Why a second opinion, and possibly a third, is sometimes necessary.
When Sonia and Jay first called us in, they had spoken to other contractors first. I can’t remember if it was 1 or 2. What I do remember, is they had some grand plans for their main floor, and when they laid it all out for me, I truly felt they were planning too much for their space. Their intent was to open up their kitchen to their den/living room/family room, whatever you want to call it. For a townhouse whose main floor consisted of those two spaces plus a dining area, in my opinion, it seemed a bit much.
I am fully aware that the new “in thing” is to have giant, open spaces. But those spaces should make sense to the home and the lifestyle of the people in it. Also, budget is always a factor. If you spend more money on a renovation than your home’s value can tolerate, then A) you have to live there for many years to recuperate your investment or B) you can never leave without a loss. So, a part of what any good designer or contractor does, is evaluate that prior to suggesting it’s a good idea to their clients. It’s the responsible approach. And if you find that your contractor or designer isn’t giving you options, a second or third opinion is sometimes necessary.
The second thing I remember clearly, was how much they wanted to do “something” to give them a more functional kitchen, and a look that reflected their personalities. A kitchen island was top of the list. And whomever was there before us, didn’t seem all that interested in suggesting alternate options to the giant “let’s tear the walls down and spend a lot of money” option.
We sat down at the table, Mr. Potter, their cat, came by for a visit, and we wrote down a list of their wants, needs, dreams and brainstormed some ideas on how to put an island in their super narrow space. The design process was pretty easy. We all had the same vision, and to be honest, I loved their vision! But that island wasn’t a cinch.
A before and after
You can see here, in the before photo , that the kitchen had a small peninsula and the overall space is very long and narrow. In the after photo, you will see that my next issue of “sleepless nights” really wasn’t necessary!!
I woke up many a night wondering if I had measured correctly. Praying that it wasn’t too wide or too long. That both stools would fit at the end, which was only slightly wider than the rest of it, and at the exact spot where it would not be too wide. An inch, in this case, would make a world of difference. Would they have room to comfortably maneuver around it? Would they love it? Would I?
Yes. Even super confident designers with over twenty years experience can wake up panicked at night, worried they have made a mistake. A very expensive mistake. Steven built the space for us. And every night, I would ask him to measure again. And again. Like a crazy person. But he did it, and I redrew it, and mulled it over, and never felt okay until the day it was installed. And then I jumped for joy. And Steven smiled (he never jumps for joy) and was glad it was over.
Here is a lovely shot of the island, which in my opinion is the most stunning part of this kitchen.
Our clients loved the space (you can read their review by clicking here), and so did Mr. Potter.
You know, sometimes, all the fear and the stress are worth taking a leap of faith, a risk. They took one with me, and my ideas and promises, and I took one on myself with all my ideas and promises. In the end, that leap of faith was totally worth it.
So, if you have a dream, and the person you are speaking to can’t see it, or doesn’t believe in it, might be time to call in someone else.
To see the portfolio for this project, click here http://www.monacointeriors.ca/portfolio/mahogany-forest/
Have a terrific day!