My designer friend, Nan, who helps keep me tethered, visited my FR project with me.  I let her walk in the door, and managed to keep my mouth shut while she 'took it in.'  All manner of apologies, regrets, reproaches etc were piling up to tumble out of my mouth.  I swallowed them with discomfort.

Nan has this wonderful quality of always finding the best in any design derailment.  Her manner is like saying, "Yes, the train car jumped the tracks, but look.  How lovely!  This glass is still intact."  And then with great grace, she will clean it all up.

In other words, she never makes me feel like a dumb ass. If that is not the epitome of grace, I don't know what is.

While I was second guessing my Muslin walls and Linen White trim, she said, "This is so sophisticated and elegant.  I love it."  Now, if she didn't like it, she would tell me.  But she would tell me in the manner of the train car derailment.  I would never know that I didn't something really terrible, because she would find something positive.

Now to the kitchen.  "The floors and the counter top and the floor are fine.  I do wish you had laid the floors on a diagonal."  I nod and say, "Me too, but I didn't plan for it and didn't have enough tile when I realized that would have been preferred.  You don't find the floor and the countertop a problem?"

She shakes her head vigorously.  "No, it is fine.  The problem is your backsplash."  I pull out my fix which is a lovely stone that I found at Lowe's.  I'm feeling a bit contrite about being a little snobbish about my tile choices--previously rebuffing choices at the big box stores.  My tile man said it is the same stuff you get at the specialty stores--just cheaper and likely a close out--so get it while it is there.  I'm now on save #2 where I have found EXACTLY the design fit in terms of material and color for two of my projects.  While quartz, I will seal it with Dupont Bullet Proof so that it will be easy to clean.

Desert Quartz Random Mosaics Item # 354396 @ Lowes
The counter top in this kitchen is Wilsonart Antique Roca

The lovely, muted tones of the quartz perfectly pick up the rust, brown, gold tones of the counter top.  I don't have any money in my budget to change out the counter which I thought I would have to do.  The floor is similar to the counter top (as mentioned in an earlier lament).

The quartz back splash will provide a perfect unifying element between the cabinets, the nickel hardware, the stainless appliances and the floor.  To say that I'm relieved is an understatement.  I have been consumed with putting this together the right way.

Here's a picture from my SR project:

Slate floor, cherry cabinet, glass/slate backsplash
The cabinets still need to be cleaned, and I did not prep the picture at all, but merely snapped it capturing the full current state of disarray of the project--including Mark going out the far door into the garage. Dishwasher was hooked up and the stove moved partially into place.  The framing and the electrical inspection will be conducted this week for the garage. We will then be ready for the insulation and the drywall, and then finally the painting.

The interior requires shoe molding needs to be purchased and installed, and a few more lights hung.  We will then be finished except for exterior 'stuff' landscaping refresh.  Though a seemingly 'short list' of 'stuff' it all takes time.

The selling real estate agent lives two doors down.  She was adamant insistent that I should change out the hardware on the cabinets. "You've gone through all the trouble to renovate everything else!"  Well, my response was simply that for someone interested in the house, I was quite sure that the cabinet hardware is not going to keep them from buying it."  She didn't disagree, but she did keep at it.

The hardware is hammered copper in the old style (this is a 1968 kitchen). Yes, it is old style, but I'm not trying to make this kitchen something that it is not. I'm shooting for a 'modernized' English Country look with the natural slate floor and keeping the traditional, raised panel solid cherry cabinets (with their antiquated copper hardware!).  I put in a french door fridge and an induction stove.

"If I change the hardware, I will have to refinish the cabinets, and I'm not willing to do that in terms of time and expense," I offered up after listening to another launch of objections over my intransigence over changing the hardware.

"You could paint the cabinets," she added.  I replied, "If I'm going to paint them, I might as well refinish them." In my opinion, solid cherry cabinets are a wonderful feature to this kitchen--a feature that she did not highlight in the listing (more later).  I'm not going to paint solid cherry, for the simple reason is that I'm quite certain that should I do so, I will go to a very specific hell for that. Truthfully, I'm beginning to believer that there is a Dante-esque sphere of hells made just for these types of sins.  I can imagine a hell for painting cherry cabinets or walnut mantles--so let's just say a hell for painting extraordinarily beautiful wood.  There is no hell for painting trim work--because it is a common wood.  But, if you paint walnut or beautiful wide oak trim, I'm confident there is a hell for that. There may be a hell for painting brick....that one I might be willing to spend some time in.

With regard to the current contemplation, the kitchen hardware and cabinets,  I'm simply going to clean and let them present themselves as they are. This kitchen is quite beautiful and functional without fussing about the hardware. My designer thinks it looks fine (which I did not offer as a 'nanny nanny boo-boo'), and I think that it looks fine. The realtor did not quite give up.  "I guess we just have different tastes," she said firmly and with a bit of disgust.  I replied, "Yes, we do, and prospective buyers are going to have different tastes as well.  I'm not trying to please everyone, I'm just trying to optimize my budget dollars."  She is a very successful real estate agent, and I'm not discounting her opinion, but at some point you really have to make a choice on how much you plan to do.

Ready to move on, I thanked her for her feedback and led her to the next room, "Come look at this fireplace, and tell me what you think." This is the same fireplace that had a gas leak from the gas logs, and that my plumber exclaimed with surprise, "It's a wonder this house has not blown up!"  She helpfully offered that when she showed this house, the fireplace was a problem because it was not an attractive focal point.

See those doors in the above picture taken upon buying the house? They were hiding the gas leak.  Once the dessicated floors above (same as was in the kitchen) were pulled up (to include the subfloor), I still smelled odor. I looked at the doors, opened them and immediately knew that we had a gas leak.  We shut the gas off at the supply.  Geez....I'm glad I don't smoke and do not let folks smoke inside.

So, I'm spending seat time to consider if there is a hell for painting brick, as well as consider what type of mantel etc to put up.


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