Finished -- photos too

plllogFebruary 11, 2012

Can you believe it? Did you think it would ever happen? I know I announced that the kitchen was finally finished weeks ago, but now I have proof. Never mind that I started planning in late 2007, had demolition in April 2009 and was moved back in a year after that. There were bumps and hiccups and life and work projects and once I could cook, it didn't seem to matter.

There are actually a few unfinished things, but they're not in the kitchen. The dining room door hasn't been made, but I'll have time to draft it soon. There are still some old kitchen things in the entry hall awaiting time to be relocated to their new homes (i.e., I have to clear room for them). Things like that.

I had a great GC, and an equally great, superlatively amazing GW Kitchens Forum who, combined, allowed me to have every little thing I wanted, and things as close to exactly the way I wanted them as human endeavor allowed. And if that took living for a year and some with a big box of grout taking up floorspace, so be it.

I owe more thank-yous than I can contain in one post. You all know about the advice and encouragement, the reality checks and the commisseration that happen here. More people contributed to the project than I can name, but I'd like to acknowledge a few who provided unforgetable inspirations. To Rhome410, I give all my thanks for taking seriously all but one of my bad plans, and for impressing upon me the importance of avoiding dark, useless corners. That advice literally shaped the Southwest corner of my kitchen, and was the one thing I had to model over and over and over again. The result is the best it can be because of that. To Igloochic, who early in my learning process explained to me the benefits of an outstandingly expensive European faucet and opened my mind to them, and many of the things that follow (it's a quality thing). Also, for introducing me to Ann At Home. To Jdesign for helping me find the glass I wanted in a form I could actually buy, and for amazing patience and helpfulness on this and the dining room door issue, going above and beyond just helpfulness.

I have a brevity problem. You know that if you've seen my posts. I promise there are very few paragraphs in my presentation and lots and lots of pictures (but small files so they should load decently). So I'll stop talking and get on with the big reveal (okay, you've seen and heard about a lot of this, but there's still plenty you haven't seen before)...









What, you expected an actual picture? Click the link. I promise you'll either love or hate what you find.

Okay, here's a picture. You've seen it before, but it sets the tone for and defines my kitchen. And was even my holiday letter photo last year (I don't usually do holiday letters, but a picture is worth a plethora of words and is much, much briefer).

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Thank you for sharing your wonderful creation! I'll just copy some of what I wrote to you earlier.

I felt like I just had a wonderful chatting session, coffee in hand & lots of laughs & guffaws with an old friend. What a lovely, character-filled kitchen & home! It has so much personality as I'm sure just reflects the person who created it :)

I had to laugh at your emergency lantern. I have one sitting just 3 feet from me. I have one in the bathroom, too. Here in earthquake must be 'at the ready'! Is yours battery or fuel? We also have lots of power outages so I'm just waiting to be plunged into darkness at any moment. Of course, it's always when hubby is working, night...hurricane-force winds...snow up the get the picture. Oh, yes, and that's when we have earthquakes, too. I swear there's a major fault line right under my chair!

Love Gramma's stool :)

Wish I really could sit in one of those chairs, coffee in hand :) Congratulations on a job well done. I'm in the same position you were - I'm learning lots here & I really appreciate all the knowledge & wisdom here.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:21AM
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I just lost myself for an hour in your blog soaking in your words and images. I'm so impressed by how you handled the process from the planning to the journaling to the photos to your organization of it all. It reads like a fascinating novel!

Your unique vision and ability to creatively make room for all the small details of storage is remarkable. Lots of clever details! It's a good thing I found the layout drawing so I could keep track of everything I was seeing in the photos because your kitchen seems enormous when viewed one snapshot at a time.

Thank you for sharing your homey yet sophisticated, amazing kitchen! I knew I would be gobsmacked by it all. You did not disappoint. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:49AM
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Having seen the tile and other bits as you cared to reveal them over time, pillog, I still was not prepared for the gestalt. Never has anything so meticulously planned for function launched itself into the world with such sheer lyrical relaxed joy. The space rocks, in the whole as well as in this parts.

I am also pleased to see that your hibiscus lives on in your blog.

Awestruck congratulations and cheers. hbk

I was prepared to mourn the loss of your red hibiscus, but was pleased to see it lives on in your blog. The color scheme changes, but the

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 5:20AM
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Zen Kitchen!!!
This must surely be the most anticipated kitchen in GW. Having your read numerous posts that always provide insight and share knowledge, I expected something amazing... But your kitchen surpasses all expectations.. You have proved that function can indeed marry form and produce clever and beautiful results..

So many things to love and amaze. I want to call out some details (for others wo ever search the forum for solutions)

1.Beautiful nature inspired color palette.. The details lure the eye and please the soul.
2. The skinny stemware cabinet.. This is such brilliant use of space
3. The amazing tall spice pullout -what storage that isclear to see
4. The swing up table that is there when you need it.. We had one in our house growing up and it was so useful.
5. The clever overlapping Corner drawers on the island with the drawer overlay
6. The indoor / outdoor counter
7. The tile ..oh the tile... Me want the flowers and the red gumdrops
8. The message center with the "drop down when you need it" writing area.
9. The prep refrigerator.. Now I am getting envious.. I really wanted it but my appliance lust could not fit in my small kitchen. But oh so convenient!!
10. The heavy board storage pullout. These always used to stay in the unwanted corner next to the refrigerator.. Just love the hardware you have found to do this.
11. Swing up and stay up shelf doors
12. The corner drawers

I also want to say that I really appreciate how you have given credit to your contractors and the subs.. There is so much creativity and ingenuity that goes into this level of detail.. And it is nice to read all the ways your experts came in and provided solutions. Hope your contractor is prepared for the influx of requests to recreate JC's kitchen.

I have to go back more to look, lust and see what ideas I can steal.. All in the name of flattery of course ;). This was so worth missing 3 hrs of sleep :). Thank you for finally posting.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 6:34AM
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Ohhhh... Wow!

I missed much of your planning as I used to be on GW all the time and fell off for a few years. Have only been back about 6 months.

I loved reading about all of your problem solving and puzzling through the issues to come to the conclusions you reached.

I have never seen such a personal kitchen - it must make your heart sing every time you are in it.

Your magic island and so many other features are just incredible. Your cabinet maker must have never done anything quite this creative before! What would he say when you came to him with all of these ideas? I would think for someone who really likes to do custom stuff that this was a project of a lifetime. Same for your tile maker. The tile work is gorgeous - an amazing work of functional art. I can imagine how gratifying it must be to be the tile maker and know how happy they were able to make someone by allowing someone's conception and creativity come to life.

Your playfulness, creativity and inventiveness are all over this kitchen.

I loved reading through your blog and particularly appreciated all the labels you put on to explain the details. Some had me L'ing OL - in particular "pumpkin".

Your finished kitchen is a good example of why to slow down the design process and really make sure you end up with what you want and you think of where is everything going to go, how am I going to use this space, how do I want this to look, will it feel like "me", will I spend all of this money and really enjoy being in this space / cooking in this space.

I find your kitchen and your process very inspiring. THanks so much for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:04AM
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Pillog - thanks for the heads up email. I haven't been on her much lately. New grand daughter arrived 2 weeks ago, one month early. Busy time.

I have to say, your use of space and storage is beyond belief. Each thing planned for... no wasted space.
Love the narrow cabinet for glassware, tray and platter areas, cookbook cabinet.
The tile, or course, is beautiful. Love your little outside shelf!
I'm so glad you posted pics of the laundry room. I've been waiting to see that tile since you posted your plan for it.

So much to say, but I think the functionality and peaceful feeling are my favorite parts. Congratulations on a job so very well done.

And a special thank you for all your wisdom and the help you offered to so many people on this forum.

You're the best! P

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Just absolutely brilliant. In every single aspect of function and form. I am in awe of your creativity and resolve in staying true to yourself and w.a.i.t.i.n.g to get every single thing exactly as you wanted. It's inspired. Thanks for sharing and being a part of this community.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Loved seeing all the detailed photos! Your kitchen has been on my shortlist of favorites for all the personality you've brought to it, but I didn't realize how many truly ingenious storage ideas you crammed into your kitchen, too. Kudos to your cabinetmaker for making it all happen.

Love the corner drawers in your "magic island!" The stemware cabinet seemed like such a good use of the space on paper, and is even more magnificent in real life - Love it! I can't believe that the gorgeousness and ingenuity extends into your laundry room, too. Love the pass thru counter & of course the tile work is to die for. Thanks so much for sharing all the details. I think your blog should be required reading for those just starting the journey who are having a tough time seeing outside of the box. Congrats on your beautiful finished kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Thanks for sharing these photos! What great details are in your kitchen. I can't stop looking. I'm sure my cabinetmaker is going to be thrilled when I send him my next email!

I can't even comment on one thing, every single thing is perfect and well thought out. Good things come to those who wait.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Now, THIS is why I'm still hanging out here long after my kitchen has been completed!! A wonderful, unique space. I wish you many, many years of joy in your kitchen! Your tiled counters and BS are a work of art. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Wow, it may have taken a long time, but that is probably why you ended up with such a BRILLIANT combination of form and function. AND it's unique. Beautiful, beautiful space, FILLED with such amazing functional pieces. Fantastic job!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:40AM
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You forgot one very important detail!!!

Your pocket door hardware. :)
I have 15 pocket doors, so far without hardware. I can't find something I love, or what I love costs $100s of $$$!!!!!

I really love your sink.

You've done a very beautiful job. The colors are so easy on the eye. Harmonious, I guess. There's something to be said for taking it slowly, I think.

Gives me inspiration.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:49AM
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I love that tile!!! And of course all of the attention to your storage planning has really paid off. It is marvelous!

Thanks so much for sharing your details.

Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions and support to all of us as we've posted our own questions, etc.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:38AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Oh, what a wonder of engineering, organization, and beauty! I remember seeing your tile tour and falling in love with your range hood, when I first found GW. Seeing all the elements together is amazing--thank you for posting all the details. And thank you for the advice, insight, inspiration, and humor you've freely given over the years.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:53AM
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    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:55AM
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So awesome! Just when I thought you couldn't get any more function in there, I scrolled down to the next pic and saw you had crammed more in there. And your functional kitchen is very pretty and very personal too.

A masterpiece.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:59AM
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I love how your functional kitchen came out so pretty and fun. Your tile has always been a fave of mine :)
I love the pegboard and all the other creative storage spots.
Your prep sink is so unique and who does not love Eyeore?
Even your vent cover is whimsical!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:12AM
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What a comfy, relaxed and beautiful space! As others have said, clearly unique with every little detail well thought out and organized.
Love the backsplash, and I'm having serious spice pullout envy!
Congrats on finishing!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Wow! Your kitchen is amazing. The detail of the individual elements is amazing, yet everything works together perfectly. I love the uniqueness and the soothing color palette.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Love the tour and the kitchen - right down to the doily shelf everything was thought of for your use. Perfect. Should there be a doily on the doily shelf ? ;)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:45AM
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I've been waiting with much anticipation to see your final reveal and it certainly didn't disappoint! Reading your blog gives me hope that taking so much time is going to be well worth it. You have used every inch (or centimeter) of space so well functionally as well as beautifully! Our reno was put on hold 2 years ago shortly after I found GW because I lost my job. My consulting business has finally started to take off, but I think it will still be a couple of years before we can do the reno. In the meantime, I'll be studying your kitchen to figure out how best to use every millimeter of my kitchen to maximize its function.

Some of my favorites are your spice pullout (incredible!), magic island, portable table, all the storage ideas, and, of course, your beautiful tile and colors. Function and beauty in spades!

Thank you for posting in such detail and for all the great advice and time you give on these forums!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Wow!!! Cool does not even begin to describe it. The look and finishes are amazing, but all the the incredibly clever storage and layout aspects are even more impressive.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:09PM
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What a wonderfully comprehensive and interesting read your blog is! Everything in your kitchen is well-thought out and planned, so it's no wonder that your kitchen tour blog would be, too!

You know I am big fan of your kitchen already, but I loved seeing all the parts that you hadn't fully revealed until now. Your colorful window casing tiles will cheer up even the rainiest of days (even when you're not trying to capture them in pics!). I love all the neat details and extras. How cool are those magic island drawers?!

I wish you many happy, healthy years enjoying your happy kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:12PM
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I covet the horizontal tray storage for platters. What a great idea.

I also loved the ^ over the doorway.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Aaaaaaaaa!!! I've been looking at your pics for at least 15 minutes but know I've got to go back and spend a lot more time. I just wanted to get this in now. You're making me re-think tile on the counters!! I'll check back in when I've been able to pore over it some more. Absolutely. Beautiful. And Functional.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:48PM
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The tour is so much better at communicating the effect of the entire kitchen than the partial snaps!

I am jealous of the doneness but happy for you - so much effort and it looks like a pleasure to use as well as a pleasure to look at. Can one be jealous and envious simultaneously? Wonderful gang of appliances.

The pictures I'd seen of the old kitchen never communicated the light that fills the new kitchen. Is that from the new fixtures, the new windows or what?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Thank-you all for the sweet and detailed thoughts and comments. Having taken the time to put the tour together, I have none left for a detailed response (cue thunderous applause--forced brevity!)

Christine, At first I didn't understand your comment about the hardware, but now I think you were asking where it came from? If so, apologies. The only new page is the finished tour. I think when I did the finishes and resouces pages (during the process) I hadn't chosen the door handle yet. Both it and the heat register came from the same place as the shelf brackets: I have the Roanoke, which is down the page. It's repro. I also got the hidden flush pull in brass for the edge when it's full open (scroll down more).

Sjerin, tile is a wonderfully functional surface. The Architerra-NW tiles are also very high quality, which isn't always the case with handmade tiles. There were a few missteps along the way because it was a very large and involved order with many 1's and 2's, and there was a problem with the speckling and a couple of the colors because, again, handmade, but it all worked out and now that I'm not living in a delayed no-man's land in a house with no heat, I thoroughly appreciate the artisanship that went into these tiles.

There is an important detail. Because of the confluence of handmade irregularity and my crazy idea of how to put tiles that don't have matching sizes together (and on an angle!--without master tile setters this would never have happened), the grout lines are wider than I'd like. Generally, over 1/8" they have to have sanded grout. The dark grout at the top of the backsplash is sanded. I wasn't about to have it for my counters, however!! It's fine on walls, though not as pretty as smooth, but not for horizontal surfaces. So I told the tile setters. They cogitated. This is why you hire expertise! It was mid-Winter, rainy, and no heat in the house. What they invented was sanded grout in a sufficient layer to make everything stick together, with smooth grout on top to finish. Because of the cold and humidity, it could cure slowly enough to bond or whatever it is that it does. There was one little area on an edge that cracked or something (the grout did), that the tile setter fixed, but everything else came out just right and has been totally fine. Easy--dead easy--to clean and keep clean. None of the issues that people complain about.

Blfenton, Yes, there should be doilies on the doily shelf!! Paper ones that is, for putting between the baked goods and the platter. That's a nearly new 250 count package of them from the catering supply store in the picture. :) I'm not sure if you were being ironic (as in, shouldn't there be something else entirely?), or if the big wad of doilies looked like another platter in the picture; whichever it is, I'll say that while in many things I'm very up to date, I find doilies to be very functional. :) Especially, these ones from the catering supply are solid in the middle and only lacy on the edges, which makes them very good at absorbing the grease that would otherwise make cakes stick to the platter.

This is not brief! Dang it!

I'll stop by saying that many of the features are things that my mother had in her kitchen from the '60's and which I'd always wanted wherever I'd roamed. Notably, the horizontal tray shelves, the doily shelf over vertical platters, pull-out spice rack, ultra-wide pot drawers, and Gaggenau oven. :) And now, about two years after I was able to start using my new kitchen, my mother is calling me to discuss ways to cook!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:49PM
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What a wonderful, charming, lovely, lovely kitchen you've got there, girlfriend! After all your stops, starts, revised plans and project changes, clearly you've arrived at a fabulous blend of form and function that just can't be beat!

On the artistic side, I must say that only someone with the eye and mind of an artist would have "seen" the possibility of some of your design choices. These are ones which remove your kitchen from the ranks of those that are merely cut and paste versions of "great" and "pretty" and instead move it up the creative latter to the level of kitchens that have been personalized to the point of "signature", "unique" and "special." At the same time, only someone with the vision and organizing sense of an architect or KD (or GW TKO ) :-), could've figured out how to squeeze so much function out of every inch of space in that one room and its adjacent hallways. Indeed, I find the execution of your design which says that "every space and place must have a purpose" to be amazing!

As for the details, you already know that I give rave reviews to the obvious focal points -- the master quilt stonework and the blingy brass range hood. But I'm also struck by how nicely you've pulled off the background canvas. Here, I'm talking about the quiet, sleek, unassuming bamboo cabinetry which become background canvas for your delightfully surprising, colorful and funky (but still minimalist) knob displays! Then, there's the marvelously unexpected white tile floor matched by the marvelously colorful upper wall pottery display. A visual feast at every level! As to function - it's a thumbs up to the whole project, but I'm particularly loving the magic island with the fold-down, seed husk table (smart!),the gorgeous stemware/dishware pantries, and the butler's pantry with mirrored backsplash (nice!)

Oh heck, the truth is Plllog, there really is no point in listing all the things I love about your kitchen. (Like you, I am challenged by brevity). :-) Fact is, I love it all! It's a wonderful kitchen in every respect. So, IOW, take this as just one big congratulations on a job so very well done. You deserve it!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Pi11log - What a masterpiece of planning and design!! Your tour of the plan and then one of each angle of the kitchen - with your wonderful notes - made it so much more cohesive...and worth the wait!! Congratulations and enjoy every second in that glorious kitchen. I have a severe case of "Pi11log's kitchen" envy!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Congratulations, Pilllog. There're are too many good ideas and too much to like to take in at once, but your unveiling, as always is wonderfully generous and giving. There is so much to take away and inspire.

I have to say, I really, really do love your tile counter and backsplash. Want!! :) And what an absurdly simple and wonderful fix for the walkway under the stairs, from problem to distinctive transition courtesy of some minor carpentry.

It's just all very, very nice.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Wow, I have been lost in these pictures for over 20 minutes and will probably spend another 1/2 hour just admiring it all, but had to come and post now because it's just completely and totally AMAZING.

From the brilliant (horizontal platter storage) to the sublime (ah that gorgeous tile bling!) to the madly entertaining (box keeps tv from turning to far, lol), it's just completely awe-inspiring.

I LOVE IT ALL. Congratulations on your truly fabulous space!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Would love to see more pics if you can upload:)

1. Can you please show us the extra wide pots &pans drawers?
2. Pitcher storage?
3. I am curious why your karbon faucet is mounted close to the edge of the counter. Do you access your sink from the other side?


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:02PM
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plllog, what a special and one of a kind kitchen! mind sharing where you got your tiles? I especially love the flower tiles on the outside of your kitchen window.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Lalitha, I'd be happy to show you more pictures but am out working on a different project. If I don't have them posted by Monday, please remind me? The pot drawers are 48" wide. Half a foot less than Mother's but they line up with the hood. :)

Yes, I do use the sink from the far side of the island, but with the Karbon which moves every which way, I can get the water where I want it. Usually, whoever is on the end there is using the bowl part anyway. Putting the faucet on the edge made more sense to me than having it between the main work area (in front of the fridge drawers) and the sink. It is quite literally as far over as the cabinetry would allow. The sink is an extra inch toward the coolers in order to leave enough room for it.

Yikes! I'm being spoken to from the next room. Brief! Who'd'a thunk it?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:12PM
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so cool and unique plllog. I never get tired of looking, there's a new detail to notice every time!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!

So worth the wait! What a truly "custom" kitchen. I'm so glad for you. I really enjoyed a coffee and a tour this morning. My favorites are the tray storage and the message center.

You're a great contributor here & congrats to you!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Wow, so cool on so many levels! I love the bamboo cabinetry, and, of course, all the tiling!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I've now been thru your pics 3x, and the depth and breadth of the artistry, innovation and thoughtful attention to detail is brilliant. I love the colors, textures and feel, and I especially like that it's a one off, not a cookie cutter or a wanna-be, but a true original.

Great job.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:43PM
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I think it's so refreshing to see such a bold use of tile countertops as a key part of your vision! Because it's so versatile, and sometimes DIY friendly, I wish more folks were open to it. (I put tile countertops in my last house.) Your use of it shows that it can also be endlessly creative and completely unique. It will take me some time to study all of the thoughtful details you've packed into your wonderful space; thank you for taking the time to share it here.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:45PM
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I have always loved the little glimpses
I've seen on GW of your tiled counters and backsplash.
It is delightful seeing the whole kitchen.
Thanks for sharing your fun and functional kitchen with all of us.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Amazing! You are an inspiration to all of us!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Well worth the wait. Your tiles are just incredible. I hope you enjoy your wonderful, creative and unique space with friends and family for many, many years to come.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Pillog, such panache and joyful originality! All this and clearly a real love of cooking! You deserve to enjoy this kitchen, as I know you will.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Whew! Got back to my desk finally, but had no internet!

Thank-you, everyone, for your kindness. One note about the comfy feeling many of you have noted. I think it comes from two things: One is that "bold" and "dramatic" were never on my Sweeby test. I wasn't specifically going for "comfy" but I take it as a profound compliment. It's something I certainly wanted. The other things is that I did not stage anything for the pictures. Picture day (the day my GC could come to take his pictures, too) was the day after the weekly deep cleaning, and I did put away things that were meant to be put away, but I purposefully didn't stage so it would look real. I admire the beautifully staged and shot pictures that many of you post, but I flat out don't have time to even try, and since many have expressed an interest in seeing kitchens as they're really used, I decided to go for it, odd bits on the counters and all.

Answer to a question asked privately about the TV box: The decision to put the TV on the island was a hard one. It's a big black blog in the middle, after all. It was a good decision though. When I'm preparing a feast I usually have the stereo on, but when I'm doing tedious things, like cutting up kale for chips, or just grabbing a solo meal, I like the TV for company, so I put it where it would be convenient to actually watch it! No, it isn't in the way of the work on the island and I haven't gotten flour on it. It does occasionally get a bit of mist from the sink, but I try to be careful. So, yes, the matzah box really sits there to keep the TV from twisting. It works. I could figure out something prettier, but nothing comes right to mind, and the box works. Why twisting? The TV is on a slate lazy susan so that it can face any direction. The wires go down one side to the DVR on the table, and they pull it to the shortest path (gravity, probably). The DVR stays on the table because I don't have the patience for the lag that occurs when it's remote.

Michoumonster, all of the counter and molding tiles are Architerra Northwest. The stenciled ones are their Brocades line. The patterns are glazed, not painted. As I said before, the quality of the bisque is sublime. Even with all the crazy cuts (done by master tile setter), almost none of the broke.

Lalitha, here are the 48" pot drawers and pitcher cabinet. There also seem to be a lot of teapots in there. :) Most of the cookbooks are for baking. I have a bookcase in the next room where most of the cookbooks are. The ugliest, oldest pitcher is front and center. :) No staging. :) The plumbing for the steam oven is near the bottom. The top pot drawer has grill plates and grates, stirrers and some odd utensils, and silcone mats/potholders. It's 1.5" deep to accommodate the cooktops. If I weren't lining up all the drawer levels around the perimeter, I could have snatched a couple of inches from the middle drawer to make the top one deep enough for baking dishes. That's one of the few style over function choices I made.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:18AM
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Breezy took the words right out of my mouth: I'm gobsmacked. Truly. It's going to take more viewings and more time for your kitchen's magnificence, both in beauty and in function, to sink in enough for me to come up with more than "WOW."

Here's my favorite line (and it was so very, very hard to choose) of all from what you've written, " mother is calling me to discuss ways to cook!" A wonderful testament to you and your kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Well, that's the thing about your kitchen. Even if you had staged it, I don't think it immediately comes off as a "wow!" kitchen. Instead it's more like a fine wine where the more you sip and savor, the more you seriously appreciate the flavor and complexity of your drink. That's when you smack your lips (or maybe you don't):-) and say "wow!" I spent a lot of time looking at your kitchen and reading your blog and the more I did, the more those "wows!" just kept coming.

BTW, I've been meaning to ask: tell us more about the tiled wall in the laundry center.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 1:02PM
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So nice to see the 48" drawers. My cabinet maker dissuaded me from doing a drawer in the top level as "there will barely be 2".. I am glad that I insisted.. I see that I can store flat things. Perfecto!

The pitcher storage are cool.. Due to lack of space, I had to banish pitchers to the garage to be fetched for occasions that call for it.

I am curious.. did you plan for storage (like Buehl's wonderful advice).. One of the biggest difficulty I had was visualizing what goes where. I guess I have lived in temp kitchen so long that I do not remember what a full size kitchen feels like .. LOL:)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I've only looked through the photos once, but will definitely be looking through again (and probably again!). Talk about a beautifully designed space...and the tiles, I simply love the tiles! And I love your photo labels throughout :)

Congratulations and enjoy it, as I'm sure you are!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:40PM
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I'm beginning to notice some little details I left out, like the pressure latches on the stemware cabinets. The cabinetmaker had to search to find ones that would work with the 170 degree hinges (worth *every* penny, especially when the ladder is involved). I'll get a picture, but they're really cool. They have a spring mechanism, but also magnets. Instead of a ball and latch, there are two horizontal plungers with the magnets. The plungers are on the pressure mechanism, but the magnets hold the door so that it only pops out the length of the plungers. Then you pull it off the magnets with your fingers. The point was not to have hardware catching the clothes. Edge pulls would have worked too, but these latches with multiple redundancies, along with the fancy hinges, should keep the doors shut in all but the strongest earthquakes.

BTW, I didn't think to note it on the tour page, but there's a plan to the tour. It starts with the establishing view from the door, goes clockwise around the perimeter, with details between long shots, then around the island, and back to the establishing shot. I don't know if that's clear because often the labelled details aren't relevant to the positioning within the tour plan (i.e., tags may refer to things on the island when the shot is really of what's in the background).

Thanks, Lisa! I'm astounded because my mother is a phenomenal cook. :)

MV, believe it or not the tile in the laundry is Sumi-e by Lunada Bay. It was just supposed to be a backsplash for the sink, and was supposed to be on the cabinet side of the sink as well, but then we changed from the painted finish to the factory varnish, which didn't really require the tile. I didn't want the tile setting on the edge of the sink, but the experts were worried that moisture would get between and it would be bad, but less bad without the tile. Or something like that. But I had already chosen the tile. :) So we got extraneous madness, instead. :) In the tour picture, the lights are on, which are purposefully sunshine yellow. In this daylight picture, you can see the colors better (as well as the dirty laundry! [hanging head in shame]).

Lalitha, I didn't plan as many specifics as Buehl. I have a lot of stuff; some mine, many gifts, and many hand-me-downs heirlooms. I measured my pots (I added a number at a gonzo sale at the end of the remodel--I started with extra room in the pot drawers), I measured my tallest canisters. I measured the hot tray and the big sunflower platter. Plus, I measured all of the stemware and glasses. That was the most detailed and intense because it would have been a big problem if they didn't fit after moving the dining room doorway for them. In the end, the stemware cabinets were an extra inch deep (as in they were erring on the side of the glassware fitting and didn't end up losing any depth to the unexpected), so I can double on a lot of the shelves, which is great. When I first moved into the ktichen I tried putting the dishes in a drawer and didn't like it. If we were shorter, or if there were little kids assigned to setting and emptying the DW, it would be great. As it is, I prefer up. Things like that moved around a little. I found that drawer great for containers instead. I also rearranged my baking drawers a few times. There are things in there I should probably relocate to the laundry uppers, but so long as they're not in the way, they stay. I knew the skewers, long tongs, egg beater, big ladle, etc., were going in the pegboard cabinet, and expected the rolling pins and some other things to also, but, again, for the meantime, there's room in the baking area.

I forgot to measure pantry items and made the cabinetmaker wait to put in the roll out tray shelves in the pantries until I had stuff to measure, then we figured out that it was really more about where the hinges were. That, a standard can and a standard dressing or ketchup bottle were really all I needed. The rest were decided by the hinges and "okay, split that amount in half". Much easier to do after they were installed, though. It might have been more beautiful if they'd been planned first so that the hinges could have accommodated them, rather than vice versa, but the heights I ended up with allow me to store everything with good organization. I did plan, and carried through with, to have the wine in the bottom of the top half of the pantry that's farthest from sunbeams. It's on an inner wall, nearish, but not hit by, the heating/cooling vent. The temperature there seems very consistent, and because it's on the bottom of box, it's very stable. I had an old countertop wine rack which fits perfectly. The liqueurs and liquor stand next to it, and I mark the cheap stuff for cooking with a "c" and stand it in front. (I do use palatable wine for cooking, but not as good as I'd put on the table. That seems utterly wasteful. I don't throw away my spices until they've really lost their flavor, either, or my milk until it's sour (rarely make pancakes or other sour milk baking anymore).)

In all, I mostly planned enough, and big enough storage. I knew I was going to put the mixer in the corner by the window, and the canisters in the corner drawers underneath. That the space from there to the ovens would be for baking. The other side would be pots. The dishes and containers would be in the opposite corner. The carbs pullout is just the extra space between the corner and the appliance section with the Advantium, WD and coolers. I figured it would be useful for something, and thought it was a good place for the cereal (oatmeal, farina and muesli), which would then be by the bowls and microwave. When I moved in, I started hiding the bread in it. I needed a place for the whole wheat matzah I use for bread crumbs. The cookies followed, along with the crunchy mushrooms, et al. I also knew that the wraps and all would be in the island drawer facing the fridge and the junk drawer would be the bottom. The rest of the island drawers were a matter of looking at my prep stuff and figuring out how to fit it. It seems to have worked out. I have a lot of extra mixing bowls which were gifts, but they're really really useful, so I have them stacked in the double deep drawers on the right of the island. If I'd had four drawers, however, the extra thickness would have made them too shallow to hold them.

Lack of brevity. Probably more than anyone wants to know. :) But feel free to ask questions if I've left out the details you want. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Oh, at last!! To finally see the kitchen that goes with that amazing and wonderful tilework!! I love that vertical storage, the skinny little top drawer under the cooktop (I let myself be talked out of that), and the shelves with the pottery...and, and, and....oh, that lovely soapstone...the more I look, the more there is to love! What a wonderful space to play in!! Congratulations...awesome!!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Plllog -- I keep going back through your blog, re-reading and admiring. More hi-res pictures please, so we can really get the full effect! Somehow I'd missed earlier posts/pictures of your tile -- it's so unexpected and fabulous and whimsical. Just loved it. Congrats on your amazing kitchen and keep posting details :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:07AM
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Amaaaaazing--with an emphasis on ZING! Talk about a kitchen that utilizes every available space to its utmost, YOUR kitchen does that and then some! Of course I love your tilework--it IS a work of art, and who isn't wiping drool off their chin over that gor-gee-or-jus hood?! And that magic island is wonderful planning, add that ginormous spice storage, and it is all sooo cool! Everything is just so well thought-out--truly a wonder to behold! I love how you named your faucet Eeyore! You surely put the FUN in functional! :^D

Congratulations and ENJOY your masterpiece!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Wow -- thanks so much for putting together the detailed tour. Your prior layout was scary. The functionality of the new is over-the-top. I love the little details that just make me grin (e.g. the high contrast circle tile over the cooking area, those fridge handles! and the lovely stronger colored tiled arounds the windows)

I also really love the whimsy of the magic corner on the island (no fake handles!)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Thanks, all.

Oldbat2be, if there are any of the pics that you want to see high res and without tags, let me know, and I'll upload them for you.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:03AM
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WOW- I really love that back splash. Your cabinets, counter and back splash play so well together. Your hood is gorgeous. Your personality shines thru the kitchen. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Wow, I love everything! You have to be the queen of organizational kitchen ideas. I mean it, it's amazing. I think all my stuff would fit in one of your pull-outs lol. I also really dig the tile work. So refreshing and inspiring to see something a bit different in a great artistic but functional way. You really used some detailed brilliant grey matter here. I'm greatly impressed with how your mind works with details!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I showed your kitchen to my cabinet maker and they were beyond amazed! They called it the Swiss Army Knife kitchen


    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 2:33PM
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I'm somewhat new to GW, your website is great, but only second to your kitchen. Your hard work,and many decisions you made along the way show for sure! Hope you only have good times and hope too your memories of doing creating your kitchen are good ones, despite the bumps and hicups in the road!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 3:41PM
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What fun! I love all that tile work. Your kitchen makes me smile, ear to ear. I would be priveledged & happy to cook in such a space. I am still drooling over that lovely tile work in your laundry room!

Thank you so much for taking the time to post and put together your story!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Wow, what an amazing combination of form and function! Thank you so much for taking the time to put together a detailed tour. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I am loving the tile work, hood, clean modern cabinet lines and drool worthy Gagg ovens. I keep scrolling up and down looking at all the clever storage ideas. I love all your tall, shallow storage (stemware, peg board, pitchers and cookbooks, spices) and the horizontal tray storage. You have me re-thinking some of my plans.

I might have missed it, but what is under the Gagg ovens? Also, how wide is your spice pullout?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I so glad you all are enjoying it so much, especially the tile. I kept arguing for the usefulness of tile because people kept telling me how miserable it was, and it isn't!! I love it! And just try finding a place to keep an egg from rolling away on granite!

Lalitha, I told my contractor about the Swiss Army Knife comment. He got a big kick out of it.

Kay, underneath the Gaggenau ovens is an appliance drawer with a roll out tray shelf, just like the one under the Advantium, but a slightly different height. In the ROTS I have the Gaggenau pizza stone with element, the rotisserie and a couple other things, and in the drawers are the waffle maker, stick blender, etc.

The face of the spice rack is 7", and the trays about about 4.25" interior measure. It's one sided with a thick wall and some air space on the back so that the spices will be okay even during self clean. The back of the wood gets a little warmer than room temperature, but the side that the spices are on stays cool.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Creative, artistic, brillant, clever, astounding, unique,
resourceful, innovative, prolific, dynamic, inventive,
and well thought out.... I am amazed at the
specific details that you covered. Perhaps because I have
only been a part of one reno that there are niceties in
your renovation that I would never have thought of.
Not in a billion years could I have planned everything
you have so wonderfully created. Wishing I had your

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Boxerpups, you're too kind! I can't take the credit. The stemware cabinets, horizontal and vertical trays inc. doily shelf, pegboard, and spice pullout were all my mother's ideas for her kitchen. The roll out tray shelves inside of the appliance drawers were the cabinetmaker's idea, but fell in line with what I knew from GW--I wanted two drawers but separate drawers wouldn't have been deep enough. The peak where the stairs go up was also the cabinetmaker's idea, the day he and the GC were having a layout confab in my old kitchen. The GC's father was there too, hanging out. He was visiting from abroad. He doesn't speak much English, but enough to understand that I couldn't decide which way the island drawers should face because the wraps should be toward the fridge and the knives toward the main prep area. The Magic Island was his idea, and a perfect solution. Another GW idea was the ROTS under the big sink (makes a plumber visit sooooo easy!). Yep, there was plenty of inspiration to go around.

What amuses me is that I nixed all of the really unique and interesting things I dreamed up. :) Clever is great, but it's also better not to over customize in ways that can't be repurposed or altered. The clllogs took care of the pull out rolling station that was very cool but cut into prime storage space. It also seemed like it would be impossible to prevent flour from getting into the cracks. Not a good thing if one ever wants to clean for Passover!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 1:19AM
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Oh, my.

I'm just speechless - I guess I've been gobsmacked too.

Well, I can't just leave it at that. I just don't know where to start. That tile. I've never seen anything like it - it's beautiful, eclectic, personal, charming, restful and pretty - you don't mind pretty do you? Everywhere - your counter, backsplash, outdoor counter (brilliant), laundry wall. It's just stunning - seriously a work of art.

Everything else is brilliant as well - ingenious storage, so well thought out, (why don't I uses doilies? I'm going to start) and perfectly planned for YOU, it must be just a dream to work in and just as a place to hang out.

I just keep going back to the tile - I completely love it.

Wonderful, thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Plllog! I'm so happy I popped in here today! I remember bits and pieces, and the tile going back, and your first big meal for family and friends (Passover?) and...and...oh, the so many things you've gone through on your journey. Aside from all the incredible things that I love, the best part is that you got what you want and enjoy it so much! Congrats and thanks for sharing it!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:17PM
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I gotta know what that big square/round light fixture over the island is

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:11AM
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Thanks, Julie! Glad you stopped by. :)

Lee676, that would be the big square/round light fixture. :)

We call the round part the "Skylight". It's something we saw at the electrical supply store that's made to mount flush to the ceiling. There are five of the fancy narrow fluorescent tubes inside, and it's very bright (and, like all the other lights, is on a dimmer, but it's the one that stays dimmed). Nothing is better when there's heavy duty island use and no daylight. Like all of my fluorescents, the tubes are covered by theatrical gel sheaths designed by Brian Brzycki (lighting designer). The square part and center column are made out of wood to a design my GC and I both thought of, independently, by one of his finish guys. Inside the square are a double open fixture on each side, with the same fluorescent tubes and sheaths. These bounce light off of the light colored ceiling, which is a tint of the wall color.

The gel sheaths reduce the color temperature of the fluorescents to 2700K (same as incandescent), which is much easier on the eyes than the 3000K they usually are. I have an artist friend who first saw the kitchen after dark and was tripping, saying, "Why does it look like outside in here?" It's because the light is sunshiny. Additionally, I use the outside square part as the main light, so the light bounces off the peachy ceiling, making it even warmer.

With everything we put into the lighting, I don't mind cooking/baking at night. There aren't any dark spots or shadows, and the light itself is cheerful. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Wonderful! Amazing cabinets, but the tiles steal the show :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Gorgeous and stunning and brilliant (in terms of both brains and shine)!!!

Thanks so much for sharing your well-organized finished photos of your dreams and reality, as well as the sharing you that you post here everyday.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:58PM
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So many wonderful things! Love how you did the knobs in patterns, and the bamboo cabinets.

I didn't read all the comments so maybe this was already brought up, but your tile behind the cooktop reminds me of a sunset. Was that the intent? Love it!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Wow, so, so nice to be remembered and appreciated. I'm truly glad to have been any little help in what is a wonderfully unique and artistic room, which I really admire. What you wanted and needed really ruled and you deserve all the credit!

The tile work is beyond amazing, and I love the personality it adds to the room, but it's things like your very useful shallow pantries and other functional details like your whole oven wall, including the shelves above that awe me the most.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 7:49PM
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May I ask why you went with the elaborate 3000K lamps-with-gel-filter setup that would lower the color temperature to 2700K rather than just using, say, 2700K T8 fluorescent tubes that give off incandescent-like light to begin with? I assume there must be some advantage aesthetically, since any use of colored filters reduces light output. Perhaps the lighting designer wanted the 3000K bulbs so when light bounces off the ceiling paint color, it will result in 2700K light.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 4:35AM
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Thanks, everyone! Y'all continue to say such nice things.

Chicagoans, yes, that was the intent. It's abstractly a pond scene, but whatever someone takes from it is fine with me. :)

Rhome, the open shelves over the oven cabinet was an answer to the looming question. If the oven cabinet had gone to the ceiling like the rest it would have been overpowering between the window and the door, and worse if a bridge had been made over either. The shelves allowed me to shorten the oven cabinet without leaving a void, and to use the upper space while breaking up the vertical plane. I'm so glad it worked for you aesthetically!

Lee, I don't know if those kind of tubes don't come in the correct size for the fixtures, or if maybe they weren't available when the lighting was done (this was a few years ago now). While he was at it, the designer had gels made for the more conventional tubes in my laundry room fixture, but that's also, I'm sure, to make it easier. They have gels and bounce off the ceiling both. The paint color was a compromise between my not wanting white and it having to be light/white enough for the indirect lighting. Unfortunately, no fluorescent gives off the kind of organized light that incandescents do (which makes things look sharper), but at least these don't bug my eyes. :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 2:43PM
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plllog, I missed the grand public reveal, and it's just as well -- I get to revel in it all over again. So beautiful! So smart!! So proud you must be - we sure all are for you. Nice work.... thanks for sharing. :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:44AM
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What I love most about your kitchen is the function.

The other thing is that your kitchen looks like no other kitchen. It's yours, baby. Doesn't look like one of the many white kitchens, or the craftsman kitchens or a starkly modern one or a cherry one. Neither traditional nor retro nor vintage. Not decorated but built as a design. Everything about it is unique, cohesive, beautiful and artistic.

You didn't succumb to the temptation of what I call 'the one of each', one white cab, a brown cab, some granite, some wood here, a pendant, cans, a sconce here and all selected because one is prettier than the other so I'll have'one of each.' Now the 'one of each' is a settled trend.

It is a pleasure to be in your kitchen, I think. Nothing but plllog's kitchen. You did not go back in history for inspiration or forward for fantasy but what is the best for you right now.

Created the tile, a work of beauty.

Altho works as a kitchen place, it is primarily a lovely room which happens to be a highly functional kitchen. Difficult to copy, there's too much depth.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:35AM
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Hello Plllog, I have been on vacation and also missed your initial reveal. Your kitchen is both beautiful and functional, all the little details! Thank you for the blow by blow account. I will definitely be referring back to your photos when I finally get to the small cabinet details in my own kitchen.
I would like to ask about your green soapstone - are you still loving it? has the colour changed much since installed? have you noticed any damage to the soapstone. Does it have a special name and do you know where it comes from? (I am struggling with what to put on my counters and love the colour of the green soapstone.)
Congratulations on creating such a wonderfully artistic and peaceful feeling space!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Brilliant kitchen. I will be back again and again to enjoy your tile, your cleverness, all of it. Thank you for sharing it. This is one kitchen that will never go out of style.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:10PM
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What a brilliantly designed kitchen.

Plllog, I don't hang out too much on kitchens all that often anymore, but I remember you from your planning stages when I was amidst all of my renovation disasters.
I came here to look at the beautiful kitchens and all the clever designs and uses of storage, that I didn't use in my own kitchen b/c I found GW after it was almost done. But it was so nice to see people DID have an end and eventually my DIY kitchen would be finished too. Looks like you took the long route as well.
It may have taken a while, but it looks like it was all worth it! Fantastic!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Thank-you all for the kind words. :)

Carol, it's called "Finland Green", so I assume it's from Finland.

The color doesn't change at all. I've never tried oiling or waxing. It's hard to damage. When the guy hit a corner off a slab for a sample it took another guy holding counter pressure and several muscly whacks with a hammer. Each big bang did put a mark and dent in the surface. It doesn't scratch with ordinary, (fairly careful) use. I have a tiny little chip on the underside of one edge. It's a lot more durable than marble. :) And harder than other soapstones.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I'm not sure there is anything about that, that isn't AWESOME!
The hood and tile "almost" top the list, but, then there's all the sneaky hidden stuff, storage, island drawers...It's just..WOW!
Great Job!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:07PM
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