Many of you have asked if I'm going to write about our recent kitchen remodel and include all the dirty details and tribulations, the fights and the dust. Well, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. Not that we're experts or supremely discerning, but we've been through several projects large and small and have had good luck and bad with contractors and workmen. This time it was amazingly easy, and the result has met all our goals and then some. (Before, above)
It started with interviewing three kitchen designers from the perky, West Hills type who I feared would feel like she was slumming, to the guy who came in, walked around and, without asking any questions, said, "It'll be $45,000 and I can't do it till next year." Then we were talking with our friend Salauddin, an accomplished independent architect, who gave us a couple of names but then said, "Yeah, I did a small kitchen for some friends, you should take a look." We did and we hired him.
He did some rough sketches and we fell in love with the one that solved the traffic problem and gave us a clear work space where two people can cook and entertain without crawling over each other. Plus it had a pass-through to the back door, room for an island and plenty of windows to take advantage of the southern light. (After, left)
Then, after interviewing and taking a look at four different contractors, we gave the job to a neighbor, Cliff, a great cabinet maker and contractor who has done some amazing work, from period remodels to modern new construction. Besides building all the cabinets, he could also cast the concrete counters we wanted. The whole job came in on budget and was done in seven weeks from start to finish. He was always concerned about keeping our living space clean and as dust-free as possible and his workers were unfailingly pleasant. There was never any finger-pointing or arguing, and he dealt with problems as they arose and got the job done.
In addition, we have to thank our friend Kim, who held my hand and helped with the colors of the tile, flooring and paint when I was freaking out over the choices. And all of you who were unfailingly excited and supportive throughout. It was so worth it!
Details: Salauddin Khan, architect, 812 NW 17th Ave.; Phone 503-226-9891. Cliff Belt, RC Belt Construction, contractor, 3917 N Mississippi; Phone 503-209-5355. Kim Ferris, interior consultant, Urbino, 638 NW 23rd Ave.; Phone 503-750-1202.