Friday, July 17, 2009

Kitchen Envy?

I’ve probably got a bit of leftover melancholy and crabby from yesterday, but a Tweet that led me to this HomeSavvi’s report on some “design excellence” winners for kitchen remodels got me going over lunch today. It started with this: a category recognizing winners for redesigns of more than $175,000. Excuse me?

(My theory: If you need to do more than $175,000 worth of reno to a single room, just buy another house!) They also had winners for $125,000 and up, and under $75,000.

I happen to be in the middle of a 90 percent DIY kitchen remodel, so maybe it’s just some kind of unconscious envy. I don’t know. Go ahead and tell me to sit my country a** down. But, really, if you can’t design something 10 steps above SPECTACULAR with that kind of money … who couldn’t if money was no object?

Not that these kitchens aren’t nice. I’m sure they’re quite nice. I won’t begin to debate that. But show me someone who can maximize $10,000 (or less) in a less-than-huge kitchen and make a truly visible difference –now that would impress me. (What can I say? I'm easily amused.)

I guess it comes down to the fact that I really am cheap at heart. I don’t like things to look cheap, mind you. I just like to get the best stuff I can at the cheapest price! Not paying labor on a lot of these projects (except for some occasional intervention from Lawrence) definitely helps and even at his rates, it’s not that much. The bottom line is that the less equals more, as in the less I spend, the more I can do.

Even if I had the money though, I’m thinking there’s a whole lot better ways to spend $175,000 + than on a single room.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this! $175,000 for a one-room remodel? Give me a break! It's just another reason for you to feel proud of all the miracles you pull off without breaking the bank!

Jayne said...

I agree with you completely.

Karen Anne said...

Yeah. That stuff is part of the decline and fall of civilization as we know it.

Jennifer said...

Amen! I'm cheap, too. I'd rather put in some elbow grease and some used materials.

Our kitchen remodel (all DIY) cost about $2000 for new cabinets/counter/lighting/appliances. (Not all items were "new"... just new to US).

For $175K... wow... I could do so much with it! It would be remodeling a kitchen, though!

Chris Simon said...

Here you go:

At least for the moment, Geocities is still alive, so my pictures from our kitchen remodel two years ago are still there. We spent under $10K for a smallish kitchen (11x14 and a bit of extra). My part of the work was painting; everything else was done by my amazing handyman. I think it was a noticeable difference!

Karen Anne said...


I got tired just reading about what you had done :-)

I especially like the backboard tile in the kitchen and the after photos of the computer room - organized to die for.

Why S? said...

This made me laugh. Not only do these people have these stupendous kitchens, but they want a prize for them too.

But even funnier is that the lowest level starts at "under $75k" as if that were the minimum imaginable.

To be fair, I think that a big chunk of the money went to architect fees to create those glass ceilings. Really, NV, I don't think that would be something even you could pull off on your own. They're nice. But how do you clean them???

NV said...

Star -- Aw, thanks! I just couldn't past the amount and then to think ONE room. :-)

Jayne -- How many ways do you think we could split that $175,000 on our kitchen redos? :-)

KarenAnne -- Pretty close to it, that's for sure!

Jennifer -- Wow! That's amazing. I think we're looking at a little over twice that, but I put almost half that into appliances alone.

Chris --

Why -- Yeah, I'm sure the architects ate up a chunk of that change. And no, I wouldn't attempt such a thing -- at least not without consulting Lawrence. :-)

NV said...

Sorry, Chris. Didn't mean to skip over you. Was waiting for your photos to load to comment. GOOD LORD! What a fabulous job. It looks awesome!

Vicki said...

Amen. It's not kitchen envy, it's incredulity over wasteful spending!

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