Final KM - Small, Quartz, SS BS, Mix'd Cab & Counters

AnnaAMay 12, 2012

The best part first - the pictures of our 10' x 16' KM in our 1970�s split level, followed by a bunch of thoughts you can ignore if you want. :-)

The Before:




And After - New Kitchen, Window Moldings & Blinds:









Close Ups




Night Lights









On Being TKO & GW Grateful:

A witty post awhile back spoke of the formulaic 'reveals', before & after shots prefaced by thank you's, details, and caveats, as if our kitchens are winning an academy award or entering the show ring for judging. I forget the OP's main message now, but I remember resonating with the observation while smiling that such posts are my favorites. Everyday I jump on GW to scan for any post that includes the words "final" & "pics". And I love sharing my oohs and aahs!

Posting mine now, I get it on the poster's end too - this remodel needs an end point, even though it's never really done. It hijacked my brain, time, $; sent me into chaos and distraction, and I need to get my life back. I drove by a home improvement store last week sad that I had no reason to go hunting for a big ticket crazy is that!?

But these posts are also a way to thank GWers. As I became TKO, this forum provided a solace with other like-minded obsessed people. I walk into my friends' kitchens now, and all I want to do is examine and talk about the most obscure kitchen construction minutia. They are right there with me if they lived through their remodel, otherwise merely polite until I cue to signs that it's time to contain my curiosity.

I also discovered a gold mine of technical help. I'm shocked at how many DIYers, KD & related professionals contribute to this site consisting of lots of people like me who are clueless. Design & remodeling are NOT my worlds! Thank you to all who either directly responded to my pleas for help, or posts you've made to others that answered my questions as well.

Another surprise @ GW is what I call the 'Cohort Phenomenon'. Early on, it was noticeable who among the current contributors were at the same spot, as if we are in little cohorts on the same track. A thread contains responses from those currently working on the same, infused with ideas from the cohort that just completed that task. I'll never forget the surprise & sudden camaraderie with complete strangers as we shared about our impending demolitions. It's fun reading threads of others anticipating demolition, cab install, & template day...all those major milestones that bring back (sometimes traumatic!) memories.

So here it is. I'll spare the details of what led to all the zillion little choices along the way. The biggest challenge was picking a style and going for it because I've yet to see a kitchen that I don't like...I don't have a favorite color or food or...I like them all! Quartz, granite, marble, wood, soapstone... What's not to love about each?!. In fact, my overt choice to break the 'law of 3s' and choose a different color for cabs & counters (hence 4), pays homage to my sadness over having to pick '1 thing'.

We've made lots of changes over the years, making a house lacking in charm a bit more like a home. The kitchen remodel, while not ideal in many ways, has sealed the deal...for the first time I truly "want" to be in this space.

I've named products along with the pics. How about a different kind of list:

What would I change:

Besides the location of the house and few more structural charm elements? :-): A bunch of nit-picky to unrealistic things, but practically, the bump out at the sink. I wanted variation so bad, and the bump out spoke of changing up the line. Little did I realize that it would force my sink to sit back a bit more, harder on the back if I'm not careful when washing dishes. Live & learn.

Worst design feature:

Speaking of the original architect, who puts a kitchen so close to a flight of stairs? We thought of totally rearranging everything...every possible variation, including moving the steps. We also knew we could shorten the island. None of those options worked for a bunch of those zillion reasons. We are installing a 1/2 pocket door to pull shut when lots of people might be milling about. Previous owners used a baby gate.

Favorite element:

I'm thoroughly enjoying it all - single basin sink, the bi-level island, multiple work zones, the quartz, the different colors, to induction cooking facing open space. And I did become totally possessed by all things metal tile backsplash - which was the most fun assembling. But as I said in another thread, the 3-part trash sorter. It has helped with our #1 recycling issue - the fact that our kitchen had devolved into a trash zone. Not any more!

Thank you GW anonymous posters! It has been so fun mutually commiserating with my cohort, being watched over by those who came before us, celebrating as each of us graduate, and cheering on the incoming class. And to the professionals who are always there ready to chime in - you've seen this cycle over and over, yet you patiently revisit the same topics with us newbies again and again...thank you!

Here's to graduating, never really being 'done' (you'll see me post when we begin reevaluating our current paint colors) and continuing to search for all posts with pictures!

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Really an amazing difference.
I've saved a few pics of your moldings. :)

You did a beautiful job. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:24PM
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What a lovely transformation! Wood choice and stain, and backsplash are amazing, and I love the corner trash/recycle business. I loved looking at your closeups and reading about the materials, love the overall view, and can almost feel your ambivalence: Relief and sadness, but definitely a job well done.

And I have to ask about reconstructing your backsplash: I will need to do this this week, and would love some details about materials and technique.

Great job!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:40PM
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THe server or something is wonky today, so I am not getting the pics right now, but I loved your commencement address!! I can't even spell check that!!

I will look later, but great speech!!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:52PM
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CEFreeman, I LOVE your posts and ponderings. I think I was actually referencing your reflections awhile back on the reveal process. I always get excited to see what you will find on your recycling journies!

Claybabe, I did find some info on the mosaic forum, but most are artists out of my league. Once I knew I wanted my own constructed 6" trim, I searched YouTube for video instructions. The method that seemed the easiest for me was using fiberglass mesh bought online from a tile mosaic hobby site. Couldn't find the stuff in any local craft stores. Ordered a glue recommended in one of the videos. I also chose to keep my design very geometric, using 1" square lined paper (forget the name of the stuff - but comes in 2'x3' or larger sheets) to map out my design.

Using the paper, i messed around with my design. The lines give you perfect grout spacers needed as when applying tile by tile to a wall. I made a 6" x 18" template, color coded it so I'd know what piece to use next, etc. Placed that sheet under plastic, lined my tiles down upside down (accounting for the inverted design), smothered with glue and then placed mesh on top. Once dried, flip them over, and was ready to go. It also was the time to peel off and replace any crooked pieces.

The nice thing was I could make strips of varying length to help avoid GC from having to cut tiles at corners and ends. Hardest part was the beating my fingers took from peeling mosaics off of the Fiberglass mesh they come on...just handling the mesh, period, as it pierces and scratches the skin easily. Definitely noticeable that it's copper tiles were not as thick as the rest. I should have beefed up the back...

Let me know if I missed something.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:15PM
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This is a wonderful kitchen! It looks so light and bright with the windows, but warm and cozy with the wood and lighting. The countertops look lovely and seem indestructible. I like the range on the island, since it allows you to cook and prep, while visiting with family and friends. Congrats on a beautiful, open, inviting and very functional kitchen! :)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Springroz, yes, I loaded so many pics, it takes time to rez. I never got to give a commencement address, so this is the closest thing! :-)

Lavender_lass, I have been enjoying your small home posts. I think you do the Tuesday Morning tea posts once in awhile? One of these days I will be joining you. Thanks for your celebration of the new space!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:59PM
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So many terrific details, I can't stop looking! Beautiful, and you can tell there was a lot of thought put into this kitchen. Love your hardware, and your counters. Well done! It has so much personality!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Beautiful! I love the alder - and that cookbook storage is genius! Congrats on creating such a lovely and well-thought-out space.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:02PM
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You must be so proud - I know you worked hard on that backsplsh!!
Wonderful kitchen and you will have fun cooking in it!
Time to celebrate!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:31PM
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ayerg73, I use to have an entire bookcase full. One of my personal goals is to minimize my junk, so the collection that's left feels nice.

A2, you are getting there lady, soon as that BS is picked and installed. Hang in there fellow quartz and shaker cab user!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Oh wow, what a stunning kitchen. So much to admire and enjoy in it, from the beautiful warm wood cabinets and creamy island which sets them off so nicely, to the drop-dead-gorgeous tiling up to the ceiling (wow!), to the beautiful glass cabs over the fridge and dw. I love those mullions in your glass cabs.

Great job, and I'm sure you will enjoy your beautiful new space for years and years to come.

PS. love the pups, what cuties!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Anna, Thank you so much for all the info! Again, love the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:05PM
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Absolutely beautiful! Love the backsplash! Your comments resonate with me because I too appreciate a variety of styles and love almost all the finished kitchens. When its time for us to go ahead with our build I will really have to narrow down my choices,lol. Congrats on a job well done!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Gorgeous! I am bookmarking this bacsplash! One of the best ever!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Deborah Humphries

Love it! What great choices. so much thought. I understand so many of your choices. Really well done. I too search the forum nightly as well for new reveals & pics. So exciting . Im starved for it really since My kitchen is at drywall stage and I cannot wait for the next couple of weeks when everything comes together.

It is amazing what you learn on this forum. For instance: THERE'S MOSAIC FORUM????

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 6:02PM
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What a lovely kitchen.. That is amazing that you put that backsplash together yourself! That must be your pride and joy.. I loved reading your post. That was amazing too!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Taggie, thank you. And yes, our kids know they are cute (and much loved)!

Kaijutokusatsu, can't wait to see the choices you eventually make!

Motherof3sons, I bet tomorrow is happy mom's day for you? Thank you for kind words. I never imagined I'd "love" a BS as much as I do this one. And never thought I'd venture into using my kitchen walls as a place to do some arts and crafts. :-)

DJHinVa, yes, the Mosaic Forum - the fact that there IS one is amazing enough, but such a rich learning environment as well!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Gorgeous kitchen and thanks for sharing your story. Stories help to bring the kitchen alive with the people who will inhabit it. The backsplash is very cool.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Denali & blfenton, thank you. Yes, I think KM remodels reveal AND yank a lot out of us. Very interesting process!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:12PM
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What a gorgeous fun kitchen and a great reveal! I loved watching your backsplash come to life.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Thank you CKGM. You have made a work of art in your kitchen as well!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Looks great! I love the BS and trash area, both are fantastic ideas and work well in your space. I have to same induction unit, but freestanding model with controls at the back (our old one died too soon to see the remodel). Love it!

Looking forward to meeting my "class" here, just in the planning stages now. I think a visit to the mosaics forum is now in order...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:28AM
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Williamsem, thank you & welcome...I hope you find your cohort. :-)

The mosaic forum has some great talent over there...

Best of luck putting your kitchen together!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:09AM
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Oh Anna, what a beautiful transformation! I can even begin to list the many things I love about your kitchen!!!
I'll start with the backsplash, WOW! Love it!!! The cabinetry is ever so lovely, warm and beautifully detailed, the storage is fantastic, floors are gleaming and it all just comes together to create one heck of a great space!!! Oh, we have the same corner tri-trash cabinets!!!!
Enjoy for many years to come! I can see family and friends gathering for a good ole time!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:09AM
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clarygrace, you are so gracious! How do you like your Tri-trash center? My DH chuckles, saying I'm finally learning how to use trash cans 'like everyone else'...says it all about what I use to do...:-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Beautiful transformation! Love the blingy backsplash! The tri-trash center looks like a terrific use of a corner cab. Love the mullions in your glass cabs - very pretty! It looks like such a warm and inviting space, and I love how it's integrated in your home now. Enjoy your beautiful new space!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Luxsupermom, thank you. Yes, we are enjoying the energy of the new space. Very calm, warm, simple along with the juxtaposition that makes it such a great space.

According to your name, hope this means you are celebrating mom's day today.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Love it. Very nice job.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Indeed Anna, I really like the tri-trash arrangement! We have a pullout w/2 cans in the bar (trash/recycle) as well, but I don't like it as much! Who would have thought these little conveniences would make us happy campers!!

BTW, my name is Anna too! Cheers!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Isn't it weird how trash and laundry become fairly difficult areas - physically and mentally! - to sort out?

Love your spices, your backsplash, and the cabinets look fantastic. Fun pulls, too. Those knobs in the centers of the uppers were...interesting.

And your backsplash....


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:52AM
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Yes, bean, the previous homeowners choose an interesting placement for the knobs. We like the news ones much better :-)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Debbi Branka

Anna, the transformation is amazing! I love everything about your new kitchen! I love your floor, love your cabinets, your backsplash is beautiful and your counters are gorgeous! You did a wonderful job and thank you for sharing with us!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Deb, thank you. We are enjoying the makeover, that's for sure.

But, the blue and white kitchens you and beekeeperswife have put together...if I had a different home layout, I think that's the way I'd go. Your colors are just beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Simply gorgeous!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Love the island and backsplash. It is so unique and elegant!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:25PM
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