I’ve been talking about renovating my kitchen for years. And I’ve been talking about it on and off for a few months as the renovation is starting to pick up. But then I’ve been silent lately, and I owe you some explanations. A few of you commented on my reader survey that you want to see more frequent blog posts and you want to see this kitchen renovation get going. Believe you me - I do, too!
In summary, I’m slow. I will admit things are going slower than many other renovations. But I think there’s a lot of value in recognizing that renovations don’t happen overnight. It can sometimes feel like they do in the world of blogging and HGTV when we see rooms transform over a matter of days. Which sometimes, they actually do and I’m just as amazed as you all are. But even my One Room Challenge makeovers all involved months and months of planning and prep work before I ever shared them with you. I did the heavy lifting during those six weeks, but I planned for ages beforehand.
Anyway, I thought for the sake of giving you a kitchen update and telling you how I (slowly) operate, I’d break down some things.
1. I have a major fear of regret
I overthink things nonstop - to a fault. When shopping for a new canister in the pantry, I’ll stare at that jar for 30 minutes contemplating the effects of my decision. Is the mouth wide enough? Can I fit my scoop in there? Should I not measure in cups and switch to weighing things in grams? Do I need to get a better baking scale, now? Will the jar hold enough? Will it be too heavy when full? Is the metal going to rust? Can I put it in the dishwasher? Will it be noisy when I take it to the grocery store to refill it? What if I have a child within the next 20 years and they drop it? Will it break and send my child to the emergency room? How will I like using this jar opening method when I’m 80 years old?
You get the point. Decision paralysis.
I’ve been working on sourcing kitchen products for months now and I get lost in the details of the decision making. I want to be sure I’m making the right choice for me, for Ross, for our guests, for our future family, for the house, for resale, and for the family that will live here after us. I don’t want to invest in the wrong thing and regret it.
Of course, there is no perfect answer and I have no crystal ball to know if the canister is going to be the best one for when I’m 80. So I need to work on just getting over things a liiiiittle bit.
Also, renovations are expensive! I don’t want to waste my hard-earned money by not thinking things through! No, sir.
2. Everything impacts something else
All of those products that I can’t decide on affect all of the other ones and it snowballs and delays things. For example. Until I determine which range I want, I won’t know the width for it to fit on the wall. And until I know the width, I can’t finalize cabinetry placement nor can I finalize which cabinetry drawers will hold which items. And I can’t order cabinets until I finalize every detail, so I can’t break ground on any of the demo until those are ordered.
Another example - I want to have a Sonos speaker in the kitchen, but I don’t want it on the counter, so where is the best spot for it audio-wise? I guess it has to go on an open shelf so now I need to design an open shelf? Well, is that the best spot for an open shelf? What if that ideal spot is a bad spot for electrical because of the pocket door? What if the pocket door went the other way? How about the pocket door shift to the other side of the wall to fit my speaker? Wait, should my doors be affecting my speaker placement? No. Okay, let’s start back from the beginning.
Apply that messy logic to every. single. thing.
Oooookay, this is turning into a therapy session. I hope you’re enjoying this.
3. Things just take time to source
I’m on the hunt for a few specialty items and it just takes time to find them. I want rift and quarter sawn 2”x1/2” white oak for the kitchen floors because that’s what the rest of the house has. (Believe me though, I considered 50 other options, too). But this type of flooring isn’t available at just any old flooring store and most flooring distributors sell only to specialty flooring contractors, not homeowners. I’ve spent hours calling around and scanning the web for salvaged floors and distributors that will sell this hard-to-find wood.
Remember the wood windows with very specific dimensions I was looking for to put back into my existing window openings? Yeah, I’ve spent HOURS (nay, days) trying to find just the right ones. And lucky for me I did!
Sourcing antiques and salvaged pieces to fit into a custom or specific spot is downright time-consuming. The hunt is fun, but it just takes time! Lots and lots of time.
4. My home is historic and requires certain things
You know by now that our home is historically designated. Which is cool and all, but it also means we need to follow certain rules. It means I have to fit my doors and windows in juuuuuust the right spot in just the right way. I can’t go down to Habitat for Humanity and pick up any old window and pop it into my house. I need to custom order a door and either custom order windows or get them salvaged.
There are a few custom pieces for the kitchen that I’m getting and I’ve been working behind the scenes on getting them squared away. I promise I’m not hiding anything from you. I definitely want to share behind-the-scenes things with you, but I’m literally just emailing people which Is simply not a thrilling process for you to follow along with. YET.
Also, I feel strongly that our home deserves special considerations. Throughout the country, old homes like mine are pretty darn common. But in San Diego, there’s a tiny handful of them. And of that handful of old houses, so many of them are being flipped or gutted or otherwise stripped of their character. There are only a few of them in town that retain the original character or are being restored to blend the old and the new. In addition, my neighborhood real estate market is pretty hot right now, so investing time/energy/money into the most period and resale price-point appropriate pieces is well, appropriate.
5. I’m coordinating with the City and sponsors
Getting the permits for this remodel was pretty time consuming, too. And I couldn’t break ground or order any products until I knew my layout would be approved by the City and the Historic board. As soon as I got the word that the plans were approved, I rushed to decide on appliances and cabinets and colors and flooring and doors and windows and everything. Because I was worried the plans would have to be 100% redesigned, I couldn’t do any of this sourcing before I got the thumbs up from the City.
I’m also working with a few great sponsors for this remodel! I’m really excited to have great companies on board to help with the remodel which allows me to get into the nitty-gritty of the kitchen details with you. Because renovating the kitchen is also my job, there’s some extra time and coordination that goes on behind-the-scenes. Not complaining, not saying brands are slow, not anything like that! It’s just that I’m spending some time talking to the lovely people behind the brands that are supporting this makeover. So, I’m just doing some additional emails, phone chats, and coordination than an average homeowner would be doing. And boy am I glad to do it because blending my love of fixing up my house with my actual job is preeeeeeetty cool.
6. I’ve been traveling
I’ve been following Ross on his work trips and then I turn them into mini-vacations. I mean, how can I go to Chicago and not spend days with Kim, Scott, and Lucy? How could I not do lunch and historic house tours with Nicole? How could I not check out the renovations at Marti’s house? How could I not venture into my favorite neighborhoods and dine at my favorite eateries in my favorite city??
Basically. I get distracted and I slow things down. My fault, I know.
So, what’s the status of the kitchen???
Alright alright! Jeeze!
Well, not too much has changed. I started working on restoring the salvaged windows I got. Which, of course, takes time. There are many steps to the process with cure times in between, so I’ve been working slowly on those. I’ll get a blog post about that to you soon!
I’ve also started prepping for demo. That mostly involves eating all of the things in the pantry and donating the excess items in my drawers that I don’t think I want anymore. I’ve also removed the cabinet doors and took a stab at removing part of the cabinets. Spoiler - they don’t just pop off the walls, I have to hack at them for hours to get them off. I thought I’d pull them all down in an hour but then I couldn’t and then I just had a filthy kitchen that needed to be cleaned to make dinner. I decided it’s a better use of time to make a mess when I’m not trying to also keep it food-safe in there. So I’ll pull the rest down when I officially move out of the kitchen.
The current status is I’m waiting to finalize just a few more of the big items before I can order things. I don’t want to start demo until the key items are here and ready to go. Being ready to install something but not having it on-site is just a pain. In fact, there are many contractors that won’t start an ounce of demo until every product is at the property and has been inspected for quality and size.
I promise I’ll be back soon with an update on the specifics when I can pick up momentum! I hope this was helpful for you to see what’s going on in my head and how it’s affecting this renovation. Was it informative?? Do you just think I’m a little wackier than you thought I was? Is my enneagram 1 and INTJ personality showing? Do you also suffer from decision paralysis?