Friday, May 21, 2010

sw_in_austin's Kitchen

IKEA Tidaholm, Soapstone and Steel

Contact: sw_in_austin (My Page)
Posted on Sat, Feb 6, 10
Link to sw_austin's Gardenweb finished kitchen post
Link to sw_austin's kitchen photos

  • Cabinets: IKEA, Tidaholm door style (European white oak; solid oak frame with veneer center), except for custom-built pantry and one shallow cabinet beneath the bookcase, stained ebony; bookcase and cart also custom built of steel angle-iron uprights and IKEA butcher block shelves
  • Countertops: Beleza soapstone from Dorado Soapstone in Austin
  • Backsplash:
    • Tile: Sonoma Tilemakers (from our favorite tile store, Architerra); subways are Star line, 3x6, color Trellis Green; glass tiles are Tantrum 1x2, color Tazo (chosen because it matched the green inclusions in the soapstone)
    • Grout: Light gray (maybe Oyster Gray?)
  • Hardware: Restoration Hardware Aubrey pulls in brushed nickel, 4-inch on doors, 6-inch on drawers
  • Lighting:
    • Pendants in front of windows: Meridian from Sundance Catalog
    • Pendant over kitchen table: IKEA (a placeholder to get the final inspection done; I was looking for a cone-shaped pendant to echo the Meridian pendants but with a solid or frosted shade; I couldn't find one in time and now we'll probably have this forever)
    • Undercabinet lights: Microfluorescent T4 light strips from Pegasus Associates Lighting (online)
  • Sink: Ticor S112 from Galaxy Tool Supply
  • Faucet: Kohler Essex with side spray in brushed nickel
  • Appliances:
    • Range: Kenmore Elite
    • Dishwasher: Kenmore Elite
    • Refrigerator: Kenmore (existing)
  • Floors: Existing long leaf pine (refinished)
We are more than happy with our decision to use IKEA cabinets. They cost about $6,000 less than a comparable kitchen done with Kraft Maid in maple. Because we saved those dollars we felt comfortable spending more on the soapstone and the backsplash. And we are completely happy with how the cabinets look and function. Who knew I could love full-extension, soft-close drawers so much?

The old kitchen was original to the house, which was built in 1945. The cabinets were painted metal, there was no dishwasher, too little storage, and counters were crowded with microwave, toaster oven, and dish drainer. We lived with it for 15 years (we intended to redo it much sooner but other projects -- two kids not the least of those -- intervened).

The kitchen functioned well, layout-wise, and we left the main elements in place. We removed a strange peninsula at one end of the long side and took the wall between kitchen and dining room (behind the stove in the picture below) down to half-height. We took out a door to the backyard that we never used and replaced it with a window. We took out a hot water heater closet (and put in an on-demand unit that hangs on an exterior wall), which gave us 4 additional linear feet of cabinets and counters.

At the last minute we decided to make a space within our new pantry (white doors at right below) to house the microwave. It got the micro off the main counter and having it out of the way is just fine. The pantry was custom-built to fit in the space of what had been a shallow regular-height closet. Now it gives us floor to ceiling storage.
We pulled the base cabinets next to the refrigerator out 5 inches to keep our existing frig from sticking out; the counters here are about 30 inches deep. We also hung 30-inch-tall uppers here (others are 39-inch) with a floating shelf (of IKEA butcher block) below.
We had a cart built of butcher block and steel from the local welding shop that slides under the counter. The bookshelf above was built of the same materials. The black cabinet at right was built by our carpenter to fit a shallow spot to the right of the new window. One slab of soapstone took care of most of the counters, but using butcher block over this section worked out perfectly.
Sills for the new windows made of soapstone tiles. Much better than the old painted wood.

We had this big blank wall (cabinets here wouldn't have left room for the table where we eat almost all our meals) so we painted a piece of masonite with chalkboard paint and bolted it to the wall. The corkboard covers the circuit box, which would have cost $1500 to move.

We love steel so we had the pass-through top made of 1/2-inch sheet steel.

Our carpenter built the bookshelf and the cart, based on an idea I showed him from a magazine. He was skeptical but it turned out great. The corners of the butcher block are routed out so the steel (which is just angle iron from a local welding shop that we wire-brushed clean and sealed with spray poly) would sit flush.

We painted the toe kicks black. Our contractor said it would make them disappear, which it sort of does. I like that it also echoes the black elsewhere. The carpenters built 2x4 frames for the lower boxes to sit on, rather than using the IKEA leg system. I think it was to make certain that the soapstone was well-supported and to make sure the long run was level, given the inherent unevenness of our 65-year-old floors.
The soapstone and the wood are just shoved as closely together as possible. The butcher block sits on a L bracket that runs from front to back screwed into the side of the cabinet; the wood is attached to the bracket from underneath. We thought about putting a bead of clear silicone on the seam but since that area is rarely used for prep we haven't had any trouble with junk building up in the seam (which is fairly minimal; they did a good job of getting a tight joint).

Cabs Wall>36in High
Ceiling Fan
Counter>28in Deep
Frameless Cabinets
Full Extension Drawers
Lazy Susan
Lighting Pendant
Lighting Recessed
Lighting Under Cabinet
Microwave Shelf
Open Shelving
Peninsula without Seating
Plug Inside Cabinet
Portable Serving Cart
Reach-in Pantry
Trash Pullout
Cold-rolled steel counter
Custom built steel & butcherblock bookcase and cart (cart rolls into niche under counter)


Congrats & enjoy! Looks great, especially your backsplash choice.