1. Ann
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

    On counter depth: figure out haw far you can reach when bending over the counter and stop at that point. I’ve got a corner sink with a lot of counter space behind it where the corners of the counter meet, and I have to find a step stool to stand on in order to wipe that area behind the sink down. That’s a pain. I’ve also seen in model homes gigantic islands so huge that I can’t reach the center from any point along the perimeter so cleaning that island would be a daily difficulty that would wear you down.


    • Carrie
      July 10, 2018 @ 5:51 pm

      ^^THIS. Listen to Ann!!!

      I designed my own secretary with a drop-down desktop. I desgned it to be GINORMOUS because I always want the MOST of EVERYTHING. As a result, I cannot reach all the way to the back of the desktop, to the wall where all my supplies hang on cute little pegboads, because I made the desktop TOO DEEP! My punishment is having to get on a little folding step stool every time I need the scissors/a pen/ANYTHING. (Please note, I am almost 6 feet tall. So this is even more embarrassing.)

      If you have no idea what I’m talking about, a photo of my folly may be seen here: http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Apartment%20Therapy/Final%20Pix/CarrieandPatrick_HomeTour_05262018_5256_zpsxfsvhrcb.jpg


      • Lori W.
        July 11, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

        “Has anyone, in the history of ever, been using their perimeter countertops, and thought– GEEZ I WISH THIS WERE NARROWER WITH LESS ROOM!”

        Yes…short people!! Me and my 4’11 mama. Extra counter space is what islands are for. Not all of us have 12 foot of leg line, ahem!


        Thank you!!!! A thousand times…THANK YOU!


        • yasmara
          July 13, 2018 @ 5:09 pm

          Yeah, totally short people problems (I’m one of them). I wrenched my back leaning over to pick something off of our peninsula in our last house. But I think you are tall? So go for it!


      • Lisa Tracy
        July 19, 2018 @ 11:22 pm

        Your office is amazing. I want to live in it!


  2. Jennifer McKeon
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:34 pm

    VEB, would you consider a shelf that is on the same plane as the Lady Mirror Shelf? Would that be visually pleasing?

    I adore the idea of deeper countertops!!! Think of all the GFT’s that could grace your countertops???? Oh my head is spinning!

    Love the pictures of the babies! Rescues are the best thing EVER!!!

    Best of luck in your decisions!


    • Lauren Matheson
      July 10, 2018 @ 3:58 pm

      I agree (at least until I’ve seen it and judged it properly) that aligning any open shelves to integrate the mirror features seems sensible.


  3. Kimberly
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

    Did I miss a post about what would be UNDER the counters? Love the idea of deep counters, but if you’re not putting drawers or at least pullouts underneath, you’ll never access what’s in the back of the cabinet.


    • ryan
      July 10, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

      You can still put standard depth cabinets and drawers under extra deep counters. I’ve going to add 4″ depth to my counters on the sink wall to allow an undercounter fridge in front of the vent pipe but the drawers on the ends will still be the standard 24″ deep (which is deeper than the 20″ that they are now!). The sink cabinet will be 28″ deep because I don’t want to move drain pipes.

      I wish that I could do deeper counters on the other side of my kitchen because I like to keep jars of staples and oil on the back of the counter, but then I loose 6-8″ of prep space.


      • Memory
        July 12, 2018 @ 7:59 pm

        We did this and it’s GREAT! I’m only 5’5” and I can reach to the back of 30” depth. Extra room for preps is wonderful and additional space to reach plumbing is pretty smart IMHO


  4. Nanci Courtney
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:36 pm

    I think it is brilliant that Paul has truly joined the design team! It is going to be GORGEOUS, FUN, and WORKABLE.


  5. Emily
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:38 pm

    You’re not a fool, more counterspace is a glorious thing. We went against the grain and hung our upper cabines about five inches higher than traditional cabinets… why? Um… because we are tall. Just kidding, we did it because I wanted the moulding to be a certain height off the ceiling and I wanted to give my gorgeous new counters more breathing room. The reason I got my version of Paul to agree to go against universal standard heights is because I convinced him that he’s 6’4″ and would appreciate a higher cabinet! I didn’t even think of deeper countertops but I really, really, wish I had!


  6. scaloot
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:44 pm

    You will either love or absolutely hate the extra depth. Me I love it. I also have one stretch only 17 inches – next to chimney, didn’t want it sticking out or a very narrow bit on front of chimney. The only place of normal depth is at sink/dishwasher area. Put in a 54 x54 island so I have lots of counter top space.

    My 4 remaining felines send purrs to Webster to distract him until the little ones return.


  7. Angela
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:45 pm

    I hope you are keeping Webster!

    I cannot wait until you kitchen is all finished! Paul is a saint!


  8. Claudia
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:54 pm

    I added 8″ of extra depth to my kitchen counters. I just pulled the (normal sized) cabinet boxes out 8″ and then covered the gap with coutnertop. I love it. I don’t miss the “wasted” space behind the cabinet boxes.


  9. fern benson
    July 10, 2018 @ 2:55 pm

    we have an extra deep counter as well, with a two shelf unit from the counter up. We keep salt and pepper, oils and vinegar, plus decorative cups and bowls (plus my little chicken whisks). I find it ever so useful. Then above I have artwork. A kitchen art gallery really works and cheers me up! There used to be a mirror that ran the whole length of the counter, but then I just have to look at myself…………..no way, now bueno


  10. Christa
    July 10, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

    I love the idea to make the counters deeper. You don’t want a “traditional” kitchen anyway. If it was me (which it is not, lol!), I would do away with the lower cabinets. I would install sturdy “shelves” instead.
    1. You can use the entire depth of the under counter space
    2. No dividing walls like cabinets have (meaning loads of storage space)
    3. Depending on Paul’s carpentry skills, this could be a very economical option
    4. Find fancy bins (maybe attach fancy brass pulls), curtain it off (though I don’t see you as a curtain girl, unless it was just the right fabric, curtain could be straight across and tight for a sleeker look), brass bar rail, have door fronts made (you don’t need many), ornate posts, etc.
    5. I’m picturing a Victorian manor house kitchen in England
    6. An opportunity to make it super FANCY!


  11. Teri in the UK
    July 10, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

    pleased to see the compost bucket – I have a smaller one which has a click shut lid. We empty it once every day or two. What doesn’t get to be compost gets sorted through by badgers, pheasants etc who are very happy. xx


  12. Lisa D.
    July 10, 2018 @ 3:32 pm

    Victoria, can you share some pictures of Webster, please, so that I can experience a little bit of kitty heaven?


  13. Kimberly S
    July 10, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

    Yup. Most recent kitchen had a mere *4”* of extra depth and that was an absolute revelation in luxury! Why, why, why have I never done this before?!? Was I blind? Now the coffee pot can sit on the counter and I can still actually have room to butter my bagel. Who’d a thunk?


  14. Payton
    July 10, 2018 @ 3:50 pm

    I would happily watch a television program of you fostering kittens, to be honest.


    • NevadaNy
      July 10, 2018 @ 4:35 pm

      Would that not be a great TV show?
      Victoria Remodels! With Kittens!


  15. Cheryl
    July 10, 2018 @ 4:21 pm

    Reading a Gentleman in Moscow now & enjoying it. Didn’t know of the other book so I’ll check it out later. Thanks!


  16. NevadaNy
    July 10, 2018 @ 4:31 pm

    I Love the way you can see the -woman who looks like YOU carved mirror -in the kitchen goes with the shape of the-carved wood china cabinet- in the other room. I hope they both stay right there like that, where you can see them both at the same time.
    I think wide kitchen counter tops are a great idea.
    I still do not understand why you want one of those modern unfancy plain stoves.


  17. Janet
    July 10, 2018 @ 4:33 pm

    If it works for you, and if not using extra deep cabinets, you can use the space behind the cabinets for things like recessed knife rack, built in compost bucket, planter box for herbs(run a drain line into your sink drain), pop up electric outlets, etc. my counters are 30″ deep and I bought deeper cabinets too. I have a commercial stove and refrigerator and freezer so the deeper countertops accommodate their extra deep dimensions.


  18. JeanFB
    July 10, 2018 @ 4:44 pm

    Oh my goodness, I am now starting to “see” it come together and it’s going to be glorious. I love, love, love the idea of using your salvaged marble over by the lady mirror. There’s just something about that deep color of wood (mahogany? or walnut?), with all the fancy details, and vintage marble. As in, marble that looks even better with age (etchings, water marks, etc). The way marble was meant to be (not crazy glossy with everyone fussing over it…. just letting it live, like it does for hundreds of years in France!). Lovely.


  19. Elaine
    July 10, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

    I made my counters 32” deep so that the 32” deep refrigerator I wanted wouldn’t stick out. It works well and I love the extra depth to display a few bowls etc. What I don’t love is trying to reach the backsplash (quartz same as countertop) to clean splashes etc. My arms don’t reach so inevitably it becomes hubby’s job.


  20. judy
    July 10, 2018 @ 5:48 pm

    Wow! It is really coming into focus and will be so lovely,what a treat to glide down your gorgeous staircase and walk into that unique in all the world homage to Pauls skills and your artistry. You must acquire a wardrobe of penoirs and a non-smoking jacket for Paul. Looks like you may celebrate Christmas in a completed kitchen. Won’t that be grand-Disco Balls!!!!!


  21. Michele
    July 10, 2018 @ 7:08 pm

    Ok, first let me just say it’s been a long day, and I’m tired, so I get a pass on this one ok?! But when you were talking about “fixing” day and how you told Webster not to worry because they were coming back I totally thought you meant his dingleberries. And then you said you were going to pick them up and he could even come along and I momentarily had visions of you displaying them in some fancy schmancy cloche or something. Oh man! It may be time for me to get off the internet for the night 😂😂


    • judy
      July 10, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

      I thought the same thing,not with the extrapolation to displays in cloches but that Veb was reassuring Webster that they would grow back. That cracked me up, because cats are so snobbish that I suspect Webster would maintain a complete air of insouciance and wander off tail held high with a sniff at the silliness of humans.


    • Katherine
      July 11, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

      I did the same thing! My excuse is that it’s the morning and I’ve only had one cup of coffee!


    • Pericolosa
      July 11, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

      Ditto. I have no excuse.


  22. Laura
    July 10, 2018 @ 7:53 pm

    I could not put A Gentleman in Moscow down once I started, and I resented life interfering with my reading. You will love this book!


  23. Toni
    July 10, 2018 @ 8:03 pm

    I think a deeper counter makes incredible sense so that you can have maximum storage underneath the counter. Just be sure to install pull out shelving so that you can reach the things that otherwise would be lost in a dark cave. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a kitchen done with and personality and uniqueness!


  24. Sarah
    July 10, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

    Ohmygod. Extra deep countertops are a thing?!? *exits to sledgehammer entire kitchen.


  25. Laura Lind
    July 10, 2018 @ 9:16 pm

    The deep counters seem sensible. As for the compost…we follow a tip we heard on the radio – keep the wet waste in a closed-lid container in the freezer – and obviously empty when it’s full and then the smell is never an issue. I don’t know if that would work for compost? Because it needs heat right? But it’s a suggestion.


  26. Jane
    July 10, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

    I don’t think you are using upper cabinets, but make sure you can reach in them if you pull your counters out further. Otherwise, if you have the space why not use it?


  27. Jayne
    July 10, 2018 @ 10:40 pm

    Timely question as we are contemplating what back splash we will use, and I wondered how hard it will be to put up tile over my new quartz top! Will they spill grout on it? Better not, and if it was an extra deep counter the tiler would have a hard time reaching back there. Also you must consider how hard it will be to reach over the counter and wash up behind for any splatters and such.


  28. Ann
    July 10, 2018 @ 11:12 pm

    Consult Paul on this one, but it occurs to me that he might be able to plan something I had in my last living room, a Craftsman home (much loved in our area).

    Suppose your extra-depth countertop on Wall A sits on base cabinets of standard depth (I think usually 24 inches deep). There’s some space behind the base cabinets to the wall (the depth of your appliance garage cabinets, whatever that is). From the next room, on the opposite side of Wall A, Paul installs base cabinets opening on that side, to take up the space under the countertop, between the back of the kitchen base cabinets and Wall A. You don’t waste any space, you have extra storage in the next room — bookshelves, your collection of china squids, kitten den and gym, whatever).

    Having base cabinets a mile deep sounds better than it is, especially if you have to reach all the way to the back to clean . . . .


  29. Carla Beck
    July 11, 2018 @ 12:43 am

    Sorry about Elvis.


  30. JenWren
    July 11, 2018 @ 9:38 am

    A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW is one of my favorite books. It won’t disappoint!
    No worries for those pathetic ones who cannot grasp a new concept, such as deeper countertops. Standardization was simply invented to make things in an easier and faster way, not because it’s better. We did all our own dimensions according to how best to use our space. We used a antique soapstone sink that is 42″ long (the best thing ever!), made our island countertop out of 2 1/2″walnut from some dead trees my brother found in NC, figured out how to install floating 2″ walnut shelves on two walls, found someone who would take our shiny granite slab and hone it down to a marvelous “natural” but smooth matte finish. The harder stone within the granite withstands the honing while the slightly softer stone is eaten out, resulting in a very soft and satiny looking counter – NO shine! Easy to get engrossed in the lovely texture while gazing out the window, not chopping my vegetables.
    It’s a pleasant hit to my day to read your post of decisions, indecisions, options, recriminations…a bit like reading my own journal. You’re having a blast and making a life that’s your own; can’t beat that even with a Victorian fairy wand! Keep going.


  31. Beth
    July 11, 2018 @ 9:55 am

    YES, yes, yes to compost. I have coworkers who have enormous suburban lots and can’t find room or desire to compost. I have a small city lot and have vowed to put no food waste in the garbage, and definitely not down the drain. I have been composting for years. Love you, love the blog.


  32. Sandy
    July 11, 2018 @ 2:21 pm

    A Gentleman in Moscow- superb. 🙂

    Looking forward to the amalgamation of all the fanciness.


  33. Carole
    July 11, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

    Just want to let you know that we also have a induction stovetop on an island with no vent hood. We have a little downdraft vent and it works just great! Also my husband also built a mock-up of the kitchen so I could “feel” myself in it.


  34. Lisa D. Witte
    July 11, 2018 @ 7:08 pm

    Please be sure to video the Webster and Kittens reunion! 😀


  35. Pericolosa
    July 12, 2018 @ 10:25 am

    It’s hard to imagine anything like shelves or cabinets next to the lady head mirror that won’t distract and detract. A set of beautiful containers seems like it would be the most elegant addition.

    But, what do you need to store or keep handy on that wall for your kitchen to be functional for you – if anything? Honestly, do you need to put anything else there?

    I can see either standard subway tile or marble slabs as a backsplash, covering that whole wall behind the mirror, no problem.


  36. Krissy Clark McKee
    July 12, 2018 @ 5:01 pm

    Love how it is coming together. I have the Koehler Whitehaven cast iron sink in the 36” size in my kitchen and have to say it was worth every penny! Looks great and I absolutely love seeing it (and using it) every time I walk into my kitchen.e


  37. Crystal
    July 12, 2018 @ 6:57 pm

    LOVE the LOOK of extra deep counters!! However, I am 5’4″ with average arm length so cleaning would be a challenge. READ: grunge and dust bunnies and EGAD… spiders will inhabit the corners. So what?? They look good. I compost. I am the patron saint of my pipes. Mr B is highly allergic to cats, as in CANNOT breathe, I threatened to leave him, his breathing did not improve. So we rescue dogs, to which he is only mildly allergic, can still breathe and must wear breathe right strips at night on his nose. I find that charming and sexy. To soothe my kittie needs I volunteer and then come home to disrobe in the garage and shower immediately. And I preach, yes preach!!! Obnoxiously I might add on the benefits of rescuing kitties, doggies, horses, burros, bunnies and pigs and cows. I am the veritable preacher of the animal world. I deserve oodles of awards. But I will settle for my beloved’s horrendous snores at night which let me know he is still breathing.


    July 13, 2018 @ 2:24 am

    We have extra deep AND extra tall counters. LOVE them. And I’m a 5’3 shortie, so a tall person should have no problems at all with either.

    Regarding your faucet options – I too went on a search for a wall mount with pull down sprayer. The only option I found was from Jaclo. Which does have some pretty vintage handle style options. But unfortunately does not come in brass.


  39. BUnguin
    July 13, 2018 @ 8:54 am


    I have chickens. They eat the leftover food scraps (not spoiled or moldy though), and make beautiful eggs and dirt. It’s a great system – almost as good as just regular composing. But I have to put up with copious crowing by the roo, and garden thief hens. So not quite as quiet as regular composting.


  40. home before dark
    July 13, 2018 @ 9:56 am

    I have extra deep counters to allow cabinets on each side of my deep something like 28 x 48 Kohler sink. I love the results. I chose to have custom cabinets made (Super Paul could easily do this) with all drawers with no hardware only half moon cut-outs. One cabinet holds the dishwasher and the other cabinet is a cooking area. The extra deep surface allows me to use the space in multiple ways (I’m using induction). It’s a practical solution that worked for me. With your two brains in a blender, you will be a spectacular solution.

    ps About keeping compost materials in freezer, I do that. If I’ve used the blender or food processor, I’ll give the stuff a whirl before freezing and when I need to clear the room, just dig a hole in the ground and pop in the compost popsicle in and let nature do her trick. Works for me.


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