Kitchen, Remodel

It’s All About the Accessories

In between picking out the cabinets (more on that in a bit), paint colors and rushing into our renovation, we needed to pick out appliances, as well as other minute details such as cabinet pulls and the faucet . While we needed a new dishwasher, stove and range hood, we decided to keep our LG refrigerator and Kenmore microwave. Both still worked and matched our stainless steel color palette. While I have read that stainless steel MIGHT be on it’s way out, it matched my decor and was most cost effective. Here are some of the options I found:

Range Hood 

Whirpool Wall Mount Range HoodGE Chimney Range HoodAncona Wall Mount Range Hood

Here is what we put in our new kitchen.

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Stove

I wanted a gas stove with a fairly simple display.  One door was fine and a griddle in the middle was preferred.  Here are some of the options I explored:

LG Gas RangeGE Adora Gas RangeFridgidaire Gas Range

Here is what we installed:

Dishwasher

Everything I read said Bosch is the best company for dishwashers, so I focused most of my attention on their different models.  I wanted one with a third row for utensils and other small items, and one with tines that folded down.  I also wanted one with a flat profile to make it look more streamlined.  With those in mind, the Bosch 500 Series was the only option that drew my attention.

Here is what it looks like in my kitchen:

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So far, I am very happy with all of our appliance choices.  The only note I will make is about the dishwasher as I swear this thing is smarter than me!  It has so many options, but doesn’t have an automatic dry setting. Every time we wash dishes you have to press the “Sanitize” option, which adds a bit of time to the cycle, already over two hours for one load.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink…

Ever since I have imagined my dream kitchen, it has included a white farmhouse sink. Hands down, that has been the one shining centerpiece in every kitchen I’ve seen and loved over the years.  There’s something classic, homey and altogether beautiful that this sink (yes a sink!) portrays.  After reading about these sinks, it turns out there is actually a downside to the porcelain/fireclay material.  It’s evidently very easy to scratch and the finish sometimes comes off.  I didn’t want to have to worry about maintaining a sink (the countertops would prove to be enough of an issue) so instead I found a Stone Matte sink by Vigo. It’s reversible, meaning it can have a fluted side or plain side and I went with the one basin option with the drain in the middle.  After going back and forth between one basin or two, I ultimately chose one because it would allow pots and pans of all sizes (as well as the oven griddle) to fit in it. So far, this sink has proven to be amazing at holding absolutely everything.  I can pile tons of dishes in it, which is nice on those days that dishes just don’t get washed.  I will say that the stone matte seems to stain very easily, but a quick clean with Bar Keeper’s Friend and it looks sparkling again.

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Regarding the kitchen faucet, I went back and forth between stainless steel and oil rubbed bronze and think either option would have looked fine.  We have a friend who works for a faucet company and we were able to get this Pfister faucet through him.  I absolutely love it and highly recommend the detachable nozzle.  I use it every single day and it’s great for keeping water off my precious marble as I can spray dishes in my deep, deep sink.

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Lights!

I remember seeing our kitchen for the first time when we bought the house back in 2012. It was dark, dirty and dingy. It had one single fluorescent overhead light. When we decided to paint the cabinets white in 2014, it was in an effort to make it feel somewhat brighter and lighter.  Needless to say, it helped some, but the yellow overhead light was less than flattering.  So, as part of a smaller project, we had recessed lighting installed in our kitchen and family room, which greatly brightened up the space. We also went ahead and installed pendant lighting over the peninsula.  We reused these and moved them over to hang over the new island.  Here’s a link to the pendant lights and we used Edison bulbs.

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I know cabinet knobs and pulls aren’t high on the priority list, but nonetheless something that needed to be chosen.  I wanted oil rubbed bronze as a contrast to all the white and stainless steel.  Here are the links from Amazon, Cabinet Knob and Cabinet Pull.

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As you can see from the picture above, this is what our cabinets look like.  We decided on a simple white shaker cabinet.  Made of wood, we chose stock over custom purely based on price. Our contractor recommended custom in order to avoid panels covering dead space, but I ultimately chose the stock because I didn’t think it was worth the price difference.  I am very happy we went with stock and the dead space turned out not to be an issue at all.  Here are some picture of the cabinets being installed:

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I think those are all the details for now.  Stay tuned for the big reveal, I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Kitchen, Remodel

Countertops, Backsplash and Paint, oh my!

Now for the fun stuff, the actual decorating part!  Based on my intense online scouting, I knew that I wanted a gray and white kitchen. Whether it would be gray cabinets and white countertops or vice versa, I had my color palette. Let’s start with countertops first. I scoured articles including this and this to get ideas on the countertop material. Turns out, the final decision wasn’t made until an in-person visit to Levantina.  Here are a few of our favorite slabs:

Bianca Carrera
Bianca Carrara Marble
Sea Pearl Quartz
Sea Pearl Quartz
Stat Classico
Statuarietto Classico Marble
Stat
Statuarietto Marble

After much deliberation, my husband and I decided on the Statuarietto Classico marble. We decided that we really liked the character of the vein running through the middle of the slab and hoped that could be the piece for the island. Despite the issues that might arise with marble, we wanted the variation that each piece gave, instead of the “sameness” of quartz.

With our countertops chosen, we decided to go with white subway tile.  Both affordable and classic, it fit perfectly with my gray and white “theme.” Here’s a link to the tile I purchased: Subway Tile

Now, regarding paint color, that’s always a fun decision to make.  I’m known to be indecisive with paint colors and this time was no different. I purchased five paint samples to test, FIVE!  And I didn’t choose any of them… ask if my husband was happy. They included Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, Stonington Gray and Wickham Gray, Behr Flannel Gray and Porter Paints Flint Gray.  Also, here’s the link to my Pinterest paint page I used for inspiration.

After painting those five samples and staring at them for a few days, I decided I hated all of them.  So… onto Plan B.  I looked at Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and Agreeable Gray for approximately two hours online and finally decided on Agreeable Gray.  Without purchasing a sample, I told my contractor to go ahead and buy the paint and I would live with the outcome, fingers crossed.  Quite a gamble on my part, but I knew I couldn’t buy any more samples!  Here’s the final result, and I love it!

Next blog entry… it’s time to pick out appliances!

Kitchen, Remodel

Kitchen Renovation Part 2

While demolition was going on, we worked with our contractor to prepare the layout of the space.  I wanted an L-shaped kitchen with island that would allow for better traffic flow. We went to a local cabinet store and had a free in-store consultation done. This allowed us to get a 3-D visual of the new kitchen, including the placement of the island.  I highly recommend doing this, and if you hire an architect or interior decorator, they should do this for you.

Sometimes you don’t know things about your home until you start opening walls.  For our space, this included the location of ceiling support beams, if hardwood floors were under the existing cabinets and the location of water lines. Here is what it looked like while cabinets were being removed.  As you can see, there unfortunately wasn’t hardwood flooring under the existing cabinets.

Once the cabinets were completely removed, we were able to see that there was a support beam where the wall was pushed back.  This was good news!  We had planned to build in a pantry which would have been a bit awkward, because it provided us the structural support we needed.  But, now that the beam was in the ceiling, we could put a full wall of cabinets instead. This allowed the space to be a lot more open and to gain a few extra square feet.

My next entry will focus on appliances, backsplash… and countertop choices!