Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kitchen Paint and the Road Ahead

Originally, I was going to go with Celery Ice by Behr, but the color really didn't work on our walls. My husband eyes register yellow greens far better so I turned to a yellow green (Behr Feldspar), a green yellow (Behr Home Song), and a yellow (Behr Garlic Clove). Using Photoshop, I was able to insert my tile and countertop. Once I finish prepping the walls I am going to try out the testers I bought to see which one we like.

The tile and countertop should be arriving next week. By then, the walls will be ready for our contractor to fix what is wrong with our walls and paint. Then he can install the counters, cooktop, and the tile. We had inherited some bad patches on the walls that were covered badly by poorly put on wallpaper. We tried to fix it ourselves but wasn't happy with the results. We are going to do as much of the prep work we can ourselves, so he can just come in and finish up.

We are also contemplating getting commercial stainless steel shelves for our kitchen storage for bare walls that are 88 inches long. I want to break it down for 2 56 inch shelves and 2 36 inch shelves, because in the future if we want to put in a 36 inch refrigerator or double oven, we can take out and reuse the 36 inch shelves elsewhere more easily than 84 inch selves.

A lot of this work will involve organizing the entire house. Our house is cluttered and we need to find a way to simplify, declutter, and make our house work better for day-to-day living, but also to entertain kids and adults.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Metal Ocean vs. Seagrass Strand

It is frustrating that I cannot seem to get an accurate hue on these pictures.

So it really is between Metal Ocean and Seagrass Strand.

Metal Ocean.

Seagrass Strand.

My concern is that the Seagrass may be too busy against our floors. What do you think?
This is Metal Ocean against our floors.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Green Kitchen

The other night I found curtains from Pottery Barn which are a linen and cotton blend. For all the accents, I am selecting Behr's Snowfall White to go with the white dishwasher, wall oven, and ceiling fan. These curtains will go over the sink and the large window on the other side of the kitchen. I like these curtains because they have the texture of linen, but still let light come in. They create a romantic airiness without being to over-the-top frilly. These curtains will soften the kitchen and give it more of a French look without going overboard.We can easily adjust how much light we want to come out by adjusting the length. This would pair nicely with white curtain rods I found at Amazon. There is also a French wall clock that will fit the theme.

So overall, I have light maple, pale greens, white, and stainless steel. Depending on which countertop I pick I will either be continuing the pale green theme with Seagrass Strand, or introducing pale blue and gold with pale green. Green is the jell of the room and the white softens it all. I can add more greens through potted herbs, kitchen rug, and trivets. Will be adding stainless steel kitchen shelving and possibly a worktable.

On Saturday Morning was able to go over my choices with a good friend, who I had helped when she needed to paint her house for sale. While I am still waiting on the Seagrass Strand countertop sample, I am getting closer to my final vision. Unless the Seagrass Strand knocks me off my feet, I will be going with the Metal Ocean. Metal Ocean is like an impressionist painting. It goes real well with the tile, stainless steel, and the wall color which is now Behr's Celery Ice.

While Spring Bud Celery Ice by Behr is a brighter, less muddy form of green than the Spring Bud.

It comes down to two possible Formica tops after ordering countless samples from both Formica and Wilsonart.

In backsplash news, I found a source on Ebay that sells a sheet of 1 inch Verde Laguna marble tile for $9.99 a 12"x12" sheet - way cheaper than the 5/8 tile I found locally. They have free shipping. This pricing makes doing a 6 inch backsplash on both counters feasible. Ordered! The Verde Laguna tile is my favorite feature and everyone I have shown it to has absolutely and universally loved it. There are so many lovely variations of green. When we impregnate and enhance the stone it will be even more beautiful. Total tile material cost: 80.00 dollars US.

So the theme of the kitchen is Green French kitchen integrating pond creatures like frogs, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and lilipads. The theme will fit our Lenox Butterfly Meadow dishes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Still Reconsidering Countertops

Below are some pictures of Seagrass Strand and Metal Ocean. The first two are the Seagrass Strand and the last one is Metal Ocean. I have asked my supplier if these come in different finishes...

Update: Just found out that Metal Ocean and Seagrass Strand come only in Matte finish. Is the Matte finish going to be boring? They will be less expensive than the Crystalline Iris which is the top of the line Wilsonart, while Metal Ocean and Seagrass Strand is the bottom of the Formica. I really wish that they had a texture. What I liked about Madras Indian Slate is that it was honed. Crystalline Iris has texture to it and has a deeper more interesting pattern.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Plan B For The Kitchen

Math is hard. If I want the the green tile I cannot do the entire kitchen without it costing $500.00 or more materials and labor for just the tile. We can do it, but that is not what I envisioned my tile budget being. Another option is to just focus on the peninsula where the new cooktop is. We still cannot do stone for the countertops, but I can get Wilsonart Crystalline Iris with the Verde Laguna 5/8 inch tumbled marble. I have more leeway with the color when it is just the peninsula and it is a feature in the kitchen, rather than a pervasive color throughout the kitchen.

My tile budge gets cut drastically and cut the countertop budget somewhat. We can paint the entire kitchen a light green taking the terrible wallpaper off. The cabinets are being cleaned out and have this great green reed liner paper. The money we save in tile can go to electrical, lighting, painting, and shelving. When we do the major kitchen remodel, then we only have to undo just a little tile to get new counters.

It is scary how mission creep happens. We just need to focus in getting the peninsula in so we can have a new stove. I have to remember the kitchen will be a great improvement with the new peninsula and cooktop.

UPDATE: If we keep the paint color the lightest green, we are able to have the Wilsonart Crystalline Iris on both counters. The deal is that we will have the laminate backsplash and save money.

New Color Scheme

So I am rebounding. I am opting for the Formica Metal Ocean, Spring Bud paint for the walls, and Verde Laguna 5/8 inch tumbled marble. In the morning I may go over and see if I can add pale light blue to it. Behind the color chip is the maple cabinets we have.

So the poster above is going to be my muse for my kitchen color scheme.

I also think this draw pull might be nice. Some sort of Frog drawer or cabinet pull is needed. Because I am weird.

Another possibility is to use seagrass strand, which I also like because it is more zen, but I am not sure how it would look with the cabinets. I know it would look lovely with the tile.

What do you think?

Back to Square One

Finally got to show hubby what I wanted and he said that the countertop I picked out looked like vomit. Of course this throws me into a loop. I am at my wits end to find a light enough kitchen for him that pleases my green/blue fetish.

Help me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vizualizing the New Tile Design

Through the power of Photoshop I was able to visualize what my new backsplash might look like. I will go to Home Depot to verify, but i think it might work. The question is: will this Cypress Green paint work?

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Kitchen Stuff

Went to The Big Orange Box to look at paint and tile and found this lovely combo to go with the Madras Indian Slate countertop. It is a way to bring in real stone without breaking the bank. It would be under $150.00 in materials to make the space more finished. Right now, we have this textured offwhite wallpaper that was not applied very well and is coming undone. My favorite part is the slate mosaic because it ties in all the colors of the laminate. Seeing the slate up-close makes me want to redo our brick fireplace with larger slate, since the colors are so awesome and would go well with the pale blue walls.

So basically I have to come up with an 8 inch tile design with these tiles. With a 8 inch design we will need less tile since I was planning for 12 inch backsplash. Hopefully I can do two rows of slate sandwiched between a Giallo Sienna (cream tile) with cream borders.

Below is an alternate backsplash that I am looking at. It is more formal and elaborate. It is amazing how the colors match up to the Madras Indian Slate. The picture doesn't do it justice. It does play up more of the blue slate. Another option is to do a combo of both the diamond pattern with the mosaic tile. I can find a thin cream tile border, then have a row of mosaic tile, large cream tile, diamond pattern, large cream tile, row of mosaic tile, and thin cream border. My preference is actually for the top one because it is so simple and unpretentious. I really, really love the color of those mosaic slate.

Would it be too much to just have the mosaic slate tile? Hmmm.

My reasoning for a tile backsplash is that it will make the laminate look less like laminate if there is no laminate backsplash. Pictures of both Autumn Indian Slate and Madras Indian Slate had a tile backsplash without the Formica backsplash. I guess that is the trick to making your Formica look little less like Formica and more like stone. We will paint the kitchen walls green, put up new shelving.

Now I am going to have to check if my contractor will help us with this.

I promise! No more after this. What is great about this plan is that allows us to update the kitchen in stages.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kitchen Mini-Makeover

This all started before we moved into the house. Someone made a kitchen peninsula with a bar, but failed at math and made the bar overhang precariously by the back burners. The work-around would be just to use the front burners. This was great as long as the front burners worked, but they soon failed. There were many attempts to fix the Kitchenaid cooktop to no avail. So we have burn marks on the Formica back splash. Finally, the family faced the reality that the cooktop needed to be replace as well as the counter top.

What we will do is to make the peninsula all one level since we never used the bar as a bar. Then replace both the cooktop and the Formica counter. The new counter will be 5' x 3' and the cooktop will be 30" to allow for workspace.

After long research and comparing all the cooktops in person with our largest pots, we ultimately decided on the Wolf 30" gas cooktop. Initially we were interested in the open burner cooktop from Blue Star. With its 22k btu burner, I was worried about whether our kitchen was able to deal with the heat generated and have the expertise to make sure we had the gas lines for it. Then I researched comparable cooktops from Viking, Thermador, and Miele. They were all in the $1500 - $1700 price range. We did look at lower end cooktops with our pots and pans, but nothing looked that good. Our Kitchenaid that we paid $900.00 didn't last 5 years until it started giving out. The mid-range GE Profile and Monogram cooktops didn't really float our boat when we saw them in person with our pots. The Wolf had the most room for our biggest pans we use and had the controls on the side instead of the front. It seemed to be the most solid. We liked the knobs and the dual burner system on all 4 burners. You can turn on the burners by turning it on high to low cooking that would control the top burner. Then you can press down the knob and go into simmer mode which is a feature I cannot wait to explore.

I did the research and Wolf had the best burners. Best simmer. Really strong boiling. The majority of our cooking is boiling, steaming, simmer, and saute.

In person, the burners just looked better -- made of a composite material that is considered to be superior.

madras indian slate formica Pictures, Images and Photos
At first, I didn't want Formica Laminate. I did order many samples just in case the quotes on solid surfaces (ie. Corian) and Quartz (Caesarstone) were too high. You would think that only having 15 sq ft of counter would be cheaper than $1,500.00 dollars or $1,920.00 dollars for the Caesarstone. My instincts were right. When we saw the quote for Formica for one counter, we figured that we could go ahead and have the other counter done as well. That means that I was unleashed in the color I can choose. So I think I am going to go with the honed Madras Indian Slate (pictured here).

I think that to go with a marble like surface for this kitchen is a little silly. We have a small kitchen, so going with a more modestly scaled slate is the way to go.

The honed Madras Indian Slate also has a matte testure to it that I like. Many of the top of the line HD Wilsonart that I was considering had too much shine to it, even though I liked the design on them. The Madras Indian Slate has golden hue that picks up the floors and the current cabinets. Since the color scheme in the house is blue and green, I appreciate that this surface features green and blues. You can also see wisps of cream and brown. I decided against a light color surface because it would hide stains better. With my light washed maple I figured that it would be a nice contrast.

It is true that I wanted Caesarstone over laminate. It just didn't make sense to do so now when we were not doing a major redesign and we have a son who is almost 7. I can see when he is a teenager and his friends are over looking for food things can go wrong. I would rather spend the money on high quality appliances for now and the near future, because that effects the functioning of the kitchen. This house is going to be in the family for a long time, so we do not have to think about putting surfaces to please potential buyers. If that were so I think we would have invested in a neutral quartz top.

The picture above gave me an idea that we can paint the cabinets this green color if we want to change up the kitchen even more. I really want to steal this look. I am still looking at green paint we can use for the cabinets and a wall color.

My long term vision for this kitchen is to redo the corner by the cooktop where the wall oven and refrigerator. I would replace the oven, when it fails, with a double oven. I would take out the current refrigerator and get a larger one and put it at the end of the counter with the sink on it. This would give us room to replace the 27" oven witha 30 or 36 inch double oven. Then we can put a counter for additional space and put the microwave and shelving there. Where we would put a large refrigerator (not too big for the scale of the kitchen) we can continue the cabinets into the breakfast nook to provide the storage space we lost with the double oven.

What we are doing now I will be sure to post before and after photos to let you in on the fun.