Updates, Kitchen Design, and … Sushi?

So, I have some updates on the house situation. We have our appliances picked out and purchased! Thank you, Sears Outlet, for existing. Love getting steep discounts on stuff we need for our completely un-outfitted new kitchen. We are SO excited to be getting stainless steel appliances, something we’ve both be coveting for a very long time.

While we’re feeling SO relieved to have those major decisions/purchases out of the way, part of it terrifies me. You see, up until signing off on those purchase/delivery forms, the kitchen was a completely blank canvas. We could do ANYTHING we wanted. The floor, the cabinets… all coming out. It was *completely* blank.

Well, now we’ve committed to something. Not even a little “something”, like, say, the curtains in there.. something that could be swapped out if need be to accommodate future design decisions. No. This is a major “something”, and the first building block. The whole kitchen will end up being designed around the decisions we made with our appliances.

As Sam Beckett said on many occasions… Oh Boy.

I am completely shocked at what a commitment-phobe this whole thing has turned me in to. Every kitchen I’ve ever lived with, well… I’ve lived with. Slightly too small? eh. Cabinets? I’ve never really noticed them, honestly. Backsplash or floors? I honestly couldn’t describe any I’ve had, beyond the house we’re currently renting, and the house we’re closing on next week. (OH MY GOD, next week!)

Now, every little decision seems like a trick question. Why yes, I love the stainless appliances… oh, but how will that affect our choice in cabinets? Flooring? What kind of countertops will we want? Will THOSE look ok with these?

I swear, going on a week long “Risk” board game bender takes less strategy than planning a kitchen remodel.

So, here are the pieces of my puzzle so far.

The end of this blog entry has photos of the kitchen, as it is right now.

These are the appliances we picked out (Sears stock photos):

1. Samsung Stainless Steel 26.0 cu. ft. French-Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
2. Kenmore Stainless Steel 24” Built-In Dishwasher with Ultra Wash® System
3. Kenmore Stainless Steel 30” Slide-In Electric Range 4689

Now.. I’m all for logic problems. Hell, I got into Mensa on my spatial reasoning, above all else. This kitchen? This kitchen is pushing my poor brain to its limits.

You see, while most kitchen shapes can be sized up as “rectangular”, or “square”, ours cannot. Ours can’t even be called a triangle, reasonably. The closest shape? “Stealth Bomber”. So, So bizarre. Here is a to-scale drawing of the kitchen layout:

Really. click here, and just TELL me that’s not an accurate comparison!

Seriously… I have no idea how we’re gonna lay things out. Just… not a clue. We have a fair amount of flexibility, as my husband will be building all of the cabinetry himself. We tried shopping around, but some of the bizarre constraints of this kitchen (like base cabinets that cannot be more than 20″ deep on the main wall, due to placement of the doors to the diningroom / basement) have just made it blazingly apparent that we’ll need to MacGuyver the whole deal ourselves. Yay, us!

We DID find a door style that we liked when we visited one of the stores (Cabinets to Go), and they had an option of buying a little 12″ x 12″ door as an inspiration piece. Sold. We really like the colors and style of this:


(Excuse the crappy cell phone pic!)

… so there’s a good chance he’ll be replicating the style closely. I think we’re leaning towards maple.

I have no idea what colors the walls will be, what sort of backsplash we’re gonna want, or any idea about the floor at ALL.. nadda.

Countertops? Well, we both like marble. We’re both open to the idea of marble tiles, to save on cost. We just saw an episode of “Kitchen Impossible” that featured a homemade cement countertop that sort of resembled marble, which may be an option. They actually did a matching cement sink (?!?!), which ended up looking really cool.

I really like soapstone, though. I don’t know how much of that is on its own merit, and how much of it is over a really stupid reason. I remember going to the science museum as a kid, on a field trip with my class. We all got a little piece of soapstone, and polished them down to make pendants. I loved doing it, learning about soapstone, and my new trinket was pretty nifty, too. Childhood science museum memories always give me the warm fuzzies, but I’m not sure how much I should let that influence kitchen design decisions!

Of course, it’s not like we weren’t already feeling overwhelmed as it was… we ended up being hit with a somewhat bizarre design inspiration yesterday.

Thing is, my husband and I are both horrible enablers. We routinely come up with ideas that any sane person would talk somebody down from… but we egg each other on, usually adding to the idea. Nine times out of ten, it really IS an awesome idea, just unique. Is this one of those nine times, or not? I don’t know.

We were out grabbing a quick snack at the new Osaka sushi restaurant in Coon Rapids (YUM!). We both love sushi. We love eating it, looking at it (for a brief second, before snarfing it!), we love the look and feel of sushi restaurants… Osaka’s decor was gorgeous…

… would it be weird to take inspiration from a sushi bar, for our kitchen? Sleek feel, dark colors… maybe an actual sushi BAR… yum… Mmm. Sushi…

What? Um.. yeah. Anyway, I don’t know. I don’t even know what all the sushi bar inspired design would entail. Maybe it would be weird. Maybe it would be super awesome. I have no idea.

Thoughts?

1 thought on “Updates, Kitchen Design, and … Sushi?

  1. Okay, first off. TOTALLY stealth bomber!!

    Second, love the dark sushi bar idea. But while soapstone seems really cool… it’s lots of maintenance and isn’t even anti-bacterial! I suggest you look into Silestone. It’s not as cold as granite, there’s no specific maintenance requirements, and they have awesome colours. My favourite is Red Eros, which totally would fit into your theme. It’s red (duh) and kinda sparkles: http://www.silestoneusa.com/colors/index.cfm
    I saw an elite coffee shop with these and black backsplash-like walls… It was stunning. If red’s not your think, I’d recommend one of the sparkly black options 🙂

    I don’t think your door choice would fit with that theme though. Unless you remove the brass border or make it look like stone…. which might be tacky. Since this style is totally modern, a door with a flat profile might be better suited. Look into wood lacquers (think Ikea Kitchen) OR, my personal favourite, hickory wood. I’m a rustic chic gal so I’d combine the Silestone countertop with them. You can see more cabinet door styles and colours here:
    http://www.woodmark-homedepot.com/doorcolor.asp
    Yours looks very much like a maple cognac. Also, don’t forget that various layers means it’s harder to clean.

    Since you’re making your own cabinets, I’d recommend making a custom-sized pantry in that dead space next to where the sink currently is, if you can’t take down that alcove wall. I’d suggest open doors for that (the ones with glass instead of a middle panel). It’ll be a nice display space for dishes you don’t use often or cake stands, etc.

    As for your concrete sink idea… May I recommend Kohler? Yes, they’re a bit on the pricey side but I’m totally in love with their design and functionality and I think you will too! 🙂 Usually, I’d suggest an traditional undermounted sink but I think you’ll enjoy their lip/apron ones, especially in cast iron or those tougher, more utilitarian looks.

    And my current love in terms of backsplash is glass tiles. Especially the tiny, multicoloured ones within the same tone, or the clear-looking ice ones. Check out these Home Depot options: http://bit.ly/ijbK5e
    However, if you do go with Silestone countertops, or any stone-ish material, for that matter, you can use that as a backsplash as well for a clean look.

    I’m not sure that you have enough space for a standalone island, aka sushi bar, but that current sink area can definitely be remade in that way. I’d recommend that be your stove area, though. I’m not sure why, but it makes sense to me! lol. I also like sinks that face windows because that way, at least you’re getting some light and entertainment while you’re busy doing dishes. There’s currently a whole lot of counter space that I don’t think you’ll necessarily use for anything other than storage. Then again, there’s not much else you can put there. One major recommendation? Don’t make your upper cabinets fall so low. Start them from the ceiling and only put one layer in. Not of that tiny stuff at the very top. It’s not like anyone can reach that high anyway!

    Can’t wait to see how it all works out!! 🙂

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