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I Hate My Kitchen Too

Josh was flipping through channels on the television when he paused on an image of a couple talking about demolishing their kitchen.  The show was aptly named “I Hate My Kitchen,” and I sat down on the edge of the bed, whispering aloud, “I hate my kitchen too,” as if we were all in a support group and this was the point where we go around the room and introduce ourselves.

We’re about to do some major renovations to our house, things that we’ve been putting off for years.  The number one reason we’ve put it off this long is that my ennui has always been stronger than my desire to love my kitchen.  I want to love my kitchen, but I’m also not really into thinking about my dream kitchen or making it happen.  I guess what I really want is someone from the DIY Network to come in, make me a cup of tea, and give me about two choices for everything we need to replace.  And then tell me what to do.  Or better yet, do it themselves.  And then call me back in to see it when they’re done.

But we’ve entered into the orbit of home repair, and now we are spinning through a galaxy of hardware stores and estimates and cabinet configurations.  We’ve become the sort of people who critique and covet from other people’s houses.  You know how when you start treatments (and I imagine adoption is the same way), it becomes your entire being?  It takes over your calendar and your worries.  You start carrying around a notebook with you so you can record what your RE says when he calls, and you have a timer going off to tell you when to do your next injection, and you read Resolve newsletters, and you hang out with others who are going through the same thing.  I realized that since we walked away from treatments the second time, we haven’t really had something like that which takes over your whole life in that manner.  But redoing the house?  It’s about as close as we’ve come again to being consumed.  It’s trading one project for another: Operation Family Building has now morphed into Operation Home Repair.

I’ve begun to dream about real estate.  I had a dream where we decided that it was easier to buy a new house rather than redo the one we own, but when I started checking housing prices in the area, we found that even tiny fixer-uppers in shitty areas of Maryland were priced at 63 MILLION DOLLARS.  But one of the houses overlooked a baseball diamond, and I realized that for 63 million dollars, I could have a front row seat to baseball games from the comfort of my own back deck.

I’ve also found a site where you can purchase private islands.  I found one nearby for only $850,000.  That seemed like a fairly good deal for a private island, no?  The whole home renovation project has gotten me more and more obsessed with the idea of moving to a private island, as if repainting a kitchen somehow reprograms your brain to suddenly crave more real estate like a zombie wanting to feast on the contents of your skull.  Must get real estate.  Must get real estate that reflects my antisocial tendencies and love of water.  Brains…

So that’s where we are.  Coveting.  Dreading.  Wasting work time trying to get the house repaired.

22 comments

1 Chickenpig { 01.15.13 at 9:12 am }

I suggest ‘liking’ This Old House on FB for starters, very helpful.

We are also in the throws of home renovation. Whenever my husband and I get stuck on the IF front we seem to turn to real estate and/or renovation. It is a way that we can come together and make something beautiful and call it our own. Last weekend we were purchasing china epoxy to fix our broken punch bowl, and we ended up leaving with the epoxy, a new bathroom mirror, and a bathroom vanity. The next day we went back to buy adhesive for the back splash, granite sealer, and paint. This weekend will be a full on bathroom assault. I have been coveting this bathroom vanity since we moved in 2 years ago. The former owners did everything in the house very nicely, except this vanity, which is a builder grade piece of crap with the lower drawer velcroed on and the veneer chipping off. We were told that this beautiful new vanity is on close out and it is the last one around, so it was now or never. My husband kept looking at me and saying “Do you want it?” In my head I was screaming “I want a BABY you idiot!” *sigh*

2 Pepper { 01.15.13 at 9:53 am }

Oh my gosh, I just made a very similar observation – we are not cycling (and will not again), but we ARE trying desperately to move. And it is taking. over. our. lives. Just a few days ago, in a moment of near meltdown, I compared the all-consuming-ness of this to our IVF cycle. And it made me so glad we didn’t tell anyone about the IVF as it was happening because everyone. has. an. opinion. But maybe that’s what you need if you want someone to do it for you. :) So tempting!!

3 Brid { 01.15.13 at 9:55 am }

I love renos! We’ve done nearly everything in our house, so there’s nothing left to do… except the main bathroom (which we spent an exorbitant amount on when we moved in and promptly decided we hated it!). Now we’re left trying to find new things to do… aside from the bathroom, that leaves us with the exterior cedar siding and posts. Exciting! Good luck with your kitchen… I am sure it will be beautiful when it’s done.

4 dspence { 01.15.13 at 10:12 am }

I can get so obsessed with reodels and real estate! A new fave show on HGTV is Love It or List It. The hosts come in, one fixes the things you hate about your house while the other takes you to see listings. In the end, the family decides to either keep their house or move to a new place.

5 Esperanza { 01.15.13 at 10:16 am }

Good luck with the renovations! I hope your please with the final result and the road to get there isn’t too arduous.

6 meghan { 01.15.13 at 11:16 am }

I SOOOOO hate my kitchen too! Good luck with all your renovations. We re-did the kitchen in our old house while in the middle of treatments and it actually was good timing. I found that we were easily able to make all of the house decisions because they seemed like no big deal compared to the BIG ones we were making about our family.

7 Tiara { 01.15.13 at 1:40 pm }

Oh I wish I had the money to do some remodelling! Not that my home needs it but I love looking at all the options & choices. I could spend hours in Home Depot just daydreaming!! Good luck with your renos! If you need 2nd opinions, you know where to find me :)

8 serenity { 01.15.13 at 1:41 pm }

Yes. I didn’t realize I was the only one! I hate my kitchen too, but I want someone to make the suggestions, allow me to pick from a menu of choices (really two would be okay too!), install it, AND pay for it, too.

*sigh* Lots of luck with the renovations. And selfishly? I am hoping for a blog post at the end (with pictures, of course!) that makes it seem easy and doable and might make me get off my duff and do something about my I-hate-it-but-not-enough-to-DO-anything-about-it issue. :)

xoxo

9 Alexicographer { 01.15.13 at 2:21 pm }

Ooh. We remodeled our kitchen and while I would not presume to offer assvice in this arena any more than in, you know, that other one, I will say that I love the fact that I insisted on a big board that pulls out at the height you’d want a table to be at were you seated, in our kitchen next to our fridge. It’s perfect for stacking stuff on when loading or unloading groceries or for working on when seated or if one is a child, and it rolls back into the counter/drawer space (as the drawers do) when not in use. We also have a slab of butcher block between (just) the fridge and sink that I adore having available to work on, and counters that we installed ourselves made of large tiles that are great because you can put hot things down on them. And the bar between the kitchen and dining room (not really room, more a space) has cupboards under it that open on both sides, so the clean china can be placed in it from the working/kitchen side and then taken out to serve or eat from on the socializing/dining side.

Hope you will end up with the kitchen of your dreams! Or the private island of your dreams!

10 a { 01.15.13 at 2:57 pm }

Ugh. I hate renovations, building, choosing finishes or appliances (budgets? What are they?), all that stuff. I think it’s easier to search for a house with a kitchen you like and just move. Of course, the houses in my price range (my internal one – not the one the bank tells me I can afford) never have kitchens I like.

Ours is a very large galley kitchen (straight on both sides, no island). It has a long counter, which might be great for cooking, but is actually where we store all of our assorted bills and drying dishes and phone chargers and stuff. On the other side, we have two smaller counters on either side of the stove and one tiny counter between the fridge and the wall. That was going to be a little cubby for storing the telephone, but we never installed a landline, so it gets the bread, chips, and lunch bags instead. Most of my work is done on the counter between the stove and the fridge. There’s never enough storage, so we have cabinets full of food in the laundry room and large pots and small appliances in the coat closet. But the light is good and there’s plenty of space for whoever wants to come in there. Our microwave needs to be replaced, so that’s a project on the horizon (not looking forward to that). Yeah, moving is easier.

Much luck on your renovations! Post lots of before and after pictures!

11 Blanche { 01.15.13 at 3:23 pm }

Do they still have those shows where they come in and re-do it and surprise you with the finished product? I so wanted one of them to come do our basement at the old house.

It feels like 1/2 of my weeks since we moved into the new house in September have been filled with either waiting for a contractor to come, calling said contractor to follow up or going out to look at something related to the house. All ever so inconveniently scheduled during nap time, of course!

GOOD LUCK! (And remember that you and Josh love each other…)

12 loribeth { 01.15.13 at 4:06 pm }

I don’t exactly HATE my kitchen — there’s a lot about it that I love — but I recognize that it needs some work — especially if we ever wanted to sell. The cupboard doors are all scratched up and, at the very least, need a fresh coat of stain or pain and perhaps some new handles. They are solid wood & probably the best that I’ve seen in our subdivision.

However — the shelves that they front are crap — cheap, sagging, foil-covered chipboard with the coating all scratched away. :p I keep dithering between sprucing up the cupboard doors (at least the outside will look pretty…) and maybe replacing the countertop, or spending considerably more money to rip everything out & get something completely new. :p And if we’re going to get new cupboards, then we probably should look at new appliances (most of ours are 23 years old, knock wood…!). And paint. And…

We’ve also considered moving, but even out in suburbia, house prices here are fairly ridiculous — and of course, the prices on our street haven’t risen as fast as they have all around us. The houses in our subdivision are approaching 30 years old, and on our street, they are much smaller than those around us (ours is about 1,200 square feet, vs 2-3,500 on other streets nearby). They lack the bells & whistles that are considered standard for new homes around Toronto these days — even so-called “starter” homes now have en suite master bathrooms, walk -in closets, nine-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and high baseboards. To buy something new of a similar size would probably cost us more than we could sell our house for (unless we went to a townhouse, which dh will not do). We’ve also checked out condos but unless you get an older one, they are ridiculously small, and good luck finding one around here where the fees are less than $500 a month. SIGH.

Good luck!!

13 Ann Z { 01.15.13 at 4:20 pm }

We renovated our kitchen back in 2005. We had a really good kitchen remodeler who understood how kitchens are supposed to work and understood spaces like nobodies business. It was fantastic: he suggested what to do, and we pretty much took every suggestion (the kitchen was torn down to the studs, our stairs to the basement were moved, it was pretty major). It was my dream kitchen and it was amazing. Then in 2010 we moved. I love our new house, but I hate the kitchen. I think I hate it in part because I know how good a kitchen can be. I fear my old kitchen has ruined me for other kitchens for the rest of my life. We have talked about remodeling our current kitchen, but I don’t look forward to the disruption or the cost, and that lingering fear that this remodel won’t be as good.

14 loribeth { 01.15.13 at 4:21 pm }

In the first paragraph of my comment above, I meant “paint” (as in “need a fresh coat of stain or paint”). On second thought, though, perhaps “pain” is apropos, given the subject. ;)

15 lifeintheshwa { 01.15.13 at 5:51 pm }

We badly need to re-do the bathrooms and kitchen here, and exterior siding, but all our money goes to treatments! blah! one day…

16 It Is What It Is { 01.15.13 at 6:06 pm }

Having lived through many a remodel, I send you patience. I will say, though, categorically, getting to the finished product (when that product enhances your way of life or improves your home life style or functionality or aesthetic) is SO worth it. And, I suppose, the same would be said of ART or adoption. So, yes, in that way, too, they are similar. Oh, and neither is easy on the bank account.

17 Justine { 01.15.13 at 9:15 pm }

I fear home renovation. To whit: we have only painted two rooms in our house, replaced kitchen appliances only because they completely died on us, and are still using the curtains left by the original owners.

Sort of goes along with my “finding clothes on the side of the road” approach to life, I guess. ;)

I *have* been sort of consumed by throwing things out lately, though. Perhaps it’s a slippery slope, and it’s only a matter of time before I “like” This Old House, too.

18 Mali { 01.15.13 at 10:05 pm }

Home renovation can certainly be all consuming – but I find the design aspects quite exciting, if stressful. Our bedroom is the main priority – though I would like to redo our kitchen, and give myself some more workbench space.

I find home maintenance more frustrating though. Problems with the house – and in our case, our driveway that is on rusting stilts over a steep hill – are worrying, hard to fix, hard to find someone to fix, and just no fun!

I think you’re inspiring a post on this on my non-IF blog …

19 Battynurse { 01.15.13 at 10:09 pm }

It’s funny you mention obsession like tendencies with TTC and home repair. For years I obsessed over boys/men. When, how, who, crushes and infatuation. Then when I decided to start TTC on my own it was like that obsession of finding the right guy just disappeared and all of my mental energies were transferred to TTC. when I started to move away from TTC but before I had decided to quit for good I had a very hard time trying to figure out what to do with all that mental energy. I didn’t know what to think about yet I didn’t know how to turn my mind off from constantly thinking about or planning something. It’s been a bit of a struggle and I still can’t say I always do ok with it but I’m better at dealing with my mind than I was a couple of years ago. Or at least mostly better, the last 2-3 months excluded.

20 Elizabeth { 01.16.13 at 7:35 am }

Rearranging the furniture (the process, not the result) produces such anxiety for me, I can’t imagine a renovation.

21 deathstar { 01.16.13 at 11:53 am }

Wish I owned a house to renovate. We rent in a neighbourhood where houses go for $1.75 MIL and up. And we’re not talking mansions or anything. Even tiny 2 bedroom shitboxes go for that. I am obsessed with real estate, renovation or home improvement shows even though I am nowhere near in the position to do any of those things. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

22 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.16.13 at 1:39 pm }

We are saving up to do the same thing (we’ve been saving for years and still aren’t close). Like you, much as I want a new and better kitchen, it causes me anxiety to think about making all those decisions and being displaced for longer than I budget, no matter how long I budget.

Kudos to you for taking the plunge.

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