and finally the kitchen on the 1 yr anniversary of getting our C.O.

I can not believe we got our certificate of occupancy a YEAR ago today. I feel like we just moved in. I also can’t believe it’s taken me a year to get to all the posts on the house we built and that we’re already working on the next one and final one…. but here we go – who needs a break anyway 🙂

I don’t really enjoy or wanna be the cook, but if I’m going to be, I want a nice clutter-free area to cook in. As in I hate it when I’m starting to cook and mail gets laid on my workspace. Hubby has celiac so eating at home is much safer for him plus it costs less and it was part of our deal of me not working for someone else (with regular pay coming in) after I closed my furniture and design retail store.

I’ve taken my rough kitchen plan to a few places, and think I’m going with a medium brown, or grey stained finish on rustic alder or walnut wood with honed black granite on the main cabinets with charcoal black stained cabinets on the island and some trim, with a wood butcher block, or concrete top on the island. Not sure how the butcher block or concrete on the island would stand up to the bacon grease from the electric frypan use on the weekends.

I don’t have to decide yet except I need to choose the right window and where to put it on the kitchen wall. I’m deciding between 4′ and 6′ wide choices. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a lot fewer upper wall cabinets. I can’t reach most of the stuff anyway and we’ll finally have mountains to look at -even if they have started dotting the mountain with houses from a new development 😦

Here are the kitchen plans I’m down to and they each have pros and cons. I think I may make the window 4′ wide instead of 6′ so I have a little more wall cabinets since houses are popping up on my mountain view. View is to the North, LR is to the East, and I’ll come in carrying groceries and temp set them on the island from the West. I’m leaning toward A, even though my best friend put her vote in for the more open plan 6.

I live in a small town but we have at least 3 cool granite places within 40 minutes where you walk between huge slabs of granite choices (and become completely overwhelmed). The first time we did granite we bought Absolute Black from the installer. We’ve bought slabs from Nature of Stone (New Venetian Gold and Negressco honed) the last 2 times and used different installers. We have ISD and Slabco nearby that had lots of beautiful choices too. There was one that had blue and green quartzite that I loved called Zircon but quartzite cost more, and is less durable, plus I would’ve been locking myself into a color that may have limited resale. I also liked honed Fantasy Brown, Blue Fantasy Cacedonia, Jurassic Grey Satin, Super White hard marble. and real Soapstone.

Our first house we built we had high-end white very cleanable melamine by Decora when I worked at the kitchen place with white countertops and appliances and a downdraft range and two skylights.

The second house, the big one, we had custom-built natural maple cabinets with Absolute Black polished granite and backsplash. I tried the up and down thing on the wall cabinets and liked it and this house was the only one with crown molding. It also had two skylights. Those maple cabinets were custom-built by Ukrainians that would just ignore everything I said unless my husband repeated it to them. They wouldn’t even look at the drawings with measurements from me. Guess it was a gender thing but since I’m the one that designs the kitchens, that ticked me off. Although despite how they ignored me it still makes my heart hurt to see what Russia is doing to Ukraine! Heck, on our first couple of homes my father-in-law didn’t love it that I designed our homes either.

On the Craftsman home/3rd house we had our favorite kitchen cabinets in a dark wood color, suede finish by Kraftmade with patterned New Venetian Gold granite. Because of the roofline, I could only have one skylight between the dining room and kitchen but I got a HUGE island and pantry room so it was a fair trade-off. 🙂

In this alabaster farmhouse house, we have a dark Negressco honed granite with painted white cabinets on the perimeter and bourbon stained cabinets on the sink peninsula.

I actually liked the gray color granite I chose better than the almost black that it turned after they sealed it. It looks fine but I just wanted to do something different than we’d already tried. I was also a little shocked they didn’t screw in that metal piece into the bottom of the granite to secure the dishwasher. They were rushing to finish so the worker could pick up his kid, but we didn’t have to ask for that on our past granite installs. I didn’t realize they didn’t do it until the dishwasher was going in. I don’t really get the “template” either. To me a template scribes to fit the space, like where sheetrock mud always turns out a bit at the corners, but it looks like theirs was just a way to get measurements and was cut at a 90 degree because there were gaps between the every back corner and front corners from where the sheetrock mud came out for the metal corner bead. This caused them to slam the peninsula piece to the right of the sink to go back where it needed to be and it busted the sheetrock and bent the metal corner. We had to cut the corner out and redo it. I would’ve preferred to try concrete but hubby wasn’t interested. I love the honed look though. It doesn’t show where we set a glass down as easy as the polished and we can see our vitamins for the day, unlike the patterned granite.

In this alabaster house, we did 42″ upper cabinets in the kitchen and mixed painted white cabinets with wood cabinets for the island peninsula that this time has the sink in it. I can set a pot on the counter behind the faucet and fill it with water which is kinda cool and I can still see just fine out the windows even though I’m 6-8′ back instead of 2′ cabinet depth. I choose matte black faucets, and I’d do it again. The only change I’d make is our Delta kitchen faucet doesn’t go back to stream from spray when you turn it off like our last Moen did. I miss that.

We’ve always done a bar or an island and I like them both. The craftsman house had a HUGE island that I loved, like 4’x8′. This is the first time with a sink not directly under the outside window but the layout I went with kept me from having a U-shaped kitchen with those annoying corner cabinets.

The sink itself is 36″ wide again and up to my elbow deep. I always do FHD and put the trashcan under the sink. I like the look of farmhouse sinks but I like having my tall trash can hidden under there more. I tend to go with 60/40 and in the past sinks the depth sometimes varried but the last two had deep bowls on both sides. On the last house the divider between the sides was wide. I used to stuff those plastic produce bags in the gap underneath that I use to put emptied meat styrofoam in before tying them up and sticking them in one part of the freezer till trash day.

This sink I picked came with a pretty cut-to-fit cutting board that had to be re-cut even though the granite installers had it when they were cutting the tops. I never use and a narrow divider that has no gap underneath between the bowls. Love the look, but I’ve used it one time at Christmas just to have somewhere to set the turkey pan. BTW that is sealer fingerprints in my new sink I had to buff out.

It’s also the first time I’ve tried open shelves. I like the shelves for the plates and bowls but wouldn’t want a whole kitchen without doors to hide some of the less pretty things.

I love them for items you use every day, plus they’re so pretty. Hubby “had” to buy a planer but I have one of a kind custom made all wood cherry shelves.

I like our side-by-side GE refrigerator, except the handles are not smudged resistant like the rest of it. It cleans so much easier than the Samsung we had before. One pet peeve (pun intended) is where the narrow slot for Tyler’s freeze-dried chicken treats go. In the last two fridges with the pull-out freezer on the bottom, his treat were up high. In this side by side the narrow shelf in the door is at the bottom of the door. His entire life our freezer has pulled out and their treats were kept in the top. Now every time we open the door he tries to stick his head in and grab the bag. The ice bucket is harder to get out than having the second ice maker like our last one but not $1500.00 worth harder. I do like that the ice/water in the left door doesn’t stop when you open the right door like our last Samsung especially when we’re both making a sandwich and getting drinks at the same time for lunch.

We tried an independent stove vent and wrapped the front with the same wood that is in the peninsula. It really sucks in a good way 🙂

The microwave is back at a better height for me on a microwave shelf like we had in the first house. The big/2nd house had it kinda built-in on a shelf and had a pull out shelf below it. The Craftsman house we did the one over the stove. Not the best house to try that on, as that one had to have a special one because it was over a gas stove. Now we’re back to one just high enough that the coffee pot will fit under it. Being short I prefer not pulling hot stuff out toward my face. The last build will have another built in like the 2nd house but at the same height as we have now.

In the Crafstmas house, we had a gas stove. I didn’t like the gas like everyone said I would, but I loved the “flex” part. This time we bought a smooth top air fryer slide-in range. The stove knobs are weird as they don’t just go low to high/small to large for some stupid reason. I just don’t get their logic there. Samsung also put the little eyes on the back so you’re reaching over the big pots to stir the small pans in the back. I liked our convertible split Samsung oven better in the Craftsmans house, but with the covid excuss delivery delays, the only split ones I could get were not “flex” and didn’t have the divider that came out so I’d never have one large oven for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The ones available always 2 small oven areas and doesn’t work for me. The bad thing is I had to buy all new fry pans because all my T-Fals were warped from cooking on the gas stove. Things don’t heat well on warped pans on a smooth glass top.

It’s our first Bosch dishwasher with 3 tiers. I love how quiet it is. It has the light that shines on the floor so you know it’s even running. Although it ALWAYS wants me to add rinse aid, like every other time or the dishes don’t dry. On our other dishwashers when they were done drying, you could leave the door cracked open just a bit so air could circulate, this one seals itself unless you use the 3rd rack to hold the door from sealing and shutting all the way. I like the 3rd rack most of the time but I can’t fit as much in facing inward as I’m used to. Even our saucers have to go on the bottom rack.

Oh, this kitchen is the first for a completely tiled backsplash, as in, to the ceiling behind the shelves. I don’t think I’ll get the same lantern pattern ever again even though I really like it because it was such a pain to measure and cut without flat edges.

We put in a brick wall in the kitchen that I’ve wanted since I started kindergarten! I’m not kidding. I love that house we lived in when I started kindergarten. I could still draw out that house plan from 40+ years ago. I can’t even tell you how much I love the brick accent wall. I didn’t want brick behind the stove because I imagine grease and porous brick don’t work well together, so this kitchen layout was perfect for it. I love love love it but now we have to have one in our final home. Funny thing is my best friend has a brick fireplace that we just whitewashed, well half washed, have German schmeared- lightly because she wanted to see less brick.

We’ve used Kraftmade somewhere in every home and Diamond in a few. Always opting for solid wood. Like everything else covid affected the time and quality. The cabinets were delivered with drawer glide hardware that didn’t match so the drawer didn’t work with what was in the cabinet and had to wait on replacements. They had to know this when the drawer didn’t stay in the cabinet yet they packed it up and sent it anway. Thankfully with pictures, the cabinet guy was able to get the hardware so we could just replace it to match what was in the cabinet instead of holding things up on a new cabinet.

I bought our appliances early from Lowes and chose from what showed ship dates. The day of the delivery I found out Lowes had given our fridge that was in stock and fully paid for with our name on the box to someone else, but they told me I was free to cancel it and hunt down a new one. I don’t think so! I already spent my time choosing between the limited choices when I bought it months early. I called the manager and they found me the one I bought, it was just required an understanding inspector for our final and yet another delivery from Lowes.

The panty in the Craftsman house will never be beaten. That thing was like 8’x10′ or more. Hubby said he grew up with bedrooms smaller than that 🙂

It still amazes me how much I can fit in an 18″ deep pantry though. And yes, that is a laundry basket full of chips. Don’t judge 😉 The next, and final house may have a pass-thru pantry in the backsplash space, in addition to a full door, that will take lots of drawing out to make my idea a reality. I would also like some FIFO spots. Either vertical or narrow one can deep horizontal ones. I can’t believe you can’t just buy those yet other than the plastic or metal Z-shaped ones. Some in here if you don’t know what I’m referring to

So this is my final post on the house we’re in now. Back to cat and travel posts, photography, and book covers. I may throw in a few on our final build but I’m thinking the “House and Home” post should be tapering down.

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3 thoughts on “and finally the kitchen on the 1 yr anniversary of getting our C.O.

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