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This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I’ve described my cabinets in detail, so now I thought I’d start in on all the fun purchases that goes along with a kitchen renovation. These next few posts I will cover things like the appliances, sink, faucet, countertop, backsplash and lighting.

I thought I’d start with lighting, one of my favourite items to dress up a space. I have always been drawn to lamps and pendant lights, so when I was planning the lighting for the kitchen, I wanted to make it a focal point. But once I decided on making lighting a feature, I started to panic a bit. There aren’t many decent lighting stores in this city, but I did check out a few. I started looking online as well but got a bit concerned about some of the shipping prices. One online store was quoting 20% of the purchase for shipping and other related costs. This renovation is going to have me in debt as it is, and my house needs a TON of other work, so I have a really hard time spending my hard earned money on high shipping costs. So I really wanted to try and find items locally.

Since my kitchen will be long and narrow, I will need a long and narrow dining table to be placed down the center of it (I have no dining room). I made a pretty simple decision to hang pendants over it. My first thought was a Nelson bubble lamp. I’ve always wanted one. But I really like the look of the saucer lamp, and I think that one would work better over a round table. I started looking locally and found something at a large lighting store called Multi Luminaire:

I liked the industrial look of it and it was similar to ones I had considered ordering online. They had 2 sizes, one for $80 and one for $120, and I figured I would get maybe 3 to hang in a row over the table. But then one day a couple of weeks ago I went to get my hair done on Wellington Street and on my walk home I came by a store I had been in once or twice before. It’s called Crawford Alexander, and it’s run by “designs by 2”, the interior design firm of Luc Crawford and Jamie LeBlanc. They currently have a small showroom (but are expanding – YAY!!) that has some really gorgeous pillows, lamps and accessories on display. I had seen some really funky pendant lights last time I was in there and WHATDOYAKNOW!, they were on sale! They were initially priced at $326, then marked down to $240. Then everything in the store was 50% off the lowest price, and included tax, as they were trying to clear their inventory for new stock. So I ended up buying 3 of these pendants for a total of $360!!

When I sell the house, I can take them with me and put up something cheap, and these are so versatile I can use them in any room in my next home. The only thing is they are not hard-wired, so I’ll have to get my electrician to work some magic on them before they’re installed. I love their industrial look and think they will contrast nicely with the style and colour of the cabinets. I could have chosen Asian-inspired lighting, but I prefer to mix styles and not be so matchy-matchy. I think I’ll bring in Asian elements in accessories instead.

Next is possibly going to be my favourite thing in the new kitchen besides the cabinets. When I settled on the design of the kitchen, I had an idea about lighting that stuck in my head and would not go away. When I decided to forgo upper cabinets on the stove wall, I knew exactly what I wanted to do on either side of the stove. I LOVE the look of a swing-arm wall mounted light in a kitchen, and I have come across a few that we’ve posted or seen on other blogs:

RemodelistaButtrick Wong
Elle DecoIsabelle
Inspace LocationsBarbara Weiss

There is a swing-arm light I’ve always admired, up there with Nelson pendants, and that’s Artemide’s Tolomeo. I thought since it will be a focal point of the kitchen, it would be worth the splurge. And they too are very versatile, so they are for sure coming with me to my next house. I went looking online for suppliers, and found a Canadian online store that carries them, and they do not charge for shipping. But I found a local store, Marchand Electric, who carries Artemide products. I figured it might be better to order lights through them than online, that way I would have someone to curse at if something went wrong. When I went to order them at the store (I chose the smallest one, the “Micro”), the salesperson told me they’d be $550 each. I had a small panic attack, then told her that I had found them online for $368 each. She said they’d sell them to me at that price. So I ordered them and picked them up on Monday...and I cannot wait to see them installed! I’ll have to make sure when I chose where to have them installed that they won’t hit anyone in the head when standing at the counter. (Except when I removed one from the box I noticed it has a cord with a plug on the end, as shown in the photo - these are supposed to be wall mountable. Maybe I'm missing something here...)

There will be some other lighting around the kitchen as well. The hood fan has a light of course that will illuminate the stove, and I want under-cabinet lights for the section of uppers by the fridge. That is really important because I think that section of cabinets is where I’ll be doing the majority of the prep work when I’m cooking. I also want potlights installed along the cabinet areas. Although I am not really sure how well they will light up areas so I don’t know how many I will need and where they should go. I will check with the electrician, but if you guys have any suggestions, about the potlights or any other lighting, I would love to hear it.

It seems I should be mentionning the eco-friendliness of my kitchen. In terms of the lighting, I always use those low energy compact fluorescent bulbs. And I hope to get the pendants on one switch with a dimmer, the potlights on another also with a dimmer, and the Tolomeos on another switch. This way I can have pretty decent control over the strength of the lights and only use the ones I need.

That’s about it for lighting. Next I think I’ll divulge the biggest expense so far in this renovation – the appliances. And wow, they don’t come cheap.



Cabinet detail

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. In this post I will show you sketches of the cabinets I chose, what my cabinets cost, and the process involved with ordering kitchen cabinets from Greentea.

In my last post I showed some of the sketches Greentea created to demonstrate how my kitchen will look. Here is one for a recap.

I thought I would show the sketches that were designed by Greentea that include the dimensions of each cabinet ordered for my new kitchen. This first one is the base cabinet that will be next to the fridge. I love it because Mike suggested instead of having 3 drawers the same size, that the drawer on the left be 3 smaller drawers for take out menus, chopsticks etc. The cost of this cabinet is $1200.

Next is the base cabinet that will be on either side of the stove. I love the originality of the Japanese style sliding doors in the base cabinets. I can’t wait to try those out. The cabinet to the right of the stove will have a bit of an overhang on the right side since that side will be visible from the living room. The cost of this cabinet is $1400 (x2).

The upper cabinets are solid doors that match the lowers. Greentea suggested 4 doors, with the ones on the end being the same size. I’m excited to see how cute the hinges look. The cost of these cabinets is $3000.

I don’t have a sketch of the pantry cabinet since it is a freestanding piece of furniture and can just be placed against the wall, but I found a great image on Greentea’s website of it with some dimensions included. The cost of the pantry is $2750.

So that’s the details of the cabinets. I think the cost is great for the product, the total being $10,675 including $925 for shipping. For solid wood cabinets, made of Ginko wood – they’re like pieces of furniture. Well, they are really, since they’re freestanding. I thought I’d show a copy of what a quote from Greentea looks like. Below is the one they sent me.

A normal quote wouldn’t have “See drawings” which refers to the sketches since the quote usually comes before the drawings. The whole process that Greentea follows with their customers was a bit different than what they followed with my kitchen project. We did a lot of designing and they produced some rough sketches before we finalized the order to help decide on the extent of the project. We made some changes to the final plans, and usually a customer would figure out a bit more precisely what to get before sketches would be done. They have a brand new section on their website to show the process they follow with customers. Check out their kitchen design page here. It’s so informative for new customers like me who aren’t sure how to go about getting a kitchen from Greentea, and they’ve incorporated detailed slideshows of 4 kitchens, including a new open concept kitchen design I hadn’t seen before. I love that it shows photos of each cabinet in the space, and a sketch of each piece with prices.

Since I had sketches done early on in the process when deciding what cabinets to choose, I found that really helpful to visualize what the space would look like. Since they don’t usually do this until after the cabinets are ordered (which also makes sense so they don’t end up doing a bunch of work for potential customers who then turn around and decide not to get cabinets from them), I think that a quick sketch early on may help seal the deal. That’s my 2 cents regarding the process they follow. Greentea would love some feedback, particularly on their design process so please feel free to direct some comments their way.

Stay tuned this week the beginning of posts about all sorts of purchases I've made for lighting, appliances, sink etc. for the new kitchen.