And Just Why Do We Need New Kitchen Counters?

I’ll get to that question.  But first, I’m going to tell you what is leading up to it.

I was all set to write about a couple of home projects that we need to carry out.

We’ve been in Chateau Bonaparte for a little over two years now.  As empty-nesters, we pared down and didn’t feel the need to “fill” the home with a ton of “stuff”.

come-on-downstairs-family-room-corner

This is part of our “pared” down family room on the lower level.

Believe me, I know stuff. I had a lot of it in the house in New Jersey and in the apartment in New York.

Bonaparte had a lot of stuff in his past homes. And when we blended homes, we had a shitload of stuff.

The leftover stuff is in the garage and the room that’ll be the second guest bathroom—at some point.

And lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that I don’t have to decorate anything.  OK. Well, maybe just a little bit.  In our living room is a corner.  Along that corner is a sofa table that is holding a butterfly-shaped screen of sorts.  I like the screen but I no longer find the sofa table of any use.  I purchased it, along with a matching coffee table from a neighbor back in NJ who was selling it. I love the coffee table though.  My plan is to hopefully, find a slipcovered club chair and put it in the corner.

corneru-in-the-living-room

This is where the Christmas Tree stands each holiday season. I think this looks awful and I want to put a chair here.

Bonaparte and I are butting heads over this.

I would also like to hang some light fabric drapes in the living room as well. The drapes will warm up the room a bit.

That’s it for decorating because we have enough stuff in the house.

The bigger projects, other than the bathroom, are to actually clean out the garage and to tackle our home office.

come-on-the-messy-home-office-2

I swear to God, our home office is a disgrace.  Look at that plastic trash bin under the desk. See the frayed plastic trash liner? Chippy chews on it.  I cannot understand Bonaparte’s attachment to that fugly trash bin!

The home office is in dire need of organizing.   It seriously needs some lovin’.

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To make matters worse, I’ll go on to sites like Pinterest and Houzz and then become completely depressed. I want shelves like above for our office!

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Or maybe something like this!

The other big project is painting.  I would like to add some neutral hues to our off-white walls.  Bonaparte isn’t as enthusiastic as I though. He said it would cost a small fortune to have the house painted. And while I agree, I think back to my younger days when I painted the walls myself.  Between work, writing, and just being lazy, I simply cannot be bothered doing this myself.

come-on-more-entry-way

A few examples of the “whiteness” in our chateau are the walls..

come-on-armoire-in-living-room

..and the furniture..

come-on-ethan-allen-sofa

This Ethan Allen sofa is a stretch. It’s more of a cream white. And don’t even get me started on how horribly this EXPENSIVE sofa has worn. I just thought of another project. The cushions need restuffing!

come-on-cabinet

I’m starting to feel really bad now. Our home could use a bit more color!

come-on-turning-crowlers-into-decorative-pieces

There’s a bit of brown glass here. I decided to use the boy’s beer crowlers as decorative objets d’art!

At this point in my life, travel is far more important that my home being a showcase of sorts.

come-on-oriental-rugs

At least I have color on our rugs. Wait. The rugs are incredibly alike! Are we seeing a pattern here?

I’m fine with the fact that all of our sofas, our loveseat, and our club chair are slipcovered in white. The white lends itself well to playing around with different colored and patterned pillows. But I really need to incorporate a bit more throughout!

come-on-my-sunroom

I need to treat the rest of the house with the love I give to my sunroom..

come-on-sunroom-detail

I love my little touches!

I love what we have. Little things just need to be tweaked a bit.

come-on-jhl-lady-with-the-dog-in-paris

Bonaparte’s grandfather Jacques Henri Lartigue snapped this lady walking her dog in Paris.  She even told me to get some color on my walls!

But—despite Bonaparte’s reluctance to have walls painted I almost passed out when he suggested we go to the Philadelphia Home Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center last Saturday.

It was so odd of him to suggest it.

Never having been to one of these exhibitions before, I envisioned booths with beautifully covered sofas.  I pictured faux windows with custom-made window treatments.   Would the floors be covered with the Oriental area rugs I love so much?  Or—would samplings of hardwoods cover the floors of each exhibitor’s booth?

Yes. Going to this show of all things home would be great fun.  I could pick out tons of paint samples.  Maybe I could even find yet more decorative pillows to purchase!

And Christmas is just around the corner!! Could it be?  Would I find ornaments?

And then the truth came out. Bonaparte really wanted to attend this home show because he wants to replace our kitchen counters! I’ve never heard him utter a word about his displeasure with these counters until Saturday morning.

kitchenn-ccounter-2

The Emperor getting ready to measure our “chip” kitchen counters.

He told me the counters looked “chip”.  No—not “chipped”. Cheap!  In heavy French accent, “chip” means “cheap”.  Now, to tell you the truth, the counters don’t bother me in the least.   These counters serve me well for rolling out dough.  I cut meat and veg on them when I’m too sinfully lazy to use a cutting board.  I flatten meat out with a not-so-delicate bang of the mallet on these counters.  Stuff sits upon these counters.

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I can make these counters look less “chip” by getting rid of the “stuff” that Bonaparte insists on setting upon the counters!

Perhaps it is my never-ending love of Walmart, but the thought that these counters looked “chip” never dawned on me.  When I told Oona what Bonaparte said, she agreed!  Oona said they looked “cheap”—I know she meant “chip”!

So we went off to the show.

And let me tell you something, it was nothing like I envisioned. First off, we had to walk through the lobby of the casino.  The casino smells of cigarettes and booze—akin to an old man’s bar. However, those old man’s bars smell a lot better!

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Yes folks. The Philadelphia HOME SHOW was in a gambling joint!

We made our way downstairs—to the lower level of the gambling haven.  There were no beautiful sofas or window treatments or rugs or pretty, fluffy pillows.

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We arrived early to beat the crowds. My guess is the crowds were there–only they were upstairs gambling, drinking and smoking!

Instead, we were bombarded by aggressive sales reps from cabinet refacing and hot tub companies.  Booths equipped with energy-saving heaters and air conditioning units abound.  It was not too pleasing.

contests-for-your-kitchen-but-you-need-to-make-an-appt-first

Those “giveaway” signs nearly killed me. The only “giveaway” was a free estimate!

At one point a sales man literally jumped out of his booth, landed two inches in front of me and bellowed “CAN I HELP YOU?”  To which I answered just as loud: YES YOU CAN!  VOTE FOR HILLARY!!”  Silence came over the crowd.

It was then when Bonaparte spotted the booth he was looking for. A company that installed kitchen counters. Beautiful kitchen counters.  Colonial Marble and Granite.  This is a company that advertises granite countertops for $1,499!  That’s less money than a LV Neverfull bag!

colonial-ad

I’ll get to the $1,499 countertops later on!

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This was the only booth to garner a crowd. And the only booth with a life-sized computer screen that allowed you to figure out an estimate on your own.  We made an attempt at the life-sized screen and it was at that moment Bonaparte had the idea to leave the home show and head to the Colonial showroom in King of Prussia, not too far from my office.

no-i-cannot-figure-this-out-myself

This modern technological wonder looked so fascinating!

this-was-too-much-work

Instead, it was downright confusing and intimidating. After 15 minutes of trying to get to the home screen, Bonaparte had had enough. We drove to the Colonial showroom.

Since I was still inhaling the vapors of the Marlboro’s and beer from upstairs, I couldn’t wait to leave. I was also intrigued at how much of a deal we could get on new counters.

We arrived at Colonial.  Our salesman was actually a really nice guy. He was patient with our questions and led us into a huge warehouse filled with slabs of marble, granite and other kinds of nature’s stone gifts that I know nothing about.

marble-top-i-love-this

But before we entered the overheated warehouse, we were lured with visions of countertops such as this. BTW, THIS is what I liked!

ill-take-this-stove-instead

And in the gallery of kitchens, I spotted this baby.  All I could think of was “How do I steal this and get away with it?”

 

As we walked through this medina quarter of slabs, we picked out the ones we liked the best. After making a list, we went back into our salesman’s cubicle.  It was there that we discovered the slabs we picked out were of much higher levels then the granite slab that was advertised for $1,499.  In fact, our estimate was just under ten thousand dollars. 

To tell you the truth. I don’t think we even saw any of the $1,499 slabs.

Ten grand for kitchen counter space.  Oh. And that cost didn’t include the plumber’s fee to turn our plumbing back on after the counter is installed.  And there is also an extra cost to cut some of the backsplash to correctly fit the new counter in.

ill-take-this-kitchen

Another view of the beautiful stove in the pretend kitchen at the showroom.  Those counters–we picked that one out.  That’s what ten grand would buy for our kitchen!

Bonaparte told me that the kitchen sells a house. And while he’s correct, I do think we’ve been watching too many episodes of House Hunters. Our appliances are stainless steel. Stainless sells!  I know this.  The couples on House Hunters all go crazy for Stainless Steel! They can drool over my stainless appliances while ignoring my “chip” counters for the time being!

*Sigh* after looking at some of those beautiful slabs, I can see how new counters would look fantastic.  But at this time, I can’t justify that cost.

It would be more worthwhile if Bonaparte checked me into the hospital for a face and neck lift! He could replace my countenance instead of the counters!

the-hair

Bonaparte could spend the counter money on my countenance. It’s almost the same thing. I think my work would actually be less expensive!

Regardless of the counters, we love  Our House…Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young! The love in a house is more important!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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18 Responses to And Just Why Do We Need New Kitchen Counters?

  1. doodletllc says:

    Oh my Catherine. I laughed Out Loud reading your entire post…Too Funny. I hear your voice and your frustration and your wonderful attitude. No Grass Grows Under Your Shoes…Flip Flops…Whatever. Rather than Granite and the hefty price tag, perhaps Bonaparte would like “Granite Transformations”…much cheaper than granite and no kitchen demolition. A sleeve is created to fit over the countertops. Environmentally friendly…recycled glass that is durable, cleans up easy, hot stuff can be set on it, and it looks great. I sound like a commercial…sorry…didn’t mean to. The price…maybe about $4,000. What exactly do you get for $1450? Love your style. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Doodle! I’m going to research granite transformations. That sounds pretty decent. For $1499 you don’t get a lot of counter coverage. You get the least expensive materials. But I’m fine with the way everything is!! I want to paint!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  2. calensariel says:

    When I read the part of your post to Drollery about how much the marble actually was, he nearly fell off the couch! This silly man thinks we can redo the entire kitchen for $10,000. And the guy’s an accountant for hell sakes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Lady Calen. My delusional self thinks that a kitchen remodel CAN be had for $10,000.00. However, the realistic side of me says those days are done! Everything is so ridiculously overpriced. I think if you are a carpenter or a mason or someone who is incredibly handy, it can be done for less. But if you have two left thumbs and are not handy–you better have a full wallet!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • calensariel says:

        That’s what I told him months ago when we were figuring what we needed to get doe before he can retire. Interestingly I read an article in my news feed today about 20 things you shouldn’t do to remodel a house because you won’t get your money out of the work. One was a major kitchen overhaul. It said choose mid-range everything (including appliances), basically. I gotta show him when he gets home. It just might make him smile. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. julietC says:

    I have often wondered who these perfect people are who live on Pinterest, they have gorgeous houses, cook amazing food, sew/knit fantastic clothing, have incredible never-ending gardens, have perfect bodies and wear the best fashions etc in the most put-together kind of way. Sadly I live a long way from that ideal – you’d cry with laughter if you saw the state of our house and kitchen – in fact if I managed to get the other half to go shopping I would need to dope him and then physically wrestle/carry him, quite frankly I am not sure he would be worth the effort. As for decorating – I get the other-half on a trip away, I have a bottle of sauvignon blanc and at 3.00am I strike – I have wall papered and painted and made curtains and cushions in my time, not because I am creative – more because I am desperate. British houses are tiny but still the tasks involved keep on coming.
    One thought re the lovely kitchen worktops – if you can’t afford them, why not offer to move into the showroom and show people looking how these perfect kitchens work in real life…. (they are gorgeous by the way, especially compared to our 10 yr IKEA kitchen with its’ dangly doors)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. I’m laughing along with you because my ex-husband would travel a lot. And when he did, my creative juices got going. I’ve painted, and stenciled and even painted stripes on walls with the help of masking tape. I’ve sewn window treatments because I couldn’t find anything I liked in the stores and I’ve refinished furniture. I just cannot be bothered with that anymore. I love nice stuff but after being unemployed for over a year, my views have changed. I just want paint on the walls! But OMG, I swear, I get depressed looking at Pinterest. I can’t even look at half the shit on there anymore. Same with Houzz. Same with most lifestyle bloggers. I think I am in the blogging minority due to my imperfect life and ability–LOL!! XOXOXOXO!!

      Like

  4. junedesilva says:

    I love this post – I love all your posts; you always make me smile and laugh out loud but what I particularly liked was the CSN clip, even if NY was missing! It transported back to when I saw CSNY, Jonie Mitchell and the Band in concert, in London. I was a very young student and the gig was bliss. Thanks for bringing back such happy memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      You are welcome June! I LOVE Joni Mitchell. “Carey” is one of my favorite songs of all time. I love her lyrics, her phrasing, her ridiculously amazing voice–just everything. And I’ve loved CSNY since I was in high school And the Band too. That concert must have been epic! I’m currently listening to George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”. It’s one of the greatest albums of all time, IMHO. It’s almost hard to believe Harrison was only 27 years old when he made that album! It’s timeless!! XOXOXO!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yvonne says:

    Hi Catherine, I could see it coming – the bait pricing and the real pricing. CSN video priceless but also check out Our House by Madness – the original video. Two Englishmen, (Graham Nash) and Suggs (Madness) who both probably grew up in a small two up/two down in post industrial Britain. Problem with renovating it does not stop at one thing. Your house has great windows and lots of light and I agree with you – painting would be a reinvigorating option. Love your sunroom and the PinInterest photos are bland (ie not bad mum, boring mum). cheers Y

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Yvonne! I LOVE the “Our House” song by Madness. Our house. In the middle of the street…… I’m going to revisit the video. I had that album on vinyl. My ex husband still has it! My sunroom is my glory!!! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  6. Miss Bougie says:

    Vote for Hillary! Ah you crack me up! Serously!! 🙂
    At our house we have granite countertops and they are just great. But I feel your pain with the price, although ours weren’t as expensive as what you are quoting.
    Have fun redecorating / accessorizing the rest of the house. Maybe move some furniture around and create a whole new look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi B! Really! The place fell silent after I yelled those words! The casino at Valley Forge is Trump Country–they spend whatever measly wages they have and gamble away while smoking and drinking–and then they think Trump will save them from their horrific existence. Yes. I’m judging and I don’t care!
      I love moving furniture around–problem is there is a certain someone here who doesn’t like that sort of change……XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  7. Yvonne says:

    PS meant to let you know about Hank Williams and Jambalaya. My husband knew the song well, knew most of the words, but not the mention of sweet Yvonne. So we went through YouTube and listened to John Fogerty in NY City with the Blue Ridge Rangers, Waylon Jennings, Elvis, Willy Nelson, and Karen Carpenter. All agreed Hank Williams was best and for me followed by John Fogerty helped because he is so good looking. Unusual for husband he did not know that Hank Williams wrote the song and we agreed he was an amazing song writer. Thanks for the catalyst for a fun night and I love your music choices.

    Here is the link for John Fogerty but you probably know it.

    Off to see AccaDacca on Saturday night in Washington. (That’s AC/DC for non-Aussies) Probably their last tour now that Angus Young is the only original member left when Cliff Walker retires at the end of this tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Yvonne. Thank you for the eye-candy gift of John Fogerty. I have been crushing on him since his Creedence days! I love him. And I never tire of listening to him either! THANK YOU SO MUCH! His version is great!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

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