Completed Backsplash Tile, Utility Sink Relocation, & Kids' Bath Accessories

The backsplash tile was grouted and completed this week.  Because of the beveled edges on our field tile, the installer had to go back and wipe out the excess grout between each tile.
...and this is what the finished backsplash looks like.  Bernie installed the Brizo pot filler that coordinates with the Treso kitchen faucet.  The new range hood delivery was delayed by winter storms, so that won't be here until next week.  However, the under cabinet lights showed up on my doorstep today, so Bernie will be installing those over the weekend.

However, I have to say, THIS is one of my favorite parts of this whole project.  The ugly plastic utility sink with cheapo faucet and a heavy "patina" of staining and splattering with paint, stain, spackle, etc., has now been reinstalled in the garage, where it should have been in the first place!  No longer does this sink besmirch my laundry room! 

I've been waiting to show you the final touches on the boys' bathrooms until after their rooms were picked up:

This is the view from Lars's bedroom through his vanity area into the shared bath.  I found those adorable Alex Moody Monster Feet bath mats from Target, of all places, as well as the poison dart frog shower curtain and the orange striped bath mat in the shared bath.  I ordered each boy a few sets of monogrammed towels from Company Kids, dark blue with orange lettering for Lars, and bright green with navy blue lettering for Anders.  (No, I didn't monogram them myself -- I just don't have time right now to monogram 8 sets of towels!)  Now the inner bath transitions nicely into both open vanities and bedrooms, and it really feels "shared" since the walls are Lars's favorite color, Hyper Bright Home Depot Orange (?!), and the shower curtain is decorated with Anders' kindred animal spirit, the frog.
Here you can see how the Monster Feet rugs bring some of the colors of Anders' vanity wallpaper through into Lars's room, and how the blue in Anders' wallpaper ties in with Lars's wall color.

...And here's the view from Anders' bedroom into his vanity area.  He has the same Monster Feet bath rugs as Lars.  Aren't they adorable?  I don't shop at Target often, but I was searching online for frog shower curtains and I just stumbled onto these things that suited my needs perfectly.

In the immortal words of Porky Pig, "Badeep-badeep-buh-That's All, Folks!"

Kitchen Tilework Commences, and Bernie Gives the Kitchen a Test Drive

Okay, so in this picture of the molding tile, you can see how nicely the polished marble backsplash tile complements the lighter areas of the CD Volcano granite countertop in the background.  All of the marble backsplash tile is this creamy off-white color.  The field tile is just a polished marble brick with slightly beveled edges, to be laid in a brick pattern except for the focal rectangle over the stove, where it will be a herringbone pattern framed by this crown molding type tile.  The herringbone pattern, as well as the beveled edges on the field tile that are apparently not fun to grout, are the reasons why the tile guy from Tile Collection is installing this backsplash tile instead of Bernie.  Also, I want this backsplash installation to be absolutely flawless or it will drive me crazy as long as we live in this house, and I also enjoy being happily married to a man who is still speaking to me.  So, Tile Collection installs the tile this time. 
The beveled bricks are cut to fit and laid out flat on the countertop in the herringbone pattern ahead of installation.  Our tile guy cuts each tile individually to size.

...and now the tile goes up on the wall.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with tile installation, those little plastic tab things are temporary spacers to maintain 1/8" distance between tiles while the thinset (goopy glue stuff) dries.  Without the spacers, the weight of the tiles would cause them to slide down the wall. 

Ta-da!  Done for today.  The thinset adhering the tiles to the wall will dry overnight, and the tile guy will come back tomorrow morning to fill those 1/8" gaps with grout.  My grout color is nearly identical to the marble tile, which will minimize the business of the backsplash tile so that it will no longer "fight" the pattern of the granite the way it does right now.  Also, something weird with my camera and the flash are making the countertop look yellowish and the backsplash light look white.  In real life, the marble echoes the creamy ivory color found throughout all of the granite slabs.

Here is my cutie, test-driving the "new" kitchen.  Bernie made cioppino for dinner and spread out across the entire island countertop.  He is really enjoying having a kitchen again instead of feeling like he's trying to cook dinner behind the counter at a Starbucks.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow after the tile has been grouted.  Hopefully I'll figure out how to adjust the settings on my camera to fix the color distortion so you can see what everything really looks like, but don't hold your breath -- I have a lot of work piled up on my desk and the last thing I need to be doing is reading the instruction manual for my camera.  Or, um, blogging about my tile...

CD Volcano Kitchen Granite Installation: A Photo Essay

At 8:30 this morning, three trucks from Tile Collection pulled into my cul-de-sac laden with precious cargo...

Bye Bye, Baltic Barf!  Good riddance...

The first pieces that went in were the countertops on either side of my stove.  These pieces were cut immediately adjacent to one another on the slab so that the same swirling colors flow from one side to the other.

Next they installed this piece to the left of the wall ovens.  I love all these colors -- red, green, gold, orange, all streaked through with black and brown and smatterings of silver mica everywhere!  It reminds me of an amazing ice cream sundae melting in the bowl while you're eating it.

There was only one little annoying surprise today.  Look at all that wasted space between these two cabinets!  I'm always strapped for storage space.  If I had realized this was there early enough in this remodel, I could have had Bernie rebuild these cabinet boxes with angled side walls to utilize all that wasted space.  Naturally, Bernie is glad that I did not find out about this opportunity in time to add it to his Honey-Do list!

Here's an aerial shot from the second floor once the stoveside granite had been installed.  The reason Bernie looks so happy is that today, other people were doing the heavy labor and he was merely an observer.  You can also see my funky new Kohler Undertone Large/Medium sink in place on the island.

Here's that same shot a few hours later, with the island granite in place.  I love how the curves we added to the raised island bar soften the hockey stick look, and Tile Collection did a great job of cutting the island countertop and island bar from separate bookmarked slabs so that the movement in the granite seems to flow from one surface to the next.

By the time Anders got home from school, he was able to sit at the new island bar to do his homework.  Bernie is reconnecting the plumbing to the new Brizo Tresa single handle faucet.  This faucet is from the same collection as the bridge faucets I used in my master bathroom.  I was a little nervous about the sink choice, whether it might be too contemporary for my kitchen, but I looked at hundreds of sinks and kept coming back to this one.  The main basin is huge, deep enough for my biggest pots and pans, and I think the curved lines of the sink complement the flowing lines of the granite much better than a hard rectangular sink would have.  It was a tight fit, however, and the faucet, sprayer and soap dispenser are in the only possible positions where they would fit between the sink and the sink supports. 
Last but not least, here's what my butler's pantry looks like at the end of the day.  The wine fridge is humming away, the granite and Belle Forêt hammered copper prep sink are installed, and the smaller bar/prep version of the Brizo Tresa faucet has been installed.  I chose a full granite backsplash for this area to dress it up a little bit more, since it's in full view from the front door and formal dining room.  The backsplashes in the main kitchen are getting tiled in beveled marble bricks starting tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, today we placed the orders for the cabinet doors and drawer front required by this new cabinet, since the ones we removed were too small to reuse.  Fortunately, I was able to research the original builder's supplier for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts last summer when we were working on our master bath, so I know the new ones will be exactly like those in the main kitchen.

We also reached a truce on the under cabinet lighting battle we'd been waging for the last few weeks.  Bernie ran wiring to all the cabinets and wanted line voltage xenon light bars.  I preferred the customized low-voltage strings of xenon festoon lamps that could be sized to fit each cabinet precisely, with bulbs spaced every 4-6", but this would require transformers and more hassles than Bernie wanted to deal with.

*LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT REBECCA GAVE IN AND ORDERED THE LIGHTS THAT BERNIE WANTED!  I DO NOT ALWAYS INSIST ON GETTING MY OWN WAY!*

Tomorrow, Bernie will be able to finish the plumbing connections so we can regain the use of the kitchen sink.  The backsplash tile will go up tomorrow and the next day, and hopefully within the next few days the new range hood will be delivered so that can be installed, too.  The under cabinet lights were in stock so we should have them here to install by early next week, too -- and somewhere in the middle of all this the new carpentry and trim will need to get glazed and top-coated.  But the end is in sight!


Woo Hoo -- Kitchen Granite Installs Tomorrow!

Look how busy my sweetie has been!  The new sheet rock is up and ready for the backsplash tile, light rail molding has been installed on the bottoms of the existing cabinetry, and the back of the kitchen island has a coat of the elusive Burnt Umber stain that the builder used on the original cabinetry.  It still needs brown glaze and a satin finish oil-based varnish or polyurethane, but I'm very pleased with how well the new carpentry blends in with the old.  As much as this remodeling project has spiraled out of control, at least we were able to keep the existing cabinetry!  Well, mostly we kept the existing cabinetry...
After ordering the new wine fridge (and 50+ bottles of wine to fill it up with), we discovered that the base cabinetry in the butler's pantry was only 20" deep rather than the standard 24" depth that our wine fridge was designed for.  So Bernie spent the better part of a day ripping out the old cabinet, removing the door casing, and building this new 24" deep cabinet that will accommodate the wine fridge on the left, and the copper bar sink on the right.  I need to order a new drawer front and pair of cabinet doors in the same profile as the existing cabinetry, but we don't need to have those before the granite can install.  Tile Collection graciously sent a guy back out to redo the template for this area.  I'm lucky they hadn't cut the stone yet!  Bernie and I were both saying we should have known better.  I think our subconscious wino selves knew the cabinet wasn't deep enough, but suppressed that knowledge in order to get the wine fridge anyway.  I know all about that psychology stuff because I used to watch Frasier before it was cancelled. 

There it is, all stained up with the wine fridge installed.  Bernie had to run water over to this area for the sink as well as for my plumbed espresso machine (the filter is for my espresso machine, too), and I finally convinced him to move an outlet and a light switch so I wouldn't have to reach behind the coffee machines to turn on the undercabinet lighting, and so the machine cords will be as inconspicuous as possible, plugging in directly behind where the machines will sit.  So this "how about we put the coffee machines in the butler's pantry" idea ended up being pretty involved.
Oh, and one more thing: Up until a few days ago, this ugly plastic utility sink lived in my laundry room.  My husband liked to use it for cleaning paint brushes, muddy boots, watering cans, etc.  I never knew what might be splattered in this sink, so I never dared to use it for soaking stains out of the laundry -- this sink probably would have done more harm than good because it was always dirtier than the laundry I wanted to soak in it.  Bernie should really have a work sink out in his garage, and I should have a clean, attractive sink in the laundry room that can safely be used for laundry.  This laundry room is off the kitchen and the door is usually opened, and it has wall cabinets above the machines that match the kitchen cabinetry.  There's no reason the laundry room can't be an attractive extension of the kitchen, especially since there's enough leftover CD Volcano granite from our slabs to do this little countertop in the laundry room, and the not-so-old existing Venetian Bronze kitchen faucet can be reinstalled for the new laundry sink, too.  We're even going to be able to reuse one of the drawer fronts and cabinet doors that came off the dismantled former butler's pantry cabinet.  The only thing I needed to buy was a sink...

Didn't Bernie build me a beautiful laundry cabinet?  Now they can template for the counter top, but the new sink probably won't be here for several weeks because I had to custom order a RED ONE!  :-)

The granite installers are supposed to be here first thing in the morning, and we're finally ready for them!  By this time tomorrow, all of the Baltic Barf countertops will be gone and the CD Volcano will be in its place, hopefully looking as amazing as I have envisioned.  I can't wait!

Ride a Yellow School Bus to the Art Museum!

One of the chief attractions of being my own boss is setting my own schedule.  The downside of that is more late night and/or weekend work sessions, but it also means I don't need anyone's permission to take the afternoon off so I can chaperone a second-grade field trip to the art museum like I did yesterday.

Anders' class was one of the first student groups to tour the Mint Museum Uptown, which just opened in Charlotte, North Carolina in October of 2010.  We were confined to the fourth floor on our hour-long tour but we still felt rushed.  The students and adults alike could have spent a whole day at the museum without running out of things to see.

One of my favorite exhibits was this early 20th century wool bathing costume, complete with suede-bottomed, cotton sateen bathing shoes.  The Mint Museum displays this getup adjacent to an Impressionist beach painting from the same era depicting people wearing bathing suits very similar to this one. 

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE this bathing suit?!  Maybe not in wool, but the black is very slimming, and no more bikini waxing and no more situps necessary for a beach-ready body.  This suit was considered very daring at the time due to the low neckline and bare arms.  Oh, how times have changed...


Philip the Fair by Kehinde Wiley, 2006, Oil & Enamel on Canvas
 This painting was another of my favorites.  It's on loan from a private collection and it had a sign that read, "No Photography Except for Rebecca" (I swear!).  The artist is Kehinde Wiley and although I'd never heard of him before yesterday, I looked him up online and I really love his work.  He uses the technique, scale, and composition of traditional Western European portaiture, but instead of powerful white men in powdered wigs, his subjects are minority men in everyday urban street garb.  These portraits are intended to invite discussions about power and powerlessness, race, and cultural inheritances, but they are also just plain fun.  I love how the man in Philip the Fair seems to be coming out of the floral wallpaper, plucking a dainty little flower.

I'm about as far from an urban minority man as you can get, but I'd love it if someday Wiley could paint my portrait.  I'd like it to be a spoof of Jacques-Louis David's portrait of Madame Récamier, except that I'd be wearing my husband's sweatpants and thermal T-shirt, I'd have a messy ponytail instead of an elegant hairdo, and I'd be holding a big Starbucks coffee cup. 
Madame Récamier by Jacques-Louis David, 1800
I took the picture of that David painting when I was at the Louvre in Paris last year -- Now, back to the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Einstein, 1988, by Judy Fox, Terra Cotta & Casein Paint
 This sculpture was Anders' favorite exhibit.  The artist is Judy Fox, who creates life-size ceramic portraits of historically significant people, but depicts them as small children.  According to the wall plaque, this baby Einstein sculpture is meant to convey the childlike "innocence and fearless curiosity" of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein.  

Still, it's more than a little alarming to come around the corner in the museum and see a life-size, very realistic looking naked baby apparently sailing through the air!

Another exhibit that the students particularly enjoyed was this huge sculpture by Danny Lane incorporating different types of glass, steel, mirror, poplar burl wood, and LED lights. 


Threshold, 2010, by Danny Lane

Side View of Threshold

Anders checks out Pacific Rose 1997, an included glass sculpture by John Kuhn

Realm of Dream 2007, by Binh Pho, Turned & Carved Box Elder, Paint, Gold Leaf & Dye
 The peacock feather motifs on this vase by
Binh Pho reminded me of my friend, interior designer, author, & fabric designer Jackie Von Tobel. 

If you live in the Charlotte area, I strongly recommend you check out the Mint Museum Uptown.  If not, go explore the museums in your neck of the woods.  I wasn't expecting much from our art museum since Charlotte is such a small city, but I was pleasantly surprised.  And if you live in a big city like New York or Chicago and you have never visited your art museum, shame on you! 

The Slippery, Sliding, Treacherous Slope of a Mini Kitchen Remodel

Can you believe this was an IMPULSE project?  It started with the innocent selection of wallpaper for the boys' bathrooms, then the realization that it was now-or-never if I wanted to change out their cultured marble vanities for scrap granite pieces...  Then I had to go to the granite fabrication facility to select my scraps, where my single-minded focus crumbled in the face of slab after slab of seductive stone, each one more beautiful than the next, and ALL of them more attractive than the Baltic Barf that is splattered throughout my own kitchen.  I got a quote on upgrading my kitchen countertops to a mid-range granite and decided it was worthwhile, but then when I went to the granite importer's warehouse to select my stone, I wandered in circles for hours and kept coming back to the same ultra rare, dramatic and risqué CD Volcano granite.  I know this stone is outrageous.  I know it has no place in my neighborhood, and that I'll never get the money back when I sell my home.  Blah, blah, blah!  It's unique, it's exquisite, I've never seen anything like it anywhere else, and my whole family is as excited about it as I am.


So, at that point, we were going to change out the countertops and backsplash tile, and that's it.  Ha ha ha ha ha (that's my Maniacal Laughter, by the way).


That's what the back of my boomerang-shaped kitchen island looked like up until New Year's Day.  It's just sheetrocked with a frame of white-painted 2x4 lumber holding up the Baltic Barf countertop.  That raised bar is only 12" deep, by the way, instead of the standard 18" depth, so it's not really enough space to actually sit and eat there.  I don't remember why there is a patched hole there, either -- it's one of those things that was all fixed except for painting it, but my darling husband forgot about the paint before he got around to doing it.  We won't be too hard on him, though, because he has been very busy over the past couple of weeks...


Bernie pried the first piece of Baltic Barf off and carried it out of the house on New Year's Day.  Normally, the granite company handles demolition of the old countertop and backsplash, but Bernie is going to be trimming out the back of the island in hardwood paneling with decorative corbels and staining it to match the rest of the cabinetry, so he took off that part of the countertop himself.  He's also going to remove all of the backsplash tile and replace the sheetrock himself, since I want undercabinet lighting and a pot filler installed and those will be easier to do with the sheetrock off, anyway.  I told you it's a slippery slope.


Ta da!  The ledge and the funky framework supporting it are gone by the end of the day.


So far, we have ordered new granite countertops and beveled marble brick backsplash tile, a pot filler, a new sink and a new faucet (because who wants to install the scratched up old sink and old faucet into a lovely new countertop?), as well as a new disposal unit that is supposed to be quieter than the one we have now.  And we're done, right?  Wrong!
On January second, Bernie moved my car out to the driveway and transformed the garage into a woodworking palace.  See how happy he is to see the table saw again?  After lamenting the absence of even MORE large tools that are still in his parents' garage in New Jersey, and improbably claiming that if only those tools were here, he could complete the entire project in ten minutes without spending any money, Bernie rolled up his sleeves and went into carpenter mode.


This is what the back of that same island looked like by the end of the day on January 4th.  Quite a difference, don't you think?  In designing the back of the island, I wanted to kick things up a bit, but I was careful not to go overboard so that when all this is finished, hopefully all of the trimwork in the kitchen will make sense together and look like it was all done at the same time.  I could have just ordered more raised panels like the cabinet doors, but I wanted to be a little bit more custom, so we did flat panels with quarter-round maple rope molding along the inside edge instead. 
Bernie told me what the tape was for, but I've forgotten.  It was temporary.  Maybe it had something to do with wood glue drying or something.  The acanthus leaf corbels are bringing in a new decorative motif to the existing trimwork, but the acanthus leaf is repeated on the light fixtures so it's not totally out of left field.  Also, smaller versions of these corbels will be incorporated into the design of the new fireplace mantel in the keeping room just off the kitchen.  Shh; don't tell my husband!  He hates it when he's in the middle of one project and I start hatching additional grand schemes that involve his labor and ingenuity.
On January 7th we went to the Tile Collection's fabrication facility and spent FOUR hours moving templates around on my three granite slabs until I got the layout the way I wanted it.  The template you see above is for the raised island bar.  I've added some curves to the outer edge that are not reflected on the template.  See how I got a balance of light and dark areas, and incorporated as much of the cool multicolored swirls as I could without necessitating a seam?  When I got there, they had this template taped on upside down so that most of my countertop was going to be black and white and neutral and tame, and most of the cool stuff would have ended up as someone else's scrap treasure.  That's why it's so important to be involved in the layout process when your stone has this much variation.  The little square you see below is for a tiny cubby where my purse lives near the door to the garage.


This piece is for the lower portion of the island countertop.  It's getting cut from a separate slab that is bookmarked (mirror image of the first slab) so that the movement of the granite will be somewhat continuous from the countertop, up the backsplash, and across the raised bar.  The section with a notch at the top is where my sink will get cut out.  Isn't it a sin? Again, my objective was to have as much of the complex, multicolored portions of the stone as possible, yet retain enough of the lighter areas to have the contrast and dramatic impact that I loved so much in the larger slabs.  Also, with a stone like this, if you're not careful you could end up with some countertop pieces looking mostly gold/green/black, and others looking mostly black/white -- there is so much variation in the stone that it might look like you used completely different granite from one countertop to the next.  So I tried to keep things as balanced as possible.  There's a long stretch of countertop to the left of my wall ovens, adjacent to the island, that will be cut from the area beneath the template in the photo above.


There goes my granite, getting put away until it's time for cutting!  Granite installation is scheduled for January 24th, provided we (I use that "we" very loosely) get everything else done in the kitchen by then and we're ready for the countertops to go in.


Now, as much as I hated the Baltic Brown granite in my kitchen, I really thought it would look good in the little en suite bath off of Bernie's home office.  All the black in that stone gives off kind of a masculine vibe, the busy blotchy pattern would not be so overwhelming on a small vanity, and the brown and pinkish-brown tones complement the horrendous builder tile in the office bath shower that I have no intention of ever replacing (that shower is only used once a year).  I had originally arranged with the Tile Collection to recut one of my old countertops for this bathroom for $150 labor.  Maybe if I hadn't been calling it Baltic Barf for the past three years Bernie would have felt good about this plan, but alas...  He has been working so hard on the kitchen, and he looked so forlorn at the granite shop, looking at all of the other stone, so we selected this Madique granite remnant for his office bath instead:


Slip, sliding away... 


Lars's laser tag birthday party with his school friends was on Saturday the 8th, but we had snow days in Charlotte yesterday, today, and again tomorrow due to ice on the roads.  Bernie had to cancel a scheduled business trip, which was good news for the kitchen project!
Goodbye to the hated backsplash tile, once and for all!  Don't you love that hole in the wall behind the stove?  This part reminds me of the scene in The Money Pit when Tom Hanks comes home at the end of the day and says to his contractor, "They destroyed my house!" and the contractor smiles and says, "They sure did, didn't they?  I tell you, they're work ANIMALS!!"  We love that movie.
This is a very misleading picture that makes it seem as though I was actually helping with all of this.  Bernie left the last two tiles behind the range hood for me to remove, stuck his night time Harley Davidson glasses on me in case I sent shards of tile into my eyeball, and sent me up the step stool so I could feel involved.  Thanks, Lover!
Here we are at the end of today, with all of the tile and sheetrock removed and the range hood gone.  Apparently the range hood was installed by Dingaling the Previous Homeowner rather than by the builder, because he used the wrong screws and the hood that should have popped off fairly easily instead had to be wrestled with for quite some time.  We also found dangling live wires behind the range hood once the sheetrock was down.  Lovely!  We had originally planned to reinstall the same GE Monogram range hood we had before, but we ended up ordering a new one for several reasons.  First and foremost, Dingaling scratched the front of the range hood, either when he installed it or by cleaning it against the grain with something abrasive.  The scratch on the front of the hood has always bugged me.  Second, the thing was filthy through and through, and not just the parts that come out and that are easy to clean in the dishwasher.  But the main reason we ordered a new range hood is that the one we had before was so loud that even on the Low setting, you can't have a conversation with anyone in the kitchen when the fan is running.  The new fan is going to have in-line ventilation, which means the noisy fan part will be down in the crawlspace under my house where I don't have to listen to it.  Slippidy-doo-dah, slippidy-ay!


We also found some dangling live wires behind this wall, apparently for undercabinet lighting that never got installed.  This is so unbelievably dangerous!  Pardon what appears to be snow; I got sheetrock dust on my camera lens.


Also, yesterday Bernie was complaining that my commercial espresso machine and burr grinder duo are taking up too much of what little precious countertop workspace we have in the kitchen, and we had an epiphany.  We decided to move my in-house coffee bar to the butler's pantry area between the kitchen and dining room.  I am okay with this because right now we get in each other's way when he's trying to cook breakfast and I'm trying to make myself a latte.  Creating a separate beverage center outside of the main kitchen, yet adjacent to the fridge, is a perfect solution as long as we can make it look more elegant than utilitarian.  After all, you can see this butler's pantry through the dining room as soon as you walk in my front door.

This new twist to our plans requires running plumbing to the butler's pantry for the espresso machine, moving an outlet and a light switch, and adding a hammered copper bar sink and faucet.  Oh, and a refrigerated undercounter wine cellar, because I miss the one we put in our last house before we moved, and I won't be able to store my wine in racks on this countertop anymore now that the coffee machines and a sink are going in...

Here we have more sloppy electrical work.  A random hole and a bundle of exposed wires that we discovered at the back of the butler's pantry cabinet.  You have to get down on the floor to see it, and neither of us had any idea it was there as we're shoving metal cooling racks and baking pans into the cupboard.  It really makes me wonder what else is wrong with my house that I can't see!

What's next for this project?  Well, Bernie's still got to finish up with the plumbing and electrical, and then he'll put new sheetrock up in the backsplash areas.  The base cabinetry in the butler's pantry is going to have to be rebuilt to accommodate my 24" wine unit, and Bernie was able to find out exactly what brand and color of stain was used on our existing cabinetry so we're waiting on the stain to come in as well as the new bar sink and faucet, wine fridge, and range hood.  Oh, and did I mention that the in-line ventilation requires a 10" diameter duct, and what we have now is only 7"?  Yeah, the ductwork has got to be replaced now, too. 

I swear I'm not ordering anything else for this kitchen!!
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