The trouble with vision is that you're the only one who can see it.
As I reread that opening sentence, it amazes me that I am capable of vision. As a number cruncher, I'm not good at creating anything in my mind. I'm just not able to picture an outcome from a group of choices. But as the kitchen takes shape, I realize I have a clear vision of what it will look like once it's finished. When you pick the cabinets, counter tops, backsplash, paint, appliances, drawer handles, lighting, etc., you largely do it in a vacuum. I think it would be easier to pick new tile for an existing kitchen: just bring home the sample and see how it looks. When your kitchen is a blank canvas, every choice on its own is exhilarating, it's the thought of combining them that's scary. Will the cabinets go with the floor? Will the tile clash with the paint? Does the granite really work with the cabinets? I guess it's like putting together an outfit (something else I'm no good at), but it's the only outfit you'll wear for several decades.
Right or wrong, good choices or bad, much progress has been made this week. The appliances were delivered. The cabinet installation continues (they were here today (a Sunday) to make up for the short Thanksgiving week). The granite countertops were installed Thursday. The handles for the cabinets came in. The back window arrived, though it's not on site yet (the garage is already full of appliances!)
Things have gone well, other than a few challenges with the granite. The slab for the sink arrived with a large chip, and none of the pieces were the right size. Alan consulted with the tile installer, who reassured us that the mud for the tile would cover the chip. They honed down the edges to fit, unfortunately under my neighbor's bedroom window (she had a baby a week ago). It took a lot of muscle to put the pieces in place, but to my relief, the granite looks great with the cabinets. Unfortunately, when Alan and the cabinet guys tried to install the cooktop, they had to grind down one edge of the granite, and the other side will need patching (the granite installers cut too much on that side). The refrigerator door swings open a quarter of an inch too far and will hit the corner of the countertop (thereby denting the door), so I need to get the granite installer back out, hopefully tomorrow, to cut a bigger radius on the slab on the sink (and patch the piece they cut out by the cooktop).
Aside from the granite drama, this week promises to be a busy one. The electrician will wire the outlets, hook up the appliances and maybe even install the under cabinet lighting I picked out yesterday. The cabinet installers will finish the crown molding, install the cabinet in the family room, put the wood panels on the exposed ends, and install the rest of the doors (they'll come back next week to install the toe kicks and cabinet hardware.) The plumber will move the gas line (again-it's right in the way of the pull-out trash cans) and connect the cooktop, hook up the faucet, disposer and dishwasher, and connect the water line to the refrigerator.
We have a superb team helping to realize my vision for the kitchen, and do it in time for me to bake pies on Thanksgiving. Alan has a single-minded focus on keeping everyone on task, because if one thing slips, we miss our deadline. I had hesitated to buy the groceries for my pies, but today, with the end in sight, I searched for the best apples, checked my supply of pecans and bought enough butter for the first pie crusts I'll roll out on my new counters. Knowing that this kitchen will, God willing, soon cook, fills me with anticipation and excitement.