(*apologies to Sue Grafton)
Ro: The plan was to give myself a few weeks off. To reconnect with friends and family that I had alienated in the last six self-absorbed months. It lasted about three days. Then I got the bright idea to do a mini-renovation in my kitchen. Nothing major. Nothing structural - not a facelift, just a little botox. Dream on.
In the same way that I haven't quite taken the kool-aid on HDTV, the world of Sub-Zero fridges, pro-style ovens and trendy countertops escapes me. I've done more research on countertops recently than I've done on book three. I don't even know what half of this stuff is, but I'm beginning to feel countertop envy. I have (shudder) a tile countertop. When I revealed that to a prospective contractor over the phone yesterday - there was a little pause - as if I'd said something so pitiful he didn't quite know how to respond. Oh, I'm so sorry - I know a support group.
Anyone who's been to my home knows I'm just as likely to have a $5 lamp from Goodwill as a $15,000 oriental carpet (which my dog routinely barfs on.) I'm an equal opportunity shopper. But do I really need a $20,000 countertop? Does anyone? Is it honed by Vestals?
Two fresh-faced guys in khaki pants and Polo shirts showed up today (at different times) to explain it to me. Now I have a headache. I'm supposed to pick out my own stone, too. Who am I? Michelangelo? Can't I just say, give me the gray stuff?Apparently not. This reminds me of my wedding. When the caterer asked me if I wanted sprigs of rosemary to tie around the napkins.
HALLIE: For a very short while, I was watching that show where people shop for houses and talk about how they're going to make them over, and it was making me crazy about the kitchen which we redid when we bought our house in the early '80s. My countertop is Formica, the color of those green highway signs... I still love it, but suddenly I'm thinking (provide scary music) **MARBLE**. Which of course leads to thoughts of light pine cabinets. Which leads to lots of money and lots of stuff I simply CAN live without. When we bought our house it had no kitchen counters at all--really, none. And a cast-iron sink that hung over a radiator. And a few WW II-era pink metal Sears cabinets. We loved the house because no one had spent a gazillion dollars on fixtures that weren't our taste.
I'm just back from BEA and heard Thomas Friedman give the keynote speech on his new book, "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" Tough messages for tough times. I wish "fixing" the world were as easy as fixing the kitchen with new countertops.
HANK: Did you use the rosemary? We should blog about weddings someday.Anyway. Kitchens. (Although we should probably talk about Thomas Friedman.) We got Corian a few years ago. I decided (scary music) that granite was, cold. I mean, it would feel cold to the touch.
So the Corian person came with samples. A thousand million samples. White, I said, gimme white. White with specks. (At the same time I was thinking, hmm, maybe black with specks. But we were trying to lighten up the place so I figured black wasn't the best answer.) It looks great. And years later, perfectly new.
But the countertop came with a VIDEO. A VIDEO. I'm supposed to watch a video about countertops?? I didn't. (But I always, in those cases, worry there might be something in the video that says, about halfway through, congratulations! You watched this and now you get a million dollars. Still, probably not, so it's not worth it.)
Digression: we got a GPS. And it came with a DVD that you're supposed to watch to find out how to work it. Hey. Note to sellers: I'm NOT going to watch a dvd instruction book. I'd rather not read an instruction BOOK, if I'm going to not do something.
Anyway. Me? I just want kitchen cabinet doors with glass. But then someone will have to come over and clean the inside of the cabinets. And rearrange the stuff inside.(I do have this idea though: what if I got photos of lovely, you know, pasta and cookies and interestingly gourmet things, and pasted them behind the glass. You know, faux food. It could work!)
Let us know what you decide, Ro!
RO: That's a riot....pictures inside the cabinets of neatly stacked things to camo the messy stuff.
I did not go with the sprigs of rosemary..I thought she was insane. My husband's assistant at the time did my whole wedding ..all I did was buy the dress and show up. I didn't even get my hair done, I went to a basketball game that day. My maid of honor was waiting for me at the Plaza. She was freaking because the game went into overtime. (That was back in the day when the Knicks were still good and actually got into the playoffs.)
I do realize kitchen makeovers are not the hot issue in many parts of the world, and I could build an annex to my library in Tanzania with what it will cost me for this "touch-up." Maybe I'm being influenced by all of these house shows on television...
BTW You will LOVE the GPS. Have you named her yet? (Mine's Tomasina)
ROBERTA: Part of my counter is refinished chestnut, recovered from a barn, then varnished with six coats of marine varnish. Absolutely stunning. Except I won't let anyone chop anywhere near it lest it be marred. So that's a lesson--if it's too nice, it's a little hard to enjoy:).
I was going to suggest weddings last week as I celebrated my 16th anniversary. We'll do it soon...after we straighten out the world...
RO: Can we start with my kitchen?