Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going gonzo on crowdsourcing, and channeling Seinfeld

You know, sometimes you just have to learn by doing.

Julia, my wife, told me she wanted to enter a contest to win a $25,000 IKEA kitchen makeover sponsored by Chatelaine Magazine. I said "sure!" because I hate our kitchen too. Why?

Let me take you back to the 1990s:

Seinfeld's kitchen was where most of the "show about nothing" took place. So it was absolutely hilarious when he let a carpenter completely wreck it.

It's even funnier to us, because it's exactly what a previous owner of our house did to what would one day be our kitchen.

"It's very obtrusive..."

So here's my entry to the contest:
Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld, when he had his kitchen remodelled? When the carpenter put an island with awkward upper cupboards in the middle of the kitchen that totally ruined it as a social space?

Well, that's our kitchen. Our house is old, built in 1927, and full of “character”. The original layout was a sunny breakfast nook separated from a small kitchen. Over the decades, it has had numerous renovations, and the last one really screwed it up.

The centre island (more of a peninsula) cramps the cooking area. The shelves above block sunlight and eye contact. It's so tight to the dishwasher that nobody can pass through when loading or unloading. Not to mention the cheap cabinetry that keeps peeling white laminate.

The access to our back door is equally screwed up. Between fridge and the sink, we have to shimmy to get groceries in. (Note the built-in stove we bought in hopes of rebuilding “The Island of Misfit Interior Designers”.)

And the aesthetics! Done in the early-90s (so missing the Seinfeld irony is all the more puzzling) the concept is white and hunter green. We quickly covered the green vinyl floor...

We know this kitchen has challenges. It's small. The entire south wall is windows. (Its best feature!) The rest of the wallspace it broken up by windows entranceways.

Can you help? We love our little old house, but the kitchen is just one big mess of bad decisions and wasted potential.

Our chances of winning are slim at best, but there's nothing like participating in a social media contest to  get you inside the heads of consumers.