Finished Finished! Rancher Remodel, dark to light! (tons pix)

firstmmoJune 28, 2010

We are done, we are moved in.....after 17mos living with my mom and enduring living out of cardboard boxes! Love love love my new kitchen!! Thank you to all of you who deeply inspired me (redroze,elizpiz,rm,theanimala,segbrown,many many more!), and I hope you don't mind that there's a piece of each of your kitchens that I copied because I admired it so much. I learned so much by lurking, reading everything then finally posting.


--Our cabinets were so reasonable and they work beautifully. We LOVE Precision Cabinets! Their install was immaculate and perfect. When we had a glitch with the warming drawer, they fixed it perfectly! While I couldn't afford every "bell & whistle" inside the cabinets, I love them.

--White Princess honed. It's gorgeous and I no longer have the OCD urge to constantly wipe my counters (our old granite was polished). I also love my backsplash done in the same material--I am attracted to visual simplicity so couldn't pick a tile :)

--Cheap dishwasher. Paid $500 and we love it.

--Deep cheap sinks. Our main Ebay sink is awesome($500)! Love the 10" big single bowl. The island sink was cheap too, and is the perfect size, $150.

--White everywhere and one big room. Not for everyone, but my DH and I love the big open light-filled room. Far cry from the dark rancher that it was. We tore down two walls and raised the ceiling.

--The soapstone buffet. It was a remnant piece and I love that it doesn't match the rest of the kitchen. Sets it apart and boy does the texture feel nice!

--The papertowel niche. Not important, but I like that the towels are off my counter and totally accessible.

--The two hidden cabinets in the island near the stools. All my Xmas dishes, Thanksgiving platters and everything fit in here!


--The Vent Hood: Modernaire was a NIGHTMARE to deal with here in the NorCal area. You have to go through a distributor who will upcharge you $2,000 to order a hood. Modernaire won't sell directly to anyone who is in the area of one of their distributors. The rep here was a complete idiot, ripped me off and in the end didn't deliver what I had ordered. I had to then hire someone else to fix the goofs. Not worth it!

--Order our range through AJ Madison. Total pain to get this stove delivered. The rest of our appliances came without a hitch but the delivery of the range was a disaster. They refused to deliver it until we had a concrete pathway, but our city had some issues with solid pathways and the runoff, etc. Had 4 delivery dates and they turned around each time and refused to bring it in the house. In the end I would have purchased this through our local store (there was no discount on this by buying on internet, unlike the other appliances).


--Help me pick kitchen table chairs! Those pictured are folding chairs for holidays. Our old ones were falling apart, so we ditched them in the move. What should I put there?

--Shades ordered and we are waiting for them to come and be hung.

--The stools (CB2 Vapor) are too tall and we need to have the legs cut down. They only come in 30" or 24" and one is too tall and the other is too short. Sigh.


CabinetryPrecision Cabinets, Brentwood, CA; painted in stock color which matches Simply White

WallsÂBM Simply White

Kitchen CountersÂWhite Princess granite, from DaVinci Marble & Stone in San Carlos, CA, with 2.25" mitred square edge

Buffet CounterÂBrazilian Black soapstone from Texeira, SF, with no edge finish

Door and Drawer PullsÂTop Knobs, Square Pulls, Polished Chrome; ordered off the internet

Main SinkÂEbay purchase 36" SS Farmhouse w/apron front , single bowl, flushmount

Island SinkÂDawn 19X17 single bowl, undermount

Main FaucetÂBlanco Meridien Semi-Professional in Brushed

Island FaucetÂSantec Penza pull out in Brushed

RefrigeratorÂElectrolux WaveTouch; ordered off

DishwasherÂWhirlpool Gold Quiet Partner III; ordered from AJ Madison

Microwave DrawerÂSharp 24"; ordered from AJ Madison

RangeÂViking Range w/6 burners and griddle; ordered from AJ Madison

Hood Modernaire custom hood

Trash CompactorÂGE Profile in SS; ordered from AJ Madison

Warming DrawerÂKitchenaid Architect Series II; ordered off; panel from cabinet co.

BacksplashÂWhite Princess granite


Flooring-DuChateau pre-engineered floors in Lugano

Big Slider DoorÂCustom made 10Â bypass doors by McFarland Doors, w/custom screen

Island PendantsÂHudson Valley Pelham 13" ordered from Butler Lighting

Breakfast Table PendantÂRound 26" linen chandelier by Restoration Hardware

Buffet SconcesÂBoston Library Sconces by


Family room:


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Ah la la, that is a gorgeous kitchen! I LOVE LOVE the thick counters and the island is stunning with those stools/hardware. Great job!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:53PM
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AMAZING transformation! you must be so happy! i'm loving the marble and the color and the pendants too. what wonderful choices! i want to use slabs for my backsplash as well, but having trouble with an end wall on the other side of a right hand window. the cabs end and i don't know what to do there... would you mind showing a pic where yours stops? ...when (and if) you get a chance. i know you must be busy moving back in. once again, i love it and i'm so happy to see it! good luck!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Wonderful job! What a great transformation - Congrats & Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:56PM
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Wow!!! It looks fantastic. Well done!!!

If I may ask: Where did you get your under counter lights and electrical sockets and what type of finish is on your floors?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:57PM
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oh, and i forgot to mention: i LOVE the artwork it yours? and i really like the table. i would keep it and maybe find chairs in a different (maybe painted) finish.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:58PM
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There are so many things to love about this kitchen! I registered here at GW just so I could comment on this thread. May I ask where you got your mug tree?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:34PM
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Beautiful! I can't believe that is the same space. It feels so light and airy and spacious. I love how cohesive everything is. I have to hand it to you for making it 17 months in temporary quarters. We just spent 8 months in a rental, and we were just talking about how we felt like we lost 8 months of our lives in there. It's not like life stood still. We are a very active family, but mentally, it was like we were stuck in a rut for 8 months. Not sure if you felt that way, but when we moved into our house, it was like a weight had been lifted and we could move forward. Ok, may be I exaggerate a little, but it's not too far from the truth! Anyway, congratulations on a gorgeous home. Hopefully, we'll get to see some more of it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:54PM
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WOW! I'm moving to North Carolina ASAP so I can live in your house.

Love love love the colors. That granite is gorgeous. And the floors - the whole think is just awesome.

I also got the paper towel niche idea from here and put it into our island.

My old ranch kitchen had that same yellow vinyl!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:54PM
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Absolutely gorgeous! Love how open and light!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:54PM
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laura mcleod

Love, love love your kitchen! I too an a white devotee and breathed a total sigh of contentment when I saw your kitchen - bright, airy and functional - gorgeous!

I do have to ask about the vapor chairs - we have some on order, I assumed the 24 in counter height would work but I guess not? Yikes, what's the scoop with that? - I do not relish shipping those bad boys back..

Thanks so much for sharing - your space is amazing!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:56PM
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It is all Gorgeous! I love your is just the right touch. Enjoy to the max

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:01PM
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First of all, your original kitchen was HYSTERICALLY cute. But I understand why you would want to remodel. LOL.

This is officially one of my favorite kitchens. Totally magazine-worthy. Many many things to love but have to say the flooring is def one of them. Totally California feeling!

Remodel looks like a million bucks....dying to know what it actually cost ;)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Great job! I grew up in CA. Sooooo familiar with dark ranch houses. Yours looks so open and airy, just lovely.

I lived in Brentwood for 3 years just before moving to TX. It's great to see locally made quality cabinets. Where abouts are you located? In Contra Costa County?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:03PM
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I've been reading your posts and I am SOOOOO happy that you have just about completed this journey. You have created such a beautiful, functional space. It is LOVELY! I love the paper towel niche, the cubby by your super susan, the lights -- and the folding chairs -- if you wouldn't have pointed them out I wouldn't have noticed. Wonderful job.

Bon Appetit!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:24PM
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I have "vertical cupboard paired with blind corner treatment" envy. Good job on lots and lots of small but important features.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:33PM
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Fabulous! Fabulous! You know from previous posts how much I appreciate and enjoy your design aesthetic. You've done a great job pulling together all the elements in your kitchen. Looks like a wonderful space to cook in and hang out in. I too love the art work!! Congratulations and enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:34PM
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My mouth is hanging open and I'm speechless. Very amazingly gorgeous. I'm still going back and forth poring over the pictures.

Love the island design...almost teared up over the paper towel niche...So simple, but so clever, and why didn't I think of it?! Love the thick counters, and the soapstone 'surprise' on the side niche with the great painting. The granite is wonderful, and I like the table, including the funky little chairs. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:43PM
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Whimpering cause its soo good and I so love it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:03PM
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There is this feeling you get when you see someone skilled do a job and it looks easy, but you know it isn't.
Your kitchen has this open, clean, simple feel to it, but you can also can tell it was well planned and well executed.
I especially love the openness and light. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:19PM
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Simply elegant!!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Absolutely fanTAStic! Holy Moly!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:46PM
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firsthouse, I know I already commented, but you've got me thinking where I can put a paper towel niche in my kitchen. What kind of hardware was used to hold the roll?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:48PM
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You're pretty much gonna feel like you're on vacation every day in that new kitchen! Everything works so well together. It's airy and light, traditional yet modern. Looks like it's been there forever yet is fresh and clean and new. Gorgeous job!

LOVE the paper towel niche! Brilliant.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:02PM
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    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:31PM
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Fantastic ... I can't believe it's the same space!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:47PM
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Oh wow! It's SO perfect! I live in the NE and this space, to me, is so classy-cool-California! If I didn't know better, I would think I was looking at a magazine spread of an interior designer's kitchen. Beautiful job! Enjoy every moment in your absolutely gorgeous space!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Wow, now you have an absolutely gorgeous kitchen to go along with your absolutely gorgeous(even if it is unfinished) dining room. I can't wait to see the rest of your house!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:23PM
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You did a great job! Wow, love it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Thank you so much for all the nice comments! So many of you who posted are people who I recognize and admire your talents. You each offer so much to all of us, so positive comments from you feel like pats on the back from "professionals" :)

Sandca: The undercounterlights are from my electrician so I dont know what brand they are. The outlets are plugmold. The floors are a pre-engineered tye by DuChateau Hardwood Floors. The color is called Lugano in White Oak.

Kate: I will post some pics of the counter end. The backsplash is in line with the upper cabs. The counter sticks out a 1". The artwork is by Jessica Martin who exhibits at Hang Art SF, a place where emerging artists sell their work.

Eieio: The mug tree is a replica of an antique French bottle dryer. You can purchase them occasionally on eBay. It was a gift from my four best friends and I just love it!

Karenbelle: We are the ranch remodelers! I am finally donewhew!

GoBruno: I want to see the rest of your gorgeous house. I saw some pics, but keep posting as you progress. I love all your light fixtures! The "temporary" housing was indeed challenging for me and my DH. The three kids loved being at Grandmas house. I cant believe we slept on a sofa bed for thatlongbig mistake not moving our bed in. One of my kids slept smack dab in the middle of the office. A memory that will stay with us!

Laurainlincoln: I am not sure whether its my thick edge or the height of my counters 27", but the chairs are about 3"-4" too tall. Our legs are squeezed! Good Luck with your chairs!

Kathec: We are on the Peninsula, so not in Contra Costa but the cabinetsmakers were 2 hour drivewell worth it. They were half what others quoted!

Rjr: I love YOUR kitchen! Are you now totally done?

Re: paper towel is 10" deep by 9" tall and 15" wide. It actually didnt have to have quite that big of a space. It functions just like installing a removable shower curtain rod or closet rod. One end has a half moon cup to hold the roller and the other end has a rod socket.

Thank you all to everyone who posted....very nice to see that. I put so much into this and sometimes it was so frustrating and hard (especially when I wanted the Bosch dishwasher and the Subzero refrige and all the cool things in each of your cabinets!), but the positive comments make me feel so good!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Beautiful - love going back (over and over) and looking at all the wonderful details.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Oooh, this was worth the wait! You were so helpful when I agonized over finding my own granite last fall, and with your quartzite, it's the perfect look of marble without being marble. The soapstone is great. I love how clean and crisp everything looks.

You and your family deserve many wonderful years in that kitchen! Well done.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:18PM
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Firsthouse - You really had some vision when you bought your place. Many could not see what your home could become when looking at the before photos - really beautiful. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:11PM
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LOVE IT!!!!!! Love the airy spaciousness, love the soapstone-topped buffet, LOVE the painting, and, heck--what's not to love?!?!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:18PM
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Oh my! What a difference! LOVE IT! So many cabinets/drawers! The chairs actually look great there and I really like that picture. That kitchen belongs in a magazine...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:42PM
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magnificent. it seems to be airy, light, serene, elegant .. I could go on.
Have not seen that paper towel idea before but love it.
Love the whole feel of the space. ALl I can add is welcome home and enjoy

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:10PM
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Wow, oh Wow, Wow! What a BEAUTIFUL kitchen! I think I remember seeing pictures earlier and being in awe and wondering how it would all turn out. Your kitchen and family room are stunning! I can't believe the transformation. I've gone back and looked at the before & after pictures several times! Congratulations on a wonderful renovation. It's gorgeous!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:32PM
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Love it! I know the hood was a pain, but it makes the space. I decided against moderne aire b/c I didn't want to to deal with it. Our layouts are virtually identical- how's it working out for you?

Also, whay size is your dining table? And your island. Our island is 8' and I want to buy an 8' table and I'm wondering if that would work?

Love the art work too.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Wow...that is spectacular. I love the openness of it too. Mostly love the white cabinets and your beautiful counter tops. Even through your range hood was a pain, it turned out really great and is a fabulous focal point. CONGRATULATIONS :-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:03AM
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firsthouse, I'm speechless! I've been so anxious to see your finished kitchen and you sure didn't disappoint! Wow, it is absolutely amazing. The transformation is just incredible. Magazine worthy indeed - it must be a joy to work in. I just love the ceilings, the counters (of course), the sink, the stools, I adore the painting, I could go on. Congratulations and enjoy that luscious kitchen in good health!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:13AM
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I cannot believe the transformation! It is amazing! Such a serene and beautiful, at the same time inviting space!

Did you say your entire house pictures are ready for viewing? I'd love to take a look.

Congratulations and enjoy!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:32AM
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Here's the end of the backsplash and cab. You can either make the backsplash end with the cabs or with the counters. I chose to keep it in line with the cabs, but jut out the counter.

pps: The island is 9' long and the table is 8' long. We are loving the big island and the prep area! We have 4 or 3 ft as aisles and really love that wide aisle too.
Sochi: I admire so many things about kitchen. Your nice words really resonate with me! I love your style and everything in both your old kitchen and your new one. Have you decided on a backsplash?

I posted on the Bathroom forum for one of the baths, search "gray and white".

Here's a few other pics:
Before, living room:

Before dining room:


My DD bathroom:


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:47AM
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THANK YOU so much for posting! i was seriously stressing over the backsplash! i like the way the end with the uppers. i won't have uppers in that area so i'll just stop at the counter. you've really helped clear my head over this one!

the transformation of your home is stunning. what a fabulous job! your dd has a great bathroom (oh. my. GOD ...the counters! SO MUCH SPACE!)

enjoy your brand new home and thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:46AM
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Your kitchen is beautiful, as is the transformation of the rest of the house. But, what I appreciate most is that you support local artists and that the artwork is part of the design.
I say you can use an amazing piece of art in your dining room!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:06AM
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Did you tile directly over the brick on the fireplace? What did you do about the brick on the floor? Did you use the same tile or possibly a slab of something else?


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:23AM
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Holy Cow! That is unbelievable. I love your entire space. You are after my decorating heart.

I was looking at your before pictures, thinking to myself "oh those cabinets, I had them in my last house but these have yellow, mine had metallic gold paint (yeah, imagine that)...." scrolling scrolling and then BAM! I thought for sure that was an inspiration photo!!! It's your kitchen! It is fantastic and it has taken my breath away.

Congratulations, I need to now go and read the details. You need to call a local magazine and get them in there to feature your space. This is good stuff.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:05AM
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Wow! I love everything about your kitchen! We Re building our house now and I will have a very nice kitchen, but nowhere near the space that you have. Everything is GORGEOUS!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:22AM
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firsthouse - what an AMAZING job you have done!!! Your kitchen is spectacular and I love your bathrooms!! It must feel so great to be done - I can't wait until I'm at that point with our ranch remodel... enjoy!!!

Would you mind sharing the dimensions/layout of your DD's bathroom? I love how you incorporated the wrap around vanity with just one sink as opposed to keeping it a traditional double sink along the far wall... I believe I have a similar sized bathroom that we've been trying to figure out how to lay it out... thanks!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:48AM
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WOW! What an amazing transformation! Your new kitchen is absolutely and completely stunning! I absolutely love your selection of White Princess and the slab backsplash is amazing. Really, all of the elements in the kitchen just sing together. Love the crispness and elegance. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible kitchen (and more).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Nice work (... and those before pictures are oddly comforting. I feel as if I've been transported in some sort of time machine.)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:09AM
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Wow...It doesn't look like the same house. It's beautiful and should be in a magazine!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Beautiful job. I too have an L shaped counter in my bath and only put one sink in as I would rather have more vanity space. Can you tell me what gray you used on the dining room wall? It's beautiful!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Your kitchen is great, really like the stools. Must comment on the dining room, WOW.

Have to ask...what did you do with the autumn leave thing that was on your fireplace? Its kinda of cool for those of us who are into autumn leaves.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:35AM
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What a transformation! I love the granite countertops! So thick & luxurious! And classic cabinets & colors ! Wow! Great job on your remodel. I'm always so impressed with everyone's abilities on here.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:21PM
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I've been lurking occasionally on this forum, but I couldn't pass up the chance to comment on your beautiful kitchen! Thanks for posting so much detailed information!

I am planning my kitchen remodel that will start early next year, and the details are so helpful! I hope more folks will follow your lead.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:23PM
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I see I won't be the first one to use the word "transformation" - but that is what you've done, truly transformed that house! You have great taste and you must also have a great eye for potential because lots of people wouldn't have had that vision upon first seeing the house.

I hope you get to be on a house tour because people would love to see what you have done.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:30PM
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This is so beautiful. Your island is 9' long. How wide is it?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:19PM
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Love, love, love your house. I would like a chandelier like the one in your dining room. Did you purchase it from a web site? Do you know the manufacturer's name or the name and model number?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:29PM
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WOW WOW WOW!!! THere is no way that can be the same house!!! The transformation is unbelievable!! Great joB!!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:32PM
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wow that is an AMAZING TRANSFORMATION! Unbelievable! Beautiful! My jaw was literally on the ground when looking through the pics the first time. Lovely!!

I could see some sort of black (farmhousey) looking chairs around your dining room table. Still thinking about your kitchen. Perhaps something with a little chrome..... Love the mix of rustic and modern.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Excuse me for a minute firsthouse...just had to pick up my jaw up from the floor. WHAT A STUNNER!!! Your kitchen is right up my alley as I love the dramatic white cabinets, gorgeous granite (unlike any I've ever seen) and lime green accents. Love the painting, makes me crave some gorgeous original art myself. The clear barstools are perfection. What a harmonious pairing between traditional and modern elements. What a beautiful transformation. Enjoy it!!!

Your kitchen and walls are proof that white can never be boring.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:10PM
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It's beautiful, you must be so proud!

Scrolling through the pictures, it seriously looks like a magazine spread.
LOVE your doors going outside, they are so awesome and unique.
Congrats, and enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:39PM
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What a beautiful new space you have! You had terrificly brilliant vision in creating this awesome transformation. I love all the natural lighting. I love the island. I love that gorgeous work of art. Wow. What a wonderful place you've made for your family. I am fascinated to know what your original floor plan was and how you changed the space exactly. Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:41PM
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It's looks like everything has already been said, so I'll just say "great job!" Enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:50PM
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I love everything you did. I'm so envious of a 36" sink - droooooooll......

For me the perfect touch is the thickness of your countertop. It's amazing what a difference that makes in the luxurious, upscale feel of the marble. Which, BTW, is also stunning!

A great job, one of the finest kitchens I've ever seen. Pls do put this in the Finished Kitchen Blog, it's a masterpiece of elegant design.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 4:58PM
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That was certainly worth the wait! Absolutely perfect. I know you're sitting in there for no reason;-)I do it, too.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:36PM
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OK, this happens every time I turn my back for a few days... a favorite kitchen I have been following makes its official debut! I saw the title first and then looked at the name and was floored; I had no idea you were so close to being done!

I just can't find words adequate to fit... it is just beautiful, amazing, stunning, fabulous. I could never get a sense of where everything was whenever you posted pictures, so I'm glad to see the whole thing together now, as well as all your other rooms. Amazing transformation through the whole house! I'd say you've achieved your farmhouse modern... maybe even kicked it up a notch. We'll have to come up with an entirely new moniker for yours... Firsthouse modern, perhaps.

(Can I tease you for a second about the almost-empty paper towel roll put in backwards on the holder in your jealousy-inducing niche? Sorry... I look at details. That picture was so well staged, perfect lighting and everything, and the towel roll just added a touch of true-to-life whimsy... I was delighted when I saw it! OK, I saw in your other pics that you just put the roll on that way... to me it's backwards, but I guess it's whatever you're used to.) : )

My favorite part is the section where you have that great art piece flanked by the tall cabinets. The art really makes that space the way it fills the wall. And your photos look professional. Can you share what settings you used? (My manual setting usually makes my pictures look blue so maybe I need to adjust the white balance... still learning.) I also love the floor and the two different floors at the front of the house; and the elegant simplicity of the dining room.

Have you shown your real estate agent yet? She might insist on a higher fee!

You will be a tough act to follow but I am so very happy for you! Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Unbelievably gorgeous!!! I love everything about your kitchen! Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Ok no editing here - I'll just say the first thing that came to mind


1st house????????


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:55PM
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BTW, I love how you used the leftover counter from this kitchen project for your son's bathroom (now posted in the Bathroom Forum, for those who haven't seen it yet). Wonderful job again, what a change from the yellow horror it was before!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Absolutely breathtaking! I love the clean simple style, the balance, the flow, the airiness. It could not have been done better.

Here's my idea for chairs, white X back chairs. I'm going to buy these for my kitchen which will have chocolate cabinets, white granite, medium wood floor, white molding.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 1:17PM
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I remember when you first started this kitchen journey.
And I can not believe how truly fast it all came together.
Amazing work. I am honestly sad that Modernaire was so
difficult to deal with. I have heard such maganificent
things. Too bad. I think yhood looks goregeous, glad you

I love the cool fresh functional space that gives off a
feeling of sophisticated elegance with a secret
electrifying side. The elements all work beautifully well,
you pulled it off. It is easy to get this kind of space
too cool or too warm but you did it delightfully.

You have talent, taste and I wonder. Can you make a good
Because this is the kind of room I could see myself
sipping an Appletini in. Yes, I would say You have
talent, taste and the ability to make a good Tini.

Love It,

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 3:44PM
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Firsthousemp, your kitchen is gorgeous! Love everything about it, and I have really enjoyed your posts over the last few months while you designed your dream. I also love your other rooms as well (the master bath!). Thank you for sharing your questions and fantastically gorgeous result!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 3:53PM
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I'm back again. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. I even made my dh look last night. Ooolala. There are such beautiful kitchens on GW, and I love looking at all of them, but when there is one that comes up that speaks to me, I just get so excited to look at it over and over again. Scottilee's backsplash and space was one of those for me. (of course there are others too, and you white kitchens know who you are, redroze, etc.)

regarding those dining room chairs, I would like to see something like a white leather (similar color to those Oh-my-I-love-them Barcelona chairs in the living room) sloping arm chair. I think you want a lot of comfort but with that shot of glam. Wait, that's me, but I think it's you too! Of course if you don't want to keep the guests lounging around the table, I think that ghost chairs would look really cool there too and they would tie in with your oh so divine stools.

And like Boxerpups said, this is a house made for martinis. And Boxer, green ones would look so good! I have been known to coordinate my drinks and their colors to my decor. Seriously, I need help.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:26PM
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I'm sooooooo happy for you! It's absolutely beautiful...a great family space, yet so elegant and cool. I haven't been on the site much and when I signed on today I wondered how many finished kitchens I've missed lately. I knew you were close to being done, so I did a search and found it! Yay! It was a long journey, but it's so wonderful to see your vision realized!

Congratulations and ENJOY!!
P.S. I have to make a trip to Hang Art soon! That piece is fabulous!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:54PM
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Absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE your beefy counters - beautiful. Your buffet counter is wonderful too. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Thank you ALL for your wonderful comments--we are loving the house and are so grateful that it turned out the way we had imagined--especially since we have never tried anything like this before and because we didn't have a designer to hold our hand! Our goal was to have a magnet for friends and family, a place that embodied our wish to share warmth, and our hope for light-filled space.

sandca: The island is 5x9'. The dining room light was from and is called Galaxia 16-light.

A few people commented on the furniture and decorations in the before pics--this was what the house looked like when we bought it. We always knew we wanted to remodel, so we bought the house with the intent to update. We never actually lived in the house the way it is shown. I tried to buy the diningroom chairs off the owner, but they refused. Boo! The were amazing authentic 50s mid-century chairs!

However, we did recycle a few other chandeliers: the dining room gold one went in my master. The white one with the oranges and lemons in the kitchen pic went in DD's bathroom (can you see it?).

Beekeeper: Thanks for the chair suggestions, keep those coming. Love the idea of white chairs too. Had contemplated that. Still a bit torn since now all my other furniture is in and it doesn't quite look as pristine as the photo above.

Boxerpups: Thanks for the nice comments! Coming from you, that's quite a compliment. I don't make Appletinis (being a white wine gal), but I have been known to drink a few of those! They certainly sound like the perfect drink for my kitchen--like those Perrier bottles in Bees' photo session, they would match!

Julie94026, jkom and jsweenc: You are my comrades in remodel! Yes, I am finally done! (and yes, I DID switch the papertowel after reading your post :) BTW I use a Canon Powershot pocket point-and-shoot, nothing more....

Malhgold: We used Hardiebacker then tiled right over that. It was super easy. The tile is a reasonable $8.99/sq ft, and we spent about $700 in tile. A huge transformation for an ugly old fireplace. We also tiled the hearth which is flush with the floor. Did you decide on a backsplash!!!????

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 11:12PM
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What type of dining chairs were you looking for? I love these from crate and barrel

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:27AM
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OMG FIRSTHOUSE - it looks amazing! I am so excited to see the finished kitchen after following your progress these many months. The whole house is absolutely fantastic. You have incredible taste: stylish, comfortable and welcoming.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Hi firsthouse_mp:

Wow! I remember when you were first picking out your white princess granite. It is so great to see it installed now in your spacious kitchen and bathroom. Thanks for sharing all the details and particularly the cabinet maker.

I still haven't finished my backsplash, there are days when I wish I had just finished it off with the same granite, too, so I certainly understand the sentiment of not wanting to pick a tile.

Your house looks amazing. Cheers!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 3:34AM
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Great job!
Your kitchen is amazing. It is a real stunner- I have been back and forth admiring it several times already!!!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:54AM
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WOW! The difference between before and after is so huge, in a good way. I cannot believe the before after seeing the after photos! I wish I had taken before photos of my place - the before was so crappy and seeing them together really makes one feel good. You have done an awesome job - you must be so proud of yourself! The kitchen and living room look so good.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 8:13PM
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That is just a stunning kitchen! It is absolutely gorgeous! Wow - congratulations, I hope you enjoy it for many many years to come!!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 4:50PM
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Wowza! Another magazine-worthy kitchen I almost missed! (Thank goodness for those who go to the back pages and bring older threads forward again!)

Firsthouse, seriously, this is a marvelous kitchen and I love everything about it! (I especially love the side soapstone counter area with that wonderful piece of art hanging above!) The airiness and spaciousness of the open floor plan really takes off in your application. Makes you want to take in a deep breath and exhale all the beauty of it.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 5:11PM
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I cannot tell you how much I love your kitchen. I don't like visual clutter either, and I can picture myself getting so much work done in your kitchen because of its calm, spacious, airy feel. Extremely well done.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 6:15PM
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Wow,wow,wow and wow.

It's all been said, but really, congrats and enjoy.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:33PM
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I'm curious- did you raise the roof as well as the ceilings? And how big a house is this? You did not have design help??? Its unbelievable. I keep looking at the before to see how you got to the after. I like that you added a few soffits that define the entry way. Somehow you made the entry way look more important that the typical house like this where you walk in and there you are.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:55PM
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Thanks again everyone for the really NICE comments. We have been in almost three weeks and are loving being settled. However, for some reason the dust seems to still be everywhere!

Chinchette: I had an inspiration for this--check out Walker Warner Architects and look at the Sonoma House. I could not even come close to being able to afford these people, but I did have these photos which I used to help me visualize what I wanted. I hired an independent architect instead who copied the style and then we of course had to re-align this style to fit our much more meager budget. Also, there's an architect named Howard Backen of Backen Gillam Architects who has done some beautiful stuff--again, I'm an admirer from afar. He designed a resort called Solage Resort and I took elements of his style from that place too.

We put in some dormers above the entry and we put in a tray ceiling in living room. We opened up the walls of the kitchen/family room and raised the ceiling up to the roof.

But of course some of my biggest and best inspiration came from all of the GWers and their kitchens! And because I didn't have a designer to pick everything out and reassure me, you guys held my hand through every decision--it's amazing how much emotional support is needed when making a decision about granite! LOL!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:27AM
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Very interesting. You really had a lot of vision to go for the Sonoma house look with the ranch house. Its very inspirational.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Firsthouse, I sent you an email re: your hood. I am also in NorCal and am having some--ahem--troubles, as you did.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 6:17PM
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I am so in love with your kitchen and find everything about the changes to be what I know I would love my kitchen to have. I love your cabinets so much with the perfect shade of white. I love your counters which keeps the kitchen light and airy as well as gorgeous. I love the appliances and the hardware on the cabinets. I love the stools, the range hood and the lighting. I love the microwave drawer. I love your backsplash. I even love the lime green dishes. If I had pretty dishes like you do, I would want glass cabinets also.

Does the place who sold you the cabinets have a website to share?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 6:31PM
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I too am in the Bay Area and have not yet placed an order for a ModernAire and LOVE the look .... is there any hope in having a good outcome with the company? Any suggestions? Stores to order from or avoid? Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:57AM
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Very elegant!
May I include your kitchen in the Finished Kitchens Blog?
You can either give permission here in your post or send me an email:
Then, when you find the time, please submit the FKB Category Checklist so I can easily categorize your kitchen.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Your kitchen is gorgeous---congrats! We're in the Bay Area too, and still undecided on our cabinet plan...out of curiosity, what was the ballpark cabinetry cost from Precision (or even just cost per linear foot for a much more general sense)? I've heard their stuff is great, but never requested a bid since it seemed beyond our budget at the time...wondering if I should reconsider this if they're relatively reasonable, since that's exactly the look we're going for!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Wow - I can't stop looking at your pictures! Well done. I LOVE your countertop -is this quartzite or granite? And I am totally stealing the paper towel holder idea in the island - brilliant, such a small thing but so perfect!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:51PM
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firsthouse -

wow, wow, wow! congrats on your stunning new home. it has been so fun to read your posts and now to see the final product. i can only imagine how YOU must feel!

question for you on precision. i contacted them and they had a very annoying used car salesman type called me back, was a real turnoff. anyone you would recommend i ask for that you worked with? this dude cold called my GC the moment i hung up the phone, then i got an annoyed call from my GC wondering why this obnoxious guy was calling him...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:53AM
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Shermp: I wouldn't use Modernaire again ever. I have something against companies that do business the way they do and both bayareafrancy and I have had the same thing happen to us. Just depends upon how much you are willing to pay for what you in our area, there's no getting around a $2,000 charge from the local "middleman". What others on this website have paid, expect to pay at least $2,000 more.

Lynn2006: I am not sure if Precision has a website that is useful but they are in Brentwood California, so worth a Google.

Artemis78 & Babuschka: I used a guy named Bob who was quite methodical and not used car salesman-like. That would make me nervous! I am still quite pleased with the service and the quality of the cabinets. The price was bundled with all of the rooms that got done, so it's hard to break it out and I am not sure if I could figure out the linear feet price--their quote is fairly confusing already. For four bathrooms, a laundry room, an office, the breakfast room, and the kitchen: $58k. My kitchen is 22' by 42'.

Musco: The counter is white granite which they called White Princess. I absoultey love it--especially honed!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:50AM
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I'm coming to this thread late, but I wanted to add to the accolades. You did a stunning job!

We wanted White Princess too, but every slab we saw (we went to about 6 yards) was already reserved, or the yard didn't have it at all. We couldn't wait for the next shipment of White Princess to our area (we were told it would be anywhere from 3-8 weeks). So we chose another granite, also white, but it's not White Princess!

I am surprised that in this long thread, no one has asked about your cabinet pulls. I love them. They're simple and elegant, and make a subtle statement. Can you provide the name, and what finish they have?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:45AM
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Looking harder this time (I saw your corner lower cabinet and just stopped there last time--envy!). It's as if a different species of human has taken over the place. With very different muses and very different guardian angels. We will go back and back and back to look at details, because so many details are so well thought through. Your project has tremendous internal integrity and vision.

As I look at your old kitchen, I recall how fashionable that look was at one time. I am sure that the former owners enjoyed their life there. also made the eventual remodel inevitable. It was so fixed in time by its decor that it did not transition gracefully and the new eyes that moved in were of a different generation in so many ways. A lesson for all of us. We can mellow in place and age gracefully or fix ourselves so firmly that in time we experience stark yins and yangs, radical changes that redefine us and send us in a new direction. Another lesson has to do with the advantage of starting out with good bones, with a foundation of good stuff that we can later build on. That is priceless, as you have proved.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:45AM
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What a transformation. I am just loving it all.

I can't believe that is granite. It looks so much like marble from the photos.

I just love your space and the open, clean, classic feel of it. I think the painting is very inspired and adds to the clean, elegant feel. Really a wonderful space.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:04PM
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I don't know the right words, but eerily familiar really springs to mind. I swear I have pictures of me as a kid at Christmas in a dining room just like that.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:12PM
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firsthouse - I am also putting in a large island and I would love to have some input from you on the layout. Could you please have a peek at my post?

I have been back to your pictures a kazillon times already - so stunning!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:28PM
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Your transformation of that house is THE BOMB. I have a ranch too and had to scratch my total remodel due to the economy so I'm doing remodel in place room by room. Ours was going to be 18 months too but much more traditional. I wish my architect had vision like yours. I would love to do what you have done. You must be so glad to be back in your house. It looks awesome especially the kitchen. I know you are in another state but do you mind me asking what the total cost was of the whole project? Do you have another post with details on the exterior remodel? Would love the details.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:04AM
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I absolutely LOVE how you modernized your ranch style home. It is gorgeous, inside and out. I love the materials you used. What in inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:02AM
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Wow. Simply gorgeous. I finally found a granite I like thanks to you!

Are your cabinets inset or frameless? I cannot tell from the photo, I just know they are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Absolutely breathtaking! Love the open, airy loft feel, while still being elegant. Love the white walls, the thick gorgeous counters and the wood floor. Actually, I love everything about it. Everything is perfect and works so well together. I thought the same thing - magazine layout. This is one of my favorite kitchens!!! That is saying a lot, since I have probably seen a zillion kitchen photos.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 7:43AM
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Beautiful, fantastic, gorgeous :)


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 1:04PM
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firsthouse mp,

Your kitchen is stunning. I am not a fan of all white kitchens. I just finished my kitchen remodel and up until that point all I have ever had were badly-done all white kitchens. But even though I'm finished with mine I keep coming back to yours. Everything is perfect. I know that you'll enjoy cooking in it.

Your modernaire hood is pretty spectacular and hopefully its beauty will take away the bad taste of their distributer.

I'm in Northern California too and I'm looking for a table to replace my current kitchen table. Where did you get the table near the island? Also, the green loveseats/sofas?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 5:26PM
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I found this thread yesterday and have looked at your photos about 7,000 times since then. Let me echo the previous posts - this kitchen (the whole remodel actually) is stunning! Absolute perfection! Can you please post the dimensions of the space? Thanks and, once again, great job!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:48AM
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Thank you for this post. I needed it! I have been off GW for a while, as I was staying up too late most nights- and our project went into full speed ahead. I am so relieved to see you are moved in and... HAPPY. Your home is truly beautiful.
For two weeks, we have been camping in our nearly complete whole ranch remodel- after 18 months of temporary apartment living with 2 kids under 6 and a 65lb dog. We are in the East Bay. The floor oil went on today. The interior lights will be installed on Friday. The kitchen counters and master bathroom should be in in 3 weeks. Woo Hoo! I'll post pics soon.

Let me know how long it took the dust to settle. We are swimming in it!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 2:29AM
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love the paper towel dispenser! and the hood is beautiful...sorry it was such a terrible experience! seriously, i can't believe your before and after pictures are of the same place. you did a beautiful job!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:01AM
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Beautiful! I joined GardenWeb after seeing your post :-)
This layout and size is very similar to one our architect has designed for us. My one question: Do you think your fridge is too far away? The architect has placed ours even further... it would be opposite your island where your table begins. Is that crazy far? It's like 19' from my sink, walking around the island. Pretty, but should it be closer?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:21AM
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Had a delicious, amazing few weeks off to meet my sister's new in-laws in Italy. My love of marble has been renewed! I still love my white granite, but seriously, the marble all over the restaurants of Italy made me realize that it's not a big deal to have etching. OK, that said, I also realized that there were many posts while I was gone!

Cabinet pulls: $6-$12 by TopKnobs in Square Pull, Polished Chrome (purchased from

My kitchen table: Restoration Hardware, 18 years old. The chairs around it are our holiday folding chairs...we still need chairs but I need to give our bank account some breathing room! For now they will have to do and if I wait long enough, the holidays will be here LOL!

My sofa and chair: Macy's brand, 15 years old, and it was $500 for three pieces--not good quality but it certainly has lasted!

My fridge is 47" from counter and the space doesn't bother me at all. I turn around and use the island counter to put things on and it's not a reach at all. Love having a big landing area that I don't even have to move much from fridge to counter to prep. I think 4' is about as far I'd like to go, but many have lived with farther.

The kitchen dimensions are: 42 feet by 22 feet. Divide the 42 in thirds to get the dimensions of each "area". They are equal sizes with the overhead beams as the dividers.

Midwifekim: Can't wait to see your photos and progress!!

RANCHERS UNITE--SO MANY OF THEM!~ Lots that can be done with them! I want to see all your fun transformations too!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 3:14AM
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Transformation indeed! When I look at your before and after pictures I just have to laugh; the change is so complete it is actually funny. I can't really even pick out any vestiges of the old. Not actually sure *why* this is funny, but I just smile and laugh every time I look from one to the other. Thanks for the delicious, light relief! Smiles are good....

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Your kitchen is an absolute dream! I'm totally jealous and now searching far and wide for white princess honed. I'm assuming you're still happy with it and haven't had any problems with staining, etching, or chipping? I also love your island. Almost everything in our remodel is up for compromise EXCEPT that I have to have a big island for our two little ones to hang out at and hopefully to have casual meals for all four of us. I'm finding though that it's hard to mix form and function. Below is a link to an island design that I love, but I find it so hard to talk to people when you're all in a row. I'm wondering if you ever pull the stools on the ends of your island around the corner for conversation purposes and if so, if the overhang is enough to make that work? Or any other ideas people have about island seating. I just haven't found any designs with seating on multiple sides that are attractive to me so far . . . Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 4:58PM
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I absolutely ADORE this kitchen! I will be starting a remodel soon and your kitchen is lovely. I may have overlooked it but I would love to know where you purchased your acrylic bar chairs....they are practical and don't interfere with the design or break up the room....the just seem to disappear!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I love the finished look of your kitchen. The white princess countertop is beautiful. It's exactly what I was looking to use for my kitchen.

I found out it is a quartzite. And after a visit to a granite and marble location in our area, i came home very disappointed. The man there said he didn't like to work with the white princess quartzite because it cracks more easily when working with it to shape, which would mean it's more brittle than granite and other quarzites he's worked with, such as mother of pearl quarzite. He also said customers in the past have come back and complained about it turning green in some areas.

What have your experiences been so far? I see you posted back in 2010 so have been using your kitchen about 2 years now. Any problems with scratching, etching, or staining, or even changing colors??

I thought I found the perfect alternative to white marble.

I would extremely appreciate any feedback regarding your experiences with the white princess countertop.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Gasp! Stunning Kitchen! Unbelievably gorgeous.

btx - I need your old dining room mirror. ;)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:51AM
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I quite literally gasped out loud when I saw the transformation. Bravo!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Congratulations! Beautiful! I am a in the Bay Area too - on the Peninsula - and we are updating our rancher too. Thanks for the lead on Precision cabinets. I talked to Modernaire a while ago and boy, are they expensive!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Im surprised this hasnt already come up but Im curious about your patio doors... are those sliding? with a screen? Do you have a source and a price range? We just made an offer on an old ranch house that NEEDS those doors :)Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 3:53AM
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Wow, that looks like a million dollar remodel. You would definitely win any "biggest bang for the buck" content for who added the most $$ to your resale.

My 2 favorite details:
1) the paper towel holder
2) the artwork

Well done.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Love it all!!!

Oh please tell me: what is the color of your diningroom wall?
W/ your lighting, it looks like it's the perfect grey (w/ a hint of blue) that I've been searching for.

Thank you,

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:21AM
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I think this is one of the most amazing transformations I've seen. It's not even the same house now.

What wood is on your kitchen ceiling?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:37AM
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What a transformation! Question for you -- where did you begin with this remodel? A kitchen designer? architect? design/build company? We want to retire to a rancher and do something very similar to what you did, but don't know where to start. It's hard to vision the finished product but your photos show me that it CAN be done! Thanks for any direction you can provide. backsplash is getting installed in my kitchen as I write this and I'm already planning my next remodel. Am I addicted or what!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Hi friends of the GaardenWeb Kitchen's been two years and I had carried on with my life in my beautiful kitchen, but then, we sold this house! We couldn't turn down the offers that we had on it, and due to the amazing real estate market here in NorCal, we decided we would sell and start again. I was reluctant but my husband was pretty adamant...."Just do it again" he said. Easier said than done as you all know having lived through the dust, the time involved and the incredible patience it takes to remodel a kitchen.

But, we sold and moved and now I am back here on the Kitchen Forum hoping to gain new insight from all your projects and have just begun drawings for our new (old!) rancher remodel that is about 2 miles from our old house. Whew, what a journey I am on.

Here is my new house--welcome to 1970!

My favorite part, the stove: you can't fit a large stockpot under the micro and you can't see anything inside of a pot in the back....wonder whether the past owners loved cooking? Probably didn't do much except micro things from the size of it!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Well, at least you have Batman on your side!

Seriously, though, knowing the drill has got to help immensely. I was learning new things every step of the way! I hope this helps you nail the new one as well as you nailed the first one!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 12:38AM
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Can you start a new thread when you get on with this new project? I would love to follow along.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Me too. Your kitchen is such an inspiration to me. Please start a new thread and I will follow religiously! I think I can learn so much from you.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:01AM
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If you would, a question on how did your honed Princess White granite hold up in your prior home (which was stupendous)? Did you find much edging/staining etc..Does any one know if Princess White go by a lot of different names? It seemed perfect with your Precision white cabinets. Did you like your Viking stove?

I'm sure what ever you do will turn out well in your new home too. As many, I'll be following along.

Thank you for any comment and Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I know that house! I live in A-town also. Judging from the job you did on your last home, this one will be amazing. Can't wait to following along on GW! Did the owners leave superman behind?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 3:51PM
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OMG!!! swooning. just an amazing transformation and absolutley stunning. So many things to love. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:23PM
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hi firsthouse (and now 2ndhouse)... Somewhere along the way I acquired the 3rd picture that you posted of your remodel (from the kitchen looking into the LR). I do not remember how I came across it (pinterest?) but I never knew who it belonged to. That was when I was a novice with GW, now I know better to write people's names down at the time I am looking at the pics. I sure have spent ALOT of time searching back thru pics - but have relished every minute of it.

I have continually looked at your remodel as one of my inspiration pics because I am also considering removing my LR/kitchen wall & you did such an amazing transformation with yours! I wish I had the space that you did in that 1st house though, mine is only 18 X 36 and I am also considering adding 6ft out to widen it.

Anyhow, I am sooo glad you came back on GW. Now I have a name to that gorgeous inspiration kitchen. And as all the others here have posted, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE continue to post new threads for us as you work on your 2nd house. You will have quite a following.

TY for returning and posting all the fabulous details!!
Best to you and congrats on your new home !

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Echoing everyone else...your old kitchen was an inspiration to me too. And I have long coveted that Jessica Martin art piece in your old kitchen. Glad to hear you are embarking on a new project and I'm excited to follow your progress and see how fabulous this one turns out. Cheers to new beginnings!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Everyone has already said everything I would about your kitchen - absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous! Definitely an inspiration for me as I start to plan my remodel.

I have the same question someone posted up thread - I'm very curious as to how your Princess White held up over the last 2 years. Any etching,staining or chipping? I really love the look of it and it's a strong contender for my kitchen, but am wondering about its durability.

I look forward to following along on your new kitchen journey!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:34AM
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Loved the remodel on your former home, and good luck with the new one! Wow, that cooktop/microwave combo is a disaster. Like you said, I'm sure the people didn't really cook on that.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:09AM
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The previous owners did not leave Batman for me! I thought it was totally a riot that they left it there during the open house. I would have taken it down. They did leave me with a home that had windows and doors that don't work well though (sigh), but I guess that doesn't matter since we are going to remodel anyways.

Regarding the White Princess--yes it held up stupendously! I wish wish wish I could find more slabs of the same color for my new remodel. I never had any problems with etching, staining or chipping. My fabricator did tell me that it's very hard to work with because of both the hardness and the tendency to hit areas that are slightly brittle. Thus we were forced to buy an addtl slab in case anything went wrong. It never did go wrong, so I used the left overs for the bathrooms. The color remained fairly true--the thing you can't see in the pics though is that the white has a sparkly greenish cast to it. It shows up closer, but not far away. I think that greenish undertone is what people refer to when they say that certain White Princess is green. I also had each of the slabs honed and I think that makes a difference with the tendency to etch.

Here is a current slab from the same quarry. You can see that the color has substantial amounts of gray and is less monotone:

Here is one of the original slabs from the house. You can see how even the coloring was. In this pic you might even be able to pick up some of the green flecks and green undertone:

I look forward to gaining inspiration and amazing insight from all of you too! I will need it :)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Thanks very much for answering about honed White Princess wear and tear firsthouse_mp. Your new slabs are lovely too. Very exciting (and heady) time for you, again! Looking forward to seeing what you do with your new kitchen and home.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:42PM
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firsthouse, congratulations on your second house, i guess you will have to change your GW name now? : )
I am also in the bay area and I am totally in love with your countertops! (i posted in your other thread also, but glad I peeked in on this one since you have pics of your new house here.
Can you please recommend your fabricator? add me to your fan base who will be following your new remodel religiously! best wishes and happy holidays!!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 4:04AM
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Thank you so much for responding about the White Princess. I love it in your kitchen and would use it without hesitation if I could find slabs similar to yours. I'm in the LA/OC area and will begin my search soon, hopefully the stone yards here have something similar.

Thanks again and happy holidays!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 2:54AM
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I believe belated congratulations are in order firsthouse_mp. I just found your first kitchen (now sold) featured on houzz, in part by recognizing the White Princess granite as well as by connecting a current picture posted on GW kitchens by oldbat2be (who has her own fabulous kitchen!). Your art work was classy touch.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Michou: I used Venice Stone and Tile in San Jose. They did everything from the round circles outside my house to all of the tile setting in the bathrooms and the counter-top fabrication. They were great!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:15AM
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firsthouse, thanks for the rec. i will give them a call for a quote. we are almost to the countertops stage now, so i am getting excited. thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 2:22AM
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Firsthouse (now on to your second house),
I am trying to find a hardwood floor and saw your gorgeous kitchen. I have looked at 3 Lugano boards, all are different! I know you have sold your house but wanted to find out if you were happy with the Lugano floor and would you buy it again for your new house? I have been looking high and low for an oak wide plank floor that is brown with grey undertones, and oil finished. A tough request. Any light you could shed on this or recommendations for other products would be most appreciated!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:24PM
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The Lugano floor by DuChateau was wonderful! It hid dents and dog scratches and the color was exactly what I loved...and it was a great price! If you are fine without sand-in-place flooring (expensive!), then you should go ahead with this flooring.

I am definitely going to have exactly the same brand/color when we re-do our new house in April. It got raves from relatives and friends, and while that certainly wouldn't be my deciding factor whether people thought it was beautiful, the fact that it was so darned great for our common area IS the most important thing.

The variation in color didn't bother you saw from the pictures, once installed they blended pretty well. Admittedly I did "throw out" three boards that were too dark. During install the workers put one in and immediately I saw it and said, "Not that one!". The rest were all good.

I did find another oak flooring that came close to the color I wanted--it was a white oak with an oil finish but was more than twice the price. Since I had a 42 x 22 ft room, that added up pretty quickly and I opted against it. I think it was a custom stain too. They also needed 3x the amount of time to install since it was not engineered, but full wood. I can look back in my files and see what the name of that company was if you are interested. We didn't have the budget, but you might.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:03PM
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The guy to talk with at Venice is Mazi. See examples of their water cut tiles. Very nice.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 2:41AM
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Am I reading that you are leaving this house? I would have a hard time with that! I am fairly new to GW so I'm just starting to put the names with the kitchens. It is beyond stunning firsthouse. I love every square inch.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:13AM
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thank you GWlolo, i will ask for Mazi when i check out Venice. that is next on my list, maybe for monday!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:19AM
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OMG > you did an AMAZING job. This kitchen is so beautiful. I was literally blown away when I saw the "after" pictures. I'm in love with your color choices and I LOVE your vintage drying rack!!! WOW!! Amazing!!!! I hope I get to design a kitchen that beautiful someday... :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:42PM
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My goodness, firsthouse. You put me to shame and then some! I am reeling from starting to get back into gear with all this just to finish up stuff in our house; you first of all, made the kitchen to end all kitchens and then a whole house behind it but to top it off are leaving it all behind?! Not that's what I call fortitude big-time.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:48AM
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thanks so much for your reply! I didn't realize you had replied, or I would have responded MUCH sooner! I need to do engineered because I"m on a cement slab in Redwood Shores...Where did you purchase it from? We have been going to Perfect flooring in RW city and they seem to have good prices. I think floors have gone up in the last year quite a bit, or so they tell me. They quoted 7.89 for Lugano, that was the best I've found.
Lugano boards have varied so much that I moved on to looking at Vernal collection Antique White, which I like, but I'm missing the texture and warmth of the Lugano. My original idea was to get a grayish/brown floor, nothing trendy, just with a slight bit of gray overtone. I just love how your floor photographs.
As far as cabinets, you mentioned Precision was half of what you were quoted locally, and did you get soft close, and all that, and are you going to use them again? I love your countertop, too.. how did it wear? So you just went to DaVinci and picked it out?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:13PM
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