Seeking images of modest or quirky kitchens...

floranthaMarch 4, 2010

Some of us are working with suburban tract houses or little Cape Cods or oddball spaces designed for someone else. Some of us have modest budgets or neighborhood factors that prevent huge expenditures. Some of us are just downright cranky and won't follow what we perceive as the herd.

I enjoy looking at upscale spaces and trendy ones and am getting a real kick out of hearing about budgets and tastes of those of you who are "totally kitchen obsessed" but I suspect that like me, there are others who really need more modest and personalized (or quirky) mentoring.

Let's see who else is just a little different here. Show us some successful kitchen spaces that won't show up in the high-end ads and mags. Images of spaces by successful local contractors, creative do-it-yourselfers, repurposers, and the just plain resourceful. No mansions need apply.

I'll start. Today I stumbled into the House Tours for "The Kitchn" and/or "Apartment Therapy." Here we find some people who live with limitations or manias or old interesting stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Tours from

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honeysucklevine

There's rate my space. I find it hard to search.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 12:12PM
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learningguru

I'm a firm believer in making my new kitchen work for my needs! We are using principals of universal design - so our kitchen handels some of our needs as we age. we are empty nesters whom love to cook and entertain. But, we want to make it easier. I'm going to have a raised dishwasher, American Range wall oven, & lowered cooktop. Sorry no pictures yet. But, demo is going to start in 6 weeks! I included a link showing empty nester kitchens. Yes, my kitchen is going to be quirky, but very functional!

Here is a link that might be useful: Empty Nester Kitchen

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:08PM
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grlwprls

Ha! Most of those kitchens from Apartment Therapy would be an epic fail around here. As someone who has sought and tried to incorporate some of the freely given advice around here, when you have a quirky space you *simply* can't incorporate all the "requirements" for aisles, landing spaces, etc. That being said, I did give up some elements of my second architect's design that failed miserably, but others I've held fast to. Two 8' runs - one cooking, one clean up. Fridge/window seat/pantry cabinet (with microwave).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:19PM
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marthavila

Hey Florantha, this is a great thread you've started. Although my kitchen is pretty much a done deal, one of the reasons why I stay connected to this forum is the immense pleasure I get out of seeing how others express themselves in kitchen design -- most especially those who are willing to move a bit out of the box. That said, it was such a delight and surprise to click on the Apartment Therapy House Tour and to see John and Jason's kitchen featured. Those two are my neighbors! (I can see a portion of the back of their house from my backyard.) And, what an incredible house they have-- most especially that kitchen! Their house was featured on the neighborhood house tour a couple of years back and it was one of the most highly favored houses on the whole tour. Talk about brilliant quirkiness expertly delivered! But then, you have to keep in mind that they are, in fact, experts. Either one or both of them are professional designers. So they really know how to go way off the planet in terms of taking design risks and then bringing it all back to earth with slight of hand. (I emphasize this because most of us lay people would NOT be able to create such a quirky yet magnificent-looking kitchen no matter how much we may try.) BTW, the photos of that kitchen in AT hardly do it justice. Indeed, from the photos alone, I can imagine many might do a thumbs done on their design. IMHO, John and Jason's kitchen is truly one of those you just have to see and "experience" in person to fully appreciate what an excellent room it really is.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 2:09PM
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marcolo

marthavila, J&J's kitchen is one of the coolest on AT. And it's a great example of how not every tradi tional or transitional painted kitchen needs to be white. It can be frustrating sometimes around here when the Ministry of Vice and Virtue descends on anybody who wants to shake up the formula a little bit, and insists on white subways/calacatta/soapstone/white Shaker cabs, as if it's some kind of religious doctrine.

All that said, Apartment Therapy is a very different take on things than this site in general. First of all the ages of posters are quite different. The NAKB folks say that the majority of kitchen renos are done by families with teenage kids and by empty nesters. AT focuses on a very different audience, so it's good to get different perspectives.

That said, I'm not all that fond of the site. It's as narrow as this one can sometimes be. Show bright colors, mod, and midcentury, and the commenters clap like trained seals. I found it funny that people loved one kitchen made of bright big boxes that looked like they came from Ikea. It's actually in a multi-million-dollar house, and it was well over a six-figure renovation that completely ignored the historic character of the house to create a Miami condo feel. But hey, it's not tradition al, so clap clap clap!

I agree, though, everybody benefits from looking at non-mainstream ideas. Some of the NYC house reno vation blogs give good examples.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 2:59PM
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pickle2

Loved the J&J kitchen! I was just so wowed by it, and stared at it a long, long time. I think what makes it work is their commitment to color and pattern (and of course their tremendous eye for combining said colors and patterns). I wonder if you layer color upon color and pattern upon pattern, the entirety of the picture becomes less vivid than if each color and pattern was presented on its own. Does that make sense to anyone else? Like if the Cooking Apple Green cabinets were solo in an otherwise neutral space, they would absolutely scream. That paint sample is up on my kitchen cabinet, and it is not a shy color. But in combination with the wallpaper and the tile, it all just becomes a harmonious whole.

I found this kitchen in a recent Farrow & Ball image hunt. I'm sure it breaks lots of rules, but love its warmth.

I've posted this kitchen before. It's not a quirky layout, but the backsplash are seconds purchased over two years so there was attention paid to both design and budget. It's a kitchen that looks like it's used well.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:51PM
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lisa_a

That last kit chen is in my neck of the woods. It was written up in The Or egonian, our local pa per. Aha, I found the article on the first try (dang, I'm good, LOL! It helped that I remembered it was tiled with Pratt & Larson seconds).

Here is a link that might be useful: Belgian farmhouse inspires Portland kitchen

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:52PM
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steff_1

florantha, thanks for this thread. I plan some quirky and colorful elements in my kitchen and was beginning to wonder if there was a place here for them.

Wow, marthavila, those guys do have a great house and a fun kitchen. It would be great to have neighbors with a house like that.

Marcolo, your comment reminded me of a recent thread about white kitchens and if they trended "old" as in age. Maybe when the AT readers get older they will prefer something totally different.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:55PM
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warmfridge

I think the popularity of open-concept homes makes it more difficult to do a quirky kitchen. You can't easily put a turquoise Big Chill in the kitchen area of your great room if the living room area is full of antiques or Oriental pottery. Most of the links in this thread show separate kitchens.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:04PM
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lisa_a

FUN kitchen. They are way more adventurous that I'm brave enough to be.

Did anyone notice that the marble counters came from Lowe's? That was unexpected, especially given the cabinet source.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:10PM
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marcolo

I wonder if you layer color upon color and pattern upon pattern, the entirety of the picture becomes less vivid than if each color and pattern was presented on its own.

A lot of people buy house s with k itchens or, especially, baths from the 20s through the '50s. Either they gut reno, or they ask how to "tone down" the pink/blue/green or whatever. You see people painting the walls gray, or white. And that's the worst possible thing to do.

Go online and look at all the 1920s baths on Antique Home Style (that's my link, not an ad). Color palettes are vivid and complex, and also beautiful. Pink tile isn't "toned down," it's paired with mauves and eggplants and blues and a little green. And it works.

Very different from today, when people seem to want to decorate for their realtors and only allow themselves a "pop" of color, a word they heard on TV.

steff, I think you're right that tastes change over time, but also, they change with new generations. Everyone won't like white as they get older. In fact, I think at some point white kitch ens and baths will look extremely old-fashioned and dated, just as they did to housewives from the late 1920s on.

BTW, it's so funny how everyone has caught on to using spaces between their words to stop the ugly forced advertising. It looks like we're all stuttering.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:28PM
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doonie

I loved J & J's kitchen. Wow. It comes off as looking so right and natural, but what a lot of complex thought and planning went into it. The whole thing is a work of art.

I think some of the most interesting baths and kitchens are remodels.

On a new build, the paper is completely blank, but with a remodel, there are already lines on the paper, a skeletal structure that can often lead to much more interesting and beautiful spaces. warmfridge, you may be onto something with the idea that an open floor plan limits some of the decorating freedom. I have one of those and it is true, the decisions I make in one, affect all the others, whereas in the bedrooms, which are all enclosed and separated, I am free to do what I want. However, I enjoy the palette puzzle, and so I end up with colors versus whites.

marcolo, that link to Antique baths was enlightening. Now I understand. The palettes make sense in context. And they are beautiful in context. I had always wondered about the pinks and blues and greens. Now I get it!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:58PM
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marcolo

doonie, I am addicted to that site. I keep looking for ways to reproduce the look. But they don't make Vitrolite anymore, not since 1947. And most modern tile, even really beautiful stuff, doesn't have that deep saturated color.

The point about "open k itchens" is very insightful. You can still be "quirky"--but now, you have to make your entire floor quirky to match!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:03PM
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writersblock

Wow, I absolutely love those, marcolo. Thanks for the link.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:08PM
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palimpsest

Here is a simple kitchen that I did for someone:

Vinyl floors, Kenmore appliances (including a rule breaking white refrigerator + black DW and range). The splurge in this kitchen was quartz countertops, but it worked as well with a nice laminate, just wouldnt have been as durable. The refrigerator only has an extra four inches on the hinge side and is against the wall, a GW taboo. The range hood is underneath the cabinetry in a liner. The cabinets are Thomasville Home Depot and they worked fine for this project. Its nothing fancy, I think it acknowledges some trends without being too specific and it suits the client. The pictures are watermarked because they are pictures of someone else's house.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:18PM
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palimpsest

Here is my first kitchen in my first apartment--it was very modest. Roughly 5x7 with a 6'6" ceiling. This was before I had my design degree so I worked with a KD on this one. Its very '90s in its palette, but we managed to get a full-sized cooktop and oven in there, and a 11 cubic foot fridge (to the left) with double the storage of the original kitchen, which had two dead corners.

Its no great beauty in the scheme of things, but the last owners liked it enough to upgrade to granite countertops. It worked well enough and was a selling point for the unit, twice. You are seeing the whole thing except the refrigerator wall, which is just out of the frame.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:35PM
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kathec

My DH and I are, or rather, have been serial movers. Our first house was big on charm and short on space. We re-did our tiny kitchen and really made that house a personal expression of us, then we moved. Since then, I've been hesitant to put anything other than the barest effort into a house in fear of moving. We lived in our second house for 2 years and our 3rd for a year. It seems like I'm always painting and fixing, but for the next person.

Now it looks like we're in our current house to stay and FINALLY I can really put my stamp on our house and make it home. My budget is super tight and I won't get everything I want, but I'm willing to put up with what I can't afford to change and save up because I know we'll likely be here in 2 or 5 or 10 years. So I'm forced to be creative and if it's a bit quirky, I'm ok with that. I want to LIVE in my space, it's not a feature in a magazine.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:44PM
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marthavila

One of my favorite GW kitchens is that of Redrange. (In fact, it served as a major inspiration for my own kitchen). I don't know that I would describe her kitchen as "quirky" but it is certainly bursting with individual, creative expression and unabashed use of color (red, blue, yellow) and varying metal finishes (copper, stainless, iron). It has DIY elements (hand painted tiles), Ikea cabs and both mid-range and high end appliances. And, warmfridge, it's in a semi-open plan set up! :-) I love this kitchen and think it may serve as an excellent example of the class of kitchen design that Florantha (and many others of us) are seeking: unpretentious, creative and very personalized to individual tastes and preferences.

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

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:06PM
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marcolo

Yup, redrange was a classic. BTW, I'm trying to get a friend to consider Ike a, but I find the Ikeafans website mind-bending. Do they have a finished kitchens blog over there?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:16PM
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steff_1

Love redrange's kitchen, too.

At least one article I read recently mentioned there's a trend away from the completely open floor plan. Our last house was so open you could almost see the whole first floor, including the kitchen sink, from the front door. It was nice for a while, but I'm enjoying the defined rooms in this house.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:44PM
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writersblock

>Do they have a finished kitchens blog over there?

No, but they have a big gallery section where you can search on different door styles and such, and the blog on the main page often features completed kitchens.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:52PM
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pickle2

I love redrange's kitchen too. So full of color and personal touches. It's odd. The realtor death knell is "it's too personal." But don't we want our homes to be personal? To reflect us? I guess there is a balance there.

We had a completely open floor plan in our previous home (built in 1998). Upstairs gameroom and hall open to the family room below. Family room open to the kitchen and breakfast areas. As my oldest grew past early childhood, I grew to dislike the openness. There was nowhere for me to go away from the playdates except for my room. There was nowhere for the kids to go rumpus out of earshot.

I love those vintage rooms. Thanks for the link, marcolo! I'm apparently doing a 1929 bathroom scheme in my kitchen (deep greens and buttery yellow). I've found the tiles I'm drawn to tend to have fairly saturated colors (Pratt & Larson, Emery & cie, and Trikeenan). Trikeenan's deep forest green tiles are yummy. It's finding affordable tiles with saturated and beautiful colors that's challenging.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:00PM
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katsmah

I don't mean to highjack this thread, but what is the problem with putting the fridge against the wall?

The refrigerator only has an extra four inches on the hinge side and is against the wall, a GW taboo.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:44PM
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marcolo

Wow, the Emery & cie website had me sitting for an hour trying to figure out how I could reproduce a 1929 kitchen or bath. Gee, thanks.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:21AM
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fleur222

Pickle 2, there is so very little color to that F&B kitchen, but oohh the warmth. Love it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:48AM
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weidiii

katsmah, I think the taboo is not being able to open the fridge doors all the way

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:00AM
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palimpsest

Yes, when the fridge is in a corner against a wall you can only get the door open to 90-degrees if you have only left a few inches for the thickness of the doors and the handle. Because of this you can't get the drawer on the hinge side open completely and its not easy to get out for cleaning. (But generally not impossible either).

A fridge with a compound hinge like a Sub-Zero (which doesn't swing as far as a regular ole fridge door) needs something like 17-18" on the hinge side to open fully, depending on the model.

Because a certain amount of space is needed to open fully, this is taken as an absolute by many here in GW who pretty much insist that you need a cabinet between the fridge and the wall for it to function. Thats great if you have the space--most of the small kitchens I work with do not. It may affect choice of fridge, but I think it can be worked with. It leads to disagreements fairly regularly.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:45AM
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zeebee

LOVE Redrange's kitchen. Although they are not necessarily modest, there are some kitchens with colored cabinets on the Finished Kitchens Blog that are definitely quirky and fun - Farmhousebound has a great unfitted kitchen.

I also like the online gallery for a UK design magazine called Living Etc. Link below has kitchen pictures. Many kitchens in the UK are modestly sized by American standards.

Here is a link that might be useful: Living Etc.'s gallery of kitchens

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:22AM
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boxerpups

Here are a few I love.
~boxer

Brazilian kitchen

Carnival

My favorite. Beautiful and fresh

Very earthy South African Kitchen

Beach Mag

Concrete Kitchen

AZ Central

Kutch Craft

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:27AM
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weidiii

Palimpsest, can you tell me how you did the glass backspash on the stove? Is it a frosted green glass or is there pain behind it? How is it mounted?

Here's a favorite small kitchen

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:56AM
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marcolo

I don't know if all these are "quirky," but I found at least some element in each interesting.

If you right click on the ones that didn't work, you can open the image in another window.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:27AM
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lakeaffect

Thanks to all for the pics of the quirky kitchens, they are truly refreshing and inspiring. We are about 95% done with our own quirky, unfitted, budget kitchen, hopefully will be able to post some pics sometime soon, especially now that I have a few new design ideas from these pics.

Thanks again, all.

sandyponder

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:14AM
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palimpsest

Weidiii

The glass backsplash is back painted in the wall color. It has a green cast because it is conventional glass rather than Starfire which would be (almost) colorless. That wasn't in the budget, but the greenish cast also looks good with an accent color we used in other rooms.

It was installed by setting it on the countertop, clear caulking the bottom edge and using conventional clear mirror clips up along the top corner, hidden by the light valance.

I did a larger one in Starfire that goes corner to corner, countertop to undercabinet and is friction fit (only) and caulked in with clear caulk. The glass company said it didn't need anything else.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:20PM
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marthavila

Wow, wow, WOW on the photos everybody! No matter the style or palette, they're all great. Not a bad one in the bunch!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:46PM
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kimkitchy

It has been totally fun viewing these pictures and reading this thread! A refreshing change!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 3:31PM
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shelayne

Thanks for this thread--I love these kitchens with so much personality! And I am a huge sucker for the blues, the aquas...yummmmm!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 4:47PM
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odiegirl13

What a great thread. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else but I have been tempted to go for perfection in my kitchen even though my budget really says ''No''. I really need to stick to my $20K plans and not creep toward $30K or worse. Maybe that means a I use a couple of shelves over the snack bar instead of cabinets or maybe I use an old cabinet for my pantry. You guys posted some inspiring kitchen pics. Those kitchens are comfortable and interesting.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 5:01PM
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grlwprls

I'm looking for a kitchen that is comfortable and authentic. I don't think those elements ever go out of style, because frankly, I'm not sure they are ever in style. What I like most about these kitchens is that they are *unapologetically* kitchens!

I've realized that although I can't really do a fixed table or island, I am going to have one that's mobile - just because every once in a while I need a place to put down a sheet pan. Found a great one and I'm willing to wander around it if that's what it takes.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:23PM
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florantha

I've spent a lot of my life in middle school where kids think that having things is the same as being someone. Isn't it ironic that peer pressure and fad are still a strong influence in adult life?

Extra money should not be spent on more stuff but on your family and your future.

Thanks for the postings, everyone. I appreciate meeting kindred spirits and mentors in this thread. Modest, achievable goals, great involvement with textures and color and heritage and family, and real dwellings, and food. Hearing some wisdom is also appreciated.

Grlwprls, your first paragraph is particularly apt: "I'm looking for a kitchen that is comfortable and authentic. I don't think those elements ever go out of style, because frankly, I'm not sure they are ever in style. What I like ost about these kitchen is that they are *unapologetically* kitchens!"

If I could rename this thread, that's what it would be: comfortable, authentic, unapologetic kitchens.

By the way, if readers have not taken the Sweeby test, this is the time to do it before progressing on a project any further.

Keep those images coming!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:59PM
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marcolo

What I like most about these kitchens is that they are *unapologetically* kitchens!

If I could rename this thread, that's what it would be: comfortable, authentic, unapologetic kitchens.

In a strange twist, your words remind me of the very quotation of Julia Child's that Julie Powell used in the tagline of her blog as she cooked her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" -- "No one here but us 'servantless American cooks.' "

The twist, is that many of these kitchens remind me, in an odd way, exactly of Julia Child's kitchen-- a room clearly made for cooking.

I think that has been forgotten. A kitchen is now "the heart of the home." But that no longer means, where a patiently- stirring ethnic mother creates a miraculous cornucopia of old-country treats, drawing the family together. No, it means where the middle-schoolers do their homework while the teens nuke their frozen entrees while the ballerina student checks her schedule while mommy plans play dates. That's not the heart of the home; it's the office cubicle with breakroom attached.

Same with, "Kitchens are the new living rooms." No, kitchens are the new showstopping status grabbers, where we wow the neighbors the way great-grandma used to try to impress the pastor with a plastic-covered brocade sofa. Look, how shiny, look, how successful we are!

You know, if I had my druthers, I'd want a jaw-dropping kitchen, too. But I don't want the shock to come from the expense of my materials, or the cutting-edge trendiness of my design. I'd want it to stop all the keeping-up-with the Jones crowd in their tracks, make all the HGTV addicts slap their hands over their mouths, and say: "Oh my God. This is a real kitchen."

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:04PM
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pickle2

I love this thread. I want to keep some of the thoughts posted here up on my wall as I plan my reno. Just so I can keep them in mind. It's so easy to wander astray.

So many great thoughts, but these really resonate with me:
I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else but I have been tempted to go for perfection in my kitchen even though my budget really says ''No''.

I don't think those elements ever go out of style, because frankly, I'm not sure they are ever in style. What I like most about these kitchens is that they are *unapologetically* kitchens!

comfortable, authentic, unapologetic kitchens

a room clearly made for cooking

And I'll add, a kitchen that truly speaks to me and my cooking needs in its layout, color, and use of materials.

What caught me in this photo was not the vintage (which I love, but can perhaps lean a little theme-y). I love hanging utensils, both practical and beautiful. I think kitchen utensils have an innate sculptural interest. Also like the idea of running tile only partially up the backsplash. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 9:18AM
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florantha

Pickle2: These utensils and kitchen objects hanging from a hooks rod are indeed sculptural. I know why you are attracted to them.

But I will not allow myself such a thing or a pot rack--there's just too much dust in my house. One thing that is not mentioned enough about the high-end highly decorated kitchens is the housekeeping factor.

I don't have hired help. I adore old mahogany furniture and have dragged some Chippendale repros into my dining room as well as a silverplate chandelier (to compliment 1960s teak Danish pieces, you understand). But these give me sufficient dusting practice--and guilt when they're dusty or cobwebby--that I am being very stern with myself in the kitchen plan. At my place, airborne kitchen flotsam is even worse than the dining room, with stove grease and street access and garage sawdust and garden particles. I have chosen low-maintenance cupboard style, countertops, sinks. I have done away with the dust-and-penny-catcher 4-inch-high laminate backsplash. My appliances and sink are baldly white; no daily dusting of black appliances for me!

But, on the other hand, I have given myself permission to overload the walls with framed art, which also needs dusting but this is a task I gladly accept. We're putting a picture hanger rail all along one interior wall just outside the kitchen. And I'm toying with the idea of floating shelves to display antique pieces along the wall behind the peninsula stools. I collect old silverplate and polish it gladly when it browns in the open air. Go figure!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:59AM
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grlwprls

You will clean willingly what you love and you will admire the patina of things well-loved.

I used to have a wooden countertop that I treated only with beeswax. While some might have flinched at the decidedly green tinge by the stove from my gremolata period, I liked that it said something about my evolution as a cook. And before anyone asks, I did cut raw meat elsewhere and trained my daughter, then six and Montessori trained, to do likewise. That girl can cook a mean veal shank!

I'm sad to discover that the chandelier I thought would be perfect for the kitchen only takes 6 (or is it 8?) 25W bulbs. Drat. I am still struggling with sink lighting.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 12:36PM
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florantha

grlwprls:
for what it's worth, there were some fabulous deals on chandeliers in the Overstock.com offerings this week, "some assembly required."

I really wanted a chandelier somewhere in this addition to our tract house, or one of those 1970s-80s enamel-painted metal lighting lunacies with the metal flowers and tendrils and leaves and colored paint when "garden room" was a kitchen theme. I've seen some wonderful re-do's of these by creative people, including a fabulous decoupage paisley treatment of a colonial brass multi-arm fixture for sale in an antique shop in Anchorage last summer. Can you picture one of those once-pricey white metal garden babies with some red paint and a dark glazing treatment? The spouse said no, he couldn't.

I'm still hanging on to a garage sale 3-light hanging fixture that belongs in a Regency drawing room, perfect for a Gustavian room somewhere. A killer piece. It was supposed to be mounted over the kitchen table, but the table got deleted, sigh. [for the story of that terrible tale, look for my posting about how the designer hijacked the design on the assumption he knew local code about range hood vents, an error that may never be forgiven by moi]
___

I love your line that says "You will clean willingly what you love and you will admire the patina of things well-loved." There's another line to add to the gems of wisdom on this thread!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 1:07PM
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warmfridge

I love this thread and the ideas expressed that a kitchen should be functional and individual. I have been so turned off by all the same, boring, cold, impersonal kitchens that I've seen in most of the design magazines. Most of them make me want to never cook again. You've all given me hope. :-)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 1:16PM
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writersblock

Well, you know, there are a number of quirky, charming kitchens on THS, but most of the owners don't come in here because they don't feel comfortable with their modest setups. I love what excessfroufrou did, for example, to make her kitchen her own (without making any major changes to the layout), but I don't remember ever seeing her on the Kitchen forum.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 1:21PM
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theresse

This may be the best thread I've read on this forum yet. Truly inspiring stuff. It makes me feel like I can take a big sigh of relief and just do what my heart tells me to do. Of course anyone with half a brain and a little integrity (confidence?) should know this already! ;)

Thank you florantha and for everyone else's inspiring comments and pics!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 3:53PM
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honeysucklevine

Here's my fav.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:51AM
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wallycat

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt283/boxerpups22/Stonehoodnotuppersstaticflickr.jpg

This one speaks sooooooo loudly to me!! I never thought I'd
like green in the kitchen, much less green cabinets, but this is just so peaceful, neat and gorgeous to my eyes.

I agree with some of the statements here...I had hopes of creating a "perfect" or "desirable" kitchen and this thread has been a god-send. It has convinced me to do what I will love and enjoy working in and seeing daily and not what the magazines are showing. Magazine/perfect kitchens are gorgeous but the quirky ones make it feel like home.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:17AM
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honeysucklevine

I am also in love with this kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:35AM
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elizpiz

LOVE this thread and all the *unapologetic* kitchens!

Great photos and comments...
Eliz

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 11:19AM
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lakeaffect

It's interesting how this thread resonates so richly with some of us, and the more I think about unapologetic as a term for an atypical kitchen, the more I like it. On the HD forum I posted pics of our 95% completed pantry and got props for "admitting" we used scratch 'n dent appliances, honestly, they are the only appliances I have ever, or would ever, use, I cannot see paying full freight for anything (for *me*, I don't really care what others do), and if I can get a $1500 F&P food cooling and freezing unit for $550 cuz it's got a few dings on the skin, I will, and I don't even see the dings, all I see is my bargain food cooling and freezing unit (evil hyperlinks be damned).

Thanks again for this thread and everyone's thoughts, it's nice to feel a little validated.

sandyponder

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 12:51PM
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budge1

As soon as I saw the title quirky, I thought of my favourite kitchen - mfrog's victorian style kitchen. I love her cabs so much. I just added a new old cab to our kitchen after being inspired by hers. I haven't painted it yet, but here is my ode to quirky.

Here is a link that might be useful: mfrog's kitchen

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 12:58PM
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lakeaffect

I meant to attach a couple of pics of our 95% finished pantry (cab door to the right of the sink and a few trim pieces to go). Looking at these 2 month old pics I see that I have already changed out a few accessories, oy (I edit and rotate stuff endlessly, it's a kind of mania that runs in my family).

Cabs are a 1985 Wood Mode natural maple display bought when a local place changed out their showroom displays, the sink is a Kohler bar sink bought off the clearance rack at HD for $40, counters are old bowling alley we sanded, cut, trimmed in walnut and sealed with Epifanes (f-o-o-d grade marine sealant), subway tile came from a circa 1900 house (for $25!), all appliances are from the "Where America Shops" Outlet, floors are gawd-awful tile I hate (someday we'll have Marmoleum) and the shelving was built when we built the house 3 years ago.

sandyponder

Sink area:

F-o-o-d pantry (very hard to photograph, sorry):

Bar area (that's the s 'n d icemaker on the left):

F&P food chilling and freezing unit (complete with visible dents):

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 2:30PM
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allison0704

This has been a fun thread. Just saw this retro cottage kitchen and thought it fit the bill:

Here is a link that might be useful: Retro Cottage Green Kitchen

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 7:52PM
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needsometips08

This thread is wonderful and refreshing. It was a joy to read through and see all the kitchens that are so suitable to real life - kitchens that can truly be used and lived in. Love it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 8:09PM
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dredpir8

What an incredible thread. Makes me feel better about my pending renovation since I'm breaking some of the 'rules'. Although now I'm a little worried that my design is too vanilla.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:41AM
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johnliu_gw

Functionality in a small space (sorry for the overlarge picture)

The gimballed range and grab bars would be handy for those nights of excessive imbibing. Hic.

http://www.yachtmonalisa.com/galley-a14_006-web.jpg

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:53AM
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johnliu_gw

More functionality in small spaces. I have a weakness for teeny weeny kitchens that pack a punch.

A whole submarine crew was fed from this galley (USS Bowfin).

This kitchen fits in a commercial food truck.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:33AM
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florantha

Palimpsest:
I haven't mentioned how I have appreciated your upload of the very modest kitchen. There's a lot in it to learn from.

How did it feel to work up against the side walls at sink and stove? That's the big issue for me in small space kitchens.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:12AM
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momto4boys

"DIY repurposers" you say? lol.
Well, here's my new pantry. Still haven't moved it in yet, as I've got one more coat of chalk board paint down the side to put on.
We're doing a low budget costmetic make over in our kitchen. Which will include glass fronts on my cabinet doors. This cookie cutter house was built without an actual pantry, so all our snacks, cereals, etc are thrown in the cabinets. Don't think anyone wants to see that mess once the doors are changed, so we needed a pantry. DH was going to build one. And we were also shopping for a cheap cabinet of some kind.
Then..I came across these lockers on craigslist.
As I worked on these outside all weekend, I got some pretty funny looks from our neighbors when I told them what I was using these for. Oh well. :) I thought it was a fun, "quirky" idea.

before

after

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:37AM
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florantha

Modest and quirky? Indeed! I bet you had to scour off a lot of old stickers and gum from the inside. Kudos! Paint job is a significant improvement and the blackboard paint is a wonderful allusion to the original purpose of the lockers.

Having spent a lot of time in middle school, I can only hope that the sound of shutting and opening these babies is a pleasant one for you--it will echo throughout your space, I assure you. Vibration will communicate from one little chamber to another and might affect the stability of stacked things, even in other places. You might want to consider some sound-dampening apparatus, even on the bottom and back. Felt perhaps? Or that rubber-like stuff that holds rugs in place?

On one of the other threads there was a great reference to the adhesive material used by classic car owners for dampening engine sounds. It was recommended for dampening sound of dishwashers within a dishwasher insert space so you can search for it using that keyword I suspect. The price on the referenced website in the posting was significantly less than is charged by a car shop, I think. You could put it across the under side and up the back.

Don't forget your locker combination! :-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:08AM
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boxerpups

Momtwo4boys, Love your creative pantry plans.
~boxer

Here are a few more cute quirky, fun, differnent or tiny
kitchens. I love all kitchens. ~boxer

White

Country Living old sink

Butcher block and fabric covered cab doors

Willow Decor

French Fantasy (all the little people wash dishes, a
perfect rule in my house for kids...)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:07AM
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momto4boys

Flora, you have no clue how much I fear the sound, lol. That's why they're coming in when finished, and living a bit with moderate use until we fully commit. Meaning mostly, relocate a light switch that it'll block until then.
I'm a bit OCD, and sounds, well..kind of drive me nuts. Ask my four boys, lol. It very well could be all too much for me. We shall see.
I bought two. One will go in kid's room, other kitchen for now. If that doesn't work..it's off to the garage for some fun storage :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:34PM
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lakeaffect

Nice to see this post still going, great pics, all. johnlui, I especially love the shot of the galley, that teak and holly flooring, so classic and so beautiful, and the sub galley, absolutely made of win.

momto4boys, snazzy lockers, vintage cool, and lots of storage potential, what could be better?

sandyponder

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:05PM
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grlwprls

sandy ponder - I like that wall mounted sink light. I am going to do wall mounted sconces in my stove area - well, over each tiny prep area. I am still not sure how to do the lighting in the sink area since it's on a knee wall and I really wanted a funky chandelier rather than pendant lights. But the chandy definitely won't throw enough light for clean up, I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:17PM
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pickle2

Oh I love these kitchens!! And I love the idea of lockers as storage. Such a creative reuse of things!

This is slightly off-topic, but johnliu's food truck photo reminded me that two of my very favorite places to eat in Austin, Torchy's Tacos (tacos, obviously) and Flip Happy (crepes), are converted trailers. Food is cooked inside. Orders are taken at a window. Folks eat outside. Totally, absolutely yum.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:39PM
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marcolo

S'mores:

There are a lot of retro kitche ns around, but I like the curtai ns and sense of fun and warmth in this one.

Look! Lockers!

Click on this question mark, or whatever you see. Can't get blogspot to display properly, but it's a cute k itchen.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:10PM
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rj56

my modest kitchen

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:52PM
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johnliu_gw

On some level, this is my perfect kitchen. Lots of copper, lots of heat sources, no room for anyone but me.

Almost every kitchen on GW is rectilinear. Is that for function, or because curves are custom and very expensive?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:07PM
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plllog

John, rectilinear is for function. I made a lot of tries in my rectangular space to do curvy Italianate things, and came to the conclusion that they have to be built into the architecture, or in large open spaces to work. Love your yacht galley, but that must be some huge boat! It's triple the size of anything I've seen--but oh, so pretty!

Sandyponder, I'm so glad you posted your pics. I never saw them before. I love your kitchen!! Especially how the display plates work.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:51PM
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deanna1949

Love, love, love this thread. Haven't been here in a long time, and I see that I've been missing a lot!!

Sometimes when I see a certain photo that speaks to me, I get a fluttery feeling in my tummy. I'm full of butterflies right now!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:02AM
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palimpsest

Florantha:

Working at the cooktop was not really a problem. The right side had the minimum allowable clearance to the wall, but it was also at the doorway, which allowed some elbow room.

The sink did have some potential for elbow banging on the corner of the fridge, and this got a little worse with a later owner who upgraded the fridge to stainless and did not check the increased depth of the newer fridge. (I am nosy--I go in and look every time it comes up for sale.)

As limited as it was, it was an improvement over the old layout where you had to open the fridge to open the DW, and there was only a 24" range. Two people could actually work in the kitchen, not actively, but if one person was in and out, it was ok. Some owners have started to expand outside the footprints of the original kitchens with mixed success: it has to be done carefully to avoid having a negative impact on the rest of the apartment.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:06AM
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kaismom

I love this thread. Yes, they are unapologetic kitchens. My husband wants to have a beautiful pot rack full of pots and pans. He wants to celebrate the "cooking" that happens in the kitchen. Unfortunately, we have a truly open floor plan where there are no walls between kitchen/dining/living. I nixed the potrack. Oh well.... Maybe one day when I have more closed off kitchen. Not now.

I love the lockers. They are beatifully painted and so full of personality.

johnliu
our sailboat kitchen is about 1/4 of that boat. i think I have about 16 inches of cooktop and oven. The counter top folds down on the top of the range when not in use! Amazingly enough, I get by. What I need to figure out is if there is a better option for more powerful heat source. I see your need for heat, and boy oh boy, I get it! Boiling water to cook crabs can take more than half an hour. boat galleys do have their limitations.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:33PM
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jeffrow

Our very low budget kitchen

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:30AM
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boxerpups

Jeffrow,
I love your kitchen.
What is the beautiful paint color?
Is it a pale gray green?

Thanks,
boxer

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:47AM
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grlwprls

Jeffrow, if that's a low budget kitchen...well, I don't want to have a big budget :-) and jilljohn, I love your pottery! I actually am warming back up to oak (it's everywhere again, just lime finished). I also love wallpaper and wish that I had married into a wallpaper couple. I think I'm going to wallpaper the backs of my glass front cabinets since I have all white plates, etc.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:20PM
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barb4000

boxer,
where did you find the photo of that fabulous blue/green kitchen?! are there more photos of it that you have access to? can you tell us anything about it?
thanks!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:03PM
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covingtoncat

Jeffrow, love your k itchen. Details about your counter tops? Especially sink area. TIA

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:15PM
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debrak_2008

This thread has given me hope. My kitchen will be quirky but it will be fun and it will be mine. Thank you to all who posted such great photos.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 8:49PM
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pickle2

Jeffrow,

I love your kitchen, especially what you've done with the backsplash. So simple and creative. Great space!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:10PM
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boxerpups

Hi Barb4000,
These are the notes I had written. It is a FlickR image.
( Stone hood no uppers Static Flickr image )

Isn't is gorgeous. I have also seen it on a blog.
~boxer

And here is another adorable little kitchen. I love this.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:37PM
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jeffrow

We did it DIY...... Total came to a bit over 12k. Paint was "livable green" from Sherwin Williams. The countertops as well as cabs were from Ikea.

Here is a link that might be useful: old kitchen thread, before/during/after

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 10:39AM
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florantha

Jeffrow,

This is a modest but extremely attractive working space. Relaxing, not modernist "cold" in feeling. I suspect that you will enjoy it for a long time. Congratulations!

Did you consider moving the sink away from the outside door or isn't that a problem in this design?

(I realize that the window is a major draw for a sink to be sited and that you had plumbing in place.)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:41AM
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jeffrow

Good eye florantha. The door itself is a pain. Could not close it off without opening up the wall at the end of the range wall however. It would have been nice to have another foot or so of "landing space" to the right of the sink.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 3:25PM
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barb4000

thanks, boxer, for the info - & for posting the other kitchen photo. love your kitchen too, jeffrow. many thanks to all for these great images!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 5:31PM
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sabjimata

Just saw this post over at Apartment Therapy. Quirky definitely applies!

Here is a link that might be useful: apartment therapy

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 5:49AM
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florantha

Just saw this set of small kitchens at Better Homes website. Not sure if it's new or been out there for a while.
Has a few ideas for expanding small rooms visually, although some seem to conflict--put a collection on a high plate rail vs don't allow fussiness or clutter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Examples of small kitchens BHG

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 5:40PM
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pickle2

Holy cow! I'm a big fan of doing your own thing (within functional reason), but that apartment therapy kitchen is like cooking in a giant Target logo. On the plus side, looking at it makes me dizzy so I wouldn't eat so much.

florantha, I'll have to check out the BHG kitchens!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 6:08PM
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amyjean

On the subject of interesting kitchens, IMHO, many of the kitchens featured at Apartment Therapy are more for show rather than a reflection of the cook. However, I found one which I've gone back to over and over; it oozes charm and authenticity. The specifics are not at all what I would put in my own kitchen, but they quite obviously reflect the cook. It looks simply like he's taken things he already had and added to and adjusted them so as to surround himself with a kitchen that pleases him. It's something I aim for in my own kitchen. (This is as opposed to going out and purchasing specific items to give the idea that you used what you had!)

Unfortunately, I am quite computer illiterate, and don't know how to link to the photo or otherwise post it. If anyone is interested, they can go to the "Kitchn" part of Apartment Therapy and type "Uncle Thorvald" into the search box. In a few seconds, you will behold "Uncle Thorvald's Happy Kitchen".

I have to say, although I've never met him, I quite believe that Uncle Thorvald is a delightful fellow -his kitchen says so!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:26PM
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florantha

God bless Uncle Thorvald! Thanks for the posting. amyjean! It's a great reminder that we can live with a lot of joy instead of stuff.

I particularly love the curtains (a real Scandinavian woven fabric, I suspect, reminds me of Swedish pieces I've collected from older relatives). And I am tickled to see that the plants get the main stage, the window. Reminds me of my grandma, who had glasses and jars of plant cuttings rooting in water and held in place with a piece of waxed paper held on by a rubber band. All over her kitchen table on the window side.

As long as I am posting, I think it's important to recognize the $1400 renovation by enigmaquandry. Modest, but highly lauded. I suspect that Uncle Thorvald would feel right at home in it, but might not approve of the black paint. He would probably prescribe more color.

Here is a link that might be useful: $1400 Renovation

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 7:16PM
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marthavila

I sooo disagree with you, Amyjean! :-) I think that most of AT's kitchens are just kitchens for small spaces (apartments and homes with small kitchen rooms.) Sure, some of them must be for show -- like that red kitchen in California where the staircase is interrupted by the kitchen countertop! But, if you take the kitchen tours on the main page, my feeling is that most of those kitchens look quite functional as well as "quirky" (in a nice kind of way). BTW, I totally agree with you and Florantha re the charm of Uncle Thorvald's kitchen! And, as for Enigmaquandary's budget makeover? It's simply magic!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 7:33PM
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pickle2

It's a great reminder that we can live with a lot of joy instead of stuff.

Uncle Thorvald sounds like quite a character, and his kitchen a place where many great memories were made. I love what you said, florantha. I find myself edging closer and closer to "more stuff" and "more expensive stuff." And stressing about it. Joy. Not stuff. I should post a giant sign on my wall.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 7:33PM
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sochi

Fantastic thread, I don't know how I missed it until now. I love these kitchens, they make you happy just looking at them. I really like the kitchens with lots of stuff on the walls (other than or in addition to cabinets) - pots, utensils, measuring cups, plates, pictures. The only one here I could probably do without it is the red and white bull's eye kitchen - that would just give me a headache! Definitely interesting I guess.

I've pasted in a link to Uncle Thorvald's kitchen - I especially love all the orange and the plants. There will definitely be lots of plants in my kitchen, soon I hope. I'm thinking of doing a green (living) wall as well actually. I've got lots of antique glass I'd like to display as well - we'll see. There is the dust issue. I have to show my dh this thread - he fears quirky, I think, esp. after going through this thread, that we could stand a little more quirky.

As many of you have said, these kitchens (except the bull's eye kitchen!) just say home, comfort, food. All good things. Thanks Florantha.

Here is a link that might be useful: Uncle Thorvald's kitchen

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 7:54PM
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amysrq

There is an entire book devoted to this subject called 101 Kitchens. It is from the UK and I have found it more inspiring than any other printed source. There are a few on half dot com right now.

Ready...set...go....

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:46AM
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florantha

While messing around with the kitchen images on HGTV website, I noted that Lu Ann Bauer's kitchens were always intriguing and very different. I have figured out how to sort for them. See below, if the link works as I hope it will.

She operates out of San Francisco. A very different drummer with a unique muse!

I think we need a new acronym: WWTS? which stands for What Would Thorvald Say?

Here is a link that might be useful: What would Thorvald Say? Lu Amn Bauer kitchens

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:14AM
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florantha

During the planning stage for our kitchen, I hit a garage sale and splurged bigtime for a fabulous handmade wooden hayfork, a real model of restrained modernist lines in a utilitarian object. When DH and I lock horns about the new kitchen, I just break the ice by threatening "So on what wall do I mount the hayfork?"

Have actually found two images of kitchens online which employ hayforks as decorative objects. Anyone else have such an item on a kitchen wall?

Looked for the kitchens online and didn't find them, but found a glowing restaurant review from Toronto 2008 by Chris Nuttall-Smith...
"I think it's fair to feel suspicious of a restaurant that keeps a hayfork by the door. Bouncers, I can deal with. Even a surly maître d'. But at Table 17, the new neighbourhood bistro from chef John Sinopoli and partners Erik Joyal and John Dawson, there's a five-foot wooden trident propped up against the wall. It's an attempt at country kitchen chic, I suppose, though I'd pause before complaining that my water glass is being neglected."

Well, that is not quite what I had in mind, but then, again, let the complainer beware.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:23AM
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secondlouise

This thread has meant so much to me. I had been looking at the kitchens with all their beautiful and expensive appliances, counter tops, and cabniets. I wanted something unusual but kitchen is an open floor plan and it was only the counter tops and sink that I wanted to replace. DH said no to granite etc. If only I had "the eye" like some of you!! However, it has shown me that their are other options. I guess I will stop being mad at him! Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:30PM
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florantha

Aren't these images fun?

I'm also the person who started the red freaks thread. Have been trying to reassure myself about my latest idea so have been looking about on the net.

Here's a kitchen with low-cost update, by a red freak. Island is made of two matching dressers, shortened to proper ht and topped by a solid core door. Click on the whole-room image to enlarge. It's the painted variable width stripes that connect the whole room--an incredibly clever and simple idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: $987 red update for kitchen

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:40PM
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rosiew

florantha - thanks so much for sharing the red freak's kitchen - so delightful. Have enjoyed this thread a bunch.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 3:39PM
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kitchendetective

When I first started reading this forum, a poster named VeloDoug (velodoug?) was about. He had an orange (mandarin, probably) Cormatin in a diminutive, fabulous kitchen. Anyone have a link to his kitchen?
Then there was someone with a small kitchen with black, white, and red tiles. Her place ended up featured in a small home or bungalow magazine. It was wonderful, but I cannot recall her name, alas!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 4:48PM
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florantha

This House Beautiful article does not feature a low-budget kitchen, but it's in a limited space, compared with may other magazine kitchens.

Here is a link that might be useful: 60 Square Foot Kitchen

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:10AM
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florantha

Although this article is not about a quirky or modest kitchen, it has a photo of the original kitchen with owner Katharine Hepburn working near the stove. Look at the background! Like Uncle Thorvald's kitchen, this one has lots to look at. It was never modest and it's undergone a lot of change over the years and see where it has been relocated to most recently--a fantasy land, not the original kitchen at all. The original kitchen has transparent sliding faces to protect the contents of the shelves. There are no lower cupboards except under that sink; there are deep, wide drawers! What would Thorvald say? I think he would say, "Hmmm, You have more space than I do, don't you, Miss Hepburn? What did you make for dinner tonight?"

Here is a link that might be useful: Katharine Hepburn in her seaside kitchen

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 1:08PM
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florantha

Clearly I'm bumming around the internet...

Here is a link that might be useful: minimal Middle Eastern kitchen

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 1:40PM
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lakeaffect

Oh, it's nice to see this thread back on page one, outstanding links, everyone, Uncle Thorvald is a new one on me.

I liked Katharine Hepburn's kitch, which is oh-so-elegantly dilapidated, much better than the re-do, to my eye, the new one is a stark white monstrosity without a quirk, modest or otherwise, in sight.

sandyponder

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:21PM
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florantha

I've been combing the GW for this kitchen and have finally found it. Girlcat's blue kitchen with the faux tile backsplash. Like Uncle Thorvald's kitchen, it's given me a lot of pleasure just to look at it and imagine being in it. Hope you like it also. My attempt at inserting the images has bombed, so I hope that the link will suffice.

The more you look, the more you see. The functional and movable island. The painted drawer on the range. The repeat of the yellow on wall paint and on window trim and ceiling light and stencil. The rules: blue below, white above, wooden countertop. The color scheme, which I suspect a person with more education than I have could put a name to, perhaps something about complementary colors but with a hint of warm colors? And the discipline to edit distractions out. You go, girlcat!

Here is a link that might be useful: Girlcat's kitchen is in this thread

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 3:11AM
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pinch_me

I'm pretty sure I qualify for modest. I looked at the finished kitchen blog when I first came here and decided I'd never post mine! And then it got finished and I love it so much! It's me no matter what the current style is supposed to be.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:33PM
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dannie

Mine is modest and definitely quirky.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 10:12PM
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desertsteph

"I liked Katharine Hepburn's kitch, which is oh-so-elegantly dilapidated, much better than the re-do, to my eye, the new one is a stark white monstrosity "

just what I thought when I looked at it (them). I'd much prefer her 'old' one, it'd be more comfortable to me. ! i like old stuff anyway over new stuff.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 11:16PM
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suz1023

pinchme, are those pony cookies on your counter?!
excellent thread, so much food for thought!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 11:53PM
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aktillery9

My kitchen cost about 7000. I still have yet to grout and there are a few other little things. But here is my modest kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 7:54AM
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pinch_me

aktillery, I saw your before picture and the change is unbelieveable! Much prefer this after picture! Pet your pup for me.

No pony cookies, it's a Mustang travel mug I got for Christmas. There are some hen fruit by the stove. My boarding clients often gift me with horse related things. My sister scours the rummage sales for horse related items. I make out pretty well in the pet decor department. And if I don't have enough inside, I can look out my window at the real thing.

dannie, tell me about your backsplash.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 10:06AM
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alabamanicole

I don't know if this counts for "modest" -- it was my old kitchen and I felt like it was huge. But it's definitely different than everything else posted here. I wouldn't have ever picked this out for myself, but it really grew on me. Except the light fixture... nothing was ever going to make me like that!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 10:29AM
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florantha

alabamanicole, aktillery, pinch_me, and dannie, we are glad to see your kitchens. They should feel very much at home here. Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 9:10PM
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dannie

Pinch_me, I gave details about the backsplash in the My whimsical kitchen thread. =)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 9:54PM
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simplegirl

Joy. Not stuff.

I think I will frame that as well! What a lovely reminder and a wonderful thread.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:50PM
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florantha

Thanks to all who have posted.

Continuing with the kitchen exposé's dealing with the kitchens of the formerly rich and/or famous...

Here is the kitchen of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her sister Norma, who apparently could not completely abide the severe modernism of the Ladies' Home Journal redo of Edna's kitchen and softened it with some rather humble and mellow pieces.

Here is a link that might be useful: Edna St. Vincent Millay kitchen

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:29PM
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judydel

Oh Wow! The redone pantry in what used to be Katherine Hepburn's CT home has the same farmhouse sink as mine! It's the Kohler Harborview sink.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 1:31AM
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florantha

Sandyponder,
I have been relooking at your kitchen photos. Thanks so much for posting them. They march to a different drummer, but it's a wonderful tune being played.

How very useful, very practical, very down-to-earth yet with great personality.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 9:04AM
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bibliomom

Mmmmm, yes - these are not show kitchens built to please realtors. Absolutely delicious!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:09AM
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sochi

I just came across this kitchen and home on Apartment Therapy. I think it fits the quirky and colourful bill. I haven't mastered copying pictures from the net to GW yet, I can only manage flickr. Check out the link below, the owner describes her style as "comfortable retro modern." I love her style.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jennifer's Bright and Airy Mish Mash

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:02PM
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florantha

Thanks, sochi!
__

Here's another newly posted modest kitchen remodel...a white kitchen with laminate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Under $2000 mini-makeover by momto4boys

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:21PM
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florantha

And here's a certifiable quirky kitchen just posted, a real feast for the eyes by sandyponder...she prefers the word "unfitted"....

Here is a link that might be useful: SandyPonder unfitted kitchen in a new house

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:26PM
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sandy808

marcolo, you said it so well. You hit the nail exactly on the head. It's been making me literally sick to my stomach dealing with all the marketing hype every architect, and kitchen designer that I've tried to deal with, wants to shove down our throats. My husband and I are doing much better without their "help".

It's like I have two heads when I tell them "no, I DO NOT want a fancy pot filler". "No, I DO NOT want my refrigerator encased in cabinetry". "No, I DO NOT want a "breakfast bar"...or "nook". I want a REAL kitchen where I hang some pots and pans on a pegboard near my stove, and have a walk in pantry or two. I want a REAL hutch for my dishes. And we have decided that we want our beautiful oak table (that I refinished myself), in our kitchen......where the food, drink, and warmth is. So what if we happen to see a little flour from making the homemade from scratch biscuits. And really, I don't want my computer or a T.V. in there. I'd much rather look out the window at my garden.

Do I believe in purchasing the best quality I can afford? Certainly. I surely do not want cookie cutter blandness though.

Sandy

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:27AM
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florantha

Here's the quirkiest kitchen I have seen in a long time. Just couldn't resist posting it. Click on image to enlarge.

There's a lot of restraint here, despite the wacky elements. Yin and Yang!

Here is a link that might be useful: Big Fork, Chandelier, Chalkboard Paint, Galley Kitchen

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:59AM
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kitchendetective

From House Beautiful, not too long ago. Knocked my socks off.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 4:51PM
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palimpsest

I love the idea of this last one. I would probably choose a different saturated color, but it is really a great (pretty obviously NY,) little kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 5:29PM
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florantha

Imagine coming home from a day on the New York busy streets and retreating into your own little green womb and cracking a couple beers; this kitchen could keep you awake and lively well into the evening. This is not a cheap kitchen. Probably cost the same as my much larger, modest one, if you add in the designer fees.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 8:06PM
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palimpsest

That kitchen is priced by the linear inch expensive, believe me.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 8:15PM
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florantha

It's about time we disrupt the parade of tasteful big white kitchens. How's about this one, the lively, modest and quirky renovation of a 10 x 10 space from the finished kitchen Blog...Presenting Arvajuli's 2005 tomato red kitchen!

Would love to know how the balance of the project turned out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arvajuli's kitchen

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:37PM
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megsy

I love love love this thread.

I still haven't posted my finished kitchen photos because they're not "up to snuff" as some of the ones here. But when I *ahem* get it cleaned I will do so right on this thread. :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:31PM
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gopintos

I am modest compared to the other beautiful kitchens that I see on here, and I am not quite finished, but I do love my kitchen, it fits the house and it fits us well.

Just got my countertops down today. Still contemplating backsplash.





Here is a link that might be useful: Our Home Page

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:18PM
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vampiressrn

Wow...great photos...love em all!!! I am especially enamored of that blue pastel baking storage unit that marcolo posted...would love to have one in jade green.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:16PM
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florantha

gopintos:
Your restrained colors quiet kitchen is a good place. Tell us about the colored art work--is that winding S piece a part of it or a second piece? It's great to see art that interesting in a kitchen!

Is your cupboardry oak with no stain or ... something else? It's definitely not the yellowish oak that has taken so many body blows on the GW this spring. And is that a real breadboard I see in the second photo?

I must say that that's not a modest refrigerator.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:11AM
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gopintos

Ah, the artwork. I was going to go complete barn look. Barn tin panel inserts, rafters, barn stars everywhere - every kitchen I have ever seen in person, has a theme right down to the dishtowels.

I saw this piece, it is metal, and I just loved all the colors. I knew it wasn't a great choice for a backsplash, but I didn't cook all that much. (but have been now, well except my stovetop isn't hooked up yet - it actually just came out of the box yesterday too)

Anyhow, I saw this, and it is really what started my journey on exploring color and formulating ideas on how I invisioned everything looking in the whole house, and then the metal lead me to the 5 elements, and so on.

The cabinets just have a clear coat. I wanted to stay as light as I could because I don't have a window directly in the kitchen. I have my pocket office with a double window, and I have the sliding door on the other end past the sink/bar counter, where the table is, but I wasn't sure if that was enough so I wanted to stay with something light.

Yes that is a cutting/breadboard. It is actually some sort of plastic though, in the wooden surround. It pops right out so I can clean & disinfect it easily, or carry it to another location in the kitchen. That was to be my baking end of the island, and I was going to drop the counter but opted against that but I left my baking drawers on the end.

I have another cutting board closer to the sink & frig, above some Amish made baskets, except I don't have the baskets yet...

Oh, the "S". That is actually the RO water line for the pot filler, but the first plumber pretty much screwed it up, so debating whether or not to have the new plumber fix it and install it.

Love my frig/freezer. Just got the grill put on yesterday which makes it look like one big piece. My thinking behind it was the first floor is for me and my husband in our old age, so I wanted everything handy. Didn't make sense then, for me to go to another part of the house or garage even, to get into the freezer. And the freezers with the frig just never seem to be enough. And with the freezer attached, the frig just never seemed to be enough. I always forget to get something out of the freezer, so it is so great having it all just right there. My last kitchen, I had two refrigerators, one was for drinks - soda, beer, etc. so this was a good choice for us. And I got it for an excellent price :-)

I second guess myself sometimes. I pretty much could have done anything I wanted, but wanted to stay simple, but when I see some of these other beautiful kitchens, I do the shoulda coulda woulda two step. But I didn't cook much, so I got my appliances early, and didn't put alot of emphasis on the kitchen. Then when I had time to devote to thinking about it, I tried to really think about where I would put stuff, and I role played cooking, etc and I just love where everything is. My cabinet maker looked at me sort of funny but I knew I wanted mostly drawers, or at least a lot of drawers. I don't have the 4 ft rule around the island, but I have enough space that it all works. It is usually just me but I had 3 cooks in there the other day, and it looked like a beautifully choreographed ballet or something, it just all worked and I just felt all warm and fuzzy that it came together how I had hoped.

:-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:04AM
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florantha

Gopintos:
Today I have to go sign off on cabinet finish and, true to form, I'm still dithering. We've conceded to the calendar that we cannot do it all ourselves because of other commitments and have hired a guy to do the finishing. So, do I really want unstained oak? I'm studying your cupboardry very very carefully. Your modest and quirky muse is hovering over my head.

The art backsplash is really something. We use the term "a killer piece" to talk about that nebulous something that helps define and endear a room (and rationalize a splurge?). Your art is a killer piece. But is the cupboard finish also not a killer piece? It's definitely a different drummer and Thorvald might approve.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:12AM
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gsciencechick

OMG, I LOVE the idea of the lockers! I need storage/pantry space badly on the opposite wall. We need to get rid of the plastic bins! Of course, we need to keep the Hoosier. It stores our barware and serving pieces from our china. There are plenty of lockers on our local CL, and even a set in light blue that matches the Big Chill! Need to see if DH is on board.

Back wall area:

Big Chill (need to get better pic now that old appliances are gone):

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:49AM
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florantha

These are indeed modest spaces....scroll down to the bottom of the page for lots of stuff to look at...

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Cool Kitchens

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:17AM
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nancyinmich

Here is my 2003 kitchen. It was not modest by our standards, but it may fit the quirky requirement. I did what I loved with the back splash and wall color, got real linoleum plank flooring online (which no one around here had ever seen), and the dog paw-washing station is certainly an oddity. Unfortunately, we moved only two years after we finished, and even more unfortunately, we still own this house. A friend lives there now.

We moved because of the need for a more accessible home for my father-in-law when he moved in with us, plus the need for another bathroom. So now we have a first-floor laundry and ramp accessibility. Our kitchen is about to be remodeled using a kitchen I bought from the Green Demolitions website. It is a 23 year-old Quakermaid kitchen. This time we will get our real linoleum in sheet form. Our other choices are in flux. Every time our builder is delayed in starting our kitchen, we use the time to re-think something!

Here is a link that might be useful: 2003 Kitchen

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:07PM
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davidro1

nancy_in_mich :

What's most quirky is the shower floor at your door, for shoe washing. You installed a kitchen faucet at shin height. Quirky, but it works.

Another quirky working idea I like is the paper towel holder "mounted vertically due to lack of wall space" behind a door. It's impressive to see how little space it takes when mounted like that.

Good use of counter at the window. Many other good points.

You "invented" another idea that I think works well: a pull-out cutting board under the microwave to provide a landing surface for hot foods.
To KD's who install a lot of framed cabinets, why don't people do this more often? It's doable easily with cabinet frames.

Also I saw a quirky attitude to remodeling, since you found live wires "buried in the wall" and seem to have simply gone about putting them to use, without panic. (?) Now i'm whistling chickadee thanks to your notes.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:18AM
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belasea

Love this thread! Our kitchen doesn't even qualify as a 'walk-in' closet space, according to our contractor who is just wrapping up the final details. While small, it seems like it's going to be very functional, especially compared to what it was! It should finally be done today - whew. Can't wait to put everything away. Maybe after this thread, I'll even post some pictures soon. :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:57AM
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navi_jen

Love, love, love this thread. As a single gal with a whole 1918 farmhouse to renovate, I don't have the size, nor money, nor want for a $45,000 kitchen.

Sandyponder: Where did you find the bowling alley wood? There is a bar in Coastal Maine that has the same for their bartops, and I've always thought it was a wonderful 'look'. Plus, its 'green', which I adore. Also, how long will the marine grade finish last? I'm worried that it might be like nonstick pans...good idea in the short term, deathly in the long run.

So, speaking of unusual, has anyone seen pics (or know of anyone) who has repurposing old built-ins for cabinets?

I would love to do so...and would love to chat with someone who has done it previously. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Old kitchen cabinets

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:01AM
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gsciencechick

Wow, that "paw wash station" is awesome!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:23AM
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shelayne

I love that paw washing station! That is brilliant!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:58AM
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florantha

Belasea has just posted a re-do of a corridor kitchen that has only a single wall for cupboardry, etc. Good item for study!

Here is a link that might be useful: Belsea's tiny kitchen

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 5:46PM
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florantha

Another triumph for modest re-dos. Congrats to chocolatetruffle who kept cost down to $20,000 and got an island, a unified color scheme, a lot of efficiency, and a chocolate truffle Caeserstone countertop to integrate it all.

Here is a link that might be useful: chocolatetruffle's kitchen, with white appliances and comfy laminate floor

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:07AM
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bayareafrancy

My kitchen is definitely modest. And I think it is very quirky. But I sure do love it. We still need a bit cabinetry on the stove wall. I think we are in the under 20-K range, but since this "1929 restoration" is now in its 4th year, I can't even remember what cost what.

Hutch-thingy across from stove (alas, not really working counter space due to location and short distance between counter and uppers):

I...just...want...to...be...done...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:18PM
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dianalo

I love almost all of these, although that "target" kitchen was awful and expensive, I bet.

I see a theme on many of these of no uppers and no paneled appliances. I think that is what helps to make them unapologetic kitchens. I find that that look is more about function, yet it also has loads of "form" to me.

I love the phrase comfortable retro modern. I have been trying to explain to people that I want a retro modern 1930-40s look for my kitchen and that I am trying to make it comfortable and welcoming most of all. People understand a 50s or 60s vibe. They understand Victorian, but there were a lot of years in between! I hope when mine is done it will be quirky and happy. I want it to be a place where everyone knows they will get a good meal and where real ingredients will be used. Nothing pretentious or highbrow.

My garbage can will be a garbage can. People will be able to find it and know what it is. My fridge and freezer will be visible and open to all. The stove is vintage and is not a high end restaurant grade stove. I am cooking and baking for family and friends here. I hope to have enough space to hold my gadgets and room for others to hang out and hopefully, pitch in. I'd also like to not feel like I am far away from the action when I am cooking so it will be open plan. I don't need to hide it away.
It will be more Julia Child functional than "Something's Got to Give" designer looking. I also don't want it to look like I took it out of a showroom and copied into my home. If I am successful, a new guest will not have a clue what year it was done.

BTW - I am a real estate agent and can't stand the same old, same old. Too many houses have expensive kitchens with nothing special about them. Boooorrring. Buyer's don't buy safe and 100% neutral. They want something to be excited about and to tell their family & friends about prior to moving in. Most people want a little style and don't want the same look as everyone else's. It is a myth that people should do things all neutral to sell. While some common elements are fine and make people feel safe about them, there should be something that is a little special, or dare I say, quirky, about a kitchen. People buy when they are thrilled and intrigued by a new kitchen. An older kitchen will matter less, but if they are paying for improved, they want it to have some feature/s that are unique.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 2:07AM
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vampiressrn

Glad this thread got resurrected. I am so in love with that container/cabinet that marcolo posted. Anyone know where I can get that?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:16PM
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denicast

I know I have ranted over at the counters thread and on my blog, but I wanted to support this thread. There is room for all kinds of kitchens (big and small), but I think given these times give encouragement to those who want to do the most with less with our plucky kitchens.

Deni
"@#&* yah, I'm getting Formica! Got a problem with that?"

Here is a link that might be useful: life dithyrambic

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 4:55PM
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oasisowner

Bumping this because it is always so fun to read.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 2:20PM
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