All things baking are on a temporary halt while the kitchen gets renovated. Demo started Oct. 14 and it's been start and stop ever since. The cabinets are scheduled to be installed starting Nov. 6, so am hoping that things pick up pretty quickly!
At this point we've made all of our decisions in terms of appliances, flooring, cabinets, etc:
We went to the big box stores, the little box stores and everywhere in between, but eventually got the best prices and service from a local store in Yonkers - Curto's Appliances. We've been working with Linda and she's been part salesperson, part shrink, helping me/us figure out what we really wanted in this kitchen and how much we really wanted to spend on it!
In the end, have decided on:
Range: DCS 30" gas range - it has 5 burners, big oven and is beautiful:)
Hood: 30" Zephyr Venezia - love its simple shape, and has enough CFMs (715) for the stove
Oven: Bosch 500 30" electric convection - two ovens or one was our first dilemma, second was figuring out how to fit everything in our little kitchen! In in end realized that if I really want to start baking more I need another oven and this one was the hands down winner. (I found out after we decided that Consumer Reports agreed - rated this exact model tops in a recent review).
Fridge: HA - only decision left to make. Want a big side by side, non-counter depth but don't want to spend $2000! Thinking of going with a GE Profile, mainly because some models have a special section in the bottom of the fridge that cools things down super quickly. Perfect for baking, chocolates, and, um, beer and wine:)
Disposal: Have survived all of my adult life without a disposal, but figure if we're doing the kitchen, may as well add it. Bought one from Costco - so if we hate it, it's easy enough to return, and you can't beat Costco's return policy!
Dishwasher: Doug had the brilliant idea of keeping our old dishwasher as a way of keeping down costs. I was originally leery of the idea, but realized it made sense. It's not totally ugly, and still works pretty well (knock wood). Why replace it until we need to?
Going with Ikea - Adel Birch. We had them before in our apt. in NYC and were really happy with them. I liked the simple lines and they're actually real wood, rather than some plasticky stuff. We worked with Bonnie and Ron at The Kitchen Couple. Read about them first on Apartment Therapy, and it's been a great experience so far. Bonnie handles all the consultations, planning, replanning, etc. and Ron does the installation. Installation begins November 6 and should take 3-4 days. I hope we're ready!
Soapstone. This is our big splurge. Have always liked them but never thought we'd take the plunge. Working with Jay at Garden State Soapstone -- recommended, again, by someone on Apartment Therapy. We took a trip to his stone yard a couple of weeks ago, picked out our slabs and make plans to have Jay come to template on or around November 11.
FYI - found this online about soapstone - good info if you're interested.
Slate. Like soapstone - it's not something that's going to look EXACTLY the same 10 years from now as the day we put it in, but we like that! I mean, what's wrong with a little aging? We're getting it from Stone Source in NYC. I read a lot about it online and lots of the cheaper slate from Home Depot, etc., is garbage and we'd end up buying double what we need just to get enough pieces that will work. Just placed the order for 250 sq. ft. of a style called Kashmere. Can't wait to see the results! Hopefully will look someting like this, but we're going with 12" squares instead of rectangles.
Made a rash decision the other day and bought this from Overstock.com. Most of their sinks don't have any customer reviews. This one had 20+, all positive, so we're taking a gamble. Originally we were going to get a matching soapstone sink but it came in at $1300! We decided we really didn't need the sink to be the showpiece of the room - it probably will be stacked high with dishes anyway!
Did more shopping at Costco.com from the faucets. Because they have free shipping and easy returns I bought two - this one and this one. Once they arrive we'll see which one we like best, if any.
Other great resources:
I've been spending a lot of time on the appliances forum at GardenWeb. People on there really know their stuff - good place to ask a question or just search their huge database.
AJ Madison is an online appliance store. I like the personalized attention I got at Curto's, but this site has all the big brands (and lots of smaller ones) and makes it really easy to compare different models of things.