A Year Old Kitchen

We moved into our new house in October of 2012. Last weekend I finished the kitchen, well at least the first version of it anyway. The hold up to it really being finished was the window sill. Now that, it’s in and trimmed out, I feel good in declaring victory on the kitchen. So we may as well start the tour with a shot of what that looks like now

Finished kitchen soapstone counter tops, soapstone windowsill

Obviously these pictures were taken at night so they aren’t the greatest, but with 4 kids let’s be honest our kitchen in the day is never this clean. As it is, we still have lots on the countertop, particularly things the kids should not be getting into like eggs from the chicks, our goldfish Annie, etc.

Finished kitchen with soapstone, DIY butcherblock peninsula


There are so many things about the kitchen that we love it would be tough to pick parts that are favorites. The peninsula with the antique cabinet over it though is particularly great to us. The cabinet came from my parents house. They had found it in one of the barns when they bought their house 30 some odd years ago, and it lived in their kitchen since then. We hadn’t planned on it when we planned the kitchen but my parents happened to be redoing their kitchen as we were finishing the house and we are so glad it worked out just so.

Antique cabinet over butcher block peninsula

The space under the microwave originally was our coffee and espresso station but the steam was doing a number on the cabinets and it was annoying to access the machines.

Green pantry and fridge cabinets

And now I’m realizing that I probably spoke too soon on the finished part as we come to the backsplash part. We knew we didn’t want a big backsplash or anything permanent but we’ve always talked about doing something on plywood that we could change or swap out easily for behind the stove. So far though the wall and paint have held up very nicely though.

Symmetrical cabinets on either side of the stove


Our kitchen plan could not have come together without the good folks over on gardenweb’s kitchen forum. There are many posts, both long before we started and some mildly panicked ones during the build that so many people helpfully chimed in on. Not to mention the countless questions that were answered without me even having to post. I also gleaned many of the ideas for the peninsula, the beams, the windowsill, the stove layout from other’s designs and finished photos.


A Sill Life of a Kitchen

We have soapstone counters in the kitchen. Beautiful, black, stain-proof and incomplete. Well, at least they were for the last year or so. But let’s back up a bit first, shall we? Here’s what we planned for a kitchen:

Old Gardenweb kitchen plan soapstone

When we decided on soapstone for the countertops we planned on DIYing them. I had helped my cousin’s husband do their kitchen with DIY slabs of soapstone and it was really do-able. There is work involved sure, but in about one day a few us cut all the pieces to size and had them pretty much set. Here’s what their kitchen ended up looking like:

DIY Soapstone countertops

As you can see, they came out gorgeous and we were all excited to do our own. Unfortunately when it came time to order my countertop slabs, the company they had used starting getting a little shady. Prices were appearing and disappearing from the website. Calls were not returned. Questions were unanswered or at times rudely brushed off. And then we found a different soapstone guy, one who lived just one town over. We live out in the boonies, so to find a dealer local seemed like ridiculous providence.

We worked with them to quote out just the slabs, still planning on doing the install. And then at some point he offered to have his son help me install them for a nominal fee. And somehow that turned into his son installing everything for $100? I’m not sure how that happened either, but it was awesome.

Soapstone countertops

Everything went really well right up until the time for the window sill cover behind the sink. The piece was cut too short to work, but no problem, they would just come back out the next weekend with a replacement. That was in September of 2011. The bad news is it wasn’t the next weekend. The good news is, it’s done now!

Soapstone window sill on counter height kitchen window

We had been calling and setting up times for the last year or so every few months but it just didn’t come together. Ironic since they actually completed my parents entire kitchen next door in that time frame as well. However since we got such a ridiculous deal on our installation, I never felt like I could really push the issue. But at some point this last few weeks this view finally got to Shannon and it was time to get this eye sore covered up.

Gross old window sill with sheetrock exposed

And of course I didn’t have any wood in the basement for trim pieces, so it’s still not done done, but at least at this point it’s only waiting on me. It feels so much better to have this in place.

Oiled soapstone window sill kitchen counter height slider sink window

And here’s a quick shot of it before it was oiled up.

Unoiled soapstone window sill