The journey begins - updating a 2001 kitchen

marcojohnsonJune 18, 2014

Thanks to everyone here for some great advice and ideas - you have no idea how helpful this has been :)

The folks who built our loft in 2001 did some very odd things- an expensive Thermador range and GE Monogram built-in fridge ... with "builder basic" cabinets. They also did a stainless steel floor and a range vent that exhausts into the cabinet (and nowhere else!). For such an expansive and open loft space, the kitchen becomes a dark corner with the dark granite and cabinets.

It was definitely "move-in ready" when we bought in late 2012, so we decided to live in it for a year or so before making major changes.

We're about 2 weeks out form demo - here's the "before" and what the plan looks like.

It's not a major rebuild - it's a 9x13 open kitchen that flows into a massive open space (loft) - but it's definitely feeling ($$) like a major rebuild! We will swap the stove & fridge positions, push the island out so that 2 people can actually be in the galley at once, and replacing the 13-year old appliances, cabs, counter (a little dated blue pearl) and stainless steel floor.

I'll post on the progress - and probably be asking more ?s along the way :)

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ChrisInSD

It is hard to see those photos. But I like what I can see!--it's nice to see another person who appreciates contemporary style on GW. We are a very small minority.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:11PM
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marcojohnson

ChrisInSD- we're also in SD- University Heights :) Contemporary was the only choice for our modern space!

I could only post 1 pic so I put them all together- sorry :) will do individual ones as we progress. I wish my designer had better 3D renderings!

Here's a bigger shot of the "before"

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Fori is not pleased

I would love to see a closeup of your stainless steel floor. That boggles the mind. :)

The photos are too tiny but I'm pretty sure I approve! What are you using the green for (and what material is it? Looks like what we wanted for our island countertop but we couldn't find the perfect shade of GREEN.)?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:19PM
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marcojohnson

...and the materials

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:21PM
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sjhockeyfan325

That's so funny - all this time I thought "ChrisinSD" was from South Dakota :-)

We also live in an industrial loft condo (concrete ceilings and columns, and some walls), and went with a very contemporary style kitchen. (By the way, the "SJ in my name refers to San Jose, CA, but we actually live in San Francisco).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:21PM
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ChrisInSD

LOL Marco--the temporary rental we are living in currently is in University Heights while our North Clairemont home is gutted and redone. Lived in Hillcrest before buying the Clairemont house so familiar with the area ;)

The green will go nice with those hip barstools--we are doing an Orange front door.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:23PM
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ChrisInSD

SJ--I had front row tix to the Sharks a couple of months ago at the SAP Center--was awesome.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:24PM
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marcojohnson

I'm assuming SD = San Diego - sorry, Chris if I'm wrong :)

I'll get a shot of the stainless steel and post... it sounded interesting when we were looking at the place ... and it's really easy to clean. The problem is you have to clean it CONSTANTLY. We put a cushy mat over it for the time being!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:24PM
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nosoccermom

I like what I see and am looking forward to following your progress. My only suggestion is to look into backpainted glass for the backsplash. I think it would look awesome and it's very practical.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:24PM
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marcojohnson

nosoccermom - totally on that page - the backsplash is back-painted glass. We looked high and low and the only one that we absolutely loved was this one. It's got a larger scale (we're going up one wall to 9' with it!) and didn't look overwhelmingly busy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Backsplash Tile

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:28PM
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marcojohnson

fori - it's Vibrant Green from Formica - matches well with LeCreuset Kiwi Green which is the overall accent color we're keying off.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:31PM
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nosoccermom

Actually, I was thinking not about tile but sheets of backpainted glass. Friends of mine had it installed recently, and they love it. It is easy to take care of, no grout lines, and it looks great in a modern kitchen.
You can get it in any color or also patterns.

Modern Kitchen by Austin Architects & Building Designers Webber + Studio, Architects

Modern Kitchen by Oakland General Contractors Mueller Nicholls Cabinets and Construction


And if you're really on the cutting edge, look into digitally backPRINTED backsplashes.

Here is a link that might be useful: digitally backprinted glass

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:39PM
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ChrisInSD

nosoccermom -- I absolutely love that first photo. 2nd photo will be more my setup where I could use this.

I don't think it would work well, however, as I've got vaulted ceilings on that wall.

But I think this is really cool....maybe for my wetbar--where can you get this stuff? Don't really care about the printing w/patterns.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Gooster

We're updating our 1996 era loft in SF as well... I can completely sympathize with odd builder choices. Our layout is a bit similar, with a low ceiling part and a high ceiling part (no island, so smaller). Plus no ventilation -- what is up with that! I can't imagine how a Thermador is with just a recirculating vent.

Is that a door to the left of the new stove location or a window? Are you moving it for the ventilation? What is the cabinet lineup like on the island? I don't see too many drawers.

not to hijack, but sjhockeyfan, which company does the backpainted glass and is it pricey?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 5:47PM
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marcojohnson

nosoccermom- love the idea of glass - we were going to use it on the wall next to the stove, but changed our minds and went with a lighter shade of the floor tile (would have been too much competition with the same backsplash glass tile on 2 large walls). That combo actually really looks slick.

gooster - the door to the left is actually a 160" closet - divided into 3 sections - pantry (closest to kitchen), water heater + storage, and laundry. We just replaced the ugly (hideous, disgusting, awful, use any pejorative you like, we have used them all!) bi-fold doors with a sleek 4-door Sliding Door Company system.

The drawers are going to be pretty plentiful - we currently have 8 in total - and will have 12 when completed (6 on the island). We have another large storage unit just outside of the picture to the right of where the new fridge will be - a large PAX wardrobe converted for kitchen use - it holds a lot of the small appliances, cookery, & gadgets).

The wall behind the stove is an outside wall, so we're venting out there from the new range hood. As much as everyone raves about Thermador, the cook in my house wants the standard size double-oven (one small, one large).

PS- the venting inthe current set-up isn't just recirculating ... it vents INTO the cabinet above and that's where it ends (!!!). We've been discovering all kinds of "shortcuts" as we update things here!

This post was edited by marcojohnson on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 18:28

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:20PM
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nosoccermom

ChrisinSD an dgooster, google backpainted glass backsplash and gardenweb, or just backpainted glass backsplash. Depending on where you live, it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. Some people even do it themselves. I think Pal may have done it. I'd look at local glas scompanies that sell tempered glass or starfire.
You can even order cut tempered glass online and have it delivered with the outlets precut.
Or google backpainted glass backsplash and Houzz.

Here is a link that might be useful: here's a price given

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:15PM
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Gooster

marcojohnson: those new doors are a huge improvement. We have a branch of that company nearby, and I keep meaning to check them out. I need new closet doors -- the original builder ones I think were even worse (although cathedral raised panel in a modern loft doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:46PM
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ChrisInSD

Nosoccermom--thanks. I will check with our glass guy doing the fireplace mantle, wet bar shelves, and shower glass doors.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:15PM
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greenhaven

Congrats! It will be difficult at times; just remember to breathe and keep moving!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:22PM
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schicksal

marcojohnson - can you describe the sliding door frame? That's exactly what I'm looking for for our pantry but with three panes. The hardwood is already in and I'd prefer something that only has a track on the side/top (nothing on the floor) but at this point will take about anything I can get.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:56PM
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marcojohnson

schicksal - it's from Sliding Door Company. They custom build it - from size to number of panes to materials - tons of options. Their claim to fame is that the weight is on the bottom track and the guides are on the top - versus most systems which hang from the top (and that's also where they fail). These bad boys are smooth as silk. We went with an opaque white with white frame, simple without mullions. The added bonus is that while opaque (you can't see the pantry, laundry, or water heater at all) they do let light softly glow through - so I'm going to have some fun with some LED lighting now :)

Here's their website and they also have a 'build' function where you can see how 2, 3, or 4 panes would look, along with color and mullion options.They are _not_ inexpensive by any stretch (the 4 door solution we did - 82' x 155'- was just shy of $4k), but all of the research I did came up that they were the best choice for us.

http://www.slidingdoorco.com/design-your-own/residential/index.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Sliding Door Company website

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 4:38PM
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schicksal

I've played around with their site some - I think it was the one where I could build one with three panes / two tracks (all doors could not be far left/right at the same time). I'm sure there would be a way one with three tracks though.

I also owe you a HUGE thanks for the numbers so I can sort of get a ballpark figure at least for 'ours would probably cost less than...' Does that include shipping? Does it arrive all in one unit or is there some assembly required, such as putting together the perimeter frame? I'm more concerned about quality and the overall appearance than anything else, and am just thinking about what to expect.

Thank again!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:48AM
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marcojohnson

schicksal- glad to share & help :)

That figure was all-in, including taxes, delivered, & installed (approx. $550 for install). 2 tracks, no handles, slim frame, soft-close on both ends, "park" (holds door in place, but doesn't lock it in place) for the 2 middle doors. I'm kicking myself for not putting handles in on the 2 outside doors (the handles are inset and don't interfere with the other doors).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:39PM
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marcojohnson

Just spend 2 hours with kitchen contractor, schedule is all set ... should have everything done by early August (!!). Now the real fun begins, demo starts on 7/3!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:41PM
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marcojohnson

Fori - sorry this took me to long. Here's the #(@&$# stainless floor. I've already put the ugly bi-fold doors in the "bonfire" pile, and would gladly add these, but I don't think they will burn well :)

Stainless floor ... who'd ever have thought. Oh, right, NOBODY who is sane. What were the previous owners thinking? These are easy to clean... which is good, because you are cleaning them multiple times each day. They dent, they show every smudgy and print ... just ... wow. Will be glad to be rid of it! In the interim, about 8 months ago, I got a giant size cushy-gel-mat to put over the steel!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:18PM
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schicksal

Thanks, I'll have to send them a note today. I'm a bit burned out from contacting places about pantry doors because nobody has the time to write back. Their nearest location is a mere 10 hours from here so I'm fully prepared to DIY the install. It won't be the most difficult part of rebuilding this place by a long shot.

I'm with you about the stainless on the floor. That is NUTS! Also looking forward to seeing the backpainted glass and how some of your other choices come out looking.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 7:25AM
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Gooster

@marcojohnson: thanks as well for sharing the details on the doors. We're looking to update a closet and the odd shape is forcing us into custom

Stainless on the floor is just inexplicable. It must be coated with an anti slip and anti static coating, I am guessing.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 7:38PM
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marcojohnson

So here was last night before demo

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:50PM
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marcojohnson

... and we're off!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:51PM
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jennifer132

Still can't get over those ss floors!

You must be excited. Keep us updated. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:09PM
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schicksal

It's like someone came in and stole everything! Hope you were able to get a little cash back for the old appliances.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 8:45AM
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marcojohnson

I thought about trying to sell the oven, but alas it started acting up last week (top worked, oven didn't) ... so rather than deal with the repair or craigslist nightmare, I let my contractor have it. Hoping he will be kind to me when I add some more drywall work now :)

Fridge is also is not great shape - doesn't hold temp in the freezer now ... so that goes with the appliance guys when they bring in the new. Dishwasher is just old, so no loss there. We are reusing the compactor (can't justify buying a new one and this one works well).

What fun !

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 1:56PM
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nosoccermom

i can't remember whether you posted about your backsplash --- can't find the thread anymore either.

Here's another option, i.e. to end your run with a counter to ceiling or cabinet high shelf (or maybe even a narrow cabinet). This would create a natural end and you could use tile or whatever as BS.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:22AM
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marcojohnson

Here's my demolition process ... just add "Benny Hill" theme music :) Warning: it's about 17Mb

Here is a link that might be useful: Demolition - 8 hours in 23 seconds!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:22PM
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ChrisInSD

Nice clean work they did. What was wrong with that nice GE Monogram refrigerator and that range again?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:49PM
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marcojohnson

Chris - the range is 36" wide and we want to go 30" with a double oven ... plus it wasn't well cared for (griddle is rusted to hell and now the oven is not working - estimate to fix, close to the cost of the new LG range!). The fridge is 19cu ft - we need a minimum of 25 to be functional - we're getting 28. Swapping fridge and range locations so that the new range is actually vented out through the exterior wall, not just up into a cabinet!.

The contractors were AWESOME. Everyone I've dealt with so far - demo, plaster, designer, owner - has been a total dream to work with. I'll write up an official recommendation when it's all done :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:31PM
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ChrisInSD

Got it. They look prettier in small photos :)

Glad you are pleased with your contractors!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:46PM
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marcojohnson

We're at the 1/2 way point ... cabinets have arrived and appliances come tomorrow!

The cabs are EXACTLY what I hoped for. Cannot wait to see them up... I'm going nuts looking at all the boxes :)

And ... only one prob ... 30" microwave shelf came in when we had ordered 24" ... oops. Hopefully they can get the replacement expedited and in before the countertop goes down!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:00PM
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marcojohnson

S-L-O-W progress ... lowers are done, just need to get the appliances in place and all of the uppers installed. Countertop is templated - next Friday it gets installed, then we start on the backsplash, then add hood & shelves!

**MAYBE** a little over 2.5 weeks to go? Demo started on July 3, and we look to be mostly on schedule for being "done" on August 8, a total construction (mayhem) time of 5 weeks.

We've only had one bug hiccup so far - my cabinet guy ordered a 30" wide microwave shelf for a 24" drawer microwave -- oops. That won't arrive until August 28 so we'll likely have the MW in place on a tiny table until it's permanent home arrives.

The two little ones were a dent in the door (Sears was out in 2 days to swap the door - after trying like heck to get me to keep it as is for $180 -- are you kidding me??!) and the super-adhesive used on the old floor that took an extra day to get up!

After almost a month of this ... I'm so ready to be done. Patience is definitely starting to wear thin ... but I'm starting to see a real kitchen developing!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:13PM
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schicksal

Looking great! I can start to see the new layout a bit.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:25AM
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marcojohnson

a little more progress! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel finally!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:03PM
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schicksal

Cool! I'm curious about how the floor tile turns out with the cabinets. Also jealous of the doors because I'm having a hard time getting in touch with Sliding Door Company.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:01AM
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greenhaven

It's is totally getting there, how exciting!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:35AM
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marcojohnson

We're getting there ... countertop is in!!!

Now as we start putting appliances in place, we are discovering that the range door is hitting the drawers... and the drawers are hitting the microwave drawer.

I have a sinking feeling we need another .25"-.5" and it just isn't there. Meeting w/cabinet guy tomorrow to figure it out. He messed up the microwave drawer cab (ordered 30 when it should have been 24) and that won't be here until 8/28, but now I fear the other cab next to the range on that wall also needs to be reordered -.5".

Oh what fun ...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:19AM
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