Happy Thursday Everybody.  I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  Maybe some of you recall where you were 26 years ago….at our wedding?  Yep, today marks 26 years.  And I do believe it’s someone else’s anniversary too!  Happy Anniversary L & E! 15 years?

Continuing with my “Design” series of posts, we are moving on to the kitchen.  My favorite room.  I have a lot of passion about every little detail in this room.  In fact, when interviewing builders, our realtor made sure that the builder knew how important this room was to us.   If they “didn’t get it”, they were eliminated.

There was a lot of drama planning this kitchen.  The builder first sent us to his “custom cabinet maker”.  The designer we worked with was not a good fit for us.  We tried.  Really.   We should have known that things were not going to work out when we went to our first meeting and I asked, “Did you look at the photos of the kitchen we just did, to give you an idea of our style”   He said, “eh, I glanced at them”.  That friends, is a big red flag.  He really didn’t want to hear what we wanted, but he wanted us to hear what he wanted.

We also felt that in this day and age the computer should really be more a part of kitchen design than we were seeing.  He drew the plans up on graph paper, then would send to someone in the shop who would do a computer design.  And then they could generate a price.  After our first meeting, you know the meeting where we are trying to determine the price, it took him about 3 1/2 weeks to get back to us.  And that was only after I told the builder,  “no, we don’t have an answer yet”.  So the builder reached out to him.  Of course the first draft is never the last draft.  So we made some tweaks, and waited another 2 weeks for the next set of prices.  Remember, he had to hand draw them, send them to the shop, and then get the price.  And the only suggestion he could make to reduce our cost was to make the cabinets not go to the ceiling.  This was non-negotiable.  We just sold our house.  We know what buyers want.  Space above the cabinets is NOT on their list, no matter how nice the kitchen is.

After my last meeting with him when he made a few condescending remarks and acted as if I were an idiot (no, really, he did) I went rogue.  There is a cabinetmaker not far from here that I had heard fabulous things about.  He is a Mennonite man and has an army of Amish men building the cabinets.  I found it ironic that this company was able to get me a quote in less than 48 hours of my visit there.  And if I sent an email asking about the price of something, he could send me an email immediately back with an answer.  His initial quote came back faster than the first guy’s revised quote for the changes that were made at the last and final visit.    After all this, I called the builder and explained my frustration over kitchen designer #1, and my joy with kitchen designer #2.    #2’s prices were A LOT less than the first place and the quality was much better.  We are getting a kitchen with lots of bells and whistles–all the stuff we had to cut out with the first guy.

I apologize for the size of the pictures and drawings.  I’m not sure how to get them to be any larger.

Overall Floor Plan of kitchen:

Window wall:  (our window will be much smaller than in this drawing)

The range wall:

The fridge/oven wall:

Both Sides of the Island:

We will be using a quartzite for the counters.  It is called Super White.  It resembles a marble, and according to the “rock people” it falls between granite and marble.

Close Up:

The perimeter cabinets will be painted a very light gray, almost white.  And island will be a dark gray.

The lighting will be mostly recessed lights, and under cabinet lighting.  The glass cabinets will have lights inside of them as well.  Unfortunately the window is small in the kitchen and I think the glass cabinets on the back wall will help with that issue.  Just this week I decided to not have the ends of the glass cabinets be solid but rather have glass panels on the sides as well.  Hopefully the natural light will really look nice.

The kitchen will have a clean-up sink under the window.  This is the sink:

The faucet for that sink:

The island will have the prep sink.  We went with a Kohler Stages sink.  It has a deep area and then a shallow shelf.  There is a cutting board that fits on that shelf, and is recessed so that it will be the same height as the counter.

And the faucet for that one:

We are not doing a range this time, but rather a range top.  We are going with a 36″ 6 burner Blue Star.  Blue Star has a great reputation, the company makes Garland ranges, which is what you find in restaurants.

The vent hood is 42″ wide, is made by Independent.  Unfortunately for the company they went out of business.  Fortunately for us, the distributors were left with inventory. We found an excellent deal on this hood from eBay and we managed to get a 1200 cfm motor for it for a song.  We found a local Amish Sheet Metal manufacturer who made us a chimney cover for it.  Phil wanted to have a chat with him about his prices, they are too low and he could be making more money!  We were very lucky to find him.

We will be using Miele ovens–double wall ovens, a steamer oven, and a speed/convection oven.  Yes, 4 ovens.  But that last one is in lieu of a microwave.  And the steamer is just such a great way to cook.  And since we didn’t do the range, we lost “regular” oven space, so this will be great for baking.  We have never had double ovens.

The fridge we are going to use is a 36″ all refrigerator glass front Sub-Zero.  Since there is no freezer, we are doing freezer drawers.  Ours is similar, but our compressor is on the bottom.  This is the new model, we bought the floor model of the old style.  It’s good to become friendly with your appliance salesmen, they will tell you when a deal is available!

Over the island we will put another crystal chandelier.  Loved the one in the last house. Wanted to have that same feel again.  Found this Schonbek at a local lighting store, it was heavily discounted because it needed a couple of crystals replaced.  They ordered them for me, it was an extra $14.  Seems worth it to me!  Not sure why they didn’t order them and replace them and then just sell it for more money.  They might be thinking that now too!

It is such a pleasure to work with this cabinetmaker.  He has such a “can-do” attitude vs “can-do-but-it-will-cost-you-a-lot” attitude.  Phil would always say the first guy’s calculator only could add, not subtract.    We have also asked him to do cabinetry for our  master closet.   That will be another post!!

I wanted to let you know that we love to hear from you when you leave comments.  So, please leave a comment if you like.