I was the last child to go off to college, and my parents have decided to remodel their kitchen. They’ve been sending me links to products they are looking at and contractors they are considering to keep me “in the loop” about what’s going on at home. It seems like they are going for some high-end appliances. As someone who mainly uses a microwave and dining hall to get my sustenance, and who grew up in a perfectly functional kitchen, this all seems a bit extravagant to me. I want to be supportive, but I just can’t really find it in me to get excited about stovetops. How do I support my parents’ getting their “dream kitchen?”
Support is really the key word that you’ve identified. It sounds like your parents have a house to themselves after successfully raising you and your siblings, so it isn’t that unusual that they’d like to do some renovations. Raising kids is no small feat, and creating a space for yourself after the last child has “left the nest” sounds like it’s important to your parents emotionally. So even though you aren’t personally invested in new sinks or ovens or ranges, keep in mind that your parents likely just want to hear that you support them in their venture.
A good kitchen also isn’t necessarily an extravagance. A well-designed kitchen with high-quality appliances can really change the experience of cooking and using the kitchen as an entertainment space, according to Dacor. Although you may long for the familiarity of the kitchen you had growing up, keep in mind how nice it will be to have high-quality appliances and more open space when you go home to visit your parents. It also gives them the freedom to use their kitchen as a space for entertaining people their own age, rather than simply a place to prepare meals for busy kids. Although it may seem “extravagant” to you, consider the amount of time Americans, on average, spend on food preparation and cleanup each day and you may begin to understand why your parents would want to spend that time in a beautiful space.
You also mentioned contractors, and a high-quality contractor–although potentially pricey–is well worth the money. A bad contractor, or one who cuts corners, can cost so much more in repairs and legal fees in the long run than a quality contractor. A local contractor who has employees who have taken and passed assessments that demonstrate their skills and competencies will save your family headaches and money in the long run.
At the end of the day, you don’t really need to do anything except be positive about your parents’ excitement for their kitchen remodel. It may not feel that important to you, but try to view it from their perspective and understand why they are so excited about it. Just as you are starting a new chapter in your life, so are they. Support them as they support you. And don’t forget to enjoy the new kitchen when you go home!
“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament of the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table. “— E. A. Bucchianeri