Monday, February 21, 2011

Hello, lovah. Madame Sunday buys some cabinets.

Now that I've figured out how to pay for this kitchen remodel in a way that would make Suze Orman squee her manties (but made my financial advisor slightly cranky after I told him) we can talk about all the pretty pretty things.  First up: choosing cabinets!  

I'm not getting this.
I had already spent plenty of time stalking Ikea kitchens (and rolling around in their cinnamon rolls) but they took one look at my floorplan and said 'auf wiedersehen' - that's the language they speak in Ikea right?  Maybe 'auf wiedersehen-torp' sounds better.  I don't know but I needed more help than their blue-shirted minions were willing to offer.  Home Depot and Lowe's were happy to help - kinda.  I asked them to give me a rough plan to estimate pricing they gave me generic row upon row of McMansion style mind-numbing cabinets.  So you DON'T want corbels and 8" tall crown molding and cathedral arches? Thanks but no thanks Mr. Orange Vest.  Draw it like I told you.  I could have struggled and got what I wanted eventually and had resigned myself to doing that.  Until a small little blog by the name of ModernSauce - maybe you've heard of it? - introduced me to the wonderful world of webtastic salvation.  Enter my Southern neighbor, blog buddy and twitter friend - Nick (@cupboards) from Cupboards in Sylacauga, Alabama.  

Hello lovah.  Much credit goes to my blog daddy and matchmaker Paul Anater (@Paul_Anater) of Kitchen and Residential Design who got me started on this process and brought Nick and I together.  We've been holding hands (snarking) and skipping (sarcastic snarking) for months now.  Paul, I'll be sending you a mini muffin basket soon as a thank you.  But first I had to bring Nick to the dark side.  

Ahhhh... that's better.  Nick, lemme introduce you to the kitchen.  Piece of shit, Nick.  Nick, piece of shit.  He would be designing this space only through emails, late night sexting, our Southern telepathic powers and a few phone calls.  Oh Nick, did I forget to mention that my kitchen is a five-sided room?  Oopsy...  ahahahaha*nervous laugh*ahahahaha........

Here's the pentagon of cooking fabulosity.  Or pentagram as I lovingly refer to it.  

Seriously, it's rough in there.
The devil's playground pentagon shape is actually pretty functional because it creates the perfect working triangle between the stove, sink and fridge.  Thank gawd these people did something right!  It's a decent size space too - anywhere from 150-375 sq feet.  I can't really tell because the room has FIVE FUCKING SIDES and I need Stephen Hawking to figure that shit out.  Standing at the counter looking out those two huge windows is like standing at the prow of a ship and it makes you want to scream "I'm the Madame of the world" Titanic style.  But right now it's so ghetto the way those nasty walls wrap around you that it feels like you're getting a hug from a smelly homeless man.  I told you not to stay and talk - just throw the leftovers in the fridge and get out!!!!

So I sent Nick some measurements and pictures and he told me to stop sending such filth to his inbox.  I told him that really was my kitchen and reminded him that we had signed the contract in blood and glitter in the center of the pentragram and those bonds are only broken by death or a special ceremony by the White Witch herself, Candice Olsen.

I also sent him a really precise and helpful list of 'wants' like:

"Nick, I want my kitchen to look exactly like this but NOT like this.  Got it?  Good."

And "I hate bending over - design accordingly" and "deep drawers make Madame squee but make sure they're sturdy enough for the monthly swinger parties" and "I want the thingy that pulls out and rotates *waves hands in air which he can't see either* for all my cooking stuffs" and then released him into the wild.  I didn't even have to micromanage because Nick is like the Alabama kitchen designer lovechild of Ty Pennington and Tabatha from Tabatha's Salon Makeover and he gets. this. shit. done.  Then, magically, one day I get a jazzy plan in my inbox.  It's beautiful.  Boom.  Done.  

Honestly, the whole process was really easy and Nick was really accomodating to all my drunk and neurotic demands.  I really didn't even have to make a lot of changes - just a few nudges here and there that we talked about together over a box of wine.   Maybe that was just me...  Not being in the space does present a few challenges and I did have to do a little homework once.  
Yes that's my wall.  Just deal with it.
DON'T LAUGH!!!!!  I totally taped off his plan on my floor so I could get a feel for it.  Part of it looked great on paper but it was too invasive in the actual space.  So I taped off where I felt comfortable a foot or so back.  Then I sent him that picture.  He thought I was both batshit crazy and exceptionally helfpul.  Ain't the internets grand?!

We'll go deeper into the process of working with a designer and a showroom later when Nick gets to visit the Sauce in his own words one day, but without a doubt I was able to afford a better product than I could have at a big box store.  I'm totally going ham, upgrade from bologna.  In your stupid orange FACE Home Depot!  That ham product is Kraftmaid's Huntington door in Dove White by the way.

Kraftmaid - your site sucks for nice pictures.  Get on this.
I wanted a simple modern-ish look.  A slab front is too severe for my house and any other details with a vintage mocha caramel gooey glaze are too fussy.  Shaker it is.

So here are the final orgasm-inducing renderings for the space: 

When you first enter the space...

not my range hood but use your imagination.
Look at all those glass cabinets!!!  My gay husband has already called dibs on arranging the contents of them.  Bless him.  Nick and I juggled this wall a little... There was a matching two-door glass cabinet on the right of the hood but I thought the empty corner would have bad chi or something.  Possibly harbor ghosts... I don't know.  He engineered more cabinets to fit the corner and I love it more than Charlemagne's fluffbutt.  I'm kidding.  I could love nothing more than that.  The uppers aren't symmetrical but the angled base cabinet on the left balances the wall nicely.  That cabinet also helps open up all the dumbass angles at the entrance to the space.  I would give my left glitter testicle to see this in person right now.

Is that a farmhouse sink??!!  I'll never tell!  (until I do the post about the sink...)

I was scared of the entire wall of cabinets at first but then I realized it was really damn smart.  I wouldn't have thought of that and I'm pretty sure Home Depot wouldn't have either.  I don't know who I have to sleep with at the Sears Appliance Outlet to get a counter-depth fridge but I will.  Or just invite them to the monthly swingers parties and then they're on their own.

As of right now my cabinets are at the Kraftmaid factory at the North Pole getting their final coat of fabulosity sprayed on and they'll be at my house in almost a month.  

Nick, our baby will be coming home soon and then we'll get to be a real family forever and ever and ever and ever.........


  1. Up until reading this I'd imagined the MS ranch as a "regular" house. I see now the folly of that. Your kitchen is clearly challenged, and not in a "new paint and floor" kind of way (but then you knew that).

    I'm not sure what's governing the layout of your house that makes a pentagonal room a "logical" solution. I mean a kitchen isn't a room that one leaves to "chance" (i.e. left over space after designing the house). Right!? If this isn't a result of chance, then it must be intentional which means…

    MS, I think your house may be the ninth gate, But with this remodel it's going to be the most fab hell-gate of the entire bunch.


  2. Izzy - ahahahahahahaha! No. It's not regular. At. All. I'll try to post a footprint so y'all can see the overall shape - which is like a big V because it sits on a corner lot. The corner of Hell Ave and Fabulosity Blvd.

  3. Madame, as one of Nick's friends and fellow kitchen and bath person, I have to say out boy Nick looks like he has done a good job for you. To be honest, all of those poor souls who work and Home Depot & Lowe's have a hard time "thinking outside of the box" when they spend most of their lives in one! I know, I did time, I mean I worked at Slowe's, as I unaffectionately call it, for 2-1/2 years.

    I did a kithen remodel in a 5 sided room while I was there, also in Kraftmaid, come to think of it, and it now has lots of fabulosity, too! I'll have to dig up those pix so you can see the only other 5 sided kitchen in the world!

    I am anxiously awaiting your next installment of the kitchen remodel mini-series...


  4. Brenda - Nick has been so awesome to work with! I couldn't have hoped for a better or more professional designer. We also get along really well too which is key when I'm trying to stalk him... Would love to see other 5-sided kitchens as well! Nick said he did one before too so I'm intrigued about how they were all handled.

    I'll keep you posted with updates!!

  5. Modernsauce + Nick = enough fabulosity to make my brain melt.

    All hail Nick and his WunderKitchen!

  6. Raina - we had so much fun together it should have been illegal. It might actually have been since we do live in the South... Can't wait for the finished product!

  7. My goodness, so happy for you! The sketch looks fab. Hope you don't have to hoe around too much to finish the job properly.

    Your drawing and izzy's comments now have me imagining the Ranch as the Hellmouth and you as a Vampire Slayer...

  8. Just met Nick, just getting acquainted with the Madame, but I would give my "left glitter testicle" to take you away from him (sorry Nick). I don't know how productive we'd be working together (So for the countertops ... wait, before we decide, another bourbon?), but it would be a hell of a lot of fun.

    GREAT design for a really difficult space. Looking forward to coming along for the ride.

  9. Kim - yippeee!! Come delight in my progress! I do this for YOU, internet friends! I tried to get most of my ho'ing done BEFORE the remodel started btw, more efficient that way.

    Please don't unfollow me when I tell you that I never watched Buffy... *ducks head*

    Arne - Welcome to the Sauce! Fortunately (or unfortunately for Nick maybe...) I'm devoted to Cupboards. But I bet we would have had fun too! He really did an awesome job with the plan and took good care of me.

  10. Fantastic post, honey! It's nice to be on the dark side!

  11. Nick - I think you may have already been there... Must be why we get along so well. ; ) Thank you for all of your help! You've made this process really fun. Oh and your design kicks ass too.

  12. fabulosity... even with 5 f* walls... & hysterical as always.
    plus glad you said Tabatha & not Tabitha ;)
    when's the sink post coming?

  13. Tabitha - Well, TabAtha is pretty badass so if you were ever confused with her I think that would be a compliment! I'm going to do a post about the counters and then the sink post - maybe next week?

  14. VERY entertaining story, Madame!

    I'm afraid had you used a box store your install may have looked something like this....

    Filler, filler, filler, cabinet, filler filler, DWEP, filler filler, cabinet, scribe!

  15. James - I'm glad you enjoyed! I don't even know what a DWEP is but I'm pretty sure I don't want it! Unless Nick tells me I need one and then I'll get it, obviously.

  16. So, is Nick a hobo, drifter or ghost? And did you consummate your love with a ride on his bike? Dare I ask what your love child will look like? And will it speak Alabamahooian or Tennessesnort? And which cupboard will store all the boxed wine? All of them?

  17. yeah... what AFF said. same language, same boxed wine or how bout some PBR. whoa. Love seeing Nick's dark side, that took Madame Sunday no time, so he musta been a willing convert. Y'all have fun destroying the MS fortress and gluing it all back together. before and after pics, ala Modenus blog?

  18. Alexandra - Nick has yet to actually visit the Ranch. In spirit only. Our love child looks pretty square and white since they are cabinets after all. Cabinets filled with wine and Sun Chips.

    cindyfw - I'm pretty sure Nick showed ME some things about the dark side! Modenus would be fun to be seen on - lemme get through this part first! Whew. ; )

  19. Sorry for throwing cabinetry slang out there like that.

    DWEP is short for "Dishwasher End Panel" and they are acceptable, but only in the right circumstances. Many times [poor] designers will use them to create false ends in kitchens when trying to fill odd corners and gaps.

    You certainly don't need any of that information but I'm having diarrhea of the keyboard this afternoon. ;)

  20. Awesomeness GALORE dahlinks!!! FIVE f*ing sides totally deserves a red pentagram thingy in the middle of it.

    Good call on skipping IKEA for this one. There'd be a stupid amount of modding their boxes to appease all the angles.

    Let the mangling begin. Have you sharpened the chainsaw?

  21. Huzzah! The plan looks fantastic and I am so glad to hear that you two are playing together nicely. I can't wait to see the finished room.

  22. James - You're such a showoff with your fancy cabinet knowledge. All of that info is good to know! And diarrhea of the keyboard is pretty much my entire blog and always accepted around here. ; )

    Becky - sledgehammers, chainsaws and sarcastic quips ready to go!

    Paul - Thanks again for your help and for pushing me in the right direction. Nick and I have had a lot of fun and this whole process has been a blast!

  23. I met the awesomeness personified that is Paul Anater this month in Spain and was told to check out a little blog called Modern Sauce. As with many things, he was so right!

    You, my dear, are amazing! Thanks for making my day.

    Ps: I hope you will be adding some face-melting new tile to increase the epicosity of your new fab kitchen... let's talk

  24. Ryan - Welcome to the Sauce! Your praise makes me pee my pants. I'm jealous of you getting to meet the Paul in person! I'll have to send him an EXTRA muffin basket for telling people about this here blog.

    As for tile, I'm actually ordering them in the next few days! Let's hope I did good and their epicosity melts faces... ; )

  25. When I come to visit, I want to camp out on the floor of the Hobo / Drifter room in my sleeping bag. But only if no one else is there. I mean, I don't want to have to smell any hobos, or get murdered in my sleep! :-)

  26. John - I perform extensive background checks on all my hobos and drifters so you should be pretty safe! Well, except for the ones who don't have social security numbers, I just take a leap of faith with those.

  27. This is great! Enjoyed reading every bit of it as always... I am anticipating the pictures once they're in :)

  28. Angela - Thanks! I'm getting so excited I want to pee my pants! You'll definitely be able to follow along the whole process as it happens.