New Homeowner in Central NJ- First Renovation ; Please help!!

magsnjAugust 11, 2012

Hi!! I've been in my home (a cottage) for two months now. Prior to moving I stalked GardenWeb and thought there were so many great ideas and so much knowledge. When I bought my colonial cottage I knew that the freestanding kitchen needed to be redone and I scoured all resources to try to find my style. Apparently my style in kitchen is the same style I have in a house....cottage...slightly traditional with beadboard accents (not too much). I've had 2 measurements done and have sat down and seen 1 floorplan and will see another in a week from a different cabinet maker (I had read to go to cabinetmakers first, but if that's not correct please correct me). I also have a designer scheduled to come in 2 weeks because I sometimes need my taste reigned in for my own sake, especially with color and I also hope they'll provide me with ideas.

I had my first sit down today to review a floorplan and I felt if they brought nothing to the table that I couldn't have thought of myself. I understand that in today's world there are alot of resources for me to use and come up with ideas myself so I've tried to do that, but I also feel like this is something they do day in day out and they should be more familiar with clever ideas for a kitchen that I didn't think of. I left the meeting feeling like they were trying to sell me everybody elses kitchen despite me telling them my preferences (currently everyone's kitchen seems to be maple cabinets with either black or brown granite....which is lovely, but not my desired aesthetic). Maybe the designer is the person who will have the best ideas???

I guess my question is, is this what I should expect? Or should I hold out until someone knocks my socks off? I've never renovated before and I want to have realistic expectaions. If anyone could tell me what order I should be speaking with people (cabinet maker, contractor, etc) that would be great as well. A little about my style - I LOVE the double drainboard sink and would like to keep it (with a new base). I like painted cabinets (white, butter, pastel blue or green)or a rustic kind of wood, marble and/or wood countertops, upper shelves instead of cabinets and I think I like drawers for the base cabinets. As you can see from the photos I currently have a very bright yellow kitchen and it's very important that when I swap that color out I retain the bright happy feeling in it so any color advice would be greatly appreciated as well(All photos were taken before I moved in, and yes, I still bought the house Lol).

Also something I've been thinking about.....are there any areas that it's okay to save on. For instance, I have no idea what would be a good flooring even though I've researched, so should I go cheap on that? Sorry if these questions are disjointed and annoying, but I'm not used to being this confused and any guidance would be greatly appreciated :)

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It's a collaborative effort with any designer. And some are better than others. Are you looking to just put some boxes in the existing space, or are you looking for ideas to appropriate other spaces in the home for use by the kitchen? An addition, possibly? How much of a remodel are you wanting to do here? Because architecture really really dictates how many spaces will be used, and unless you change that architecture, there are only so many choices that you can have in some spaces. The smaller the kitchen, the more limited you are in your choices of how to arrange things. And your kitchen is pretty small.

When you made the appointment with the designer, did you give them your list of style inspirations and any "must haves" for your kitchen? Did you discuss budget? Did you get any feel for what your want list will cost you? The reason I ask this is because when I have an appointment with someone who has a limited budget, I usually try to respect that budget with the design and not suggest things that will break it. That usually means not moving things around in the layout, nor cramming in a bunch of bells and whistles into the cabinetry. You have some items listed that will take your kitchen out of a budget category, such as paint. Paint is always an upgrade. Beadboard sides are upgrades. Drawers are upgrades. Marble is an upgrade. National average expenditures for a kitchen remodel are 40K and your list is in line with that, despite your kitchen's small size. Are you comfortable with that number?

Yes, talk to more designers. Measure things yourself and carry those measurements with you on an 8x10 sheet of paper. Take a copy to each shop. Ask to speak to the most experienced person there, and expect to take about an hour to an hour and a half of their time. Ask them to brainstorm with you for ideas about layout or function. You're not trying to get any prices at this point. You're just trying to decide if you "click" with the designer. Tell them about your style aesthetic, and ask which lines that they carry can do what you want. Ask if they are talking low, middle, or high end cabinetry for the lines that can do that. Ask if their "middle" means a Hyundai, or a Chevy, or a Volvo. Ask if their high end means a Lexus, a Mercedes, or a Lamborghini. People's idea of each of those categories changes depending on where they stand.

By the time you talk to 4-5 designers for an hour and a half each, you should have a feel for the couple that you want to get actual quotes from. There is no point in wasting any of the other guys time with measuring and doing any designs.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Thank you for the response! When I mentioned I had sat down to see the floorplan yesterday, it was with someone who works for the cabinetmaker.....I'll be seeing a designer that charges an hourly rate for the first time next monday.

I've stated to the kitchen professionals that I've met with thus far that I'm open to knocking down walls or extending out to the porch if they thought that was a good idea.....neither of them did. I'm honesly open to thinking outside the box that is my kitchen, but I also like compartmentalization so I'm not pushing for it.

When I bought the house I had figured that the kitchen remodel would cost that much (40k). I have several friends who have redone their kithcens that are much larger than mine with similar upgrades that told me that budget was way too high based on the size of my kitchen, especially since I want no upper cabinetry and am not shooting for a professional range.

Maybe I was nonplussed at the appointment b/c I went there after saying I didn't want upper cabitry and it was there....then I was told that of course I want upper cabinetry. Believe me, I do not. I was also told I don't want marble. Believe me I do. It's interesting that you said drawers are more expensive b/c I asked both cabinetmakers and both told me they're not.

Thanks so much for all of your advice on how to shop for a designer that I click with. I look forward to finding him/her.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Hi, Magsnj. What an intriguing space. I like it. Is this kitchen appropriate or small for the size of your house? When you say compartmentalization do you mean you'd be happy with retaining it as an old-fashioned kitchen room?

It's interesting that both designers didn't see knocking down walls or cannibalizing the rest of the house for space since that's such a knee-jerk thing to do these days, especially for hidebound thinkers and those eager to enlarge their commissions. It sounds like you have something to preserve, or maybe are just in a particularly traditional area? :) Could you post a diagram of the entire first floor, including that porch, so we can see a little of what you and the designers do? What does that outside door lead to?

Have you thought of just keeping the sink right where it is, setting the stove/stove counter where the counter is by the door (if there's good room) and then connecting them with work counter over custom cabinetry wrapping around? In an old-fashioned kitchen, a free-standing refrigerator right where yours already is would be very appropriate, just not too huge. (How far is your market? How many soft drinks do you have to keep cold at once? :)

BTW, a lot of designers are not really designers at all. Some are craftsmen obliged to fill a design vacuum, a whole bunch are just salesmen using design as a sales hook. Others are...well, can't call them anything but designers but varying tremendously in the degree of talent and appropriateness of temperament they bring to the job. A friend once hired an expensive woman who, we learned long after, insisted on designing her own favorite kitchen over and over again, like a Gardenweb TKO who'd found a way to get paid big bucks for that. Guard your checkbook.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Hi Rosie! Thanks for responding! I tried to give you an overview of the first floor below (minus the wrap around front porch). The back porch is indicated by a big brown blob off of the back kitchen door since I couldn't find a porch to use.

Again, all pictures are from my walkthrough. I saw so much potential in this little cottage! I've suggested knocking out the wall between the kitchen and dining area and putting a peninsula with a cooktop there but so far I've heard "there's no point to that b/c you won't really be gaining anything" and since I do like having a separate room for the kitchen just as much as I like an open floor plan, I haven't decided whether I want to push the issue yet.

Not only do I want to keep the sink where it is, I want to keep that sink with a new base. The one thing I do want to move is the refrigerator.....I just don't like it being the first thing I see....I'd rater a pretty freestanding range there than a fridge if I have to have an appliance there.

Honestly, I've even liked the idea of doing a totally free standing kitchen but everyone seems to think I'm insane when I say that. :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:39PM
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The best thing I did (other than finding GW) was to really pay attention to how I used my old kitchen, what I liked, what I didn't like. What I liked went on a "probably keep in some form" list. What I didn't provided a list of problems to be solved. For all of those problems, I searched GW for different options people had used. For instance, I knew I wanted less stuff on my counters, so I methodically found ways to store almost everything. It took more research than you would think.

One of the best things I got from GW was the realization that I should question everything. The couple of things that I made a knee-jerk decision on, without true consideration, are the only things I would change now. So as you use your space, think about it. Maybe when you talk to designers, you could mention one of the "problems" and see who comes up with an interesting answer.

I'm a big proponent of the Sweeby test on the New to Kitchens post. It helped me a lot to figure out what I wanted the kitchen to look like and how to make choices to get it there.

Oh - and try not to use anyone who tells you "you don't want that," unless they follow it with a very good explanation. ("Everyone wants upper cabs" is not a good reason.) That sort of statement would suggest you're already off to a bad start with someone who doesn't listen to you.

As far as budget,I have a small (8 x 15) galley kitchen in upstate NY. We took it down to the studs, but no moving walls or bumping out. I kept the existing DW and fridge, and got only moderately priced appliances, granite, floor, and cabs. It was something like $36-38K, I think. I was aiming at $30K, but each little bump on each little decision added up. I tell you this so you won't be shocked. You were probably right to think $40. OTOH, there are many creative and talented people on here who have done beautiful remodels for half that or even less. You could be the next one!

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:24PM
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First, let me say, welcome to Central NJ! I've lived here my whole life and love it, so, howdy, neighbor! Your home is similar in style to mine. We just did an addition and part of that was a new kitchen and we were so nervous, but I found that after spending time on this forum I was much more knowledgeable when it was finally time to meet with the designer. It really helped with the decision making process. So just stick to your guns, and best of luck with your kitchen remodel!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 12:48AM
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First, don't rush yourself. Give yourself time to really think about what you want, how much you are willing to spend, and what choices make sense to you before committing to anything at all.

You can get a ton of layout help right here on the forum--you just need (large!) measured drawings and a list of your potential wants.

It sounds like people are not explaining their advice to you, and that's irritating. Some of the advice may be good, some bad, but people need to explain their rationale.

Some preliminary, random thoughts while waiting for more info from you:

- It's trendy to knock down walls and it sometimes helps. However, in your case you would lose a "wall of tall" that every kitchen needs. Right now, for instance, that wall looks to be the best place for the fridge, although I'd enclose it in cabinetry on the visible side.
- Would it be possible to move that closet out of the kitchen to that short wall between the front hall and the DR? Then you could square off the kitchen, put the range on that wall (where it is now) but with more room for prep to its right
- You might want to see what's in that corner triangle, unless you know already. It's probably a plumbing chase from the upstairs bathroom, but it might be possible to shrink it a bit.
- Cooktops on peninsulas require a good bit of space behind them so people don't get burned and really need a spendy island hood, because you're shoving the kitchen fumes right into the center of the house
- Think very hard before tearing out the two uppers flanking the sink. They are original to the house. You can dispense with uppers elsewhere if you want but people are spending very big bucks these days to recreate that exact cabinet style.
- Why do you need to replace the sink cab? It can easily be repainted/powdercoated if need be. And you may be able to figure out a way to provide more continuous countertop space without ditching the cab itself, if you like it.

So my first impression is that the kitchen might work with the fridge on the DR wall, the range on the LR wall and the sink where it is. Where the fridge is now, I'd put only very shallow tall storage or maybe nothing--it's a traffic aisle to the back door and should be kept clear.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:54AM
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hi magsnj,

i'm going to go ahead and guess you are in monmouth county welcome to the neighborhood! and i'm sorry to tell you but you will not find a decent kitchen designer around these parts. in fact, i've not seen one in any part of the state. i interviewed five independent designers and also had drawings done from seven different in-house "designers" from various shops. i would explain to each of them my vision and provided computer generated SKETCHES of my own and not one of them was able to incorporate ANY part of my idea. i used clear and easy to understand language as well as provided visuals yet no one could understand what i wanted.

i was so sick and tired of wasting my time on people who were unable to step out of their boxes. they had no vision and everything they've ever done was just a bunch of boxes slammed up next to each other with a slab of granite thrown on top. i knew i would stop looking for a KD when i stepped into one of the finest homes in the county and saw the new kitchen in progress. it looked exactly like all the others only on a much larger scale. there was nothing to set it apart, nothing interesting or special. nothing that would make me WANT to spend any amount of time in that room.

so after spending the better part of a year trying to find someone to design what i already seemed to have in my head, i did it myself. i finalized the layout with help from the many talented visionaries on this site and met with a local custom shop. i was told they would need to generate their own drawings and i told him to follow the plan, exactly as drawn. and they did.

i love my kitchen. not to say everyone will, but i'm the only one i need to please. if you do manage to find someone who will somehow "get" what you are looking for, then great. but have you tried laying it out yourself?

as for the flooring question: i like consistency from one room to another. i think it's jarring to see abrupt changes in flooring especially. most of our downstairs (except mudroom and a small powder room) is walnut.

good luck to you and keep us updated on your plans!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Thank you marcolo! Slowing down is very good advice. I do feel I am rushing myself and it's exacerbated by not being able to cook. The only thing I have in my favor as far as designing the kitchen (besides finding GardenWeb of course) is that I feel very blah about most of the kitchens that I'm in and I won't settle for blah.

What application would you recommend I familiarize myself with in order to create "(large) measured drawings"? I can do it in excel but it doesn't look nearly as good as alot of the floorplans I've seen on Gardenweb.

Some answers to your thoughts:
-Whenever I see a corner in a kitchen it seems to go doesn't seem comfortable to stand in the corner and do prep work,,,,,,it seems like most people just put their toaster or whine rack there.....I'd hate to lose that closet for a place for my work around the closet I was thinking of the attached floorplan
-The corner triangle has a pipe in it.
-I do love the two uppers flanking the sink but they are covered in alot of that something I can rectify and if so, will it look odd having it there with new cabinets?
-The reason I was going to replace the sink cab was b/c the drawers are very hard to pull out and.....honestly in the condition it's in (it feels bumpy? maybe rust under the paint?) it just doesn't look good. Who would I go to to discuss repainting/powdercoating (or is this something I could do myself?)

One more the floorplan below the only thing that's I really want to show is the turning of the fridge so it opens towards the back door. However, regarding the range, is it very wrong to have a range standing alone? It could also go along the back wall in the proposed floorplan (which is clearly in it's very early stages) but I just came from a very small NYC apartment and I'm not someone who needs and area directly next to the stove to rest my spoon or have my prep. I've also noted that in most restaurant kitchens the prep is across from the stove and there's nothing next to the burners.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:14AM
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I've always found prepping in a corner to be completely fine. The unreachable space is a good spot for a mixer or knife block. The rest of the counter gives you good reachable space on both sides of you. So even if you don't prefer it I'd be careful ruling out a prep area that crosses corners if doing otherwise makes your layout cockeyed.

About the triangle: Again, even though the corner triangle has a pipe you may be able to box it differently and capture a little more space. You may be able to see what's up there from the basement.

Stripping the paint is something you can easily do yourself. Spend some time online reading up on how to do it, take some precautions, etc. repaint properlyl and you can end up with beautiful cabinets.

I can't find a good shot of the finished result but theresse reused the old uppers in her kitchen with new lower cabs and they look terrific.

You're not in a commercial kitchen. A standalone stove is a very bad idea for a hundred reasons, the risk of serious accidents being only one of them.

All people, regardless of what they self-observe their habits to be, perform actual cooking the same way.
- Food comes from storage (fridge or pantry)
- It goes to prep (chopping, seasoning, rolling whatever) using water, as an ingredient, to wash food, to wash hands, to rinse off knives, etc.
- It goes to fire on the burners or in the oven

So the prep area is always, somehow, between sink and range. Even if you have to cross an aisle to an island to reach it, that's how cooking is done.

The more you fight that flow, the worse result you will have with the functionality of your kitchen.

Try laying out your kitchen as I suggested. Also keep the DW away from the prep area and put it on the far side of the sink from the range.

Oh, Google powdercoating in your area. You can also find autobody shops and bike shops who may be able to handle it, if you want to keep the cabinets. Of course if they really don't function well and you can't fix them, that's different.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Kateskouros! I'm so excited to hear from you. I sent you a really long email before I put my first post up on GardenWeb so I could find out what to expect from Design Line. I may have been rambling during my email so I apologize but I was feeling a little dejected after seeing a design that was "just a bunch of boxes slammed up next to each other with a slab of granite thrown on top" I LOVE your kitchen. It's stunning!! The people I had come measure last weekend were from Design Line and I'm supposed to sit with them next week to get an idea of floorplan. Now that I realize I'm probably further out from beginning my kitchen project than I originally thought, I think it's still a good idea to meet with them just to get a better idea of pricing.

As for designers...I'm scheduled to meet with Bacarella Interiors next week. I thought their 1st gallery in their portfolio was pretty and figured that if they couldn't give me a great floorplan for the kitchen, hopefully they could point me in a great color direction for the rest of the house (sometimes my taste needs to be reigned in b/c I'm usually willing to try things that are too zany) Are they one of the KD's you met with?

I like the idea of having the same flooring throughout as well, but the rest of the flooring on the main floor is 80+ year old knotty pine and I love every mark in it.....I'm not sure that's something that can be recreated for the kitchen?

To confirm your guess, yes I'm in Monmouth County. Actually born and raised here and have returned after a 5 year stint in Manhattan. Very happy to be back!

Again let me say, I find your kitchen to be amazing! I know I'm working with different square feet and a smaller budget, but my goal is to have the same feeling that I have when I see the photos you posted of your kitchen when I walk into my own. And I'm sure your kitchen's even lovelier since you added your personal belongings! Thanks so much for posting it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:12PM
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i've never heard of bacarella. i really like the first gallery of pics on their website. i think it's important to understand what you want and convey that information through pictures.

i have to be totally honest; i don't find design line to be anything special in terms of design. again, they are not designers, but salesmen. they turn out a very high quality of work and i have found them to be very conscientious. they are a custom shop and the quote they give you will include whatever inserts you'd like for your drawers. i've just gotten around to doing mine now.

however, the salesman told me they would do the drawers after i had moved in, so i could live in the space and get a better idea of what i needed. but when i sent my first few drawer boxes over, i heard the shop owner was complaining that this should have been done beforehand.
first of all: when i voiced my concern to my salesman he told me not to worry, that he had everything under control. but still i don't need this kind of added stress ...kwim? and they HAVE been doing a fine job regardless of the miscommunication but it's always in the back of my mind -especially since i won't be totally done until i have all the customization finished.

other than that, everything has run smoothly with them as they are completely professional and reliable.

about your floors: why not try to have some reclaimed knotty pine brought in? you never know until you try.

good luck on your project and keep us updated!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I don't have a great sense of the style or even know what the size is of your kitchen, but I think if the size would allow a layout like this it would be very workable. You could put open shelves anywhere and the fridge is not visible, the stove is not in a walking path where a splash of something could hurt somebody walking by and none of the appliances are really visible.

I would do a cover on the dishwasher so it was hidden so you wouldn't have the modern look of it in the kitchen. I like having a dishwasher, but so often it destroys the look.

You might want to take a look at these pieces that could be used to create an unfitted kitchen.

I think I would approach it from the standpoint of getting a logical and good working flow and then look at what you could do to achieve that with an unfitted look that really is fitted (as in logical work triangle in a safe way) if you know what I mean.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Sorry forgot the link

Here is a link that might be useful: Amish loft

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Thanks Lyfia! I was actually on their site last night b/c a freestanding kichen is appealing to me but I couldn't find any way to visit them on their site and I'm leary of buying sight unseen....I'll have to call and see if there's a showroom.

I like your floorplan. I see that you've created the triangle that everyone likes. The only thing that it doesn't have that I'd really like is a longer counter for prep. The long counter that you have towards the back of the dishwasher leads to the pantry which has a doorway that would split that countertop....unless you're suggesting to get rid of the doorway.....interesting. Can I do that? That would maybe give me a long counter where I can do my baking prep......very interesting!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Well, I should wait for careful measurements, but your project is too fun.

If the kitchen remained a discrete room,
IF removing the living room closet weren't an option, and
IF setting a refrigerator right where you have it already (with paneled sides?) weren't an option, then I'd probably

**Set my refrigerator toward the back left of what is now the pantry area, doorway removed.
**Fit shallow storage along the right pantry wall, plus perhaps a very shallow broom and mop, or maybe baking sheet pullout to the left of the fridge so the door could open,
** Set the stove on the wall by the doorway to the living room and wrap an excellent work counter right around to and past that fantastic sink.
**Shift former pantry storage to the area where the fridge is now by building tall, shallow storage on the piece of wall where the fridge is now. I have a 12" storage wall, and it holds a ton (Campbell's soup-size cans fit 5 deep). The depth in your kitchen could be quite a bit deeper if you wanted and hold whatever you needed to store there. It could be designed as an old-fashioned kitchen hutch unit.
**Put old-fashioned comfy lineoleum on the floor.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Not exactly sure where you are, but if you are around 2 hours from Dutchwood I think they will come to you. Not sure if you are even interested in them, but I thought I'd throw that out there for you. So many of us on GW have had excellent experiences with them. I know that they have done some GW jobs in NJ already.

Even though they do have a ckd that is available to you, I think your best bet is to draw up your floor plan as suggested, give a list of your wants and needs and let the teams of experts here guide you. You can take your plan to them.

I'd call them and see if you are in their "area".


their contact info: 717-933-5133, ask for Jason. Tell him Gardenweb sent you.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Magsnj, yes I would remove the doorway in that area. You could put a pantry cabinet pullout next to the fridge. If you move over the stove some you could have more space between sink and stove too.

Another thing to consider would be to have a pull-out countertop somewhere that you could use to extend a working counter temporarily when needed for baking and other non everyday tasks. Then it could be in a less than optimal area that would block soothing, but you don't mind temporarily blocking it.

I'm adding a link to a sample pic below. You could do an image search for pull out counter or countertop to get more ideas too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pull out countertop

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Hi Rosie! In your IF statements please add:

IF you love your pantry space and don't want to block the light that the window provides :) I didn't want to make this too easy on you! But I am going to stop handcuffing you from a dimension standpoint. I measured last night and this is what I came up with....please let me know if anything is unclear and I'll try to improve.

Ceiling hight is 95 inches:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:06AM
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Hi Beekeeperswife! Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have an appointment with Jason and Lorna next Thursday. I've read all of the rave reviews on them (though i've had a hard time finding pictures of their work). Next week I start a 2 week staycation and I'm trying to immerse myself in "kitchen everything". I am 2 hours and 20 minutes away and really looking forward to it!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:11AM
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This is again a rough sketch - don't have so I can do dimensions and take into account the windows etc. Just copied and pasted in paint. I think I may have blocked part of the window, but just to give you some ideas.

This would be if you did a small add on to remove the jog.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Hi Lyfia. Thans for the link. This admittance is a little embarassing but The Golden Girls was on last night and they had a fold down countertop extension that I thought might me neat.....but I wasn't sure (this may be an example of when I'm willing to do something zany and need to be reeled in :)) When I was originally thinking of having the wall between the dining room and the kitchen knocked out I was thinking I could have a peninula with one of those that actually closed off the kitchen (like it's a soda shop or something ) and when I was having a party I could be part of it, but not have to let people into the kitchen :D I's little out there.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Option 1 with thoughts (sorry, I had the measurement labeled correctly next to door but the drawn scale was larger than 30.5....I've corrected it):

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Here's a quick play with your layout. May be something here you can use. It is a fun space to play with. I would definitely keep the window in the pantry.

Biggest problems are, obviously, the tight passage into the pantry and the tight fridge space. It does feature the big sink which is a space luxury, but may be worth it.

A really fun place to play with, though. As ideas continue to come in, you will ''build'' a wonderful kitchen in your mind.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Thanks Sandra! Ever since I walked into the kitchen for the first time I've been thinking....I need to get that fridge out of the entrance way. It's really quite an eye sore there and I think it makes the kitchen feel even smaller upon entering....I even tried it with a pretty range where the fridge is b/c that wouldn't be as bad but then I was told how dangerous that is (I'm not accident prone so I hadn't really been thinking from a safety perspective before)........that prep area is very tempting though :D

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:08PM
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the challenge is to find prep space. This is the best I can do if fridge doesn't go on that short wall--and I agree it is UGLY there--in terms of layout and esthetics.
I know you like the idea of an unfitted kitchen, but you really need countertops for prep space.

Anyway, FWIW, here's a last play with ideas:

Thanks for letting me play with your kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:49PM
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I just reread your first post. Can you post the dimensions of your dining area? I think removing the wall may be the way to go.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Thanks Sandra! I think I'm coming to the same conclusion......can't wait to see your thoughts! I tried to put in relevant measurements b/c I was doing it quickly. Let me know if you need more (also, I would like to still have some of the coat closet when done):

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:12PM
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That said.....if losing the closet means that much of an advantage to the kitchen, I may have to do it, but I'd have to play around with removing the dining room wall and keeping it as it is in order to see what would work best.

Marcolo made a good point - a "wall of tall" may be worth keeping.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Here's the latest floorplan option. I may add more counters to it where I can and try to find a spot for a double oven (don't think it's possible) but I wanted to hear any thoughts on the direction since my kitchen seemed impossible to me :) Any input would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:54PM
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I tried to play with your kitchen-dining area plan, but I can't get measurements to work. There are too many measurements I can't sort out. Maybe I'm just tired (I've been playing with building some pantry cabinets), but it just won't jell.

Hint: If you can, try to post a line drawing on graph paper, 1 foot to every one or two squares. This really helps me, and I thing everyone who wants to play with your plan. Include both rooms if you want people to think about combing them.

What do you use the dining area for? How large is your table? Can the opening from DR to LR be moved or changed in any way?


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Hi Sandra! I posted the floorplan in a new post under "Kitchen floorplan help" but I'll post it here as well:

Every square is a square foot. The rules are:
-I'm keeping the big sink
-I'm keeping the pantry with open shelving
-I'd like 4-5 feet of prep area
-I'd prefer to keep the closet (it could help resess the fridge)but am willing to lose it
-Feel free to knock out wall to dining area and make it an open concept

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Magsnj, I'd almost certainly want to protect that nice window in the pantry too. Sigh. I liked my idea, too. The big issue is obviously what to do with the elephant-in-the-kitchen.

1. How about seeing what reframing the door from the DRM down in the lower corner does for you, like Bellsmom's but all the way down? You'd be able to go in and out from the back garden without actually walking "through" the kitchen. The refrigerator could go left of the doorway, invisible from the rest of the house (you put a panel across its side), the stove would be on the LRM wall, and there'd be work counter to the fridge's right to join the counter around the stove.

2. My favorite option from a distance: How about moving the door to the back yard out of the kitchen and into the dining room, giving it the work space it needs? Perhaps as one a trio of French doors. I imagine those three windows there are a very nice feature you'd like to leave alone but, ultimately, opening up a direct relationship between your living spaces and the rear garden would improve livability as a whole and, of course, allow you to set the elephant down into that lower left corner where the current door is, with storage alongside.

Then the options would be much more fun:
* Have the stove back to the DRM wall in a closed kitchen,
* Put it on the LRM wall and create an open work counter at the DRM wall.
* Slide the DRM door up against the closet for the additional layout options that offers. (You'd probably have to reframe it anyway to fit in the fridge.)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Rosie, there are so many elephants in this kitchen I've lost count :) The fridge, not being able to put the range on an exterior wall....the list can go on and on. I had no idea when I bought the house how much of a challenge this would pose (still would've bought it though :)

I think I've put together your idea of moving the entrance to the kitchen down. It's an interesting thought, but I wonder if it would be more costly than losing that wall completely?

I'm really going to consider the back door change you're suggesting....I love the farmy feeling both the door and the 3 windows give the house so I'd have to figure out a way to retain that (I don't think french doors could do it)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:42PM
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I was super interested in your layout and was wondering where you ended up but your email isn't on to write! :)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:39PM
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