Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Kitchen Layout

This is one post I have been waiting to write for a long time! We were waiting to finalize all the cabinetry for the kitchen before we shared what it will look like. We tried to keep the kitchen modern and fresh but still embracing our homes Bungalow roots. The cabinets are a 5 piece construction in a lovely shaker style.

All the cabinets are by Aristokraft but we have two different cabinetry lines. The white cabinets are called Monroe purestyle and they are a thermofoil in White. The other style in Aristokraft that we are using is called Wintead Square in a dark stain called Sarsparilla. It has the same look and construction as the white thermofoil used in the rest of the kitchen but they are made from Maple.
Thermofoil cabinets are made with MDF (basically sawdust and wood combined to make a solid piece) which is then wrapped in a vinyl veneer. There is a cost savings with going with Thermofoil versus a solid wood cabinet and they carry a 25 year warranty and are a snap to wipe clean). The downside to thermofoil is that over time the vinyl can separate from the MDF and chip off but, my guess is I will want something different in 25 years anyway. So Thermafoil we pick you!
The floors in the kitchen will be the same warm wood floors that will be in the rest of the main level of the house. Our counter tops are granite in a grey tone with some flecks of white and black. The counters will be a nice merge point between the dark cabinets and the stark white ones. The plan is to add a tile back splash that we found a few weeks back for $10 a square foot that has white stones, some grey glass tiles in a horizontal linear pattern. We hope to have pops of color in the kitchen with paint and accessories. I'm thinking pops of apple green, we will see.

The Kitchen Perspectives...

North wall showing the focal point of the room: the cook top surround.

This is the view from the dining room walking into the kitchen. I just love that the cook top area and the surrounding cabinets will be the first thing your eyes are drawn to.

This view is of the South wall. There will be lots of counter space with the island and also some on the back wall next to the refrigerator. To the right of the fridge is the built in oven and microwave combination.

Another view of the South wall just with the island removed from view.

View of the East wall with our glorious cast iron apron front sink and a full wall of windows.

This is the North wall again but this time I tried to (with my meger photoshop skills) fill in where different colors would be. The cabinets will be white in most of the kitchen except for around the cook top. Above you can see the darker, almost black cabinets and the dark grey counter tops.

Another try at adding some color to visualize the kitchen. I filled in the appliances with stainless steel, added the wood flooring as a chocolate color and the sink went black.

Here is the back splash that ties all the greys and white tones together throughout the kitchen.

Our warm and inviting wood floors in a dark stain called Santa Barbara Maple by Mohawk. It is a wide plank at 5" and has handscraped details to make it feel like it has always been there.

We borrowed these from the kitchen showroom, they are the correct colors but the wrong door style (so please over look the bead board look inside the white cabinet). We placed a sample of the granite on the cabinet and the back splash jumped in for the fun as well.

And that is our kitchen from top to bottom. I hope it will feel inviting and laid back and be a place for everyone to gather in. This will be one of the last things to go into the house, so it will be several months yet till we see this kitchen come to life. Can't wait.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oil Rubbed Bronze for our Doors

I recently mentioned out trip to Grand Rapids, MI to pick out lots of fixtures for the house. In addition to picking out the tiles for the master bathroom and house siding, we also picked out the hardware for the exterior and interior doors.

We decided to go with an oil rubbed bronze look for our doors. We thought the dark knobs will go well with the crisp white shaker doors that we picked out. The interior doors with have an oil rubbed bronze finish and the hinges will match. Here is a peek at what we picked...

I wish this photo of the knob we picked out showed more of the nice bronze and copper tones in the finish but it will have to do for now.

Okay, I am very excited about the handle set we found for the front and side door on the house. We also have a french door off the dining room, that will have the same knobs as the interior doors.

I can't wait for you to see this... I think I'm in love!

The top photo is one that I took in the hardware store of the exterior door set. That particular one is called a partial, and there is a version of that same set that has the back plate continue down to the bottom.

The second photo from the top is from an online store that carries the brand of that door set. The brand is called Emtek, and ranges from about $160-$220. This version is the full length one and it also shows the interior knob that coordinates with the exterior. I love the finish and it also has a "hammered" look to it. This door set has a very craftsman feel with the small square details on the top and bottom. I think this handle will work nicely with out front door.

Above is a photo of the front door we picked out. It is by Therma Tru doors ( ) It is a fiberglass door that is stainable. We plan to have ours stained in a similar finish to the one shown above, something warm and inviting. Both the front and side doors will be the same color and have the same hardware. The front door has two additional windows, called side lights on either side of the door to add more light to the entry way.

Next post: We have drawings of the kitchen layout!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Picking out Tile for the Master Bathroom

The plan for this weekend was to get a way to Mackinac Island for a couple days for a vacation away from house planning. Kyle and I had both taken Thursday and Friday off work and we were ready to go. We had planned on going to Grand Rapids for a few house related meetings then off to the island! That was the plan anyway, but I guess when you are building a house (or remodeling for that matter), a "vacation" day just might mean doing stuff for the house and not eating delicious fudge on Mackinac Island.

Our first meeting was at Virginia Tile in Grand Rapids. Their show room is like an art gallery! I was in love with just about every tile I saw. We were on a strict budget of $3.50 a sq ft. or under (and I am proud to say, we came in under budget!) Here are a few pictures of some drool worthy tiles from the showroom. Enjoy

Classic basket weave pattern surrounded by white subway tiles. So beautiful!

This one was my favorite. I was thinking for the kitchen back splash but alas it was $63.00 a sq. ft. Very much out of our price range.

It may be hard to tell but these white subway tile has a beveled edge  and a crackle finish over top. I nice play on a classic tile.

This was a fun mosaic pattern in rich orange and red hues.

We had a lot of success at Virginia Tile on Thursday. We picked out the master bathroom floor tiles, walk in shower wall tiles and the floor for the shower. We kept under budget enough with the bathroom tiles that we are able to afford a back splash for the kitchen. Here is the stunning, yet budget friendly back splash for our kitchen.

It has a nice mix of stone and grey glass tiles. I think this will "play" nicely with the white cabinetry and a darker granite counter with some flecks of grey.

Towards the top of the photo you see a carmel brown tile. This will be the master bathroom floor.

This lighter tile will be on the walls of the walk in shower. It has the same texture and look as the darker brown tile for the bathroom floor. We are thinking about 9x12 inch tile in a brick pattern that will go vertically up the shower wall.

And finally, my favorite little tile for the shower floor. These are 2x2 tiles that pick up on colors from both the bathroom floor tiles and shower walls.

After the tile store we were off to a hardware store to pick out the door handles for the interior and exterior doors. And guess what? We stayed under budget there too! Soon I will take photos of the hardware we picked out and share that as well. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Lines are Set

Its official, we have the house boundaries staked! We can finally see the area where the house will go and where roughly the individual rooms are. Our builder came down from Grand Rapids for the morning to meet with Kyle and the survey company at the property. It took about 3 hours for the surveyors to put stakes at all the property boudaries and corners. Then they used our house plans to plan out the boundaries of the house.

Below is the view of the property from the road. It is way to difficult to see it (actually its impossible to see in this photo but trust me they are there!), but the house lines are stakes near the back left of the photo.

On Saturday we walked down to the property to see how everything turned out. Kyle's parents and youngest sister Jamie went with us to view the stakes and stand inside our future home. I got a little overly excited when I got to look at what my view will be looking out from the kitchen window! We have beautiful views from every window of the house. Especially from the second story from the master bedroom. The windows look out to a forest of lush trees.

We also discovered lots of gorgeous wildflowers all over the property. We already new many of them but this spring and summer has sprung forth many new flowers. We have an abundance of milk weed (a favorite of growing catepillars), Indian paintbrush and even wild strawberries! They were tiny and perfectly ripe! Some of the strawberries are growing where the house will be, so we will need to transplant them elsewhere. I was so surprised to see how many patches of them were around the yard.


 And finally, here is the view from where the house will sit looking out to the road. I am dreaming of the day when we can sit out on the front porch and this will be what we see.