Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Kitchen - Gateway House

I haven't shared a whole lot about our kitchen yet because it's progress has been achingly slow. We have cabinets and lights, and the tile is in progress right now. I thought I'd take you through it's progression and share some of the things that I have planned in here.

Let's begin way back this summer when the cabinets first arrived.

The island is a distressed grey/blue. I had planned all along to have an island that would read grey/blue depending on the lighting, but never planned for distressed. This is a custom house, but we still have to function within the confines of our builders options for the big things like cabinets. In order to get even close to the color I wanted, it was available only in this distressed finish. I do still really like it and am praying it doesn't date itself over the years, but only time will tell. 

I also would've loved to have full-overlay cabinet doors (where all the doors are touching), but again we are working within builder options and our budget, so standard overlay it is. 

When the cabinets were installed, we noticed a few things had been forgotten. The back of the blue/grey island was completely unfinished (and still is, you'll notice the orange color of it in most of these pictures). And the side panel to the fridge was missing.

It took several weeks, and a delay in placing some of the countertops, but those parts have finally arrived. You can see the quartz countertops installed on the right, and on the left still missing. That entire cabinet had to be replaced with one that included the fridge side panel which meant they couldn't measure for that piece of quartz until it was installed.

Let's back up for a second and talk about the island a bit more. We decided not to put our sink in the island like in our current house. The idea of having a large expanse of open space to work on was a huge draw in leaving it out, and this layout really lent itself to putting that farmhouse sink under the bank of windows. What you see here of the island is actually less than half of it's finished size. It's final measurement will be 6' 3" square.

There are legs to the island somewhere in the house that will soon hold the butcher block top that's waiting patiently for it's home.

We looked at traditional butcher blocks, you know the ones that are end-grain cut with tons of small pieces sandwiched together, and even got a quote to have one made. In the end they just weren't the look we wanted. We found a gentleman who does beautiful custom work locally and commissioned our island top. It's large, chunky pieces of wood, vs the much smaller, traditional butcher block look. We selected a wood from the many he had available, and it's a species we'd never even heard of before called Catalpa. This catalpa tree is actually one that fell down here in town (I'm told over by St. Francis Hospital for you locals). Our wood guy, Richard of Richard's Wood Shop has had it drying at his shop for God knows how long and worked his magic for us. We were able to stop by the shop and see it during some of the different phases. 

It will not match our wood floors, but we're ok with that. We have a piece of locally grown history and were able to support a small business owner at the same time. And really, look at the grain!!
If you look closely in some of the pictures below, you can see the finished product sitting on the floor in front of the island. Still waiting on the trim carpenter to come back and do the install. 

We have been very blessed to have a builder that allows us to tackle pretty much any design element we can think up. I know that's not the case with many builders, so trust me, we are counting our blessings! We have found some challenges in that though. I knew going into the building process that instead of upper cabinets, I wanted open shelving and wood beams in the kitchen. Unfortunately I didn't know that the framers needed this information very early on in the building process. I found this out when we already had sheetrock and the trim carpenter was ready to start. 
See those cut outs of sheetrock in the picture below?

That's because the trim carpenter needed to add supports for my open shelving and he had to cut the sheetrock out and then replace it. Fortunately, on this side of the kitchen these walls will be covered in tile, so it wasn't necessary to re-mud the drywall after it was replaced.

On this side of the kitchen, I plan to have a chalkboard wall. We're still waiting for the finish mud job over here so that paint can be done.

Speaking of the open shelving. Here's an example of what it will look like. I contacted two different Etsy shops to purchase the steel shelf brackets before I thought to look locally. Wayne at KCE Industries had never made brackets like this before, but still whipped them out in less than two days and for half the price of both Etsy shops. Thanks Wayne!!! Richard, our wood guy, fabricated the shelves out of Ash. It's astounding how heavy they are, but they should look pretty fabulous.

And the wood beams we want in here. Not happening. Well at least not yet. We found out our trusses are running the wrong direction to attach them without also cutting out the ceiling and adding supports. We decided that was just too much added work and expense. Sigh...  I have since found this website that makes faux beams that are light weight and intended to be placed without the need of studs. They won't be going in right away, but they're in our future.

The Lettered Cottage

Most of the lighting is up now. We have can lights, island lights and lights for over the windows. The island lights are ones I found online but then got lucky on a trip to Kansas City to be able to purchase them local (also for cheaper than online!!) at The Painted Sofa.  

The lights for above the windows were the first lights I picked out for the entire house. I picked the 20th Century Library Sconces from Restoration Hardware

Once the tile is completely finished, I'll finally be able to see what these bad boys look like installed over the windows!

The tile is almost completed right now. We did have a slight hiccup when the installers grabbed the wrong bag of grout and grouted both full walls in black instead of grey. A few days and lots of scraping later, and we're back to grey. It's supposed to be finished sometime this week, so I'll share that later. For now, I'll leave you with some random pics of tile progression and some wider shots of the space.

Oh, the oven hood is in and waiting in a box. When the tile is done and the electricians come back it should go up. I think electricians install it???

When we get a bit closer, I'll share about the details on the appliances, faucet, and cabinet hardware. And someday, James and I will agree on bar stools. Sigh...
Sorry for the dark iPhone pics. I haven't felt the need to bring my good camera over to take shots of the crazy construction zone yet. Again, when we get a bit closer to the finish line.
Hope you guys have a great rest of your week and we'll talk again soon!



  1. Super jealous over here!! It's looking absolutely beautiful, so happy for you!!

  2. Wonderful kitchen choices. Love the gray distressed cabinet/ island? Wish you were still blogging- would love to see more of your home.Blessings.

    1. Sorry it took me forever to see this. You can find me on Instagram @concretecottage. Lots of current house updates.


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