Frugality and Bling? A contradiction in terms? No, I don't think so. In fact, bling can be the frugal person's best friend. As in clothing, so in kitchens. Every mother tells her daughter: "Just make sure the shoes and bag are OK. The rest will be upgraded (or downgraded) by those two items."
Thanks Mom, for your good advice, though I don't always follow it.
Having a kitchen where everything is of high quality is very expensive. But you can pick and choose. So a killer stove (like Duchesse's AGA!) can be a centerpiece. A neat farm sink: ditto. And--though some may disagree--a sculptural hood also has a bling factor. Following is my bling.
Stove Hood. A former colleague, who was weird in many, many ways, asked, when she heard I was planning to re-do my kitchen, if I would be willing to give her my stove hood. I had never paid much attention to it, since it came with the house. I took a look and it hit me: one element of bling. It's a Thermador with infrared heat lamps! It also provides good ventilation: my kitchen never is filled with greasy dust, as in previous kitchens. Cost: free with house.
Sink. I wanted a farm sink (aka apron sink). These are expensive and difficult to install (hence expensive labor). I discovered the IKEA Domsjo sink, which at the time was $300.00. I called and discovered that shipping would be $200.00! Then, I learned that one of Frugal Son's pals had to go to Houston to get a visa. I offered to pay his gas if he bought my sink. SUCCESS! Ikea, by the way, deserves my love because the sink is constructed so that it can be laid atop any countertop, thereby eliminating the costly cut-out and installation. My contractor was impressed. Cost: $360.00, including gas for a Civic Hybrid.
Giant old cupboard. One good idea is to sub a neat piece of furniture for overpriced cabinets. We already had this. We bought it from a woman who owned the fanciest clothing and furniture stores. It remains the most expensive thing we have ever bought in the furniture category. It has been in our possession for about 20 years. Following the cost-per-wear theory of clothing purchases, I have to say that the cost-per-year is very low. Original Cost: Too embarrassed to mention!
We have 3 bling items, more than the basic requirement of one. Do you agree with my bling idea for kitchens? And, what is your kitchen bling?