Appliances, lighting, and faucets, oh my!

The most fun part of any reno, well to me anyways, is the finishing touches.  Early on in the renovation planning stage, I sourced and decided on the appliances, lighting fixtures, faucet and sink so that they could be ordered and already be delivered when they were needed.  I didn’t want any problems with waiting for items to be in stock or shipped.

For appliances, I had a wish list, an induction cooktop, downdraft fan, a microwave/convention oven, wall oven, a warming drawer (since we entertain a lot at the cottage and in the winter, it’s always nice to have warmed plates), a wine fridge and a new dishwasher (which quickly became a panelled dishwasher). I decided on Bosch, for everything but the wine fridge, because their appliances hit every mark and I love their sleek look.

Early on, I had seen this Brizo Artesso faucet and I had to have it.  The cool industrial yet rustic vibe was perfect for my vision of the kitchen. Brizo agreed and I’m the happy recipient of it, in a beautiful oil rubbed bronze finish.


For the sink, I was very torn between a large single, double or a sink and a half. I went back and forth relentlessly.  A large single sink is great, lots of room to do those large pans and soak just about anything, but I really wanted a place to stash my dirty or drying dishes (I hate on-counter drying racks, which I’ve  had and continue to have, and I resent it a little every day).  A double sink would give me that extra space to hide dishes but each sink was a little on the small size, given that I had to stay within a 31″ total width, so I compromised with a sink and a half.  I settled on a Franke sink as it gave me the contemporary edge that I wanted, had the size I needed and had slightly rounded corners to make clean up a breeze.


Onto my lighting choices – I’ve had a hate on for the existing white track lighting, as there is typically only one or two of the lights working at any one time and let’s face it they are just fugly.  We added the Pottery Barn pendants when we first bought the cottage and they have certainly helped but I desperately need more light than they can give. (see before pics here).

An open rectangular lantern fixture with plenty of lights would be the perfect fit for the long island. I also wanted one without glass, to keep glass cleaning down. The Hinkley Fulton open lantern is perfect with it’s black iron exterior frame and it’s soft bronze interior finish which ties in with the oil rubbed bronze faucet.  To mount this, we will have to have the electrical boxes (where the track lights are now) capped and then somehow hidden (I’ve given this job to our fabulous carpenter and electrician).


To coordinate with it, Restoration Hardware’s  20th Century Library sconces with their iron finish and touch of brass (to pick up on the warm bronze tones) were an easy choice.  Three of them will line up on the far wall between the windows to light the counters and open shelves there.

prod2460589_av1I also had my heart set on a pendant light over the sink and wanted something that was light and bright but with some dark metal.  Hinkley hit it again with this Clancy fixture, in a warm bronze finish.  Again, some creative carpentry will have to be done to hide the wiring…oh the joys of a log home.


**Disclaimer, Brizo provided me with the faucet of my choice, in exchange for my honest opinion of it, here on my blog.


Changes, compromises and cabinets

Well, as I mentioned last week, we are plowing ahead with our cottage kitchen makeover.  Here’s how it’s looking these days.

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Part of keeping on budget, was the plan to reuse the solid cherry fronts of the cabinetry by painting them out. But sadly, after talking to two separate painting companies, it was a no go.  The cabinet fronts have a stained finish and don’t look too bad from a distance for 23 years old. But up close, well that was a different story, where they have been well handled, the finish is sticky and you can actually scrape it off with a fingernail.  Also, there was a constant white dust that accumulates on both the fronts and backs of the doors.  I would wipe them clean and two weeks later it was all back again.  Both painting companies didn’t feel comfortable trying to remove the finish and guaranteeing a new painted finish on them. Both tried various methods of sanding and paint finishes but they ended up a mess.

So the only option was to go for entirely new cabinet fronts, a shame really but I can’t say I was completely surprised, as I had wondered if the badly deteriorating finish was going to be a problem.

So onwards and upwards.

Earlier this week I met with the carpenter and he was looking skeptically at the drawer interior hardware and how the drawers sagged downwards when they were opened.  So, the next decision was made, to replace all the lower boxes, so that I could have new stronger drawer hardware and soft close drawers. Deep breath…..

Oh yes, and since we are going with new cabinet fronts, I may as well change the stainless steel fronted dishwasher I originally order with a panel ready one. I’ve always wanted one and what’s a few more dollars….sigh…..

Well, with my budget feeling very pinched, I went to Homesense to check out their stools and lucked in with getting two of these lovelies.  Then the next day, I went across town to see if I could score another one and lucky, lucky me, they had one.  Minus a few screws in the seat but that meant I got it at a steal and it’s an easy fix.


So since that was a great way to save some bucks, I decided to keep going. Instead of having the live edge shelves custom made we decided to take them on ourselves.  After a couple of visits to WoodSource in Manotick, I chose two live edge maple slabs (here’s one close up).


They will need to be cut to size and then lightly sanded and then I’ll give them a few coats of polyurethane to protect them.

Yay, for some budget saving this week.  We are waiting on the electrician to start some re-wiring this week, hopefully…fingers crossed.  Once that’s done, we will replace the drywall and then we will be waiting  for the cabinet boxes to be installed.



Industrial farmhouse kitchen reno update

So, I finally have some time to get you guys updated on the cottage kitchen renovation.  Hubby and I went away for a couple of weeks to Barcelona, Spain for our 30th anniversary, so I did have a good excuse.  It was FABULOUS, by the way….what a great city!  But more on that, in another post.

Back to the kitchen reno. When last I left you guys, I had shown you a mood board showing some items that would give you the feel of the kitchen I was going for.  And here it is again.  (If you want to see the before pictures take a look here.)


So here’s my design plans for the space.


We wanted to largely keep the footprint intact, with some minor changes here and there. Mostly because logs homes, don’t make it easy to move walls, electrical or even plumbing, but also because we have a fairly strict budget.  And with the island being part rock, well, that wasn’t getting moved either.  But, as per usual, things change when you are renovating and this space has been no exception, more on that later.

Let’s talk islands first:


The island will have be one flat surface counter as opposed to the lower edge that it has now. That way we can actually use it for stool seating. As it is now, it’s far too low for anyone to sit there.

All the perimeter cabinets will be painted Benjamin Moore’s New Hope Grey.  A beautiful blue/gray that I’m so excited to use.


Benjamin Moore’s New Hope Gray 2130-50

Hubby requested that the island be a contrasting colour and black, was the no-brainer choice. It will coordinate nicely with the black chalkboard wall, the existing knobs & cup handles (which I’m hoping to reuse) and the new light fixtures and faucet which are also in dark finishes.


Benjamin Moore’s Almost Black 2130-30

I will be reconfiguring some of the island cabinetry. Two wine racks will be moved from the left side of the island end to live beside the two on the right side of the island.  They should fit nicely side by side and that way I can square off the island, as I’m really not keen on the angled island ends.  A wine fridge is also being added to the island so the cabinetry will have to be adjusted for that as well.


The upper cabinets have all been removed and will be replaced with two live edge wood shelves.  That was a hard sell with hubby, but I persisted and I’m thrilled with how open the kitchen already looks without any upper cabinets.

I decided on a matte white, large scale subway tile with a handmade feel to it.  It is shown below, except the ones I’m using are actually a little wider, but the same length.  I’ve chosen a soft grey grout as well, since I don’t want to deal with having to clean white grout…phbttt….


There is a lower part of the counter (due to two lower windows) at the end of the cabinet run. It turned the corner and ended with a never used desk. I have to admit it had me stumped for a long time, I originally wanted to do a window seat with storage but after going back and forth with designs, I just couldn’t commit.  Hubby wasn’t thrilled with this idea, as he felt that since we were having stools at the counter, we didn’t need a second seating area in the kitchen, especially because right outside the kitchen is a large window seat and a huge dining table with 12 chairs.  I agreed that it was probably seating overkill, so I ditched that idea and decided on making the area feel a bit more like a free standing buffet.  This way I would still have lots of storage and I could get rid of the useless desk at the end of the run and also have a nice little open area to feed the cats.  I’m going with open shelves between two closed cupboards so I have a little display area that will feel a little different than the run of drawers right beside it.


The upper microwave cabinet with be replaced with one that is shallower and slightly wider.  I am still going back and forth as to whether I want it to be an appliance garage but I will hold out judgement on that, until I talk it out with my carpenter.

So there you have it, the kitchen plans and I’ll update you next week, on how they have changed.  Stay tuned as I’ll be posting in the next few weeks, about the lighting (one of my favourite parts of any reno), the appliances and the fixtures.





Rustic/industrial/farmhouse kitchen makeover

I am super excited to say that we are going ahead with our rustic/industrial/farmhouse cottage kitchen update this fall…wow that was a mouthful. I’ve been such a busy bee getting all the items chosen, sourced and ordered that I haven’t even had any time to blog!

It’s so exciting! I’ve been dreaming of redoing this kitchen ever since I saw it.  This is how it looked when we originally purchased the home. (This is the realtor photo)


And how the kitchen looks now:

DSC_0194So you can see that I painted the side panel in blackboard paint (which I love and I’m leaving as is). I added the hanging pendants, due entirely to my hubby’s cleverness.  The white knobs were exchanged for the black square knobs and cup handles.  And the wood shutters were removed from the windows, they banged into the cupboards and generally, just drove me crazy.

Now, we will be doing a much bigger change to the kitchen, but it is still not a total gut.  We are leaving the footprint the same, since it’s a log home, any floor plan or lighting changes are a challenge.  I’m okay with the layout, so I’m just doing some fine tuning.  But, can I tell you how happy I am to be finally rid of those white track lights, they are definitely on their way out! More on the layout and all the details in another post.

But I will leave you with the kitchen’s mood board.  As you can see it has a rustic/industrial/farm house aesthetic together with some blue, of course!



Stay tuned for progress reports!


How to add the magical details to a space

Do you ever get right to the end of a makeover or renovation of a space and find that there is just something missing?

Well, I can pretty much be certain that you are just missing a few little details, to get the room of your dreams.

Want to learn more? Click here to read my Wicker Emporium post.

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