Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homemaker Monday: To Design a Kitchen - Part Two

Welcome to...

Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.This post is still under construction, but feel free to enter YOUR post into Mr. Linky. Thank you for being here!

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" was posted by Carol over at Frugal Finds From Your Frugal Friend. I think her post spoke to me because we are currently using three wood-burning stoves to heat our home and this could change the way we live our lives. Okay, perhaps I'm being overly dramatic, but still. Carol shows us how make our own fire starters using trash, basically, which means they are cheap! I LOVE cheap! She even puts them in a pretty basket by her fireplace. Now I could see myself doing that! To read how she makes these thrifty wonders, click HERE.

Thanks for the frugal inspiration, Carol, and please feel free to take an "I Was Featured" button from my left side bar.

MINE: As promised last week, this week I will continue explaining how I used a work centers theme in designing my kitchen. (See To Design a Kitchen - Part One)...

(The kitchen is pictured here during an inpromtu gathering of family and friends this weekend - my favorite kind of gathering of all! P.S. In case you're wondering where the other twin is, he's under the table!)

In a minute, we'll talk about the clean-up center and the breakfast center, but first, as promised last week, let me tell you how I chose the cabinets and countertops.

The cabinets: Remember that I had chosen a rustic Mexican design scheme, so I wanted rustic cabinets. I found a beautiful, simple design in a design book at Lowe's, showed it to my carpenter, and he was able to do an exact replica of what I wanted for a fraction of the price. He's amazing! Here's what he created from my sketched out plans for one corner...

We chose hickory rather than oak because of the more rustic variences of color. With a natural finish, the differences in the wood tones would have been even more striking, but I didn't want the tones to look too busy, so we opted for a golden pecan finish to bring the tones closer together. I LOVE how it turned out!

The countertops: Never did I imagine that I would have a kitchen full of granite counter tops. But never did I imagine that I would meet a wonderful man four years ago who would make all of my dreams come true (except for scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef) and who would have a brother who just happens to own a granite countertop business. When I married John, he had a Goldwing motorcycle. I told him that he would be welcome to ride it whenever he wanted, but that my kids would never ride it. Yes, I'm just funny that way. I guess he didn't see the fun of that, so he offered it to his brother in exchange for the granite countertops of my dreams. I told his brother what color I wanted, gave him the dimensions of the kitchen, he picked out a slab and sent me a picture, I okayed it, he came down from Idaho to Mexico and installed them and now I am just about the luckiest lady in the world!..

Do I have the awesome-est husband in the universe or what?

Okay, now onto the next two work centers in the kitchen.

First we'll talk about the clean-up center...

(This is one of the early drawings. You can see the initial experimentation with the brick and the tile combination.)

(This is a copy of the final draft I gave to the carpenter.)

(Here's a small section of what he made from my draft.)

I did a post about this center a while ago, (if you want to read it, click HERE), so I won't go into too much detail here. Suffice it to say I wanted to be able to wash all of my dinner dishes in dishwashers every night instead of having a sink full of unwashed dishes when we went to bed. With a family of ten and lots of kids who love to bake, we just really needed two dishwashers, so that's what we got! I also wanted commercial-style sprayers for cleaning high chair trays, large pots and griddles. We purchased them at IKEA for dirt cheap, along with both sinks, including the one on the left with the dish drying extension. That is probably my favorite part of the clean-up center. I will never have to place another towel on my counter to collect water from hand-washed dishes again. If you are interested in purchasing sinks like these, I would highly recommend you check out IKEA's prices. I know you won't be dissappointed!

The next work station is the breakfast center...

This center is located between the fridge and the clean-up center and sports an old-fashioned toaster we purchased for cheap at Costco, a Vitamix blender we purchased for cheap at Sam's, and a double cereal dispenser I purchased online. The wonder of this breakfast center is that the kids are able to confine their breakfast mess to this one three-foot counter which makes clean-up go so much more smoothly! Try it! You'll like it!

That's all for today, folks! Next week let's talk about the cooking center. I'm committing to do that here and now so I will have the motivation I need to scrub the top of my stove, the mess resulting from the 13-year-old's experiment with fried chicken last week (which turned out awesome, by the way). Wish me luck.

OURS: All right, let's see what you've got for us today. And if you have any, don't forget to include holiday posts from your archives. Thank you again for linking up and I'll see you next Homemaker Monday!

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Kendra@My Insanity said...

I really love your kitchen! How great to get to design it specifically for the need of your family! I also love the rustic Mexican feel!

High Heels and a Sippy Cup said...

I love the idea of a breakfast center. The cereal dispenser would be wonderful for the little ones to eat. Think I'd get an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning if I one of those? You are right, probably not!

heidi said...

The work center idea was brilliant. What a great way to design a kitchen!

Rhonda said...

I love granite too. I have heard some people say they'd never get it but I simply can't understand why!!! The only drawback is sealing it every year or two but that is such a no big deal thing!

It's all beautiful and SMART Jen-great job!

Salsa Mama said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Even better in real life! And it wasn't quite done when I saw it last. I need a new tour now that it's all done.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

In a word? Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Again, I love it! you are very creative and talented to design such an awesome kitchen. It was one of my favorite things when touring your home.

And Yes I agree you have the best husband ever!!!

CJ, The Purple Diva said...

this was awesome! I am in LOVE with your kitchen!
I've just spent the last 45 minutes going through all the posts I have missed for a while!
I am so glad that your little Johnny is still with you here on earth! What a scary time that was for all of you.
The little lions-that was a cute post.
Love the other kitchen post, the recipes, all of it!
I've been trying to get caught up and I am finally getting closer to be all the way done!
Sorry it's been a while.
Sounds like things are busy as always. You've done some great things on your blog page!
Love it all!
hugs to you!

threesidesofcrazy said...

I know I said it before, but I am soooooooooooooooooooo in awe of your kitchen!! It truly is wonderful.

AaronZ said...

We had our granite countertop installed about 6 years ago and we don't have any complaints. The recent news about possible radon does cause a little concern. If I was doing it over, I might consider other options. I ran across this site when looking for info on radon and cleaning of granite. Good info for anyone who owns or is considering a granite countertop.