Archive for September, 2007
We love Lowe’s. We find tons of great things there – low prices, good customer service, nice product selection, etc. I can think of only two times Lowe’s failed us and Home Depot came to our rescue:
1. vinyl floor tile options
2. a special sized toilet tank for our tiny half-bath
Now there’s a third: kitchen design.
While browsing cabinet options one night, we stumbled into conversation with a girl in Lowe’s kitchen design department. She was really nice and similar in age and life stage to us (just got married, was renovating her first home) so we connected immediately. She listened to everything we liked, was really encouraging and supportive of all of our crazy ideas and ended our meeting by promising a few kitchen layouts for us to see later in the week. Sweet.
Now we usually hate cheating on Lowe’s, but had to explore our options, so we set up a similar appointment at Home Depot (hoping we could steal a few ideas if nothing else). The meeting started off a little rocky. We didn’t immediately click with the designer – maybe because she started with the serious stuff: budget restrictions, timeline expectations, etc. Then she started telling us how some of our ideas wouldn’t work! How NOT fun. But, as she explained her 30-year experience designing kitchens and her credentials as Richmond’s only CKD (certified kitchen designer) between the two big box stores, we realized we’d struck gold.
While the Lowe’s girl was doing her best to please, she wasn’t managing our kitchen project. We needed someone to tell us what we didn’t know, what wasn’t in our budget, and what didn’t meet code. Call it tough love, I guess.
So, thank you Nancy Kulik C.K.D. for taking good care of us. Point Home Depot.
And don’t worry, we broke up with the Lowe’s girl gently.
Here’s a tip – use craigslist to get your yard work done for free.
Our backyard is beautiful, we can’t lie. Beautiful enought that we got married there. But with that craziness over, it’s not worth the trouble to maintain – trimming bushes, weeding gravel pathways, etc. Plus our ferocious eight pound puppy would appreciate more room to hunt bugs.
So, we’re making it all grass… beautiful, beautiful, already-have-the-mower-out-for-it-anyways grass.
Our first challenge was getting rid of all the stuff in the way – bushes, pathway, etc. And we hate to just throw all that stuff away, especially since I just put new pea gravel down 3 months ago for the wedding.
Enter craiglist. Sherry posted a listing Tuesday morning at 9:30 with this picture, offering the bushes for FREE. I never thought it’d work.
But by 10:30 our driveway was filling up with people armed with shovels and pick-axes. And when I got home from work there was barely anything left… except for a couple sweaty, shirtless strangers still digging. One guy even gave us 100 beans to steak his claim on six big bushes!
We repeated the experiment on Wednesday morning with the pea gravel. Sure enough, by that evening virtually all of it had been raked, shoveled and wheel-barrowed out of our yard. “Free” is definitely the universal language.
We didn’t lift a finger – except to deliver some water to aforementioned sweaty strangers – and now our yard looks a little bit ravaged, but a lot more ready for grass seed.
PS: We’re going to try to save the arch and move it elsewhere in the yard. We did get married under it, after all.
This whole kitchen thing started because we wanted to widen two doorways (from the den to our kitchen, and from the living & dining room to our kitchen). In our typical 50′s brick ranch, just about every room is connected by a narrow doorway. It’s got great bones (and a fantastic all glass sunroom) but we just want to improve the flow of the house and make everything a little more open.
I, whether brilliantly or foolishly, suggested we close off a third door in our kitchen that leads to our current dining room (so we can convert the dining room into the third bedroom that we bought it as), move the dining area into our already giant and open living room and rearrange the whole kitchen to get more cabinet and counterspace.
I suggested this as a “way-down-the-road” project, but within days we had contractors coming by to give us estimates. I guess I had forgotten that we operate on a very short road in this household.
After a great deal of measuring (both of the kitchen and the capacity of our bank accounts), here’s our grand scheme:
We’ve already given a kitchen designer all the measurements (more on that later) and had her cabinet & counter guy come measure the space. We’re planning to meet with her next week for the verdict on just how close we can get to our dream kitchen…and how much it’ll cost us.