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Finished kitchen: Ikea, walnut, marble and glossy white

posted by: annkathryn on 11.23.2012 at 07:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

My husband and I bought a small fixer-upper, recently moved in and have finished the renovation (in that order). We added about 450 square feet to the existing house, the max allowed by our town's floor area ratio calculation. The new square footage was mostly in an office downstairs and master bedroom upstairs, plus a little bit in the kitchen.

The original kitchen had a small laundry and half bath attached, and a door to the back yard. The kitchen was bumped out 3 feet towards the back of the house and a hallway added from the garage to the downstairs office. The hallway now separates the kitchen from the laundry and a tiny full bathroom, with a small niche for table linens and display. The door to the back yard is now through the laundry room. The new kitchen is approx 14x14.

From start to finish the process took 7 months, with 2 months of planning and permit back-and-forth, and 5 months of demolition/construction. We remodeled the existing full bath, added a master bedroom & bath, added an office, took the kitchen down to studs and enlarged it, put in all new electrical, plumbing and HVAC, new roof and gutters, etc, etc. For the kitchen, we built all the cabinet boxes and my contractor installed them. I purchased all appliances and fixtures.

Design considerations: we wanted a bright contemporary look that was inviting and uncluttered. We wanted mostly light surfaces because we were concerned the room might be dark. The kitchen faces north and the one window has an overhang from the master above. We also needed to be budget-aware which we mostly followed with the exception of one big splurge (details below). We loved the look of grain-matched walnut and after a visit to SemiHandMade in Southern California, we decided to go with their custom drawer fronts. I'm the cook and wanted a good expanse of work surfaces. My husband is the clean up guy so he researched and chose the sink and dishwasher.

The island is 60" x 30". In order to have an overhang for seating, we needed to have drawers that were 18" deep. Ikea doesn't sell 18" deep drawers, so we ordered these from Sherr's in the custom size we needed. The walnut end and back side of the island were made by a finish carpenter we hired who wrapped it with a mix of walnut veneer and solid walnut to our specification.

Things we love:
- the marble island (aka The Big Splurge)
- the grain-matched walnut doors. We were glad we got the end panels for the upper cabinets as well.
- lots of drawer space
- the trash pullout
- the tall pantry cabinet
- the butcher block counter
- dimmable LED lights
- Sherr's drawer boxes
- Ikea's 20% off sale and exchange policy

Things that aren't done yet:
- glass shelves for niche
- need to find lower bar stools
- some tweaking of door alignment and repair of edge banding

Gardenweb ideas used:
- lots of drawers
- offset drain in the sink to allow for a trash pullout underneath
- air switch for garbage disposal
- induction stove
- Ikea boxes and hardware
- under cabinet LED lights and outlets
- over-the-counter microwave
- recessed fridge
- did I mention lots of drawers?

Things we had to compromise on:
- no room for a double oven and separate cook top
- clearance behind the island is slightly less than ideal
- more filler by the upper cabinets next to the sink than we'd prefer, needed for symmetry

Things that didn't work out the way we thought
- the window was supposed to come down to the counter
- the finished sink wall was 2" narrower than planned, which meant we had to cut down the drawer fronts of a 24" cabinet to 18" and leave a little gap at the end of the corner cabinet (not visible)
- the corner cabinet needed a lot more door clearance than we thought, so the stove wall had to be adjusted
- the beautiful Mockett finger pulls needed to be recessed into the tops of some of the drawers just a little so that they would close properly. My contractor used a chisel and hacked the edge band badly on some of them. My husband and I are working on repairing all of them as we don't want the contractor to touch them at this point.
- the Abstrakt doors and deco strips show every nail and ding, and so were difficult to use at the top of the cabinets where they needed to be mitred.

Perimeter cabinets: Ikea
Door fronts on Ikea cabinets - white are Ikea Abstrakt, grain-matched walnut are from SemiHandMade

Island and niche cabinets & doors: Sherr's
Toe kicks are from Ikea in a glossy dark gray that looks like stainless.

Perimeter: Caesarstone in Arctic White. Purchased during the Ikea sale, fabricated by United Marble and Granite (Ikea's fabricator)
Island - Calacatta Oro, honed. Purchased at Da Vinci Marble in San Carlos, CA, fabricated by Marblus Granite in San Jose

Walnut butcherblock counter from Hardwood Lumber Company

Electrolux 30" Slide-In Induction Range Model EW30IS65JS (Sears Outlet)
Sharp 1.5 cu. ft. Over-the-Counter Microwave (Home Depot)
Waste King 1HP Eco-Green Garbage Disposer with air switch (Costco)
Hansgrohe Metro HighArc Kitchen Faucet with 2-Function Pull-Out Sprayhead (Costco)
Ancona Tornado II 30" Range Hood (Costco)
Bosch-SHX68R55UC 800 Series 24 In. Stainless Steel Bar Handle Dishwasher
Elkay Gourmet Elumina Stainless Steel 30-1/2" x 18-1/4" Single Basin Kitchen Sink 10" Depth
Kenmore Elite fridge (existing)

Mockett Door pulls 3" Tab Drawer Pull - Satin Chrome (26D)

Omnia Pulls for niche cabinet

Floor - strand-woven bamboo from Teragren in Chestnut

Lights - LED undercabinet and can lights.
Pendants - Bruck Rainbow I (dichroic)

Wall color - BM Decorator's White

Kitchen before with dining room beyond

From Kitchen

Kitchen during with island mock-up. The original subfloor is on the diagonal. New exterior door/laundry room in background.

From Kitchen

6 inch recess for fridge

From Kitchen

Looking from hallway; entrance to dining room was enlarged

From Kitchen

From the dining room, niche and hallway at right rear

From Kitchen

From Kitchen

Fridge wall

From Kitchen

From Kitchen

From dishwasher to plate drawer

From Kitchen

Trash pullout

From Kitchen

Pullout left of stove

From Kitchen

Tall cabinet

From Kitchen

Mockett pulls and damage to edge banding (since repaired)

From Kitchen

Niche cabinet before mirror was installed

From Kitchen

Marble close-up

From Kitchen

Here is a link that might be useful: Post with in-progress pictures


clipped on: 03.20.2014 at 04:13 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2014 at 04:15 pm

RE: And for good measure: House with 35K cat walks (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mdln on 02.09.2014 at 01:05 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

cat modifications
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


clipped on: 02.10.2014 at 09:19 am    last updated on: 02.10.2014 at 09:20 am

RE: Favorite Household FInds (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: bbstx on 02.09.2014 at 05:02 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

My favorite "easy living" device is the gizmo that converts my bedside lamp to a touch lamp. I have the one that screws into the light bulb socket and then the light bulb screws into it. All I have to do it touch any metal part of the lamp to turn it on or off.

I see that they now have one that you plug your lamp into. I think that would be better. I have to use a small bulb in the screw in gizmo I have or the harp won't fit.

Lowe's touch light plug in adapter

Here is a link that might be useful: Touch and Glow from Lowes


clipped on: 02.10.2014 at 09:08 am    last updated on: 02.10.2014 at 09:08 am

RE: Finished bathroom! (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: stephanie_and_tim on 12.15.2011 at 04:26 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Thanks everyone! We are very pleased.

@ writersblock: We didn't use the faucets that came with the vanity. Our plumber recommended against installing them as the threads were not very good. We bought Grohe faucets instead.

Forgot to mention a little extra that we really like... we had the contractor put outlets in the medicine cabinets.


clipped on: 02.05.2014 at 07:01 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2014 at 07:01 pm

RE: Finished Bathroom Reveal Thread (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: shanghaimom on 03.18.2013 at 09:15 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Good idea, Hoboken. I don't even know how to find the gallery for bathrooms....
First,bath/laundry room, then powder room. Coming soon: master bath! House built in 1889.

 photo DSC_1170.jpg photo DSC_0961.jpgpowder room photo kitchen048.jpg


clipped on: 02.05.2014 at 06:35 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2014 at 06:35 pm

RE: Art in kitchen/wall decor (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: Gigi_4321 on 01.23.2014 at 08:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have since relocated the Chagall, but kept my daughters self portrait in the kitchen
range wall view photo Range.jpg


clipped on: 02.01.2014 at 03:00 pm    last updated on: 02.01.2014 at 03:01 pm

White Kitchen w/ walnut, 99% finished and lived in!

posted by: alabamamommy on 03.15.2012 at 03:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello all - I was nudged out from under the newborn rock by a post yesterday, so I figured I'd share our final photos. With a caveat... I'm still on the hunt for the appropriate decorative pieces... a properly scaled urn or raised bowl for the countertop, an arrangement of the stuff in the glass cabs that works, etc.

Overall, I love this kitchen. It's proving very family friendly and I haven't had any issues with the primed shiplap as a backsplash. The marble island top DOES etch, but we're closing our eyes and hoping to make it to patinaland sooner than later. With 18 years of school fundraisers ahead of me, I'm certain we'll get there. But there's NOTHING like making pastries on it and I'm going to try my hand at fudge and candies soon!

Our FAVORITE spot, where we spend 70% of our time, is firmly planted on the BOOs block. Chop chop chop. Walnut end-grain... can't say enough. A quick sudsy soapy wipe after each prep and a once a month oiling and it's beautiful.

So here are the pics of our very lived in by a young family of five new kitchen!


clipped on: 01.30.2014 at 01:15 pm    last updated on: 01.30.2014 at 01:22 pm

RE: Tips for decorating the cheap and architecturally lacking hou (Follow-Up #50)

posted by: joannemb on 02.06.2013 at 10:05 am in Home Decorating & Design Forum

I was in the same exact boat and I did exactly what you are wondering about.... I wish I had before pictures, but here is the after (see link.)
We added hard wood floors throughout, changed the spindles etc. on the staircase, created a built in bench off the staircase, changed all the baseboards and mouldings and casings around the windows. Added french doors wherever possible, and updated the bathrooms with subway tile, beadboard, pedestal sinks.... All the lighting was replaced with school-house lights etc. The house LOOKS like it was built in the 1920's but was really a 1968 colonial.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY remodel 2011


Love the built in inside of the bathroom
clipped on: 02.06.2013 at 11:27 am    last updated on: 02.06.2013 at 11:27 am

Finished Kitchen - 20 pounds of sand in a 10 pound bucket

posted by: mamadadapaige on 10.29.2012 at 08:19 am in Kitchens Forum

Not sure if you remember last spring when I was working on the layout of my kitchen... super long list of stuff I had to get in there and a very challenging floorplan with a chimney and two staircases to work around.

You were all so helpful during that time and more recently too with lighting decisions.

My number one priority was seating for four and also being able to have the kids work with me - the peninsula allows both of those and it is working out SO well. I also love having so much more natural light coming in with two new windows (although the windows mean less wall cabinet space but I love having the light so I would still opt for this).

Here are some before pictures:
And After Pictures






what a transformation!
clipped on: 11.01.2012 at 06:47 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2012 at 06:48 pm

RE: For the plant lovers - living wall in my DR (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: sochi on 07.14.2011 at 03:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks everyone, I'm glad to you like. I must confess that I absolutely adore it and it has taken my focus away from getting my kitchen island made and the backsplash up, but whatever.

Clumbsycook - the floors are 130 year old reclaimed birch, brought up from the bottom of a nearby river.

Okay, the details on the wall:

I've been researching living walls on-line and at the library for about 2 years. After some research and visits to a few local living walls, I figured out which "type" of living wall I felt was best for the house. Essentially I opted for a "Patrick Blanc" style living wall - essentially the plants grow in a felt medium with little, if any, soil. Patrick Blanc is from France, and he is considered the "father" of living walls/green walls/vertical gardens. Here is a link to Patrick Blanc's website:

Here is a link to an outdoor Patrick Blanc style garden in San Diego - this website is a great resource and has dozens of great pictures of living wall eye candy:

I determined that it was possible to build a Patrick Blanc style living wall on my own. A guy named Matt in New York has a fantastic and unbelievably informative blog on how to build your own Blanc style living wall. Here is a link to his blog: He built a stunning living wall in his NY apartment.

But I was a little nervous to make one myself, I admit. Plus, I have a crazy busy job, two kids under 6 and an on-going home renovation, so I ran out of time. Earlier this year I found a company in San Francisco that builds pre-made Patrick Blanc style living walls, the company is called Plants on Walls. I decided to save my pennies and buy a 31" x 82" recirculating living wall from them. I am still determined to make a living wall on my own, and I think I will in my master bathroom that is due for renovation over the year or so. The living wall "kit" from Plants on Walls contains the galvanized steel frame, water-proof back lining, the reservoir, pump, tubing and the felt pockets that the plants grow in/into. I bought the plants here and planned out the "planting design." I'm very happy with the Plants on Wall product, and they were very responsive to my questions. That said, they aren't cheap (my kit was $1,300), and I'm determined to build my own living wall next (the master bathroom project). Here is the link to the Plants on Wall site:

I do keep a small carpet under the reservoir, it catches the odd drops of water off the ends of the leaves. I do mist the plants whenever I think of it, so the mat/carpet takes care of that. If you could put one up in a room with tile floors that would be ideal I guess.

It does add humidity to the room, but not much and we welcome it in winter (we have to use a furnace here in the winter and the air gets dry). This size living wall isn't big enough to create serious humidity issues I think - and we do live in an area with hot, humid summers - and I hate A/C. No smells or mold - that is the point of the felt growing medium, the felt dries totally between watering. That said, my living wall is also in a relatively large, open room, so there is lots of air circulation.

You of course need adequate lighting for a living wall - this often determines where you build it. I didn't want to build it anywhere that would require artificial light.

Let me know if you have any other questions!


clipped on: 09.07.2012 at 08:17 pm    last updated on: 09.07.2012 at 08:17 pm

RE: Mistakes that others can learn from (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: amela on 11.12.2011 at 01:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

I made plenty of mistakes but this little one is the most annoying of all. I fell in love with a faucet that was going to be my glitter (KWC Eve) and thought the "tall" model would be just gorgeous. It is, but the height combined with my deep sink makes for splashes everywhere EVERY time we turn it on. Since we have very hard water, it has to be immediately dried with a towel. Not fun.


Good to know. I thought I needed a tall faucet & I wanted a DEEP sink. I had no idea that combo causes splashing.
clipped on: 11.16.2011 at 10:23 pm    last updated on: 11.16.2011 at 10:25 pm