We made the mistake of going to look at a fantastic high-end custom kitchen store called DOM which sells Valcucine kitchens imported from Italy.  The sample kitchens are all beautifully put together and everything fits perfectly. In fact, the way the Valcucine product goes together reminds me of an airplane: everything has a machined quality and uses just enough (not excessive) amounts of material to get a cohesive look.

We ended up in the store by accident; we were down in a certain area of town that has funky cafes and galleries and wandered into the store just to quickly take a look. Well once you’re in, its hard to leave because its like being at the premier of a Hollywood movie. You can see the stars and it looks like you could reach out and shake their hand but you know that you’ll get in really big trouble if you do. Which means in this case that it seems perfectly logical to spend that amount on a kitchen, but if we do, we’ll end up having to do a whole bunch of other stuff to make sure that it all goes together properly.

Things like making sure all the walls are square (yeah, right) or the floor is level (ha!) or that all the appliances match the design (how much is that integrated double oven?) Because the way I see it, something this nice requires total committment to making it look as good as it does in the showroom. They even have one show kitchen in the store with a tempered acid-etched glass countertop!

But after getting home (and back to reality) we realized that in our pretty small house a kitchen this good would require us to upgrade everything else in the house, including furniture and other fixtures. (Just look at some of the pictures on the site to see what it looks like.) So really you have to commit to the whole package before you plunk down the chequebook.