We spent a nice mother-daughter afternoon: we had lunch and then spent the next couple hours at the design centre. I wasn't sure how it would play out - would my mother be opinionated or critical of my choices? Would she offer helpful advice or suggestions? Or would she just be there to provide moral support?
In the end, it was the latter with a bit of helpful advice thrown in. She'd never seen the site before, nor the model suite, so it was good that she could finally see how and where I will eventually live.
I thought going in that with all the upgrades I had in mind it would end up costing upwards of $10,000 or more - and it probably would have, if I was able to lay tile in the kitchen as I had originally planned, but that's not even an option, so I saved money there by eschewing the optional extended island upgrade that would have been necessary if tile were possible. Oh well.
So here's the colour story for the kitchen: clockwise from top right is the granite for the kitchen counters in Bethel White, the hardwood for the floors in American Walnut, the mini-glass subway tile for the backsplash in "stone" and the Scalvolini cabinets.
In the bathroom, clockwise from top right: White tile for the bathroom surround, the 12"x24" porcelain tile for the floor and the same Scalvolini cabinet for the vanity. I have visions of a bathroom accessorized with a rotating roster of towels in lavender, soft pink, light blue and grass green...
I went for the optional pantry because one never has enough storage space in a condo - besides which, I didn't buy a storage locker - and the window coverings. My original intent was to hang panels in a linen-y material with grommet details, but given that I have a wall of windows and 10' concrete ceilings, getting coverings through the developer is the easiest solution - and the price seemed reasonable.
My big ticket item was my hardwood though. Given the laminate and 3 grades of hardwood available, I of course had to like the one that was in the 2nd grade! But isn't it lovely!? It's so warm and goes so well with everything else. There was a teak sample (also a 2nd upgrade) that I liked as well but I decided that the colour ran a little too orange for my liking.
I asked about getting mirrored closet doors instead of the builder's white that's standard, but they don't offer any upgrades, which I found surprising. I suppose I can fix that after the fact, or just get an oversized mirror to lean against the wall.
Me being the planner I am, I came armed with a list of questions to ask - some of which the design consultant didn't have the answers to. Apparently no one had thought to ask any of these questions in all the time that she's been working on this project - which makes me wonder what that means. Are other people just more knowledgable about condos and design then I am? Are they asking better questions and/or getting better answers? Am I a detail-oriented control freak? Whatever. I don't care. This is the biggest purchase I've ever made and I'm going to ask whatever questions I want!
I ended up spending half of what I had originally anticipated so I was feeling pretty good although still much poorer. I took my mother out for a walk afterwards to acquaint her with my soon-to-be neighbourhood. The sky turned rather ominous and gray so we ducked into a Second Cup for some refreshment and managed to sit out the height of the thunderstorm. We went out again after the rain had lightened up and stopped in the many bead stores that were having sales! I was tempted by many a sparkly strand but couldn't bring myself to buy any after writing such a big cheque so we decided to head on home for dinner. :-(
I better quit it now with the condo dreaming and get cracking with my mandarin. I've been neglecting my homework all week and since I have an oral exam tomorrow, I've got a lot of catching up to do...why did I think taking a course in the summer was I good idea again?!