Form And Function

I’ve had my hands in every part of the decision making from the major appliances down to the cabinet knobs.  It has been great to be able to hand pick everything to fit to your specifications.  We have designed a kitchen that has both form and function, but never did form win over function.  It will be a beautiful kitchen to look at, but more importantly then anything, it will have functionality.

You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on a kitchen.  The costs are almost endless.  Where do you draw the line when the question is, “do I really need a built in butter warmer”?  It would be nice, but I can heat butter on the stove with the same results.  The costs for choices you make can range from low, to moderate, to high, or to ridiculous.  We tried hard to keep the costs in the low to moderate range

Some of the things we felt we couldn’t live without:
•    Built-In Filtered Water- No more plastic.  We will recoup this cost.
•    Instant Hot Water- The spout is built into the sink with the heater underneath.  This seems like a luxury, but the cost is minimal, since the sink was torn apart already.
•    High End Stove- The stove is going to get the most use in the kitchen.  We felt this was a good place to splurge.
•    Custom Cabinets- These are staying with us for as long as the house is standing.  They are solid and well built and the boxes will never have to be replaced.  We can switch out the doors, hardware, or color if they get worn or tired.  We also decided to add extra cabinets under the bar countertop for some much needed storage.
•    Proper Lighting- This was much more involved then I expected, but hopefully will be worth it.

Some of the things we decided against:
•    Pot Filler- It is nice to be able to fill your pots from the top of the stove, but the kitchen is small enough to live without this.
•    Extra Sink- I would have done this in a heartbeat if I had the space and budget.
•    Built-In Pantry And Book Shelf- There was already an existing pantry that we kept to keep the costs down.  The original design had a built in bookshelf facing the kitchen.  A bookshelf has been designed to go into the main part of the kitchen and we painted the side of the existing pantry with chalkboard paint.
•    New Dishwasher- The existing dishwasher works just fine and the only reason to replace it would be cosmetic.  It’s black and none of the other appliances are matching.  It’ll be fine until it breaks down and we need to replace it.  We may consider painting it.
•    Microwave- I couldn’t find the room for it and it is mostly used as a butter warmer.

Kitchen In Transition


Taking Shape

Taking Shape

This will be the final picture I post of the kitchen in transition.  We are 2 weeks at the minimum, and hopefully no more then 4 weeks, from completely being finished and ready for the unveiling.  I’ll have other pictures and posts of the unraveling drama.

A lot got done this past week.  The cabinet boxes have been installed and leveled, painting is complete, floors are in the house and acclimating to the new environment, and plumbing, electrical, and lighting is well on it’s way.

On deck for this week: Cabinet doors put on, finishing the plumbing, electrical and lighting, template the countertops, stove ventilation, flooring installed, load everything back into the kitchen, and hopefully the stove will get installed.  It sounds like a lot, but hopefully we can get it all done this week.

Final things to finish up:  hang pot rack, shelving, and various other kitchen accessories, and the last thing to go in, the countertops.

Who Super-Sized My Cabinets?

Many events have surfaced this week.  I’ve been working long hours directing traffic and coordinating workers schedules.  I was too exhausted to get to my computer to update my blog.  I can’t believe I voluntarily signed up for this.

The cabinetmaker came by on Thursday to install the cabinets.  They looked great, even without the doors.  I was walking around the kitchen, getting a feel for the new layout and something felt off.  The cabinets under the bar top felt a little tall.  Looking into the living room from the kitchen, it felt a bit closed in.  We measured the cabinets, and sure enough, they were six inches taller then the original design.  Apparently, he calculated the 43” total height measurement, and didn’t account for the kicks underneath, making a total height of over four feet!  That is half the height of a wall.  It felt very closed in and didn’t give us the openness we were trying to accomplish. 

After a sleepless night, we called Tom (the cabinetmaker) on Friday, and he came over immediately. With the contractor there they came up with a solution to cut off the tops and reconstruct the boxes to the new height.  This sounded like a major project and I was sure this would push things back for a long time.  Tom said it should only set him back a day.  Sure enough, he was back the next day with the cabinets, and put the last of the boxes in place.  Now the layout feels good and he’ll be back Monday and Tuesday to finish up his part of the project by putting on the doors.

Meanwhile, the contractor and his crew are trying to finish up their projects.  The dust is swirling as more trimming, spackling, sanding, plumbing, lighting, electrical work goes on.    The flooring delivery is here and 1300 pounds of wood needs to be pulled off of the truck.  I’m being called upon to answer questions from the cabinetmaker about positioning and the contractor needs to know where to drill holes for this and that.

I’m exhausted after a long day and I can’t fall asleep after a three-martini bender. I’m just lying there thinking about the loose ends that need to be tied up on Saturday when I have a full crew here.  


I have detected a bit of flightiness in the home improvement world. There seems to be no sense of urgency, even though everything is very time sensitive.  If someone or something doesn’t show up on time, everything else can get pushed back days or even weeks.  We’re in a crucial time right now.  We are already a week behind schedule after a month long delay in getting started.

Our decision, for better or worse, has been to be our own contractor and designers.  We now see the value of a contractor after having had to make numerous phone calls to track down items and persons.  Luckily we ordered all of the appliances far in advance, and have them sitting around and ready for installation.

Our flooring was due to be delivered on Wednesday, but we’ve been getting the runaround.  The floors need to sit in the house for 4-7 days to properly acclimate to the surrounding environment before they can get installed.  I have already scheduled the flooring installer for Tuesday, so we’re cutting it close if they are here on Friday (the new ETA).

All other steps will be on hold until the floors are installed.

The Dust Feels Far From Being Settled.

I’ve been staying away from the house as much as possible to avoid breathing in any more dust.  Everything has a thick layer on it, even things on the other side of the plastic walls we’ve been living behind.

But progress has been made.   All of the electrical wiring has been done and the walls are patched up and waiting to be painted.  The framework for the cabinets is in place and ready for instillation tomorrow.  I’ll be busy getting my ducks in a row to have the cabinetmaker, floors, contractor for more electrical, lighting, countertops, plumbing, and then all the final little details all lined up to hopefully be finished by mid- October. 

The two final decisions we have to make are on what the backsplash will be and the venting for the stove.  The venting is going to be complicated, so check back to read how we rigged it.