Say “Yes” to Arabesque

We’ve all heard the stories of brides bursting into tears the moment they find “the one.”

My mom and I saw girls standing in dresses on pedastools ringing cow bells, sobbing, or screaming “Yes!” to their dress.  It made me want to run and hide!

I never longed for this crazy emotional reaction, and I never quite understood it.

A few years later, as I stood in my kitchen; cabinets painted, appliances updated, countertops installed – I finally knew exactly what they were feeling! It was the culmination of a journey, the completion of their vision. It was how I’d always pictured it!

It’s laughable and completely absurd…but I’m telling you, I was weepy! Even still (MONTHS later!), I keep finding myself wandering into the kitchen simply to pet my countertops.

Just to refresh your memory, here’s where we left off in the kitchen: new fridge, new hood vent, new (deeper) sink, freshly painted cabinets (navy lower, white upper), stenciled wall (to distract from formerly hideous cabinets, floor, and countertops). See below:

It was time to say goodbye. The new countertops were ready and I was ready to see the others go!

Home Depot’s contractors estimated that the job would take 1-1.5 hours to complete. Of course I was worried about interrupting nap time (because a mother’s life REVOLVES around the break and rejuvenation that a nap provides…to both parties) but for today and today only, countertops took priority! (Gasp!)

I was to have the plumbing disconnected, and the countertops cleared. Check!

WARNING! Horrible photo below! Let’s be real. I was scrambling to keep the baby happy, get the counters clear and the plumbing disconnected on time – you can’t have a pretty photo too! Please lower your expectations.


Phew! Ok, now that we have THAT out of the way!

The guys came in and got straight to work. They unscrewed and crowbarred (is that a verb?  – it is now), and off came the countertops!


I was so nervous that they were going to destroy my DIY paint job, but thankfully the cabinet paint held up!

They had a tough time getting the breakfast bar detached, and left a few large crow bar dents in the drywall. Which reminds me…I still need to get a piece of molding to cover those nicks that show underneath! All in all, they did a spectacular job – and QUICKLY!


Naturally, they needed to drill the holes for our faucet and soap pump in the middle of nap time and Mr. I Wake Up When the Floor Creaks didn’t even stir. (Still not sure, if I’m more furious or impressed about that one).

After a noisy hour of prying, removing, installing, gluing, drilling, and caulking – they headed out and left me with a goofy smile on my face while I stared at this…


Oh, they also left me with these crucially important words, “In 24 hours the glue on your sink will be dry and you can hook up the plumbing.”

??? Oh no.

Another curveball.

While in this exact moment I was actually thrilled that we would HAVE to order take-out for dinner tonight, (Thai anyone?!) I also knew that I had probably gotten in over my head on this whole “do your own plumbing” thing.

You see, when I disconnected my plumbing, I turned off the water under the sink, and disconnected the hot and cold water lines. (*Dusts off hands and wipes imaginary sweat from her brow). I was quite proud of my handiness.

It turns out that my efforts were only a very small part of the “plumbing” that needed to be disconnected. Thankfully, the installation team took pity on me and never mentioned my mistake. However, when they left…I was realized we might just need to be eating out for a little while!

In a final (feeble) attempt to make the kitchen to look a bit more functional that it actually was, I decided to install the faucet and soap dispenser.


After all that painfully loud drilling (that didn’t  the faucet did NOT fit!

I immediately emailed the contractor to let the receptionist know about the mistake. I hoped that her team could come back and fix it ASAP! I included this photo, and she emailed me back immediately to apologize and setup an appointment to correct the problem.

Not long after, I received a call from the contractor. He (very kindly) explained that my faucet hole is in fact the correct size. By simply removing the large copper washer and nut, I would be able to fit the faucet into the hole and then connect it securely to the countertop using the washer and nut from below. Like so:


How embarrassing!

He was such a sweetheart. He called back to make sure I was able to remove the hardware and fit the faucet into the countertop before he let me cancel the service call. You really don’t come across kind-hearted contractors in NYC very often! He had every right to treat me like some ditzy mom, but he didn’t. I was incredibly impressed and grateful!

It took us a few days to get the right pipes, and the right qualified service professional (qualified and professional, being key) to help us out with the plumbing situation. Even after washing dishes and warming bottles in the bathroom sink for a week, we were still thrilled with our decision to install our gorgeous Silestone White Arabesque countertops.

A  whole week of takeout and Thai food was pretty thrilling too!



Although the comparison below is difficult to appreciate, the impact in real life is drastic. This kitchen when from “Okay, I see what they did there” to “Oh, they really updated this space!”


Maybe this will help:

Or this shot, from the very beginning!

Now that there are no remaining  kitchen features that require distracting…it’s time to talk about those trees.