The Relieved Renovator

Now that our editor-in-chief, Lauren Purcell, is finally done with her kitchen renovation, she’s sharing her thoughts on what she would do differently next time.

Did This


1. Took a Vacation

During the dustiest, loudest, most disruptive phase of the renovation–the demolition of the old kitchen–I was at the beach. Smart move.


2. Relied on Expert Advice

Luckily for me, my designer understood my insane schedule, and for most big design decisions, she presented me with a carefully curated array of options (five paint colors, not 25), so I could make choices quickly.


3. Listed My Major Must-Haves

For instance, I clearly articulated my ideal appliance layout (fridge and range on the same wall); cabinet configuration (floor to ceiling); and flooring (cork). That helped streamline the process.


Shoulda Done This, Too


1. Planned Another Getaway Six Weeks Later

That’s around the time I really hit my limit on living in my bedroom on toaster-oven cuisine and takeout Thai. By the time I was able to  emerge from my lady-cave, I was almost too cooped-up and cranky to appreciate the beautiful new space.


2. Picked a Few Details to Focus On

Making choices from a limited selection was definitely efficient. But as it turns out, the aspects I love most about my new kitchen are the ones I got more involved with–like the ceiling fixture, which I picked out after a long, enjoyable afternoon at the lighting showroom. In retrospect, I wish I had done the same with a few other items. I think I’d love my backsplash even more if the tile felt like my personal discovery.


3. Mentioned the Little Stuff

What I didn’t communicate very well were some of the details that make a big difference in my day-to-day. All my lights are on dimmers (big request), but the switches themselves aren’t the kind I prefer–too fiddly. of course, they’re easily changed. But next time, I’ll remember to bring up anything I’m opinionated about, not just the biggies. Wait! Did I just commit in writing to a next time?

4 Responses to “The Relieved Renovator”

  1. It’s like a dream come true. Even though the dream was interrupted, at times, by nightmares, as if to test your resolve to see the project through to its Arctic-white completeness, like the demolition process, which were wisely assuaged by dreamy vacations, it’s still hard to believe you kept your wits, dimmed by fashionable switches, to find that light fixture as a personal touch to the rest of the work, delegated to others, who worked week after week to minimize your inconvenience, and limit your involvement, and then ons day, you wake up and realize you’re old kitchen has been transformed into an AmericInn efficiency model!!! And there you are, standing in the spotlight of your dream ceiling fixture, waiting for guests to arrive.

  2. Wow. I did not look at it that way at first. I thought it was just a white kitchen, an Ikea chair, and a naked industrial bulb on a dimmer switch. You have opened my eyes to the true meaning of “renovation.”

  3. In these days I am also very excited for my kitchen remodeling. I want to give my kitchen a rich look so I chose the granite both for backsplash and countertop. I have found a good quality of granite here Granite is the natural, hard and strong material. It is the best option for kitchen countertop. I am keenly waiting to see the gorgeous look of my kitchen.