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Confused! Options for instant hot water AND water filter?

posted by: tnsongbird on 09.30.2012 at 01:30 pm in Appliances Forum

After doing much research on water filters I'm confused about how the whole thing works together. We are building a new house and I'd like:

1. a water filtration for the kitchen sink and fridge (water & ice) that is rated the best for filtering out pharmaceuticals in addition to everything else

2. instant hot water at the kitchen sink, too

From my reading, it appears the PUR water filtration may be the best for the pharmaceutical issue, but I'm confused on how one also integrates the instant hot water, can they be combined? Forgive me if this is an easy/obvious answer.

I've also read good things about the Aquasana undersink unit but this just seems limited to drinking water only, and not a full system to the fridge. I just want to be able to tell my GC what I want installed there but am not sure what exactly it is! Thanks for any help.


clipped on: 01.21.2015 at 09:16 am    last updated on: 01.21.2015 at 09:16 am

RE: instant hot water recommendations (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: PeterH2 on 11.19.2012 at 05:31 pm in Appliances Forum

> hot water, and cold filtered water as well

Do you mean chilled water, or simply normal cold water?

EverPure Helia does both chilled and hot water, but it's wickedly expensive (~$1.4K, plus another $500 or so for the special matching faucet that EverPure says is mandatory).

If regular cold water is all you need, a filter followed by a "Y" to an instant hot unit and the cold side of a dual-temperature faucet gets the job done at a reasonable price.

You can keep a jug of filtered water in the fridge for a lot less money than a chiller...

Here is a link that might be useful: EverPure Helia


If regular cold water is all you need, a filter followed by a "Y" to an instant hot unit and the cold side of a dual-temperature faucet gets the job done at a reasonable price.
clipped on: 01.21.2015 at 09:13 am    last updated on: 01.21.2015 at 09:13 am

RE: Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: angela12345 on 02.02.2013 at 02:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have posted this other places before, but I am going to try to consolidate it *all* in one place.

My kitchen cabinets from UltraCraft are semi-custom. LOVE them. They are Frameless cabinets that allow size modifications in 1/16" increments to height, width, and depth (or all 3) at no additional cost. So, have deeper base cabinets. Go ahead and make your uppers 13" or 14" deep for those extra large mixing/salad bowls and charger plates, and maximize your storage space for example storing glasses 4 deep instead of 3 deep and storing cereal bowls 2 deep instead of only 1 deep. Make your toekick slightly shorter so you have an extra inch or two for more drawers height. Cut down on the fillers you need by making your cabinets the exact width you need them, instead of being forced to choose from 3" increments. No extra charge ! I like that all my uppers are flat across the bottom (no frame/dividers between cabinets), so I could install one long plugmold and one long under cabinet light, then hide it all with lightrail at the front. Also, standard is Blum full extension soft close drawer glides, soft close doors, no charge for finished sides (like end of cabinet run), all dovetail drawers with fully captured bottoms, and bunches of other stuff is standard. 100 year warranty. WOW. Yep, I LOVE them !!!

Cabinet Decisions - I emailed this part to a friend recently, so am copying here ...
1. One of the first things to decide is what cabinet door overlay you want. Inset doors or overlay doors ? Inset doors sit inside of the cabinet box frame rather than attached to the front of the cabinet box. Overlay is further broken down into traditional overlay, partial / modified overlay, and full overlay and determines how much of the cabinet box/frame behind the door you want to show (traditional overlay shows the most of the cabinet box & frame, full overlay shows the least). The hinges can be exposed or concealed for all overlay styles except full overlay which only allows for concealed hinges. The overlay you choose will automatically knock out some cabinet options and cabinet mfgs who may not make that type of cabinet. (My cabinets are full overlay)
See ...
And ...

2. Then you want to decide on the cabinet boxes ... framed or frameless ? Some mfgs only make one or the other, but not both, so this will knock out other mfgs. Framed cabinets have a frame on the face of the cabinet box that the doors attach to and allows for inset doors as well as all 3 overlay styles (traditional, partial, and full overlay). On frameless, the doors attach directly to the cabinet box sides instead of a face frame. Frameless are typically full overlay, but inset is also possible although not very common. I think a small partial overlay is possible on frameless if you are using semi-custom or custom cabinets - you would order slightly smaller doors so a little of the cabinet box would show. Traditional overlay is not possible on frameless because the cabinet box sides are not wide enough to show the traditional 1"-2" of the face frame. (My cabinets are frameless)
See ... BOX - construction.asp

The disadvantage of framed is you give up useable space in drawers/pullouts and ease of access on cabinets with doors. This is because the drawer or pullout has to clear the face frame that goes around the opening, so they are narrower from side to side and also shallower from top to bottom. In a small kitchen, the extra useable space from frameless could make a big difference. Estimates say frameless gives 10-15% more space, so 100 inches of framed would be 110 inches in frameless. To me, an extra 10 inches of drawer space is huge, especially when you don't have much to begin with !! Frameless cabinets with doors also offer easier access - there is no face frame creating a 1-2" obstruction on the left, right, and top inside the cabinet doors, also there is typically no center stile between double doors in frameless.

For full overlay doors, there is very little difference in the looks of framed vs frameless. From an exterior appearance standpoint, these cabinets will basically look alike. Because the doors are full overlay, you don't see much or any of the frame and would have to open the door or drawer to see if the cabinet was framed or frameless. For inset doors, the framed cabinets would have a wider frame around the door than the frameless cabinet would.

In the below two pics, the cabinet on the left is framed, on the right is frameless. Looking only at the size of the opening, see how the drawer for frameless is wider from left to right and also has more open space from top to bottom. The useable drawer space is a couple inches more in each direction in the frameless. If they both had the same size full overlay exterior drawer face on them, they would look alike from the exterior. You would not be able to see the useable interior space until you opened the drawer.

  framed . . . . . . . . . . frameless
As catbuilder said, the useable space for inset would be the same, depending on which you use. In other words, it doesn't matter if the framed cabinet above on the left had overlay or inset, the actual drawer space would be the same no matter what door style was used on the framed cabinet. The inset is set into the face frame. Similarly, if the frameless on the right had overlay or inset, the actual drawer space would be the same for that cabinet. If they both had inset doors, you can see that the framed cabinets would have a much wider "frame" around the door and drawer openings.
examples of inset ...

Inset in a framed cabinet box on left - inset door in a frameless box in middle - and inset with door and drawers in a frameless cabinet on right

3. The third thing to consider is the cosmetics ... the door style you like (slab, raised panel, recessed panel, arched top, etc), the drawer style (slab/flat/plain drawer front or drawer front that matches your door style), as well as wood species (cherry, oak, maple, etc), and stain or paint colors, glazing, distressing, finish/sheen, etc. (My cabinets are slab drawer, raised panel door, cherry with a chestnut stain, no additional finishes or glazes. My granite is Black Pearl.)
This website shows just a few of the different door styles available ... DOOR - style.asp

4. The fourth thing to consider is stock cabinets vs semi-custom vs custom cabinet mfgs. Stock cabinets are available in 3" width increments (cabinets have to be width of 12", 15", 18", etc), filler strips fill in gaps between cabinets and wall or appliances, you have to choose from the heights and depths they offer, and there are very few options available, which can be pretty pricey to add on. Semi-custom cabinets vary by manufacturer in what customizations and options they offer, but they offer many more options than stock and allow sizing modifications. With custom cabinets, there should be no limitations ... including drawings for non-standard items, custom molding profiles, door styles, alternate wood species, custom stains & finishes, construction, accessories and options. (My cabinets are semi-custom)

5. Finally, you want to consider the cabinet construction. Not that this is the least important ! It is one of the most important things. Pretty much all the other stuff is just the "pretty" stuff, LOL. This has to do with how well the cabinets are made - are the drawers stapled, dowelled, glued, dovetail ? What materials are the cabinets made of ? Solid wood face frames, door frames, door fronts, drawers ? Corner braces ? How thick are the sides, rear, drawers, shelving ? Warranty ? What hardware do they use (full extension glides/soft close) ? etc, etc.

Drawer depths (front to back dimension)
My bases are all 24" deep bases. The interior of the cabinet box is 23.25" deep (because of back wall panel). The drawer boxes are all 21" from front to back with 19.75" useable interior.

I'm pretty sure I could have (and definitely should have!) requested the drawers be an extra 1-2 inches deep to more fully use the inside of the cabinet box. I *think* the full extension glides would not have pulled out that extra inch or so, but I could have lived with that !! I was already used to my drawers not pulling out for the back 4 inches anyway with the cabinets I already had. I could have fit my 8qt stock pots 2 deep front to back in the drawer instead of having to offset them slightly in the drawer if I had even an extra 1/2".

Some people choose to have their base cabinets deeper (i.e. 27-30" deep instead of 24" deep standard) from front to back for a number of different reasons, for example to make the front of the cabinet even with the front of the refrigerator so the standard fridge looks like a built in/counter depth fridge. Or they may want a larger countertop work surface. This can be accomplished two ways - by using deeper base cabinets or by using standard 24" deep bases and installing them a few inches out from the wall then covering the full space with the countertop material. If you want to do this and order deeper bases, be sure to specify the drawers are deeper from front to back as well ! Some mfgs will still only install the standard depth drawer even though the cabinet box is ordered larger.
(in pics below, my two standard $500 ea fridges look counter depth by recessing the wall behind the fridges only)

Drawer Heights
You can get a number of different drawer height combinations ... for example two drawer could be 6-24 or 15-15, three drawer could be 6-12-12 or 6-9-15, four drawer could be 6-6-6-12 or 6-6-9-9 or even 6.5-6.5-6.5-10.5, five drawer could be 6-6-6-6-6. These are just a few examples of size combinations !! I have even seen linens in 8 shallow pullouts behind doors in one base cabinet.

The height of my drawer fronts do not line up all the way around the 4 sides of my kitchen, but do line up when you are looking at any one section at a time. I have 2 stacks together that are 6-12-12 separated by a stove. On the opposite corner of the kitchen are 2 stacks that are 6-6-9-9. What helps is that my stacks are caddy-cornered across the kitchen with appliances and base cabinets with doors separating them ... it would be very hard to look in any direction where you could see the "mis-matches" at one time. Some people have drawer stacks right next to each other where the drawer heights do not 'line up' and others have all the drawer bases in their entire kitchen the same so the drawers line up all the way around for a continuous horizontal line.

My one advice ... find out the interior useable height of your drawers ahead of time. My Ultracraft cabinets are frameless so have more interior height than framed would. They have undermount glides. You want to know how much clearance you have from the floor of the drawer up to the next drawer or the stile between the drawers (or interior cross brace if there is one).

On the 6-12-12 stacks, my useable interior drawer height/clearance is 4, 10.5, 9.5 (top to bottom on stack). Where this becomes an issue ... I wanted to store all of my pans, pots, etc vertical on their edges in the drawers so I wouldn't have to have my pots/pans stacked inside each other. The middle 10.5" drawers are tall enough for all of the casserole/baking dishes and pie tins, the roasting pan, and almost all of the pans, pots, and lids to stand on edge (the 9.5" drawers are not tall enough for a couple of those items to stand on edge). Both height drawers are definitely tall enough for all of the big pots (even the 8qt stockpot) that I own, except for the huge "canning" pot which is on the top shelf of one of my 15" deep uppers.

Obviously, neither drawer is tall enough for my 12" pans/skillets to stand on edge (arrggh!). I have really been struggling with how to store these. Right now I have them flat in the bottom of the 9.5" height bottom drawer. Big waste of real estate !! I wish I had a shallower drawer I could put the big skillets in, like 6-6-6-12 so the frying pans were flat in drawers 2 & 3 and the pots were in the bottom drawer. Or even better(?!) if I had made my drawer heights 6-9-15 that would have given me 4, 7.5, 12.5 clearance. My tallest 8qt pots are 7" tall, so all of them could have gone in the middle drawer and everything on edge could have gone in the bottom drawer (including the 12" skillets!). Google for images of drawers with pans on edge. I have included some at the bottom of this post.

On the other side of the kitchen with the 6-6-9-9 stacks, the useable interior drawer height/clearance is 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 (top to bottom). I use the top 6" drawers all around the kitchen for silverware, spatulas and all the other kitchen gadgets, in-drawer knife block, foil wax paper cling wrap and plastic baggies, potholders, dish towels, etc. All of those things fit with no problem in these drawers including the ladle and the box grater. The 3rd drawer holds all of the tupperware and is the perfect height for this - 6 would have been too shallow and 12 would have been too deep. The bottom drawer is where we currently keep the paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

(note: the interior drawer heights listed above vary slightly for the bottom two 12" drawers, the top two 6" drawers, and for the bottom two 9" drawers because of an interior cross support and space to clear the granite without scraping at the top. Jakuvall addresses this below "Note that some brands use intermediate stretchers in frameless which take up 3/4" vertical clearance. If they do I always spec them to be removed.")

ALSO: the drawer face to interior useable space ratio will be DIFFERENT depending on if your drawer face is inset, partial overlay, or full overlay, and depending on if you have undermount glides or sidemount glides as catbuilder says above. For example on my 6-6-9-9 four drawer stack ... 1.5" counter + 6 + 6 + 9 + 9 + 4.5" toekick = 36" finished height to top of counter. My useable heights are 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 = 22.5" total useable height. I lose 1.25-2.25" useable height for each drawer.
Compare to quiltgirl above inset drawers ... 1.5" counter + 5.5 + 5.5 + 6.25 + 6.25 + 4.5 toekick (assumed) = 29.5". Are her cabinets shorter than mine ? No ! Add in between each of her drawers approx 1.25" face frame to come up with the full 36" to top of counter. She has undermount glides as well so her useable heights are 4, 4, 4.75, 4.75 = 17.5" total useable height. She only loses 1.5" useable height for each drawer face showing so it sounds like she is losing less, compared to my loss of 1.25-2.25" each. But she is also losing useable height in the face frame between each drawer which is why her total useable space is less.
This is FINE !! Nothing at all against her cabinets. They will be beautiful. Inset is a gorgeous look. And she knew she was going to lose space with the inset when she chose them, but chose to do it because inset is the look she loves.

Drawer widths
The maximum cabinet width my manufacturer will do for drawer bases is 36" wide. I have 4 drawer bases at 21", 32", 17", and 36" wide. The interior useable width of these drawer bases are 18, 29, 14, 33 wide, so 3" less than the exterior width in each. I went with the widest drawer bases that would fit in each spot.

 photo 4-5-11-kitchen.jpg
Going around my kitchen ... first I have a 6" wide pullout broom closet. Next are two 30" wide fridge/top freezers. There are full depth cabinets above the fridges with an adjustable shelf. Then a 24" full height cabinet with pantry space at the top, MW, a single oven, and 6" high drawer under oven (4.5" useable height).

The 21" wide 3 drawer 6-12-12 with useable interior heights of 4, 10.5, 9.5 is to the left of my stove. Top drawer holds in drawer knife block, sharpener, scissors, trivets, potholders. 2nd drawer holds casserole/baking/pie dishes on their edge. Bottom drawer is basically empty - it has one 8qt stockpot. If my drawer heights had been 6-9-15 instead (did I say grrrr?), I would have used the middle drawer as a bread drawer and stored the bakeware on edge in the bottom drawer. The 9.5" interior height on the bottom drawers are not tall enough for a couple of those items to stand on edge.

Next is the stove (Whirlpool GGE388LXS Smoothtop Electric Range w/Double ovens).
This stove is now available with an induction top(!) which is what I would have gotten if it had been available at the time WGI925C0BS[WGI925C0BS]-1021750/WGI925C0BS/

The 32" wide 3 drawer 6-12-12 with useable interior heights of 4, 10.5, 9.5 is to the right of the stove. Top drawer holds spatulas, spoons, ladles, wood spoons, basting brushes, meat thermometer, etc - things that are used at the stove. 2nd drawer holds frying pans, the smaller pots (1qt 2qt 3qt), and lids all on their edges. Bottom drawer holds 8qt pots. Also, the 12" skillets with lids, splatter screens, and griddle are all stacked in one stack flat in bottom of drawer, Grrrrrrr. If they were on their edges in the drawer with the other frying pans instead of taking up real estate here, that lone 8qt pot in my other cabinet would have been here with the other pots.

Turn the corner and next is the first dishwasher and then a 36" sink base with Ticor S405D sink (70/30 double bowl) 16 guage stainless. LOVE !!! <3
This sink configuration is sooooo useful. The big side is 19x21.5x9 (23" diagonal) big enough for everything to lay flat in the bottom - cookie sheets, the broiler pan, my largest skillet with the extra long handle & a helper handle on the other side, the enormous canning/crab pot, etc, and its big & deep so the dirty dishes are hidden from view until its time to wash or go in DW. Then I also have the smaller right hand sink that is 16x10.5 perfect for washing dishes, the water fills up fast, & it's even big enough for my 8qt pots to fit in (single sinks take forever even to just get an inch or two of water over the grate, but with the double I can use the small side). When it's just a few things, I like to wash in the small side and lay out on the sink grid in the large side to drain. If it's more than a few items, they go in one of the dishwashers. And as a bonus ... both of the sink grids fit in the dishwasher ! No scrubbing those grid intersections by hand.

(I didn't have a straight down shot of my sink, above right is Buehl's sink)
You can get a sink with the same dimensions from MR Direct (models 509L or 509R)

Turn the corner and next is a 36" wide all door base cabinet (no upper drawer) with full depth adjustable shelves. I use this base cabinet for all my small appliances - blender, beaters, toaster, George Foreman, elec can opener, elec skillet, crockpot, etc. Next to this base cabinet is the second dishwasher, followed by an 18" prep sink base with a Ticor S815 14x15x8 sink, and an empty space for an ice maker which is where the trash can currently resides.

The 17" wide 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 with useable interior heights of 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 sits between the trash area/future ice maker and the peninsula and is on the opposite corner of the kitchen from the other drawer bases. The top drawer holds foil, wax paper, cling wrap, plastic baggies, chip clips, and restaurant menus. The 2nd drawer is our "junk" drawer and has some of everything including screwdrivers, clothespins, matches, flashlights, sewing kit, lint brush, etc. The 3rd drawer holds medicine, bandaids, alcohol, peroxide, as well as dish towels and plastic utensils from takeout restaurants in a tub. The bottom drawer is for "tupperware without partners" - bowls and lids with no matches (haha!).

The 36" wide 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 with useable interior heights of 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 forms the peninsula. The top drawer holds all eating utensils (silverware and kid utensils), serving utensils, chopsticks, handheld can opener, wine opener in a strategically easy-to-access location : ), etc. The 2nd drawer holds all the other kitchen gadgets that aren't to the left and right of the stove like shrimp deveiners, graters, whisks, rolling pin, pizza rolling cutter-thingy, mashers, salad tongs, etc, etc. The 3rd drawer holds tupperware with their matching lids. As I said above, it is the perfect height for this - 6 would have been too shallow and 12 would have been too deep. The bottom drawer holds paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

I don't like lazy susans or corner cabinets, so in the blind corner between the 17" and 36" drawer stacks is a 26" all door base cabinet that opens out the backside to where the barstools sit.

Weight of Drawer Contents
I will come back and fill this in later

ROTS = Roll Out Tray Shelves, a.k.a. pullout shelves. As a general rule of thumb, I think drawers are better than ROTS. A ROTS pullout is just a drawer behind a door. With drawers, you just pull to open; with ROTS you have to open one or two doors, pull out the shelf, then to close push the tray back in, wait for it to close completely, then close the drawers. Sometimes you may ding your door hitting it on the ROTS, the doors have to be opened fully to be able to access it, and the shelf has to be pushed in fully to be able to close the door(s). With ROTS, sometimes things will fall off or over the shallow sides. With some manufacturers, cabinet with doors and ROTS may cost more than one with drawers. However, most ROTS are adjustable; drawers are not. But with planning and/or organizers you can do almost anything with/in them

Upper Cabinets
I will come back and fill in more on this in later
You can maximize your storage space in the kitchen by making your upper cabinets a little deeper ... from 13"-15" or more. I have some upper cabinets in my kitchen that are the standard 12" deep and others that are 15" deep. There are 4 items that will not fit in my 12" deep uppers so I am forced to keep them in the 15" deep uppers, even though the 12" cabinets are a more convenient location for those items. Also, my iced tea glasses will only fit 3 deep in the 12" cabinets, but will fit 4 deep in the 15" cabinets, with room to spare. The cereal bowls also fit 2 stacks deep in the 15" cabinets.

Over your fridge, have extra deep cabinets. The front of my fridge is even with the edge of my base cabinets and I ordered the uppers over it to come out as deep as the fridge & base cabinets. These uppers have one adjustable shelf.

Another thing I recommend is getting extra shelves for your cabinets. I have my lowest two shelves closest together, then the higher shelves a little further apart. The bottom 2 shelves hold things that are not very tall ... coffee cups, plates, short glasses, measuring cups, etc. This makes the bottom shelves very easy to reach, and the higher shelves are easier to reach as well because they aren't quite as high up. I'm only 5'2" and can pretty easily reach items on the 3rd shelf up in all of my cabinets. When you have your shelves as close together as they can be for the items you want to store there, you could very easily end up with a tall space leftover at the top of the cabinet. That's when an extra shelf or two would be great to store those seldom used items way up at the top. My cabinets are 42" tall and all have 4-6 shelves of storage.

left side of kitchen
6" wide broom pullout
2 cabinets over fridges 30.75w x 26h x 24d (wall recessed behind fridges, not cabinets)
1 full height cabinet 24w x 97.5h x 24d
1 cabinet 21w x 42h x 12d
30 wide hood
1 cabinet 7.5w x 42h x 12d
1 cabinet 40.5w x 42h x 12d
1 cabinet 15w x 42h x 12d

right side of kitchen
1 cabinet 39w x 42h x 12d
2 cabinets 39w x 45h x 15d
1 cabinet 36w x 42h x 12d with glass doors & 6"h wine rack at bottom

Handles / Knobs / Pulls
I know this is a subject that causes a lot of angst to people ... should you do all knobs, all handles, latches, mixed knobs & pulls, vertical or horizontal mount, all same size or mix sizes, mixing styles & finish, where to mount on the drawer/door face, etc ???

Here's what we did ... we went with the same size handle for all of our drawers and also only one handle in the center for all of the drawers, no matter what the width of the drawer. They are all 4" wide pulls. We maybe would have used different widths for the wider drawers, but the ones we liked in the finish we wanted did not come in a bunch of widths. The cabinet guy said they would look fine and they do. We have slab drawer fronts and the pulls are centered top to bottom and side to side on each drawer. We used round knobs on all doors.

What I have found in the bazillion of kitchens posted on GW is there is no right way or wrong way. I have never seen a kitchen where I thought the handle choices someone made looked odd or bad. It's one of those things where they all look good.

Drawer Organizers
We ordered the drawer divider channels from Lee Valley so we could completely customize our drawer interiors. They often have free shipping on orders over $40.
Google for images - lots of gardenweb members have used these.

Take inventory of the things you will be storing in the drawers & doors. Plan it into the zones they will go in. Measure all of it and plan ahead how they will be stored (drawers/upper cabinets). You don't want tin foil or potholders to end up in the bottom of a tall drawer. And, you should know by now how I feel about my large skillets and too short of a drawer. ; ) From the FAQs that Buehl put together ...
Excellent information on organizing !!

These are not my cabinets ... examples of pans stored vertically ...

Other ideas for vertical storage ...

This is my kitchen ...
 photo 4-5-11-kitchen.jpg
A note on our kitchen ... this home is a vacation rental Ocean front beach house in NC with 8 bedrooms, 6 baths, that sleeps 26. Hence the 2 fridges, 3 ovens, 2 dishwashers. We had a large portion of our family here at Thanksgiving (32 people) and had like 7 or 8 women working to prepare the feast all at one time. Thank you Gardenweb for helping design a kitchen that WORKS !!! (send me a private message through My Page above if you are interested in renting or are just curious and would like a link to see more info & pictures of the home)

I'm sorry, didn't meant to hijack the thread with my insanely long post. : P

edited: mostly to decrease monster picture sizes thanks to GW changing their website coding, also clarified my wording on a couple things

This post was edited by angela12345 on Tue, May 13, 14 at 22:10


clipped on: 01.17.2015 at 11:17 am    last updated on: 01.17.2015 at 11:18 am

RE: Frameless vs frames (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: ci_lantro on 05.27.2012 at 09:12 am in Kitchens Forum

I agree with bodhi. Frameless on the bottom, esp. for drawer units and framed uppers. Best way to maximize the uppers is to have framed, built-in-place uppers. Built-in-place upper cabs use much less material and significantly more storage space vs. individual boxes.

Disadvantage is that you give up adjustable shelves.

If you use framed or frameless upper boxes, try to use mostly larger boxes to minimize the vertical cab ends that eat up storage space & crimp you on how you use them.

No reason that you can't have toe-kick drawers on frameless bottoms. I've seen Ikea toe kick drawer hacks. Ikea is frameless.

I'm linking a short video from an old This Old House episode that will give you a good understanding of built-in-place cabinets if you're a little confused about the method. It's definitely old school but newer methods are not always better methods. Be sure to note the expanses of uninterrupted shelving.

Here is a link that might be useful: Built In Place Cabinet Video


clipped on: 01.17.2015 at 11:02 am    last updated on: 01.17.2015 at 11:03 am

RE: Kitchen window starting at counter height? Crazy? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: buehl on 08.14.2013 at 11:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

We did this in our kitchen. In our case, we started with a bay window that was only 22" above the floor. We raised it so we could put our counter into the bay and up to the sill as well. The two side windows open, the middle window does not. It is difficult and you may or may not get it exact...err on the side of slightly higher than lower, though, b/c you can have a very short sill (~1/4" or so) and still have the same look.

A couple of tips:

  • For windows that open, get casement windows (crank open rather than lift up to open) b/c trying to open a window when leaning over a counter can be a "stretch" :-)
  • Be sure you have enough room b/w the counter and the crank so you can turn the crank w/o running into the counter

Usually, the window should be 36" off the finished floor. The height of the window itself is up to you want it almost to the ceiling or a different height? In our case, we were constrained by the fact that our bay was an actual bump-out of the house so we were limited to the height of the bump-out...14" lower than our 8' ceilings.

OK...this is what you have to do...

  1. First, are you replacing your current floor? If so, will it be before or after you put in the window?
    1. If before, you need to know the thickness of the floor and the materials used to put in the floor.

      E.g., our tile floor went in after our window. So, we had to know how thick the tile was (3/8") + thickness of thinset + subfloor (if new subfloor will be put down).

      Then, we had to subtract the thickness of the vinyl that was still in place but was going to be taken out later (1/4")

    2. If the window will be going in after the new floor is installed or you are not replacing the floor, you can skip this step.

  2. Next, find out the height of your cabinets themselves. Most are 34-1/2" high. But, if you have raised or lowered your counters you will have a different height.
  3. Now, determine the thickness of your countertop material.
    1. If granite, is it 2cm or 3cm? Generally (in USA), the west coast has 2cm and the rest of the country has 3cm. (2.54 cm = 1 in)

    2. If 2cm, you will need to know the thickness of your plywood subtop as well.

  4. Add these numbers together and that's how high off the floor you will need to place your window. And, like I said before, it's better to err on the side of too high than too low.

Here's an older picture of our window (b/f we did any real decorating).

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clipped on: 01.15.2015 at 01:10 pm    last updated on: 01.15.2015 at 01:10 pm

RE: Pre construction kitchen plan (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: laughable on 01.14.2015 at 01:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

It's good you are coming here to get a good kitchen plan going. You are right to be concerned about the distance between the fridge and the rest of the kitchen. It's not necessary or helpful for it to be so far from where you will be cooking and cleaning up.

I'm going to share a few resources to help you get started.

The first is Marcolo's Ice, Water, Stone, Fire thread that explains the workflow in a kitchen really well:

The second is Starcraft Custom Builders explanation of National Kitchen and Bath Associations 31 design rules, linked below. I haven't seen a better explanation of these anywhere. I hope you'll be able to spend some time exploring the site since it's a goldmine of helpful information.

The third is to mention Sara Susanka's "Not So Big House" book series that can be found on as well as at local libraries. I feel strongly that this is a must read for building a house. The information that she dispenses in her books is so helpful for planning a house for the way you really live. If you haven't read these yet, I hope you will. They are very enjoyable to read as well as educational. : )

Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA's 31 design rules, illustrated


clipped on: 01.14.2015 at 03:43 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2015 at 03:43 pm

scrappy25 renovation Part 4, final reveal, white inset/soapstone

posted by: scrappy25 on 12.12.2014 at 09:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally got some "completed" pictures, please ignore the small green notes to the contractor for the very small punch list yet to be done.

It has been quite a journey! I have included many details in previous posts so won't go into them again. This is truly a gardenweb kitchen, a collective effort. THANK YOU!

Location: North Baltimore, Maryland
Contractor: R Solomon (coordinated demo, subfloor, electrical/plumbing, floor installation. drywall, hood/appliance installation, painting.
Flooring; Marrazzi Gunstock Oak porcelain tile, Home Depot
Cabinetry and installation- Inset style with Shaker door, White Dove color, Dutchwood Custom Cabinetry, Myerstown, Pa.
Backsplash: Saltillo Sunflower Ming Green, small size. Bright white grout. Special thanks to mpagmom and justmakeit for their inspiration and esp. to mpagmom for answering all my questions.
Pulls: Belwith Studio Pulls from Amerock. On the drawers I have the P3012-SN (satin nickel, 6 inches long).
Paint: Walls: Wickham Grey, Benjamin Moore. Trim: White Dove, Benjamin Moore.
Countertops: Julia Soapstone, Stonemasters, Kennett Square, PA. Roundover edge profile.
Stainless countertop in toaster nook provided by Dutchwood with the cabinets.
Sink: Kohler Stages 45, Home Depot (tipout tray hinges installed but tray is still not installed).
Faucets: Hansgrohe 06128000 Swing C (bought from ebay to match my existing faucet since it is discontinued).
Under cabinet LED lights:, Premium Modular lights with diffusers and transformer, soft white.
Can lights: CREE soft white LED inserts from Home Depot.

Appliances (all craigslist or ebay display or new units unless otherwise stated. Most of them were purchased as part of an aborted kitchen expansion during the recession and have been in storage for 5 years. I am relieved that they all work well. Amazingly the Subzero/Wolf warranties start on installation and I was even able to get an extra year by using their "official" installers.
Subzero 642 large fridge (panelled), still needs panelled toekick
Subzero 700BR undercounter refrigerator drawers (panelled)
Wolf L Series SO30 Convection oven (panelled)
Gaggenau induction cooktop, C491-610
Bosch 800 dishwasher (gently used), still needs panelled toekick
Miele DG4080 steam oven (gently used)
Thermador PHH36DS Hood
Panasonic Inverter microwave (existing)

For more information, please also see my other posts
Part 1: Layout evolution and cabinet installation
Part 2: Julia soapstone installed
Part 3: The kitchen cockpit (Kohler Stages 45 sink)
I have linked to Part 1 below which will have links to the other posts.

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Before and after
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Layout of new kitchen
 photo scrappy25finaldrawings9-10-14_Page_1_zps224285a1.jpg

Storage pictures
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Some additional details:

My "Trader Joes" loading shelf (for loading lunches into bags or unloading groceries)
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Baking and flat pan storage using Ikea variera pot lid organizer.
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Pullout shelf which has been useful for refrigerator/microwave/toaster loading and unloading.
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Cuisinart pullout shelf- the cuisinart is plugged in and I use it right on the pullout shelf. Accessories are stored behind it on the same shelf.
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Handy magnetic hidden knife storage for my most used knives (there are more but they were used today, the other less used ones are in a drawer). In this picture you can also see the USB ports on the charging outlet above the shelf. You also get a look at the undercounter LED lights from The lights are a perfect soft white and dim beautifully, I just wish they had white wires instead of black.
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And lastly, replaced the kitchen window because it was such a bear to open. This ones ends lower, close to the counter, and I had my contractor extend the windowsill to 5 inches depth for my overwintering herbs. They are not so pretty but I am happy to have a friendly place for them.
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Here is a link that might be useful: scrappy25 renovation Part 1: layout evolution and cabinet installation

This post was edited by scrappy25 on Fri, Dec 12, 14 at 22:17


clipped on: 01.08.2015 at 09:01 am    last updated on: 01.08.2015 at 09:01 am

RE: 2014-A Year of Kitchens-Post a great shot of your kitchen! (Follow-Up #58)

posted by: KimSig on 01.02.2015 at 08:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Madtown, my kitchen is 16ft wide. The clearance between the island and the fridge is 42 inches and the clearance between island and cabinets on the cooktop side is 39 inches
 photo 686845F4-5885-4615-A2F3-DCF85FD95E40_zpswgxb16yx.jpg
In this picture you can see the fridge side wall, the new bar and the fridge are where my old desk and bi fold door pantry was. that is why the wall comes out flush with the fridge to the right of the fridge. The island itself is 52 inches wide at the widest point,it has the eyebrow curve on the seating side, and is 93 inches long


clipped on: 01.07.2015 at 11:32 am    last updated on: 01.07.2015 at 11:32 am

Kitchen reveal!! White/cherry with caesarstone

posted by: swfr on 01.28.2014 at 02:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi lovely GW,
I have been waiting for the day when I can finally share my reveal and although we haven't officially moved in, I think this is about as good as it's going to get. Because although the island stools have been ordered but aren't here yet and the breakfast area table is still in storage, at least this also means there isn't junk everywhere yet. It's looking rather pristine/bare now and soon will have a much more "lived in" look. :)

This has been a long, strange trip-- from starting with the floorplans that the builder had created (and we had signed off on) to realizing (thanks to some firm but loving guidance of many important GWers) that it was less than optimal. There were many hours spent on GW revising our floorplan over and over again to get everything figured out.

Originally the kitchen/first floor was going to be laid out like this:
 photo fullhousewithkitchenredo.jpg

And eventually this is what I came up with thanks to some brilliant and generous advice givers on here: (This is obviously just a sketch of the back half of the first floor--- the front half of the house remained the same.)
 photo firstfloorrevisedbyme.jpg

So obviously I have GW to thank for the entire layout of the kitchen. But this website also played a huge role in helping me find (and become brave enough to demand) a better line of cabinets than my builder was going to use. This allowed me to get the exact look I wanted, without spending very much more money. I might be the most grateful member of this community.

The details I ended up with:
Cabinets: Medallion Silverline with Lancaster door style (except Potter's Mill where we needed to upgrade to the gold line for what I wanted), island in cherry with pecan stain and perimeter in maple with divinity finish.
Appliances: GE Cafe Dual Fuel Range with baking drawer, Kenmore elite 31 cu ft refrigerator, Kenmore elite dishwasher.
Counters: Caesarstone Piatra Grey on the perimeter and Frosty Carrina on the island
Floors: Mullican hickory saddle engineered hardwoods
Backsplash: Daltile Modern Dimensions 4 1/4 x 12 3/4 subways in Biscuit
Lighting: Feiss lighting "urban renewal" mini pendants over the island and 5 light chandelier over the breakfast table

Here's the view from the breakfast table. There will be four stools along the front of the island.
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Here's the view of the clean up area with a view of the forest/farmland/mountains out our back. I claim that this might actually make me *want* to do the dishes but my husband says he needs to see it to believe it! The storage to the right of the dishwasher is where all of our everyday dishware and glassware will be stored. (Excuse the handle on that little drawer. The right one is getting ordered.)
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The GE dual fuel range and the built-in ventahood that I had to work so hard to get. With 15" deep cabinets flanking it on each side.
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Piatra Grey Caesarstone close-up. It is so pretty in person!
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Frosty Carrina Caesarstone to give you an idea of how creamy it is with just flecks of grey veining. It is impossible to get a good picture of it. It looks pink in this picture and it is NOT AT ALL pink in person.
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The run of the cooking wall has a built-in 4" ledge that I dreamed up to give me a little storage space behind the range for oils and stuff, but also makes the regular depth fridge look more built-in. It is the thing I am getting the most compliments about from visitors seeing the kitchen for the first time. It allowed me to use standard-depth cabinets on the bottom to get this look of deeper counters. I highly recommend this design element!
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A view looking out from the island. The open door back there is my large walk-in pantry. The breakfast area is right there in front of the blue wall and the family room is just beyond that. The cased in door to the right leads to the dining room.
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That's the whole tour! Thank you to each and every person who was on this journey with me. I keep feeling like I should get a little piece of art of a spiderweb to hand somewhere in the kitchen to remind me of how much credit is due to the "web" and all of you!


clipped on: 01.28.2014 at 05:52 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2014 at 05:52 pm

Finally Finished Pic- Warm wood and Cool Cream Galley Kitchen

posted by: CKGM on 07.22.2012 at 05:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

It has been a wild journey but other than a curtain over the kitchen sink, a cover for our banquette cushion and blinds that are on order for the eating area, this kitchen is DONE! Thankfully all went very smoothly, even our grout issue was resolved without much fuss. The only vendor I would never do business with again was our tile store but since our kitchen and both bathrooms are done, I guess I would not go there again anyway!

I don't have all the details since I am not sure of things like the brand of under cabinet lights my GC used(they are a strip with tiny little LED lights) and have no idea who made my faucet and sink- think its Essence??? But I will try to give up as much information as I can. I truly cannot tell you how much I learned on this forum and just wish I found you guys BEFORE I bought my cabs. I probably would have gone custom or at least seen if it was possible. But all in all, I am really happy with the turnout. It is so functional and easy to use which is really all that matters to me!

Cabinets- Diamond- Full Overlay in Cherry with Cattail finish from the Kitchenstore in Culver City(great resource- the KD Jim is very creative)
Countertops- Colonial Cream
Backsplash- Grazia Melenge Butter Blend
Ovens, Cooktop and Dishwasher- GE CAFE
Microhood- GE Profile
Beverage Fridge- GE
Fridge- Kitchen Aid French Door- ADORE!
I got a great friends and family deal on my appliances through GE. I wouldn't have been able to get all new ones had I did not get this deal so that is why so many are GE. I have to say I love all the appliances, especially the ovens. But I wouldn't budge on the fridge however!

Thanks again for all the help when I was freaking out about my backsplash- who knew grout could be such a game changer. I love my newly fixed grout and it makes such a difference.

temporary Kitchen
Isn't she lovely! I really hate orange now!
Cabs are just waiting for the next earthquake to come off the walls!
Empty Useless Space
Notice the fridge leaves me with about a foot of space to cook? So annoying
Useless no more! Now I can have my wall of fun stuff!
Hated the sound of plastic as I walked by every day:(
AHHH- finally done- but wait, why is that grout all different colors? I hate my backsplash! ICK!
DSC_0549Grout looks awful...
Looking down the galley
Empty space NO MORE! Pantry, double ovens and fridge- my dream!
Full run of sink wall
Sink view from hallway
Still hate how the light is not centered:(
Cooktop with Micro Hood- works surprisingly well!
Brighter view!
View of breakfast bar next to eat in area- Forced me to redo the living room next to it since that looked shabby- It never ends!
Different View
Breakfast bar tile
Our clean grout and lucky pig- one of only four things allowed on the counter!

I hope you enjoyed this picture overload!!!! thanks again for all the support and help!


Like cabs, counters, backsplash
clipped on: 01.24.2014 at 03:36 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2014 at 03:37 pm

99% done!! **Pic Heavy**

posted by: christine40 on 03.26.2012 at 08:51 am in Kitchens Forum

Thanks for everyones help during this remodel process! Here some some pictures! Still more to do--waiting on the light over the table, waiting on a new table and barstools, window treatments, ect! But you get the idea!

Cabinets-Custom by local cab maker BM OC-11 Clay Beige
Island espresso stain on Cherry
Granite-Typhoon Bordeaux
Backsplash-Sonoma tile--limestone field in olive green, crushed glass accents in tweed, and mosaic in dry creek blend
Hardware-Alno, flat black
Appliances-Jenn Aire
LIghting-Hubberton Forge-Exos
Wall Paint-BM Stardust

Family Room:
Marble-Emperador Dark
Fireplace Extroidair gas insert

Desk Area

View from Family room


View from kitchen to family room

Fridge wall

View through kitchen and family

sink wall


Stove wall


clipped on: 01.23.2014 at 04:53 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2014 at 04:53 pm

Almost Finished- Light and Dark Kitchen with White Alaska Granite

posted by: brianadarnell on 12.03.2011 at 10:25 am in Kitchens Forum

First of all, thank you to everyone who contributed so much to this kitchen. I learned so much and made so many wise decisions because of information I gained on this site. I found this site just as our new build construction began and was able to utilize all of the wonderful information into my kitchen design for function, even though I already knew exactly how I wanted the kitchen to look.

We ended up completing the house project ourselves so finalizing the kitchen and getting settled has taken some time. Hosting Thanksgiving for 14 was a major catalyst in the effort to at least get our main floor permanently decorated. Now the only thing missing is the barstools!

from the great room
Side by Side Refrigerator- Love it. I hated the previous french door refrigerator we had. So happy to go to the side by side.
Angled Corner cabinet- I know these aren't popular, but the storage is fabulous for all of our stemware.
Cabinet on the back of the island- its amazing how much fits under there!
Microwave cabinet- Since we don't use the microwave that often, I'm glad we hid it. With our open floor plan, I didn't want it visible from the great room and dining room except when in use.
5 Piece Drawer Heads- these were an upgrade, but I love the way they look.
Drawers, Drawers, Drawers- Love them! I had a lot of drawers in our old house and went with all drawers this time except for the sink base and the corner susan.
Pantry- Custom designed the shelf layout.
Lower Corner Cabinet-
Dining Room Table- just off the kitchen. Thanks for your help on selecting the table. It was delivered just a few days before Thanksgiving. It has one more leaf that we take out for everyday use.

Some details:
Kitchenaid Appliances-
Refrigerator: KSC525MVMK
Wine Cooler: KURG24RWBS
Dishwasher:KUDE40FXSS panel ready
Range: KDRS467VSS
Lights: International Lighting 23341057 London Mist Four Light Seedy Glass Bell Pendant
Backsplash- Horus Cristalli Crackle Subway in Bianco
Knobs and Pulls: Alno Creative Inc knobs:ALN56206 1 1/4" / pulls 3 1/2" cup pulls solid brass in barcelona finish ALN56510
Faucet- Moen Brantford in Stainless
Disposal- Insinkerator Evolution Series
Sink- Blanco Silgranit in Biscuit with Offset drain Diamond Single Basin #440196
Granite- White Alaska/Delicatus
Cabinets- Brookhaven in Antique White for Perimeter and Matte Brown with black glaze for the island. Door style is edgemount recessed
Floors- 5" wide white oak quartersawn vertical grain with glitza (no stain)


clipped on: 01.23.2014 at 03:00 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2014 at 03:00 pm

80% finished BA w/ wood island!

posted by: MIssyV on 12.14.2011 at 06:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello Fellow GW's! We are "done for now" with our kitchen, so wanted to post some updated pictures since you were all so helpful in our decision making. I say 80% because we still need to switch out our appliances & hood to stainless and install a back splash. Those will hopefully be in the somewhat near future :)

For those of you that don't remember the before kitchen, we bought my grandparents home in 2003 that they had built in 1975. It's a joy to open a closet that still smells like "grandma" even after all this time.



How it looks today....








pantry around corner from fridge..

Not a lot of details to share, but here is what I can think of off the top of my head...

1. Cabs- original to house, painted myself with BM Satin Impervo in Linen White
2. Granite - Bianco Antico, eased edge
3. Island - had a local custom cabinet maker use our existing peninsula cabs to make us an island. I showed him a picture (another GW's kitchen) of what I had in mind for the legs and apron, and we think he did a great job! He made our mahogany top for us as well (ogee edge). He also made us a new valance over the sink so we can ditch the dated one and a new double cab to the right of the sink where a single one use to be, allowing the top cabs to line up with the bottom cabs. He did a fabulous job matching the existing doors!
4. Floors- we laid 800 sq ft roughly ourselves of Mannington Revolutions plank. I really like it. Its from their Heritage Cherry collection, and color is Tanned Hide. We are on a slab and didn't feel comfortable installing real wood, so this was our alternative.
5. Stools are from Target!

Thanks again to all who took the time to answer my questions along the way. I learned a lot about kitchens and about myself :)


Layout like ours, converted peninsula to island. How do they like the clearance between DW and island?
clipped on: 01.23.2014 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2014 at 12:04 pm

Will you PLEASE post a link to your kitchen??

posted by: susied3 on 05.22.2012 at 04:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have to say, I've spent the last 4 days probably over 20 hours of searching, here, google, FKB, every way possible, as to NOT bother you with this, BUT, I can't find MANY kitchens that I have notes on, with questions, and thought maybe if people would post the link to their original kitchen reveal, or progress pics, it might help others with questions as well.

I have a list of TWENTY SEVEN names that I have specific questions about your kitchen! I thought maybe the link to a thread with info might answer many without having to bug everyone personally!

In addition to those 27, I already have 32 threads saved in my favorites, some have the answers, some not, so will probably have to "bug you" for those. :)

So, if you have it, will you post it? PLEASE??



clipped on: 01.23.2014 at 11:49 am    last updated on: 01.23.2014 at 11:49 am

Springroz's semi-country mini reveal

posted by: springroz on 01.21.2014 at 12:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

I decided I better post these before the components get worn out!! I want to do before and after, but those befores are on a different iPad.

I have been lurking GW through 3 kitchens, and all the help has been greatly appreciated!

This was a new-to-us house. It was COVERED in golden oak from laminate floor to top of cabinets.

Cabinets: custom from the now-defunct Eagle Industries

Countertops: custom from the now defunct H&H woodworking

Appliances: Thermador

Sink: Kohler Whitehaven

Faucet: Elkay Explore

Backsplash: Lowe's Crema Marfil

Designed by me. Drafted by Eagle.

Floor: Cabin-grade hickory

This post was edited by springroz on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 14:36


clipped on: 01.21.2014 at 07:41 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2014 at 07:42 pm

RE: Moving around some walls... what do you think? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: GauchoGordo1993 on 01.20.2014 at 05:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

It's definitely wise to consolidate dining and I think you're on the right track.

Have you seen the 31 kitchen design rules (link below)? One thing that I notice is the space between the dining table and wall - the minimum recommended is 36", but 44" is more comfortable, and it looks like less than 30" in your picture. So you might have to shift the table left, would would might crowd the main walkway to/fro the family room. Might you consider a bench seat on that wall? I'm not a fan of bench seats, but many folks like them.

Another thing that jumps out to me is the apparent lack of an entry or foyer of any kind. There should be something to separate the entry from the rest of the public living space, even if it's just furniture or decorations.

Here is a link that might be useful: 31 kitchen design rules


clipped on: 01.21.2014 at 09:27 am    last updated on: 01.21.2014 at 09:27 am

pics of woven wood shades (Follow-Up #56)

posted by: marmoreus on 02.08.2011 at 11:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Oops! I also meant to post pictures of the window shades. The first two will be the Mesa White that are in my dinette area (and mudroom) and the next two are the Savanna Grasses Rice Straw that are elsewhere on the main floor.






clipped on: 01.20.2014 at 06:53 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 06:53 pm

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 03.24.2009 at 09:55 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 06:50 pm

What did you HAVE to have and could now live without?

posted by: twosit on 01.18.2014 at 12:04 am in Kitchens Forum

Reading the thread about things you had to have and can't live without makes me wonder...What did you HAVE to have in your kitchen and now find you could easily do without it?
For me I wanted a convection microwave and I hardly use it at all. I also regret my granite choice--some sort of upgraded black that doesn't look so upgraded now.


clipped on: 01.20.2014 at 10:45 am    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 10:45 am

RE: Help! What could you not live without, that you HAD to have? (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: linelle on 01.17.2014 at 10:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I second the suggestion to reconsider a 50/50 split sink. There is plenty of room in a single bowl to wash, rinse and air dry. There just isn't a center divide. I just have one sink (30", certainly not the largest), and I have prep and cleanup areas going on at the same time with no problems.

Edited to answer the actual question in the title: Soft-close doors. Except I actually didn't know I HAD to have them until I got them. And they weren't even part of my kitchen redo because I didn't know about them till after the dust had settled and the workers went home. I bought Blum adapters and installed them myself. Best $60 I ever spent.

This post was edited by linelle on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 10:49


Blum adapters for soft close cabinet doors
clipped on: 01.17.2014 at 10:56 am    last updated on: 01.17.2014 at 10:56 am

RE: Kitchen cabinet construction (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jakuvall on 06.20.2012 at 07:38 am in Kitchens Forum

All manufacturers I know of make face frames from 3/4" solid wood. You will occasionally find 1" available from higher end companies, most often for aesthetic reasons not for strength.

How the frame is made? This is more definitive of quality than almost anything else that you can easily find out about. Less expensive brands will use pocket holes and screws to join the frames. Next up are doweled frames. At the top end there are true mortise and tenon. A few mid range companies offer loose tenons or a variation on dowels. That sounds nice but in my experience the results are not done as well as doweled cabinets.

How are the boxes kept square? Plastic corner reinforcements, wooden corners (better), full plywood struts along each side (even better), and finally at the top end full sub tops or dust tops. Inset cabinets should always have full dust tops in my opinion.

Sides- How are the sides joined to the cabinet and what are they? First off what are they? (note particle board will often be called furntiture board, long grain flakeboard, and occasionally incorrectly MDF. Of the 500 or so mfgs out there only a handful actually use MDF for boxes) Cheapest will be 3/8" particle board, that is a case wherer you should upgrade to ply. Then comes plywood-3/8". 1/2" for standard sides are common- 3/4" for standard sides is not common but can be found at local custom makers. It keeps customers happy and is easy for them to just buy it. It is unnecessary in a framed cabinet.
3/4" (or 5/8") is more common in flush finished sides and desireable. There is often debate over plywood versus particle board. I find nothing wrong with particle (especially for frameless) depending on what it is, some of the plywood used is simply no better. But a lot of folks will argue this.
How good the particle or (ply for that matter)is will vary. If looking at manufactured cabinets I would go more by price/reputation than worrying about the specifics. It is unlikely that the salesman can answer with authority what type, where it came from, what grade, etc. When I'm looking for a mfg the reps usually have to put me in touch with the factory to get those answers. Local shops are less likely to use particle. Domestic or Canadian particle or ply is better than Mexican (particle) or Chinese (any)

More importantly is how the sides are joined to the box. Most of that you can only tell by looking at an uninstalled cabinet. Best are into dadoes and glued, staples are ok if the glue is done properly and the fit is tight. Lots of staples is a bad sign. A little glue exposed is a good sign. I would rather see some glue that was not cleaned up than get a glue starved joint.

Almost everyone will give you dovetail drawers. There are other constructions used by local shops and often are fine and will still last 30 years. 1/2" box sides require better wood than 3/4" sides. I will not sell a cabnet with Chinese drawer glides- I only consider Grass/Mepla, Blum, KV or Accuride glides. (in that order for undermount)

What type of finish- full conversion varnish is arguably the best but nothing wrong with pre-catalyzed varnishes used by local shops. How much is used and how well it is applied matters more. Almost no one can tell you what the "wet build" is for the finish on their cabinets. (you should see the look on reps faces when I ask that :) Run your hand along the bottom edges of drawer faces- feel smooth and consistant- good. Best way to tell finish.

Warranty- mfgs will give you a "limited lifetime warranty" This is a great marketing tool. If you are going to have a defect it will be in the first year, after that everything is wear and tear. So you are then left to the good graces of the mfg. Better mfg will take care of things forever as a courtesy, cheaper ones will be less likely to do so. Hardware is almost always for life and not usually difficult to bet taken care of.
What "grade" of wood is used for doors AND what they consider a replaceable door. If you are getting light colored woods you want a better grade of cabinet if you are fussy. Some manufacturers will replace a door if the salesperson asks, others require it be warped a specific amount (as much as a 1/4") some want it to acclimatize for a year, some have a size limit on doors for warranty.


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 05:04 pm

Show us your under $20K kitchen, part 2

posted by: ccoombs1 on 08.29.2009 at 06:59 am in Kitchens Forum

The first "under $20K kitchen" thread was so popular but maxed out on the posts, so it has slipped WAY down. I thought I'd bring it back for anyone who missed it and needs some inspiration.



clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 11:09 am

Show us your 'under $20K' kitchens!

posted by: ccoombs1 on 08.18.2008 at 10:44 am in Kitchens Forum

There are so many beautiful kitchens on this board!! And so many really expensive ones. Some of the high-end ones are simply jaw-dropping!! But I have also seen some amazing "budget" kitchen renovations too. These kitchens give hope to the budget conscious home owner who wishes he/she could afford to re-do their kitchen, but are frightened by all the talk of $35,000 cabinets. So can you post your before and after pictures?


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 11:09 am

Seeking images of modest or quirky kitchens...

posted by: florantha on 03.04.2010 at 11:56 am in Kitchens Forum

Some of us are working with suburban tract houses or little Cape Cods or oddball spaces designed for someone else. Some of us have modest budgets or neighborhood factors that prevent huge expenditures. Some of us are just downright cranky and won't follow what we perceive as the herd.

I enjoy looking at upscale spaces and trendy ones and am getting a real kick out of hearing about budgets and tastes of those of you who are "totally kitchen obsessed" but I suspect that like me, there are others who really need more modest and personalized (or quirky) mentoring.

Let's see who else is just a little different here. Show us some successful kitchen spaces that won't show up in the high-end ads and mags. Images of spaces by successful local contractors, creative do-it-yourselfers, repurposers, and the just plain resourceful. No mansions need apply.

I'll start. Today I stumbled into the House Tours for "The Kitchn" and/or "Apartment Therapy." Here we find some people who live with limitations or manias or old interesting stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Tours from


clipped on: 01.14.2014 at 11:05 am    last updated on: 01.14.2014 at 11:05 am

Best design software?

posted by: kailuamom on 11.30.2012 at 07:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Things have changed in the five years I've been away. I notice lots of lovely layouts, clearly computer generated. What is the best software to use? I'm likely using mostly ikea cabinets, but will have a couple of scherr's custom sizes, so not sure how to make their planner work for my planning purposes.



clipped on: 01.13.2014 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 01.13.2014 at 11:39 am

About the Design Around This threads

posted by: cawaps on 01.06.2012 at 03:18 am in Kitchens Forum

This thread is intended to be a reference for the Design Around This threads. It has information about the threads and how to create a mood board. We'll be linking to this from each new DAT thread. If you have techniques or personal stories about how you got started that you want to share, please post them here. Part of the goal of this thread is to make it easier for people to get started creating and posting their own designs.

Introduction to the "Design Around This" thread
"Design Around This" is a series of threads on the Kitchens Forum that encourage people to improve their design knowledge and skills while exchanging ideas and having fun. Everyone is welcome to participate. You don't need any experience to start; that's what the threads are for: to build experience. I'll provide some tips for getting started later in the post.

Each thread starts with a topic to "design around." This can be a house style (e.g. Tudor), a home vintage (e.g. 1920s), a material (e.g. patterned Formica) or some other common element for posters to build a design around. I maintain a long list of ideas that various people have proposed (if I ever fall off the face of the earth you can pull it off an old thread), adding new ideas as they are suggested and taking off the ones we've already done. When a thread starts to wind down, posters to the thread start to discuss the topic for the next thread and usually reach some sort of consensus. The preference has been to mix up the different types of topics (so, don't do three different home styles in a row; break it up with a material or other theme).

Then through a process of nomination/volunteering, someone gets the task of posting the new thread. It's nice if there is an educational component to the post--information and/or pictures to give participants some information about the topic. Some topics deserve a lot of background information and others not so much, but it's nice to come away from each thread with some new knowledge.

People can participate at different levels: lurker, commenter, or posting designs. One of the goals of the threads is to move people up that ladder: lurkers become commenters, commenters start doing their own designs.

Rules, such as they are
Some people like rules, some people don't. We haven't felt a need to harp on these as people have gotten more familiar with the threads and what we're trying to do. If you prefer, think of them as guidelines. Suggestions, even. General expectations.

1. Do your homework first. If the topic is Tudor Revival and you don't know what that means, go find out before offering up a design. This is part of the learning process. Once you know, you can break all the rules you want.
2. Be unique. This is your design; don't slavishly follow someone else's.
3. Put the design in context. Your design should relate to the style of the house.
4. Use a realistic budget. Go high or low, but keep it real.
5. Use materials that are actually obtainable. Custom is fine, but pipedream isn't terribly useful to people reading the thread for ideas.
6. Show your work. Explain and rationalize your choices. Many of the threads have been enhanced by some creative writing by creative posters who spin tales of homeowners and their kitchens (Power struggles! Revenge fantasies! Adultery! Divorce! It's like a soap opera!). While not mandatory, these can be quite fun.
7. Critique others and accept criticism yourself. You spend a lot of time on your design, and you deserve some constructive feedback, good and bad. Don't make criticisms personal, and don't take criticisms personally. This isn't a finished kitchens thread so nobody has to pretend to like something they don't.

History of the Design Around This thread
The idea for the design around this threads started in this post with Marcolo posting images of a couple tiles and asking why no one on GW designed around something like them (Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 9:12). That question prompted a mini "design around this" exchange with Palimpsest posting some great designs, leading Marcolo to ask, "I wonder if this should become an ongoing feature. Pick something unusual to base a kitchen around, and then try to make it work in 'mood boards'" (Sat, Nov 5, 11 at 12:21). Everyone on that thread seemed to agree it was a great idea. Next thing you know, Palimpsest was posting the first "official" Design Around This thread, and Bob's your uncle.

Benefits of the Design Around This threads
1. They show how to look at kitchen design holistically rather than as a series of independent or sequential choices, which is one way kitchen design can go wrong.
2. Specifically, they show how to use mood boards to plan a design. Since the threads started we've seen a lot more mood boards on other Kitchen Forum threads.
3. They provide inspiration pictures that fall outside the boundaries of current trends.
4. They provide examples of how to relate kitchen style to home style.
5. They put materials that might be unpopular or unfamiliar in the spotlight and let people see them in use in good designs.

Getting Started
1. Do not be intimidated. Most of the posters on these threads had never put together a mood board before they tried it here.
2. Do your homework, especially if the topic is a home style, era or design style.
3. Collect images of stuff you want in your kitchen.
4. Finalize your choices of what you want to put in your mood board.

At this point, you have a number of different options. You can link to individual photos in your thread (see instructions for posting pics on the Kitchen Forum FAQ). Or you can use one of a number of different software tools to create a collage showing the various elements of your kitchen.

Tools include the online tool Olioboard, something as sophisticated as Photoshop, or something as simple and ubiquitous as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.

Here's how I do it in Word (2007) (I expect to see some additional posts from others who use different tools, choose the one that works best for you):

1. Starting with a blank document, choose Insert Pictures, and select the desired image files from wherever you have them saved.
2. Format each image using Format-Position-More Layout Options-In Front of Text. This will let you drag your picture around wherever you want it.
3. Resize images as desired. Duplicate images as desired. Drag them around where you want them. Use "bring to front" and "send to back" to get them in the right order front to back.
4. You can "paint" cabinets any color you want by starting with white cabinets then inserting a rectangular shape over the top of it, increasing the transparency of the rectangle to 25-40%, and then formatting the rectangle to the desired color. The transparency lets the contours of the cabinet show through, but the color of the rectangle will dominate. It will look like the cabinets are colored. You can color other things this way, too.
5. When it looks the way you want, save it as a PDF. Then save the PDF as a JPEG. I think you need Acrobat Standard (not just Reader) to make this work. Alternatively, you can take a screen shot (prnt scrn) and paste the image in Paint, crop the frame, and save it as an image file. Someone also suggested this site as an option for converting to an image. There's additional information, including how to do a screen capture on a Mac, here.
6. Once you have your board as an image file, it's like posting any other picture. Upload it to a photo hosting site on the Web, then link to it in your post.

I had never done a mood board before the Colonial Revived thread (Design Around This #2). Heck, I'd never really figured out how to post pictures. But I figured it out for that thread, and posted a design (posting links to individual elements rather than doing a collage).
I found doing a mood board to be addictive, so I kept participating. I posted a few designs on the 1920s thread, and never looked back.

I like to think my designs have improved, and my skills putting together a mood board certainly have.


clipped on: 01.13.2014 at 09:02 am    last updated on: 01.13.2014 at 09:04 am

Re-starting Cabinet Search- what do I ask?

posted by: AGK2003 on 01.08.2014 at 09:52 am in Kitchens Forum

hello all, i am in brooklyn, ny and my hubby and i are in the midst of a home reno. we should have decided on a kitchen ages ago and actually had settled on a custom cabinet maker recommended by a family member. the only problem is he does not really do design. i tried to get someone to just do design through craigslist but it did not work out. i think we are going to go another route and start looking at cabinet lines this weekend. can someone point us to lines we should be looking at and possibly recommend specific places to go? i think a mid range line would be good for us. also what should we be asking cabinet makers or kitchen designers to determine quality? i've heard people talk about plywood boxes but have no idea. thank you!


clipped on: 01.10.2014 at 10:50 am    last updated on: 01.10.2014 at 10:51 am

Let's Hear Your Best Organizing Solutions!

posted by: lynninnewmexico on 01.07.2014 at 01:40 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

January is always the month we seem to get the bug to reorganize things in our homes. Probably because packing away all the Christmas decs/clutter inspires us. I know it does me. As much as I seriously love to organize and am pretty darn good at it, what I love even more is discovering new and better ways to organize.

Soooooo, what are your favorite organizing ideas? For your kitchen, your holiday decs, your closets, your pantry, your laundry room, your purse . . . whatever. Share them here and maybe we can all pick up a few new ideas. And, yes, I realize that there is an Organizing Forum here on GW, but this is where we hang out and we know each other here.

If you could list them each separately, it would make them easier for everyone to read through and come back to find their favorites.

Here's just a few
*Patty Cakes mentioned this one yesterday on the linen closet forum: Instead of trying to fold comforters for storage, roll them and then tie them with pretty ribbon. They take up less space this way . . . and for me personally, they allow my cabinet doors to close all the way finally!

* I have a freezer, fridge and shelves for extra food, cleaning and laundry supplies in our attached garage. To keep me from forgetting that I have an extra of something stored already in one of these places, I put a colored sticker dot on the one already in use (milk, peanut butter, dish and laundry detergent, cans of whatever, etc.). as I unpack my groceries and put things away. Now, when something is about used up, we all know whether there's another in the garage or pantry or whether we need to put it on the shopping list. I came up with this solution after ending up with 3 large bottles of balsamic vinegar once. I still have two of them in waiting!

* I've created my own shopping lists for groceries, Trader Joes and Costco on my computer and keep a print out of each, along with a pencil, in a designated spot in our kitchen. This way, my DH, DD and I can list or check off things as we run out of something. All of the lists are designed to flow in the order that I shop through each store., which helps me get done a lot quicker.

* Fold each set of sheets and store them in one of their pillow cases. Keeps them neat, together and easy to identify.

* I buy small notepads, mechanical pencils and small (but not grade schooler) scissors when they go on sale right before the new school year starts and are only $.50 - $1.00 each. I put one of each in drawers and cabs all over the house to use as needed. Having a small pair of scissors right there where I fold clothes, sort laundry or whatever comes in so handy to quickly trim threads, cut off tags on newly purchased clothing, etc., I use the notepads to write myself quick reminders, leave notes for my family or whatever .

* I used small, clear Command hooks on the inside of a cabinet door in our bathroom to hold my necklaces tangle-free and easy to see.  photo newnecklacestorage_zpsb3fae60b.jpg

* I've hung my rubber potholders and microwave pan covers inside the cabinet doors next to my stove and wall ovens, right there when I need them fast.

* I've also used larger Command hooks to hold my 2 favorite chopping boards on the inside of the cabinet door there where I usually prep all my food.

* to keep my dish towel handy, but not hanging wet over my kitchen cabinet doors, I bought a new pottery piece at my local nursery and use it to hold my towel. It dries pretty quickly this way, too. This could work with any number of pottery pieces that work with your own kitchen décor.
 photo 0042_zpsc355ed2f.jpg

I keep clear, inexpensive plastic shoe boxes in my broom closet to hold tape, extension cords, fire starters to use in our fireplaces, various glues, dog treats, etc. I love that everything is clearly labeled with matching labels, separated, neatly organized and easily accessible .
Well, that's just a start of mine. How about you? What organizing tips can you share with us??

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 22:30


clipped on: 01.09.2014 at 11:50 am    last updated on: 01.09.2014 at 11:50 am

My reveal - Two-tone, modest budget

posted by: KathyNY76 on 01.07.2014 at 02:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

GW has been a great help in my kitchen remodel journey. I learned so much and think I have a better kitchen because of it, so thank you! I also happened to find my KD through the site, so if you are in the Westchester county/Hudson Valley area, send me a message and I'll gladly recommend. I was pretty anti-KD at first because I was really trying to stick to a budget (a rather modest one for my area of the country, though not in much of the country), and I'm pretty confident in my research abilities and thought I knew enough. I certainly did the 'designing' when I sat with the guy from Home Depot. But I stumbled upon this KD and the (quite small) added cost was worth it because of the ideas/details/etc that I truly feel would have been missed if it was me and 'guy from HD'.

What I love most:
Prep area! Lots of counter space and a couple different areas for various people to use. I hosted Thanksgiving and we had 3 people prepping in different spots, 2 other adults standing around (or at peninsula) drinking wine, and 2 rambunctious kids running through every 5 minutes. No one ran into each other or stepped on anyone's toes, and it was great!
I especially love my peninsula for lunch prep � whether it's school lunches with my lunchbags/ziplocs/fridge/foods all right there, or regular lunch where I can spread out sandwich fixins and stuff to make up 3-4 plates, it's just as I hoped it would be.

What I might/maybe/probably would do different next time (but don't tell my husband because he'd kill me if I wasn't completely happy...

Cream cabinets...while I LOVE the look of the two tone, and this color is EXACTLY what I had in mind for painted (I did NOT want white but didn't want too yellow either), the couple dings/chips that have happened are REALLY bothering me. They don't touch up nearly as easily as a ding in the stained cabs do. And I hate seeing the dirt more. I wipe down my cabs enough for them to be technically clean, but one greasey kid (or parent!) hand and now I've got to wipe that off even though I might have just cleaned them the day before. It annoys me, quite frankly.

My backsplash...sigh. I found the perfect tiles. I loved them so much! They were a unique shape and the cream matched the cabs almost exactly, and they were from HD so very budget friendly. Unfortunately, the slight blueish tone that a few of the tiles had in my samples (which was lovely on its own) became a 'sea of blue' to my eyes when it was all put up. And I personally really dislike harlequin so never wanted that...from far away they look harlequin! :( However, the color is growing on me and I'm apparently the only one who really notices (except KD! :) ). In fact, it's one of the first things people notice and compliment and they always touch it � so it must look decent, just not what I envisioned.

But all in all, I love it. It works so much better than my old. Now we just need to get a new dining room set...but hubby wants to wait until the kids grow a bit and it won't be covered in food and glitter glue! LOL

Cabinets � Showplace, Style: Concord, Color: Stained are Cayenne w/Walnut glaze (cherry), Painted are Soft Cream (maple)
Pulls/knobs - Jeffrey Alexander Chesapeake pull, Jeffrey Alexander Crodova knob (
Granite � Ice Brown from US Granite in Danbury CT (got a free oggee edge since I declined their free sink)
Backsplash - Arabesque Selene Porcelain Mosaic
Floors � US Floors Almada Cork Pattern: Fila Color: Coco
Paint - BM Stone Hearth
Sink - Blanco 441024 Stellar Super Bowl Stainless Steel 28 X 18" (Ebay seller speedysinks)
Faucet - Delta Saville Stainless pulldown
Fridge - Whirlpool FD with fridge drawer
Stove - GE Cafe Series CGS985SETSS (5 burners, griddle plate, baking drawer)
UCL: Haefle strip LED

Before (a nicely staged pic from the listing when we bought, and a couple from how it really looked 99% of the time):
 photo Kitchen_zpsa8be1dfd.jpg

I never hated my corner sink. It afforded me prep space on either side of it in that tiny configuration. I think corners are ideal for some situations.
 photo 2013-07-23214339_zps59487172.jpg

The junk collector counter!!
 photo 2013-07-23214400_zps0ba0fd01.jpg

We never ate in it - didn't even put a table in there in 2.5 years. We eat in the dining room, which is one step away from the kitchen.
 photo 2013-07-23214238_zpsf56ade7a.jpg

After (gosh I have a crappy camera!!):
 photo IMG_1416_zps2196aca6.jpg

Yes, I know the stools don't match. I got them used and cheap b/c I have a 6 and 4 year old. I will wait a few years to get nice stools! :)
 photo IMG_1419_zps0d6200c6.jpg

That's not schmootz on the fridge cab side, just glare from the micro front...
 photo IMG_1417_zps6a9386ec.jpg

I LOVE my granite - even the giant dark spot by the sink. We couldn't make the cuts work to eliminate it and it actually has some of my favorite sparkly bits.
 photo IMG_1424_zpse9a38dc5.jpg
 photo IMG_1422_zps45721d5e.jpg

Spots like this are iridescent at the right angle - especially at night with the UCL on!
 photo IMG_1423_zps3574b959.jpg
 photo IMG_1434_zps74981f27.jpg 'blue' backsplash...
 photo IMG_1247_zps2cb3f32c.jpg

View from the living room (which we use as our TV/gathering room so being open to this side of the house is perfect). I was concerned about eliminating a 'formal' dining room in a traditional home, so KD suggested leaving the bit of wall at the top - gave a visual separation cue, and saved us from figuring out how to handle the crown that was already in the DR!
 photo IMG_1447_zps5a7e7209.jpg

Pantry KD suggested we turn sideways. 12" deep is great to see everything and not need to spend $$ on rollouts. Also makes a nice furniture look from DR view. We were going to make the side an access door, but I was trying to cut costs at the end and cut that. Don't miss it at all. I take half a step further and I'm around the corner at the actual doors. I also LOVE my fridge - that small drawer is perfect for produce/lunch/kid items. They can get their own stuff out and it's all I need to open when making lunches in the morning.
 photo IMG_1433_zps6423ad2d.jpg

Another cost saving item - we had to nix the finished panels on the back of the peninsula. So KD ordered a couple flat trim pieces and we put them on. Seriously makes it look better, IMO - clearly not as nice as panels, but better than nothing.
 photo IMG_1432_zps30891adb.jpg

My stained hood was debated on GW - some thought it would 'stick out like a sore thumb'. I thought it complimented the stained uppers above the fridge and pantry cab. I like it. I get lots of compliments on it, so I guess it works - for me at least! :)
 photo IMG_1420_zpsa8f80b3d.jpg

View from front door:
 photo IMG_1415_zps13ff0cdf.jpg

Storage stuff:
I love my drawers - we have a huge snack drawer, an art supplies drawer, a tupperware drawer...heck, I even have a drawer solely for placemats and another for dishtowels! So much storage! BUT, for my items, I need a couple cabs. So now I sing the praises of 'mostly' drawers to people remodeling...
My pans/cutting boards, and even a shelf for a few of my often used serving dishes
 photo IMG_1428_zpsc07c005c.jpg

 photo IMG_1431_zps626dc1a4.jpg

I had my spices in the drawer next to my stove, but I couldn't access them as easily as I wanted - I've always had them in the upper cab right in front of my prep area and I just like it that way, I guess. And I didn't like my knife block on my counter b/c I kept hitting them on the cabs when I took them out and it was adding to counter clutter. So I bought a cheap knife holder at BBB, and one of these cheap spice holders. I like both very much.
 photo IMG_1430_zpsc0fbc8f0.jpg
 photo IMG_1429_zpsef2af709.jpg

I also took all my utensils except my always used tongs and wooden spoons off the counter and put them in my 'drawer in a drawer' to the r of my stove. Also it fits the grill items!! Love this (pyrex is under the DIAD, and pots/pans in next drawer down)!
 photo IMG_1427_zpse43060e6.jpg

My small command center - we got the phone and bill clutter in the cab and off the counter. Also a calendar, clip for each of the kids' 'important stuff', and the first stained drawer has all the other kid stuff in it (class lists, hair ties, glue sticks, pencils, etc). It's also my coffee/tea station as we have the mugs, coffee grinder and tea bags there. The fridge is just to the R so we can access the water. And I keep my K-cups in the white drawer.
 photo IMG_1426_zpsc3f78d7b.jpg

And lastly, the KAW during Thanksgiving!
 photo 2013-11-28-0003_zpsd3e80a36.jpg

 photo 2013-11-28-0018_zpsaa650fc7.jpg


Layout similar to ours
clipped on: 01.08.2014 at 08:11 am    last updated on: 01.08.2014 at 08:12 am

Kitchen Ideas Checklist - What can you add?

posted by: BelfastBound on 12.10.2013 at 04:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was just taken to the woodshed by my GC for "wearing down" the KD and Window salesperson with questions and changes. I blame GW because here I learned creative and useful ideas that both these "subs" failed to provide. Also I do not have an unlimited budget and I need to know the price of an option so I can make trade-offs. I told him if they had given me these options up front, not every little thing would have to be a "change". The subs are p**sd because they may price out glaze on cabinets or type of window and I have to say, thanks, I can't afford it and they feel why did they bother to price it.

I thought a list of ideas and things to consider might be helpful for those just starting to plan a new kitchen, a rubric of sorts, to discuss with your KD or DS. I am still in the planning phase so the list here is likely lacking. Thanks for your contribution.

Cabinets - Frameless, inset, beaded inset, overlay, partial overlay, construction (wood type, dovetailed), paint or stain and or glaze,

Upper Cabinets - Flush to ceiling or molding, above cabinet lights, lights in cabinet, below cabinet lights, light rail to hide the under cab lights, lights at top, lights at side, glass fronts, glass shelves, height above counter, depth of cabinet to fit your plates, hinges.

Lower Cabinets - Toe kick drawer, Height, drawer or door, proud to other cabinets, pull out options like Rev-a-Shelf

Cabinet Drawers - Glides: under or on the side, Amount of weight glides need to hold, soft close and/or full extension

Panel for dishwasher

Open shelving

Where will your paper towel holder be?

Pullout shelves for spices, pots, under the sink

What will be used for hand soap, dish soap, SOS etc

Where will wet dish towels go, dishes that will air dry?

Options for handling a blind corner

Options for above the fridge

Hiding or placement of outlets in cabinets/island/drawer

Computer/phone charging station

Where will cookbooks live

What am I missing? Thx again.


clipped on: 12.11.2013 at 02:06 pm    last updated on: 12.11.2013 at 02:06 pm

Photos of my almost done White and Walnut kitchen/mudroom remodel

posted by: tl1969 on 11.01.2013 at 12:32 am in Kitchens Forum

It's been a long, hard road, but the end is finally in sight! After all the hours of research I spent on this forum, I feel compelled to pay it forward. As some of you recall, I asked for advice on my floorplan many times and there were so many who responded, but I need to give a special shout out to rhome410 and bmorepanic who kept me sane and helped me fight my Kitchen Designer every step of the way ;-) Plus beekeeperswife, who chimed in many times with great ideas and kept me strong in the face of a ridiculous amount of stress and things going wrong on this project.

To give you a sense of how far we've come, this is the before shot
 photo GWOldBrownKitchen_zpsa2e2606c.jpg

And After

 photo GWFromCornerLookingToCooktop_zps1954fa00.jpg

And here is the kitchen from the West looking to the East
 photo GWKitchenAtNight_zpsde737da4.jpg
From the South looking to the North
 photo GWEntertainmentIslandAtNight_zpsecdc8339.jpg

And the North looking to the South, the grid windows in the sunroom were old, and I thought I could keep them.

 photo GWKitchenLookingtoSunroom_zps0ad26b5a.jpg

But, we just installed these panes of clear glass, from Sunrise, and they make a huge difference.
Daytime view of sunroom windows after panes of glass install photo image_zpse4e4cd3c.jpg

New fridge and microwave wall
 photo GWSub42_zps1cedea49.jpg

vs. the old fridge wall and microwave
 photo GWOldFridgeWall_zps2c62b355.jpg

We have dividers above the oven for cookie sheets, pizza stones, oversized serving trays, etc.

 photo image_zpsc5f6eccf.jpg

I put a drawer below the ovens for all of the GE Advantium Speed Oven's microwave and convection/oven trays, booklets, etc.

 photo image_zpse554cbef.jpg

Here's our first meal we cooked in the newly remodeled kitchen. Braised short ribs. The induction cooktop is such a pleasure to use.
 photo GWFirstDinnerBraisedShortRibs_zpsddcd6ee1.jpg

The backsplash behind the cooktop goes to the ceiling.
 photo GWBacksplash_zpsd3dbab0b.jpg

The Ticor Prep Sink I have is a knock off of the Kohler Stages, and I find it to be a really great design, especially with the Kohler Karbon faucet. The walnut cutting board was custom-made and fits and slides in the grooves of the sink, just like the colander that Ticor made.

 photo image_zps6c363747.jpg

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 photo GWPrepSink_zps3b8ff005.jpg

The Ticor built in colander with my garden bounty
 photo GWGardenVeggiesWashing_zpsb826174b.jpg

My Jenn Air Induction Cooktop has two bridge elements, which is nice when I want to use my cast iron griddle for pancakes, bacon, etc.
 photo GWInductionOil_zps97662b19.jpg

But, the corner chipped off about one week after it was installed, and no one knew how or why. I contacted Jenn Air, and they explained that the only way they are responsible is if the glass shatters due to thermal damage. This corner crack was clearly not near the thermal induction units, so I was SOL.

 photo image_zps8a1d8c83.jpg

I decided the chipped corner was in addition to being ugly, dangerous, as it is very sharp. Since I did not know how fragile the glass corners would be on a replacement top, I opted for the Euro Stainless framed version when I replaced it.

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I actually think it looks even better with the stainless steel, so I am trying to focus on the silver lining to this $500 cloud of unforeseen replacement.

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This shows the 42 inch Side By Side Sub Zero, the orbital finish with marine edge stainless steel countertop and the two ovens, GE Advantium Speed Oven and Wolf E Series oven. I pored over A2Gemini's photo of the two ovens together, before I pulled the trigger and bought them both. So far, they have both been great!

 photo GWIslandPendant_zpsf92f6a93.jpg

Closer shot of the glass display with my sterling silver
 photo GWSterling_zps5518945a.jpg

The wine cooler has a bubbly chandelier next to it, from, which I love, as it reminds me of champagne and sparkling wine.

 photo GWWineCoolerChandy_zpsddf8580c.jpg

 photo image_zpsed3cdb5b.jpg

I decided to take advantage of the few inches I had to the right of the wine cooler, and put in these liquor pull outs
 photo GWLiquorCabinet_zps7162a964.jpg

It is a miracle that I still have so many bottles left of wine and tequila after this remodel ;-)

Here is the cooktop wall, with seeded glass cabinets flanking the hood, and glass display to the left
 photo GWCooktopHood_zps872a35d0.jpg

 photo GWGlassDisplayCase_zps0b643e54.jpg

The tile is by Sonoma Tilemakers, the Vihara Annica Silk, 1 x 4 inch complements the Mother of Pearl Quartzite countertops and the walnut countertops.

 photo GWTruffleSinkwithKarbon_zps5df36ff2.jpg

The Truffle Silgranite sink by Blanco also works well with the Mother of Pearl countertops.

 photo GWTruffleSinkWithMOP_zpsfcd26598.jpg

This the view from the Living Room looking towards the sunroom, the sunroom stools are a great spot to watch all the kitchen happenings.
 photo GWStoolsInSunroom_zps33c5945b.jpg

Close up of the 10+ foot long walnut countertop in the sunroom, overlooking the clean up sink and prep sink area.
Walnut countertop up close photo image_zps1b1cdb99.jpg

And here is the view looking out to the backyard, the windows are new and make a huge difference with the space.
 photo GWSunroomTable_zpsf2a4df86.jpg

And the view from the kitchen's clean up sink towards the sunroom and living room, where I replaced the grid windows as well.

 photo image_zpse1fe8753.jpg

In the big island, directly across from the dishwasher and big clean up sink, I have large 36 inch long drawers that hold plates, bowls, tupperware, etc. I love not having to stack them on tall shelves.
 photo GWDishDrawer_zps38149bb9.jpg

The top drawers are full of organizers for knives, kitchen gadgets, etc.

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Perlick Fridge drawers in the smaller "entertaining island" have drinks, and the sink has a Reverse Osmosis, both are convenient to the bar area for making coffee in the morning.

 photo GWPerlickDrawers_zps0e7a1f3f.jpg

Pantry between the breakfast bar and ovens.
 photo GWPantry_zps5ea4d508.jpg

I installed a Yellow Jacket central vacuum in the small island. There are vents to sweep up crumbs, under both islands, and it comes in handy across from the cat feeding area. The wood floors throughout the first floor are 5 inch wide rift and quartered solid white oak from Heidelberg Wood Flooring in Indiana.

 photo GWCentralVac_zps29653967.jpg

Here is the drawer where I put the cat food, treats, and bowls.
 photo GWCatDrawerOpen_zpsab1f543b.jpg

The corner cabinet is made by and makes me happy every time I open it to get something out as it is such an improvement over the old bermuda triangle that existed in my old kitchen in the exact same spot.
 photo GWCornerCabinet_zpsa2b98ad7.jpg

 photo GWCornerOpen_zps2033b393.jpg

 photo GWCornerCabinetOtherSideOpen_zps1e71f5c3.jpg

And the chandelier over the small island, close up so you can see the glass and the bubbles inside
 photo GWEntertainmentChandy_zpsb403faa8.jpg

Before this side of the kitchen was a lounge area
 photo GWOldKitchenLookingEast_zpsfadea924.jpg

What an improvement! We sit here all day long, the walnut and white stools are from Overstock and are so comfortable.
 photo GWEntertainmentIsland_zpsc939700f.jpg

The Wolf warming drawer is in the big island, and is directly across from the ovens. I put it there, so it is easily accessible for entertaining. I wanted the warming drawer to be close to my waist, so I would not have to bend over to reach stuff under the ovens when I have guests over.

The handles on all my cabinetry are Top Knobs, Princetonian model. I have plenty left over that I am looking to off load, if you are interested.

 photo GWWarmingDrawer_zps73811a14.jpg

Spice drawer next to cooktop
 photo GWSpicy_zps4a85b496.jpg

Before, I had a desk and a pantry along the wall that goes under the back stairwell.

 photo GWOldKitchenDeskPantry_zps58c138f4.jpg

But, I really wanted a breakfast bar, an idea I got from Mick de Giulio. That is what I put under the stairs in my remodel:
 photo GWApplianceGarageClosed_zpsbdad3246.jpg

Here is the appliance garage open with the toaster, juicer, etc. A marble sculpture of a pregnant woman, made by my late Mom, is on the countertop. I love having a piece of her in my kitchen! The cable boxes will be disappearing shortly, when I upgrade my receiver.
 photo GWApplianceGarageOPEN_zps9271c509.jpg

The trash pullout has recycling for paper and plastic as well as standard trash in front. Next to the clean up sink I have another pullout trash.
 photo GWTripleTrash_zpsaf39d759.jpg

Charging drawer
 photo GWChargingDrawer_zps436f32dd.jpg

Bread drawer with pull out walnut cutting board
 photo GWBreadDrawer_zps0cd7fef2.jpg

My crystal behind the hutch glass doors is like art, I love how the glass sparkles, with the LED lights shining on them. I love having all of my Grandma's crystal on display. She would have loved it!

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The punch of color on my sliding doors is Benjamin Moore's Warm Earth and I love what is behind the door: my MUDROOM with radiant heat tile floors!
 photo GWMudroomDoor_zpsc2bc487e.jpg

 photo GWMudroomLeftSide_zpseff4ac60.jpg

And a utility closet for brooms, Swiffers, etc.
 photo GWMudroomUtilityCloset_zps56dbc047.jpg

Closet doors in mudroom closed
 photo GWCoatClosetsClosed_zpsd79dc0ae.jpg

And open, with storage on top and kids coats hanging on the bottom
 photo GWCoatClosetsOpen_zps2939f440.jpg

Pull out baskets are great for holding sunscreen, gardening gloves, mittens, etc.
 photo GWPulloutBaskets_zps802d9942.jpg

My stone countertops are Taj Mahal Quartzite, AKA Mother of Pearl Quartzite and are seemingly bulletproof. Taj Mahal countertops have cream, white, brown and gray in them, which tie together nicely the walnut and white cabinetry and the Revere Pewter paint on the walls.
 photo GWMOPCU_zps8e43dea8.jpg

Even rainy days are blissful in our new space.
Even rainy morningare beautiful in my new space photo image_zps1fea56e4.jpg

Thanks for reading.

This post was edited by tl1969 on Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 11:06


Good overall kitchen post, pay special attention to her double oven combo.
clipped on: 12.08.2013 at 09:02 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2013 at 09:03 pm

Manchester Tan or Halo? Can you share pictures if you have any?

posted by: aurora_sb16 on 12.01.2013 at 11:17 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

I've been planning on repainting my house in Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan... It currently is Tabacco Road by duron. Could you please post any pictures of your Manchester Tan if you have it in your home? Or if you have cabinets and wood flooring (which is lighter in person) similar to mine, what paint color have you used? I really love the light almost white farmhouse look but I can only do so much because of the color of my cabinets. I did add a planked wall at my entry and plan to wrap it around the center storage room. I painted the planks "halo" by Benjamin Moore and really love that color too and am wondering if I could get away with that but then it may not work with my carpet.


clipped on: 12.08.2013 at 08:17 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2013 at 08:17 pm

Reveal, Kksmama gets her own sink and hood!

posted by: kksmama on 11.03.2013 at 05:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I thought about remodeling this kitchen from the day I bought the house in 2001. I never liked the appliances, counters, or cabinets and didn't want to invest time or money in a partial fix. I didn't know how bad the layout was, but did know that I wanted a real vent (not OTR recirculating) and second sink.

Flooring - Lauzon natural Sapele 5" planks, diagonal, engineered (pre-remodel)
Dishwasher - Kenmore (pre-remodel)
Rangetop - KGCU467VSS, propane Kitchenaid
Microwave - KCMS1655BSS countertop Kitchenaid purchased as 3rd appliance to qualify for rebate
Double oven - KEBS208SSS Kitchenaid floor model
42" counter depth fridge - KBFC42FSS Kitchenaid floor model
Hood - Kobe IN2642SQB-1200 (42"), custom cabinet surround
Counters - "Godiva" at my stoneyard, "Pretoria" elsewhere. Geologically it is metamorphic gneiss.
Pendants - Hudson Valley Haverhill 7311SN
Backsplash - Paragon Pearl Lace mini-brick from
Sinks - Blanco silgranite cinder, precis large bowl and precis cascade super single
Faucets - Grohe concetta (prep) and Blanco Culina
Pulls - Amerock Candler
Glass - 1/2" reeded
Seating - Restoration Hardware (outlet!) Toledo Bar Chairs and stool
Demo Day July 9, Expected completion mid August, actual completion early November

My favorite things include: deep and tall custom drawers, tapmaster, utrusta (Ikea) openers for trash, wood hollow drawer inserts, and Silgranite sinks - none of which I would've ever known about if not for GW. Most favorite is my functional layout and fabulous one level island. I'll always be grateful to Huango and Buehl for helping me understand what I needed there, and for my trash.

The amount of help and support I received from this forum cannot be overstated. I'm so thankful for the ideas, encouragement, inspiration, camaraderie, co-miseration, laughs, and the reassurance that I was not crazy (or at least in excellent company if beingTKO is crazy).

My mistakes include: not thinking through the impact on coffee station and outlets when cabinet depths changed on the sink wall, not double checking measurements made by the designer (I have a stupid 3+" filler as a result), not specifying light rail and crown style, not being sufficiently assertive with the contractor.

I'm still working on the color of lighting strips and bulbs, and the colors in most of these photos aren't exactly right (IRL my floors aren't so red, the island not so dark). So I'm not entirely done, but close enough that we had relatives over for dinner and I loved how functional and comfortable it was to do so. After sharing the indecision and agonies of remodeling with all of you, I'm excited to share the happy ending!

Old kitchen:
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 photo ZiskaKitchenPlan_zpscf3eacb4.jpg

New Kitchen:
 photo IMG_8749_zpsb80c598c.jpg
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My pullouts photo IMG_1474_zps13802240.jpg
charging drawer above potato and onion baskets (opposite fridge)
 photo IMG_1479_zpsee6eec74.jpg photo IMG_1480_zps015a7bc4.jpg
tall drawer for cutting boards, pizza pan, cookie sheets - this picture best captures the real color of the floor and island photo IMG_1476_zps74fe84e2.jpg
deep and tall drawers for appliances and bakeware photo IMG_1475_zps368cc057.jpg


Drawers for cutting boards, muffin tins, cookie sheets, etc
clipped on: 11.04.2013 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 11.04.2013 at 04:58 pm

RE: Granite slab comments needed (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 11.02.2013 at 07:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

Granite slabs average around 58"x 108". Some shorter, some longer.

With your island being 94"x44", that's one whole slab right there. There won't be enough left over out of it to do anything but maybe a vanity. Not enough for the perimeters.

Your perimeters are 111" which is longer than most granite slabs. So, you'll need a seam. Granite that has lots of movement in the stone tends to have seams that are difficult to make look right without a lot of care. You can get a black section next to a white section and it looks like two jigsaw puzzle pieces that don't fit. A good match looks like two puzzle pieces that DO fit together.

To get the best possible seam, you get what is called bookmatched slabs so that the seam can be a mirror image of the other slab. Granite slabs are sliced up like bread, but with the faces facing each other being buttered (polished) so that it transports without scratching the other face. When a seam is bookmarked, the veins flow across it, sometimes in a "butterfly" pattern.

The fabricator is the most important part of getting a good countertop. Not the stone. Do your homework there and see their past work, especially the seams, before you let them touch any stone.


clipped on: 11.04.2013 at 04:55 pm    last updated on: 11.04.2013 at 04:55 pm

Bathroom Reveal, Thanks to the Bathroom and Remodel Forums! (pic

posted by: enduring on 04.05.2013 at 06:17 pm in Bathrooms Forum

From this:
east view of bathroom, note the white duct tape used to repair the hole in plaster at the tub flange photo IMG_1653_zps21245233.jpg

faux wainscot using embossed paster to look like tile photo IMG_1655_zps74d02890.jpg

To this:
entry to bathroom photo IMG_3924_zps24daa8f0.jpg

My vision
I wanted to blend this bathroom with the kitchen remodel that was done in the summer of 2011. I wanted a nice area for guest to use when visiting. Our other BR is at the other end of the house so not a great choice for guest. I wanted something soothing and “lovely”. I wanted some luxurious aspects to the room too. Overall, with the kitchen and with the BR, there was this theme I had in mind to keep the style of the original build. My Bathroom is a shed roof constructed addition, built on to the house in 1930 or so, when the house got moved from town to the farm. It’s a tiny house. The BR walls still had the original plaster embossed 4x4 tile look wainscot that the plasterer did. So I wanted to keep that style - but make it real tile. I realize having the bathroom off of the kitchen is not a desirable location and I could have closed the door and created a new one on the porch, but I chose to keep the original door location. My sister was surprised. I was originally going to take out the tub and put my W/D in there, but my DS was so sentimental about the room and taking baths there when a (dirty) little guy, that I kept the tub in the plans, scratching the W/D. I wanted to keep the BR looking somewhat similar in cabinet make and style as the kitchen, except painted cabinetry. I had in mind who I wanted to make my cabinets too. I saw some of his work and was impressed. And finally, I wanted to make more soapstone counters ☺ which ended up turning into a sink because I could be assured of a larger sink and still fit my constraint of 18” depth vanity.

So my vision didn't evolve in isolation. I took into account the history of the farm, house, family, function, friends, local craftspeople, and my design.

There were functional issues I wanted to improve upon, and some functional aspects I wanted to keep. I wanted to move the toilet out from behind the door so that the door didn’t bang into the rim each time it was opened. I was surprised that the toilet tolerated this treatment over the years. I wanted a somewhat accessible bathroom in case a wheel chair or walker was in the future. I planned the layout to meet ideal spacing for the most part. That was why I needed the 18” deep vanity and the round bowl toilet that I chose. I selected the tub to be low enough to get dogs and kids in and out of. Storage was a premium and I added roll out shelving and a pull out upper, in a small tower. These new cabinets replicate what was already there, but are new and with more style and function. I may not be able to cram as much junk into the cabinets with the roll outs, but what is there is accessible. I don’t need all that extra stuff anyway. I drew multiple floor plans, measuring everything to be sure the small space could work with my vision. Once I found my measurements I could start the selection of elements to fill the room.

The room was totally gutted down to the studs. All the electrical replaced and all the plumbing taken out and replaced. I kept the flooring and subflooring because the wood was in such good shape and it was probably old growth timber, nice tight grain. Can't beat that. We added 2x8 joist (DH did :) to strengthen the floor for stone tile. I prepped the floor for the self leveling compound to a T as instructed by Bill V.

To add the element of luxury, I put in radiant floor heating. I used a high-end tub filler with shower wand, and matching high-end wall mounted faucet. There is LED lighting under the vanity shelf and behind the mirror for night lighting. I used a marble listello to give some style to the wainscot. And of course my SS sink with the wonderfully lovely vanity base that Brett made for me. Oh, I can’t forget that I put in the slate floor in a herringbone pattern to add another style element. Remembering how Angie DIY cut all her tiles for her kitchen, I cut my 12x12 tiles down for herringbone. Thanks to Mongo for helping me on the layout and the tile cutting equation.

This was a DIY project except for the plumbing and the electrical. All of the heavy stuff got delegated to DH and DS, with me being the boss :) Of course if something needed problem solving, DH stepped up and helped me. Although, he did not help me with the grunting, I mean grouting. He just stayed in his office and periodically asked if I was ok. He has farmed all his life and in a previous life was an aerospace engineer out of college as well as a stint in the army. I used his smarts to help me along the way. I used the remodel forum a lot to figure out how work with the joist/flooring support to ready it for stone. Brickeyee, Renovator8, Worthy, sombreuil_mongrel (aka Casey) helped a lot with that one. Someone commented that it was one of the most over thought floors on the forum in a long time. Mongo and Bill V. helped with both the floor and the tiling. Mongo really explains things well, beyond tile. I went over Stacyneil’s thread about self leveling compound with a fine toothed comb. The JB forum was a lot of help too! I ran by my Ditra issues both here and on JB. Regarding the dry wall Brickeyee was very helpful. He coached me through it all. I had a big hole in my ceiling too that I fixed with the remodel forum’s help.

One benefit of taking a year, is that it gave me time to really think about things before committing to them. Since I have never done this before it was so helpful to have the time to learn. The down side with taking a year is that it gives you time to change your mind on finishes too many times, and end up with not only chrome, but polished nickel, polished stainless steel, worn pewter, and natural iron in the mix! Oh well, it will give it a layered look, right?

One last point, I messed with my Photobucket account last month and all of my old posts no longer have images attached to them !!! :( I will add a few from those old post to show some of the process and progress along the way.


2. Lights, Norwell, Emily sconce 100watts each, chrome

3. Window, Windsor Windows

4. Tub Filler & Hand Shower, wall mounted, chrome, Hansgrohe Axor Montreux with handheld shower

5. Faucet, Hansgrohe Axor Montreux wall mount chrome with cross handles

6. Tub, Kohler Bellwether 837, white cast iron

7. Tub drain, Kohler K-T37397-CP PureFlo™ Victorian Push Button bath drain trim

8. Floor, special order black slate from Home Depot in 12x12 gauged.

9. Floor heating system, 240 volt Warm Wire by Sun Touch; wire system with thermostat and 2 temp probes (one not hooked up but in the electrical box in case the other fails)

10. Tile underlayment, Ditra over the ply that Bill Vincent specifies in his FAQ site.

11. Thin set, Ditra-Set un-modified, for the floor; Hydroment Single-Flex for the walls, modified.

12. Wall tiles:
a. 4x4 white ceramic tiles that I got off of Craigslist

b.listello is “Hampton” marble mosaic from The Tile Shop (I cut it apart because the spacing was not good and some of the tiles where different sizes so where culled)

c. Crown, Johnson Tile that I got off of Craigs List. When I ran out was able to locate them at Best Tile in Syracuse, NY.

d. Base board tile from The Tile Shop.

13. Grout and caulk, Laticrete caulk to match the grout. Spectralock epoxy grout in Silver Shadow for the walls. Platinum and Silver Shadow 3:1 ratio for the floor.

14. Moisture barrier for tub walls, HydroBan

15. Paint, all Benjamin Moore, except lacquer, which was colored to BM colors
a. Bath and Spa for the walls in Bunny Gray

b. Vanity is ML Campbell lacquer, colored to BM “Thundercloud Gray", #2124-40
c. Cabinets, ML Campbell lacquer colored to "Distant Gray" #2124-70
d. Casement around door and window, BM Super White
e. Painted Pine standing cupboard, BM misty gray 2124-60

16. Built-in Cabinets and Vanity, Brett Arganbright, proprietor of River Valley Woodcraft.

17. Sink, Soapstone remnant that I got from Bertini’s Tile and Marble.

18. Counters, Soapstone remnant that I got from Bertini’s Tile and Marble.

19. Toilet, Toto Promenade, round front, ADA height.

20. Toilet seat, Inax Advanced Toilet Seat L-series (round) CW-W130-LU

21. Grab bars, Kohler (?model) 24” and 18” at tub in polished stainless steel. 24” is used as towel bar.

22. Hardware
a. Amerock knobs on vanity and tub cabinet in worn nickel (pewter color)

b. Emtec door hinges (black) and lever handle (Napoli in silver patina on bathroom side and black on kitchen side)

c. Rockler hinges for painted pine cupboard, 3/8'' Inset Partial Wrap Hinges - Oil Rubbed Bronze, 3 pair

d. HD Martha Stewart knobs (black?) x 2, on painted pine cupboard

e. Towel bar on vanity, Baldwin in chrome that I cut down to 13 or 14 inchs.

CLICK on the image and it will take you to Photobucket where the images are shown in a "story board" format that Photobucket has created. I will try this technique and if things don't work out, I will post a few pictures.
Bathroom Reveal East 2013

edited 4-6-13 to correct the floor warming wire product name to Sun Touch.

This post was edited by enduring on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 22:09


Floors - black slate
clipped on: 10.24.2013 at 11:11 am    last updated on: 10.24.2013 at 11:11 am

RE: Finally finished! Walnut, quartzite, idea kitchen with pics (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: vsalz on 01.04.2012 at 11:44 am in Kitchens Forum


You can totally do it. The one thing I was afraid of was staining and finishing. The tung oil takes care of it.

Cost for all my ikea boxes and drawers: $900
Cost for doors: $1500
Cost for extra walnut cut to order, veneer tape, and oil: $900

For an entire kitchen.

Here's what I did. Plan your kitchen like you would using any cabinet line. Then, when you figure out what boxes you need, go to ikea or the web and order. The one problem is that they have limited sizes. For example, I originally ordered a 27" oven, but Ikea doesn't make a cabinet that size. The ikea hackers site shows you how to cut down a cabinet, but DH didn't want to so we just reordered the 30" oven.

Then, we installed the cabs. Putting together an ikea cabinet is as simple as assembling a kids toy. All you need is a flathead and philips screwdriver and a hammer. Their pieces all fit together perfectly and you just turn the screws to lock in place. The hammer is for nailing on the back with little finishing nails. Do one and the rest take literally 10 minutes each. You could order the doors before you do that by simply ordering doors identical to the ikea sizes. The sizes are all online. We waited until cabs were installed because we had some wonky sizes (we also repurposed two existing drawer bases that were in the kitchen before.
I had the doors predrilled for hinges (full overlay frameless hinges you can buy at lowes in packs of 10). The ikea drawers come with Blum pieces that you just screw into the back of the drawer front then snap into the drawer. We covered the edges of the cabs with walnut veneer tape just in case there were spaces between the doors. That way you wouldn't see white in the crack- it would be wood. The veneer tape cuts with scissors and irons on. I oiled it and it looks exactly like the wood.

On the end panels- I had ordered toe kick cut from a local woodworker. I specified 3/8 inch by 4 inches. I needed 309 inches and they gave me 309 feet (another story). We used that wood to build shaker end panels with nothing more than a nail gun and chop saw. But if you didn't want to do it yourself, just order doors large enough to use as end panels. I planned to do that until I ended up with all that wood.

I oiled the backs of the doors before we put up. I also oiled the toe kick before. Everything else I oiled in place.

Before, I have used thomasville and kraftmaid. Their cabs have never been less than 10k. For the difference in money I got the cooktop I wanted and put in the windows. I would do this again in a heartbeat. DH was very skeptical about all of it- online unfinished doors, veneer tape, ikea cabs . . . And now he agrees it was the smartest kitchen we have ever done. It looks like a 40k kitchen for half the cost.


clipped on: 08.27.2013 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 08.27.2013 at 05:33 pm

What Kind of Shower Doors?

posted by: enduring on 02.26.2013 at 08:16 pm in Bathrooms Forum

What kind of shower doors are best with the Kohler 3x4 cast iron shower pan? I would like to have something that is durable, not necessarily the most beautiful.

I plan to begin working on my second bath in the next 6 months and I need to start somewhere so thought the shower door would be a good place to start. I will be posting other questions over the next few weeks, trying to narrow down my ideas and product types/names.

In a shower door I need ease of use, stability, longevity, and if available beauty. I am thinking a framed door would be more stable but I could be wrong. Any and all ideas are welcome. As with my nearly finished bathroom, I am remodeling for the next generation as well as for DH and me, as we age in place. This is a family farm house, and we are the 3rd generation to inhabit it. We hope our son will live here in the future. I always consult him on my ideas too ;)


clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 02:36 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 02:36 pm

How much do frameless glass shower doors cost?

posted by: ambergma on 03.09.2010 at 11:05 am in Bathrooms Forum

I'm thinking custom, not Home Depot.

Doesn't have to be the thickest glass out there...

Can you tell me what you've paid?

Thanks much!


clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 01:05 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 01:05 pm

Finished Bathroom

posted by: Joga on 08.03.2013 at 05:53 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Since I've spent so much time here getting helpful hints and ideas for our bathroom remodel, I wanted to post the results.

My husband did ALL the work himself (except hang the drywall and shower glass). It took him 10 months working evenings and weekends.

Our house was built in 1921 so we tried to go for a vintage feel.

If anyone wants to know what materials we used let me know and I will dig the info up :)

Our bathroom before:

 photo 4F4143A0-6DEF-40D0-9C1E-EA7681212397-15213-00001CAA6B9A0BE2.jpg

 photo F569D75F-E555-43BC-8426-4F06CB706CDB-15213-00001CAA70871F6E.jpg

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And after:

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She notes in replies that shower size is 32x60. Notice handle is on long wall opposite the door, and the shower head is on the other wall.
clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 12:59 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 12:59 pm

Shower wall grout cracking, normal with house settling?

posted by: threeapples on 08.09.2013 at 11:37 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We have 12" marble shower wall tiles, sanded grout, and the shower has been used less than a handful of times, really just to test the floor tile which had issues. Anyway, the tile setter says cracks in wall grout are normal because the house is settling. These cracks are as long as the tiles, so they are not tiny. Our builder doesn't think this is normal. We hired the tile guy ourselves so we need to deal with these issues. I'm just wondering if wall grout cracking is common and to be expected. Thanks.


clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 12:52 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 12:52 pm

lighting over wall mounted medicine cabinet

posted by: bluebloom on 01.28.2009 at 07:20 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Preface to say my knowledge level is extremely limited and I get swirled around easily trying to figure many things out... so I venture to post now.

We are planning to have wall-mounted (recessed not feasible) medicine cabinets - likely Pottery Barn's Classic. Unfortunately the lighting must go above the medicine cabinets instead of on the sides, where I seem to see many illustrations and recommendations.

For sconces pointing down, it seems there are very few fixtures that stick out enough to totally clear the ~5" depth of the cabinet (thinking that the cabinet would create a shadow?). We found Restoration Hardware's Bistro sconce which addresses this by being adjustable (though maybe a tight squeeze to fit for the larger version of the med cabinet we'd prefer). However, it only comes in a single sconce and it seems that this would be too "insubstantial" looking compared to the relative weightiness of the dark double vanity (72" wide; sinks ~ 18" wide; med cabinets 20" wide to go directly above sinks).

For sconces pointing up, after deciding if the cleaning/dusting issue is acceptable, we've been told both that it's plenty adequate light-wise (but maybe using 100 watt bulbs, for triple sconce), or that it won't be good enough. Many of the triples (at least from Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware) seem to only use 60 watt bulbs.

Not sure if the eventual mandate (& desire) to use "eco-friendly" lights will make a difference; haven't finished figuring that all out especially hearing recently that the cfu's bother some people.

I'm not sure whether to post this in the bathroom or lighting forum; will try you folks first... I am amazed at the individual and collective inputs. Thanks in advance for any comments.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pottery Barn Wall Mounted Classic Med Cabinet


clipped on: 08.13.2013 at 12:53 pm    last updated on: 08.13.2013 at 12:53 pm

DIY budget elegant bathroom, almost done: pics...

posted by: staceyneil on 02.02.2011 at 10:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your support and advice along the way with our latest project... we're ALMOST done but sort of stalled. We just need to add the door threshold and some pretty natural wood shelves above the toilet, but DH has moved on to other woodworking projects, so those little projects have been shoved down the list of priorities. Since it may be months before I get those shelves (and art/decor) up, I thought I'd at least post some pics of the room as it is now. Forgive the crappy lighting: it's snowing hard so there's no natural light :(

Project scope:
1956 bathroom with 1980's/90's tile, vanity, toilet. Tub was original but sadly unsalvageable: the enale was totally wrecked and stained and impossible to clean.
Suspected some subfloor issues due to leaks.
Budget: $2,500. (final total was a bit under $3,000... so we didn't do too badly :))

The layout was awkward, the door swing used so much of the floor space and only allowed a very small vanity. Since this is the hall/guest bath as well as the primary bath for my teenage daughter, we really needed to maximize storage and vanity space. I drew a new plan which involved moving the doorway to the perpendicular wall. As much as my DH balked at adding additional work, he admitted it was TOTALLY the right thing to do once we finished. The room feels SO much bigger now.

OLD BATHROOM and layout:

Some photos from during the renovation... which was planned to take 4 weekends and ended up taking about 6 or 7.....
DD sledge-hammering the old tile down

lots of rot in the subfloor

Self-leveling-compound poured over the radiant floor heat cables in the floor

The shower area waterproofed with Hydroban (LOVE LOVE LOVE that stuff!)

~ ~
~ ~
~ ~
~ ~

NEW BATHROOM and layout plan:

Since our budget was soooo tight, and we wanted to use quality materials and get a unique, custom bathroom, we had to get creative!!!

I had a small amount (it was mostly random pieces and offcuts) of very $$$ calacatta marble mosaic tiles left over from a previous project that I knew I wanted to use. The other materials were chosen around that starting point. I designed niches to use that tile in, as accent, based on the quantity I had. I used inexpensive white marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot for the shelves.

For the rest of the tile, I needed to use super-cheap stuff (the entire room is tiled to chair-rail height), but I didn't want it to look cheap or ubiquitous. I would have used subways, but DD emphatically vetoed them. It's her bathroom, and we let her have a LOT of design input. Since we have other areas in the house that use square tile in a running-bond pattern, I decided to use 4x4s, which are the cheapest anyway, but in a running bond rather than stacked pattern. After bringing home samples of the big-box cheapies, I decided to "splurge" (20 cents more per tile, I think, it was about $2.35 per sf after sales and discounts)) on Lowes next-step-up American Olean Ice White, which has a slight rippled surface that catches the light and adds a layer of interest that the flat, cheaper Gloss White doesn't have.

For the floor, we used American Olean 12 x 18 Pietra Bianco, a limestone-look ceramic tile that I'm surprisingly happy with :) Underneath the tile is radiant-heat cable, so the floor is wonderfully cozy and warm.

Floor grout is Latapoxy epoxy.
Wall/shower grout is Tec Accucolor XT, a super-modified grout that supposed to be a lot more stain-resistant (PITA to work with, though!)

DD wanted girly, vintage-looking stuff, a big departure from DH and my modern aesthetic. We narrowed down the style range, then I started watching eBay for deals. We scored about $750 worth of valves and faucets and stuff for about $275.
Vanity faucet: Moen Monticello
Shower faucet valve, trim, tub spout: Moen Monticello with Thermostatic valve
Shower head: Grohe Relexa Ultra on slide bar (LOVE!)
(after working with a bunch of faucets recently, I can say that the Moen monticello stuff is pretty cruddy compared to the Grohe RElexa, Kohler Purist, and HansGrohe stuff I've used recently.)
Towel bars and tissue holder are Ginger Hotelier.
Curved shower rod is the Crescent Rod. I tried some expandable ones they had locally, but this one (ordered on line for the same price) is SO much sturdier and nicer-looking. It also makes the shower space much larger.

Toto Carolina that we got at a yard sale for $150 including the Washlet seat (which we removed). We were driving down the street and DD -who professes to HATE anything renovation-related- said, "Hey, look, Mom... isn;t that one of those skirted toilets you like?" SCORE.

American Standard Princeton ~$300 at Lowes. yeah, we chipped it right away by dropping a tool on it while installing the faucets; luckily there's a repair kit that actually does a pretty amazing job :) We used the American Standard "Deep Soak" drain, which adds a couple inches water depth for baths. I wanted DD to use her OWN bathtub rather than my new one in the master bath :)

an old dresser. We bought it on Craigslist for $40, and DH reworked the drawers to fit the plumbing. He also added modern drawer slides so that they work easily. We bought fabulous vintage glass knobs on eBay (if you're looking for vintage knobs, check out this seller: billybobbosen.)

I painted it BM Dove Wing.
We totally went over budget on the vanity top. I'd intended to bet a remnant of granite... but of course couldn't find one DD and I liked. Then we found this little slab of Vermont White quartzite in the "exotics" bone pile at a local yard. It was over budget but we loved it. Then, of course, we decided that rather than a plain square front, it had to be cut to fit the curvy front of the dresser... which added about $100. So the vanity top was our biggest expense at $480.

Medicine cabinet:
A salvaged cabinet we got at the local Habitat for Humanity REStore about 2 years ago. We framed it into the wall (where the old door used to be), painted it, and I tiled the little shelf area with my calacatta mosaic accent tiles and marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot.

Pottery Barn wall fixture from eBay
Ikea ceiling fixture (like $8 each and rated for bathrooms!)
Fan/showerlight combo is a recessed, can-style fixture by Broan/NuTone. It's AWESOME. Quiet, unobtrusive.

That's all I can think of right now. I think once we have the natural wood shelves up over the toilet, with DD's shell collection and a plant on them, it will give a little but of softness/naturalness which the room needs. It's a little TOO "elegant" right now :)


clipped on: 08.13.2013 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 08.13.2013 at 11:00 am

RE: Ideas for new vanity and linen cabinet (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: kmcg on 01.10.2013 at 11:49 am in Bathrooms Forum

Thank you, may flowers. I do love my medicine cabinet! It came to me as two separate cabinets, also from a salvage shop. I realized it would be hard to recess them into the wall, as they measure about 40 x 40, so I had the contractor wall-mount them and make it look more built-in by putting the ledge underneath. The top is built up to match our window trim (sorry no photo that shows the top; chaos reigns here right now). They used to be that kind of pickled oak finish, so this is evidence of the beauty of white paint!


Medicine cabinet
clipped on: 08.13.2013 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 08.13.2013 at 11:00 am

RE: Budget bathroom makeover reveal (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tinan on 08.01.2013 at 12:49 am in Home Decorating & Design Forum

Trailrunner, for the countertops this is what I did:

- sanded with fine grit to give something to grip to
- did a coat of Glidden Gripper primer meant for glossy/slick surfaces
- did 2 thin coats with a roller of regular BM paint (leftover from other projects)
- did 2 thin coats of Varethane brand water borne polyurethane for High Traffic areas. Epoxy would also have been good but I didn't want high gloss.

We'll see how it holds up but it's a very smooth finish (easy to wipe off) and seems sturdy. I figure if it doesn't last I am not really worse off than the old stuff which I hated anyway and had stains (purple - hair dye?) and chips.

I don't know why the before pic would not show up it looks OK to me...

This post was edited by tinan on Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 0:50


Painting cultured marbe countertops.
clipped on: 08.02.2013 at 12:15 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2013 at 12:16 pm

Bedroom, turned TV room - does it work?

posted by: kellyeng on 03.13.2013 at 10:20 am in Home Decorating & Design Forum

Well, not quite a TV room since we still need to move it from the living room - opposite wall is blank. I also see this room as a good place to read a book or play games.

I tried to go in a different decorating aesthetic than I'm used to. I lean towards a darker, more masculine look and I really tried to brighten up this room. Did it work? Does it look cohesive? Does the red table need to be painted a different color?

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clipped on: 03.13.2013 at 03:51 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2013 at 03:51 pm

grout and caulk questions

posted by: lor53 on 09.17.2008 at 02:10 pm in Bathrooms Forum

My new shower has white ceramic tile walls and the floor is a white marble basketweave, with Laticrete Silver Shadow unsanded grout. The installer used the same grout where the tile wall meets the marble floor, but it began coming out in chunks within weeks after we started using the shower. In places where it didn't come out, the grout had separated either from the floor or from the wall, leaving a horizontal crack.
I asked the tile guy to remove the remaining grout and caulk that joint, but he left the grout and caulked over everything (using a color that didn't match the floor grout) and the caulk line is really fat and obvious and ugly. Plus, this was done only five weeks ago, and now I notice the caulk is discolored in a lot of places suggesting mold/mildew and in some places it's peeling away from the wall. I'd like to be able to tell the contractor exactly what needs to be done and exactly what products to use so we get this squared away once and for all, and I'm hoping you can help.

Also, there's one outside corner in the shower that's finished with a regular tile on one wall butting into a bullnose tile on the other. Starting about eight inches from the floor and going up about another two feet, the grout in that joint has cracked--in some places it has separated from the bullnose tile and in others it's separated from the regular tile. The rest of the way up to the ceiling it's fine. The grout in the bottom 8 inches of tile isn't cracked but it's very lumpy and uneven--not a smooth line. I figure the two feet of cracked grout has to come out and be replaced--is there anything special to keep in mind here? Does the lumpy grout need to be redone if it isn't cracked?

Thanks for any advice!


clipped on: 03.26.2009 at 12:11 pm    last updated on: 03.26.2009 at 12:11 pm

RE: Please show me how you arranged your bookshelves (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: rmkitchen on 11.08.2008 at 04:04 pm in Home Decorating Forum

There may be others but a while ago I posted in a few different threads about the IKEA Billy bookcases we fiddled with and made look built-in.

lousy close-up but it's all I have to show the soffit / crown and the decorative pieces we ran (vertically) to cover where the bookcases met each other (and the wall on the left)

Our ceilings were (former house) 8', so by attaching crown & homemade soffit to join the top of the bookcases to the ceiling and decorative moulding to hide the joints of the individual bookcases (plus some luan skin on the sides) we were able to make them look built-in. We used the chase between the ceiling and the top of the bookcases to run wiring for (also IKEA) puck lights.

Recently someone wrote that they were disappointed with the sturdiness of the Billy bookcases. I can only speak to my experience which was that they were AWESOME! Granted, we attached ours to the wall, but I never, ever had any doubt about their construction or abilities. And they saved us so much money!!!


clipped on: 03.25.2009 at 04:30 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2009 at 04:31 pm

Have you got the look? The 'art' of hanging paintings in groups..

posted by: boopadaboo on 02.16.2009 at 05:27 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have many more paintings than walls due to moving to a smaller house. I am loathe to give up many of them and feel like I already parted with too many. I love this look, and I am thinking I would like to try hanging loads of the paintings on the walls in my DR, LR and stairway/hallway upstairs.

Do you just have to have an eye for it?

In some of these pictures like subjects are grouped, in some though they are not. They all still seem to work (at least to me). I know somewhere I have a picture from cattknap that I saved for inspiration. Do you think you need the layered look in everything for it to work? Meaning lots of accessories, fabrics and pillows too? I do not have that and am not sure I could pull that off with 4 cats that love to jump on everything.

I am wondering if anyone has pictures of their homes with stacked pictures hung and would care to share how they pulled it off?

Some inspiration pics I have saved (I think most are from Jennyfromtheblock - thank you jenny!)





clipped on: 02.18.2009 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 02.18.2009 at 05:59 pm

RE: Show me displays of your Childrens' portraits. (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: valinsv on 02.17.2009 at 05:26 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I agree that the display of family portraits should be a personal decision. Ultimately our decor should bring us happiness and for some that can be very personalized with art, religious images, photos. etc. Some may say that this is what disinguishes a house from a home. I think it is possible to display children/family photos tastefully if some thought is put into it.

For me, I've religated most of the family pictures to the hallway and would like to do a photo wall similar to how lindybarts has displayed. I particularly like the display of old sepia toned prints--that convey a sense of history and family and can also work well in most decors. In my LR I have only one photo out and that is a formal portrait of my grandparent's wedding which I sized down using my scanner/printer on photo paper from an 8x10 to a 5x7 print which was more in scale with the surrounding decor:

We do have the most recent sports team photos of two of our daughters in our family room--because it is an activity that is important to our family:


I also enjoy seeing smaller/candid photos on display interspersed with other nicknacks. cliff_and_joann comes to mind of having a a very tasteful balance of pictures with other decor.


I like this bookcase.
clipped on: 02.17.2009 at 07:45 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2009 at 07:46 pm

Know any good online upholstery fabric sources?

posted by: goldengirl327 on 02.03.2009 at 07:49 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have a Pennsylvania House chair (maybe it was called Elizabeth?) and ottoman in my family room that I can't bear to part with because it is so comfy, but it needs to be reupholstered. I went to Joann Fabric today and found a Robert Allen Truax (pattern name) material in loden green that goes perfectly with my color scheme, but it is $45 a yard. I live in CT and most of the sources for good fabric in my area have closed over the last few years. I think the closest source now is in Massachusetts. Do any of you know of any good, reliable online sources that might have better prices or alternate choices?


clipped on: 02.11.2009 at 09:49 am    last updated on: 02.11.2009 at 09:49 am

Can someone help me find this bookshelf?

posted by: twinkletoesmomma on 02.07.2009 at 11:09 am in Home Decorating Forum

I can find plenty of bookshelves with glass doors, but none of them have panes like this one which I really feel is a nice look.

any ideas of where I could find a similar one?

kitchen pantry


clipped on: 02.10.2009 at 02:29 pm    last updated on: 02.10.2009 at 02:29 pm

Furniture 101 : Q&A

posted by: dcollie on 03.07.2007 at 11:50 pm in Furniture Forum

I keep seeing repeated posts here asking how to tell quality....which brand is best, what will last the longest, etc. I thought perhaps it a good thread to address the basic things to look for, under the premise that an educated consumer can make a wise decision. So let's give this a try and not target "brand names" so much as general questions on furniture. This could be a LONG thread and make take quite a few posts to cover topics, but let's get started!

First off, my name is Duane Collie and I own a small home furnishings store in Alexandria, VA. I've been in business since 1979 and specialize in high-quality, American-made 18th century furnishings. Because of the nature of my business, I have learned hundreds of things about what makes a good piece, or a bad piece, or even a mediocre piece (just don't overpay for mediocrity).

Let's start off with something easy, the basic building block of all furniture..>WOOD<

Solid wood is preferable to veneers (which are laminates over a secondary wood) Wider boards are more expensive than narrow boards in solid woods, and more desirable. There are different grades of wood within a type. For example, there are over 200 species of pine and while Southern Yellow is not very good for furniture making, Eastern White Pine is. A cabinetmaker selects his wood based on his project and costs. If he is using an aniline dye and shellac coats, he needs a higher grade of lumber than if he is using covering stains that mask the wood flaws and mineral deposit variables.

Which wood to get? This varies by price and characteristics. Just because a wood is soft, doesn't mean its not suitable for a project. Here's a rundown of some common woods in the USA that are furniture grade:

Pine. Soft, but relatively stable. Eastern White has good, tight knots that will not fall out. Shrinkage and expansion is moderate. Dent resistance is poor. Takes stains nicely.

Poplar. Great Secondary wood (drawer bottoms, etc.) and very stable. Inexpensive. Halfway between a soft and hardwood. Takes paint well, but never stains up nicely.

Cherry. A great lumber! I personally find it more interesting to look at than most mahogany. Its a hardwood, but not as dense as maple. Takes aniline dyes beautifully and requires little or no sealer. Cherry will darken and 'ruby up' with age and exposure to sunlight. If you use it for flooring or kitchen cabinets, expect deeper and more red dish colors to develop over time nearer the windows of your home.

Mahogany. Poor Mahogany! So misunderstood! Mahogany grows in every part of the world, and varies greatly. Figured mahogany is highly desirable (aka as 'plum pudding' or 'crotch' mahogany) but you rarely see it outside of veneers due to the cost of those logs. The very best furniture grade mahogany is from Central America and Cuba, but is very hard to source. African mahogany is decent, and the stuff from China and the Philippines the least desirable. Mahogany can be done in open pore, semi-closed pore, and fully sealer finishes. Mahogany is a favorite for carvers, as it carves easily and is not prone to splitting when being handled.

Maple. Both hard and soft maple is an industry standard. Very durable, very dense, accepts many colors nicely and stains up well. Excellent for the best upholstery frames. Stable, and plentiful.

Figured Maples. Sometimes called Tiger Maple, or Curly Maple (one of my favorites). A small percentage of maple will be highly figured and is pulled off at the mill to sell to furniture makers and musical instrument makes for about 2x the price of regular maple. Tiger maple MUST be board matched and typically a single log will be used to make a project, rather than taking a board from this pile and another from another pile. Consistency is key, and you will hear the term 'bookmatched' used frequently in figured maples. Figured maples look best with aniline dye finishes and hand-scraped surfaces. Birdseye maples are in this category as well, but are so unstable that most shops only use them veneers.

Walnut: A hard wood to work with. Not many walnut forests, and most cabinentmakers loathe making walnut pieces for two reasons. First it much be bleached before it can be finished, otherwise its ugly. Secondly, it has to be filled and sanded. Very time consuming to do properly, but quite a handsome wood when done right (3/4's of all walnut pieces I see is NOT done right)

Oak: Another mainstay wood. Very durable, and dense. Not widely used in fine furniture because of the grain pattern.

There are other woods as well, but those are some of the mainstay furniture woods.

Wood has to be milled to make is usable. It is run through planers, joiners and wide belt sanders to get it to size. The larger and thicker the board, the more expensive it will be. Bed posts and pedestal bases on tables are very expensive to do as solid, non-glued-up pieces. So if you buy a bed, check to see if you see a vertical seam in the lumber which signifies a glue-up. Nothing wrong with glue-ups, just don't pay the price of solid 1-board.

Industry standard is 4/4 (pronounced four quarter) lumber, which when milled will finish out to 7/8" thickness. Anything thicker - or even thinner - requires more expensive wood or more planing time if being thinned out.

Once the wood is planed, it either goes to a wide belt sander or is hand-scraped. If hand-scraped (much more desirable) you will feel a slight ripple when you run your hand over the surface. Belt-sanded items will be perfectly smooth. Cutting the surface of the wood gives you a brighter finish over a sanded surface in a completed product.

Solid wood MOVES. The wider the board, the more it will move with the seasons. Expands in the summer, shrinks in the winter. The art of the furnituremaker is to build to allow this movement, without sacrificing joinery strength. Narrow board furniture does not move nearly as much, and plywoods and veneers don't move at all.

Joinery. The gold standard is Mortise and Tenon. That's the strongest joint where you have intersecting pieces of wood. All mortise and tenoned pieces will have one or two distinctive wood pins visible from the outside of the piece that secure that joint. Next up is Dowel joints. Not as durable as mortise and tenon, but superior to a bolt-in leg. Dowel joints look like M&T joints, but don't have the cross pins. Last choice are legs than bolt on, or are held on by screws. Plastic blocks, staples, nails, hot glue and the like are unacceptable as joinery methods.

I've reached the character limit for this post. More later. Hope you like this thread and will ask general quesions!


clipped on: 02.06.2009 at 10:04 pm    last updated on: 02.06.2009 at 10:04 pm

RE: Thoughts on spray painting 'wood' furniture? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: rmkitchen on 10.03.2008 at 01:55 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I know I'm a broken record (I've posted these pictures before) but I just want to say that I 100% support your effort!

Long before I met him, my now-husband purchased a kind of schlocky set of furniture, inc. a white melamine covered particleboard (like IKEA's, only not as nice ...) dresser:

When we started to live together I used it because in my previous home I'd had built-in storage which obviously didn't travel with me. As is, it wasn't my taste but I didn't have the money to get what I really wanted, so I attacked it with sticky primer (a primer which will create a "tooth" on plasticky furniture) and then Benjamin Moore's high gloss for metal and glass. (I cannot recall the exact name of the paint, but it's something like that.) I also attached some petite moulding to the dressers and changed the hardware to "dress them up."

And this is what I ended up with:

I liked it so much that even when I could afford what I wanted I didn't purchase it -- I was so happy with my recreation. You never know, you might feel the same way as well!



clipped on: 02.06.2009 at 09:45 pm    last updated on: 02.06.2009 at 09:45 pm

RE: Carpet on stairs questions (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dlm2000 on 01.09.2009 at 09:35 am in Home Decorating Forum

There's an old thread and discussion about this somewhere (probably more than 1!) but here are the pictures of mine. I had a tight carpet cut and bound for a center runner - didn't want edge to edge. Don't use a plush or a burber - when the material bends over the edge of the stair it will "smile" and you;ll see the backing. That's why you need a high quality, tight product. Labor is the largest part of this purchase, so if you try and save on material, you'll lose out in the long run by needing to replace it sooner and then get hit withthat labor charge again.


And close up


clipped on: 02.05.2009 at 04:03 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2009 at 04:03 pm