what do you really hate in your old kitchen?

lyviaFebruary 8, 2011

I called banks and worried about costs today, so now I am balancing that with remembering how much I hate my old kitchen. Candidates for what I hate the worst:

A - the stuff that lives on the floor amid the dog hair for lack of cabinet space

B - the cabinet that closes with the rubber band

C - the grease fire marks that were here before 1992

D - the chrome trim that catches scum that could be carbon dated

E - the nasty dirty space over the cabs (DH says my allergies would not withstand a close look)

F - the only seat, perched on a very faux very hard cedar chest, obstructing the microwave and the chest, with my back to a cold drafty sliding glass door

Hmmm. The last three are pretty bad, but I think the seat is the winner.

What do you hate most about your old kitchen?

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1. the lack of drawers (I have two)
2. the peninsula closes the entire thing off
3. the cheap cabinets
4. the cheap refrigerator, microwave, and range
5. not enough counter space
6. no place to display my pretty china
7. the tiny mudroom/laundry room attached to the kitchen
8. the ugly vinyl
9. no backsplash (it's just painted)

  1. too many different types of flooring in the main level
  2. the place where the Thermofoil upper cabinet melted a tiny bit and bubbled out when I had a candle burning under it for a few hours (I learned that I can't do that!)
  3. the $400 table and chairs I bought before I even met my husband... 14 years and two kids later, they've seen a LOT of crayons!

I am the person who picked out everything in my kitchen, but we were on a very small budget because we built our house at the same time that we planned and paid for our wedding. Our money was split between a decent sized house and an elaborate wedding, so although I made the best choices I could with the money we had, it's time to upgrade.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:32PM
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(Previous tentant's stuff)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:36PM
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My ex husband.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:53PM
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Wow! A picture is worth a thousand words. :>))

That may even beat my old kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:53PM
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1) The tile countertops with the big grout lines (never felt I could get them clean)
2) The shiny, gray tile floor the grout was coming out of (although the dog seemed to think the grout was tasty)
3) The laminate cabinets which were delaminating
4) The SQUEEEEEEK every time you opened a drawer
5) The range hood which didn't work
6) The range top which was so hot you couldn't simmer soup without burning it
7) The 12 inch deep cabinet over the back of the 30" deep refrigerator
8) The 36" wide lower corner cabinet with the 12" inch door that I couldn't reach inside
9) The 24" wall oven which was too small for my lasagna pan or for a Thanksgiving turkey

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:56PM
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1) The complete lack of useful counter space despite the fact that my kitchen measured 15 by 16 and had a huge island - only a man (builder) would have chopped it up the way it was divided

2) A corollary of #1 - despite the fact that our kitchen was comfortably large, you could stand in one spot and touch the sink, stove and frig, just by turning around - great for a one cook kitchen, bad, bad for a 2 cook kitchen.

3) Yet another corollary of #1 - you had to stand sideways to open the oven door - again despite the size of the Kitchen

4) Blue formica countertops - mid-tone, dull blue

5) Appliances that gave up the ghost

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:11PM
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1. The blind corner cabinets. I had 6 of them because my kitchen was a G shape so 3 lower, 3 upper, all useless.

2. The yellowed vinyl floors that always looked dirty even after on my knees scrubbing.

3. Whoever refinished the cabs before had dripped the yucky orange stain all over the baseboards. Note: the baby was not normally allowed to play in the dog's dish. I just thought it was funny.

Also this photo was taken the year before we tore out our kitchen. That baby is now a kindergartener and I have yet to declare my kitchen finished.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:22PM
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Oh c'mon! I LOVE how my appliances are arranged! The stove on the busiest corner of the house is a personal fav.

and yes! That is a portable dishwasher that was plumbed in!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:36PM
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mtnrdredux - you crack me up!

Aesthetically, I hated:
1) The honey coloured cabinets with the 1990's design
2) The pink formica countertops
3) The white, builders grade vent hood
4) The pink ceramic floor tile

Functionally, I hated:
1) The peninsula which cut the kitchen into 2
2) The teeny tiny island
4) the large cabinets which proved difficult to keep organized
5) The 6 feet and 4 drawers of a half desk (12" deep and useless) which took up waaaaay too much functional space and deemed it useless
6) The HUGE eating area which was, IMO, a waste of space

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Thank you, palimpsest, for giving me the courage to finally reveal my current 'old' kitchen. Pic below.

I'm still living in this. ACK! It's true what they say about taking pictures of things to see them as they really are. Oh my. I had just done the dishes when I saw this thread and "OK, I'll brave my first 'before' pic.' I can only go up from here. :)

We're planning a new build this Spring so I do have hope.

This is the kitchen I raised 4 kids & a husband. I was an everything-from-scratch, grind-my-own-wheat, make-desserts-out-the-wazoo kind of cook. I had about 2.5 feet (if it was cleared off!) of counter space to work in. Thank goodness for the kitchen table right behind me. Not a good work height but, it's something.

Things I don't like:

Well, I'll let the picture do most of the talking ;)

Hubby painted the kitchen cupboards over 3 years ago & they've never been put back up.

No dishwasher.

Counters too low (back problems)

I call it my "Barbie Dream Kitchen" since the counter looks pink (never pick a color from a 2x2 swatch! I even went down in tone on the strip.

No wall oven (back issues)

Things I LOVE:

My new Samsung fridge...I hug it every time I open it!!! :)
I love having my upright freezer so easy to access. The other one is in the entry. That's our 'fish' freezer (Red Salmon - we live in Alaska).

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:52PM
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1) The top step of the basement stairway was in the walkpath; we put a gate across the stairway's second step when visitors or dogs were in the room.
2) It required rules for where guests could stand
3) There was absolutely no insulation in walls and the windows leaked air; the lazy susan sent cold air into the room when opened and turned.
4) the floor was sagging so the cabs began to pull away from wall (we found lost mail behind there when we tore cabs out) and the dishwasher door required a hip-check to lock tight
5) the dishwasher door when open bisected the room
6) 1950s ceiling vent fan needed biannual repainting around it because of attic condensation (no vent pipe) and the wall got warm behind the on/off switch when in on position
7) neither range light nor hood light worked so our shadows fell onto range from overhead light

but...if I lived in the house alone, I never would have redone the kitchen this time...it was a good kitchen for one person...we had redone the 1954 kitchen in 1976 surprisingly well...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:56PM
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Fori is not pleased

I hated my cooktop that required special pans. HATED it. Also hated the dishwasher after having had a dish drawer in my previous house. But the dishwasher broke while planning the remodel so I got my dish drawers. And by the time I got around to picking appliances I decided I LIKED induction and got a newer induction cooktop.

But it was an old kitchen with many parts worn out--holes in the sparkle pink vinyl flooring, for example. And one cabinet I could NOT use because it just smelled bad.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:56PM
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Dishwasher door that completely blocked all access to the sink.

Wish I had a picture but I wanted to forget as soon as possible!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:01PM
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1. the peninsula created an obsticle course
2. and the peninsula cut the small long room in half making both halves unhandy
3. The 36" wide lower corner cabinet with the 13" inch door that I couldn't reach inside so I left a trail of breadcrumbs and crawled inside for a couple of years until I just quit using that cabinet.
4. disorganized chopped up layout and not enough counter space
5. worn out cabinets from the 1950's Doors looked good yet, inside-Ewww!!
And even though it was 5 kitchens and 30+years ago, honorable mention goes to ..........My "carpenter" ex husband who during our first kitchen told me repeatedly, "We've never done it like that." He's way gone, every kitchen since has had a few novel ideas built in. My current ceiling about did my present carpenter in. But he's got story material for at least 2 years!
"Note: the baby was not normally allowed to play in the dog's dish. I just thought it was funny." I have a picture of my son with a mouth full of canned Ken-L-Ration. He lived. I've never worried about germs but I wouldn't allow a kid to eat dog food these days. I don't even like my dogs to eat commercial dog food!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:06PM
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Love this thread! Too funny, I thought one of you may have bought my old house with the honey oak cabinets, pink laminate counter and pink ceramic tiled floor. Currently getting the kitchen done in my newer home. In the meantime, I also have a 24 inch wall oven that takes about 5 hours to bake a 4-5 lb. fryer. I call it my easybake oven. It also features a gigantic microwave from the early 80's. You have to stand in the doorway of the dining room to open the door. My countertops and blacksplash are laminate. I think they were white at one time. The largest stretch of counter space is about 15 inches. There used to be an island, but the previous owners tore it out. Its the only area of the hardwood floor that isn't water damaged. I do have a stainless steel dishwasher, sadly it leaks. My fridge is white, cooktop black and walloven/microwave black. I also have dark wood paneling around the perimeter of the room halfway up the wall.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:30PM
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for the record its not actually true at all but it was such an easy line!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:12PM
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I have to get in on this fun!
1) traffic jam island (and to think that when we bought this house I actually said, "Great, an island!")
2) cheap builder-grade honey oak cabs that don't go up to ceiling. Slimey grease-dirt accumulates thanks to the next item I hate.
3) crappy stove vent. Recirculates what little steam & smoke it manages to capture.
4) ROTS--2 are broken. Finally just pulled the crappy things out and put some taller appliances in one and turned the other one into a snack cabinet.
5) Drawers. Too few. One has broken and fingers are in real peril when you've opened it and then have to try to close it. Unfortunately, I think my silverware drawer is ready to break--it's getting difficult to open and I pray it stays functional.
6) Recessed light over sink. Builder didn't put any insulation around it so cold air pours in. Of course, sometimes that's a blessing when I'm having a hot flash, lol!
7) Pantry #1. Cabinet pantry that doesn't have ROTS so everything gets lost in the back of it. (I realize how ironic it is that I'm complaining about not having the ROTS in this case when I trashed them above.) I end up pulling everything out to find a can of tomato paste (or whatever).
8) Pantry #2. "Closet" pantry. Shelves too deep, see #7.
9) Smoothtop stove (NOT induction) and an oven that doesn't maintain temperature. Put pan on stove, turn burner on high, wait, wait, and wait some more for the darn pan to heat up. Then when you want to turn it down to simmer, wait again.

OK, I feel better now. That was better than going to a therapist!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 12:47AM
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We won the 2nd place in an Ugly Kitchen contest... out of 20 entries. *sigh* need I say more.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:08AM
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This is a timely question for me as I just opened an e-mail from our GC. He had sent some before and after pictures of our kitchen/house that he has submitted to a Renovation contractors competition. Our old kitchen was ugly, leaking and broken. It had a very tiny, tiny work triangle that only one person could fit in and most of the counter was outside of the work triangle and it became a junk collector.

We had soffits that had nothing in them (?) (house was built in 1972), laminate counters that were peeling, taps that were leaking, we could only use 1/2 of the sink because the other half had become separated from the drain, all cupboards (which were separating) with no drawers, (the greatest thing ever invented), no lighting, etc. You get the picture.

Microwave, coffeepot, water bottles, spices, cutting boards, all kept on the very limited counter space because of lack of storage. Our wedding presents were kept in their original boxes in the basement because of lack of storage. And we've been married for 27 years. (I now have a drawer dedicated to water bottles and our wedding presents are out - I am happy).

My prep area, clean up area, baking area measured 4' x 2', The SAME 4'x2' for all of them. I now have an abundance of counter space all dedicated to different functions. I am in heaven.

Fun thread and thanks for letting me share.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:50AM
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We bought my house knowing that we'd be gutting it immediately so I'm not sure if it's a fair comparison since it was never really a "working kitchen" as far as we were concerned.

But I can't resist saying that the countertops had been replaced at some point in maybe the 70's? by sheets of plywood. We actually fell out of escrow on the house because the appraiser noted that the countertops were growing mold...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:24AM
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OMG - we have some relics out there lol! Thanks for all your responses - it makes me feel better about tackling this project and spending all this money. Our renovations are making the future safer and prettier.

I grew up in a pink kitchen. My Dad once dismantled the pink oven and pink stove for special heat proof brown paint, then left town on business, leaving my mother with four kids and a crockpot (no microwave). He came back near midnight, and reassembled it in his suit and tie, at my mother's urging. He got grease on his (still remember my mother saying this after 35 years) "Pierre Cardin silk tie" and tried to clean it with steel wool. But all the while he was fixing the kitchen, he was helping me with trigonometry - he could do it in his head, and he considered trig so much easier than cleaning a tie. But no voices were raised and all was well by the time the paint dried, completing the demise of pink in our kitchen. Such geeks we are.

We prep on top of the dishwasher, in front of the coffeepot. DH makes bread in a space that won't hold a large pizza. Seems like we are in good company, though!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the leaks from the master bath above that have ruined the kitchen ceiling. There are several holes.

What else is really bad about your old kitchen?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:26AM
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OMG! The more I read the more I remember about the old kitchen. I somehow must have blocked it all out.

These are add-ons to my list above.
4. The giant stupid desk that offered no storage and just ended up being a clutter catcher taking up 8 sq ft of space.

5. The soffits and drop ceiling that ate up vertical space.

6. The icky flourescent lighting that made noise, was unflattering, and had icky yellowed light covers in the aforementioned stupid drop ceiling.

7. The lack of a vent of any kind that contributed to the yellowed everything.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 8:06AM
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Oh, I forgot to add this for pinch me. In our 3rd grade triad class(the kids with IQ's over 135,) when the teacher asked how many kids had tried dog biscuits - over half the class raised their hands. One boy stated, "I like the mint ones the best." The teacher said that without fail the honors class always had a high percentage of raised hands because of the innate curiosity.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 8:11AM
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When we moved into our house in '99 our kitchen had 2 huge radiators, no DW, few upper cabs, red and white counter tops and a frig in the middle of the room. I couldn't live that way until we renovated our home so I needed a temp kitchen that ended up lasting 10 years. Notice the pull string light - still there.

We converted our house back into a single family and this is the kitchen we took out. At least it had a dishwasher but also the washer and dryer was out in the kitchen too. Again, pull chains. IF a room even had a light it was on a pull chain! Only 2 light switches on the 1st floor.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:29AM
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Wow, maybe if I read these posts I might've liked my old kitchen more. I thought mine was the pits..I had sky blue formica counter tops, skyblue tiles, skyblue siding outside, skyblue floors in my upstairs hallway, u catch my drift...the previous owner looooove sky blue. So far we only have the siding left.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:38AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean everyone's is the pits. I was only referring to my old kitchen. My husband read my post and said I worded it wrong.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:45AM
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OK, now I feel bad, because our old house was only 14 years old and really, the kitchen was pretty awesome. In fact, now that I am in a rental while we build our new house, I am nostalgic for it! Our rental kitchen is a frickin' nightmare. There is practically NO counterspace, no pantry...it is cut off from the rest of the house. I loathe it. Our old kitchen was really pretty big, with a huge peninsula that opened to the breakfast and family rooms. The only things I didn't like toward the end were the 36" inch cabinets that that a big "display area" (dust farm) and my lovely 14 year old appliances, complete with a dw that sounded like a freight train. :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:45AM
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My old kitchen wasn't so bad - a good size and bright and light. BUT...

I hated that the refrigerator was in a corner against a wall. I had to pull it out and angle it to get the drawers out for a good cleaning, and after years of doing this the wood floor showed some wear where the ref was pulled out.

I had white Formica counters that showed everything: not just things like wine and juice, but if someone left a receipt on the counter and it got wet, it left a stain. I couldn't unwrap something in foil without getting gray marks on the counter -- forget about opening a can without something underneath it.

For several years I had a white faucet -- I was forever scrubbing it with a toothbrush trying to get it looking clean.

The white cabinets that were there when we bought the house had yellowed. And the new white cabinets we added (island, pantry) had an issue with the thermofoil after just 2 years - it came loose and kind of bulged out in the middle of the panels. Yep... it was a happy kitchen that served us well for many years of parties and dinners... but it had to go!

(And now you can probably tell why I was scared off from doing a white kitchen! But now I love the pics of everyone else's white kitchens.)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Mine is awful!

1) The cabinets are from the 1930s and falling apart - nails stick out all over the place (great for 2 little kids right?)
2) Nothing cleans well and its ages and ages of dirt piled up.
3) Yellow formica countertops
4) The fridge is in a tiny archway. There is an eating area with a tiny archway. Its closed off and cramped even though there is plenty of space.
5) We have a rolling dishwasher.

I'll try to post a picture later. Its a true gem :-/

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:54AM
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What I hated the most was that the kitchen was one big hallway with appliances along one wall. You entered the house near the west end, walked through the laundry room and then the bathroom was to the left and the kitchen to the right. You had to walk through the kitchen to get to the rest of the house, and then back through the kitchen every time you needed to use the bathroom.

Might not have been bad if it wasn't so long and narrow -

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Oh my, where to start...

1 - my few inches of counterspace to one side of the sink and drainboard-as-counterspace on the other. That's it for counterspace in the entire (unfitted) kitchen.

2 - the unfitted sink unit was never shimmed to be level, so water drips from the integrated drain board onto the floor when dishes drain in the rack.

3 - no dishwasher. No plumbing line for one, no electrical outlet for one.

4 - two electrical outlets in the entire kitchen. We're forever unplugging and rearranging for use at the moment the microwave, electric kettle, toaster and toaster oven.

5 - lovely old Magic Chef 1930s range is virtually nonfunctional. Ovens leak gas; burners are too close together, so in practice the six burners are really three functional ones, as pots/pans have to be arranged in a V pattern to fit.

6 - refrigerator is in a closet and the fridge door can only be opened about 80 degrees as a result.

7 - pantry has enough room for either pots/pans or food but not both. Too bad, as it's the only pantry I have.

8 - no cabinets except for a shallow one in the pantry. I did mention that this is an unfitted kitchen, right?

We are interviewing architects for our kitchen/bath renovation and I CANNOT WAIT. Will post kitchen pics as we get underway - I bet I have an Ugliest/Least Functional Kitchen contender!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Below is the kitchen we bought with the house in '98. Cheap,leaky black dishwasher. Cabinets were laid out horribly. Total waste of space for the rest of the kitchen. CARPET CARPET CARPET (I hated the carpet). No stove. No fridge. But they did have a trash compactor. Old vent from days gone by in the wall would wack whenever the wind blew...we live in Wyoming, the wind ALWAYS blows. So you got to hear this "thwak, thwak, thwak" a lot of the time. There was this lovely ocean shell/peacock tail sort of patterned vinyl wallpaper and these lovely green fleck formica counters. Honey oak cabinets built by a local shop. They had these super ugly hardware store quality handles. Oh, the days. I currently have cardboard laid down on our new cork floors until the drywall guys are done in the landing and I told my husband the other night that even the CARDBOARD was better than the carpet.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the mismatched windows that didn't open (or close tightly for that matter). And the lovely faux copper patina'd light fixture in the corner. And the brown, messy caulk job over the formica backsplash and the lack of insulation in the walls and the fact that the kitchen would take the prevailing wind and cold temperatures not so well. You could set the bottle of dishwashing liquid on the sink edge and it would be frosty in the morning. Yeah, the good old days.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:56AM
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I have a repressed memory of mine.

I can only remember darkness, not being able to pass around the fridge door when it was open, banging head on pots hanging from pot rack, running into bifold doors that were always left open to the pantry closet, did I mention darkness?

oh, and that flippin' desk, I forgot that too

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Oh, oh, oh (raising my hand here), I thought of a few more! I don't know why I didn't think of these last night except it was very late and I should have been in bed instead of reading GW, lol!

  1. Pebbly formica. The only way to get it clean is to take a scrub brush and bleach and scrub away.
  2. Fluorescent light box with yellowed cracked plastic panels.

I can't blame any of mine on a PO as we are the original owners. I wanted to upgrade my cabs when we had this house built (not custom, just regular subdivision development) but used our $$ to put other upgrades in like a fireplace in our master retreat and hardwood floors. I never even thought of putting the cabs to the ceiling or more drawers (wouldn't have been $$ to it anyway).

I've learned so much since I joined this forum last March or April. I think I've finally figured out a floorplan and will try to draw it in the next couple of weeks. Thank you to everyone for posting on GW because even though I've started very few threads, I've learned so much just reading everyone elses' posts.

Zeebee, if this were a contest for the absolutely worst kitchen, I think you would win. :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:42AM
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What I hated the most was that when we bought the house, the kitchen was only about three years old, and it was AWFUL! I felt guilty thinking about redoing it when someone had just spent money "fixing it up." They dropped the ceiling to 8 feet (we have 10 foot ceilings), put in kitchen *carpet*, installed cheap new vinyl windows, covered uneven walls with masonite and then applied green plaid wallpaper (and in the years following the wallpaper tore along the seams of the masonite). The cabinets were the best part - a simple shaker-style oak, but then they were topped with awful green laminate. The aesthetic cherry on top was a bubble-type fluorescent light fixture right above the sink. (Oh, and I almost forget the cheap paneling "wainscotting." Ugh.)

Functionally, it was also awful. The dishwasher and range shared a corner and opened into each other. In the opposite corner was the standard depth fridge, and I would have to wedge my hip into the tiny corner space just to reach anything in the upper corner cabs. My range was older than I am (and not in a good vintage-Chambers-sort-of-way) and it was always coated in gunk no matter what I did because it wasn't vented.

Just to make myself feel better, look what was delivered this morning. :o) From Last Import

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:52AM
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1. Drawers that I have to fight with every time to open or close, and which shed sawdust onto the clean items in the drawer below.
2. The original 1939 tile that could charitably be called "almond," but which reads as "dingy and depressing."
3. White vinyl flooring that is buckling, getting scuffed, and which shows every crumb and cat hair (from 2 black cats)
4. Cabinet doors that are so warped they don?t shut completely.
5. No seating for others. I have to drag in a chair from the dining room and seat my guest near the garbage can.
6. The fact that virtually all of the cabinets are located many steps away from the small (2? by 4?) usable patch of counter space.
7. The opening to the old stove ventilation pipe, which was apparently covered with a piece of paper, then painted over. (Gee, it hardly shows?.)
8. And my FAVE: The scratched-up white formica counters (clearly DIY installed), with a sparkly gold "marbling" effect AND black specks that look like fleas!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 12:03PM
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I think I win in the lack of drawers department. My 10.5'x17' kitchen has ONLY ONE DRAWER. And it's coming off its track because the cabinets are at least 55 years old. So anyway, here's the list:

1. Only one drawer! And the drawer sucks!

2. Lack of counter space. There's a bit of counter to either side of the sink, but it's almost fully occupied by the microwave (right) and the dish rack and related accessories (left). So that leaves me with, I swear to god, about 40 inches of counter space that is only 18" deep. We bought an Ikea butcher block cart just to get an additional 24" of counter space, so desperate were we. Then we put the four-slice toaster on it, so there went most of the extra space.

3. Lack of cabinet space. We have one wall (10.5' wide) of cabinets, plus, on an adjacent wall, one dinky shrunken upper that starts five and a half feet off the ground and is only about 30" wide. That's where we put the Ikea butcher block cart. And a couple of yards away, the refrigerator is sitting there by itself in this seven-foot-wide VOID where cabinets should be.

4. EVERYTHING IS GREY. Gray cabinets, white and gray vinyl, stainless counters with integrated stainless backsplash, gray corian (yes, there is a corian "counter" of sorts, but it's almost 4 feet off the ground and oddly shaped, so not functional as counter space). Oh, and putty-colored walls, like 1980s Apple computers. Cheerful? Not.

5. Some lunatic put vinyl over the oak floor, so now we have to go through the hassle of ripping that up.

6. The wall with the sink on it, and about five feet of each adjacent wall, is covered with 4x4 tile that someone painted beige. O lord help me.

7. There is for no apparent reason a soffit above our cabinets. I guess the goal was to use as little space as possible for storage. Why put cabinets up to the ceiling when you can put in a soffit that serves no purpose?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 3:30PM
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Laxsupermom's mention of her "giant stupid desk" reminded me of another horrifically misdesigned feature of our kitchen: the UNBELIEVABLY STUPID triangular peninsula. It has the following "issues":

- It chops the kitchen in half and takes up about 10 square feet of prime kitchen space;
- It does not provide counter space unless you want to perch on a 38" high stool while prepping (because the counter of this peninsula is over four feet high... which is to say, up to my shoulder), and even if that were feasible you would then have to carry what you prepped around the peninsula in order to get anywhere near stove or sink;
- It does not provide any storage whatsoever (no drawers and just a vast empty space underneath it);
- It renders the space behind it useless (so in effect it takes up about 22 square feet); and
- ON TOP OF ALL THAT, it only seats two people!

Oh, and I forgot: if you should be so presumptuous as to try and SIT at this triangular peninsula, you may need medical attention afterwards because the wooden leg holding the whole thing up is carved in such a way that you can easily bruise your kneecap as you climb onto the tall stools. There are pointy bits right where your knees naturally want to go as you're climbing up. And the wooden leg is located between the two stools, so this type of accident is available regardless of where you sit. I've done it several times myself.

I just can't even conceptualize the sheer magnitude of the INCOMPETENCE that went into designing this kitchen. It's beyond the powers of my imagination. Basically everything about this kitchen is wrong. The only thing that's right is that the sink faces a nice view and the range is on an exterior wall (but two of the four walls are exterior, so how hard was that). And as it turns out, we may have to move the sink anyway to get a more functional layout.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 3:52PM
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This thread is too funny! My kitchen is from 1971. I'm pretty sure this is the original kitchen. I hate the florescent lights in the dropped ceiling. You know the kind--florescent lights behind squares of plastic held in place by a gold metal frame. Then there is the way the fridge juts out beyond the counter. The fridge is at the end of a pathway leading into the laundry room. Of course as I'm pulling out food or standing at the counter cutting veggies, one of the kids needs to pass through to the family room. And forget about getting any help with cooking or washing up. If one person is washing dishes at the sink, there's no room for another person to load the dishwasher. Did I mention we have a golden retriever?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:23PM
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Drawers! I've forgotten to mention that our drawers jumped the track. Frequently. Everyone else just shoved them in crooked and sticking out; they'd wait for me to wrestle them out and reinsert them with the little wheels back in the track. And stuff hurtled itself off the back side of the drawers down into the cab below. Need some Baggies? They've fallen down on the jumble in the back with the yogurt containers and Christmas tins.

Six months before we began the renovation, I installed a pull-out shelf in a lower cab. Wow! Why had I waited? Everything fit well and the lids were there with the dutch oven and the big frying pan, not lost in the back.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:44PM
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I actually always feel a little like I'm cheating on my old kitchen when I bash it, because it really wasn't half bad---for 1939. I think it was probably a pretty nifty little space when it had an appropriately sized refrigerator and in an era when I suspect they were just making do---post-demo, I'm now 99% sure they repurposed the original cabinets from the house when they remodeled given the paint colors we found, and then built the rest of the cabinets from scrap wood, as far as we can tell. It was all drawers except for the sink cabinet and the blind corners, which were shallow so you could actually see things in them. But it never had much counter space (though, granted, double what the original 1915 layout had!) and what it did have was either 15" or 22" deep, and they added storage by sticking a wall in the middle of the room so that you couldn't see the backyard anymore. Some idiot in the 60s or 70s tiled the floor too high for the swinging door to swing into the kitchen, so the only way it would open was if it blocked the door to the bedrooms. (I was actually really impressed that it was still there at all since it's clearly the original door and you'd have thought they would have just taken it down. Well, at least, I was impressed until we tried to take it down and discovered it was bolted to the fir subfloor---and then the original rift-sawn white oak floor with inlay was laid ON TOP of the bolt...gah!! Hours later, we got it off by unscrewing the hinge with a drill bit taped to a tiny wrench guided by a compact mirror...) Also, another useless soffit, though ours was made of wood so it looked like part of the cabinets, but still---turned out to be empty, so just filling space. Add some giant 1990s appliances and the space was pretty frustrating. We wanted a dishwasher and we wanted to see the backyard, neither of which was feasible without smashing things up. *sigh*

So on balance, new kitchen is worlds away better...but I still have my moments of missing the old kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:32PM
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Washed oak cabs (again, 2nd house with the cursed washed oak, but these were even uglier than in first house),
lack of counter space,
poor lighting,
no worthwhile seating (they put formica on top of a wall cab, so 2 could sit there but it was 13" deep and had little leg room.
Nowhere other than by one of the "seats" to put the garbage,
corner sink and useless corner cab below,
pale peach/pink laminate counters with blemishes that made it look dirty no matter how clean (and if a bag or receipt got wet, left stains for a few days).
The smooth electric range had some of top scrubbed off. I am part guilty because I saw some marks and thought they were dirt from PO, so scrubbed even more off before realizing she had made marks by taking off some finish. Small s x s fridge with some rust on doors (same issue as stove- surface scrubbed too much by PO, so I scrubbed at rust spots thinking they were dirty as well).
The funny thing is the PO was a poor housekeeper and the house was filthy, yet she managed to ruin the finish on the stove and fridge by over-scrubbing....
Narrow cabs were also an issue and inefficient base cabs with nothing but a scrawny shallow shelf in the 2 decent sized wide ones.
White glossy paint over poor sheetrock, so it made all the defects very noticeable.

It looked less bad than it was, at first glance, but I had 4 years to realize just how bad it truly was. We knew it would be gone as soon as we could do it because it was ugly and bland, but had not realized just how bad it was until our first few days living there.
I just loved the day they demoed it!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:57PM
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Excuse me, but are you referring to my pink pearl Formica counters? Or the avocado green outdoor carpeting that felt sticky underfoot? Or my ceramic cook top that required perfectly flat Corning pans that were taken by the previous owner? Oh, no window? Not to worry, it's cloudy anyway.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:45AM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:43AM
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1) tile countertops
2) drawers arranged in corners in a way that that part of the drawer had to be drilled out to open because the handle from the adjacent drawers would block opening otherwise.
3) cheap bay type window that has holes open to outside (the ants love to use those holes).
4) a pantry that is barely accessible.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Kitchen not really as large as it appears (a friend took pics of the old kitchen with a wide-angle lens for us):

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:11PM
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fridge jutting out

face frame drawers when space is small

sink placed in center of counter, so work space is small on both sides

range placed in center of counter, so work space is small on both sides

very little light

electrical outlet for range plug in a place that made the range stick out more
than necessary

smells from everything only 20 years after building

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:42PM
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beekeeperswife, is it possible you have my table's twin?

HOW coud I forget Drawers which shed sawdust onto the clean items in the drawer below. And the black hole over the basement steps that wasn't useful for anything other than loosing stuff. The door opened 24 inches off the floor. Now it's my microwave/toaster oven/cookbook cabinet. and on the other side is a cubby large enough for two big bird cages. Much better use of space.

I had the lineoleum stuff on the walls under the masonite and fake wainscoat. If it would have been possible I would have saved it since that is the period I am trying to copy. Not even a year after the great remodel and the decor is totally different. The layout and cabs are fine.

It seems like many of us took out a really old kitchen. No matter what we did, it's better than what we had. I was happy to find the old original door from the original house so it's back on there

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 9:43PM
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Well, it's easier to say what I DID like about my old kitchen. And the answer is NOTHING!. The floor plan was terrible. The stove was across the kitchen opposite the kitchen sink. The fridge was so far away from the working area. The cabinets were original from the 50's. And the decor was from the 60's or 70's. Need I say more:)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Ah, my old house kitchen. It's original to the house, and really not that bad. I just hate white and grey, and some of those crazy little problems.....
*White linoleum floor (really? In a kitchen). Is no one as messy a cook as I am?
* Grey formica countertops- yuk. I cut on them every chance I get- I figure the more I disfigure the kitchen, the sooner I will get the remodel done :)
* Drawers that I have to soap every month to keep the sawdust to a minimum.
* That crazy cabinet under the sink that I have to slam so hard to get it to close, that my bursitis acts up.
* The old GE dishwasher that is white- but so old that it has a nice creamy patina. It moves the food particles from the bottom shelf to the dishes on the top shelf. I can't wait to throw that one away!
* The 6 foot deep corner cabinet- I have no idea what's in there. When I do the remodel, it will be like Christmas all over again when I get to see all my stuff again!
* Oh, but the best is when I open the cabinets to get a glass or plate, and the cold air from outside rushes into the kitchen. I think the plaster keys are all broken, and the air rushes in from the poorly insulated walls. If I could only imagine I'm driving down the road in a convertible instead.......

Does anyone else out there enjoy trashing the old kitchen, knowing the new one is coming soon? Perhaps I need some more Valium....

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Oh my gosh -- paulabrady, that's exactly my floor plan! I mean in my current kitchen (installed by my husband back in his single days, so I can't bad mouth it too much). I can live with the decor (for now) but every now and then I wonder if I ought to have to walk back and forth so much just to make supper. lol. So what I would like to know is, how did you arrange your new kitchen? Ours is too small for an island but too wide to be a galley, and the peninsula is just a catch-all for mail and library books and whatnot.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 1:12PM
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My Jenn Air Range! From the first day I didn't like the range for about 22 yrs. I refused to pay $80 for a new plug so I began looking for another range. Nothing would fit so we decided new counters too. New counters would make the 20+ yr cabs look drab so my $80 plug snowballed into a beautiful new kitchen. By the way I was sure I was in my forever home but ended up moving 5 yrs later.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 1:37PM
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I don't yet have my "new" kitchen, still in the "I fixed it enough to make it work for now" kitchen.

In the "old" kitchen there was:
1. only flooring near the cabinets-- the open area on the far end was once an office and had only subfloor- splintery-in-your-bare-feet subfloor.
2. The kitchen area had huge holes in the linoleum-- literally worn right through to the subfloor, and the floor was faux-brick.
3. The cabinets and two full walls (that were that old-school wood paneling) were stained almost black. The other walls were a peeling, stained wallpaper in a lovely 70s print. It was a cave.
4. The countertops were peeling, stained, and burned and a really great baby-poop yellow color.
5. There was also a pendant light fixture that was just a flourescent industrial panel light (like whats in a suspended ceiling in an office) with wood trim around the outside. The plastic covering was bright yellow from age. It was also a pot rack.

We pulled down the panelling and painted the walls and cabinets. We replaced the countertops with off the shelf laminate. We bought new light fixtures. Peel and stick tiles went down on the floor. We replaced the old appliances with CL finds. So... it LOOKS nice. (We knew we'd be redoing it someday, so it was cheap fixes.)

The "Fixed" Kitchen still has:
1. an L-shape thats 8' x 10'-- including the sink, dishwasher,stove and fridge. Small!!
2. There is a 24" and 12" area of usable counter for prep. 3. All the drawers rain sawdust into the lower cabinets, as well as either stick or fall off their runners, resulting in everything crashing to the floor, and pots & pans having to be wiped out before every use.
4. Doors are partial inset, so most of them don't fit or sit flush anymore so they always look open.
5. The two uppers next to the range open towards me so I have to lean around. (This is an easy fix, but just hasn't been done.)
6. My microwave is 28" above the range-- I'm 5'3"! cabinets are 21" above, so I can't reach past the second shelf w/o a stool :(
7. 3 Upper cabinets, 3 lowers, one drawer stack. NO SPACE FOR MY STUFF!!

BUT... there are definately worse ones on here than mine!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 2:01PM
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1- the 2x4 holding up the cab above the frig
2- the sticky crud that wouldn't come off with even steel wool that caught every crumb where the laminate was cut.
3- the ant trail under the sink every spring, summer & fall
4- the puddle of moss under the microwave from unlevel counters
5- the pile of muck under the stove from stuff falling between the cabinet and oven
6- the dead crickets behind the fridge where there was a hole in the floor

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:02PM
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I really hated the too large fridge that stuck out right beside the corner pantry. Very common layout here, if the door swings toward the fridge you would always have a door knob dent in your fridge door. If the pantry door swings the other way the fridge was scratched by the door lock. Not a great set- up with careless kids.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:46PM
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pinch_me and lax--I'm the kid that ate Ken-L-Ration - Does this mean I have a high IQ?

(I really can't believe I'm admitting this.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:06AM
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I don't remember what kind of dog food we had as a kid, but it was GOOD!

My kitchen -
1. The crud that forms between the sink and the metal rim around it.
2. The hole that appears when too much of said crud is scrubbed away.
3. The worn out white sink that is only somewhat white for about a day after its weekly bleaching.
4. The white linoleum with gold flecks and all of the burn marks and stains it has acquired over the years.
5. The sawdust and random junk drawer items I always have to fish out of my pots and pans and mixing bowls. We had to throw out a huge batch of amazing salsa because DH didn't know he was supposed to check the pot for such items. Luckily we found the strip of finish nails before sharing our bounty with the neighborhood.
6. The nasty ceiling
7. The nasty floor
8. The plaster walls a-crumblin down.
9. The fact that my stove is a catchall, and right next to the path the kids take when they chase each other around and around and around...

  1. The ginormous silver disks once known as cabinet knobs.
    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 5:09PM
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missstella, no question about it. You must be smart. You're here!

joyjoyjoy, I'm lots older than you but I ate Milk Bone biscuits. You're probably closer to my son's age. I think Ken L Ration was one of the usual brands when you were little.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:36PM
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LAX and pinch me- my mother used to have to feed the cat up on the bar to keep the dogs out. My Grandmother came to visit and thought our "snack mix" was delicious! She even took another handful after we told her she was eating cat food!

What I DON'T miss:

1. The rust spots where the staples were leaching through the vinyl floor.
2. The 5 out of 12 cupboards that couldn't be reached due to design issues, especially if the dishwasher was open.
3. The fact that there were only 12 cupboards- and I don't even like cupboards!
4. The disolving particle board under the laminate counter in front of the sink.
5. The barrier reef/penninsula

(Shudder!) I am soooo glad my husband made the remodel happen!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 9:49PM
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The counters. They were 4x4 white tile with 1/2" "white" grout lines. The white is in quotes because the counters were 30 years old, and I'm guessing the grout was originally white... The counters were bumpy, grout was icky, and overall, they were downright ugly. The day that sledgehammer hit those counters ranked right up there with my wedding day, birth of my daughter, defending my dissertation, well you get the picture- that's how much I hated those counters.

Of course there were other things I disliked like the harvest gold glass in the cabinet doors, the over-the-peninsula cabinets that you had to duck to see under, the 30" butt-bumping aisle, the clutter collector (ie desk), the refrigerator that didn't open enough to fully open the produce drawers and then there was the mint green color. The worst part was that this house was custom built by my DH's grandparents in the 80's and everytime I would complain about any of it, he took it personally that I was insulting his deceased grandma, because the kitchen was just how she wanted it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:38PM
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I've skipped along, but truly I'm gonna win this, hands down:

What I hate is that I have NO KITCHEN (at least by modern standards).

I mean that. I have no kitchen counters, no kitchen cabinets, a fridge in the adjacent pantry, and a damned woodstove plunk in the middle of the kitchen. No, I'm not cooking on a wood-fired stove - moved that puppy out to the barn the day we moved in - I cook on a gas-fired 48" double-oven 6-burner range, thank God!

Lavendar-Lass, avert your eyes, please ..... I have an authentic pre 20th c kitchen where they used work tables, and unfitted furniture and open shelves to store stuff. My sink is a beat-up version of one of those metal sink cabs, with no counter beside it - just the single basin standing along the wall. The work table and chairs arrangement is soooo annoying and time wasting. Everything on the shelves that wasn't just washed, needs to be rewashed before use. And I have that #@$#%^&*!#@$%& WOODSTOVE in my kitchen that everybody stands around getting in my way all winter long.

In short I have all those elements that folks seem to crave these days in a farmhouse/country kitchen. Except that it is all I have. These aren't style elements, these are the real deal and they are unbelieveably hard and inefficient to work with.

So, since I can't move the woodstove position (and can't get rid of it since it is our only source of heat) nor do I want to be cooking in the room where everyone else always is, I'm picking up my kitchen and moving it elsewhere in the house. So there!

I have agonized over this for years because it will be a radical reassignment of room uses in a very old, and otherwise intact mid-19th c house. But I've lived here more than 20 years and hope to live here another 20, and I'm going to have it my way, or else.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 1:41AM
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Termites in the cabinets? They'd generate this mealy crumb all over the tops of spice jars. Ick. Double ick.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:21AM
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6 useless 12" cabinets - 3 uppers and 3 lowers and my stove in my island. I HATE it. These two items are the impetus for the remodel was are just embarking on.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 4:32PM
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