Kitchen in major need of re-model.

barnhouse333January 1, 2013

Hi All! We are beginning to plan a remodel of our kitchen. We have been living in our house for almost three years, and the kitchen is in major need of an overhaul. The house is 35 years old and the kitchen is original. So far, what I am planning:
New cabinets. Bases probably from IKEA to save on $ and Shaker door fronts from a different company. Hoping to keep everything in the same place except the refrigerator. We would like to move the refrigerator in the space currently being used for a pantry. Where the refrigerator is currently we would like to put floor to ceiling cabinets. No upper cabinets- open shelves.
Colors: Cabinets: dark grey with silver pulls
Sink: white farmhouse
Countertops: Quartz, something marble-like. Perhaps Cambria Torquay if it is not too expensive or perhaps a white granite of some sort if the coloring is right.
Backsplash: subway tile with grey grout

We have never done a major remodel of a kitchen or bath- we have mostly done light remodel work i.e. painting cabinets, tiling, etc., so this job feels daunting and yet we are trying to not put more money into the house then we will be able to get back out.
Random issues: I am unclear about the stove that we currently have- there isn't an exhaust above it, and I don't see a vent outside indicating that it is a downdraft...
Lots of beams to work around.
So many things to think about. Would love any feedback to my current ideas and any other ideas that you may have. :) Looks like I can only load one picture at a time, so I will load a couple more so that the whole kitchen can be viewed as well as the general style of the rest of the house.

This post was edited by barnhouse333 on Tue, Jan 1, 13 at 20:01

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This post was edited by barnhouse333 on Tue, Jan 1, 13 at 20:04

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Elraes Miller


    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 7:12PM
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I have edited the original post to include more pictures. :)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:07AM
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I'm not sure moving the fridge furthur into the corner is a move I'd choose.First thing; evaluate closing up the small window above stove and possibly removing a beam of two on that side of kitchen ceiling so when lighting choices need to be made you have no hindrance. there are plenty of beams and windows elsewhere....I'd remove the diagonal wall timbers in the kitchen and around pantry area too.Post the dimensions of the whole kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 6:23AM
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Thought I said this yesterday!!? Oh well....

That house is adorable!! I love it!

I suppose you need to look at taking out the cute peninsula and making a galley. If you could set the fridge back into that wall a few inches, it would help.

Not much help, sorry, but had to comment on the house!!


    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 8:34AM
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I love the originality of your house. It'll be interesting to see how the dark gray cabinets work out in your wood-beamed space. I've never seen gray without a lot of white trim to brighten it up. If it were me, I'd want a warm, organic feel.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:01AM
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What a neat house! Are you sure that you need to replace the cabinets? Are they solid wood? pine? What shape are they in? Could you possibly pain them or stain them?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:47AM
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That is a beautiful house!! I love the beams and warm feeling. You have a gem in your hands. I think you should keep the integrity of that style by trying to do as little as possible to the beams. That said, I can definitely see a wall of cabinets with the refrigerator moved as you've mentioned.

In many areas, it's against code to put a stove under a window, but it doesn't look like that was an issue in your area when your home was built. However, when you remodel, you might be prevented from doing that if local codes have changed. This might be too much construction, but I would remove the window, center the stove between the beams and add a vent/hood which exhausts to the outside. If you feel you need the light in there you could remove the 45 degree braces and add a window(s) to the side(s) of the stove. Or you can add shelves and have open shelving as you mentioned.

It seems like you are lacking lighting in there since the only light I see is the blinding double "searchlight" above the sink. I would see if you could integrate a more stylish light/pendants.

To be honest, I am not sure I see the dark gray cabinets in here. I almost would keep to the wood theme, but use a light creamy counter. I love the feel of you home. If you went with a gray, I would make sure it had a green undertone and not a cool blue undertone. All of the warm tones in here are lovely.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:42PM
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I agree with nosoccermom. Do you really need to replace the cabinets? They look good with the rest of the house, all the wood. I can't picture gray in there. The peninsula cuts into the space; can you remove that? The fridge in the pantry nook seems like a good idea, if you can work around the cross beam currently there. A few tweaks here and there an new appliances, sink, back splash and counters may be all you need.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:59PM
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herbflavor: Yes, I too am concerned about how the refrigerator is going to work back in that nook... I never even considered closing up the window on the far wall above the stove, but think that you are right... there are enough windows in there without this one. So, that is certainly something to consider! The beams, even the small cross beams, are all structural- and I was told that they could not be changed at all. I was thinking I could at least notch out the cross beams in the pantry area to make getting that frigerator in there, but was told that wouldn't be a good thing to do. A little later today I will post the dimensions . Thanks for your input!
Mayflowers: I hope that the grey isn't too dark- but am hoping that the light colored countertop will be enough to brighten it up (and the white backsplash)... also the fact that there won't be any upper cabinets- just shelving. I love the combination of wood, grey, and white- I'm also hoping that everything just looks cleaner- having so much wood in one space, particularly the kitchen is a bit overwhelming to me. I'm not crazy about the trim around the windows, but the whole house is really open and I am not sure how I would change that.....?
nosoccermom: no, actually, i am not sure that i absolutely need to replace the cabinets. But, I do have major issues with them! They are solid wood, pine.... My issues: there is one row of drawers- and although they are very deep, the sides/railings of the drawers on the interior are only a couple on inches deep. Also, although you can't see in the picture, under the peninsula, it is open shelves- so our pots and pans are in full view (as are the dishes on the other lower open shelves near the stove). I also do not like the faces of the cabinets- I would much prefer a shaker style. Would love to keep the peninsula (maybe make it deeper, square it off, and definitely make it one level), just to have some counterspace if for no other reason. Also want to add a dishwasher. That and a garbage disposal will be sheer heaven. Thank you all so much for any and all feedback. It really helps to see things fresh and from a different perspective.
Also, in regards to closing the window in the kitchen- there is only one window in the front of the house - and while I don't currently have a picture of the front, I have one of the back and side that shows the windows- The front one is surrounded by rock like the windows on the side of the house.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Fabulous house!!!!! I think having the grey grout on the interior stone wall will really help to tie in your dream grey cabinets. Adding a dishwasher and disposal will be heaven! Can you remove the half wall and soffit by the fridge?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 2:25PM
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We need a floor plan, including the area around the kitchen!! Please. Then the people here that really know kitchens, not me, will give you some valuable suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 2:42PM
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karen je: yes, the half wall can be removed- but the pantry is deeper i think by about 8 inches- (i will post the floor plan later tonight hopefully). We can't push the wall behind the refrigerator back at all because there is a bathroom behind it. The soffit above the refrigerator can also go, and I would like to put cabinets to the ceiling- although will have to figure out how to to that with the beams.
firsthouse: haha! no, you weren't imagining the lighting issues- there are floodlights in there, as in the rest of the whole main floor! The man (who was single) who built this home really did it as a labor of love. It is apparently a pennsylvania dutch style house (at least from what I was told)- and he did a lot of the work himself. But, the one thing, is that you can really tell that a woman was not involved in the process! haha! The floodlights around the house was the first clue and then the kitchen design was the second. I must say though, that when I saw the photo album of all the work he put in, I almost cried. Really, a labor of love. He owned the home until he passed- and although he had been offered money to buy the home (the person wanted to tear it down and build a very large house on the property!!!), he never parted with it. That all being said, the lighting will definitely have to be addressed.
Also, the stove. Yes, I am really confused about the stove- aren't they supposed to vent somewhere? I love the idea of putting a hood above the stove.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:03PM
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This appears to be post and beam so all the beams are likely structural, none decorative. Remove brackets and you remove lateral bracing.

I agree we need a floorplan to help with the layout.

There is no range ventilation and in some areas it is not required, but I would find a way to vent the range. If it stays in its location the window could be changed to a fixed window and that would suffice for international code but perhaps not local.

I think grey cabinets could work because of the stone, but I think a marble look is too formal for the house. My personal thought would be to use a quartz that is completely monolithic in color and not trying to look like anything organic, or, as a second choice to pick something that looked organic but complemented the stone.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:06PM
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oops. accidentally posted twice. disregard.

This post was edited by barnhouse333 on Wed, Jan 2, 13 at 15:16

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I doubt there is space for anything but a junction box for a fixture between the ceiling and the floor above. This isn't conventional construction with cavities in the walls and ceilings. In some construction like this the ceiling finish is essentially applied between the beams directly to the bottom of the floor upstairs and there is no space at all. I could be wrong.

You could create a cavity shallow enough for junction boxes and surface mounted fixtures between the beams but I think this could detract from the beams.

Your best bet is going to be some kind of track system with small heads mounted to the sides of the beams.

I live in an area with a lot of 200 year old houses with exposed beam or rafter ceilings and since the ceiling surface is actually the bottom of the flooring upstairs, this is how the lighting is accomplished in those houses.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:23PM
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You and I have very similar houses on the interior- yours is really gorgeous on the outside too. Here is a quick shot of my dining area and you can perhaps see the similarity.
From GW Photos

Post and beam houses come with lots of special considerations, but they are worth it.
Coincidentally, my kitchen project started out to be painted grey cabinets with Cambria Torquay, so I think those choices are great. You will need to go with a really deep saturated grey, I think, to work with the beams. I wimped out for that reason and others and went with walnut cabinets. I like the contrast of the dark walnut with the golden/reddish beams and flooring. A light countertop is crucial. I didn't end up with Cambria Torquay, when I saw larger slabs of it, it had a colder look than what we wanted and wasn't natural looking enough us-just our opinion. We went with a more beige stone that we are totally in love with. My kitchen is mostly finished, just some touches left, I will attach a link at the bottom for you if you are curious.
I am a little unsure about how you will fit the refrigerator in the current pantry niche. Our refrigerator is actually under a knee joint, and we had to make sure that it was at least 11 inches out from the post to fit under the knee. The back of the refrigerator cabinetry is notched around the knee. I think if you move far enough out from the post to fit an approx. 70" tall refrigerator under the knee you won't have enough space left in the niche. Your contractor is right you can't notch a knee- definitely not advisable. Is there anyway that you can remove the walls that box in the current refrigerator? If you can at least remove the one to the left of the fridge I think your space will become more workable. I do not believe those walls are supporting, in our type of construction only posts and beams are supporting. What is behind and over that space? Is there something in the soffit over the fridge?
If you could remove that wall to the left of the fridge, maybe you could move the range to the right of the window and put an externally vented hood over it?
RE the peninsula, if you remove the peninsula you are going to have to decide about flooring. It looks like everything is hardwood now, except the kitchen. The peninsula provides a natural flooring transition point, without it will the transtion be OK. In our case it wouldn't have and so we put hardwood into the kitchen area.
You really need to think about lighting. I assume that your ceiling is like mine and you cannot do recessed lights. The natural solution is track and that is why it is featured in so many post and beam homes. I decided to mount sconces around my perimeter and I used wiremold to get a fixture over my island. (The island light is not up yet in the link.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Localeater's Kitchen

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Finally got the floorplan.

This post was edited by barnhouse333 on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 22:38

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:47PM
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localeater: love your kitchen!! It's clean, open, functional and beautifully designed. Thank you so much for sharing! It certainly helps seeing other post and beam kitchens. I've had to take a break from this project for the past few weeks and am just beginning to wrap my head around the details again. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step back with this project. It's like a puzzle for my overtired brain. :) To answer some of your questions: the soffit above the refrig can go, the wall between where the refrig currently is and where the pantry is has some electrical in it, but i think it can go if we need it to. the alcove is about 8" deeper than the wall that the refrig currently backed up to. i'm concerned about how the refrig is going to work in the alcove. we are open to buying a smaller refrig to make it work. It is drawn in on the design in the alcove (drawn in by the cabinet maker)- but, I am still not convinced how it is going to work. I'm also not clear as to whether the stove needs to be vented and if it being under a window is against code. (if it is, we weren't informed by the inspector when we bought the house). We personally don't mind not having a vent as it doesn't seem to be a problem for how we cook. As far as the floors, we hope to match the current floor and bring it all the way into the kitchen. Lighting: we would like to do some sconces like the ones that you have and maybe combine that with cable lighting that run across the beams. Since the original post, I have changed my mind on countertops and am now leaning towards Caesarstone Misty Carerra with cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:58PM
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Barnhouse: welcome back.
I am no floorplan guru. Hopefully my comment will bump your post back up to the top and with the dimensioned floorplan now attached you will get some advice. If you don't, post a new thread including the picture and the layout with the title Need Floorplan Advice or something akin.
The floorplan you got from the cabinet maker seems to be pretty much the existing floorplan except for the fridge move. I think you can do better.
I am not sure I like the fridge in the alcove, I think you may be better off getting a counter depth fridge and leaving it where it was. With the fridge in the alcove you are creating a cleaning nightmare getting between the fridge and the wall and behind the post. I had a spot like that in my old kitchen and it drove me crazy.
I would shift the range to the right of the window. I would continue base cabinets around the corner into the alcove. They would be deep, but I think it would be ok.
I do hope others chime in!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:51AM
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