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farmgirlinky kitchen before/after -- too long, too many pictures

posted by: farmgirlinky on 04.23.2011 at 10:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Apologies in advance for a long post! and thanks to many thoughtful GW denizens who served as sources of inspiration to this frequent-lurker, sometime-poster: xoldtimecarpenter, rhome47, marthavila, palimpsest, buehl, boxerpups, marcolo, johnliu come to mind, among others.

We live in a 1910 house in urban Connecticut, and have been gradually renovating it for the last ten years. We hope to live here another twenty--thirty years or so, next stop would be assisted living vs. skilled nursing! So: nardellos-to-the-wall renovation, amortized over decades.

The original space included a walk-in pantry, originally the ice-box room, and the "telephone closet", which we ripped out when we moved in. The "servant's dining hall" and kitchen had long since been combined into one room. So the "before" space was raw and ugly but functional, and we installed our old Aga range and were happy for a decade. Five years ago we acquired the Subzero when our old fridge gave up the ghost. Maybe I pronounced the old fridge dead while it still had a thready pulse, but I hated it. With this renovation we ordered an Aga Module to append to the old 4-oven gas-fueled Aga range, so that we could turn the latter off in the warmest months. In the winter, we are glad to have a separate heat zone in the kitchen, where we tend to live. The rest of the house is kept just above freezing. The windows and doors were restored, except for one new window that was built to match the old ones.



Steven Marchetti of Peix & Marchetti is our friend and architect. The space was gutted last August, and our excellent builder friend Allen Mathes built around the Aga and the large refrigerator. Allen built a fir "floor" on the ceiling and "strapped" it. The Aga is vented into the old flue and could not be moved -- the range hood could only be vented through one bay between joists to the rear of the house, so we held our breath until the custom Rangecraft hood arrived and was installed and fit like a glove: that's why the ducts are assymetrical. Very Terry Gilliam.



The floor is cork, and here is a picture of unwaxed Jucca soapstone countertop. The cabinetry is custom-made in New Haven, by fantastic Bryan Smallman:



Here are the just-about-finished pictures: there's a little trim to be done yet. We love the kitchen and it works well -- prep sink at the window and the utility sink accessible from both sides of the island are especially handy, because several cooks can work comfortably together and clean-up seems more communal. The Profi faucet is terrific for clean-up, also accessible from both sides because it is side-mounted on the Julien undermount steel sink. Friends off to one side at our old kitchen table seem happy and it they're not, we just pour more bourbon....

We worked with an architect friend, and were influenced by a favorite space, the Yale Center for British Art: the palette and the quiet feeling of the materials were what we tried to emulate, even as almost every material in the museum was switched for something else. Tennessee Golden Oak became vertical grain fir (oak today isn't Louis Kahn's oak), travertine became cork (who wants to stand on stone?), brutalist concrete became soapstone (who wants to worry about sealing concrete). Steel is still steel! The cream Aga that we have had for years dictated the choice of the biscuit fireclay farm sink and the cream ceramic subway tiles.

I have this idea that it's okay to mix a lot of materials if the palette is restrained, or it's fine to mix a lot of colors if the number of materials is restrained, but I'd be interested to see examples of lots of materials AND lots of colors working well. But that's just me.





sawkille stools


sawkille stools








I'll list materials in a subsequent post. Again, sorry for the many pictures: I get cross-eyed trying to post these things! Let me know what you think. Except maybe you, marcolo ;)


clipped on: 04.27.2011 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 04.27.2011 at 10:08 am

RE: Talk me out of painting my fireplace (Follow-Up #73)

posted by: waltbsc on 03.28.2011 at 07:58 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Wow - The Younghouselove fireplaces are great! We're going to wait and see what the doors do for us before we decide to move forward with painting.

As far as the "cottage look" that's not our goal even though what you say is true...we're just trying to update our 80's home to something more contemporary. For those of you that haven't seen what this room looked like last week here you go...



We're on a mission to rid our home of stained wood and we're almost's been a busy 10 months!!

Here is my semi-DIY kitchen reno...this is our style for those of you taking the time to offer opinions (thank you so much) I just realized I don't have a pic of the finished product but this should do...


This is what I had to start with...modified original cabinets updated with gel stain.



clipped on: 04.01.2011 at 05:01 am    last updated on: 04.01.2011 at 05:02 am

RE: Opinions on Horizontal Lift-Up Door Upper Cabinets? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: davidro1 on 03.24.2011 at 09:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have the bi fold.

Key words for image / web searches: "Aventos HF"

This company makes two other kinds of Aventos also.
There are several competitors too, so you will have lots to choose from.

They work as expected. They hold the panels in mid air without moving. You can raise or lower them as easily as you can imagine. Since the panels themselves are not light as a feather, it does take a bit more effort than if you moved a feather, but you get the idea. You are in control and the hardware is the enabler making the built environment obedient to your wishes.



clipped on: 03.28.2011 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2011 at 03:38 pm

RE: Is 3ft X 6ft shower too long and narrow? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: sundownr on 06.22.2010 at 02:44 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We have a shower that is appx 3' x 8.5' in one bath and appx 3' x 6' in the other bath. They both have walls on three sides. We did a half wall with glass above it and no door on one and we did install a door on the other one. We had the shower controls installed in the half wall so you can reach in to turn the water on and not get wet.

Here are photos of both.


clipped on: 03.27.2011 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2011 at 05:49 pm

RE: HELP! Problem with cabinet install (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: powertoolpatriot on 03.20.2011 at 12:09 am in Kitchens Forum

Screws that are countersunk into the back of the cabinet can be covered by caps that match the color of the cabinet. They can be found at or a distributor.


clipped on: 03.20.2011 at 07:48 am    last updated on: 03.20.2011 at 07:48 am

bar stools

posted by: bw548 on 11.27.2010 at 11:23 pm in Furniture Forum

Can anyone tell me where to find these bar stools?



clipped on: 03.18.2011 at 09:48 pm    last updated on: 03.18.2011 at 09:48 pm

RE: Good house/kitchen blogs (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: kathec on 03.17.2011 at 11:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I find they're highly addictive. Beware, LOL! I'm afraid to add up all the time I've spent and hours of sleep lost reading blogs. Most blogs have a list of other blogs they follow or link to. Here's a list of ones I've become addicted to:
Young House Love
Honey We're Home
The Inspired Room
Thrifty Decor Chick
Dreamy Whites
Miss Mustard Seed
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Fly Through Our Window
Urban Grace Interiors (the blog)
Isabella & Max Rooms
Centsational Girl
Rambling Renovators
Sarah 101 - not a blog, but Sarah Richardson from HGTV has another new show. As far as I know, they don't show it in the US only in Canada, so I "follow" it online.
Evolution of Style
Gus and Lula
Shine Your Light
A Thoughtful Place
Colour Me Happy

These are just the ones I have saved on my Favorites bar. Seriously, is there a blog 12 step program?



clipped on: 03.18.2011 at 08:15 am    last updated on: 03.18.2011 at 08:15 am

RE: Marble in my bathroom (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: natenvalsmom on 01.24.2011 at 09:36 am in Bathrooms Forum

We used a calacatta gold marble slab for our tub surround and counter tops. We have been using the bathroom for only about 2 1/2 months, but so far, we love it!




clipped on: 03.05.2011 at 09:10 am    last updated on: 03.05.2011 at 09:10 am

RE: How do you like your marble countertops? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: boxerpups on 02.11.2011 at 08:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

post some pictures of your gorgeous marble!
I love your marble. I remember when you were shopping for
it. It was not long after I had my granite installed.
In my next house it is marble for me. Now show off your
treasure. I for one would love to see it again.

Here is a link that Stacyneil started back in 09
Honed marble countertops 3 years later? Photos? Experience?

From Sabjimata
anyone have pics of OLD white marble counter tops?

Anyone regret getting marble

Marble: they're not kidding about the etching!

Etching Carrara Marble

Poof marble etches gone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why not do White Marble in a kitchen? Apt blog


clipped on: 02.21.2011 at 08:34 am    last updated on: 02.21.2011 at 08:34 am

Finished! White, Statuary, and Aqua Grantique

posted by: niffy on 05.22.2010 at 02:09 am in Kitchens Forum

Egad, I think it is done - well except for the dinette chairs that are on a container somewhere in the Pacific, and the base moulding for the fridge/freezer. Done enough, anyway....
I owe GW a great debt for many things, but a special thanks to all the marble lovers out there whose kitchens convinced me to go for it. I almost became a Virginia Mist convert, too, until I happened upon this brushed Aqua Grantique which fulfilled all my soapstone/marble/but low maintenance fantasies.... Margieb2- if you are still around, thank you for your arch! We had the half walls/columns on our plans, and once I saw yours, I knew EXACTLY how ours needed to be trimmed. We owe you big time.

So details....
Cabinets: custom, antique white. Island is maple stained dark walnut with a dark glaze or something.
Hardware: Polished nickel pulls and knobs, through cab company
Island countertop: statuary marble, honed
Perimeter countertop: aqua grantique (a granitic gneiss, apparently) - brushed finish
Backsplash: statuary 12x12 cut down to subways, statuary herringbone, and cut statuary slab
Floors: Brazilian walnut
Walls: SW Silvermist
Chandeliers: Schonbek New Orleans mini
Appliances: 30" Gaggenau fridge/freezer columns, GE Monogram Advantium 240 oven, GE Monogram Convection single oven, Wolf 36" induction cooktop, Miele La Perla dishwasher, and GE Monogram microwave (in end of island)
Sinks: Rohl 30" and Kohler Irontones for prep
Faucets: Rohl Country in polished nickel (avoid the burgundy felt "protective" bags. They stain when wet - stain things like new white marble. Don't ask how I know. Bags. Are. Evil.)

Hood/cooktop wall:

Sink wall (well, part of it anyway):

Fridge/freezer wall:

Perspective on location of pantry/butler's pantry:

Breakfast room and Family room:

Breakfast room hutch:

Aqua Grantique Close-up:

Countertop and Backsplash:

Cooktop backsplash:

Built-in Pantry (across from butler's pantry cabinets/counter)


clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 05:56 am    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 05:56 am

Lolauren's finished kitchen -- photos! -- white, inset, shaker...

posted by: lolauren on 01.02.2011 at 10:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

I can finally post photos of my kitchen from our new construction house! I am very relieved to be able to say that. I designed every detail in this kitchen down to the inch and loved the design process. This forum was my biggest help and inspiration, so thank you to everyone!!

I had to cut myself off from posting too many photos. So, the rest of the album is here: ALBUM

Or, for the slideshow version: SLIDESHOW

Please feel free to ask questions.


Cabinets: Huntwood (Custom) Cabinets with shaker, inset doors (Huntwood does custom cabinetry. The color is their white paint option, as opposed to their creamy option. The closest match I can find to this is between Benjamin Moore's "white" and "super white." My door trim, baseboards, etc. are all BM's "Super White." It is just slightly brighter than my cabinets, but not noticably.)

Countertops: Cambrian black granite in a leathered/antiqued finish

Backsplash: White US Ceramics 3x6 subway tile

Appliances: are all Frigidaire Professional, except for the Electrolux cooktop (and my cheap GE microwave in the pantry)

Hood vent: I have no idea. It was whatever the builder used standard. I didn't splurge here, but the unit works perfectly.


* Main Sink: Grohe Bridgeford Bridge faucet with sidespray in ORB

* Island Sink: Grohe Bridgeford pull-down faucet in ORB

* Reverse Osmosis/cold water faucet: Newport Brass (I had to add this after the fact, upon learning that I needed a RO system. The Newport Brass model matches the Grohe faucet surprisingly well. The finish is almost identical.)

Sinks: Blanco Silgranit sinks in anthracit - larger is BlancoPrecis Super Single and smaller is BlancoPrecis 15.5" x 19.5"

Hardware: Rejuvention Hardware latches, pulls and knobs in ORB

Flooring: Lewis & Clark hardwood - color is Beacon Rock - wood is hickory - very distressed (this is a small company... it isn't the line Shaw offers)

Paint: Pittsburgh Paint's "Moth Gray" cut down to 75%

Window treatment: I didn't want any window treatment in the kitchen, but some days the sunset glares on me when I'm cooking dinner. To solve this, I put in a cellular shade that is almost completely hidden when closed. It looks like there is no window treatment, unless I really need it during those 10-15 minutes of glare.

Lighting: 10 recessed lights - I ended up opting out of pendants so the space appears more open. The three recessed lights above the island are on a different switch, for less light or future pendant additions.

Counter stools: Sturbridge Yankee Workshop's "Henry Leather stools" in black

Island dimensions: 51" x 91"

Island overhang: 19 inches on the long side, 11.5 inches on the short side (it was supposed to all be 19", but nothing ever goes right in construction! I still would prefer 19", but this doesn't bother me now with the stools in.)


clipped on: 02.14.2011 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 02.14.2011 at 10:15 pm

RE: help me find dining table similar to Restoration Hardware Cam (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dcollie on 04.19.2007 at 01:55 am in Furniture Forum

You can simply commission a Camden-style table built to your specs, with leaves. It will be more expensive, but you'll get exactly what you want and it will be made of solids, not veneer as the Restoration Hardware table features. If you need a source for a custom, email me off list.


clipped on: 01.31.2011 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2011 at 01:58 pm

Finished pics - Creamy white, stained island

posted by: marmoreus on 01.25.2011 at 11:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is long overdue (we finished at the end of last August), but I wanted to thank all you Kitchen forum members for the great help. Thank you, thank you!!! I've really appreciated all the great information on this site. It has been such a helpful resource as we built a house for the first time.

On to the pictures.







So far the kitchen is working out really well for us. Other than not loving the performance of my wall oven, I am happy with how it all turned out.

The details:

Perimeter cabinets: Decora (Chantille finish on maple)
Island cabinets: Sorrento (Hermosa finish on alder)
Backsplash: Walker Zanger Gramercy Park (Heirloom White and Pipe Smoke)
Granite on perimeter: Antiqued Nordic Black (love this!)
Granite on Island: Alaskan White
Pendant lights: Schoolhouse Electric
Knobs & pulls: Amerock Highland Ridge
Barstools: Restoration Hardware (bought during Friends & Family sale--20% off--yay!)
Wall color: BM Revere Pewter
Flooring: walnut w/ Waterlox finish
Sink: Shaw's farmhouse sink
Sink faucet/soap dispenser: Danze Opulence
Range: NXR
Wall oven: Kitchenaid
Fridge: Bosch
Dishwasher: paneled Bosch
Micro: cheapo GE

Thanks again!


clipped on: 01.27.2011 at 06:58 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2011 at 06:58 pm

Finished Kitchen creamy white, lacanche, calacatta

posted by: tearose21 on 07.13.2009 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Posted earlier but pictures were too small. Hope this works.



clipped on: 01.26.2011 at 12:28 am    last updated on: 01.26.2011 at 12:29 am

RE: Desperately need advice for sink and faucet (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: alwaysfixin on 01.23.2011 at 09:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

MR Direct has the cheapest sinks I've seen, and they're mostly 16 gauge, even better than the 18 gauge you mentioned. You didn't say what size sink you are looking for. There's quite a variety available. If you need a smaller size sink, you may want to consider a single-bowl instead of a double bowl so that you have room in the sink to lay down roasting pans, cookie sheets, etc.

Kraus had very well-priced faucets. We have a Kraus faucet, it's been in for several months, and we are thrilled with the appearance and the quality. Kraus faucets are sold at and

Definitely check out for no-name sinks that are 16-gauge and great quality. They also have additional daily specials and clearance specials all the time.

MR Direct Sinks

Kraus Faucets at Express Decor

overstock website


clipped on: 01.24.2011 at 10:22 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2011 at 10:22 pm

RE: Grohe kitchen faucets (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rjr220 on 01.24.2011 at 06:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have the K4 in my kitchen. I put it in my Kohler Stages 45 sink. I chose it because it is one of the shorter pull-downs, yet extends pretty far into the sink -- in fact, the stream goes directly into the drain. I like the look of it. My only pet peeve is that when you shut it off, you drip water on the counter. However, others have the same complaint about other faucets.

The pull-out hose is long enough to reach all corners of the sink, and it will click and stay on spray without keeping your finger on it.

Overall, I've been pleased with it. I also like the way it looks like it could be in a space ship ; )



clipped on: 01.24.2011 at 10:17 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2011 at 10:17 pm

Brizo Smart-touch Faucet,.... reviews??

posted by: klcox on 11.10.2010 at 11:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

Replacing my kitchen sink and faucet. Has anyone dealt with this faucet? the style is called Talo and it turns on/off just from touching it anywhere along the neck. Could only fing one opinion elsewhere on the web and it was negative.


clipped on: 01.24.2011 at 12:09 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2011 at 12:09 pm

Why is the lighting decision so hard?

posted by: maidielou on 12.05.2010 at 12:55 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm trying to pick lights for over the island, and I know what I like but can't find it in the right finish and at the right price. The finish I need is an antique pewter or brushed nickel... something silverish and not shiny. This is a Kichler light I love, but it only comes in orb, or polished nickel or midnight chrome.

This Kichler comes in the right color, antique pewter, but I dont love the style.

I even like this style, comes in satin-steel..whatever that is... and you can get the glass frosted. I'm thinking that would solve the glare problem. But I'm nervous to order a fixture on-line ( without checking it out in a store first.

Any suggestions for a good lighting website, with a decent return policy? Does anyone have pictures to show of similar lights in their kitchen?


clipped on: 01.23.2011 at 03:39 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2011 at 03:52 pm

What type of undercabinet lights?

posted by: dfzmom on 01.21.2011 at 09:04 am in Kitchens Forum

What type of undercabinet lighting do you have and do you like it? We are trying to decide between a puck type light or a bar light. Thanks for any input!


clipped on: 01.23.2011 at 12:11 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2011 at 12:12 pm

RE: Anything new on Kohler stages? (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: rjr220 on 12.14.2010 at 10:48 am in Kitchens Forum

Aliris -- here's the photobucket link to my kitchen. Love it -- the functionality of it is amazing, thanks to this forum!

Here is a link that might be useful: finished kitchen


clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 05:59 pm

Finito! one more white/marble/soapstone kitchen

posted by: segbrown on 12.06.2009 at 01:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've posted in dribs and drabs, so this isn't exactly an unveiling, but we are 99% done. Thanks to everyone; I've been reading this forum for years, even in the "pre-model" we did a few years back (minor update). I am also greatly indebted to my wonderful designer and contractor; I lucked out there.

Before pics: we moved the kitchen into the family room, the dining room into the kitchen, and the breakfast area into the dining room. (The living room turned into the family room, and the office will soon turn into the living room ... more to do around here.)So these photos are not exactly classic before/afters. (And it's a snowy day, so bright outside, not the best for pics. Oh well.)

Old kitchen

Corresponding view

Old family room:

Corresponding view

Old dining room (both visible walls are now gone)

Corresponding view

I was previously opposed to knocking out both walls, but I am glad we did. For the way we live, it works much better. Entertaining is a cinch now. Because the kitchen is vaulted but the other ceilings are low, it doesn't feel like a huge empty space (that's what I was worried about). And I liked my "other" house, just not the kitchen. It was awful.

I'll post details here, and more specific photos in a subsequent post.

Aspen Leaf Kitchens in Denver/Berthoud, CO; proprietary Primer White, BM Taos Taupe on island and butler's pantry, and custom-stained antique pine on breakfast hutch

SubZero BI-36U fridge, pro handle
Wolf 48 DF range with 4 burners and double griddle
Viking 54 in. hood liner with heat lamps
Thermador DWHD64EP dishwashers
KitchenAid KBCO24RSBX three-zone beverage center
SubZero 700BCI refrigerator/freezer drawers
Sharp 0.8 cu ft microwave

Minas soapstone on perimeter cabinets and hutch
Calacatta gold marble on island and butler's pantry

Restoration Hardware Gilmore cup pulls, Aubrey knobs and handle pulls, Clear Glass knobs in antique brass, and Season knobs and Hanson pulls in ORB

Main: soapstone farm sink crafted by Terra Bella/Denver CO
Prep: Ticor S3650

Main sink: Kohler HiRise bridge with sidespray
Prep sink: Kohler HiRise bar faucet

Wilmette Clark pendants in ORB (breakfast nook)
Wilmette LaSalle wall sconces in antique brass (later photos)
Visual Comfort Classic Ring chandelier in AB (dining room)
Visual Comfort Four-Light Siena pendant in AB (butler's)

-Island stools-
Ballard Designs Dorchester counter stools in rubbed black (all other furniture and rugs previously owned)


clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 04:57 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 04:59 pm

RE: Anything new on Kohler stages? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: laurainlincoln on 12.08.2010 at 10:47 am in Kitchens Forum

I don't know if this qualifies as a new review, but we have had ours since the summer and love it. The SS seems to perform the same as the other SS elements in our kitchen - it can get streaky but can be cleaned no problem. We dry dishes on the shelf so we have not found it to be too shallow. We love the functionality of the sink and the looks - HTH!

E - 45


clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 04:57 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 04:57 pm

Ordering Custom Window Seat Cushion online - w/ Dacron Wrap?

posted by: 10KDiamond on 01.21.2011 at 11:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

(I posted this in Home Decorating as well, but am partial to the KF geniuses.)

I am ordering a custom window seat cushion from one of the on-line sources for my new kitchen. One vendor offers a dacron wrap (although only 3 1/2 inch depth). Other choice is a 5 inch depth without the dacron wrap. Height of window seat would differ depending upon cushion depth. I've been told that a deep cushion is really wonderful so I am leaning towards the 5 inch, but wonder if a dacron wrap is worth going thinner?

Does anyone have experience with cushion depth, comfort & the value of a dacron wrap? Construction on the window seat starts next week so I'll have to make a decision soon. Not to mention, I need to order the cushion itself. Does anyone have experince ordering cushuions on-line?



clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 04:15 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 04:17 pm

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 12:32 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 12:32 pm

Kohler Stages Sink: review after 6 weeks of use

posted by: rjr220 on 06.12.2010 at 05:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

There have been some threads here regarding the Kohler Stages sink -- I saw it while planning my kitchen and knew that it was the sink I wanted -- and in a way, planned part of my kitchen around it. I've been using it now for about 6 weeks, and thought I would post my experience thus far with it. I chose the 45 inch version, and installed the Grohe K4 in the middle of the basin part of the sink.

The sink comes with a wood cutting board, a large plastic tray/cutting board, a smaller tray/cutting board, 6 porcelain prep bowls, and an accessory rack that hooks on the shallow end of the sink. The accessory rack is meant to hold the plastic cutting boards/trays and the prep bowls. It will not hold the wood cutting board. I chose not to install the rack, but instead put a drawer beneath the shallow end of the sink to hold knives (it's the "anything that cuts" drawer); and a pull-out garbage below that drawer. I store the cutting boards upright below the sink, in a small divider that I got from BB&B.

In order to get the drawer under the shallow end of the shelf, the left side of the drawer had to be shaved down a bit, and a notch put in the back of the drawer to allow for the hook that was meant to hold the accessory shelf.

As I said above, the wood cutting board is large and heavy. If you get this sink -- whether or not you choose to use the accessory tray, you need to plan on where to store this. Under the sink is working fine for me. But, be aware, it weighs 12.5 pounds! It is a lovely board, though, and I put the beeswax/mineral oil on it that I use on my soapstone.

The Grohe K4 is perfect for the sink. The hose reaches to the far corner of the shallow end, and the water goes right into the drain. It does splash, but that has something to do with the insinkerator cover, not the sink or the faucet. I love the K4!

As others have mentioned, the deep sink is marvelous. I am short, and worried about having to bend over and reach in, but that hasn't been a problem. The sink is deep enough to hide dirty dishes in when the DW isn't available.

I also like the size of the deep basin, along with the shallower "prep" end. I hand wash pots and pans in a dishpan, put them on the in-sink rack, rinse, and then put them up on the shallow end of the sink until the kids FINALLY come to dry them.

I also like the shallow end to help separate the "clean dirty" and contaminated dirty items. For example, if I cut up meat, I put the knife in the deep end of the sink. If I have something that I've used, but may want to use it again, but it isn't contaminated, I'll put it on the shallow side of the sink. Kind of like what you do when you have 2 basins.

I don't have 2 sinks, so this sink is my prep and clean up sink. It is large enough so that I can be prepping at one end, and my kids/husband washing at the other. The cutting boards fitting neatly into the sink and extending the counter is really handy. I am short, so what I really like is that a cutting board is no higher than the counter. I'm not so crazy about the porcelain prep bowls that come with the sink -- I wish they were plastic and not as heavy, and a bit shorter. In the video they show fitting the prep bowls into the large tray --what I do is use the wood cutting board and slide it partially over the sink. I put the prep bowls on the shallow prep end of the sink, and then scoop the items into the bowls. Like this, except in this example I'm making salad and just put the salad bowls on the sink:


I also just cut and slide cut items directly into the pan I'm using -- here I'm making a roasted tomato soup and just shoved the onions into the roast pan

In the background of the above picture you can see a white prep dish with cherry tomatoes. Those prep dishes are a perfect size to put on the shelf while I'm prepping and sliding the items.

The sink itself has zero radius corners on the ends of the sink, but the bottom front and back are rounded, more like a traditional sink. It's been easy to clean, I just spray the sink and the rack down at night with a cleaner, and then take the rack out, wipe down the sink, and then put the rack in, wipe it down and rinse it all. The corners don't gather any junk.

So, is the sink worth the hype? I like the design, I am using it like the designers intended -- I've just personalized it a bit. I reach for my prep bowls and salad bowls before their prep bowls. I think the accessory tray isn't worth the space it requires -- the drawer and garbage space was better use to me. But, I am very happy with the sink, and would definately get it again.

Hope this is helpful to anyone thinking of getting the Stages.


clipped on: 01.22.2011 at 11:52 am    last updated on: 01.22.2011 at 11:53 am

Etching marble: an experiment with sealers

posted by: aliris19 on 01.21.2011 at 03:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

On another thread beekeeperswife posted a link about her BA granite which cascaded into a chain of very interesting links about kitchens and granite. It wound up on this site experimenting with etching of all "calcium-based surfaces". I really found it interesting and thought someone else might as well:

Here is a link that might be useful: Experiment in marble etching


clipped on: 01.21.2011 at 03:58 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2011 at 03:59 pm

RE: Do you have to do BS before counters? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: pharaoh on 12.29.2010 at 01:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here is the order of installation
1. Cabinets first
2. appliances
3. counter top templating
4. Counter top installation
5. backsplash installation
6. hood installation


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 04:43 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 04:43 pm

Finished! White (with blue island), soapstone, etc. (pic heavy)

posted by: mfhoop on 12.08.2010 at 08:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

We've taken some time off from reading this forum (new baby came 4 weeks after we were substantially complete on the kitchen!), but we just got back the photos that our contractor's professional photographer took, so we thought we'd do the final unveil.

When we moved into this house 17 months ago, we knew we'd need to update the kitchen. It was the size of a postage stamp and cut off from the rest of the house. See original floor plan here:

Existing Floorplan

We really wanted a kitchen that would be open to our family room, would have eat-in space not separated by a brick wall, and - of course - more space. So we decided to take out the wall between the original kitchen and dining room, move the dining room to what used to be a formal living room that we never used, and taking out the wall between the old kitchen/dining rooms and a breezeway type area that was mostly wasted space.

After discussions with several design/build firms and countless hours of looking at floor plans posted to this site (thank you, those who gave us valuable input!), we pretty much designed the floor plan ourselves and then found a contractor who was willing to do it. We did have to convince him that we really did want this design. He wanted us to have a U-shaped kitchen with a peninsula instead of the island, but we really wanted the circular flow plan and felt strongly that we wanted 2 separate cabinet runs that make a disconnected "L" so we didn't have any corner cabinets. (With his design we would have had 2 corners on an 11-foot wall). What we ended up with was mostly like this:

Changes to this design included moving the warming drawer to the island, putting the icemaker to the right of the prep sink, and shrinking down the island a bit. We also moved things around within the mudroom. Generally speaking, this is substantially what we ended up with.

This was no small construction feat - we took out 2 walls, including one load-bearing wall to combine 2 rooms and an old breezeway into a single kitchen and then added a mudroom. From the first sledgehammer to the final nail, it took about 16 weeks. There were a few in the middle when we thought that the baby would come first but they got it done on time and for that we are super grateful!

For those who want to know what is what:
Cabinets - CWP (we originally wanted Crownpoint, but decided we wanted something made closer to where we live - VA - and less expensive). So far we've been pleased though the wainscot still needs to be touched up. We're glad we did the blue island with the white surrounding cabinets. It gives the room some personality, looks great with the soapstone and matches my Polish pottery!
Counters and sinks - soapstone from Buck's County. Love it.
Rangetop, hood and ovens - Wolf
Fridge - 48" Subzero
Warming drawer - Miele - we still don't really use this...
Dishwasher - Miele
Microwave - GE spacesaver. We went through a lot of angst with our contractor on the placement of this. We had this location in a prior kitchen and really liked it but he never did. We still like it!
Wine fridge - U-line
Ice Maker - SZ (found used on Craigslist!)
Backsplash - carrara marble (we originally wanted plain white but hired a designer for a few hours of input and he recommended this - we really like how it ties together the grey in the soapstone and the white in the cabinets)
Knobs and pulls- RH
Latches - can't remember, but found them from the Christopher Peacock look-alike kitchen blog
Faucets - KWC except for the filter/insta-hot which is Waterstone (I thought I would love the pull down one but I actually like the pull-out one at our cleanup sink more)
Pendants - Hudson Valley
Floors - White oak in kitchen, soapstone in mudroom. We had 3 different materials in the 3 rooms that were combined to make this (cork, wood, and slate) and had a hard time deciding what we wanted to have. In the end, we went with wood and stained it to match the adjacent dining room.

The pictures:

The old:
Kitchen 3

The new:

To orient yourself, the pantry to the left of the fridge is in the same location that our old fridge was!






clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 04:20 pm

Removing Etch Marks from Marble

posted by: i_m_fletcher on 01.08.2011 at 10:38 am in Kitchens Forum

I've had my new marble counter tops for about three weeks now. As expected, I've created a few etch marks on the counter tops - primarily in the prep area between the sink and range top as well as a few really good ones next to the sink edge.

-Calacatta Ruggine (very similar to Calacatta Gold)
-Brushed Surface (lightly polished with some texture)
-Sealed by Fabricators
-Etch marks created by lime juice and orange juice

I was under the impression that once an etch mark is made (and it happens instantly) there's nothing that can be done except get used to the new mark on the counter top. I'm ok with this in general and actually like the idea that my counter tops will develop a patina over time.

That being said, those first few etch marks stick out like a sore thumb and are a little rough to accept. I set out to see if I could remove them. The good news is that I found a process / product that I feel is very effective at removing these etch marks. Details are in the photo illustrations below.

Small Etch Mark Next to Sink:

Same Etch Mark After Cleaning (proving it's really an etch not dirt):

Etch Removal In Process:

Counter Top After Polishing (Took <1 Min) and Cleaning:

Another Etch Mark:

After Polishing:

Here's a Shot of The Product I Used:

My question is, has anyone else used this stuff (or something similar)? Seems pretty easy and effective. Are there reasons that haven't occurred to me on why I shouldn't use this stuff? Is this common knowledge or an exciting development in the world of Marble counter top care here on Gardenweb?


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 04:01 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 04:01 pm

RE: white countertop options-soapstone? marble? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: sfmomof2 on 11.04.2010 at 08:33 am in Kitchens Forum

We have had our contemporary kitchen with full marble backsplash and counters for three months. Two small kids and cook a lot. Large island also. Zero staining - we have left everything from pen marks to coffee on it and removes no problem. (We used the STT sealer) Some etching but not bad-my husband doesn't even see it. Etching is a bigger deal in kitchens that gets tons of direct sunlight. Looks awesome - we looked at white granites but at least here they cost a ton more and I didn't find them as attractive. Good luck!


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 03:55 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 03:57 pm

Finished! I love my white, marble, wood kitchen!

posted by: jlynn17 on 09.08.2010 at 01:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally, it is done! We have been out of the house for nearly 8 months for a home renovation. So happy to be back in and love the results. Thank you all for your help on this site. I didn't post much but I was on the site a lot and the discussions and pics really helped with my decisions. I did everything I was told not to do: white marble, wood, polished nickel, etc. But I wouldn't change a thing. Sure I wish the marble didn't etch (yes, plenty of etching but as of yet, no stains) but it is still beautiful and I wouldn't have been as happy with any other stone I was considering. My theory: if it makes you happy, go for it!

Here are pics and the details:

Perimeter Counters: Calcatta Gold
Island top: Black Walnut with vintage walnut stain
Cabinets: Custom
Paint on cabinets/trim: BM Swiss Coffee (color tweaked by paint store)
Wall color: Pratt and Lambert Pearl
Wolf 48" Range with double griddle (love this!)
SubZero s/s 48" Fridge with icemaker
Sharp microwave drawer
Bosch D/W (we have 2 and it was a great decision if considering this)
GE Monogram hood blower
GE wine cooler
Perrin and Rowe Faucet - PN
Shaw Farm Sink 30 x 18
Pantry: custom built
Paint on Pantry: Farrow and Ball Pigeon
Hardware on Pantry: Restoration Hardware Felicity in Antique brass
Kitchen Hardware: Restoration Hardware Aubrey Knobs - PN
Restoration Hardware Bistro Pulls - PN
Rejuvenation small latch - PN
Backsplash: Arctic white Daltile with platinum grout
Bell Jars - JV Imports - 11"D with bronze finish
Bar Stools: Crate and Barrel Pullman Leather Counter Stools

I will get pics up of laundry and bathrooms soon too!


clipped on: 01.17.2011 at 09:13 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 01:09 pm

Almost Finished - White / Marble / Soapstone

posted by: i_m_fletcher on 01.03.2011 at 12:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank to everyone here who offered me advice - either in direct response to my requests on one of the hundreds of other threads upon which I lurked.

Here are some snapshots of my almost finished kitchen. Apologies for the snapshot quality of the photos - I'm hoping to do a better photo shoot once the final items are complete. All that remains is final sanding / poly of floors, finishing backsplash install, touchup painting and some cabinet fixes (e.g. glass shelves in the glass front cab so that light fills the entire cabient.)

View from end of island looking towards range / sink:
View from end of island looking towards mudroom / pantry:

View from sink looking towards family room:

View from mudroom looking towards back porch:

View from pantry looking towards sink:

Pantry detail shots:

Sink detail shot:

Rangetop / sink window detail shot:


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 01:06 pm

Pros and Cons of Sink in Island

posted by: camarodreamer67 on 12.07.2010 at 04:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

It is probably going to be a year or so before I can really do my "dream" kitchen but after much deliberations I am thinking I will flip flop my master bedroom and kitchen when I do. (It was what the floor plans called for but folks who built home changed it!) It will put the kitchen in the rear of the house near the patio, outdoor kitchen and hot tub. I have talked to a friend who is a contractor and he thinks the best route would be to change the current double window (centered on the only exterior wall)to a set of french doors that opens out onto the patio. If I did this the sink would have to face an interior wall I have that setup now!:<

UNLESS I put the sink in the island facing the french doors. I was hoping you could share some pros and cons of placing it there. I would rather close in the majority of the space to have a smaller window over the sink but I can see his point since my back view is beautiful!



clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 12:29 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 12:29 pm

Finally - Final Kitchen Pictures

posted by: lucretzia on 09.26.2010 at 10:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sorry but many other competing activities my time so I finally have had a chance to get DH to upload the pictures of the completed kitchen.

Product details...
* Cabinets - Inset painted maple (Oxford Cabinet Shop)
* Backslash - 1"x2" quartzite (Walker Zanger)
* Counters - PA Green soapstone
* Floor - 12"x24" porcelain (Mediterranean Tile & Marble)
* Appliances - Bluestar 48" range, KitchenAid 36" refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, Prestige 48" 1200 CFM hood insert (Reno's)
* Faucets - Rohl Country (Grande Central)

A huge thanks to everyone on the forum who spent the time to look at my ideas, provide great feedback, and calm me down when I thought the project would never end up right.

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

More Pictures


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 12:16 pm

RE: Which Kitchen Faucet Did You Pick? (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: redroze on 05.25.2010 at 11:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wow - a lot of sleek and modern faucets out there! I guess I'm the anomaly. I have the traditionally-styled, Danze Opulence faucet with separate sprayer...never liked the look or feel of the pulldowns. Same style for the main and prep sinks.


clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 12:02 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 12:02 pm

RE: How deep should the island/pennisula over hang? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sherilynn on 01.16.2011 at 01:24 am in Kitchens Forum

As deep as your stool seat and room for knee clearance for any corbels. I wish my overhang was a bit deeper myself. Also, if you have granite, do not forget to get the heavy gauge steel plate under the entire counter top for support. Here's a photo (during the modification of cabinets and failed finish) of the metal plate that is probably bullet proof thickness!

If you do not use a metal plate, (some people use plywood, which brings other problems), then your granite could crack should someone plop their fanny up on the counter to sit when you're not there and it not have proper support. Things go on in your home when you're not there and kiddos are left alone... no matter what their ages! I know of a teen boy that jumped off an island counter years ago and the counter cracked because it did not have proper support. It fell a few minutes later. And corbels or L brackets are not real support; they are decorative.

Here is a link that might be useful: metal plate


clipped on: 01.17.2011 at 09:28 pm    last updated on: 01.17.2011 at 09:29 pm

I've narrowed down my backsplash. Purdy please help. Lots o pics

posted by: megpie77 on 01.20.2010 at 02:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

I know you have help out so much already with this, but after taking a break from it all and going back to what I really like, I think I've found my top three choice. I know the bottom line is it's all personal choice. But it helps to get confirmation of what will or won't work and why. Thanks in advance for helping me out with this again.

A little background-If I could do it over again I would have calacatta marble counters and white or marble backsplash (dotcomgone is my new inspiration). Hubby said no to marble years ago : ( My point is I like updated, a bit contemporary classic styles (not sure if I'm terming that correctly). That being said my new choice, pics below, are 4x12 calacatta, 3x6 white subway, 3x6 white glass subway (shown in 4 little squares). I like the Platinum Green random glass shown but am afraid in a couple of years I'll tire of it, though it goes great with the soapstone.

calacatta veining might be too taupe for my green hued soapstone. I'm afraid my kitchen will be very gray and white. I also wonder if the veining limits a damask or toile patterned window covering which I would like to use. But then again the samples I have are subtle in veining and are honed which also tones down the veining.

3x6 white subways might be busy on computer wall.

Also, I love the chandy but am wondering if I should do something in bronze(example shown below) to tie in with counters and hardware. And not to worry, as this chandy will look stunning in the bathroom when we tackle that project!

left to right: 3x6 sub., glass tiles (would get 3x6), 4x12 marble
Just for visual at a distance
fabrics concidered
possible chandy if I should include ORB


clipped on: 01.14.2011 at 10:15 am    last updated on: 01.14.2011 at 02:25 pm

Update Pics of cream traditional kitchen

posted by: jen4268 on 07.24.2008 at 09:10 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi! Things are moving along and I thought I would post some progress pics- about 90% done, but no backsplash yet, waiting on my appliance pulls for the refrigerator (using temp ones that came with for now). I will post more when finished!

Cabinets- custom built, inset. Color- SW8180, almond white
Counters- Antiqued Nordic Black






clipped on: 01.14.2011 at 12:34 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2011 at 12:35 pm

Finished Kitchen~White, Marble, Soapstone

posted by: katieob on 12.04.2009 at 02:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all.

A huge thank you to everybody on this forum who helped graciously with advice, photos, experience & info. What an incredible resource this is. Shout outs to Erikanh & marthavila for hood help, willowdecor for tile, all the stoners, and many more.

We moved in last week-bottom trim on fridge & dw are still missing, excuse the messy bottoms.

I'll be happy to provide details if anyone wants them.

Thanks for looking!





Marble Close Up


Soapstone Close Up



clipped on: 01.14.2011 at 08:35 am    last updated on: 01.14.2011 at 08:35 am

10% Coupon Code for We Got Lites

posted by: beekeeperswife on 01.13.2011 at 02:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've used them, was very pleased. Just got this coupon code, thought I'd share.

January 10% Off Sale. Use Promo Code: JANSALE
Extending our most popular New Years Closeout Sale, please accept our offering of this 10% off sale to use now until midnight, January 16, 2011. Sale does not apply to clearance/discounted/sale/closeout products. Offer only valid on purchases exceeding $99.00+. Cannot be combined with any other promotion/sale/offer. Discounts can only be used once per customer. Exclusions: Minka Group, Uttermost, Maxim Lighting & ET2 products are excluded from this offer. Cannot be used towards purchases made prior to 1/10/11, 3:00 PM EST.
Valid for use through Sunday, January 16, 2011, 11:59 PM EST.

Here is a link that might be useful: we got lites


clipped on: 01.13.2011 at 11:46 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2011 at 11:46 pm

RE: Does anyone use laminates? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: pinch_me on 01.10.2011 at 08:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

But of course! Budget kitchen, remember?

NW counter

But seriously, I am not into housework these days. I paid my dues 20 years ago and now I have other things to do. Formica works for me because I'm not careful. It cleans up easily, cheap enough to change if I want to, and I like it.


I've put the link to my kitchen down here.........and I'm still going to take the time to organize the last 40 pictures, yes, I am. Soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: The whole darn kitchen


clipped on: 01.12.2011 at 08:46 am    last updated on: 01.12.2011 at 08:46 am

Stages 45 Sink Installed and LOVE it!

posted by: lisaslists2000 on 02.15.2010 at 08:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

OK. I feel close to you all like I could invite you over if my house wasn't perfect. Some have asked about the sink, so here's a couple of messy pictures. No doors yet on the cabs, but you can see how the accessory rack works. It's so good to have water in the kitchen again. Now we're totally functional, although not totally finished! I've done the first load of dishes in the dishwasher. I love the faucet. Someone asked about it. It's from overstock. It does not have a spray, but I have played around with it and don't feel I need one. I have the tap master installed and love it, too. This will all be repeated in a later finished kitchen post, lol, but here's the preview.

sink installed 1

sink installed 2


clipped on: 01.10.2011 at 06:15 am    last updated on: 01.10.2011 at 06:15 am

big sinks

posted by: rockybird on 01.08.2011 at 08:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

I bought a 33 inch stainless steel single bowl zero radius sink for an ikea kitchen cabinet. I decided not to go with ikea when I found a custom cabinet maker that was in my price range and highly recommended. So, the architect designed a 48" base cabinet. Now I am wondering if I should go for a bigger sink? Or a two bowl sink or one with a drain board? They are expensive, but I know I would probably use it and it might look better in such a large cabinet. Any suggestions for brands? I cant afford the larger blancos but am considering the kohler below. The smaller blanco I bought will go into the laundry room then. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: kohler


clipped on: 01.08.2011 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2011 at 09:38 pm