To Remodel or Not to Remodel: The Kitchen

by Nalina

The kitchen

My kitchen is woeful. Although it receives abundant sunlight it’s not a place where I like to spend time. It was renovated in the 1970’s and the original white wood and glass cabinets, which I have seen in other apartments in the building, were torn out and refitted with beige plastic laminate cabinets and generic appliances. It’s not entirely charmless. The sink overlooks a window. And there are pretty hand-painted ceramic tiles along the backsplash.

The oven and backsplash

But the room has not aged well. The cabinet doors don’t close properly, and their laminate is beginning to peel away. The countertop is scratched from misuse and stained from my adventures in Indian cooking. And the counter and cabinets are an unmemorable shade of beige.

The stove does the job but has an awkward delayed electronic ignition. The refrigerator groans and trembles like Sasquatch and requires defrosting every month, a day-long process of melting and mopping that spoils food and challenges my sanity.

The refrigerator

Perhaps the sink is the most troublesome element. Early this summer the cold water valve became stuck in the “off” position. My superintendent Eric told me that the entire faucet set needed to be replaced. I carried on stoically and ridiculously, trying to cook and clean using only hot water.

The sink and under-sink cabinet

Although I’m an architect, with a special calling to make the world more orderly and beautiful, a large part of me is reluctant to remodel. Even after years of encouragement from friends and good-natured nagging from my mother, I love my apartment as it is and am willing to live with its inefficiency and shabbiness. But when my kitchen faucet gave out it seemed like divine intervention. I understood that it was time to remodel and starting thinking how I could make my kitchen sweeter.

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