As you can see in this picture, I originally designed the island to have two 12" wall cabinets on the backside, one of which would have the side removed, and the door screwed shut, to provide a couple shelves for display and cookbooks, but I changed my mind on this, to make more room for kitchen stools. We ordered our appliances from Sears, and kept going back every time they had them for a lower price. We ended up saving several hundred dollars over the original "sale" prices. This made up in part for the fact that Ikea decided not to have their annual kitchen sale the year we decided to put in an Ikea kitchen. Bummer. (It's going on right now, through the end of August, if you're interested.)
Next up was counter tops. We had been without counters or a kitchen sink for about 3 months, doing dishes in the bathtub. Oh, what a joy that is. Needless to say, we went through lots of paper plates and cups, and ate lots of takeout. Couldn't wait to cook in this kitchen!
This is "our" slab! It is Delicatus granite from Brazil. It has a creamy white background that goes well with the Bodbyn white cabinets, with dramatic slashes of black throughout. There are hints of copper and white mica that catch the light and add sparkle to the kitchen, along with clouds of a buff color. it was just what we were dreaming of. It was a happy day when they came to put it in. I will not mention the name of the company we bought it from - there are several things that we should have known to ask about, since this was the second time we had had stone installed in a kitchen. One major thing was the "templating" process, which is exactly what they called it when making the appointment. The last time we had granite put in, the guy actually made a template - imagine that! - taking an exact pattern of our walls and appliance placement. This time, the guy just measured, and consequently, they did not scribe the granite to the walls, and my stove just barely has 1/16th of an inch to slide in and out of its space. They put the island top on crooked, with NO overhang on the drawer side, where all the crumbs would be being swept into my hand, and consequently onto the floor. They came back and corrected this, but the fact that it wasn't scribed to the walls gave me major headaches when I was installing the tile backsplash. Just hope this makes someone else more savvy when they go shopping for an installer.
On another note, my sister and her husband came to visit in the midst of our kitchen renovation, and they - honestly - told me that the oak buffet didn't go with anything in the new house. They were right! I had considered painting it for years, but never had the guts. It had been abandoned, along with a matching table and chairs! - in a house that my husband's parents bought many years ago. I had stripped and re-stained it once. Here's the before:
And here's the after, as it currently looks, painted the same color as the Ikea Bodbyn cabinets - using Valspar "Lamb's Wool", mixed in Behr Marquis semi-gloss. Can you believe someone would just leave that behind???! It looks like a big ol' wedding cake, now, and provides lots of needed storage. It makes a nice extra serving area in our dining area.
The old, galvanized can on the buffet is a chicken feeder that I found in an abandoned chicken coop in the first house my husband and I owned. The chippy old tea kettle was also bought on vacation at a flea market in Pigeon Forge, where we also found the iron barn pulley, and are still looking for the perfect place to use it. (Maybe holding the lights over the pool table?) We found the old, black-painted window in an antiques shop in Pigeon Forge, TN, while we were having the house built last year. I cleaned it like crazy, then sprayed the back of the glass with Krylon's "Looking Glass" paint. That is amazing stuff! It looks just like a mirror, and reflects the light from the door, brightening what could have been a very dark corner. The platters, pitchers and bowls up top I have been collecting for years, along with a few old ladles & a potato ricer. The frilled cake plate was purchased on a trip to Fenton Glass with my mom when I was in junior high school. The white watering can was a recent buy at Ikea. I use it all the time for houseplants and to water my pot-grown cherry tomatoes and flower pots on the back porch. The little silver mug is the Adams' baby cup, monogrammed with an 'A'. I made the curtains with indoor/outdoor fabric from fabric.com.
The shelf is a regular old 2x10 from Home Depot, which I pre-conditioned, then stained with Minwax "Honey" stain. (I used the same wood and stain to make the cookbook shelves in the kitchen.) We made the shelf supports from 3/4" black pipe and plumbing parts, also from Home Depot, and I ordered some pipe ends (to plug the holes) on Amazon, here. Easy-peasy to make. I got the idea from this blog post.
We recently painted this wall and the wall behind the buffet in Martha Stewart 'Seal' - an absolute favorite dark, warm gray. All the white just pops with it, and it makes the walls recede, so the space feels bigger. It really draws your eye to the woods out back.
The light over the kitchen table has a faceted lampshade, and a diffuser. Somehow, the faceted motif kept showing up in different items we picked up. Don't you love when that happens?
The table itself I found in a thrift store for $5, but the original top was only 36" in diameter. I wanted to be able to seat 6 comfortably, so I started perusing Craig's list, and found a 48" table top which had seen better days, for $20. I sanded and stained it with a black gel stain and attached it to the base. We can easily seat 6 around it, now, with two more at the island, and for Thanksgiving, we brought in another extendable table and seated 14.
Next up: Kitchen reveal, pre-molding