Her Favorite Part of the New Luxury Kitchen? The Floor Tiles

L.A. Times Remodel

I caught up with Liese Gardner, a marketing and PR pro, and Dave Lidstone, an engineer type, whose gorgeous DIY Spanish-style kitchen was featured in the L.A. Times a few years ago.

I asked Liese my favorite how’s-the-remodel-working-out set of questions. I wanted to know what she and Dave would have done differently, given the chance, during the 18-month-long remodel. And I wanted to know what turned out better than they expected. To my surprise, it was the floor tiles (pictured here), bought at Mission Tile for $2 each, that delighted her most. Read her comments:

I have to say, there isn’t anything I’d do differently. Perhaps it is because we took so much time with each detail following our belief –- do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it again (at least not for another 10 years when I’m sure it will have to be updated)!

As for the best part of it, I think that would just have to be the overall feeling of it. When I sit at the butcher block table with my coffee in the morning or glass of wine at night and look back at the kitchen itself, I’m always amazed at Dave’s talent at truly taking our vision and making it a reality. It makes up for all those tough moments like redoing the water lines under the house until 11 p.m. and dealing with the tenacity of black grout (it takes buckets and buckets and buckets of water to get that right) or scraping every bit of old paint off the woodwork.

But if I had to choose something, I’d have to say the floor. I LOVE it. It is exactly what I have always wanted. People said tile would be hard for someone who likes to cook (hard on the feet/body) but I haven’t found that to be true. When you are on your feet anywhere for a long period of time you are going to feel it!

And some friends have mentioned that they’d be afraid to have a copper sink, thinking it would be hard to clean, but in reality, it’s just as easy to clean as any other surface. It gets prettier as we use it and I just use the Bartender’s Friend on it lightly.

And the wine cooler is an added luxury that I really think makes the kitchen. But wait! I can’t forget the dishwasher! The first I’ve had in my life (aside from my childhood home). That is truly a treat! We really should never, ever take our dishwashers for granted –- take it from someone who did them for 18 months in a bathtub!

And from the Where Do These People Get the Energy? Department, here is what Liese said about her and Dave’s next project:

After 18 months inside we are outside installing a Jacuzzi and gazebo (not like a Victorian gazebo but more like a cute redwood shed that we’ve stained a rich mahogany). We have done this on the cheap –- the shed and Jacuzzi cost us $1,000. A Craigslist find. We picked it up and brought it home. Dug out footings, laid a concrete slab, installed the shed, making it stronger with cross beams, etc., installing a custom skylight (Dave’s making it from scratch) and putting on a composite roof. All that’s left now is hooking up the Jacuzzi and redoing the landscape around it! Then, as soon as we have a Jacuzzi to look forward to each night after working hard, we’ll tackle the installation of French doors in the bedroom.

It never ends!

Thanks, Liese and Dave!