Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kitchen Renovations [AGAIN !!]

When we first moved into our house the kitchen was VERY typical for the age of the house [1990] and the area we live in.
Oak cabinets, pink.. yes PINK worktops, shiny lino, and a mish mash of second hand appliances that came with the house. [That happens quite commonly here.]

I did a fairly major reno over the course of the first couple of years we lived here, new floors, new appliances, new island, painted the units, light fixtures etc etc.
I will show you all of this I promise in a series of posts in the new year.. there's an awful lot to see.

It was clean and big, but needed to be introduced to the 21st century.
But for now I'm in the process of doing the second [and final I bloody hope] phase of the renovation... which involves tiling the backsplash and putting in quartz counter tops.

Now we've already changed the wortops once, as part of the original update, but at the time I chose a laminate called 'Butter-nut Rum'.
It was a cost thing really.. I needed to change the counters in all 3 bathrooms too [YES they WERE also PINK !!] and what with all the other expenses something had to go..
Plus my other half fell in love with a free standing kitchen island made from 450lbs of reclaimed Indonesian teak.. and it cost the same as the granite... so it was an either/or thing.

Took five guys to get her into the house..
I loved the island too.. plus to be honest I'm not all that prescious about granite counters.. so it wasn't that hard a decision.
Now though, 7 years after we did the initial reno, and with an eye on maintaining the value of the house we've decided that we should just do this last thing to really push the kitchen from nice to spectacular.

It was really the great job that our contractor Bill Larson did on the family bathroom that convinced me that it would be worth doing.. I have absolute confidence in Bill and that made the decision to spend the extra money on the kichen a much easier one to make.
I can't stress how important it is to have a builder you can trust before you commit to renovations this expensive, if only to relieve the stress of it all.
When you know it's going to look great, it feels more like an investment and a little less like just spending money ;o)

So I've spent the last 6 weeks looking at granite options and tiles... plus I'm going to invest in an under mount sink and a new tap.

The current ones were also new when we first did the kitchen.. I do love our tap actually, but it's very traditional, almost Victorian, and I fancy something sleeker.
It came from a Home Depot bargain bin, and only cost about $60 [30 quid] so it was cheap as chips..

The sink wasn't much more and I'm donating them to Habitat for Humanity, so I don't feel bad about swapping them out so soon.

Initially I thought I wanted another tap of a similar style and I found this one at Home Depot --->>

It's a total bargain @ $129 but it's brushed nickel rather than stainless so it won't match the sink or the appliances.

Then today I was looking at sinks, and I have a couple of favourites.. both of which would work better with a crisper more modern line, so I think I'm settled on this tap from Delta's Tommy Collection..

It's hardly expensive @ $250 and it's a very nice quality so I think this is the way to go.

They only had a photo of the chrome version.. but it comes in stainless so I've ordered that.

OK.. so now the sinks..
I thought about a Butler [or Belfast] sink, but frankly they were a fortune.. even in just stainless steel I was looking at $2000 PLUS. Buggar that for a game of soldiers. ;o)
So back to a traditional double sink.

I've narrowed it down to two, so now it's a toss up....

1st this one from a company called Elkay, who do very high end sinks for builders.
They have a special deal with Home Depot though, so I can get this commercial looking one with deep straight sides for $399..

Not sure if the sharp corners will be dirt traps, but LOVE the look.

Or this chappie from Kindred.. which is a brand made by Franke, who any plumber will tell you make the best sinks in the world.

Seems these people went with a traditional tap, but the colours don't work do they.
It's a softer rounder look, which may well be easier to keep clean and there's not that much difference in the cost.. it's about $120 more than the Elkay.

I really haven't decided yet, so I'm going to sleep on it, and tomorrow I'll show you the new granite and the tiles we've chosen, and maybe share my decision on the sink..
If I've made it that is ;o)

Jo xx


  1. OOh, I love the second sink! Anything rounded gets my vote lol.

    When we moved into our first house (a typical english end of terrace 3 bed starter home) and did absolutely everything on a shoestring budget, we found a Belfast sink in the long back garden. My heart skipped a beat, I love them but can't affor them, then I realised it was completely filled with...concrete! WTH?! Why on earth would you destroy something like that? I nearly cried for the poor sink!

  2. God.. I'd have cried too. Philistines ;o)
    Jo xx


Thanks for letting me know I'm not talking to myself..