Friday ponderings

DSC_0291 I’m dedicating this post to what’s new, upcoming and heck, whatever I found interesting lately in the big wide online world.  So without further ado here’s the articles and DIYs that caught my attention and made me ponder.

I loved this post written by Leslie Carothers on Hadley Court’s blog titled, “How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen?” It’s a great read if you are about to embark on a kitchen remodel, makeover or renovation. HGTV has done a great disservice to all in the design industry and to our clients, as renovations do not get done properly in a week or on a ridiculously small budget. And this article helps to dispel a few myths.

Benjamin Moore’s colour trends 2015,  They went in a different direction than Pantone’s Marsala and I am seriously considering doing one of the cottage bedrooms in Guilford Green HC-116, once I figure out who is taking the wallpaper down :-/.  It is such a soothing soft, timeless green, and I can so see it with all the warm pine.

Loved reading Lumar Interiors post all about the “anti-trend” trend for 2015. As I tell my clients, don’t worry so much about the trends, it’s all about living with a space that feels like home to you and works for your lifestyle.

Now, I secretly and seriously want to be a minimalist. I purge and donate, but then I almost instantly have a need to fill all the empty spaces….sigh. So I loved this read from Apartment Therapy and last spring I actually did put some spring clothes away to see if I’d even miss them.  I’ll let you know how that goes in a few months.

I have enlarged and framed many of my own photos to put on the walls of my house and cottage, and I’m totally loving this simple DIY to turn photos into huge statement making ART from Popsugar. I just have to go through my thousands of photos to figure out which one I want to try this with…oh yeah…and where it would go.

Have a fabulous weekend and let me know which pondering caught your attention.



Kitchen Planning Standards – Class 101


Ever wonder what standards there are for a either a new kitchen or a kitchen renovation.

Well, I’m here to help!

These industry standards will help  you work out  your plan properly so you don’t run into any unexpected surprises.


Standard oven width – 30 inches

Standard dishwasher width – 24 inches

Standard fridge width – 36 inches. Keep in mind that you should choose and order your appliances before building a new or renovating a kitchen, the cabinetry and countertops will be built around them for the most custom look.


Standard upper cabinet depth – 12 inches

Standard base cabinet depth – 24.5 inches

Standard counter height – 36 inches

Standard counter depth – 25.50 inches

Standard distance between bottom of cabinet and your countertops – 18 inches.  If you are installing under cabinet lighting, a must in my books, then you’ll have to give some consideration to the extra space needed for them and valances.  Also, if there is a special appliance(s) you would like to store on your countertop, be sure that the 18 inches will accommodate it.


Minimum distance between two working areas – 39 inches.  48 inches would be ideal but you can get by on the minimum of 39 inches.

Minimum island overhang – 12 inches with no brackets for support (depending on the counter material) or 15-18 inches with supports.

Minimum counter space on either side of the stove – 18 inches.  A stove should never be placed right beside a wall, as this could be a fire hazard.


Bar stool height – 30 inches

Counter stool height – 24 inches

Height for hanging light fixture over a table or island – Standard is 30-36″ from the top of the dining table, however this can and should be adjusted for individuals using the space and for sight lines.  I usually prefer to hang the light lower if it is a statement piece and if the table is large enough to accommodate it.  For an island fixture – standard is 60-66″ from the floor, but again this can and should be adjusted for sight lines and for tall individuals.





Kitchen musings

This has been a busy and exhausting summer for my family.  But I’m happy to report that our cottage exterior is being stained as I write this, thankfully by someone else :-).  In my mind, at least, this means we are turning the corner on all the work that has to be done at the cottage. I hope I’m right.

We had a cabinet painter in to give us an estimate on painting the kitchen cupboards recently and it makes me excited to start thinking about what I want to do in the kitchen.

This is my inspiration photo.



For the countertops I am actually thinking of reversing the order that is shown here and doing a wood countertop for the main counter and a quartz marble look alike for the island.  I had wood countertops in my previous cottage and really loved them.

However, when I looked at the details of this kitchen and the paint colours (there are actually two different ones) used, they are much more gray and dark than what I want, though in this picture they don’t look that dark.

So I’m thinking of this colour for the cabinetry, which I think pretty closely matches the colour in the photo above (and I just realized it really matches the colours on my website..I guess I’m a blue girl).

Sherwin- Williams Aleutian SW-6241


AleutianSW But first things first, I have to finalize all the changes to the cabinetry, obviously before I can get them painted so I’m in full scale design planning mode now. I also have to try and source some twenty year old tile for repairs in one of the bathrooms and the sun room.  Fun, fun fun.

Fall can’t come soon enough for me. How’s your summer been? Exhausting or exhilierating?


Kitchen plans and open shelving

As our bathroom renovation at the cottage is coming to it’s much awaited conclusion, hubby asked me what I wanted to change about the kitchen.  WHAT! I was speechless for a second, but just for a second.  There is so much to do at the cottage I hadn’t even wanted to bring it up to him.  But then I spewed forth. I think he was a little surprised about all the ideas I had swimming around in my head…but then he really shouldn’t be surprised…we have been married for 28 years AND I am an interior decorator.
After being in the cottage for a year and a half and spending alot of that time in the kitchen, I know just what works and doesn’t work in there. There are some things that I won’t be able to change such as the basic layout. It just isn’t financial feasible with a log home and with having an island that is partly made out of ROCK, yes rock.  So I will do what I can to make it more user friendly and comfortable for me, within our meagre budget.
So the rest of the weekend was spent dreaming, plotting and sketching… First off, I love the idea of taking down some of the upper cabinetry to open up the kitchen and replacing it with some open rustic shelves.  Here’s some inspiration photos.
This is the style I’m thinking I’ll be going for.  Thick rustic wood shelves with simple hefty iron brackets.
I love the colour of these cabinets in this kitchen. That soft green may be just the ticket…did I mention that I will be painting out the wood cabinets. Hubby is okay with this…Woo Hoo, probably because it is a LOG cottage and there is wood everywhere so he won’t miss just a little in the kitchen and I am probably putting in wood shelves, so it’s all good.
Then there is the question of where you stop the backsplash when you are doing open shelving. This one below shows it stopping at the first shelf.
I’m really loving this style of shelving and bracket from West Elm.
This one above also stopped the backsplash at the first shelf. I was really considering doing the entire wall, but I guess that will depend on the tile that I pick and how much it is…darn budget.
More wood and iron shelving.
So reality is that if we start on the kitchen in the near future, we’d have to compromise by not doing a full gut of the master bathroom and only do the repairs that are needed.  So….what to do, what to do?  The bathroom is in okay shape except for the shower floor, that could be fixed at a minimum cost and everything else, including the mint green grout and 6×6 square white square tiles (which are everywhere, the floor, walls, tub surround and shower), would be left in place.
I may be able to swing having the cabinet fronts repainted and some new sinks and faucets as well, but that would be about it.   I love the colour green but not really as grout. I did inquire about painting the grout and have been told that it would be fine everywhere but in the shower.  Then there is the thought of scraping out all the grout and replacing it with a more neutral shade.  I may just do this…crazy talk, I know but I really think it may be worth it.
It is really just us that use the master bathroom, since guests will be using the beautiful newly renovated bathroom shortly (and yes, I will be sharing pictures of the renovated bathroom once it is all ready for it’s unveiling), I think it is better to spend our time and money on the kitchen, which is seen and used by all.

Silestone and the New Neutrals…..

Speaking of the new neutrals trends,  Silestone (Cosentino) was another sponsor of BlogtourNYC and while we were enjoying a fabulous brunch at the Poggenpohl Showroom, we also got to take a peek at their  new quartz countertops.

Silestone Transparent

White Zeus Extreme is the whitest white hue in quartz surfacing countertops, this has been accomplished through cutting edge technology and using very refined quartz.  This stark hue offers an unparalleled solid, bright, clean look with less grain than the original, White Zeus colour.  This clear bright white is keeping with the new neutrals trend in kitchens and baths.  It can easily be adapted into different styles of kitchens and baths, as white always feels new and fresh.

This clean look is ideal for any number of installations, take a look at these below.

Laguna Beach 4

Laguna Beach 6 silestone-quartz-kitchen-cocina-serie-zen-blanzo-zeus-extreme-pulido-8

I love this modern sleek all white kitchen, contrasted with the very detailed architectural walls and ceiling and it certainly makes that floor stand out.

“White Zeus Extreme is for designers, architects and consumers looking for the ultimate sleek, modern, and refined white appearance throughout the home,” said Lorenzo Marquez, VP of Marketing for Cosentino North America. “Solid white surfaces are challenging to achieve and we are especially thrilled to have pushed our innovation to a new level with White Zeus extreme. This color truly underscores our commitment to being on the cutting edge of design and innovation.”

As with all of Silestone’s natural quartz products, White Zeus Extreme is naturally non-porous and never needs to be sealed.  It is easy to clean and has resistance to scratches, staining and heat.  It offers a combination of built-in antimicrobial protection that fights the growth of odour causing bacteria, mold and mildew and has the GREENGUARD certification for clean air quality and the National Sanitation Foundation certification for safe food preparation.

It’s available in polished, leather and volcano finishes and even comes in the Integrity sink.

I also recently posted about some of the other new Silestone’s quartz countertops from the Nebula series, Lyra and Cygnus, click here to read that post and for the gray/brown of  Merope, click here.  These are all part of the new neutrals in the kitchen and bath industry. And if you are looking for more on white, read my recent post on White, white, everywhere.

Photos courtesy of Silestone