Thursday, October 06, 2011
Before and After Four
With the kitchen counters in and the sink hooked up I'll call this one finished. We were able to keep the existing appliances in place, which allowed us to spend a little more on our finishes. Eventually the appliances will need to be replaced, but for now they are adequate for our needs (except that the stove isn't pretty). We used our old kitchen table, and repurposed an existing small piece of furniture for kitchen linens. The cupboards are neither large nor numerous, but we have plenty of room in the basement for things that are not in daily use. Those less frequently used items live on steel shelving at the foot of the stairs where they can be easily accessed. We changed the walls from mint green to pale grey, although you really can't tell from these pictures.
The original floor was stick on tiles from the 60's in a strange parquet pattern which carried on down the hall. We replaced the tile with Marmoleum (color 3412 Rembrandt Palette) in the kitchen and bamboo flooring to match the living room and master bedroom in the hall. It's stylish these days to put hardwood floors in the kitchen, but Marmoleum can take more of the kind of treatment a kitchen get, plus it is very easy on the feet and legs. It's a sustainable, naturally antimicrobial product made of linseed oil (like Grandma's lino!) wood flour and pine resins with a jute backing. I love it underfoot. We went with a sheet product, but it also comes in tiles and is made in all kinds of colors. I'm hoping I can use a steam mop on it, but that jury is still out.
Our counters are Curava (color Jungle Moon), which is made of cement, seashells, and recycled glass. It's beautiful, durable, and environmentally sound. Care is pretty much the same as any natural stone, with a yearly application of a sealant. I'm really excited about our counters - they are just gorgeous. I had never seen the material in anything larger than a sample, so I was not sure how it would look. I thought it would "read" black from across the room, but it looks like a glowing chocolate/golden brown. We are keeping the original knotty pine cabinets (built on site in the kitchen) because we like the look and the new counters bring out the best qualities of the cabinets. The cabinets need a little freshening up, which will be a pretty easy job.
We replaced the existing smallish and shallow double sink with a really big double sink which because it is undermounted actually uses up less counter space than the old smaller one. We picked out a faucet with an integral sprayer and a single control - tres stylish!
The painting is done but I still have to make window coverings and someday change out the old ugly light fixtures. I'm not sure what I want yet, and there is really no hurry because I'm short and I can pretend I don't see them! I must note that in the pictures the junk on the front of the fridge does not add a great deal of style.