Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Chalet Kitchen: Tips and Tricks

My brother who I love dearly is about to remodel his kitchen. (yes the same brother, I also love to hate because he hogged all the good genes and I got the mutant leftover genes). 

I am thrilled for him and wish him the best of luck. When I think back to our kitchen renovation, I think Dickens said it best, " It was the best of times and the worst of times."  Granted when I did my kitchen we were living in two rooms of our house and had zero privacy.  But man, I loved the my crew, The Juan's!  They were the perfect complement to my husband.  Mr. Man went to work and brought home the bacon. At night, Mr. Man and I would pick out appliances at Home Depot.  During the day the Juan's helped me with all my little house projects.  Installing moulding here, hanging a picture or even assembling furniture.  Everyday we had lunch together and when I drove through our gates they would greet me and help unload the groceries  I love them and miss them.  Anyway, enough of my whining about how much I miss my crew, who all happened to be named Juan.  (For my new readers, really, that's not a joke nor embellishment. All of them were named Juan.)
If I had to do my kitchen over again....  there are some things I would do differently.   The first being that I would make sure to have a mirror handy so that I don't get mistaken for being homeless again.
Also, I would make sure to run water pipes to any place I could think of. I had thought that at some point, I might want a sink on an island, but I thought to save cost I would do a solid surface.  I didn't run water over to the island, but man I wish I did, because after using my kitchen for a few months, I realized the island is the perfect place for an ice maker. If you have a plumber already on site, it isn't doesn't cost much more to run an extra pipe or two.  Also, same with outlets, I have outlets everywhere in my kitchen, including in a cabinet or two, so I can charge things, out of sight. 
Drawers everywhere!  Big Drawers, narrow drawers, I am so glad my friend encouraged me to put my dishes in drawers.  My kids can reach all the dishes to serve themselves, set the table, and even better, they can empty the dishwasher!
I saved a lot of cash by using this Ikea sink and having my cabinetmaker turn it into an undermount sink. I wanted a farmhouse style sink, and Mr. Man wanted a double basin. I was a little worried that I when I bought the sink from Ikea, it was going to be just a lump of clay and some stick figures showing me how to mold and fire the sink. Turns out I didn't have to fire up the kiln and it came all assembled.  
I found all my cabinet hardware at Cabinet Hardware Designs on eBay of all places.   We ended up buying all our hardware for the house from them because the stuff was great quality and super affordable.

If I had to do it again, I would still splurge on my lighting, my pendants came from Pottery Barn and I love them. I also bought some lighting from the Habitat for Humanity Restore that were perfect, because I wanted a chandelier I could customize.  My current house project is replacing all the lighting in the old part of the house, and currently I am in love with ATG Stores.  I just bought this Chandelier for my dining room, they are reasonably priced and have a huge selection. I love that they have some really cool reproduction pieces that help me blend the old with the new.  I still want my house to maintain it's original vibe. 
Best of Luck to my brother on his remodel, since he has such amazing luck, it wouldn't surprise me if his kitchen were finished in one afternoon.  He will probably go out for groceries and come back to a whole new kitchen and come in under budget.  Did you know my brother has never even had a cavity?
 As for me, I swear I spend more time in the dentist chair than I do at my job.  It's annoying, but I love him anyway.
*This is not a sponsored post, although that would be genius.   Man, I wish I would have been able to get sponsors for my kitchen, in fact, I'm still game.  I'm dying to bring back the crew.*


Laura said...

The JUANS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We all need a fleet of Juans. I think if our husbands were smart, they'd go looking for and hire a fleet of Juans to do all those things that they don't want too and to keep their wives happy. :-)


Laura said...

I wish the Juans could come fix my broken house. We really would need a whole fleet!! Seriously, your kitchen is the best ever!