Barbara, my experience with granite benchtops was also not nice. I found that they sometimes did catch stains, and didn't look good after a while.
Most of my dinner service was ruined with chips from the granite benchtops (something to bear in mind if you have kids in the house - they don't always take care putting plates down... same for husbands for that matter ).
It also cracked around the corners of the stove top where heat reached it and near the sink for same reason.
As I have beautiful antique dinner services as well as everyday ones, I couldn't bear to have granite again.
Must say I don't like the idea of wood either.... seems a bit unhygenic to me as it is too porous... but that is my opinion and others may feel differently.
The idea of taking cuttings from magasines is a good one. I did similar. Had a notebook and wrote in names of companies and what they did, clippings from paper/magasines etc and things I saw and liked in other peoples houses and in restaurants, shops etc. It saved a lot of time when explaining to the kitchen company exactly what I wanted. I designed the kitchen and they made it up for me and installed it.
Basically whatever you decide on for your kitchen will be what you really want and that is the important thing.
Have fun with your planning! _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 06 Nov 2004 Posts: 268 Location: Melbourne Australia
Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:14 am Post subject:
We havent had a moments trouble with our granite (?)
Regarding floorboards, they are sealed, (like slate or cork) so they are not porous and the sealent provides a great surface for easy cleaning.
We do not use chemicals in our home, all of our cleaners come from natural products. Neither of us has ever had gastro, we get very few infections, viruses dont hang around here - it just seems an easier way of life! The pussy cats like it too _________________ a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips
I must say that I continue to be amazed and grateful for the continued responses with kitchen ideas. Every idea is very helpful, even to hear that people have different reactions to particular features.
Thanks, Barbara, for the link to Tigers and Strawberries...a new food blog for me!
Sorry, I meant wooden benchtops... not wooden floors.
I like real wooden floors. Hate the fake wooden floors as per my post previously.
When I was growing up we had wooden floors throughout the house. They looked nice, and seemed to make the house look more spacious.
Re the granite, maybe the type of granite makes a difference? I am not sure. My experiences with it in the kitchen prevented me from researching it when we had a new kitchen installed. Maybe someone else can clarify the reason why granite can be so good or so bad? It would be interesting to find out.
Have to say with the kitties... my cat loved the floor boards and the tiles. She could get a good bit of speed up with her toys when she flicked them across the room... _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 32 Location: Great Falls, VA USA
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:02 pm Post subject:
We've lived two years now with our renovated kitchen, and there are some things I'd rethink if I had the chance.
Hardwood floors: We have cherry, which is one of the harder woods, very beautiful and warm, but any time you drop something it will make a dent in the wood.
Refrigerator space: there is never enough. My neighbors have two refrigerator drawers under the counters, in addition to their Subzero. I wish I wish I wish!! I also don't like the bottom freezer drawer; it's hard to organize, and I miss the little shelves inside the door.
Exhaust: Our cooktop is in the center island and there is a skylight over that. So we installed an exhaust vent that is perpendicular to the island and rises up from behind the stovetop when in use. Even though we have an industrial sized fan installed, it is next to useless. It sucks the flame away from the pots on the back burner, and it doesn't eliminate much of the smoke and odors. I may have to give up my skylight and install an overhead exhaust system.
Faucets: We bought this really cool high end pull out spray faucet with both stream and spray. Unfortunately, you can't use the spray setting unless you are holding down the button. My cheap Delta in the second sink stays in the spray position until you push the button again. I really like this feature.
High end appliances: Our Miele dishwasher leaves rust stains on the knives from our flatware. They can't tell me why this is. The electronic starters on our Dacor cooktop seldom work -- you have to scrape the metal part with a knife to get them to ignite.
I don't have any room for shelves for my cookbooks. My neighbor has shelves above their passthrough for hers and I love that idea.
Things I do love about our kitchen:
The center island is fabulous. I can stand on one side and cook while my guests hang out on the other side and out of my way. I just saw one in a magazine with cubbies underneath one side for wine -- very cool!
Lots and lots of drawers. Big deep drawers for pots and pans, series of shallow drawers inside doors for smaller/flatter items. I do wish I had a deep drawer in my baking area for bins of flower, sugar, etc.
My spice drawers! They have these inserts like little slanted shelves that your jars lay on so you can see them all. I have them alphabetized.
Appliance garage with power outlets. Everything is plugged in, just pull them out and start pushing buttons.
Pull outs in my pantry. There are shallow shelves in the back, and then stacks of shallow shelves in front that swing out so you can reach the items in the back.
Big double sink, the largest we could find and fit.
Love my granite. I have a honed green and black on all the counters except the island, which is in Absolute Black. I was disturbed at first because grease stains showed up on the honed stuff, but after a while they just add to the patina of the granite. A caution: the polished granite is high maintenance. You can't just wipe it off with a damp cloth because it leaves streaks, which drive me crazy, so you have to wipe and then polish with a dry cloth.
I didn't have room for two ovens, a warming drawer, and a microwave. So I have a stack with a warming drawer, convection oven, and a convection/microwave oven. The convection microwave has removeable racks that perch on the turntable, and a 9x13 inch baking dish just fits. I seldom miss having two full sized ovens.
That's all I can think of right now. Best of luck with your design!
We have Zodiac (enginereed quartz) countertops and I love them. EZ care and beautiful. Also, we have a linoleum floor w/ an inset design, it looks great, is easy to clean and is environmentally friendly. I like cupboards that go all the way to the ceiling- less dust, more storage, but we're tall people so bear in mind the reaching. Also, if you are particularly short or tall set your countertops at an appropriate height- it's YOUR kitchen, don't build it for resale value. And slightly deeper than normal sink hides dirty dishes well...Better Homes & Gardens has a good forum on kitchens, http://dgroups.bhg.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=kitchenbath
You should see my growing notebook of ideas...the binder is nearly splitting at the sides now, lol. I have lots of good ideas about cabinets, counter tops, floors, etc. I can't express just how much it is helping me.
Thanks again to everyone who is helping with this project.
DrMell...I can just picture your kitchen!! And thanks, laurie_m for the link. Very helpful!
Joined: 10 Mar 2005 Posts: 104 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:25 am Post subject:
We remodeled our kitchen almost 15 years ago and it still looks and works great.
Here are some things we did --
deep drawers for pots and pans
special storage for baking dishes and trays, where they could fit in on their sides instead of being stacked
built in spice drawer
I kept my island free of sinks and range tops and use it to serve, prep and for pastries. The back side has room for legs and bar stools, the front, work side, has deep drawers for my flours and sugars and my odd size baking equipment.
I have granite and I love it. Much easier to keep clean than tile, very forgiving, unlike laminates. I read the comments about drink spots and the like and don't have any experience with that. Your granite should be polished and only cleaned with a soft rag in very dilute mild soap. Marble and limestone are sometimes used for countertops and they are much more prone to staining.
If you are planning two ovens (which I ask how often you'll be using two ovens), why not make one gas so you can get a decent broiler?
We invested in quality wood cabinets with very durable finish. They cost more initially but still look great.
Please note: all wood cabinets change color from the sun. Lighter finishes turn a bit yellower. Darker ones go more brown. This is called "suntanning"
We weren't replacing our fridge at the time of the remodel, but left a big enough space for the one we eventually bought.
One of our best investments was working with a kitchen designer that was unafflilated with any kitchen cabinet or appliance company. She had a lot of good questions on how we used our old kitchen, what we liked and what we didn't like about it and what are aspirations were for the new kitchen. She made some simple but very important changes in our architect's design that have made our kitchen the heart of our house.
Joined: 27 Oct 2005 Posts: 105 Location: Wycheproof, Australia
Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:13 am Post subject:
I don't know if the the dates are right here- this topic appears two years old-, but here's my two cents, as they say.
We bought a primary school and converted it to our residence. Our (my!) kitchen is an old classroom about 30 feet squarish with a huge wall of windows.
Where to put the kitchen? we thought. Well I found a kitchen design book and discovered that there are three basic designs for kitchens, the single line, the L, and something: When designing a kitchen it said to be mindful of the triangle of use- from sink to bench to stove: Put the dishwasher under the sink to the left if you're right handed for easy stacking: also leave at least three feet either side of sink and stove. I found these tips helpful and certainly applied them to my design- which was very simple.
I too have never heard of granite marking, but I believe you can't have lemon juice on it ( and one other thing), but I too find it a bit hard. I have stainless steel and it is good but I think the best would be Corian- I got a sample but couldn't afford it. I use the samples for spoon rests and it is fantastic! My Baumatic cooking theatre is highly recommended. My shelves are all open because if they weren't my life would be opening doors and cupboards to look in. Now I have time for other things.
Good luck with your kitchen msue. _________________ truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly brought out of the mine.
Joined: 13 Nov 2004 Posts: 899 Location: Gold Coast Australia
Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:22 am Post subject:
Queenla - I went without living room drapes for 6 months so I could have Corian bench tops. The company also gave me a large Corian square which I use for pastry and bread making. _________________ Barbara
Joined: 27 Oct 2005 Posts: 105 Location: Wycheproof, Australia
Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:35 am Post subject:
then you truely deserve it Barbara.
I am happy for you (and a tiny little bit jelous!!!!!)
It is a wonderful texture and I think the supreme kitchen bench top. They have the most amazing baths too- did you get one of them?? _________________ truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly brought out of the mine.
Oh if money were no object I'd get a Corian worksurface and splashback and sink. The joins are seamless so very easy to keep clean. Induction hob. Double ovens at eye level. Polished concrete floors. Boffi system cupboards and shelves. A huge fridge and freezer side by side. A state of the art extractor..... lala, I could probably build the whole house for this money! Absolutely no bevels or mouldings on any surface so as to be easier to clean.
Lots of shelves with glass panel doors that slide up (so you don't have to move round them) with a seal on the door to prevent cooking grease & dust from getting in. Good lighting on all worksurfaces. Lighting INSIDE major cupboards and drawers which comes on when you open them (like a fridge light)
Hob, sink and your main worksurface should be in a triangle which is easy for you to work - this will depend on your body size, your pace and how you tend to move in the kitchen. I remember working in a bar where the gap to work in was just that bit too wide for me and getting very tired ankles from that extra step each time I moved from the drinks to the customers. Ideally have the hob and main worksurface facing INTO the kitchen so that when you are cooking your back is not turned to other people in the room.
A lovely, big kitchen table or breakfast bar thingy so your family and guests can talk to you as you cook and where you can comfortably work on anything time consuming.
Joined: 07 Dec 2005 Posts: 2 Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:10 pm Post subject:
We're in the process of putting in a new kitchen (we're at the point where we've ripped out the old one--it makes you really appreciate having a kitchen sink). Since money is a very real constraint for us, we are getting IKEA cabinets. We are going with kitchen drawers and the pullout high cabinets, as recommended here. We did get a new refrigerator last year, and wish we would have gotten a cabinet depth one. We are doing concrete floors throughout the living room and kitchen, but am a bit worried that there won't be enough give. Hardwood, bamboo, or cork may be easier on the legs.
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