Saturday, September 20, 2008

rmkitchen's Kitchen

White Kitchen with Full Marble Backsplash

Posted by rmkitchen on Fri, Aug 8, 08
Link to rmkitchen's Gardenweb finished kitchen post
Link to rmkitchen's kitchen photos


  • ~$55K
  • custom frameless painted (catalyzed lacquer) a custom white, island painted BM Onyx
  • all drawers full-extension with Blumotion glides and all doors with Blum soft-close hinges
  • one Rev-A-Shelf wood drawer divider
  • one Rev-A-Shelf plastic double tier flatware divider
  • custom wood drawer dividers (five drawers)
  • steel pegboard "broom closet" pull-out (thanks to dianalo for sharing inspiration pictures)
  • three chrome pull-out pantry units (Rev-A-Shelf)
  • four spice pull-outs (Rev-A-Shelf)
  • pegboard with wood "divider" dowels in (three) dish drawers
  • foot pedal four-canister trash / recycle unit (thanks to lowspark and alku05 for the foot pedal instructions), Rev-A-Shelf
  • magnetic chalkboards (two)
  • hood (design inspiration courtesy of mwardlb’s lovely hood)
  • maple butcher block island countertop with bow detail
  • tempered, safety glass-front doors and glass shelves
  • delivery and installation of these cabinets and attached custom crown moulding (but not including cost of custom crown which was ~$350)
  • ~$22K
  • refrigerator: Thermador 30" Fresh Food Freedom Column T30IR70
  • freezer: Thermador 30" Frozen Freedom Colum T30IF70
  • oven: Gaggenau 30" BX281610 convection double oven, (thanks to the supportive folks in the Appliance forum who talked me through this decision & held my hand as we waited five+ months for its delivery)
  • cooktop: Thermador Professional Series PCG366E 36" gas, six burners
  • vent: Broan 900 cfm external blower 332H
  • microwave: Sharp Over-The-Counter R-1214
  • refrigerator drawers: GE Monogram 24" ZIDI240PII
  • (delivery and installation of above appliances was ~$700)
  • instant hot / cold faucet and tank: Mountain Products Little Gourmet MT1401
  • under-sink water filter: Culligan
  • sink: Bates and Bates S2133.SS stainless apron front
  • faucet: Pegasus Professional Kitchen, from Expo (thanks to susanandmarkw)
  • soap dispenser: Danze Parma
  • dishwasher: KitchenAid KUDS03FTPA
  • air switch for above-sink light: Mountain Plumbing, stainless
  • disposal: Insinkerator Evolution Cover Control
  • ~$1,100
  • pulls: Restoration Hardware 4" Gilmore Pulls, polished nickel
  • knobs: Restoration Hardware 1.25" Cut Glass Knobs, polished nickel
  • fridge / freezer pulls: Hickory Hardware Studio 13" bright nickel
  • broom closet pull: Hickory Hardware Studio 5" bright nickel
Countertop & backsplash:
  • material, fabrication and installation ~$19K
  • Calacatta Xtra (seriously, that’s its name), honed, 3cm, with eased square edge – thanks to mnhockeymom for the inspiration!), runnels and a dishdrain
  • backsplash: Calacatta Xtra, 2cm
  • island butcherblock countertop provided by cabinetmaker
  • ~$1K
  • walls: BM 871 Pearl River, Regal Matte Finish
  • ceiling: 50% BM 871, Regal Flat Finish
  • wainscoting: BM Impervo, custom to match cabinetry
  • toekicks: BM Onyx (which I painted myself with "help" from our puppy)
  • price unknown as bundled in with installation of hardwood for entire first floor and staircase
  • red oak, "popped" with water then one heavy coat of Dura-Seal Ebony Stain (thanks to my husband for finding out how to get the dark finish I wanted from red oak), three coats of Bona Satin Water-Based Sealer
  • ~$16K (I think, as it was bundled in with a nearly-whole house remodel)
  • removal of old cabinets, closing up old doorway to dining room, framing new entrance to dining room, moving almost all electrical plus some new, moving all plumbing plus much new, drywall (inc. smooth-coating existing orange-peel), fabricating / installing wainscoting in breakfast nook and sink wall facing family room and new casing around sliding door and window, crown moulding installation and painting
Kitchen designer
  • $3K
  • we contentiously parted ways v. early in the process, but not until she had suggested moving the doorway to the dining room down the wall, and we love this change

Our kitchen is approximately 13’w x 21'l (not completely true, as only one side is 21' long; the other wall is 11 1/2'). Our ceiling is 9’ high (the upper cabinets are 47 ½" high with crown moulding running from the top of the cabinets up to the ceiling).

Things we love
or, what we did right
-Sans doute moving the opening into the dining room down the wall so as to make a U-shape kitchen was the smartest thing we did. It has increased the function / made better the ergonomics tremendously!
-Full Marble Backsplash. It's gorgeous and I LOVE getting to see my true love, the marble, from many different vistas. If we'd had the marble as just our countertop the only time I would've seen it is when I was working on that counter. Now I can see it when sitting in the breakfast nook, when walking into the family room. It is absolutely the star of our kitchen!
-Large, single bowl, apron front sink. Having all that continuous room for washing large pots / pans / baking dishes is so incredible! I love how the apron front eliminates any lower back pain– not far to reach into the sink. We also have no splashing, as opposed to what we had with a shallower, drop-in sink.
-Raised dishwasher. It just makes sense! I know many love their dishdrawers but as we run a full or nearly-full dishwasher nightly, it would not have made sense for us to have dishdrawers.
-Side-opening wall oven. I was on the fence a long time on this one: that oven set (the Gaggenau 30" double wall ovens) was really expensive, but oh how we love the side-opening mechanism! It just makes so much sense.
-Foot pedal trash. Hands full of broccoli remnants + foot pedal trash = genius.
-Magnetic chalkboards – my children adore them! My older son (four years-old) loves drawing his robots and writing; my younger son (two years-old) loves standing and "coloring." We love being able to keep our timer and grocery list in a central and easy-to-locate spot.
-Full freezer and full refrigerator: we wonder how we lived before with combined units. It sounds insane, but for our vegetarian family with little children we are absolutely utilizing these separate units to their fullest.
-Polished nickel hardware: it’s beautiful. It’s just beautiful, and it takes a lot of work to get them looking icky / dirty; plus, I have to say they are a breeze to clean (when they do get icky)!
-Integrated Dishdrain: we had it carved into the marble on the right side of our sink (our dishrack sits atop it), and we LOVE not having a puddling countertop. We love not having a wet dishtowel or a rubber mat.
-Flatware and Dish Drawers right next to the dishwasher. Unloading the dishwasher requires just the slightest turn of the hips – it’s an ergonomic dream!
-Getting our puppy one month to the day after the remodel started (and three months before it ended). It was such hard work – miserably hard, puppy-training and living amidst chaos (as we were doing nearly the whole house). But man-oh-man am I glad we did it all at once! I am so grateful to have had all the ick and dreck at once. (She’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and we swear she’s part-cat: v. gentle, smart, affectionate. She’s never ever growled / been angry with our two little children, and our youngest is not the gentlest. He loves the puppy, but his love can be a bit rough. Cavaliers are also known for loving cats, and our youngest cat is the puppy’s best friend. They adore each other. But the puppy really really loves the children.)
-Not fighting. In our normal lives my husband I occasionally bicker – we’re married and we’re both strong, opinionated people. But for some strange (and miraculous) reason, we never had a fight during the entire remodel; we got along splendidly and truly were a team. Well, maybe not a team: I was definitely The Chief, but he was 100% on board and totally supportive. I wish I knew why that was because I’d like to bottle it!
Things we don’t love
or, things we’d do differently
(There are only two things we absolutely wish we’d done differently, things which we notice [and which irk us] on a daily basis. I’ll list those two first.)
#1 thing which drives us crazy
-Think about where countertop accoutrements (inc. countertop appliances) would live when planning light switches. I had one undercab light switch put, I thought, in an inconspicuous spot near the corner. I absolutely should have figured out where I’d be putting our toaster because, as it happens, the toaster now blocks the light switch. We’ve tried moving the toaster around but that’s just the spot where it makes sense. But yet it doesn’t make sense because it blocks the light switch. This is already frustrating and totally stupid on my part!
#2 thing which drives us crazy
-Pantry pull-outs. HATE them! Maybe hate is too strong a word (not really), but we realize now we would have been so much happier with standard shelves, not even roll-out shelves! (although those are divine) We have the pantry units from Rev-A-Shelf and find a) they are "adjustable" in name only, b) they don’t hold as much as you’d think, and c) a space-waster. If we’d had shelves we could have stacked cans or seen at one glance all our dry-goods. As it is, we have to pull out three separate units and honestly, we think it’s crap. Never again!
(These other things are things which we’d do differently in the future but which aren’t frustrating us daily.)
-Broom Pull-out isn’t deep enough to hold our stick vac. We’d told our cabinetmaker it needed to be 6" deep, so the pull-out door is 6" deep, but the way he built the support for the steel pegboard eats up an inch, so the interior usable space is only 5" deep … and not enough to hold our stick vac.
-24" deep lower cabinets. Too shallow! We didn’t realize until too late (as in, unpacking into this kitchen) that our penultimate kitchen had 32" deep lowers. What a difference! In all fairness to myself (as in, trying to make myself feel better), given the tight quarters of this kitchen we could not have afforded even 30" deep lowers; well, we could have, but then we would have lost our island which we are really enjoying. Next kitchen will be really different!
-Symmetry. I don’t know if it’s just for symmetry’s sake or for my husband’s, but flanking either side of the cooktop are spice pull-outs. Granted, he’s got them both filled to the gills with his goodies, but I could really use those 6" in my stack of baking supply drawers. Given the particulars of the layout of our kitchen the symmetry there would not have mattered.
-Having our microwave built-in. My husband was adamant he did NOT want a built-in microwave (the kind which have the trim-kits, I mean), so we found the Sharp over-the-counter microwave. Turns out there was some sort of "miscommunication" with the GC (so I guess I’m responsible). The "problem" is that the drywall behind the microwave wasn’t removed and reframed so as to accommodate the 1.5" the microwave juts out past its surrounding cabinetry. It’s already not bothering me so much, but when I do think about it I think "I wish we’d been clearer." Hopefully I’ll learn to live with it because I just don’t want to pay for the work!
-Double Ovens. We’ve always (well, in the US) had double ovens and I love to bake, so I never thought of a single oven. But so far, I’ve only been using one oven and as we’re the strictest of vegetarians it’s not as if we’ll ever have a turkey in one and pie in the other. I think how differently the space (& money) could have been utilized …. Who knows?

Air Switch
Apron Sink
Baking Center
Broom Closet
CabinetsWall >36"high
Cutting Board Storage
Drawer Dividers
Filtered Water Faucet
Frameless Cabinets
Full Extension Drawers
Glass Doors
Custom Hood
Instant Hot Water
Island without Seating
Knife Drawer
Lazy Susan
LightingUnder Cabinet
Pegged Plate Organizer
Plug inside Cabinet
Pullout Pantry
Rollout Trays
Sink >30"wide
Soap Dispenser
Spice Storage
Trash Foot Pedal
Trash Pullout
Water Filter
full marble slab backsplash