Long Journey - New Kitchen after 7 years of planning

postquake_angelaMay 31, 2012

Hi All,

I joined this forum in 2003 and spent 2 years planning a kitchen and started acquiring parts for it. Then, exhausted from restoring the rest of our 1898 Victorian, we decided to put the project off. We lived for 7 years with an extra stove, a fridge that was too big for its nook, and half-opened boxes containing the sink and faucet piled on top of the fridge. At this point, it's been mostly done for 6 months.


Cabinets - Full custom painted poplar inset. We found a local craftsman who we could afford. Loved this guy, can't believe we got so lucky. He has since moved to Spain.

Countertops - Stainless. Wanted marble, but our tomato-sauce splattering ways would have gotten us in trouble.

Island countertop - Hasn't happened yet. Probably do the marble here, or maybe engineered granite

Sink - Baumatic Uragano sink. Got it from some Canadian dealer online.

Faucet - Franke Triflow. Bought during some Homeclick sale back in 2005, they don't even make this model anymore.

Fridge - We found a floor-model Amana on Craiglist a few years back. It was the one we wanted and a bargain, but we had to rip out old cabs and live with a messed up wall for a few years.

Stove - 1950's O'keefe and Merritt. Found on Craiglist.

Hood - Vent-a-hood

Dishwasher - F&P. We like them a lot, with caveats.

Ceiling Lights - Cree CR6. I like the quality of light, kinda wish we'd gotten the CR4, which are the 4" version.

Pendant Light - Restoration hardware.

Undercab Lights - from Environmentallights.com. We rarely use them, the reflection off the stainless is dizzying.

Floor - We kept our existing Saltillo tile floor, which we've always loved.

Backsplash - None! No regrets yet.

Old Kitchen was not as horrendous as some, but the cabs were starting to melt.


Fridge Wall


Between-the-studs-pantry and pendant

Hutch in Dining room

Island of baking

Here's the link to the whole album if anyone wants to dork out and see how I organized stuff.



Not to assume what we couldn't afford without asking. We assumed we couldn't afford a local custom cabmaker. We assumed we couldn't afford the Siematic-certified GC that our friend had used and liked. We spent a lot of time getting quotes and finally asked these guys last and their quotes turned out to be lower.

Everything I really like will probably look dated at some point. When I started designing, creamy inset cabs were not ubiquitous. There was a lot of cherry or maple full-overlay cabs with ubatuba counters, or coffee glazed cabs with gold granite. I re-visited my decisions when started up in 2011, especially given some gorgeous design trend that were happening, but I still loved what I loved.

We hated the 2003 restoration so much that we dreaded doing the kitchen and bathroom for years. Meanwhile we lived in limbo and didn't bother to de-clutter or properly organize the space we were living in. At some point you just have to stop agonizing and do it already.

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BEYOND GORGEOUS! This kitchen is a work of art. I have been obsessed with finding inset shaker cabinetry, but assumed I could only afford stock cabinets. The closest I could find was a version made by 6-square that was not a simple shaker style, and only came in stained cherry or maple. The more I read about inset, though, the more concerned I became with humidity (I live near Lake Erie) and the effects it has on these cabinets over time. I sort of convinced myself it couldn't be done, but perhaps I should price it out and ask a pro before giving up. I hope you have many happy years in your new space!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Oh MY! This is a spectacular kitchen! WOW. Did you post this on the discussion side? If so I missed it. Dang! I just love it!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:47PM
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I'm so glad Claybabe linked this on the discussion side. You really should post it over there!

It's so lovely, I missed noting that you have stainless counters the first time through. After I noticed that, I loved it even more. Very wonderful job!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Thanks for the kind words! I guess I should post this on the discussions side as well.

We were also concerned about the effects of humidity (and settling as well). The doors and drawers haven't become more sticky over the last 6 months, although we don't have actual seasons here.

I would definitely check out the custom option before counting it out. I had assumed we couldn't afford it either. We did ultimately go over our original cab budget, but we also got a level of craftmanship and design I didn't think possible at our price range.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:31PM
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I was slow to hit "submit" for my response. Thanks claybabe for posting this on the discussion side!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:33PM
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7 years is a long time, but what beautiful results! It's bright, cheery, and, dare I say it; timeless! Love the cabinets, the wall color, the gorgeous arch with the moldings, the hutch, refrigerator, the stove, etc! Truly inspired! Congratulations.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Wow that is one beautiful kitchen!

Thanks claybabe for sending us over! One that shouldn't be missed! Guess I should sneak over here once in a while.

Love your floors, we are putting in a terracotta and I've been second guessing it for a few weeks, but seeing yours has reconfirmed my desire for them. They look fantastic with the cabinets.
Speaking of cabinets, do you know what color they are?

And, I love the pendant over the island, it's one I'm looking at as well.

Congrats on such a beautiful space.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:15PM
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Wow, what a lovely kitchen. The cabinetry is simply beautiful! This is probably the best period appropriate kitchen I've seen. Absolutely lovely!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Wow, thanks guys!

Susied3, the cab color is Pratt & Lambert's Antique Ivory (12-30) and the walls are Old linen (12-5). The cab paint is actually Fine Paints of Europe, but they matched it to P&L colors. It reads as a pale yellow during the day and a heavy, yellowish cream at night.

That light fixture may be the only impulsive thing we did. We were at RH looking at another light and fell in love with that one. The only thing is that if it's too close to eye level, the Edison bulbs hurt the eyes. It was installed a little too low at first - the bulbs are at 6'6" now and it is comfortable for our average heights.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:25AM
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What a wonderful job! It's romantic, ageless and charming. I wish you happy cooking.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Debbi Branka

Your light fixture made me start looking for that. I need at lest 2 so a bit over budget for me, but BEAUTIFUL!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Oh love it! A long journey but so worth it! Congrats!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Wow - beautiful kitchen!! I love the custom cabinets. Angela, could you tell me how tall your ceilings are? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Cali, our ceilings are about 8'10". I would have loved just a couple more inches, in almost all directions!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Here are my plan, elevations, and renderings. I do 3D modeling and rendering for a living, so I could afford to model and render every little detail before making decisions. The plan has extra geometry lines as a result.

Renderings. You can see some design elements we decided not to do, like the columns (which would have been historically appropriate!) and beadboard.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Love, love your island! Custom piece? Just what I'm looking for. The entire kitchen is amazing. Great job

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Love, love your island! Custom piece? Just what I'm looking for. The entire kitchen is amazing. Great job

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Hi Tahajo, sorry I just saw your question. It is custom. Here it is from the other side. We have a door that fits over the open part but decided not to use it:

I'd designed it to be a baking island, so the drawers were designed at a depth to hold flours, rolling pins, etc. Of course they could always be bigger.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 1:17PM
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This has to be one of the most dramatic transformations I have seen on GW in the 3 years I've been hanging here!!! This is GORGEOUS!!! I can hear your house breathing a huge sigh of relief and whispering, "Thank you, thank you!!! You freed me from those awful cabinets and restored me to my former glory, thank you!!!"

I honestly don't think your kitchen will ever look dated because it is so appropriate to your home. To say job well done is so inadequate for the transformation you've achieved. It was definitely worth 7 years of dreaming and planning. Thank you so much for sharing! Now I have to go check out that link you provided for more, more, more!!!

And thank you Claybabe for posting about this on the discussion side.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Beautiful job! I love the cabinetry and the molding at the top! How do you like the OKM stove? We are in the midst of a 1921 kitchen remodel and are considering an OKM instead of going with a "modern" gas stove.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Hi jojo, we love our OKM stove! The oven has a more stable and accurate temperature than our old one. Each of the burners has a double burner, so it can do both fairly high heat and a low simmer.

There are a couple drawbacks though. The ovens are small, and the left "oven" is a height-adjustable broiler rather than a true 2nd oven. The racks are also a spaced too closely together to fit cake pans and pies on the middle 2 racks. The stove also has a little quirk in that the right burners sometimes have a hard time lighting if the oven is on (we use a match or use the left hand burners when that happens).

We still love the stove though. It is magnificent and everything about it (the knobs, the doors) feels so solid. One thing that is helpful is that there are a lot of repair folk in our area that specialize in these old stoves, and a wonderful man checked it out and adjusted the burners for us when we installed it. I might be more reluctant to get one if that were not the case.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:42AM
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Nice job!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 10:17PM
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