97ish%: soapstone, white cabs, green subways

hoffmanDecember 16, 2007

I still have an annoyingly long and slow-moving punchlist that I am beyond impatient to finish, but it's finally close enough to at least post photos. I have been mostly lurking and occasionally posting here for a year while planning this renovation -- and living through 5 months of construction -- so many, many thanks to all of you! There's no way this kitchen would have turned out as well without this incredible resource. It has many classic Garden Web features (a tapmaster + Never MT, of course!) and, most importantly, soapstone counters which I never would have found without you all.

(All the yellow notes are punchlist items...)

(There will eventually -- supposedly on Monday -- be a table between the banquettes...)

Thanks again!

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WOW!! I really like it. You've done a fabulous job. I love your beanquettes too. Do you have any closeups of your soapstone? I'd love to see it : )
Just in time for Christmas.......enjoy!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 1:42AM
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It all looks lovely! If I had seen these pics before doing my kitchen, I might have copied your backsplash. Such a pretty green! I'd love to know more about the tile.

I love the colors you have in the space, especially how the pale blue walls and the green tiles work with the white and the black in the banquettes and the soapstone. It's very fresh looking.

And, BTW, the chalkboard pic is absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing that one, especially. Your little one looks very happy with that space :-)


    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 1:48AM
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Thank you both so much. As others have said, no one in real life appreciates the details like the folks here do!

Emmie, I copied the green tile from a magazine I bought 3 1/2 years ago -- I pretty much designed the whole kitchen around it. I agonized over the paint color (& asked for advice here, of course!) -- it was impossible to find a green that didn't clash or look too minty which is why I eventually went with a contrasting color. You can see the tile at www.adexusa.com. BTW, you are one of the people who influenced me to get soapstone over granite -- I remember reading how excited you were about your installation when I was making the decision. So, thank you!

Saskatchewan, here are some photos of the soapstone:

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:03AM
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Ooooo.........I love it even more!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:30AM
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LOVE it. You must be thrilled. It really is gorgeous. Your eating area is great...Will be even better with a table, I'm sure! :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:33AM
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I was going to specifically name the things I love about your kitchen...but as I scrolled through the pictures, the list kept getting longer and longer! It's all so absolutely great, down to the adorable phone on the wall. Congratulations! You did a fantastic job. It looks like a kitchen you will enjoy for years to come.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 4:22AM
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Totally charming. It looks like a wonderful happy place to raise little ones.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 6:14AM
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Charming and classic. I love the layout! and the beadboard. I keep going back to look at the pics. What a great space. The set of drawers to the left of the frig keeps catching my eye. Looks like a piece of furniture.

You can tell you have an eye for detail in everything you chose.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:13AM
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You've inspired me to post my first GardenWeb message! What a beautiful job you've done with your kitchen. We're getting ready to sell our just-remodeled home and moving to a house that needs remodeling. I'd love to do something similar to what you've done in your kitchen to the kitchen in our next house. I didn't consider white cabinets until I saw your kitchen. I've always loved soapstone or honed granite because of the fact that it's not shiny. However, I've shied away from it because I've heard it's a maintenance issue. What did people tell you that you need to do for maintenance? We put slate tile on the countertops and in the shower of our master bathroom and were told we needed to put two to three coats of sealer on it annually. Is it about the same for soapstone? If so, it's worth it!

Also, I absolutely love your wood floors. Were you concerned about putting wood in a wet area like a kitchen? Have you had wood in a kitchen before? I'd love to do put it in our new kitchen but I'm nervous. Would you mind sharing the name/color of your wood floor? I might have to copy your entire kitchen! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Thank you for any information your willing to share!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Beautiful, classic kit!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:57AM
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Wow, I really love your kitchen. It's refreshing to see white appliances too. Can you tell me what kind of wood floor,it's really pretty and im trying to decide on what type of wood flooring to get. Love the glass knobs and the contrast of the paint color to tile. I love it all!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:25AM
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Wow, that is a really, really nice kitchen! It looks like you will have many years of pleasure from it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Wow, yours has just become another inspiration kitchen for me. What is the lovely pale blue paint color?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:45AM
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Everyone before me as written what I'm feeling -- just a beautiful and beautifully planned kitchen! I am having so much fun looking at your pictures. That's the kind of space into which one walks and just says "aaaahhhhhh." You should be very proud of yourself!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:41AM
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That is a beautiful kitchen! I love the backsplash, the soapstone, the phone, the cabinets (especially the one with feet) the blackboard, and the lighting. And it all works so well together. I'd love to see more pictures of your oiled soapstone.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 10:41AM
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Love your kitchen, just beautiful! Chalkboard is a great idea!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Thank you, everyone!

Let's see:

The floors are brazilian cherry suggested & provided by my contractor. There's no color stain on them at -- just a few coats of poly or whatever they finish them with. They have gotten darker over the 3 months since they were installed. I have never had wood floors in the kitchen before, but many other folks have (search and you will find extensive discussions of wood floors) so I'm just hoping for the best.

The paint color is BM Beacon Gray - depending on the light, it looks pale blue or even purple-ish.

The phone is from Pottery Barn. It's not cordless, so we'll always be able to find it when it rings (a problem with our current phones)! It has a great, old-fashioned ring.

I'm so glad someone said they liked the white appliances --you can't imagine how many times I second-guessed myself on that because stainless is almost all you see these days.

Soapstone maintenance is different than slate. It's nonporous so you don't use sealer at all. You put mineral oil on it to make it look black (rather than grey) and many people here have found that Beeswax or Bee's Oil maintains the black look longer than mineral oil. Again, search (at the bottom of the page) and you will find many threads on the pros/cons of soapstone and how to maintain it. Here's a picture of freshly oiled soapstone:

We did not change the layout at all. The kitchen is too small to fit an island and still have room for a table, so we kept the existing breakfast nook and small bar area. We did rip out the built-ins in the corners of the breakfast nook, which made me sad, but it gave us room for the banquettes and I don't think the old built-ins would have looked good with all the new stuff. Here are some before pictures:

(That's the table that is hopefully moving back tomorrow -- it's too heavy for us to carry ourselves.)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Your kitchen is fabulous...classy, timeless, and homey. I love it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:21PM
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Oh my goodness - you have my kitchen! The one I've been craving ever since I saw the cover of, well, "Real Simple," I think it was. Is that the magazine cover you used as inspiration? Anyway, yours is just gorgeous. I love everything about it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:32PM
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Do you need to see another message about how gorgeous your kitchen is? Of course! I, too, had never heard about soapstone till I got onto this forum - and we've ordered it for our counters and island. I love that you've put another color of paint besides green on your walls - matching is just so boring.

My puzzlement is over all those stickies. It doesn't look as though you should have a punch list at all - it's so great. What's on your punch list and is the contractor coming back to finishe those items?

Meantime, enjoy it - it's beautiful!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:38PM
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wonderful kitchen!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 4:26PM
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I really, really like your kitchen, Hoffman! Everything about it speaks of a sense and sensibility that is where I want to take my own remodel. Like you, I'm going with the white cabs, farmhouse sink and soapstone counters. But you have totally made my day by showing the white appliances! All along, I had been going the route of black appliances until I broke down and decided to hire an interior designer to help me out with my neverending project. One of the very first suggestions he has made in terms of getting me to look differently at my design has been to change over to white appliances! Like you, my initial reaction was to balk at that idea. However, now seeing your fantastic kitchen, with those white appliances, I think I'm sold! (For those of you who know, of course I'm sticking with the red Aga!)

Two more compliments: I especially love that banquette. I only wish I had the space to pull off something similar. And, I'm crazy about your kitchen table. Is that a marble or granite top? I've been looking for something very much like it.

Thanks for sharing and many congrats on a great job!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 4:49PM
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Your white appliances look fabulous in your kitchen - I can understand why you hesitated but I hope you agree wholeheartedly now that they are perfect!! I also love seeing the soapstone and hope that it won't be too far down the road before I'm enjoying the same countertops myself.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 5:37PM
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Joann - Real Simple was not my inspiration (it was the June 2004 edition of Kitchen & Bath Ideas) but I think I do remember a Real Simple cover with green tile.

Raynag - The stickies are for all the little things that need to be fixed or redone and the contractor is definitely coming back to do it (or he won't get his final payment!) I work full time & almost never get a chance to see any of the workers face-to-face, so I've gone through a LOT of stickies.

Marthavila - the table has a marble top & I bought it from Williams Sonoma more than 5 years ago. They still use similar tables for display in their stores but, unfortunately, I don't think they sell it anymore. BTW, my sister has a red Aga and it's a real showstopper!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 6:50PM
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"BTW, you are one of the people who influenced me to get soapstone over granite -- I remember reading how excited you were about your installation when I was making the decision. So, thank you!"

Wow! Thank YOU! And you are very welcome! I'm very glad it has all worked out for you so beautifully. It's gorgeous!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 6:53PM
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Just beautiful. I love the layout...very different from the traditional "L" or "U" shape. The banquette area is terrific and the table is even better. Congratulations on a job well done!!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:21PM
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I have to show the pics of your kitchen to a godd friend of mine. It looks terrific, and I know she would love it!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:47PM
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I've added a few more finishing touches -

Here is the breakfast nook with the table:


Flor carpet tile (to protect the floor by the door & under the barstools):


We have really been enjoying the kitchen -- especially the breakfast nook. It's become a favorite spot to read the newspaper or work on the laptop.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 7:16PM
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What style would you say your cabinets are? Or, what style would you say your kitchen is?
I really love this style of white cabinets with black/dark counters, those cup-style drawer pulls, beadboard, subway tile etc...
I'd like to recreate that feel in my next kitchen, but when I go to look for cabinets, I'm not sure what style to ask for! THX!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 12:40AM
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You should ask for "Shaker" style white-painted cabinets. You could also say you want a "cottage" style kitchen. Or that you want to copy the kitchen in the movie "Something's Gotta Give" which is such a popular look that anyone in the kitchen industry should know what you are talking about.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:13AM
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This is one of the prettiest white kitchens I've seen on here, and I am not a big fan of white appliances but your refrigerator looks amazing. I love the look you went for, and I think it's absolutely stunning. Had you chosen SS the look would not be the same. Fabulous kitchen. I adore the breakfast nook. We chose to not have one, and I am totally jealous now, LOL


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Your kitchen is wonderful. I love the lines of the original layout, it works so nicely with all the items you chose.

Do you know the name of your soapstone? It looks so much like what we had in our previous house (but I just chose the slab at that point not knowing there were different names)

Thank you

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:26AM
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Never really liked white kitchens, but after seeing yours, I am in love with white kitchen especially yours. I have a breakfast nook area that I was thinking of getting rid of, but your photos have convinced me to keep it. Would you share where you got your banquettes, they are divine!!! I'm sure you will enjoy every moment in that kitchen, completely stunning!!!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Thanks for the kind words.

Borngrace: the soapstone is Belvedere from M. Teizeira in NJ. It has green veins & is harder than most soapstone.

Littlealexa: the banquettes are from Ballard Designs & we are very happy with them. The benches on the side are 48" and the seats flip up for storage -- the one on the end is 20" with no storage. You can either choose from one of Ballard's fabrics or have them custom made with your own fabric -- I used a stain resistant outdoor fabric I ordered over the internet. They also make a slipcovered version, but it only comes in 36".

We considered ripping out the nook, but would not have had space for both an island & a table. And the structural changes would have significantly increased the budget. We were advised against doing built-in banquettes for resale purposes, so the Ballard benches (which we could take with us) were the perfect solution.

Note that you should really have a trestle table for a booth like this -- we reused an old table with legs in the corners, so we ordered benches that are much shorter than the table (it's 72") so that there would be room to maneuver past the legs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ballard Designs Coventry seating

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Love your kitchen! I have been searching for "the" inspiration kitchen with white cabs and I think yours is it! Could you tell me the brand, style, color of your cabs?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Your kitchen is truly amazing. Love the white appliances, the neat light over the sink and the gorgeous soapstone. You have put it all together perfectly!!

I noticed that your dishwasher looks nice and flush with the cabinets. How did you solve your problem? Zoey

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:33PM
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I'll chime in too -- I LOVE the fact that you chose white appliances! I did SS in my last kitchen remodel a few years ago b/c everyone else seems to like them so much, and we'd be turning the house over fairly quickly. But now that we've moved to our "forever" home, a 1930s cottage, I decided to go with what I really like -- smooth white. In fact, I have the same refrigerator as you do. And I personally think it's a darn pretty fridge, despite what the rest of the stainless-loving world probably thinks of it.

Beautiful job!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 4:42PM
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Matransplant -- the cabinets are Dura Supreme in the white painted finish with no glaze -- I think the door style is called Monterey.

Zooey -- good memory! Once I complained about the dishwasher, he managed to push it further in (surprise, surprise...).

Here is a link that might be useful: Dura Supreme cabinets

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:32PM
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Absolutely fabulous makeover! I can smell the chocolate chip cookies! It is so warm and inviting! The green subway tile is a really nice touch. Where did you find it?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Thanks -- the subway tile is Adex (www.adexusa.com). I got it at Short Hills Marble & Tile in NJ but I've also seen it at Expo. It has a crackle finish.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Absolutely stunning! And even your daughter's laptop matches the kitchen!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Hoffman, i love your kitchen! Can you tell me what brand of frig you have? Is it cabinet depth? i'd like a cabinet depth frig in white, either french door or bottom freezer, but haven't seen one except in SS.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 2:29PM
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Thanks, egganddart. My refrigerator is a GE and it is counter-depth.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE white french door refrigerators

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 7:29PM
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Thanks, Hoffman!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Hoffman, I looked at GE's site and the specs say the cabinet depth frig is 31 3/8" with the door, while it's 24 1/4" without door.

Two questions: Is the door 7 1/4" thick?! And, how is 31" cabinet depth?! My regular clunky frig is 32" and it sticks way out. Yours doesn't seem to. Can you explain this?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 11:04AM
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No, the door isn't 7 1/4" deep!

The "case depth" (without doors) is 24", the depth with the doors is 28" and 31" is the depth with the deepest part of the handles included. My cabinets are the same depth as the case, so that just the doors stick out. The fact that the handles apparently stick out 3 more inches really isn't noticeable.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Oh! That makes more sense! Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 12:03AM
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