Modern Walnut Kitchen (v. long, many pics)

sochiJuly 20, 2010

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.

Credit Due:

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 ...

The Story:

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.

The Love:

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.

The Problems:

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.

The Details:

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:

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Oh, Sochi, it all came out beautifully! And it looks exactly like I expected it to, that is, as it fit your description of what you wanted, so I hope it matches the picture in your mind too! It's elegant, reserved and inviting, all at once. And unique.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:43AM
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All I can say is Whoa-did you do an amazing job. I wish I could see this in person. The pictures are so good but I'm sure the wood on the cabinets is sooo much better in person. What a sense of style you have. I'm terribly impressed!! Like it a lot.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 1:51AM
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I love it, you have impeccable taste and elegant style.
Enjoy your space.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:40AM
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Sochi! YEA!!

You know I love your kitchen and as expected this (sorta) final look doesn't disappoint. It is so absolutely beautiful and SERENE. There are so many details to love, but I have to say that those floors are killer and of course your gorgeous counters are just right (must be especially satisfying after after all that agonizing...)

You should be rightfully proud of an incredible job with great vision - ENJOY.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:10AM
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Every detail is sublime!! What a glorious cohesive space!

Can't wait to see what you chose for a backsplash!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:19AM
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Gorgeous! It all looks amazing!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:19AM
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Speechless!!! I am speechless.

The walnut cabs are out of the world. counters, everything.

May I suggest solid glass backsplash, starphire, painted white on the back.

This belongs on the front cover of a design magazine.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:36AM
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Soooooo unbelievably gorgeous!! It makes me weep a little inside that my house and neighborhood couldn't support a kitchen so modern. I Love Everything. The counters are delicious and your cabs are just sweepingly stunning.

On a separate note re: celiac, there are a bunch of gwers who are gluten-free, not the least of which is buehl. I highly recommend Pamela's Baking Mix. They make the only gf pancakes and waffles worth eating. Bob's Flour Mill Brownie Mix makes fantastic fudgie brownies. I like to use boxed falafel mix for breading meat. It's crunchy and tasty without adding any additional spices. GF baking is a lot of chemistry and trial and error. Some flours will give you good flavor, but weird texture. I sent my sister an explanation of various gf flours and compilation of some of the best gf stuff out there, pop me an e-mail if you're interested.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:54AM
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Each of the materials you chose are individiually spectacular... so simple in lines and organic in nature. The combination is simply put; out of this world. The floors are just amazing and I'm in LOVE with the shelving and clean nature of your design. One of my favorite kitchens I have ever seen. A HUGE congratulations to you on creating such a beautiful, creative, and individual space.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:21AM
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Looks great (although I was hoping for a pic of the much awaited backsplash ;P). Love the loved items--glasses, faucets. And love how you've really settled into the kitchen and made it feel so warm and...loved!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:22AM
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I don't recall that window over the work sink. Weren't we brainstorming a backsplash/wall there? What a new and interesting change! I applaud that feature especially. The view outdoors will make standing there a great thing and the indoor plants will also.

Floor is great.

You are going to raise a pair of aesthetes who won't be tolerant of any other kitchen they visit. Living with this artistic and tasteful space will mold them for life.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:28AM
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Wonderful!! Bravo...this should be featured in one of the high-end magazines...Architectural Digest? The floor is stunning, as are all of the other elements. A kitchen "to die for" for sure.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:30AM
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Sochi - in my hurry to post - menat to add - so sorry about your Celiac! There seem to be so many more products out there for this and I am sure your fab new kitchen will still work beautifully.



    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:48AM
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It's wonderful and I love it. I am having a hard time with the words to let you know just how much I love it but let me just's awesome!

I'm convinced your DH is a professional photographer too!!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Sochi, all I can say is WOW! You were my inspiration when I first asked for walnut kitchen pictures and I'm excited to have the house finished so I can have my kitchen installed. Everything you have done is stunning and love the way the space is laid out. It really is stunning. I have a couple of questions for you. How do you like your Elito Diver? I know you love your Karbon but I haven't heard much of the Kalia. Also, what pulls did you use? I have selected some but don't know if it'll work with the size drawers I have picked.

Again, thanks for the wonderful ideas and hope to post my pics soon and credit you for the inspiration :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:52AM
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One of my very favorite kitchens!! I know I said this before, but the veneer work on the cabinets is the best I have ever seen. The entire kitchen is so unlike anything I would normally love (I lean more towards traditional), but yet for some reason, I am just drawn in by the contemporary, calm look and the clean lines of this kitchen. And that quartzite is just the most gorgeous countertop I have EVER seen.

I'd like to see pictures of the rest of the house. I know this is a kitchen board, but if the rest of the house reflects this style, it must be just amazing!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:10AM
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FAB-U-LOUS!!!!!! But you already know how I love your kitchen!! Really amazing job on its own, but then when you throw in all the accessories, it's just WOW!! Congrats and keep plugging away with the backsplash. Mine is finally up, after going back to my first choice. Now I just have to pick a grout color, which is no easy feat!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:12AM
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Oh my! That is a FANTASTIC Kitchen! Everything is just beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:29AM
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Sochi, first of all, thanks for sharing. That's what makes a forum valuable.

A comment on the uppers. When using a dark wood as you did, it can make things look too heavy. You solved that by the white panels, and it came off quite well. Now who's idea was that?
Job well done!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Fabulous. I have loved this kitchen all along -- thanks for coming back with the final pics! Just another example of how modern can be warm and inviting. Well done!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:32AM
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sochi!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Add this to my list of favorites! I am a big fan of rooms with white (or whitish) walls and splashes of color here and there (some day I'll finally take and post shots of my kitchen showing the colored glass pieces on top of the cabs), so your kitchen and surrounding space really draw me in.

When I looked at the pics my first thought was the same as pharoah's; May I suggest solid glass backsplash, starphire, painted white on the back. Or, not painted on the back, just the clear Starphire glass. I love the expanse of wall space that you have (clean and uncluttered), so don't think a fancy splash is even necessary. Of course, that's just my opinion and I'm sure whatever you decide will be fabulous!

Count me in as another one who would love to see pics of the rest of your home!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:36AM
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WOW - AMAZING SPACE. So creative and elegant. I love the area with no upper cabinets. The finishing touches are perfect. I would love to see the rest of your house too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:48AM
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What a stunning, stunning room. I love everything about it and I agree that the pictures belong in a magazine. Thanks so much for sharing--truly inspirational!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:56AM
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What a fantastic kitchen -- the kind that prompts loving adjectives, followed by exclamation marks at every turn! The organization and flow is both open and streamlined- but without being cold. Instead, what with your fabulous artwork displays and the remarkable lighting scheme, you've designed, as you say, a truly "organic" space that makes you just want to enter into be part of it. Although I generally tend toward more traditional, farmhouse-cottagey kitchens type, I love every kitchen, of every style and period, that is done well. This one goes to my GW all-time faves list as a contemporary kitchen done exceedingly well. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Absolutely perfect...great use of materials. You are one of the few people that really knows how to properly display art in the kitchen....NICE JOB!!!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Your kitchen takes my breath away. Modern and elegant yet still so personal and warm.

I'd love to see more of your house. It sounds just wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:58AM
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WOW! So happy to see the whole kitchen after seeing the pic of your beautiful granite. Modern is not my favorite style but your kitchen has changed my mind! The lighting is outstanding, makes me rethink the lighting plan on my small kitchen remodel.

I can't say enough. Every detail is impeccable from the colors to the artwork to the countertops to the fixtures........

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:00PM
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Wow! Wow! Wow!

I am one that naturally gravitates toward a more traditional/cottagey/coastal type aesthetic, but this is clearly FABULOUS! Those cabinets are jawdroppingly spectacular! Love your quartzite--deLISH! And I love the window over your main sink! Your kitchen looks absolutely ginormous on top of it!

Are those pics of your kiddos? I love how you showcased them on that shelf. So sleek, yet so inviting!

Congrats on a truly remarkable space!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 2:01PM
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I for one am glad you didn't wait for the long-anticipated backsplash! Every time I have seen your kitchen, I've wanted to see more than what you gave... I like to be able to put it all together, and now I can! Also every time I see it, I am amazed at how drawn I am to it... modern, FLW... not me for my own space, but what you did to yours, I absolutely LOVE! It has none of the starkness of magazine modern, all the warmth of traditional but clean and bright, even homey. I think it's the photos of your kids that seal it for me -- I've said that before and was struck by it again.

So sorry to hear about the Celiac's and pray that you will be able to adapt your new kitchen without headache and heartache.

Also, I'm very surprised that the lack of foundation was not discovered on inspection of the house, but thank God the house did not falter on you. Sounds like it could have. Yikes!

One complaint: how can you glow so about your fridge and give us half a shot from the other side of the far counter... in the background... as the only picture?!?

BTW, I love to experiment with photography by taking random shots of things like faucets with water running. So real and tangible! DH wondered what he had done when on our honeymoon, on a sailboat, I got right under the mast and shot straight upward through the rigging and sails into the blue sky. He thought I was nuts! (So I love your DH's artistry!)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 3:17PM
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Your kitchen is just stunning! The graining on the walnut veneers on the cabinets is gorgeous, and the wood floors have so much character. The lines are clean and modern and simple, yet the room has such warmth. You did an amazing job.

I actually didn't notice the backsplash is "missing" when I looked at the photos the first time. Everything is so beautiful just as it is, I would be tempted to do no backsplash or clear glass over the paint.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 4:14PM
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I've always loved seeing your kitchen but today's pix took my breath away! The flooring, the cabinets and all the artwork in the kitchen have come together so well! Congratulations. Enjoy your kitchen and your whole house! I love the vibe of modernity that flows throughout your house and your kitchen has been my inspiration!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Wow. What fabulous pictures, what a fabulous space. I want to dance on that floor (in socks). I tend more towards traditional (maybe "safe"), but you've done a marvelous job.

Sorry about the new diagnosis. You are about the 5th person I have known to be diagnosed within a year. I hope that your symptoms will abate, now that you know what is happening.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Stunning! Love the cabinet handles. Where did you get them, please?
In the third photo (showing barstools), what is that installed into the back wall amongst the white cabinets? a microwave? what kind? is it built in or on a shelf? thanks!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:38PM
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Your kitchen manages such a spectacular balancing act. Warm, yet spare. Designed, yet personal. Airy, yet grounded. Just amazing. I think I love every single thing about your kitchen. The floor and the walnut and that incredibly delicious quartzite and the flow and the lighting. Most of all, I love those gorgeous portraits that you've spotlit.

I'm so sorry that you've been diagnosed with celiac. It seems there are so many more gluten-free options out there now. I hope that the disease is manageable, and that you feel better soon.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:49PM
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The wall art adds a special touch to a really special kitchen. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:03PM
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One of a kind. So much craftsmanship!

I think my single favorite thing is the floor, because the grain is so stunning and it's unusual to see dark cabinets and lighter floor.

I'd like to know more about your lighting plan...

and please compliment your DH. He takes fabulous pictures!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:42PM
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Sochi your kitchen is stunning and a real inspiration!

I have just (today) started my search for the perfect piece of quartzite. The fabricator has just received 10 large pieces this week so I was really excited but there are some definite issues with the one slab I did see. There are quite a few large splotches of rust and some circular green inclusions. A third of the slab running the entire length also seems to be a darker background shade as well. Did you run into this problem ? The lady at the store seems to think this will be an issue with all the pieces.
I ask because I am in Halifax and think the supplier is also Montreal Ciot and the fabricator here said they haven't had any quartzite in for about a year because of the flaws and they haven't been too happy with it. I don't want to give up and seeing your beautiful counter gives me hope!! If you don't mind telling - what did they charge per square foot? I also love the stone that firsthouse used - did you come across anything like that ?

This site has been great and I must get my plans up because I sure could use some help (or handholding) as I try to make these big decisions! !

Well done and enjoy your beautiful space.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Just stunning. I'm normally drawn to more traditional kitchens but yours is so warm and inviting. Love the windows and counters. The wood floors are fabulous and the cabinets are great.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Stunning indeed - and worth every cent you paid. Your husband really knows his way around a camera - nice!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Thank you! As noted in other threads, it is always gratifying when someone likes what you've done, but you have really spoiled me with your compliments, thank you. My friends here in town like the kitchen, but only one or two are really TKO so they aren't that into it. I get my TKO hit here, so thanks for being so into my kitchen!!

Re: the pictures and DH. No, wizardnm he isn't a professional photographer, but he loves that you think he might be! He is a pretty good amateur and aspires to be a professional photographer once the reno is all paid off!

I will post more pictures of the detail in the kitchen (handles, m/w, fridge, etc.) and some pictures of the rest of the house. I took some basic point and shoot shots tonight, I will get them downloaded tomorrow and then share. They definitely won't be of the same quality as DH's pics!

pharaoh and cat_mom - thanks for the backsplash suggestion, I'm definitely leaning in that direction, will keep everyone posted. I could almost go without entirely, but after four months without I do find that it needs a little something.

florantha - so funny that you noticed the new sink window. It is there because of you! There was a regular window there before, in the backsplash thread you commented that the working sink run needing something more. I agreed. The window that was there was old but serviceable (I thought). Then DH noticed some leakage issues with the window and based on our exchange I decided to replace it immediately with a small bay window with place for plants. I think it makes a huge difference to that run. Still need a backsplash for that run too though! Here is a picture of the working sink run with the old window:

jumab - I love the Kalia Elito Diver too. It was my first faucet love, before the Karbon came along and broke up my love affair with the Diver! I think it looks like an Italian sculpture, a platform diver. It looks great and works beautifully after four months. I've posted a link below to the Kalia web-site, check out the videos. I'll try to post more pictures of it tomorrow night.

malhgold - did I miss the backsplash reveal??? Or are you waiting for the grout? I can't wait to see it!

willinac - the idea to do the uppers and the pantry wall in white was mine. The kitchen gets a reasonable amount of natural light for a house on a narrow lot with neighbours and I wanted a bright kitchen. I had a few dark cherry uppers in my last kitchen reno six years ago and I knew I didn't want anything too dark above the counter. My cabinet maker came up with the idea of wrapping the white cabs in walnut, and the walnut "vein" that runs through the pantry wall. I love that, a great accent. To be honest I wonder if I should have done the uppers and pantry in a colour, like green or red. But I'm enjoying the white, and my kitchen still feels bright, despite the walnut and the less than optimal amount of direct light it receives.

shelayne - yes, the pictures are of my children, my daughter Zoya who just turned 6 and my son Maksim who just turned 3. My husband has taken some treat shots of the kids over the years, so we thought we'd showcase some of them!

jsweenc - sorry, pictures of the fridge coming tomorrow night, I promise!

plumberry - It is a Miele speed oven/microwave on the pantry run. It is built-in. The handles are from Richelieu, product number: BP86072128195. Here is a link (9th row, first handle):

eastbaymom - I will post more on the lighting plan soon, I might get DH to post. He was in charge of lighting. I'll pass the compliment on to him, thank you!

jsweenc: "It has none of the starkness of magazine modern, all the warmth of traditional but clean and bright, even homey." To jsweenc, ccoombs, marthavilla, chihuahau6, shelayne - all of you who commented that you generally prefer traditional but this modern kitchen spoke to you - your comments perhaps touch me the most, thank you. I love modern design, but also love good design of any style. Although this kitchen was designed specifically for DH and me, it was important to me that even people who typically don't like modern could appreciate my kitchen. Thank you, thank you for your kind words.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kalia Elito Diver Faucet

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:08PM
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OMG, what an amazing kitchen!! This is my dream kitchen, seriously. The walnut cabinets are incredible - that wood grain! So perfect! And your counters - WOW. There is nothing in here that I don't like!

I too didn't miss the backsplash at all. I second the suggestion for some clear glass. I can't imagine adding something else in here - it all just works so well as is.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:15PM
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muskokascp - do post plans soon, we love hand-holding over kitchen design here!

On the quartzite: unfortunately we don't have the great stone selection in Canada that our American neighbours in large cities seem to have. Ciot seems to be the only show in town for exotic stone, they have stone yards in Toronto, Montreal and Detroit. Another GW poster from Ottawa mentioned that he had also not seen nice quartzite slabs from Ciot in recent weeks, they all had huge rust spots and green blotches. Check out the last few posts on this thread posted below. You might want to get in touch with that poster as he is on the same hunt you are. It seems like Ciot got a bad batch from Brazil.

I visited Ciot stone yards in both Toronto and Montreal last fall and early in 2010. They had several gorgeous slabs of the quartzite bianca, I guess they must be sold out. I too love firsthouse's quartzite, but I didn't see any slabs like that in Mtl or Toronto.

Any chance you could head to Boston and see if any stone yards there would ship to a fabricator in Halifax?

Let me know if you need any more info. As I recall my fabricator charged about $80-90/sq foot.

Here is a link that might be useful: ciot quartzite issues

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:37PM
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Just love this. Really really amazing and know I think you have incredible taste and an eye for design. Your kitchen is one of my favs for sure :) And I still have such Karbon faucet envy (that along with the Kohler stages sink). Just wish I could have chosen either of those in my house!

Can't wait to see what you end up with for the backsplash. Been a long journey for sure--from the "no foundation under kitchen" surprise to the newest news about Celiac (OMG!). You will definitely feel better once you change your diet. I have a friend who always wondered why she felt ill and once diagnosed and diet changed, she was truly a new person. Hope that it will help you too!

P.S. Never noticed the retro turquoise clock. LOVE that!!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:02AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback Sochi. I have seen it in person at the Taps store in Toronto but they mentioned it was a newer brand and they didn't have too much feedback on it. I fell in love at first sight and since it is being installed on our island, I am definitely looking for something that pops!

As for the quartzite, there are the same problems here at Ciot regarding the green spots but they were expecting some more shipments in by the end of summer. The slabs here seemed to have the green spots towards the bottom so about 80% of the slab was still good if you have a good templater then you might be able to avoid the green all together.

Love your kids names btw!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 8:11AM
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What a beautiful, modern yet intimate kitchen! I didn't see it noted, but I could have missed it, where did you get your stools from? They're fantastic.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 8:24AM
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Wow! Your kitchen is like a work of art! It's incredible! It reminds me of the sleek, modern kitchens in many of the high end multi-million dollar apartments in NYC that you see on TV. But yours is warmer and much more inviting. I'm more of a traditional, cottagey kitchen girl myself, but I would gladly take your kitchen any day! Congrats and enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:15AM
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So gorgeous. That walnut is incredible. I would do nothing but sit and run my hands all over it all day long. That's why I had to paint my own cabinets, maybe? ;-) Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:31AM
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You know from previous threads that I love what you've accomplished. My favorite aspect of it is that it's a complete whole, a wonderful masterpiece, not just separate parts working together, or a kitchen separate from the next room. I think that's the biggest challenge and the biggest achievement...You have to have all the details right and a great vision to make it happen.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:30AM
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I've got a few more pictures to share, some more detail of aspects of the kitchen, others of the rest of the ground floor. We're not completely done everything yet, but it gives you an idea I guess.

transitional - I got the stools at a local store here, I'm not sure where are from or the brand name, but I will try to find out for you. They were relatively inexpensive, I expect they are widely available.

The Newton light

The Kendalls, my favourite!

The Kalia Elito Diver and the new bay window with plants, a last minute addition to the kitchen

Another shot of the Elito Diver, plus the integrated SS sink and counter. I opted for a very subtle marine edge on the counter in a effort to prevent water from dripping regularly onto the hardwood.

The drawer under the prep sink - I love how our cabinet maker made it a very usable drawer despite the plumbing.

Full drawer under the induction cooktop:

I love the veining in the quartzite visible here around the prep sink:

The Gaggenau fridge (I love it so) and our diy chalkboard/magnetic door to the broom closet and stairs to the crawl space basement:

Every man who has walked into our kitchen gravitates to the fridge, opens it and gushes about the hinges (then grabs a beer usually). Without fail. Quite the hinge I guess.

The shelf is great. Most things on the shelf (except the obvious decorative items like the vase, sculpture etc.) are items we use daily, so dust or upkeep really isn't an issue. It is a relatively low shelf, so easy to reach and dust.

View to what was the eat-in area of the kitchen. We use the dining room table for evening meals. This area is now an extension of the play room, eventually we will probably put a long, shallow desk on the wall under the window, a place for homework and computer time where Mummy & Daddy can monitor.

The front hall/foyer light fixture. I ADORE this matryoshka light, perfect. The foyer and the play room are essentially one room.

The play room. Not quite done yet, but I love it, esp. the hit of red. The same cabinet maker that did the kitchen did these built-ins for us. He rocks.

Sorry for the poor quality (obviously DH didn't take this picture). This shows the front hall/foyer closet door, plus the dormer window into the powder room. We had the glass for the dormer made to match the other glass panels in the house. It lets great light into the powder room.

Door into the powder room, glimpse of kitchen around the corner

The powder room. I adore the wallpaper. We still haven't put a mirror up, but so far we aren't missing it!

Dormer window from inside the powder room

Walnut storage cabinet in powder room, same cabinet maker. The speed over bumps out into the powder room, so this cabinet hides that and offers ample storage.

The living room. Eventually we'll put a fireplace back on the wall to the right, probably this winter. We are thinking of a 'green' ethanol fp. OR - maybe a green (living) wall, all plants. Still deciding. The Soviet era poster won't stay regardless. :)

Ikea floating shelves.

DR light fixture, my five-year old daughter Zoya finally talked us into this light.

DR glass panels plus light fixture. Sorry, I forgot to take a proper picture of the DR and the table! Oh well.

And finally, may I introduce the real Sochi, my 15-year old Siamese? She really shouldn't be up there ...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Sorry about the double picture above.

Here is a better shot of the powder room.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:29PM
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Can I move in with you?


    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Fridge and more! Thanks for the additional pix... I love them all, even the ones you took! : ) Especially Sochi!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 2:13PM
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I hate bugging you with more questions but can you tell me if you stained your walnut veneer? We can't decide on our selections and it's hard to see it on a 6" sample. Thanks :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:45PM
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And I posted too fast trying to chase my 2 yr.old and forgot to say the rest of the house is GORGEOUS!!! Your Sochi is too cute!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Hi jamab - no worries about bugging me, I've bugged so many people here repeatedly I'm relieved to be able to help someone else! And I hear you about chasing two year olds. My two year old just turned three and he certainly hasn't slowed down any.

No, we didn't stain the walnut, it is natural. I think we still have a large (like cabinet-sized) panel sample of walnut - any chance you'll be in Ottawa in the little while?? Keep in mind that walnut lightens with age, unlike cherry which darkens. My cabinets have already noticeably lightened since installation in February. I know most people consider walnut to be a dark wood, but I would classify it as medium. What else are you considering?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:51PM
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sochi, I have to say your vision was inspiring to me. That is a beautiful kitchen to me. If you won't adopt me, can I adopt Zoya for her tastes??? That light fixture is awesome.

I love the wood and the open modern feel.

I went with a darker wood myself. You should be VERY proud of yourself. That is one of the most tasteful high end kitchen's I've seen in a long time. And no, I don't always post about every kitchen I see on here. You "had me" at the big circle theme.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:33AM
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Oh, thank you for posting even more pictures of your home! I'd like to just pick it up and move it to my city and move right in!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I forgot to ask a question: Our 1940s house has doors very similar to your powder room door, but without the glass panels. My DH has been wanting to put that exact type of glass in our laundry room door to let in light but keep the privacy. Did you have a glass company do the door for you, or did you purchase it that way? If you had it made, was it a simple project (and not super expensive)? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:19AM
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cindyandmocha--I asked first! LOL

sochi, Isn't it neat how the different colors and the graining "pop" as the walnut lightens? Our black walnut DR table and buffet w/ shelf are about 1-1 1/2 yrs old at this point, and IMHO they are even more beautiful and more interesting now than they were when they were delivered!

BTW, are your floating shelves solid walnut? We'd almost given up on our plan for a floating shelf (furniture-maker advised against it), but we couldn't find brackets that we liked, so re-opened the floating shelf idea. Luckily a contractor friend said he could help, and he and DH did a great job. How did you hang yours (cleat system? posts embedded in the wall?)?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:57AM
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This is unbelievably gorgeous!! The walnut cabinets are my most favorite thing. And the wall of white cabinetry with the walnut trim. I wish I could find someone local who could do that (in my budget). If it's not too nosy I'd love to know what your cabinetry budget was.
And I'm not familiar with Quatzite. What exactly is it? And how does it compare (cost and durability) to a quartz composite liek silestone or zodiac?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 7:11PM
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lolog72 - Our kitchen cabinetry cost about $21-22k, but I expect this might be lower than market value (our cabinet maker is my brother-in-law).

Quartzite is a natural stone harder than granite (a bit more difficult to fabricate given the hardness of the stone). It can look very much like marble, but it doesn't etch like marble. Sealed properly it seems as impervious to staining as any well sealed granite. Several of us on the board have quartzite counters and we are all very pleased.

cat_mom & cindyandmocha- lol - I think we should all arrange house exchanges as vacations so we can enjoy each other's kitchens in person!

Yes cat_mom, I love the grain and colour of the walnut more and more every week. So happy with my decision to go with walnut. Your DR table and buffet sound fabulous.

floating shelves: no, the shelves are hallow to accommodate the lighting and wiring inside. As I recall they are hung similar to the way the ikea floating shelves are hung - there are bars that come from the wall and the shelf fits onto these bars. I can get more detail if needed, let me know.

albryant: we bought the doors from home depot. We just painted the primed doors green.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:06AM
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Thanks for the info! And I would agree your cabinets are well below market value. I can't say enough how much I love them. I'm starting my remodel a week from Monday and the look I'm going for is very similar. I have a walnut and white credenza from a local designer that has kind of been my inspiration for the kitchen remodel. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I'm taking down walls and reframing some exterior walls and replacing sliding door and window. My labor and material costs are so high for stuff like that that it means going the way of ikea for cabs. But I'll hold your pics as inspiration! You did a really amazing job.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 9:56AM
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I absolutely adore your kitchen Sochi. It is one of the kitchens that has stuck in my mind every since I first saw photos of it. It exudes such a confidence and style that it's difficult NOT to admire all of its qualities. The family photos, open shelves and green barstools are to die for. Wonderful job!!

I'm sorry to hear about the celiac diagnosis but I'm sure you can make your layout work for it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Sochi, there's much to love about your remodel, and the celebratory comments from everyone reflect my feelings too. It's a luscious, calm, elegant, big useful space. Bravo. It suits me perfectly, all of it. I hope your family will enjoy it for generations.

One element that hasn't been thoroughly discussed yet strikes me with particular pleasure: your sense of humor! When I saw the big round cutouts in the half wall with their interiors painted green, I immediately smiled. The lightness (both physical and aesthetic) of that touch gives the whole space a delightful playfulness. Good design can do that -- shock a person with beauty, yet keep the experience grounded in real life and real fun.

The dining room light fixture adds to that special sense of fun for me. Great choice! Useful and beautiful, but also original and irreverent. Perfect. And the same with the shade that has those Russian dolls marching around it. Lighthearted, whimsical, surprising -- a wonderful touch. I think maybe that the many sparks of humor keep the overall perfection from becoming overwhelming. Instead, it's quite welcoming.

What a completely pleasing experience it is to study your kitchen.

Great work!

With admiration,


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:16PM
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I would be happy with a country make that, world-wide "tour" of all the wonderful kitchens on this forum!

Our shelf is already up, thanks for the offer though. It was a bit hairy getting it hung (ours is solid walnut so they had to drill into it), but it's up, and won't have to come down until we ever have to move.

I'll post a separate thread w/ pics of the table, buffet, and shelf for you. They all came from the same log which is really neat.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:19AM
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I wish I could make a trip to Ottawa, I would make you give me a tour of your beautiful house, lol!

I finally got a sample and the original 2 were stained so It was concerning me that one was too light and the other was too dark but he finally got it right! Again, thanks for all your tremendous help with this and having pictures to fully describe what it was I was looking for right from the start. I remember you responding to my first thread on here when I was asking about walnut kitchens and it truly made this whole process a lot easier!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Great kitchen. Like a previous poster, I would like to know the maker of the stools or name of the store you got them. Thanks very much.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 5:44PM
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Wow! Absolutely stunningly gorgeous. I am in love with your kitchen: the look, the feel, the layout, the materials. Everything. Like a previous poster I'm wondering: can I move in? Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful space. Some day I hope to remodel my kitchen and I will definitely take some inspiration from yours. It sounds like you have an amazing home in an incredible location. Congratulations! I can't wait to see what comes of the backsplash and island.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 5:57PM
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mikeekim - thanks very much. I bought the stools at Zone (or Zone Maison), a home furnishing store with locations in Ottawa and Montreal. It is called the Venice Chair (in kiwi colour). It costs Cdn$168 at Zone. I just found a US web-site with it as well, listed at US$169.

I do like the chairs ... although they were a compromise. I really wanted the Modernica Fiberglass Shell Chairs (Eames), but I baulked at the $475 each price tag. At $168 per chair, the Venice chair is a great value I think.

pricklypear - thank you! I will keep everyone posted on the backsplash and island, I'm making good progress on both and even have a preliminary design for my island. Hopefully by October I'll have the kitchen truly finished!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Hi Sochi -
Where to even begin? It is a good thing I am typing as my jaw is firmly on the floor! I just love your entire house and if you posted more pix, I would love them too! You have an amazing eye for style yet function and warmth. Your dh sounds like a great partner in this as well ;)

I don't think you "need" a backsplash, but I understand that the backsplash can be the most fun design part/eye candy (or maddening, depending on the day). I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Your counters just slay me, as do your cabs. Your no uppers wall is fabulous and a true inspiration for those considering similar.

As much as you have posted and despite the many photos, I think I speak for all of us that we want more, lol. I love how everything just flows room to room and seems all so natural.

Your wallpaper in the bathroom is amazing. I have been considering doing 2 accent walls of paper in our bedroom, but may wimp out and just do a full wall stencil to get a similar effect. I think that it will be like designing a basksplash and be one of the more creative parts of the process. I am just a little afraid of going through all the wallpaper options and trying to pick just one. As much as I love paint (and I sure do), I think paper is poised to make a bit of a comeback. I think I'll hate it though if it gets too popular, as I like to defy trends ;) I also am not sure what to do in our master bath for the walls. I intend to one day do tile on the lower half, but paper could be fun too. I think you have opened Pandora's box here, lol.

Your house is so European to me and so high end. It has more style that I usually see in a month of looking at houses and it is all rolled into one home. You must be so thrilled with the outcome!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:49PM
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Just like everyone else, I absolutely LOVE your kitchen. We are doing a complete rebuild of our home that burned in a wildfire and are going with a modern/contemporary style this time around. We are leaning towards walnut cabinets and will be using a natural character maple flooring that is similar to your birch. I also want to do white uppers (wish I didn't have to do uppers at all, but it's a small kitchen and I need the storage space!). So thank you for your glorious inspiration. It is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 12:03AM
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dianola - thanks so much! Once the island and backsplash are in DH will do the final photo shoot, I'll post a link for certain. The cabinet maker (my BIL) is just branching off and starting his own company, so they need the pictures for his web-site.

I love that wallpaper too, but I doubt we'll ever do WP again - just too difficult to put up. I love it, but DH swears never again, lol.

Funny that you think it looks European - I'm addicted to European house/shelter magazines (house porn as I call it), I guess that I'm being influenced!

gryane - I'm so happy that my space was able to serve as inspiration, given that I've been so inspired by other kitchens here. You kitchen sounds wonderful, I can't wait to see the final product. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 6:35PM
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I envy your kitchen---and your home around it. It's just such a lovely clean aesthetic. I like that you mixed walnut and birch. I've had both in flooring and they both just have an internal gleam when the light hits just right.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Oh Sochi,

What an incredibly beautiful and completely perfect space. Your kitchen counters inspired me to hunt for a quartzite that I loved. Yes, your whole clean, elegant design has been quite an inspiration. I absolutely LOVE everything you've done. Congratulations!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:18PM
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Hi Sochi,

Thanks for getting back to me about the stools. I was in contact with Zone, but was hoping to actually see/try the stools here in Vancouver. searches for "venice stools" did not help. Do you know the name of the manufacturer? I may have better luck contacting them to see if they have retailers out west.


PS - i really enjoy your kitchen. Every time I come to this page I notice new details. truly a great space.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:32PM
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For anyone in NYC - there are barstools like Sochi's but in white on Craigslist. Four of them for $79 each or best offer. Please, someone snatch them up!! Wish I could.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Mouth dropping WOW

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 6:02PM
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Sochi - How are you liking the undercounter oven and the separate microwave? We are contemplating a similar layout: placing the oven under a counter and separate from the we are very curious how it works for you.

P.S. Love your kitchen!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Hi comtemporganic - thanks! The m/w / oven configuration is working out fine, now that I have a drop zone for the m/w. We don't use the undercounter oven that often, so I don't find it inconvenient at all.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:15PM
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That is a fabulous kitchen and living area. May I ask what the wallpaper in the bathroom is?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 11:57PM
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I don't know how I missed this!

Gorgeous kitchen and home! I can't wait to see your backsplash...based on the rest of your choices, it's going to be great, I'm sure!

As to Celiac...yes, I have it as well. I found out around the time of our remodel but too late for design & cabinet order. But, I'm not sure I would have done anything differently...I pretty much have allocated the left side of the Cooking Zone as both my Baking Center as well as the "GF" storage. My butter, measuring cups, etc. are in the upper cabinet to the left of the cooktop and the utensils, measuring spoons, etc. are either on the counter or in the top drawer to to the left of the cooktop as well. I do have to move the utensil crock when I bake non-GF so flour, etc. doesn't get on the the utensils, but that's easier than having them in the main Prep Zone where my family tends to just grab the nearest utensil for whatever they're doing. This way, there's less of a chance they'll grab one of mine!

I've also "color-coded" or similar my utensils, scrapers, etc. Scrapers: white, for gluten; any other color, for GF. Turners, spoons, ladles: if it's red, GF; any other color, for gluten. Wooden spoons: right now, bamboo is for GF; all others gluten.

Oh, one thing....I use the saucers from my dishes as "spoon" rests. When cooking/baking/prepping GF food, I never put a utensil (spoon, scraper, etc.) on the counter, on the cooktop, in the sink (until done), etc....I always grab a saucer to use a rest/surface. Unless your home is totally GF, you can never be certain there aren't any crumbs, residual gluten, or other gluten-laden things on the better to be safe than sorry!

FYI...I just discovered Whole Foods' sandwich and UDI's GF breads...much better than just about anything else I've ever had. (I have other versions of their breads still to try...) I've also use's pretty good as well. (All are frozen.)

If you have a craving for cinnamon donuts, try Kinnikinnick...they're very good when warm.

Also, try Kinnikinnick's hamburger & hot dog rolls...not bad (no, not perfect, they still crumble fairly quickly, but to me, they're better than no roll at all!)

If you go to Disney World (and probably Disney Land), all of their restaurants have GF food...including the "fast food" restaurants. I was told to go straight to the front of the line and ask for the manager. Don't worry about how busy they are...go any time. I was told, and I quote, "You're our guest too". I never had an issue with anyone acting annoyed, etc.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Sochi. Fantastic in every way, including the photography!Love every aspect and it's all so unexpected when you said 1870's Victorian home. Does it still look Victorian on the exterior?
I love the tone on tone wallpaper in the powder. Can you please supply the manufacturer, color and style for that?
Thank you and thanks for posting all the pics and details. Truly inspiring.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 4:19PM
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buehl - thanks so much for the tips! I love the idea of colour coding the utensils, that is brilliant. We try to just remember, but I can (should) do better. And I used a saucer tonight to rest my spoon upon while cooking -thanks for that tip too! I attended a lecture on Celiac last month where they discussed results of recent European and N. American studies - the studies were a bit depressing, but they did push me to being even more vigilant with cross-contamination. Have you had any follow up to see if your villi have improved since you went gluten-free? I hope you're feeling well, thank you again.

island - thanks so much for the kind words about the kitchen!

It is a little unexpected for a Victorian - yes, the house is still original on the outside, completely period appropriate. I live in a heritage-designated neighbourhood (and I'm on the heritage committee!) so I firmly believe in respecting the the original look of the home whenever possible. If the interior of the house had had more of the original trim, look etc. I would have done something more respectful of the age of the house inside as well. But it was all long gone, so we embraced the modern elements the house had from the '70s.

The wallpaper is Hula from Graham and Brown (see the link below). I just love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hula Green

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 9:43PM
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Sochi. Thanks for the wallpaper link and info. It's green? Oh my, even better! I love green and the print is like a modern take on art nouveau or William Morris. I must get my hands on that and see it in person!

The nesting doll light fixture is great! I was so focused on kitchen and bath that I didn't see it first pass. It makes me wish I needed a playroom just so I could have it. Ha!

So many unique elements including a modern interior in a Victorian home. Love that. Your home is like a nesting doll itself; so full of surprises. Please consider posting a pic of the outside; the contrast would be terrific!

Thanks again for the info. Hope you don't mind, but I'll probably be back with more questions since there is so much to see in your pics. How long were you working on this project from inception to now? Long time I'm sure!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 11:50PM
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Thanks island! Hope you find the wallpaper - I know what you mean about it being a modern take on art nouveau. It is quite unique. Sadly it isn't the cheapest wallpaper out there - I wouldn't want to use it on anything much bigger than a powder room.

The nesting doll (matryoshka) light is one of my favourites - I searched months for a light fixture for that spot. It is playful, but adult enough to work in the foyer too. It was a great find for me (we love Russian matryoshka dolls here)!

Feel free to ask any questions you may have. We lived in the house for about a year before the renovation started. It included foundation work, plus the removal of structural walls, opening new windows, new floors, insulation, beams, etc. , so we had to move out. We were gone from November 1 2009 until early March 2010. About 4-5 months. I still need to get an island done, a backsplash and a fireplace in the living room. Hopefully we'll get it all done by the end of winter.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 7:51AM
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Sochi, your kitchen is stunning. I am about to start my renovation, and will have a walnut kitchen as well. I am stuck on countertops. I found a quartzite that I love, but am hesitant to use it as I have heard that some quartzite is not as "reliable" as others. (I went to my fabricator and they told me the quartzite they purchased and cut completely crumbled and that he would not sell it to me). I know 2 people who have installed in in their kitchens and one is very happy with it. The other has plenty of chips and other problems with the counters.
How has your experience been? Have you found your quartzite to be durable? Are you happy with it?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:11AM
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Hi research queen - my experience with my quartzite has been very positive. We've been using it for 8 months now, no stains, no cracks, etc. It functions exactly as my last granite counter.

There are stones out there that are called quartzite but clearly are not. Before dealing with my stone my fabricator thought all quartzite's were 'crumbly' soft-ish stone as well. He now knows that real quartzite is harder than granite (difficult to cut, dulled many blades).

What is the name of the quartzite you are considering? What does it look like? What company is selling the stone? If others here have the same stone that might reassure you.

Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 12:41PM
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The two slabs I am looking at are madreperola and nacarado. I found them at crystal tile and marble in toronto.
my fabricator is majestic marble, and they are located in woodbridge.
majestic has told me that they can also source the slabs for me and purchase through them, if i want.
the quartzite is also a lot more expensive than the granite and DH is extremely nervous about spending money on something seemingly new on the market.
i am very torn because i cannot seem to find any granite slabs that catch my attention in the same way the quartzite does. I have looked at bianco romano, kashmir white and even piracema white (for the island). i am stuck on the quartzite. how did you determine that the quartzite you purchased was, in fact, quartzite?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 3:58PM
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I bought a quartzite from Ciot called Quartzite Bianca, the same as luce di luna. I knew a number of people who had luce di luna on this board and they all seemed to have good experiencess. Plus Ciot gave me a good sized sample that I tested out a bit.

Will Crystal tile and marble give you a sample to bring to a fabricator to test? I would be pretty annoyed if they don't. I see in another thread that amoraljardin has a sample of madreperola. I see that she/he is in Canada as well - find out where she got it from. There are very few rare stone importers in Canada (I think it might only be Ciot actually) - if it is sourced from the same place and her tests work out well you will know.

Have you checked out the Ciot in Vaughan?

Both are well known quartzites, but for total peace of mind you need a sample to know for certain.

(and I know, the granites just don't compare to the quartzites!)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 6:41PM
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You already know I admire the gorgeous walnut cabinetry, but the rest of your home is lovely too! Thanks for sharing all the pictures. You've done an outstanding job!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 6:49PM
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sochi - just realized that you had responded to a thread i started about this in september!!
i have been to the north york location of ciot (on lawrence) and was unimpressed. apparently the vaughan facility is bigger and has a better selection, so i should probably go check them out.
crystal tile wouldn't give me a sample of the nacarado. they didn't even call it nacarado - i had to figure that one out for myself. (they called it van gough dream, probably to confuse the consumer. great marketing scheme, but didn't work on me!) i was very annoyed.
thanks or all your advise and feedback.
and your kitchen is really stunning. just saying. again

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 7:25PM
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Do check out the one in Vaughan - I went to the one on Lawrence as well, they really don't have much in the way of counter selection there. The warehouse in Vaughan has literally thousands of slabs to view.

thanks Doonie! I still dream about your ceiling. You and Elizpiz, I've got serious ceiling envy. But I cannot move, I cannot move (so I keep repeating to myself over and over again - every time I feel the urge to do another kitchen!)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Hi, new member here. I am absolutely obsessed with your kitchen. I love the reclaimed birch floors and of course the countertops and cabinets. What width are the floors. Did you specify random widths or go with one width? From the pics, it looks like all wide plank but I want to confirm width as I think your floors are absolutely perfect!!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 3:52AM
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Hi jaluca, welcome! The floors are just a shade over 5" wide, they are all one width. DH and I had decided on random widths and when I went into the reclaimed flooring place I changed my mind at the last moment and went with all 5". I think both would have looked great, but I'm very pleased with the 5". We have a water-based finish on the floor. We opted not to go with a more typical oil-based finished in part for environmental reasons (and to reduce odour) but also because oil finished tend to yellow the hardwood and I loved the blonde/light brown colours in the birch.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need any other info.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 9:36AM
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Wonderfully, beautiful kitchen cabinets! And I especially love the personalized artwork (photography) used in a kitchen space.Thanks for sharing with us! I'm a sucker for non-traditional kitchens - nicely done!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 2:29PM
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Sochi - I know it has been a while but hoping you can give me info on your drawer pulls. Looking for something similar. Any input on size, cost, material, and where you bought them...and how you like them:)...would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 12:34AM
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I'm late to the party, but your kitchen and house is amazing! Love the way you broke up all the walnut with the white fronts on some of the pieces.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:50PM
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sent you a note on GW email...what a stunning kitchen /home. I don't know how I missed it...if the note doesn't go through just know that I think you do a marvelous job of simplicity and style and warmth. c

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Sochi, I'm in love with your style! I'm planning a new kitchen with bookmatched walnut lower cabinets and almost no upper cabinets. I could really use your input on how that's working out for you! Would you care to comment on my post? Pretty please?

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen layout ...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 4:58PM
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