Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kitchen Redo--Step 1 Ride the Wave


“I love these wooden cabinets,” I said.
“They’re solid,” Mr. Wonderful said pounding on the old cabinets in our pre-redone kitchen.
“I love how they go all the way up the ceiling.”
“They’re big.”
“I want to keep them for our new kitchen.”
Mr. Wonderful smiled, “I like it when you say practical things like that.”
“But… can we change them?”

We were discussing what to keep, what to toss and how much money we needed to steal to pay for our kitchen remodel.  I truly loved the wooden cabinets but I disliked their country-kitchen, wiggley-wave bottom line because it didn’t make me think of an elegant epicurean epicenter, (which I hoped our kitchen would become) but rather a cookies-tossing, vomit-inducing roller coaster ride at Six Flags.

So I wanted to change it.  Or more honestly, I wanted Mr. Wonderful to change it.  If he could change it successfully, then I was game to keep the cabinets but if he couldn’t, we’d have to spend more money and buy all new cabinets.  The question boiled down to: Could he remove the wave without hurting the cabinets?

Well folks, he’s not called “Mr. Wonderful” for nothing. 

Here’s something else I know: you cannot force “wonders” or a man.  So I left him alone and watched from afar.

First, he thought about it.  At the kitchen table he started sitting in a chair facing the wavy cabinets.  While sipping his coffee, while eating his pasta, while reading the paper he would suddenly pause and stare at the cabinets. 

Second, he took his time.  We discussed removing the cabinet wave on Tuesday.  On Wednesday I did not ask him about it nor did he tell me about it.  That Thursday, Friday, and Saturday followed the same pattern where we discussed work, the vegetable garden, Jackson’s toenails, literally everything except the wave.  

Third, he went shopping.
“I’m going to the store,” he announced.  I chased after him and together we drove to The Home Depot.  He marched to the lumber department and I trailed after him at a polite distance like a court jester following his king.  He picked out several pieces of wood 12 feet long.  He picked up saw blades, wood fill, wood glue, a box of nails, six energy-saving light bulbs and 20 pounds of organic potting soil.  I may be an idiot in how to remove a cabinet’s wavy line but I was pretty confident he wouldn’t use all those items to do it.

Or maybe he would?

Back at the House I left him alone to his work only silently popping my head into the kitchen when it sounded like an LAPD chopper was landing or taking off in our kitchen. 

He sawed into the bottom of the cabinet to cut out the wave and replaced it with the straight wood he had bought. He measured everything.  The fit was perfect!  He swapped the wave for a straight line from the rest of the cabinets.  By the end of the afternoon he’d changed the cabinets while keeping them in tact. 

I gave him a glass of lemonade.  He sat down at the kitchen table and looked at the cabinets.  He didn’t saying anything but he didn’t have to because it was my turn to speak and to tell him how wonderful he truly was.

With our lemonades I toasted to him; to our new/old cabinets; to saving money; and to him, again, because he’s full of wonders.