Novice Remodeler Needs Feedback

asoveyApril 10, 2013

I have been told this is the place to get the best kitchen remodeling ideas and feedback.

After years of waiting we are finally remodeling in our home. The exciting part to me is a complete redo and expansion of our kitchen. We are taking out a wall between the livingroom and current kitchen and blending the two together. In the end I hope to have a user friendly gourmet kitchen. I LOVE to cook and this will be my chance to finally get what I have been dreaming about. Any feedback, suggestions or answers would be very much appreciated.

I do have a designer who I like but I am having trouble getting her to "think outside the box". I am looking to be as eco-friendly as possible.

I want the focus of this whole remodel to be the island. I am looking towards a large island - not just a rectangle shape. I want to have some regular island seating and a small booth at one end. The range - 48" Wolf, all gas, will be on the island as well as a prep sink with disposer. I am looking at a warming drawer also. The island top and counters are planned to be reclaimed timers and ribbon glass accents. I would also like to include a flip-up TV.

I am looking at cork flooring. Does anyone have any experience with cork?

I would like a 48" French Door refrigerator with a water dispenser but so far I have not been able to find one. Any suggestions?

Storage and organization will also be important. Now my kitchen is small and has very little storage. This means way too much out on counters, etc. What are your best storage/organization ideas?

As I said, I want a LARGE island that is unique. By large I am thinking at least 12'. The island will transition from the kitchen to the living room. Are there any sites, other than HOUZZ or, that has good pictures and ideas?

Has anyone used vertrazzo for countertops? I love it but I have heard it is very expensive.

Hopefully we will begin work about the first week in June and wrap up by mid-July.

There are so many decisions! I am overwhelmed! HELP!,,

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To do all you're indicating on that island, you're talking about 25', not 12'. The additional expenses and difficult logistics of having a island cooking station should be examined in a cost/benefit analysis. Remember that cooking only occupies 10% of the time you spend in a kitchen while prep occupies 70% of the time. If you envision the island as a focal gathering point in your new kitchen, then make it the focus of a well thought out prep station and locate the cooking zone elsewhere. Even if you remove the 4' of cooking zone from the island, it will still be difficult to fit in the remaining features that you envision for the island in 12'. The seating booth alone will occupy at least 6' of that 12'.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:52PM
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Wow! Those are big dreams.

To use this site to it's best advantage, it helps to break your focus into more manageable bites. It sounds like your most immediate need is to come up with a design for this monster island. Can you post an image of your proposed space with dimensions? We have lots of layout gurus who can eyeball your initial layout and recommend ways to make it work. Your island idea sounds unique and may present a welcome challenge to creative minds.

Storage and organization are topics near and dear to most of us. When you get a basic shape going, that is when it we can delve into this. Meanwhile there are a zillion threads about various aspects of of storage and organization. Try something like "drawer organizers" on google. Then every other word combination you can think of that might unearth good ideas. Same for cork floors - somebody was just talking about them over the weekend.

Refrigerator - do a separate inquiry on this. Be sure to use a very clear topic header like "Who has a 48" refrigerator?" I suspect you might be steered towards having a refrigerator unit side by side with a freezer unit.

A flip up TV is its own inquiry too. I don't think I heard about one, but I'll bet someone has. You can also look at threads that have discussed TVs anywhere in the kitchen and how that's worked out. Someone was talking about the usefulness of iPads in the kitchen recently.

Welcome to the obsessive world of kitchens!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Ran across the thread where people were just talking about cork floors. And, yes, people here have installed Vetrazzo counters. Try the google search to pull up old threads: "vetrazzo"

Here is a link that might be useful: cork floors

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:35AM
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Similar responses were given to the OP on the Appliances Forum regarding a 48" range in the island. Exhaust challenges were also explained. I offered an alternative to the 48" French Door fridge with water-in-the-door - since such a fridge is not made, perhaps a water chiller at the sink which would provide cold water, and also would avoid the problems of water-in-the-door, the most repair-prone part of a fridge.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:22AM
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My most important piece of advice to you is to take longer than 2 months to plan this. It sounds like you plan on doing an extensive renovation. In order to do this right, it will take significant planning. Execution is relatively straightforward once you've settled on a really excellent plan (i.e., deciding on materials, layout, appliances, venting, etc.). We spent 3 months planning, and we have a small kitchen. There are so many decisions and tradeoffs to be had. We would have been better off planning for 6 months to a year before we actually started the demo. Hindsight is 20/20. We ended up with something that was pretty darn good, but still, I wish we would have planned more.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:36PM
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My best advice is not to start thinking of features (island, range, flip-up TV for examples), as a first step.

Start with thinking about a functional layout for your kitchen. What activity where, how would you move around the kitch doing the cooking? How does the food travel around your kitchen from storage to prep to plating, etc.?

The first step is to make a correctly measured floor plan of the space, showing unmoveable objects (windows doors, etc.), possibly moveable thing (water, gas, power, outlets) and then sketch on your initial layout ideas to see if they fit. Probably, not, but don't fret, that's how every well-planned kitchen starts. You'll probably make dozens, if not hundreds of sketches as you refine your plan. With a floor plan on graph paper you'll quickly see where you need to make changes, or where you have to move things to get the best functional flow.

No special drawing skills are needed: graph paper, pencil and eraser for laying out the initial lines, straight edge plastic ruler if you need one, dark fine marker (Fine Sharpie works great) for going over the lines to make them easier to see once you sketched them in. Photograph the drawing with your phone or camera, put it on Photobucket, post it here and you're in business.Once you have a functional layout down, you're well on your way to being able to get a fabuous design.

n, then populate with the style features that you like. It's easier (and often, faster) to do it that way.

Once you have a floor plan, you'll get tons of advice here, if you ask. You can go through as many iterations as you like to fine tune it. Then you can go to your KD and get her input on styling, etc., knowing that the basic layout is this best it can be.



    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:40PM
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I want to thank everyone for their feedback and I wanted to let everyone know many suggestions that were made are now part of my plan. The stove is most likely going to be off the island. I had wanted a door water dispenser for the frig, but no such thing exists for a 48" frig. So I am going with icemaker in the freezer and an under sink RO water filter. Now I was wondering what suggestions were for a 42-48" fewnch door fridge? There are so many out there! I am also looking for a prep sink that has the ability for cutting board, compartments, etc. I saw the Elkay Avado Sink on Houzz and that looked close to what I am looking for. I want a garbage disposer in both sinks. Good idea? Also, does anyone have and use a pot filler faucet? They sure look handy!
Your feedback is really appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:03PM
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