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90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Posted by jhwu (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 22, 11 at 1:55

Hi everyone --- long time lurker and very occasional poster here for the past 4 years. Thanks everyone ---- I've learned so much from all of you!

We're just about done with constructing our little house - we started the design process in late 2006 and have been under construction for 18 months.

We're about to punchlist the house and so we unwrapped all the kitchen cabs. Its very exciting!

The kitchen is not too terribly large but its just right for our small family. The cabinets are made of walnut, except for the cantilevered cabinets, which are plastic-laminate in the front. They were made by Henrybuilt and I'm thrilled with their staff -- they helped so much along the way! The counters are Caesarstone Blizzard, and the floors are a white terrazzo that mimics the counters.

The backsplash (back painted glass color matched to Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies) above the upper cabs is still not done. That said, the backsplash is meant to be as subtle as possible in order to limit the diversity of the palette, so we chose the color to be the exact same color as the surrounding wall. The pendant lights are not installed either (we've still got the ugly temporary fluorescents there to pass title-24 CA energy rules). None of the drawers / cabs have been tuned / adjusted yet.

The ovens and hood were bought from ebay (discontinued models) for 70% off list price .... The hood was kind of a pain though - the seller from Brooklyn (I should have known) advertised it as "new in box" but it actually turned out to be a display model. I had to fix a cloudy LCD display and a flaky knob-switch on it so my savings for that was probably around 50% instead of 70%.

The cooktops are the miele 30" induction unit and a gagg gas wok hob. We also used a hidden miele 36" fridge/freezer combo and a miele dishwasher. I hope these work OK --- the fridge came with a burnt out light bulb and I had to replace one already.

The undercab lights are Hera LED pucks. They are a bit dimmer than I had hoped, but they are still quite nice. I'd use them again. They are recessed into the underside of the upper cabs and there is no light rail.

If I had to do it over again, I think I'd try and eliminate the upper cabs entirely and just backsplash that entire wall. However, my practical side starts to say that I'd be giving up valuable cabinet space...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

That kitchen is beautiful, especially the walnut cabinets. Those are breathtaking. I like clean expansive counter space and you sure have that. Enjoy your great space.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Wow! I would love to see the rest of the house.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Truly pristine. Those countertops are just begging for me to come make a huge mess! Your cabs are really beautiful and calming. Love it!

That Hansgrohe is the same one I'm planning! I haven't seen one used here in a while. Good to someone using that cool faucet.

Sorry about your hood troubles. That's the shape I'm going for also if I don't do a wood hood. Can you please tell me the brand?

BTW, the police caution tape in the hall is a nice touch. It should read: "Caution. Don't you dare mess up the beautiful new kitchen." ;)


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Your entire space is just spectacular! Can you please tell me what the drawer and pantry hardware is?


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Very cool! Beautiful colors. Are the laminate cabinets a gray?

For 'not too terribly large' I bet it will 'live large' with the nice open expanses of workspace/counter and the major amounts of storage! What a great cooking combo in your cooktops. And Gagg ovens, too? Very nice.

Love the floors and also the fireplace and stair railing!


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Love the contrast of the cabinets with the light on the counters and the floors. If your space is small, you really have made the most of it! It looks like you have great storage. I like the upper cabinets.


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looks like one heck of a functional space. This is not a little kitchen. Very sleek.

have a ball cooking in there


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Oh wow! Beautiful kitchen. The laminate cabs are great for some contrast and relief to the walnut - splendid mix. I know what you mean about no uppers and yet those horizontal top opening cabinets are something special. Love the counter and really captured by the floor! Where do you get something like this. It isn't tiles of terrazzo either, is it? I'm a great fan of acres of counter so love your fairly minimal kitchen layout.

Congratulations! Splendid kitchen. Are you in NYC or Seattle or did you work with HB long distance? If the latter, how easy did you find the experience?

I love the beyond also - I really like the flush molding at the baseboards and the negative/channel reveal (or whatever it is called) between the wall and baseboard. (We did this near the clothes cupboard wall in our 1920 Bungalow wich has 6" molding elsewhere ;-). It's a small bit of wall, barely noticeable so why not?!)
Great stairs beyond.


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Gorgeous!!

I love the step entry into the kitchen space and the walnut. I think the uppers look great in the whole mix. Enjoy!


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Wow, absolutely beautiful. Clean, sleek and modern and yet so calming. What a great space to cook, eat and live in. Would also love to see more once you settle in. Congratulations on a great design. After 18 months you must be thrilled.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Beautiful space! I love the elevation change and the fireplace! Oh, I would love to have that fireplace.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Oh WOW!!!!!! I love, love, love it! Add this to my ever-growing list of favorite kitchens on GW! Everything is just perfect.

I am so jealous of your base molding--can we see a close-up? I have never seen anything like that before and so wish I had it after seeing yours!

Love the metal/wire railings, too. They always seem to add so much "cool" factor to a house (don't have them, but love the look).

Please can we see the rest of the house???? I might have some drool left.....! LOL


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

It's beautiful. I have never seen a Henrybuilt kitchen that wasn't gorgeous. They are a fabulous cabinet company.

I love your upper cabinets. I think it was wise to have them, not only for the storage, but it balances the space - if you'd only had the base cabinets it would somehow seem bottom heavy, so those floating cabinets are absolutely perfect.

I am curious about your outlets (or lack of them). Code here says we have to have receptacles in the kitchen every 3' which is crazy. But in your kitchen I think I only saw 1 on the cooktop side, and didn't see plugmold. What are you doing for electric outlets?

What sink did you use? Can you tell us what is the brand and size? Thank you.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

What a perfect contemporary space....I wouldn't change a thing. Enjoy!!


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Thanks Everyone! This kitchen (and house) is probably a bit more severe and modern than most of everyone's tastes and I'm quite heartened that there's appreciation for the design. We really aimed for a modern design. We were tried to avoid a "contemporary" design. We really aimed for "modern" in the sense that "modern" describes a school of design (borne out of the 1940s) moreso than a time period (which is what we think "contemporary" is apt to describe).

+ bfelton & cosmo_nj --- thank you, I'll post a few more snapshots below (we went for as expansive as a space as possible in a narrow narrow row-house [25 feet wide on the *outside] with no natural from the sides [neighbors] and four stories [skylights don't work well past two stories])

+ breezygirl - The hansgrohe faucet, probably like yours, is their Talis kitchen facuet. To be honest, By the time I had to pick out a kitchen facuet, I was pretty exhausted at picking out things (like toilets and flooring and lighting and door handles and and and). I found the Talis on ebay for a good price and bought it. I'm *very* surprised you notice the police tape! Yep, the house is still under construction by the GC. The hood is a Gaggenau AH360. Its nearing the end of its model run. The list price is something absolutely ridiculous - $5000 or sometihng like that. However, I found it on ebay for $1500 including shipping. I used it because its a 48" wide hood, and I needed an extra wide hood to span the 30" indution cooktop
AND the 12" Wok burner. You can still find it on ebay.

The hood is advertised at 600 CFM. I looked at nearly every hood manufacturer for a year and I noticed that even though our American brands like Wolf, VAH, Futuro, etc. usually go up into 1200 CFM on their biggest models, that the German brands usually max out at 600 CFM. I'm not sure why this is. Given that we only have one gas burner (less heat) and the fact that the Germans seem to be conservative in rating equipment power (I'm thinking cars here ... but I'm also making a massive generalization I know), I succumbed to the matchy-matchy effect and bought the Gagg hood. And it was a good deal. A remote blower would have been neat, but the logistics in locating the blower made the cost of doing so very high ... so I nixed that.

The gagg hood has another two pair of slow-speed fans at the front. These fans blow a column of slow(er) moving air
downwards, around a curved aluminum piece, all along the front of the hood. The goal is to create a "curtain" of air to contain the cooking vapors under the capture area. It seemed a little gimmcy to me, but our architect mentioned to us that he seems this same principle all the time in commerical settings in tropical envrionments, where retail stores eliminate the store front a blow a blast of airconditioned air from the top of the entrance to the floor --- which keeps the cold air inside the store without the need for a front door.

+ remodelfla - thank you! The hardware on the drawers and pantry are from Henrybuilt. When you buy cabs from them, they give you a selection of hardware to choose from. These are called "t pulls" (for the drawers). They are mortised into the drawers.

+ rhome410 - thanks -- the place certainly won't fit all your kids! :-) The laminate cabinets are grey. Actually, in retrospect, I probably should have put the laminate on the wet-side of the kitchen where the sink is to protect from splashes, but we always second guess ourselves don't we? And maybe the laminate should have been a bit lighter in color... should coulda woulda.

+ gsciencechick - yeah, its small. The entire house is only 25 feet wide. On the outside. That's city living for you. :-)

But, its cut a cross four floors.

+ florantha - amazingly for the past two years we've been living at the in-laws with DD while we have been under construction.

The in laws live in the suburbs and have gobs and gobs and gobs of space. Prior to living with the in-laws, we were living in a 900 sq ft condo. So we went from tiny to enormous, and the problem is what we used to think of as "enormous" now feels normal to us.... so our small house in the city now feels small again!

+ mindstrom - We're in the San Francisco Bay Area, so we worked with HB long distance. Highly recommended. REALLY highly recommended. Its great. I can tell you really notice all the details if you noticed the flush baseboards and the negative reveal. That took a lot of work for the contractor.

The terrazzo was poured in place, and they are not tiles. The terrazzo was a HUUUUUUGE splurge. But, in a house where natural light is important and where both side walls of the house abut neighbors, we needed to use every trick in the book to maximize the natural light that we get. White floors and counters are two of them, along with the reflectivity of a glass backsplash.

+ sharonite - the steps - yes ---- that took a lot of careful coordination to make the casework fit with the poured floors and the wood floors, especially around the steps.

So anyways, here goes ... here's a few more pictures ---- stuff is still under construction and you can see why I didn't post eveything.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

(raising my hand timidly) What about my questions in my post above? I am curious...


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

I'm in love. With the kitchen, the house, the skylight, the view, the staircase . . . everything. Well done, you.


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Drooling. It's gorgeous. Great job! I'm especially partial to the walnut. So clean but so pretty. Bravo!


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Fabulous.....simply fabulous.....


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A great kitchen in a great home is the perfect combination. The modern style is so well done. You clearly worked with some great professionals to realize your vision. Your home has wonderful sense of space and style.


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Outstanding! So many wonderful details - clearly this was a labor of love. I'm glad you kept those upper cabs - they're great.

Thank you for posting more pictures. I enjoyed the virtual tour!


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Wow! The whole thing is just stunning. Thanks for posting all the pictures!


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So TOTALLY! my type of house and style. Thanks for posting the extra pics.

Job well done!

*wipes up drool*

Pepper


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Stunning kitchen, spectacular, breathtaking house. Not at all too modern for me - you nailed it. Please post the completed pictures too - given how fabulous it is now, I can just imagine the finished product.

Love, love, love the railings.

Hope you enjoy your home, it is wonderful.


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I'm speechless. Even on my best imagination-run-wild day I don't think I could dream up such heart stopping, breath taking beauty. Holy cow. It's so beautiful that I think the only furniture you need is one swiveling stool so you can just spin around and look at it all day, every day for the rest of your life -- that's what I'd do.


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Thanks for all the hood info. You got a good deal even if you had to fix it a bit. Have you had a chance to listen to see how quiet or loud it is? Man, I'm still oogling your house!


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So happy to see someone with the Henrybuilt cabinets! We wanted them for our last house, but unfortunately they are a little too modern for our new place. But we are following you in your material selections! We're doing walnut cabinets with "Buttermilk" Caesarstone. I hope it turns our as nicely as yours! Congrats!


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Thanks for the compliments everyone! This truly was a labor of love - we have so much effort invested in the house, and DD has spent the first 3 years of her life @ this construction site playing on the weekends, so her vocabulary includes "wire nuts", "insulation", and "tape measure". :-)

AKChicago - sorry for missing your questions. I must have been typing my previous post when you were typing yours. For the sink I used a Vigo3219C from overstock.com. Its a dead ringer to a Blanco zero radius sink except its half the price. Its also 16 gauge steel (thicker than 18 gauge). The outlets - I'm get back to you on that one. Worst case scenario is I'll have to have outlets go through the backplash. Best case scenario is I can recess the plugmold on the underside of the cabs.

Breezy - I've turned on the hood and listened to it a A LOT (because I had to fix the on/off switch!). I can only compare it to my MIL's Wolf PW422418 hood, which mokes 900CFM versus the Gagg AH360@ 600 CFM. The Wolf at high speed is obviously a lot louder than the Gagg at high speed, but the Wolf is moving more air if you go by the specs. What's interesting is that when the Wolf is at its lowest setting, its about as tolerable as the Gagg at medium. However the Gagg sounds more pleasant. I know this sounds ridiculous but I think I figured it out --- the Wolf has a slight whine at all speeds that makes the perceived loudness greater. The gaggenau does not have this whine and hence is a more pleasant.

I've included a few more pictures for folks look for close up details:


Soap dispenser, KWC Ono


Vigo 3219C sink, a dead ringer for a Blanco 510-747 (I think that was the model #)


Here's the reveal at the baseboard, accomplished by a fry-reglet


Here's the same revetal at the top of the pony wall, capped by a Caesarstone piece


HB hardware


More HB Hardware


Handles on the doors


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

AMAZING house and looks plenty spacious to me! And I love the gray cabinets. At least from the photos, I wouldn't think lighter would be better...They'd lose character.


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FABULOS-O!! Your house looks like something out of a design magazine -- even in its unfinished state.

PUH-LEEZ keep us posted. We want to see MORE!!!!!!


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Insanely fabulous! **Yours** is why we call this Kitchen Porn. Rather, House Porn. Love love love it. Thank you so much for all your pictures and detailed info -- what a treat to see & read. We used to live near you (Woodside) -- your home is why one should live in the city .... I'll definitely be checking back to see if you post more pics. I am so happy for you!


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Wow! Really amazing!

Did HB do the built-in shelves, desks, etc?

Is this a house on a hill or a high rise? You have spectacular views!

You really did a good job.

Keep posting pics so we can see the progress.


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Absolutely gorgeous!!! The kitchen -- and the entire house!


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Absolutely beautiful! The entire space looks so interesting and well thought out, I hope you will show us your home again when you've moved in!


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A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I've always loved modern. Your whole house is incredible! So many details to love--wall of storage, floating cabs, fireplace, floor, stair rail, stairs to kitchen, catwalk hall, wall of glass, etc.

All your planning and hard work were definitely well worth it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it for many years to come! Your DD will be so lucky to grow up in this beautiful home--she'll have the coolest home of all her friends! LOL!


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Thanks everyone! We worked so hard on this its gratifying to see it come together.

The bookcases and desks were done by Matt Eastvold of Eastvold Custom. I've included a link to his outfit in this email. Eastvold Custom is great ---- again, we worked with him remotely, and I consider Matt a good friend now. Matt worked so closely with the architects and there was a lot of back and forth on design concepts and shop drawings.

The architecture was done by John Lum Architecture
They are a great team. They really listened to us and let us steer the project to realize our vision. That was actually one of our biggest fears - that we would have an architect that wanted to impose their vision and only their vision on the project and that we wouldn't be able to get in a word edgewise. We talked to 5 or 6 firms and decided on JLA - highly recommended.

There were many parts of the house that we shaved cost from (or in architect's parlance, "value engineering") and at no point did the architects ever make us feel as if we were cheapening-out their design.

Actually, their website is what *I* consider house porn! :-)

In fact, HB's designers (in this instance Virginie), is a kitchen architect in this sense as well - HB and Virginie had concrete design guidelines and strong suggestions on how elements should relate to each other (floating cabs were their idea, as well as the asymmetric position of the hood).

And, we went through at least 7 revisions of designs with HB and JLA --- there was so much back and forth to get everyone aligned! If I just take a step back and try to think about how the kitchen floor is supposed to meet the white stairs and the HB cabinets and the wood floors, its all quite complex and I'm surprised it turned out so nicely.

If I learned anything about building a house/kitchen than I didn't know before, its that I've really come to appreciate all the design professionals' input. Professional design took our ideas and baked-it-in from the start ---- not applied-later. I don't think I realized how hard that was to do until we did this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eastvold Custom


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It's gorgeous! Sleek, clean lines--looks plenty large to me! Beautiful, beautiful job!

Cj


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Oh My! To say that John Lum Architecture creates house porn is an understatement.

Luv. Luv. Luv. the homes/rooms that they have showcased on their site. Your vision and their execution of it obviously was a relationship meant to be.

Hopefully your house will make an appearance on their site.

Pepper
~ Cabs installed tomorrow *crosses fingers*


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

Hi jhwu,

I'm not sure if you're still tracking this thread but stunning kitchen and house! We are about to go through a remodel ourselves and considering Henrybuilt for our cabinets. Now that the cabinets have been in place for a good year plus, how are they holding up? How did JLA work with HB so that the fees aren't redundant? Did JLA do constuction development drawings for the kitchen or did they let HB drive the process there? Also, do you mind me asking why you went with Eastvold Custom for your bookcases/desks rather than HB? If it's easier, you can email me directly (which is my username at yahoo.com). Thanks so much!!!


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RE: 90% finished walnut & laminate kitchen

bump


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