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DIY soapstone/maple kitchen remodel

posted by: jraz_wa on 11.05.2007 at 01:18 am in Kitchens Forum

A little background:
It has been three years since we finished this remodel, and I am just getting around to posting these photos. The people on this forum were invaluable in helping me design and execute this remodel. Many thanks to all of you!

My brother and I tackled everything except the electrical and plumbing moves. We tore out soffits and a short wall, opened up walls for the plumbing/electrical, did the drywall work to patch everything up, installed the cabinets, cut and installed the soapstone countertops, installed the tile backsplash, laid and finished the hardwood floors, installed the appliances and undercabinet lighting, and celebrated a plenty when we were done.

I planned the remodel over about 2.5 years. We executed it in seven weeks from tear out to celebration dinner. I'll admit it took me a few weeks longer to be motivated enough to put the cabinet hardware on (I sort of got attached to the blue tape look), finish up the undercabinet lighting and seal the backsplash.

Layout, layout, layout
I loved the new kitchen. It made me realize how important it is to have a LAYOUT that works for you. Forget the materials for a while - I believe if you don't think about how you move through a kitchen as you are preparing meals and design around that, then you won't be getting the most out of your new kitchen. Our new kitchen was pretty small by today's standards, but it flowed like a dream. It was an immeasurable improvement over the chopped up nightmare of a kitchen we had before. I was hesitant to put so much $$ into moving plumbing & electrical, but ultimately, that is what made the new kitchen work.

We liked it so much, we moved
Two years after we finished the new kitchen, we moved from that 1500sf condo to a house. The addition of kid number two and parents that come for long visits from overseas meant we really needed more room. Somehow, we ended up in a house that needs a kitchen remodel, and so I am planning that one now. We'll tackle it sometime in 2008. Hopefully it won't take me three years to post the photos from this one!

Floor - Oregon Myrtle, finished with OSMO Hardwax Oil
Cabinets - Kitchen Craft, Salem in natural maple
Countertops - Marianna soapstone
Backsplash - 2" Chiaro tumbled travertine
Refrigerator - GE Profile 30" wide, bottom freezer
Microwave - GE Profile
Range - GE Profile dual fuel convection
Dishwasher - GE Profile
Faucet - Price Pfister Parisa Pullout
Soap dispenser - Price Pfister
Filtered water tap - Waterstone
Undercabinet lights - Sea Gull Xenon
Ceiling lights - Juno 4" over sink, 6" elsewhere, Alzak baffles in Haze

Photos in addition to the link below:

Old kitchen

Remodel in progress

Here is a link that might be useful: New Kitchen Photos


clipped on: 03.28.2010 at 08:31 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2010 at 08:32 pm

RE: plants for wet area (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: okiedawn on 03.14.2007 at 10:18 am in Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Hi Brandy,

Here are some plant choices for an area with poor drainage. These plants can handle waterlogged soil but also can do well if the soil alternates between being wet/waterlogged and also dry at times.

The ones that are native here on our property in southern Oklahoma, where we have heavy clay soil that alternates between being very wet and very dry are marked with a single asterisk. *

The ones that we've planted here and which have grown well for us are marked with a double asterisk. **

SHRUBS: Unless otherwise stated, these plants can handle full sun, but most do well in partial shade as well

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria)
*Possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua) (native in many parts of OK)
**Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera) can be grown as small tree or tall shrub
Dwarf Wax Myrtle (Myrica pusilla) can be kept at 3'-4' with pruning
*Blackhaw Viburnums (Viburnum rufidulum and Viburnum prunifolium)
**Buffalo currant (Ribes odoratum) will form suckers and spread
*Coralberries/Indian currants (Symphoricarpos species)will form suckers and spread
**Burning Bushes (Euonymus alatus and Euonymus atropurpureus) need partial shade
Elderberries (Sambucus species) will form suckers and spread
*American buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) grows on an edge of a swamp on our place
Crape myrtles (Lagerstromeria spp.) depending on their ultimate size, can be considered shrubs or trees


Most oaks can withstand heavy, slow-draining soils as long as they don't have to grow in standing water
*Willows (Salix spp.)
*Cottonwoods (Populas spp.) but are prone to cotton root rot
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Chinese Tallow (Sapium sebiferum) these will ever grow in standing water but will suffer freeze damage below ten degrees
Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
*Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
*Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
**Mimosa Tree (Albizzia julibrissin)
Eve's Necklace (Sophora affinis)
Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex)
Banana trees (Musa spp.) will freeze back in winter but should survive and resprout if mulched
Dwarf sabal palm (Sabal minor) can survive down to zero degrees and can handle wet soggy soil in winter but is a very slow grower


**Cannas -- pretty much all species
Jonquil hybrid 'Trevithian' -- even blooms in standing water
**Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica)
Summer Snowflake (Leucojam aestivum)
Large-flowered Buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus)
**Naples Onion (Allium neapolitanum)
Oxblod Lily(Rhodophiala bifida)
**Crinum Lily (Crinum spp.)
*Rain Lily (Zephyranthes spp.)
Spider Lily (Hymenocallis spp.)
**Amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.)
Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis)
**Pineapple Lily (Eucomis spp.)


*Mexican petunias (Ruellia malacosperma)
Shrub morning glory (Ipomoea fistulosa)
**Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)
**Halberd-leaf Hibiscus (Hibiscus militaris)
**Conferederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis)
Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) such as 'Southern Belle'
Hybrid hibiscus like 'Lord Baltimore' and 'Lady Baltimore'
*Swamp Mallow
Lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis)
Obedient Plant (Physotefia spp.)
Golden Wave Daisy (Coreopsis tinctoria)
*Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.)
*Goldenrods (Solidago spp.)
*Swamp Gayfeather (Liatris spicaa)
*Blue Mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum)
*Coneflowers (Rudbeckia--some species, but not all)
Texas bluebells (Eustoma grandiflorum)
Pink flowering milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
*Spiderworts (Trandescantia spp.)
**Shasta daisies (Chrysanthemum x superbum)
**Bog Sage (Salvia uliginosa)


Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri)
*Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Maiden Grass (Miscanthus cultivars)
Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
*Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
*Partridge Pea (Cassis fasiculata)
Sedges--there are many, some are native here, and most thrive in wet soil


**Castor Bean (Riciuns comunis) (Bean-like seeds are poisonous)
**Candletree (Cassis alata)--can grow up to 8' to 10' in one long growing season

There are probably many other annuals that would tolerate wet soil, but I put my annuals in improved beds that drain well.

I deliberately left bamboos, canes and reeds off the list as they are incredible invasive, esp. in wet soil.

There are many other plants that either thrive in or tolerate wet, soggy soil, but this list should be enough to give you food for thought.

There are two other options:

1) If you don't want to worry about drainage issue, build a raised bed where you can plant whatever you like.

2) Or, go to the other extreme and turn your soggy area into a bog garden.

Good luck,



clipped on: 08.31.2007 at 02:41 pm    last updated on: 08.31.2007 at 02:41 pm

RE: Whats your favorite Bug Killer for Lawns? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: smikes1031 on 05.20.2007 at 11:18 pm in Garden Clinic Forum

antzy -

You'll hear a lot here about avoidance of chemicals and not harming beneficial insects and the like. And believe me, all of it is good advice; after all, why kill an insect or worm if it is helping to aerate (and eventually fertilize) your lawn?

However, I, for one, have suffered ant infestations that have so over-cultivated beneath the lawn that two areas dried out and died - because I was trying to leave them there after hearing they were good for the lawn (incidentally, I DO leave them in my front lawn, because they aren't creating mounds there and they aren't causing the lawn to die). Chemical control was a Godsend.

Additionally, I nearly lost my front lawn to grubs (and the moles that followed) one year. Castor oil (nontoxic) successfully chased away the moles, but chemicals knocked out the grubs and saved the lawn. I now do alternating preventative treatments (Mach2 one year - Spectracide halofenozide product; Merit the next - Bayer imidacloprid product) - less toxic chemicals that replaced the more harmful "rescue" treatments necessitated by a previous avoidance of chemicals.

I'm a busy man, but my lawn is a bit of a hobby and I've researched a lot of stuff, from toxicity to effectiveness. Ultimately, I've had a little experience, and continue to gain more.

First, Rhizo's entirely right - Sevin's murder on earthworms. It can be a grub "rescue" treatment (admittedly, it's what I used to rescue my lawn), if necessary, but acc. to pros I've read from, Dylox (Bayer brand 24 hr. grub killer) is stronger (on grubs), breaks down more quickly in the soil, and won't cause AS MUCH harm to earthworms (though it certainly harms them).

If you've determined you need some kind of control for pests, I would recommend you read the extoxnet and EPA info on the pesticides you're looking into, to see if they're good for your application. Additionally, lurk a bit on, where professional lawn care people post regarding their experiences with different products (in the pesticide application section).

For what it's worth, I've had great success with Triazicide - both granular and liquid (granules last longer) on killing ants in the lawn. Its active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin, is a synthetic pyrethroid - the family of chemicals used for interior insect killing in homes and restaurants. It lasts long because it bonds to the soil; however, while it's labeled for grub killing, many say it's bonding quality lessens the effectiveness (because doesn't get deep enough in the ground). As illustrated by synthetic pyrethroids' widespread approval for interior applications, it poses little if any threat to mammals when used according to directions and allowed to dry before reentry.

Re earthworms, I have TONS of them after treating with Triazicide. I'm sure it's not good for them, but it hasn't changed their population noticeably.

For grubs, halofenozide (Mach2 - the active ingredient in Spectracide Grub Stop) causes grubs to molt early, which in turn causes them to stop feeding and die. Imidacloprid (Merit - active ingredient in Bayer Season Long Grub Control and the new Scotts GrubEx) is brought into the roots of the lawn (systemic) and when young grubs bite, it kills them. Both are very light toxicity to mammals, but because they are so mild, their application must be timed with the grub (several beetle species, most common Japanese and June beetles) life cycle. Pros suggest you put them down in early July so that the young grubs get them right after their eggs hatch. Run a google search to learn about the grub cycle. Merit and Mach2 have virtually no effect on earthworms.

If you have let the grubs mature come fall (or if your initial treatment fails), Bayer Dylox is the product to "zap" them. It uses Trichlorfon, an organophosphate insecticide, which is much more toxic to mammals so reentry rules must be observed carefully.

Some suggest beneficial nematodes for grubs (and even ants, for that matter). But I've heard from many (including pros) that they are very inconsistent, die or burrow too deeply in dry weather, and are very expensive. I'm not going to use them.

FINALLY, there is one product out that combines pyrethroids with Merit - Bayer's total lawn insect killer. It combines Cyfluthrin (a pyrethroid) with Merit, to get both contact killing of insects and systemic killing of pests that feed on grass roots. I may try this next season to see if it simplifies things.

I share your concerns and wish you all the best.


clipped on: 08.24.2007 at 10:25 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2007 at 10:25 pm

BNA Flyer's Kithcen

posted by: bnaflyer on 06.30.2007 at 10:58 am in Kitchens Forum

Here is a link to my (nearly!) finished kitchen. I had posted originally in a thread about Martha Stewart's kitchen, which served as an inspiration. This has been a three month construction project and many more months of planning--I want to thank everyone on the forum for the valuable advice I have received here.
The walls and most of the woodwork are SW Colonnade Grey; the cabinets and ceiling beams are a (now discontinued) SW/Martha Stewart Color called Morning Dove. The island is Urbane Bronze. Hope you enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: BNA Flyer's Kitchen


clipped on: 08.12.2007 at 10:52 am    last updated on: 08.12.2007 at 10:52 am