Thursday, July 31, 2008

My New Kitchen

I wanted to share with you the plan for my new kitchen. It's one thing to hunt steampunk stuff and post it to the blog or introduce a lamp next to your bed, but I'm finding it much more challenging to design actual rooms in a way that all the pieces will work together and come in within a budget.

Like most people, I can't afford custom cabinets, so I went with the most-quality-for-your-money Ikea kitchen cabinets. "Ikea?!" I hear you saying, "How can that be steampunk?" Well, it's a challenge, but if you think Ikea is nothing but Scandinavian Modern, you may want to take a look at the Liljestad cabinets. An added plus for steampunks -- Ikea kitchens can be varying levels of DIY. We'll probably assemble all the cabinets ourselves and use a contractor to actually hang them, but if you have more time than money, doing the entire install yourself is entirely feasible.

Ok, enough of the Ikea commercial, on to my kitchen. If you want to see the specific layout of my kitchen you can see it here and here. I chose Liljestad because it has the nice dark wood I like. With lots of glass front doors, I'm hoping it will have the feel of a turn of the century Parisian Bistro.

I'm steampunking it up with a handful of elements. The light over the penisula will be Architects and Hero's Akordian Two Light.

And the backsplash will be antiqued metal -- most likely copper. Here are two of the contenders:

Korel Design Tile (porcelain, with a copper, bronze, and platinum glaze) This may end up on the floor instead.

The hardware for the cabinets will likely be brass or copper bin style pulls. (Could I combine copper and brass elements? Would this get too "busy"?)

The problem I'm running into is countertop material. The sort of look I'm going for means the traditional countops would be sheet metal -- zinc or copper for instance -- but that's an expensive and impractical plan. The other traditional counter surface is white carrera marble. Now, I would love carrera marble, but it's fragile and prone to staining. So where does that leave me? Stuck. Do I use a fake carrera marble like Okite's carrara bianca? Do I find a marble that's mostly white (most of them have a lot of yellows and gold in them, which might work nicely with the brass?) Choose a manufactured stone in something that resembles travertine? Any one have other ideas?

So this is more of a "brain dump" sort of post, but I would love your ideas and opinions. Anything strike you as a particularly good or bad idea? Anything else I should have though of?


Empress said...

I really like your ideas, and your cabinets remind me of a bookstore in Boulder. It's in a turn of the century brick building, and they have interesting mismatched cabinets on the wall behind the bar. Here's a decent picture:
It seems to me that having a couple of different styles is more steampunk and gives a place an interesting vibe. Anyway, that's my two cents. Please keep us updated, your work is always informative and inspiring!

Empress said...

Sorry about that, try two:

Unknown said...

Have you thought about cement counters? You can stain them a variety of colors, and they give and interesting and unusual industrial look to a place. If you paired them with the more ornate back-splash, they could be be delightful; not fully period, but definitely flavorful.

swatters said...

I would also look into cement countertops, as per I.'s suggestion. I don't actually know how expensive they are (may be too much) but I for one love the texture of the cement countertops that I've come across. For me at least, the tactile nature of furniture is important. And as I' menitoned, it does come in a wide array of colors to fit your room. Good luck!

Holly Black said...

The materials look beautiful. I look forward to seeing it finished.

I am seconding l's suggestion of cement counters. They can be dyed in lots of interesting ways and can even have patterns or objects embedded in them.

Unknown said...

I searched the Ikea website for Liljestad, but couldn't find these cabinets... a little help, please?

izzit said...

Most old kitchens were only seen by the "help", so they just had to have a practical surface (usually wood or stone). The cement counter can also be dyed in the mixing to look like slate, then sealed, and it can be low cost (I hear...)
After following your blog, I can't wait to see what you put together!

Kwix said...

Having been an occasional reader of this blog, I somehow missed this post. I apologize if these suggestions are ill timed but perhaps they will help others.
For your copper backsplash, I say use copper sheet with a Florentine Brown
patina. Smallish quantities can be found here. Just Google the patina, either for pre-mixed applications or much cheaper recipes.

As for concrete, I will add to that voice. I highly recommend the books of Fu Tung Cheng for inspiration and 'how-to'. In many places you can obtain white concrete, so coloring it to meet your needs can be easily accomplished.

Lynne said...

Sara, how goes the remodel? I'm sure we'd all love to see the finished room when you have it ready! ^_^ I was just in CO Springs helping my sis prepare for a remodel, so the fever is upon me...

Name said...

I've found a new blog to follow!


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