Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lights and Faucets and Hardware---Oh My!

I am convinced that our brains must be hardwired so that we are drawn to particular objects, or have certain aptitudes, or are consumed with details about some things and not others. For example, I struggled through geometry but loved algebra. I can't keep a plant alive longer than a few days, or stay awake for more than a few paragraphs of a gardening book that might teach me otherwise. I have no problem choosing area rugs or paint colors, but don't get me started on window coverings: roman shades, pleated shades, sheers, drapes, curtains, rods, ties, lined or unlined, room-darkening, UV-blocking, not to mention all the fabric mind starts to shut down. Even when I go into someone else's home, unless they really stand out with some electric color or pattern, I tend not to notice them. No surprise then, that any window treatments currently in my home were left by the previous owner.

When I started this process, I felt the same way about lights and faucets and cabinet hardware. Don't really notice 'em, don't really feel like wasting a lot of time or money on 'em. Figured I'd waltz into the Big Orange or the Big Blue and come out with some stuff in less than an hour. Why not? As long as the faucet provides water, the knobs help us open the cabinets, and the lights help us see in the dark, right? (Don't get me wrong--it's not like I didn't have some parameters. Obviously I wanted everything to mesh, and look like it belonged in our house.)

But then I started researching. I got sucked in, I admit it. Looked at too many magazines full of kitchen porn. Read too many blogs and forums about kitchen design and others' experiences with certain products. Realized there was more to life than the Big O and the Big B, and that the Internet was dangerous, because it opens up a whole new world of choice that someone like me, in my small town, with my few brick-and-mortar options, would never otherwise know about.

It made finding things I liked easier, because I had so many more options, but harder in that it took much longer to look. I still couldn't make a decision, as nothing was wowing me and I couldn't muster much enthusiasm. I needed help. This is what ended up working for us: I found about ten "whatsits" I liked well enough, then showed them all to C one at a time, like an optometrist checking an eyeglasses prescription (Is one better or two? Do you prefer two now or three?). The last one standing, which C liked best, was the winner. Good thing, because if left to me, we would have either ten "whatsits" or none, neither of which is very practical.

So we had a faucet, and appliance handles for the refrigerator, and some pendant lights for over the sink and the work table--all chosen in this same manner by an extremely thoughtful and patient C. And I could live with all of them. But I made a crucial mistake. I kept looking at blogs and reading forums, and something happened that I didn't expect. I had what you might call a moment--I was fascinated and intrigued; I sat up and took notice; I saw something that called out to me. I thought, "That 'whatsit' belongs in my kitchen. I have never seen anything like that 'whatsit' before. It's special." I went back to C for a final comparison, and he was in total agreement (and no, not because he had to be).

And so this is our new refrigerator handle:
Bronze and teak, a little out of the ordinary
From Gado Gado International, which carries Indonesian furnishings...strangely, it works.
I also got knocked over the head by these lights for over the windows:
Source: Arcadian Lighting, hues of blue, green, and amber to complement the cabinet colors
And this one for over the work table:
From The Steampunk Home, the pulley really works and is darn heavy!
Last but certainly not least---this is my worst crush of all:
Source: Waterstone Faucets; C loved his culinary faucet in TX, this one is so cool and articulated....again, love the steampunk vibe!
Imagine it in this color:
American Bronze, same source as above
So as you can see, even though I thought at the beginning my kitchen would be made up of some things I loved and some things I liked okay and didn't really care about, in the end I think we will have a room where we actually adore everything! I do have some worries that while we love each piece individually, it may not all gel into a cohesive space. We shall have to wait and see. I have to believe it will work, and if it doesn't, I would prefer that you all please call it "M and C's odd quirky kitchen" rather than "that incredibly hot mess M and C have to live with."  Our thanks in advance....

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