Saturday, July 30, 2011

Other house work

Sorry for the lack of posts. Things have been pretty busy on the Texan front. We've just had our kitchen here refurbished, which went pretty smoothly, overall. Having a huge building store down the street and a bunch of eager tradesman in the neighborhood makes it a lot easier than building on Aspö!

In some ways, though, it was more difficult, for two reasons. First, this is our main house. We were able to gloss over things to some extent in our stuga by thinking, "it's only a cabin". We also didn't want anything too nice out there because we want the rustic lifestyle, and pratically speaking, we will only be in the house a month or two a year. That doesn't apply to our house here. We're living in it most every day, and we also have resale value to think about.

The second problem is that, frankly, we had too many choices. There are hundreds of kinds of countertops to choose from, just at our local store. What material? What thickness? What color or texture? Sooz must have looked at fifty different sink/faucet combos. Our new fridge, stove, and dishwasher were each winnowed down from dozens of candidates and vendors. (The issue of paint colors will deserve its own post in the coming days).

Recent research is finding that having too many choices actually lead to stress and dissatisfaction. When one has many possible choices, it's easy to think "did I make the right one?" Having fewer options makes one much more likely to be satisfied with one's decision. After our kitchen project, I can say the theory does indeed work in practice. Nearly three years ago, Sooz knocked out our whole kitchen (plus a lot more) in one day at IKEA.

The good news is that we're happy with the way it all turned out, and our experience of building on Aspö made us far more educated clients this time around.

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