Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kitchen Cabinets


Ever since I purchased this antique store counter I've racked my brain
trying to figure out how to use it.  It's nearly 12 feet long so too long for
an island.  But imagine a farm sink sitting between two of those columns. 



But the tops of the columns are really deep and would cause an
overhang of the countertops that would make half of a drawer unusable.
They may need to be trimmed down somehow.



The back of the counter has two sets of drawer units that
can be integrated in the mix for some good storage.



And the panels on the front could be cut out and
used as cabinet doors.




So that's exactly what I'm doing.  The piece is going to be
taken apart and rebuilt into different furniture pieces that will
fit in around the stove and then used for the sink cabinets and 
two additional cabinets that will flank the sink and dishwasher.
It's been like a puzzle trying to take all the pieces and fitting
them back together is the space I have available.

I'm a little scared.  It might be fantastic, it might be odd but 
it will definitely be unique which is what I wanted.


I'm also breaking the continuous L-shaped arrangement 
in my original plans.  There will a two-foot or so gap between
the cabinets (and stove) on the back wall and those on the sink wall.

I'm hoping this creates more a vintage look to the kitchen.  Also scary.

As much as I love the details on the piece, I don't love the muddy
yellow color.  So I'm definitely going to painting it.  Here's some of 
my current thoughts about the color.

Ilse Crawford.
This seems like a Revere Pewter or Stonington Gray color.



This one's more in Grant Beige, Elmira White or Edgecomb Gray.



...or maybe something like Kendall Charcoal.

I have a little more time before I have to make a decision so
I might get some samples and see how they look in the house.



Even though we snow early last week that gave us our first
hard freeze, we were gifted with some great weather this weekend.



I spent most the the weekend outside getting more
of the new surfaces painted.  It's looking good.

I know some really severe weather and 70 tornados passed
through the midwest today.  I hope you're all safe.

96 comments:

  1. Oh that piece is fabulous. I can't wait to see the finished counter. Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Counter Boy: Gorgeous antique piece. Are you sure you won't lose some of that by painting? Thought about liming? This place is gonna be GORGEOUS. wanna see wanna see wanna SEE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I should have mentioned that some of the pieces will be new wood; for example, the whole thing is three inches too short, so a spacer will have to go into the columns to make them long enough. So it really has to be painted to unite everything.

      Delete
  3. Wow, it's all coming together, isn't it? I vote dark grey...or even black. I am on a dark shadows vibe these days, LOL. We all know whatever you choose it's going to be absolutely awesome.

    I also like how you test everything first; my inner geek appreciates that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I instagrammed a photo of an antique bar with a mahogany top that's at our local Restoration Hardware store and everyone said black kitchen cabinets were a nightmare to keep clean. I never thought about it but I would bet all the dust that settles in all those nooks and crannies would be a real pain.

      Delete
    2. So how does the RH team keep their stuff spiffy? Or any other bar/restaurant that's got that dark vibe? I'd ask them what the use/how OCD they have to be to keep it clean it. Maybe you could bribe the kitties to walk around everything with little microfiber socks on, so they could dust as they go? :) Can't wait to see it all finished. You think it will be installed by Christmas?

      Delete
  4. glad you have cast your concern to the wind, looks as though it will be brilliant, esp. in kendall

    madness out here with the storms, only went to the root cellar once, hope it bypasses you steve

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's such a gorgeous piece---combined with your great eye and attention to detail the results will be fantastic. I really love that first grey. The charcoal too--but I keep going back to the grey.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OH MY GOODNESS! I have been a longtime lurker but never commented. Steve (if I may be so bold) this counter is amazing! Can't wait to see what you come up with as I know it will be spectacular!
    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  7. this is gonna be so good. i am so glad i am not in the position to have to choose the paint color for that cabinet. can it be stained? it would take me forever to make up my mind. good luck steve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet,
      It's already got some kind of finish on it so I don't think it could be stained without stripping it. I'm proceeding cautiously because I'd like the finish to feel old, not that I'm going to be sanding off corners. Just not too shiny.

      Delete
  8. I am so glad to have discovered your blog! Love how it all comes together.
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's going to be amazing. That big piece would have scared the bejesus out of me. You are a brave soldier. Your kitchen is going to be insanely beautiful!!

    I have photos of a store in Georgetown painted Revere Pewter if you want me to send photos but I suppose Pinterest is full of them. xo Terri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a little scary. It's not like I can go to a store and see what it will look like. I'm hoping the finished piece will have the same je ne sais quoi.

      Delete
  10. I'm sure it's going to look great. Love the plan. I am diggin the Kendall charcoal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that handsome? It's certainly the most dramatic too.

      Delete
  11. Steve, I so know this is going to be amazing! I think you should go with a mid to light gray (I am definitely in the dark is a night mare camp) and I think space between the cabinets is so much more authentic and correct looking for your house. Do you remember that great vintage looking California kitchen you like on one of my old posts? They had space for continuous cabinetry but chose not to and I loved it. I'll hunt it up for you. Cannot wait to see how this turns out so we can do my kitchen next summer :-) I left the beach thinking BM Wolf Gray - take a look at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A mid to light gray is certainly the most practical choice. Thank you for e-mailing me the link to your post with that great kitchen. I'm pasting it here for others to look at if they want. http://tokyojinja.com/2013/01/26/form-versus-function-inset-or-overlay-cabinet-doors/

      Delete
  12. You are fearless Steve, and cleverly creative. I would need a light kitchen, so the middle pic appeals to me. I know your end product will be fabulous, so go Steve!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's definitely something to be said for keeping things light. Especially in the city where the houses are so close.

      Delete
  13. That old counter is going to make a really fantastic kitchen. Glad you are going for it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like those Revere like and pewter tones painted into that wonderful piece of furniture . . . such a perfect design this will be. I love seeing and following . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like those too, Lynne, especially with the brass hardware.

      Delete
  15. Your cabinets will be original and fabulous, I am certain. I like the idea of breaking the L-shape for a more collected look. I can vouch for Revere Pewter, which I used on the walls in one of my guest baths. It is wonderfully mercurial, going from gray to taupe depending on the light. I also like, and have used, F&B's Elephant's Breath, which is a little deeper gray tone.
    Best...Victoria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the testimonial on Revere Pewter. I'll take a look at my F&B fan deck and check out Elephant's Breath.

      Delete
  16. Maybe you already told us, but have you chosen counters yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll answer below since someone else just asked the same question.

      Delete
  17. Fantastic idea on the cabinets. I'm partial to off white in keeping with the age of your house. However, if looking for a more dramitic look, I'd go with a light gray. I'm sure there are better names than "light gray" though. What are you thinking about for a counter top? What about wall colors? You have a great eye so I'm curious to know how you will tie it all together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The walls are going to be China White, I think. A warm, "old" white as I call it. The counter tops will be Carrara marble or something similar. There are some other harder marbles than Carrara but they're also more expensive. I may also do subway tile from the countertop to the ceiling on the counter walls.

      Delete
  18. First of all good luck deciding on a color…which is why my kitchen is white:) Of course we are all putting our lives on hold waiting to see what cool things you do to this kitchen so we can copy:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, white is just as brave as any other color. I think whites are as hard as grays.

      Delete
  19. This is going to be unique and wonderful. Sorry to hear that black cabinets are hard to keep clean...because that's what's coming in! I lived with and loved white cabinets for over 25 years. Time for a change. And just think about all of those decorative painters who add "dust" for aging. I'll be making my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they just need a little extra attention. I don't think I could be dissuaded if that's what I really wanted.

      Delete
  20. I love the idea of having your store counter cut apart and reworked! It has such lovely details, and it will be beautiful with a good coat of the right color paint.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Could you refinish the cabinet? That orange is not in the wood its in the stuff on top of the wood. Strip off some of it and have a look. I would like to see your kitchen keep that shop keepers look and I'm afraid painting the piece will change that. Would you consider something other than marble on the counter top? A few coats of polyurethane on that counter top you have and again you keep that shop keepers look. Get some distressed boards and make the same thing for the rest of your counters. I was really impressed when you gave up the custom cabinets. And I know it is always a fine line between the "clean cut kitchen" and the comfortable kitchen. In one remodel I did I wanted shiny copper tile on the counter top. I found the tile but the seller said it would not hold up under counter top use, that it was made for walls only. Forget advice, I wanted that look, I put it on the counter top 9 years ago. It cost me $3000. I spent another $50 for glass cutting boards. The counter still looks great and it is in a rental unit so it has not been babied. A picture of the house was on the front page of The Washington Post Real Estate Section so it was not some dinky little tool shed. Remember that picture you posted of your childhood bakery. Remember how it felt to be there? No marble. No custom cabinets. Very possibly wood floors. And very likely wood counter tops. I want to nudge you into not buying into the latest in home design kitchens. Keep your own counsel. Don't go down the path some other guy has laid out. You have done a superlative job with your house. You have been truly thoughtful in every decision. What if the wood counter top will look crappy in 20 years. In 20 years you will be off doing another remodel. Live a little, fly in the face of tradition, be your own man.
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you and don't disagree with anything you say. My plan is proceed cautiously on the finish. The overall piece will have a certain amount of new wood so I'm not sure I could get them to look the same. I have considered keeping the wood but I do love my marble in the bathroom and think it fits the house. We'll see, you comments don't fall on deaf ears.

      Delete
  22. I LOVE that!!! Good Luck! franki

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow Steve, that will look terrific! Are you not going to have any toe kick under the counters?
    That may lead to some painful mornings in front of the coffee maker or waffle iron, or whatever you do in the morning at a counter. The drawing might show one, but the actual counter doesn't have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good question. The drawing was more to show placement of pieces and we'll hash out the details later but I'm not sure if toe kicks are necessary. A lot of the companies that are doing vintage/antique style don't have them on their cabinets. Google "Plain English Design" and look through their recent work for some really beautiful vintage kitchens. Very few have toe kicks. I did a test after having this conversation with my contractor and when I'm standing at my (old) cabinets, my feet didn't go under the toe kicks. We'll see how it goes.

      Delete
  24. back again steve. here is a thought, if you are going to paint this piece, the amy howard paint line would be so easy. no stripping what-so-ever, her light and dark wax accentuates the relief and adds a patina of worn elegance. if you like her colors, i could advise, been trained in this line
    cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. I loved the pieces you showed when you did the post about it. Will look again. I'd love for you to come and take care of that for me! :)

      Delete
  25. while the dark colors (nearly black) look really good they show ALL dirt and fingerprints! Go for the mid tone grays and colors like you show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingerprints too? I hadn't even considered that.

      Delete
  26. If I understand you correctly, you are abandoning the continuous L configuration and you are going to create a 2 ft gap of cabinets and counters in the corner under the little window? What on earth will you do with such an awkward space? Can you show in plan view? I must be misunderstanding your intentions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cabinets will run the entire length of the back wall from corner to corner but will be separated from the row of cabinets that house the sink and dishwasher. I'll adjust the floor plan and try to find some photos that show it.

      Delete
    2. Ahhh...I thought you were creating a small, empty corner and goodness knows, kitchen corners are troublesome enough already. As to the cabinet color, I recently used kendall charcoal for my shutters and porch floors and while they get considerably more sun than your kitchen will get, they do not look nearly as dark as the cabinets in your picture. I think there is a picture of Kendall cabinets in a kitchen with Revere Pewter walls on houzz and it looks great. The paint finish is key with regard to fingerprints--just use a satin or semigloss and it shouldn't be a big problem.

      Delete
    3. I agree those cabinets look darker than Kendall charcoal. Will check out that Kendall/Revere Pewter combo. I was thinking a satin finish and I might even use steel wool to dull it down. I don't want it them to look like a new car.

      Delete
    4. By the way, your house was the inspiration for the exterior paint scheme I used last summer on my 1915 colonial revival. I tweaked the body from your gray to to a greige (revere pewter) but the feel is the same with the dark sash color (BM raccoon fur) and kendall charcoal shutters. I would love to send you a picture but I don't know how. Thanks for your many inspirations.

      Delete
  27. Such a gutsy decision! I can't wait to see it in situ.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, is all I can say! Your kitchen will definitely be one of a kind, and beautiful! I agree about the dark colors showing everything, and think the mid-tones would be terrific. It will be wonderful which ever way you decide to go!
    Yeah, those storms yesterday were pretty scary, especially south of here, between Peoria and Chicago. Thanks for thinking of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer, I appreciate your feedback about the dark colors.

      Delete
  29. Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be wonderful. When I did my kitchen redo I went to the local Habitat for Humanity and got scads of cabinet doors and all my test colors (and their were a lot of those) and tested each combo out, the advantage being able to see the samples in natural daytime light and nighttime. Went with Annie Sloan Graphite for the bottom cabinets and Paris grey for the uppers. In So Cal anytime you open a window you get dust, you'd think those bottom cabinets would be a nightmare, not so, a quick wipe every once in a while. The wax finish apparently repels dust pretty well. Cannot wait to see what you come up with.
    Kerrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea to get cabinet doors to try out the finishes. Interesting about the wax finish too.

      Delete
  30. I'm on pins and needles here waiting to hear your paint choice. the charcoal would have been my first choice, how interesting to read that while beautiful, it will be impractical.

    I would have painted first and moaned later.

    loving the process.

    xo J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Painted it first, cleaned later. They are pretty dramatic and maybe worth a little more trouble.

      Delete
  31. I think that piece would be really handsome in an almost black. I wouldn't be afraid of painting it heck you are tearing it in pieces anyhow! It would be very tricky (nearly impossible to make any kind of a stain finish on the new pieces). I have matched stain/paint many times. If it were just one small piece your could probably do a faux finish and match it pretty closely but the whole base I don't think so! I love all your ideas...that counter will be dynaminte!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Cindy, it would be hard to match the different woods with a stained finish. But I understand people's concerns about painting an old piece. We've all seen a lot of horrible paint jobs in blogland.

      Delete
  32. Hi, Steve,

    I agree with Stefan Hurray that a gray will be easier on upkeep, as well as looking very smart. I think your plans are brilliant, and I think your kitchen is going to become the heart of your house, if it isn't already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for thinking my plans are brilliant, Mark.

      Delete
  33. There will be NO other kitchen like yours. And that will be quite an accomplishment, I think.

    Man, that greige is calling my name. Absolutely love it. Didn't you find that the grey cabinets in your former kitchen hid dirt well? I get quite disgusted when I discover how dirty mine are after inspecting them closely -- the only way I'd ever know that they are, in fact, dirty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, Camille. I forgot you had darker gray cabinets. Mine didn't get too dirty, no.

      Delete
  34. Benjamin Moore should give you a job! You are such a loyal user of his paint.

    I like the grey one but then a white kitchen is always lovely especially when the details in the cabinet are the drawcard here. Would you lose some detail in the darker grey?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Benjamin Moore SHOULD give me a job. Is there any other paint?

      You're also right that the details might be minimized by using a darker color.

      Delete
  35. Hi Steve,

    I'm assembling a kitchen out of antique Victorian butler's pantry cabinets. I'm following your blog closely and am fascinated by your new design - separating the sink from the back wall - exactly what I'm facing. I'm looking forward to more info!
    Sharon in San Francisco

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon,
      Wow, you were lucky to find butler's pantry cabinets. I looked for something similar for a few years. It really is a challenge to put the puzzle pieces back together. I could have broken the cabinets in two different places but I went through the mental exercise of imagining myself cooking a meal in the kitchen. Things come out of the refrigerator and placed on a counter, washed at the sink, chopped next to stove or the sink, things go from a counter into a pan on the stove and then pots or pans coming out the stove and on to a counter. So I determined I'd like the most countertop to the right of the sink and to the right of the stove. Perhaps less to the left of the sink, etc. I've seen a lot of unfitted kitchens with no counter around the stove and I don't think I could live with that.
      Your project sounds really exciting. Let me know if I can help at all; feel free to e-mail me at urbancottageblog at gmail dot com. Would love to see photos!

      Delete
    2. Hi Steve.
      Your offer of help is so generous. I'm liable to take you up on it!
      Sharon

      Delete
  36. I love the color and wood grain!!!! However, I have come to learn that you never make mistakes so i am anxious to see what you do. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god, Dianne, that's a lot of pressure!

      Delete
  37. You are the bravest man I know! I love, love, love the way you are headed and vote for the Kendall, too. Keep going. You are doing it very right.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Dear Urban Cottage Readers,

    WE have become addicted to a blog written by an Obsessive Compulsive (a character TRAIT in my book) with Exquisite taste...........we just have to PRAY that he quits his day job so that he can post EVERY day!!!!!! And CHILL...........nowing that PERFECTION is in the offing!!!!!!

    Oh, by the way Steve...........you ROCK!!!!!

    All the best!!!!!

    Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Thank you, Rob. You made me laugh out loud. I'm not so sure about PERFECTION but I strive for UNIQUE.

      Delete
  39. Of course, being a little obsessive myself I HAD to correct nowing to KNOWING........R

    ReplyDelete
  40. And of course I meant a POSITIVE character trait..........sheesh.........signing up for a proof reading course immediately..............R

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love your idea...that piece is great! I'm so glad your using it...its going to look amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I didn't see anything about a hood over the stove, are you going to have one? The tops of the columns would make lovely brackets, and tie into the sink detail nicely - if you'll have an extra set. Love the mood you're creating here, very warm and friendly, but also very sophisticated. Looking forward to how it all comes together. Hope you enjoy the process as you go.

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good question and impressive attention to detail, Karen. There will be a stainless steel range hood. I actually did consider using the tops of the columns for brackets and/or a frame for a mirror backsplash behind the range. Right now all eight of the columns are being used but I've been considering pulling the two at the very ends of the sink span of cabinets and just having the two flanking the sink. There's a built-in shelf above the counter next to the refrigerator that I haven't drawn out yet and I was thinking of using the extra two for that. It would be so easy to go overboard with them.

      Delete
    2. Thanks! That's what came to mind, stainless for the range hood. I do like the idea of pulling the ones at the ends of the sink run because one will be near the other set flanking the stove, and you're right - easy to go overboard. Spreading them out around the room will be nice, like for the shelf, and also at a different height will keep them from being bunched up. (I'm living vicariously through your kitchen reno ;) )
      Karen

      Delete
  43. Steve, I absolutely love that counter piece and am so happy you are repurposing it for your cabinetry. It will be like no other, and totally unique. I love a gray color on it. What a fabulous transformation and love your passion to create each element in your own style and vision. I admire your good taste and that you're in no hurry to do it right. Enjoy! xo Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy,
      Thanks so much. You're very sweet to say that!

      Delete
  44. What a gorgeous piece and love the ideas you have for incorporating it in your kitchen - so unique!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it's unique in a good way. Crossing fingers.

      Delete
  45. It will no doubt be stunning. As is everything you do. Can't wait to see it!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I don't get how I miss your posts. Anyway, any of those colors would be incredible. I love Revere Pewter, its an all time favorite. I would do it in ten seconds. Anyway, I can't wait to see how this all turns out. It's going to be amazing, no need to fear.

    ReplyDelete
  47. How did I miss this post!?!?!
    I look forward to your posts more than anything on TV!
    and I nearly missed an important episode!
    I LOVE the Kendall Charcoal. It's got my vote.
    Whatever you do, I will love it, I always do.
    If I ever strike it rich enough to build a home, would you come design it?
    (seriously)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Love the Kendall Charcoal Steve, and the cabinets are truly inspired ~

    ReplyDelete
  49. The cabinets are beautiful with lots of character. If you are painting them, <a href="http://www.paxtonhardware.com/product/iron-cabinet-knobs/cabinet-knobs”>iron cabinet knobs with character</a> will complement the gray and soften the smooth painted finish.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I like the way you have used the images to display your mind. It is clear for all readers what you want to say through this post. I appreciate your effort. And lastly, I like the design of the cabinets. I wish I get such cabinets in Houston as well.

    ReplyDelete