After months of preparing to sell a house and frantically selling and moving out of said house I’ve shifted into a completely different mode for the time being. For the last two weeks we’ve been living in a fully furnished 2 bedroom condo right on a golf course in Sunset Beach. Have I played golf? No. Have I gone to the beach, just a couple of miles away? No. What have I done? Right now I am partial to 3 hour naps. Heh. The cats LOVE hanging out with me. We’re in a holding pattern, there isn’t much to do and I’m conserving my energy for the next round of craziness. I haven’t even had the energy to do much reading which is very unusual for me. I suspect that the next two weeks we’re here will be more of the same before we move into our home.
We’ve been renting our beach house during the summer for the past 7 years. At the end of every rental season we tear the place apart. We steam clean the carpets and furniture, we wash out every cabinet and everything in the cabinets goes through a sanitize cycle in the dishwasher, we wash all of the comforters, pillows, and mattress pads, we power wash the exterior decking, furniture and clean the windows. Even with all of that maintenance there are things that just *need* to be replaced in order to make this house a home. We’re in the early planning stages right now… and lately the focus has been on the kitchen.
In general it’s a decent, functional kitchen. It has custom made solid maple cabinets and a tile floor, but the appliances are pretty low end. We upgraded the countertops to granite a few years ago after the renters burned the formica. When we did that, my husband and I installed the tile backsplash as well. That was a fun project.
This round of improvements will replace the dishwasher that is incredibly loud and is starting to make a strange death rattle at the end of its cycle. I had a Bosch in Raleigh and it was the best dishwasher I have ever owned. It uses a fraction of the water and electricity of a standard dishwasher and it is so quiet that sometimes you don’t even realize it is on. Yep, I am getting another one of those – cost be damned.
I also fancy myself somewhat of a good cook and I do my best work on a gas range. The electric burners are hard to work with. They don’t provide instantaneous adjustments, and they don’t have the heat output to boil water quickly or sear well. In Raleigh I had a 36″ FiveStar commercial range with a gas oven and open burners. It wasn’t self cleaning and the open burners were a bitch to clean and to light… but oh did it cook! I had planned on downgrading somewhat at the beach. Part of the reason is that I’ve only got 30″ to work with – a standard size range. The other reason is the cost of a commercial quality range. Well, so much for that nice thought. This week I ordered a 30″ FiveStar dual fuel convection range. This time I’ve upgraded to sealed gas burners and an electric convection oven. The microwave will also be upgraded to a stainless steel hood. I am so excited!
Yes, there was some rationale behind this decision. My last FiveStar was 14 years old and it was going to last for another 30 years. Quality. Period. The main reason behind this shift from a cheaper product is the fact that with my new diet cooking is an integral part of my life now. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from preparing most everything from scratch from fresh ingredients. This range is a tool that will provide me a lot of benefit and a lot of joy. It’s also a boatload cheaper than a Thermador or a Viking and it has very similar capabilities. It has a lot more burner output than a Kitchenaid, LG, Bosch and GE that I looked at – though it costs a bit more than those. C’est la vie. I don’t usually buy things to make me happy, but I buy things that I know are good quality and that will last as long as I need them to.
For now, the refrigerator will have to wait. I left a nice stainless steel counter depth fridge in Raleigh. I learned I don’t like side by sides in general and I don’t like GE appliances, specifically how they are laid out. When this fridge starts to act up I’ll get a nice french door model. Unfortunately we’ll probably need a crane to deliver it to the house… another reason to wait. Yes, a crane. The small model we have now barely made it up the staircase and our home has a reverse floor plan and it is on stilts. That means the kitchen is on the equivalent of the 3rd floor. Delivery men hate us.
For now I sit and wait and plan. There are going to be a lot of before and after pictures coming over the next few months as we reconfigure the house from a “rental” layout to a “home”. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.