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take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Posted by feisty68 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 16:59

Hello folks,

This is my first time designing or renovating a kitchen. I'm in a time crunch now and I'm getting nervous about making a final decision about layout! IkeaFans helped me a lot with the design, but I'd love some non-IKEA-centric eyes on this :) . Any input would be most appreciated!

The kitchen is open concept, facing a dining/living area with a mountain view. The entrance door to our condo is beside the kitchen.

my mission statement:

I would love my kitchen to be functional for preparing daily scratch meals, with easy-to-clean, hard-wearing surfaces. I want to be social with my family while I am working in the kitchen, and to encourage more kitchen participation from my children. I want my kitchen to look softly modern, full of light, with minimal visual clutter. I want my kitchen to feel like an open and welcoming entrance to our flat and I want it to be completely integrated into the attached dining/living area and not scream "kitchen area". In this casual space I want to highlight artwork, people, and decorative items rather than walls/appliances/surfaces.

design so far:

IKEA kitchen planner link

view from living/dining area:

this is my mood board:
we are using existing appliances and planning custom doors and panels

If anyone knows how to achieve this look with solid maple cabinet fronts I would love to know more!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Pics don't work for me...


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

feisty, couldn`t get any of your pictures to open.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Huh. The planner link doesn't work for me (on iPad, so obviously not), but the screenshots and mood board and the grey cabinets all work fine. Very nice choices.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

"that look" ... the grey wood? It's going to take a chemical reaction, not a stain. And some experiments.

Iron acetate (the "vinegar and steel wool" trick) on a high-tannin wood will go grey. Then you seal it.

Maple might not be high tannin ... If you have a low tannin wood, you can add tannin from strong black tea (weak tannin source) or something called "quebracho" (a high-tannin extract of a tropical tree).

It takes careful prep of the solutions and careful note-taking during the testing so you can reproduce your results. Make up concentrated stock solutio9ns and make accurate dilutions from them for working.

Here is a link that might be useful: Quebracho on pine


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Also, you can use "ferrous sulfate" (sold online) instead of the acetate - it's greyer, not as blue. See the picture.

Or a black alcohol-based aniline dye ... very diluted

Another link. Scroll down for pictures
http://www.thewhistlepost.com/forums/tips-tricks-techniques/10867-weathering-wood.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Supposedly maple with ferrous sulfate !


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

3d view of kitchen


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view from dining/living area:


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RE: take a peek at my

mood board:


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Thank you so much for the replies!

Shchicksal & canuckplayer, I hope you can see the photos above.

Writersblock - thank you for reassuring me :) .

Lazygardens - good to know! For some reason I thought that a semi-solid stain or diluted paint could achieve the right effect but that may not be realistic. I did look at quite a few staining processes with steel wool (internet photos), etc. but ruled them out because the effect is quite a bit darker than my inspiration photo. Sounds like it will be a challenge.


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Spent the afternoon removing drywall yesterday. Floors go in starting Mar 4. The pressure is on! eek!

Anyone else have layout comments for me?


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sheepishly bumping, hoping for more layout input


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Is that a compact sink? Do you really want such a small sink? Where is dishwasher going to go?
Honestly, I can't imagine fitting half of our stuff in that kitchen. But I'm not a guru so maybe there a jedi-organization tricks that would make this work.

Does the window above sink have to stay put?


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Have you compared how much stuff you have with how much storage there is? Also, where will glasses and cups go? It seems a bit inconvenient if they're in a lower cabinet but maybe I'm a bit trained to look in an upper first since that's where everyone I know keep them.


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SamG and Schicksal - thank you so much for your replies :)

"Is that a compact sink?"

It's the Ruvati Undermount 16 Gauge 25" Kitchen Sink Single Bowl with interior dimensions of 22" x 17".

"Do you really want such a small sink?"

It's not much smaller than my current double sink so I think I can live with it. It was a bit of a design dilemma as I wanted the sink centered on the window, but I also wanted a slightly bigger corner cabinet (IKEA's 37"x37") to make that corner area more useful storage than what I have now (with these 32" pole-less lazy susans). In order to make that work, the sink cabinet has to be 24" wide only.

"Where is dishwasher going to go?"

Sorry that was not clear from the screenshots - it's shown between the sink and fridge, but mine is slide-in - not built-in as shown.

"Honestly, I can't imagine fitting half of our stuff in that kitchen. But I'm not a guru so maybe there a jedi-organization tricks that would make this work."

Yeah, I understand what you mean. Storage-wise it's not much different than what I have now, so I think I can live with it. I do have to be ruthless about what I have in my kitchen, and I don't have multiples of anything. I can steal some additional storage space from a utility closet beside the entrance door (not shown), or from the bank of wall-mounted cabinets (shown on right wall) that will continue down the wall through the dining/living area. I definitely am prioritizing creating more counter space, and a greater feeling of light and space in this design.

"Does the window above sink have to stay put?"

Unfortunately, yes. It's a condo, there's a rainscreened exterior wall, etc. The window looks dinky and off-centre in the screenshots. My plan is to have soft white curtains hanging on either side of the window to make it appear larger. Also, if I bring open shelving along the range wall all the way to the window wall, I think the window will look more centered.


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Schicksal -

"Have you compared how much stuff you have with how much storage there is?"
Yes, as I wrote above, I think it's do-able - partly by using IKEA and third-party fittings that make the most of the cabinet interiors, and partly by stealing space from the utility closet and bank of cabinets in the dining/living area.
Also, where will glasses and cups go? It seems a bit inconvenient if they're in a lower cabinet but maybe I'm a bit trained to look in an upper first since that's where everyone I know keep them.
I will probably have frequently-used glasses/cups on open shelving on the range wall. I may have them in base cabinet drawers to make it easier for children to get and put away. I will be losing storage space with no uppers, but really only the lowest shelf is ergonomic for me - which can be replaced by an open shelf.

Thanks again for your help and input.


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Wouldn't the glasses on those open shelves just gather grease and dust from the stove being so close by? I keep a tidy kitchen but I still have to clean the dust off of my range hood all the time. And some grease is bound to escape your range hood.

Why did you choose not to use any upper cabinets? Your mission statement says that you want "easy to clean surfaces," but I would think that open shelving would mean a lot more cleaning! One way to make sure that you have "minimal visual clutter" is to hide all that stuff that makes for a cluttered look behind cabinet doors. The issue with your drawing is that it does not show a kitchen in use. Add more open shelving and put stuff on the shelves in your picture and it will likely look a lot more cluttered, the look you are trying to avoid.


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I think the kitchen looks peaceful but maybe needs some upper cabinets to hold things to have the kitchen look like less clutter instead of everything on shelves. Maybe a few cabinets with glass to get the open feel that you want.

I had the same question about where the dishwasher was as I can't live without mine but I see you answered this question.

I do not see any lights in the ceiling and only see that one wall light. What do you plan to do about lighting as you have only one window and it gets dark at night.


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Thank you so much for your comments jellytoast and lynn2006:)

"Wouldn't the glasses on those open shelves just gather grease and dust from the stove being so close by?"

I was thinking of having only *very* limited open shelving, with only daily use (and daily washed) matching dishes (like 4 cups, 4 plates, 4 bowls) and a few pretty bowls, etc. I was also thinking of having plexiglas or metal trays on top of the shelves that I could just pop into the dishwasher regularly.

"Why did you choose not to use any upper cabinets?"

I've been really influenced by pretty pictures . Also, the uppers on either side of my little window are blocking the light. Because it's a dark climate and the big window is north-facing, light is super critical and I've been influenced a lot by Scandinavian kitchens. Another issues is that when I work at the counter, the uppers are inches from my face and I just feel like it would be so much more open feeling without them. Finally, I don't love the side view of the uppers from the living/dining area.

"The issue with your drawing is that it does not show a kitchen in use."

Sigh, of course you're right. I may not be able to pull off the look I want and love. Of course, because it will be an IKEA kitchen, I will be able to add upper cabinets later if I change my mind!

"I do not see any lights in the ceiling and only see that one wall light. What do you plan to do about lighting as you have only one window and it gets dark at night."

I do have existing track lighting but I'm not happy with where it's located. Honestly I haven't quite figured out lighting and I thought it might be nice to live with the new layout for a bit before deciding on that.

All good comments that I need to think on.


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" ... I've been really influenced by pretty pictures ... "

LOL, haven't we all!

All of your answers make sense and it sounds like you have thought about things quite a bit. I, too, don't like uppers in my face when doing prep, but you do have that nice island you could prep on.

If you do think there is even a possibility of adding uppers later, try penciling them into your design just to make sure they would work. One little drawback to no uppers is no under-cabinet task lighting!

Do you have a picture or two of your current set-up? Seeing your current space might help to generate some ideas.


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this is from the dining area - area on left is a full-height pantry that will be removed. drywall is already off


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this is the current view from entrance to apartment. flooring will be oak to match flooring in attached dining/living area. if I add uppers, it will be along the range wall below - not on the window wall. the hood will be 36" though, not 30" as shown (better hood performance). also, soffit may be removed depending on ductwork solution. Notice world's most annoying corner cabinet.

I really want the entrance view of the kitchen to be awesome because it's the entrance to our whole home. Right now the pantry blocks the view of our dining/living area, as well as the large window with mountain view.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 14:50


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Thanks for chatting with me about this jellytoast.

As far as lighting goes, I adore this kind of task lighting (see link below) in combination with a shallow open shelf - that's what I would love to do but not sure how expensive/practical the wiring would be.

See how styled and pretty that kitchen is? Swoon!

Here is a link that might be useful: Remodelista: A Mint Green Kitchen from a Scandinavian Stylist


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While I do like the openness of the design with the pantry removed, where are you going to put all your food? I didn't really notice that in your drawings right off ... that there doesn't seem to be a place to put food.

My last kitchen had very little storage. There are only two of us and I don't do large grocery shopping trips (I shop almost daily), but we still had a lot of issues regarding where to put our stuff. It drove my husband crazy that we had food and dishes stored next to each other in the same cabinet. "Who does that??" he'd frequently ask.

Your pictures of your current kitchen show that it does get used, and your mission statement says that you plan to use your new kitchen to prepare daily meals from scratch. My advice would be to try to reconcile your "ideal looks" kitchen with the kitchen you will actually be using. I don't know if it's possible to have both in this case, so maybe a compromise or two is in order. If you do not allow for enough storage, your uncluttered ideal will never last more than a few minutes at a time.

You said you can "borrow some space" from a nearby utility closet. Can you borrow all of it and turn it into a pantry?


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" ... See how styled and pretty that kitchen is? Swoon!"

Yes, the key word being "styled." :-)

The designer did manage to incorporate some upper cabinetry without detracting from the overall openness of the design. Have you thought about doing something like that along the run of cabinets that go into your living space? ... it's a pretty combination of display and storage.


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You cracked me up when you wrote: "Your pictures of your current kitchen show that it does get used" :) . Oh yes, I know my REAL kitchen contradicts my DREAM kitchen ;) . And I get that kitchen photos are styled. In my defense, I have given up on that kitchen and we are in reno/demo mode!

I like the mix of uppers and open cabinetry in the mint kitchen - particularly how they "book-ended" the open shelf with the uppers. But the thing is, in that kitchen you are looking at the uppers face-on. In my space, the side-view of the range wall is pretty important and uppers don't look that great from the side - KWIM? I will try it out in the planner.

For food storage, I am planning to store top-labeled Mason jars and cans in the deep IKEA drawers. I am using Mason jars now and they are working for me. The drawers hold a lot and have great hardware so I think that's realistic.

The utility closet could be converted to a pantry if I need more food storage, but realistically this is a small home and I simply cannot have as much storage space as a standard kitchen if I also want the light and spacious feeling that I want. I have to be creative about space and I'm not sure that a full pantry is in the cards.

Here is a link that might be useful: mason jars in drawer - like this but with standard jars


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This is what I mean about the uppers looking awkward from the side view. To the left of the hood there needs to be some space for the duct above the uppers, so in that case I guess the soffit would stay.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 16:18


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I don't love the entrance view either


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What if you put the uppers at either end of the bank of cabinets that you have in the adjoining space, with an open shelf in between (like in the green Scandinavian pic)?

feisty, if you are the type of person who can organize your food into mason jars, then you are likely the type of person who can organize a lot of things to fit into not a lot of space! I give you props!

I keep hoping that this "bumping" will get your thread some more attention and ideas ...

Have fun with the demo!


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Thanks jellytoast - I'll think about that.


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It's all about the curtains:

Here is a link that might be useful: Ombre Lace Curtain in Ivory


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Big sigh. My city sold out of our first pick of granite. Now it has sold out of the Valley White/River White. Arg! It is so hard to find something that the husband and I agree on - we found two options but now none are possible. My third pick would be Panna Fragola, but he wasn't so impressed.


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And now the reality is sinking in about how annoying the whole issue will be around replacing a tiny load bearing wall with two columns. Engineer, building permit, etc. UGH.


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I did this in a home I remodeled and the shelves were in line with the rangehood. No matter waht anyone says, I still love open shelving and my grandma had open shelving in her old little cottage in Maine. Still lovely in my mind to put a few things on a shelf for easy access.


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feisty, I love your inspiration picture. I don't see why you can't do some open shelving & a couple of cabinets on both sides down towards the living area, like jellytoast suggested. I love how firsthouse did the open shelves on each side of the hood. You could do both ideas & have more storage. I'm big on open shelving, but w/ most items that are used a lot & being washed regularly. I'm doing them in my kitchen, mainly because of a window & not wanting the cab's to stick out & block it. Your light fixture is exactly what I'm wanting to do, as well. As, it looks like firsthouse has the same idea!

firsthouse, if you're reading this, I'd love to know what brand the light fixtures are. Are they the Boston library something or other ones I'm seeing everywhere? I want them in my kitchen very bad! They look awesome!

This post was edited by bicyclegirl on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 23:16


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Firsthouse_mp - love your kitchen! Thanks very much for posting the photo and chiming in. The shelves integrate really nicely with the hood. And I love that kind of lighting too. Seems like it would be so practical - I hope that it will work out that we can do that too so that our workspace really is workspace - open and well-lit.

When it comes to kitchen design, I want a place that feels good to work in more than I want storage space. I spend a lot of time there, do all the cooking and cleaning for a family of four, and homeschool my kids (frequent daytime meals/mess too). I really want to feel inspired there.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 12:23


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Thanks for your thoughts bicyclegirl!

"I don't see why you can't do some open shelving & a couple of cabinets on both sides down towards the living area, like jellytoast suggested."

That's a possibility - I'll have to play around with the planner more. It's a little awkward because there's only 36" of cabinets to the right of the range so I think a cabinet and open shelf combined could look a little odd.


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I think firsthouse's lights might be at the link below. They are fabulous for a traditional/transitional look :)

Here is a link that might be useful: BOSTON FUNCTIONAL LIBRARY TWO ARM WALL LIGHT


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I'm loving this look for pendants over the island:


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These are the task lights that I would want -

Maybe in grey/brass?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bestlite Wall Lamp BL6 by Gubi


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firsthouse_mp, I love what you did with that house (saw the recent revival of your reveal thread)! I've gotta admit, those open shelves do look awesome.


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My gosh am I ever exhausted. We've finished demolition, but now we have to take *everything* out of the living room, dining room, and kitchen - flooring work starts on Tuesday. Goodbye sink! Goodbye range! Goodbye fridge! We have to move out for a week because the kitchen flooring is in our apartment entrance.

Sigh.

I have to figure out if any stoneyard has my Valley White granite slabs - the three I called have sold out.


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fiesty, Thanks for coming up w/ the Boston Functional Library name. I knew it was something like that! I love those basket light fixtures. Fun. And, the other ones are pretty awesome too. Good luck w/ everything. The demo part is not the fun part!


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Could you make that bank of shallow cabinets into a floor-to-ceiling pantry?

Our kitchen has very little upper storage due to a large window in the middle of the wall. So, most of my storage is deep-drawer cabinets (which I LOVE). However, I have 10 linear feet of floor-to-ceiling pantry storage (16" deep), which, for me, completely makes up for the lack of uppers.

In the photo, the pantry storage is on the left behind the louvered doors.


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Yes, those are the Boston Functional library lights that I used. I used them for the last two houses and I still love them.

Demo can be very satisfying though--it means you started!


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Nice kitchen PaintEverything!

The shallow cabinets on the right wall are in the dining/living area along a long wall. I want to keep that wall free for large paintings that I want to showcase.


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We actually were still demolishing today. My husband disentangled cabinets from plumbing and that was a lot more work than I thought!

I organized appliance movers for tomorrow.

I have a separate thread for island detailing because there will be two posts close together and it might look kind of crummy.


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Put 2 slabs of White River 3 cm granite on hold this afternoon :) . I am happy about this. It is very pretty, very soft and flowing. So relieved to have that dealt with.

I found out that White River actually is a different stone than Valley White, even though they look similar. Also, they said that the Kashmir White quarry is closed so no more of that!


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*MY* White River slabs :)

Mostly grey tones, with some touches of gold. I love how soft and flowy the pattern is.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 17:52


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Very pretty!


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I love the White River Slabs you have chosen! Maybe I would like this also. I can't wait to see them installed. Thank you for sharing.


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11th hour layout advice is welcome! I'll be starting to buy cabinet boxes today or tomorrow!

Here's my IKEA planner file:
feisty's kitchen in 3D

Here's the existing kitchen:

Here's a screenshot of the plan for the kitchen:

And here's my current mood board:


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149.00; however, not sure how much light they emit.


also in brass (139.00

Here is a link that might be useful: light fixtures at Remodelista


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I adore both of those nosoccermom! Thanks!


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I am looking for an offwhite for the kitchen walls too. Currently I am not planning a backsplash.

The lighting conditions are very challenging. The main window in the room is north facing, and the south-facing window in the kitchen is tiny. Also, we have very long cloudy gloomy winters, so there are a lot of shadows in the kitchen.

I need a warm off-white. Right now I have Bavarian Cream in Benjamin Moore but it tends to go greenish at times. I would consider F&B Pointing or BM Linen White? Thoughts or other suggestions? It would need to work with the White River granite shown in the mood board above - it is mostly grey but it also has gold smudges and small purplish dots.


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Jellytoast, you made me laugh so hard. The first thing I discovered when I moved in and unpacked my own kitchen, was that despite all the cabinets I *thought* I had, once I put all my gear away (pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, baking supplies...), was that I had ZERO space left for my food!! I was suddenly *crazy* grateful for my walk-in pantry, because until it was built, I had to leave all the boxes of cereal and rice and cookies on the counter! What was I thinking?! ;)


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For paint color- I have Valspar Betsy's Linen in my living room/dining room that doesn't get a lot of light due to lots of trees in the neighborhood. It is beautiful, with just the right touch of creaminess.


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Thanks for your reply Awnmyown.

I'm planning a pullout beside the fridge, like this one:
Here's the rest of my storage plan in the base cabinets. Anything that doesn't fit goes in dining cupboards and the utility closet near the front door.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salt Tree Pull Out Pantry for Small Spaces


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Thanks for your input JessHS! Betsy's Linen looks like it might be a good option.

Colour possibilities for comparison:

Valspar's Betsy's Linen:

BM Bavarian Cream:

BM Linen White:

F&B Pointing:


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It's hard to go by onscreen chips, but i used to rent a place painted with a Sears color called Antique Linen, which looks about like the BM Linen White. It was a horrible color in real life on a wall--should have been called dirty bandage, especially at night. I think any of the others would work better in changing light conditions.


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Thanks writersblock. I saw Linen White in a living room - came off somewhat peachy there. Quite warm and enveloping, but I see what you mean about how it might look at night.


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  • Posted by raee zone 5 OH (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 14, 14 at 21:15

One of your inspiration pictures above set me thinking -- the one with the steel backsplash -- could be very interesting to use a steel splash and have your shelf made of your granite. I wonder if that would be hard to do? Probably expensive anyway.

I have to agree that you don't want the cluttered look of wall cabinets when you walk in. At most I would put a narrow wall cabinet at either end of the run with the open shelved between cabinets and hood.

River White is my all time favorite granite and you have an especially pretty piece, congratulations!


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I should have said that I think the Linen White would be more okay in a room that is flooded with light. My place that had the Antique Linen was pretty dark and it didn't help it any. I don't know how much natural light there is in your space, but I want lots and lots for that color.


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Writersblock - yes I think those colours are really affected by light. My kitchen has a small window and the main window opposite is north-facing. So I don't have bright natural lighting in the room. I need something that doesn't go dingy in shadowy/gloomy light.


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Raee, thanks for your ideas :)

It would be cool to have a granite shelf above stainless. But I don't think the granite installer is getting any more $$ from me! The counters will cost me more than double the cabinets with custom doors!

I had a tough time with the granite. I didn't know about River White and picked Valley White - which then promptly sold out throughout the city. I finally found a stoneyard that stocked it, and that was when I learned that River White is actually a different stone - one which I like better. I was lucky enough to be able to choose between two different slabs of River White, and it was amazing how different they were.


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Our DIY cabinet installation is starting off really slowly because I really wanted killer toekick drawers. Yesterday dh and I designed a toekick drawer hack for IKEA cabinets that I haven't seen before :) . It has standard North American toekick height and depth, uses standard IKEA drawers and soft-close and damper hardware (which are awesome), and most importantly the drawers use the maximum width of the space under the cabinets.

without front/plinth attached yet:

Here is a link that might be useful: instructions for full width AKARUM kitchen toe kick drawers

This post was edited by feisty68 on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 14:48


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Can anyone help me with hood ducting design? My setup is shown below - the green shows where the existing duct/soffit is. The duct has to go that way because it's a condo. I am not planning upper cabinets on the range wall. Walls will be off-white and the hood may be stainless (dh's preference).

Would it look OK to have chimney-style hood that goes into a painted drywall soffit above (like in illustration below but not green)? Or would it look better to have a wall-mounted hood with exposed duct going up and 90 degrees to the left? Painted duct?

Can anyone show me inspiration photos of L-shaped ductwork (like mine) on a wall with no upper cabinets?


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Can't show L shape, but if you check out this link about a quarter of the way down, there is a pic of her hood with 2 vents and one has some angles to it. I think it would look fine and actually maybe better than half a soffit on that wall.

Farmgirlinky's kitchen is one of my inspirations... just love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: farmgirlinky kitchen.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Oh, I had a thought about your shallow wall. I was thinking pantry there, too but then when I read your comment about artwork, I was wondering how it would be to have tall skinny somethings flanking a center shallow cab like you have shown... kind of create a cabinet 'frame' for the art but still squeak a little more storage out of the deal. Just a thought.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Thanks deedles!!

Farmgirlinky's kitchen is wonderful! Interesting how she handled the ducting for her range. It really suits the old-timey look of her space.

I see what you mean about adding tall pantries along that wall. It's hard to describe how the space feels, but because the entire room is long and narrow, and I don't want add anything above the waist along the long walls - to improve the room proportions. I have used tall bookshelves, etc. along the long wall before for storage, and it never ends up feeling right because of that.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Well, the kitchen cabinets are installed, except the island ones. No doors or drawer fronts yet - which makes their functionality rather limited because the IKEA drawers don't have false fronts. We might put some temporary ones in? Counters aren't in yet. The new dishwasher and the sink/faucet are temporarily hooked up.

My dh has been a star doing the tricky cabinet leveling and lining up, moving electrical outlets, and plumbing.

I am still working on design issues like -
* undercounter microwave
* panels on either side of dishwasher
* fridge gable
* fridge to wall filler

This is going very slowly, but I feel good about that because I didn't even start thinking about the reno before January 2014. We kind of rushed into the whole thing, but definitely taking things one step at a time.

Layout - done
Flooring - done
Counter - picked
Plumbing - done
Cabinet Installation - 70% done
Electrical - in progress
Counter Installation - not yet
Doors/Drawer Fronts - custom, selection not final
Hood Installation - still working on selection
Lighting Design and Installation - haven't started yet
Drywall Repairs - not yet
Paint - working on selection


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen desig

I've been working on colours for the walls and cabinet fronts.

Farrow and Ball Pointing is a top contender for wall colour. I've painted a board and it is looking very soft and warm and glowy. I need the light reflectivity of an offwhite, but in this grey climate it's hard to find colours that don't go green or dingy. Pointing is responding very well to these conditions. I will consider Benjamin Moore's Bath and Spa Scrubbable Matte paint formulation - I've found it very beautiful and practical in other rooms. Farrow and Ball recommends it as an artwork-friendly colour and that is a huge consideration in this room as I will be displaying some large canvas artworks.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 12:02


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

The cabinet fronts have me scratching my head. I am planning a low-contrast kitchen for a peaceful feeling. Because my kitchen is small, the stainless appliances are very prominent - from some angles you will see more steel than cabinet, especially because I won't have upper cabinets. So the fronts need to:

* complement stainless
* complement the River White granite (primarily grey-green, with some gold streaks and some "garnet" spots)
* complement natural finished oak floors

When I went to the Farrow and Ball store where they have good-sized sample boards, Hardwick White really stood out as a great complement to the granite under natural and artificial light. Only colours with a strong green element worked at all - greys that steer into blue and brown undertones failed miserably.

I tried it out last night by painting on boards - in normal fashion but also diluted and rubbed into red oak to show the grain. My husband liked the colour a lot, especially the oak grain version. I'm surprised he liked something that light as he completely ruled out a white kitchen. But now I'm wondering if it's too light to be low contrast with steel - a darker option would be Mole's breath. And a less taupe colour would be Lamp Room Gray - that colour didn't look quite right in the store, but rubbed over red oak might just shift it into the right zone.

Sorry, my camera just doesn't take good photos:


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Here are some of the colours being discussed:

http://anurbancottage.blogspot.ca/2013/12/color-survey-results.html


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen desig

Hardwick White looks very nice beside steel in this photo:


http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchens/dream/barn-kitchen-1110#slide-5

But, my cabinets will be frameless slab front, so a very different look.

edited to add: Hardwick White definitely looks more green than in the above photo.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 13:09


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Gosh, so many choices! I have a hard time visualizing it ll put together, but I do think the Hardwick White looks great with the SS and will really reduce their visual impact in your kitchen. I also think it would look fabulous under your River White, one of my favorite granites!


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Thanks for chiming in Greenhaven :) . I'm glad you think it will work.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

I like the hardwick white. Picking a color that works well at all times of the day with different light sources and that works well with the surroundings can be tricky business. I had splotches of paint on the walls of my old kitchen for months trying to decide upon the perfect color. I ended up mixing some of the samples to get the right shade and then color matching at the paint store.

On a side note, I love the no uppers look!!!


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

I think the hardwick white looks great with s.s.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Deedles and Mgoblue85, I'm glad you're liking the Hardwick White. Especially because my husband likes it and now he considers the entire conversation OVER. For some reason he doesn't think it's a good idea to pick 20 grey colours and agonize over them for the next 2 months. Strange.

I'm living with a board painted Hardwick White and moving it around. The light we have here is very fickle and - like many Farrow and Ball colours - Hardwick White is too. Sometimes it comes across as more green, and sometimes more grey. It's reflecting the light quite nicely though, and doesn't appear dark even when the stainless is shining with reflected light. It will probably be quite "blendy" with the granite.

Mgoblue85, I've got a bad case of the disease below...but I don't want to be cured.

Here is a link that might be useful: I Have Anti-Upperitis. Do I Need a Cure?


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

here's my personal to-do list to help me keep on track:

- kitchen lighting design
- get permission to use neighbour's table saw
- build last two cabinets for island
- island design details
- select U-shaped channel for bottom of sliding closet doors
- find a router that I can borrow for above
- paint a larger test area of Pointing on kitchen wall
- living room cabinetry/shelf design
- evaluate range hoods at kitchenhoods.ca showroom
- get quote for red oak cabinet fronts
- design pull positions
- source trash receptacles
- evaluate IKEA pullouts for use in fridge cabinet


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Your list initially implies a lot yet to do. In reality, how long do you think you have left? I was not aware you and DH were DIY-ing so much of this kitchen.

Thanks for the reminder to look up how to install cabinet hardware, and that I should make myself a similar list.


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

It might be just me but I didn't like that Scandinavian mint kitchen at all. I liked most of the elements by themselves (and some I even have at home as I am a Retro Modern junkie and know a thing or two about it) but not how they were put together in this kitchen. I too suffer from "anti-upperitis" but that long shelf (on the wall with the picture) is too long and looks untidy and sort of "incoherent".

That would be an OK look for a summer cottage or a beach house but not in the main house - IMHO. Can't imagine myself cooking in that kitchen and running that distance between the sink and the range. And why such small sink with all that expanse of the counter space?


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Greenhaven -

"Your list initially implies a lot yet to do. In reality, how long do you think you have left? I was not aware you and DH were DIY-ing so much of this kitchen."

Yes, LOTS left to do. How long? Hard to say. We are DIYing everything except hardwood floor install, granite counter install, drywalling, and fabricating cabinet fronts (not sure if DIY finish). Also, if we move a structural stud we will hire a contractor to jack the ceiling. I am the organizer, buyer, and unskilled labourer. Dh does the more complex stuff, but he also has a stressful full-time job. So we are taking our time. We are making a lot of the smaller decisions as we go along and that seems to be working well.

I've been following your progress and glad to see how much you and your husband are managing to DIY as well! I always love to see what people can do. Your determination is getting you places :)

Eleena, good points about the mint kitchen design. I think I was attracted to the colour, how she incorporated art, and some of the styling. But I probably wouldn't do the shelf/uppers that way either, or the work zone relationships. Do you have any Retro Modern kitchen inspiration that you want to share with me?


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Feisty thanks for posting the name of the disease. I have it too! I opted out of uppers for my reno and the one previous too - and that was a very small kitchen. Organization was the key for me.

I love following your (and greenhaven's) ongoing remodel saga. I wish I could have done more myself but I wanted it done this century. As it is I'm working on the never ending last 10%!!!


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Mgoblue85 - skipping the uppers is a counter-intuitive choice in a small kitchen. In some ways it makes sense to maximize the storage space by including as much cabinetry as possible. On the other hand, if you actually cook, a kitchen is a workspace. A sense of space, minimal visual clutter, and natural light are all part of the function of a kitchen. After living here for 12 years, I want to make those more of a priority. The tradeoff may involve stashing some stuff in dining room cabinetry, but I'm OK with that :) .


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RE: take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?

Well, big bummer. I discussed this in detail in another thread, but the structural issues associated with a tiny wall that we have are more complicated than I hoped and has contributed to a major stall in progress. It looks like we may end up with a 3 column solution (see below) because the 2 column solution is crummy anyway, and would require hiring a contractor, getting a building permit, jacking the ceiling, etc. - probably not worth it as the opening wouldn't be much bigger. This is seriously not ideal, but it may look like the rendition below. It's tempting to just drywall the whole thing in, but realistically, there may be significant light that is bounced off closet mirror doors (not shown) through the columns and onto the island worktop. Increasing natural light in the kitchen is a huge priority of this reno. And it does allow for more open-ness.


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