Monday, October 01, 2007

Room By Room: Kitchen

We've been in our house now for over 4 months. I love our kitchen - when I'm making the kids' school lunches or feeding them at the island or baking a pie, the kitchen works the way I had imagined, hoped and planned. It's filled with little features that work for our family.
Here's the Bake Center with a slightly lower 32" high countertop for better leverage when you're rolling dough. We also tucked the Kitty Diner underneath so the cats can eat without getting their tails stepped on.

The double ovens are directly behind the bake center. The screen door swings both ways and leads into the pink beadboard pantry.

There's also a Vac-Pan installed right below the double ovens in the toe kick space. What's a vac-pan you ask? Well, have you ever been to a barbershop or hair dresser and after you've had your locks shorn they whip out a broom and sweep all your beautiful tresses towards a noisy slot near the floor? And then all that cut hair goes whoosh and disappears into the wall. It's basically a high powered suction device. Sweep anything towards the opening and swoooop, away it goes thru a PVC duct and into a central vac cannister. Say bye bye to your dustpan! Anyways, it's one of our favorite kitchen features. It's so convenient to just sweep away crumbs, dust, dirt, etc. and not have to pull out the vacuum cleaner for those quick cleanups.

Surprisingly, the thing that gets the most comments in our kitchen is the side-by-side full size freezer and refrigerator. Everyone wants to look inside!

Here's the island with the butcher block countertop we lovingly installed (not!) where we eat most of our meals:

I love our "Command Center" where I run the household: paying bills, scheduling all the kids' activities, organizing/filing paperwork. The desktop surface is approx. 38" tall, so I can use it standing or sitting with a 24"h stool.

I purposely designed it with a slanted top to prevent "big pile" build-up!

Kitchen: Wall paint: Elephant Tusk (OC-8); Trim/Ceiling paint: Simply White (OC-117)all paints by Benjamin Moore; Wall Tile: 3x6 Rittenhouse Square, color Arctic White (0790) by Daltile; Cabinetry: custom, Niviya, San Jose, CA;  Flooring: Kahrs Houston 2-strip, engineered oak hardwood; Soapstone CountersM. Teixeira Soapstone;  Island CountertopJohn Boos;  Refrigerator: Frigidaire; Cooktop:     Bluestar; Range Hood: Kobe;  Oven: Frigidaire  Dishwasher: Maytag; Sink: Franke; Lighting Fixtures: Pottery Barn; Hardware: D. Lawless Hardware


Jenna said...

Hello, while searching for countertop pictures I came across your blog. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful!!! We are in the process of trying to choose which soapstone color to order from the same company and are having such a hard time deciding. I was wondering which one you chose because they really are perfect. So pretty in every way! Thanks for your help!

Pearl said...

Hi Jenna,
Looking at our receipt, it shows we purchased Santa Rita Primo which I believe is the same as the plain Santa Rita (not the Venata). Looking at their website, I see they have several varieties that weren't available when we were buying. If it's any consolation, I agonized back and forth over a couple of different soapstones and in the end based my choice largely on what was available at the time (they didn't have Cobra and I needed some larger slabs). Some thoughts about soapstone:
It is definitely softer than granite and marble, so you do get some "patina" marks. I originally wanted a completely black soapstone w/o veining, but am now glad to have some veining because they make the "patina" blend in.
Have fun with your project!

Nic said...

Beautiful kitchen!

I also came across your blog searching for countertop options. Based on what I see, I'll be taking a hard look at soapstone!

I'm also in the Bay Area (Mt View) so will try to head to M Teixeira this weekend.

Any tips? And after a few years, how are the countertops holding up?

Thanks for any thoughts, and thanks for the blogging efforts!

Pearl said...

Hi Nic,
Hope you had a chance to see some soapstone!
We've had our soapstone for 4 yrs now. It definitely has some "patina" marks. Example, ring marks from the bottom of a jar (pressed down too hard on the jar). Easy solution, put a towel underneath. Another example though, dropped a hvy glass on the countertop. Not so easy to prevent plain clumsiness. The glass didn't break, but it did leave a small divot in the countertop.
I think you have to have a bit of "C'est la vie" attitude with soapstone.
Now having said that, we cook a LOT, so the countertop gets heavy usage. If we had friends over, none of the marks would be jumping out at them. They'd really have to be specifically looking for them to notice them.
In the end, I chose the soapstone because I felt it was the perfect look for a farmhouse-style kitchen. But I also love it because it doesn't require sealing or special cleaners. I don't have to worry about food/oil/acid spills staining or etching the surface. I can put hot pans, cookie sheets, directly on the surface. It's surprisingly low maintenance.
Hope this helps a bit with your decision making and best of luck with your project!

we3ernes said...

I love your command center! Came over to your blog after searching through Houzz and the advice threads. I wanted to ask what width is the desk and knee hole? I'm guessing either 48" and 18" or 72" and 24". I have 48" for my desk and I'd like to have cabinets on both sides of the knee hole, but I'm thinking that 18" would be too narrow for sitting but 12" would be too narrow for cabinets.... thanks for sharing your kitchen!

Pearl Chow said...

Hi we3ernes,

So sorry, I didn't get around to answering this sooner. Here's the info you requested just in case it could still be of some use.

Desk width: 60"
Knee Hole width: 24"

Have fun with your project!

we3ernes said...

Thank you so much, this helps immensely!

Pearl Chow said...

Hi we3ernes,
Wonderful! So glad to hear!