Kitchen Renovation Feedback--Modern in Old Victorian House

BrittWave1February 28, 2012


I would like some feedback on my new kitchen plan. Firstly, I've attached the layout. To give you an idea of what we have now: what is the "kitchen" in the layout you see is not a separate room with a door where the window furthest away from the cabinet is. The line separating the two spaces indicates a drop in the ceiling (where our HVAC is) and where the current kitchen is (the "door" there is now a small window", separated from the other room by a wall. That wall will come out, but the drop ceiling must stay in. Our current kitchen is small and awful. Here were some hiccups in creating the space:

1. The space in general. Next to the "pantry" (now an open space is where the washer/dryer is. That really can't move. We had experimented with the idea if the current kitchen being a laundry/pantry, but that seemed like a waste of space. Making it an entry nook from the back yard seemed MUCH better. Still not sure how I feel about the drop ceiling, but like the idea of the separation of space.

2. The window in the corner is 17 in from the wall, meaning a space had to be there. It kind of bugs me, but, ah.

3. The space will be open from the area of the entry to the kitchen, but the wall of the pantry buts out a bit, to the fridge, to the cabinet. The stair step of the juts bugs me a bit too. Ideas? Making the pantry fridge deep requires re-doing the laundry room and it would be too small.

4. About our home: It is an 1885 Victorian side hall. The ceilings in the kitchen itself are about 13 feet. Thus the cabinets have a LOT of ceiling in front of them. We don't want to do soffits, I think, but am worried about the space there.

5. Have not even thought about a backsplash or flooring. Also, paint color (just picked something in planner to have color). Like the idea of black and white tile (old school) to match age of house.

Any and all feedback appreciated!

Here is the link to the layout:

Here is the link to the Ikea Home planner:

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I am posting your layout diagram here in hopes of generating more responses. However, I would ask you to post some stills from the Ikea planner. When I went to the link you provided, it asked me to download software. (I didn't want to do that.)

I am confused about a lot of things in your post. I cannot quite seem to grasp the picture you are trying to paint. (Just as an example, I cannot figure out what The stair step of the juts bugs me a bit too. means.) Could you try your description again, but be mindful that we don't know what you mean by, for example, "the cabinet."

Here is another question. In the following sentence, is the word "not" supposed to be "now"? To give you an idea of what we have now: what is the "kitchen" in the layout you see is not a separate room with a door where the window furthest away from the cabinet is.

If it is important for us to understand what you have now, perhaps you should provide a drawing of the current layout. If not, we can just focus on what you are planning.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Just wanted to say that if you need a muse, you might want to look into a conversation recently on the GW about European kitchens containing elements of old and new. Often Americans gut an old space and plunk an incongruous updated kitchen within it. But if the space retains elements of the old and if the furnishings cleverly merge the two, the result is not jarring and gives the house a charming perspective on time --and that is a joy.

Anyone have any photos to submit to aid this argument?

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:50AM
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I think Modern design in old houses work well when THE ENTIRE house is furnished in a modern style and the architectural details are celebrated. It does not work as well if there are left over grandma's stuff here and 40s chip and dale furniture with a modern kitchen to the side.

I think you need to keep the architectural elements of the house that makes it unique. If it is victorian, then there are probably really interesting moulding, ceiling or window detail. I would preserve these. For example, I think you need to accentuate the low windows because that is what makes these buildings unique to that era.

I once stayed in an apartment on Copenhagen. The building was 18th or 19th century without an elevator. The ceilings were about 10 to 12 ft tall. The floors were original plank floors, I think. The windows were at least 7 to 8 ft tall, low to the ground, similar to those French parisian apartments. The owners furnished it with very modern stuff. The kitchen was a modern from the 80s (my guess). The space was white-washed with great Scandinavian feel to it. All original details of the building was intact (or refurbished); doors, windows, trim etc.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:49PM
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First, let me apologize for my rambling post. I am pregnant and trying to get this done as soon as I can, making life a challenge. I'm attaching what the kitchen/ big room space looks like now.

As for the house, it IS Victorian, and has some cool details (the huge old windows that are low being one of them), but right now it's kind of blah after years of being tampered with. We have some nice trim and moldings in spots, but not this space (was added on to the back of the house, we believe). We think there may be wood under the current tile floor, but only just a part, thus wood is no longer an option (cost).

I definitely want to incorporate some of the new within the old--hence the reason I chose white cabinets with clean lines. We are also leaning on black and white check tile (always loved that).

Right now, I'm VERY concerned about fridge placement, as being next to the pantry with a little bit of a lip next to it makes me worry about opening the door. Right now, there is a three inch gap between the fridge and that door. Is that enough?

I've attached a written on plan that details the plan as well as screen shots from the ikea kitchen planner.

Thank you all!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of Kitchen

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 3:25PM
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I agree with the earlier can do a beautiful kitchen, by mixing modern with classic design.

You could have white or wood cabinetry, with soapstone or marble, even wood on the countertops, stainless steel appliances and then mix in something tin ceiling tiles as a backsplash.

Definitely keep the trim work and other architectural details, but I needs to have some modern elements in other areas of the home, too.

Here are a few ideas :) From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 3:39PM
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I like it - except for a couple of small things and none of those are fatal.

It's more transitional than modern. When you get around to it, you might finish the tops of the cabinets with molding or stack another layer to lessen the modern look even more. You may need light rail depending on how you plan on doing lights - but it can be added later.

Altho its not quite a fad, if you are not height-challenged, you might consider raising the cabinets on the wall another 6-12" and doing the 7-1/4" shelves underneath or a rail system or a combination.

So, the things I didn't like - starting with the most insignificant.

This is a looks comment, but I think I would choose a more substantial appearing hood. I know its just a picture, because I don't think those come in 36" but its kinda floaty. The PRAKTFULL PRO B50 S is the only 36" wide one and its enough money to start looking around instead of buying ikea.

The ref. I would get the side panel for the exposed side - called an oven side panel, if I'm not mistaken. And pull the over the ref cabinet as far forward as possible. That makes it easier to access the first shelf of stuff. Buehl somewhere has a great photo of her over the ref cabinet with a shelf and tray holders. Also, maybe move the filler to the top instead of the bottom. The lower the shelf, the better off you are - the more you can reach without getting out a step stool.

The sink. I haz the single. I know that the double sink looks large, but each bowl is fairly small - smaller even than the single farm sink. In both of their farm sinks, the faucet ends up being further back than on normal sinks by a couple of inches - something to consider for choosing the faucet or if you are height challenged. It can chip fairly easily.

When combined with a wood counter, you are relying on the caulk seam between the wood and the sink. The problem is that the wood and the sink expand and contract different amounts and sometimes at different times. Our seam opened up and there is mold under the rim. Because we were a permit job, it was installed by a professional plumber.

Think about whether you really want this sink at all, want it with a different counter or want it undermounted instead. I would now choose a nice stainless undermount instead.

For me personally, the sink is a little close to the corner. At least it's a foot away and that may help, but its a little bit close. When you have multiple cooks and one sink, being able to reach the sink from both sides is really nice. Think about maybe putting the perfect between the corner and the sink.

It would lessen the heat the wine would be subjected to trapped between dishwasher and ref. It would also push the sink a little more away from the corner. The bummer might be if you have interference from door swings between the dw and the ref.

Every exposed side of the wall cabinets needs a cover panel.

Here is a link that might be useful: More like this hood

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 4:44PM
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You need to check the specs and installation guide for the specific refrigerator you have. Many fridges need to open very wide to provide full access to the bins.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 5:14PM
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