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Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)

mysterymachine
14 years ago

Before:

{{gwi:1743412}}

{{gwi:1743414}}

This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between

{{gwi:1743416}}

The wall that was removed:

{{gwi:1743418}}

Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.

Now for the good stuff.. the after!

{{gwi:1703851}}

{{gwi:1704896}}

{{gwi:1595261}}

{{gwi:1670982}}

{{gwi:1704900}}

{{gwi:1563578}}

{{gwi:1743425}}

{{gwi:1743428}}

{{gwi:1595260}}

I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).

The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.

The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).

There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.

And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.

The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.

What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)

Any questions? :)

Comments (129)

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    :) I still have a couple hours of work left. I will respond to comments and answer all your questions (as well as more goodies aka pictures) tonight. I'll try to get some shots of less glamorous, yet important things like the plugmold/undercab lights, the promised dishes pictures, and get some pictures of stuff nobody but someone really into details would care about.

    Keep the questions coming - with the amount of posts on gardenweb these days I feel bad that I don't have enough time to go through them and help as many people as people that helped me - so this is my big chance to exude some of the knowledge/information I soaked in from GW when I was TKO as well as the stuff I learned on my own.

    Before I post more I really need to say a thank you to my spouse (no she doesn't read GW so I'm not sucking up LOL) - I drove myself to the edge of madness and she, for the most part, put up with it. There were a few times during the layout part, when she didn't trust my designs yet, that she was extremely negative BUT the final design would not have been as good without that "trial by fire". Not only did she put up with it but she became the primary cook during the project and made some amazing creations with a sandwhich grill in the garage to free up more time for me. You have to understand she'd NEVER cooked before that other than baking (and now we're taking some cooking classes together!)

    .... now I need to get back to work (GW can steal your attention from work like nothing else can't it?)

  • cat_mom
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What is your "day" job MM? (just being nosey here!)

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  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    LOL I put that in the men vs women design thread - I am a computer programmer - and not anything artistic like a web designer either, I work behind the scenes on very large databases.

    I am a nature person (I love hiking) I didn't think that influenced the design but after reading sweeby's post maybe that did. I love chipmunks and squirrels so I want to see that squirrel hardware someone was talking about!! (igloo right?)

    Pictures and answers to previous questions coming up - just uploading them into the computer now.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Everyone talking window coverings - you are speaking in a language totally foreign to me so I'll need pictures - but I'll save that for a new thread.

    Sweeby - thanks for the picture - I like it.

    Minnt - you called the hubbardton forge right. As far as price, I had a certain budget built into the contract for the dining table light and the pendants - the dining lights ended up being relatively inexpensive so I was able to get the more expensive HF lights on the penninsula and still be within the budget. Ipriced them the way I did for much of the items, I looked them up on the internet and forwarded the webpage to my contractor with the best price, if the contractors supplier could not get it at that price or very close I told the contractor to just buy it on the internet. Every single time the contractors supplier met or beat internet prices so it never became an issue. I used a clear bulb in them becuase that matches the light of the undercabs best so the granite has consistant lighting.

    I did splurge on one detail with the pendants (picture), I couldn't resist the gray slate tie in. Their upcharge for this option was way too expensive for a peice of stone but... I love details like that :)

    {{gwi:1743449}}

    Heres the dining lights close up (hard to see but the colors are red orange and yellow glass peices around the opening of the light)
    {{gwi:1743450}}

    Here are the matching lights to the pendants I put in the entryway:
    {{gwi:1743451}}

    And the hallway:
    {{gwi:1743452}}

    Most people never even notice they match the pendants unless I tell them becuase you can't ever see them and the kitchen at the same time.

    Here's the thing with the hallway light and why I went with the "less pretty" compact version, you see that little "wall" just down the hall from the light, the one that looks like it probably hides a beam or piping, its a fake I had them add during the remodel - its the perfect depth from the ceiling so that the light from the hall light will not hit the TV (that big white screen you see). It also hides the retractable projector, that is just beyond that fake wall, when it is in the up position (pecanpie's DH would love that since he had a pop-up toaster in the kitchen design) Details like that you would never get from a KD :)

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    kas81057 - Yes the peninsula back you see was made by the cabinet company so its the same wood / stain etc as the cabinets. I think its a thin veneer of maple on top of some sort of particulate (OSB etc). Yes its plain quarter round. You need something like that with cork as it will expand and contract with the temp so you can't butt it right up against the penninsula.

    Here is something in the penninsula that didn't come standard (the GC custom built it) I asked for a plain slab door not the shaker for this door so the door would be more hidden but I was a pain on so many other things I let the shaker door here slide ;)

    {{gwi:1743453}}{{gwi:1743454}}

    As you can see we use it for storage of things we don't need much, like the christmas tableware and its also how you access the plug in for the phone (there is also TV and computer hookups in here) seen here - normally the phone sits on top of the grommet so you can't see it.

    {{gwi:1599860}}

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    edlakin - yeah restraint was key. The backsplash is actually a little darker than I wanted. You can completely change a slate backsplash depending on the sealer you use. We used the most neutral sealer we could find for 2 coats (except for the actual fish, I used a tiny brush and sealed them with medium gloss - you can see them shine in some of the pics) and then the third coat we used a stronger sealer that ended up making the slate slightly darker... I think my brother did it on purpose as he didn't like the drab pale look and wanted his tile job to have a little pop.

    The most restraint needed was the contractor kept chewing me out for working on the remodel and tweaking things myself in the evenings.. I started really getting on his nerves by doing that so I tried, only somewhat successfully, to have restraint there (or I just tweaked stuff in such a way he wouldn't notice) :)

    Flowerchild - Thanks for the encouraging words. There probably are fossil frogs - there lots of cool fossil things but they go WAY up in price once you deviate from the ones you see in my kitchen and teeth and some of those ones like tribolites. I was looking at really small crayfish for a while to put one on the bottom above the cooktop and I also looked at leaves but ultimately either price, or worry that I would be going overboard made me not do it.

    Here's the deal with the cracked sink - it went right from the supplier to the granite person - I never saw it so its impossible for me to know when it happened. Even so when it was installed you could not see the crack but after it got dust on it from the install and you wiped it off then you could see it (your color might be easier to see the crack). I suggest you run your fingernail around the edge of your sink to check for cracks at any phase during the project you can. Either there weren't threads in GW about the cracks yet or I missed them becuase if I knew they had a tendancy to crack I would have made sure it was checked carefully. Blanco is sending us a new one free of charge but I am really nervous about the granite becuase its gonna be hard to remove the sink and as you know the granite is pretty much not replaceable.

    Here is a picture of the crack (sorry about the quality it was really hard to get a picture of)

    {{gwi:1743455}}

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    kulagal - First I went to canyon creek as they are local and fit right in the "bang for the buck" sweet spot of price vs quality for me but left quite dissappointed. Ideally I like birch (its what we had a DVD library custom made out of a few years ago - pic below) but places that did birch cabs were out of my price range so maple grain was fairly close. Canyon creek only had a pale brown and then a way too orange color - neither of which was what I was looking for. I called the contractor and we discussed the custom color but that adds lead time (and more lead time if the sample they send is not right) and my GC said it would throw the whole schedule off so we should save that as a last resort. He then told me of another company he works with that was slightly more expensive but you get your extra moneys worth out of them as most things that were special options at canyon creek were standard with them. So I met with their rep and *yippee* they had just what I was looking for. (the company I met with was called international kitchens and the cabinets were made by Merit Kitchens just across the border from here in canada)

    For pulls - funny you should mention ORB - that was my original intent for the kitchen but I found it too hard to match different vendors ORB and no one company that had all I needed. Black was much easier to match. I was a little worried becuase I redid the interior doors in the house and was HOOKED on an ORB handle for them and thought ORB mixed with black would be bad. But I bought them anyway and tried it out and really you can't see any of the ORB from the kitchen but the pocketdoor hardware.

    The hardware in the dining is stainless and the handle on the patio door there is "satin silver" or something like that which looks similar to stainless.

    DVD shelving in birch:
    {{gwi:1743456}}

    ORB hardware and the new door style (GC found me a great deal on the doors!)
    {{gwi:1743457}}

    The only visible ORB from the kitchen is the pocket door to TV room. In this pic that wall looks really bright orange - its not like that in person as there is no lighting on that wall - its more of a red/brown.

    {{gwi:1743458}}

    Hopefully? a better view of the dining hardware on the black cherry - same basic shape and size as kitchen hardware but flattened and rounded.
    {{gwi:1743459}}

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OK now the dishes and other "decorative" goodies :)

    {{gwi:1743460}}

    The ice bucket for drinks from the mini-fridge. I wanted something classy yet fun :)
    {{gwi:1743461}}

    trivet and light switch for spotlights on buffet (dw bought trivet on business trip to australia):
    {{gwi:1743462}}

    2 Peices from the tea set that will go in the glass display cabinet (the glass shelves are currently too small - for the pics you see them in they were just temporarily propped in, new shelves are on order). Here you can see what is really cool, and unexpected for me, about the lyptus - when lighted it gives off a really nice glow, metallic looking almost. FYI My DW loves tea.
    {{gwi:1743463}}

    The shelves (the doll is the only thing that will be staying there.. the other items are stolen from the living room for now)
    {{gwi:1743464}}

    Finally, the fuji painting. Its painted in really thick paint so it gives it a very 3-d feel and ite much more vibrant in person. Please if you can read japanese and it says something like "go home stupid tourist" don't tell me - its better that I not know.
    {{gwi:1743465}}

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Last post today (everyone is probably sick of me by now).

    One of my favorite things about the granite is lost in photos - it has a lot of clear parts which give it tremendous depth when you look at it. I tried in these pictures to capture it - by taking the picture at an angle I got the clear to look kinda milky in spots so you can see what I mean.

    {{gwi:1743466}}
    {{gwi:1743467}}

    In addition you can see there are whole chunks of clear that you can see near the top in this picture I took of the seam.
    {{gwi:1734858}}

    {{gwi:1704898}}

    Undercab lighting/plugmold and TV:
    {{gwi:1609750}}{{gwi:1599859}}

    One of the cabinets has outlets inside - I put the laptop in there for charging when I am not using it for reading GW:
    {{gwi:1743468}}

    All the junction boxes and those "push to reset" outlets you need are inside the pantry behind the pullout shelves.
    {{gwi:1743469}}

    The best granite cleaner I've tried:
    {{gwi:1743470}}

    And finally clean lines don't stay that way :) (our neice made this for our new kitchen when her daddy was doing the tile)
    {{gwi:1743471}}

  • Flowerchild
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    MRy (tee, hee) I'm sure I speak for all of us. We aren't tired of your posts. Actually look forward to them since our project is at a standstill I can appease myself with other projects here. Luv your dishes. Perfect!! once again...

  • cat_mom
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My DH is a computer guy, too (software developer, programmer, though he says he hasn't done any coding in ages--whatever that means with regards to his job title and actual responsibilities!). Hmmm, maybe that's why he had to tweak some things, too while the kitchen was being put together--occupational hazard?? LOL

    Please if you can read Japanese and it says something like "go home stupid tourist" don't tell me - its better that I not know. I have a t-shirt that has the Kanji for Tokyo (Capitol City) printed on it. My dad got it for me in Japan when I was in HS. We always joked that it really said something unprintable! I still have the shirt BTW!

  • raehelen
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What is it with you computer programmer types? My DH is an electrical engineer who is now doing computer programming with large data bases for TELUS here in Canada (Vancouver area just north of you). He is also the cook in the family, and why our kitchen had to end up going his way- ironically, your kitchen is much closer to what I wanted.... :>) But, he is the one who bought a fish fossil for me, though he said it was much more expensive than what you got yours for- but he likes the idea of utilizing them in our backsplash too. (think I'll keep his gift out and look on eBay- do you mind sharing the sellers you liked?)I think he'd probably like to try and get fossils to match the geological age of our granite- ummm, not sure if that's possible...

  • MariposaTraicionera
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I haven't read all the posts, so forgive me if I repeat something.

    BEAUTIFUL kitchen, and love those fossils. Immediately reminded of the Pharoah's, yet different. The buffet counter was a great idea, love the screens and cork flooring, and also the wall with refrigerator and ovens. I never thought I'd see a black refrigerator looking so good!

    Congrats.

    Mari

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey while reading other threads I saw a username and I remembered someone else that helped on layout - bmorepanic! Thanks!

    Fossil sellers:

    Most are from "brents fossil store" - he (or his son sometimes) is very good on the communication and customer service. He is always fair or sometimes even more than fair on his pricing. He sells a LOT of fossils so if you don't see what you want ask him or keep checking back on his ebay listings. I think in my layout all but 1 or 2 fossils were from him. I should send him a link to the kitchen pics :)
    Ebay ID : fossil-stuff Brent's Fossil Store EBAY

    EbayID fossilgirlz1 - not as good on the communication but the fossils I got from her are absolutely top notch in quality. She tends to sell higher end ones and not have as much listings as brent. Severns Fossil Store EBAY ahhh she has a crayfish up.. still wonder if I should have had one on the bottom near the phone and cooktop... OK mysterymachine for the sake of your pocketbook stop looking - the backsplash is done.

    Stay away from dccinar - sold me a bad fossil (it looked like it was just painted on and was not as pictured), possibly a fake and then didn't respond to my emails and dinged me with a negative feedback (without ever responding to my email).

    Generally the good sellers specialize in fossils and that will be all they sell. I wouldn't use that as a hard and fast rule but it seems to be a good start. If you want to go high end on the fish fossils I have heard the best thing to do is learn prices for different fossils and actually go to Utah where they are digging them up and visit the galleries there.

  • terible
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here is a visual of what's in my head.......unless you decide to go naked.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • nightowlrn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    MM - your kitchen is a work of art!

    Your dining table light is exactly what I have been looking for. I have been searching high and low all morning trying to find it. Any help would be appreciated.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks nightowl! I have some bad news for you... the line was discontinued. However I see it on their website again so maybe there is some hope - they are very beautiful, high quality lights and reasonably priced:

    RAM Electric Meadowbrook Series

    For those of you looking at fossils let me give you an example of a poor fossil (this is the one from dccinar) - even without the chip that is missing if you compare to the ones in my other pictures you can see it just doesn't look the same - looks fake - no real texture, you cant see the bones etc.

    {{gwi:1743472}}

  • nightowlrn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Bless you !!!

  • nightowlrn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    MM - I need a light that can illumintate the table very well on occasion. Is this light bright - enough for people with bad eyes to see cards?

    I will have it on a dimmer to adjust the light most other times.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Its more of a nice soft light - its hard to quantify brightness - its bright enough for anyone I've had over to play cards on.

    It doesn't stand out in the pictures but I also have some small recessed cans on a dimmer above the table. I set the dimmer just enough that the other fixture doesn't create shadows.

    The bulbs in it are frosted halogens - I bet you could get a lot more punch if you needed it by swapping those out with the standard clear variety (which are MUCH cheaper and easier to find... it was a whole ordeal for me to find a replacement frosted one to fix one I broke when assembling it)

    One word of advice on that light, I don't recommend putting that fixture on a dimmer even if it says you can - it hummed an awful lot when it was on a dimmer and bugged me so I had them swap it out to a normal switch.

  • nightowlrn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks again! We have four recessed lights in the kitchen table area, but not directly over the table. They are two five inch cans about 2 feet from each end and two 4 inch cans about three feet from the table on one side. I am going to get the light and keep my fingers crossed. I don't like the pendant look for my area and my kitchen is black iron, so I am hoping this is exactly what we need to finish our kitchen. Again, yours is just wonderful!

    Too bad about the dimmer, some lights just don't dim well I guess.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Good luck, I hope you are able to get it! Please update the thread if indeed the line is no longer discontinued - I still want one of those matching table lamps! :)

  • suzieca
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you for answering my post and including the photos of your stunning kitchen!! You have helped me decide that having the movement all go in the SAME direction will be much better. I looked at your photos where you said there was a seam & I couldn't see it! (That's good!)
    I read all these posts quickly and didn't notice if you mentioned the stain you used on the maple wood cabinets. Do you remember brand/color? Thanks again. suzieca

  • remodelfla
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi MM... another quick question about your kitchen cabs. I know they are from Merit kitchens. What door style, finish/glaze are they? I've been to Merit's website and am not sure. I would probably not order from them since I'm in Florida and there are no reps around here but I would really like to try and match the stain/glaze color. It's exactly what I have in my spinning mind. Thanks for always being so forthcoming with all your information. I LOVE THIS FORUM!

  • angier_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would like to add my experience with a cracked silgranite sink. Hope you don't mind. I think I had read about the hairline cracks here on the GW so I checked mine after I picked it up. I took it completely out of the box and looked it over. I didn't find a thing. On the day of install the guy had it outside on the driveway to cut it down and found the crack then. It looked like the crack in MM's sink. I feel sure it was there all along but unnoticable indoors. So I recommend carefully checking in bright daylight.

    MysteryMachine I love your kitchen. My favorites are the granite, the backsplash, and the penisula/breakfast bar.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the compliments! Its nice that other people like the kitchen - I designed just for what I (and my DW) like so its cool that other people have same taste. I know its not for everyone.

    If you google Merit kitchens it will give you the wrong one. Here is the Merit Kitchen Website . The doorstyle of the kitchen is Prairie School Flat, wood is maple, stain color is butternut. The doorstyle in the dining is Shaughnessy, wood is cherry, stain color is Carriage Black.

    Hope that helps!

    Yeah angier_2007... those cracks are hard to see - I think mine ony showed up once it got some construction dust in it. Its a shame this is such an issue with them becuase they are such great sinks otherwise and its a pity becuase the cracking is always sometime before install so it seems something that the company should find a way to prevent with better packaging or some kind of reinforcing in the corners.

    I am so glad you found yours before install - I am seriously worried that something will happen to my granite when they are trying to tear out the sink - if you think about it - its not an easy task to tear out (especially the way mine is mounted its impossible to get at the boards holding it up without cutting the sink into peices to get it out)

    Is your crack also in the corner? (that seems to be the common place) Can you catch your nail on it? (wondering if that is a good way to have people check).

  • lorien_ca
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    mysterymachine,

    your finished kitchen is beautifully done. i have a layout/function question for you if you have a minute to answer. we are in the process of leveling and rebuilding from scratch. the house layout i love has a kitchen that winds up very similarly shaped to yours. in order to get in an advantium/oven stack, i'd end up with the fridge across from the peninsula, just a little bit outside of the U of work area counters just like yours is.

    so my questions: how do you find living with the fridge in that position? does the peninsula make for an adequate drop zone for groceries or items you're removing from the fridge for use? any issues with the sink/stove being a little bit further away from the fridge? we have the option of adding a prep sink to the end of our peninsula since there is extra length there - would that have helped you at all day to day with the location of your fridge in relation to the sink?

    thanks!
    lori

  • birdly
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mysterymachine,
    Congratulations on the finished and beautiful kitchen. We're going with a similar look--maple cabs in two finishes and either cork or hardwood for flooring.

    We're in the Seattle area and have yet to begin our kitchen. I wonder if you'd mind emailing me your GC's name and contact info? We haven't started asking for bids yet but finding the right person for GC is probably our most important task right now. Just curious, did you get the Merit cabinets through International Kitchens?

    Thanks!

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lorien, Yes having the penninsula there is perfect. One of the nice things in the plan is that with the fridge where it is people can get things out of the fridge without getting in the way in the kitchen. The penninsula is large enough to put all the groceries before loading into the fridge and adjacent pantry. Also you can use it taking things out of the fridge/pantry and doing prep work. You mention the fridge being far away from cooktop and sink - its perfect distance from cooktop but it is a little far to the sink. I end up doing a lot more prep on the penninsula than I anticipated becuase its such a nice big peice of counter. The way we have our peninsula a prep sink wouldn't work in that penninsula becuase you'd lose the big peice of counter with the seating there but in a situation with a larger kitchen/peninsula I could see a prep sink in the peninsula working nicely. Anyway I highly recommend my layout, its worked even better than I anticipated.

    Birdly, no problem - I highly recommend my GC - I'll just post his webpage here: Druhan Construction, Mark Jones is the owner and GC. Just make sure you let him know you are interested after seeing the work he did on my kitchen so he knows I referred you. (he won't know the name MysteryMachine so you can describe the kitchen or I think he has pics up on his webpage now of our kitchen with our name on it). Yes, it was through International Kitchens as a matter of fact - its one of the places Mark uses. If you have any more questions about Mark or his work just email me.

  • olchik
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    gorgeous!

  • bklyn2pok
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gorgeous, I don't normally drool over other people's kitchens (much) but yours really speaks to me. I love the fossils in the backsplash and the clean Asian asthetic of the whole design.

    Enjoy it!!!!

  • birdly
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    MysteryMachine: Your message cracked up my dh and me. Mark did our deck but it took him 6 months to finish the job (from July through Dec this year). He must have been working on your kitchen! ;0)

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hah hah... too funny!! That was the exact timeframe of our kitchen remodel and hes not a "big time" contractor (not very many employees) so that is really wild. I may even have seen your deck contract as he brought over an example contract when we were ironing out the details for our contract and it was for a deck. LOL it might have even been my kitchen's fault that your deck took a long time - there were some issues with the kitchen that required some extra work.

    I hope he did a good job for you! Sorry if it was my fault he took so long. He had one employee that I didn't care for his work but that employee no longer works for Mark so I have absolutely no problem highly recommending him.

  • celticmoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey there. Thank you so much for pointing me over this way!! What a treat to see the finished kitchen. Just gorgeous! The finishes work beautifully and the fossils are a knock out. Beautiful.

    Ah but onto the design and function, that is my passion... I can't find the old design thread but I remember your challenges. The pennisula meeting the bay bump out could have gone so very wrong, but looks like it came out perfectly. And don't think I don't see that sweet transition from the bar right on through to the window sills. Very very nice!

    And I remember how much you struggled with finding a way to protect the cook's space while still having some communication, but not too much openness, etc etc. Such tough decisions. I think the two spaces (cooking/dining) each have a very strong core or pull (the finish change reinforces that, don't you think?) so you have distinct spaces without walls. I think you chose well not to try to put a buffet strip between the dining and penninsula. Do you agree now that it might have been too crammed? Or would more storage have been better? The spaciousness seems so good now in the pix.

    Then by the dining room/living room, I really like how you screened the cutout. It would have risked becoming a bowling alley with no potential for intimacy if the whole wall had come out. Now you have a striking focal point both sides that is a million design miles away from the 80s 'cutout' you started with. I think it is a brilliant solution.

    But are you happy with your design decisions? The right amount of function, flow, storage, openness, intimacy, etc??? Yours was a really challenging situation with so many MANY decisions involving those dimensions. I'm really curious whether any needs came up short. Is it as perfect a solution as it looks?

    Then again, dang, it looks so good - who cares!!

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    olchik and bklyn2pok Thank you for the compliments!!

    bklyn2pok, I didn't really plan for an asian look but A) we went to Japan right during the middle of the remodel so it might have crept into my subconscious and we bought some things for the kitchen there B) I was really going for the clean line, modern yet not full-on contemporary look and asian fits right in that category. The GC designed the screen and he said he was going for an asian design.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    celticmoon, Wow, you have great memory... there are millions of layout threads here and you remembered most of our struggles. Personally it makes me appreciate the final product more knowing all the design issues we had :)
    I still have about a dozen designs saved on the computer we tried and that is not even 1/2 of them becuase I never saved all the designs people put up on GW.

    When we were looking at putting the buffet counter between the kitchen and dining we did not have those cabs in the dining and we didn't have a full peninsula either - just a small prep counter. The big worry with putting cabs in the dining was that I didn't want it to look like a bunch of kitchen cabinets thrown in there for extra space. I finally got over that fear when I was visiting cabinet showrooms and started thinking some really rich dark or black cabinets in a different door style so they would not tie at all with the kitchen and instead match the wood of the dining table.

    I wish I had my original threads but I believe this layout does everything I wanted: keeps me (the cook) sheltered but allows interaction (I installed in ceiling sound in the kitchen too so when I want to focus on cooking I turn that up so I don't get distracted with other peoples conversations).

    Having the fridge where it is allows access from in the kitchen and outside the kitchen (the mini-fridge helps too) that was a goal - and having it side by side with the pantry with the penninsula right there is a perfect landing zone. I am still in awe of how well that aspect of the layout works. You, bmorepanic and others were always talking landing zones and I was always talking about "let me cook without people getting in my way" so its totally amazing that we got both into the layout. I grow to love the layout more and more every day - especially for entertaining.

    I could go on and on but I think its pretty much as absolute perfect layout we could get in that space. I have just enough cupboards - more might be nice but you know how that is (actually in the dining some are still empty). And besides functionality we got rid of that funnel look everyone was worried about. The core kitchen work area is almost a square now (7.25' x 8' floor space) couple that with the layout of the appliances and honestly the kitchen feels and looks 2x as big. My DW and are are starting to enjoy cooking together where before I was always basically telling her "get out of my way" (in a nice way) :)

    My actual final plan has the overhang of the granite another 3" more (currently its only 11.5"on the main stretch and 10" on the angle by the window) but that granite is a fairly brittle one so the templaters didn't feel comfortable with my plans... I think that is the only sacrifice I made for looks over functionality (looks being the granite - once saw/reserved that granite I'd do whatever it took to make it work with my plan LOL)

    The downsides are: Pantry is too small for my tastes but my DW and I have been buying some containers and such for flours and really organizing that pantry so its working out (we have to be a wheat free house and if you know about that you know you need a lot of other flours to work with). The small dishwasher was another downside but honestly the layout is so much more efficient for loading/unloading the dishwasher that it completly makes up for it. The longest run is probably the fridge to sink.. but its a small kitchen so its not bad at all, better than most other kitchens I've cooked in - I think putting in a prep sink somewhere would crowd out too much precious counter and cabinet space.

    So, I am glad you were able to see the final product - thanks again for all your help on layout - it quite literally would not have turned out the same without you!

    I apologize to everyone doing layout now that I am not much help - I intentionally stay away from the layout threads becuase I get obsessed over them and can't sleep after reading them. You're in good hands though as most of the layout people that helped me are still around helping people.

  • oruboris
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Very nice!

    I rarely click on 'finished' picture threads anymore-- I figure if you've seen one igloo kitchen you've seen them all.

    The warmth of your space was a pleasant surprise. Your choices are very current without being trendy. Elegant, relaxed, and just a little playful.

    I think my favorite elements are the 'organic' touches-- wood grain, warm stone, the fossils, leaf shapes in the lighting-- and how they play against the clean, linear shapes of the other overall design. That's the sort of subtle touch that keeps a space interesting for years.

    Oh, the table top is wonderful too: that's something I have every intention of appropriating!

  • bikefan
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Unbelievable make-over! Congrats!

    We are considering a blanco black silgranite sink -- any experience with water spots showing? Are cracks a big risk of this product or was yours just a fluke?

  • glassman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    mysterymachine

    In another thread you asked for my thoughts on your backsplash. I feel you've done a very nice job of harmonizing and including the fossils as interesting design elements. I like that the "wow" factor is also accomplished by other components (sink, granite, pendent lights, vent hood, door/drawer hardware, and adjacent dining area..)

  • mrs_tlc
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, that is totally gorgeous and incredible. You are responsible for all of this drool on my keyboard! LOL.........great job.

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    LOL about the drool on keyboard. Thanks everyone for the compliments. Glassman I hope you are around for more backsplash comments for people struggling to choose, you have some good ideas.

    Bikefan, just do a ctrl+f on this thread and search for "crack" I have a couple posts on it and even a picture (quick summary: very common, doesn't happen once installed so be paranoid about the cracks before install). Hopefully Blanco figures out what is causing the cracking if its poo packaging or what. As far as waterspots - at first I had tons and was freaking out about it... but it turns out it was not water spots it was still residual drywall dust in the air that would stick to the water and stay behind. After 3 or 4 weeks nothing, very very rarely will I see any spots and a light run over with the "scrubby" side of the sponge and its gone. Its much better than I was expecting. I wish my shower walls would be more like this :).

    Oruboris, I got the table at Dania a few yrs ago. Other GWers have seen it, or similar, at other scandanavian type furniture stores (not ikea but the type that are basically "higher end" type ikea stuff). When I was looking for bar stools we saw one like mine only without the curves (so it had straight edges, square corners etc). I hope that helps.

  • birdly
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The finished deck is nicely done but we had to have some of it redone during the process. I know the employee you're talking about; he did a lot of the work here (eek). I certainly don't blame you. Mark didn't handle things very well juggling and communicating; we were obviously last on the priority list and it was disappointing that we didn't get to enjoy our deck before the rainy season. Hopefully he learned something; we did. We're reluctant to use him again--we would definitely build in a schedule and penalty clauses in whatever contract we do now. It's good to see the work he's done on your kitchen though and to confirm that our instincts were right about him (he does do good work).

    I wonder if you can pass on the name of the company you got the interior doors from? We want to replace ours too. Thanks!

  • gwent
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Fab.
    Could you share details on where you got cabinet pulls and and light over dining room table.
    thanks

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    birdly... makes total sense that you had to redo stuff if it were that one employee - you should have heard the subcontractors complain about that employees work :) The nice thing is Mark had them redo stuff without argument - a friends contractor fought him and tried to charge him on every little thing that he asked to be redone (and we are talking some obvious things)

    If you want I can let him know that my glowing review of his work was slightly tainted by a deck that took too long - he won't like that! Its sad that he was late for yours becuase both the person at international kitchens and the person I got the sink from commented on how hes on time. For me he was about 1 month late but given the circumstances that was not bad. Its surprising about the communication - he was great for me. It does sound like he was putting all his effort into my project - did you let him know that you were doing a kitchen and becuase he didn't handle the small project well he misses out on the bigger one? (FYI the contractor that was awful for my friend was Chermak construction - it was a 100k+ project and they tried to charge him when the electrician put in a 3 bank switch that only needed 2 switches so the electrician left a switch that did nothing - they told my friend that a "do nothing" switch was an "acceptable solution" - that was the worst example but there were tons of things like that).

    I am 95% sure Mark got the doors through PCS Millwork. They were WAY cheaper (talking less than 1/2) the cost of the equivalent doors through the lumber yard he normally uses.

    gwent, nightowl was asking about the dining lights - if you search (ctrl+f) the thread for "nightowl" and read those posts you should get all the details on the lights. For the pulls, believe it or not we got them at Loews. I went to all the fancy shops for a couple weeks stressing about hardware and finally stumbled on them at Loews of all places.

  • birdly
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks very much for the info about the doors and for steering us away from Chermak. No, I don't think there's a need for you to let Mark know your review was tainted (I think it's incredible how word about contractors can get around on the Internet; I think I'll ask this forum about the contractors we hire before we hire them now!). Mark knows we were unhappy about the time it took and other problems. We told him before it started that there could be a kitchen contract later if the first for the deck went well. C'est la vie.

  • ichearts
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just spent over 20 min. reading all the rave reviews on your new kitchen. What a difference! Beautiful. However, no one asked how you like your cooktop (36"?) Electrolux, right? and your double wall oven..Electrolux again, right? What model is it? I am looking at a 36" Hybrid from Electrolux, but am concerned about the stainless steel edge scrathing or being in the way when cooking. Please tell me how you like these 2 appliances. Thank you...

  • mysterymachine
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am sorry I missed your post ichearts. I've not been on the forum much lately becuase its summer and becuase I got a dog. Hopefully you got the info you needed. I (and everyone else that has cooked in my kitchen) LOVE the electrolux double ovens. The cooktop is the 30" induction. I love the cooktop as well but just as you worry about the stainless rim around the cooktop does get all scratched up and it makes it harder to clean.

    So I finally got around to taking some pictures directly of the window coverings:





    Still loving my new kitchen. Sorry I haven't been online much lately I just got this and am potty training etc.

  • mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for posting. Your kitchen has been one of my inspiration kitchens. I did print out your pictures and showed them to my KD. He loved them as well.

    Love the window coverings and will be doing something similar and have been waiting to have you post what they look like.

    Everything is just gorgeous! Thank you for posting. I love your kitchen. Pure genius!

  • aliris19
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh my -- I think I have finally found my "inspiration kitchen"! I thought I'd re-post by way of bumping this in case someone else relatively new enjoys this as much as I did.

  • ImWithJoe
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Old kitchen, besides a horrible set up for a multi person kitchen, the hood is a fake in the old and the cabinets were eaten by dogs.