Archive for January 2012

the kitchen design

you'd think, that since i've had so much time to work on the kitchen layout, i would have had this figured out a long time ago. not so much...

in order to see how i finally came to the final design, i thought it would be interesting to see some of the process. and sadly this is only a small portion of the process, i have so many cad plans, sketchup models...

in the beginning my number 1 goal was to expose the window that is currently behind the fridge.


the design above opened up the window and created a galley style kitchen. i decided that the layout was kind of odd in the room, and it really wouldn't be very functional for us since we are a two cook household.


then i looked at a similar layout, only with an island so that we could walk around the entire space. in reality, this design didn't have very much storage and no added counter space.



i gave up on the window. i really really really wanted to have that additional window and natural light, esp. since the existing window is in great shape. but trying to work around the 3 doorways and the additional window was limiting the design. since i couldn't move the doorways, i decided to see what i would gain if i left the window covered. the layout above is similar to what we currently have. an added bonus is that we wouldn't have to do any major plumbing work since i was only slightly shifting the sink and dishwasher.

white kitchen A perspective

or maybe white cabinets all the way to the ceiling with a built-in island?

white kitchen A

look at all of that storage!

white kitchen c perspective

then i combined a few ideas and tried to keep a similar layout to what we have now, only with more cabinets. at this point i also put the design in the ikea kitchen planner and started using standard ikea kitchen sizes. luckily, the standard sizes fit nicely in the space, but it's going to be a tight fit.

white kitchen elevation c

this is the design that i took with me on my initial ikea trip.

white kitchen c perspective 2

during that trip i learned that the door style i wanted was discontinued - and 70% off. the store had a limited selection of doors and drawer fronts left. they did not have enough of the small doors for the upper cabinets. so i did some re-design while at the store and come up with the plan below.

house (2)

the range hood helps to break up with wall of cabinets. i have all of the door and drawer fronts for this design. at the time i thought that this would be the final design, but after thinking about it...

kitchen light

i've already made a few revisions. i think that i have the design finalized now and mike and i will be traveling to chicago soon to get the cabinet boxes.



before i pick out the paint color (some shade of "white") for the cabinets, i wanted to get a general idea of what type of counter we'll be using. we've spent the last few weekends visiting showrooms, talking to stone fabricators, and getting estimates. when i started this whole process, i wanted marble counters. at some point i talked myself out of marble because of the maintenance requirements. then we went to look at counters, and now i want marble again.

granite is just too new and shiny, i don't think it will look right in our house. i also considered soapstone, and just recently removed it from the list. it is a little darker in color than i'd like, and i've not heard so good things from people who have had it installed. there are some quartz (silestone, cambria) counters that i think are ok, and could work, but i don't get excited about them.i am excited about marble. we were first drawn to carrara, and have actually found it to be less expensive than some of the other options. but some places won't even install it in a kitchen, and this has me worried.

then we saw a few slabs of danby marble. the slab above is mountain white, and below is mont clair. many people have recommended the danby over the carrara for kitchens, we've been told that it doesn't stain as easily and is harder than carrara. on all marble, it seems that the biggest problem is etching, and that a honed finish is recommended because the etch marks will not be as noticeable. luckily, i prefer the honed finish.
i've done research, i've read opinions on blogs and forums, i've talked to "stone experts". but i'm having a hard time getting options from real people who have installed marble in their real kitchen. so i thought i'd ask you all - anyone out there have marble counters? if so, what kind? honed or polished? do you seal your counters? have you had major issues with staining/etching?

i know that the marble will patina. i know it will age. i actually like the character of the material. i just don't want to have to worry about a giant noticable spot forming in the middle of the counter. i like to cook, and the counters will be well used.

any assistance would be appreciated!


a dog's dog

murphy is a dog's dog. he thinks that cooper is the greatest thing ever. reese and cooper were always people obsessed, so it's fun to see how much murph wants to be around cooper. murphy seems to love us, but cooper is clearly his favorite.



the appliances were supposed to be the very last thing we purchased for our kitchen. our plan all along has been to break up this renovation in to smaller, more manageable budgets. having the money available to renovate the entire kitchen seemed overwhelming - so instead we'd thought we'd focus on just the cabinets first. and then work our way through smaller budget goals as we work our way through the kitchen renovation process. we thought we would end with the appliances.

as you know, i already bought just the cabinet door and drawer fronts at ikea on a "kitchen information gathering" trip. meaning, i bought cabinet doors and drawers before finalizing the kitchen layout/plan. not ideal, but so far i've still been able to working within those limits with the design.

the next logical step would be to focus on finalizing the plan and then purchase the cabinet boxes.

a month ago we stopped by best buy so mike could buy a video game. while he was looking at the game options, i wandered over to the appliance area.

we left the store with 2 new appliances. so much for having a plan.

but look, they are so pretty...

so here's the deal. i had been looking at the samsung fridge for a little while now. while not advertised (and therefore priced) as a counter depth fridge, it is only about 1" deeper than a counter depth fridge. i have looked at many other options, including the kitchenaid that would match our dishwasher. the kitchenaid is about twice the price. counter depth is esp. important in our kitchen because we are so tight on space. i also really wanted a french door fridge. so when i saw the samsung in the clearance section at best buy, i had to take a look. the fridge had been returned by a customer because of a small dent in the door and a very tiny scratch, neither of which are noticable unless you are looking for them. the fridge had been reduced to $900. it was never used.

sitting next to the fridge at the store was a samsung range. it was a discountinued floor model. nothing was wrong with the range, it was priced at $860. the range is an induction hybrid, and after doing some research, both mike and i were excited about the idea of an induction range.
so if you're keeping track, the retail price for both appliances is $3,200. they were marked down to $1,760. just for reference, i had $2,600 set aside in our kitchen budget for the range and fridge, hoping to get the appliances on sale. and most of that budget was for the fridge. the price difference was enough that mike and i started to seriously talk about making the purchase.

so we went to lunch, thought about it, and went back to best buy and told them we'd take both appliances if they would sell them to use for $1,550. we were fully planning on neogiating some with the price, but threw out what we thought was a low offer. and they accepted!

so we paid $1,550 for $3,200 worth of appliances, including free delievery - 48%!! and, we turned around and sold our old, but still functional, range on craigslist for $150, which we put directly back in to the kitchen budget.

everything was delivered right before thanksgiving and so far we are loving the new appliances. the fridge actually keeps things cold! and makes ice! i've noticed that our produce lasts much longer in this fridge, which is an unexpected plus. and the range is amazing - it's much nicer than what we had thought we'd end up with, but the induction cooktop is way cool, we've really been enjoying cooking on it.

hope you all are enjoying friends and families and the holidays. we had a great visit to ohio and have been enjoying relaxing at home the last few days.



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