mjsee's kitchen is FINISHED (pic heavy)

mjseeNovember 29, 2012

Yes, it is true. My kitchen is finished. FINALLY. The last tweak happened the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. o.O


I couldn't be more pleased. And now--before and after!
From kitchen photos 2007

From Daytime pics kitchen 1129

From kitchen photos 2007

From Daytime pics kitchen 1129

From kitchen photos 2007

From Daytime pics kitchen 1129

From Daytime pics kitchen 1129

The real proof was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people...and it functioned just as well as I'd hoped.

The blank wall to the right of the stove (in the photos) is where I want to put a large piece of steel (perhaps glavanized) to hold my magnet collection/take the place of using my refrigerator as my rolodex/filing system. New refrigerator hods magnets...but one of my friends has forbiden me from using it as such. (Yes, there is one piece of paper on there now...that's my NOT winning lottery ticket. I need to throw that away...)

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Ought to have added...fire away with questions and critiques! (The other reason there's a big blank on that wall is to maintain room so I can maneuver with a wheelchair when I'm seriously old.)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Great job, I love the simplicity, and the fun backsplash. Nice to see lighter wood in that space. It was a great choice.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Yay! A really individual kitchen with PERSONALITY PLUS! You know you can't get away without listing your sources, so 'fess up.

Another possible use for that spot would be a Julia Child pegboard type flat against the wall storage. They do make metal pegboard, so it could serve as your magnet storage as well as storage for pans.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Great job creating a bright and "fun" kitchen!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Wow, you moved EVERYTHING, and it looks so much more functional and open... and gorgeous!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:15PM
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You must be thrilled with how it turned out. It is an incredible transformation. Love your colorful backsplash. Is always nice to see someone that goes against the "neutral trend". Glad to hear that the new kitchen was all you hoped in terms of function for Thanksgiving. Wishing you many more great holidays in you new kitchen.

This post was edited by badgergal on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 18:19

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:27PM
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    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Actually--the ONLY thing I moved was the oven/stovetop! It just looks as though everything moved. We kept the basic footprint. We did rid of the soffits, the open shelving, and the silly little window into the LR. Re-used the original cans, just put new (white)trims in them.

I fell in love with that backsplash tile and it drove the rest of the reno. Particularly the counter-tops and the appliances. I wanted white appliances, but they were too stark with the BS...so I ended up with SS. And I ended up with a single-fuel range, when I'd planned a dual fuel, because of gas-lines and such. Honestly--I'm very happy with it.

Light over sink--Rejuvenation:

Cove Atomic Flush Mount in Brushed stainless steel. That was a happy accident...the PLAN was to use a small can--until the electrician realized what he was going to have to do to install it. Then I started looking for flushmounts that would work. And I found that!

Pendants in pass-through to DR--Lightexture on Etsy. Avner Ben Aten's shop does an amazing job. Link to his shop below!

Counters: Caeserstone "Lagos Blue"

Backsplash (which is what drove every selection other than the cabinets): Jasba Lavita .5 inch mosaic in Sunset Red mix of glossy and matte. Grout is epoxy grout in "gray".

Flooring: Lumber Liquidators Casa de Colour prefinished oak in "Butter Rum". Another happy accident. I REALLY wanted to use marmoleum. I was told (by the flooring people) the color of marmoleum I'd selected was available in glue-down 12" x 12" tiles. Carpet One folks were mistaken. It was only available in Sheet or Click. Not doing click in a kitchen. Becuase of the shape of he kitchen, I was going to need two sheets...one of which was going to be mostly waste. SO...I went and found that oak and it was on sale. INSTALLED it ended up costing 1/3 of what the marmoleum sheet would have cost just for materials. So that was good.

Cabinets: Bridgewood Advantage Line, Skandia door style, in maple with the wheat finish. Full-frame. Which was a bit of a boo-boo...I wanted full frame uppers and frameless lowers...but that's not what got ordered. We worked it out...and I'm happy.

Pulls: Top Knobs "Princetonian" bar pulls.

Sink: Elkay single bowl with the drain on the right. Gourmet Elumina, I think?

Faucet: KWC Luna in the brushed stainless finish. No built-in soap dispenser...I'm old-fashioned enough that I like one sitting on the counter.

Task Lighting Plug Mold

Refrigerator: Samsung with an icemaker but not the through-the-door bit.

Range: Electrolux Icon

Hood: Fagor Innovation direct vent

Dishwasher--Miele G4205 I am IN LOVE with the silverware tray.

I don't think I missed anything.

Here is a link that might be useful: lightexture on etsy

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:42PM
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More comments came in while I was typing that tome! This is my toe-tag house...I'm not worried about resale. Very freeing. Push comes to shove--whoever buys the place will end up re-doing the kitchen eventually regardless. I have celiac disease (relatively recent diagnosis) so I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen cooking for myself and family--we almost never dine out anymore. I wanted a fun, warm kitchen that went with the rest of the house. I flatter myself that I succeeded.

House was built in 1966, and though my style is eclectic, I decided that a MCM vibe was what the kitchen needed. Hence the slab front cabs. Honestly--if the people that had done the initial remodel (not the folks we bought from, owners before them) had left the original kitchen I probably wouldn't have hated my kitchen as much as I have the last 15 years.

That's right--I lived with that black, pink, and white kitchen, which didn't FUNCTION for 15 years. Ugly I can deal with. But the silly desk? Only one reasonable run of counter right in the footpath to the DR? No landing place next to the OVEN? OY.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:51PM
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I really, really like your new kitchen. The cabinets and the backsplash are gorgeous. Nice choices.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:07PM
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The colors of your kitchen are exquisite. I just love the combination of countertop, backsplash, cabinet and wall colors. Just beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Beautiful kitchen! Different and unique!

12 years since my diagnosis of celiac, fire away if you have any questions I can answer!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Looks so open and airy now! Looks like you have so much more storage now. Love the backsplash!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:08PM
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hags00--does one ever get over the fear of being glutened? I've been SO good...haven't cheated even once. My antibodies were in the single digits the last time my doctor checked them. But. At least twice a year I get fed Evil Gluten (TM) and then I'm VERY sick for at least a day. Usually in a restaurant. Last time was when we were away for a long weekend...lost an entire day of hiking to a dinner that ought not to have been a problem. (Steak, baked potato, roasted vegetables.) Must have been flour or something in the sauce the veg was dressed with. I was very clear with the restaurant when I made the reservation. I was very clear with the server...didn't make a darn bit of difference. Around here I have no trouble...I know which restaurants I can trust. But when we travel it's a bit of a crap shoot.

I'm almost to the point where I don't trust anyone to cook for me but ME. Which, beautiful kitchen or no, gets a little old after awhile.

momand3boys--I do have more storage. But MOSTLY what I have is COUNTER space. And a place I can chop and do food prep that is out of the general traffic pattern. (And The Husband's counter leaning ways.) I find I'm doing all my food prep on the counter between the pantry and the range. Then my husband can lean against the counter to the right of the sink without arousing my ire...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Beautiful job! Looks very functional and lots of fun!
I am so glad your test meal went well!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I don't think that fear when dining out ever goes away. I have a severe peanut allergy and always have a lot of anxiety about traveling and eating out. When accidental contamination is so easy, it's hard to turn over control to people with little vested interest in strict preparation.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:04PM
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Really cute! Love the backsplash. Smart thinking about leaving some extra space. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:33PM
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I love your kitchen! It is so not a cliche. I love your slab front cabs. That crown molding is very classy and it fits so well with your lovely home. Maple is my favorite wood. Great looking hood which fits well with the modern vibe, or sets the vibe.

It is a fun room and one in which I'd love to be in and/or cook in. Easy to move around and looks highly functional, too. Part of the reason that huspint likes to hang!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Beautiful, beautiful. Relaxing clean lines and with just the right amounts of zing to fun it up. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:24PM
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wow, what a transformation! So bright and clean looking. Love your cabs...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:38PM
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I love it, it's so fresh and inviting. That range and hood are fantastic looking, and I also love the wine rack beside the sink. Lovely choice of cabinets too. Great new kitchen, congratulations!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:48PM
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I like it very much, the style, colors, very nice.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Beautiful! Like so many other posters - LOVE the backsplash. The cabinets are gorgeous. All elements blend beautifully.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Like everyone else I love your backsplash but what caught my eye are your countertops. I love the look of them in your space, and they are beautiful while still letting the backsplash be the star. The light wood is perfect in your space, and the stainless appliances are a nice complement to the other elements. Enjoy your beautiful new space!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:33PM
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I am very familiar with many different dietary needs.
1. because it interests me,
2. because I'm a professional dieter
3. because when I am not on the Reese's cup diet, I like to know what I'm shoveling in and what it does to the body.
4. because I've almost always been in the food service industry and a responsible person MUST know these things.

I can talk Atkins, South Beach, Lacto-ovarian, vegetarian (eastern and western world types), kosher, celiac, Krohn's, low fat, allergies, and so on. I wouldn't dream of giving lip service to someone's concerns. People can die, let alone be very sick.

The safest type restaurant for you is seafood. Like mine. :) A steak restaurant is fine, too, but as you experienced, be careful with sauces. Don't hermit-ize yourself, but continue to educate yourself. A restaurant I worked in, for example, thickened their soups with cornstarch. You won't find that often, but options pop up! There's even a pretty good gluten free beer now!

Oh - and I really love your kitchen, too. It looks so functional and streamlined. I hope you enjoy it!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Gorgeous! I love it all, especially the colors!!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:05AM
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Westsider 40--

The "crown molding" was constructed onsite by our carpenters. It's 3" filler topped with scribe molding. (Contractor didn't order full height cabs because he was convinced our ceiling wasn't quite level, and we didn't pull the ceiling down. He was right.) CM was one of the reasons the project took several weeks longer than it needed to. We didn't have quite enough of the filler. But we had EXTRA toe kick. Pieces and pieces and pieces...it all worked out in the end.


The counters. OH the counters. You've no idea how hard my general contractor tried to talk me into granite. (He was doing his best to keep The Husband and I within our stated budget.) "Yes, the Caeserstone is pretty---but you could get a level one granite at 1/3 - 1/4 of the price! Are you SURE you want that Caeserstone?" And the tile...he went on and on about he expense of the tile. (It WAS price-y--and those little tiles require lots more wall prep because they are very bend-y and the walls have to be smooth.)We'd fallen in love...and that was all there was to it. More importantly, my HUSBAND had fallen in love with the tile and counters. And since he's the one who set the (somewhat) unrealisticly low budget... we brought that kitchen in at just under 40K. Initial budget we set was 25K with a 5K "oh SH!T" fund. (The Husband later told me he set it there so we wouldn't go over 40K.)


I won't hermitize myself. But...it's very disheartening to go to the trouble to of calling the restaurant before hand, clarifying with the server, who clarified with the kitchen...and to still get glutened. We DO eat out at seafood places. And I do well at Indian restaurants. (Much of Indian cuisine is naturally gf--based around chickpeas and lentils. I just have to avoid the naan!)

Funny thing is...the little "pub" in Blowing Rock we dined at the first night was fine. Of course, the hostess had CD and told me exactly what she'd eaten that was safe. ;^)

You are right about GF beer having improved. Though I STILL miss Bass Ale. And I've figured out how to make AWESOME turkey gravy with cornstarch. And meatloaf with udi bread bread-crumbs. So...it's all good. And if I'm ever in your neck of the woods (where IS your neck of the woods?) The Husband and I will come dine at your restaurant. Fearlessly. ;^)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Beautiful job! You will have years of happy cooking in that bright, lovely kitchen! I'm 11 years into a celiac diagnosis, and more recently need to avoid dairy, soy and corn - I get the cooking at home thing (and have tons of recipes should you want any - a good bread recipe too, which is hard to find). There are a few restaurants that really get it, and it is stressful trying to figure out which those are, but once you find a few, you will at least have safe places to go out. We like a little place nearby that specializes in local, organic food, and will do GF, DF, vegan, vegetarian, etc - and has a certified GF kitchen. Will you even want to go out, with that kitchen at home? :-)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Your kitchen is really very nice. It just looks "right". I'm so glad you made it your dream kitchen and you will truly enjoy it forever!

2 new words/phrases I learned : Toe-tag house and Glutened. Never heard it used as a verb, but I will certainly be using that from now on...but I won't be using toe-tag house yet, since we still do use the phrase "next time we will ____"

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:21AM
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beekeeper's wife--We use the phrase "If we were to do it again we would"...but we both know we are NOT doing this again. EVER. Though...if we ever get a summer home...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Ooh. Love it. Especially the backsplash. I love red.

Please take a close up.

Well done.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:55AM
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I'm glad you're not changing your entire life style, because I watch so many people become paralyzed over things like this. Like having hypo- or hyperglycemic dietary needs.

You can also do a LOT of Asian foods, thank goodness. YEAH! Rice is a good thing.

I'm in the Washington, DC area and I'll save you a table. In the meanwhile, and come to think of it, why leave that gorgeous kitchen, anyway!?!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:21AM
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As requested--close-up of BS all natural light: From Backsplash closeup From Backsplash closeup

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:29AM
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it's always so fun to see a finished kitchen and hear what worked and how the new kitchen is better. nice job.

i like the toe tag term,too. i am pretty sure this is our last kitchen as well and i love doing it just for us without consideration for anyone else.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:49AM
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what a fun place to work! I love all the happy colors!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:26PM
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I also love the counter top with the backsplash, it's so soothing and serene, it is the perfect backdrop (under-drop?) for the vivacious tile. It's like the little black dress to a stunning diamond necklace. Sure, you could wear some fringed, bedazzled glitzy thing with the diamonds, but that just takes away from their beauty.

Well done, I can imagine cooking happily in there as well.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Love this, great remodel! And I particularly love the bold backsplash, really makes the whole room. I am at the start of a kitchen remodel and have pretty much decided to get a dual oven range to replace my double wall ovens. I noticed you replaced a wall oven, any regrets? I think I am going to miss having the oven raised, but I think having the dual oven will help quite a bit.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:59PM
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My wall oven was wee. VERY wee. One of the things I disliked about the old kitchen. Honestly...it was less of a problem in the last two years because of the celiac diagnosis...it really bothered me when I tried to bake. Since I find baking gluten free less than satisfying...that problem was solved. But I'd NEVER have been able to roast the honking big turkey I roasted this year in the old oven.

I DID worry about having to stoop to pull racks out...but with the Electrolux oven two of the racks are on ball bearings, and glide with barely a touch. Full extension, as well, so much easier to baste.

No regrets. Plus, if one of us ends up in a wheelchair, wall oven would have been inaccessible anyways. I know it sounds as though I harp on this...but it's a real possibility for me. (Familial auto-immune stuff. Not borrowing trouble...just planning for possibilities.)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Fantastic! I love how you have the MCM vibe in there without it being overtly retro. That backsplash is just the coolest.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Wow, this is great! All of your "elements" work very well together. I suspect you have created inspiration kitchen photos for many!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 1:54AM
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Beautiful transformation!!! Huge improvement in layout and functionality. And I love your colors! Yellows can be very tricky, but you chose wisely and it works perfectly with your cabs, bs, floor, and counter. I don't know if you chose the gray grout because of your counters, but I think it really ties those two elements together. Enjoy!

I don't have any experience with Celiac's or GF, but my 3 sons are all diabetic (type 1). I used to love to bake (pre-diagnosis), but found it very difficult when my middle son was first diagnosed (28 years ago--he was 2 yrs old). I bought a little cookbook from the Barbara Davis Center and tried quite a few recipes from it. Most of them the kids didn't like, but a few were hits. I bought more cookbooks, tried more recipes. Most were failures, but occasionally I'd find something that worked. I never had problems with main dishes, it was desserts and snacks that were hard. The diabetic recipes have come a long way and now I can usually tell from just reading the recipe if our family will like it. Fewer failures now and, of course, the internet makes finding recipes much easier. All I'm trying to say is hang in there. Don't give up on baking. It will take a lot of trial and error, but you can find recipes you will enjoy baking and love to eat!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 1:57AM
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Are the open cubbies for wine bottles?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 3:39AM
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mjsee - no you never really get over the fear but I do find it is so much easier to eat out now than it was a decade ago. But just two weeks ago, I was in DC visiting my son and his wife and ordered an entree off a menu that was marked GF. It came and I asked the server, are these flour tortilla? And she said yes! They then remade the dish for me with corn tortillas! It is interesting when a menu is marked GF how few items there are, I usually scan it and there are dishes that I would have guessed as GF that aren't marked as such. Hidden gluten is an issue. In a decade from now, I think it will be even easier to eat out.

You have the right strategy, get your "go to" restaurants with "go to" GF options so you can eat out locally. At those you can't, stick to the basics, steaks are often marinaded so they have some risk as do the veggies with sauce as you found. In unknown places with no GF menus, I stick to chicken salads, eggs (if they have them I order omelets at all sorts of time of day!), chicken nachos, salads instead of veggies, baked potatoes (like you did!) and if I am uncertain, I usually choose a bunless hamburger.

I haven't intentionally cheated the entire time and I too occasionally run into some gluten and I also have a bad day after. But it is pretty rare so I don't let it stop me from traveling and eating out. I have been known to "pre-game" bring my own food when I travel and snack heavily before a meal and just eat something light and safe (salad, appetizer) at the restaurant.

Lastly watch your beverages, all distilled liquor is GF but many celiacs discover they cannot tolerate liquors distilled from grains. I discovered this about a year ago about myself and stopped some symptoms I was having after going out by asking that beverages be made with a potato or grape based vodka.

I have a celiac Sister in Law (my poor kids got the double genetic CD risk!) who lets it run and ruin her life and I refuse to do that. She won't eat out due to fear of cross contamination (my burger was cooked on the same griddle as the last person's bun). I refuse to let it run my life and I can honestly say, the last 12 years of my life have been significantly healthier than the 12 years before my diagnosis! Occasional glitches but overall I feel great!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Really pretty! Wonderful backsplash, and does the grout match the counter? Clever! Love the color of the cabs, that's lovely wood. Great job, congratulations!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Just beautiful, everything looks like it was made to go together. I love the slight MCM vibe, too.

My daughter has soy and nut allergies, and she's finding it difficult to eat in the dining halls on campus. Like gluten, soy is in lots of things you wouldn't think of. To make it more difficult, she is doing low-carb. I just found a a soy-free beef jerky so she has something portable to eat on band trips.

She was so glad to come home to a kitchen and have complete control of everything.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:06PM
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The cubbies ARE for wine. That was my idea...my GC was all "what are we going to do with THIS space?" and I said..."Well,do they make wine cubbies?" And he said "Yes, but for horizontal or uppers" and I asked..."Well, couldn't we build a base for them?" And lo, the sun rose, the light dawned, and there was great rejoicing.

Luckily--liquor has not been a problem for me, gluten wise. Still mourning Lindt lindor balls. WHY do those have barley malt in them?

Thank you for all the compliments. Honestly---this kitchen is what happens when one obsesses about one's kitchen for 15 years...and haunts this forum...and has a kitchen PLANNED...and then has to do a major retaining wall instead...

Let's just say this was a LOOOOOONG time coming.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:25PM
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