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Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Posted by annkh (My Page) on
Sun, May 26, 13 at 22:23

In so many posts here (including my own), folks refer to "my" kitchen, and how "I chose this or that", yet most of us live with other people.

I'm curious how much of that is simplicity of posting (it's easier to type "my" than "our"), or if one person in the family takes charge of most of the planning and decisions, so it is more "my" project than "ours".

In our case, even though my DH is the primary cook in our family, I spearheaded the kitchen remodel, drew up the plans, initially met with the cabinetmaker, researched the options. DH mostly listens politely and agrees with whatever I come up with. I feel obligated to include him in the decisions, but usually it doesn't happen until I've narrowed down the choices to 2 or 3. I think he has figured out (after 26 years of marriage) that it's the fastest way to shut me up!

So how about the rest of you who share a home? Does one person do most of the work/make most of the decisions? Or is it a joint effort? Do you find that you agree about things, or is it a struggle?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

In the beginning years of our marriage there was a great deal of "not agreeing" on taste, colors, etc., but as the years went on (hitting 50 this year, yikes!), we've both learned to listen and compromise at times.

I wanted white cupboards; DH wanted oak; I wanted light counters; he wanted dark. So, after thinking it over we went with medium brown oak and dark counters (after all, he counts too!), I get my choice of white subway tile with colorful Mexican tile strip on the bottom, and actually I'm quite happy with this. AND, I chose the couch and media center for the LR as well as paint color, oriental rug, etc.

It all works out...


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Annkh, things here sound a lot like things at your house! DH is rather indifferent about most things, though ends up liking what I pick. Sometimes even the 2-3 choices I give him are too much, let alone the hundreds I already looked at. It's his kitchen, but my project.


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It's funny-in my posts I have tried to purposefully use ''we'' because I do feel that our kitchen remodel was very much a joint effort. I learned early on that choices I had made in the past with things we had redone in the kitchen were really ''my'' choices and not necessarily to DH's liking. I didn't realize that he thought the wallpaper (gasp) and tile backsplash were ''grandmaw-like'' (way before I was a grandmother, too)! Who knew? But this time he said that he had no right to complain (or make fun of things) if he didn't take an active part. And I welcomed it. With such a large undertaking, tearing down walls and all, and with such a huge (to us) amount of money, it would have been crazy for us to not be equal partners in the design choices.


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Yes. DH & I are working together. We do have different tastes, tho and will need to compromise on things.

He has the accounting skills. I have the layout & design skills. We compliment each other. Kinda, like, sorta ;-)

Since I do most, if not all of the KP duties, the Kitchen will have to be more to my specs. Because the Kitchen is open plan into the Gathering Room, DH has to look at it.

Hopefully this endeavour leads to another 30-years of Wedded Bliss.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Well, our first kitchen remodel together, I did virtually all the research, we made decisions mostly jointly and he did virtually all the work (DIY). Second kitchen, similar pattern except we hired the work and I did most of the supervising.

Third kitchen is TBD, but if he is still working the hours he does now, I will be doing pretty much all the research, decision making and supervising myself because he just doesn't have time at this point. That's how our current bathroom project is playing out. I got his buy-in on layout, big picture look and I will be making the decisions and supervising the work.

I switch between singular and plural generally without much thought and without much meaning as to how involved my husband is in whatever I am posting about.


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Our kitchen was definitely a joint endeavor both in process and in product. (We actually started planning it before we were married, when it was technically DH's house, so while I did the research, design, and planning, he had a LOT of input!) DH hates research, though, so generally I spent a gazillion hours looking at all the options, narrowed it to a few, and then he either chose (if he felt strongly) or deferred to my choices (if he didn't). We did end up with some compromise elements, though--cabinets in two colors, for instance. We probably agreed (or one person didn't care enough to have an opinion) about 70% of things, and the remaining 30% were one person's choice or some hybrid compromise.

(That said, I think I err on the side of "us" and "our" in talking about the project even we "I" and "my" would be more accurate... ;)


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We definitely collaborate on all decisions. However, DH will generaly defer to me, as I am the one who cares more about design issues and he acknowledges that I am the one who works in the kitchen.

OTOH, I willingly defer to him when it comes to doing most of the actual work in the kitchen---because he has the abilty to do it and I only am capable of offering a bit of assistance.


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My DH will defer most to me. I would always tell him and show him what I wanted to do, but he really was on board with just about everything I wanted. I think we have very similar tastes, though he probably would have been fine with a few different kitchen styles. I know there are some looks that he just would not go for.

As for flow, work stations, triangles, function and wanting drawers, he does not have a clue. :)


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Williamsem describes our situation exactly! (except it is really my kitchen) I kept trying to pull DH into the plans and would show him only a couple choices at a time. He was overwhelmed with even a couple options.
He did contribute with coaxing and it turns out he does have a good eye.
The one thing he had an opinion on was the sink reveal. He didn't like the positive reveal appearance and I went with the negative reveal. Wish I had not asked him his opinion on this one-and gone with the positive reveal.
DH doesn't cook but has managed to reheat pizza in the speed oven

Williamsem- is DH an engineer? Been watching your progress but have been on the road.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

This is a great question! My DH is an engineer and uses Autocad. After sitting with me for a few hours and listening to me say "move this here and move that there", he decided it would be better just to show me how to use the software. Now he waits until I have what I think is a final design - and then in five minutes can greatly improve it.

I do most of the actual DIY work since he works longer hours. I build walls, install floors, do plumbing and electrical. He advises when asked and helps some on the weekends.


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I did most of the design research and DH the technical stuff. Design wise we are pretty much on the same page but he did want darker cabinets which turned out great. DH does all the work DIY.


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My kitchen project was all mine. I tried really hard to engage DH, but he couldn't have cared less. He always likes what I choose anyway. I tried to go over the proposed floor plan with him and all he did was keep looking at his watch. One day, I successfully dragged him to an appliance store. His interest level at least registered and so was not a total flatline. He had a strong opinion on the fridge (he really disliked the Liebherr for some reason) and the wine fridge got his attention (we had not had one before). He did pay attention to the dishwasher, since he does most of the cleanup. Oh yes, and I was able to drag him to one slab yard. We took a long subway ride out to Queens to get there. Unfortunately, they didn't have a marble slab that I liked. He complained the whole way back about how I wasted his morning because, in his mind, shopping without success is a total waste. So he really is allergic to this process. Luckily we found our marble at the second place.

But things are now done and he loves the kitchen!


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Another couple with one who cares a lot, another who just has preferences and is bored fast, fast, fast. I plan and DH has veto power, even though he didn't ask for it. Some interesting surprises.


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The kitchen design was entirely up to me. I am the cook of the family and even though it's a tad old fashioned, I thoroughly enjoy taking care of filling my husband's belly with scrumptious healthy food after a long day at work. (Just so you don't think I'm Mrs. Cleaver, he does do cleanup, when he is home in time and usually the laundry.) Like Ratrem, our tastes are similar, but I know he would have been perfectly happy with a more modern looking kitchen, although that wouldn't have fit our traditional home & décor. He is a fan of good looking wood, so the cabinetry was something he was very pleased with. I did involve him heavily in the raised beamed ceiling over the breakfast area because that was a significant additional cost for purely personal aesthetic reasons (I didn't want a really long narrow kitchen). However, he is interested in architecture and appreciated the uniqueness, light, and interest that ceiling added to our kitchen. He does have an appreciation for art and is musically inclined so I think that did free me up on some of the more personal taste/expensive items that we put in our kitchen. More to please my sense of beauty than actual "need".

As an aside, when I started looking at cabinets, I was blown away by all of the styles! I had no clue. Sheepishly I admit to picking a cabinet off the wall at the GC (Kitchen specialist). There were probably 16 up there. I couldn't handle any more choices on cabinets. The wood finishes were what I enjoyed choosing more!

Neither of us are in the engineering field. I suspect engineers would have a bigger footprint in any planning of physical areas.


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It was collaborative..... he will attest to many agonizing (for him) hours spent looking at granite, tile ,appliances, etc. the only thing he felt strongly about was a gas range..I prefer electric. I pretty much picked out everything and he liked most of my picks. If I was ambivalent and couldn't decide, he would weigh in and help decide. We both like more modern, contemporary styles so that made it easier.


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My hubby realizes he has no design sense. We are doing a new build, so the only things he is concerned about are:
1) nice home office with lots of built-in book shelves for his zillions of books
2) high-end closet with all the goodies
3) a place to store all his beer brewing supplies and ferment all the beer he makes.

Otherwise, it's all up to me. I don't mind, as I have pretty specific tastes :-)


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After every layout iteration I showed my DH (and there were LOTS), he asked "But where does my toaster go?" It's become a standing joke around here.

DH was good-natured about listening to me thinking out loud about the kitchen, but since he does very little in the kitchen other than eat (and make toast), he rarely offered an opinion unless I asked a direct question. Some exceptions: he felt very strongly that he wanted a proper table to sit at rather than an island, and he was profoundly anti-banquette from the start.

Since the kitchen has been done, he often remarks about how beautiful and functional it is. And he loves the location of his toaster.


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Now that I'm awake, I wanted to add I'd gladly take DH's thoughts and preferences on things so we could decide together, but he just doesn't have any interest. It's overwhelming and unfamiliar territory, and since it's not concrete and metal industrial loft modern (his favorite, but nowhere near anything our house could pull off), he just defers to me. Hence in my design phase when he was adamant about not putting a table on the powder room wall or putting the range around the corner, I listened. It was nice to hear an actual opinion from him! Even if irrational.

A2, he's not an engineer. We are both pharmacists. Does he exhibit engineer traits?

The strange thing is he is oddly attached to the very few things he picks, or rescues me from chronic waffling. After hours of searching, he narrowed in on our fan with me inside of 30 minutes. Now he is proud of the fan, and keeps saying what a great team we are making decisions together, like the fan. But the faucets, paint, floor, switches, etc, etc, etc, don't even register. Too funny!

He did the exact same thing with our wedding too. He really had no preference, but helped pick out the cake (double chocolate with mocha fondant). Whenever we talk about the wedding, he talks about how he picked the cake. It was great cake, when we took it out of the freezer on our anniversary we ate it for several days, until I got concerned that year old cake from the freezer might not be a good choice to eat 5 days later.


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It's been all me for the kithen. DH spends maybe 2min a day in the kitchen and had no interest in the choices or time to weigh the different options. The only thing he came with me for was the appliances and even then just deferred to me since I did the research. He said he trusts my judgement and wants me to have the kitchen the way I want it. It's really sweet but sometimes overwhelming when I can't decide. It's nice not to have to worry about clashing opinions but lonely at times when I want input. That's why I'm thankful for all of you on GW!


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My husband is the primary cook, and he was quite involved in the layout process and appliance choices. I chose the cabinets, counters, backsplash without him. He likes my taste and is not interested in color combinations and such. I trusted him on the layout/appliance part. So In my mind, it was a joint effort, in that each of us had primary input on what was important to us.


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When we got married and bought our first house, DH wanted in on all the design decisions, artwork, etc. But after a few years, he realized that he really doesn't care that much, and that he likes my taste (as my father assured him he would). So I do all the research and layout stuff, then run the design ideas past him. Our only big disagreement on this kitchen has been the sink - he wants a double, and I'm pretty set on single. Since he does the dishes, he should probably win...but he won't.

The actual construction is a joint effort, though. We both do painting, tiling, cabinet installation, etc. I don't feel right giving him a list of construction tasks that would fulfill my vision, so we've both learned how to do anything. Our agreement is that anything that is said in the middle of a renovation project doesn't count. It works well.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Started as joint and evolved into a benevolent dictatorship. Seriously, the planning has been a balancing act which has changed a lot over the (gulp) 18 months that DH and I have been in planning mode.

We started with a model similar to that used for our previous major projects together (an earlier house renovation, wedding planning, real estate hunting): I did all the research and initial footwork, he came in when I narrowed the choices to a manageable number. Problems arose when he vetoed everything, meaning I was back at the beginning and resentful about the lack of acknowledgement for all the wasted work. Plus he had a set of non-negotiables that seemed reasonable at the beginning but began to feel like barriers to what I wanted.

After six months, we had what I thought was a workable - not close to ideal, not as good as it could be, but workable - kitchen plan, the heart of this renovation (which is the reworking of a whole floor of the house). But when I got down to the microdetails of the kitchen, I hated it. HATED it. And the biggest impediment was one of DH's non-negotiables.

I checked out, mentally and then physically. Told DH I hated the kitchen that had emerged from the process and couldn't begin to see how we could start 'from scratch' when his idea of scratch had too many constraints. Life then reared its head, with travel and medical emergencies and family stuff, and we shelved the planning.

Early this spring, I was refreshed enough to try try again. DH agreed that I should have more authority in the process, and that his 'final veto' power wasn't fair since he wasn't willing put in the front-end work too. As the only cook and primary kitchen user, I agreed.

So we're much closer now, probably two weeks away from what we hope are close-to-final plans for the renovation. I'm sorry it took us this long to make it work, and I've learned that joint can't mean equal for us.


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It's all me. DH cares nothing for kitchen design nor anything else on the whole-house gut remodel we are doing. Sometimes that's great. Sometimes it's a burden. But he has no sense of style and he knows it, so it's definitely for the best!


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

This is my project. DH has made that clear more than once. Though I appreciate having a free hand with decisions it does get lonely when you have no one in the least bit interested in what is going on. I am so ready to have this over and done with.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Justmakeit!! LOL!!!

I am a single person, but have my DD living with me at the moment. I have floated my ideas past her with varying degrees of interest... none for the actual layout (which couldn't have many variations anyway) but more for choosing cabinet color. floor and counter. I have appreciated her input which has helped me to narrow choices down, a little, but not as much as I really need, such a waffler I am!


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

My teenaged sons are sick to death of hearing about the kitchen. One of them got a job across the state, and will miss the entire reno, for which he is extremely grateful. At one point I said "I can't wait for the kitchen to be finished, so I can have [something wonderful]." My son replied "I can't wait until the kitchen is finished, so I don't have to hear about it any more!"

Like justmakeit's DH, all my kids want to know is if they will be able to find everything they need for a bowl of cereal.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Williamsen - that is so funny - DH is the same way. He loves to show everyone the few things that he helped make the decision. He loves to show off the pantry with the pocket door and motion sensor light and how much better than the old door that blocked the light switch and rubbed on the floor.
Some day, we will meet - maybe pharmacists are like engineers. I am a PT but always hooked up with engineers.

Holly-Kaye - but I bet he just wants it done - I think that is when DH stepped in on some decisions - just to get it DONE. He has OCD tendencies and the temporary kitchen with boxes everywhere drove him crazy!

So, I am so glad that I found GW or I would still be stumbling on my decisions!!


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GW has been my salvation. Believe me, you have all been so supportive and helpful. Unfortunately the kitchen isn't my only hurtle. Phase two is the living room. I have the furniture picked out but everything needs painted. It just is all so overwhelming.


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Hubby definitely is involved, he does have a say, but only after the majority of choices have happened. This is his choice, he is busy and would rather not spend time on meetings with the KD, or the endless decisions to be made. Having said that when we looked at tiles recently he told me what he likes and from those I will likely choose what I like best. I spend way more time in the house than he does and he is generally very happy with the decisions I make. He trusts me not to spend money needlessly! He has been known to comment that my tastes have gotten more expensive! Too funny


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zeebee - I feel you. More than one conversation has happened between DH and I which boiled down to "If you don't like the five choices I worked so hard to come up with, why don't YOU do some research and make some proposals to ME and I'll say no to all of them."

Usually that's about the time he breaks out the chocolate and wine for me.


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Although my husband does about 15% of the cooking, he did not really want to be involved in the decision making. I would ask him to look at pulls or fans, and after five minutes he couldn't keep looking. The number of choices was overwhelming to him. I'd spend hours on different websites and on gardenweb. He did approve all final choices and was very involved in the appliance selections. Our issue was that I could like 30 things and be happy with any of them, but he would only like 1 or 2. Finding those 1 or 2 choices took a long time.


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My kitchen was my 20th anniversary gift, hence my screen name. As I have said elsewhere, the real gift was that I got to pick everything. I did ask DH's opinion on some things, especially when I was spending more than I'd hoped, and he did volunteer some good ideas that I used. But all the final choices were mine. It was wonderful! But I'm the homemaker, and I do almost all the cooking, so it is "my" kitchen.

DH has had the graciousness to say on several occasions that the kitchen turned out beautiful and that my choices were good. Wise man.


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Too funny Ginny! What a wonderful twentieth anniversary gift. DH and I are working on seventeen and have had great years together but if this kitchen isn't done soon eighteen isn't looking too promising. LOL.


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First, I’m the DH. I do 80% of the cooking and I'm an engineer and the DIY guy. For over 40 years and 3 kitchen renos we collaborated on everything as we do with the rest of our lives. As an aside' I think the term DW is ridiculous as I don't think of my wife as the dishwasher.
Our life evolved around work as I normally worked early hours and she worked later. Therefore I learned to cook dinner and developed my preferences for the kitchen. I didn't get them all but we it was truly a joint decision.


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While we both have a "say" to some degree in projects like this, the person who has the most "investment" in the project has the "final" say - unless the other has an overwhelming issue with the decision - and then we discuss it until we come to agreement. Luckily, that's only happened once or twice that I can remember in our 21+ years of marriage!

For the kitchen, it meant the most to me and I use it more than my DH, so my DH pretty much gave me full decision making authority, the only three things my DH really cared about were the budget and the DW and cleanup sink (b/c he does 99% of the cleanup; I do all the cooking/baking). He wanted a double bowl sink and didn't want to spend too much on the DW. He did approve of the sink I picked out and still thinks it's the best - both the design (70/30) and the cost (a Ticor from the now-defunct Galaxy Tool Supply supplier - Ticor isn't gone, just GTS). I was not happy with the DW and, unfortunately, my concerns have been realized and now my DH thinks I was right. (It's a KA and we have to wash everything on Heavy Duty to get the dishes & silverware mostly clean!)

I'm the more technical & scientific-minded of the two of us, so that worked best in the long run anyway - design & research are both "my cup of tea". For aesthetics, I worked with our KD since I'm not the best at it...I know what I want, but getting there is more difficult for me (colors, combinations, etc.). [That's also why I rarely chime in on aesthetic threads - I like the technical (design) threads better!]

In the end, my DH was very happy with the results - especially, I think, b/c I was (am) happy!


When we re-did the finished part of the basement and turned it into a "media room" (not elaborate, but that's its purpose), I had some say, but I left most of the decisions, choices, etc. up to my DH. It's primarily for him, so he had the "final" say.

This process has worked well for us over the years - with very few issues.


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My DH had a say in everything in which he wanted one. He had a lot of say early on when the footprint, sight lines, and natural light were being established. Pretty much the rest was all me. (Except he picked the backsplash!) He says it's my kitchen and he just wants me to be happy and make him delicious food. To which I say, "OK!" :)

That's just about decision-making. As for the actual post-GC work (dismissed before the kitchen was completed because we ran out of $!), he's done a lot of that, and I help where I'm able. (I'm not the handiest person, but I'm learning!)


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holly-kay - Did you see the hilarious old thread about how to stay happily married during a renovation? I can't find it now, even though someone referenced it a few months ago,which is when I first saw it. Basically, the woman decided that she would "be with" her husband at least every other day during the project, whether she was in the mood or not. And it worked! Talk about a joint project...


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

(Deleted duplicate post.)

This post was edited by fouramblues on Mon, May 27, 13 at 21:43


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

One of the most funny (and perceptive) posts I've read on GW, Ginny!

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with laxsupermom's operation S E X


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Moebus, you may be misunderstanding...we use DW/DH for Dear Wife and Dear Husband, as well as DD/DS for daughter/son, sometimes DM for dear Mother,etc.

Now depending on context, DW is also an abbreviation for dishwasher, and DD for dish drawer. Not to imply any connection, just because that's how it worked out.

Now that I finally figured out YMMV, I think I got most of the slang here!


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Moebus, you may be misunderstanding...we use DW/DH for Dear Wife and Dear Husband, as well as DD/DS for daughter/son, sometimes DM for dear Mother,etc.

Now depending on context, DW is also an abbreviation for dishwasher, and DD for dish drawer. Not to imply any connection, just because that's how it worked out.

Now that I finally figured out YMMV, I think I got most of the slang here!


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Ginny and fouramblues, thank you for that link! Lax sure was creative. Holy cow when shelayne said she filled a pez dispenser with Xanax and the tic tac container with Valium I thought she said v.i.a.g.r.a. Geesh my age is showing when I associate sex with a pill. Now if only I can find my pez dispenser and tic tac dispenser all will be well in the old town tonight.


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My dh has very little interest either. I told him what I wanted and he mostly said ok. The only thing I wanted that he didn't want was wood flooring in the kitchen. So most of the decisions were mine unless it involved his labor and then he snapped to attention long enough to see if it was worthwhile to him.


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My dh has very little interest either. I told him what I wanted and he mostly said ok. The only thing I wanted that he didn't want was wood flooring in the kitchen. So most of the decisions were mine unless it involved his labor and then he snapped to attention long enough to see if it was worthwhile to him.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

YMMV?


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

YMMV?


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My DH gladly handed most of the decision making and planning to me - just not his thing and I do nearly all of the cooking. I did narrow choices down to a couple and ask for his input before making any decisions, but he was pretty accomodating. Early on I did ask him for things he would like in the new kitchen. All he wanted was a fridge with ice and water thru the door. Easy-peasy.

Curiously, my DS (about 10 during the reno) really got into the whole process from helping with the layout, to picking paint and finish colors. We learned a lot about kitchen design together, and although I never let him over-rule my choices he did play a big part in some of the finish choices. Last summer we redid his bedroom and he lead the "design team" with some guidance from me. Now he has a room that suits a teenager (the "man-cave", lol) and a great deal of pride in showing off his bold choices.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

a2- your mileage might vary?


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Yes, YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary. Other commonly used acronyms:

TIA - Thanks In Advance
FWIW - For What It’s Worth
OTOH - On The Other Hand
IIRC - If I Recall Correctly
AFAIK - As Far As I Know
IMO - In My Opinion and
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion

and one that applies to many of us here!

TKO - Totally Kitchen Obsessed

I've linked to our Acronyms list (which is also in the first post of the "Read Me" thread).

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Forum Acronyms


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

While my "DW" did have opinions I had the last word. I'm the cook and did all the research and care more about the kitchen than she does and she trusts me. I gave her my 'informed' opinions of things, she gave me her gut. I also gave her the master bath, I don't care much but she was passionate about it. For us that worked great. I kept her in the loop on everything, she would tell me how she felt about it, I would consider her opinion and do what I felt was right. I must have re-designed it 20 times, more minor each time. We designed our home so had a lot of latitude with everything. I think her only complaint about the kitchen would be the cost but since she's been using it I think she appreciates everything in it, we tend to spend a great deal of time in there.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

While my "DW" did have opinions I had the last word. I'm the cook and did all the research and care more about the kitchen than she does and she trusts me. I gave her my 'informed' opinions of things, she gave me her gut. I also gave her the master bath, I don't care much but she was passionate about it. For us that worked great. I kept her in the loop on everything, she would tell me how she felt about it, I would consider her opinion and do what I felt was right. I must have re-designed it 20 times, more minor each time. We designed our home so had a lot of latitude with everything. I think her only complaint about the kitchen would be the cost but since she's been using it I think she appreciates everything in it, we tend to spend a great deal of time in there.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

Williamsem, understand completely now. A year ago I interpreted DH as dick head. Probably true for some of our compatriots here. This is a pretty touchy freely thread for a kitchen forum.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

You know moebus that DH sometimes means exactly what you thought.


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RE: Is your kitchen a joint effort?

OT-holly-kay: it's nice to see that you've been able to retain your sense of humor after the day you've had (with your floor . . .)


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