Archive for November, 2007

Sittin’ Pretty: We Bought A New Couch!

We ordered a new couch for the living room. And we can’t wait to get it and replace our soon-to-be-repossesed loaner couch from John’s sister. The only bad thing about the new living room couch is that it proves that we overpaid for our couch in the den. We got the den couch from Pottery Barn a few months ago in a time crunch. It’s the most affordable and timeless model they offer (the PB Basic) and we even got it in the least expensive fabric option (gorgeous and dog-durable twill in a light tan color). We heard from our friend who works at the decorating magazine that Pottery Barn couches generally hold up a lot better over time than Crate & Barrel couches, so we felt really good going with that model.

It came to about 1600 clams with delivery and all the other extras that aren’t included in the $1299 price tag, but we felt good knowing that it would last us a decade or two. Then John’s sister told us about a local store called Sofa Design, maybe as a hint to get her loaner sofa back. There we learned they sell Rowe sofas, the exact models that Pottery Barn offers, for less. So for a mere $1200 we snagged a gorgeous white sofa with square arms for a sleeker look to differentiate it from our den couch. And that price included delivery, two throw pillows in a custom fabric of our choice, and a stain resistant treatment to keep our couch lookin’ as good as new. Here’s the new living room couch, which we got in a white linen looking twill (again, for the dog-durability).

The new couch should arrive around Christmas, at which point we’ll have two couches with easy-to-care-for slipcovers that should last us a looong looong time. And it’s nice to know that we saved $400 this time around, too.



Kitchen Indecisiveness (Picking Our KraftMaid Bel Air Cabinets)

Last week we got the call. Our cabinets are on their way! They’re arriving on Monday the 26th- which means we’re finally able to schedule all the installation details. So now it’s looking like we’ll have a kitchen before the end of the year. Happy New Year to us.

When we first walked into Home Depot eons ago (i.e. September) we knew two things about our cabinets: we wanted white and we wanted KraftMaid. White because, duh, our dream kitchen says so. KraftMaid because our friend who works for a home decorating magazine swears by them. They’re close to the most expensive cabinet brand both Home Depot and Lowe’s carry, but Nancy Kulik CKD agreed wholeheartedly with our friend’s assessment. Her point was basically that you’re going to spend a lot of money on cabinets no matter what, so we should spend a little bit extra to get something really durable. In fact she even demonstrated how a child could hang on one of the open doors with no cabinet breakage- she had us at child could hang. And heck, it’s what they use on Extreme Makeover Home Edition (and those people always look so happy). Done deal.

Initially, our mouths watered at the idea of saying “our kitchen features solid oak cabinets” until Nancy burst our bubble. If we wanted white, solid wood cabinets we’d basically be paying a 15% upcharge for KraftMaid to paint their oak cabinets. And that paint would be prone to chipping and revealing the wood grain beneath it. So, we stopped drooling and went with her suggestion – Thermofoil. It’s a fancy term for a plastic coating that’s baked on, making cabinets virtually wear-proof for decades. Plus it meant keeping our costs down by 15%. Now if we could just train ourselves to drool over Thermofoil. It actually looks just like painted oak, so maybe we’ll just forget about the magical plastic coating in a decade or two, and just talk about how well our painted oak cabinets are holding up.

With the brand and the finish decided, it was then down to selecting a door style. When first flipping through the options both Sherry and I immediately fell for one style called the Bel Air. We loved its clean lines and slightly modern feel. But it was a little pricier than some of the other white options, so we kept looking. That’s when we found an option called the Monticello. It was a bit more traditional (thicker grooves, rounder edges), a bit more ornate than the Bel Air and also a bit cheaper. And after checking seeing it look pretty good in one of their display kitchens we went with it.

Our cabinets Not Our Cabinets
Bel Air …………………………………………. Monticello

Until we changed our minds. Eventually Sherry and I admitted to each other that we were worried about the “horsiness” of the Monticello. It wasn’t as subtle and timeless as the Bel Air. And the in-store kitchen just looked a little bit shabby to us. When we outlined our dilemma to Nancy, she convinced us that the Bel Air would only be a few hundred dollars extra. Sold. In the scheme of a kitchen remodel, a few hundred dollars is nothing. Trust us.

So we went with our first love. Monticello Out. Bel Air in.

Overall, the cabinet selection process was a bit more complicated than either of us anticipated, especially since we thought we knew exactly what we wanted going in. Let’s just hope that when our white Thermofoil KraftMaid Bel Air cabinets show up next week they’re still the perfect choice. We can hardly wait.

Images courtesy of KraftMaid