As the designer explained to us, builders regularly deviate from blueprints during construction and they would need to have exact measurements before working on anything. He was more than a little concerned about working with a builder cross-country to get measurements. And even though they would ship cabinets, he didn't think they would ship countertops. And then there was the whole question of who would be responsible for the installation.
Actually, he made it sound like it was pretty pointless to come back to him.
It felt like a wasted trip. Especially since we didn't bring our light bulbs with us. I need two bulbs for the bathroom fixture and the bulb in the oven recently burned out. And the toaster oven, a housewarming gift from my mom when we moved in here, stopped working yesterday. Be we didn't remember any of that while we were at Home Depot.
So yeah. A really wasted trip.
But it did prompt me to initiate email communication with the cabinetry and plumbing suppliers the builder recommended.
The last time we met with either of them was on our trip in January. Since then I've been looking at a lot of magazine, books, and websites for inspiration, and that's when I found this:
It was love at first sight.
And suddenly our vision for the kitchen drastically changed. That rock wall makes such a bold statement and I love that it brings the outside into the kitchen. Oh. And the sink! I drooled. You can find more pictures of this kitchen at HGTV's Rate My Space website. (Pages load slowly. You've been warned.)
Until I saw this picture I was just going with whatever. That's it. Whatever. I didn't really have a mental picture of what I wanted. There was a light fixture I went gaga over and was considering putting it over the island as a focal point. But it's pretty clear now that the rock wall will be the focal point, though I do still need to pick out lighting.
When I showed the builder this picture and the redrawn kitchen plan I posted here, he was cautious—he wanted to make sure I would be okay losing the storage space the upper cabinets would have provided on the main wall. But between the added walk-in pantry and the added cabinets in the butler area, I'm pretty sure storage won't be a problem. (His wife loved it, by the way.)
So I sent the cabinetry supplier the redrawn plans, along with this picture, and some notes about what I wanted to do with the butler pantry area. We should get a new bid from him soon. The last time he'd seen the plans we didn't have the walk-in pantry, so I'm hopeful that shortening the main wall and eliminating the upper cabinets there, and then adding the butler area will be, at worst, a wash on the budget. Hopefully the bid will come in lower, especially now that he knows his work will be in the Parade of Homes. We shall see.
Then I emailed the plumbing supplier. We'd been quoted a basic 2-basin undermount kitchen sink, so I needed to let her know we wanted something different. The scale of the faucet we chose in January does not match the scale of the new sink, so we'll need to find another option, which is not a bad thing. The only faucet design I liked, Delta's Pilar single-handle faucet, was (of course) one of the most expensive faucets Delta offers. And since we're planning on an island prep sink, there was a smaller version of the same faucet there.
I love the sink more than the faucets, so I'm hoping that going with less-expensive faucets will offset the cost of the stainless steel apron sink. If not, well, I'll have to look into sourcing materials myself. I found some great stainless steel apron sinks on Overstock.com, some even include faucets.
And speaking of sinks, I also came across this trough-style prep sink at Overstock.com. I like it and I can see filling it with sodas/beer and ice for get togethers, but I'm not sure how the measurements will play out on the island. I've asked the plumbing supplier to price one out just the same.