28 June 2009

My Island Beauty Mark

I am a geometry person. I love the measurements of cabinetry and pulls, the way plumbing or light fixtures can puzzle together, the ergonomics of spacing and layout... you get the idea.

I am also an overly analytical, detail-oriented, meticulous sort. I go through the details and check, double check, triple check. To some perspectives, I probably venture past that point of diminishing return. If I can, I measure five times and cut once. I actually did measure our old kitchen at least five times, and I also had my cabinetry firm measure at least three times (well, I insisted on the first two, and then to my delight they came back yet a third time to do another jobsite measure "just to be sure.")

As I had the island countertop installed, I experienced my first real "oops" of this project. I was adamant that my island faucet had to be a quality pull-out sprayer -- given the frequent function of washing off vegetables, fruits, greens, etc. I also greatly desired a low profile faucet. I imagine myself working at the chopping board, while friends/guests hang out by standing across/around the island. I'm short and like to make eye contact. I'm that person who always moves a centerpiece to the edge of the table because I hate looking through it to talk to someone across the table. While I do like the look of a tall bar faucet, it's not what I wanted for this space.

A low profile, pull-out sprayer, bar-sized faucet is hard to find. In fact, I couldn't find it. I eventually settled on the KWC Edge. The style is not the same as my other fixtures (KWC Systema) but I felt that was ok. At one point I considered getting the same Systema faucet in different sizes for both main and prep sinks, but I felt the smaller sized Systema (14" tall) was still too big for my prep sink.

So, we go to drill the holes for the sinks in the island countertop. As we are marking the holes for the prep sink, it occurs to the contractor to make sure that the KWC Edge faucet head correctly hits the rear-set drain of my prep sink (note to Paul -- yes, I now realize that my prep sink is indeed a tad too small :( ). We line it up and subsequently realize that the Edge must be installed ALL the way at the back of the sink cabinet to hit the drain (the sink was already installed as far forward as it could go). If we install the instant hot and soap dispenser that far back, however, they will not clear the edge of the sink. Arrrgh!

I don't know why I never thought to check the horizontal reach of the faucet. I checked the height. I checked the horizontal reach of the other faucets. I EVEN checked the horizontal reaches of my soap dispensers!!

So my options were:
1) install the Edge in line with the holes even though it doesn't hit the drain (potentially getting a new faucet down the line if it bothers me)
2) return the Edge and get a new faucet
3) install the Edge out of line with the other three holes
4) change the order of my sink fixtures to create an "arc" of holes, vs a straight line

I decided on #3. I don't have the energy to search for another faucet. I spent so much time looking for a good prep sink faucet already. I also didn't want to change the order of my sink fixtures. So my real choices were #1 vs #3. I chose, as you can tell by the picture, #3. I decided that if I installed in line, having the Edge come too far forward over my sink (and have to be pulled out just to aim the spray at the drain)... that this was the greater of two evils. I have a little bit of regret with this on-the-spot decision. One day I will probably have enough energy to search for a new prep sink faucet where the horizontal reach would be better. But I just wanted to close the issue.

In actuality, I believe not many people will notice this other than me. I can think of a few friends who will pick right up on it. My solution: serve lots of alcohol at all of my parties so that no one notices or remembers. :)

I have decided to embrace this faux pas. So many things have been coming together so well in the kitchen that I was perhaps getting a little big for my britches. A few decisions that I had agonized over, now that they have been implemented, I am just ecstatic with the results. I'm routinely breaking my arm by patting my back to celebrate my "good instincts" and keen decision-making ability.

That errant sink hole is the mole/beauty mark of my island. Every time I notice that faucet being out of line, I can get my proper dose of humility that yes, I made a mistake. It's a good reminder. And at least I'll be constantly reminded to check this measurement for other people's kitchens.

ps: I'm glad to have captured a better photo of my wonderful island soapstone. :) Still trying for The One picture that really shows it off.


Paul Anater said...

Vindicated! Actually, the out of line faucet doesn't bother me and I'm usually pretty particular. Despite my particularities, I have an overriding belief that kitchens and homes should tell the story of the lives of the people who live in them. You now have a story to embrace Rachele. Keep everything as-is, symmetry is highly overrated. The installation quirk makes that kitchen uniquely yours. Congrats!

mom2reese said...

Honestly, the faucet being out of line doesn't bother me, and you know how obsessive I can be about things like that. The instant hot, soap dispenser, and what I'm assuming is the GD air switch are smaller accessories that are "grouped together" in my mind, so since they're still lined up, it doesn't cause me any mental discomfort, if that makes sense. Not that my mental comfort should be a concern for you, LOL!

Rachele said...

@Paul - I like the term "installation quirk"
@m2r - thanks for the reassurance :)

augustine said...

thanks for the reminder to check this before i start drilling :)

Anonymous said...

Its looking fine, you can find more Sink Faucets here…..

Anonymous said...

This is definitely one of those problems I'll keep an eye out for. I've been putting together a blog on problems like this that aren't very obvious when you go into a project. I'll definitely link back to this as my source for the faucet problem.

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