For years, I’ve been telling you that someday my husband and I would be renovating our kitchen. That someday is now — most likely. We might start next week. We might start mid-September. I'll let you know.


We have the money. We have the architect. Yesterday (yes, on the Fourth of July), the architect was here making our requested changes to the plans. Not big changes. We’re looking for an efficient kitchen and dining area that makes the best use of the space. Nothing fancy. Something smart.


There was a sense of excitement after the architect left for all of about a half hour. Then we went to the home improvement stores to take a look at materials. It wasn’t our first trip. We have a sense of what we want. We think.


That’s where the fun stops. Choosing the cabinets, the countertop and the flooring is difficult. We agreed that we’d choose eco-friendly materials if it made financial sense. It turns out, most of the eco-friendly options are much more expensive. And, we’ve also heard similar things from many people.


“It’s difficult to know how well those sustainable options really hold up. They haven’t been out that long. It’s too early to tell.”


So we’re at the point now where we’re thinking that going with tried and true materials that we know have proven track records might actually be a better option. Something that’s going to last 30 years without having to be replaced is greener than an “eco-friendly” product that will only last a few years before being replaced.


I truly believe that. I’ve been sent too many eco-friendly products that have been ineffective or fallen apart quickly to simply go with the “green” choice when it comes to buying things.


We’re not giving ourselves a lot of time to figure this out. If we do, we’ll be paralyzed in decision-making land and never get this project off the ground.


We spent more time than we should have yesterday looking at new appliances. We weren't planning on new appliances, but when we saw the wonderful designs, we started to think we needed new appliances so everything would be shiny and new and matching and blend in with the new design. After a few hours of stressing about appliances, we came to the conclusion that we would keep the old appliances. It just makes financial and environmental sense. But it's easy to lose sight of what makes sense when something is this big and getting new stuff seems warranted. Don't we deserve shiny new appliances to go along with the new cabinets and flooring? Sure, all of the appliances are less than seven years old and the floors and cabinets are 60+ years old, but still... 


I have a feeling we'll be pulling ourselves back into reality and sensibility a lot in the next couple of months as we make decisions.


Have any of you done major renovations to you home and faced similar choices? What did you decide to do?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Tales from a kitchen renovation: And so it begins
At first, renovating a kitchen that's at least 60 years old seems like it's going to be very exciting. Then, reality sinks in.