Can you give me feedback on kitchen choices?

lavender_lassMay 1, 2011

I talked to our contractor and he likes the plan (really likes that Summerfield made it so easy to read!) and now I'm trying to finalize finishes for the kitchen.

So, here's the plan and some of the finishes I'm thinking of using. Big change is the idea of a baby grand piano in the sunroom. (LOL) Long story, but after thinking I might get a great deal on one...even if that doesn't materialize, it would be wonderful to have the space for a piano. So, I designed it for one...and maybe one will show up :)

With the soft turquoise walls in the sunroom, I decided to go with a shiny black finish on the woodstove (and possible black piano) so I'm thinking of adding black to the kitchen. Maybe a honed (not shiny) black granite on the perimeter, with marble on the work table. I was planning to have an island, but for various reasons, I think the work table will be a better choice.

Anyway, here's some pictures and I hope you'll let me know if you think it works. The brick (vinyl) floors pick up the living room fireplace and I'm planning to use wrought iron for the two stools at the work table and maybe some other accents. Also want to include antique brass and copper accents, with lighting, hardware, etc. Thanks in advance :)

Picture from a magazine with the black the sunflowers!

Work table (original idea) and the second one should be easy to modify a work table, making it a little taller with the base and add a marble top. I think the oak (?) looks more rustic, too.

Floor and backsplash the birds, still thinking about the bunnies (LOL)

Copper accents...need to find some cool copper pans, at some point.

Still want to have french accents, like sunflowers, lavender, lots of herbs and some french style these cannisters!

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Love every bit of it. O adore the first marble top table but the second table with marble added would be my choice for usefulness. I LOVE that one and wish I had it in my studio.

LL you really have a great sense of style. Just love it.All.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 6:28PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

lavender, everything looks great--I love the pics with the dark counter. And those tables! I have to say that I still love our converted marble table, and I'm just about through the stage where I worry about etching--I've rolled out pie crusts and biscuits on it, with no staining. We've covered it with cooky sheets waiting their turn in the oven, and the end nearer the sink is our drinks-station for large gatherings. It's one of the best and most useful features of the kitchen, and I still run my hand across it as I walk by!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:45AM
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Lavender - your plans are lovely. I particularly like the 1st marble table. The layout of your rooms is great & I'm a big fan of french country. The dark counters are beautiful, but my heart still loves the palatte of lighter & soft colors. However, you should go with what your heart says. Either way, I think you're going to love your choices. Am so excited for you!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 10:56AM
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Shades- Thank you...I'm so glad you like it! A big table like that would be great in your studio :)

Mama goose- It is wonderful to know that you still love you marble top and that it's worked out so well for you. I'm trying to decide if I want to get it honed or not...did you have a lot of etching?

Krayers- I thought about lighter countertops, but with the wrought iron stools I have planned (and a few other accents) I think these countertops might work very well. The funny thing is...I was so concerned about using black, and then realized...I have it all over my garden with arches, arbors, etc. (LOL)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:52AM
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I like the B&W idea. If you need some curtains any place, the black/white toile pattern would look neat too.

My idea for the table is, I like the oak table, the one with the horizontal flat brace beneath it. That one would be very easy to add an additional shelf below the table in the future. I know your house will have a big pantry area for storing huge objects, but having lovely baskets beneath the table is always a nice feature. I think Mama Goose's table has storage beneath and it looks great. Never refuse to take advantage of storage space when it presents itself. That's my motto.

And I like the wrought iron look myself. And cast iron pots, I have several by Lodge, including a cast iron wok by them, which is patiently waiting for me to get a gas stove so I can stir fry. :)

Lav, I hope you keep a nice big print of your floor plan by Summerfield, and frame it for your sunroom. Perhaps Summerfield will autograph it for you. It is a true work of art. I love it. Print it out as such a scale that you can always cut out little paper furniture and play with new arrangements when you get the urge to move furniture.

One thing I've discovered about my before/after pictures of the house and garden, it jogs my memory when I forget exactly when we did some work on the house. So such an archive will be useful to you as well, you have so much about to change.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 2:20PM
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The cottage-look is great, but unless you have actually lived with--and truly do not mind it--I would advise against the two-handle faucet. The awkward juggling... always needing a third hand... your forearm crossing the too-hot or too-cold stream to make adjustments... meh.

The single-control faucet is one of the great inventions of the 20th Century, don't deny yourself. The same general style/look and high-neck spout is available in single-handle, sometimes with the control off to the side of the spout. Be careful how "rustic" you get. ;')

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 11:55AM
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ML- Great idea about Summerfield's plan. I'll do that :)

I've thought about adding a shelf to the bottom of the work table. It would be a great place to store my grandmother's big mixing bowl...which she used for making all her bread. Do you think the shelf would get in the way of the stools?

Fixizin- Thanks for the warning, but I have the two faucet now and I really like it. Yes, it can be a little more work, but when the nieces and nephews visit, it's much easier for them to have separate controls...and much safer. My mom has the single lever (and loves it) but I like the two faucet.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:16PM
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I have not been following your house plans very closely, Lavender Lass, just skimming. I do really like the plans you posted here in this thread. It looks cozy and spacious and a comfortable house to live in. I like your kitchen choices very much, especially if you hone the granite. Momma Goose's counters with honed marble have me sold on honed. The french accents are very nice, I love the yellows and blues of that look. The chickadees are a favorite of mine, I have chickadee earrings and some black metal chickadee wall decorations. One is cute - a chickadee perched on a musical staff, holding a note in his beak that he is going to put in place on the staff. So I do like the chickadees on the backsplash. I worry that the bunnies will get old, though. Are they all across the backsplash or in one smaller area? In one area, I could see them as working, but popping up to peer at you all along a long counter feels too busy to me.

When I saw the baby grand in the sunroom, the first thing I thought was, "looks good, but I hope they don't plan to play it." I went to Google to research and confirmed my hunch. Here is info on piano care from

"Care Tips

It is important to look after your piano and maintain it regularly. Although it may appear sturdy because of its solid construction, the piano has thousands of moving parts and is therefore quite a sensitive instrument.
Where should I place the piano?

* Choose a room with relatively constant temperature and humidity (ie. not too close to the kitchen, laundry, hallway, sunroom). The most suitable place is against an inside wall, away from drafty windows, heaters, air conditioning, doors and exposure to direct sunlight. If you live in a recently built house with insulation in the walls and you decide to place your piano on an outside wall, please leave at least a 10cm gap between the piano and the wall for air to circulate.
* In addition to affecting humidity, direct sunlight will also cause the piano finish to age and fade.
* Choose a room with few distractions for practicing students, or perhaps make rules about television and computer use during practice times.
* Acoustically, make sure that shelves and furniture do not block the sound. The placement of a piano will affect its tone, ie. carpet and soft furnishings will soften the tone and hard surfaces will brighten the tone.
* Think about ease of access for piano tuners.
* Try to keep the top of the piano free of framed photos and other items that may vibrate and rattle when it is played. Water leakage or spillage from plants can also be hazardous. Any liquid spill will damage the finish and possibly the inside. Cups and glasses will also leave marks on most finishes.
* Consider the use of caster cups to protect your floor from caster wheel marks."

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Two things here.
One, okay with the birds, agree that the bunnies if all around might be a bit busy. In one spot, like where you trim your carrots and cabbage, would be appropriate. :)

And your stools at the table might be a bit of a problem with a shelf down low. I forgot that was serving as your bar area.
It can be added at a later time though, if after long usage you discover there is room for it as a narrow shelf out of the way of little boots kicking things under there. Don't want to break that precious bowl. I wish I had the carved wooden treenware bowl that my grandma used to make biscuits because it was never washed and always sitting behind the rollfront of the Hoosier cabinet. And her churn too....I made many a pound of butter churning away with that when I was a wee kid. :) The thing is, I can also remember the smells in her kitchen, of the flour in that wooden bowl, of the milk in the churn, of her hot cornbread coming out of the oven of the woodstove, and I can still hear the slap of the old screen door to the back porch where the bucket was to go get some more wellwater.

Living in a farm house is a wonderful thing. What great memories it stirs up in my mind and heart. Build as much of that into your farmhouse as you can, Lav, it will be gravy on your mashed potatos!!!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 9:52AM
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You are all so great to stick with me on this project. The backsplash is the chickadees, not the bunnies...although one small one might make an appearance. I like ML's idea about putting it where I trim the carrots and cabbage! LOL

The piano was inspired by the idea that a friend might have to find a home for hers...which didn't happen, so I'm starting to have second thoughts about that. It looks wonderrful in the plan, but as Nancy points out...may not work well in real life, especially in the sunroom.

Also found out the idea of taking the wall down between the kitchen/dining room and making it one big space may not work, either. Some concern that changing the dining room into the kitchen will alter memories too much...and I can understand that. While it is our house, when you're dealing with family homes, I believe some consideration of everyone's input is important. In the end, we'll build what we want and what suits our lifestyles, but this is a relevant point. As I've mentioned earlier, a bit of local history in that dining not unrealistic that maybe I should leave that as the dining room and put the kitchen behind it (as it is now).

So, this has trashed my overall plan a bit, but growth is all about taking the best of what you have and letting go of what isn't/doesn't work, right? So, I've been trying to make lemonade out of lemons (love that phrase) and gone back to an earlier layout.

I changed the kitchen just a bit, to reflect my growing admiration for Laura Calder's kitchen (French Cooking at Home). I adore her prep area...seriously, it's my favorite kitchen and I really need more space. Somehow, I didn't make that a big priority before, but after watching a bit of a marathon over the weekend, I really want to have a huge prep space. As ML keeps reminding me, there needs to be plenty of space to do the projects and recipes that one needs to do on a farm :)

While I love the big sunroom, I really have always wanted the wood stove in the kitchen (very farm like) so I thought this would be the time to make that change. It leaves me a much smaller sunroom, but stil big enough for a few wicker chairs and an ottoman, space for a star jasmine or two, maybe a small orange tree...and doors to keep the kitties out, so they don't chew on my plants! LOL

Also, I really want two bathrooms downstairs. Being on a farm, when there's a plumbing problem, you really need a back up. Since we may not finish the upstairs right away, I put the master bath back into the the plan. I think this made my husband very happy, so I should have done this before.

So, here's the plan, with a window seat in the dining room, with shelves on both sides...for dishes, books, etc. Also has more bookshelves in the living room and a nice long one in the kitchen, against the stair wall. The fridge and double ovens are on one wall (very Laura Calder) witht the microwave on the shelf, in between. The sink is under five feet of windows (with the farm sink on the other side, in the laundry room) and there are upper cabinets above the rest of that counterspace. The cooktop is in the island, with a vent and maybe pot rack above (need a few copper pots) and all that lovely prep space.

I want to have the prep space be wood, with the other countertops (including on both sides of the cooktop) be the honed granite. The storage area under the prep area (sink side) will be 18" deep, with plenty of room for stools on the other side. I wanted something a big shallower, than the standard 24" deep base cabinets, so it's easier to reach smaller items, like mixing bowls, cake pans, the hand mixer, etc. The wood stove is in the corner with a small table and chairs in the other corner.

So, there you have it, my "Plan B" with a few modifications. Don't know if I've posted this before, but I think it will work well and keep the dining room intact. Also, let me get a much better kitchen (IMHO) than the one in the other plan. All the same finishes in the kitchen, including the vinyl 'brick' floors, which will also be in the sunroom, laundry and mud room.

Thanks for all your help and please let me know what you really think. I don't want to bother Summerfield, again, until I know this plan will work :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Sorry, I hit the wrong button and deleted my picutre! Here it is and again, thanks for sticking with my through all this :)

Oh, and although the sunroom is smaller, I have 'tea space' in the dining room, the sink close to the sunroom for plants...and hopes for a small greenhouse, which may come about before the farmhouse remodel! Then, I could have my 'garden plants' outside in the greenhouse and a few 'tropical plants' in the sunroom, off the tea room/dining room...and no kitties eating my plants! LOL

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 1:18PM
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