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RE: 'The Sweeby Test' - anyone save it? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: starpooh on 04.23.2007 at 12:35 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm packrat.... have alot of old threads saved.
I can add this to the FKB - with Sweeby's permission, of course.
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The Sweeby Test
Posted by Sweeby (My Page) on Fri, Dec 2, 05 at 15:11

A couple of recent posts have referred to something that has been jokingly referred to as 'the Sweeby test', and it's been suggested that a separate thread on that topic might be helpful.

The situation is this -- You're trying to decide between several different options (backsplash, flooring, island size or configuration, countertop material -- whatever), and all of the options being considered look good. Functional and financial considerations are certainly important, but among the thousands of highly functional good choices -- There are so many options to choose from! Which to choose and how to decide?

My suggestion was to try to figure out what you needed the element in question to contribute to your kitchen. To start by focusing on your kitchen as a whole, from a far-off hazy distance -- to wander off into your favorite kitchen fantasy and think about what it feels like, not what it looks like. (Your real kitchen please, not the one where Brad Pitt feeds you no-cal chocolates while George Clooney polishes the brass knobs on your Lacanche.) Then using mood words, describe what your dream kitchen feels like:

warm or cool, tranquil and soothing or energetic and vibrant? calm, happy, dramatic?
cozy or spacious? light and bright or dark and rich?
subtle tone-on-tone, boldly colorful, textured?, woody or painted?
modern, traditional, vintage, rustic, artsy, retro, Old World, Arts & Crafts, Tuscan?
elegant, casual? sleekly simple, elaborately detailed, or somewhere in between?
pristine or weathered, professional or homey?
whimsical, sophisticated, accessible, romantic? masculine or feminine?
How much zing? and where?

The list goes on and on...

Once you've identified the way you want your space to feel, then write it down as best you can. Try to freeze that feeling in words so you can refer back to it if you find yourself losing your vision or going off track.

Then look at where you are so far with the elements you have, and ask yourself if you're on the right course to create your dream? Odds are, at any given point in time, you'll be part way there, but that you'll need to go a little more this way, or a little more that way to move closer to your dream. Try to figure out what direction you need to go, what the missing element is that you need to add, (or just as important, if neutral background is what's needed) and write a 'Mission Statement' for your ideal backsplash / flooring / countertop:

"The perfect backsplash for my kitchen will add an enement of romance and whimsy, while not disrupting the calm and soothing tone-on-tone color scheme or diverting attention from my beautiful granite."
"My ideal countertops will provide the 'zing' my kitchen is missing right now, adding an element that is modern, rich, sophisticated and dramatic."

Then evaluate your potential choices against this Mission Statement. Odds are, one of your options will further your dreams while most of the others, though beautiful, take your kitchen down another path.

That's what I've got. What else can we add?


clipped on: 04.23.2007 at 11:24 am    last updated on: 04.23.2007 at 11:24 am

'Period-Inspired' (aka Pottery Barn) FINISHED Bath Pics - finally

posted by: buffalotina on 08.09.2006 at 10:06 pm in Bathrooms Forum

THANKS to everyone who helped me with great advice, inspiration and moral support... especially Johnmari and Bill V.! (Bill - my tub-tile joint is active again... look out for a post!!!).

Ranchreno, here are my Kohler Memoirs pictures. How is your bath coming along?

Johnmari, keep your posts coming. Can't wait to see pictures of your bath as it progresses.

Here are the 'specs' for my new bathroom (6 months in the making!)

Sink: Kohler Memoirs Stately (24 inch version)
Toilet: Kohler Memoirs Stately One Piece
Bathtub: Kohler Bancroft

Sink Faucet: Kohler Memoirs Stately with Deco Handles (Polished Chrome)
Shower Valve & Trim: Kohler Master Shower (Polished Chrome)
Showerhead: Kohler Forte Handheld (Polished Chrome)

Wall Tile: American Olean Greenwich Village Designer White (Matte)
Floor Tile: American Olean Unglazed 1' porcelain in White with Sterling Silver accents
Grout: Spectralock Pro in Smoke Grey (wall and floor)
Beadboard: Nantucket Beadboard painted with Benjamin Moore semi-gloss finish in Super White
Walls: Benjamin Moore Pearl finish in Yarmouth Bue

Medicine Cabinet: Rejuvenation Mendenhall
Pendant Light: Rejuvenation Humboldt (Polished Nickel)
Wall Sconce: Rejuvenation Siletz (Polished Nickel)
Towel Rack, Ring & Toilet Tissue Holder: Restoration Hardware Asbury (Polished Nickel)
Towel and Robe Hooks: Restoration Hardware Chatham (Polished Nickel)
Glass Shelf Stand: Restoration Hardware Newbury (Polished Nickel)
Alcove Drawer Unit: Container Store
Alcove Shelf Baskets: Ten Thousand Villages
Shower Curtain & Towels: Restoration Hardware (Silver Sage)

To Do: Simple white curtain for window and white liners for shelf baskets



Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Bath Pics


clipped on: 03.16.2007 at 05:01 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2007 at 05:01 pm

RE: Please Show Me Your Tile In Bathroom/Shower (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: erosenst on 02.07.2007 at 02:42 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Here are some pics of ours. The first two are a walk-in shower in the master; the second is a tub surround in a jack and jill. We also have one that's white-on-white - let me know if you're interested in something like that, and I'll take a better pic.

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tiny bench
clipped on: 03.16.2007 at 08:35 am    last updated on: 03.16.2007 at 08:36 am

RE: borders on kitchen floor? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: lisacdm on 03.15.2007 at 12:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have a border (marmoleum). It goes in front of the cabinets.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


clipped on: 03.15.2007 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2007 at 05:12 pm

the floor (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: kgwlisa on 02.19.2007 at 11:10 am in Kitchens Forum

So I had a few questions about the floor. No, it's not marmoleum or linoleum. I really wanted "true" linoleum for it's green properties as well as the coolness factor, but I really wanted a checkerboard and the colors are much more limited in tile form than sheet form. In addition budget and reality set in and the price tag of about $0.80/sf of VCT was much more attractive than $5+/sf for linoleum and still gave me the vintage look I was after without the high price tag, plus had many more colors available. The floor cost about $1200 including labor and materials and would have been at least double that with linoleum. I did have a bit of a hard time finding an installer who would do it though but eventually ended up with someone who's been doing this for 30 years and didn't blink an eye at my design (most places flat out refused).

Here's the picture I showed installers that freaked them out:

Here's a progress pic (took about half a day to do the underlayment because of other weird issues, an hour to do the bulk of the checkerboard and half a day to deal with the edges... cutting the border from the tile was easy with the chopper machine, it was fitting it all that was the bear).

And here are some better pics of the finished product. I think it's a 2" red border, 3" cream border and then brown filled to the wall:

VCT is easy to take care of. When it crunches, sweep it (grit will do the most damage). It spot cleans beautifully, if you are feeling ambitious you can put a coat or two of polish on every so often (last time I did it was almost a year ago, if you just sponge it on with a sponge mop it gets a nice satin glow to it, not shiny like in commercials applications with commercial equipment).


Borders on the floor
clipped on: 03.15.2007 at 05:10 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2007 at 05:11 pm

certifiable ths tko finished kitchen (long)

posted by: thull on 08.03.2006 at 04:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

We finally finished up our remodel to the point where we could move back in a few weeks ago. Have a lot of projects still to be done around the house, but the kitchen and master bath are done enough to show.

I'm going to try to insert pix as I go, so I apologize to anyone on a slow connection. And the photos aren't the greatest in terms of lighting. Taking them at night and keeping a good exposure balance wasn't easy.

The particulars:

Cabinets: Scherr's, doors are shaker with solid center panel in select cherry
Knobs/pulls: Knob Hill "martini" knob (HD only) and Liberty "retro curl" pull (
Range: Bluestar 36" RNB, six burners
Hood: Vent-a-hood SEPXH18-242
Granite: Verde Butterfly, 3cm
Wall paint: BM, color is 1301, I forget the name of the red
Dishwasher: Kitchenaid KUDS02FRSS
Sink: Rohl Allia 6337 undermount
Faucet: Brizo Venuto in stainless w/ soap dispenser
Disposal: Insinkerator 444 w/ air switch
Fridge: Kitchenaid KSCS25INSS
Convection/Micro: GE JE1590
Pendants: forget brand- low voltage amber pyramid pendants from HD
Backsplash: 1x1 slate mosaic w/ "antique grey" outlet covers from Vermont Slate Art
UC Lights: GE Profile fluorescent
Floor: 3/4" oak strip, mixed new and c. '49; Minwax "Golden Oak" stain, Bona Traffic finish

OK, here's the overview. We haven't found counter stools yet, but there's a 12" overhang in the front of the island. It's supported by 3/8" steel bars, and the two center panels are actually doors to a cabinet. The island is roughly 5' x 8'.

Basically, before the project, this was two rooms, with a wall that lined up where the middle of the hood/range is. Left was the dining room, and the kitchen to the right.

Here's the view to one side of the island. Left of the door is the bar (where the plastic lock is on the door). The wall cabs are 13" deep.

The glass-front cabinets house our "company" dishes and various glassware. The 36" wide drawer bases below have everyday dishes, nice flatware, and various trays/bowls/baking dishes.

Here's a couple of closer views of the island and wall w/ the range. To the left of the range is a cabinet w/ tray dividers and a 4-drawer stack. Pot and pan drawers (30", 2-drawer stack) are to the right of the range)

Here's the wall w/ pantry cabs, more drawers, the fridge and MW. The big cab to the L of the fridge has pullout trays. We have another pantry in the laundry room (outside the french door in the other photos), and we haven't worked out what to put in each yet. Drawers to the L of fridge have everyday flatware, punkin gear, and overflow pots/pans. Drawers under microwave have bags/wraps, plastic ware, and colanders/mixing bowls. Above the MW are everyday glassware and misc stuff.

Closer view of the range:

Bad, but closer view of the backsplash:

Next is the sink/faucet/DW. Left of the sink (not pictured) are two cabs, one w/ a Rev-a-shelf trash pullout, and the other a skinny one for cutting boards w/ knives in a drawer above.

And finally, SWMBA (She Who Must Be Adored) aka "punkin," who finally gets to live in her house. She had just (finally) started walking all by herself, but was still doing it "monster style" because she was used to holding someone's hand(s).

Anyway, I've been reading, learning, and finally contributing at THS for several years leading up to this. So, we're really excited to finally be in the home stretch.


clipped on: 02.20.2007 at 10:21 am    last updated on: 02.20.2007 at 10:21 am

RE: Why a single sink over a double? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: aptosca on 01.07.2007 at 04:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

I love my 30" SS single sink even though it was a major hassle to install in a 30" cabinet. I had a double for 20 years and I hated it. I don't have another prep sink either. I just keep the sink clear of things when I want to use it as a prep area. I also just ordered the bottom grid to go with it. I think that will help to keep the sink looking better.


clipped on: 02.16.2007 at 02:52 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2007 at 02:52 pm

countertop, sink & faucet dimension question

posted by: fritzgarden on 01.11.2007 at 11:11 am in Kitchens Forum

we have a 30" base for Kindred US1930/90RK/E. The granite fabricator prefers 2.5" from the sink cut out to the center of the faucet hole.
Since the countertop would be 26" D, the front edge and sink cut out would occupy approx 22", leaving only 4" for the faucet holes.
I'm wondering whether the back 1" flange of the sink shouldn't really be included in my math as it shouldn't be in the way of anything, therefore I would have 5" to play with, which seems to be the minimum.

Hope I've explained this clearly.

Question has anyone used this sink under the same conditions or have you opted for a wall mounted faucet?


30" big single in 30" base
clipped on: 02.16.2007 at 12:07 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2007 at 12:07 pm

RE: Kitchen Lighting Design (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jon1270 on 02.14.2007 at 02:37 pm in Lighting Forum

bklyn71, thanks for posting your contractor's thoughts. The "hotspots" he's talking about are the scallops I was referring to. Done haphazardly they could be a problem, but that doesn't have to be the case. As far as the aisles being dark, I just don't know what they're talking about unless your counters, cabs and floor will all be matte black. Light bounces around. Oh well, I don't envy you the decisions you must make. I think of such situations as being like having two different watches, never sure which is right. Good luck, and please post some feedback about whatever you do and how you like the result. Some pics would be great.

Georiga, I don't quite understand your problem. Can you not buy appropriate haze trims from Halo?


clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 12:34 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 12:35 pm

RE: Kitchen Lighting Design (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jon1270 on 02.07.2007 at 07:36 am in Lighting Forum

Assuming you plan to use incandescents, I'd probably choose 50 watt PAR30 floods, which require at least a 5" fixture. To keep the light levels even, I wouldn't space them any further apart than about 44" along the counters. I'd try to find places for about 8 of them in a room that size -- you might be able to light the counters with fewer, but I'm trying to make sure there's enough ambient light bouncing around the room to complement the direct task lighting. Try and flank any given work area with lights on both sides rather than one directly overhead. Be especially careful of this if you have a range hood projecting from a wall; a can directly overhead would light the hood rather than the cooktop.

My usual disclaimer: I'm not a lighting professional. This is just fun for me.


clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 12:33 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 12:33 pm

RE: Kitchen Lighting Design (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: jon1270 on 02.09.2007 at 08:20 am in Lighting Forum

I was thinking 8 cans just in the kitchen, actually. Something like this...

As to the dining room, there's nothing mandating that you do more than the chandelier; lot's and lots of houses get built that way. I do think you'll be limiting the room's usefulness at night, because the chandelier is unlikely to do a good job of lighting anything more than the table, and may not even do that very well. I'd be inclined to use some wall-washers, gimbals or other aimable lights to bounce light off the walls and illuminate any artwork you might put there. Sconces would be another option. If you'll have a large table then you might supplement the chandelier with a couple of cans over it, too.

I think it would be a wonderful service to this little forum community if you were to ask your electrician, contractor and architect why they want the lights over the aisles. It's a common sort of practice, but I've never gotten a clear explanation why. I can make some guesses, though.

Here goes...

In most rooms you expect interactions between people across the middle of the room, and central fixtures light on the faces of people looking at each other from opposite sides of the room; kitchens don't fit that guideline so well because the activity tends to be around the perimeter. If the lights are out over the floor then the brightest light falls on (surprise) the floor, which isn't useful in terms of task lighting, but it means that the direct light that hits the floor then bounces around as indirect ambient light which is likely to be quite pleasant in terms of the way the room looks from a few steps away. Furthermore, a downlight positioned close to the upper cabinets casts a noticable scallop of intense light on those cabinets, and those scallops of light become a graphic element in themselves -- something that has to be thoughtfully composed in terms of rhythm and relationship to architectural elements; the diffuse, indirect light from cans positioned further out simply illuminates the space without leaving such a distinct signature or creating an extra design burden. The tradeoff, of course is that the brightest light not only doesn't fall on the work surfaces, but inevitably causes the body of anyone working at a counter to cast shadows over the area where they're trying to work. Putting the lights over the edge of the counters, on the other hand, sets you up to have one switch that illuminates the whole room reasonably well while giving you good task lighting on most of the counter area. It's worth mentioning that having the lights close to the upper cabinets this way does cause more pronounced shadows under the upper cabs, increasing the need for undercabinet lighting as well. I guess what I'm saying is that there are some decent reasons for those common, light-from-the-middle practices. It's a series of tradeoffs, and you should think about what the effects of the choice will be rather than looking for a "correct" prescription.

But really, I'd be thrilled to hear what those guys (or gals) have to say about it.


clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 12:33 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 12:33 pm

RE: lighting over counters or aisles (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: brownli on 02.13.2007 at 12:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ok, here's what I know, from experience! I also posted the same delimma on the lighting forum and jon1270 was very helpful with our plan. Our electrician and another lighting specialist said to put the lights in the isle.

Well, as it turned out, we didn't have a choice of putting the cans at the counters edge because of the lay of the joists and beams in the attic. We could either cram the cans into the upper molding or move them out somewhat into the isle. Well, the only logical place was now the isle. The lighting specialist swore there would be no shadows to the counter and for me 'not to worry' since I wouldn't reasonably be standing so close to the counter anyway.

Ok, short story longer. The cans ended up being placed right above where my head is if standing with my belly to the counter (ok, I'm a little pudgy, but no beer-belly!). The fact is, if I'm prepping on this countertop, my belly is 2 inches from the counter edge, and yes, I have to prep in my own shadow because the light is above or behind my head, not at the counters edge.

That said, I do have undercounter lighting, and using the two lights at the same time, considerably lessens the affect of my shadow on the counter surface.

I would take these things into consideration:
Is this space your primary prep area?
Do you now have or plan to have undercabinet lighting?
Are you tall or short, same for other users of this space. (I'm 5'2" and with the placement of our can and my height, my shadow extends about 6" onto the counter. I held a 12" plate - on it's end - on the top of my head as my DH is 6'2" - and that shadow extends to underneath the upper cabinet space!)

If this is not your primary prep space, I think you'll be ok either way - but I would strongly recommend the undercounter lighting regardless.

Does this help at all? Jon1270 was exactly right on with his recommendations for us, we followed most of his advice but unfortunately the beams prevented us from implementing his full plan.

I will post this same info back to jon1270 on the lighting forum in followup to his help.


Brownli's experience
clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 12:31 pm

RE: kitchen lighting questions (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: catluvr on 01.06.2006 at 02:11 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi, Matt, just decided to peruse the gallery--you'd probably have gotten more response from "discussions". The gallery is more for pictorials.
Anyway, glad I found you. You have a lot of points to hit--hope I get them all.

Wall Washing forces light at a wide angle from a (relatively)long distance (2-3 ft from the wall) in order to evenly throw light against a surface. This is a technique generally used to softly and evenly light a wall where the light starts at the ceiling and ends at the floor with very little to no "spill-over". This is not a commonly used technique in kitchens (not saying it can't be done).

Wall Grazing forces light at a narrow angle (down) from a relatively short distance (12-18" from the wall) in order to dramatically highlight a vertical surface that(usually) has a distinctive texture or detail. This is a technique that is used in a number of areas where a scalloped effect or more contrast is preferred , and by default can become a feature of the kitchen as well as fulfilling lighting requirements.

If you want a softer, more diffused light hitting your cabinets evenly, a 12V 50W wall wash (eyelid type) trim will do that for you. Keep in mind though that this will not light your base cabinets, and you will have some difficulty seeing what's in there. Having the cans in the center can help, but seems redundant. Here's why:

If you graze the front of the cabinet (using the same 12V 50W bulb) 24" on center from the wall, you gain 4 benefits--the graining of the wood and color variations will be more prominent (which I think you want), and the scalloping will create a contemporary, dramatic effect; since the light is pointing down, if you have a natural or engineered stone surface the depth (i.e. different layers and colors) of the material will be more evident; and because the countertop edge is at 24", the remaining cone of light will also graze the base cabinets, and the reflection from that will help to light them so you can see inside. Finally, because the light reflects from all the surfaces, the overall light in the kitchen will be adequate enough that you don't need the lighting in the center. All that with one type of application.

If you use some type of ajustable trim to aim at the cabinets, the aiming angle of the lamp will reflect off the face of the cabinet at the same angle, creating a reflection of the light source which may be distracting. I would not recommend this technique. Either of the previous two techniques would be (IMO) more suitable for the kitchen. For my money, I would graze the cabinets, but you won't be doing anything "wrong" by washing them.

Hope that helped,


clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 11:28 am

RE: choosing white subway tile with white cabs (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: gardenergwen on 02.14.2007 at 05:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's our white cabinets and white subways. Our cabinets are White-White and the grout is called Oyster Gray. I picked it because it wasn't as blue toned as many of the standard gray colors out there. It is a warmer beige gray color and I think it brings some interest to the backsplash while still being neutral and picking up on the other warm neutrals we use throughout our home.

Our kitchen is still a work in progress (that's what you get with DIY projects!) so it's looking pretty plain and undecorated at them moment:
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grout color
clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 10:11 am    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 10:11 am

RE: what kind of lighting do you have over your kitchen sink? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kompy on 01.11.2007 at 07:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a sconce over my window from Rejuvenation Lighting.
Here it is. You could also do a ceiling hung fixture if you need to hang it from there...or a pendant.

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clipped on: 02.13.2007 at 12:19 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2007 at 12:20 pm

RE: lighting over counters or aisles (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: patti823 on 02.13.2007 at 12:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

My kitchen layout is very similar in layout and size to yours. I have 6" cans PAR 30 floodlight, six of them in the aisles along the two walls. I also have xenon linear undercab lights, as well as two pucks in the glass cabinet, plus there are 2 halogen lights in my hood. I have an 8 foot island with 3 halogen pendants, and my eating area I have one chandelier that has 5- 60 watt bulbs. I also put in two skylights. My kitchen is VERY bright!!! I have the cans and pendants on dimmers in case I don't want all that light. Here are some pic's with the lighting.
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clipped on: 02.13.2007 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2007 at 12:18 pm