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RE: Limestone countertops (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: vedazu on 01.03.2014 at 07:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have Jerusalem Limestone as a counter in my cleanup/scullery area. I have a photo of the sink surround handy to send, so you see it partially--it is about six feet long to the left. I use it many times as a bar/hors d'oeuvres area to keep people away from the kitchen before a party. I thought it would be a catastrophe after the first few parties...red wine stain rings, then coffee stains. But! They disappear! they get absorbed, somehow and after a relatively short time, you'd be hard pressed to find them. The color is so mottled, that a little change in color is truly un-noticeable. However, once I had a ring that persisted a few days. I took some barkeepers Friend and gently worked it around. All gone. I also have a polished marble countertop that equally hides stains. However, I'd never take BKF to that surface. Limestone is actually quite forgiving and I'd use it again. Just use trays, cutting boards, of course, and wine bottle holders to avoid stains. It is a beautiful stone.

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clipped on: 09.29.2014 at 05:20 pm    last updated on: 09.29.2014 at 05:20 pm

Prettykitty's Classic Vintage White Victorian Lacanche Kitchen

posted by: prettykitty1971 on 10.06.2008 at 09:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is double posted from the Kitchen discussions page

I have been asked by several to post my kitchen redo so, here goes...forgive the repeats...forgive the length...

We began designing a rework of our home in 2004. We actually got started in September 2006 and moved back in April 2007 under duress - it was not completely finished, but we could not stand living on top of each other anymore. It was finished by August of 2007 with me having to throw tantrums every few days at my contractor to get workers here to finish the kitchen. At one point I threatened to wear a sandwich board up and down our street, reading "you would have to been crazy to use (my contractor)"

Okay, back to 2004: The back of the house (where the kitchen is located) was okay and livable, but it did not flow or have any stylistic continuity to the front of the house, which is so amazing in itself. I felt like I was in a different house when in the kitchen. The main part of the house was built in 1890 and still has a Victorian feel, the kitchen and breakfast room and porches were built about 1920 in the Craftsman era and kept being added onto and changed � to the point that an "extra" half bath had been added jutting out into a hallway and disrupting important flow. There were a few things that had been done that would make me stare and say "why???" The kitchen also felt very far away from the living areas of the house.

I have slipped in "before" shots where appropriate on the web album. Here is the link to my photo album http://picasaweb.google.com/quapaw/Our1890HomeAndKitchenRemodelRestoration#

or click on any photos below and it will take you to my album containing photos of our entire house.

before:

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

after: same view
From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

The house was near museum quality in the front rooms, but it was like entering the twilight zone in the kitchen and breakfast room, breakfast room (yes, 2 of them) and bathroom(s). Our house had 2 nightmarish half baths downstairs, one of which had been built in the middle of a major passage way and was so small a space that the previous owner who had built it bumped out the opposite wall just a funky bit to accommodate the space. I would not even allow people to use that bath as it was not vented properly (think smelly) and would not flush well (think plunger). Mainly, we wanted to restore the architectural integrity to the back of the house, which included removing a diagonal path and countertop that was the main path to the kitchen, raising doorways up to 10 feet to match the doorways in the original house � kitchen doorways etc, were all 7 & 8 feet, one directly behind a 10 foot opening, so it was readily apparent something was amiss. Another goal was getting a back door and opening up our back porch which had been totally enclosed and door removed � the room that went nowhere with a window looking into the current kitchen. I also was determined to have French doors from the kitchen that went out to a deck which was the same elevation as the kitchen floor, to the North, shady side of our property.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

We hired an architect that we had worked with previously with great success - we saw eye to eye on everything. After several attempts, he fired ME - not the other way around. He would not draw what I wanted, kept giving me drawings of what he thought we should do, that we should work with what had been done to the house - "don't open the old back porch, build on a new one; put the bathroom in the old porch," etc. That was $3000 down the tubes, we were already starting out in the negative! A dear architect friend of mine said she would work on the design. She drew what I wanted. I would ask for suggestions, but she assured me that my ideas made sense and would be really improving our home. The drawings were not cheap, but it was well worth it and we are even better friends, although, I was afraid I would be fired at any moment!

Our cabinet maker said he was going to get me a nice "johnny-back" cabinet for over the toilet, I said no, you're going to make this...

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

A word about the bathroom: I loved this apron sink but knew I could not use it in the kitchen with the island we wanted, so I came up with this cabinet. The floor is American Restoration Tile and includes encaustic tiles. I almost went with white subway tile, but I felt it would be too utilitarian for the space, so these are travertine stone cut into bricks. They are the kind with holes and I paid a large fortune for the tiler not to fill the holes with grout! Many like the bathroom more than the kitchen. We had a family member who was very much a sportsman and inherited all his fishing and hunting items and gear and have chosen to use it in decorating to add a bit a masculinity to the house and we loved him very much so we enjoy having it around us.

I have to say that I am proud of myself for coming up with this design, the architect drew it, but it was all me and my husband thinking it out and after living a year in the house, we knew what we needed and how we need it to look. I am picky if you haven't figured it out.

The basis for the design was figuring out where the openings had to be in the rooms. I wanted the French doors on the north wall, we had to have the passage to the dining room, and we needed a double opening to the breakfast room. So with all that, that dictated where we could and couldn't have cabinets, a stove, a sink, etc. We were also returning the flow to the back of the house, so that made it easier to figure out where the back hall need to go and what was left over would become the new full bath. I will admit that in the days leading up to the wreaking crew coming, I was still trying to figure out if we could get a better layout out of the space.

after receiving yet another delivery from ebay, my husband asked how many historic fixtures I had purchased, my quiet response "I don't know..."

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

How I came to have a Lacanche range (www.frenchranges.com): One day I was researching Thermador rangers and ended up on the Gardenweb forums. Someone had written that if you are considering a Thermador then you should take a look at one of these and provided a link to a photo of what turned out to be a Lacanche range. I showed the photo to our neighbor, who we had been taking care of everyday for the past 2 years, just to show him. He was always taking cooking classes, taking photos of his food, practicing garnishes, buying every kitchen gadget on the market, etc. He had a digital Wolf range that he was in love with so I knew he would appreciate seeing this beautiful stove - I didn't know such a thing even existed. Paul saw the French Range - the Lacanche - and said "You NEED that in your kitchen!" I said "No, I don't need anything of the sort" (our previous range was 30 years old, so anything would have been better, a camping stove would have been an improvement!) and he said "You NEED that stove!" He insisted on buying me that stove as his gift to the kitchen, it was also his idea that our cabinets go all the way up the 12 foot walls - "you might as well go all the way with this." My husband likes to say he had to pay for the kitchen to go with the Lacanche!

Given how my main hobby has to do with historic preservation, I knew I wanted a classic kitchen. I wanted marble countertops and inset cabinet doors and those French doors! I spent hundreds of dollars buying kitchen magazines and found several key ideas from that process. The glass front cabinets and the stainless steel countertop on either side of the French Lacanche range came from one layout I found, the open shelves from another and the pink pantry from yet another photo from a magazine (theirs was bright yellow!). Our butler's pantry was actually in our historic house plans from 1920, so we just recreated it. About our butler's pantry: the bottom 2 cabinets on the left are false fronts - they don't open - they are where the air return in located. The vents are on the opposite side in the back stair hall, so this just camouflages the box of the air return.

air return in the bottom cabinets

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

The glass cabinets, I thought about that problem of food storage and how unattractive that is and how to make glass front cabinets work for me. I just felt glass would be more appropriate for the look I wanted - it just looks elegant to me and says "original" although I'm sure that most true Victorian cabinets had wood fronts. I planned what would go in the cabinets before we got too far in design. I have about 3 complete sets of china in addition to two sets of everyday dishes and needed a place to put/display them, so then I needed a place for food. It's hard to visualize how much space you need for food when your food is all packed up for construction! I happened to have a little nook (it was our downstairs half bath, you could get your knees knocked off if someone tried to enter the bathroom while you were on the toilet!) that we originally designed as a desk area, that I made into "the pink pantry" which actually goes around a corner and is behind the refrigerator, where all the mess of the pantry is along with microwave and toaster oven. The part of the pantry that is visible (if you're at the main sink or range)stays neat and tidy given the way that it is designed - narrow shelves for spices, baking ingredients and display. I saw it in a magazine with its Victorian-ish trim and gave it to my carpenter and he just went to work. The counter in the pantry is just wood - out of money for any other surface and since there is not a sink in there it is not a problem. It is painted pink as that is the color that my 4 year old picked out - it was a compromise as she wanted the entire kitchen to be pink! She also wanted Dora the Explorer knobs - yes, there is such a thing - but I put my foot down on that!

the pink pantry

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

Where the "extra bathroom" had been removed at the back stairs and other demolition had taken place near the new/old back door, we found exterior sub walls under the plaster and sheetrock. In old houses this material is something like 1 x 6 set on the diagonal. I had been thinking about paint colors and what I was going to do with all this extra wall and I decided how wonderful it would be if it were returned to its exterior foundations - wood siding. I love texture and my contractor thought I was nuts, but he did do the siding for me and milled corner pieces for near the back door. We painted the siding the cream trim color like the rest of our interior house. This really added a wonderful historic and unique quality to the project. The house really looks like it's evolved and been added on to in a rather careful way.

Exterior siding and trim on the inside

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

For our back hallway we mimicked the wainscoting that is in our foyer and dining room, but on a cheaper level - we used bead board and MDF. The bead board wainscoting is the cheaper stuff: it does not have as deep cuts/lines/beads as the good stuff and the flat vertical and cross pieces are not wood, they are that MDF that they are always making stuff out of on HGTV. The top piece is wood trim.

bead board wainscoting

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

When I was picking out materials for our kitchen I finally reached a moment where I was afraid that the kitchen would be nicer than the rest of the house - which I did not want at all - so I began to try to pick out elements from the original house that could be reproduced in the kitchen, if only in variation, like the wainscoting and the slider doors instead of pocket doors.

We have 4 countertop surfaces(it works because you can only see 2 at anyone time), one of which is unpolished black granite, which looks a lot like soapstone, then marble, polished granite and stainless steel. I really wanted a veined marble for the island and despite everyone, even the marble contractor telling me I did not want that as my island, I got it.

I chose polished marble on the back splash so the gray veining would pick up the gray of the stainless steel, but I also considered bead board (we used it on our butler's pantry, I really love the look and it can be an economical choice if you get the "fake" stuff) and painted pressed tin. We have the marble island and love it and all of it's etchings that my 3 kids inflict upon it. They are not really noticeable unless you look for them.

We have slider doors on reproduction barn door hardware (www.barndoorhardware.com) that divide our kitchen and breakfast room. Our house has pocket doors, but we could not afford to build 2 walls, so this was another research project and something we are really happy with and that everyone marvels over. I really think it turned out better than pocket doors would have and it is unexpected, which I like.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

Our cabinets are creamy white with feet for an unfitted look. I did choose to get appliances that will take a custom panel, to be hidden into the cabinetry - careful if you get inset cabinet doors (where the door closes flush into the cabinet box) appliances that take a panel are designed to take full overlay doors - we just barely avoided a crisis situation that would have required me to be tried for murder. The main cabinets go all the way up the 12 foot walls, it is quite impressive looking, but fits the style of our home. Our bathroom cabinet is painted a red to give the impression of old wood - I could not afford to have "good wood" so came up with a color that happened to work really well for us. I bought most of my reproduction hardware from Van Dyke's restorers, Historic House Parts, and Rejuvenation, all online. Also Lee Valley Hardware Catalogue has some great hardward, my drop pull came from them. I have different types of drawer and door pulls, just one or two in key areas, to help the kitchen look as if it evolved (Two are fish pulls, I love them!). Our kitchen finally feels like it goes with the rest of our home.

drop pull

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

fish handle - everyone loves this one handle in the middle of all our Victorian cup pulls and amethyst knobs!

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

some other creative things that worked out really well for us: you will notice in the web pictures that originally there were 2 windows on the wall where the stove goes. The outside of our house is a rough stucco (it was "smothered" in stucco about 1920, the Victorian gingerbread and elements are under the stucco - visible in our attic!) and I doubted that my contractor could match the stucco to my specifications - we had already had previously unsuccessful attempts on other stucco repairs. On the outside of our house, the windows appear to be there - I had wood shutters installed in the openings, the windows simply look shuttered. It-s a nice touch to our exterior and I did not have to worry about the stucco being less than perfect.

On our new deck/Mayan temple, we had the steps wrapped around it - I did not want unsightly deck railings - my kids did for the pirate ship they have always dreamed of! On two sides there are plain built in benches - no backs - that provide a barrier on the sides that are butted up to the house.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

We had a TON of ups and downs with our project. We were supposed to be in construction for 4 months, but it really took a year and we were out of our home 9 months (we moved in with Paul our next door neighbor - all 5 of us!) Toward the end, May 2007, I actually said to our contractor over the phone, in my most stern and reprimanding voice "it's hard to appreciate how beautiful you have made my kitchen when you keep screwing up even the new stuff that you put in!" His response, "I know." He did not want to put the siding on the wall, but later came back and asked me if "he" hadn't had a good idea(he was kidding, telling me I had done good). Ask me sometime about what happens when the concealed appliances don't fit far enough back into their holes!

Lacanche Range, Sully Model - High performance, dual-fuel, double-oven stoves from France, one oven is electric, the other gas, top is gas and has the French cast-iron simmer plate over one of the two 18,000 BTU burners.
16 colors and finishes available www.lacancheusa.com
Bosch Dishwasher
Kitchenaid refrigerator drawers
Range vent-a-hood: Rangecraft
Ice maker - Marvel Industries
Compactor - Kitchenaid
Shaws Original Fireclay Apron Front Farm Sink by Rohl
Blanco stainless steel bar sink
Perrin and Rowe nickel plated sink faucets and sprayers Stainless Steel Countertops and range shelf by Bray Sheet
Antique fixtures bought on ebay, polished and wired by local craftman

Here is a link that might be useful: Prettykitty's Kitchen and House photos

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clipped on: 04.16.2011 at 01:10 am    last updated on: 04.16.2011 at 01:10 am

Small Budget, Big Changes!

posted by: goosic on 04.08.2011 at 04:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Oh how I wish I would have known about the kitchen forum 8 years ago when we moved into our house, I would have made these changes so much sooner! I'm usually a lurker not a poster, but I had to share the changes made to my kitchen and give everyone here a great big THANK YOU for all the inspiration and knowledge you share everyday!

My original plan was to do a complete reno but after pricing everything I decided to do a low-budget makeover and focus on finishing our attic into a new master bedroom & bathroom. I will definetely be coming back here with lots of questions when my kitchen reno time comes.

I was planning on painting my existing hinges and read on a thread here to soak them in acetone before to remove any grease before painting. Guess what?? My old brass hardware was actually stainless steel under 50 years of golden grease! I still have a few small things left to do that will get done soon: change the outlets & light switches and do some paint touch-ups. Our whole family loves how much brighter and welcoming it is, plus I think it helps our ginormous fridge blend in a little bit! I wish we could have gotten a counter-depth but with 6 kids, ginormus & less expensive was more important than counter-depth & more expensive, lol!

Details:
2 New Cabinets: Stock cabinets from Menards: $75
Cabinet doors: Shaker style, Barkerdoor.com $340
Open cabinet above fridge: DIY, $0
Drawers: Slab style, DIY $0
Counter: Ikea, Lagan beech butcherblock $230
Waterlox: 2 coats each of original & satin $75
Sink: Swanstone metropolitan large single bowl $180
Hardware: Target, $30
Faucet: Moen pulldown, $40 display clearance
Cabinet paint: Valspar Medallion in Carte Blanche $35
Wall paint: Valspar Medallion in Subdued Sage $35
Primer: Zinisser 123 $30
Beadboard: $50
Crown Molding: $80
Curtains: Waverly $60
Flooring: Brown Tile lineoleum, $90
TOTAL: $1350

BEFORE PICS:
Photobucket

Photobucket

before, north wall

AFTER PICS:
after, south windows

after, southwest corner

after, north wall

new sink

after, west windows

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clipped on: 04.09.2011 at 09:40 am    last updated on: 04.09.2011 at 09:40 am

Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)

posted by: mysterymachine on 03.01.2008 at 04:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Before:

This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between

The wall that was removed:

Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.

Now for the good stuff.. the after!

I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).

The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.

The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).

There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.

And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.

The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.

What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)

Any questions? :)

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clipped on: 04.09.2011 at 09:35 am    last updated on: 04.09.2011 at 09:35 am

$425 kitchen makeover

posted by: raenjapan on 02.25.2011 at 03:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi guys! I haven't been here much lately, I used to be a bit more active on this board, but I thought I'd share, anyway.

We moved into this house several months ago, and it was more country than I prefer, but we love the house and the location, so we're working with it. I finally have the kitchen like I want it; trying to tone down the country influence while staying true to the the farmhouse feel.

Anyway, cost breakdown:

New lighting (3 pendants, and chandelier over the dining room table, all IKEA) : $130
Backsplash (lowes subway tile): $120
paint: $25
Range hood: $250
Sold existing micro-hood for -$100
Total $425

Before pics, with the old owners' stuff (not exactly a train-wreck of a kitchen, but the red uppers sucked so much light out that it felt kind of like a cave):

After:

It's so much more airy in there now, and I love having a real range hood. That micro hood was awful; barely any lighting underneath, and useless as a range hood.

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clipped on: 03.31.2011 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2011 at 01:55 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The list goes on and on...

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

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

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

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

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

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clipped on: 04.23.2007 at 01:07 am    last updated on: 04.23.2007 at 01:07 am