Galley kitchen

missylinSeptember 16, 2013

I have a very small (narrow) Galley kitchen which is badly in need of a wrecking ball- but money is a big object. My cabinets look awful (they are cheap formica.(I am not the orignal owner) and a few weeks ago my cutlery drawer actually fell apart. The kitchen is maybe roughly 10 feet long. I have one cabinet for food. I need a pantry but then I'd lose something in return and don't know how I'd put in a pantry. I am thinking if I decide to do this of having some cabinets converted into big drawers. I need to have more storage space desperately, besides having it look nicer. I have cabinets and counter on both sides, but at one end is my door to the garage and at the other end is my dining room. No room for bar stools etc. Any suggestions, floor plans etc. My thought is white and blue with a wood look vinyl floor. That's as far as I've gotten.

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Have you considered an unfitted look? I don't know if this is available in your area, but there are sometimes shops that sell older cabinets. They're often removed from old homes...or maybe even a Habitat for Humanity that sells the extras.

This might give you some nice storage, which you could paint and add countertops. Maybe wood/butcher block on one side and tile or laminate (maybe even granite) on the other. There are sometimes great deals on left over pieces or countertops that didn't fit the space, correctly.

There are many alternatives to buying all new. I'd post the dimensions of your space (and pictures is possible). I'm sure you'll get some creative and helpful ideas :)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Great idea LL. Nancy bought her cabinets used from an online source too; maybe she'll chime in. And really, Ikea cabinets are inexpensive and they have software you can download and design your kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:20PM
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I've used an antique armoire as a pantry. An old dresser as a counter and drawers. Can you post pics?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:34PM
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We redid our galley kitchen with Ikea cabinets in 2008. I still love them. We didn't increase the footprint of the space but adding full extenision lower drawers instead of cabinets made a huge difference. You can DIY if you're a little handy too.
I like a layout with the sink centered on one side and the other wall with the range at one end and the fridge at the other, with working space in between. But if cost is a factor, leave the sink and range in place and work around them.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Another vote for IKEA if there is one reasonably close to you. Our kitchen is a galley, albeit a large one (17' long). I got a deep over-fridge cabinet and 21' of base cabinets (all but the sink base with deep full-extension drawers) for less than $2,600.

By the time you factor in your appliances (fridge, range, DW), you're looking at about 12' of cabinets, including the sink base. That can be done very cost-effectively.

If you can snap a few pictures and provide the measurements you're working with, the folks on the kitchen forum can provide a lot of help with the layout.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 9:06PM
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dear lavendar lass, I don't think the unfitted look would fit in my tny kitchen. Thanks though.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I've never been to an Ikea. There is a new one in Orlando. I will have to look. My kitchen is so digusting I hate to take photos. I am going on a trip but will post some when I get back. It is beyond ugly. Thanks so very much. I am thinking maybe of a white and kitchen with blue accents. but i was told that stained wood is better in a humid florida environment. ?? Thank you everyone for your suggestions. :)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I live in very humid Louisiana and painted cabinets have held up fine. I painted them myself 3 1/2 years ago and they still look wonderful!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Hi Icheer,
If I buy white cabinets, will they have to be repainted? That is a lot of expense and I am a horrible painter. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 3:04PM
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I too have a kitchen with not enough drawers. :-(

But I had a great conversation with an Elfa (Container Store) rep yesterday and she showed me how I could insert one of their Drawer Frames into some of my cabinets in order to convert that space into drawers. Of course this only works if you can remove the shelves and clips from said cabinet. They have a cabinet-depth drawer frame that is 17.25" front to back, and available in three widths: 10", 14" and 18". There are also three heights of the frame: 17.5", 29" and 41" high.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:33AM
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missylyn, check out Ikea's website. You can get an idea of their style and prices and there are a lot of things people do to trick out the cabinets after installation that make them look custom. I think I'm going to use them in my family room simply because they are cheaper than the big box stores and better quality.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Hi Missylin,
I am the one who refinished a used kitchen and put it in my house as my "new" kitchen. It was filthy, and my friend did the scrubbing for me. I then sanded and re-stained 30 doors and 20 drawer fronts. My carpenter put new veneer on the outside of a few cabinet boxes that he didn't like the looks of, then I sanded and stained them in place. DH then put three coats of polyurethane on everything. This was only three years ago and I already cannot believe that we did all that work.

You, however have a much easier task. What we need to be able to help you is a layout. measure both walls and mark where the plumbing for the sink is, where the electric or gas hookups are for the stove, and where the fridge needs to go. It is easy then to figure out what size cabinets you will need to finish out the space. Are there any windows? Mark them, too.

If you buy white cabinets that are new, there is no reason you would have to repaint them. With your needing so few cabinets, you might be able to get used ones from Habitat Restore or whatever other resale places you have. If there are any affluent towns or neighborhoods nearby, check out their want ads for people selling their kitchens. Sometimes a person will sell a perfectly good kitchen because they don't like it or because they want it set up differently. Or like mine, because it looks dingy even though the cabinet boxes and guts are in perfectly good shape.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Thanks so much, Nancy. You have some very good ideas! Because my kitchen is so short and narrow (but the narrow doesn't really have to do with cabinets) I would like to put a lot of drawers at the bottom instead of cabinets. Would used kitchens have that? That's the only way I can think of to make more use of the space. If I had a DH especially one that was handy, I would do what you did.. maybe. But it's just me with no helpful friends and no relatives that can help. My neighbor and his wife and their cabinet guy started with inexpensive cabinets and the couple took out the old ones and helped the guy install. but I am unable to do stuff. I have one small window above the sink. I would love to put in a small pantry. But to do that my neighbors put in a very narrow refrig. I wondered how they did with that. Then I saw they had a second refrig on the patio. Won't work with me. How i'd love even a tiny pantry. Never heard of habitat restore. Wonder where I could find out about such things. Thank you so much for the ideas!!!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:13PM
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You are right, Missylin, it would be hard to find a lot of used base cabinets with drawers - unless you live near an affluent area. Believe me, perfectly good kitchens get pulled out. Ones with drawer bases, too. Check out Green Demolitions below and see what people are giving away to charity! Your small kitchen size won't need many cabinets. As a matter of fact, the "Lennox Hill Modern" kitchen toward the bottom has most of the cabinets you need. The base cabinets do work for your space, but there would need to be some creative work done to get the wall cabinets right. The set is made with particle board. Most consider this inferior to plywood boxes. Particle board will often crumble if it gets seriously wet. A plumbing leak can ruin your cabinets. There may, however, be different grades of particle board. High-end European cabinets, especially those with laminate skins, are usually particle board or MDF. This set also would need a granite fabricator to make the island top fit for a regular cabinet run and to do something about the corner. But, for $2500 or so, you would have cabinets and granite. The "City Farmhouse Galley" would fit your space perfectly. It includes all of the appliances, including the counter-depth fridge and the pantry off to the side. You would add the pantry to the side with the range on it. The fridge would go next to the sink side, and you have 120 inches on both sides. Whole kitchen, all appliances (with broken icemaker and stove knob that needs replacement) for under $6000 (plus the cost of transport).
Green Demolitions

For figuring what cabinets you need, you start with a ten foot run is 120 inches. A fridge is usually 30 to 36 inches, and sink base is usually 30 to 33 inches. A dishwasher is 24 inches. That leaves 36" for drawer cabinets on that side of the kitchen if you use a small sink base and fridge, 27" if you use a large sink and fridge. With 36" you can do 2 18" drawer bases or a trash pull-out and an 18" drawer base. With the larger fridge and sink, you can then get a 24" drawer base and a 3" filler or maybe a 27" drawer base. Or go down to a 30 inch sink and get a 24" drawer base and a 6" tray cabinet. That completes the base cabinets on one side.

On the opposite side you will have a 30" range. That leaves 90" for cabinets. You want some big drawers, so I would start with two 30" base cabs with deep drawers. I would then consider a pantry cabinet. You could put two of these pantry pull-outs in that space. Or one of them and a 15" drawer base cabinet.
If a pantry is across from your fridge, you will not really miss the counter space. You will still have 30" of counter on either side of your range.

For wall cabs, you just get them to go over each bottom item that will have a cab over it.

Does that help you see how to design a kitchen? You can get some graph paper and figure out several possible layouts to fit in your space. Keep the list of cabinets needed for each design handy and then you can watch for kitchens for sale on Craigslist or at the Re-Store, or get a price from any of the big-box kitchen cabinet suppliers. Once you know what size your appliances are, you just fill in the rest with cabinets. You can pick up a kitchen planning guide at Lowes, Ikea, Menards, or Home Depot, so you will know the standard cabinet sizes. Or look at the ones they carry in the store and see what sizes they come in.

You have a Habitat Re-Store at 1100 Americana Blvd, Sanford Florida 32773. Phone is 407-688-8874. It is located off 17/92 on Americana beside Wal-Mart. I got that off of an ad that they put in the Orlando Craigslist. They have office furniture that they are advertising today. A Re-Store is a place to buy building supplies, furniture, and home goods in general that have been donated. Most of the stuff is used, but sometimes they get donations of store displays or new items. It is run by Habitat for Humanity to make money for their work. Things like tile and flooring are new, usually.

For Craigslist you just pull up the one for the city closest to you and put "kitchen cabinets" in the search box. Check every few days. Today there is one guy selling cheaper builder-grade cabinets that are only a year old. He does not have enough for your kitchen, though. See below.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1 year old cabinets and countertop for sale

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:52PM
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