What was the first thing you chose for your kitchen?

sammy62January 20, 2014

I know appliances and cabinets are usually first so thought it would be fun to see what everyone chose to build their kitchen around? Countertops? Wall Color? Backsplash? Flooring? I saw one chose a beautiful pottery bowl. Interested to see the answers!

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I suppose the black appliances were the first as we knew we were keeping them and if we did get new they would also be black.

As far as new stuff, it was knowing we wanted shaker style in a medium or dark wood stain. It took awhile to pick the actual cabinet brand.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:20AM
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Walnut cabinets.

Knew long before anything else that we wanted walnut cabs. Had a rough idea of the rest of the finishes but not specific choices.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:21AM
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We have stainless appliances that we are keeping so I guess technically that was first but my first big decision was the cabinets...white or stained? I chose a natural cherry...everything else (countertops, floors, backsplash) will follow that decision.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I tend to think of everything as a whole, but in this kitchen I am pretty set on doing stainless counters. I also want a built-in fridge so, specifically, this kitchen may be designed around whatever built in fridge I choose and the integrated sink and stainless counters. You can't tweak a design of this sort very much when it is settled on.

It's funny, we manage to cook on some pretty basic stoves but we've been ruined for regular fridges by the Subzero we had in one kitchen and have hated the fridges we've had since. A fridge seems like it could be a relatively unimportant component of a kitchen as long as you have one that works, but maybe not. I may not go SZ again because of the maintenance costs but the fridge will probably end up being the highest end appliance in this kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Door and drawer front style: Shaker (duh) and slab.

My kitchen had a facelift, not a complete redo, so I didn't have all the elements new kitchens require.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:09PM
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We knew we wanted to go "modern" this time around, so cabinets came first. We selected the cabinets and a "matching" countertop concurrently. Floors were existing, but were refinished after the cabinets were selected so the color would "go", handles were ordered long after the cabinets were in, and the backsplash hasn't yet been selected. I don't remember where in this process we picked appliances, which actually took the most time and energy. We did order them before we ordered the cabinets, but I suppose we were looking for both at the same time (appliances were actually ordered in September, cabinets in October, delivery and installation in December, ordered cabinet handles last week, counters and handles to be installed this week, but we've been using the kitchen with temporary counters and handles for a month now).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Hm, well, I wasn't starting from scratch. Technically the first thing I chose was to remove the soffit and open up the wall to the dining room. After that, or perhaps before that decision wise but not implementation wise, was my bigger range (got a bluestar) which also required moving around the layout of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:17PM
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bottom-up: floors, cabinets, counters, backsplash, paint

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:25PM
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We were keeping (stainless) appliances and the wood floor. From there it was a great CL find on backsplash tiles, and working things in with a hoosier with a zinc counter.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:40PM
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It might sound strange, but in a way, my first decision was a hood!
Let me explain... ours was more of a freshen up; new appliances, countertops, sink, and some minor mods to existing cabinets.
After 26 years with a cooktop and downdraft, I really wanted a range, but knew that would require a hood, although a hood hanging in our small kitchen might just be too much mass and focal impact. So I built a plywood scale mock-up, and hung it from the ceiling for several days over our old cooktop to get the feel. Surprisingly it didn't look overwhelming at all, and in fact looked quite good and in scale with our kitchen. Once I decided on my hood design, I knew I was good to go with my dream Bluestar range, and soapstone counters which were really my first co-choices for our makeover.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:45PM
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I fell in love with a mother of pearl backsplash and knew I had to have it. Very counter intuitive to what most do, but I designed everything around the bs. The mop was very white and I really wanted cream or off white cabinets; but those colors looked "dirty" next to the white of the mop. I have an entire wall of windows in my kitchen so I was afraid to use cabinets the color of the mop since I felt it would feel stark. After a lot of hand wringing, trying to convince myself to pick an easier bs; I choose a true beige for the cabinets. The beige contrast looks intentional and I'm pleased I didn't give up on the mother of pearl bs.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:46PM
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sanjuangirl - do you have a reveal thread? I couldn't find one when searching, or at FKB. I would love to see your kitchen in its entirety. :)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:53PM
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The backsplash tile. The entire color scheme for the house came out of that.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Along with ctycdm ...we also wanted a hood and vent after may years without even a downdraft.... In order to have one that vented directly outside without any bends, etc. we needed to rearrange the locations of the stove, the sink and the dishwasher....from that point on it was easy......(and if you believe that...there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I wish to sell you!). In a few weeks we hope to move completely back into the kitchen....keeping fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:00PM
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I knew I wanted aqua cabinets, so that came first, then the backsplash. Everything else just followed from there!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Carsonheim-I haven't done a reveal but I've posted lots of photos here and there. I have a hard time getting good photos because of the glare from all of the windows, and I'm a lousy photographer. :(.

I've had a number of emails asking for a link to my reveali. I will try to put one together soon.

Does anyone know how to get multiple photos in a thread?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:35PM
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The backsplash tile. Our entire kitchen was designed around the backsplash.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Slab door, "honey" colored cabinets, with no visible seams along the door edges, and truly flat, square edge doors and drawer fronts, with minimal reveals (spacing) between all the drawers and doors. I think we had decided on cherry for the cabinets pretty much from the start as well (although if I were to design a kitchen today, it would likely be a toss-up between the cherry and walnut!).

I had "tabbed" kitchen photos that I liked in books and magazines, and went back over them to determine what I liked better about one vs the other (all similar in some ways). That's how I discovered or determined my (and also DH's) preference for the particular door/drawer style we ended up choosing. We rejected at least a couple KD's/cabinet lines because they couldn't or wouldn't provide the doors/drawer fronts with the look we wanted.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:43PM
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I knew I wanted white shaker cabinets so I started there.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:29PM
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We didn't really plan ours. We had to get a new range, so got a new SS fridge to go with it. DH hated looking at the side of the fridge, so that triggered our facelift/remodel. I guess the first thing we picked was how to modify/add to/refinish the cabinets and what new doors/drawer fronts to put on. We had a vague vision, and the finished product only partially resembles it.

We were better prepared when we totally gutted and re-did the kitchen in a small rental condo. Appliances first, then the cabinets to go around them. Then paint, counters, backsplash.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Another backsplash first. I owned the tile for about a year before the remodel started. 3" Calacatta hex. It looks like a "warmer" Carrera.

The funny thing is, it isn't a very interesting tile. It just embodied everything I wanted the kitchen to be: Simple, vintage-y, clean geometry lines with a little "Oh, that's *different."

(*In 2008, it WAS somewhat different!)

This post was edited by shanghaimom on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 17:08

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:52PM
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    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:14PM
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Cabinets. Alderwood dark stained on the on the perimeter(uppers have glass in doors)and ivory glazed on the interior area, which houses the appliances. I didn't want all light and thought all dark would be TOO dark with the dark hand scraped wood floor I would also be choosing. My builder tried talking me out of it since he had never had a client use the application, but I've never been sorry, and he also thought it looked pretty spectacular. Ya gotta do what *you* want.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:49PM
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White cabinets. I also knew I was getting a Wolf rangetop and paneled fridge and DW.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 7:56PM
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I guess the appliances, mostly because we bought a few of them before we were ready to do the remodel. But, really, I can't say that we "designed" around them. We've known for quite some time that we wanted cherry cabinets, and that was more or less decided before we made any other decisions...so, I guess that was our first thing...but even that changed a bit because we initially were going to go Shaker style, but then opted to go with slab and that change was after we had selected our granite. Goodness, I guess that we never really fully had a "first thing" and everything else fell into line.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Like so many, I chose the cabinet style and knew that I wanted a painted light color finish as the very first thing. No, wait, it wasn't the cabinets, it was the pulls! I had a single pull that I loved, that I had picked up at Home Depot for another purpose, and really wanted to find and use that style.

I also already knew that I needed to replace the dishwasher and wanted stainless steel. What came next? I think that it was the countertop, although I later changed my mind; and then maybe it was the engineered hardwood flooring, which I ended up not using. Somewhere around the time I bought the flooring, I found an old magazine that had a kitchen that sent me in the direction of the colors and I settled on the cabinet color. Then I found the over sink light.

Replacing the stove and frig were last minute impulse buys.

The ceiling and wall color was the very last thing I chose, and it took multiple samples and one full repaint to get it right!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Backsplash tile....the bunnies! LOL They are no longer available (artist has passed away) but I plan to have them copied or at least very similar. From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Cabinets....knew from the get-go I wanted natural maple, slab doors/drawers. Also knew I wanted SS appliances. Next was granite and when I could not find BS tile decided to use the granite for the BS as well. It makes for a more cohesive look in my smallish galley. Last was floor---so much tile out there knew I'd find something and to me it takes a back seat to the cabs and counters and is more of a backdrop, not a focal point.

If I ever redo another kitchen I might start with counter/BS.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:04PM
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beekeeperswife love that! Is it marble?

For me, I always knew I wanted off white/cream cabinets with a cherry island. Secondly, we bought all new SS appliances on Black Friday (I highly recommend it, you save thousands!).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:05PM
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For me it was the pesto green cabinets. We didn't pick the exact door style until well into the remodel. I had that color in my mind for at least a year before they started working on the addition.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:34PM
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We are building a new house but we wanted it to feel like and older country home, so I was on the hunt for things to repurpose. First purchase for the kitchen was a 42" wide old laundry sink. Second purchase, cabinets from re-store that I am refinishing. With these two items we designed the kitchen.
Not the best pic but this is the sink...


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:59AM
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It was SUPPOSED to be my counters...because I thought I wantedCrema marfil counters, but I could not get a piece of material to carry around. Then I found the subways tile on sale at Lowes, and I got 40 sq ft for $2.00 !!!!

So I did it as a backslash, and used our black walnut tree as counters.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:26AM
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The range. Floors were already set (they match the wood floors in the rest of the house), so the range was the first real choice. Cabinet style, and especially color, countertop material, other appliances, sinks, faucets, all have changed from the initial concept (and in some cases come back to that first concept), but the range is the constant.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:46AM
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First thing I officially chose for my kitchen was my Kohler Whitehaven Tall Apron sink.

First thing I purchased for my house (Kichen and renovation was a full gut of a historic house) was my dining area chandelier and it hangs just outside the kitchen so I count it as a kitchen purchase... 6 months later I finally hung it, but it does look spectular.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:33AM
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We're still "in the process", but I'm pretty sure I'm answering truthfully for myself. I don't know whether I'm typical or not:

First: Layout, though I don't think that really fits into the question.

Second: Cabinets. They're the most expensive part of a build, and they're not something you can easily change out, if the mood suits you.

Third: Backsplash. Yes, before countertops. Why? Because in my current house I replaced the countertops with something I thought I'd like . . . only to realize that they're "too busy" to mesh with the backsplash I wanted . . . and I see now that the backsplash "shows" perhaps more than the countertop -- it's at eye level, and the although in magazine pictures and reveals the countertop is "very visible", in real life the things on top of it show up more. Thus, I'm choosing this time to put my money into a fantastic artisan tile for the backsplash . . . and the countertop'll be something solid and serviceable, but it'll come second to the backsplash.

Fourth: Lighting. I'm dead-set on lovely stained glass light fixtures that will tie into the colors on the backsplash.

Fifth: Countertop. I don't mean any of the above to mean that it doesn't matter.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Cabinets first, then counters. We didn't choose the stain color for the cabinets until after we chose the counters. Then flooring, then paint.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:14AM
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The beadboard for the walls and ceiling. I'd been dreaming of it for years. Other than that, everything except one cupboard (actually the bottom of a vintage one) was already in and being used in the kitchen so I didn't really decorate around one or another. Except perhaps paint color.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Another early choice for us was our ceiling fan. We were adamant that we would have one in our renovated kitchen (despite our electrician's poo-pooing--in his opinion, "nobody was doing ceiling fans anymore"). We'd thought we would just get a wood-blade version of the model we already had (in white), but we didn't like the wood blade options that were available (stain colors clashed with our cab sample). When we saw the fan we ended up getting, we fell in love with it. We originally planned to order it in the satin nickel, but we really, really liked the look of the polished chrome (the one on display). When we got the metal samples in the mail, there was no question that we'd get the polished chrome. The SN finish looked kind of muddied, and brownish by comparison.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Macaubus Quartzite. And then the granite yard sold MY held slab to someone else and lied about it. So I had to hunt another 3 months to find another slab (at a different yard). But here it is finally.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Chose the mood first.....how I wanted to feel in the kitchen.....happy. Some people go for sophisticated, I wanted it to be deliberate, not subtle, not relative......I wanted it to be a room where it'd be impossible for me to be in a bad mood.

After that, my first choice was to keep the vintage double drainboard cast iron sink that was there.

This post was edited by magsnj on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 17:02

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:54PM
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We knew we wanted paneled appliances, so we picked our appliances first, then cabs, wall color, granite, light fixtures, floors then B/S....phew!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:54PM
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We went with cork flooring throughout our entire first floor several years ago in our 1991 built home. It replaced carpeting and sheet vinyl in the kitchen and mud room. We added a new kitchen table with nice comfy padded roller chairs, relocated/replaced the light above it and replaced our original white kitchen appliances with black Maytag. Fast forward to this year, new lower cabinets and countertops. Set for life!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Annkh-I did the same thing as far as paint for the cabinets after choosing the island and perimeter countertops. I knew I wanted an off white/cream color but the one I thought I wanted turned out to have a yellow hue.

Catmom-LOVE that fan! I can see why you wanted it and it looks great with your kitchen!

Strayer-I love your island quartzite but also love the colors of your cabinets! The combo is gorgeous!

Magsnj-What does your kitchen look like? I too thought what would I want my kitchen to look like and what colors do I like best? Earth tones like light grey and brown. Not crazy about beigy tans. Hoping I will love my new kitchen.

I bought everything with the thought that I want to love my kitchen but I also want it to be something others love if i do end up putting it on the market anytime in the next 5-7 years. It is very hard to pick out something timeless because no matter what you choose, something is going to look it's age eventually.
i love checking out everyone's pictures and enjoy hearing everyone's answers.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:20PM
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A window... somewhere... anywhere. All my life I have always had windows in my kitchen... and now I have moved into a house with a windowless kitchen. It has nothing to do with cooking, but I had no idea how much it drives me nuts not being able to see outside. BTW I love the photos above... and I see windows in nearly all of them. :D

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:36PM
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I decided on white cabs, inset this time, cork flooring and soapstone countertops. Then I hired a KD to 'make' things work and give me a functional layout for a challenging room. I seem to always fall into this 'trap'. I'm getting better though. For an earlier bath remodel, I picked everything I liked (bad!), including a rad, then hired a designer to make it work and fill in the missing pieces. She did.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:47AM
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I knew I wanted frameless cabinets (which I had had once before), and so I had to find a line of cabinets that carried frameless, my style (recessed - modified Shaker), and in my moderate budget range. It is amazing how many places do not carry frameless cabinets! After finding the cabinets (Smithport), I knew I wanted a bianco antico - type of granite for the island, and mother of pearl backsplash, so I had to find and coordinate from there.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 5:28AM
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I just posted my almost done kitchen recently. The cabinets are a similar to robin's egg blue and the backsplash and paint will be white. Marble counters with white vintage sink. I realize that this type of kitchen isn't for everyone, but I definitely did pick something that enhances my mood everytime I spend time in it.

The way I figured out it would make me happy was to go through SO many magazines and books. For a year. It was easier for me b/c I knew I wanted the style to match the house......then whenever I saw a kitchen with painted cabinets I thought it was so beautiful, but I could never do that. Literally, when I saw these pictures my heart would leap in a happy way. For a while I thought I was going to do an all white kitchen that would be like a canvas and I'd add accent colors that would make me happy. I was settled on that b/c it was rational. All the while I was still looking through magazines and books, trying to focus on white kitchens, but whenever I saw a colored kitchen I'd almost stop breathing. All of a sudden I took the leap and committed to permanent color and I couldn't be more happy that I did.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Kitchen

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:19PM
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The one thing I often fantasize about changing - the granite!!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Reno blog

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:46PM
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I picked the induction range first, because Old Sparky died too soon.

I feel like I was picking everything at the same time. I think I picked the cabinet line first, along with cork flooring as a concept, then my granite. Then worked back from the granite to pick cabinet and floor colors.

The first very specific thing I picked out was actually a Silgranite sink, which I switched out for a Franke Orca the day before I ordered during The Great Sink Freakout.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:17AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The layout was absolutely the first thing to get chosen. After that, it was the cherry cabinetry.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:36AM
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I've always wanted a white kitchen, and I've wanted a big commercial style range for forever, so they were givens going into this new build. I wanted a tile floor however there was no logical place in our floor plan to switch from the wood to the tile, so I'm getting wood floors in my kitchen again (have had wood floors in the last 3 kitchens) and I'm fine with it.
Everything has followed from there, and I'm still revising. I'll be glad when it's all in so I can't make any more revisions!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:55AM
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White frameless cabinets
hardwood floor
white single bowl sink
(22 years ago)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:53PM
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The cabinets were first. I knew that would be tougher while were lots of stones I could love. Even now, I see counters that I could have chosen and been happy, but no cabs like my maple slabs.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Cabinets from Lowes. Then appliances during the Memorial Day sale - Dh is a military veteran so on military holidays we get his discount PLUS the sale price. Then we heard about a great custom place, so we ditched Lowes before signing the contract and got custom cabinets...we'd planned on solid surface counters, but found a better deal on granite at a local stoneyard - a bit of confusion, but it's all worked out really well.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Cabinets, granite, and flooring. We were dealing with a brand new company (Bad decision in hindsight), and figured we would get a steal of a deal if we ordered everything through them. Made sense on paper... Though we had built a house before (had a contractor, so it was not DIY except for the hardwood flooring), this was our first gut remodel, and our first complete DIY. In one way, it made things simpler because they didn't have that many different choices, probably the widest choice available was flooring, but I had already spent a year going around to flooring places and had decided my first dream choice was Tigerwood (I just didn't think I could afford it- but by doing the package deal it became within our price range)...so I guess really then the flooring was the first thing I chose.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Hahaha! My sink. My Kohler, Hawthorne sink:

I've changed my mind on everything else. I bought gorgeous cork flooring, but sold it 3 years later, still in the box.

I've built, found, bought and been given cabinets 3 different times now, which I loved, but they're weren't the AhHA cabinets. I've taken them down and given them away to H4H and my SIL.

M countertops. I had plywood for 3 or 4 years. A friend built me a gorgeous Wilsonart countertop on my sink side, but I built my butcherblock on the other side. The constant since we moved here in 2002, was soapstone countertops. Someday....

Everything else? Who cares. Disposable and changeable.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:54AM
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