully, which you would do on both counts. Also, a new frig can help save money, probably not $20,000, but if it's energy efficient and the size lets you store food better, it's a good thing. At least that would be my rationalization.

Knittykim said...

in an effort to help you "improve your life", and to save you later agony, do NOT get a side by side. I can not fit anything large on on a large plate/platter. in the fridge. It is not wide enough~

I am coveting MY neighbors freezer-on-bottom affair, and one will be mine before too long.

hubby said...

OR...maybe we can just take out the table and chairs and eat on the delightfully easy-to-clean linoleum floor!

but i do like that freezer on the bottom deal. that sounds nice. i've never been a side by side fan