Move by the time come along for the ride, don’t you see
When it’s time to change, you've got to rearrange
Move your heart to what you're gonna be.
Sha na na na na na na… sha na na na na na!
--The Brady Kids
I'm redoing my kitchen. From soup to nuts. Everything but the kitchen sink -- and also the kitchen sink.
Let's first get the "whys" out of the way:
1) I own my place. (Duh.) Anything I do to make it better adds to the value of the apartment.
2) The kitchen is a wreck. It was assembled, seemingly out of cardboard and Elmer's glue, long before I purchased the condo in the year 2000. The cabinets and countertops are made of cheap, plastic laminate that is warped and stained. The appliances -- save for the fridge, which I replaced about six months ago -- are antiques. I have very little counter space and exactly one drawer (ONE DRAWER! IN AN ENTIRE KITCHEN!) which is too small to fit my utensils. To put it plainly, the whole thing sucks.
3) The mice have returned. For at least the third time in the past decade. I know because I can smell their piss and see their turds whenever I open the cabinet under the sink, and several weeks ago two of them ran through my living room holding hands. And yet, I cannot manage to catch any of them in the numerous glue traps I have set out all over the apartment like mini-landmines. Nor are the sonic rodent repellers I bought and plugged in having any impact. These mice have evolved to a point where they come and go as they please, invulnerable to any and all deterrents, and I'm fucking over it. I've plugged all visible holes with steel wool. And still they come. So if it takes ripping every goddamn thing out of my wall and adding 10 lbs of reinforced concrete and every dollar I have to keep them out, so be it.
As for the "hows," I've opted to go with Home Depot for the entire renovation.
1) It's one-stop shopping; my designer, my contractor, my appliances, my countertops, cabinets and all other materials -- it's all there on West 23rd Street. I have neither the time nor the energy to go running all over the Metropolitan area picking out tile from this place and door handles from that place and a stove from this other place and so forth. I live alone, and I have a fulltime day job and what's left of a comedy career to which to attend.
2) Home Depot is not the cheapest (by a long shot), but it's reasonable, and their stuff lasts (unlike, say, that of Ikea, which, a number of people have told, me falls apart in six months).
3) Before I began this project, I solicited advice from people on Facebook... and heard every possible opinion under the sun. In the end, I went with Home Depot. I'm not soliciting any more advice at this point. Seriously. Don't give me any, or I'll kill you (along with the mice).
1) It's already begun, sort of. I've met with the designer (a Ukrainian named Pavel) and the contractor (a man of unknown origin named Anuar). We've all agreed on a loose design, and I've purchased my new appliances (all stainless steel) and put down a deposit on the rest of it.
2) This Saturday, I meet with Pavel and Anuar again at Home Depot to finalize the design and pick out all my materials -- cabinets, countertops, flooring, backsplash, etc. I have no idea what I'm doing and am freaking the fuck out.
3) Once the materials are ordered, Anuar and his team will come in and demolish my kitchen (and block the mouse holes). Then it takes up to six weeks for the materials to arrive. So basically, for up to six weeks, I'll have no kitchen. This is a problem as I'm probably the only New Yorker who cooks. But I'll just have to eat a lot of take-out for a while.
The new design. The island won't look much like the one in the picture, though.
The "how much" and the "before and after" photos.
1) Stay tuned.
Homo stressed. ♥