Jul 22, 2011

Kitchen Reboot - 5, Oak Counters, Farm Sink and Glass Cabinets

My posts have been scattershot lately, mixing between a birthday party recap, marathon report, cat ass cootie couch write-up and other random nonsense.  Life is not always linear, tidy and orderly.  Neither is this blog.

I scheduled this post to go live at 5:30 am Friday morning.  I'm at this moment commuting to work by river canoe.  First time attempting this, for some reason, I picture myself standing up in the boat as the person in front turns around with their paddle and inadvertently knocks me into the water.  Better go ahead and air up those water wings.  

Back to the kitchen, pow: 

One of my goals for the reboot was to have a different look than what I normally see out there.  Cliche is cashed out. 

$2,000 granite counters wilt down to $200 when the old-growth oak option is checked on the supplies list.   And I'd rather plunk granite coin into CSTR and GG stock.

Butcher block countertops are not exactly set it and forget it.  They take a bit of tender loving care to seal and shine.  Done right, they'll make standing water pool like a waxed car.  A light sanding/double oiling combo seals them for 6 months.  I'll repeat by the time the snow cools this winter.  If the wood gets damaged or stained, it only takes 10 minutes to rub her down with a fine-grit sanding sponge, slap on some oil and we're back in business.

The counters look rugged, deep-grained and warm in person.  A couple of you have stopped by recently to gawk.  Come on by, ya'll here?

The old double-tub stainless steel sink skedaddled once the Big Bertha farm sink arrived.  With the old layout, the width of the double-wide didn't leave enough room for the dishwasher to fit beside.  So it hid in a corner on the opposite side of the kitchen.  Slopping dirty dishes 8 feet from sink to dishwasher left greasy skid marks ("greasy skid marks" reminds me of a potty training story, I'll save that for another day) on the floor.

  Hid the robo' washer behind a cabinet panel with a nickel steel pull.  Stealthy...♫..oonz...♪♫:

IKEA cabinets are a great value, the pair of top cabinets are roughly $100 each.  Well built and smartly engineered, the front face literally snaps to the frame with no tools.  The hinges are adjustable, so the cabinet doors can be slightly shifted up/down, left/right while mounted for perfect alignment. Need to remove a door to spray and wipe when a glass bottle of Aunt Jemima explodes and pukes pancake syrup floor to ceiling?  Clip (door's off), spray wipe, snap (door's on again).

I opted for pullout cabinets rather than old school side hinged.  Had to get down on my knees with the old cabinets to reach stuff on the back bottom shelves.  Pullouts are at least 103% more convenient; no more rummaging around like a 'coon to find Golden Grahams and hidden pasta wheels:

The dividers inside are extruded aluminum, modular and adjustable.  Tidy and a ban on plastic:

Drawers are spring loaded and hydro-dampened.  Give 'em a nudge, auto-close the rest of the way with soft-shut the last couple inches of travel.  Lower cabinets are on legs for a freestanding look (and, I've found, a convenient place to sweep and hide spilled lentils):

Went with small 15" glass-front cabinets up top.  Only need to store plates, bowls, glasses, mugs and meth' there, so sized them the minimum width to fit my crap.  Smaller cabinets = more wall space and the appearance of a larger kitchen.  Low-voltage, high output halogen lights flank the inside and bottom of the upper cabinets.  Shelves are glass, which lets light bounce around plates and trickle through shelves like a game of Plinko on The Price is Right.

The slider below is only 12" wide, but eats a ton of junk of various sizes.  From 1" cumin containers to 12"  flasks of olive oil.  Flanks the cooktop, putting in reach everything I need to shake some Cajun heat on the fish.  Drawers are steel, rated to withstand fistfuls of kilos each:

88" tall cabinet houses the built-in micro' and oven.  Also has double bays to hangar pots and pans.  The jumbo 16" steel wok and 2 gallon jambalaya pot even fit.

Dinky kitchen that holds it all, with zero clutter.  Check √.

Let's talk appliances (snore) and table next time in part 6 of the kitchen reboot.  Final touches and before/after pics in part 7. 

Hang with me, we'll get through it.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Rachael8/09/2011

    I love your kitchen. It's sleek, it's modern, it's functional, and most of all, it's warm. You've done a fantastic job!

  2. Thanks Rachael! Only regret is I didn't rebuild the kitchen sooner. I've lived here 12 years now.

  3. Love the dividers. Where did you get them. All I see is wood or plastic, and I like the shiny look of the metal.
    Great blog, found you from YHL kitchen redo reader redesign - nice job!

    1. IKEA sells the dividers at the store, unsure if they do online.

  4. I love this! Where is the sink from?

    1. 90% of the kitchen, including the sink was sourced from IKEA. $180 for the giant sink, what a deal!

  5. Love the sink and counters and drawer choice. So smart! I enjoy your writing, too!

  6. Anonymous3/26/2012

    where did you get that sink? I love it!!

  7. Anonymous4/22/2012

    awesome, awesome kitchen re-do! So different but I love the white style cabinets! Found your blog via Young House love.

    1. Thanks! It turned out different than most kitchens I see out there, which was one of my goals.


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!