Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Cabinets

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Last Monday, on President's Day, the people from Anderson Millwork rolled up in a big truck and started unloading cabinets. Sarah and I were upstairs, and started watching them out of the bedroom window. We saw that they were having a lot of trouble getting one big unit through the gate in our back yard. I told Sarah it was too bad that Jim, who was out running errands, wasn't home because he would love to get involved and find a solution. The Anderson people measured the gate--many times--and measured the cabinet--about the same number of times, shook their heads, and brought out cell phones to confer with someone.
Just then Jim drove in. Sarah and I watched him talk and gesticulate. I said, "He's advising them just to toss it over the fence and he'll catch it," I told her. Jim came in. He announced to us that one cabinet was too big. "I suggested that we could all grab hold and just kind of heave it over the fence," he said, "but they'd already called their boss, and apparently he told them to take it apart." He sounded disappointed.
All the cabinets were safely delivered, and stacked up in our back porch

and in our kitchen.

There were many, many cabinets.
These are all made from alder.

No one has ever heard of alder. In fact, this is how all conversations relating to our choices of wood go:
Q: Are you having hardwood floors?
A: Yes.
Q: What kind of wood?
A: Eucalyptus. It's called Lyptus.
Q: Eucalyptus? What? Really?
A: Yes.
Q: I've never heard of such a thing. What about your cabinets.
A: Alder.
Q: Alder? What? Really?
A: Yes.
Q: I've never heard of it.
Sue, our carpenter, tells us that alder is known as "poor man's cherry." I don't really like having a "poor man's" option, but I guess that "middle-class woman's cherry" doesn't have the same ring to it. It really doesn't look much like cherry anyway, in my opinion. They'd do better to call it "blind man's cherry." As Adam points out to us, fashions in wood change rapidly. I'm not sure if alder is on its way in or on its way out. I hope we have a couple of years before people say, "Alder? Lyptus? How passe."
During the past week, our carpenters started installing the cabinets. This is a cute little corner cabinet:

This one is now ready for the sink.

This will be the eating area:

And this is the space for the cooktop, with big drawers underneath for pots and pans, and whatever else should be handy to the stove.

It dawns on me for the first time that when it's all done, I'm going to have to put everything away, but I'll no longer know what "away" is, so I'll have to figure out where it all goes.
We're now ready for the granite measure, which is what will happen next week.


jini said...

this is weird, like reliving our kitchen project. i have to tell you that our biggest cabinet box had a bit of a dent, and when they opened the box it was obvious there was a problem. it looked like the box had fallen off the half of the upper part of a breakfront was in pieces. we got a WHOLE one the next week, but it was unsettling to say the least!

evil cake lady said...

BBC, maybe it's just a woody oregon thing, but i know what alder is...and i have also heard of it as the "poor man's cherry"...but i like alder--its not too dark.

now, eucalyptus flooring--that is cool! i know the tree, just never heard of it used for floors. it doesn't happen to smell all neat and menthol-like does it? i'm sure it doesn't, but that would be kind of neat, especially as i am quite congested today. i could come over and lay on your floors and breathe deep.

Anonymous said...

Your cabinets looks Wonderful, beautiful cabinets! So many cabinets! Just what you wanted! What a joy it will be to open your boxes of stored kitchen things and decide where everything will go! Love the color of the alder ... how it works with the colors of the lyptus floor. GORGEOUS! I have been waiting with such excitement, checking your blog daily, to see the cabinetry.

I find it interesting to discover that I'd thought, somehow, that with the cabinets in place it would look more finished, but there's still so much left. I'm amazed at how much: grantite tops, tile work, trim, hardware, sinks, appliances, oh, and paint color! And each step makes such a huge difference, doesn't it!

Watching this process is totally fascinating. It's truly a transformation... from your former kitchen to this place of sublime rich woods and clean lines and no wasted space. Even with all the construction tools and shims, it has a sense of calm. It's very cool to watch the creation of something beautiful. And while you may not feel this way surrounded by sawdust, even if it is sweet smelling, to me, as onlooker, there's almost something spiritual in watching this creation.

Is it because it's a space which is clearly going to please and delight you, bring you joy daily ...which is powerful stuff? Is it because the space will be an extension of you, who you are, how you cook, what pleases you? a personal expression of the beauty you will create there? Is it because in its own beauty and design it will then feed your creativity in baking and cooking, the products of which will, in turn feed, please and delight others? Too many thoughts! I can't nail it. But I wonder if somehow it's all organically intwined: the process, the result, the beauty, the materials, the degree of love which is going into each choice of material, of each step of the work. And It's as though all the baking which happened there is a force in creating what will be: the caterpillar and the butterfly.

I'll stop now: I'm likely sounding too sappy and you will be wondering about this crazy lady who is blathering on about a kitchen!!

Suffice to say: your cabinets are beautiful.


breadbasketcase said...

The whole process is a little unsettling, isn't it? You start to realize how very many things could go wrong. Fortunately, most of them don't.

I actually got down on all fours and sniffed the floor (when no one was looking) to see if it smelled like mentholatum. But it doesn't.

Thanks--that's just what I needed to hear! I was feeling sorry for myself about not having a kitchen and about the perpetual mess. It's a real pick-me-up to remember that it's moving along nicely and that it's going to be a joy when it's done.

pinknest said...

it's looking good! and that's funny about the wood. i'm sure it'll be beautiful once you see it all together.

breadbasketcase said...

I like it, and I think it's all going to work. I just wish I were more sure of my choices, and didn't always have that little voice saying, "maybe it would have been better if...." or "maybe I should have chosen...."