Finished Kitchen: FINALLY!!! (lots of pictures)

tashamh2December 20, 2012

First, I have to thank GW for the wonderful advice, encouragement and guidance you gave me during my year-long journey. It was exactly 12 months ago that I thankfully first discovered this site and was saved from my own naivete.

A little background about my house and the renovation project. I have lived 11 years in a 1906 rowhouse in Washington, DC. I did some minor cosmetic renovations when I first moved in but recently decided to convert the basement into an apartment. That started a massive renovation project that included the basement, kitchen, adding a bathroom to the master bedroom, adding A/C, etc. It was very rocky in the beginning, but slowly the dust and debris stopped bothering me and I learned how to interact with my contractor. So, fast forward 12 months and I have a house that I absolutely love!

Here are the details. I copied a2gemini's detailed list of kitchen finishes.

Cabinets: Ikea cabinet boxes
Doors: Scherr Cherry Wood Shaker w/ Edge Profile - A and Cinnamon Cherry Stain
Floor Tile: Bianco Winter Matte 12x24
Pulls: Amerock Essentialz Satin Nickel 3 and 5 inch and 160mm arch pulls
Countertop: Colonial Cream
Sink: Kraus 32 inch stainless steel
Backsplash: Sand Glass Clear Mosaic Tile 1x6 - Mosaic Tile Brand
Paint - SW Loggia
Faucet: Delta 9159-AR-DST in Arctic Stainless
Soap Dispenser: LDR 551 P1200SS
Range: GE Profile
OTR Microwave: GE Profile
Refrigerator: Whirlpool
Dishwasher: Bosch
W/D: LG TurboWash
Pendant lights: Inhabit Living Reclaimed Bottle Light

Here are before and after pictures. My contractor did a fabulous job of making the most out of the limited space I have.



Hidden Broom closet and pull out pantry:

Combined 2 utensil drawers in order to save money on Scherr drawer fronts:

Converted an Ikea deep drawer into a trash pullout:

Lazy Susan and Spice Drawer (will label spices next year):

Here are pictures of the rest of the first floor which has also been remodeled:

Thank you everyone for your help. I'm picking up my parents, sister and brother-in-law from the airport today and can't wait to enjoy my new kitchen with my family.

Happy Holidays!

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Soooo exciting! And perfect timing! You did a fantastic job. Your kitchen is beautiful. Kudos! Happy happy holidays!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:33PM
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LOVE it!!! Not just the kitchen but the entire first floor and the vibe it gives off. Congratulations and enjoy your new space with your family.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Absolutely beautiful!! I love it - and the new space looks well planned and thought out. I loved the tape measure on the sideboard in the first picture - indicative of the kitchen to be.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Gorgeous remodel! Love your style. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:50PM
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WOW!! Beautiful and you and your GC did a great job !

Love the whole first floor...can we see the rest;) ??? c

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Very nicely done :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Very nicely done - but since I inspired your presentation and your cabinets are similar in color and you have a pull out next to the fridge - what else could I say - LOL

Wow - what a transformation. You really moved thinks around to make a much more functional and fun kitchen. Love your cabs, counters, BS and lighting. Your bar stools coordinate so nicely and pulls your kitchen together! Love your hydrangeas to give an added enhancement!

I wish I had thought of your utensil idea earlier - thought of it afterwards when I was going to have to split up my mega drawers - but solved that problem to some degree - at least for now.

How do you like your KA tea kettle? I asked Santa for a tea kettle and gave him a few choices - so something might pop under the tree.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:21PM
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You really made the most out of your space. Like how you fit the laundry in too. Enjoy your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Beautiful! Love how you tied the 21st century vibe in an older home. Out of curiosity, where did you get your stools?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Really beautiful! Your cabs are so lovely and warm and rich! You must be so excited! Great job!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Happy Holidays tashamh2 !! What a gorgeous transformation!!
Enjoy your new surroundings! Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:16PM
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It's gorgeous! You've made the most of the space and I love how it ties in with the rest of the house. I'm sure you will get all oohs and aahs from your family when they walk in the door.

Your spice drawer looks very interesting. Would you tell more about it sometime?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:26PM
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wow it looks so much larger!! What a great space.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Love, Love Love it!!! What a great job!

I am in process of planning an Ikea kitchen in our older home with a small galley kitchen. We are considering Sherr's doors and have to deal with visible laundry in the kitchen area as well. I will be referring to this post lots and lots!

Would you do the Ikea boxes with Sherr's doors again? Also, how did the cost compare to just getting the Ikea doors, or did you compare that?


    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Wow, you must feel like you moved into a new house. What a beautiful transformation. Everything is coordinated so nicely. You have a great sense of style. Would love to see the apartment and the rest of your gorgeous home. After a year of being in a construction zone you deserve to do nothing but sit back for a long time and enjoy your space.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:17PM
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When you first posted, I would never have thought that yours could become such a functional, sophisticated space. Congratulations on your vision!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:21PM
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How nice to come on and find your finished home, Tashamh2. Thanks! It's wonderful, but then I love your style too so am biased. I also especially love seeing what people do with older homes with limitations that generate creative and wonderfully individual solutions, like yours. Those Scherr's drawer fronts are extremely handsome, BTW. Ikea's great for what you pay, of course, but those are definitely in a whole different class.

As for getting the spices all prettily labeled, you know there are basically 2 types, right? Those who wouldn't go to bed until it was all perfect, and those for whom there is, happily, always time to get to it? I'd be interested in reading a good article on us. :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Beautiful! Every bit of it! The lighting, cabs, flooring, unique storage options - everything is perfect.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Tashamh --> So many clever well executed touches. Really nicely done. No one would believe that this classy kitchen is from IKEA. Love the broom closet and all the organization. Overall the place looks really updated and lovely. I would rent it in a heartbeat :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:34PM
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Wow, it's gorgeous! Was your contractor comfortable working with IKEA boxes or was that a struggle?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Yeeee-Ha! Looks great! I really like it, and you did a wonderful job with the space.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Fantastic! You must be so happy :)

LOVE your painting in the dining area, too. Have a wonderful time with your family and report back how your kitchen functioned with the extra people. It's interesting to hear how a space does when put to the test.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:25PM
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What a wonderful use of your well done! Thank-you for sharing the whole first floor too...Gave us an idea of the full picture! Congratulations!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:51PM
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laura mcleod

So gorgeous! Warm and streamlined all at once. I love all of the details and the cabinets are beautiful! Enjoy your new kitchen for the holidays.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:57PM
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It DOES look like a different house!! Beautiful work! You did a fabulous jobon the layout, and I adore the backsplash!



    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 6:48PM
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what a beautiful use of space. I want to move in!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:21PM
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So many clever ideas - you really worked hard on the planning to get such a great, functional kitchen. Well done!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:02PM
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So pretty and functional! What a transformation! I love the colors but then again, I have pretty much the same ones in my new kitchen. I was really curious what you paired with your colonial cream since I have the same granite. I love your backsplash choice. Great job!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Wow! You quad-zripled your space!
With the first picture, I wondered about all that wasted space opposite the sink. You did a fabulous job.

It's so modern and clean. Just love it!
Enjoy showing it off.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Love it! What a great space that will be to celebrate in with your family. The colors look great together, and I love all the functionality you squeezed into the space!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:50PM
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Mick Mick

Very nice. I love your kitchen. Enjoy your holidays!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:07PM
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That is an incredible transformation! Beautiful! I like your clever drawer idea. What a lovely home you have. Enjoy your hard work.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:46PM
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It is beautiful and so well put together. Your family is going to LOVE it. I am so happy for you - that everything is done for your holiday family get together.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Gorgeous! enjoy!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Beautiful cabinets, love the wood and finish. Looks great with the appliances. Great job.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Wow!! It looks fantastic. Love your color choices, especially the soft green.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:06AM
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Oh my goodness! Thank you, thank you, Everyone, for your kind words. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sooooo, the family loves the house. My mom can't wait to cook in the kitchen. And, my dad put a nice long black mark on the stairwell wall as he was carrying their luggage upstairs. Oh well! Now the house is truly lived in!

Trailrunner - Thanks for asking about the rest of the house. I added more photos to the end of this post.

a2gemini - I hope you believe in the saying that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. :-) Plus, I'm too lazy to reinvent the wheel. I love your kitchen. Because I have been so focused on my renovation project, I haven't kept on top of GW posts. I'm going to spend the holidays perusing the site and gushing over all the finished kitchens. In terms of the tea kettle, I really like that it's small and boils water quickly. What I don't particularly care for is the handle design. Pouring out the water while pressing the handle is kind of awkward. But, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again because of the color.

Chicgeek - I bought those stools on for $35 each (24 inch AZ Saddle Counter Stool). They came in red and I spray painted them Sage Green (Rustoleum spray paint from Home Depot). Let me tell you, I have never spray painted anything in my life, but it was so easy to spray paint those stools. I read up on the process and just took the plunge. I think the key is patience, using a primer, 2 light coats of paint and finishing it off with polyurethane. I, however, wouldn't recommend taking on this project during the I did...because the paint will crack if it's below 50 degrees.

Marti8a - I was feeling woefully inadequate and overwhelmed when I saw other people's spice drawers/racks. But then the idea came to me when I began to use those Ikea utensil drawer dividers. Ikea has deep drawer organizers for $15 (I believe) that you have to order from a salesperson like you do the cabinet boxes. I assembled 3 of those dividers and organized the spices by spice category, i.e., Italian spices, Indian spices, everyday spices, etc. We'll see if it works. I think labeling the tops of the bottles would help visiting cooks. We'll see if I ever get around to doing that. Haha!

Kailuamom - Thank you so much. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I love that I was able to save money and still end up with a nice kitchen. The trick to Scherr is building the kitchen and then ordering the Scherr doors. I fought with my contractor about this because it was going to take a very long time - 2 1/2 months - for the doors to come in. But as we were building the kitchen, we found other ways to arrange the cabinet boxes to make it more functional. AND, we discovered that Ikea horizontal cabs are a hair wider than their wall cabs. Overall, it takes a lot of time and detail to order separate doors (see pic below), but Tanner at Scherr was just absolutely amazing to work with. We communicated by email for about 10 months, trading those Ikea kitchen print outs. The only glitch was that two sets of doors were the wrong size and I had to wait another month for the replacement doors. Other than that, everything came in perfectly. In terms of cost, if I had gone with Adel doors with glass horizontal cabs, it would have been $6000. With Scherr doors, it ended up being $13,000. And, the quote from Great Indoors for Diamond cabinetry was $28,000 without the W/D doors.

Badgergal - I've read on this site about post-reno blues. Just like everyone else, my energy and time have gone into renovating my house for the last 12 months. It feels weird to come home and not have to jump on the computer to hunt down a reasonable priced light fixture or faucet. So, I'm fighting the urge to take on another project. I am determined to relax and enjoy my new house. And, thanks for your help with the pulls. I couldn't find the Hickory Hardware in a local store and the prices online were outside of my budget.

tbb123 - I completely agree! I can't remember if it was Marcolo who knocked some sense into me by telling me I was all over the place and needed to take my time to plan out my kitchen. My kitchen would have been a hot mess had I moved forward with my earlier plans. Thank goodness for GW and the honest feedback.

Rosie - I think I will be in the second camp. If the kitchen I lived with for 11 years is any indication, I will likely live with that spice drawer for 11 more years. Ha!

Chiefy76 - Yes, my contractor is an Ikea pro. His own kitchen is from Ikea. When I got quotes from other contractors, they were going to charge more for having to assemble an Ikea kitchen. There are a lot of boxes and gadgets, but it took them about 2 days to build the cabinet boxes and another 2 days or so to put up the Scherr doors. I've added a URL to a post with pictures of my Ikea cabinet boxes.

alex9179 - yes, I'm curious about how this kitchen will perform, especially the area near the refrigerator. I went back and forth about whether putting the refrigerator so close to the peninsula would create a bottleneck. We shall see....

These are pictures of the basement apartment. Converting the basement was the best decision ever. It added a significant boost to my home value, I found a great tenant in 1 day and the rent covers most of my monthly mortgage payment.

Here's a picture of the front of the house. I replaced the ugly wood door with a glass door that's painted red.

I added a bathroom to my bedroom by taking space off of the middle bedroom.

Still left on the renovation list is adding radiator covers and replacing the living room light fixture. Any suggestions? That's the original light fixture but it doesn't go with the rest of the house.

Wow, this was a long post. Sorry about that.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea...Would you do it again?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:40AM
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WOW>>>SEND LIGHT TO ME ! It goes perfectly with my 1890 home...actually I am serious can email me through GW. I found one in an abandoned house on my bike trip in 2011 and the guy in the store across the street said he would send it...never came..I called and called...yours would be so perfect. I have 2 of the same era ...pic below of one..can't find other pic. Will take a new one if you are interested .

I love what you did with the basement and aren't you lucky to have the income .

I have almost the same teak stool in my bathroom !!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Dang - I was going to say if the rental apt looks as good as the kitchen reno (and it does), I would apply to be your tenant!

I was thinking of you yesterday but didn't see your post until this morning. So happy for you that it all came together so beautifully AND that you have family with you to share it for the holiday.

I spent my entire childhood through young adulthood seeing those row houses (lived in one near Walter Reed). Yours is just wonderful. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Your kitchen remodel is AWESOME!!! It's fun to see such a stark transformation. I grimaced at the before pics and the thought "don't know what she can do with that?" came to mind and then WOW the pics started flowing.

I love the elements you selected. I'm sure glad you pointed out that the horizontal boxes and vertical wall cabinets weren't the same...I never looked at IKEA sizes that closely.

I did have 2 questions. We too were looking at IKEA. We were originally going to go with the Nexus Brown/Black but now are looking at the ramsjo red-brown. It's a bit more red then I would like but I was wondering if it's just that way more so in the store lighting. Yours seem a warmer brown stain. Was that the reasoning behind your going with Sherr's doors or did you have another reason?

The second question arises about the frig position. We were looking at placing ours in a similar position. With the extra visitors visiting it may give you an idea sooner then later of how much of a problem it is.

Again, great job!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:27AM
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LOVE your style/decor and really, really like what you have done with your home! Wonderful job--all of it!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:11PM
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tashamh2, do you mind sharing the name of your contractor? I live in Bethesda and have been looking for someone to do similar work (kitchen/basement remodel). He really provided you with some great space-saving ideas!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Wow! And can I second dccurlygirl's request for contractor info? I'm in Chevy Chase and desperately need to stop thinking about renovating my galley kitchen and actually do it. Yours looks absolutely amazing. Congratulations and hope you enjoy it over the holidays and beyond!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:25PM
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What a beautiful transformation! I love the cherry cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Javachik - thank you so much. I appreciate you checking on me periodically. I'm so glad I made it through alive. My contractor came over this evening to meet my family. It's funny how it's all love now that the work is done.

aloha2009 - I test drove my kitchen today and the refrigerator by the peninsula does NOT work. I noticed folks had to wait for the person to finish grabbing a drink before they could enter the kitchen. Oh well! Luckily, I don't have many guests. I went Scherr just for that reason - I didn't like any of the darker stains. Adel was close but it would have matched my floors too much. And, Ramsjo was too red. I tried to match the stain of the cabinet doors to that of my dining room table.

DCcurlygirl & Smaloney - I need to also credit a lot of the design work and my sanity to my FABULOUS architect. He is so patient and knowledgeable and really goes out of his way to ensure the project is being done according to his design. So, I would definitely recommend the pair of them. My contractor is a little rough around the edges. He's an acquired taste, as he likes to describe himself. If you can overlook his cussing and brash personality, you'll see that he is a really great person. AND, he doesn't use subcontractors. He has a crew of 10 guys who are super reliable, respectful and trustworthy. It was the same 4 guys showing up at 8:15am every day, except Sundays.

Here's their info:

Jason Grant
Emotive Architecture

Glen Sperling
Harmony Remodeling

Let me know how it goes! I'm excited for you.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Thanks for the leads! I don't know when I'll get started, but it's great to have somewhere to begin, once I'm ready. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Like so many other GWers, I thought what in the world will she do to get the most out of the space. That is really eye popping!! You have so much more counter/prep area and the function looks like a dream kitchen. You have a lovely place! Enjoy the Christmas time with your family and your beautiful kitchen for many years to come!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Absolutely gorgeous!! I love the cabinets and backsplash, and so many of the details. The washer/dryer cabinet is inspired. But the change in layout to such a functional space is the most admirable thing about your project. Congratulations, you did an amazing job!!

Btw, love the front of your home too, it has such great character.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:49AM
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First you had an "eh" little pocket kitchen, and now it's such a gem full of elegance and gorgeousness. What a joy it must be to walk into and see the difference!

And the apartment is such a wonderful addition, too...Good job and congratulations!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Wow, can't believe how spacious and beautiful your kitchen is now. Really, your entire home is just gorgeous.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Absolutely WOW! I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. WOW and wow again. What a true transformation.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 5:33PM
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The cabinet door finish grabbed me. Then, reviewing your before and after, it was easy to realize what a transformation. Your new kitchen is gorgeous. I love your cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Late to the comment game, but WOW! You did an amazing job! I wish I had a your GC here! I am sending your pics to my GC. Had we planned to do a full overlay, I was going to do exactly what you are doing. However, I want to do Ikea in the rest of the house & GC is giving me a hell of a hard time. I am almost to the point where I am going to back those areas out of the contract & have someone else do them.

Well done & I hope you really enjoyed your new space over the holidays!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Late to the comment game, but WOW! You did an amazing job! I wish I had a your GC here! I am sending your pics to my GC. Had we planned to do a full overlay, I was going to do exactly what you are doing. However, I want to do Ikea in the rest of the house & GC is giving me a hell of a hard time. I am almost to the point where I am going to back those areas out of the contract & have someone else do them.

Well done & I hope you really enjoyed your new space over the holidays!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Hi Wishiwasinoz - sorry for the delayed response. I've been laid up with the flu. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I have hosted 3 gatherings since the kitchen has been completed. It is way more functional and accommodating to social gatherings. I think the only drawback is the location of the refrigerator but I didn't have many options for its placement. I highly recommend working with a GC that knows how to manipulate Ikea cabinetry. Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 4:33AM
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