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RE: Flat screen TV over fireplace - ideas for making it look nice (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: lucy7280 on 03.03.2007 at 12:09 pm in Home Entertainment Forum

These are photos of what we chose to design and do after research, debate, and consultation. We chose not to have a TV of any kind in our small living room - only in the family room off the kitchen, so we weren't interested in having to disguise it. Initially we were just going to have a granite surround on the fireplace and mount the TV (we chose a 46"), but thought the brackets and side of the TV would be too visible from the kitchen which looks right into the family room. We had a reputable local audio company work with us to design a custom built-in and addressed pre wiring for the TV, cable, etc, to another set of cabinets in the kitchen (we didnt want deep cabs that were necessary to hold the components in the family room), protecting the TV from heat, viewing, etc. The shelves on either side of the fireplace will be covered with custom doors...not sure how it will work just yet.


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clipped on: 10.30.2010 at 11:12 am    last updated on: 10.30.2010 at 11:15 am

Walnut Island top used as cutting board - photos & finish details

posted by: petestein1 on 09.14.2010 at 01:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Almost two years ago I contributed to some posts about using my island top as a cutting board and got some helpful advice. I thought I'd post an update.

As part of a full renovation our kitchen island got a nice beefy top made of black walnut. Even though everyone thought I was nut, I said I wanted to use part of it as a cutting board. After all, it's a kitchen, not a museum. With that in mind, I had to come up with a food-safe finish for it. What I chose, based on advice here, was nothing more than a hand-rubbed application of mineral oil and bees wax.

I'm happy to report that it's been over a year and everything's gone great. First, the island looks great. Everyone comments on it the moment they see it.

Second, using it as a cutting board has worked out quite well. The wood is more than hard enough to stand up to my knives. Not having to get out a cutting board, and then keep all my chopped whatever on the cutting board as I work... it makes life so much easier. For those who told me I needed to do something akin to butcher-block -- making the island top out of end-grain... well, you were incorrect. End-grain would have been harder no doubt but the walnut is more than hard enough. And worst case? I break out a power sander and 1/64" of an inch later my island would be in immaculate condition.

No doubt, the knife leaves marks in the wood. But the wood is "busy" enough that you can only see them if you go looking for them and your eye is within 12" or so of the counter (photos below).

Oh, for those worried about food safety, I still don't get raw meat on the counter (though I think it would be fine as long as I cleaned up with soap and water afterwards). And we don't chop anything "stinky" like garlic or onion though we do work with other aromatics like rosemary and thyme. 15 months later and the counter has no odor of any kind.

Third, the finish. I was worried about this but in the end it's been fine. I melted some furniture-grade beeswax on the stove, added mineral oil (about 2 parts oil to 1 part wax) and let is solidify into a semi-hard paste. I rub it in, let it stand (sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes overnight), and then I buff it out.

At first I was doing this every few weeks but now I only do it every 2 months or so. I could probably stand to do it a bit more often in the quadrant I use as a cutting board, but, well, you know, life gets in the way.

For the first 6 months or so if you left a wet glass on the counter for more than a few hours we were getting drink rings. I had to lightly sand those out and rewax. But now we seem to have a deep enough coating that we haven't had a drink ring -- or any mark of any kind -- for over 6 months.

How do I clean it? A soapy sponge. Simple as that.

Ready for photos? Ok, here's the island as whole:

Take a good look at the image above. Can you see where I've prepared over 100 meals? You know -- the section where I've sliced up thousands of peppers and cucumbers and apples and peaches and melons and tomatoes and potatoes and celery and carrots and parsnips, etc, etc?

Okay, the "cutting board" area is the left side of the island, from the bottom of the photo to the sink. That 25% of the island is the designated "cutting board" section.

Yes, the board closest to the left of the photo has a lot of lines in it, but those aren't knife marks, that's "tiger-striping" in the wood -- I chose that board for there on purpose in case I needed camouflage for knife marks.

Ok, ready for a close-up of the knife marks? This photo was taken from about 8 inches away:

...looks like a cutting board, doesn't it? ;-)

So what problems do I have? Well, we have a lot of friends and cook a lot of meals together, People like to help. Once they get past the "What??! I can cut right on the counter???!?" moment I have two problems.

First, it's hard to keep them in the designated 25% that I use as a cutting board. Yes, the knife marks are subtle enough that they could probably work anywhere but I still haven't let go.

Second, these same people occasionally use a bread knife that can take some comparatively pretty big chunks out of the top. This has only happened once or twice, and with a coat of wax the marks pretty much disappear. But still, it's stressful.

Bottom line? I strongly encourage people to explore using an island top as cutting board. Second, a food-safe finish is easy! Third, I love my new kitchen. :-)

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clipped on: 10.12.2010 at 06:11 pm    last updated on: 10.12.2010 at 06:11 pm

RE: Need a picture of a shaker cabinet with bevelled inset (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tontam on 09.09.2010 at 06:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

I think I may have found it.....

The picture that kinsey06 posted is exactly what I want, but without the rounded part.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Here is a link that might be useful: Shaker door with bevel

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Shaker door with 45 degree bevel
clipped on: 09.11.2010 at 05:54 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2010 at 05:55 pm

RE: How do you store a LARGE collection of spices? (Follow-Up #74)

posted by: mysterymachine on 03.26.2008 at 03:09 am in Kitchens Forum

cat_mom - as promised:

It worked out great. Thanks for recommending the rev-a-shelf - that solid maple sure looks nice in the maple drawers. I'm going to tell the contractor to let the people open the drawers during the remodel tour.

I have 7 or 8 bottles that didn't fit becuase they were too big or I ran out of room in the drawer so they are just in the spot above the microwave where I had the spices before. As I rebuy spices I will try to get more of that brand with the black lids in the center row as they fit just perfectly and look good too.

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knife drawer by sur al table
clipped on: 09.02.2010 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2010 at 02:08 pm

RE: Ceasarstone-- what has been your experience? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: smarge on 08.11.2008 at 05:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

BTW, I should mention that none of my quartz surfaces are honed. My main purpose in buying quartz surfaces was that they are beautiful AND easy care. Adding maintenance due to honing ruled that option out for me.

FWIW, the quartz surfaces are not nearly as shiny as a polished marble or granite would be. The refection of my UC lighting in the kitchen is not as much an issue as I anticipated, and I have no regrets on not having a matte, honed surface.

Here is a pic of my counters if you are interested.

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Here's a close-up

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clipped on: 08.28.2010 at 10:09 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2010 at 10:09 pm

RE: Who has (or seen) under COUNTER microwave that's not the Draw (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: gbsim on 04.07.2010 at 01:59 pm in Appliances Forum

Here you go Tracy.... have been waiting to post pics of our refresh until I get my backsplash installed next week.

We were replacing an undercounter Amana from the 80's (also with a drop down doon). The KA fit the old space almost perfectly and the drawer would have required some modification. As a result of this being a retrofit, it's probably and inch or so lower than we would have put it if we had been building from scratch.

I've liked having the mw undercounter for all this time.... very few upper cabs and I love the lower location. Always dislike lifting hot things down from eye level when I'm at other's houses!

Not sure if you can see, but in the last pics, I tried to show the "cheat sheet" that you can see when the door is ajar that helps you remember how to work the different settings.

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kitchen aid architect series drop down door
clipped on: 08.20.2010 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 08.20.2010 at 11:00 pm