Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Madame Foreperson

My sister is about to undertake a kitchen renovation. It has long been acknowledged in the family that my sister is the "non-cook", thus providing us with ample amusement when she launches into her cooking questions ("how do I make homemade lemonade?") How she came to detest cooking I cannot tell you. While I was in the kitchen at a young age learning how to make sugo alla nonna, Cara was running and hiding behind the barn until the food was prepared and layed out on the table. So it is with just a tinge of irony that she has decided to rehaul the kitchen, which she formerly referred to as "the room you walk through to get to the back door".

This is my fault, or my brilliant idea, the case for which one remains to be seen. I saw a bright, modern-styled galley kitchen photo in Sunset Magazine recently and took it to Cara. She stood at the back end of the galley as I had her look at her drab and cluttered room and then presented the "wow factor" of the photo. "This is your kitchen layout! The galley, opening into the dining area. You could do this!" And after saying she would never have looked at that picture and put it together with her own kitchen, she exuberantly, giddily agreed. She has come a long way...she now wants a functional kitchen in which she can actually and efficiently {gasp} cook.

The reality of cost has impeded her vision, however. We've spent several hours at hardware stores and tile suppliers to browse colors and countertops and cabinetry. The expense is a formidable obstacle, one that can be overcome, I offer, by utilizing and rearranging the current cabinetry but ordering new, sleek countertops to elongate the room and tie it into the dining area. That I'm using words like "elongate" and "juxtiposition" and "color blending" is a strange occurrence. I'm not an interior designer for goodness sake. But with the bright idea now comes a new job: I will be, it seems, the project foreman, since I'm the the smarty-pants with the vision in the first place. So we're now talking colors, how to "brighten", add "flow" and tie it all together.

I'm enjoying the new job. I like looking at colors, and having already finished repainting my own house, I can now spend someone else's money and unload the countless paint sample cards I've accumulated in the process. I'm giving instructions on lists for her to work through, questions to ask, ordering timeframes to coordinate. It's all rather fun, really. It's just the title I'm having problems with. Foreman. I just don't know that fits for me. I would have preferred "your colorful majesty" but now that I see it in print that does sound a tad pompous. So I think I'll settle for Madame Foreperson instead. Dignified, even with ripped jeans and paint splatters.

copyright 2005 Valerie Schneider

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