Reporting on the Brass Faucet

So far, my only complaint about the Kingston Brass faucet I bought (and talked about here, though I ended up getting this one actually) is that it took a while to get here. Like, maybe two whole months?


When it did finally arrive though (I guess it was temporarily back-ordered), I was happily surprised with how heavy the thing was! And the polished brass was not so 'bad 80s brass' as I thought it might be. I was wondering if I would need to strip the lacquer off or sort of buff off some of the shine, but I think it looks pretty good as is. And I actually like it with my boring stainless steel sink. The mix of metals there sort of mimics the mix on the range.


As far as functionality goes, it ran a little slow for about a week after we installed it. The pressure was weak and it drove me completely nuts. I was worried the low pressure was because of the high bridge. But it ended up being a mistake on my part (I put the filter in the wrong way) and now that it's fixed, this faucet easily has more water pressure than the shower in our last apartment! I could probably put out a fire in our backyard with the sprayer. :)


So, I'm curious. Since this redo was done on the cheap, I've been sort of dreaming of what I would have done if we owned the house and budget was no issue (the answer begins with reconfiguring the whole lay out of the parlor floor...). If you've redone your kitchen, where did you splurge and where did you save? What kitchen element is most important to you? Appliances? Countertops? Cabinets?

59 comments:

pve design said...

I think any renovation requires laying out and listing everything in order to analyze one's budget. We love our new kitchen. I would say appliances are key, great faucets and counters....cabinetry is all so personal...there are many ways to save there. I love things like under mount sinks, stone and the materials really can make a kitchen.
Brass is beautiful!
pve

Laurie said...

Looks great! Have you thought about painting the inside of the nook there where your dishes are? Think it would really show them off even more.

Anonymous said...

If you have the budget, I'd consider replacing that formica (?) countertop with some Ikea butcher's block (as you have between the stove and fridge) and scout Home Depot for one of their white Kohler sinks on sale. Then I'd save my pennies for a red (or black) Smeg fridge. Just saying" The transformation so far is amazing, keep going!
M in London

marie bourlet said...

I think Frank Joseph wall paper would look is a must in every kitchen!

My Crafty Home Life said...

That faucet is fab, I have a similar one in chrome. I splurged on radiant floor heat. There is nothing like standing on a warm floor in the middle of winter. I also splurged on the island. People love to gather around it, so seating was a must. Oh, and a second sink :)

Sara said...

The faucet loots great! I re-did my kitchen, I splurged on counters (soapstone) and replacing a huge window with custom made french doors to a newly built balcony. The appliances were definitely an upgrade from what was here (very old, not working stuff) but they were not high end, just much better. I saved on flooring (tile from online discount site), cabinets (IKEA). And labour, doing as much as I can do (like building the cabinets). I found a great contractor that could help me install, plus plumb and electrical. So that helped a lot too.

Erika at BluLabel Bungalow said...

First I must say the work of your hands is absolutely beautiful. I think it speaks volumes that you can make something amazing on a budget. Can only imagine what you'd do if you had more.

I renovated a kitchen for a client earlier this year. We kept the footprint, but rehauled everything else from the cab finish, flooring, backsplash, lighting, and appliances. Everything worked together in tandem. The owners barely recognized the space.

The Lazy Fair said...

Jenny, you are amazing! I can't believe how much you've changed that kitchen with some interesting details and elbow grease! I know a brand new kitchen might be nicer, but as a reader, I find this WAAAAAY more inspiring! Thanks!

K @ Shift Ctrl ART said...

Love what you did! We saved on the cabinets (IKEA), but really after looking at a few other options, they were my favorite because they are roomy. The drawers extend all the way out to the sides and in the back. There is no facing on the cabinets, no center divider. Self-close, soft close... Won me over. We splurged on the counters and got Caesar Stone. And on the flooring and got unstained Acacia wide plank.

SG said...

Love the faucet - I love the look, and I wonder about the practicality of not having a single lever to control water temperature. How are you finding having two knobs?

Thanks for the feedback - and thanks for the amazing inspiration as we undertake re-doing our kitchen on a budget.

Derek said...

That faucet is awesome. When we moved in, the first thing to go was the kitchen. We didn't change the layout, just extended the counter to push the peninsula out. We saved a ton by doing an IKEA kitchen during their huge sale, plus we reused the old cabinets and countertops to create a workshop. We also saved on flooring by pulling up tiles from the back room and replacing where the old peninsula was, rather than replacing the whole floor. Where we pulled up tiles, I have an engineered hardwood floor that I got for free from a Home & Garden Show booth that was throwing it out after the show. Keep that in mind when you attend Home & Garden Shows - a lot of those builders discard much of their building materials when the show is over!

Julie said...

I have lived in old houses for over 25 years and redone 3 kitchens- 2 in one house. What I know to be important to me and what I will work towards in my final kitchen? A good pantry- one that is large enough to hold all of my staples. Great appliances. I have the double oven now but I would love a warming drawer. A big sink and I don't need it divided I need to be able to put a huge roasting pan in it to soak. I would also want a butler pantry where the kitchen aid microwave, coffee maker and other ugly appliances can sit out and be hidden.

I think what you have done on a budget is lovely. Enjoying watching you transform your place.

Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms said...

I love that faucet. Good pick! I also did a kitchen reno on the cheap (you can see the run-down here: http://wp.me/p2Mhyz-eY. What I thought was the biggest change and now is my go-to for making a big impact in a space is changing the lighting. It made the whole room look different (better different for sure)! I think yours looks great!

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Ann said...

We redid our kitchen, but saved money by keeping the same footprint. That enabled us to keep the cupboards. We ordered new doors and drawer fronts on the internet and did the refinishing ourselves--blue paint with black pinstriping. We added rollout boxes on all of the shelves. We splurged on appliances and a travertine floor in the Versailles pattern. We had existing granite countertops, but they had a skinny bullnose edge, so we found some coordinating granite and had a thicker edge added. (No one had done it before, but we found a contractor willing to try. It is fabulous!) We added a banquette, which my husband built from Ikea over-refrigerator boxes and mail order drawer panels. I made the cushions and pillows. We also bought a new faucet, but kept the under-counter cast iron sink. We put Victorian swirly glass in two of the cabinet doors. We have recessed lighting, but I'd like to add a lantern someday.

VIB said...

The faucet is gorgeous. And mixed metals look great. I think chrome is pretty much unavoidable in a kitchen, unless you really have unlimited budget.

We are about done with our kitchen renovation. It started with a faucet. A brass vintage beauty that I found in a salvage shop for under $100.

We had to fix structural issues first and foremost, so it made sense to dedicate most of the budget to the 'box' of the room. We put in French doors on a load bearing wall and installed heated floors - definitely splurges. I found well-priced ceramic tile for the floors, and we salvaged tin ceiling tiles so that was more of a save, but definitely not a compromise. We used IKEA applad cabinets - a huge save and they look great - I think i will use these always and forever. There were two categories where we compromised and saved: appliances (kept the stove) and counters (stained black butcher block). Because these can be upgraded later.

DreamCatcher said...

If i did my kitchen again i would save on cabinet doors and splurge on countrtops. I would save on backsplash and spent on cabinet door stoppers. I would choose cork or hardwood or even laminate floors and would probably choose the 2-door fridge. I also want an island!
My pantry is a god sent accident. I could probably live in there happily :)
Great and wisely put lighting is also essential.

Jamie said...

I'm currently thinking about how to do this in my kitchen (and budget is certainly a constraint). We have stock cabinets and no storage space. For now, I'm looking into how feasible it is to rip out our cabinets and build up the floor under them, since the former owners put new flooring down in front of them and it's making it hard to get a new dishwasher. I'd love to get semi-custom cabinets so I could add a pantry at some point..

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

I think the range and range hood make the room, so that's always where I suggest clients splurge. Our custom cabinetmakers makes furniture quality pieces that are "green" so we always recommend that direction, but stock cabinetry is of course a way to save. It's never going to as nice quality-wise, but a lot of people just seem to care more about the looks. I think it should directly relate to the home value- doesn't make sense to over-invest in the kitchen.

Janna McCalley said...

We're still in progress on our kitchen reno, but I'm so happy that we splurged on custom cabinets. It was great to work with a builder who had experience and could offer advice and we could mazimize every inch of space in our little kitchen. Even though it's small, it super effecient and I can cook for a crowd, or have a few cooks in the kitchen no problem. By spending most of our money there, we've taken our time getting what we want for the rest, and looking around for the best deals. It's taken longer then the average reno, but at least we love what we've got.

Sasha Benear said...

Random, but where did you get that little geo pot? It's so cute!

jenni said...

We are in the process of redoing our new house's kitchen right now. We went kind of mid-range on the cabinets (Thomasville Home Depot) but splurged on heavy-duty hardware and a Silestone countertop. Our kitchen is smallish and expansion isn't really possible so the only major changes we are making are to move the fridge about two feet to the right and adding a small peninsula so that I can stand on one side and my girls can stand on the other while we cook. That little addition was the one one which I never had any intention of budging. It will make the process of cooking and baking (and teaching as we go) so much easier than if we had to stand elbow-to-elbow.

Lianna@theresnoplacelikehomemke.com said...

beautiful faucet - love it with the sink. Your whole kitchen is adorable. Love the painted cabinets and the open shevling on the side. so cute!

Sarah said...

I don't remember if we ever heard about what you did for floor treatment. It looks like black and white tile?

Anonymous said...

We gutted our kitchen a couple years ago because the MDF cabinets were falling apart and the layout was terrible. I was lucky to find high end appliances and marble counters at huge discounts at a couple stores that were closing down. I did splurge on shaker style wood cabinets and the undermount kitchen sink which was more expensive than the new dishwasher. I wanted a high quality stainless steel sink that would last at least 10-15 years. According to several contractors, it's almost impossible to switch out an undermount sink without damaging the excisting stone counters or sink cabinet. (The old granite counters did crack when the sink was removed) Although we didn't add any square footage the new kitchen flows much better and feels larger.
By the way, I think you did a fabulous job with your kitchen redo. It inspires me to overhaul my laundry room cabinets...

Holly said...

This has nothing to do with kitchen reno's, but I notice you have a single-basin sink. Single basins and I are lifelong nemesis, especially since I have been reduced to using a shallow one for the last three years. What is your dish washing configuration? Microfiber pad and a draining rack? Dishwasher?

nicolemw said...

We just redid our kitchen and splurged on the counters and appliances. We were lucky to have a good cabinet layout already so with a few tweaks, new hardware and several coats of paint, we saved a ton by not having to replace them.

kati @ sohappyhome.com said...

When we redid our kitchen, I think we may have 'over-improved' for our area, but we just couldn't do without certain things that I'd always dreamed of (restoring moldings and original floors to retain the historic charm of the house), but I never regretted splurging on the countertops or the cooktop. The things you touch every day are the areas I think are best to focus on for your own personal pleasure. Of course, we splurged on things I wish we hadn't - our faucet, the wall ovens - but we managed to strike that balance between what we felt was best for the life of the home, and what we liked and couldn't live without.

Anonymous said...

oh the turquoise fridge would just be like icing on the cake...

Lynn said...

Hey, where did you get that little sponge holder?! I've been trying to find something like that forever! Yes, I live in the middle of nowhere with no actual kitchen shops to be found.

Anonymous said...

We bought an apartment that was built in 1905 so it was important to us to do a restoration more than a renovation. That said a kitchen needs modern amenities- but we saved on the back splash and floor- using subway tiles with dark grout and wood floors. And we splurged on the cabinets, appliances, and countertops. The countertops are soap stone and I have to say they were worth every penny!

JeanneW said...

We redid our entire kitchen. We were lucky in that we had appliances we could save. But our major splurge was for marble countertops. Seven full slabs of honed, calacutta oro. We were warned what a mistake it would be, but we've had them for five years now and they have been AMAZING (with little kids no less!!) I seal it twice a year and every single time I look at it and touch it, I fall in love over again. It was by far the best decision we made.

Crystal said...

I haven't redone a kitchen but I think my top splurge would be countertops (marble!), then good hardware, and then pendants/chandelier if there were an island or bar. Cabinets are important to me, but I know I could get the look I want by refacing.

Angela Marchetti said...

Love it! Great job with the kitchen!

srw said...

I redid my kitchen two years ago. I saved by using Ikea cabinets, which I'm still happy with. Love the soft close drawers and interior fittings for organization. My family marvels at how organized my kitchen is each holiday dinner. My splurge was on the Luca di Luna quartzite counters. They really do make everything look richer. If I have one regret, it's my single basin sink. I agree with Holly, it's the bane of my existence. It's a modern looking, huge rectangular undermount. It looks good, but is a pain for hand washing dishes - which I do a lot since I'm single and don't generate enough dirty dishes to use my dishwasher on a regular basis.

Carrie said...

I did a "cheapo" renovation, but spent the most money on new lighting. There was some weird, arched contraption that housed florescent lights on the ceiling. We ripped it out, raised the ceiling, and added recessed lighting and a couple unique pendants--much better!

Becky said...

our kitchen was about as big as that kitchen and after ten years of mulling and debating - we just went for it and the best option was to tear things down. we found that we would have spent just as much to rehab what was there and we wouldn't have been as happy and the finished product wouldn't have worked for our family. as far as budget - we saved huge by doing everything ourselves...from the flooring to the cabinets and all hardware, sink etc...so right up your alley. we did have the countertops done after lots of debating over ikea butcherblock. but bonus, i had 4 guys bidding against each other - 2 granite and 2 quartz (i wanted the quartz and needed it to get down to granite prices)...and it took a month of going back and forth with all of them and i ended up getting the quartz guys down from a $10,000 initial bid to $2500 - best $2500 we ever spent :) blah, blah, blah - i'll quit rambling.

Nuha said...

you never cease to amaze me! i love the way some paint and new fixtures ( lighting, hardware, faucet) has completely transformed your kitchen!

Anonymous said...

My 36" Wolf stove. Luuuuv.

And my soapstone countertops were cheaper than granite and I adore them too.

Shawna said...

Your new kitchen looks fantastic and I think a renovation has more character and creativity when there are limitations with budget or space.

I love natural materials and quality items that will look good as they age. I would rather have a threadbare persian rug than a brand new polypropylene rug. I do not necessarily like a high end look-all polish and marble.

I would make a smaller kitchen with quality materials rather than a large kitchen as so often shown in magazines. I only need room for one or two people to work in it.

Bonnie said...

Your faucet is lovely. I just redid our kitchen, and I love it. I decided that it was one of the most important areas to spend money on in our renovation. So I splurged on upgrading the cabinets to all wood (no particle board) with the silent drawer close feature. Because I decided to go without upper cabinets to make room for huge windows, I also splurged to get cabinets that worked better for our storage needs (a pull out spice cabinet, a double silverware drawer, a baking sheet cabinet and three lazy susans). I also decided traditional 'cabinets' were a waste of space and went with all drawers. So it cost a bit more, but totally made the kitchen work. Oh and let's not forget the $600 white fireclay farmers sink. That was my biggest splurge, but I LOVE it.

Nicole said...

The brass fixture looks great! We decided on installing a black slate tile countertop with *nearly* zero grout lines instead of granite and were able to purchase new hardwood flooring in the entire house!

Mel & Liza said...

You gotta check out Liza's kitchen re-do her viking stove is to die for! melandliza.blogspot.com BTW love your BK kitchen.

jill said...

We redid our kitchen a few years ago. Splurge on a pull out pantry -- you can see the contents from both sides which is heaven. If I had to do it over again, I would not spend the money on a Sub Zero fridge or a warming drawer -- not worth it. I would also splurge on the quietest, most configurable dishwasher I could find. And a microwave with a popcorn button is a must!

Nancie Bee said...

Good question! My kitchen is just 13 years old but looking very dated. I want a wall removed, etc but will probably be lucky to end up with a new island. What could I do on the cheap??? Necessity is the mother of invention...

Amber said...

i love the brass fixture. and your kitchen looks wonderful! i'm sure your landlord LOVES you!

Nerissa said...

Your renovation is gorgeous. I love the dark grey cabinets. It looks like the kitchen has limited storage. We are considering buying a house with a tiny kitchen... could you please do a post about creative kitchen storage ideas? Do you store your nice china elsewhere? Where do you store your pantry items?

Diane James Home said...

I haven't yet done the big redo but your gorgeous kitchen is certainly giving me some great ideas! Thank you for sharing, Cynthia

Hilary Dow Ward said...

doesn't look cheapo at all. fashions in with the rest of your gold pieces in the kitchen. Way to go and way to buy at a smart price!

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Kris Robitzsch said...

Looking great!

Anonymous said...

I love your kitchen! I've been contemplating painting my cabinets and your blog has inspired me! I had a couple of questions about the paint you used.
Did you use an oil based paint for your cabinets? I dont think F&B carries oil based paint anymore. I live in California and can't buy oil based paint. What is the next best alternative for painting cabinets?
Did you also do an oil based primer? Any help would be much appreciated! Love your blog!!

Anonymous said...

What color paint did you use on your kitchen cabinets? They are AMAZING!

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Jessica Davis said...

We are re-doing our kitchen as I write this. I splurged on a newport brass faucet in brushed brass to match my hardware line (that I design myself).... and then I cut corners on the floor. Painting the sub floor and going to do a stencil. Crossing my fingers that it turns out nice!

Unknown said...

I do the exact same thing, walking in the neighborhood at night. I was so shocked when I caught a glimpse of your new chandelier recently on a quick run to the produce stand. Creepy, I know! I had been waiting anxiously to see it on the site- and couldn't believe I found it myself, just a block down!

Steph. :) said...

Oh I have the same faucet in polished nickel! Don't you just LOVE it? It reminds me of a 1920s faucet. Here is a photo of mine: http://stephaniehallburns.blogspot.com/2012/03/faucet-love.html

Found you through CG and love your blog!

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