My kitchen's facelift

LinelleMay 19, 2012

My 20-year-old kitchen was showing its age. I have a modest home in a modest neighborhood and didn't want to spend a lot of money attempting to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. My builder's grade golden oak cabs were very orange and looking a little shabby. I wanted to get rid of the fluorescent ceiling fixture and replace the tile counters. My kitchen is just 10'x10' and G-shaped, but it's got a good existing layout, 9' ceilings, red oak floor, ample storage and natural light, so I aimed for a facelift. I live alone and don't have to share the kitchen with anyone (more a curse than a blessing).

Since I wanted to pay cash, I decided I was willing to spend $20K, and figured that would probably mean $25K. I ended up going $200 over $20K. I had a wonderful KD through whom I got my new cab doors, sink, faucet, counters and hardware. My GC turned out to be a PITA, but I got through it. Wouldn't ever hire him again. I painted the ceiling/walls myself (and promised myself a new iPad with what I saved). Got my own backsplash people.

I decided to keep costs down and get new appliances later on. However, I did get a new hood and fridge after everything else was done, not part of my original budget. I ended up liking the looks of my low-end Kenmore stove a lot more after everything else was done, so I'll live with it and my old DW for awhile.

At first I hated everything about my new kitchen: too much white, counters too mottled, faucet way too big, sink too deep. Too stark, not enough color. What had I done to my kitchen? I actually missed the orange oak! While I'd do a lot of things differently if I had it to do over, I've settled into it and actually like it now. This is probably the most updated kitchen in my entire neighborhood. Painted white cabinets haven't come this way yet so I'm actually on the bleeding edge. :p

Because I kept my old cabinet boxes, I have not one, not two, but three blind corners. I put infrequently used things in their deepest recesses and curse when I have to dig deep on occasion. I think of GW's disdain and pity for me, and it makes me laugh, in a good way.

I'm not a DIYer, but the stuff I truly love the most about my kitchen are the silly little things I did myself: Swapped out a 4" can and put in an LED, added Blum soft closers on all doors, made a lined valance from instructions I found on a blog, updated my message center, even the patching and painting I did myself. I envy all of you able to DIY. Still awaiting stools with saddle seats that I plan to paint BW Caliente.



Cabinet doors and drawer fronts: Decora paint-grade maple with MDF insets

Cabinet paint: BM Cloud White (very smelly, assume it isn't water-based)

Counters: Caesarstone Smoky Ash

Backsplash: Sonoma Creamy Crackle, platinum grout

MW: Sharp (Costco)

Fridge: KitchenAid

Sink: Dawn (Chinese, don't hate me)

Faucet: Hansgrohe Talis C

Walls: SW Antique White

Hardware: Top Knobs

UCL: Juno fluorescent (not on in these photos)

Pendants: Thomasville Santiago (ole!)

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Looks great! Congrats!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 3:55PM
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Nice work!!!
You will just feel great in your updated kitchen! Love what you did while keeping budget in check!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Ooops! Where are my manners?!! Many thanks to the GW Brain Trust for good, sound, tireless advice. Even when I just lurked, I picked up a lot of stuff as you helped others with their kitchens. I know sooo much more than I thought possible. If I ever go down this road again, I will start here first. xoxox

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Excellent looks great!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Looks great !! How old is your home ? This kitchen looks really charming and very bungalow style. I really like your choices and think you have done a bang up job! c

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Bravo! Looks great.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I think it is gorgeous, classy and perfectly suited to your home. I live in a similar type neighborhood- location is more important to the owners than their kitchens! Your kitchen would be coveted:) I remember you saying you didn't like your backsplash at one time? I love it! Perfect for your space. Great job on such a small budget!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Wow, if you didn't tell me, I would have thought that was a complete gut job. What a big difference removing the overhead cabinet makes! I love all your choices! I'm going to show this to a friend who has a similar floor plan. I know what you mean about the DIY, I ordered glass for my cabinets and installed it myself. I didn't realize the edges were so sharp and ended up with cuts all over my fingers, which I proudly displayed to my DH. He thought I was nuts, but I'm sure the GWers would be proud of me. Awesome job Linelle!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Thanks everyone!

Trailrunner, my house is 21 years old in a cookie-cutter neighborhood where all the houses sit cheek to jowl on very small lots. My house is the smallest model, about 1200 sq.ft. Some of you all's kitchens nearly dwarf my entire house. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Deborah Humphries

Wow! What a beautiful and serene space!! It's just lovely. The beginning of your story is so familiar. We too are in a modest neighborhood and this is not our end-all & be-all house. But living in Northern Virginia is not a modest prospect so it's been quite a challenge. Congratulations for sticking very well to your budget. You did so well and have a beautiful space. I'm certain you are the envy of your neighborhood and now they will all have to do the same!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:42PM
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That's a big difference, and it fits with the character of the house.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Beautiful transformation -- I love the "Smoky Ash" Caesarstone with your fresh white cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Your kitchen looks great. I was looking forward to your reveal and you did not disappoint. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:59PM
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I love it!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:59PM
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I love it!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Cograts, Linelle. You really did make the most of a kitchen worth the investment, and your lovely, wow! garden. Happy cooking.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Very lovely transformation!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Wonderful job. I am in the process of doing the same thing but I don't think mine will turn out as nice as yours.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Wow! What a transformation! So clean and lovely.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Your pretty !! You have a gift. I too think the kitchen fits even more so with the house. You have the cottage feel going with your garden and it carries through so nicely into the kitchen. Perfect. Now cut some of those pretty flowers and put them on the counter :)

Thank you for sharing such a pretty space. c

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Lovely transformation, linelle. I have similar colors in mine, and let me guess, you're on the East coast, right? White kitchens aren't old hat here either (Long Island), they actually aren't even current yet.

One thing I also like that is supposedly a no-no, is the mix of white and stainless appliances.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:04PM
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iroll, I'm West Coast, baby, 4th generation Californian. I live in Sonoma County, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. It's certainly not a backwater, but the people I know haven't seen a white kitchen except in magazines. I don't know a soul with one. As for my mix of appliance colors, I plan on replacing them one at a time, as my budget recovers. As soon as I got my fridge, I was sort of over stainless (smudge, smudge). I suddenly like the chubby backsplash on my stove. I wouldn't mind having one that was yellow, green or blue.

trailrunner, one year ago my front yard was a ratty lawn and two oversized flowering pear trees that plunged me in deep shade. I had it all taken out, bermed, new drip and drought-tolerant perennials put in. Watering is automatic, no weeds to speak of, just a front yard to appreciate + lots of sun, which I love. The plants aren't great for cut flowers, but it blooms virtually year-round.

Brianadarnell, sas95, rosie, lambsear1, ellendi, francoise47, palimpset, caminnc, red_lover, Annie, potterstreet, a2gemini, DJHinVA, thanks guys!

CKGM, the first grout that went in was BAD and I had them take it out 10 minutes after it went in. I didn't want my tile to match my cabs, and side by side they don't, however they look the same color. sigh. Also, the tiles are made to look handmade and don't lie perfectly flat. So some of the tile corners are a little high and cast a shadow when the UC lights are on, giving it a slightly snaggletooth look. sigh. It is what it is. I wish I had marble, but it wouldn't have worked with my counter.

Gigi, I can totally relate to the pride you felt doing the glass, cut fingers and all. My GC cheaped out on my hinges and there was no softclose. Bang, bang, thud. Such a rude sound. My trusty Dremel and I added our own and it's the first thing I show off when people see my kitchen for the first time. Hey, watch this...I slam the door, and at the last minute, closes so meek and quiet.

Because of the cabinet and soffit removal I had to have some retexturing done. That night I was out and when I got home discovered one of my kittens (the guys in the other thread) had left huge claw marks down the wall through the new texture. I couldn't believe my eyes. Thank God for spackle.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:35PM
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I'm sure the kitties appreciate that you designed the kitchen to match them :-)

It looks terrific, it suits the house, and from the external view, the garden and house are very cute! Enjoy your lovely new kittiechen!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:36PM
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It turned out wonderful and I love the flowers outside!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:49PM
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I think your kitchen looks great. Did you paint the cabinet doors too, or are those new?

I adore your front yard! It really fits your house. What are the yellow flowers?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Mabel, the kitties are thrilled that the kitchen matches them and can't understand why they're not more welcome on the counters.

marti8a, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are new so there isn't a whole lot of oak grain left to see. The yellow flowers are California poppies. There were some open places in the yard and I love a burst of yellow/gold so I spread some poppy seeds around in February and they really delivered. They're our state flower and really common along roadsides.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Lovely kitchen! You did have rather nice oak cabinets, on the spectrum of oak cabinets, but change is good and I like the changes you made.

Looking back at the comments, I see I am not the first to use the word "lovely."


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Wow--it might not be your "ideal" but it certainly looks really nice and is probably a lot more functional than it was before! Great job!!!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Wow, removing that cab over the peninsula made a HUGE difference! Your finishes are so lovely and serene. Terrific job!!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Very, very pretty. I also live in a modest house in a modest community, and your kitchen would make everyone entering it stand up and say, "Glory, what do we have here?!!! We can do that??"

Great job.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Very nicely done...understated, bright and elegant. Love the ceiling color and the pendants!!! Enjoy for many years to come!!! BTW, your garden is beautiful...I wish I had a green thumb....:)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Your kitchen looks beautiful! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Bowie, MD, on the other side of my road, us one of the largest, planned communities there is. I want to say they're Levitt, but I can't recall. But there are literally 1000s of houses made of 3 house plans/layouts.

The Cape Cod is the predominant one, and your kitchen layout is exactly what they have. I agree totally that removing the cabs above the peninsula changed the whole atmosphere.

You've done a gorgeous job. Really really beautiful and serene.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:49PM
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wow Linelle - you done good girl! just an amazing transformation - I love how you were able to pull this off for $20K!!

I am going with a Dawn sink as well. I am trying to do as much USA made as possible but I needed the biggest sink that would fit in a 30" sink base and this was it.


ps: I think your house is super cute!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Christine, I don't think we do many Cape Cods in the Bay Area. I don't know that we call them anything but "little tract houses." I confess that for a little bit I missed the cabinet I removed over the peninsula. I was in shock from all the white and dark counters, so stark. I missed the coziness and warm light reflected back off that cabinet into the kitchen. That old cab is now mounted on the wall above the side door in my garage, full of canning jars, etc.

mamadadapaige, I'm happy with my Dawn sink. It's 30" and its drain is smack dab in the middle, not offset the way many people prefer. I've never had one offset, so smack in the middle is fine with me. What do I know?!! At first I wasn't so sure I really liked a single bowl sink, but I'm digging it now.

Thanks ilene-84, clarygrace, laurie35, fouramblues, cat_mom, and onedogedie. I appreciate your kind words.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:37AM
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Very pretty! Your stove looks great and I love your lights and valance. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:45AM
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Great transformation, very crisp and soothing. I like your pendants and the countertop. Your garden is lovely too. My front yard only aspires to look so nice. I'm in CA also, and poppies are one of my favorites. They're such a bright glowing orange.

If you still think your kitchen is too white, why not add a little color here and there. You could put potted herbs on the windowsill, or put a flowerbox on the outside so you can see flowers from inside. Or maybe paint the kitchen walls a nice color to compliment your window valence. If you are going to add stools for seating by the counter, make them a bright color.

Again, very nice job. Hope you are enjoying your new space.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 4:23AM
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You did a great job! Amazing what a difference it makes taking down those cabs over the peninsula! I don't think it looks too stark and white. It looks really lovely! Your stove is much happier in your new kitchen! It looks like it has a new lease on life now that it isn't surrounded by all the orange cabs. Very impressed!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:01AM
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Nice job! I'm amazed at the vision to be able to see what it could become. Congratulations.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:42AM
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Just beautiful! The range certainly fits in well and if it works, well, let it be!

Your front entry? Just the most welcoming sight.

Christine - Yep Levitt. Grew up there.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:31AM
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I really like your wall paint, SW Antique White, with the white white cabinets. Was that the original color too, pre-facelift?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:00AM
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Beautiful makeover! Taking down those hanging peninsula cabinets made such a difference! Love the counters! It all came together beautifully. Enjoy your new space!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:52AM
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What a great transformation! The "little" things of taking out that upper cabinet and getting rid of the light box make such a huge difference. It looks like a complete gut and remodel.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Nice job. There's a tract similar to yours in Mission Viejo near my old condo. Until I saw your post, I was thinking you lived there.

Our favorite Gelato place just moved from Fullerton to your area - maybe Napa. Google "Frati". They had quite a following and we miss them.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Yes ... if we didn't need them so desperately for storage, I'd remove the dangling barricade cabinet in my PHX kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Linelle, your home is so beautiful! I love your new kitchen update and I think all of your choices were very wise. I love it all. Your counter tops look great with the cabinets! The kitchen matches the exterior of your home so well. I am really in love with your garden!! Makes me want to get a glass of lemonade and sit a spell : )

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Linelle, you've done a beautiful job of transformating your kitchen! Love the white cabs, BS, pendants, cab hardware, and quartz--it's all lovely!! So bright and inviting! Those stools in caliente red are going to really POP! Thanks so much for sharing all the details--enjoy!

One question: Are you happy with your Zephyr hood?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Your kitchen is so adorable! I love how much more open and fresh it is. The added details like the crown molding and the finish panels on the side of the pantry have really added to the end result. And your counters look just great with the white cabinets! Enjoy your bright, cheerful kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Amazing garden too:) I knew you were a Cali girl for some reason! I used to miss the space we had coming from back East but now I love my smaller home and wouldn't change a thing.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Deedles, thanks. My sewing abilities never got past 7th grade HomeEc, so the valance turned out better than I'd expected. Getting the rod level was the toughest part of all.

Anna, I'm planning to paint my new stools a rich red for some pop. I would consider a different color on the walls at some point. Before the reno the walls were BM Camouflage, a nice sage green. It looked so fabulous in my bedroom I had the kitchen painted that color, but it totally washed out in the kitchen, despite both rooms having the same exposure. We'll see, I also like layering whites.

Onedog, I love SW Antique White, which is mostly what the rest of my house is painted. While my bedrooms have white ceilings, in the living/dining/kitchen I put Antique White on the ceilings too and I love it.

Chief, the light box HAD to die. It was so hideous I wouldn't look at it, wouldn't even turn the light on. I have some friends in their 30s who I figure are far hipper than I. They have a kitchen almost the same as mine and they just painted their cabs white. AND they painted the oak frame around their fluorescent box white too. That's right, they kept it. Ugh.

1929, I don't get to Napa very often but will check out Frati next time I'm there.

gr8day, thanks. My counter finally stopped feeling gritty. Hope yours did too. I never thought it would stop.

flwrs_n_co, yes, I love my Zephyr hood. It's just a 30" above my 30" stove, but I don't do a lot of searing or wokking so it suits my purposes. It has a good draw and I love its bright halogen lights. Also, my alpha kitten's name is Zephyr and it pleases him to see his name emblazoned on an appliance.

abfabamy, the crown molding and end panels made a huge difference. My before cabs had this pathetic little inch-wide strip at the top. The crown completely changed the look.

CKGM, are you in California? I do envy other areas that have such large lots and green green landscaping. We just don't have much rainfall between May and October so things dry out more here. Real estate is so expensive, but this place is in my blood so I'll probably never leave.

Pooh, the hanging cab had never bothered me, since my main line of sight is through the opening at the end of the peninsula. I decided I had ample storage and could live without that cab. It really did make for the biggest change.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Really nice house, garden, and kitchen. I didn't even notice your appliances don't match. When I read that I had to look at the photos again. I think they work together well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:44PM
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This is really beautiful, I think it's money well spent, and looks totally updated and new. Congratulations on staying so close to your budget, it's really not easy to do especially if you keep company with gw folk. :-)

I love your house --- it's very cute and the front garden is swoon-worthy. The phase "blooms year round" made me want to pack it up and get out of the northeast.

Congrats on your beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Linelle, your home sounds just like mine but I'm on the East Coast! Your kitchen is really, really lovely!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 6:47PM
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debrak, I think if I didn't have so much white already (cabs, walls, backsplash) I'd probably be content with my stove as is. I think I'd rather replace the DW first. It's kinda plasticky looking and I really want something with a handle on which to hang my dishtowel.

Kris_ma, well, we don't have snow here. When it drops below freezing in the winter we all fall apart. My garden designer planned it so that something would be blooming year-round.

catlover5, thanks so much.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 6:54PM
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linelle, I love the facelift so much and I wish it was something I could do to my cabinets but mine are a cheap builder grade laminate that I was told would fall apart. You really did a great job! Thank you for sharing. You are blessed to have no outdated suffit like I do. Thanks for letting me know the paint is BM Cloud White which really is perfect for your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Lovely job, linelle! I especially like the caesarstone counters and your pendants. So pretty!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Beautiful - and inspiring!! I really like the new openness, and your front garden is beautiful. DH and I would love to retire to Sonoma county - it's our favorite wine region. Congratulations on a beautiful remodel.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:56PM
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FANTASTIC !!!! Looks great, well done !

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:05PM
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beautiful kitchen and beautiful garden!
thanks for all of your involvement and contribution to this forum - folks like you are what makes this a special place!

and i love your holsteins!!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Linelle - Your new kitchen looks amazing! You did a great job and it is open and inviting. It makes me want to stay for coffee and sit in the garden! Enjoy!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:38AM
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What a lovely transformation. Even the stove looks great! The tile is perfect and the windowsill is a great place for a little color-like a vase of your breathtaking poppies.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Yesterday during the eclipse, as my neighbors and I ran around like little kids doing a Science Fair project, the temperature plunged and all my poppies closed up. The light was so incredibly weird.

Sixtyohno, gardenamy, MissyV, taggie, thanks!!

babushka_cat, you are most kind. I don't know nothin' about lower drawers or sexy appliances, but knew when it was time to buy buy my girl a new outfit. The Holsteins were in heaven while all the cab doors were off. All those blind cabs are too much fun.

yandj, where do you live now? I adore Sonoma County, lots to do and pretty near perfect weather.

lynn, I was amazed how well my cabinets cleaned up with paint and new doors. Lipstick on a pig? I had saggy composite shelves and my painters replaced all of them with good stuff. Don't know if it was buried in their contract or if they just took pity on me and threw them in as a bonus. I really couldn't improve much on my layout or footprint. If I were getting new cabs I'd go to the ceiling, but I honestly don't care about the space above mine. I went to some open houses yesterday just for fun, and I thank my lucky stars that I have 9-ft.-plus ceilings.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Linelle, your kitchen looks beautiful and perfect and right-sized for your home! Love your gardens too. You should be very proud you stayed within budget and character of both your neighborhood and your home. Bravo!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Debbi Branka

Beautiful! I admire you jumping in and painting the cabinets. I know I would be afraid of that. Your kitchen looks so fresh and new and clean! Nice work!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:29PM
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Lovely! Congratulations. Now go relax in your garden and kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Thanks Miz and Outside. You both have good advice. I should be outside and not at my laptop.

Deb, I didn't actually paint the cabs myself. Way too afraid and aware of my limitations. A few years ago I painted the pine buffet and hutch in my dining room and if you stand back a ways it looks good. Up close, um, not. The cost of having the cabs professionally painted was almost 25% of my entire budget. It's not like a backsplash you can rip out because you can probably pay for another one. I knew that not only did I have to pick the right color white, but I'll just have to endure its passing out of favor. Of course, in my neck of the woods, it hasn't even come into favor yet. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Wow Linelle, your kitchen looks great!! Really opens it up taking out that upper over the penninsula. I'm sending a picture of it (if you don't mind) to my mom, she has almost the identical layout and has been trying to decide what she could do with hers.

I was expecting a stark, cold looking kitchen when reading your description, and it looks so warm, inviting, and fresh to me! I think you will love it more and more each day after the shock value wears off.:)

Congrats, you did a great job!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Oh, Linelle, it is so lovely! It is so fresh, spacious, and bright. Taking those cabinets down over the peninsula really gave it a whole new look! Love it!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I'll second what everyone has said, you did a wonderful job. I really like your choices. Love your garden too!


    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:27PM
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BEAUTIFUL! I think you were one where we found we had kitchen cousins. I'm hoping my facelift will be done by July. I am finishing refinishing my cabinets this next week.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:10PM
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susied3, I didn't hate my hanging cab, since it really wasn't in my way. I'd thought about opening it up with glass or just doing shelves. Then I realized that I had shelf space in the rest of my kitchen that wasn't being used and that by moving things around or out to the garage, I could just get rid of it entirely. And, best of all, the soffit. I didn't even know what it was called until I came to GW. It changed my kitchen more than anything else, along with the light box. Ceilings can be groovy things.

behacca, you must post lots of pictures! Wizard and Shelayne, thanks for your comments.

My big reveal is Thursday night. The Holsteins will be sequestered in another part of the house so we don't get cat butt, hair and spit in the snacks.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Beautiful. Very inviting!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:29PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Linelle, we're in Danville - east bay. I have the same countertop you removed :-).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Beautiful! I love the cabinets and counters!

Also love your location! That's interesting that no one seems to be doing white kitchens there. Is the Tuscan look still popular?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:56PM
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My big reveal is Thursday night. The Holsteins will be sequestered in another part of the house so we don't get cat butt, hair and spit in the snacks.

LOL! I'm pretty sure I know what prompted that comment! ;) Have a wonderful party!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:05PM
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gsciencechick, I don't know anybody with a new kitchen or a recent remodel. Judging from most photos I see in the real estate section, there's a lot of cherry cabinets, stainless and granite counters. Probably the Tuscan look is still popular. If my kitchen is now a dated look, nobody around here knows it yet. :P

yandj, yes that's right, you're in Danville. My GC tried to use the old plywood under my tile. Not only did it look awful, but it was the wrong thickness and he didn't cut the radius curve. He was such a cheapskate. Set us back an entire week.

LaPurchase, thanks very much!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Looks really nice. Between the white tile counters, the house and the landscaping, I was wondering if you were in N CA. The first house DH and I bought together was in Sonoma County. We had white tile counters with maple cabinets there and this house had white (thickly) painted cabinets and doomed white tile counters. They were doomed because, even if I loved them (which I didn't), they were installed after the DW and the DW got tiled in. There are only so many years in a DW's life. I digress, but I really like what you did with the kitchen and the yard.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:51PM
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What a beautiful, functional transformation! And I bet your kitty likes the view too! :-)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:19AM
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linelle, your kitchen looks great! What a difference. I know I was smitten with just a coat of primer on my oak cabinets when we painted our oak ones. It just opens the place up and makes it so light and airy.

I know what you mean about no one having white kitchens. I still think I'm the only one in my neighborhood with one. Probably why everyone who sees it has the expression of shock and surprise when they see my cabinets (in not one, but two colors!)

Love the picture of your front yard too.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Wow, that turned out really well. The kitchen fits your adorable house so much better now. Cute Holsteins, too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:01PM
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I think you did a remarkable job, all while staying true to the tone of your home and especially, in budget. The room looks updated and airy. You have created a serene and peaceful kitchen, which sometimes that room seems anything but! I can see how at first the white cabinets may have been too much for you, probably because it was such a tremendous transformation, but they are ideal! Your kitchen catches the sunlight!

Here is a link that might be useful: Your Kitchen Should be Your Oasis!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Bee, I confess I like the faux scullery aspect that emerged with the subways and triggered my latent Edwardian sensibilities. It made me appreciate my frumpy white Kenmore. I should really make some Yorkshire pudding and trifle.

designhippie25, for someone who loves airy and light, even I had serious qualms with all the white. Never was I so glad I chose a dark counter for contrast, to keep the room from being a total vanilla milkshake. My irrepressible red oak floor doesn't let the white and gray take themselves too seriously. Plus the cat tchotchkes (spreading germs of death!) and SF Giants mug.

Conchita and Anna, the Holsteins preferred I leave the doors off the cabinets for their amusement, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.

lascatx, Sonoma County FTW! My white tile counter triggered my totally off the chart obsession with wiping counters. My fastidious SIL has noted how she will clean up and I'm right behind her wiping them down again. It's a sickness and I'm troubled that nothing shows on my dark mottled quartz.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Somehow I can't believe there are people who haven't 'caught on' to white kitchens! Even tho they aren't my favorite (mostly they aren't DH's favorite so we didn't), they have been big here for years. My brother and SIL did white in their new house years ago and builders have been doing them for a long, long time. They obviously haven't really lost their appeal in this area. Of course you still see cherry, maple, and a lot of other stains too. Plus am beginning to see more in the grey range such as your island, beekeeperswife! My DD is thinking about a remodel and grey was suggested to her. You may be a trendsetter there! I showed her pics of your old and new kitchens and she was stunned and in kitchen envy! (That's with both yours, Linelle, and Bee's).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:43PM
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outside, where do you live? I don't know why white kitchens haven't really caught on here. I wonder if it's a Northern California oddity. I'm not talking about San Francisco or upscale homes here, just the rank and file. It was only a few years ago that I learned that people painted cabinets...not just old hopeless ones like I used to have, but new wood, perfectly good wood like maple. I learned it was a look. I never developed a deep yearning for a white kitchen, never saw that movie, but when I considered how to update my kitchen with what I already had, painting was a no-brainer. And since I'm a light freak, white--no, wait, creamy if you please--was my only choice. Never heard of subways or soapstone. I have a friend with gorgeous marble counters but she doesn't love them. Sigh. Until I found this forum, I thought travertine was the only way to go.

If anyone walks into my kitchen and says, "so dated and overdone," I will punch them in the face.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Mick Mick

Hi! Thank you for sharing. I am going to replace my doors and needed inspiration. Your new and improved kitchen is very pretty and appropriate for the style of your home. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 7:39AM
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I think it looks really nice, light, and practical, Linelle! :-)

And it looks like it integrates well with the rest of your house.

I also see that you have a really nice red hutch in the background ;-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Wow Linelle, really great job! You should be so proud of your DIY work. I never would have guessed you were a novice!

I am in the process of redoing my kitchen, not some much DIY, but still SOOO many decisions to make! Yikes!

Many similarities to yours:
- Going from golden oak to white
- Leaning toward Caesarstone counters
- Chose the Hansgroghe Talis C
- Single basin sink
- 10x10 wall to wall (with the cabs it's about 8x9) in sort of a lower case 'r' shape
- Looks like your sink is not centered under your window. Mine too! DW is on the right just like yours.
- Looks like we have about the same amount of cabinets

What an inspiration your kitchen is, and so many others on this site. I love this forum and community. What a blesssing you all are! Keeps me going!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Linelle, this tansformation is amazing. You did a beautiful job. I agree with you - I like how your range looks now, too. The whole thing fits together so gracefully and fits your house so well. Just lovely. Congratulations and use it in good health!

PS I envy someone who can "throw out seeds in February" and produce a lovely garden. If I did that, they'd land on top of the snow and birds and squirrels would eat them.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:38PM
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"If anyone walks into my kitchen and says, "so dated and overdone," I will punch them in the face."
Good for you Linelle.

From your previous posts I had a incorrect image of your new kitchen. This is so NICE, BRIGHT & AIRY !!!
You did a wonderful job picking the paint color/counter.
I'm curious, what would you have done differently(besides hiring another GC)?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:57PM
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What a lovely transformation! The change to white cabinets and getting rid of the uppers over the peninsula really did make it bright and airy. The counter color looks great with the white cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I appreciate all your very kind comments.

Pawa, that hutch is very cheaply made pine. Not only had it turned very yellow, but its country look didn't match anything in my house. I had intended to paint the beadboard behind the shelves either deep gold or another shade of red, but I got so sick of painting coat after coat, that I left it alone. Painting beadboard is such a drag. Up close, it's not a very good paint job and it shows signs of wear, however, overall, I love how it looks.

Chamois, I'm really not a DIY'er. All I did was little stuff like painting the ceiling and walls, valance, etc. The Hansgrohe is very nice. At first I thought it was way too big for my little kitchen, but I got over that fast, once my things went back on the counters and it wasn't the Loch Ness Monster anymore. Plus, it's just really nicely made. As for the sink not being centered under the window, I could care less. There isn't room to center it in such a short run, and I'll take a large window any day. I can understand why it matters to people when the complete view of your kitchen is prominent and needs balance. You can't see my sink and window at the same time unless you're right there, standing at the sink.

Ginny, I realized I like the look of chubby ranges. I have enough white in my kitchen, but I wish something like I have but maybe in pale yellow or green weren't so expensive. As for the poppies. :) I have never been very successful planting flowers from seeds. However, the mulch dressing in my yard has created a very grow-y environment. And our climate here is hard to beat.

EATREALFOOD, what wouldn't I do differently?!!! First let me say that I really needed to make some changes, had a firm budget, and made most of my decisions before I ever stepped foot into GW. When I was still in an unappreciative state, my daughter wisely reminded me that I made the best choices available to me at the time. The fact that I wasn't aware of all my options still made them unknown to me.

But, that being said, if I could redo MY kitchen, I think I would like wood cabinets, probably quarter-sawn oak. I love the look of my painted cabinets, but I worry about how they will wear over time. No regrets over shaker doors, would do that again and again. I like my quartz counter, but its mottled pattern is kinda meh. I think I'd prefer soapstone or one of the lighter, marble-esque granites. I would also consider a granite with more movement, something with more personality. I'd have gotten one larger pendant over my peninsula, rather than two smaller ones. That's do-able down the road. I would do a different backsplash, maybe marble.

In the end, I like my kitchen. All the problems I encountered along the way (even my GC) got resolved and have faded into semi-funny memories. I didn't spend more than I could afford, so I continue to sleep well. Next time, quarter-sawn oak.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 2:43PM
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I've seen several people comment about your pendants, so I hope I'm not the only one who wants to know where you got them. They are great.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:09PM
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marti8a, my pendants are Thomasville Santiago in forged black and I got them at Wayfair (see link). That's about what I paid for them. I have a nearby chandelier over my dining table with black metal and thought these would blend. There's nothing Spanish about my kitchen, but I don't think it matters.

The reason I'd go from two to one, is more about the size of and how I use my peninsula. If you like a glow of light from mid-space, these are for you. I had to reduce the size of the bulb because they created such a bright light. I think I'd prefer a larger light with downward-casting shade. When I bought these I only wanted a rigid rod. Now, I've decided I like the look of black cord better. Who knew?

Here is a link that might be useful: Thomasville Santiago mini-pendant

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Hi Linelle, I noticed that you have a cabinet under your bar over-hang. I am doing something similar. Would you mind posting a picture of the cabinet opened? I am interested to see! Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Your kitchen looks wonderful! I've just about finished a similar facelift, old cabinets bases are 30 yr old oak. I too am happy how everything looks (my shade is coming this week then I'm done). Unfortunatly I had trouble with my GC too, but am glad to say it's history now...enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:13PM
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BlackChamois, your wish is my command. Of course, the minute it was opened, my Holsteins had to get involved. It connects with the cab on the opposite side.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Love Holsteins! Too cute! Thank you for the peek, Linelle. Mine is going to be a separate shallow cabinet that will support a raised bar and will be exposed on the living room side. I like yours though - no digging for those items in the very back! Great idea! Thank you again!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:02PM
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hi linelle,

Several people told me to ck out your kitchen and I am so glad I did. It looks great! Nice and bright and homey. You did a fantastic job !!

I like the "whiteness" of it all, you can add in any accessory color you like and change it all up, which I love.

Thanks for posting!!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 5:09PM
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go_figure01, thank you! I can't even remember my old oak and white tile anymore. The white and dark counters were a little daunting at first, but all it takes is a pop of color here and there: a kettle, flowers, a bowl.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Hi Linelle, can you tell me how wide your single basin sink measures?

I've purchased this Franke, but seeing one similar in my moms kitchen it seems so huge. Hers is top mount while mine will be undermount so that might be partly deceiving.

I had a double bowl in my previous kitchen. My kitchen is similar in size to yours so I am also wondering if you felt (at least maybe initially) that it was too big.

Thanks for your input!!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Hi BlackChamois! My sink is officially 30" but the real inner dimensions are 28.5" wide x 16.5" high x 10" deep.

At first I didn't like my sink (or my high arc faucet for that matter). After my twin bowl, relatively shallow old sink, this one felt like a stadium! It seemed ridiculously large. I hated my grid. Lots of splashing. I missed my stupid old twin bowl sink.

LOL. I'm over it now. I love the single bowl. Even though my sink has a drain right in the middle, I seriously don't see the problem with it, esp. with a grid that essentially keeps it open and unobstructed. I don't have a separate prep sink (I don't have room for luxuries like that!), so I often have dishes over on one side while I'm prepping on the other.

It's cool to be able to set your largest pan or baking sheet down for a soak or clean.

Are you planning to get a grid for the bottom? Even though I spend more time chasing food with the sprayer than I'd like, I just love how it elevates everything above the bottom of the sink. Great for draining/drying big pots.

Your sink looks really cool. I like the shape. Let me know how you like it once you've gotten used to it.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Thanks Linelle!

My bowl size is 29 7/16"x18 15/16"x9 1/16". Hoping it doesn't look out of place in my small kitchen. I did purchase the grid for the bottom. They also make a grid for the right side that sits about half way up (there is a built in ledge which you can sort of see in the picture) which I may decide to puchase.

I'll let you know how I like it. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Wow, what a lovely transformation! I don't recall seeing this before and it's unreal that you accomplished this for just 20K. The counters and lighting are amazing, and the cabinets are beautiful. Love the window treatment as well. Congratulations on your great kitchen!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:11PM
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By the way, I have the same Zephyr range hood that I love as I can reach the light and fan buttons despite being less than 5 feet tall. I also love the way it looks.

You did an amazing kitchen facelift!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:22PM
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I'm so glad this got a bump. It's just what I need after the collage kitchens. :)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:26PM
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Lovely kitchen Linelle. The pendants are perfect. What a treat to see your garden, so pretty and such a nice blend of color & texture.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:48AM
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Hey linelle, would you be a lamb whenever you get a chance (no rush) and measure how far down your handles are on those big drawers? Is it the same distance down from the top edge of the drawer front as the ones on the top drawers which look centered? The way you have them looks really close to what I was thinking I'd do.

I do remember this thread... how time flies. I guess I didn't notice the beautiful backsplash tile 'til this time around. Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Glad to see this thread resurrected as I missed it the first time, along with your very funny narrative. Holstein cats ... LOL. I love what you did with your kitchen!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Oh my, a stroll down memory lane. Can't believe it's been two years and the white cabs have held up great.

lynn, I love my Zephyr hood too. I think mine was less than $200 and it's got all the oomph I need for my weekly burger or occasional searing. I used to be envious of the chimney hoods, but am glad I got something relatively unobtrusive.

deedles, I sent you an email, but will repeat what I said to you here, slightly abridged:

Yes, you are correct. The top drawers are 6" high and the pulls are centered vertically at 3". The bottom (taller) drawers all have pulls at 3". Without even thinking about it I knew that's what makes sense and looks best to me. The thing is, drawers can be different heights but your hand knows exactly where to grab, based on the top of the drawer.

My backsplash has lippage. Sounds almost like an STD. You can only see the lippage when the undercab lights are on, so, I don't turn them on that often. Sigh. Other than that, I love the tile, even if it matches my cab color a bit too well.

Thanks all for your kind words.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Did you ever replace the range and DW? I am sure that many here would appreciate your updated photos, especially the Caliente stools!!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:52PM
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firsthouse, I did replace the DW with a Bosch 300 series. It's okay. Cleans well but I don't love the interior arrangement.

The Caliente stools had saddle seats. Loved the look, but HATED how the long edge cut into my thighs. Why I didn't try sitting on them BEFORE going to all the trouble of painting them is a mystery to me. So they're stashed up in the attic and I bought a new set of unfinished milking stools (rounded edge) that I painted Seattle Red.

As you can see in both pics, I still have my old stove and I'll admit I am very conflicted about replacing it. I can't explain why, but I now like it's dowdy frumpiness, esp. the riser in the back. I can't ignore the fact that it cooks just fine and hasn't caused me a single problem since I've had it (11 years).

I have a notion that I don't want to pay more than $3K for a stove. I don't need a fire-breathing dragon, in fact, I put more of a premium on burners that will do a low simmer. While my current stove isn't a beauty, neither are many of the new ones in my price range. I can't really justify paying a lot more just for looks or for features I don't need.

I wish I had continuous grates, but I'm not interested in a griddle (hello??!!) in the middle. I cook and bake and, other than LOOKS ALONE, I am kinda wondering why I need a new stove with potential headaches I keep reading about.

I am willing to listen to arguments for replacing my current stove.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:19PM
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Hi Linelle,
I am looking into doing exactly what you did with your oak cabinets, new doors and drawers and painted white. My question is concerning your old boxes. Do you notice the grain in them? I know that most is covered up with the new doors and panels, but is the grain noticeable? And does the painted oak look different (color-wise) than the painted doors?

Thank you for sharing your lovely kitchen. I'm glad to hear you are still enjoying it!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Hi Boots! No, I do not notice the grain in my old boxes. If I look closely I can see it, but the reality is I'm not standing a few inches away, so I really don't see it. And even when I do, it does not bother me at all. There really isn't too much of the old stuff that isn't covered. The color is exactly the same on the old oak, paint-grade maple (slab drawers and door surround) and MDF door centers. Exactly the same.

Camera about 3" away:

Same view, from normal edge of counter:

To the right, new door. Everything else (frame, to the left) old oak box

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:19PM
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linelle, this was awesome! I have not been here long enough to have seen this the first time around; what a treat!

Your kitchen turned out beautifully, and I would be totally conflicted about that stove, too. I love it! In our house in town we had a 40-50 year old stove that was sooo cool, with a warming drawer to the side, a little sideboard built in, and tons of character. I was sorry when it finally died and I had to get a nameless one.

Anyway, so nice to see your kitchen transformed, and share in your pleasure at a job well done.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Hi Linelle! Wondering what size (end to end) pulls you have on your pantry doors! Thank you! :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:08AM
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" I am kinda wondering why I need a new stove with potential headaches I keep reading about. "

I'd say you don't! if it works and you're ok with it, keep it! save your money in case it does die on you. I think it looks just fine. I wouldn't change it out myself.

your kit is lovely - so is your house!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:22AM
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BlackChamois, end to end the pulls are 5 inches. I have them throughout my kitchen, except for knobs on a couple of upper cabinets. I really love the pulls from Top Knobs and considered getting them for my bathroom vanity, but decided to avoid the mixing-metal issue and went with glass knobs instead.

One thing surprised me. I have always thought I had the smaller pull and marveled that it was so roomy for my hand. Then I took one off to see how it would look in my bathroom and realized it was the larger size. The visible screws are faux and the actual ones come from behind, underneath where the pull rises from the back. I have a sample of this pull in flat black and satin nickel. The one in my kitchen is antique pewter and it coordinates with stainless and black.

DesertSteph, thanks for the compliments! Seriously, after reading about some recent stove problems (the Blue Star and the scorched cabinet door!!!), I'm a lot more appreciative of my humble white Kenmore. There isn't anything in my cooking repertoire that it can't do. One day it may conk out, and then I'll have to replace it. Until then, I'm good with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Top Knob cabinet pull

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Wonderful Linelle! Love how your counters and cabinets look with the wood floor. The window area feels so much more spacious and open...I always think it is so important to have "breathing room" in that area.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Haven't read all the comments in depth (this thread is getting long!), but wanted to say the kitchen looks great. I lived in Sonoma County and both of my sons were born there. I am a white kitchen person, but the closest to a white kitchen I had there was natural maple with white appliances.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 1:45PM
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Thanks feisty and lascatx!!! This is an old thread, but it's nice to hear from folks anyway.

We lived in Sebastopol for 16 years, and now I've been in Santa Rosa for 15. It took me many years to get over missing Sebastopol, and I'm happy to be in SR. I don't know anyone with a white kitchen plus dark counters. I'm neither trendy nor dated because nobody seems to even acknowledge that it's a certain look. It's funny, because we are not in a sleepy backwater town. I just don't think cutting edge is a priority in this laid-back area. Suits me fine.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Thanks Linelle! I have a single pantry door that measures 68" tall with a rail in the middle. I am debating between an 8.5" pull or 6.5" (end to end). I think either would work scale-wise, but I fear that the larger one will look too heavy duty and more like an appliance pull.

I am using the Amerock Highland Ridge in PN.

I am coming into the home stretch and will be posting pics in the next few weeks. Yay!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Hi Linelle, I missed this the first time around, so glad to view your lovely white cloud kitchen. I too am doing a basic white cloud kitchen, along with another colour. Love the look. I also love your red stools. I am replacing a 30 + old stove and have feelings of trepidation that it won't even last 10 years. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Linelle, I had to look at your kitchen again. I really love the BM White Cloud painted doors chosen! I already commented above about how wonderful your kitchen looks but I had to look at your counters again and your hardware. You did an amazing updating job. Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 11:22PM
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