Kitchen Renovation Regrets

March 3, 2015



farmhouse ktichen

This is my kitchen. It was not part of our original cottage, we added it in 2003 right after we purchased the house.  The entire space is an addition, so there was a lot to consider before we started the renovation.

I wanted vaulted ceilings and wide plank wood floors. I wanted glass cabinets and subway tiles and I wanted that hood. I went to several kitchen planners and brought my ideas to the big box stores, too. I consulted with our builder and combed through countless magazines and catalogs. I was prepared and planned down to the last pot holder.

Or so I thought.

After months of conceptualizing, I knew exactly what I wanted and I was going to get it all. Of course, when it comes to renovation, the dream and the reality are not always the same thing.

There are budgetary constraints, compromises made between partners and the input of the builder ~  the old form versus function debates. I opted for form every single time.

My builder did not.

Needless to say, I didn't get everything I wanted, but I figured that's ok. I will settle for "this" or "that" now and in the near future, I will change it out and get what I really want.

Big mistake. Big.

Here's the deal, my best renovation advice, especially when it comes to the kitchen, the most lived in, most valuable room in your home ~ choose wisely during the initial renovation.

The chances that you will go back and change something out again shortly after a newly remodeled room is complete is remote at best. Things come up, like preschool tuition or the need for a new cesspool or car and since your kitchen already functions fine, your dream item will be relegated to the back burner, again and again.

Additionally, living through construction of any kind is difficult.

Living through a kitchen demo is the worst. You have no water, no work surface, you get sick of take out after day three and the joy of disposable paper plates wears thin in a week. Once you get your kitchen back, the thought of ripping it out again, or any part of it, is almost unbearable. I say do it once and do it right.

Trust me.

There are things that bother me about this kitchen every day. They are things we were going to change out...soon...and yet, other than necessary repairs or swaps, it's looked exactly like this for over 10 years.

What's so wrong with it, you ask? Well nothing earth shattering, just things I wanted from the get go that were sacrificed for the greater good.

Farmhouse sink envy

For example, I wanted a farmhouse sink (I know, everyone does), but my contractor told me that they were more expensive and so many of them leaked. The aprons were not always flush, blah, blah, installation was harder and therefore would cost more. He also told me that they were a passing fad.

Um...hello.

My husband heard all of this and we ended up with a boring basin. It's perfectly pretty, but not what I really wanted and when it comes to creating a feeling in a room, true style, the devil is in the details.

What else?

Well, you see those electrical outlets and the bank of light switches? Yeah, so can everyone else, very easily. I wanted them to be lower, down near the countertop and sideways so they could be hidden behind accessories. No one wants to see them, but that's not code. They need to be high enough so that they do not pose a shock threat. The electrical inspector won that round.

However, I should've spent the dough to have them mounted under the cabinets, I cannot stand to see them. We would have to completely retile the backsplash to move them now. That is not happening. So I am stuck with them and they are a terrible eyesore.

I wanted mahogany countertops. They are not practical, according to my husband, and they cost too much. I lost that battle, as well. I fell for the old someday ploy.

Hmmm, that's a conveniently vague time frame, don't you think?

kitchen renovations

I wanted the window to rest directly on the counter, but the contractor told me that would lead to rot, since water tends to spill into the space from the sink...which should've been a farmhouse styled version.

Did I mention that already?

It's taken me 10 years, but I think I found an easy fix for that one. Just don't tell my husband yet.

Oops. Hi honey.

Lastly, we went for the bargain model fridge instead of the built in and the gap on top bothers me to no end. It also sticks out about a foot past the countertop. We were going to upgrade when it kicked.

Guess what?

The high end dishwasher and stove have both been replaced. That super sale, basic refrigerator is still working perfectly. Just my luck.


I always advise people to decorate with what they love, don't follow trends for the sake of fitting in and listen to decorators who want to sell you their style. However, listening to contractors and safety inspectors is different. It is prudent to consult an expert, but generally there are ways to work your desires into the plan.

My advice is to think about every detail, decide on your must haves and build a contingency plan before the first day of work begins. Decision fatigue and the desire to complete the project, whatever it takes, sets in quickly, especially when you are washing sippy cups and oatmeal encrusted bowls in the bathtub for the third week in a row.

Do it once, do it right and don't get sucked in by all the "someday" talk, because take it from me, someday, is just a pretty word for never.

Do you have a renovation regret?



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76 comments:

  1. Well I can't tell you how much I loved this post !
    I have regrets just one year in..................top many to mention in fact - but my budget didn't include all of the emergencies that kept happening while renovating.
    Your kitchen looks beautiful - and those details that drive you crazy?
    No one else sees them !
    xoxo

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    1. I am with Suzan! Your kitchen is lovely! I just spent weeks agonizing over the right countertop for our kitchen, with the best edge, backsplash, etc. The thought of re-doing a whole kitchen gives me nightmares. You did a wonderful job.

      Betty

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    2. I hear you loud and clear, Suzan, emergencies tend to come up once you open the Pandora's Box of renovation, especially in an older home...and thank you, I do love my kitchen, they're just more like pet peeves!

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    3. Thank you, Betty! I bet your kitchen is gorgeous!

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  2. Those are all good tips - I tend to want to rush through a project to GET IT OVER WITH and Hubby is the voice of careful thought out reason. (: Having said that, I really like your kitchen. I don't have a room in this house that's perfect, and I never will. Function wins over form for me most of the time, though. spiffed up cabinets...I would love new countertops and spiffed cabinets, but like you said, something always comes up...

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    1. Something does always come up and that's why the sink is still the same...it works and it's a sink. There are more important things to deal with, for sure!

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  3. I can understand your dilemma Kim, luckily for me, I lived in our home for a couple of years before renovating, so I knew exactly what I wanted when we renovated our kitchen. My only regret is I should've gone grass on all my handles and different bar stools. :-( My refrigerator isn't built in, but our contractor was able to build the cabinets around it to make as snug as a bug, I'm sure you'll find the solution to that one pretty soon.

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    1. Vel, your kitchen is stunning! My hubby said that we would remove the sheetrock behind the fridge and sink in deeper into the wall and then add more moulding to cap the top...never happened! ;) That's ok, maybe someday! Ha!

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  4. After building a brand new home, I also have some builder-regrets in more than just the kitchen. Some really irritate me, others I've pretty well forgotten about. But at the end of the day, when I tuck in my precious children, and my husband kisses me goodnight, I'd say 'all is right with the world!' :-)

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    1. Absolutely right...nothing more important than that!! :)

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  5. All great tips. We really love our homes and should have things the way we love. No regrets. Everyone told me that farm house sinks were bad and a fad and too expensive. I was almost convinced then thought hey I want this. So I found a great farmhouse kitchen sink at Ikea and it was less than $200 and this was 6 years ago and I have had no issues and the hubby put it in pretty easily. Second I wanted butcher block counters everyone estimate we got was in the thousands and again Ikea had the best butcher block counter ever and we installed it ourselves to the tune of $300 not thousands. Even the Ikea salesperson said he has contractors coming in there all the time to buy the butcher block to install for clients. So if you research and not give up on your true dream ideas you can make it work and you do not have to be a contractor to do it. You have a beautiful kitchen. So I hope you do not give up on what you really want to change.
    Kris

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    1. We are going to need a new sink soon, Kris, this one is getting pitted and stained and I am not settling this time around! I am going to have my own contractor (my husband) install it this time. I’ll check out Ikea and while I’m there, I may just have to take my husband to peek at the wood counters! ;) Thanks for the tip!

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  6. I think your kitchen is beautiful, Kim, but I understand. I've redone several kitchens and I've made mistakes and had regrets.

    The best thing about the kitchen I'm in now is that I didn't have to do much to it to take it back. My mom wanted me to rip out the whole thing and start over, because it looked so bad, but aside from wanting to save the original cabinets, I couldn't handle another person coming in and trying to tell me what I wanted and should do. I did get a few people telling me that tile counters and the flooring I chose were out of date. Funny enough, I was in full vintage at the time and pointed to myself and said "Really? Outdated, huh? I can't imagine why I'd like that...."

    The kitchen is my domain and my domain only, so no contractor tells me what to do anymore. If they try to, I ask if they're the ones that will be living there or if they'll be the new cook in the house. Usually that shuts them up LOL Have I mentioned, I'm a stubborn ass sometimes? ;)

    By the way, I've had two farmhouse sinks and my mother has too and none of them leaked. I'm guessing he just didn't want to do the work.

    Anyway, like I said, you ended up with a beautiful kitchen. Hopefully one day, you'll get that sink :)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. I'm usually pretty stubborn myself, Rue. I guess there were just too many fights to be fought with this house (it needed an overhaul top to bottom) and by the time we got around to the kitchen, I was burnt out! Ha! I'm getting a second wind now and I am gunning for that farmhouse sink and while I am at it, a kitchen fireplace, too. I figure if I at least end up with the sink, I am still ahead of the game! ;)

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  7. your kitchen is beautiful, but I understand exactly what you mean. We bought a builder spec house, which is lovely, but not what I wanted. We planned and dreamed and made lists for 2 years of what we would build, then my husband took the easy way out, talking me into buying a spec. We've been here for 4 years and have spent almost $30k replacing or repairing floors, fences, patios, fences and such - but have yet to do the things I was promised before I agreed to buy. Now I just want to sell and build like we originally planned to do. Replacing or upgrading perfectly good sinks, chandeliers, and such sounds simple but tends to be hard to actually do...it makes you feel so guilty and wasteful. I second your build it the way you want in the first place because spending your life praying "it" will breakdown is a bad way to live!

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    1. You are so right about feeling wasteful when wanting to replace perfectly good items. I just haven't been able to do it. I am sorry that your someday has not arrived yet, either, and while I know that there are tons of things more important than a kitchen sink, when you spend all that dough, you want to feel good about it. I wish you the best of luck with whatever path you decide to take!

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  8. I know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to contractors talking you out of something! When we built our home I wanted wood counters and wood bath surround, my contractor said," you can't use wood around sinks?!?" I said, "They build boats out of wood don't they??!" Nuff said, I got my wood countertops and tub surround. And, he used the same wood I had left over from the wood flooring:) don't settle!

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    1. That's funny, Rhonda! When my husband was giving me the "no go" on my mahogany counters, I was reminding him that he had just built a kayak out it!! Not practical or durable near water? Really? ;) Glad you got what you want!

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  9. Too many decisions all at once tend to create a 'settle' environment. And the refrigerator not breaking?? Typical! Thanks Kris for the IKEA ideas, as I need to replace a countertop. Kim, go for it!! Sink and all! The ladies at church are talking about a trip to IKEA, and I wasn't sure I was up for it, but now - I think I'll go!
    Not that my kitchen (any of them!) will ever be as beautiful and classic as yours, Kim! So I just look at yours and smile. (Remember when I had your living room as my desktop background?!) You have such great style! I'm even discovering that red is the perfect color for all of my seasonal decor!

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    1. Nancy, you are always so nice to me! I agree with your first statement wholeheartedly! Decision overload was a factor and I got tired of sheetrock dust and hearing people tell me why I couldn't have what I wanted. I should've stuck to my guns!

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  10. Have Hubby replace the trim between the fridge and the cabinet with a larger trim piece. Or perhaps you could add to what is there to close this space.

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    1. Thank Sandra! I wish he could, but the hinges on the fridge door are right there...ugh! They are mounted on the top of the fridge. If I don't get a built-in next time around, I will get one that he can box out!

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  11. LOL!! My galley kitchen is 8 x 12 / yours is perfect in some people's eyes.
    Remember...when you wash the dishes in that sink that isn't your dream sink, WAS THE DINNER GOOD? CAN YOU COOK? :)
    If the dinner was good and you can cook, you are blessed. Many can't. :) I DO understand the regrets and the someday though :)

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    1. Ok Deb, so the answer is sometimes and sometimes!! I am not the greatest chef...I really don't enjoy the process at all and I am not a big eater, either. My husband laughs and tells me that I would be the greatest kids' chef...scrambled eggs, grilled cheese and chicken nuggets are my specialities! Joking aside though, yes, I am super grateful for what I have, I don't ever take it for granted! :)

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  12. Well, as you probably know, I've been trying to do something with this apartment kitchen for weeks. So I've been researching A LOT! Here's some of what I've seen. Plywood on top of counters. Google it and look it up on Pinterest Search. As for the eyesore electrical outlet, I do something kind of odd when faced with such a dilemma. I highlight it. Yep, I do the opposite. I just purchased a cover for one of mine today. Get a fancy schmancy one that looks elegant. Direct the eye to it. There are ALL kinds of covers out there, cause I saw them today.
    Brenda

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    1. Brenda, I honestly never would’ve thought about highlighting those outlets…but now that you mention it, the wheels are turning! What an interesting idea. I could get super crafty with your idea! Thanks so much! :)

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  13. I think you have a pretty kitchen Kim. We built our house twenty years ago. I didn't know squat about what I wanted. I had never considered I would be deciding all those things and was unprepared. I did go with a look I loved and still do. Yes, the refrigerator sticks out and I have wallpaper that should not be in a kitchen but I still adore that wallpaper! I was more concerned with the 'pretties' than the function. I cook but it isn't a true love so I don't have the kitchen love a lot of people have. I know it's against the grain now but what about a couple of accessories that 'hide' your electric switches.

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    1. I'm with you Janet, I am more concerned with the pretties, than the cooking. I do not love the process, but I love decorating and have an artist's eye. So I too designed the room with less of a focus on how the elements would function during prep, I just wanted it all to look good and be comfy!

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  14. LOL - I love how you write. You always make me smile.
    I have a farmhouse sink!! It came with our This Old House :-)
    We are still working on our house. We have 2 rooms to go.
    So far most of what has been completed, we have done together. I do remember the light fixtures my husband originally installed in the kitchen, he did not even ask me if I liked them, just put them up. Guess what, they are not in the kitchen any more, but I had to live with them for too long. LOL :-)

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    1. Carla, thank you for your super sweet comment, you just made me smile! :)

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  15. Well Kim, you may not have gotten everything you wanted, but your kitchen is still gorgeous! I do have a farmhouse sink in my basement kitchen and I do love it! In fact I like my entire basement kitchen than my upstairs. lol! We didn't build our home so there are things I am changing slowly about the upstairs, but it's hard to justify it when it still looks quite new. It has always bothered me the my kitchen outlets are so high also. I don't remember them being that high in my previous home.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Jann, I adore your basement kitchen! What a fun space to be able to decorate, accessorize and use. My grandmother had a cook’s kitchen in her basement and I always loved being down there, playing with her second set of everything…and yes, I think the outlets just keep getting higher and bigger!

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  16. I love your kitchen, but I know what you are getting at, because little things bother me too. My bathroom came out really nice, but it was a budget, and so necessary since we have only one. I like the vanity; I love the sink, but I can tell that the vanity finish will not hold up and will need to be replaced eventually.

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    1. Your bathroom renovation sounds like a kitchen redo...you only have one and cannot be without it for any period of time! We have a bathroom vanity that is not holding up so well either...oh boy!

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  17. So many of them that they are countless. I bought a house in a neighborhood with researching it well first - an out-of-towner that didn't know the area well. Disaster, the golf course we going bankrupt, the gate-guarded security was going to become non-existent because 1,000 new homes were going to be built and guess what - those homeowners going through that gate every day, it was the most expensive house in an neighborhood where 95% were 1/3rd the price (the real estate agent told me there just weren't any comps, and I was too naive not to tell him that was ridiculous.)

    Then there was the house with the great view and wonderful floor plan - twice the size and price of everyone else's in an old neighborhood where the seller convinced me everyone was going to be remodeling big. They didn't. Disaster when it came time to try to sell.

    I've resented every compromise I've ever made with regard to a house.
    Saying "oh that won't bother me, i can live with that" is always the thing I end up hating every day.

    Thanks for writing your post. You made me realize i am not alone in having regrets or wishing I'd done things differently.

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    1. I'm sorry that you have had so many regrets, Constance. Navigating the waters and expenses of homeownership is not easy, that is for sure. Thanks for sharing your own story, I am sure that someone will find solace in your experience, just as you have found it in mine.

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  18. We are in the middle of a kitchen reno right now so I was glad to find your post. I brought up wood countertops to the hubs and he said the same thing to me about water. I asked him about making boats with wood and got no response. Do they take a man class for this stuff? ;) I will be sure to push for the things that I really want. Thanks for the tips. Beautiful kitchen btw.

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    1. Ha! I love it ~ a man class! I wish you the best of luck with your reno...here's to no regrets! ;)

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  19. I really can't say I have renovation regrets, and I've done quite a few. My late husband and I were always on the same page, fortunately, and if we wanted something badly enough, we found a way to make it happen. My husband was able to do most everything, just as your hubby is able. Dennis and I did pretty well together on our one and only renovation. No regrets -- well, maybe the kitchen sink. I wanted a farm sink but the cost was prohibitive. I ended up using a stainless steel farm sink that was about half the cost and it looked great in the kind of kitchen we had. But Dennis' belt buckle scratched it in several places. Nobody seemed to notice, but I knew every scratch! I'll never make that mistake again. Now, as you know, we're building a home and I am making sure I get what I want right NOW. Two comments I want to make about your kitchen. First, I can't believe your kitchen was renovated in 2003. It looks brand new. You were so wise to make decisions that are classic and timeless. Second, if your sink is ready to be replaced now is the time to also replace the countertops and to get the sink you want. Kris is right about Ikea sinks and countertops. If you need a budget wood countertop and sink. . .that's the place to go. I'm going to use the Ikea Domsjo double sink like Kris's sink. xo Nancy

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    1. Nancy, I actually thought of you and your new build as I was writing this post. I was thinking about all the many, many decisions you must be faced with right now! I do like Kris’ Ikea suggestion. As a matter of fact, all of this snow has caused a leak in my kitchen ceiling right above the sink. The contractor is on his way, but I end up crossing a few things off my wish list sooner than later! Be careful what you wish for, right? ;)

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  20. Kim, like the other commenters I think that you have a lovely kitchen. It is kind of funny, I am not a very 'detail' person but I am surrounded by people who are and it amazes me sometimes the things that they notice and (can't think of the word that I want--fuss? Agonize?) over. My sister has never used a can of paint straight out of the can, even when she orders a custom mixed can she is back at the store having them adjust something or she is adding paint from her stash to adjust it herself. She has an artist's eye that I don't have. She has a bunch of cans of wood stain and custom mixes her own for any wood projects that she has. My girls are the same way. Choosing a new color scheme for the exterior of my house was a real eye opener for me. (The committee chose three shades of gray with a yellow door but we ended up buying four colors of paint before we settled on a plan) That being said, I like the suggestion to accentuate the electrical covers. I was going to suggest bigger accessories or perhaps a shelf below your cabinets that would hide them but that would make them harder to use and clutter up your nice clean lines. For your fridge, do they come with levelers? Can you raise the height of the fridge to at least lessen the gap a little bit? I would think that if you have the opportunity to replace your sink it would make sense to do the counters at the same time. I would think that wood counters would be easier and cheaper to fit around the sink area than a stone or a laminate. Another suggestion might be to replace the small piece of counter top to the to the right of your stove with your mohagany. It could serve as a test to see if you like it and also function as a cutting surface. And if you keep the countertop piece that you remove you can always put it back if you don't like it. My other suggestion is do you have any other places to put your fridge. I have a small kitchen and i have a small fridge in my kitchen and a larger one in my basement. You could move your fridge and replace it with a couple of refrigerated drawers or a undercounter beverage fridge for the stuff that you use everyday, placing it in the nook where the fridge is now with a counter over top and make the space above it a baking center or a coffee [I know ;) ] space or even some open shelving pantry storage. You are so creative you could make it look like it was planned that way.

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    1. Lorri, I think that your "committee" is rubbing off on you, that was quite a list of very creative suggestions you just listed! I love them all! I just came home to a roof leak from all this ice and snow...it may force us to do some renovating. I love your fridge idea. I have always loved those refrigerated drawers. I am not a big chef, I am more into the design of the room than its function. Ps-- It might not be from me, but your coffee space idea gets three cheers from everyone else around here! ;)

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    2. Oh no on the roof leak. I am hoping for the best.

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    3. Thanks Lorri! It's a bummer.

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  21. I totally understand your frustrations, but do yourself a big favor and find the positives. There are so many and I promise that focusing on gratitude will make the little irritations fade. Thanks for your honesty in this post. Your kitchen is gorgeous and you did a great job of compromising and still ending up with a lovely result.

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    1. Thank you, Tara, I really do enjoy the kitchen. It's my favorite room in the house, especially when it's filled with my family!

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  22. Hi Kim, I love your kitchen and it looks so beautiful even though there are the little things that bother you. I say enjoy your LARGE kitchen!

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    1. Thank you Julie. We really enjoy the space, too. It is large, especially in comparison to the rest of the house! Overall, it’s a good space! :)

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  23. Oh, I'm so sorry, Kim, that you have so many regrets. We've done some major renos and had some arguments along the way, but I don't think I've had any regrets. I certainly hope that remains true as we are about to embark on a big diy.......painting all of the honey oak cabinets in our home! Wish us luck that we don't have future regrets.

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    1. I don’t have any big regrets, Carol, they are more like pet peeves! I am sure that your project is going to turn out great! :) Good luck!

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  24. Your kitchen looks amazing to me, Kim! I know though how hard it is to see the defects, and things that aren't right, and how frustrating that can be. So many have offered such wonderful advice, and I learned a lot just reading through the comments! I hope that soon you can get things arranged in a way that brings peace to your heart when you come into your kitchen. :)

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    1. Thanks! Overall, I am really happy with what I have. I guess I was just trying to make the point for anyone embarking on a renovation in the near future. I am also a detail oriented person, those little things gnaw at me! ;)

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  25. This is really good advice!! I plan to build my own home (someday)... And the advice you have given today is something I will remember. Now, even though you have regrets about your kitchen, I still think it looks pretty nice!!

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    1. Thank you, Angelina. I am glad that you found something useful in my post. I really hadn't meant for it to be a pity party, I simply wanted to share my experience and give a little advice to those who may be embarking on the renovation journey. I wish you luck with your own build...someday! :)

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  26. Hi Kim, its funny how I have some of the same frustrations as you as far kitchen reno goes such as outlet placements and position of windows and contractors who talk you out of everything your heart desires and husbands who listen to those contractors, lol! But I truly love your bright and airy kitchen...it always looks so warm, inviting and beautiful! Hugs, Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy! You are always so kind. I tend to be a very detail oriented and visual person. I am very happy with the big picture, but sometimes, those little things I let myself get talked out of, irk me! ;)

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  27. Thank you so much for this post. We are in the beginning stags of planning a kitchen reno. I am already compromising on things I thought I had set in stone. Pinning this for further reference.

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    1. It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it, Donna? We spend so much time on the details when planning and they seem to be the first things to go once the work starts! Hold firm and good luck! :)

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  28. Well, I've never gotten to have a kitchen built from scratch! I'd probably have a heart attack! I'm sorry you didn't get what you wanted. Were those men who said 'no'? :) Well, your kitchen is very beautiful and I love it!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! I really do love my kitchen, my complaints are really very trivial ones, but yes, where are those men now? Certainly not in the kitchen that’s for sure! ;) Thanks for popping by and I hope you’re having a great evening!

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  29. I wanted a farm sink too but had to cave in on that. I don't understand why you didn't get a flush mount sink. The one in your kitchen is a drop in and a bear to use. Sounds like your contractor was the wrong guy for you. It is a beautiful kitchen and hope you can let go of the would have been and appreciate the good. I had to live in tiny hard work in kitchens for so many years I am just glad to have room to move around! Taria

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    1. Overall, I am very happy with my kitchen, Taria. I am very grateful for all the space, especially since every other room in the house is tiny! I wrote the post to illuminate the process of give and take when you renovate, but don't get me wrong...given my choice I would have that farmhouse sink!! ;) Thanks so much for the comment!

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  30. Well, I'd say you hit a nerve with this one!!! Yes, I have regrets, but they're pretty small. Although, small or big, they're still the way they were over 8 years ago! I had to pick a faucet when the counter intstallation was in progress, and I had very few to pick from. Hated it the day I bought it and I still hate it! Also, I bought those cheap plastic window muntins to try out for size, and those cheap ugly things are still in our windows!! I still love your kitchen with or without your farmhouse sink and mahogany countertops. :o)

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    1. Thanks Vickie! As I have said to others here, I am very happy with the kitchen overall. I just think it's funny how much time and effort we spend planning every last detail to get the exact look we want, but when the construction starts, things change. I had to make some of those on the fly purchases, too. That is never fun!

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  31. My daughter is just about to start on her kitchen renovation and I sent her this post. You make some excellent points. By the way, your kitchen is charming! But I think you've convinced me to go for the farmhouse sink next time ...
    Karee

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    1. Karee, I wish your daughter luck on her renovation. Change is always exciting! I love my kitchen, I just wanted to share that the details are important when it comes to design and if at all possible, stick to your original plan! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  32. Kim, your kitchen appeals to me, and we both know why, so I won't go into all the red and white details, as I have commented them on previous posts, but I can completely understand your little grievances, as I know exactly what you mean about those contractors, since mine is my husband!! Given: they do have some very valid points about some things, but if I had let him and my carpenter have their way, I would have ended up with a totally different kitchen from the one I had designed! Case in point: our carpenter, (also a very good friend of my husband, the contractor), tried to convince me to go with...get this: glossy, (as opposed to matte), BLACK!, (as opposed to white), cabinets, SKIP the open shelving, (my piece de resistance), and stick with a standard, stainless steel hood, (which would have meant less money for him - but less of a headache!), instead of my custom one, and forget about that farmhouse sink, (for the reasons you mentioned), and the only thing I didn't manage to do, since it would have had to be shipped from either England or Italy, (the free standing, claw foot bath tub I had dreamed about for years, had the same fate).

    I am SO happy that I didn't let them 'bully' me into their ideas, and didn't budge on all but one, but having said that, it was very difficult finding an exhaust system that perfectly fit the hood I designed, and to this day, I have to stand over the stove when I'm boiling large pots of water for spaghetti, etc., since our exhaust fan has never worked properly...and I have never heard the end of it, from my husband! But, I'd rather soak up the droplets of water, then have to stare at those dungeon cabinets that might have been!

    Your kitchen is spacious, pretty, and practical. That awkward space between the top of the fridge and the cabinets would bother me, too, and I was thinking, why not add a piece of mdf or another piece of decorative molding, painted in exactly the same colour as the cabinets?

    Poppy

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    1. Poppy, thank you for weighing in here, I really appreciate it! I think that some may have thought that I was lamenting over little things when I have such a wonderful kitchen that I should be grateful for…and I am. I appreciate all that I have, this wasn’t that kind of post. It was about exactly your experience. As a homeowner, you spend a lot of time and money on renovations and they should be what you want them to be, what you intend them to be when you draw up the plans. Unfortunately, too many cooks in the kitchen (pardon the pun) tend to dilute the vision. I was merely trying to point out that if at all possible, stick to your original vision. You’ll be happier in the end.

      If these things never get fixed in the kitchen will I lead an unhappy life? No, absolutely not. If they get fixed will I be happier. Probably~ at least when I’m in the kitchen! Is it shallow, I don’t know, maybe…or maybe that I just spend a lot of time in that room and I want to look at what I deem pretty!!

      I am glad you got what you want, my friend! Thanks for adding to the conversation. I always love your input!

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  33. LOL - I so hear you!!! When I first moved into this house, I was dating someone who was helping me renovate. I caved to the things he was prepared to do instead of sticking to my guns. BIG MISTAKE. 4 years later, he was no longer in the picture and I hated my kitchen. I hated even more that I gave in on the things that I wanted. So I redid the kitchen by myself. I moved cabinets into the configuration I wanted and painted them, got the butcher block counters I wanted and made my kitchen into a space that I love. My kitchen is now a very happy place that I love to hang out in. :)

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    1. That's awesome, Anne! I have seen your kitchen, along with many of your other impressive DIYs, and it's gorgeous! I guess it's true what they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself!! ;)

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  34. Your kitchen is beautiful! Doing what you want is really good advice...my biggest regret is not doing the farmhouse sink, too. I really dislike the one we have, and we would have to have the quartz countertops re-cut, and the cabinets remodeled there, to do it now.

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    1. Thank you Linda, I do love my kitchen…for the most part! I hope you get your own farmhouse sink one day, I am still waiting on mine! ;)

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  35. Just one little hint - The next time you're tempted to write a blog post about the little things you don't like in your gorgeous kitchen, maybe take down the sign that says, "It is what it is" before you take the pictures. LOL It so ironic it's hilarious. ;-)

    But, regardless of whether you stick with what you want or accept something else, I do think that imagining that we'll change something "someday", isn't the best way to think and plan. Either stick with what you want, or embrace what has to be. I think that will be a good reminder for me as we plan to build. We can't always have everything just so, but we can learn to do what we need to to make that work for us one way or another. :-)

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    1. I agree, I should’ve stuck to my original ideas during construction and not accepted something else. Unfortunately, the budget, the mess and the inspectors swayed me when quick decisions needed to be made and plans were altered. Of course, much of my post was tongue in cheek and the magnitude of my “problems” exaggerated for illustrating my point. I absolutely do love every inch of my kitchen…including that sign! ;) Thanks for weighing in!

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  36. Thank you so much for posting this. I am smack dab in the midst of a reno and I needed some energy to keep my mind on what I think I can live with ( as opposed to ..."Whatever! I'm just too tired of living in one room and doing dishes in a plastic basin) it's such a relief to hear I am not alone .
    Great kitchen ! you are still way ahead of the game, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I know, it can be exhausting and frustrating, but you are right, all good and so worth it in the end. I am wishing you a quick reno with no hidden costs or unexpected troubles!! I am sure it will be fabulous when it's finished! :) Glad you popped by and thanks for the comment!

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