I came across the online photo gallery of a woman who'd renovated her "1970's [sic] Kitchen" in 2005. She was very proud of the job she'd done when in fact, she ought to hang her head in shame. This was clearly a do-it-yourself project --I cannot imagine a professional of any kind coming up with this. Unless it was a professional hack that is. I'm not linking back to her site to try to give her a rest of the drubbing she's already taken, the poor thing. Let this be a lesson to one and all, be careful what you post on the Internet.
So here's where she started. She's calling this a '70s kitchen (actually, she keeps referring to it as a 70's kitchen but I can't bring myself to repeat her typos), but I question that vintage. I would call this more an '80s job, but the point remains that where she started is where a lot of people start. This is a dated room that's not a very efficient use of space. It's also a mess. "I hate my kitchen" is no excuse for slovenly housekeeping. Ever.
So there it is in all its dated ugliness. It has a tiny space for a fridge, the dishwasher's to the left of the sink and the range is at the end of a run --no counter on the right side of it. The lighting's terrible and that range/ microwave combo probably stopped working ten years ago. I get it, I get it. I see rooms that look like this on a weekly basis and what's cool about them is that they can be made to look any way I want them to. It's not as if they're jammed into a galley, and these folks could go in any direction they wanted to.
So they start tearing everything out.
Once torn out, they upgraded the electrical service, moved the plumbing, rebuilt the ceiling, etc.
As I was going through her photo gallery, my mind was reeling with all of the possibilities for this now-empty room. What would it be? What would it be!
All of hopes were dashed as soon as I saw her new cabinetry stacked in the garage.
I see standard overlay cabinets with a Roman arch and they're in honey oak. This is the very stuff of my nightmares. NEVER let anyone talk you into arched doors, standard overlays or heaven forbid, honey oak. This poor soul is ripping out an '80s throwback and replacing it with another awful '80s throwback. I don't care what this layout ends up looking like, already this job can't be salvaged.
So here it is going in. Note the position of her hood. It's hanging at the manufacturer's suggested height. Those kinds of hoods come with a low-power blower motor and they only work when they are hanging in the position shown above. They aren't strong enough to work effectively at height of a full-powered, pro-style hood.
Note too the three cabinets in the foreground. She's putting in what's called a bat wing island --that's an island with two, 45-degree angles in it. When you make a bat wing island out of square cabinets you end up with big dead zones in the corners of your island. You can see the tile setter's mud bucket sitting in one of these dead zones. When it's all said and done, what you get is an island that takes up a lot of room but one that gives you very little storage space. She would have been infinitely better served by a rectangle or a square. Beware the bat wing folks.
So here's the installed cabinetry, flooring, counters, lighting and appliances. Ewwww. All those efforts wasted on something that looks like a builder without a conscience is doing a flip property.
The third photo shows how the hood was jacked up to the point of uselessness to get it to the same height as the corner wall cabinet. This is the crime against the Rule of Three that prompted me to write about the Rule of Three yesterday. Anyhow, jacking up the hood has made this room further out of balance than it would have been had the corner wall cabinet been the tallest object in the room. Two, non-symmetrical, tall objects on the same wall look lopsided and make me uncomfortable. Guests will feel uneasy and get vertigo from standing in this room.
This whole thing is just bad and it's a shame. She spent the same amount of money (probably $25K to $30K) should would have spent had she consulted with a professional. That money could have been spent adding to the value of her home but all she's succeeded in doing is throwing away $30K. A bad renovation adds no value to your home.
As if the bat wing island, the jacked up range hood, the white and black free-standing range and the counter microwave pretending to be a built-in weren't bad enough, here's a close of the wall tile on that back splash. Why not?
As a side note, the correct way to abbreviate a decade is to use a single open quote, the decade and then a lower case "s," set tight. Like this, '70s. That single open quote indicates an abbreviation, and in this case, we've left off the century, 19. When it's shown like this, 70's, it's indicating possession. You see that's what an apostrophe does. Apostrophe S indicates possession every time save one. The only exception to that rule is the word its. Its with no apostrophe means belonging to it. It's with an apostrophe is a contraction of it is. Remember this sort of thing. It will save you from looking like a fool later. Of all the arcane rules of English grammar, the distinctions between plurals, possessives and contractions are some of the easiest to master. Misplaced or unnecessary apostrophes top my list of grammatical pet-peeves by the way. I realize too that I'm tilting against a windmill at this point. Possessive, contraction and plural S distinctions are rapidly going the way of the dodo, the thank you note and the earned standing ovation. Argh!