Last Friday our contractor Jim finished up our kitchen. Hip hip hooray - it's been five months since our big leak and subsequent kitchen tear-out, but I am happy to report that it's been well worth the wait. I'm pleased with how everything came together and in the end, I kind of feel lucky to have had the leak even though at the time it was excruciating.
Let me take you on the grand tour...
(Do you like my Tolix knock-off stools? I bought them on overstock, $80 for the pair). It was too hard to justify getting the real thing once I saw these).
Our kitchen previously had standard brown wood cabinets. The white really brightens up the kitchen, and I love how our contractor shaped the bases. They kind of look like furniture to me.
After a friend gave me a heads-up, we paid a bit more to have a special finish put on the cabinets that makes the finish more durable (it's kind of like a coat of laminate). I'd recommend a process like this for anyone going with white. They are really easy to clean. My mom recommended to have the hinges put on the outsides so you can see the edges, and I'm glad we did - that's a detail that I totally would not thought of.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that white painted cabinetry is less expensive than wood (not that white isn't wood, but it is paint grade). With that difference, we were able to upgrade other things, like our faucet, sink, and fixtures (We ended up buying both the sink and the faucet from an online retailer, quality bath. Their customer service was fantastic - the sales representative on the phone took a lot of time making sure the faucet's neck was the right measurement for our sink, and everything came in the promised time frame carefully packaged. And they had the best prices, too). The faucet is by Rowe and is so much sturdier than what we previously had - I feel like it will last forever.
We chose soapstone for our countertop. I love how matte it is, and also the pretty veins that run through it. Anyone considering soapstone should know that while the surface of the stone is extremely impermeable, it is relatively soft and will get small scratches and knicks. I don't mind this at all; in fact it is one of the things that appeals to me about it (I want my suburban home to feel old). We've been told that most of the marks that will inevitably happen can mostly be sanded or oiled out. Another interesting thing about soapstone is that when it is installed, it's a light cement gray. You can either leave it like that, or give it a coat of mineral oil. We oiled ours (although I like the gray, too), and have been told that we should probably continue to oil it every couple of weeks for the first six months or so to maintain the matte black.