Completed Kitchen--Finally, after 3 years! (Many Photos)

vickevetteJanuary 5, 2011

It has been awhile since I last posted, but a big thank you to all who helped with advice for my project. For those who do not know, (or who forgot, during our extremely l-o-n-g remodel), a bit about the project:

We started in 2007 (hurts to think about how long ago that was) to do a kitchen remodel on our vacation home. The house is on an island, and the remote setting contributed to the length of the project.

We added a 16' x 20' space to the existing home to contain the new kitchen, and converted the old kitchen into a laundry room, butler's pantry area, and desk/computer area. We removed a modular sunroom from the home, in order to extend the dining room, and put new hickory wide plank hardwood flooring in all areas that had previously contained oak hardwood.

Once the new space was roughed-in, we parted ways with our contractor following several disasters (which I will not go into, but let's just say "Murphy's Law prevailed).

I became our general contractor at that point. This is a job I had not initially planned on doing at the outset of the project, and it was complicated by the fact that I have two school-age children. I learned early in the project that I needed to be onsite whenever work was being done, so much of the work had to be done on weekends or when grandma and grandpa could come and babysit.

Many of the features in the kitchen are custom, and it took lots of time for me to work with the individual craftspersons, and to pull all the components together, as I did not have a kitchen designer, other than some help with the cabinet layout from the cabinetry provider.

With hindsight, things would probably have gone a lot faster if I had hired one, and for a project of this magnitude, a designer's advice would have helped immensely, saving a lot of "trial-and-error" and research time.

I had never built anything before, and I was a terrible general contractor. My work background is in accounting, and for me, 2+2 ALWAYS equals 4! Not so with building and subcontractors. (I learned by the end of the project that when a subcontractor says to you, "Gee, you must be a designer." That is in their view, most definitely not a compliment!)

Anyway, we muddled through somehow, and I am excited to finally share my photos. Please excuse any construction dust--these were taken before final clean-up.

Details:

Range Hood: Custom, carved limestone

Countertop Material: 3CM Antique Brown granite, double stacked on island.

Floor: Taupe limestone

Cabinetry: Woodmode In Kitchen and Brookhaven in Butler's Pantry (cherry with Edinburgh finish).

Banquette: Custom, black leather

Faucets: Kitchen--Franke Orient Express, Butler's--Herbeau

Sinks: Kitchen--Kohler, Butler's Pantry--Franke

Fireplace: Lopi

Range: LaCanche

Dishwasher: Miele

Refrigerator and Wine Cooler: Subzero 700 series

Hardwood Floors: Carlisle-hickory-varible wide plank

Double Ovens: Gaggenau

Hardware: Bouvet

Light Fixtures: Kitchen and dining - Arte de Mexico (custom sconces), Butler's Pantry - Steven Handelman Studios

Backsplash: New Ravenna (Botticino marble mosaic)

Niche Frame: Custom fabricated by the countertop fabricator.

A big thanks again for all the wonderful folks on this site who advised and/or inspired me!

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daki

There is only one word that can express my initial reaction...

WOW!!!!!!!

What a beautiful place :)

Be proud of yourself. It is awesome!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:25PM
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kitchen1921

Stunning. Just ... wow. Wow. Your VACATION house? Um. Wow. It's truly incredible. I'm sorry I can't say anything more coherent, I'm just a little ... wow.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:34PM
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lisa_a

Oh, wow! Your kitchen is gorgeous but the view of that madrone tree (one of my favorite trees) out your window is to die for. I love how your cabinets and trim finishes compliment its bark color. Love the ceiling detail and the corner fireplace, too.

When I first read "island" I had visions of somewhere tropical. Silly me for forgetting about our stunning Puget Sound islands, which is where I'm betting you are (I'm in Portland).

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:37PM
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cat_mom

That's an amazing kitchen--and those windows and that view! Yowza!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:37PM
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artmeetsscience

Looking from here it surely seems worth the wait. Well done!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:38PM
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kathylquiltz

As I looked through these pictures, the same thing kept running through my head, over and over "Damn! That's gorgeous!" That's an elegant and inviting kitchen. I hope you enjoy it for many, many years.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:39PM
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dar5

Beautiful, stunnng, gorgeous...what a View! This is one to bookmark and label it "in my dreamworld..."

Enjoy!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:39PM
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shanghaimom

Beautiful--the windows and water views are stunning! Okay, so we're all now wanting to see your everyday kitchen, since you have a LaCanche in your vacay home!!

Great job on being the GC--can't imagine how you did it!! It is gorgeous. You need to have a serious island-warming par-TAY to celebrate finishing such a huge project.

WHAT is that thingy hanging next to DR chandelier?! A model airplane?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:54PM
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shanghaimom

...and do I see a white ceramic TOWEL PIG in the alcove over the fridge? (-8 (Is that the fridge or a beautiful armoire?)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:00PM
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cosmo_nj

For a terrible GC w/out a kitchen designer, that's pretty darn good.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:05PM
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craftlady07

holy moly, now that's a kitchen!WOW!!! What an incredible space, nice job!!

Do you mind saying which island? I aks out of sheer curiousity :)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:07PM
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lawjedi

there are no words to describe the beauty. in awe. enjoy your new and wonderful space!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:14PM
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missmuffet

Did you hear my jaw hit the keyboard? WOW!!! So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:20PM
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marthavila

Oh. My. God. That is one spectacular kitchen! The window, the view, the banquette, the Lacanche, the hood and backsplash, the cabinetry, the lighting fixtures . . . the Oven Room (?) LOL! Geez! I could go on and on with gushing praise as it's all remarkable! And to think that you had to become your own GC on this project and had no help from a professional designer. (C'mon, just fess up and tell the truth now!):-) And this is the kitchen for your vacation home? Amazing! Super amazing! And certainly well worth the 3 year wait. Big congratulations are in order for you. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:21PM
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florantha

What a magnificent room! It looks like you can pick and choose like a pro and you have found some real craftspeople to carry out your vision. I applaud the continuity and the taste.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:22PM
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kitchenaddict

Hi vicky...

Holy Moly! Ummmm...I'll just leave it at that.

KA:)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:36PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

You did a great job! The kitchen is lovely but the windows really frame the vista and bring it right to you ...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:39PM
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gsciencechick

Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it! The limestone vent hood and marble BS are amazing. I would love to have a glass of wine while sitting on the banquette. I think you could host the entire GW Kitchens forum in that space, hint, hint!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:50PM
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rhome410

Umm....I don't know how to communicate absolute awe and speechlessness on a forum! It's spectacular, as is your view...Good catch, Lisa! I was too blown away by the room to notice that the scenery is from my own neck of the woods.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bench...and so much more, but that's something I'll want in my next kitchen, if I ever have one.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:01PM
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sparklekitty

Amazing...I am generally not a fan of the more traditional, dark wood kitchens but you lightened it up with the windows, the stunning hood, the backsplash and the floors - the contrast really works and miraculously makes a "traditional" kitchen extremely comfortable looking, warm, classic...brillant. I could go on and on. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:04PM
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onedog3cats

Like everyone else...all I can say is WOW!!!

Great job!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:15PM
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dianalo

I can only imagine what your real house must look like! Wowza!

That tile feature shows my kind of mosaics... love, love, love it.

Your views, cabs, windows, appliances, floors, ceilings, fixtures, etc... all are perfection!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:22PM
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katsmah

Stunning!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:38PM
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breezygirl

It's funny that after the mosaic inset behind the range, the next thing that caught my eye was the stunning bark on that Madrona! Your kitchen is amazing. I, too, want to see your everyday kitchen if your vacation one looks like that!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:59PM
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jterrilynn

Love how your countertop reflects the outdoors through the windows. Love how the light hood plays with the light of the outdoors. Love how perfect the light fixture is for the room. Love the windows and casings. Perfect! This is not just a beautiful kitchen in that the genius is in how much attention was put into the bringing in and capitalizing the fantastic outdoor views of nature.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:09PM
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itsnotrocketscience

OOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:18PM
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nomafinney

OMG! Ditto to what everyone else has already said! I love all of it and how it all works together, but if I had to pick a favorite element it would be the WINDOWS and the VIEW. Wow!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:31PM
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biochem101

Officially now my Most Favorite Kitchen.

That black leather banquette is to die for...and I could not have imagined that if you had described it. What vision!

Your lighting is magnificant.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:32PM
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demolitionlab

Good golly Miss Molly, that is drop dead gorgeous!

Count me with those who reeeeallly want to know which island -- I have some guesses based on the arbutus (madronas) and the views -- we are having plans drawn right now for a place in the Gulf Islands so if by chance you're on the Canadian side of the border I'd love some references for the people you worked with!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:33PM
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shelayne

That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the floor.

Ummm, vacation home? You have a Lacanche in your vacation home! *thud*

It is spectacular! The hood, that fireplace, the marble mosaic, the faucets, the ovens! I'm on perfection overload!

I don't think I could handle seeing your everyday home--it is probably more than I could take.

BUT, I'm willing to take that risk. ;^)

Pssst, Shanghaimom, I spied "Towel Pig" right away as well! ;^)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:39PM
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athomesewing

WOW...and, Oh My Gosh....there are no adequate words, it is simply perfect.

Can we start guessing your island?
Is it San Juan Island, WA, maybe Fish Creek Inlet?

Wherever it is, I have to say it again...WOW!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:52PM
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vickevette

Thanks so much for all the nice compliments! it is so wonderful to hear from others who love kitchens the way I do. I will try to answer all the questions:

For those who asked/noticed, yes, the house is in the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of Washington State.

Yes, the large cabinet armoire contains the refrigerators. It was all built from cabinet panels which surround the appliances.

A few folks asked about the kitchen in my other house...you would be disappointed! It is a 1980's "oak special," desperately crying for a re-do. Hubby told me if I did the vacation-house kitchen as a learning experiment, and results were good, he'd let me have a crack at the main house.

(We moved to our present main residence about mid-way through the remodel of the vacation place. Not sure if that was temporary insanity or just that a somewhat-aging-but-with-great-bones-dream-house just happened to come up at a less than ideal time. Anyway, the main digs is a bit of a project house, and the kitchen is first on my agenda. We are just starting to plan for that now, so hopefully I have another kitchen in me somewhere waiting to come out...)

The cast-iron pig (purely decorative, not a towel pig) (what is a towel-pig?), is actually a winged pig. I keep him up there, not just because he's cute, but also because when I first approached hubby with the idea of a major kitchen remodel, his response was something like, "When pigs fly!" Of course now he loves the new kitchen, and so I have "Pigasus," up there to remind him of how he felt initially, after all, I do have another kitchen remodel at stake!

The flying pig also reminds me that at some times during the project, I felt as if pigs just might fly before we ever finished, so he is up there now reigning over all as sort-of an emblem of perseverance-or maybe triumph?

(Helps me to forget things like when the painter hired by our original general contractor tried to put a simple clear-coat on the wood ceiling, ended up turning it green, "solved" that problem by applying a dark stain that did not match the rest of the house, and looked like brown paint, (did I mention that he forgot to mask the recessed light fixtures before spraying?), then ended-up trying to sand the ceilings, and walked off the job leaving a huge, dusty, only-partly-sanded mess.

Or when the first cabinet installer initially installed all the cabinets off-center and without allowing for finished-floor materials, necessitating that they all be pulled out, raised-up and reset. As if that were not bad enough, in order to move the cabinets, he had to remove the particle board covering the newly-installed limestone flooring, unfortunately deciding to use a box-cutter to cut all the tape joins between the sheets of particle board, scoring the limestone everywhere in the process, and necessitating a complete refinish of the brand-new floor! Just a few of the many adventures on the project.)

On the bright side, once I took over, I was blessed to find an awesome carpenter, who rescued the botched cabinet installation, as well as many other highly capable craftsmen, and all came together eventually.

About the oven room...which is really a butler's pantry of sorts, is kinda crazy I know, but we needed that primarily because of all the windows in the kitchen. The views, which you cannot fully see in the photos, are really spectacular, and we wanted to capture that with lots of windows. That severely limited wall space. We were limited by waterfront building restrictions as well, so had to work within a specific envelope, and did not really have a lot of options on how to site the addition. Anyway, the pantry solved the need for more upper storage, and a place for the wall ovens and the wine storage. You can't see it in the photos, but off the computer desk room is also a walk-in pantry with shelves (it sits behind the refrigerator). This also helps a lot with the lack of upper cabinet space.

Also to Shanghaimom, the airplane is not a model, but rather a light fixture. We had a ceiling fan in the old dining room which we took out in the remodel, (it was quite hideous, and no longer in the center of the room). Since the ceilings are tongue and groove, we had to do something to cover the hole. Hubby is a private pilot/airplane nut, so I put that in for him as a surprise. I like traditional decor, and he's always asking me why we don't have any airplane art (something I've never missed ;) but, I figured to give in to a little whimsy, even though it looks a little crazy with the Spanish gothic chandelier!

Thanks again for all the kind words!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 1:07AM
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desertsteph

THUD!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 2:56AM
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flwrs_n_co

Amazing, just amazing. . . . excuse me while I pop my eyes back into their sockets . . .

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:40AM
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scootermom

Vicky, you've inspired a lot of sound effects here...I'll add my own.

GA-ZOING!!!

When I read that you considered yourself a terrible GC, I figured you were probably underestimating yourself and that the kitchen would probably be a perfectly fine kitchen, but wowzers. It's truly spectacular. Congratulations on a job terribly well done!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 8:18AM
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shelayne

The cast-iron pig (purely decorative, not a towel pig) (what is a towel-pig?), is actually a winged pig. I keep him up there, not just because he's cute, but also because when I first approached hubby with the idea of a major kitchen remodel, his response was something like, "When pigs fly!" Of course now he loves the new kitchen, and so I have "Pigasus," up there to remind him of how he felt initially, after all, I do have another kitchen remodel at stake!

I love it! That is something I would do! As for Towel Pig, he is sort of the GW Kitchen mascot. One or more of our clever posters had an adorable pig that looks similar to Pigasus (sans wings) next to her sink as something to drape her towel over. It took off, and there is a thread totally dedicated to trying to find "Towel Pig".

Here is a link that might be useful: One of many threads about Towel Pig

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:48AM
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beekeeperswife

FAHHHHHBUULOUSSSSSSSSS

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:49AM
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rosie

A really beautiful kitchen, Vicky. I'm struck in particular by the contribution the trees make to the total picture. Thank goodness the disasters didn't take those. :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:17AM
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vickevette

To demolitionlab--sorry I cannot be helpful with references on the Canadian side of the border, though I did speak to one stone carver up there when looking for the right person to carve the stone hood. His name was Tony Rogac, and I think he was in the Vancouver area if I remember correctly. Well, I just found his website:

http://www.architecturalstonemasonry.com/page.php?page=carving

not sure if the link will work but you can google or paste. I had several conversations with him, but did not select him only because at the time I was hopeful to have the same company carve and install, and he could not install in the US due to work permit type issues. (As it turned out, I had a separate installer, as my hood was carved in Chicago, and coordinating with their installer proved difficult.) Anyway Tony is a very nice guy, has impeccable credentials, and his work looks exceptional. So if you are planning any stonework, check him out.

Not sure if the situation is the same in the Gulf Islands as in the Juans, but some general advice if you're planning to remodel:

We found that the builders with more experience doing custom work were so busy with whole-house projects that getting one to do a remodel was tough. Many of the local remodeling specialists had little experience with high-end custom work. We found that when we got to finishing the interior, our builder was stumped on how to go about working with the stone carver on the hood or installing it. His granite guy could not do the edge I wanted, etc. His other subs were hit and miss (see my earlier post on his painter--groan!). He actually did a good job building the basic shell, but beyond that point things fell apart, and were not up to the quality we wanted, and I had to come in and run the project through the completion of the interior. We ended-up importing all of our subs from Seattle to get what we wanted. So my best advice is if you are doing a lot of custom elements, check out in advance what your builder's resources are in that regard ahead of time. (Being a novice, I assumed my builder would know how to do everything, or would have access to someone who did.) And the most important thing I learned, as a homeowner, be onsite, at least show-up once a day.

Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:53AM
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vickevette

Hi Rosie:

Yes, we are fortunate to have two beautiful Madronas that contribute so much to the setting. When we drafted building plans for the new space, we had room to go farther out, and everyone thought I was crazy for not doing so, but in my mind, keeping the tree was a priority!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 1:10PM
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blondelle

Now, I can tell that's not an IKEA kitchen :-). Just stunning. I don't know what's more magnificent, the kitchen or the view! WOW! Love everything. Your hood and mural are gorgeous as well as all the rest. It all fits together so beautifully. Do you have a guest room? How's the fishing? I'm on my way...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 2:30PM
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lonestarstate

Vicky

Who did the banquette? We will have a "U" shaped one and I'm having trouble finding someone I think can pull it off. Yours appears to be upholstered perfectly.

A beautiful space. Congratulations.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 2:31PM
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blfenton

Beautiful kitchen - BUT it's the windows that sent me into sensory overload. They are absolutely stunning.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:12PM
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vickevette

Meant to post some "before" pictures, and had some time today to find a few. Here is the kitchen "before" in a picture I took when we were looking to buy the house. (After we bought the place I did some redecorating--wallpaper and hanging dishtowels are not mine!):

And here is the "before" dining room after we moved in and decorated (though there was not much I could do about the old woodstove) but before the remodel:

And the same dining area after remodel:

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:18PM
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doonie

I love it!!

I am so glad to see a carved limestone hood in such a perfect setting. What a beautiful kitchen you have created. Love your mosaic over the range. The armoir concealed refrigerator is just what your kitchen needed. The numerous windows are wonderful and let the light in to the darker wooded kitchen. And I love your limestone chiseled edge floor. And what an awesome light in the vaulted ceiling!!

Congratulations!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:35PM
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vickevette

Hi Lonestar:

The upholstered portion of the banquette was made by JH Carr & Sons of Kent, WA. They are a major maker of restaurant booths. They are great to work with. Here is their website:

http://www.jhcarr.com/

The wooden base was made from Woodmode panels, fabricated onsite by my carpenter.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:40PM
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hermajesty

OMG excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard!
WoW is such an understatement. You've created a really special and wonderful space. Your mosiac is really beautiful. Love everything you've done, very classic and elegant. BRAVO to you. Love the pigasus.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 7:56PM
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suzanne_sl

So, when did you say the open house was? I'm sure we're all invited. Make it when it warms up a bit - we were in Seattle and Sequim over Christmas and I felt like a snowman wrapped up in all the clothes it took to keep me warm.

That date is...?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 8:43PM
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michellemarie

Love, love, love your kitchen! It is the most amazing kitchen I have seen posted! I rarely show my husband any of the kitchens, but I had to show him yours. Especially because I wanted the Lopi Bed and Breakfast in my kitchen, but I just couldn't find a place for it. Now that I have seen it in your kitchen, I need to find a place for it.
The first thing my husband did say when he saw it though is that is he thinks the logs are not installed correctly due to the sooting on the back log. You may want to verify with your install manual or have your installer come back because at any rate you shouldn't have that problem.
Thanks for sharing. I have to go now so I can drool over the photos again!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:37PM
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txpepper

H.o.l.y Cow!!!! I'm impressed.

It's nice to know that pigs can fly. : )

Congrats on doing a fabulous job.

Pepper

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 11:26PM
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vickevette

Hi Suzannesl--we've had a few spells of unusually cold weather this winter, feels more like Minnesota than Washington!

michellemarie--yes I did notice the soot, and had asked about the log layout at the install. I will have to follow-up on that. We are on propane where we are, so not sure if that is maybe more sooty, or does something to the flame height.

Do try to fit a fireplace into your plan if you can. As I recall you need a minimum of something like about 26" on each side for a corner install like ours. I also looked at one called (if memory serves) the "Cresent," by another maker, but it was a few inches larger, and we couldn't make it fit. The Lopi (or "Bed & Breakfast" same unit, different face option), were the smallest on the market at the time we got ours. We really LOVE it, both for atmosphere, and it really does heat up the kitchen.

Thanks to all for the kind words!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:37AM
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athomesewing

Hi again,

I had to drop back in for another look and was a little surprised that I had guessed correctly, the San Juan Islands. The view looks so similar to where my daughter had house sat for the Obennaus when she interned for Randy Gaylord's office. I actually made a quilt named Foxing Around at Fish Creek....madrone tree included! (:

Enjoy that stunning kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful: Foxing Around at Fish Creek

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:07PM
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cjc123

An amazing job! You must just love going to your beautiful vacation home! It is a timless remodel and will look just as lovely in 10 years! I would just love to grab a throw, cup of tea and good book curl up by those windows and lose myself for a few hours! I hope you are able to do that often.... Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:18PM
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demolitionlab

Thanks so much for the info, Vicky! We'll likely be using all Canadian sources for our construction, so I'll tuck that name away.

We are also opting to keep our madronas as part of our view, too. They do set off the water and sky so beautifully!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:34PM
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cassidyhome

Your kitchen is beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:42PM
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gbsim1

Vicky, you did a wonderful job!!!! Awesome blend of framing the view and not having the interior be too overpowering.

I'll bring some boiled shrimp from Louisiana for the housewarming party!

Can I ask a non kitchen construction question? What brand of windows and doors did you use? We'll be starting construction on a new house and will have similar window/door areas in part of the house. We're having a hard time deciding on windows.... Loewen or Marvin?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 2:48PM
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mindstorm

Zounds! That's beautiful.

Your kitchen must be chock full of beautiful thinks that the other posters attest to. But I must admit to being completely and utterly and totally captivated by the limestone floors and your windows - the heavens opened and angels started to sing when I spotted them. And of course the view out of those windows. For me it has been hard to see anything else.

It will take me a few hours of staring and oggling at your pictures before those get off center stage. Gorgeous - I heart limestone and your floors are TDF. Your windows likewise - and the tree and the waters outside - stunning.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 3:26PM
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beckysharp

Wow wow wow. Amazing. The wood, the windows, the views -- it all works so well together and looks beautiful. You ARE a designer and a darn good one! And love the Pigasus story,

Becky

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 4:16PM
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still_waters

Another jaw has been picked up off the floor! Really like the mosaaic backsplash.

Best part is the lake(sound?) view. There is something truly peaceful about a water view. Restorative. Nice job.

How far are you from your vacation home? How often do you get there?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 5:06PM
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vickevette

Hi gbsim:

We used Andersen windows. The choice was driven mostly by wanting to match the windows in the existing structure. The original part of the house was built in the mid 80's, with an early 90's addition done prior to us buying the place. All Andersen windows, and they were holding up well--no small feat in a saltwater environment.

BUT--My research at the time we started our project indicated that Andersen had slipped from their previous quality standards, and this proved true with us. Our windows arrived with many being out-of-square (something for which there should be no excuse) which caused us some delays and problems.

Andersen also did not have as many choices for wood species, finish and sizing as some other brands.

The thing that caused me the greatest amount of consternation was that they would not do a door taller than standard (as I recall, 6'8") and would not do a custom height door. Our configuration demanded a custom height, and I had to buy a Jeld-Wen door, which meant the exterior finish does not match exactly to the windows.

I would not recommend Andersen for those reasons.

I did a considerable amount of research on windows for my remodel, and also because our other place is older and we are looking at replacing some windows. (Plus I've spent more time with contractors in the last few years than with anyone else (..groan..) so I tried to take the opportunity to learn as much as I could from them.)

Hands down, everyone in the building trades seems unanimous that the creme-de-la-creme in the world of windows is Marvin. I never specifically researched them, and hear they are expensive, but apparently worth it according to the pros. If I were looking to purchase some windows, I'd sure start by looking at them.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:35PM
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vickevette

Thanks for your kind words:)

We are fortunate to be there often.

DH is a pilot, so our commute is about 12 minutes--Well, plus maybe 15-20 minutes on either end to and from airports.

If driving from the Seattle area it is about 70 to 80 miles, but the ferry ride adds some time. Total commute time driving is 3 to 4 hours, depending on the ferries.

Either way, it is pretty short, which allows us to spend lots of time there.

I like watching those HGTV shows where people house-hunt for vacation spots in exotic locations, but I always wonder about all the time they must spend getting there and back. Closer is better, I think. We are lucky to have a paradise like the San Juans practically in our back yard...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:31PM
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adh673

I cannot give an opinion until I'd have some time on-site to fully absorb the details. And please leave the keys for the boat.

Amazing.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:52PM
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tinycastles

LOVE your kitchen, just gorgeous! Just have to add that I have the same exact pig! He is my kitchen mascot too. Your space is incredible, you should be very very proud of yourself.

Suprised to hear about the Andersen door issue....I just installed the A-Series Windows in our new home, and they also quoted me on our rounded top double entry door, and single rounded top 'friend entrance'. Both are 8 ft. high doors, so I know they make doors in this height. Thought I would mention that in case anyone lusting after your windows is turned off by the door thing.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 9:17PM
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michellemarie

Vicky,
Sometimes people paint their logsets or fireback so I was hoping you didn't think I was picking on you.
My husband owns a fireplace store and we are Lopi dealers.
That is why he noticed the log set. I can't tell you the number of times he has to go on service calls to fix a log placement. I hope you get on it right away.
I was lucky enough to snatch the Lopi Sweet Dreams stove( the stove version of your fireplace) for part of my remodel and now that I have seen your pics I am on the bandwagon to get that TRV 21 in my house. I have all Travis products in my house. You picked a great fireplace.
I also love the Arabesque inserts you went with. That is what I will go with too!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:20PM
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mindstorm

Still delicious. Windows and floors still make the heart beat a bit faster.

Re: windows ... I've done a lot of research on this a few times in the past 5 years.

Marvin are very good. Loewen is better, imo. There are some custom brands that are definitely better than Marvin and perhaps even better than Loewen.
In my old house, and in the course of our remodel I've had to put in a few french doors and windows. I've used both brands and if I were to do my projects again, I'd forgo the Marvins and pick the Loewen. (Both are/were similarly priced down to a few ones or tens of dollars if I recall right.). My Loewen french doors and one window meanwhile, are just brilliant. The Marvin looks fine also and no trouble there but I anticipate some danger there whereas I'm completely confident in my Loewen jobs.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 11:07PM
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cardamon

Thank you for posting your beautiful kitchen. I am in awe of all the details. Clipped your post because we have an empty lake lot and you have some great ideas I can keep in mind. Love all the windows with the dark wood cabinets. How lucky to have a house with such a view.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 8:20AM
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vickevette

Hi Tiny Castles and gbsim:

Sorry about that--it has been awhile since we ordered the windows and doors--you are right, it must'ave been an 8' maximum height that Andersen offered on door height.

We needed taller to line-up correctly with the tops of the windows. Really unfortunate for us that where the beam needed to be to fit with the existing house (the oldest part of which is post and beam construction) we needed a particular odd height, which Andersen would not do, and which ended up costing a fortune because of the non standard size.

We tried adjusting the window height to line-up with a standard size door, but could not lower them, and raising them up severely compromised the view.

Fortunately, we only needed one door!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:23AM
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tinycastles

Your entire kitchen is a fantasy kitchen, but your hood and backsplash over range are simply stunning. And that pot filler is so beautiful it looks like jewelry for your range. WOW. WOW. WOW.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:46AM
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vickevette

Hi Michellemarie:

Thanks for the tip on the soot issue. We had some trouble getting a specialist to install in that area, so the guy who installed maybe got the logs a little bit off when positioning?

When we first installed, the flames did not show up as well as the showroom model did. I asked about the log placement then, and he told me there was only one way to install the logs.

After some use, I began noticing the soot--but the flame, for some reason, looks much better. (Maybe DH got in there and moved the logs....I'll have to ask him about that.)

I will be going into the showroom where we bought the unit, as the switch which controls the blower has not been working, and I have to pick up a new one of those, so I will see what I can learn then about the log placement. Guess I can show them that picture.

The "local" vendor (which is on the mainland) told me they use a generalist from another island to service those units, so I was not sure he would be any more knowledgeable than my install guy was.

I'm so glad you mentioned the soot though, because I did not know anything about the log placement, only that the flame seemed not right to begin with, and then the soot appeared. Now I know there is an issue for sure...so at least I can have some confidence when I talk to the folks who sold me the unit.

Despite these installation/adjustment issues, we really love that fireplace though! (Makes me want one in every room each time I walk past it). Thanks so much for the help!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:57AM
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vickevette

Hi Maggie08:

Have you checked out the houzz site? I recently discovered that in another post on this site, and it has tons of inspirational photos.

We are anticipating updating our other kitchen soon, (well, plus, I am just a "kitchen addict" and can't seem to stop looking at pictures of kitchen ideas!) so I continue to be captivated by pictures of beautiful kitchens...

Check it out--it is a great site for anyone in the planning phase.

Glad you liked my kitchen--thanks for the kind words, and good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:20PM
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vickevette

Hi mindstorm:

Thanks for the info on Loewen. I had not heard of those before. I will definitely check them out when we do our replacement. I have these funky windows in our family room which I would like to rip out and replace with french doors, so it's nice to hear that Loewen makes a good french door.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:25PM
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michoumonster

hi Vickyw, i just saw your link in a current thread and very glad I did! Your kitchen is really amazing! can you tell me were to get that gorgeous chandelier? I love all of your lighting. I am trying to do iron forged lighting too but having trouble finding lights that actually look real and substantial. most of the lights i have seen at the stores just look kind of faux.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:57AM
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