It is evening and I am totally exhausted from our kitchen hunt today. I cannot even recall how the whole thing started this morning. I guess The Boyfriend and I had breakfast and I was once again complaining about the kitchen, the last room in my apartment that needs to be renovated. The floor is disgusting, old gray plastic tiles that were glued on the dark red floor pavement when the house was built. At two positions the tiles are already missing, one of the cavities has the width of a sideboard (maybe they tiled around a cabinet? Who knows). Not matter how often I clean and mop the floor, it always looks dirty as it is not a nice gray but sprinkled with various dots in white and other gray shades. The sink is decades old and the corners around the stainless steel drop-in basin are disgusting – I have tried everything to remove the dirt from the previous tenants, but have not succeeded convincingly (well, The Boyfriend has done most of the hard scrubbing work). Besides the sink there is a refrigerator and a stove a a small storage rack – that’s it.

To be honest – I dislike the kitchen’s appearance, but I can live with it. Renovating the bathroom last year was much more important to me, and that took already two years until I had enough money and time. I could live with the kitchen – until today. Friends from abroad are planning to visit me. _Now_ the kitchen bothers me a lot. Especially the floor is a thorn in my flesh.
I had thought about possible renovation solutions a while ago. Tiling would be expensive and afterwards the door would need to be trimmed in order to close properly. Besides that two different companies (who have done other work in the apartment) told me that tiles would not last on the plastic tiles anyway. I would need special glue and that would be even more expensive. Another solution is special kitchen laminate, which is more expensive than the regular one, and the door would still need a trimming. The last (and least favorite one until today) is linoleum – it is the easiest and cheapest solution. My parents offered me to buy it when I moved in, but I had turned up my nose on it, thinking it looks cheap and just not nice. Today I was disabused.

The Boyfriend and I decided to drive to a home improvement store to finally organize a new floor. No sooner said than done. The linoleum assortment was overwhelming, but we both immediately saw the one we both fell in love with. It looks like dark wood with small planks. I love it. Mission for the day completed. However, as this decision took just a few minutes, we decided to walk to the nearby big furniture chain and have a look at their kitchen selection. The service was non-existent. When I asked about advice they pointed out to a computer section and told us to use them – which we did. It took a while and we planned a combination of cabinet, but we left the store unconvinced, mostly due to the lack of service and assistance. The kitchen itself would cost about 800,- €, but getting it delivered and built up would be an additional 500,- € – for about five cabinets, no electronic equipment – a lot of money for no service in the beginning.

On our drive back home we passed by a kitchen store that just had opened a few days earlier – so we took this as a sign and pulled the car over. As soon as we had walked inside, we knew that this was the right decision. They had so many beautiful kitchens on display (and ugly ones as well, who on earth wants a lilac kitchen?). We just enjoyed walking around dreaming which one would be nice for our non-existing holiday houses in France and Sweden and Italy.
The store has two floors, connected by a huge staircase. In the middle of the staircase is a huge platform with a cafeteria where you can help yourself for juice, water, or a selection of coffee variations. That’s how they got me: free latte macchiato.

So we decided to sit down with one of the employees and asked how much a solid, not-to-expensive kitchen would be. My bargain genes surfaced. I showed him a print out from the other store and told him the price – without adding the service allowance – as the price they would need to compete with (well, maybe the bargain hunter in me down priced it as well, but just a little bit). The price he came up with was almost the same amount we would have to pay for kitchen, delivery and built up at the first store, and here the delivery and built up was included, as well as a measurement in my kitchen. So if the cabinets will not fit in, it will not be my fault. Plus free latte and nicer service. Making a a decision was easy – we will buy the kitchen at this store.
As my kitchen is small and we already are in love with the dark linoleum, we want a bright kitchen. Now I have the choice between white, egg white, vanilla, magnolia, off white and however the shades are called. With an armful of brochures we left the store.
Now we are back home, and instead of only picking a floor we picked a kitchen as well. But, man, that was exhausting.

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