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Getting there from here, or how did it go so wrong?

posted by: live_wire_oak on 11.18.2011 at 03:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

You start your brand new journey into madness with a magazine pic. Your inspiration. That's IT! The ONE! I want my kitchen to look EXACTLY like that!

And yet, when you are done, your kitchen looks like this:

What the heck happened? Why doesn't my kitchen look like my inspiration?

1. Layout schmayout. Why do I need to move anything around? Yeah, so I only have 18" between my sink and stove and stand in that corner for everything I do in the kitchen. I've lived with this for 10 years and gotten used to it. It's fine.

2. Wow! cherry is expensive! I'll save $1200 by going with oak instead. It's close, so it'll be fine.

3. Full overlay doors are $800 more than partial overlay doors. No one will will ever notice the difference. It'll be fine.

4. I know the KD is recommending honed Absolute Black, but black counters are just so DARK! I want my kitchen to be light and bright. I'll go with a light countertop instead. It'll be fine.

5. Wood floors in a kitchen make me nervous. What if it leaks? Tile will stand up to a flood much better. I'll go with tile. But I hate cleaning grout, so I'll pick a dark grout that won't show dirt. I'm all about easy care and this will be fine.

6.That black crown molding is going to be dated at some point and I'll wonder why I spent my money on it. I'll just do the plain wood. It'll be fine.

7.I'll go ahead and replace the fridge, because the ice maker is shot, but why should I buy new appliances when the others I have are still working? It'll be fine.

8. Undercabinet lighting? Recessed lighting? Are they serious? I've lived without it all these years and I'm not spending money on that now. It'll be fine.

9. Wrought iron knobs? Nah, the black will show all kinds of dirt. Nickel will be a lot easier to clean. It'll be fine.

10.OMG! My kitchen is so beige and brown and boring! And it's dark with that dark wood. I'll hang that light in the spare room above the sink. And I'll paint the walls red for a POP of color. It's fine.

And, it's---well, fine. It's a new kitchen. With the selection of decent quality products, it will last you a while. It's not BAD. It's not ugly.

It's just not ANYTHING like it could have been!


clipped on: 04.13.2012 at 02:57 am    last updated on: 04.13.2012 at 02:57 am

RE: Are kitchens headed in this direction? (Follow-Up #62)

posted by: marcolo on 11.04.2011 at 09:12 am in Kitchens Forum

Not "first." At the same time. Everything should be planned together. Sure, one element like the backsplash or the granite can be the key piece around which everything else is coordinated. But first plan out all the options, so you know whether it's even possible to find things that work with the first choice.

Speaking of "starting" with the backsplash, can someone tell me why absolutely no one on GW ever seems to start with something like this:

I can see why most people wouldn't. But no one?


clipped on: 12.04.2011 at 11:03 am    last updated on: 12.04.2011 at 11:05 am

Vintage, low-budget, progress pics:

posted by: mama_goose on 11.25.2011 at 08:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

There are several current threads that address styles that I've used in my low-budget, DIY remodel, including two colors of cabinetry, stainless apron sink, off-white inset cabinetry, and recently there was a 1920's 'Design Around This' thread that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wanted a homey, vintage-style, farm kitchen, that looked as if it had been added piecemeal through the decades, painted by hand, and updated, not gutted.

I've incorporated used, salvaged and inexpensive unfinished materials in the remodel, which is more of a facelift, keeping as much of the old cabinetry as possible, re-using doors and drawers. We'd found some great deals on craigslist and ebay, including a discontinued faucet from a showroom display. The hood is DIY, using an old feed bin from the barn. The countertops around the sink and stove are epoxy resin lab-tops from an old school, and the island was a $100 used table, found on craigslist.

Not including a new (low-end) fridge and microwave, the cost so far, without flooring, is around $3000. If you want to start at the beginning, here's a link to my kitchen album. Or, you can go to the end, and scroll backward.

Here are a few pictures, going around the room:






View from the dining room. Not sure if I'm keeping the coffee grinder here--it's huge, but I love it:

ebay sink, faucets and sprayer:

With cutting board:

Old stove used for storage. It's in the dining room, my next project:

Except for the ceiling trim and flooring, and maybe some short curtains on the glass cabinets, the kitchen is finished. I started posting my kitchen progress in the Smaller Homes forum, and with encouragement from one of my friends there, I've decided to tell the rest of my story.

Some of you who have looked through my kitchen album may have noticed that last October (2010) I stopped referring to my husband, and started talking about having help from my father, BIL, and brother. Three weeks into our kitchen remodel, my wonderful husband of 32 years, suffered a massive, fatal heart attack. It was totally unexpected--in September he had been given medical clearance form his doctor to apply for his private pilot's license. We were high school sweethearts--still happily married and best friends.

I was left reeling, with my life turned upside down, and the kitchen torn apart. Family members stepped up and volunteered, but I realized early on that if I wanted the kitchen that I had envisioned, I'd have to learn to do it myself. I pestered my father, FIL, brother and BIL with dozens of questions, and with their help and encouragement, I've ploughed ahead, sometimes stepping back and starting over, asking for help when I had to have it, but making steady progress. Working on the kitchen has been therapy for me, helping me to cope with my desperation and devastation.

I never wanted the kitchen remodel threads to be about my loss--I've had plenty of support from family and friends, and from my GW Smaller Homes friends, too. I've learned so much from the Kitchens Forum, and many times read GW threads into the wee hours of the morning, when I couldn't sleep.

Since my kitchen is essentially finished, I want to say thank you to you all--your help and encouragement have been invaluable. If anyone has questions about my kitchen, I'd be happy to answer them and provide more information. You can also read my kitchen thread in the Smaller Homes forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen thread in Smaller Homes


clipped on: 11.26.2011 at 09:48 pm    last updated on: 11.26.2011 at 09:48 pm

Modern California Bungalow Kitchen: Finally finished!

posted by: artemis78 on 10.28.2011 at 02:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Okay, I might be using "finished" a little liberally"we're still not FKB ready and have a bunch of loose ends to finish up"but for all practical purposes, the remodel of the kitchen in our 1915 Arts and Crafts bungalow in Oakland, California is finally finished! Photos and details below. This was a partial DIY remodel, but we also relied on lots of wonderful tradespeople over the course of the project. I'm including the names of SF Bay Area contractors and vendors we especially enjoyed working with, since I found this information super useful when others posted it. If anyone is local and wants more info, just shoot me an email.

Cabinets: Custom, mix of flush inset and frameless (Martin Bernardo of California Kitchens & Furniture in Redwood City)
Colors: Benjamin Moore Aura in Acadia White (trim and inset cabinets), Sea Haze (frameless cabinets), and Wales Green (walls)"cabinets/trim are satin finish and walls are eggshell
Hardware (frameless): Rejuvenation Mission D pulls in polished nickel
Hardware (inset): 2" ball-tip hinges in polished nickel from Horton Brasses, small latches and Mission D pulls in polished nickel from Rejuvenation Hardware, and large bin pulls in polished nickel from Belmont Hardware in Berkeley.
Lights: Schoolhouse Electric Newbury (ceiling) and Union (over table) in antique black and Rejuvenation Skidmore (over sink) in polished nickel, all with shades from Schoolhouse
Counters: Barroca soapstone (M. Teixeira in SF) and beech butcher block (IKEA Numerar finished with low-VOC Waterlox)
Backsplash: Lanka Aquarello subway tile in frost with black 1/4" pencil liner (Tileshop in Berkeley and Art Tile in Oakland)
Shelves: IKEA Ekby brackets with douglas fir steps trimmed to fit (very creative thinking by Piedmont Lumber in Oakland!)
Flooring: Marmoleum Click tile in Eternity, Silver Shadow, and Volcanic Ash (Anderson Carpet & Linoleum in Oakland)
Range: O'Keefe and Merritt High-Vue 535 (existing)
Dishwasher: Miele Inspira G2142SCWH (Universal AKB in LA)
Hood: 36" Kobe RA094 (also Universal)
Sink: Kohler Cape Dory in white (plumbed by Ed at Bonafide Plumbing in Alameda"highly recommend!)
Faucet: Chicago Faucets 540 ( in Chico)
Refrigerator: Kenmore/Whirlpool model circa 1996 (existing, of course!)"will eventually be replaced with 36" counter-depth model

Island is temporary from the old kitchen, but is IKEA's Bekvam kitchen cart (love this; wish they made a bigger table version!) We will be replacing it with a 2' x 4' (or thereabouts) work table, hopefully with the same basic design. Table/shelves/shoe rack are also temporary while we figure out what to do there; no clue where they're from.

We were working with a huge-to-us-but-not-to-contractors budget of $30K that had to cover some significant structural work (most systems had not been touched since 1940 or before), so we had to make some tradeoffs along the way to keep costs in check. We managed to come in just under budget"woohoo!

While this remodel only took about three weeks of actual contractor work days (with some trades overlapping), it dragged out over several months, largely because by the end, we got DIY renovation fatigue and slowed to a snail's pace. The biggest delay was that we seriously underestimated how long the DIY tasks (painting, flooring, range hood + venting, sink install, tiling, a few others) would take us, since we were primarily just working weekends and learning on the fly. (This is also why we still have no floor thresholds and you shouldn't look too closely at the paint, which still needs touch ups in many spots...)

Our goals:

  • Add more contiguous and useful counter space
  • Add a dishwasher and ventilation for the stove
  • Reconnect kitchen with rest of house as far as light/flow"1939 remodel had cut off visual/physical connection between backyard and living areas
  • Create better flow in the kitchen and connect the breakfast room to the main kitchen, but preserve its separate function
  • Create a designated space for shoes, coats, and muddy dogs
  • Return the kitchen to an aesthetic more appropriate to the age of the house (a traditional and relatively well-preserved 1915 California Arts and Crafts bungalow)
  • Allow swinging door to swing into the kitchen, which it hadn't been able to do in decades

What we did:

  • Removed clay chimney flue (original to house and serving the stove, water heater, and furnace"latter two had to be moved or replaced as part of the project to meet current code)
  • Removed partition wall added in 1939 remodel
  • Removed moulding added in 1939 remodel and replaced with moulding matched to original
  • Removed ceramic tile floor; replaced with Marmoleum Click tile floating floor to lower overall floor height while preserving fir subfloor
  • Repaired plaster, leveled ceiling, rehabbed windows, and replaced all cabinetry and fixtures

Lots more to say on all of this so I'll put that into a separate reply to keep it simple. But here's the important stuff: the pics!

The old kitchen (second kitchen for our old house, last renovated in 1939 with a 2007 seller facelift):

The new kitchen:


clipped on: 11.01.2011 at 06:30 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2011 at 06:31 pm

RE: Just Got a New Tile Sample in the Mail (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: malhgold on 03.09.2010 at 05:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

The ribs are from Roca Tile Group. It's called Millenium. Just a little worried about the ribs lining up perfectly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Millenium


clipped on: 04.29.2010 at 05:26 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2010 at 05:26 pm

Just Got a New Tile Sample in the Mail

posted by: malhgold on 03.09.2010 at 03:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

I forgot I had ordered these samples. They're actually pretty cool and a definite consideration. They're 12X24 and they're ribbed. A little hard to tell. What do you think? Stick with the glass or maybe consider this?



clipped on: 04.29.2010 at 05:25 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2010 at 05:25 pm

98.627% Finished Kitchen - Transitional White Inset w/ glass tile

posted by: theanimala on 01.02.2010 at 03:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

After reading this site daily for 6 months now and getting tons of great advice it's time for us to post our finished kitchen. In keeping with the style of the house we needed to go more modern than traditional, but we didn't want something too contemporary. Also, we couldn't decide on painted or stained cabinets, so we decided to do both by painting the perimeter while having the island stained.

Although we moved no walls, it ended up being a bigger project then we expected as the old tile floor went through our foyer, powder room and laundry room. Also didn't have correct sub-flooring, and we wanted to move some of the appliances around, etc. The reason the it is only 98.627% completed, is we still have 1.373% left to do, such as glass shelves in glass front doors so in cabinet lighting can shine all the way through, etc.


Cabinets - Inset Shiloh Homestead painted MB Softwhite, Island Maple stained Espresso
Flooring - Tile Fashion Coffee 12 x 24
Countertops - Ceasarstone Raven, Ceasarstone Misty Carrera - Mitred Edge
Main Sink - Franke 33" SS Apron - FHX710-33S
Main Faucet - Generic Costco Brand
Prep Sink - Elkay - ELU1618
Prep Faucet - Danze Como Pulldown
Refrigerator - JennAir CD FD - JFC2089HES
Ovens - Electrolux - EW30EW65GS
Warming Drawer - Electrolux - EW30WD55GS
Microwave - Electrolux - EL27MO45GS
Cooktop - DCS 36" Drop-in - CTD-365
Hood - Bosch - DKE9365AUC
Beverage Center - GE Monogram - ZDBC240NBS
Dishwasher - Bosch
Backsplash - White Glass subway tile from
Backsplash - Stainless Steel 1x2 tiles
Pulls - TopKnobs - Princetonian
Paint - BM 1542 Himalayan Trek






Sink Area:







Island - Backside:

Pantry Area - Closed:


Pantry - Open:


Lazy Suzan - Corner Pullout:


A big thank you to everyone who gave such great advice over the past few months. If anyone has any questions on what we like /dislike please let us know.


clipped on: 03.24.2010 at 05:39 am    last updated on: 03.24.2010 at 05:40 am

RE: Are oak cabinets totally outdated? (Follow-Up #49)

posted by: oruboris on 02.06.2008 at 03:03 am in Kitchens Forum

Douglas, I think your point is valid: to many people, 'oak' is not a species of wood, its a color of wood.

And if the final color you are after is darker than red oak, then red oak will be fine, but it will always be softer than white...

For a 'Stickley' look, I think the essentials are >Quartersawn >appropriate style >dark stain >'period' hardware

Those who are tired of their golden oak might want to try a gel stain, formulated to stick to anything, before resorting to paint.


clipped on: 01.20.2010 at 02:14 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2010 at 02:15 pm

RE: Custom cabinet maker SF Bay Area (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: anny-2009 on 01.13.2010 at 07:06 pm in Kitchens Forum


My cabinet guy is in Morgan Hill. But I saw him installing some kitchen cabinets in Oakland & San Francisco too. Try to ask him a quot. His price is very reasonable. I took a picture from a magazine & he made it for me. I'm happy with his job.

California Custom Cabinet
16890 Church Street #12
Morgan Hill,CA 95037
Phone 408-782-1304
Cell 408-282-1479


clipped on: 01.14.2010 at 05:05 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2010 at 05:06 pm

Finished Kitchen-Lots of Pictures

posted by: colibri5 on 01.12.2010 at 04:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

A huge thank you for all of the advice and inspiration provided by so many of you. Special thanks go to Kevin at AZ Stone Consulting and Bill Vincent for advice on tile and granite issues. My two great inspirations for decorating details were Lovestocookforsix and Lynninnewmexico. Thank you so much for providing details and photos of your beautiful kitchens!

I spent countless hours pouring over photos of finished kitchens here, and now I want to share my space with those who helped me and those who I might help as well.

Here are the details:

Cabinets: Custom made maple, Buttermilk stain (one shade darker than natural). Island has a black glaze over the stain.
Granite: Juparana Crema Bordeaux with Black Galaxy on desk. All granite with beveled edge.
Backsplash: 1x2" tumbled travertine brick mosaic with SGM 127 sanded grout. Color: Beach
Flooring: Rapalano 20x20" rectified porcelain set in diagonal. Grout color: Light Smoke
Lighting: Pendants: Murray Feiss Parker Place, white opal etched glass for island and brushed steel over sink. Under cabinets: GE Slimline fluorescent with warm white bulbs (great bang for the buck! We would never dim these lights so no need to pay more, plus they stay nice and cool)
Faucet: Hansgrohe Talis S
Pulls and Knobs: Jeffrey Alexander Milan collection in satin nickel. One Soko Manhandle in stainless steel.
Drawer Slides: Accuride side-mount, full-extension with soft close. Wonderful!
Appliances: All were existing and include a Bosch dishwasher, LG refrigerator, Panasonic microwave and Jenn-Air slide-in range.
Special features: appliance garage, spice pullouts, tray storage drawer, pantry storage drawers for canned goods.
Favorite features: large drawers instead of base cabinets (except under sink and beverage storage cabinet), tray storage, pantry drawers and pullouts

old kitchen

new kitchen

Pantry and refrigerator wall:
pantry wall

Sink area and pendant lighting:
pendant lighting

desk area

Appliance garage:
appliance garage

Tray storage drawer (I opted for this over a trash pullout and love it!):
tray storage drawer

Upper pantry area:
upper pantry storage-pullouts

Lower pantry-storagedrawers for canned goods (need to get dividers!):
lower pantry storage drawers

Spice pullouts:
spice pullouts

Bowls, pasta bowl, even canisters fit in drawers:
canister and bowl storage

Love my in-drawer knife storage-Henckels from Amazon:
cutlery drawer

Beverage storage cabinet includes a basket for storing onions, garlic, etc.:
beverage storage


clipped on: 01.14.2010 at 04:49 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2010 at 04:49 pm

RE: Finished White Kitchen! (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: robinst on 01.04.2010 at 08:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

I checked at Lowes today and the brand is Faber. It is made in Turkey and is called Cararra Extra Random Marble Strip.


clipped on: 01.08.2010 at 01:26 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2010 at 01:26 pm

Finished White Kitchen!

posted by: robinst on 12.30.2009 at 04:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here are the finished pictures of our white kitchen. Thanks to this site for a lot of my inspiration. Some of the details are:

Cabinets: Custom White Shaker
Paint: Cabinets - Benjamin Moore Simply White
Wall - Benjamin Moore Piedmont Gray
Faucet: Kraus
Counters: Black Pearl Granite
Fridge: GE Profile
Stove: JennAir
Backsplash: Carrara Random

White Kitchen






clipped on: 01.08.2010 at 01:24 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2010 at 01:24 pm

RE: Can I see pics of your 4' wooden venthood if you have one? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: segbrown on 12.14.2009 at 08:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ours is wider than 4 ft, but here's an idea. You obviously could make it as wide or narrow as you wanted to.



clipped on: 12.15.2009 at 04:04 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2009 at 04:04 pm

I'm thankful for...a finished kitchen!!!!

posted by: traci29 on 11.29.2009 at 03:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wow, I can't believe I'm FINALLY posting a finished kitchen! :) It's actually about 99% finished since I haven't totally organized everything (but that's hidden - haha) and don't have window treatments, etc. (not sure if I'm going to put up blinds), but I'm just glad to have gotten to this point!!

Thanks to everyone on this forum for all the great advice and for simply listening to my vents at times! I've met such great people through here and hope to keep in touch! My only complaint is that while waiting for my kitchen to finally be done, I've had to endure looking at too many gorgeous finished kitchens and seeing things "I should have done" - haha :)

So...let's see, the process began in Sept 2008 (yep, you read that correctly!) and it's now almost 2010 - yikes, that looks even worse in print! :) The kitchen was part of a 1000 sq. ft. addition that included a master suite / kitchenette on the second level. I could go on and on about what went wrong (might be much easier to say what went right!), but I won't - it's too depressing :) The second floor is *almost* finished but the outside is supposed to have 2 decks and a balcony off the master, none of which have even begun, so who knows when everything will be complete. I'm just VERY thankful that at least the inside is approaching the point where I hopefully will not be dealing with anyone coming in and out and getting things dirty as soon as I clean! Well, other than my husband and dog of course - they do a good job of dirtying up the house all by themselves - haha!

I've tried to list the major details, since I know everyone on GW usually wants to see those, but if I've forgotten something or you have a question, feel free to ask :) So without further ado, here are the photos!

Here's the old kitchen "before":

And here's the old kitchen "after":

Sorry, couldn't resist - that really is the old kitchen, since the current kitchen is an entirely new addition to the house - so here it is:

With island pendants and plinth lights on:

An unstocked pantry :) It's actually a walk-in but hard to tell from photo

- Perimeter: Cambrian Black antique finish
- Island: Persian Pearl antique finish
- Crackle glass shelf on island: Custom by Advanced Glass Designs, Atlanta, GA
- Tile: Calcatta Gold 3 x 6 subway tile, honed, (less than $7/sq. ft.!!)
- Grout: Silver Grey StarQuartz QuartzLock
- Range: 48" gas American Range, 6 burners with grill
- Vent hood: Vent-a-Hood
- Dishwasher: LG (already had)
- Refrigerator: SubZero 48" (already had - just painted the panels to match the cabinets rather than getting stainless steel))
- Wine fridge: Vinotemp? (not sure, but I think this is the brand - we got it at Costco)
- Main sink: Lansen double bowl stainless steel 15 gauge
- Island sink: Ticor stainless steel 18 gauge
- Faucet, main sink: Industrial polished chrome pull-out faucet (no brand?!) - Ebay
- Faucet, island sink: Delta, polished chrome
Red oak, ebony stain (refinished all existing hardwood throughout house to match), satin finish poly
Walls (what little paint can be seen): SW Argos
Bar stools: "Modern Silver Bar Stool"
- Island pendants: Local Atlanta lighting designer - pendants are called "Droplet"
- Sink pendants: Mercury Glass Pendants from
- Island toekick lighting: Small LED plinth lights (more common in UK)
Cabinets (custom by local Atlanta cabinet maker):
- Perimeter: Shaker style maple wood, SW ??? (supposed to be Snowbound, but isn't - long story, but basically we found out months after that the paint isn't Snowbound, so have no idea what it actually is!)
- Island: Shaker style cherry wood, custom stain
Cabinet Hardware:
- European style long bar pulls, stainless steel
- Knobs: Hickory Hardware, stainless steel, Euro Contemporary 1.5 inches


clipped on: 12.11.2009 at 12:55 am    last updated on: 12.11.2009 at 12:55 am

RE: Do you wish your electr. outlets were somewhere else? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: lmalm53 on 12.09.2009 at 12:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I wish we had planned the placement of our electrical outlets when we had the house built 20 years ago. We DO use lots of appliances in addition to laptops, ipods, counter fans etc. in the kitchen. My one and only island outlet is on the opposite side of where I really need it. I have no outlets in my pantry and wish I did. We did have a building code requiring multiple outlets along the kitchen counters but I wish I had thought to choose the height of where they had to be placed.

I hate to see an outlet sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of a beautiful backsplash. We were very lucky to discover that the travertine subway tile backsplash we installed in our recent kitchen remodel was an almost perfect color match to the Lutron Desert Stone switchplate color. I think they actually blend in pretty well with the backsplash at least.

We have 4 outlets/switchplates in the backsplash here at the butler pantry:

This is the Lutron color chart:

I think the issue of having a sufficient number of separate circuits is a big one. We had to install a 50amp circuit for the induction cooktop. Several of the counter outlets are on the same circuit which is only 15 amps so I can easily blow the fuse if I hook up too many appliances/devices on the same circuit. Knowing what I know now I would have designed a much different electrical layout than what we did 20 years ago. Personally I don't think you can ever have too many outlets....but the placement, amperage and circuits really need to be customized to the planned usage.


clipped on: 12.09.2009 at 04:04 pm    last updated on: 12.09.2009 at 04:04 pm