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What a difference a year makes! Updated kitchen photo

posted by: stiles on 10.13.2008 at 03:20 am in Kitchens Forum

I have been reminiscing about how we were living at this time last year. We were living out of our garage and laundry room. It was painful and uncomfortable and I thought it would never end!

I originally posted pics of our 98% finished kitchen last March and I thought I would share this updated photo. We love our finished product and hopefully this will encourage all of you who are in the middle of your remodel to keep the faith! You too, by next year, will be enjoying your new kitchen.

Photobucket

Melinda

NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.02.2008 at 10:10 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2008 at 10:10 pm

Prettykitty's Classic Vintage White Victorian Lacanche Kitchen

posted by: prettykitty1971 on 10.06.2008 at 05:48 am in Kitchens Forum

I have been asked by several to post my kitchen redo so, here goesforgive the repeatsforgive the length...

We began designing a rework of our home in 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.

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

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 "dont open the old back porch, build on a new one; put the bathroom in the old porch," etc. That was $3000 down the tubeswe 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 havent 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 couldnt 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 didnt 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 dont 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 kitchenit 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 butlers pantry was actually in our historic house plans from 1920, so we just recreated it. About our butlers pantry: the bottom 2 cabinets on the left are false fronts they dont 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 Im 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. Its 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!

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 its 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. 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.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

One other thing 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. Its a nice touch to our exterior and I did not have to worry about the stucco being less than perfect.

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
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

NOTES:

note glass cabinets
clipped on: 11.02.2008 at 09:51 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2008 at 10:05 pm

My Shaker-Style, White Kitchen (Something's Gotta Give-inspired)

posted by: susanandmarkw on 06.02.2007 at 02:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Flooring: Premium Black 24x24 tile from StoneLocator.com
Countertops: Nordic Black Antique 3 cm granite (3 cm Bianca Romanosp?on hutch)
Backsplash: traditional white subway tile with gray grout (Da-Lite)
Cabinets: Shaker-style, inset, flat-panel doors (site-built, custom), painted white
Faucets:
-Pegasus Professional Kitchen Faucet (from Expo Design Center) in brushed nickel on the island and main sink
-Pegasus Old-Fashioned Pull Down in brushed nickel in my butlers pantry/beverage center.
Soap/Lotion Dispensers: brushed nickel off-brand from Lowes
Sinks: brushed, stainless "D"-shaped undermount by C-Tech-I (all purchased on eBay from seller "euro-sink")
-10-inch deep "Britania" (model LI-200-L) is my main sink
-12-inch deep "Patras" (LI-800) is my island prep sink
-"Betica" (LI-700) in my butlers pantry/beverage center.
Hardware:
-brushed nickel bin pulls on drawers via eBay (seller: cabinethardwaredesigns)
-glass knobs, pulls and bin pulls on hutch from coolknobsandpulls.com
-latches: Cliffside Solid Brass Cabinet Latch (in Satin Silver) from Spokane-Hardware.com
Appliances:
-Bluestar range (model #RNB366BSS; six burner with both 22k burners up front and simmer in middle back; island trim)
-Prestige High Capacity hood insert 40" (UIBTF400EC15; $1,575) with Prestige remote blower for pitched roof 1,600 CFM ($890)
-GE Profile Advantium (SCB1001KSS)
-GE Monogram 24" stainless steel wine reserve (ZDWR240PBS)
-2 InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposals with air switches (STS000)
-beverage center fridge: Jenn-Air 36" counter-depth side-by-side with dispenser (JCD2295KES)
- GE Monogram 30" double oven (ZET2SLSS)
- Jade 48" Side by Side Refrigerator (RJRS4870A)
- 2 Bosch Integra 800 dishwashers (SHV99A13UC; $1375.55 ea.)
- Gaggenau 24" Steam Oven (ED 221)

Here is a link that might be useful: Susan's Kitchen Pictures

NOTES:

follow the link
clipped on: 11.02.2008 at 10:04 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2008 at 10:04 pm

RE: White Kitchens.....what makes it right? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: segbrown on 10.19.2008 at 11:04 am in Kitchens Forum

Photobucket

I saved this page in an issue of "Kitchens and Baths" specifically to address this question. Here are parts of the text:

-Material variation breaks up large banks of cabinets
-Large rectangles of contrasting color, including ss appliances, white cabinets, black countertops
-Switching from solid to glass-front cabinets
-Shallow cupboard over the hood more valuable as a visual bridge than storage
-Open shelves break up solid white

NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.02.2008 at 09:49 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2008 at 10:03 pm

rmkitchen's Finished Classic White / Black / Marble Kitchen

posted by: rmkitchen on 08.05.2008 at 07:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

Before, view of kitchen from family room

After, view of kitchen from family room

Before, overview of kitchen; entrance to dining room is in between wall ovens and refrigerator

After, overview of kitchen; former entrance has been closed up (is now my baking corner) and new entrance to dining room is not in shot but is in between refrigerator and freezer

Before, view of eating area

After, view of eating area with new wainscoting

Before, view of pantry

After, view of pantry, broom closet pull-out and freezer

primary flatware drawer

knife drawer

easy dishwasher unloading

doors around oven and refrigerator open

broom closet pull-out

Many (many!) more pictures are in my finished kitchen album.

I joined GW the v. first day I "found" it online. I was doing research on soapstone and a link to this forum popped up and I read it. If Id had any idea the amount of time Id spend here and the relationships Id come to have, I never, ever would have picked as pedestrian a handle as "rmkitchen." But I thought Id just be here on GW that one time. Nearly fourteen months later and ha ha on me!

Well, its still not "done": were waiting for roman shades to be made and I need to wash those windows . But Im feeling silly having a finished kitchen and waiting for some roman shades! So its not magazine-worthy, thats okay. I had a really hard time deciding whether to attempt the vanity shots or how we really live. Because seeing everyones pristine, to-die-for kitchens hurt my self-esteem, I decided to do a warts-and-all. Youll see fingerprints on the cupboard doors, smudges on the polished nickel hardware and crumbs on the floor: even still, I think it looks pretty good. Also, since my photographic skills are poor it made the choice really easy!

With the risk of coming across as gauche I am going to include approximate prices for our items. I was terribly nave when it came to determining our budget and found it immensely beneficial when others here would give prices. (in all fairness, it sometimes made me feel bad either that we werent as hoity-toity as others as well as making me feel ridiculous for spending so much when others achieved fabulous kitchens for a fraction of our budget) It gave me a real-world benchmark, and hopefully it will help someone else put their own project into some perspective. I wish more posters would share their budget I think its that helpful. Let me preface this by saying I'm in Boulder, CO -- prices will vary continent-wide. We are less expensive than the San Francisco Bay Area and more than RTC, NC.

Caveat: I absolutely believe and know our kitchen could have (and Id argue should have) been done for significantly less. Like our gorgeous countertops / backsplash were ridiculously expensive and I could have had a white marble for less than half. However, every time I look at the marbles from which I could have chosen I realize I would have been v. unhappy and any amount spent on them would have been too much. So it was "smart" to spend more to get what I really wanted and what I LOVE. ("smart" having a v. fluid definition depending on my mood!)

Same about our sink, well, similar. We searched and searched for a stainless apron front single bowl sink, and the one we liked the best was the Bates & Bates. My husband insisted on a low gauge (thick steel). Only after our kitchen was complete did I learn about the Lavello. While not as thick as ours (ours is 12 gauge, the Lavello 16 gauge), I think for the >$1,000 price difference we couldve lived with it!

We (I) shopped around like crazy (love the internet!) for our appliances, hardware, etc., and feel I did a fabulous job getting the best prices for these itemseverything was either on special or purchased on sale or using some sort of incentive. But at the end of the day, the appliances were still expensiveexactly what we want / need, though. At the end of the day, the hardware was still expensiveexactly what we want / need, though. At the end of the day, the cabinetry was still expensive. (Although I actually have mixed feelings about thisfor the level of detail I wanted and all the bells & whistles we got Im not sure it was expensive. The semi-custom lines at which we looked [i.e., Cuisines Laurier, DuraSupreme] were coming in significantly higher. If we'd gone with framed we could have come in for less, but not gotten the exact door / hood I wanted. If there were an IKEA nearby [the closest is in Utah], we probably could have used their boxes and had doors made up elsewhere. But we went neither of those routes.)

Our kitchen is approximately 13w x 21'l (not completely true, as only one side is 21' long; the other wall is 11 1/2'). Our ceiling is 9 high (the upper cabinets are 47 " high with crown moulding running from the top of the cabinets up to the ceiling).

cabinets, ~$55K
custom frameless painted (catalyzed lacquer) a custom white, island painted BM Onyx
all drawers and roll-outs full-extension with Blumotion glides and all doors with Blum soft-close hinges
one Rev-A-Shelf wood drawer divider
one Rev-A-Shelf plastic double tier flatware divider
custom wood drawer dividers (five drawers)
steel pegboard "broom closet" pull-out (thanks to dianalo for sharing inspiration pictures)
three chrome pull-out pantry units (Rev-A-Shelf)
four spice pull-outs (Rev-A-Shelf)
pegboard with wood "divider" dowels in (three) dish drawers
foot pedal four-canister trash / recycle unit (thanks to lowspark and alku05 for the foot pedal instructions), Rev-A-Shelf
magnetic chalkboards (two)
hood (design inspiration courtesy of mwardlbs lovely hood)
maple butcher block island countertop with bow detail
tempered, safety glass-front doors and glass shelves
delivery and installation of these cabinets and attached custom crown moulding (but not including cost of custom crown which was ~$350)

appliances, ~$22K
refrigerator: Thermador 30" Fresh Food Freedom Column T30IR70
freezer: Thermador 30" Frozen Freedom Colum T30IF70
oven: Gaggenau 30" BX281610 convection double oven, (thanks to the supportive folks in the Appliance forum who talked me through this decision & held my hand as we waited five+ months for its delivery)
cooktop: Thermador Professional Series PCG366E 36" gas, six burners
vent: Broan 900 cfm external blower 332H
microwave: Sharp Over-The-Counter R-1214
refrigerator drawers: GE Monogram 24" ZIDI240PII
(delivery and installation of above appliances was ~$700)
instant hot / cold faucet and tank: Mountain Products Little Gourmet MT1401
under-sink water filter: Culligan
sink: Bates and Bates S2133.SS stainless apron front
faucet: Pegasus Professional Kitchen, from Expo (thanks to susanandmarkw)
soap dispenser: Danze Parma
dishwasher: KitchenAid KUDS03FTPA
air switch for above-sink light: Mountain Plumbing, stainless
disposal: Insinkerator Evolution Cover Control


hardware, ~$1,100
pulls: Restoration Hardware 4" Gilmore Pulls, polished nickel
knobs: Restoration Hardware 1.25" Cut Glass Knobs, polished nickel
fridge / freezer pulls: Hickory Hardware Studio 13" bright nickel
broom closet pull: Hickory Hardware Studio 5" bright nickel

lighting, ~$300
undercabinet lighting: Pegasus Associates Microfluorescent T4 fixtures
lighting inside cabinets: line voltage (120V) xenon pucks, American Lighting

countertop & backsplash, material, fabrication and installation ~$19K
Calacatta Xtra (seriously, thats its name), honed, 3cm, with eased square edge thanks to mnhockeymom for the inspiration!), runnels and a dishdrain
backsplash: Calacatta Xtra, 2cm
island butcherblock countertop provided by cabinetmaker

painting, ~$1K
walls: BM 871 Pearl River, Regal Matte Finish
ceiling: 50% BM 871, Regal Flat Finish
wainscoting: BM Impervo, custom to match cabinetry
toekicks: BM Onyx (which I painted myself with "help" from our puppy)

floors, price unknown as bundled in with installation of hardwood for entire first floor and staircase
red oak, "popped" with water then one heavy coat of Dura-Seal Ebony Stain (thanks to my husband for finding out how to get the dark finish I wanted from red oak), three coats of Bona Satin Water-Based Sealer

construction, ~$16K (I think, as it was bundled in with a nearly-whole house remodel)
removal of old cabinets, closing up old doorway to dining room, framing new entrance to dining room, moving almost all electrical plus some new, moving all plumbing plus much new, drywall (inc. smooth-coating existing orange-peel), fabricating / installing wainscoting in breakfast nook and sink wall facing family room and new casing around sliding door and window, crown moulding installation and painting

kitchen designer, $3K
(we contentiously parted ways v. early in the process, but not until she had suggested moving the doorway to the dining room down the wall, and we love this change)

Things we love
or, what we did right
-Sans doute moving the opening into the dining room down the wall so as to make a U-shape kitchen was the smartest thing we did. It has increased the function / made better the ergonomics tremendously!

-Large, single bowl, apron front sink. Having all that continuous room for washing large pots / pans / baking dishes is so incredible! I love how the apron front eliminates any lower back pain not far to reach into the sink. We also have no splashing, as opposed to what we had with a shallower, drop-in sink.

-Raised dishwasher. It just makes sense! I know many love their dishdrawers but as we run a full or nearly-full dishwasher nightly, it would not have made sense for us to have dishdrawers.

-Side-opening wall oven. I was on the fence a long time on this one: that oven set (the Gaggenau 30" double wall ovens) was really expensive, but oh how we love the side-opening mechanism! It just makes so much sense.

-Foot pedal trash. Hands full of broccoli remnants + foot pedal trash = genius.

-Magnetic chalkboards my children adore them! My older son (four years-old) loves drawing his robots and writing; my younger son (two years-old) loves standing and "coloring." We love being able to keep our timer and grocery list in a central and easy-to-locate spot.

-Full freezer and full refrigerator: we wonder how we lived before with combined units. It sounds insane, but for our vegetarian family with little children we are absolutely utilizing these separate units to their fullest.

-Polished nickel hardware: its beautiful. Its just beautiful, and it takes a lot of work to get them looking icky / dirty; plus, I have to say they are a breeze to clean (when they do get icky)!

-Getting our puppy one month to the day after the remodel started (and three months before it ended). It was such hard work miserably hard, puppy-training and living amidst chaos (as we were doing nearly the whole house). But man-oh-man am I glad we did it all at once! I am so grateful to have had all the ick and dreck at once. (Shes a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and we swear shes part-cat: v. gentle, smart, affectionate. Shes never ever growled / been angry with our two little children, and our youngest is not the gentlest. He loves the puppy, but his love can be a bit rough. Cavaliers are also known for loving cats, and our youngest cat is the puppys best friend. They adore each other. But the puppy really really loves the children.)

-Not fighting. In our normal lives my husband I occasionally bicker were married and were both strong, opinionated people. But for some strange (and miraculous) reason, we never had a fight during the entire remodel; we got along splendidly and truly were a team. Well, maybe not a team: I was definitely The Chief, but he was 100% on board and totally supportive. I wish I knew why that was because Id like to bottle it!

Things we dont love
or, things wed do differently
(There are only two things we absolutely wish wed done differently, things which we notice [and which irk us] on a daily basis. Ill list those two first.)
#1 thing which drives us crazy
-Think about where countertop accoutrements (inc. countertop appliances) would live when planning light switches. I had one undercab light switch put, I thought, in an inconspicuous spot near the corner. I absolutely should have figured out where Id be putting our toaster because, as it happens, the toaster now blocks the light switch. Weve tried moving the toaster around but thats just the spot where it makes sense. But yet it doesnt make sense because it blocks the light switch. This is already frustrating and totally stupid on my part!

#2 thing which drives us crazy
-Pantry pull-outs. HATE them! Maybe hate is too strong a word (not really), but we realize now we would have been so much happier with standard shelves, not even roll-out shelves! (although those are divine) We have the pantry units from Rev-A-Shelf and find a) they are "adjustable" in name only, b) they dont hold as much as youd think, and c) a space-waster. If wed had shelves we could have stacked cans or seen at one glance all our dry-goods. As it is, we have to pull out three separate units and honestly, we think its crap. Never again!

(These other things are things which wed do differently in the future but which arent frustrating us daily.)
-24" deep lower cabinets. Too shallow! We didnt realize until too late (as in, unpacking into this kitchen) that our penultimate kitchen had 32" deep lowers. What a difference! In all fairness to myself (as in, trying to make myself feel better), given the tight quarters of this kitchen we could not have afforded even 30" deep lowers; well, we could have, but then we would have lost our island which we are really enjoying. Next kitchen will be really different!

-Symmetry. I dont know if its just for symmetrys sake or for my husbands, but flanking either side of the cooktop are spice pull-outs. Granted, hes got them both filled to the gills with his goodies, but I could really use those 6" in my stack of baking supply drawers. Given the particulars of the layout of our kitchen the symmetry there would not have mattered.

-Having our microwave built-in. My husband was adamant he did NOT want a built-in microwave (the kind which have the trim-kits, I mean), so we found the Sharp over-the-counter microwave. Turns out there was some sort of "miscommunication" with the GC (so I guess Im responsible). The "problem" is that the drywall behind the microwave wasnt removed and reframed so as to accommodate the 1.5" the microwave juts out past its surrounding cabinetry. Its already not bothering me so much, but when I do think about it I think "I wish wed been clearer." Hopefully Ill learn to live with it because I just dont want to pay for the work!

-Double Ovens. Weve always (well, in the US) had double ovens and I love to bake, so I never thought of a single oven. But so far, Ive only been using one oven and as were the strictest of vegetarians its not as if well ever have a turkey in one and pie in the other. I think how differently the space (& money) could have been utilized . Who knows?

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank so many of you for your incredible kindness and support, both here in the forum and offline via e-mail. Ive developed a genuine fondness for many here, and seeing your handles online always brightens my day. To a one, thank you. You are my community.

xo

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clipped on: 11.02.2008 at 09:59 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2008 at 10:02 pm