Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Photo Tour

It's finally done--here's a long post about our finished kitchen and powder room remodel! If you haven't been following along, I posted previously about designing, deconstruction (during and after), drywalling, cabinets and trim, painting, and counters. The original timeline for the remodel was 10 weeks, and the remodel ended up taking 11 weeks (from deconstruction to moving back into the kitchen). There were a couple additional weeks after that spent ordering and installing the panel for the dishwasher, but that wasn't a big deal, since the kitchen was totally usable at that point.

Spending the summer kitchenless with two small children in the house was stressful, but the pain of remodeling has dulled now that it's behind us (kind of like childbirth). I'm just so excited about our new kitchen!

P.S. At the end of this post, you can find an overview of the remodeling costs, a list of people who worked on the project, and a list of sources. Hopefully this will be helpful to people planning kitchen remodels in the future; I spent lots of time online when I was planning our remodel!

Photo Tour

When making decisions about our kitchen, my two keywords were "patina" and "simplicity" (I don't know why Indiana Jones scenes play in my head so much, but this is the scene that kept running through my head when making kitchen decisions--"That's the cup of a carpenter"). The goal was to help our nice new kitchen look more at home in our 108-year-old Craftsman bungalow. The two big "patina" items in the kitchen are the unlacquered brass hardware and the soapstone counters (there's more information on my experience so far with soapstone down in the Sources section of this post--the short version: I like it!). Of course, after spending so much time on Pinterest, I couldn't resist including a few current trends, like open shelving and a little dark gray-blue cabinetry.

We'll start at the east wall, where there's a new back door and a little hallway (also the entrance to the bathroom, which I'll show later in the post). This is also the wall where our stove is located, now with a hood (with reclaimed wood surround)!

Kitchen, East Wall
Kitchen Details

Here's the same area, more or less, before remodeling (this picture is from the listing for our house before we bought it, but you get the idea):


Here's the southeast corner of the kitchen, now and before. We now have a corner cabinet for our pots and pans (I opted for no lazy Susan, to maximize space).

Kitchen, Southeast corner
Before: Kitchen, Southeast Corner
Kitchen Details

Here's the south wall, now and before. I know the light isn't great in this picture, but look at that huge expanse of counter space. So good!

Kitchen, South Wall
Before: Kitchen, South Wall

The area where our side door used to be has been replaced by a new window, under which our sink is now located (and there's a heater vent under the sink, which is the best!). We now have a dishwasher, to the right of the sink, and next to that is a pullout for our trash and recycling--fancy! The supports on the little mug storage cabinet above the counter were based on our old cabinets.

Kitchen Details

Here's the southwest corner, now and before. There are appliance pull-outs hidden in the corner, for infrequently used items like waffle makers and crockpots.

Kitchen, Southwest Corner
Before: Kitchen, Southwest Corner
Kitchen Details

Here's the west wall. One of the things we wanted to add with this remodel was some seating space for kids and visitors. Our designer, Kevin, ended up tucking a little seating area along this wall, with open reclaimed wood shelves above (I spent a lot of time arranging and rearranging the things on these shelves, trying to channel Schoolhouse Electric).

Kitchen, West Wall
Before: Kitchen, West Wall

Northwest corner, now and before. We specifically asked Bruce, the painter, to mask off the kid height markings on the door frame, so they wouldn't get painted over. He complied happily.

Kitchen, Northwest Corner
Before: Kitchen, Northwest Corner
Kitchen Details

Here's the built-in hutch on the north wall, with a close-up of the porcelain knobs used throughout the kitchen. The microwave and toaster oven make it look a little less picturesque, but they're some of our most-used appliances, so we've got to have them out in the open. It's fun to have space in the kitchen for my cookbooks; previously they lived on our dining room bookshelves.

Kitchen, North Wall, Built-In Hutch
Kitchen Details

Continuing along the north wall, the fridge has remained in about the same spot, but now we have a pull-out pantry to the left of it and additional storage up top. The only downside is that when magnets go under the fridge, they're a lot harder to retrieve. Our pull-out pantry is working well so far, though it does take some effort to open, since we have it loaded up. On the plus side, it means small children can't pull it open and get into everything.

Kitchen, North Wall
Before: Kitchen, North Wall

To the right of the fridge, there's an in-wall spice cabinet, inspired by an old ironing-board spice cabinet that we had in our Menlo Park apartment. We reused the chase door and hardware (with paint stripped) from our old kitchen for the spice cabinet door.

In-Wall Spice Cabinet

And that brings us back to our new back door and bathroom entrance:

Porch Door/Bathroom Entrance

I love our new back door--it lets in so much light in the mornings! And the boys love it because it gives them a better view of the garbage trucks on Monday mornings (you can tell they like it, because the lower panes are covered in fingerprints). I'm a little concerned about privacy and security with this type of door, but I'm trying not to worry about it.

Here's the view of the bathroom from the entrance, now and before. Big change! I love the dark walls--they were inspired by Daniel's almost-black bathroom. The bathroom wasn't totally gutted, but it did end up having a lot of work done--the plumbing for the sink was moved, the old leaky window was replaced, a fan was added, the plaster walls were skim-coated to match the look of the drywall patches, and some of the woodwork was temporarily removed because of the plumbing work.

Before: Powder Room South End

We had hoped to reuse the bathroom door and sink, but because of code requirements regarding the distance between the toilet and the sink, we didn't have enough space--we had to get a narrower door and a smaller sink to make everything fit. There were a few weeks of uncertainty about whether the new door would be able to clear the new sink, but it all worked out, with less than an inch to spare. I'm glad this sink fit, because all of the other small sinks we found looked too modern for our house, in my opinion.

Bathroom Sink
Bathroom Mirror

Here's the north end of the bathroom, now and before remodeling. My original plan for the transom above the door was to find a vintage stained glass window, but after much searching, I gave up on finding the a pretty window in good condition with the appropriate dimensions. Instead, I commissioned a new leaded glass window from David Schlicker, a local stained glass artist. I was tempted to have him put something awesome on our window (a Mackintosh rose, a sun, or maybe something really out there, like a jaunty sailing ship!), but I stuck with a simple design, per Indiana Jones.

Bathroom Door and Leaded Glass Transom
Before: Powder Room North End

And to conclude the tour, here's our new back porch (plus a shot of what the yard looked like previously). We'd originally planned to reuse the materials from our previous side porch, but it turned out that many of them were unusable, because the old porch wasn't built with pressure-treated columns and its roof was not square. Bummer--that porch was only a couple years old. But thanks to a little deconstruction work by Patrick, Steve was able to reuse the wood for the porch ceiling, and the remaining materials either went to the Rebuilding Center or are living in our garage for future projects.

New Back Porch
Before: East Exterior from Yard

I put down some mulch and planted a few winter vegetables so our yard wouldn't look like a total mess over the winter, but there will be more changes in store for the backyard over the next six months. We don't have it all planned out just yet, but sometime this winter, we're planning on relocating the remaining raised bed and our two sour cherry trees, since they now block the path from the porch to the grilling area (you can see them in this picture, at the end of the raised beds; the grilling area is to the right, behind the garage). Patrick, being a Friends of Trees crew leader, seems confident that we can move them. I'm glad to have an expert on my team!


I feel a little weird talking about money, but I know I was curious about cost when I started thinking about remodeling, so here's some information for those who want to know. The entire kitchen and powder room remodel cost a little over $62,500, which includes the following:

  • Appliances ($810): We kept our existing fridge and stove (both purchased new in the past few years), so all we had to buy was the dishwasher.
  • Countertops ($4860): The soapstone countertops were our big splurge, coming in at 8% of the total remodel cost. This price is for a 73x117" slab of soapstone plus installation. This slab gave enough soapstone to cover our 36 square feet of counter, plus 3-inch backsplash. I kind of wanted to ask to have any extra pieces of the slab, since we had to pay for the whole thing, but the soapstone guys were in and out quickly and didn't talk to me at all, so that was kind of a missed opportunity. I don't know what I would have done with it anyway.
  • Decoration ($740): This includes the German shepherd painting, kitchen rug, utensil crock, utility stools, powder coating for the stools and bathroom doorknob, and bathroom window film.
  • Design ($3100): Kevin and Charlotte are available to provide assistance throughout a remodel (it sounds like this is what they usually do when they work with Hammer and Hand), but we ended up only needing them to draw up the kitchen plans and provide initial input on material choices, so we were able to save a little money here.
  • Flooring ($1020): This was the cost of refinishing our existing hardwood floors in the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway.
  • Hardware ($310): This includes the knobs, drawer pulls, and shelf brackets in the kitchen. I also purchased a couple hooks that I'd like to hang in the new back hallway, but we haven't done that yet.
  • Labor/materials ($47,310): This covers all of the carpentry labor and materials for the kitchen and powder room. It's a big number, but it's actually a smaller amount than we were quoted by other companies.
  • Lighting ($890): This includes the new light fixtures and shades in the kitchen and bathroom (we reused the two green-striped overhead lights), a vintage porch light, and the under cabinet lights.
  • Other owner-provided materials ($740): This includes the reclaimed wood used for the open shelves and hood surround ($25), paint samples ($40), madrone butcher block countertops in the hutch area ($300 for a 4' long piece; Patrick is turning the leftovers into cutting boards), and the stained glass transom window ($295 for the actual window and frame, plus $90 shipping and return for a vintage window that I bought on eBay and ended up not liking--ouch).
  • Plumbing fixtures ($1110): We reused our existing toilet and faucets, so the only fixtures we bought were the kitchen sink and garbage disposal ($880) and bathroom sink ($230).
  • Porch ($1740):: This includes labor and materials for our new back porch. Patrick stained and painted it himself, so that saved us a little money.

We spent an additional $1200 on the construction of a new upstairs linen closet (where the chimney used to be), but we haven't gotten around to painting the new drywall upstairs, so no pictures of that just yet.


Here's a list of all of the people who worked on our remodel (we hired the designers and general contractor; Steve was in charge of choosing everybody else on the list). Thanks, everybody!

  • Architect/designer: Kevin and Charlotte of Alice Design/Domestic Arts - These guys are super fun, and they did a great job. You can see Kevin's drawings in this post.
  • General contractor and carpentry: Steve Brown of Remodeling Northwest. The majority of the cabinet and trim work was done by Carpenter Mike (I never caught his last name), and then Steve did the remaining carpentry. As I've said in earlier posts, I'm really happy with the work Steve and Mike did for us. Mike had to work on some really hot, miserable days, but somehow he was still in a good mood at the end of the day. Steve and Mike were experienced with making new construction look at home in our old house, they were nice to our boys, and they were fun to have around. Plus they finished the job on budget and on time.
  • Demolition: Lovett Deconstruction. Chris and his team were great--they worked super hard, cleaned up thoroughly, were nice to the boys, and they saved fun little bits that they came across as they were taking apart the kitchen. They put in the extra effort to salvage as many materials as possible. Awesome!
  • Plumbing: Liberty Plumbing. Tim and Brandon both did good work and went out of their way to interact with the boys (as you can tell, this was important to me!). We had a small issue with the bathroom sink leaking after it was installed, and Tim came back to fix it, no problem.
  • Electric: Coho Electric. RJ was punctual and finished his work quickly, and he had a fun yellow van with a fish on it (Arlo liked that!).
  • Drywall: Andy (don't know his business name). Andy was punctual and polite, and he got his work done quickly.
  • Cabinet doors and drawers: Design Craft Door. Steve and Mike built the cabinet frames, but they outsourced the door and drawer work to this company. The finished products are high quality (the box joints inside the drawers are so pretty!), and they included a couple homemade cookies when they delivered the order (we let Carpenter Mike have the cookies; he deserved them).
  • Soapstone fabricator: Milan Stoneworks. I didn't interact much with these guys, but I'm happy with our counters. The whole process of pricing and buying soapstone was kind of shrouded in mystery, but that's true no matter which fabricator you choose.
  • Painting: Freedom Painters. Salvador arrived early each morning and did the prep work, and then Bruce, the owner, finished the job and took care of subsequent touch-ups. Both were good with the boys, and they did a very nice job. Bruce brought in a stain expert named Mike to do the stain work on our reclaimed wood items and linen closet door, which I thought was a nice touch--the stain work was somewhat complicated, because he had to match our existing stain upstairs.


Finally, here's a long list of resources/information. Many of the decorative items in the kitchen are things we already had, so they're not listed below. Feel free to email me if you have questions about something not listed here.


  • Sink: Stainless steel single-bowl undermount (Elkay Gourmet Elumina 8-inch depth, EGUH2816R) with batch feed garbage disposal to protect little fingers
  • Dishwasher: Bosch SHV68T53UC. We chose a dishwasher with a paneled front, which made the remodel completion take a little longer (Steve waited until the dishwasher was installed to order and install the panel, to make sure it would fit) and added some complications for Steve (it took a little thinking to figure out how to make the panel look nice while also allowing the dishwasher door to open all the way). It all worked out in the end though, and I like how it looks. I think a stainless steel dishwasher would have looked fine too though.
  • Range hood: Vent-a-hood insert with a reclaimed wood surround
  • Cabinets: Shaker-style, inset face frame, soft-close Euro hinges
  • Backsplash: MDF beadboard sheets from Mr. Plywood
  • Hardware: Crackle porcelain knobs (new old stock) from eBay; unlacquered (burnished) brass pulls (83/84) and knobs (132) from Phoenix Lock; cast iron shelf brackets from House of Antique Hardware
  • Countertops: Barocca soapstone from Pental (main counters); madrone butcher block from Sustainable Wood NW, finished with Osmo (hutch counter). I spent a long time deliberating on countertops--wood vs. soapstone. I love the look of wood, but we're not easy on our counters, and I knew I'd be worrying about setting wet things on wood counters. I was nervous about the cost and softness of soapstone (and the fact that the quarrying/transportation of soapstone is not particularly eco-friendly), but I'm very happy with it so far. My experience matches what I read on the Gardenweb forums while I was researching countertop materials. It's soft, and it does scratch pretty easily, but the scratches disappear with oiling. It already has a few small chips/gouges from heavy things being dropped on it, but nothing too noticeable. We started out keeping it unoiled, but after a few weeks it was looking pretty splotchy from oil exposure, so I decided to try oiling it for a more uniform look. I've oiled it twice with a homemade blend of beeswax and mineral oil (1.2oz chopped beeswax in an 8oz jar, filled nearly to top with mineral oil and heated in a water bath until melted, about 15 minutes). The pictures in this post were taken almost three weeks after its first oiling, when it was starting to look a little blotchy (but not bad). I'm on the fence about whether we'll keep oiling it. I think it looks good either way.
  • Hood surround and open shelving: Reclaimed wood from Salvage Works
  • Light fixtures (all from Schoolhouse Electric): Lowell pendant with Factory shade no. 3 in Natural Brass over sink; Northwestern surface mount with OP-2265-09-4 shade in hallway
  • Paint (all Benjamin Moore): Woodwork is Mascarpone AF-20; hutch is Stormy Sky 1616; wall above beadboard is Winter Orchard 1555, back door interior is Wythe Blue HC-143, back door exterior was sealed clear; reclaimed wood hood surround was stained and sealed with polyurethane; reclaimed wood shelves were treated with some sort of tung oil finish
  • Counter stools: Lyon fixed-height 24-inch industrial stools (ordered online from Enco), powder coated Outrageous Orange (which is actually red) at Brooker Enterprises. The powder coating cost more than the stools did, but all told, the stools were still cheaper than similar items from Schoolhouse Electric or Rejuvenation.
  • Rug: Antique wool kilim from eBay (turkish_rugs). Better picture here, since you can barely see it in my pictures above--darn you, November light! How cool is it that you can order an antique rug from Turkey and have it show up in Portland a few days later?! The only downside was that it smelled like smoke, but a thorough carpet cleaning by Atiyeh Brothers took care of that problem. So far, the rug has held up well, and it just needs occasional vacuuming. We'll see how I feel after one of us spills spaghetti sauce on it or something.
  • Utensil crock: Vintage, Grand Marketplace, Portland
  • Porch light: Vintage jelly jar fixture from Ebay


  • Leaded glass transom window: Made by David Schlicker
  • Door hardware: Reused door knob and lockset from our old door, powder coated, since the original finish had worn off unattractively (most of our doorknobs have a nice patina, but this one didn't look so hot)
  • Sink: Barclay Stanford Mini Pedestal Sink from Chown
  • Light fixture: Schoolhouse Electric Union pendant with OP-4408-08-4 shade
  • Paint (all Benjamin Moore): Woodwork is Mascarpone AF-20, wall and ceiling are Raccoon Fur 2126-20
  • Window film: Emma Jeffs "Orba"
  • German shepherd painting: From the 1930s, purchased on Etsy (ackantiques). Doesn't he look like a good dog? We call him Prince.
  • Mirror: Vintage from La Dolce Vita, Portland