Happy New Year everyone!! After sharing my kitchen before and after in an Instagram post last week I have been receiving so many questions about our kitchen and renovation process that I thought what better way to kick off 2019 than with a Kitchen Q & A! This way I can answer all of your questions in one location and this can act as a resource for those interested in learning more about our renovating process.
More posts about my kitchen:
To read all about our home before renovations click here.
To read my post about our kitchen after renovations click here.
To read how I organized my new kitchen click here.
To read how I selected the white paints in my home click here.
A few important points… This home was 20+ years old when we purchased it and it needed a TON of work. When the house was originally built there were no upgrades and there had not been any updates either. The house flow wasn’t what we wanted but we knew with a contractor’s help we would be good to go. :) I wanted a wall removed, some french doors added and the entire kitchen gutted. How difficult could that be? ;) Suffice it to say.. everything is doable but you end up paying for it.
When it came down to the design I knew exactly what I wanted but I have to say… I was so happy to have the help and input of a great kitchen designer, my mom and amazing friends. All contributed to the space looking the way it does now and I’m forever thankful to all.
Let’s get down to the Q & A shall we?
How large is your kitchen?
My kitchen is an unusual shape since we removed a wall but over all it’s around 14 feet x 14 feet.
What are your countertops made of?
Lincoln Calcutta Marble. I looked long and hard for the whitest pieces I could find (thanks to my stone expert friend Kathy for helping me). While my slabs were expensive they were a little less that some of the other marbles I also loved. My favorite part of my slabs? There isn’t a ton of veins running through the stone. I love the natural clean design and the whiteness of the stone. I also love the job our fabricator did to help give me the highest polish possible. Our stone looks amazing as a result.
The negatives to my marble is that it is extremely soft and we have TONS of etches in the finish just from typical day to day usage… Even though we sealed it with an amazing sealant. I’ll probably have them come back to polish it again to keep the look. So frustrating but that’s what you get with polished marble. Etches and stains.
Would you choose marble again knowing the upkeep or would you choose quartz instead?
Jeff would jump at choosing the marble again no matter what. He LOVES the stone (as do I) and he looks at the imperfections as a natural by-product of living. I get that but I HATE the way the etches look. They are dull spots in the middle of our beautiful shiny marble and I don’t want to look at them. Once they are there they are there. Wahh.
Would we choose Quartz if given another chance? I don’t know. If I had a ton of kids or maybe even just 2.. I would probably not recommend marble UNLESS you don’t mind marble that looks old and lived in right away. If you begin with honed marble (not shiny) that definitely helps lessen the pain. You don’t get etches as a result but you also don’t get the shine that I love. Quartz is easier to maintain and not as soft. It also comes in so many styles and designs. I wish I could see both in my home to really give you an honest answer. ;)
What edge did you choose for your marble?
We went with a 2 1/2″ ogee offset square and I love the dressy tailored look.
Is there anything you would do differently in your kitchen design?
I can honestly say that I changed my mind on a few things during the process so we were able to make small adjustments along the way. I had a design plan in my head from the get go and merged it with one from my kitchen designer and cabinet maker. I didn’t veer far from that. The island shape was changed last minute to allow for a curve. My kitchen designer came up with the idea to soften the rectangular edges in the space and I loved it immediately. I have never been a fan of curved islands before mine but love what it does for the space. My space is so much larger and unusual in shape with the wall removal… the curve of the island fills the space beautifully in a soft manner. I can’t imagine not having the curve now. It allows for 3 to have great dinner conversation too… something I never realized until we actually sat at the island.
The details in our kitchen were the hardest part for me. Tile choice, marble, etc. but other than that we kept to our plan. My talented designer friend, Lori Paranjape helped guide me on choosing my backsplash tile and Sita Montgomery encouraged my overall plan from the beginning. I can’t tell you how much the two helped me for no reason except friendship. They are amazing!!
What kind of lighting did you use underneath the cabinets?
We went with an LED, dimmable warm light (2700 kelvin) with WAC Lighting- InvisiLED Pro. We positioned the tape underneath the front lip of the cabinets facing the backsplash to enable lighting to shine over the entire space. WAC has a plastic diffuser piece which helps diffuse the dots that tape lights are known for. LOVE that! The diffuser simply clicks on over the tape. We also love the warm glow of the 2700 Kelvin range. I wanted to make sure that with all my white paint.. things didn’t look cold and sterile. Choosing lighting with a warmer glow is very important in an all white kitchen (or house for that matter).
Where did you purchase your pendants? How do you clean them?
I ordered my glass pendants from Juliska before moving in. They no longer carry them unfortunately. I love the clean classic elegant cloche style. One thing that mattered a great deal to me was that my pendants be uncluttering and clear. I didn’t want anything blocking the view in my small kitchen. Especially because you can see the kitchen from so many other points in the house. When I saw the bell shaped cloche pendants I knew they were made for me.
As to cleaning the pendants, I use windex and paper towels. Nothing fancy and I clean them whenever I notice they are looking dirty. ;)
Do your glass cabinets get dirty from cooking on the stove?
I haven’t noticed anything but dust getting on any of my cabinets yet. :) I use a damp cloth to clean the cabinets or windex to clean the glass. Sometimes I use a magic eraser lightly on any scuffs then follow up with a soft rag to swipe up any drips…
What kind of tile do you have on your backsplash?
We went with a nubby white glossy subway tile that I love from Lunada Bay. It’s a classic yet updated subway look with the 9 x 2 1/4″ shape. We went with the Kumamoto white in color.
Are you happy with the design of your cabinets?
My cabinet maker, George Denton of Denton Custom Woodworks designed my cabinets with me in mind. We decided to go with a shaker style with a bevel inset design and I love the look. It’s clean yet dressy. I didn’t want them too modern nor too shaker in looks. We took our cabinets all the way to the ceiling (once we removed that ugly soffit) to bring height to my 9 ft. kitchen and added molding as well. I love the look. I use all the space and yes, I stand on my cabinets to grab what I need at the top. It’s not anything I use on a daily basis so I’m fine with it.
Do you have a pantry?
Yes, but just a couple of doors underneath our hutch glass shelves. It’s just Jeff and me at home now so we don’t require a huge pantry anymore. We also have tons of storage for paper towels and larger items in our garage which is just steps away.
What are your cabinets painted with?
My cabinets are painted with a lacquer process using Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace formula in a satin finish. It’s a 3-4 day process that involved us sleeping elsewhere due to the fumes. LOVE the hardness factor of lacquer paint and wouldn’t change a thing. It’s definitely more expensive but worth having our cabinets finished correctly. My cabinet maker always places the cabinets in unfinished then has them sprayed and caulked fully and correctly so they don’t have any seams or lines.
How did they hang the sconces on the cabinets over the sink? Where are those sconces from?
They wired everything through a dummy wall on the inside of the cabinets. We lost a little space on the interior but as a result don’t have to look at wires. Click here for my favorite feminine sconces.
Where is your window treatment/ roman shade from? Is it linen?
What is your kitchen paint color?
My kitchen cabinets, ceiling and walls is painted with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. I love the color because it’s neither too yellow nor too cold and stark. Click here to read my tips on selecting the right white paint for your home.
Does your dishwasher and fridge have a cabinet panel on the front?
Yes and we love the panels. Someone asked if we have had any cracks or chipping issues. We have not. We used to have stainless steel appliances in our last home and wanted a new look and style with this new home. I love not seeing my appliances… especially with a smaller home and a kitchen that is visible from every point downstairs.
How did you choose your appliances?
We looked at all brands of appliances at every range and decided after researching to go with a Thermador package from a local store that gave us a better price on all the main pieces we needed. We love the commercial 36″ range, the large refrigerator, and microwave. The dishwasher is pretty cool in that it has an interior blue light.
How do you clean your range? The grates on top?
I use a magic eraser on almost everything. It works so well.. I should buy stock in the stuff. ;) I also use windex and paper towels for the top of the range after it’s been cleaned for the shine.
Where is your microwave?
Our microwaveable drawer is positioned in our island and we love it. I didn’t want a microwave to ruin the beautiful view of our upper cabinets and love that it’s hidden. The drawer slides in and out so easily and makes lifting hot items a breeze when placing on the countertop. We use our microwave daily and love the drawer aspect and ease. Why did we never have this before now?!
Where are your cabinet pulls and knobs from?
My hardware is from Restoration Hardware. I love the delicate cabinet pulls and knobs from there. To keep the upper cabinets looking a little more elegant I went with all knobs on the top cabinets. I didn’t want my kitchen full of cabinet pulls so I made sure to have a mix. Unfortunately my pulls are no longer available but the Grafton glass pulls on the built-in hutch are still available. Love seeing the lighter glass pulls against the glass doors on the hutch.
How long did our renovation take?
From start to finish the entire process took a little over 4 months. We renovated the entire house so it went pretty fast. :)
What kind of sink do you have? How do you keep it so clean?
We have the Kohler Whitehaven sink in white. Ours is the 33″. I love that there isn’t a partition dividing the sink and the grate that you can purchase as an accessory keeps the cast iron bottom of the sink from getting scratched and chipped. I also love that it’s nice for washing pans on the grate. The water just flows underneath and it’s so much easier!
I clean the sink using dish soap and a magic eraser occasionally to brighten it even more. Other than that I just use a little bleach if we are cooking with chicken, etc.
What kind of faucet do you have?
I chose a Newport Brass faucet in polished nickel and love the feminine old fashioned design.
Do you have a water filter system since you don’t have a drink dispenser on your fridge door?
Why did you go with drawers versus cabinet doors and shelves below with almost all your cabinets?
I love drawers!! They are so much easier to access pots and pans from. I hate having to get on my hands and knees to see what’s at the back of low cabinets. Slide out drawers also eat up space so this was our answer. Plus, I just like the look. I have 36″ wide deep drawers in my island and love them for that reason.
What crown molding do you have above your kitchen cabinets?
We went with the 7 1/4″ Colonial Crown and love the graceful curve.
What cleaning products do you use in the kitchen?
What are your hardwood floors? Do you worry about wood in the kitchen?
All the hardwood in the house is Pravada Chateau Blanc. They are a white oak and very strong. I cannot believe how much abuse they get yet they still look new. We are so happy with our choice. I clean them using my steamer and then run around with a towel under my feet. ;) Never any soap.
Why do you not have a toaster or blender out?
We don’t own a toaster (anymore) and keep our blender in a cabinet. We don’t need it taking up space on our countertops. :) I like most things put away until I need to use them.
Will we ever see you cook?
I cooked the first 15 years of our marriage (with Jeff of course.. we do most things together) then I quit cooking because Jeff loved doing it all. I have never liked to cook and Jeff loves it so why steal his thunder? ;)
Hopefully that answers some of your questions regarding my kitchen. If there is something I haven’t addressed please ask below.. :)