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The Dishwasher Debate: Why We’re Renovating Our Kitchen

Posted Monday, April 20, 2015

Why on earth would you renovate a room you already like? For us, the answer was improved functionality. With a baby on the way in early June, and Mr Nerd’s awareness that he has married a grade A whinger, he decided that putting a dishwasher into our house was an absolute MUST before the baby got here.

Now, you think I would have totally cheered when he announced this, I know. Who doesn’t want a dishwasher? Especially when you have a kid? I have never actually lived in a house with a dishwasher. But everyone – especially people with babies – has been telling me it is a lifesaver. My sister-in-law is pro dishwasher, after putting one into her Sydney apartment, and then living in houses without a dishwasher with her husband and their two little girls. “We did high fives the first time Mooch went to sleep and we had a cuppa and a Tim Tam over the hum of the Miele in the background,” she said dreamily. That sounded nice. And I had been annoying Mr Nerd about a dishwasher for five years. But as soon as he said we should get one, I was cautious.

You might remember how we gave our old jarrah kitchen a super-budget makeover in this post here... alas, our fugly fluorescent light has always remained!

Our previous kitchen mini-makeover entailed painting the old splashback tiles with White Knight.

This is because, from our previous dishwasher-related investigations, we knew that because our kitchen is so old and the cupboards are so shallow, if we wanted to accommodate a dishwasher, all the old cupboards would need to be ripped out and replaced with deeper ones. And at (then) six months pregnant (now eight) and in the middle of summer, sweating like a pig in a sauna, I was not relishing the thought of living in renovation mess for months. Two bathroom renovations and a laundry makeover down, I know that completely redoing a room always takes more time and money (and mess) than you initially expect. Plus – we LIKED our old kitchen. “Really?” some people say when I say this, and they look confused or aghast or both.

Our lovely old but 'too shallow for a dishwasher' cabinets (now recycled in our tool shed and Mr Nerd's man cave!) 

But we did like our old kitchen, me perhaps more than Mr Nerd. It had rustic charm and so many good memories, sitting around the island bench chatting with friends for hours over wine and food. The only thing I didn’t like about the old kitchen was the fugly fluorescent light. And the fact that the oven kept popping out of place – it was set propped in a hollow wall cavity surrounded by a glued-on timber panel. The rear end of the oven precariously balanced on two Pisa-esque towers of bricks, and occasionally the oven would slip so it was at a slant, meaning half my cakes came out wonky.

But aside from that, I liked our kitchen. And I didn’t want to renovate while pregnant and feeling lazier than ever. Should you renovate a room if you don’t HATE it?

Mr Nerd said yes. “You will complain now," he said, (he knows me well, this one) "but I know you will complain a hell of a lot more if we renovate when the baby is actually here."

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