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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-) (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ajsmama on 08.05.2013 at 03:32 pm in Harvest Forum

Aside from the garlic and celery (and lack of acid), the ingredient list looks like the NCHFP salsa recipes. I'm surprised that those recipes don't include garlic. But one could always add garlic powder and celery seed for the taste. If she followed the proportions and canned them in pints using the NCHFP recipe and processing time, she'd have her "stewed tomatoes" and they' be safe to BWB. I suppose you could always use citric acid (subbed for the vinegar using 1/2 tsp of CA for each oz of vinegar in the recipe, as in canning plain tomatoes, that would be 4 tsp CA in place of the 1C vinegar) if the vinegar affected the taste too much.

This post was edited by ajsmama on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 15:36


clipped on: 03.05.2014 at 12:54 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2014 at 12:54 pm

RE: If not in cabinet, where is your garbage/recycling? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: zelmar on 09.05.2012 at 10:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our community has had an extended recycling program for a really long time. We don't have curbside garbage/recycling pick up so we need to be able to store stuff until we can make a trip to the transfer station during the limited hours it is open.

Dh built a small bench with a lift-up top into our mudroom. It contains a chute to a large container in the basement. All plastics and metal, including returnable cans, are deposited into it. Dh and ds sort out the items in the large container in the basement before dh takes a run to the transfer station or bottle/can redemption center. We keep a small trash can next to the chute in the mudroom where we place glass items. This small trash can gets scooped up from time to time when we go to the basement and the glass items are dumped into the container with other recyclables.

We store newspapers and other large papers on a shelf in a cabinet in our mudroom.

We do have a double trash pull out in the kitchen. Non recyclables go in one can and paper goes in the other. The paper gets brought down to the basement when it gets full. The garbage gets dumped into an outside can. The can is brought to the dump/transfer station when it gets full.

I haven't felt overrun by recyclables since we put in the chute. We are fortunate to have a walkout basement and we can park right outside the door to load up the car. I've also heard of chutes that run from kitchen or mudroom to garage.

I forgot to mention that we have a small sink in our kitchen right near the mudroom door. Food containers get rinsed before they go down the chute (sometimes the containers just get thrown into the sink until we want to deal with them.)


clipped on: 09.06.2012 at 04:59 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2012 at 04:59 pm

RE: Best way to protect yourself from contractor fraud/misuse of (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bevangel on 03.10.2011 at 02:41 pm in Building a Home Forum

If your builder is dishonest enough, it is nearly impossible to prevent him from not paying subs/suppliers. Requiring lien releases won't work if your builder is dishonest enough b/c he can make such documents out himself and sign them... and also inflate the amounts on invoices so that you pay him more than he contracted with the subs for. All of the above is fraudulent - but getting a DA to bring charges can be nearly impossible. I know. I've been there. It is also nearly impossible to KNOW everyone who is working on your property so you can get hit with a lien from someone you never even knew was ever on your property.

The way it is SUPPOSED to work is this: For ease of numbers, let's assume house will cost $160,000 to build and that builder's profit will be $40,000.

Builder has money of his own sufficient to fund a certain portion of the cost of the build. (say 20% or $32K). Subs/suppliers do work and provide materials for the first $32K of build. Builder pays subs/suppliers for work using his own money. Subs/suppliers provide builder with signed notarized lien releases. Builder takes lien releases to homeowner/banker and requests a draw. One-fifth of work is completed so builder asks for 1/5th of contract price or $40K. Builder reimburses himself $8K and uses the rest of the draw to pay the next set of subs/suppliers to do the next 20% of the work. Cycle repeats until home is completed. After four draws, builder has reimbursed himself the amount he originally invested. The 4th draw also provides the necessary funding to complete the build so that everybody is paid BEFORE builder requests the 5th and final draw. The final draw, released only when homeowner takes possession, is builder's profit.

Unfortunately, many builders don't have the money to fund any portion of the build. They are behind the 8-ball and borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. They can't get lein releases from subs/suppliers in advance of draws b/c they don't have the money to pay the subs/suppliers until they get the draw for the completed work. In fact, you're lucky if they are only using your draws to pay for work that was just done on your house rather than using your money to pay off subs/suppliers that build the LAST house and hoping against hope that some other sucker will come along before they have to pay off the subs/suppliers who are building YOUR house.

Here is the best you can do.

1) Insist on a list UPFRONT of all suppliers and subs that builder plans to use - along with their phone numbers and other contact information - and insist that any deviation from the approved list be pre-approved by you ahead of time.

2) Put in your contact that if any sub/supplier not on the pre-approved list or approved in writing by you files a lien against your home claiming to have done work via a subcontract with builder, builder will fully indemnify you against the lien.

3) Contact each and every listed sub/suppliers before you sign your contract with builder to make sure builder does not already owe them any money.

4) Let Builder AND all subs/suppliers know that you will NOT release any funds to builder without signed NOTARIZED lien releases - so if subs expect to be paid on a timely basis and builder expects to be reimbursed the money he has invested, they must be prompt in getting those lien releases turned in.

5) Make certain that before you release any funds, you have signed, notarized lien releases for the work completed in hand.

5) Find out how long subs/suppliers have to file lien notices in your jurisdiction and put it in your contract that, upon closing, 10% of the build price (taken from the final draw) will be put into escrow to be released to builder upon the expiration of the lien filing deadline but that, if liens are filed in the interim, homeowner may use the funds as necessary to pay off the liens. Some states have a "statutory hold-back" amount and, if you hold back that amount until the lien period has passed, you cannot be held responsible for paying any liens in excess of that amount. I suggested 10% b/c that is my state's statutory hold-back amount.

6) Make certain that builder files an "all bills paid affidavit" in your county land records before you close with him and that he releases any residual liens that he may have against your property if your bank does not fully fund your build.

This is all stuff I wish I had known before we started building. Good luck.


clipped on: 08.31.2012 at 02:19 am    last updated on: 08.31.2012 at 02:20 am

RE: A great find! LeCreuset (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: walnutcreek on 01.22.2011 at 01:18 pm in Cooking Forum

What a bargain you came upon. WOW. Here is a chart for the round Dutch Ovens that come close to the capacities.

B or 18 = 2 Qts
C or 20 = 2 3/4 Qts
D or 22 = 3 1/2 Qts
E or 24 = 4 1/2 Qts
F or 26 = 5 1/2 Qts
G or 28 = 7 Qts
H or 30 = 8 3/4 Qts
K or 34 = 13 Qts


clipped on: 10.03.2011 at 07:22 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2011 at 07:23 pm

RE: Help with my vintage sink situation? Style mavens, grant me y (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: nutherokie on 06.18.2011 at 08:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Ideagirl2, killer sink! It just so happens I've been wrestling with exactly the same issue. I thought I'd come up with a clever idea, but it didn't quite work out like I'd hoped. I still like it, it's just not exactly what I'd imagined. We (okay, the cabinet maker) built a box about six inches deep. I plan to have a marble shelf stretch from one side of the window to the other. It will rest on the box/sink and hold herb pots, pretty glasses, etc. Here are some pics to help give you some ideas.

Box with bracket detail:Photobucket

Here's a board laid on top to mimic the shelf:Photobucket

Here's a view of the whole sink surround. We haven't got the doors below the sink in yet:Photobucket


clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 07:07 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 07:07 pm

RE: Biggest regret? (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: amity on 12.18.2010 at 10:21 am in Kitchens Forum

Wish I would have known others had the crumblies/dribbles situation.
Nice to know when 'you're not alone'.

What's worked for us for years......

Cloth placemats from Big Lots for 99 cents each.....bought 4.

Found cookie baking pan same size as place mat.
Very low sides on those pans.

Put placemat inside cookie sheet.
Put food/water bowl on top of placemat.

Catches the crumblies and soaks up water dribbles.

Throw placemat in the wash and replace with clean placemat.

The times I would change the colors of the accessories in the room or change the paint color, I just bought a few more cheapy placemats in the new colors.

I have a whole array of colors of placemats now so gave a few to my neighbor who decided she wanted a cookie pan feeding station for her kitties.


this is apparently about feeding cats/dogs
clipped on: 03.05.2011 at 03:39 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2011 at 03:40 pm

RE: I love my prep sink! (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: morton5 on 12.13.2008 at 09:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

Budgeteer, here is a pic of the cabinet innards:
Each pullout is a deep drawer, with a cabinet door affixed to the front. The wood divider in the center is screwed to the bottom of the cab, and a drawer glide is attached to each side. The other drawer glides are attached to the sides of the cab (so there are 2 glides per pullout, just like a regular drawer). My cabs are frameless (Ikea). You can see that my carpenter had to jigsaw out a bit of the divider to allow the plumbing to fit. He also had to clip the back corner of the right drawer to allow room for the disposal cord. Key to getting this arrangement to work was having the plumbing waste pipe placed as far back in the cabinet as possible. Also, you must have a single bowl sink. There is about 3" of dead space behind each drawer, so that is where the plumbing waste and supply pipes and Never MT are. I still had room for soft close on the left pullout, but not on the right (waste pipe interfered slightly). The 8-gallon trash cans I use are about 3" narrower than the width of the pullout, so that they can clear the disposal. Surprisingly, I don't find that they move around-- the pullout operates smoothly. It is really great having both trash and recycling right by my prep sink.

Jnjmom, the granite is Madura Gold. I absolutely love it, which kind of surprises me because I did not consider myself a granite lover when I embarked on this project. An extra bonus is it really hides dirt-- though that can be a problem, too!

Owls4me, thanks for your compliment about the floor, we had the floors patched and refinished as part of the remodel. We used Minwax golden oak stain and 3 coats of oil-based poly. They were prefinished unstained floors before, and they look so much better now that they are stained. I love the color, the grain is really enhanced, and color and grain together are very kid-friendly and easy to keep good-looking. As for sink placement, I placed the sink off-center for several reasons. Most importantly, I wanted a large span of uninterrupted work space. Another factor was that my range wall is not symmetrical, so a centered sink would have highlighted the lack of symmetry. Finally, I have two seats opposite the prep area at the left end of the island in the photo below; I did not want to reach over a sink to serve diners. The paint job should be finished this week, and then I'll post more pics.
HTH, and good luck!


clipped on: 11.27.2010 at 04:38 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2010 at 04:38 pm

RE: Crown Point Cabinetry QUESTION (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: zelmar on 11.21.2010 at 09:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

The people at CP are great. It's best that you call them or email them and ask your questions. I think it depends on your location whether CP will come on site or not.

I ordered cabinets before our renovations began so all measurements were based on our drawings (no architect--I measured and drew.) Some of the cabinets were made so that they could be scribed to make an exact fit.

I've only seen high praise for the CP designers on this site. It makes me believe they are all good. I really enjoyed working with our designer. There was a lot of exchanging of ideas (via email) and we ended up with a design dh, dd and I really love. We're still thrilled with our layout and cabinets 5 1/2 years after the reno.

The local contractors (a team of 2) that worked on our kitchen reno installed the cabinets. They went in flawlessly.


clipped on: 11.23.2010 at 10:51 am    last updated on: 11.23.2010 at 10:51 am

RE: Microwave Drawer Pros and Cons? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: buehl on there's probably less sloshing in a std, it's not that much less. in Kitchens Forum

If it's b/w a MW drawer & a standard MW installed below the counter, there's no comparison functionally, at least IMHO.

  • To stir/check's so much easier & safer to open a MW drawer and reach down to stir the food w/o having to remove the item from the MW.

    With a std MW, you have to squat down, reach in, and pull out the item...trying to keep your balance as you stand up while holding a hot dish to put on the counter to stir. To replace, squat down & repeat the process in reverse. If you don't squat down, then you're bending over, reaching in, etc.

  • Operating the MW...The controls on a MW drawer are in the front, across the top, and angled up.

    On a std MW, the controls are on the front, usually the entire height of the MW and facing out, not angled up. To use a std MW, you have to bend or squat down to read & push buttons.

  • Cleaning...Since the drawer comes out it's much easier to clean the bottom & sides. As to the top, it's probably the same whether drawer or std.

    But, in both cases, if something is stuck on the top/ceiling, just boil some water in the MW for a couple of minutes and then clean. The steam from the boiling water loosens up the dried-on food and you can usually clean it w/a swipe or two.

  • Turntable...The MW drawer uses a wave technology that doesn't require a turntable.

  • Sizes...
    • I have one of the older models, but here are the interior dimensions of my MW Drawer: 16" W x 16.5" D x 5.5" H

      The newer drawers are taller than mine, but all the other dimensions (both internally & externally) are the same. My drawer does not fit a 20oz take-out coffee cup (or so I've heard, I've never had one to coffee drinkers in our house!), but I'm told they do fit in the newer ones.

      Model # of my drawer: KB-6025MS
      Model # of comparable new one: KB-6525PS

    • 9"x13" dish...A dish this size will fit in a MW both front-to-back & left-to-right.

      I know you can also fit a dish this size in the larger std countertop models; I don't know about the smaller ones.

    • 24" vs 30" MW Drawer...Yes, they are the same size internally; it's the trim kit that differs. This is so you can use them wherever needed. They can be mounted under a cooktop, so you can put in a 30" one and have it fit nicely under the cooktop w/little to no additional filler.

      The 24" models will fit in cabinets 24" or wider and the 30" models will fit in cabinets 30" or wider. You don't need to "oversize" the cabinet to install them. This includes all clearances needed....air circulation as well as plug.

      In our case, the 30" one "fit" better aesthetically on our initial plan (b/f we discovered all our KD's measuring errors!). Now, If I had it to do over, I would have put in a 24" one and taken the "recovered" 6" and merged it w/the two 6" pullouts flanking my cooktop and put in an 18" trash pullout so I would have trash & recycle bins in my Prep & Cooking zones.)

  • Opening/closing...

    • Most MW drawers can be opened/closed either w/a gentle pull/nudge or using buttons. (The very first models, "1st generation", had a model that only worked w/buttons.)

      In the case of the new models (the "3rd generation"), there are open/close buttons if you prefer.

      In the case of my model (the "2nd generation"), I don't have buttons, but there is an option to treat other buttons as Open/Close.

      In both 2nd & 3rd generation models, you can also pull open/nudge closed.

    • Opening & closing are "soft-close" so there's very little "sloshing" of food/liquids

    • With a std MW, I found that the action of pushing the button in to open the MW drawer usually caused a little bit of sloshing, so while
      there's probably less sloshing in a std, it's not that much less.

    Cost...Of course, the one place a "standard" MW probably wins is price...over time. Initially, though, when placing a std MW under counter in an alcove in a base cabinet, you will have to get a base cabinet that's finished on the inside to match the outside (a significant upcharge in some cabinet lines), so they may cost the same. However, if you have to replace either one over the years, the standard will probably cost less over the years

I'm the shortest one in my family at 5'10" (my DH is 6/5", DS is 6/6" and still growing)...putting a standard MW under-the-counter was out of the question. While some people might not have a problem with squatting down or bending over to get into a MW alcove (for locating a std MW under counter), others do. Also, as I age, I find squatting is harder on my knees and bending down is harder on my back!

Now, if it's b/w a MW drawer and a "standard" built-in MW at chest-height or so, I think all the pluses go to it over the drawer!

BTW...if you get a "standard" countertop MW to install below the counter, be sure you size the opening so you have room for:

  • Required air clearances on the sides, the back, & the top

  • The outlet box, MW cord, and MW plug (the plugs are usually the bulky ones that require a couple of inches for the plug.)

  • "Hand" room so you have room for your hands when removing/replacing it.

  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 11.20.2010 at 04:48 am    last updated on: 11.20.2010 at 04:51 am

    RE: Negotiating with builders (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: mdev on 09.08.2009 at 07:23 pm in Building a Home Forum

    You are wise to do your research on this- the only thing I can share is our experience as I believe this varies regionally:

    -Definitely put together a detailed spec sheet so that all the builders have the same info

    -You are going to have several gut checks and must balance your needs/wants with honesty/quality/price.

    -Builders in our area are averaging 10-15% right now. It used to be 15% and now everyone is working off 10%, at least the 6 builders I initially spoke with. We only had 3 bid the job after a pre-screen interview.

    -As you know, there are several different types of bids, quotes, estimates, etc. We went with an open book cost-plus bid with a not-to-exceed price. In essence, we saw every invoice and contract with the subs. Builder had no markup on his employee labor but marked up the material and subs 10%. The not to exceed number was, as you'd expect, a guarantee that the total contract would not be higher than the final number we agreed to. It gave us all an incentive to keep the budget under control but the builder owned the risk if the job was poorly managed. We had allowances for things like tile, flooring, carpentry built-ins, etc. You MUST do your homework IN ADVANCE and know your plumbing fixtures, lighting, flooring material, kitchen cabinets/countertops. Having chosen all these things in advance we knew our allowances would be sufficient- and they were.

    -We came in about 1% under the contract price because we were organized. Everything was decided in advance and put in the contract. For example, we did homework on our mesquite floors which were a pain to install. Instead of specifying a hardwood allowance, the contract language said "X sq ft of 3" x 1/2" mesquite installed, sanded onsite with three coats of urethane."

    - My experience with these negotiations has been that the closer they think they are to a deal with you, the more worried they are when they think you might go elsewhere. I guess when they think they have it in the bag and count on it and then negotiations get tight the builder tends to dig a little deeper. Tread carefully here though because you don't want to build resentment early in the process.


    clipped on: 11.17.2010 at 10:00 am    last updated on: 11.17.2010 at 10:00 am

    RE: Negotiating with builders (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: susan3733 on 09.07.2009 at 02:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

    I have some thoughts based on our experience doing 5 different projects (either building from scratch or doing major renovations), some done on the east coast and some done on the west coast (very different markets) over the past 20 years.

    First, to answer your initial question - no, builders in this economy rarely have a "take it or leave it" approach with their bid. That could've been the case 5 years ago, but not now. If you find one who takes that approach, then maybe he'd be willing to share his bid workup, show you how he arrived at his bid and ask him to defend why it is the most realistic/reasonable bid.

    Always get at least 3 bids from GCs. Although it sounds like the mid-500k range may be a fair price to build your home, you need at least one more bid to validate that.

    Make sure the playing field between bidders is relatively even, and if not, understand why...i.e., are they all licensed, insured contractors using licensed, insured subs? Also, I've found that the business model contractors use will greatly vary their costs and your bid, as well as your experience during your build. For example, one contractor may employ an on-site supervisor to be overseeing your job almost constantly and may have many of the laborers (framers, etc) on staff. This is a very different business model and will probably give you greater peace of mind than the guy who is a one-man band overseeing multiple jobs by himself and contracting out each job with subs used for all trades. We've used both types of contractors and they can both work well. In the latter scenario, you clearly should get a lower bid, but in comparing the two, you'll know that there probably will not be as much on-site guidance/oversight. If the guy has subs that he's worked with for many years and comes by your job frequently even when working multiple jobs, it can still work out fine.

    Most importantly, make sure that EVERY LITTLE DETAIL is spelled out in your bid specs and, of course, in your final contract. Some people even carry this through to specifying the model numbers of all items where possible. Getting to a very detailed level is SO important on a fixed price bid, and it means that you need to do a lot of homework/legwork in picking out all finish details right up front (it should be done before the contractors even bid on the job so you/they know what they're bidding on). It's the hardest thing to do because when you need to do it is when you're in the "honeymoon phase" with the builder, and you're probably gravitating towards one of the guys and building a rapport with him so it's hard to continually insist on working out details when you both are eager to get started. Also, I've found that many GCs poo-poo details (because it leaves more leeway/freedom for them) and imply that you're overthinking it or being a control freak if you get to this level of detail, but do not listen! They will be the first ones later to come back and say, "Oh no, that's not included in the job because, look in the contract, it's not in there...that will be an extra." And, trust me, you will kick yourself for not taking more time to think about and specify every little detail. Also, if the GC includes allowances for certain items, make sure you go shop around, get your own bids from suppliers who provide those items, and find out if you can live with those allowances. The allowances need to include tax and delivery - small details, but they can add up to thousands later.

    Of course you can negotiate with GCs, but it's almost impossible to do so without a frame of reference, which is why it's critical to get at least 3 bids. That way, you know if one of them is an outlier and you can honestly ask, "Why is your bid so much lower/higher than the others?" In the case of an outlier, I always ask, "How (specifically) do you run your business and operate differently than other local GCs (without naming names)?" Or, "Are you willing to share the overhead/profit margin used in your bid and spell out what your cost is for each sub and each major category?"

    Since the economic downturn, we've had GCs tell us that they're just looking to pay their own mortgages and keep food on the table so they're in survival mode and profit margins are bare bones. This may be, and surely is, the case in some situations, but the only way a consumer can verify the real story and to get some reassurance is to see the GC's detailed bid workup. This will give you peace of mind in two ways - 1) you'll know that their profit/overhead margin is fair, and it's just as important to know that it's not too low (they may walk off the job if they can't survive halfway through your build), as it is that it's not too high; and 2) you will be able to better determine whether or not they've done their homework and have sent your plans out to subs for their bids and not just thrown a number at each category. We even had one GC during our most recent build tell us that he wanted us to pass out the very detailed Excel spreadsheet that he uses for his bid workup so that all the GCs bidding on our job would use the same format and, therefore, level the playing field. Unfortunately for him, what that exercise ended up showing us was that his overhead was much higher (he had a foreman, a bookkeeper, a trailer that he brought on the job site, etc) and put him out of the running for us. Also, he was paying for very high-end finish carpenters, and although we were looking for good cabinetry and some trim, we didn't real need it at that level. All of this would not have come to our attention if we hadn't seen the work-up.

    Obviously, these days, you do need to be a little wary of negotiating too hard. GCs are SO hungry right now that they may agree to any price, and the trick is to make sure that they're agreeing to a realistic price and that their margins will allow them to operate at a level where they're not going to go bankrupt or, worse, take one of the progress payments from your job and pay off their own personal debts instead of paying the subs (hence, your house will be encumbered with liens).

    I'm not suggesting that you forgo negotiations - not at all! - but just keep in mind that in this incredibly shaky economic environment, you'll need to strike the balance between getting a good price and hiring a GC who is thoughtful/realistic about his bid and will be there for the entire job. Unfortunately, this means doing a lot of homework up front, just when you're antsy to start the job and want to hire someone and get going.

    Your question about profit margin is tough because that number is usually rolled into the GC's overhead number, and these percentages are all over the place now. Good GCs are paring down rapidly on both profit and overhead. I would say between 10 and 25% is most often what I've seen GCs operate on, which is unfortunately a very broad range. Also, some GCs have significant overhead and some guys don't have any (such as example above of different GCs with different business models). If one has staff/payroll, is paying worker's comp, has an office with a bookkeeper, is fully licensed, bonded and insured, he clearly has greater overhead than the one man band guy, who could be very effective working on his own just coordinating subcontractors and overseeing the job. He could have no staff, no office, no worker's comp payments, only a license and insurance. All of this should be reflected in both bids.

    Regarding negotiating strategies, as you can tell, my goal usually isn't just to arrive at absolute lowest bid between all GCs but to find out what the "real" costs are for each, compare their overhead/profit margins and one usually emerges as the most reasonable/thoughtful/realistic bid.

    Still, there is usually room for a little tweaking and the way I've found it's most successful is to push back on allowances or for them to throw in something like gutters or outdoor flatwork (which are frequently not included in the bid even though they may be shown on the architect's plans), etc. Another strategy is to tell them that you're not going to pay any mark-up (or very minimal mark-up) on any change orders. This is how we worked it with our recent builder - when we had changes (and thankfully, there were very few) we paid the sub directly with no mark-up.

    However, again, unless you have a line-by-line accounting of how they each arrived at their bid (i.e. each subs' bid for all items plus allowances for materials), and if you've only got two bidders with similar bids, it's very difficult to determine what needs to be negotiated, if anything. It's almost impossible for you to make a cogent argument regarding how or where each bid should go up, down or sideways without the backup info.

    One more potential negotiating point - make sure that your payment schedule is not frontloaded and makes sense and aligns with the progression of your buid. This can be very difficult to determine, but it's critical. If you have a bank loan, then the bank may take care of ensuring this for you.

    I realize I wasn't able to directly answer some of your questions, but I hope it helps a little. Whew, it got pretty long-winded. Sorry about that! Anyway, best of luck.


    clipped on: 11.09.2010 at 04:30 pm    last updated on: 11.09.2010 at 04:30 pm

    RE: show me your whiteboard/blackboard/bulletin board (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: laxsupermom on 09.12.2010 at 07:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I've posted this before, but here's ours. The mail slots and frame were built from scrap lumber from the garage, the marker holder is fluted case molding, the cork is leftover tiles from our floor, the white board calendars are from Target, and the magnetic chalkboard is painted onto the wall.

    command center


    clipped on: 09.14.2010 at 12:15 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2010 at 12:15 pm

    RE: Soapstone: Completely DIYable (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: brickton on 05.11.2010 at 01:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

    The tools: My cousins husband paid for 1 diamond blade we used, $15 and the three tubes of epoxy ($12?). Everything else we had: circular saw, tape measure, straight edge, clamps, angle grinder, orbital sander, 80-200 grit sandpaper, metal ruler (for very accurate measurements and blade offsets) uhm.. pencils?

    He bought a cheap blade but it lasted for 4 rip cuts (to width) and at least 6 cross cuts. It was getting dull by the end, so a bigger job would need either more blades or likely higher quality ones. But it looked something like this:
    A blade like this

    And a note: Cutting marble is VERY different from cutting soapstone. Soapstone can be cut and sanded almost like a really (really) dense wood (ie same tools, different blades).

    We cut it dry and someone held a vacuum behind the saw as it went to pick up all (well some) of the dust (which is plentiful and ridiculously fine and hard to clean up if you aren't in a work area).

    We didn't do anything to finish the horizontal surfaces, they are cleaned up and 'polished' (not really, but not rough). Sanding the edges and corners by hand was fine, some of the seams needed the orbital sander. You couldn't tell where you had sanded versus what came finished from MTx, at least once you got up to the 200.

    I think the backsplash is actually something like 5/8x2? I think it came from and it cost something like $13/sq ft. I can't find it online right now... maybe I have the wrong place?
    Here is something on eBay:
    Not an endorsement, I have no idea how good this tile is.


    clipped on: 06.03.2010 at 06:06 pm    last updated on: 06.03.2010 at 06:06 pm

    RE: Soapstone: Completely DIYable (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: jcla on 05.11.2010 at 12:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Beautiful!!! Did you have to do any finish work on the horizontal surfaces? We just had our counters installed by Teixiera. The edges of our installed slabs look and feel more like honed granite, while the horizontal surfaces feel like buttery soapstone. I was asking the installer about the finish. They of course finish the cut edges (apparently with a very fine grit), but he said the slabs are already finished when they come from Brazil. (And if /when we get scratches, they recommend we use a 220 grit sandpaper to sand them out.)


    clipped on: 06.03.2010 at 06:05 pm    last updated on: 06.03.2010 at 06:05 pm

    Finished! White, Statuary, and Aqua Grantique

    posted by: niffy on 05.22.2010 at 02:09 am in Kitchens Forum

    Egad, I think it is done - well except for the dinette chairs that are on a container somewhere in the Pacific, and the base moulding for the fridge/freezer. Done enough, anyway....
    I owe GW a great debt for many things, but a special thanks to all the marble lovers out there whose kitchens convinced me to go for it. I almost became a Virginia Mist convert, too, until I happened upon this brushed Aqua Grantique which fulfilled all my soapstone/marble/but low maintenance fantasies.... Margieb2- if you are still around, thank you for your arch! We had the half walls/columns on our plans, and once I saw yours, I knew EXACTLY how ours needed to be trimmed. We owe you big time.

    So details....
    Cabinets: custom, antique white. Island is maple stained dark walnut with a dark glaze or something.
    Hardware: Polished nickel pulls and knobs, through cab company
    Island countertop: statuary marble, honed
    Perimeter countertop: aqua grantique (a granitic gneiss, apparently) - brushed finish
    Backsplash: statuary 12x12 cut down to subways, statuary herringbone, and cut statuary slab
    Floors: Brazilian walnut
    Walls: SW Silvermist
    Chandeliers: Schonbek New Orleans mini
    Appliances: 30" Gaggenau fridge/freezer columns, GE Monogram Advantium 240 oven, GE Monogram Convection single oven, Wolf 36" induction cooktop, Miele La Perla dishwasher, and GE Monogram microwave (in end of island)
    Sinks: Rohl 30" and Kohler Irontones for prep
    Faucets: Rohl Country in polished nickel (avoid the burgundy felt "protective" bags. They stain when wet - stain things like new white marble. Don't ask how I know. Bags. Are. Evil.)

    Hood/cooktop wall:

    Sink wall (well, part of it anyway):

    Fridge/freezer wall:

    Perspective on location of pantry/butler's pantry:

    Breakfast room and Family room:

    Breakfast room hutch:

    Aqua Grantique Close-up:

    Countertop and Backsplash:

    Cooktop backsplash:

    Built-in Pantry (across from butler's pantry cabinets/counter)


    clipped on: 05.24.2010 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2010 at 12:31 pm

    RE: Cup pull placement - high or center? (Follow-Up #4)

    posted by: jenswrens on 04.01.2010 at 11:45 am in Kitchens Forum

    Thank you so much, everyone. You have confirmed what my eye was seeing - just a little above center looks right (and looks centered to me, even though it is not).

    And after experimenting (with clay to hold the pull on the drawer front) I found that, yes, centering the screw holes on the drawer causes the pull itself to sit a little proud of center, but makes it so easy to measure now. (Gee, before, with measuring the pull and dividing in half and factoring in the curves here and there, I was feeling like Pythagoras himself - leave it to me to overthink something!)

    Interesting about the framing, palimpset. Now that I look, my most expensive framed art DOES have the mat heavier at the bottom - I never noticed before. Kudos to the Greeks! Must be why I love Greek architecture so much. Learn something new every day.

    And thank you jsweenc for the kind words about my windows! :-)

    Now, on to the drilling... Here goes nothing!


    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am

    RE: Cup pull placement - high or center? (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: jsweenc on 03.31.2010 at 09:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Though I've had this open all evening, I just now noticed that you referenced one of my photos. I was measuring to respond and came back and saw that.

    Just so you know, that was actually a mistake if it's the one I'm thinking of.

    The photo you saw probably includes a tall stack with the one deep drawer we have. Most of my drawer stacks are 5" on top, 8.75" middle and bottom. I'm trying to remember how we determined placement. When he was asking me about it, I approved the placement for the typical stacks, but forgot about the one larger drawer, so I didn't specifically approve that.

    On the 5" and 8.75" drawers, he centered the holes, which are ~1/4" from the bottom of the pull (pulls are ~1.75" high). IOW, the pull is 1 1/2" above center, and 1/4" below center on both those drawer depths. That puts the holes at 4 3/8".

    On that one larger drawer (12.5") he went the same distance down, 4 3/8", without checking with me first. If he had, I would have asked for those to be lower, probably slightly above center, but I didn't notice until after he left. It bothered me, so next time he was out I asked him if there was any way to center them; he said not without leaving possibly noticeable holes in the drawer.

    Now I don't notice them at all, but that's because I decided it wasn't worth the energy to be bothered by it. I think they would be a little better lower down. However, once the granite goes in, I won't care, I'll be so happy to be functional. (Cab;nets have been in 4 1/2 weeks and we just decided and committed to the granite today.)

    I'll be happy to measure or take pictures of anything else if it will help.

    I wonder if the principle palimpsest describes is the same as the one employed in the construction of Cinderella's Castle at the Disneys to make it look full-size. Bottom larger, top smaller but gives the illusion of proportion.

    (BTW, your windows were one of my inspirations!)


    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am

    RE: Cup pull placement - high or center? (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: palimpsest on 03.31.2010 at 05:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

    In a recent kitchen, we centered the one on the top, shallower drawer and placed the others that far down from the top on the lower deeper drawers.

    I have also done them on an esthetically agreeable location above center on deeper drawers. It Is an optical illusion but centered pulls on deeper, lower, drawers do tend to look too low. You are looking at them from above, and I think gravity weighs them down a bit (not really, but it seems that way.)

    This is off topic but the same principle: when I have matting and framing done, if the mat is exactly the same size on the bottom, it looks narrower, so I usually have them widen the bottom from anywhere 1/8" to 1/2" depending on size to make it "look" the same. If I want the bottom to be weightier, I may even do more.

    Its the same principle with pulls, a little extra width on the bottom half looks a bit more "natural"--the Greeks, who were nuts on proportion often played tricks like this.


    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 11:47 am

    RE: Do you have a small/pocket office? (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: gopintos on 01.18.2010 at 02:53 pm in Building a Home Forum

    I have trouble with rearranging other ppl's layouts, and it looks pretty close to the kitchen, and for me I want to be closer to the kitchen, but that is just because I know the way I do things.

    Our new house was going to have my office off the foyer to the left, with a wall between it and the kitchen on the back side. I knew I would hate to use it like that and probably wouldnt, and have my laptop everywhere but there. And if I did use it, I would be burning stuff in the kitchen, not hearing or neglecting the laundry, etc and just feel so isolated.

    So at the last minute, I closed off the door to the office from the foyer side and replaced it with a built in fish tank, and then replaced the kitchen wall between the two spaces with pocket doors.

    So I lost some cabinetry on that wall, but I extended the kitchen cabinets down both walls on the side into the office, one to be a desk area, the other side surrounds the fish tank.

    I like to work at the table, so I have a round table in the middle of the office space, and then I can turn around and wheel over to my desk.

    Or my husband can grab some coffee and bring his laptop to the table also.

    So it is office space, but when you walk into the kitchen and glance over, it looks more like a little breakfast nook.

    But my point is I guess, think about how and when you will use the space. By simply moving my door, I have gone from from feeling isolated to being in the middle of the things that I need to tend to all day long. Then when I need quiet time, I can close the doors.

    I dont know if it will work like this or not yet, I can tell you in about 2 more months haha. But in my mind, I have pictured myself using this space a 1000 times, so that is why I talk like it is done, and I feel much better about my office and getting done what I need to get done.

    I can see my driveway (grand central station at times), I can see who comes and goes at the front or from the garage, or from the back porch, and who passes through on their way to the stairs either to go up or down. If you have children playing outside, you may need a view into their play area with quick access, etc so my best advice fwiw, is just picture yourself using your space.


    clipped on: 03.12.2010 at 11:41 am    last updated on: 03.12.2010 at 11:41 am

    RE: ISO pictures of built-in hutches (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: country_smile on 12.09.2009 at 08:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Here's the one I sketched for my cabinet maker. We wanted it to stand out from the other cabinets.

    (This is probably the 3rd time I posted this photo so I apologize to those that have seen it before.)




    clipped on: 12.09.2009 at 10:45 pm    last updated on: 12.09.2009 at 10:45 pm

    RE: Please post pictures of your cabinet crown molding (Follow-Up #4)

    posted by: lesmis on 11.03.2009 at 03:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Mine is simple cove moulding to match the shaker cabinets, not sure if this is too simple for your application. Like Marybeth1 we have 8 ft. ceilings.




    Kat :)


    clipped on: 11.10.2009 at 02:09 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2009 at 02:09 pm

    RE: Retro-fitting framed cabinets with pullouts (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: kudzu9 on 11.01.2009 at 01:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

    In addition to the many types of pullouts available that you can install in cupboard spaces, I have also made a couple of custom ones using Ikea parts. They have some really nice, sturdy, and relatively inexpensive, drawer kits for kitchens that have ball-bearing slides, steel drawer sides and back, and a melamine bottom; you add the front. They fit perfectly inside some cabinets where my wife stored all of her really heavy pots and pans. I just added low drawer fronts and installed a couple of them. Now my wife can just pull out these shelves to get at the heavy stuff. If you try this, just make sure you check measurements because, since the back of the drawer is steel and snaps into the sides, you can't change the width to fit your cabinets. Mine had a little clearance on both sides, which was good as it allowed the shelf to clear the hinges. I just added wood spacers to each side of the cabinet to mount the drawers to.



    clipped on: 11.01.2009 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2009 at 05:02 pm

    Soapstone Finishes

    posted by: florida_joshua on 10.28.2009 at 09:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

    The finish on soapstone has a lot to do with how well it will perform in your kitchen. Just because the quarry, or fabricator tells you that the slab came in looking like that does not mean that it is the best finish for soapstone. There are a lot of different guys out there doing things differently, but I wanted to show what to look for in a finished piece of soapstone. These two pictures are slabs from Brazil called Black Galaxy (I really love this stone). The finish is obviously polished up too high, and if you look close you will see the line toward the bottom where there are still pits from where the factory did not take the time to polish out everything. I look beyond the finish because I rehone all of our finish product, but if I didnt these slabs would not look their best. I would also point out that I had a heck of a time trying to even out the wipe marks on the unoiled side. Not something you want to worry about in a kitchen.

    These next pictures are of the same slab rehoned to what I call acceptable. You will notice that the finish does not look polished and the evenness of the finish is much more consistent. I think that the color comes out more with a well finished piece of soapstone compared to the polished look as well. One thing I noticed was that it really makes the color come out of the stone at any angle rather than at just one angle.

    If you have questions let me know and Ill do my best to answer them.


    clipped on: 10.30.2009 at 03:15 pm    last updated on: 10.30.2009 at 03:15 pm

    RE: Compost cut out in counter (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: judydel on 07.29.2009 at 12:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Thanks everyone. I emailed debsan to see how she likes her compost chute now that it's been several months since she installed it.

    Just to clarify what I'm considering. I'd have the installers cut a 6" hole in the soapstone of my prep island, and then I'd slide in this grommet, which is 6" long.
    The chute would empty into a garbage can in my double trash pull out. Here is a photo of the rev-a-shelf I ordered for my 15" cabinet (Except I don't have a drawer on top).
    The front trash can will be for garbage and the rear can for the compost chute. The grommet comes with an optional cover like this. I think I would prefer a different lid that just sits over the hole.
    Compost Trash cover

    As far as compost material "touching the sides or top or underside of the counter" . . . I don't think this would happen (gosh I hope not). I think having a 6" long chute emptying into a large trash would prevent that sort of thing from happening. The stainless steel grommet and lid are easy to lift out and stick in the DW.

    Growlery I wonder why the thought of me doing this got your knickers in such a knot. You seem very bothered, sorry if I upset you. My husband and I have been composting for 30+ years. As all regular composters know, the compost bucket can be a pain. Our routine has always been to keep it under the sink. It sits on the counter when we need to use it, then goes back under. Smell and fruit flies are a part of the deal, even if emptied regularly. I just think having a chute that is well thought out and designed could be another solution. I like the idea of having an oversized trash can to catch the veggie scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc. We'll still empty it every day or two. But I think having the big can vs a typically sized compost bucket will be handy. I also like the idea of being able to drop stuff into the compost bin without having to open and close a cabinet all the time. We garden year round (we have a huge greenhouse for winter growing) so throwing the compost scraps out every day or two, even in winter would stay the routine.

    I know a lot of people keep their trash in a pull out . . . and many of those people don't compost. So their trash has everything in it (meat scraps, veggie scraps, etc). I don't see how having a double pull out with one bin devoted to composing material and the other bin for general garbage would be any worse. Naturally keeping the grommet clean by putting through the DW will be a new part of routine. But that seems easy.


    clipped on: 09.28.2009 at 05:44 pm    last updated on: 09.28.2009 at 05:44 pm

    RE: My Ikea cabinets/Scherrs doors kitchen, in progress (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: joann23456 on 05.17.2009 at 11:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I'm working hard and will try to post more pictures soon, but everything's still such a mess, although we're back in the kitchen again. I'm posting a couple in-progress pictures, just so you can see I'm not lying about the mess.:)

    As for cost of the doors from Scherrs, the cost of the doors *finished by Scherrs* was about the same as the Tidaholm doors from Ikea. I spent $1,900, more or less, on the Ikea boxes and all the interiors (including hinges, drawers, soft-close hardware, etc), about $1,800 for the doors, and another $1,700 to get the doors finished. (You could save a lot if you're willing to finish yourself, but I wasn't.)

    Just for comparison's sake, this is what I got:
    - pantry cabinet with four or five interior drawers (I may or may not use the fifth)
    - over-fridge cabinet
    - oven cabinet that includes three drawers
    - 12" base cabinet with 3 pullouts
    - sink cabinet
    - lazy susan corner cabinet
    - cooktop cabinet with drawers
    - 18" base cabinet with drawers
    - 36" wide, 39" tall upper
    - fan cabinet
    - 18" wide, 39" tall upper

    I also got more doors made to decorate the soffit and make it look like there's a second layer of cabinets, but I didn't include the cost for that in this price.

    All in all, I spent about $5,400 on cabinets.


    clipped on: 09.26.2009 at 07:10 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2009 at 07:11 pm

    My Ikea cabinets/Scherrs doors kitchen, in progress

    posted by: joann23456 on 04.14.2009 at 08:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

    My carpenter just started putting in the second layer of cabinet doors, which are meant to look like another layer of cabinets, but are really just a facing to conceal the soffits.

    I am *so* pleased! The doors are so beautiful and classic, and the second layer looks exactly like I'd hoped.


    clipped on: 09.26.2009 at 07:08 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2009 at 07:09 pm

    RE: Only one lower cabinet...would you do it? (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: kmgard on 09.05.2009 at 02:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Unfortunately I don't have a picture of any 4 drawer bases since I didn't get them, but I can show you what I did end up with...

    Here's where the bread/toaster drawers were supposed to go. Now I do have the toaster in that lower cabinet, but it's more of a pain to get in/out than a drawer would've been, and the top drawer is too shallow for a loaf of bread.

    In this picture, you can see the 30" drawer bases on either side of the stove. The left is the "baking zone" where I keep most of my baking stuff, like spices and measuring cups/spoons (top drawer), baking dishes, mixing bowls, and casserole dishes (bottom drawers). The wall cabinet directly above has cooking oils, kosher salt, chocolate chips, containers for flour, sugar, etc. On the right I keep stovetop and baking utensils (top drawer), pots and pans (bottom drawers).

    The lower cabinet to the right of the fridge was originally going to be a drawer base as well, but that got cut during the budget cuts. :) The top is a "junk" drawer, and down below I keep candles, paper plates/bowls, and a few other outdoor items.

    I haven't splurged on any drawer dividers yet, but I find that some shelf liner on the drawer bottoms does a pretty good job of keeping everything in place.

    This one could probably most use some organization:

    Baking dishes/mixing bowls:

    My peninsula drawers are probably one of my favorite parts of my kitchen. They're near the sink/dishwasher for easy unloading, but the peninsula is also a really great landing space for pulling dishes right out to be put on the table.

    The cabinet to the right of the peninsula was always supposed to be a door cabinet. Once I get a cutlery divider, the top drawer will hold my knives. Down below I keep cutting boards and strainers.

    The top drawer holds eating utensils, plastic wrap, bags, etc. And no, that's not a stain on my granite-- it's a reflection from a vase of flowers!

    The middle drawer holds plates and bowls (again, no expensive dividers yet, but I don't really think I need them-- nothing slides around with the shelf liner):

    And the bottom drawer is tupperware, which is really convenient to have near the fridge:

    As you can probably guess, I wouldn't trade my drawers for anything. I only wish I had more! And if you have a walk-in pantry, there's really no need to have door bases on the bottom. I keep my large cookie sheets and cooling racks in the deep cabinet above the fridge. The only thing I can think one might want a bottom door base for is for large appliances like a stand mixer.

    Hope this helps!


    clipped on: 09.14.2009 at 11:40 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2009 at 11:40 pm

    Kitechen Items (mappings) (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: buehl on 09.12.2009 at 11:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

    1. 24", 3-drawer Base:
      • A.....Potholders
        B.....Cookie/Biscuit Cutters, Flour Sifter, Rolling Pin, Silicone Mats, KA Mixer Blades, Hand Mixer
      • C.....Bread Basket, Candles, Popsicle Makers, Coffee Strainers, Ice Trays, Misc

    2. 30" WD + 2 drawers
      • A.....Baking Tools: Pastry blender, Pastry Scraper, GF Pastry Brushes, GF Measuring Spoons, Decorating Tips, Egg Slicer, Pancake Forms, Bag Clips, Parchment Paper, Foil
      • B.....Soup Tureen, Glass Casserole/Serve/Store Dishes, Deviled Egg Plates, Cookie Press, Custard Bowls

    3. 6" Pullout
      • A-C.....Sprinkles

    4. 36" Cooktop + 3 drawers
      • A.....Knives, Can Opener, Apple Wedger, Strawberry Corer, Meatball Maker, Scissors, Measuring Spoons, Tenderizer Mallet, Peelers, Melon Ballers, Bottle Brush, Cheese Slicer
      • B.....Pots, Ladles, Turners
      • C.....Frying Pans & SS Casserole Pans, Double Boiler, Steamer, Tea Kettle

    5. 6" Pullout
      • A.....Recipe Tin, Salt, Pepper, Vanilla, Garlic, Paprika, Cinnamon, Baking Powder
      • B.....Cocoa, Spices, Crisco
      • C.....Molasses, Honey, Spices

    6. 31" Microwave Drawer + 1 drawer
      • A.....MW Bacon Pan, MW Steamer, Colanders, Popcorn Bowls

    7. 36" Corner Sink Base/Prep Sink
      • A.....Cutting Boards, Pastry Boards
      • B.....Detergent, Soap, Granite & SS Cleaners/Polishes, Hand Lotion, Wood Oil (for cutting boards), (Trash Can)

    8. 24", 4-Drawer Base
      • A.....Silverware/Flatware
      • B.....Plastic Wraps, Plastic Bags, Wax Paper
      • C.....Extension Cords, Switches, Power Cords
      • D.....Bread

    9. 27" Cabinet � 1 drawer + 2 Roll Out Trays (Pet Center)
      • A.....Flashlights, Batteries
      • B.....Leashes, Pet Meds, Collars
      • C.....Dog Food, Treats

    10. 18" x 15" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....Snow Bear Dishes (Dinner Plates, Bowls)
      • B.....Snow Bear Dishes (Salad/Dessert Plates, Small Serving Bowls, Mugs)
      • C.....Snow Bear Dishes (Platters, Butter Dish)
      • D.....Snow Bear Dishes (Large Serving Bowls, Oval Serving Bowl, Salt & Pepper Shakers, Mugs)

    11. 21" x 12" Cabinet w/Glass Doors, 3 Shelves
      • A.....Decorative (Pitcher)
      • B.....Decorative (Tea Pot, Butter Tub, Sugar Bowl)
      • C.....Decorative (Big Bowl, Rectangular)

    12. 18" x 15" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....GF Measuring Cups (wet & dry), Nut Chopper, Toothpicks, Snow Bear Sugar & Creamer, Charlton Hall Butter Dish
      • B.....Spoon Rest Plates, GF Butter, Gravy Strainer, Funnels
      • C.....Cookbooks
      • D.....Specialty Stemware

    13. 18" x 15" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....Measuring Cups (wet & dry), Grater, Nut Chopper
      • B.....Salt & Pepper Shakers, Sugar Bowl, Butter, Cooktop Razor blades, Matches
      • C.....Small Prep Bowls, Shakers, Wine Glasses, Extra Glasses
      • D.....Pedestal Bowl, Pineapple Corer, Touch-up Kit, Misc

    14. 21" x 12" Cabinet w/Glass Doors, 3 Shelves
      • A.....Decorative (Justin & Lauren�s artwork)
      • B.....Tea Pot
      • C.....Decorative (Big Bowl, Tall Round)

    15. 18" x 15" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....School Lunch Supplies (Peanut Butter, Lunch Bags, Granola Bars, Plastic Spoons), Strawberry Quick
      • B.....Tea Supplies, Coffee Filters, Stapler, Tape, Sweet & Low, Corn Dishes
      • C.....Band-Aids, LactAid, Ibuprofen, Misc Medicines
      • D.....Foil Pans

    16. 36" Refrigerator + Cabinet Above
      • A.....Pitchers, Carafes, Napkin Holders
      • B.....Vases, Trivets, Christmas Cookie Containers

    17. 33", 3-Drawer Base
      • A.....Placemats (in season), Kitchen Linens: Dishcloths, Dish Towels, Microfiber Cloths
      • B.....Tupperware
      • C.....Tupperware, Water Bottles

    18. 18" Trash Pullout + Drawer
      • A.....Junk Drawer (Tape Measure, hooks, glue, etc)
      • B.....Trash, Recycling

    19. 36" Sink Base/Cleanup Sink
      • A.....Trash Bags, Cleaners (Tile/BKF)
      • B.....Hand Detergent, Soaps, DW Detergent

    20. Dishwasher

    21. 27", 3-Drawer Base
      • A.....Corkscrews, Ice Cream Scoops, Pizza Cutters, Bottle Openers, Oven Accessories (Meat Thermometers, Temperature Probe, Basters)
      • B.....Mixing Bowls, Rectangular & Round Casserole Dishes
      • C.....Pie Tins, Cake Pans, Jell-O Molds, Angel Food Cake Pan

    22. 30" Double Ovens in 31-1/2" Cabinet + Cabinet Above + Drawer Below
      • A.....Cooling Racks, Cookie Sheets, Pizza Pans
      • B.....Roasting Pans, Muffin Tins
      • C.....Griddle, Platters, Bread Plate, Small/Garnish Bowls & Plates
      • D.....Drawer: Soup Tureen, Oval Casserole Dishes, Loaf Pans, Rice Cooker, Large Salad/Party Bowls

    23. 23" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....Glasses
      • B.....Mugs
      • C.....Plastic Cups, Drink Containers
      • D.....Huggies

    24. 23" Cabinet, 4 Shelves
      • A.....Yorktowne Dishes (Dinner Plates, Bowls)
      • B.....Yorktowne Dishes (Salad/Dessert Plates, Oval Serving Bowls, Divided Serving Bowl, Large Cereal/Soup Bowls
      • C.....Yorktowne Dishes (Rimmed Soup Bowls, Round Serving Dishes, Creamer, Small Platters, Butter Dish)
      • D.....Yorktowne Dishes (Mugs, Saucers, Gravy Boat, Soup Crocks

    25. Pantry � Left Side
      • Wall.....Swifters
      • Floor.....Toaster Oven, Coffee Maker, Plastic & Paper Bags
      • Shelf 1.....Potato Bins (2), Napkins, Slow Cooker
      • Shelf 2.....Appliance Manuals, Extra Cookbooks, Extra Knives (Block), Paper Plates, Plastic Cups, Liquor
      • Shelf 3.....Gluten-Free Foods, Small Coffee Maker
      • Shelf 4.....Large Food Processor Blades, Snacks, Hot Chocolate
      • Shelf 5.....Large Food Processor, Cereals, Dry Milk

    26. Pantry � Right Side
      • Wall.....Broom, Dustpan, Back of Message Center Niche w/Outlets & Phone Charger Switch
      • Floor.....Stool, Swifter Refills, Omelet Makers, Ice Bucket
      • Shelf 1.....Canisters (Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Bread Flour), GF Pancake Mix, Taco Supplies, Plastic silverware
      • Shelf 2.....Waffle Iron, Toaster, Bread Maker, Blender, Directories
      • Shelf 3.....Small Food Processor, Canned Foods, Misc Baking Supplies
      • Shelf 4.....Dry Potatoes, Rice, Bisquick, Pasta, Teas, Lemonade
      • Shelf 5.....Crackers, Light Bulbs, Jams, Misc.....
      • Shelf 6.....Large Round Platters, Chip & Dip Bowls, Hot Plate, Paper Towels

    27. Counter: Charging Station, KA Stand Mixer, Banana Holders, Paper Towel Holders (2), TV/DVD, Cable Box, Timer, Plants, Utensil Crocks

    28. Utensil Crock, Left: Gluten Free Tools � Scrapers, Wooden Spoons, SS Spoons/Fork/Pasta Spoon, Whisk, Tongs, Masher

    29. Utensil Crock, Right: Non-GF Tools � Scrapers, Wooden Spoons, SS Spoons/Fork, Whisk, Tongs, Masher, Pastry Brushes

    30. Message Center Niche: Calendar, Phone, Answering Machine, Post-It Notepads, Pens & Pencils, Keys, Cell Phone Charger


    clipped on: 09.14.2009 at 04:07 am    last updated on: 09.14.2009 at 04:07 am

    RE: Calling all Creams!!! Tell me your cabinet paint color. . . (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: trav86 on 05.01.2009 at 03:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

    SW Westhighland White, eggshell finish. It's kind of a brighter cream color, if that makes any sense. We have honed Carrara counters and I didn't want there to be too too much contrast. Very happy with the color. The SW site has a color viewer I found very useful.


    clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 02:16 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 02:16 pm

    RE: Tsdiver's Almost Finished Kitchen w/ dumbwaiter & soapstone (Follow-Up #37)

    posted by: tsdiver on 03.09.2009 at 01:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Igloo - Slow and steady we go eh? Well... maybe not the steady part, but we sure have the slow part down pat! Great idea for some majolica above the sink. We have a few items we keep rotating, but nothing has caught our eye so far. And as for money... lol .... yeah...we have so much basic stuff to buy still. We just got the stools for the island (ebay), so I figure I can wait a good long while on the rest of the seating. :) Thanks for your commiserating post! I can't wait to see your kitchen!

    Thanks Buehl! I'm going to post a few more of the dumbwaiter below.

    Loves2cook - Help me cook? Oh yes please! I've never been a good cook, but I am learning... but very slowly! The staggered cabinets and the beams took a bit of planning. I had no idea there was so much to it! Glad you like it. :)

    Iris - The seam is not invisible. You can see it if you are sitting or standing in front of the island. But with everything else going on in the stone, it is not that bad. We planned on oiling the soapstone to help darken it, so we choose a dark epoxy (I think that is what it was) instead of a light one. When the oils flashes off, the seam is more visible. We knew when we picked the soapstone out, that there would be a seam. At the time, Soapstone West has some of the larger slabs around, but even their largest one would not cover the island. And at 22 lbs a square foot, I cannot imagine how it would have been carried upstairs!

    Scooter - Thanks! The funny part is that the soapstone was much easier than the tile! Oh my gosh...I wanted to bang my head on a wall in the hopes that magically, my brain would find an ounce of interior design ability! No such luck. After trying my umpteenth time, I finally got some help at a local tile store. I had no idea that some stores out there will actually help you with your designs when you buy from them! (Duh!)

    Kpquette - The island dimensions are 8'4" by 5'8" at it's longest point on the curve.

    Although we could have made the island a bit deeper, there would have been no way for me to reach the interior of the island to wipe it down. That was just one of the multitude of brilliant observations this forum mentioned to me. Another was the curve instead of a straight line (much easier for conversation). And then there was one regarding the location of the prep sink. I had it centered across from the range. They said to consider putting it off to one side, as it would give you more uninterrupted surface. Our plumbing issues choose which side. When you are clueless like me, the value of a forum like this is priceless!

    Mairin - Thanks! We LOVE our sink! It is the kind where it has rounded corners because it is made from a boulder (my word) and carved out. It was not pieced together. It has flaws and character we just love. We have not used a bottom grate in it yet, so we are adding to the flaws. :)

    Rounded Corners



    The dumbwaiter has two doors. This satisfies the cabinet look as well as the required self closing fire door issue.


    If you open the dumbwaiter door up and the cart is not there, this is what you will see. On the left is a 50 lb counterweight. You pull the rope to bring the cart and the steel cable in the center is holding the cart. The red you see at the top of the steel cable is found on all the penetrating holes (2 cables and 2 rope holes). This substance will expand and close the hole when the temperature rises to 250 degrees, indicating a fire. This closes and seals the fire rated shaft and does not allow the fire to move up to the gear area.


    When the cart is there:

    Thanks again for taking the time and effort to post! It is appreciated!


    clipped on: 09.04.2009 at 09:39 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2009 at 09:39 pm

    Tsdiver's Almost Finished Kitchen w/ dumbwaiter & soapstone

    posted by: tsdiver on 03.07.2009 at 02:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

    So, you are probably wondering who is Tsdiver, right? Well, I was around here a long time ago. As a matter of fact, the kind folks here at the Kitchen Forum helped me design our kitchen. It was quite a thread! I can't thank you all enough!

    This was a whole home remodel due to a flood, so it took quite some time to complete (actually, we are still not done yet). I don't know when I will actually finish the last bits, so I might as well post it now.

    Unfortunately, I am also a member of the "tear down your backsplash" group. I was sick to my stomach over it, but once again, the good folks here at the Kitchen Forum, got me going in a better direction, and helped me complete a backsplash we just love! We still have a lot of little things left to do...decorate, molding pieces, etc.

    This kitchen is upstairs above the garage. We use the manual dumbwaiter all the time!

    Ok... here are the photos.










    clipped on: 09.04.2009 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2009 at 09:38 pm

    RE: soapstone counters marble backsplash anyone have it?Pics? (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: boxerpups on 09.04.2009 at 06:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Gosh I wish I had soapstone and marble. I can dare to
    dream. I do have a few pics and maybe these can help you.




    This is Marthavilla's from GW

    soapstone counter marble backsplash Pictures, Images and Photos



    hood and tile


    clipped on: 09.04.2009 at 09:14 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2009 at 09:14 pm

    RE: Dark Numerar Countertop from IKEA (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: reshal on 08.11.2009 at 12:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Thank you again for the compliments! I just checked the can and the stain is by ML Campbell, Woodsong II. The stain is oil based. The color is a custom mix my cabinet maker and I came up with for my cabinets. It's basically cherry stain with a lot of brown mixed in, which we now call "Browner Cherry" because I kept asking him to add more brown.

    My husband is an experienced wood worker and a great finish carpenter, but doesn't do it for a living. He told me he used a 1/2" round over bit on the first pass on the edge and then an Ogee router bit for the second pass. I can get the model number of the bits if anyone needs them after he gets home from work. The sink hole was harder and took some time to get right.
    To finish the countertops I first sealed them with Benite. Then I applied two coats of stain, the first with a brush that turned out all blotchy and then I flooded the surface with stain and hand wiped with a rag. I attempted to "streak" the surface so the wood would look more like the higher end wood countertops I've seen. I sort of faux finished them, I guess.

    Then I did three coats of Waterlox original with a foam brush. They looked amazing, just way too shiny for my taste. I lightly sanded in between coats.

    Then the nightmare began. I did a coat of Waterlox Satin with a foam brush. The countertop was splotchy and there were bumps in it. I posted on GW about my troubles. I finally got the surface right after another two coats of Satin, another coat of Original and then a two more coats of Satin. The final two coats were applied with a lambswood applicator. So there are a grand total of 10 coats of Waterlox on the counters. They feel great and don't look plastic-y close up.

    Here are some photos of the sink hole (before and after) and another photo of the countertop that is installed.






    As for seams, each countertop is 6 feet long which a stock size Numerar, so there aren't any seams. I have these countertops for my laundry room also that form an "L". I'm not sure how my husband will handle the seam in there, probably biscuit join and glue them so the seam will be tight.

    Thanks again for the nice responses!


    clipped on: 08.16.2009 at 01:51 pm    last updated on: 08.16.2009 at 01:51 pm

    RE: How does prices compare to other inset br (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: jenswrens on 08.09.2009 at 02:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I used cabinetrydirect 4 years ago and had an absolutely wonderful experience with Ken. The price for beaded inset in cherry was about 1/4 - 1/3 less than the prices from other companies that we looked into.

    And the best part for me was no annoying KD. I got to do the whole design and implementation myself, my own choices, my own budget, no one dictating what I "should" or "should not" have. I got to line price items and adjust them myself according to my budget as needed. (I'm a bit of a control freak, can you tell? :-))

    Ken was wonderful also. Sometimes difficult to get in touch with on the phone but very responsive through email. He doesn't really help you with design so much and the process will go really smooth if you know what you're doing regarding design, sizes, etc. He works really well with people like me. If you're needy and need a lot of handholding, he may not be your guy.

    Delivery was on time and very personal. The couple who drove the cabinets up to MN from MS were so sweet, unloaded everything, and drove through a hurricane (literally) to meet my delivery deadline.

    I could go on and on with positive things. Not to mention the quality of the cabs! :-)

    Here are some pics and the link to my finished kitchen below:

    Image Hosting by

    Image Hosting by

    Here is a link that might be useful: My Finished kitchen by cabinetrydirect


    clipped on: 08.09.2009 at 02:06 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2009 at 02:06 pm

    RE: Drawer fronts - paneled or slab? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: honorbiltkit on 08.06.2009 at 05:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I think the decision might hinge a bit on the kind of effect you are trying to achieve with the white Shaker cabinets. If you are looking for a luxury effect, paneled are probably the most a propos. If you are seeking a simpler look -- in my case, to approximate what would have been built-in in the late 1920s -- slab fronts look modest and neat.

    (In addition to this link, I have a great pic of a new painted Shaker kitchen with slab fronts on all-drawer base cabinets. Unfortunately, I have no record of where I downloaded it from, but I can email it to you if you are interested.)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Conestoga white shaker gallery pic


    clipped on: 08.06.2009 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2009 at 11:22 pm

    Wall paint color with white cabinets? Need opinions! (Pics)

    posted by: trav86 on 05.15.2009 at 01:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

    My kitchen is almost done, but needs paint. It's a small, white kitchen in NYC, doesn't get a lot of light. My dilemma is that the cabinets are faintly creamy, the countertops are carrara and wood and there are some green tiles mixed in with the white subway tile backsplash. Oh, and the appliances are stainless. So do we go with a warm toned paint to work with the wood and creamy cabinets or a cool tone to work with the carrara, stainless and white and green tile? Since the room tends to be dark, we're leaning toward some kind of off white. I've posted some pictures--a little too big, I'm afraid. What do you think?


    mw wall





    clipped on: 08.05.2009 at 04:46 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2009 at 04:47 pm

    Help! Help! Im addicted to GW!!! Is there a 12-step program?

    posted by: crzyktchnlady on 06.28.2009 at 09:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

    It started out innocently enough. I began planning my K/B remodel late last summer and was looking for reviews of appliances at least I think thats what it was. Then I found my first GW post. Soon enough, anytime I Googled a home remodeling topic, up popped GW. Then I realized I could go directly there and all these great people were helping each other remodel their kitchens. And the pictures!! OMG! Now I cant stop hours every day. First thing in the am, before my coffee even. I know its early, but hey, Im on the west coast you east coasters have had three whole hours to be posting! I sneak peeks during lunch hour at work (OK, sometimes when its not lunch hour). I have no life. Even my cat is mad at me. "Why dont you pay more attention to ME?" she meows. And the late nights! You should just see my sleepless red eyes. (Oh lord, it was quite late the night I found the widget thread; I had not laughed so hard in years tears streaming down my face, ROTFLMAO!)

    Well, I know the first step is to acknowledge you are powerless, so I do and I am going to stop lurking. Anyway, my project K, B, laundry and powder is about to start. (The worst is yet to come, right?) I mean, how long can I go on planning? Last week, I woke one day with this horrible thought that I was doing it all wrong. My layout is no good thats not where the frig should go!! And why am I getting white cabs? What about a nice light wood? Then I saw this fab modern kitchen in a design mag. Oh no, I thought, my plan is too traditional! Is it too late to change? Help, oh help, does everyone go through this??

    Im going to post some questions so I can get all your input on what I have already picked and tear my hair out some more when you all tell me I picked wrong. I already asked my BFF for her opinion on two things and then I rejected what she said both times. So, of course I have waited until now to join GW, so I dont really have to do what anyone else tells me I should do because I know I stubbornly want to make my own mistakes. (Im scared to tell the painter I plan to paint the kitchen purple. I know hell think Im nuts. My GC already thinks Im nuts for several reasons.) Ive had to be my own designer because I have scared away several KDs when I say things like "No, I really dont want to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room and open up the space." I mean, their eyes roll. Some of you too your eyes are already rolling, right? OK, Ill explain in the next post.
    I feel a little better already. And maybe a teensy glass of wine will help. Sorry I babbled on.


    clipped on: 06.29.2009 at 02:46 am    last updated on: 06.29.2009 at 02:46 am

    RE: No kitchen reno for me :( (Follow-Up #10)

    posted by: jenswrens on 06.15.2009 at 03:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I respectfully disagree with parkplaza. If you really really dislike your kitchen as it is, and there are viable alternatives, you owe it to yourself and your family to pursue all the options. After all, as John Lennon said, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, right? I wish I had considered that when we began our still-ongoing reno 10 years ago.

    I too had high expectations (no particle-board or laminate or fill-in-the-blank for me!). Nothing less than solid wood or plywood boxes, inset, painted doors with all the bells and whistles. And I spent 10 years living in daily chaos trying to achieve some perfection that I wanted but secretly knew I could not afford. In retrospect, I now desperately wish I had lowered my (then) standards and just started off with the affordable IKEA kitchen that I now have. Instead of wasting so many years of our lives in a torn-up kitchen that I hated. All that time we could have been living like a normal family with a new, really nice and functional kitchen. Instead of spending every weekend working on the house, dreaming of the "future perfect someday" kitchen, I could have spent more time with my daughter, had friends over, had parties, etc.

    What is the most expensive item in your current reno budget? Is it the contractor/labor? The appliances? Or is it the cabinets?

    Has your DH actually seen IKEA cabs? The cabinets aren't like their furniture. They are not the same poor quality as big box store particle-board cabs. You are also not tied to their stock sizes or their door selections. Doors can be inexpensively custom made. Cabs can be modified.

    My very rich, socially-elite friend lives in a multi-million $ mansion, and guess what? She has an IKEA kitchen. She entertains her DH's Wall Street colleagues in that kitchen regularly.

    All I'm saying is don't discount IKEA so quickly if what you really want is a new, pretty, functional kitchen on a budget. It can be and has been done. For far less than $20,000.

    I understand your frustration. I've been there too. Step back, take a deep breath and reassess. In the long run, you may regret waiting for perfection much more than your DH regrets "settling" for particle-board.


    clipped on: 06.15.2009 at 04:03 pm    last updated on: 06.15.2009 at 04:03 pm

    Life with soapstone--patina pictures galore

    posted by: bayareafrancy on 08.04.2008 at 03:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I've been wanting to post these pictures for so long, but I've had horrible "soapstone elbow" from obsessive oiling, and I haven't been able to type much.

    I don't baby this stone at all. In fact, I don't even use cutting boards very often (simply because I have a teeny kitchen with no good place for them). This is terrible for my knives, of course, but I like the nicks and scratches on the stone.

    I have 2 kinds of 'wear' on my counter. One that I love, and the other that I don't love!

    What I love are the marks of usage--scratches, dings, teeny chips. I want more and more of those. I'm restoring an 80 year old kitchen, and I want the counter to look as old an used as the rest of the kitchen.

    Everyday look in my main (teeny) work area (you can see lots of fine white knife marks and scratches):

    Another view:

    After oiling (beautiful, but leads to pesky water marks, rubber marks, etc. as soon as I start using it)

    What I don't love are the water marks! Argh, those pesky water marks! They drive me batty. They are only a problem if I oil the stone. If I leave it gray, the only thing that "stains/marks" it is oil (cooking oil, butter, etc.) but that can be washed off, The water marks mostly happen when something hot (like a dish right out of the dishwasher, or a lid from an in-use pot) is placed on it. The hot item seems to "steam clean" the bee's oil right off the stone. I can't figure out any solution to this.

    Removed hot dish from microwave, placed lid here:

    But the water marks I don't quite understand come from non-hot items. If the stone is freshly oiled, and I place a wet drinking glass on it, it will leave a ring. The ring (if faint) sometimes fades in a day or two, but not usually. Actually, I don't think think the ring is actually fading. I think the oiled area is fading to match the ring.


    Water marks from regular glasses of water, and drips/puddles (these drive me batty). Am I the only one who gets these?:

    Oh--the other thing that leaves rings is anything absorbent that can lift the oil out of the stone. So, I get a ring under my ceramic compost jar (the ceramic is unsealed on the bottom). Or flour spilled on the counter. Or rubber bottomed shoes (e.g. if I stand on the counter in sneakers or crocs, it will leave tread marks that won't go away until oiling. Or if I sit an appliance with rubber feet on the counter, it leaves footprints.)

    All of these marks disappear with oiling. But constant oiling is hard for me and my poor elbow. So I'm thinking about "going gray."

    Here is the everyday look in my other work area:

    Another view (not for the faint hearted):

    Of course, I still adore my soapstone. But I do with I could keep the dark look without battling all the water marks.

    I've been painting the kitchen for a couple weeks now. It has been great to have mineral spirits and paint sitting right on the counters without worry. Of course, the mineral spirits stripped the stone back to gray. And I"m thinking of leaving it that way. Luckily, any color of soapstone works in my kithcen. But I do adore it dark.

    But, black or gray, spotty or not, I love my soapstone!




    clipped on: 06.06.2009 at 03:07 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2009 at 03:07 pm

    RE: My Ikea cabinets/Scherrs doors kitchen, in progress (Follow-Up #24)

    posted by: joann23456 on 05.20.2009 at 12:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Boxerpups, the green paint is Kiwi from C2 (Kiwi C2-204 W). It's a bit brighter and yellower than I originally imagined, but I love it. I tend to gray down my colors more, but the family voted and this won. I think it will feel very springy in the middle of a cold New England winter.

    Odiegirl13, we decided to hinge the doors together, and it seems to be working well. I installed a catch on the open side, so the weight doesn't rest only on the hinges when the door is closed. The light rail also extends underneath the door, but there's been no sagging so far. We did change things around and are no longer using this cabinet for dishes and glasses. I put those in a drawer, and filled this cabinet with little-used items and plastic storage containers. We go into it maybe 1-2 times a day, rather than 8-10 times a day for dishes and glasses.

    Mdod, I'm not sure how much we saved. I got a quote from Home Depot for Kraftmaid on a slightly different layout (a couple more cabinets, but no drawers, pull-outs, soft-close, or full-extension) that was $11,600 for white-stained (not painted) doors, and another quote from Kitchen Craft (which I loved) on that same layout for painted doors at $15,300. I didn't bother taking this design anywhere else, because I knew I couldn't afford it. I did try to find a local custom shop, but the shops I found were much more high-end. I didn't know where to find less-expensive but good-quality shops. I knew I liked Ikea, I got a door from Scherrs and loved it, so that decided it for us.

    Nancyaustin, you're right that the space above the cabinets is about 3". I also wanted the molding to extend from the plane of the doors, not the plane of the cabinets. (I don't like the recessed-molding look.) We first filled the space with a piece of 1x3. We attached it to the soffit, but if we'd had an actual second row of cabinets, I would have made an L with two pieces, and attached it to the top of the cabinets. We used a band molding that was 1.75". (It's the same molding as is used as crown in other rooms of the house.) We put this on top of the 1x3 board.

    Here's a picture of what we did. I actually collected a number of pictures of ways to do crown molding on frameless cabinets, if you'd like me to email them to you:


    clipped on: 06.02.2009 at 05:19 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2009 at 05:20 pm

    French Country Yellow and Blue facelift: DONE

    posted by: reno_fan on 02.22.2009 at 12:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

    For those who don't know me already, I've done 3 kitchens in 3 years; my first house kitchen remodel, which brought me to GWeb, a flip house kitchen, and my current kitchen, which we've now both remodeled and "facelifted" twice in 2 years. (Yes, I'm looking for a 12 step program!)

    When we bought our current house, we changed a few things in the kitchen, and in a rush, decided to just repaint everything white. While I love white kitchens, my very rustic saltillo tiles always seemed to clash with the very crisp white cabinetry. I'd wanted yellow cabinets for a while, and after living with the white kitchen for almost 2 years, we finally took the plunge and painted the cabinets, electing to do the island in a French blue.

    My kitchen went from one that was okay, to one that I absolutely adore.

    Here is a progressive view of what we did, and what we ended up with:

    When we bought the house:

    Here was the result of the initial remodel. Lovely, but it just never felt like home, and the glaring contrast of the white cabinet and rustic floors always bothered me:

    And this is what we've settled on:

    Cooktop area before:


    And after:


    Fridge area before:


    And after:


    Sink area:


    What we did:

    Moved refrigerator location to allow stove hood to take center stage.

    Had hutch built in place of old refrigerator location.

    Had hood built.

    Added gas.

    Cut out cabinets under cooktop to allow for a stove instead of downdraft cooktop.

    Added proper ventilation.

    Added arch over window.

    Modified cabinets to hold farm sink.

    New counters and backsplash.

    New appliances. (Waiting for old compactor and DW to die so I can replace!)

    Added mini chandeliers over island.

    Painted and glazed cabinets.

    This kitchen wasn't a total gut/redo, and I wanted to post it for people who may have a good layout (like we did), but just feel that the space needs to be brought up to today's standards.


    clipped on: 06.02.2009 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2009 at 04:58 pm

    Finished - Beaded Inset Cherry Kitchen

    posted by: jenswrens on 05.25.2009 at 12:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I finally got around to posting my finished kitchen. All of the details are in the gallery, but someone suggested that I also post it over here on Discussions. The link to photos and more details is below.

    I'm such a procrastinator that most of you here now probably don't even remember me, but hopefully at least a few of the old-timers will remember. It was a long-haul, and I want to thank everyone here who gave me advice and encouragement.









    Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Minnesota Kitchen


    clipped on: 05.28.2009 at 09:28 am    last updated on: 05.28.2009 at 09:28 am

    jenswrens' Finished Minnesota Kitchen Inset Cherry Shaker

    posted by: jenswrens on 05.17.2009 at 06:52 am in Kitchens Forum

    I am finally posting pictures of my finished Minnesota kitchen - about 2 years later! Most of you probably don't even remember me, but I received the greatest help from everyone on this forum a few years ago. You all saw me through some very challenging times. Hopefully at least a few of the old-timers here (you know who you are) will remember. I cannot thank everyone enough. I'm posting here for posterity and for inclusion in the FKB. And then, I can finally move on to finish my next project - my NJ kitchen.

    A link to the photos and details is below. (If the subsequent links in smugmug don't work, please let me know.)

    This remodel was a complete gut, done out of necessity after a water/broken pipe disaster. Although it's small, it's the most functional, user-friendly kitchen I've ever had!


    Cabinets: Cabinetry Direct

    Full custom cabinetry
    Beaded inset doors
    Solid cherry heartwood with harvest gold stain and hand-rubbed finish
    Shaker styling, crown molding
    Maple wood interiors
    Plywood carcasses
    Dovetailed drawers
    Full-extension drawers with Blumotion soft-close system
    Exposed hinges in Sterling Nickel finish with Minaret tip by Amerock
    Birdcage knobs and pulls in Pewter finish

    All new, solid maple, 1.5" width boards
    Site sanded and finished (natural finish)
    Maple floor in entire kitchen, including under all cabinets and appliances

    Sealed marble and travertine
    Color: Noce, (white and rose marble accents)
    Spectralock stain-resistant grout, sanded, color: sandstone

    24" wide, 9" deep, single bowl, 4-hole, cast-acrylic in off-white

    Price Pfister "Marielle" in chrome with side spray and soap dispenser
    Reverse osmosis filtered water gooseneck faucet in chrome

    Bosch fully integrated stainless steel dishwasher DLX Series # SHX46L05UC/18
    GE 30" Slide-in, self-cleaning gas range with sealed burners, stainless steel # JGSP28SEKS
    Range hood by Broan in stainless steel with halogen lighting
    Samsung stainless/platinum counter-depth bottom-mount refrigerator with twin cooling system and digital temperature control

    Light fixtures: Semi-flush, Jefferson style period lighting in oil-rubbed bronze finish, from Rejuvenation Hardware
    Recessed lighting: 4" and 6" energy-saving fluorescent Halo cans
    Wired for undercabinet lighting

    Benjamin Moore, Lighthouse # 2018-60, in eggshell

    Pot rack: Wall-mounted bar rack in chrome, Crate & Barrel
    Knife rack: IKEA
    Stools: Windsor style, mahogany finish, 24" seat height
    Red Phone: Pottery Barn


    Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota Kitchen


    clipped on: 05.17.2009 at 07:36 am    last updated on: 05.17.2009 at 07:36 am

    RE: Ug Buys Ugly Houses? Any advice? (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: jenswrens on 05.07.2009 at 11:55 pm in Buying and Selling Homes Forum

    Actually, those rural pics in the album are the house I'm in now. The house I'm trying to sell is a 1920s traditional 2-story in a good area of St. Paul. I'm sure we overpaid back in 2004 (beside the point). Comps have been done over and over, so I'm pretty sure we're priced close to where we should be. Most feedback this time around has said we're priced at or 3% above market.

    I know when we started out last year we were overpriced (now I wish I had started much much lower - but that's what the REAs were telling us to price at). I was too attached when we first put it on the market, I know. I loved that house - to me it has charm and character and privacy - and it was perfect for what we needed it for at the time. I picked it because it had some of the "rural" things I was used to in all my previous homes - privacy, large yard, large trees. I am so over that now. I have no emotional attachment at all anymore. Yes, I still like it, but obviously no one else does. And that does not hurt my feelings. I just don't get it.

    I didn't immediately fall in love with this house when I bought it either. But it was late summer, I had a deadline to buy, and it was the last available house that met most of my criteria in my price range. And I'm sure my criteria were much different than most city folks (privacy, large yard, privacy, quiet, privacy).

    We took it off the market for a few months in winter, and relisted this April with a new agent at a lower price (their price suggestion). I immediately lowered the price by $25,000 after 2 weeks in spite of lots of showings.

    As happened last year, we've had tons of showings, but no offers. So I think it looks good online, but people are not liking what they see when they get there. To answer the question, "Is there some type of incurable defect preventing a sale?" Apparently there are several.

    1) It's a large corner lot - people in MN in town don't like those I guess (too much snow to shovel). But it's a corner lot located on two interior streets (not a busy throughway). Built up high off the road, so again, fairly private (no one can stand on the sidewalk and look into your back/side yard). And it's totally quiet. Dead silent at night and on weekends - much quieter than my rural house on acreage in NJ backing up to 8000 acres of wildlife refuge. Go figure.

    2) While the house is in an area of really nice homes, the house immediately across the street from me is a tiny little ugly ranch - eyesore, which used to be mostly hidden by a beautiful huge Elm that they chopped down right before I put the house up for sale. That house bugged me and made me pause back when I was looking to buy - so I'm sure it's a factor. So, my house is located right on the edge of the nice houses. Starting across the street from me heading south, the houses deteriorate in "niceness."

    3) The master bedroom is large, but the other 2 bedrooms are pretty small - this is one feedback we've gotten over and over - the house is too small.

    4) One car garage (but with room to expand).

    5) Two full baths, but no main floor bath (also a detractor for me when I bought).

    So, I understand all of those factors above and that there's nothing I can do about any of them except GIVE the house away and take out a huge loan for the difference. And if I'm going to have to do that anyway, I might as well do it with a corporation who won't have any contingencies, etc.

    I'm desperate to sell because I'm losing $40,000 a year as that house sits there empty. I live over 1000 miles away now, and it's a PITA and an annoyance, like a monkey on my back. And I desperately want to buy another house, which I cannot do while I'm still paying that mortgage.

    Sorry for the long post - but thanks for letting me vent. Below is a link to some of the photos that were used in the listings (we limited it to 10 pertinent photos). Password is "jen"

    Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota House


    clipped on: 05.08.2009 at 12:33 am    last updated on: 05.08.2009 at 12:34 am

    RE: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens! [Help keep on Page 1] (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: buehl on 10.31.2008 at 12:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size/configuration of your cabinets and drawers. (The following is a general write-up I've come up with...)

    1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, basement, dining room, etc.

    2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.

    3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)

    4. The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

    5. If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...

      • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.

      • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

      If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.

      • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.

      • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).

      • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)

      • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

    You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

    This not only helps you to "see" how things will fit, but it also will help when you move back into the won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy "map" for everyone to help find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

    Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

    Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

    • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags

    • Preparation--sink & trash--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels

    • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, serving dishes (platters, bowls, etc.), paper towels

    • Baking--ovens/range--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, casserole dishes, roasting rack, cooling racks, cookie sheets, foils, rolling pin, cookie cutters, pizza stone, muffin tins, paper towels

    • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware

    • Eating--island/peninsula/table/nook/DR--table linens, placemats, napkins, dishes & glasses, flatware

    • Utility--broom, dustpan, swifter, mop, cleaning supplies, cloths, flashlights, batteries, extension cords

    • Message Center--phones, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard

    Less Common Zones:

    • Tea/Coffee Bar--coffeemaker--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot

    • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks

    Commonly Used Items: pots & pans, utensils, small appliances, linens, pot holders, trivets, dish detergents, "Tupperware", knives, pitchers, water bottles, vases, picnic supplies, cook books, etc.

    Foods: Spices, Breads, Flours/Sugars, Teas/Coffees, Potatoes, Onions, Canned Goods, Dry Goods (rice, pasta, etc.), Cereals, Snacks

    Small Appliances: Toaster, Stand and/or Hand Mixer, Blender, Breadmaker, Toaster Oven, Food Processor, Crockpot, Waffle Iron, Electric Skillet, Coffeemaker, Coffee Grinder, Ricer, Steamer

    NOTE: If your ceiling or one or more of your walls is coming down, consider wiring for speakers, TV, Computer, etc.


    clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 09:51 am    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 09:51 am

    Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens! [Help keep on Page 1]

    posted by: buehl on 10.28.2008 at 09:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Welcome - If you are new here - you may find the following information and links helpful.

    The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages contain helpful information about how to navigate this site as well as the world of kitchen renovations.

    The Kitchen Forum Acronyms will help you understand some of the acronyms used frequently in posts.

    The Finished Kitchens Blog has pictures and information about many GW members' finished kitchens. Not only can you see them alphabetically, but there is also a category list if you're looking for specific things like a kitchen w/a Beverage Center or a kitchen w/a mix of dark and light cabinets.

    The Appliances Forum is very useful when you have questions specific to appliances.

    To start off the process...take the Sweeby Test. Then, move on to Beginning a Kitchen Plan.

    Other topics such as planning for storage can be found by doing a search on the forum.


    • Before posting a question, search the forum. There's a very good chance someone has already asked the question.

    • When using the "search" function, be sure to use the search box on the bottom of the page, not the top!

    • In the Subject, the site changes the inches indicator (") to a foot indicator ('). We don't know why. To compensate, use two single qoutes and it will appear as a double quote in the Subject. Luckily, the double quote works in the message box.

    • When composing a new thread, you have a couple of options:

      • Have replies emailed to you: check the box offerring this option. However, you must have "Allow other users to send you email via forms at our site." box checked in your profile for this to work (see the "Your Profile" link at the very top of the page)

      • Insert a link: When you "preview" your message, you will be provided with two boxes for a is for the link itself and the second is for the name or description of the link.

    • When using the "Clip this post" option (far upper right corner of each post, small print), remember that only the current post is clipped, not the entire thread. Also, you are allowed a maximum of 50 clippings. Once you reach this max, you will no longer be able to clip or email posts.

    How are the home page and the Forum organized? (from the FAQs)

    The Kitchens Forum home page lists 30 thread titles, starting with those that don't yet have a response. Then threads are listed in order of most recent response. That first page displays the last 2 hours or so of activity. (If there is no response to a thread in an hour or two, an unanswered thread starts to drop down.)

    Below that are page numbers 1-67 for the total 67 pages of threads available -- capturing maybe 2 months or so of threads, less when the Forum is busy.

    Below that (and at the top of the thread list) is a space for you to switch to the Conversations or Gallery "sides" - these are set up similarly but not nearly as active.

    Next down is a Search button -- very important!

    Next is a place for you to start a new thread. And finally are some instructions and links at the bottom.

    Kitchen Forum "Sides"

    Discussions: This is the "side" you are on. It's for on-topic discussions concerning kitchens...renovations, use of, etc.
    Conversations: This is the "side" where you can post off topic threads such as regional get-togthers and non-kitchen subjects.
    Gallery: This is the "side" where members often post pictures...especially if you're posting a lot or a finished kitchen.

    Posting a link

    There are two ways to post a link:

    Using the provided boxes below the "Message" box:

    1. Insert the link in the Optional Link URL box

    2. Type in the description or name of the item being linked int the Name of the Link box

    3. If this is a new Post, then you won't see these two boxes until you "preview" your message.

    To insert a link inside the "Message" box,

    1. Copy the following into the "Message" box where you want it:
      &lt;a href= http://www.XXX/&gt;Description&lt;/a&gt;
    2. Next, replace the http://www.XXX/ with your link

    3. Now, replace the Description with the description (words) you want displayed with your link.

    With either method, you will see your link when you "preview" your message

    Posting a picture from your photo hosting account (e.g., PhotoBucket)

    FAQ: Adding Pictures and Links [Note: If using PhotoBucket, copy the code from the line/box labeled "HTML Code"]

    Posting a picture from somewhere other than your Photo hosting account

    1. Copy the following into the "Message" box where you want the picture to be:
      &lt;img src="http://www.XXX/image.jpg"&gt;
    2. Next, replace the http://www.XXX/image.jpg with the address of the image.

    3. When you "preview" the message, you should see the picture


    Layout Help

    We often get requests to help with layouts. Many of us enjoy doing this but it would help if you can post a copy of your layout, preferably to-scale.

    • The best place to start is to draw up your kitchen (to scale, if possible) either without cabinets & appliances if you don't know where to start or w/your proposed new layout if you have something to start with. Regardless, measure and label everything...walls, ceiling height, widths of doors & windows, distances between windows, walls, doorways, etc.
    • If you cannot move plumbing or gas, mark them on your drawing as well.
    • Mark all doorways & windows (w/dimensions) and label them as to where they lead. If they're actual doors, mark how they swing.
    • It also would be helpful to see the connecting rooms, even layouts so you see how they interact with the kitchen and/or extend the kitchen feel and flow.
    • Make note of traffic flows in and out of the kitchen

    Make a list of things like:

    • What are your goals? E.g., more counter space, more storage, seating in the kitchen (island? peninsula? table?), etc.
    • Do you plan to merge two rooms/areas (e.g., Nook and Kitchen into a Kitchen only)
    • Where are you flexible?
      • Can windows or doorways change size?
      • Can they be moved?
      • Can windows be raised/lowered?
      • Can any walls come down?
      • Does the sink have to be centered under a window?
      • Does it have to be under a window at all?

    • Do you bake? Do you want a coffee/tea/beverage center?
    • What appliances do you plan on having (helps to figure out work flow, work zones, and types of cabinets...upper/lower vs full height, etc.)
      • Range or Cooktop?
      • Single or Double or no Wall Oven?
      • Warming Drawer?
      • MW? (Advantium, drawer, OTR, countertop, built-in, shelf?)
      • DW? Standard or drawers? If drawers, 1 or 2?
      • Refrigerator CD or standard depth?
      • Vent Hood?
      • Other?
      Sizes of desired appliances (e.g., 30" or 36" or 48" cooktop; 36" or 42" or 48" wide or other Refrigerator? Counter depth or standard depth refrigerator, etc.)

    • Pantry: Walk-in or cabinets?

    ***** Very Important *****

    Is there anything you:

    • Can't live without?
    • Definitely don't want?
    • Would like if you can find a way?

    This information will be valuable to not only you, but also any Kitchen Designers you may hire or talk to. Additionally, if you've been haunting the site, you'll notice that we also help with almost all aspects of the remodel, including layout help.

    If you do ask for help, then all of the above information will help us help you. Sometimes we stray from what you think you want to give you some ideas that you might not have thought of, but it's your kitchen and you can veto anything...we may argue for something (we're good at that!), but in the end it's what you want. And remember, we are just giving you ideas and possible layouts, in the end when you finalize your design it's whatever you want and decide on! After all, this is your kitchen! [Keep this in mind if/when you use a Kitchen Designer--it's your kitchen, not his or hers...don't let them talk you into anything unless you're sure it's what you want!]


    When your kitchen is complete, please submit it to the Finished Kitchens Blog! This way your kitchen will join others in inspiring and helping newcomers!

    Add your kitchen to the FKB!

    Again, welcome and good luck! The journey is wild, sometimes bumpy, but fun!


    Links from above:

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
    Kitchen Forum Acronyms:
    Finished Kitchens Blog:

    Sweeby Test:
    Beginning a Kitchen Plan:

    Appliances Forum:

    FAQ: Adding Pictures and Links:

    Add your kitchen to the FKB!:


    clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 09:50 am    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 09:50 am