Yikes! I'm actually a little nervous to post finished pix! In the wonderful GW spirit of sharing an entire experience, this is a loooonnnnnngggggg post. But here goes...
First, a big, huge, giant THANK YOU to all GWers. Ive learned so much here and can only hope that my experience helps others. Overall, IÂm very pleased with my kitchen. Most of the time, I LOVE it. That said, not all is perfect. So IÂve created 6 categories: What I Feel I Need to Justify to Those Who Know (you guys); What Had To Be That IÂve Grown to Love; What I LOVE; What I Waver On Daily; and Miscellaneous Thoughts. So, for those who are interested, here goesÂ(otherwise, skip to the list and pix-no offense taken!!)
What I Feel I Need to Justify:
1. My big, huge, barrier island. I posted a layout months ago and rhome410 and buehl both pointed out that my island would be a barrier between the range and the refrigerator. Thanks to rhome, I slid the fridge from the right end of that wall to the left which makes the trip from oven to fridge shorter. Thank you, rhome! My island still would be considered a barrier island, but the fact is that it really works for my space and my family.
2. Outlets vs plugmolds: I was torn here. For me it was outlets vs. hanging cords. I think most people who use plugmolds probably donÂt keep the appliances plugged in, and as much as IÂd like to say we unplug the toaster and coffee maker, we donÂt. So, I just decidedÂitÂs a kitchen, it has outlets. Let it be.
3. Giving up a separate, formal dining roomÂDH couldnÂt care less, he was really the one pushing to lose the wall between the original kitchen and dining room. He doesnÂt see the need for a formal dining room for usÂwe rarely have formal dinner parties. My "vision" was to make the dining area a little more formal. Not sure I pulled it off. Either way, this layout really works for us and weÂre hoping to be in this house for a long time.
4. AirswitchÂyes, I know the current finish is glaringly silver in a sea of brown! I ordered a special Mocha Bronze finish for the button. Still havenÂt gotten the button. ItÂs on backorder and I was told that they now donÂt have any idea when it will be available!! Ugh.
5. Molding odditiesÂbecause of the slight drop in the ceiling in the "alcove," the crown molding is at different heightsÂyou can tell when looking at the upper cabinet to the right of the stove. CouldnÂt be helped.
What Had To Be That IÂve Grown to Love:
1. Originally, the entirety of the wall between the original kitchen and dining room was supposed to come out; same with that shallow wall next to the doors leading to my backyard. One couldnÂt be completely removed because of a major pipe. and the other couldnÂt come out because itÂs a structural support. That pipe is also the reason for the protrusion from that wall to the ceiling. Though disappointed about this at first, I now love how the cabinets and counter wrap around that wall; and with that on one end and the other wall on the other, a somewhat cozy alcove is created for that space. I think of these things now as architectural details.
2. Island countertopÂmy original vision was a beautiful, rich wenge edge grain countertop. Got a sample, LOVED it. Literally fondled it for an evening. My GC and DH were vehemently against wood for the island. Despite my assurances of super-durable, water-resistant finishes and the fact that I would welcome some dents and scratches as patina, they wouldnÂt budge. I couldÂve forged ahead without their approval, but decided to see if I could first find something that would be a happy compromise. I didÂa granite called Cabernet. It reads a pretty flat chocolate brown with faint black movement. It gives the same general look as the wood, though the wood wouldÂve provided such a wonderful warmth that only wood can give. That said, IÂm really happy with the granite.
3. The stoolsÂthis is very, very minor. Ideally, I would have chosen a dark brown woven stool, probably backlessÂsimilar to those seagrass Pottery Barn stools. However, cost, durability, and comfort had to come into play. With little kids, I just couldnÂt see having backless stools and I with as much use as theyÂre getting, I worried about crumbs and such. So, these will do for now.
What I LOVE:
1. The sinkÂcopper sink, 14 gauge, Dark Smoke finish from Copper Sinks Online. Love it. Everyone who sees it loves it.
2. FaucetÂWhitehaus New Vision Curved Handle. Retails for over $700, got it for under $300 because itÂs been discontinued. I worked directly with someone at Whitehaus via email and he was wonderfulÂfound the matching soap dispenser at a lower price for me, too.
3. Cabinet hardwareÂordered from Rejuvenation. Looks ORB, but is burnished brass.
4. Paint colorÂI just really like the way it works with the browns, greys, and white in the kitchen. ItÂs Benjamin Moore Nantucket Grey. Reads mossy grey/green.
5. The tumbled marble mosaic. This was a last minute decision when my GC said that taking the carrara slab all the way up to the ceiling (around the hood) was a bad idea. Turns out I LOVE the way the mosaic looks around the hood and I love how the band around the rest of the perimeter turned out.
6. The FratelliÂweÂre not gourmets, but I prefer the look of the pro-style ranges. The Fratelli was a great option for us, not a bank-breaker, but great visual appeal and great function (as far as I can tell!). I really love the look of it, the "dainty" knobs especially.
What I Waver On Daily:
1. Pendant lights over islandÂLOVED these when they were up without anything else in the space and most of the time I still love them, but there are moments when I wonder if theyÂre all wrong!
2. Carrara marbleÂwhile I do love it, sometimes I worry that itÂs a tad too grey for the white cabinets; I also think I wouldÂve been happy with the mosaic between the range and the hood versus the slab, but the slab will be easier to keep clean. I do like the slab under the AdvantiumÂwhere itÂs very nook-like.
3. Using different hardware on the cabinets in the dining space. I fell in love with the idea of a pendant pull, but didnÂt want them everywhere. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I think I shouldÂve just kept everything the same.
4. Pantry PulloutsÂwhen I first loaded these I thought they were a painÂtoo rigid storage-wise and I wished I had just done tall cabinets with pullout shelves. Now, though, I can see their value and I can reach the top on tippy-toes (IÂm 5Â6"). Could still go either way on this. DonÂt love the hardware placement on them, but that really goes under a new categoryÂDonÂt Love It, But Can Live With It.
5. Position of cabinets between kitchen and diningÂtheyÂre not centered on that short wall, but mimic the cabinets across from them, by the dining window. I let my GC win this one and I sometimes wish I had pushed for them to be center on that wall.
6. DonÂt really waver on thisÂI wish I had done all drawers on the window side perimeter. I just donÂt think I gave it enough thought. Oh well.
1. Why the gold/brown finishes vs. silver/chrome? While I love the silver/chrome finishes with the white cabinets, I gravitate toward browns and reds and yellows. These are the hues in our family room thatÂs open to the kitchen. ThatÂs why I thought burnished or antiqued brass tones would work better for us.
2. IÂm still trying to warm up the space. I know I couldÂve gone with rich wood cabinets, but that part of the house is so darkÂdespite all the windows and doors, it gets only filtered natural light. Plus, I was always drawn to the white kitchens in all the magazines. I just felt it was the right way to go for this space.
3. Have contemplated putting corbels under the glass uppersÂthoughts anyone?
4. Big blank wall between fridge and opening to mudroomÂwas originally going to put a black bench there. Now IÂm thinking of putting two rows of white magnetic strips there for childrenÂs artwork, holiday cards, reminders, etc.
5. Used magnetic paint on the shallow wall near the doors leading to the backyard (and on one wall in our mudroom). Not very strong, though, so I need to work on getting stronger magnets. Those plastic magnetic photo pockets (if anyone knows what IÂm talking about) stick pretty good.
6. Will likely incorporate some window treatments at some point. CanÂt decide if I should try to find a fabric that would work for roman shades or do a dark brown woven shade.
7. Though itÂs counter depth, the fridge sticks out more than I expected.
CabinetsÂKountry Kraft Alpine White
Fratelli Onofri 36" EvolutionÂsingle oven
Kitchenaid 72" French Door Refrigerator
Carrara marble, honed, on perimeters
Cabernet granite on island
HardwareÂRejuvenation Arched Mission Pull in Burnished Antique