28 Jul 2014

Designing Our Kitchen: Going Hardware-less

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you the progress of our kitchen renovation.  Currently, we're still waiting on the finishing touches for our kitchen (e.g., door fronts, fillers, countertops, etc.) to be made.  Our CNC/cabinet maker was on holidays and this has put us a little further behind.  While I (and maybe you too if you've been following this never ending renovation) impatiently wait for this kitchen renovation to be over, I thought I'd begin to share how we chose/designed some of the details.  

By the title of this post, you've probably guessed that I'm going to talk about hardware or rather how our kitchen cabinets are not going to have traditional handles or hardware.  Going into the kitchen renovation I knew that I wanted very simple cabinets and wanted to go hardware-less.  What I didn't realize was that there are a lot of options for this:  finger pulls, recessed pulls, routed handles, etc. Below are a few examples of some of the recessed handle options I considered:

This kitchen is so cute with the small circles cutouts for cabinet handles:

This kitchen has a mix of cutout and recessed handles with a round radius.

I also considered the option of placing the recessed handle right at the top edge of the cabinet as in this kitchen:

We ended up going with a routered recessed handle for our kitchen cabinets.
Because we are designing every detail of our completely custom kitchen, we even had to design our handles.  Because Tech Guy, is well… a "tech guy"  he suggested we use an iPhone as our template for the handles.  We ended up going with a slightly tighter radius than the phone and quite a bit shorter.  Below you can see the little template our cabinet maker made from our handle design.
There were four options that we tried out.  The options we were testing was the depth of the routing and the height of the handle (the larger sizes are on the bottom).  The shallower handle is on the left and the deeper handle is on the right.  We clamped our template onto our cupboards to try them out.  We (Tech Guy and I) both ended up liking the larger and deeper version.  We found that with the large drawers (37" wide) this gave us the best leverage.

There are a couple of reasons why I love the idea of forgoing cabinet hardware for our kitchen.  Firstly, I want to have my countertops sit as flush as possible with the cabinets.  If you use hardware you have to take the hardware into account when you install your countertop.  Generally, the overhang of the countertop should cover your handles to prevent one from getting caught on a handle or pull.  The second reason I had was the simple fact that our kitchen is small and I needed to preserve all the real estate I could.  Going without handles meant that I gained a few extra inches in my workspace between the stove and the island.

Now I'll return to my waiting and hopefully, sooner rather than later, be able to share with you the cabinet doors and handles that I designed.  In the meantime, here are a couple more examples of kitchens sans hardware.

25 Jul 2014

Creating a Chic Outdoor Space

It's nearing the middle of the summer and we're in the thick of our renovations.  Right about now I'm craving something a little nicer to look at than unfinished cupboards and dirt piles.  Our deck is almost done with the sod going down at the end of next week.  I would love to add something pretty to our new outdoor space.  I've gathered lots of inspiration via Pinterest and thought I would share some lovely outdoor spots.  I chose a variety of spaces that showcase how you can create a really lovely space by just adding some pillows, a lantern, flowers and/or using some of your nicer dishes outdoors.  Many of the spaces below utilize decor that you see typically in an indoor space.  I think I might try grabbing a pillow or two from my living room and my favourite dishes and try and create a chic little outdoor space this weekend. :)




Go on out this weekend and enjoy summer!

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18 Jul 2014

DIY Black and White Kitchen Decor

Since I've been talking about and working on our kitchen renovation, my mind has naturally started imagining the finished space.  Unfortunately, there's still quite a bit to do, but I can't help thinking about all the fun DIY projects I could make for our new kitchen.  So while I'm dreaming of projects, I thought I would share some DIY black and white kitchen projects you (and maybe I!) might want to try this weekend.  Most of them are really simple too and can be made in one afternoon or less.

*Click on the photos/titles below to find the tutorial for each of the above projects

1. Painted Jars from Delia Creates

2. Tea Towel Apron SlowMama

3.  Wooden Bead Trivet from Yours Truly ;)

4.  Birch Branch Hooks also from Yours Truly :)

5. Brass Towel Hanger from Bambula

6. Leather Wrapped Cutting Boards from Ikea

7.  Minimal Mountian Clock by The Merry Thought via Say Yes

8.  DIY Bread Basket by Viktoria Brikho

 9.  Painted Tea Towels from Mamas Kram

I hope you have a little black and white kitchen DIY inspiration for the weekend!  

14 Jul 2014

The State of Our Kitchen Renovation

We got back from our almost three week, super nice and relaxing vacation to Boston and Cape Cod early last week to a kitchen/house that is in full reno mode.  It was just a small reality check!  Half of our kitchen cabinets arrived before our vacation and the other half we got last week.  Our new french doors were delivered as well.  This past week has been all about the kitchen:  installing cabinets, making an opening, installing french doors, shopping for marble slabs and other finishes.  All these projects along with regular old work has been taking up much of our time.

Since we have done quite a bit of work on the kitchen, I thought it would be a good time to show you some progress pictures (you can see the last kitchen update here).  I'll warn you though that these photos are not pretty, but I think you can get a good sense of the layout of the new kitchen and my favourite part: the new walkout.  At the end of the post I have some inspiration photos that are much prettier and will give you a sense of what I'm hoping this kitchen will become (one day we'll get there!).

 Please excuse the open cabinetry that's missing some shelves, tray dividers, etc. and is overall, pretty unorganized.  The doors/faces, fillers and toe kicks are still being made.  I think it'll be another couple weeks of living like this until we get them (if all goes well!).  We've put in the couple of pieces of our old countertop that fit to have a little bit of counter to work with.

We've temporarily installed our new sink by Franke on top of some plywood pieces (it'll be under mounted when we get our countertops).  We like the rack that lifts up half way for drying dishes, rinsing produce, etc.  It's really helpful in this single bowl design.  The hubs and assistant are trying to level the stove in the background. :)

Here are the new french doors.  There still needing some trim and the walls need some drywall work after removing the old backsplash tile, but the space really feels a lot bigger and bright once they went in.  This room faces north and the amount of light that the doors let in make such a difference.  Of course, there was a hiccup with them as well.  The hardware for the doors didn't arrive in time and the supplier let us borrow one handle from his shop.  The doors are pretty traditional looking with their divided lights, but they go pretty well with the rest of the windows in the house.  Once we replace all the windows, we have the option of removing the grills if we want a more clean look.

I also put together a few images for you to see the look we are going for in the kitchen.  I want the kitchen to be very minimal and simple.  These pictures are a little nicer to look at after seeing our reno mess. :)

1. We are planning to go for marble kitchen counters and backsplash this time around.  I'm prepared to let it patina because I know with a house full of boys it's not going to stay pristine. (image)

2.  I would love to get this Aalto pendant light for over the island.  I think this brass ring will work well with the brass of our entry light fixture. (image)

3.  We are going hardware-less!  I love the simple look of the routed handles in this kitchen.

4.  I love the simplicity of the Arne Jacobsen designed Vola faucet. (image)

5.  Another kitchen with marble and wall sconces.  I'm thinking of doing uppers on the stove wall for just one side and want to put some kind of wall sconce on the other side. (image)

We have a lot still to do in the kitchen, but at least something's happening now.  Today I'm hoping to finalize a marble for the counter.  It's been super hard to find anything since, here in Toronto, most stone places reserve the good stuff for the designers and builders even before it gets on the ship from Italy. How frustrating is it when you go into to these places and they tell you the aisles and aisles of slabs are already spoken for?!  Oh the problems of the DIY renovator! ;) 

Thanks for reading!  Have a great Monday!

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