Friday, 11 November 2011

Kitchen Files: Inspiration

Since we have officially been approved for everything now, and just have to “patiently” wait until December 22 for our closing date to come, to do our first (of many) happy dances in our new house, I thought it would be a great time to share with you some inspiration for our kitchen.  I knew what I wanted to do before I even started looking for inspiration, (can it even be called inspiration then? I think so) so it made it a bit easier for me to find things to draw from haha. We are going for a clean look, with straight lines, and crisp finishes, and a light airy feeling.

At first glimpse that last picture looks more like a swimming pool than a sink, but it has counter space on either side of it. It makes me nauseous just thinking about how much something like this would cost :S

Aside from the stainless pool in the kitchen, you can see, there’s a pretty common theme…white cabinets, black counter tops, darker wood floors, stainless appliances, etc. What I learned from all my “inspiration” pictures is, I want the cabinets to go to the ceiling (and since we don’t have any sort of bulkhead it makes sense to go all the way babay!), and I want an apron front sink. Other than those new revelations, my “research” just proved to me that what I was thinking makes sense. Three cheers for when things work out in your favour! Now research is great fun, because you get to pour over pretty pictures, and pick images for your ultimate dream kitchen, it’s fun to dream, I love it. I spent hours at a time for a few days, trying to find pictures of things that I was dreaming up in my head. Who needs TV when there’s sites like Pinterest around!? The difficulty lies in trying to take your visions, and dreams and turn them into reality. I also noticed that I liked the look of the darker floors better, but didn’t really like the idea of putting in hardwood, mainly because it’s so expensive. I toyed around with the idea of using reclaimed wood, but then the whole, “where the hell do we get 250sq ft of reclaimed wood” stopped me in my tracks. I had come across cork flooring in my research and really liked the idea. It seemed like a better choice for a kitchen floor because it has a little bit of cushion to it, so when you’re standing on it for long periods of time there isn’t as much strain to your back & knees (and since my knees & back are already that of an 80 year old, bring on the cushion!) and as a nice added bonus, it’s a green product, because it’s made with recycled material.  That was our first reality check. So here are some ideas we have for making our dreams into a "reality". In my research to find cork flooring I like, I realized that it can be VERY expensive...a few places I looked were over $10/sq.ft. YIKES! that would cost waaaaaay too much. In the end the one I liked best ended up being one of the cheapest.

Molta cork in Moka was my favourite. For a few reasons, I liked the darker colour of it, and it was more "mottled", but the best thing about it was that each "tile" was a rectangle, and looked like wood planks. At $5.40/sq.ft. it's still fairly expensive, so we're hoping to be able to find it on sale, but even if we can't we feel confident that is a perfectly worthwhile investment. Not to mention the only things we found cheaper were this ugly (and hard) tile, or laminate - and we're not about to put laminate in the kitchen. (It isn't good to put a floating floor in a space like a kitchen)

Next, we'll move to appliances, becuase those are the easiest to shop for, you can get them pretty much anywhre...I still find it odd you can buy appliances from Future Shop & Best Buy. We new right off the bat that we didn't want a side by side fridge (the freezer space & layout was our issue), so we decided that it was the french door style that would best suit us. Moving on from there, we knew we didn't want to have a water or ice dispenser in the door, becuase they eat up a ton of room  - plus we're not that lazy that we can't make our own ice haha. So, our two favourites were the GE 22.1 c.ft stainless model;

And the next is the LG 22.7 model.

 The pictures are both from the Home Depot website. Yeah, I know they look pretty much the same...but they do have some subtle differences. Colour is the first, you wouldn't really think that buying different brands of stainless would matter, but it does, because each brand has a slightly different colour to if we can get all the same brand of appliances it would be ideal. The other difference lies in the freezer...the GE version has wire shelves in the freezer, whereas the LG one has solid shelves - which I would prefer, that way if you have an accident on the top shelf it isn't going to be dripping down below, and they're easier to clean. The biggest difference is in their price...the GE one is $400 cheaper than the LG one - and I think I like the handles better anyway haha.

Next up the stove. Not that Jason ever does any cooking, but he agreed that we should get a gas range. I have alwasy wanted a gas stove, so I didn't really care what he said, I was going to get one anyway haha. Again we both like what GE & LG had to offer the best;

(GE stainless slide-in model)

(LG stainless model)

(Again both pictures are from the Depot) Jason prefers the look of the slide in model, becuase it has more of a "built-in" look to it. I don't really care either way, although the little tower part will help with splashes and what not, which will block some of the splashes from going on the wall haha. If you go back up to one of the inspiration pictures it show a stainless slide in with a stainless "backsplash" going up to the hood, maybe we could do something like that? Other than they're pretty much the same.

While any dishwasher would be a 1000% imrpovement over our current dishwasherless situation, we aren't going for a simple "traditional" dishwasher. Jason came home raving about this three drawer dishwasher, and I thought he was crazy, we argued over the fact that if there was three drawers there was no way in hell any plates would fit unless it was super tall, but he kept saying that's what he'd just installed somewhere. What -EVER! So, then last week when we were appliance window shopping at Lowes, I discovered this:
It was a dishwasher that pulled out like a drawer, instead of flipped down like usual. AND each drawer could be controlled independantly, which means if you only have a half load, you can just do the top drawer. So, Steph and I excitedly ran over to Jason and Mike, and pulled them over to show them this awesome new invention we'd discovered. To which Jason says, "that's exactly what I was telling you about before!" "OHHHH" - lightbulb moment...learly he needs to work on explaining things better haha. It is beautiful...and we both want this will probably be one of our biggest splurges...because this little baby got us hook, line & sinker!

I'll leave off (becuase this post is getting a bit out of controll in length haha - plus there'll be seperate posts on cabinets & counter top) with our paint choice.

It is called "Stormy Monday" by Benjamin Moore. Since we are wanting black counter tops and white cabnitry, this milky gray colour is a great choice to tie the two together, and keep the kitchen light feeling. Since I got a Kitchen-Aid artisan mixer (in apple red) as a shower gift, and it will be displayed on the counters, we're going to have red accents.

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