Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cabinets Redux

In October 2005, Abby and I drove our red Dodge Stratus to the Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue, stopping on the way to fill the tank with gas.  I remember the gas part because the gas prices were soaring at the time, and it was the first time I had ever put more than $40 in my tank.  So we walk into Home Depot for our appointment to design our cabinets for the kitchen in the house we had moved into one month prior-- we had been living pretty much on hot pockets alone for the previous month-- and the young woman with whom we had an appointment was still helping her previous customers.  Not having anything else to do that day, we walked around Home Depot for an hour waiting for her to finish.  We filled up a cart with all the stuff we needed for the house, including a brand-new microwave that was on crazy sale because it had been returned, and headed back to kitchen design.  Hours two, three, and four were spent designing the kitchen with Candace, someone we would come to know too, too well.  (At one point she and Abby became so friendly that she pulled out a picture of herself giving birth.  Yes, you could see everything.  Yes, I had the fortune not to be around for that one.)  However, when it came time for us to finish up, something went horribly awry: the plans were not saved, and we'd have to start all over again.  Hours five and six were spent painstakingly recreating our design until we were both happy.  We took our new plans to the front, left Candace's coochie pic back at her desk, and paid for our cartload of stuff.  We then walked out into the big parking lot, and couldn't find our car.

It had been very busy that Saturday; the weather was great, and a city full of house refurbishers and flippers was taking advantage.  We had to park right in the middle of the lot, which had the Home Depot on one side and a Giant supermarket on the other.  We knew our car was there, somewhere, anywhere... but no.  No car.  After six hours in the store, our car had been stolen from what apparently was the #1 spot in the entire District of Columbia from which to have a car stolen-- or so said the police officer in the substation at Giant. (Yes, so much crime happened at that shopping center that there was a police substation there.)  An hour later, we had made our police report, returned everything in our cart save the microwave, since it was a really great deal, after all, and trudged home on the metro carrying a huge boxed kitchen appliance.  Oh, and we lost an entire $40 tank of gas to boot.
Sadly, our Dodge Stratus, Commie (because it was big and red)
never got to visit Monument Valley with this stock-photo cousin.
So when I arrived at Home Depot this afternoon, alone and carless, since Abby and the kids are in North Carolina with our Prius, you can imagine the humor of the situation when Abby told me a black cat had been sitting outside her dad's window the whole day.  No matter-- this is a different location, at Aspen Hill way the heck outside the Beltway.  (Washingtonians: did you even know there was a 14000 Georgia Avenue?  Fourteen-thousand!)

John is our kitchen designer at Home Depot.  John looks to be an early retiree, seems nice enough, and reminds me of my dad how he thinks out loud and takes just a little more time to search for things on a computer desktop than I want him to.  (Love ya, Dad...)  I walk back for our appointment, and as soon as we're ready to start (on time?!), two customers corner him for a "quick question."  I oblige, and their question turns into a ten-minute info session on setting up a cabinet appointment.  He assures them, as he did us a couple of weeks back, that they need to sit down with him for 90 minutes to fill out paperwork before the contractors will come out and do a space measurement.  (Our session actually took about 10 minutes, done by cell phone while I was driving home from Buffalo last weekend.)  Only ten minutes late, we start in.  Two cabinets placed in the system later, the computer kicks him out of the program and we have to start all over again.  Not a good sign.  Thanks, Sanford cat!

The rest of the way, though, everything runs smoothly.  He saves the file after every single cabinet placement.  We're not kicked out of the program again.  Our appointment was supposed to go from 5-7, and my friends Frank and Lisa are picking me up at 7 so I can show them the house while they're in town with their kids doing tourist stuff; we run exactly seven minutes late.  Frank and Lisa's car was not stolen from the parking lot.  But best of all, while the previous estimate we had on cabinets totaled $18,500, these rang in at $15,500, and with all the bells and whistles (such as plywood construction and easy-glide drawers) too.  Not to mention, John told me they're having a huge sale next week, so if we finalize between July 19 and July 29, we'll pay just under $11,000.  This would most definitely be the first time anything on this house came in under budget.
The cabinets are white maple Thomasville cabinets in a simple Shaker design.  This is a picture of what they will like-- although remember: this is the stock photo and not the layout of our kitchen!  (Also, our drawer pulls will be different, and we aren't getting any cabinets that have glass fronts, because we all know we have enough windows in our house already...)

As for the layout, here it is.  Hope it's big enough for those of you who are interested to read.  Just know that the opening at the bottom is the doorway into the Great Room, there are only base cabinets on the left and top because we're not hanging cabinets over the windows, and there are both base and wall cabinets along the bottom and right.  Of course, since Abby wasn't there, it's not going to be 100% right; I'm sure I forgot something, or got something slightly (or more...) wrong, but I feel this is an accurate representation of what we will actually be getting.  More or less. And we didn't even have to lose a car over it.

A bit of a key: B = Base Cabinet; SC = Super Cabinet (the kind with pull-out drawers and shelves on the door); SB = Sink Base; W = Wall Cabinet; FH = Full-Height Cabinet (the kind without a drawer); U = Utility Cabinet (Pantry).  Enjoy!

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