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Homebuyer23's REVEAL!

posted by: homebuyer23 on 01.12.2014 at 10:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Huge Thank You to everyone on this Forum & to whoever invented this forum! I am still amazed at the free help offered here, you are all wonderful!

We live in a suburban 1980s center hall colonial. We moved in 5 years ago and cosmetically updated the whole house. Then we did the bathrooms. Finally it was time to make a real change to the kitchen. I had absolutely no counter space. The kitchen was just too small for our growing family of 5, but we did not have enough space in our backyard to expand. It has always frustrated me that our kitchen was so small, yet we had a large formal living room in the front of our house which we never ever used. Here is our old layout:

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I saw a picture of this kitchen on Houzz that was my inspiration for my layout. It was a long narrow kitchen and I knew our house could fit the same basic layout.

We decided to take out a load bearing wall which separated our family room and our formal living room. We turned the formal living room space into our main family room. This allowed us to spread our kitchen out through the back of the house, using the space where our old family room was.

Using my graph paper sketch and the paint feature on the computer, I came up with this drawing and this is what we used to do the project. No architect. No designer. It was scarey and likely stupid. We had a couple obstacles along the way and it would've been great to have an expert in my corner as we went along. But it ended up working out Ok.

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There were many advantages to this plan for our family & the way we live here. We have been using the space for a couple months now and just went through the holidays hosting many gatherings large and small, and I am relieved to say I am really glad we did what we did & its working out just how we hoped. Hosting large gatherings is a huge difference but also day to day we just have more room to spread out, and of course, we gained so much more room in the kitchen and I enjoy cooking way more than before. Its such a luxury to have so much counter space, a huge sink, and new appliances. Ahhh.

The fireplace & dining area still does not look how I’d like it. We’ll have to come back to it in a year, or in a few years. I want some sort of cabinetry on both sides of fireplace, a new mantle, new furniture and a new rug. We will see. I also want new furniture for the family room.

We plan to make our old formal dining room into an office/den, but right now its serving mainly as a catch all room which is driving us crazy.

I believe we ended up with a pretty functional layout even by GW standards. I became so obsessed with the guidelines/rules here for a while & it really stressed me out! In the end, I broke a couple rules but I am happy to report that it hasn’t ruined my life! We have a 12” overhang instead of the recommended 15”, and we don’t miss it one bit, even my 6’3” DH. The aisle between our sink & island is about 38”, 36 in front of apron sink. There was no way we could get any wider, and I’d never choose to give up my little island for a few more inches to scoot around each other. (That being said I fully admit when the DW door is open it is rather tight! If you can give yourself a wider aisle in front of DW, do so. Otherwise the aisle is not a problem.) We also have no prep sink and I don’t miss it. Having never had a prep sink, the huge sink is luxury enough for me and I don’t think I had the real estate to give to a second sink.

Sometimes I still look hard and wonder what I could’ve/would’ve done differently. I love my solid gray quartz counters for their function and because I like solid counters. However, I sometimes wish I picked a warmer color, and then maybe did a warmer backsplash. I had a hard time balancing my longtime love of warm earthy colors & furnishings I can’t afford to replace yet, with my desire to go with the refreshing cool white kitchens I kept seeing everywhere. I really wanted to end up with a white kitchen that was still warm and cozy. Most of the time I think I achieved that, but sometimes I have regrets & think it doesn’t look exactly like I wish it did. But I am queen of regrets & never being satisfied, im just one of those people!

In the end what really is important is that I have a new more functional space which allows me to enjoy cooking more and allows our family to be more comfortable together in the house and that’s all that matters. I am so grateful for what we have and I love using it! Thanks again to everyone on this forum for advice and support.

Cabinets - Oxford Cabinet shop, Oxford, PA. Custom beaded inset shaker style Maple painted BM White Dove. Island cabinet cherry wood with “coffee” stain

Perimeter counter - Silestone Gray Expo.
Island counter - Calacutta Vagli Marble, honed.
Backsplash - “Hamptons Cararra” marble satin finish subway tile from The Tile Shop.
Hardware - Amerock Westerly in brushed nickel
REF - Samsung counter depth
Dishwasher - Bosch 800 series
Wall Oven - Bosch 500 series
Induction cooktop - Bosch 36” 500 series
Hood - Broan E4 Evolution
Microwave 24” Sharp Microwave drawer
Garbage Disposal - Insinkerator 3/4hp batch feed from Home Depot
Sink - Kohler Whitehaven 36” w/ 9” apron ordered through
Faucet - Hansgrohe Talis C in Chrome
Undercabinet lighting - Sea Gull LED bars
Recessed lighting 4” LED CREE from Home Depot
Island pendant - Overstock
Dining Room chandelier - Quoizel ordered through Lighting Direct.
Floors - site finished Red Oak with Golden Oak stain
Patio Doors - Andersen 400 series sliding doors from Home Depot
Kitchen/DR/Fam Rm wall paint color - BM Revere Pewter
Foyer, powder room, mudroom closet color - SW Smokey Blue

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Kitchen TV...Now you see it
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Now you don't
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Now you don't, even though you should...(ugh, this was discussed w cabinet maker and I was told the doors should go all the way back, maybe stick out an inch. They stick out 4", and I cant see TV while cooking if I wanted to. I'm still waiting for a solution to this.)
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Thanks for looking!
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clipped on: 05.11.2014 at 08:05 am    last updated on: 05.11.2014 at 08:06 am

RE: Help - need to chop 90K off my build - Ideas? (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: Laura12 on 08.12.2013 at 06:52 pm in Building a Home Forum

I think you have a great list of changes that will really make a difference.

The windows will make a huge difference, switch that to something like Milgard Tuscany, it will at least cut that item in half.

Make sure your front door is a standard size that you can buy something non-custom for (this was a huge hidden expense for us).

What size are your interior doors? If you keep them a 6'8" it will save money as well (our 8" solid doors added up)

For you cabinets price out Ikea, and look at overstock, homeclick and other online sources for your bathroom cabinets. Double check the size of your cabinets against standard options available online at an affordable price. (Savings here can easily be over $1000/bathroom as the cabinet, counter, sink and sometimes even the mirror and tap are included a single package).

Don't include any extra built ins, and add your mudroom cabinets at a later date.

Ask your builder to remove the lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, handles and knobs from his bid and supply these yourself. You can buy them cheaper online, and you'll save his 10% on these costs.

Upstairs install an affordable carpet, $2-3/sq ft installed

Downstairs, consider putting carpet in the living room, family room and office. For hardwood buy an affordable prefinished (we found a great one in our high priced area for $4.09/sq ft + $2 for installation). If you carpet+hardwood on the mainfllor you can bring this down to $6,000, $9,000 to put hardwood throughout your main floor.

Garage Door, get a standard double steel garage door $800- $2,000.

I can't see the measurements of your plans but could you take out the following on a vertical axis:

- 1 ft out of the office and straight through the mudroom and garage
- 1 ft out of the family room, and out of the foyer

Is your roof trusses or framed? Making it truses could save significant money.

This post was edited by Laura12 on Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 14:34


Lots of good ideas!
clipped on: 05.03.2014 at 08:29 am    last updated on: 05.03.2014 at 08:29 am

RE: Advice please on really large medicine cabinets (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: rcbny on 04.27.2014 at 10:53 am in Bathrooms Forum

If it helps any, here is a pic of our 60" vanity with 20" x 34" medicine cabinets. (Which we love.)


Like this idea
clipped on: 05.03.2014 at 08:11 am    last updated on: 05.03.2014 at 08:12 am

Maggiepie11's House Pics

posted by: maggiepie11 on 04.28.2014 at 12:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

hi all! instead of bogging down the monthly thread with all my photos, i figured i'd post a separate thread for anyone interested. SO. VERY. TIRED.

i don't have a ton of photos prior to moving stuff in because things got a bit crazy at the end. we took two weeks off work to move and get settled and we were crazy to think we'd have a day or two to relax at the end. we're back to work today and still have boxes that aren't unpacked, and i haven't done NEARLY all the decorating i thought i would by now.

here are some photos of the house in its builder-finished state (for the most part). We still have some punch list items 2 weeks later, and one of them is pretty big outside.

Anyway, here are some pre-moving photos.



Master Closet:


Daughter's Bedroom:

Main Living Area:


We're still undigging from the other side of the house. We got our keys on a friday but had to promise not to walk on the wood floors until Sunday, so basically we had to move everything into 1/3 of the house which has tile off the garage. That side of the house is still recovering from that process as you can see here:

We're getting there. I can post pics of post-moving in as we get them in this thread if anyone is interested?

UPDATE: I'm just going to keep adding photos to the top/original entry so you don't have to scroll down. :)

Master bathroom is a work in progress. :)

My son's room:

I'll keep posting as I get the rooms settled enough to share. :)


This post was edited by maggiepie11 on Fri, May 2, 14 at 22:05


More to love!
clipped on: 05.02.2014 at 10:07 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2014 at 10:23 pm

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: amtrucker22 on 04.11.2012 at 08:57 pm in Building a Home Forum

I would run conduit under your driveway just in case you need to run wiring or plumbing in the future.


Good ideas!
clipped on: 05.02.2014 at 10:19 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2014 at 10:20 pm