Saturday, April 17, 2010
My New Kitchen, Under Way at Last
Finally, after a half-year delay, we're moving on with our kitchen renovation.
Way back in September, I went to the stone yard with The Hubby, and we picked out this granite for the kitchen island. The contractor likes it, too:
(Those are The Hubby Toes in sandals. September is HOT in Los Angeles! And a stone yard, with all the concrete and slabs of granite and marble is HOT HOT HOT!)
Anyhow, this granite is called "Blue Pearl," and it has lovely glints of bluish-grayish-silver in it. This is the island it will cover. Some day soon. Right now, it looks like this (with the weekend's mess all over):
We picked this granite (can't remember its name) for the remainder of the counter tops:
And then, after picking out the granite last fall, the whole project went into hibernation. I don't know exactly why: I had pumpkins to carve? Holiday cookies to decorate? Valentine chocolates to consume?
It took a visit from lovely Daughter #1 in March to get me back on track. She stood in the kitchen (the one she learned to bake in a decade earlier) and looked around. "What are you waiting for, Mom?," she asked. "What's the worst that could happen if you just got started?"
I could pick a granite and find, upon installation, that I hate it. I could choose a sink only to find, upon washing dishes in it, that it's not big enough after all. I could....
She pointed out, sweetly but firmly, that I've never made a huge design mistake yet. Little ones, yeah, the kind you stop seeing after a while. Like when the decorative brackets on the front porch pillars went in upside down. They looked Horribly Wrong for oh, a week:
And then we ceased to notice them at all, and went on to the business of enjoying afternoon Margaritas on the porch.
Time to put on my Big Girl Pants and make some decisions, buy some stuff, commit to the kitchen project.
A month later, we've picked out the new stove top, sink, trash compactor, and wine cooler. We've decided where to paint and where to tile. We had a first meeting with the contractor and his cabinet maker. They listened to all the changes we want to the island (delete the prep sink nobody ever uses, swap the electric range for gas, paint the stained cabinets, etc.). Their verdict: The island isn't salvageable; tear it out and build a new one from the floor up.
But they're right. Keeping the island and trying to make all these changes would be more expensive than just starting over.
And because our contractor is a bit of an artist and a gentleman, we listened when he said he thought our choice of granite for the counter tops was a tad...boring. Outdated. People were installing that granite 15 years ago, he explained. For a few dollars more per square foot, he recommends CaesarStone, an engineered composite of crushed quartz mixed with polymers, resins and pigment, that's practically indestructible.
Okaaaaaay. Bring on the samples!
The Sample Dude can't show up for a couple of days, so I had a peek at some CaesarStone counter tops online. Nice!:
Ooooh! A rough edge? Verrrrry nice!:
So, now I can't wait for the CaeserStone samples to show up.
In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you to my new stove. Well, this is the floor model; mine is coming in a week or so from the factory:
Five burners, a continuous grid of platform grates that allow you to slide pots and pans around without any bumping or tipping.
The burners have a wider range of heat output than average. They go from fierce enough to quickly sear a roast, to gentle enough to melt chocolate over a direct flame, no water bath or double boiler necessary.
These knobs have a little blue LED that glows whenever a burner is on. So from across the room, even if a burner is on super-low, I can tell if the stove is lit.
This little petunia is going to be my best friend. This is the one that melts chocolate without scorching it, eh-vehyr:
Chocolate bread pudding. Chocolate madeleines. Chocolate pecan pie. I can't wait to get started!