Modern Walnut Kitchen (v. long, many pics)
Hi there - DH went on a picture taking spree in the kitchen tonight, so I thought I might as well post more recent pictures of the kitchen and share the details thus far. I'm very wordy below, just skip to pictures if you like! :)
Still to do:
Two items remain outstanding: 1) backsplash (I know, so embarrassing after all the help and suggestions you guys gave me). I'll post separately on that issue soon, I hope to have something up by September. 2) island. In order to have a truly practical kitchen I need a drop zone in front of the pantry wall and fridge. We probably won't get to this until the winter, but I'm thinking about a wedge shaped island (or table) as drawn in the (clearly not to scale) layout of our ground floor posted below.
I must thank all of you, for the inspiration, the ideas, suggestions, lay-out advice, everything. I used this board and your expertise heavily and I am truly thankful. We have a wonderfully diverse, fun, exciting and TALENTED pool of people here on GW! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't name everyone to whom I am indebted, but I'll try (apologies to the many I've missed): elizpiz, firsthouse, boxerpups, malhgold, mom2reese, sabjimata, florantha, plllog, rhome, buehl, cat_mom, kaismom, billyyc ...
This house is situated a block or so from the confluence of two rivers and a waterfall. The house was built in 1877 as a home for the workers at the paper mill located at the falls. It was/is a simple two-story home. There have been four additions to the house over the years - for an urban home on a modest lot it is a decent sized house (about 2,100 or 2,200 sq feet I think), but certainly not a huge house. Perfect for our young family of four (well the kids are young at any rate!). Unfortunately over the years the original interior Victorian character was completely lost.
With the Victorian character long gone, two remaining elements of the house heavily swayed the direction we took with this reno. Eight gorgeous deco/FLW inspired stained/leaded glass windows (two of which you can see in the kitchen) and the MCM-style sunken living room. Given our love of modern design, we took these elements and ran with it for the renovation. I guess the style of the kitchen is "retro-moderne" or organic modern, I don't know.
This was a big job - major foundation work, interior walls moved, ceilings and walls rebuilt on two floors, new insulation, new kitchen, new powder room, moved laundry, etc. etc., it went far beyond the kitchen renovation. We moved out on November 1st, moved back in the first week of March.
I love my kitchen. LOVE IT. I'm blissfully happy and my quality of life has been improved. I'm broke of course, but c'est la vie I guess. Here is what I love most:
1. The walnut cabinets
2. The prep sink area (including the veining in the quartzite counters around the sink, my utterly fabulous Kohler Karbon faucet and the round Ticor sink)
3. The floors. The floors throughout our ground floor are reclaimed 120 year old Birch brought up from the bottom of the river a mere couple of hundred meters from our house. They are stunning (IMHO).
4. My fridge. So awesome and a big, big splurge.
I also really love the lay-out and 'feel' of the kitchen. It is open, airy, bright and still very warm or organic feeling. I love that as you walk into the kitchen from the front of the house your eyes are immediately drawn to the long run with the shelves and pictures. As you get further into the kitchen your eyes go to the living room and the lovely garden beyond. You actually have to stop and deliberately look at the clean-up sink run as your eye does not go there naturally. I like this as the clean-up run is the messy part of the kitchen - the sink hides many sins, as does the short wall separating that run from the dining room. The sink run is not visible at all from the dining room and living room. I almost have the best of both worlds - open concept, yet the messy bit is largely concealed from guests and casual observers.
There always are some. The first doozy of a surprise was when we discovered that there was no foundation at all under the mid section of our house (that addition was done around 1900 - the addition was essentially just sitting on the bedrock). A real budget buster that.
The main kitchen problem related to the counter, a poorly placed seam (my fault for leaving that last detail to DH). The problem was corrected and I have an extra two small slabs of quartzite for future bathroom renos. A relatively minor kitchen problem: most of the ceilings on the ground floor are close to 9', close to 10' in the sunken living room, so I expected that kind of height in the kitchen as well. Unfortunately duct work and plumbing got in the way (literally) and the kitchen ceilings turned out to be just a hair higher than 8'. My cabinet maker adjusted plans in time so not a big deal, but I would have liked higher ceilings.
Finally: I was diagnosed with Celiac two weeks ago. It would have been helpful to know this prior to the reno, as the way I organise the kitchen has to change to accommodate my dietary issues. Sigh.
What did it cost?
I'm happy to share approximate costing if anyone is interested. I wrote out costs for everything and then deleted it - I'm not sure what the protocol is for that sort of thing here. Anyway, it wasn't the cheapest kitchen reno ever, but it was more or less in keeping with the value of the house. Let me know if you want me to share, I'm not shy.
Cabinets: Walnut veneer, custom, local. The white cabs are painted something, I forgot for the moment - MDF maybe?? I can confirm if needed.
Counters: Quartzite Bianco (Ciot in Montreal was the supplier, Marble
Unlimited in Ottawa the fabricator)
Counters: Stainless Steel counter and integrated sink: P.E. Rail and Sons (local)
Flooring: Reclaimed birch, local: Log's End
Lighting: The undermount lights are by Eurofase. Our kitchen/dining room lighting setup is controlled using a six zone Lutron Grafik Eye unit. We needed to add a low-voltage dimming control unit in order for the Grafik Eye to control the under shelf lighting. Other lights: Alico Newton and Kendall mono points.
Faucets: Kohler Karbon, Kalia Elito Diver
Prep Sink: Ticor
Fridge : Gaggenau
Wine Fridge: Marvel
Everything else: Miele (the speed oven and oven were floor models at a deep discount)
Please feel free to ask anything that I may have overlooked for forgotten.
The Pictures (finally!) (I want him to take a close up of the shelves, I'll post that tomorrow).
Low wall separating the DR from LR
And now a few artsy shots from the kitchen: