Finished Kitchen! Urban Cottage with gray cabinets/wood counters

carrie_eileenFebruary 3, 2011

The backstory: After lurking on this site for almost a year imagining what I would do to my kitchen and planning for a 2011 reno, I applied (on a whim) to be on a kitchen renovation TV show on the DIY network. It all happened so fast, that I had found out just a few weeks later that we were chosen, and then boom, demo. This all began in early December, and the final day of filming was yesterday! The entire reno took 3 weeks and was down to the studs. It was a whirlwind, and such a good experience - from the designer, to the producers and film guys, to the contractor. We are so grateful.

There were many frantic/crazy postings on my end, and everyone's feedback helped so much. Shanghaimom in particular helped me so much and was so patient, and also boxerpups, kateskurous, rhome410, dianalo, aokat15, and many many others patiently offered sage advice and insight. If I never acknowledged this in the threads, please know that you kept me sane and I so appreciated it. There are some details to be finished (I plan to trim in the fridge a bit tighter on top) but for the most part, we're done.

So here is the old kitchen:

And now the new:

The details:

We have a 1926 stucco house in Minneapolis, and really wanted to honor the time period and details and have it be congruent with the rest of the house. I call this my "new old kitchen." So, we went for a cottage feel with some industrial, contemporary finishes. I devoured details in peoples posts when I was planning, so I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Counters: Reclaimed elm from an 1860s Wisconsin barn, finished with Waterlox. From Minomin Resawn Timbers in Hugo, MN. These guys are awesome, and the counters are breathtaking.

Appliances: LG counterdepth French Door fridge (love it), gas range, and steam dishwasher, with Faber hood in Diamante

Lights: Barn Light Electric radial flute pendant in galvanized above the penninsula; Sinclair white enamel pendant above sink. I love these!

Cabinets: Custom, painted in "Mourning Dove," a Martha Stewart color mixed in Sherwin Williams oil laquer

Floor: Marmoleum Click in Walnut and Silver Birch

Sink/faucet: Kohler "Cursive" undermount farmhouse sink in Earthen White, Vinnata faucet in Vibrant Stainless

Pulls and Knobs: Restoration Hardware 1.25" Aubrey Knobs, and 6" Ephram pulls in ORB

Stainless Wine Glass Rack and Spice Shelves from Pottery Barn online.

Wall Color: BM Monterey White in eggshell

Beadboard walls and ceiling, shelves, and crown: BM Simply White in Semigloss

Curtains: Ogee Ikat in Clay/Oregano from West Elm

Stools: Overstock 24" Tabouret Metal stools

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OH WOW....what a gorgeous space ! There isn't one detail that I don't love. Everything is perfect for your home. I love the open shelves and the wood countertops and the white...well just everything. Congratulations !!! c

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 11:54AM
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OMG! That is gorgeous!!! Everything is great! I can't even tell you my favorite part because it is really so wonderful.

Now do tell...what show? And when will it air? Share the experience of THAT with us too!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 11:55AM
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Wow, it is beautiful. The counters are indeed to die for, and i love them paired with beadboard and not tile. The floor is very cool. The grey of the cabinets is perfect.
Oh but most of all ... three weeks. Amazing.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 12:19PM
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Wonderful use of materials and great color combination.

Love the grey.... will be waiting for the program info.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 12:43PM
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Had to laugh - I grew up in Hugo MN, though it does not look much like it did when I lived there. I remember riding my pony down Main Street . . .

Your kitchen looks lovely - I love those open shelves and the beadboard.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Your countertops are breathtaking indeed! They are just soooooooo beautiful...but will you be able to bear using them? They're so gorgeous I think I'd be standing guard 24x7 to make sure someone didn't chop on them.

Congratulations -- stunning kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Sorry everyone. Didn't mean to be so vague. The show is called "I Hate My Kitchen" (true statement!) and it will air this fall, probably in October on the DIY Network.

Thanks for the nice comments. When I was picking out the finishes and colors I had no idea what it would look like and had this sense of impending doom that it would be ridiculous. My husband had a lot of opinions that I didn't see coming (insistence on not having white cabs, for instance). But in the end, we're pretty happy with our choices.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Lovely kitchen! So much more fitting to your home's age than what was there. Love the wood counters!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Congrats on being chosen! Your kitchen is stunning and should be in a magazine! The countertops are beyond gorgeous! Do you like the open shelves? (I'm planning on including some in our kitchen.) I love the colors, style, everything!

So when can we see the show? What was it like, how did you go about organizing everything or did they do it? We need the details! LOL!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Wow! That sink is to die for!! I dream of being on DIY. I'm an addict - and I love that show!! I will look for it! How was it being on the show? I was always curious - how much do you get to pick/they pick, etc....

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:19PM
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What a gorgeous transformation. I look forward to watching the show next fall!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Wow, absolutely beautiful!! I can't wait to see the show :).

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:24PM
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I can't wait to watch this episode! You kitchen is so pretty, and I really like the open shelving and beadboard. Everything works well together, but I really wish I could see the show NOW! :o)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Beautiful and so much more appropriate for the '26 home.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Those countertops are breathtaking! What's the maintenance ? How do you like using them? Beautiful job ! So does this mean you got some discounts or something for being on the show ? Good for you! Remember to remind us when it will be on.!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 1:57PM
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You did a wonderful, wonderful job on the kitchen. It's elegant, refreshing and lovely. Especially like the fluted pendants (and counter, of course). Enjoy it!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:03PM
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WOW, WOW... Love everything about it. You must be just thrilled.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:31PM
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What they said!!! Job well-done!

You'll have to remind as the air date gets closer so we can set DVR's/VCR's for your episode.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:35PM
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That counter is to die for - love it! I love the grey and the lighting and the cool detail in the floor. Awesome job!

Now, my weird question: what is that little opening in the bottom of the small cabinet to the right of your fridge? Is that a heat vent?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:38PM
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Oh how cool to be picked for that show!!! I second the others who want to know more about the experience!!

And your kitchen is gorgeous!! So much more fitting and I absolutely LOVE the counters and the beadboard :) Great job!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:54PM
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what a stunning kitchen! It looks just so lovely, and I esp adore your counters!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:26PM
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It is a heat vent! They hadn't yet installed the register covers when we were taking photos.

As for the show, it was a really good experience. Everything happened really fast; basically, three weeks to plan and then three weeks of construction. Because we had such a short time period, our choices for cabinets was limited to either IKEA, custom, or stock. I would have really loved to use IKEA, but our layout was funny and we needed a lot of custom sizes and were able to find a really reasonable cabinet maker who could work with the timeline.

As for the design, a lot of it was ideas we had coming in to the show, and then made better by the show designer. As we went through the process, we'd check with her if she was okay with our choices, and normally she thought we were on the right track. I think the one thing we didn't see eye to eye one was the floor - I wanted wood. She wanted to use natural linoleum, which I begrudgingly agreed to, but wanted checkerboard. She wanted the stripes, which I again relented to but crybabied about to my DH nonstop. And then it was done - and it totally looked right. Which I guess is why she is a designer.

I think one of the reasons we were chosen is because we wanted to do something that was a little atypical; they avoid having a season of similar kitchens, and want to show different styles and products.

The reno took three weeks, and during that time we had five half-days of shooting with projects each day (demo, floor install, etc). We also filmed segments picking out counters, appliances, etc. And yes, companies do sponsor to have their products included, so yes - we received breaks that significantly reduced our costs, but it was by no means free.

I think all of these shows are different, but it wasn't one that had a "reveal" at the end. We were involved in the whole process. As they would tell us, "It's your kitchen - you have to live with it."

I am a planner, so much of this was on the fly, making decisions on the spot - which nearly drove me to a breakdown. But the producer and contractor kept saying, "It'll work out! It always does." And it did. Though at the end, I needed a nice big glass of wine and slept for 12 hours.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:28PM
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WOW. Your open shelving rocks! Bravo on the whole look!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:29PM
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Absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about it, but especially those counters - STUNNING! What I am most envious of though is three weeks .... sigh.

Enjoy every minute in your beautiful new kitchen.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:32PM
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Just fantastic. I'm so happy for you. No, really. No, I'm not really gritting me teeth while I'm smiling, just because you have the kitchen I want. I'm really happy grrrrrr, um, happy for you.

Hey, mind telling us your dimensions? Do you have floorplan online?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Very cool story! How awesome. Congrats!

LOVE: the lighting, the sink, the floor, the cab color, THE COUNTERTOP! and the beadboard. Excellent choices. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 4:55PM
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Stunning! I love the color scheme and the counters certainly are breathtaking. Cool sink and I love how your fridge wall turned out. I bet it holds a lot.
Congratulations on everything!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:03PM
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You not only have a totally marvelous kitchen that so wonderfully honors your house but you've also got one of the best design/construction stories to go with it. Like most, I'm in love with each and every aspect of it and, of course, I'm especially salivating over the counter tops and the floor. Congratulations!!! And please do remind us when the show will air so we can all tune in!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:09PM
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I love the colors, the mood, the counter top and that FLOOR. Every time I see Marmoleum I feel a twinge of jealousy and wish I had put in in my new kitchen! The stripe pattern is sosososo cool, I WANT IT!! WAHHHH!!!! :) Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:14PM
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Hi carrie..

Ditto what everyone else said...


    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Awesome!!! I've just started recording that series. So, are you allowed to talk about your experience? How much did you design or decide on and how much was the DIY network? What was your budget? Did DIY Network cover any of the expenses? On the show, James Young is shown doing some of the work. How much does he do and how much is hired out?

And if you're not already tired of answering all my questions, I'd love to know about your open shelves. I want to do this in my kitchen. Where did the brakets come from or were the shelves ordered as is?

Thank you for humoring me and for sharing your kitchen. I can't wait to see the episode!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Fun, Fun, Fun !!!!

This is just so exciting. I am so happy for you.
Congrats on your famous kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 5:50PM
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Beautiful! LOVE the counters.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 6:03PM
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Very nice, very nice. Congratulations on doing a great job - I love the welcoming feel it gives and would feel right at home there.

Like kathec, I wanted to ask about your open shelves too. Would love to know the depth of them and the weight they'll hold, and also manufacturer or where purchased. And brackets too! Thank you! I see you have lights underneath the shelves too - did you add a light rail or is that a separate trim that you added to the shelf?

And speaking of undercabinet lighting - what brand and type of lighting? It looks like a warm light.

Thanks and enjoy your new space!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Doesn't look like the same space that was cramped and dark. Love it. I especially love the beadboard and open shelving.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 6:31PM
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carrie eileen~

Congrats on a great story & a GORGEOUS kitchen.
I am in love with those shelves and those counters!!!!

Enjoy it!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:08PM
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You are sooooooooooo lucky!!

That kitchen is crazy gorgeous!!!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:16PM
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Amarantha and Kathec: the open shelves and lighting - my cabinet maker made them of maple. They are 80 in long x 12 deep, like a normal upper; the top is 60" long. There is a 1.5" crown underneath attached to a 2" box-type border around the three sides, because I wanted the lighting to be hidden. The corbels were about $8 from Home Depot (9"x7"), and my contractor installed and reinforced them - they are solid. Then patched the nail holes and calked and sprayed with the beadboard. Let me know if you want close up photos and I'll have my husband take some, the camera is fancy and I can't deal with figuring it out.

The undercabinet lighting is just 2 GE 18" florescents from Home Depot as well that are hardwired. I was all worked up about lighting but I read that Sabjimata has florescents and was reassured and just went with it. Price was good, too.

Alison0704 - your gray island with the reclaimed top was an inspiration. Rhome410 - your gray cabs, marmoleum and wood counters also inspired me! Artimes78's gray cabs and marmoleum also.

No problem on budget questions - it will be in the show - it was 30K and we came in at 28K. We found a semi-retired guy who did the cabs, shelves, and installation for about $6000 (though he didn't paint them). Painting the cabs was $1500. The shelves saved money, and though he'd never made anything like that before, but he really like them when they were done and his wife wanted a set!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Congrats from a fellow Minnesotan on your wonderful new kitchen! What a fun adventure, although it sounds like it was a whirlwind of work. Isn't gardenweb great for instant advice and feedback?!

Your countertops are absolutely beautiful! I think that is the same company that I see at the Home and Garden show every time we go-they always have a stunning booth.

Love the backsplash, too! I have been to, it seems, every tile store in the twin cities, and I think we are going to end up with beadboard or v-groove planks. Yours looks great!

Enjoy your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:47PM
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I am so glad everything you were going through turned out so perfectly GORGEOUS! I am so happy your color choices look stunning since I am leaning towards gray on my bottom cabinets too along with wood counters! =)

Your choices were perfect!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Wow! Your kitchen is gorgeous! I love the open shelves and that counter top. How cool also that you were selected for a tv show!!

Congratulations on your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 9:45PM
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Carrie,, your kitchen is the open shelves.
Enjoy your new space.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 10:00PM
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You are making it so difficult to post a reply. I have no stinking clue what the best part is because it is amazing all over! I keep scrolling up and then read some, then scroll up again, read more....

One thing, I'd love the discount and adventure, but if anyone took my picture during this process, I'd just die. I am so sleep deprived/stressed and it shows. I got hit hard by the flu and on day 12, am finally starting to feel better.... only we had some setbacks, so the swollen eyes don't help from my crying. Being camera ready was not on any of my to-do lists, lol... I am so psyched to see your episode when it airs. I will make it a favorite for the dvr asap ;)

Your Marmoleum is so fab! Ours may or may not start to be installed tomorrow. We are short by a bunch, so it may be a while before we have completed pix. Our kitchen will get done but it continues into the den which is where the shortage will be. Our supplier is in IA and seems to not answer the phone because of their storm. I sure hope I like mine as much as I like yours! The stripes are fun and sophisticated. I like our pattern, but yours is making me wonder if we should have done yours instead....

Your counters are perfection.. Love, love, love the rich color and grain.
The open shelves are beautiful and functional and make your kitchen seem so much bigger.
Love your lights, sink, faucet, hardware and anything else I forgot to list. This is truly a "dream" kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Wow, that's lovely. Adore the countertops!

Enjoy every minute in your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 6:58AM
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Beautiful Kitchen, I am in love with the wooden countertop. Enjoy your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Beautiful kitchen. I love the stove area with all the stainless steel. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Carrie, how the heck did I miss this post yesterday??!!

The countertop is just i n c r e d i b l e!!! And I will be emailing you for the cabinet guy's info...(-8

So many of your choices are "out of the box" which is really hard to pull off, when we see the same things over and over and assume we need/want them. (It is rare to see a new kitchen with no backsplash but I SO LOVE the beadboard and simple stainless behind the range!!)

The very best part is that you were able to raise the ceiling. Makes me go, "Ahhhhhhh, I can breathe in this kitchen!!" Seems SO much more spacious than with that dropped flourescent ceiling.

Fantastic kitchen!!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Thank you, Amy! Yep - we were able to get up to almost 9' with the ceilings, just like the rest of the house. Thanks again for all your help.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:35AM
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well, I guess I'm just repeating but let me reinforce how great your kitchen looks!

and how you (as a planner, likely control oriented :) ) were able to deal with having it all on camera to boot!! Making all those decisions for Your Dream Kitchen in 3 weeks is an overwhelmingly scary schedule.

I do coach DH whenever he goes to a big box store, that he's getting some stuff to work on the bathroom *and* the kitchen, just in case there are Crashers about and we have both rooms covered! well, that's as likely as winning the lottery for us, since we live in New Mexico and not Minnesota, but we can dream :) .

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:39AM
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Can I ask the dimension (w x l) of your peninsula? Do you know offhand?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Sure - it is 5'x3'. It used to be about a food longer, but we always felt it was a little tight. I had planned to have a bookshelf at the end, but scrapped it. Now, I think it would have worked. Live and learn, I guess.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Hi Carrie Eileen,
That is a very charming and inviting kitchen. Your industrial touches and contemporary choices give it a little edge and keep it from being saccharine--even with all of that delicious looking baking on display!
A really well-curated mix of finishes.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Wow, what an interesting story and an incredible transformation!

PLEASE, PLEASE give us a head's up when the time draws near for the show to air, I would love to see that episode. I've seen that show a couple times, and yours is the best yet! Congratulations and Enjoy!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:51PM
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What a nice transformation. Nice work space to and great for entertaining.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Wow! What a gorgeous job! You guys must be SO proud! Someone else asked about overall dimensions or a floorplan (hint, hint...)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 3:02PM
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Oh my goodness, is that FANTASTIC!

I love everything about it! Those open shelves are gorgeous! I love the crown detail that makes them so appropriate for your house. Those counters are droolworthy! The lighting, that sink--everything!

Are you just constantly pinching yourself? I would be totally purple by now! :^D



    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 4:21PM
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OH MY GOODNESS - your counters are stunning!! What an amazing find! I also love the beautiful soft gray of your cabinets. Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I just found your post, and simply adore your updated kitchen. I like the fact that its a bit different from most kitchens. I have a question for you if you don't mind... Its kind of hard to see from your pictures, but it looks like your stove was placed right next to the wall. Is that right or is there something to the right of the stove? It looks like there may be a small landing spot next to the stove for utensils and a small opening to the right of the stove itself which doesn't look like more than a few inches. Just curious.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:44PM
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Boy, I keep coming back over and over again to stare at your fantastic kitchen. Those countertops are the most delicious thing I've seen lately. I have toyed with the idea of doing something like that, but seeing yours makes me want to investigate more. I'm not sure I could get something like that where I live. I don't suppose the wood company does long-distance jobs, does it? How is the maintenance on them? Any additional info you can give would help.

I can't wait to watch the show to see how the process went.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:56PM
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That is so beautiful!! I'm about 2 hours south of you.. I really wish those shows would come down my way just a little bit! I could really use the help!! :) I will be up there in the next week or two getting some things from ikea, and checking out tile and countertop at Natural Built Home. Could you tell me how much your counter top cost? I'd love to head north just a little more to visit their showroom if it is in our budget!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Hi! Thanks for the notes. To answer your questions: There is a 9" cabinets on either side of the range - so yeah, not a ton of space, but a landing spot on both sides. I use the cabinets for sheet pans, cooling racks and baking stones.

As for the counters, they are reclaimed elm barn wood treated with Waterlox. So far, so good! We don't cut on them at all, but we wouldn't have regardless of the material. I think the counters we under 3K - cheaper than granite. As far maintenance, I just wipe them with a towel or rag. I don't let water sit on them, but I didn't before, so I don't consider it more maintenance. I realize they'll scratch and develop a patina, but I'm cool with it, and Waterlox is easy to throw another coat on. They really are beautiful, and I'm sure there are places that do this kind of work all over the place.

joyjoyjoy - I live very close to IKEA (and NBH), I'm in south Minneapolis! Are you in northern Iowa???

If you want specific or close up photos, let me know. I plan on doing some additional ones of the shelves since some people had questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Minomin Resawn Timbers

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:49PM
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i'm just going to tell you, i think this is one of the finest kitchens i've ever seen. really beautiful and thoughtfully designed. love the juxtaposition of the stainless, cottage white and warm wood. flawlessly executed!

as they say, it's not the size that counts... congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:20PM
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I'm impressed with the look of the countertops and the floor. Nice work putting those together.

Thanks for reference in Hugo!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:24AM
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Gorgeous kitchen!! Love the dishes--may I ask where you bought them?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:14AM
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How exciting! The counters are gorgeous! What a warm, inviting space. Probably just what you need in the city. It's really lovely.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 8:05AM
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kate - believe it or not, this is a big kitchen in our neighborhood, and the size of it is why we bought the house. Though someday I hope to have one that I can actually fit an island into. :)

trudymom - the dishes, glasses and serving pieces are from Crate & Barrel, the Aspen dinnerware open stock. Inexpensive & sturdy.

There have been many comments on the flooring - which we have about 80 s.f. left of in the lighter color. We love the material.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aspen Dinnerware

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:19AM
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I think everthing has already been said before, but I wante to chime in - GORGEOUS kitchen. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 2:51PM
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carrie--I'm off to Crate & Barrel!!! Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:00PM
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LOVE your new kitchen! Beautiful! Really love the gray cabinets and the counters are just gorgeous!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 8:13PM
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This is soooooooo bookmarked on my computer!!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Carrie_eileen!! I don't know how I missed this (well... I had a baby in Feb so that was probably it! :) ) but I just stumbled on your kitchen thread and I just wanted to tell you how beautiful it looks!! It's amazing how effortless the details feel - and the countertops are amazing!! I'm so happy for you and although I'm sure the schedule made it crazy, how great that you were able to get all of this done so quickly... I hope to someday *soon* post pics of our finished kitchen... still too many loose ends to tie up to do that yet :) Enjoy your amazing kitchen and congrats!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:15PM
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