Friday, October 17, 2014

Picking Things Out

Day #17

I thought this was going to be all fun.

Picking out cabinets and doors and such for our exciting addition.

I did my time on Pinterest and knew what type of kitchen I wanted.

I knew I wanted a fireplace in the new family room.

What I didn’t realize was HOW MUCH 
everything was going to cost!!

I’m not going to Home Depot or Lowe’s for things (yet) where I can see a sticker price and just keep on walking when too many zeros are in the number.

No, my builder has special pricing with 
specific manufacturers around town.

Places where you have to call ahead 
and make appointments to meet with them.

These people already have our building plans so I naturally assumed that meant they knew the budget allotted for their particular products and would only show me things within that respected price range.

Not. So.

Not so at all.

After making appointments ON OPPOSITE SIDES of the city to pick out

windows and doors, 

kitchen cabinets,

and a fireplace insert,

I’ve managed to blow the budget.

Like not even close.

Insert sound of explosion here.

I’m not a diva.

I don’t need cabinets made from Amazon Rain Forest trees that have never seen the sun because of the thick canopy of foliage above them.

Is that a thing?

Because I’m thinking that if a tree 
could survive all that rain and darkness,
that wood would be soft and 
well, ROTTEN.

So, bad example.

I swipe furniture off of people’s curbs on trash day 
and then bring it into my house and use it.

Nothing diva about that.

I want a white kitchen.

I want doors that open and close and windows that do that AND add natural light.

I want a fireplace insert that ignites when turned on.

That’s the simple expectations I had going in to each of these showrooms.

I was shown sample doors and windows and quickly decided the new windows in the new space should match the old windows in the old space.


I have to admit, I did get sucked into the idea of having blinds built right into the glass of the French doors for the family room.

Even though Carisa warned me more bells and whistles
 would just be more bells and whistles that could break.

Cha-ching. Cha-ching.

All I wanted for kitchen cabinets was white. The simpler, the better.

I didn’t realize there are 4,782 different shades of white.

The first one I picked ended up not being white but grey.

The next one turned yellow against the counter top.

The following was so bright it hurt my eyes 
and gave me the beginnings of a headache.

Sumita helped me pick one called coconut.

What happened next, I guess, was a lot a cha-chinging because our builder, Paul, was pretty shocked at the price when the quote came in.

They don’t give you prices in these showrooms.

They give you quotes. 

And the quotes don’t come in right away 
but days later,
after you have driven back across town
and crossed that item off your TO-DO list.

Paul sat across from me at my kitchen table with the quote for the cabinets and dialed the lady I met with at the showroom.

I overheard him say the amount allotted for the budget and the amount listed on the quote.

Miles apart. 



They went over things line by line.

Every now and then he’d repeat things she’d said out loud for my benefit,

“China cabinet? What china cabinet? For HOW MUCH?!”

Then he’d look at me over his reading glasses and say,

“We never talked about that.”

“Built-ins?? What built-ins? How much?!”

Another look.


Long look with a little stink eye.

I could only shrug,

“I don’t know. Everything was shiny! I didn’t know. I DIDN'T KNOW!”

The fireplace insert I chose went pretty much the same way.

“You chose one with a blower AND a remote control?!”

Honestly, they didn’t show me one without.


So the process of REPICKING less expensive everything has been the priority.

Top of the TO-DO list.

No more built-in blinds in the French doors.

In fact, no more French doors.

Paul felt sliders would better fit into the new space 
and budget.

Paul called the lady I met with about fireplace inserts and got better pricing WITHOUT a blower and remote.

Sumita and I went back across town to repick kitchen cabinets that better fit in with the allotted budget.

I expected a big difference in quality but there wasn’t.

I even found a color that was extremely close to the one I picked before. 

It’s called Brie.

I told her to axe the china cabinet and pantry and built-ins.

She said she’d price them out with the cheaper cabinets.

Just in case.


  1. We just moved in April and I felt that was constantly for the next few months. All of the expenses and surprises at how much something little costed. I'm stressed just thinking about it. Hope you will be posting pictures of your finished kitchen!!

  2. Oh, gosh, I remember those days from re-building our kitchen! It's so easy to get sucked into a whole other world when you're researching something like that. Hopefully you discover that happy place where you get good stuff for agreeable prices & it all turns out wonderful!

  3. How I hate budgets and trying to live in one. But the outrageous behavior of sales is worse. Good luck with your endeavor.

  4. Anonymous9:46 AM

    That's such a funny post to read ! And the alignment is really unusual, but in a good way. It outlines more the feelings and emotions. Liked it!

  5. Oh goodness! This makes me re think my kitchen refit idea ☺

  6. It's SO expensive to have any work done on a home. I usually start out the same way - what I like is way too expensive, and then I have to look at alternatives. Thankfully there usually are some good ones.

  7. I have never remodeled a house, but this reminds me of sitting with my husband and my mom and dad planning the wedding. My Dad had literally tell the florist we wanted cheap flowers. :-) She was quoting us stuff way out our price range. :-D Thank you for sharing your story

  8. I can only begin to imagine how fun, yet totally exhausting all of those decisions would be. And, isn't it crazy how many whites there are?!?!? Yikes!

    Stopping by from the 31 Days link up:


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