Weird layout and no where to go

ImaginarySisterFebruary 18, 2013

Our house was built in 1917, all doors and windows. The houses are very close to each other so there is no room to expand. It's just me and my husband and I hate my kitchen, there is no counter space and the lighting is horrible. I have to work with what I have so I am really limited to what I can do. I do not have a dishwasher and the microwave is in the dining room. I do have an area that I use as a pantry that is off the hallway, and I'm fine with that. I thought I could take down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to gain a small amount of space, the vent pipe I think can be moved so that area would not be broken up as it is currently. The weird bump out in the dining room has the heating supply/return to the 2nd floor, so that can't be moved. Any suggestions would be appreciated. From Picasa From Picasa From Picasa From Picasa

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robo (z6a)

How low do the windows go? Could you raise them? How important is a formal dining to you/your neighborhood? Are you willing to switch the rooms or go to a big eat in kitchen? Can you get rid of the back doorway or move to the left of the vent pipe?

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 8:03

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:01AM
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The windows are 26" from the floor. I would not be able to raise them, it's brick exterior and I don't think I would be able to match the brick. It would drive me nuts to see it stick out like a sore thumb. My neighbor bricked in a window and you can tell exactly where it was from the outside. I thought about removing the door to the back porch which would mean I would have to go outside to access the back porch and then again I would have the issue of matching the brick. I considered switching the dining room and the kitchen but there are so many doors and windows I don't think I would gain anything. Plus I don't believe I want to walk into the living room and immediately see the kitchen. I'm trying to work around the quirkiness of an older home, I live in an area where the housing stock is old, 75 years and up. Thanks for your reply.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Well, what I would probably do is get rid of the vent pipe and put the range and fridge on that wall. The range would probably have to go in front of the window - check to see if your local code allows this, and if it does it might state that the window must be inoperable. If so, you can put in a clear glass window or a stained glass window of the current size, so no rebricking. The stained glass would look nice in a home of yours' vintage. AngieDIY has a really cool set-up like this.

I'd then take down the kitchen/DR wall and put the sink and DW in an island there. I'd be tempted, actually, to run the island into the wall to one side or the other in order to get more counter space - mamadadapaige has something like this. I'd probably anchor it to the wall opposite the bay windows so as to get that counter space directly in front of the fridge and range.

For inspiration, Angie_DIY's window range & hood:

..and mamadadapaige's anchored island:

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:24AM
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robo (z6a)

If you can get rid of that back door (statement window?), put in a new back door where the vent is and recover enough brick from the new opening to put at the bottom of the old doorframe where your new statement window is,

AND work around the low window that is already in that corner,

You'll have a nice little U shaped kitchen on your hands.

If you take down the wall between dining room and kitchen, you could push into the dining room a bit on the back wall (to the right of the bay window) and gain a bit more counterspace. You could then have the option of having a peninsula with seating backing on the dining room, or keeping the wall closed with cabinetry depending on what look you prefer.

That option would keep all the entryways at the bottom of the U, giving you a nice cockpit to work in.

People work around low windows by, well, this thread on IKEAfans has a lot of ideas. Bottom line if you're not willing to change window on outside, you can run cabinetry right across it on the inside.

Here is a link that might be useful: A thread from IKEAfans about working around low windows

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:36AM
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robo (z6a)

A gorgeous kitchen on here working around a low window

Here is a link that might be useful: Beautiful kitchen

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:39AM
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I did not read the replies, sorry if redundant or irrelevant, but can you close some windows?

We have a "too many windows and no wall space" problem in other parts of the house (not in the kitchen) and we are getting rid of those that we never "use" for light (i.e., always had the blinds closed for one reason or another).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:53AM
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I'll admit that I'm having a hard time following the measurements on your drawing...where are your water/gas connections? Can any of those be moved easily? Is the kitchen 9' across?

I suspect if this is an old(er) house, you probably only have one centralized light and with those upper cabinets, you aren't getting *any* illumination on your work spaces.

What's your aesthetic? Trying to maintain the vintage look of your home based on its age, or are you open to a sleek modern look? Or something transitional?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:05PM
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You have all given me some GREAT ideas. I love the idea of the anchored island. My water line is next to the vent stack, no gas, but there is a capped gas line in the basement. I'm trying to maintain the vintage look of the home. We have nice baseboards and moldings and the kitchen is the only place they have been painted. You are correct, I only have one light (ceiling) and it's horrible trying to cook. My stove is avocado green (tells you how old that is), only 3 burners work. That's an excellent idea to move the door and raise the window, that would solve so many problems. Thank you all so much for you suggestions!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Can you move the doorway to the dining room? If you can, I'd line it up with the back door. This will give you more uninterrupted counter space.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:24PM
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After thinking over our options we have decided that the costs of moving the back door and raising the window doesn't justify the space we would gain. It's not a huge amount of space and attempting to match the brick of a nearly 100 year old home is just not feasible. Plus it's an uncommon color of brick, good luck finding something to match. So I came up with a quickie plan that my husband and I like. We met with the KD on Saturday and showed her my idea and she suggested building out the wall where the heating ducts are and then we could put a pantry in the recessed area. Ignore the giant cabinet over the stove, etc. I just wanted get a general idea of where things might go.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Imaginarysis, I don't have any suggestions for you and I can relate because I too have a lot of windows and not enough wall space. My 1980's kitchen has a 2 window and sliding door 3 walled angled nook like the space you have.

Was wondering if you could please share what software you're using. That birdeye dollhouse view would be helpful. Thanks.

This post was edited by island on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 21:45

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:44PM
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I used Sweet Home 3D. It's free and once you get used to it fairly easy to use. Of course I used the help file A LOT! Plus you can import models; you don't have to use the models in the software.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Thank you, I'll check it out!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:18PM
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