What I've learned from 3 mos in my MIL's white kitchen
This is a small effort to give back to the GW community from whom I've learned so much. My husband and I are building our house from the ground up. During construction, we are living with my in-laws - with our 2 daughters aged 3 and 1. Yeah! ;) In December, we all moved together to their new house with their new, beautiful white kitchen. Here's a few pictures and what I've learned from 3 months living in their lovely new showcase.
Counters: white quartzite. These puppies are hard. However, they have been prone to water spots and oil spots. We've resealed them several times and had the oil/water spots removed (our fabricator was committed to getting it right). Now they are performing well, but my MIL insists that we BABY them. We don't put anything down on them without a cutting board or kitchen towel. Not exactly bullet proof, but gorgeous!
Cabinets: Omega Dynasty/Custom. They are beautiful. The finish has wiped clean and the pearl white color is lovely. The construction, hinges, and soft close drawers are really well made. There were some snags like a cracked frame and I've been a little surprised by some cracked paint where the pieces of the hood surround come together. However, I'm really picky and overall these are wonderful cabinets.
Sinks: Both stainless steel by Kohler. We love the single bowl 36 inch farmhouse sink. It does scratch and show water spots, though. The interior measurement is only 13 inches and find that too small.
Faucets: Kalista polished nickel. They always show fingerprints and water spots. The soap dispenser is reacting with the soap and looks tarnished. In contrast, the cheap-O polished chrome water filter has been great. Go figure.
Floors: Brushed limestone. At first, these floors were a nightmare. They showed a mark if food touched the floor for even a moment. We had them steam cleaned and re-sealed with an Italian sealer. Now they are much, much better. In fact, I managed to wipe up navy blue magic marker that my one-year old drew onto a 1 foot square section without a trace. (I nearly had a heart attack).
Pendants: Vaughn and Co. Really lovely, really great quality. Not cheap, though.
Tips I picked up from their construction process:
1) When spacing the sink faucet and soap dispenser, make sure that you consider how much space to you need for your hand in between the two. Also, consider the length of the "dispenser" on the soap dispenser. We should have positioned our a little closer to the lip of the sink, so to avoid dribbling soap onto the counter/sink wall.
2) Make sure that you (or your cabinet maker/KD) check the size of your range model. Our KD assumed that the 48" Wolf range would be slightly less than 48" when measure the cabinets. Turns out it was 48" exactly and the range did not fit in the cabinet run.
3) Seal the grout for the backsplash especially behind the range. Consider a four inch backsplash. I'm thinking about adding a 4 inch stone backsplash behind my range because it is a bit hard to keep that area clean.
4) If you work with a fabricator at the time that you select your slabs, the fabricator can test your samples to tell you a bit about the stone. Our fabricator tested the porosity of a white quartzite that I'm considering for me and sealed it so that I can test it myself.
5) If you are okay with a little patina and occasional etch mark, you can use marble with toddler. My MIL used extra marble from her bathroom to create a top for the kitchen table. My 3 year old eats at the table everyday with a place mat. The Calcutta marble is holding up really well. We do have a couple of etch marks from spilled OJ, but I think they are great.
For all of you researching kitchens out there, I hope this info helps. I also hope that these pictures show up. :)