Our Kitchen after Sandy
After Sandy, when we got 3' of water in the house, Kevin completely tore everything out - ceilings to subfloor - "No sense fooling around." he said. "Down to the studs."
Okay. If we are going to do this, let's see if we can't at least get something out of this. C-L's kitchen was pretty small so let's open it up.
Kevin put together this floor plan (Actually I cluttered up his plan with details - stove, fridges, etc - to give you an idea of how small it was to work in. Click on this one to see Kevin's original uncluttered plan I took to the kitchen designer):
The right hand side was the kitchen area (roughly 17' x 7.5'). There really was only room for one person at at time in the "action area" - less than 4' between the stove and the microwave on the other side.
I was going to take the floor plan over to Home Depot or Lowes as I had been told they will do a plan for free. In the meantime of friend of C-L's told her of a place in Perth Amboy (maybe 50 miles away) that had fantastic cabinet prices and will design the kitchen as well (no charge). It was called
533 Krochmally Avenue
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
"Hi. Sit down and tell me what you are looking for." said a pleasant young woman. We told her and showed her our current floor plan. "Fine. We can help you. Why don't you wander around inside while I find someone to help you." We go through this little door and step up to this:
WoW! Nothing like the exterior, that's for sure. All kinds of kitchen layouts. All kinds of cabinets. We wander around maybe 10 minutes when a nice young man comes up and introduces himself. He takes us around and shows us different details, drawer slides, lazy susans, all the various ins and outs of the various grades of cabinets. Explains the different grades, qualities, etc. Spends maybe an hour.
He tells us a designer will be with us shortly. We look around a little more when the receptionist came in and told us it will probably be a half hour or so before a designer will be free. "Would we like to go out and come back?"
"Nah, ain't all that sure I want to be wandering around this neighborhood. Nor am I all that sure we could even find our way back here." So we sit down, they bring us some coffee and rolls. Later she comes back and tells us it will be "at least another half hour. If we like we could set up an appointment for another day. Set aside 2 hours, ..."
Well we waited this long, so we waited some more. We chatted with the receptionist and it turns out she's the business manager and the daughter of the owner. The young man who showed us around was a cousin, another cousin was the bookkeeper, another uncle .... It was a family owned and run business since 1972. Everyone is on salary, no one works on commission. There are no sales incentives. They handle lots (all?) of the major cabinet manufacturers and have no incentive to push more expensive units. Their interest is only to match the buyer's needs with his pocketbook.
Finally a young woman came out and introduced herself as "Alyssa" (Don't know how she's related.)and would help us design a kitchen. Took us into a room that held 5 more designers sitting at computers with customers. Long story short she spent more than 4 hours with us, designing on the computer, taking us into the showroom(s) to show how various features looked/worked, differences between finishes, woods, type drawers, etc. In no way pushy, extremely patient.
And we ended up with this:
By moving a couple walls (and losing a couple closets), we ended up converting a lot of what was not well used space into a very efficient roomy kitchen. With 40-50' of cabinets, drawers, ... 30' of counter space (granite composite - 93% granite, 7% polymer. - The advantage to to the composite, aside from being (much?) cheaper, it is non-absorbent, won't stain where true granite can stain, if sealing isn't maintained a couple times a year. Not a big deal but ... And looks really good.)
And at a surprisingly low price. Just about 50% of what I had thought it would come to, given that we had picked pretty much higher end stuff. Oh, and becaused it's in a "depressed" area, the sales tax is only 3.5% instead of the normal 7%, which adds up pretty good when you are spending this kind of money. Not a good reason to buy here but ...
End Kitchen After Sandy
"He can compress the most words
into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
(Caution- Strong Stuff)
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