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.


Final kitchen design

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. This post I will show you the layout I went with, what cabinets I chose, and some 3D sketches of my new kitchen.

Initially I was concerned about what layout to choose because of the expense of changing windows and sealing up doors etc., but in the end I decided to spend the money on changes like these in order to have the kitchen I really want. It turned out not to be not as big of an expense as I thought, as I've gotten a quote from my contractor for all the work he needs to do to prepare for the cabinets and I did not have a heart attack. :) So I decided to make the window smaller, seal up the door and knock the wall to the living room down. The following photo was my next layout idea.

This was modified slightly for the final design because Greentea's cabinets are not really designed for corners, so the corner sink had to be moved and since I love kitchen sinks under a window, I decided to go for that. Here are some of the first 3D layout designs that Mike at Greentea created for me. I LOVE technology, and the fact that I get to see exactly what my kitchen will look like. He did several different angles as well which gives a clearer idea of the space I'm working with.

So there you have new kitchen!

Greentea's kitchen cabinets come in 6 stains and they have several hardware options and door fronts to choose from. Below are the options for the lower and upper cabinets.

Since I want to keep the space as light as possible, I decided to go with the Fruitwood stain (see photos above - my selections have a red square around them). I love teak and I thought it looked teak-ish. For the lower cabinets I selected Iron Warabite handles. Here is an example of what the base cabinets will look like with the stain and handles I selected:

I prefer the darker handle to the gold and I love the large size of this handle as well. I had a choice of 24" or 26" depths for the cabinets, and went for 24" since my kitchen is so small. (Greentea's base cabinets come in anything from 3' to 9' lengths so there's something for any size kitchen). For the upper cabinets I decided against glass doors. I will only have uppers along the wall where the fridge will be so I didn't want to limit myself as to what I could put in those cabinets. I went with the Mizuya finish that will match the lower cabinets. I think that will give them a clean and unified look. I love that I was able to choose the hinges, and since they have such great options, I selected one that would be prominent on the upper cabinets. I chose the Round Iron hinge that will match the handles. Here is what the uppers will look like:

Greentea's website is perfect for those like me who aren't able to visit their showroom, because you can chose the hinges, handles and stains and the photo will update with your selection so you can visualize all of your options. Otherwise, I have no idea how I would have been able to make these decisions without losing my mind. And my favourite is their zooming feature. When you hover over a photo of a cabinet, a window pops up and you can move around and see it close up. So you know exactly what you're getting. I spent quite a bit of time playing around with these features. :)

For the wall opposite the stove, I have space between my basement stairs and my office door to put some sort of unit for more storage because lord knows I need as much as I can get. I thought about their totally gorgeous Dana wall cabinet, but ended up going with a 4' Mizuya pantry, that is going to house so many of my kitchen gadgets.

So that is new kitchen in a nutshell. I have to say that it was a bit nerve-racking making cabinet choices. That's a huge decision. I'd LOVE to know what you guys think of my choices and get some input on what you might have done in terms of door styles, stain and hardware. I'm really curious to find out if my selections jive with what you all might have gone with.

P.S. I just heard from the Greentea guys that they are interested in taking user's suggestions for each part of the kitchen and creating a completely different version of what I came up with. That would be so fun to see so please comment away!!


Don't let the cute pink cabinets fool you

So I’ve shown you all my horrible to slightly less horrible kitchen that I will be renovating, and next I thought I’d show you the layout ideas I had for the new kitchen. Here’s a photo to recap what the kitchen looks like currently:

I’ve done a rough drawing of the layout to make it clearer where everything is located. (Sorry but I don't know how to use software to do this so you'll have to bear with my lovely drawings).

As you can see, this kitchen is really REALLY badly designed. Or not designed as I see it. And the craftsmanship everywhere is AWFUL. The cabinets are made of solid wood (MDF?) – so the drawers are heavy and are a total pain to open and close. Half of the magnet latches to keep the doors closed are missing. The little built-in china cupboard with glass doors got a serious chuckle from my contractor. He thinks they are bifold closet doors made into cabinet doors. The island was made with scraps of tongue and groove paneling and bits of trim, and was initially left unpainted/unstained. There was an ugly square table that was built at the end of the island that I ripped off and tossed the day I moved in, that came with 2 cheap wooden chairs that I also tossed. The cabinet over the island is a pain to get into because you have to lean over the island to see into it. So that’s the cabinets in a nutshell.

Then there’s the worst tile job EVER on the floor. Seriously, I burst out laughing when I first saw the kitchen floor. The tiles are ugly to begin with, and the grout is much darker than the tile colour which makes them look really dirty. When they were grouted, the excess was not wiped off so there’s grout everywhere. To make things worse, the person that laid them must have been drunk because there is not one straight line.

The appliances – UGH. The stove is not bad, but the elements take a long time to heat up. And it’s cheap. The fridge is just that – a fridge. There is no freezer in it. And I am the only one that lives here. So it’s HUGE. There is a big chest freezer in the basement so when I want ice in my drink, I have to go down there to get it (so I stopped using ice). If I am by the sink or stove, I have to walk around the dining table to get to the fridge – that has to be the most annoying thing about the space. The dishwasher, housed in the island, makes a total racket when it’s running.

The lighting is terrible. I have a ceiling fan with lights over the table, and that’s it. I had to put a lamp on the counter near the stove because it’s too dark when I’m cooking. There was a hood fan over the stove with a light but it was mounted so low I couldn’t see what I was cooking. I tossed that after the third time I smucked my head on it.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with since December. You can imagine how elated I was to learn all this can go in a big dumpster...and SOON!

When I first began daydreaming about a new kitchen, I had figured I would go to Ikea, get some glossy white cabinets, and keep the layout basically as it is, galley style. The wall the fridge is on would come down, opening it up to the living room, and the dining table would be between the island and the living room. But then I got word that I would be getting Greentea's gorgeous solid wood kitchen cabinets and I knew galley style wouldn’t work. Their beauty would be for the most part hidden so I knew I had to come up with a different layout to expose them more. I knew the wall had to come down to open up the tiny space, and since I have 3 doors on the main floor that open outside, I thought I could seal up the door next to the island. So with that, an L shape layout seemed to work. This is the first drawing I sent to the guys at Greentea, with the door gone, the wall gone, and an L shape design (rotate this 180 degrees to get the same angle as the drawing above).

This is not the final design I ended up choosing, but I thought I’d reveal that with my next post, and show you the cabinets I decided on. I'd like to take this opportunity to get your opinions, and see what you guys would do with the new kitchen layout. Do you favour uppers? No uppers? Would you have done it galley-style? Greentea has a fantastic kitchen guide that helped me immensely - be sure to check it out, especially if you're looking to give suggestions.


The journey begins...

A little while ago I hinted that I had a big project I was working on. Well, I thought it was about time to let you all in on it. Several months ago Jo and I were contacted by Mike at Greentea Design who was interested in an ad on the blog. I was stoked about this because I had seen their timber, Asian-style kitchen cabinets before and thought they were fantastic. I thought about how horrible my existing kitchen was and a lightbulb went off – why not see if they’d sponsor a kitchen reno project?!?! And what do you know – they went for it!!! They agreed to supply me with the cabinets I needed, and in return I would blog about my kitchen renovation (most of which will be included on a new blog) from planning down to the finished product. A pretty decent tradeoff considering this is what I was working with:

(I had to use an old photo here because I know some of you will be sad to see the kitchen - as it is now - go in the dumpster).

I have never done a kitchen renovation before so this is all new to me and I am SO EXCITED about it. The guys over at Greentea have been so amazing to work with and are so unbelievably helpful to me. It’s been a bit tough with them based in Toronto and me being in Ottawa – so we have only had a couple phone conversations, MANY emails and unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to see their products in person. Despite this we’ve made really good progress since the beginning.

Along the way I’m hoping to get some advice from our readers on decisions I have made or need to make, and hopefully they will help me with this and future kitchen renovations, and our other readers as well. Also, the folks at Greentea are hoping to get some feedback on their products and some of the features they have to offer on their website to assist potential kitchen renovators in making their choices. So I’m hoping you’ll leave tons of comments.

As I mentionned, I will be blogging my way through the entire renovation. You’ll see the plans we came up with, choices of appliances, countertop, backsplash and lighting. You’ll witness the demolition of the lovely existing cabinets, the flooring installation, the plumbing and electrical involved, cabinet arrival and installation, and decorating. I will be taking many photos along the way.

I thought to begin this process, I’d start off with some photos of my kitchen as it exists today, pre-renovation. Actually, I’ll even start with a couple photos of what the kitchen looked like before I moved in (the first 2) and when I took possession of the house in December.

As you can see, it was pretty awful, and soooo boring. It was difficult to spend any length of time in it. So one day, I went to my local Benjamin Moore store and decided, since I would eventually be getting a new kitchen, that I would go a little crazy with the cabinets and paint them pink. The backsplash was a terrible sort of terracotta brown colour so I found some semi-gloss white paint I had and painted the backsplash. Amazingly, it’s held up really well.

Next time I will show you some of the ideas I had with some not-so-good drawings I made up to send to Greentea, and some of the reasons why I was so desperate to get rid of this kitchen in place of something utterly fabulous.