Stools, lights, faucets and done. Help! (new pic)

mrsmortarmixerMay 24, 2013

A little over a year ago, Mr. MM decided to surprise me with a new kitchen with the help of some very nice people along the way. It is so much more than I could have ever wanted, but it's still not done, and Mr. MM would really like for me to pick out these last few things so we can move on to planning a new addition on the house WOOHOO! However, I am indecisive as ever, and it comes down to financial responsibility. Although Mr. MM says I'm just too cheap.

Right now, I have a Price Pfister Ashfield faucet in venetian bronze that is still functioning perfectly. I know they don't have a huge fan base, and I wouldn't have ever bought it if it wasn't so cheap, but I really like it and I really can't see myself getting rid of it to replace it with practically the same thing, just more expensive. With that being said, I feel like I should get another for the prep sink, because I'm not sure that the bronze from another company will match, and they are pretty close to one another. It might also be too big for a small prep sink. I'm really not sure how you would know. Is it worth it to spend the money on a cheaper, not so great faucet that matches, or would it be wiser to get something in close to the same finish/style in another more reliable brand? Even the more affordable Moens and Deltas have some pretty shaky reviews, so I'm not sure if spending an extra couple hundred dollars is worth it to not match in the end, and it might possibly drive me insane, I cannot be sure. I know for certain that dropping $500 on a single faucet is not happening. I don't even want to spend $300, but I have to be realistic here. I've been eyeballing some of the Chicago Faucets, but chrome is out of the question, and it appears that most, if not all, come in chrome only. If they don't, can someone please let me know.

Lights aren't really that big of a deal. I'm quite accustomed to the three dangling bare bulbs and have changed my mind so many times that I don't know if I'll ever find a light that I love that is within sane spending limits. In a brief moment of insanity, I was dead set on three of the globe pendants with wire mesh from Rejuvenation, as they have always been my favorite, but then I realized it would be insane to spend $1500 on three lights. If someone knows of a knock off, feel free to share, and I'll be done with the light shopping.

I would really like to find 3 counter stools, but there seems to be a shortage of stores that carry stools in stock to actually sit on. And I'm not sure what style my kitchen is, so I have no great starting point. I keep finding myself looking at the more industrial looking stools or the leather recliner looking stools. The industrial for the simplicity and the leather because they look so comfortable, but I feel they might be a bit hefty in size for a smallish kitchen. Almost all stools are either so cheap that I question if they would hold a toddler or $300+ each. Is there a decent, cheapish stool that is relatively comfortable? Here are a couple from my folders that I've been drawn to. I think both are in the $300 range. We eat meals in the dining room so long term sitting is not likely. Most likely used for getting little ones up closer to the action.

For those wanting a more recent picture, here it is after painting, but before trim and fillers started going in. If you squint really hard, you can see the walnut countertops and the plate rack over the sink, and all of the trim where it's supposed to be. If you don't see it, you'll have to look in the pantry where all of that stuff is sitting and waiting to be installed or re-installed. Colors look kind of blah in the picture, I don't think they are that bad IRL and I actually really like the wall color. It took a few days to get used to, but I'm glad I changed from the green.

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My goodness, that walnut is divine! I like the second pictured stool. Sorry, I'm no help saving you money, but I'm sure others will provide suggestions. Your kitchen is really beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:39AM
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I like the leather stools. Do you have a Cost Plus Market in your area? They have a lot of stools, and their prices are decent.

I wouldn't scrimp on a faucet just because it is something that you have to rely on working every day. I am not a DIYer so would have to pay again in the future to get a cheap unit replaced. I was able to find my dream Kohler faucet on Amazon for more than 50% off. I put very good Kohlers in my bathroom 15 years ago, and they look like new and have never failed.

I would check Amazon for your light fixtures.

Nice use of a small space.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I second the Cost plus recommendation for stools.

On the faucet, I highly recommend that you get a good one that has good internals. A cheap faucet with crappy plastic will eventually leak and be more of a hassle. A good friend of mine who is also "frugal" cheped out on a faucet and in less than 3years is having to redo cabinets and a portion of the drywall because a slow drip that went unnoticed for several months.

Lights - why don't you go to and pick 3 choices and post. This forum is good on eliminating and filtering.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:16AM
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Nice, nice, nice. Love the new paint color? Mind sharing? I've been looking for something different and my kitchen cabs are same shade as yours. Thanks !

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:55AM
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I am so happy you like your new paint color! It looks great with the brick.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Here are a handful of lights that I've put in idea books. Not sure if any will work. I'd like something that provides all over light, but puts plenty of light downward. Has to take a standard sized bulb, and has to look decent closer to the ceiling than one would normally hang a pendant. Mr. MM is tall and has asked specifically that the light not be right at eye ball level. So I'm thinking it will end up being about 40" from the countertops. Ceilings are about 8'10".

Traditional Kitchen by Millbrook Architect Crisp Architects

Traditional Kitchen by Scottsdale Design-build Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes

Traditional Kitchen by Edina General Contractor REFINED LLC

Traditional Kitchen by Hilton Head Island Architect Group 3

Traditional Kitchen by Wayzata General Contractor Hendel Homes

Contemporary Pendant Lighting by Chatsworth Lighting Lamps Plus

Contemporary Pendant Lighting by Chicago Lighting Lightology

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:32PM
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I think there is a Cost Plus a couple hours away. It would be worth the trip if they actually have stools in stock.

barbarany- the paint color is Dutch Boy Copperidge 75%, but was a Pittsburgh paint match.
Glad it looks okay. I was a little nervous about it, because I do think it reads pink more than it reads any other color. But I like it so much, I think I might paint the dining room and entry the same color. I really like it with the cabinet color, and the trim throughout the house is going to be the same minus glaze.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Here are the three lights that I need. Not sure what size would look best. I'm sure someone else has a better grasp of space. Placement is approximate.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Hi MrsM Boy you sound like me. My head frequently runs a similar dialogue: "Can I really justify spending $$$$ for xyz even though I can afford it?" "Is it worth it?" Yep I know how that goes.
I'm with you on the faucet. If you have one you like that's right in color and it's working perfectly then why not keep it and why not put the same in the prep sink? I'm not familiar with that paticular faucet and can't see your prep sink so don't know if it will fit but you should be able to visualize it pretty good since you have one and you could always disconnect it and try it in the prep area before purchasing. A faucet is an easy switch later if you need too.
Are Price Pfister's supposed to be unreliable? Funny thing. When I remodeled my kitchen in 1999 I had my heart set on a single lever pullout faucet in brushed nickel that was the new finish on the scene. Tons of cabinet hardware, but not many kitchen faucets in that finish. I bit the bullet and paid about $600 for a pricey brand because I didn't have much choice. The thing was a leaky nightmare from the beginning even when replaced with another and then another similar style. After a few months of that crap the designer bath store took it back. I was going to just get chrome and found a Price Pfister in brushed nickel in the style I wanted at Home Expo for about a third of the price and it's been working without problem for about 13 years. Starting to contemplate the next kichen remodel. I'll probably go chrome this time but don't anticipate the need to spend a fortune on it.

Those mesh globes are very pretty. Maybe you can justify the cost for that jewelry because you saved on the faucets? And to tempt you more, looks like they're 15% off this week. :>). Don't know any copy cats off hand but I bet there are somewhere.

Stools. Both nice but I don't like either for your kitchen. The leather looks to big heavy and dark. The other I agree, too industrial and they look like they'd be tough on your floor. Do you need chairs with backs? For the space, it might be nice to have stools that could be tucked under. You mentioned Cost Plus. Have you looked in Pier 1? Last there I remember seeing some round leather (leather-look?) seat stools in different colors. No backs but the seat swiveled. Was just there for candles so didn't try them out but the colors caught my eye.
I forget who did the yellow kitchen that we were all voting on for banquette fabric? Loved her leather stools with nailhead trim. No backs but looked so comfy and stylish.

Good luck. Your kitchen is really looking nice. Great floors and love your brick range niche!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Holly- Kay

I am also frugal. Well, that is, until this kitchen reno. I have always been very money conscious (which is mostly a good thing). By being aware of money and only buying what I could afford over the years I was able to approach my kitchen reno without a budget.

I will be sixty this year and decided that it is time to break loose a bit. For my new kitchen I have purchased the things I loved without considering the cost...within reason of course.

I love to see people who are thoughtful in regards to what is being spent but I do think that you also have to weigh where you are at in your life, and enjoy accordingly. You will never regret being frugal but cheap is another matter. A quality product will usually be less expensive in the long run than a cheaply made product that needs to be replaced on a regular basis.

Please post pictures as you wrap up your project. I love your kitchen! The brickwork is awesome!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Thank you to everyone for the kind words. I'm anxious to get this done and finally be able to post a finished kitchen!

island- I am going crazy over thinking the costs of this entire project, and have since it started. Sure I could afford a $1k faucet, but to me, it doesn't make any financial sense. For the extra $700, it better wash my dishes and mop the floors for me. I just need it to squirt on some water on request a few times a day. I can stomach scratching or even replacing a $2-300 faucet a lot easier than something that costs $500+. Most of the reviews I've found on the PPs were either about soap dispensers leaking or not working, and I will admit, the dispenser is crap, and I should probably find a replacement, or they spray head buttons gets stuck. Our head came loose once soaking me, the wall, and the countertop once, but all I had to do was twist it back and it's worked fine since. I might see if I can find a cheaper one on Ebay for now, and wait it out until I find two that I absolutely love from another company down the line. Nice looking pull downs in a finish I like are hard to come by in a price that I would willingly pay. Most seem to fall in the contemporary/ modern category, and don't thrill me in the least for the kitchen. I'm just not sure what I should do, and I might end up with two new faucets in the end.

I don't have my prep sink in yet, but I do have the main and prep sink picked out and ready to order. I'm going with Silgranit in anthracite. The Diamond Super Single for the clean up sink, and then I'm going to order the large Precis and the Performa for the prep sink. If the Precis will fit, I'll send the Performa back. It's going to be a tight squeeze, so we will see. I'm not sure how big you can go on a prep faucet, but I'm guessing the Ashfield is too big. I need to go someplace to look at only faucets. I usually just end up glancing when I'm at HD or Menards. Their selection leaves something to be desired.

Not sure I can justify a $450 light, let alone 3. I feel money could be better spent elsewhere. It's tempting, but not quite as tempting as adding another bathroom. Maybe if the addition comes in under suspected budget (wishful thinking!) I could put one somewhere else, like maybe the master bedroom.

As far as stools go, I think I would feel a bit safer with backs, although not a deal breaker. It just seems like a long way to fall backwards onto a not so soft floor. Maybe something with a short back that would still fit under the counter would work. Just a little bump stop that reminds them not to back up any further. Or just let them fall a few times, they will eventually figure it out lol

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:22PM
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holly kay- Thank you! We've done pretty well considering our ages, 28 and 30. Three kids, no mortgage, no loans, no credit cards, all on one income since baby #1. Being frugal/cheap has gotten us to where we are, and I have no plans on going in debt now. The money spent on this kitchen seemed like a ton, but considering we've never done anything more than updating a room here and there, I knew that it was going to be a shocker. And considering what most spend on a kitchen remodel, this is a drop in the bucket. We are still under $7500 for the entire project, and that was building this room from the ground up. I can thank our building material hoarding problem, a storm and local sawmills/ woodworkers for the savings. Reusing appliances was a no-brainer. Although I would really like to splurge on a panel ready fridge at some point, I don't find it necessary at this time. I'll be watching Ebay and Craigslist daily for a good deal from here on out, but will likely spend more than I want just to get things done and without worry.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Dear MrsMM, So happy to see that you painted and I really like the color. You must be relieved to have that thorn behind you.
Stools: lots of people on GW have posted good things about very reasonable leather stools that they got at Target. If you happen to go to Target, take a look and a seat. Also, check Bed, Bath and Beyond, if you have one. I found stools there for a friend that she loves.
Faucet: No comment on the brand you mentioned, I have no experience. I do think any brand in the same finish will be good enough. People make too much over the finishes matching exactly IMHO, I mean, they are not right next to each, right? My old faucet was a cheaper brand, that replaced a cheaper brand, both were awful. My new faucet is an Elkay Gourmet, it was $300 and it is awesome, weighed a ton, very solid, no plastic.
Lights: I love the light on Renovations that you referenced, but am confused. You said three lights, I would make 2 pendants over the island and a semi flushmount for the other one. I am referring to the three red spots on the diagram you posted at 13:54. Is that right? I think the size of the light you like, at 14", in diameter is good. You could go bigger with multiple bulbs per fixture. My island is 93" I have one island light with three lights/three bulbs each with a 14" shade. It is on a dimmer and we use it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Holly- Kay

Wow Mrs. MM, Good for you guys. That is so awesome to be mortgage free at a young age. I love your way of thinking and CL and Ebay is a great way to find bargains. I was able to find some lovely furniture on CL for a song. Estate sales are also an awesome way to score some lovely items!

Can't wait to see more posts of your beautiful kitchen!

BTW, I love the second bar stool that you posted. It would look great in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I never thought about Target. There is a Target and a Bed, Bath, and Beyond about an hour from here, and on the way to the other stores. I'm not sure where the closest Pier 1 is anymore. Will have to do some searching.

Yes, the 3 red dots are the lights. It had crossed my mind to do 2 different lights, but I thought I would make it easy and just do 3 of the same, less choices and all. I was dead set on just making them all can lights last week to get it over with, but I doubt either one of us is going to be willing to get back up in the ceiling until fall. I wasn't sure if 14" was too big. In my first shopping trips, I was looking at 8-12", even looked at spot lights. I really have been all over the place with lights.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:18PM
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Wow - I can't believe it's been over a year and double Wow your space has so much character! It is so nice! Congrats. I am no help with your style questions I'm afraid. I just wanted to comment on your updated picture and yes if I squint I can see the shelving and the walnut top! Good luck with your choices! ;)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Oh My. MrsMM - those close-ups are lovely, huge smile on this end! (Ya'll, click one of the pictures to see a larger scale picture, the small ones don't do this space justice).

A new addition on the house from Mr. MM, is that a new little honey running around?!!

Like the paint color!! Going to be very direct here (and my opinion means nothing) but hope you don't use the pink tiles. And hope you paint the door (on other end, not shown) black. I really think the color would look wonderful with what you have.

Faucet, bah, I don't really care about most of them. If the arc is right and it doesn't splash (like the $30 temporary faucet we put in the bathroom during our renovation which is still just fine).... it's fine. A faucet's a faucet. For PURE functionality, I have to throw in a plug for my beloved Kohler Karbon. (Imagine, every time you use the faucet, you are happy because it's so intuitive, you get satisfaction out of being able to position it just so).

Lights and stools are a bigger deal IMO. It took me at least a month of obsessive searching on each to come to a decision. You can definitely get lots of help on these; you may want to start a new thread on each.

I like all of your lighting choices at first glance but worry about the exposed light / glare (we've returned several lights due to this). Consider above all what/where you're lighting. Will it be enough light and the right light?



    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:27PM
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oldbat2be-I'm kind of thrown on the pink tiles. I don't think they quite coordinate. I've been staring at them all day and I've pretty much talked myself out of them. Now I'm back at square one on the backsplash. Not a huge deal, because I really don't need one. Behind the sink seems to be the only place that needs a frequent wipe down. I blame that mostly on using a horrible sink/faucet combo while waiting for the sink decision. I can handle wiping it down until I choose something else. Got any excellent suggestions? Cheap is the name of the game. Whatever it is will likely cover the entire sink wall up to the cabinets and the entire wall in the range alcove. Those tiny mosaics and more brick are the only definite nos I've got. The only tile I've looked in person were in the home improvement stores. Mr. MM liked some Dark Emperador Cafe tiles from Home Depot that we looked at. I think there is a better choice. He's leery of letting me loose in a tile store. I know I'd fall in love with something that was $500 a sq. ft. Like the first backsplash love that I've ever felt.

Traditional Kitchen by La Jolla General Contractor GDC Construction

I had dreams about that backsplash for months. It also sings with the voice of angels.

Really, in the end, I just want a kitchen that looks lived in. Comfortable and cozy. Something that ages gracefully with little maintenance. That's the vibe I'm going for, if that helps at all.

The addition is much needed and has been discussed since we bought the house. The plan was to save up for a bigger piece of property and a new construction, but land prices went from about $3500 an acre to $10-14k an acre in the last 5 years. So we're going to stay put at least until the kids graduate. Most likely will stay put for good and just buy land for the future generations to enjoy. 5 people, two bedrooms, one bath won't work for many more years. The addition would be ripping out the old kitchen, and extending that out another 8 ft, digging a basement under that portion, fixing the rest of the foundation, and adding a second floor. We'd gain a proper laundry room, 2 bedrooms, and two bathrooms, and we'll have more than 2 tiny closets in the entire house. I think we're done expanding the family, so each child will have a bedroom, although I expect they will all stay in one for at least a few more years. They cried when I told them they would all have their own bedroom!

I feel about the same as you when it comes to faucets. I'd like to love one, but I have yet to find one that truly makes my heart sing. Maybe a cheapy will do until I find the one. I think the Karbon might be a little too modern for the space, but I do get the urge to find one in a showroom just to play with for a few minutes.

As far as lighting goes, I hadn't thought a ton about glare, just because I have exposed bulbs now that don't bother me, but moving them down a foot or two might change that drastically. As far as what I'm lighting, it would mostly be the island and the area directly around it. But if they lit up the entire room, that would be fine as well. Unless we eat around or after dusk, I don't even turn on the main kitchen lights. Just the two above the range. I like to be able to see what I'm doing, but don't require stadium lighting to do so.

Maybe I should start a new thread on lighting and see where that takes me. I just hate to post too much, don't want to spam up the board for more important issues.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 1:27AM
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Just a thought about lights-lamps plus has a "open box" section on their website. When I was trying not to spend a fortune on lights, I found one I wanted in open box, for 50% off, then splurged on the other three with a online $40 off coupon. The final cost was still kinda high, but I felt better getting some relief from full retail.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Thank you mountaineer. I just bookmarked the site. Hopefully I can find something there!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 11:27PM
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