At the Moment

Big Kitchen Plans / Opening a Book Store


I did mention that I have a photo blog now, right? And the GOOD pictures? Are the ones that Kevin took. Because I suck.)

(Here’s the feed to that photo blog, if you’re interested.

We’ve been talking about redoing our kitchen for … well, years. We’ve been watching kitchen renovation shows for … well, years. And we have a pretty good idea of what we want. The only thing stopping us?

It’s freaking expensive to renovate your kitchen!

As in $25,000 to $50,000 dollars expensive!! (Doesn’t that number just make your head spin? It makes my head blow up so much I actually have to push brain matter back into my ears).

So … we have wistfully dreamed of the day we might get rid of our dark 70’s-style cabinets and upgrade our old and ugly appliances.

But that day, my friends, is now.

We have enough money in our savings account that we can pay cash for our renovation AS LONG AS it’s not terribly expensive. As in terribly. So, for kicks and grins, we went to Lowe’s yesterday to salivate over their kitchen displays and to get a general ballpark figure on how much it would cost if we say, ENTERTAIN the thought of someone actually coming in and demolishing our cabinets and rebuilding us some pretty, classy cabinets. (We had been thinking of recovering them before).

So, we sat down with Bill and Bill asked us the dimensions of our kitchen and other various tedious questions and using his magic kitchen software, he put an estimate together for us. And just as he was about to tell us the magic number?

His computer crashed.

Oh no, Mr. Bill! Bill was not happy, to say the least.

So, we left to run some more errands and good ole Bill ran the whole scenario back through his program.

In the meantime, we ran to Harter House to grab some flank steak for fajitas (which were DEE-LISH, by the way, mainly because Kevin cooked them because HELLO? Remember? I only cook things that I can scrape out of a can) and started taking turns on freaking each other out about how much we thought this renovation would cost us. By the time we arrived back at Lowe’s, we had already half written off the whole idea because we were convinced it was going to be way out of our budget.

We sat back down at Bill’s desk and awaited our verdict.

He had printed off various graphs and charts showing us the dimensions of our kitchen and began talking about various options (do we want someone else to do the demo for an extra $300? Oh heck yes, so worth the money for not having to do it ourselves), do we want any special drawers, do we want trim, do we want an arch above our sink … etc.

After answering all of those questions and picturing a slot machine with dollar signs spinning crazily out of control, we waited to hear how much it was going to cost us.

(I got tickled at Kevin because he was literally sweating. He had to grab a brochure and fan himself he was so nervous about the price! HA! Me? I just sat there and told myself that there was no way in Hades I was going to spend $30,000 on ONE room of our house. No. Freaking. Way. So I wasn’t too nervous, I was more resigned to it not happening, quite frankly).

When Bill finally pushed our paperwork across the desk to us with the estimated dollar amount, we stared. And were dismayed. And a glimmer of hope actually burst in my chest like the grand finale at a 4th of July show.

It was less than half of what we were expecting to hear.

And before I could properly absorb that fact, Bill asked us if we wanted to pay $75 to have the guy come out to our house to get exact measurements and Kevin immediately said, “Let’s do it.”

So, we left Lowe’s yesterday seriously considering the possibility of doing this. And by the time the guy came to our house at 9:00 this morning? We decided that it’s a done deal – we’re doing it.

I still can’t believe this is happening. We’ve been talking about doing this for so long that it sort of morphed into this impossible dream – only it’s not so impossible anymore.

Kitchen Plans

Kevin and I decided we wanted a built-in trash bin, that we wanted this wedge door above the cabinets at the sinks were we can store our sponges and dish brushes, that we wanted to put in two glass doors, on either side of the sink, that we wanted two, smaller cabinets above the sink, under the cabinet lighting and a bookcase at the end of our bar to store our cookbooks, a built-in microwave above our range, and quartz counter tops.

Our cabinets will be a little larger than they are now, which means we’ll have to tear out our tile floor to accommodate the different size, but we were going to change the floor anyway – that’s not a big deal.

We’re leaning toward the Hickory spice color along with the Cathedral shaped door panels and the Sapparo counter tops (scroll down and click enlarge to see counter top pattern up close).

The next step is to go back and talk to Bill and iron out the specifics. Once that’s done, we’ll start making appointments and planning on having our kitchen totally demolished. Since Kevin made the counter tops that we’re currently using, the cabinet guy said we should be able to temporarily re-use those until our new counter tops come in (which takes a few weeks! Ack!). In the meantime, we should be able to plug in our stove/microwave and cook meals like usual. I hope so. I would hate to think we would have to eat out every night for weeks until this project is completed. Ugh.

We’re pretty excited about this. We know that it will likely end up costing more than the original estimate, but it still should be well below our “worse” case scenario. I hope.

I’ll be sure to take some before and after pictures and ya’ll can be sure you’ll hear more about the progress as we go along. Remember, our house was built in the 70’s – this renovation is LONG over due, trust me.

I had this hair-brained scheme to sell my books on Amazon. I had been giving them away and Kevin mentioned something about a co-worker buying an Amazon book store from a local gal and that got the wheels to turning. So … the boys and Kevin went up into the attic and pulled out … are you ready for this?!

SEVENTEEN boxes of books!! Seventeen, as in ONE SEVEN. Isn’t that crazy?! That doesn’t even include the THREE boxes I have in the garage AND in my bookcase!!!

Wow. I knew I had a lot of books, but … wow.

However, we discovered that about four of those boxes are old textbooks (why Kevin and I kept our old textbooks from college is beyond me) that we will likely just throw away. I did list about a dozen of them on Amazon, they’re in great shape, but old, so who knows if anyone will want them, but we’ll see if we can’t get some money for them first before tossing them.

So, in the meantime, my desk is surrounded by books:

Books For Sale

I’ve already inputted one box full at this point, I’ll work on getting the rest of them inputted over this next week. If I had to estimate, I’d say I will likely end up with about 800 books in my store.

You can find my store here: KAREN’S BOOK KORNER.

I’m also going to work on making it “pretty.” Hopefully.

So … if you’re in the need of a cheap book, visit my bookstore! You’ll get a good deal, trust me. 😀

Monday Stuff

Monday Mingle: Home is Where the Heart Is

This week’s questions:

1. When going out to breakfast at a restaurant, what do you typically order?

2. What style/type of house is your favorite? What room or accessory must your dream house have?

3. How many houses have you lived in?

Next week’s questions:

Next week’s questions (submitted by Colette from Jamerican Spice – thank you!):
1. Would you accept an invitation to do a survivor show? What would you hate most about being on the show?
2. When/how did you learn to ride a bicycle?
3. What do you want to have accomplished (personally) in your lifetime?