Sinking Dreams - Redoing my 1930's Kitchen

sergeantcuffSeptember 24, 2008

I'm sure everyone goes through this. Don't we all start dreaming before we start looking at the prices? I love so many of the kitchens I see here - much more so than in the magazines. But I have an extremely practical DH who loves to cook - but sees the kitchen as a workplace. I don't know if I can justify the expense of what I really want, especially if it involves borrowing money.

I've posted these pics before (sorry) and I got many great ideas. Now we are getting an idea of what we can and cannot do, so I am looking for more input from you great people.

This mish-mosh was started in my 1930's center hall colonial. It has very nice features but is not large.

These cabinets cannot be reused for several reasons (18" depth in places, giant radiator in there). It is KILLING me to have to replace these with modern cabinets, because I prefer a vintage look, but just can't afford the custom made, or a semi-custom line that offers inset or partial overlay with exposed hinges. These pictures make the cabs look much better than they really do.

We must move the radiator (asbestos issues), enclose pipes, replace the large window with a smaller one, drywall the ceiling, remove layers of flooring and refinish original pine floor, and repair plaster walls. This doesn't leave a ton of money for beautiful cabinets, etc.

Our Layout: I think we will have to basically stick with this, as I want gas range on outside wall and sink under window:

Here are my questions:

Cabinets: I still want painted cabinets. I prefer that look, especially with a wood floor. My contractor (who specializes in historic restorations) is suggesting Merillat - saying you get a good product for the price. They offer a painted finish in 2 whites and a cream. The trim throughout my house is white. I've read Sayde's recent post about whites, it's rather bewildering! Also I am worried that I will spend the extra money for these lower-quality painted cabinets and they will feel like laminate? Is that a waste of money? Is full overlay shaker style the best among my limited choices? (see link)

Appliances: We may have to keep our old ones (bisque). I think stainless is too modern for this house (not all old houses, I think just this space). But if we got new white ones (I've been looking at the Kenmore Elite series), would white appliances go with cream cabinets?

Sink and Countertops: I would love to have soapstone (maybe with some butcherblock) and a drop-in fireclay sink. Again, I can't have these if I spend too much on the cabinets!

Microwave: I want a hood above the stove, but I don't think I like the look of the above-range microwave. I don't use it that much,so i don't want it in my face. Where's a good place to put it? (I love those in-counter ones, but am sure it's pricey).

Thank you for reading!


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Have you seen bayareafrancy's kitchen? I really, really think that could be a terrific inspiration for you.

I am not trying to create more work for you (honest), but I wonder if you wouldn't be happier with unfinished cabinets which you could then paint yourself. I'm not familiar with Merillat so I can't speak to their painted finish, but if you were to paint the cabinets yourself you could more likely keep with the beautiful, vintage spirit of your kitchen. (Also, check out pirula's hand-painted kitchen.)

Also, have you priced out custom cabinetmakers in your area? Before we started our kitchen reno, I (erroneously) thought custom = really expensive. Well, the local custom cabinetmaker we used was significantly (between 1/3 - 1/2 the price) less than the semi-custom line at which we'd been looking -- imagine that!

As for microwaves, we have a Sharp 1214 over-the-counter microwave (it also comes in white and black, in addition to the pictured stainless). Could that work for you? It is in our face, but only when we're at that portion of the counter -- not when we're cooking.

you can see it on the right:

I love the space with which you have to work and I really think with all the savvy people here (esp. bayareafrancy) you'll get a kitchen which works terrifically well for your husband as well as looks beautiful and authentic for you!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Try Kraftmaid's Hanley maple with the Canvas or Biscotti finish.It's a partial overlay door with a recessed panel. It's Krafmtaid's least expensive maple door, and even with the finish upcharge it was less expensive than a thermofoil door (which I would not recommend in an old house). I just used it in my budget "vintage" laundry room (I have a 1900 house). The hinges aren't exposed, but with glass knobs it would go great in your kitchen. Kraftmaid can make an excellent cabinet for the money IMO.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:29AM
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maureeninmd, I just want to second rmkitchen's suggestion to check out local cabinetmakers. I was reluctant to, sure they would be more expensive, but after getting a recommendation from someone who's cabinets I saw, I got a bid that was 1/3 of the bids I'd been receiving from national cabinetmakers...and I no longer had to try to make my needs fit their sizes. I would suggest though that you either get references or get to go to someone's house and see the cabinets a cabinetmaker has made BEFORE you sign! Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:47AM
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I love bayarefrancy! Is there a fan club? Her posts are always great. I'd love a vintage stove like hers but know that is not in the cards, nor is a farm sink - too expensive and DH doesn't like them.

The cabinetmakers I have checked with seem to do very high-end work for wealthy clients. I'm looking at spending no more than $12k.

Unfinshed Cabinets? Hmmm. Can anyone recommend a good manufacturer? I did see some but they were cheap looking.

I do like that over-the-counter MW!

Also thanks for the Kraftmaid link. Still pondering. I read somewhere that Kraftmaid and Merillat are practically the same, Merillat being marketed to builders?

Merillat cabs I'm looking at:

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:58AM
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I would strongly consider using ikea cabinet frames and interiors and getting unfinished doors from another manufacturer, like Sherrs that you could paint yourself.
The interior fittings are fantastic (normally costing $$$$ from other manufacturers), and with an even halfway decent carpenter or DIY, you can modify the cabinets to fit all sorts of spaces.
Save yourself literally THOUSANDS of dollars and get yourself the appliances or soapstone you really want!

If you're looking for vintage stoves and such, patience, persistence, craigslist and a truck can do wonders.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 12:42PM
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What is your long term plan for this house? Are you staying a while? Moving in a few years?

Of course, being the die-hard restorationist that I am, either way I would advise against replacing everything with new overlay cabs. :-)

But suppose you are staying there a while. Not everything has to be done right now. I've been working on my kitchen for almost 3 years now. Yes--it can be hard to not have a "finished kitchen." Very hard at times. But I would much, much rather get what I really want in the end. You say, for example, that you would love soaptone, and would prefer to take money from the "cabinet fund" and put it toward that. I also wanted soapstone, but couldn't afford it at the same time we were having some reproduction cabinets done. So for 2 years--yes 2 years!--I had a plywood counter, with plastic (and later marmoleum scraps) stapled to it. And after a while, I kinda forgot about it! A nicer option might be an Ikea butcherblock. But even Ikea butcherblock is more expensive than the cost of plywood and a dropcloth. And now, 2.5 years later, I have my soapstone!

We used a local guy for our cabs, and, uh, we got ripped off. They weren't super expensive, all things considered, but they were more than they are worth, quality wise. So I recommend going local, I also recommend researching whoever is going to do them.

Our original cabs are quite shallow. My main upper run is only about 13" deep! Here it is:

That counter is pretty useless for prep, because it is very shallow, and the space between it and the cabinet is only about 14 inches. But I've been able to make the cabinet space work for me by getting rid of the nonessentials, and really paring down the way I do things in the kitchen. I wish I could come to your house and get you excited about your little space!! I'm just convinced I could make it work on a small budget (spread out over time).

Although this forum has been so absolutely wonderful for me during the past few years (has given me so many ideas, and MOST importantly, has picked me up off the floor when I've been sobbing in a puddle of tears because of the MANY mistakes that have occurred, and the meanie "workers" who have taken advantage of my wimpiness), there have been 2 bad things for me: most of these kitchens are BIG, and have left me wondering how I can ever function well in a small, dysfunctional space. And it often seems like most of these kitchen owners have more "resources" than I will ever have, and I find myself trying to "keep up." For example, after a few years reading this forum, I decided I had to have a Shaw's farm sink. They are very common here, and I decided it was reasonable (based on how common they are here) for my kitchen to have one. But my husband is forever trying to make me understand that just because I see lots of something on this forum doesn't mean that it isn't a high end luxury item that is outside my reach. So he thinks my constant reading of this forum has made me covet things that I can't have. My compromise has been to wait several years for the things I really want. But I have always been the type who would rather have one lovely strand of pearls, than a whole jewelry box full of cheaper stuff. So I am patient...

So I guess what I am trying to say is that it is easy for me to look at the kitchens here, or on the finished kitchen blog, and feel like giving up. Or like going into debt! My husband won't allow the latter, so I've sometimes been left with feeling really deprived and depressed!

But I always pull myself out of that, because I'm so committed to my "original kitchen." The BEST thing about a tiny kitchen is that it is cheaper to fix up! (Btw: I haven't given you any concrete costs, because I don't really know them. But I would speculate our kitchen falls into the under 25k category. Hard to say since so many things, like floors and ventillation piggyback on other whole house items.)

Ok, I'm starting ramble here. Let me throw out a few things I would probably do, if it were my kitchen (realizing that my priorities won't be the same as yours):

1. Keep the dysfunctional window because, despite being a "space hog" it lets in an abundance of light, and is too costly to replace/rebuild. Work around it.

2. Do the necessary heating work to remove radiator, and lay grounds for a hood someday over the stove (put off hood expenses for a few years, and open the window when you cook. This is exactly what I'm currently doing in my own kitchen because the hood I want is friggin 2K!).

3. Put in a vintage, or vintage-looking stove. To me, an important aspect on vintage looking is a no-glass oven door. But new ones are pricey!!!!! What I really like about a vintage stove is that you get excellent cooking performance for a much lower price. AND, if you get a fold down top, you get crucial counter space! Mine was $800, which was double what my miserly husband thought a stove should cost, but far far less than a high-end vintage looking stove. Check craigslist EVERY day. That's how I found mine. Search for Wedgewood, and Okeefe and Merrit. I'm not sure if I would get a Chambers (more available on your Craigslist). Maybe... The stove could stay in present location.

4. Cabinets. I can't see them up close, examine how they are put together, how they could be separated, etc. But from your photo, I'd keep the "hutch like" one on the end. Remove the next 2, and the other lowers on the adjoining wall. I would have a local cabinet maker reproduce lowers to EXACTLY copy the style of the hutch unit. I had this amt. of cabinetry done (paint grade birch), and it was a few thousand dollars. I would probably keep the other upper for now, to save money, with the idea that in another year, I'd have the option of removing it and doing uppers to follow the new lowers along both walls. Does that make sense? From my thinking, that would give you a very nice L-shaped counter work area. The counter area on the hutch is decorative/storage.

5. But what about a dishwasher? I can't live without a dishwasher! Where could I fit in an 18" unit? Personally, I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice the hutch, so I would have to work around that. Would a dishwasher fit on the wall perpendicular to the sink? It looks like it would have to go there. Unless maybe you did a corner sink? Then it could go next to the sink, on either wall.

6. What about the fridge? It looks like there is a corner spot for it? If this is the only location, and, like the stove it has to sit there alone, then I would want it to be as gorgeous as possible! So I would hold out for a retro fridge for 4K! If I had to wait a few years, I would. A retro fridge looks awesome sitting by itself. It is a decorative piece as much as functional. (We don't even have room for a fridge in our kitchen, so it is in the garage!! Again, this is a compromise I made. We might squeeze in a drawer unit someday, but spending thousands for 5 cubic feet of storage makes me choke!)

7. Refinish the pine floors. I would hire this out.

8. Cheap counters; save up for soapstone. Or just stay with butcher block long term. I kind of wish I would have gone with butcher block. I would look for an old piece of wood for the hutch (that's what i waned to do on mine, but husband talked me out of it. I still regret it).

A few other thoughts re: shaker overlay doors. I did these in my former kitchen (that kitchen wasn't original, and I didn't have the knowledge or money to do inset). It looked fine. Lots of folks do these, and they can look lovely. However, when I look at vintage kitchens with inset doors, my knees feel weak, and I know that is my true love. What do your knees tell you? But--you do have that hutch to consider. I wouldn't keep the hutch, and mix in overlay doors. And I'm committed to that hutch! So that removes the option of overlay. Please view the folling kitchens, and see if they make you weak in the knees:

Ok, I'll stop for now. I hope this is helpful! Don't give up on your vision!



    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Yeah, I'm back again!

Here is my kitchen when we bought the house. The sink wall was not original, and had to be replaced.

This was an L-shaped section, about 8 feet long. It cost around 3K. Unpainted birch. Here it is, in process. I think you can see the whole L:

Three thousand bucks. Which I thought was high! It is an exact copy of the original stuff, down to the quarter inch.

The dishwasher is a discontinued Bosch (I absolutely HAD to have a paneled DW) that we found at a discount store one hour away. Husband rented a van to go and get it. 600 bucks. Which, again, was twice what he wanted to pay. But I insisted. In retrospect, I wish I would have fought long and hard for a Miele, because I don't trust the Bosch long term. If I were you, I'd panel an 18 inch Miele. A friend with a vintage kitchen has one of those (plus 2 kids and all the dishes her family of 4 generates. They are serious cooks, with even less counter space than I have, and they do just FINE! It just takes some reframing of one's mind.



    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 1:35PM
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Great advice francy!

I guess my first thoughts are what about your current kitchen do you really dislike? Keeping in mind that you like the vintage look. Sometimes just a little tweeking will give you the look you want with minimal cost. The catch is you may not be able to fix all the annoyances you have, but maybe just the most troublesome.

BTW, I absolutely think you can keep your cabinets under $12k even with custom. You may need to shop around or get savy, but it should be doable.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I'm still here! Staring at your photos! Can you post some more of the rest of the space? You do have less cabinet space than I do (and I don't have much!), so I'm thinking and thinking about my personal commitment to your hutch. LOL! I'm assuming the bottom doors are original, and the one overlay drawer front is. Hmmmmm. It is true that IF you could afford to shorten that window, and you replaced the hutch, you would have a more functional kitchen. No doubt about it. How far is that window from the hutch wall? That is, if you kept the window, but rebuilt the hutch section (so that you could put a dishwasher there), is it too shallow for a dishwasher? Looks like the dishwasher would have to be bumped out. Or better, all the lowers would be bumped out to standard depth, but you would have a shallow unit next to the window. In the kitchen I linked above, klb has something like this next to her stove--a shallow unit that doesn't obstruct the doorway like a regular unit would.

So I think you need a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. They all have pros and cons. They all have different costs. Ask yourself, "will I regret (or not regret) choosing x?"

And thank you for the kind words Maureen!



    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 2:46PM
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I just went in search of cabinets I could paint myself.

A few bits of knowledge that came my way:

Painted mdf would save you money, if you don't mind it. So a search for the relative merits of mdf on this site.

Brookhaven/Woodmode offer completely unfinished cabinets, with 10% discount. However if you take this option they void the warranty (they say this is because they have no idea if you're going to try some wacky faux treatment that dissolves all the glue, then demand a refund for "bad cabinets". The store said they would absolutely do the right thing for cabinets damaged in transit etc.)

Crystal and another lower-priced Masterbrand line offer primed cabinets with a 5-year warranty.

Unfortunately, they usually offer options only on the higher-end lines. It's like trying to get a plain cheese sandwich on a ham-and-cheese production line: it's the same price, or higher, because they have to stop the line to make your one dang sandwich and make sure that one sandwich gets to you.

I'd keep your old appliances for now. That's a couple thousand saved right there. If you want to leave room for a "fridge of your dreams" or something, make the measurements to do that. White is neutral: It goes with cream, better than a thousand shades of cream/almond etc., if you want to go that route.

Merillat is not a bad cabinet company. The cabinets in my existing kitchen are 20+ year-old Merillats, and I'm definitely not redoing the kitchen because they're falling apart. They're sturdy, not a scratch. Just very dated. But you definitely need to look hard at factory spraypainted finishes and see if you could live with them. And do get some quotes, they ARE surprising.

Also, is there anywhere that you could use a free-standing cabinet, rather than a built-in? A hoosier, a simple beadboard box with shelves, or something very much like what you have there, they all appear in salvage places. These can sometimes be cheaper, particularly if you already own it, or buy it in a secondhand shop and learn to do a little fix-up yourself.

You said you live in a fancy area. If there's a Habitat ReStore, or Craigslist or something similar, you may be able to pick up a hood or microwave just a couple of years old when somebody changes style or buys the wrong thing.

I agree with others who have said you're on the right track! No matter what you end up with, you're not crazy or impractical for wanting it.

There is also the concept of phased construction: break the project down into phases that can be separated by a few months without leaving you with an awkward, unworking kitchen or constantly calling a contractor back for a small job. Or at least be aware of and make allowances for things you could upgrade later, like the appliances.

Finally, no matter what you end up with, you're going to bring that feel to it with the colors you choose and the accessories, fabrics etc. Those are the things that really pull peoples eyes.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:42PM
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Maureen, your best bet for keeping the vintage feel of your kitchen is to save as many of the old elements as possible. For example, the round vent in your wall is to die for. I'd take one of those over a hood vent in a heartbeat, especially in a small kitchen.

I'm with Francy on being committed to the hutch. I'd also stick with the current window sizes. Could you post detailed measurements of your existing space? There are a lot of talented folks on the site who could make suggestions that might work wonders for your space. I have a couple of initial ideas bumping around in my head already.

Your sketch shows a big space for a radiator -- why so big?

OK, so post your dimensions...and more photos!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 4:20PM
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I am so torn, I don't know what to do. My husband is big on function and practicality, he doesn't care what things look like. I've shown him several kitchens here and his eyes glaze over. The only thing he praised was Francy's OLD kitchen! He thinks farmhouse sinks look ridiculous, only good for bathing a baby. I hope "Bay Area" means San Francisco, as I am in Maryland and am now worried that Francy and I are married to the same man. She can have him though :)

Some more info: We've been here 10 years now and have no plans to move. Practically everything else in the house is original - all doors, windows, floors, radiators, etc. I think the kitchen has been changed many times. I think it had an icebox in an unheated pantry (now a bathroom), a stove that must have taken up whole wall, and giant sink on legs that shared wall with giant radiator. I'm not sure what "restoration" means here. That's my big question.

There is nothing more to see of this kitchen except for the three doors leading out and the fridge corner. The kitchen is 10 x 12, you can barely make out dimensions on side and bottom of plans. The kitchen looks worse in person and this is what people see when the enter the house from the mudroom. (My house is on a hill, a driveway comes around to the back of the house.)

What I don't like: The plywood doors are falling apart. The cabinets are too short for a dishwasher. Also, a cabinetmaker told me the cabinets would be difficult to move w/o damage, and some would have to be broken up to get the radiator out of that corner. Also, the inset doors stick in the summer and we can barely get them open. (We do not have central air). The inset doors in my built-in china cabinet in the dining room are also difficult in the summer, and the back door too for that matter. They are all loose in the winter. Inset doors worry me from a practical standpoint. This sticking issue is not good for the paint job.

The kitchen is not really functional. We all cook, a lot - something from scratch for dinner practically every day. My 10 year old son loves to bake, only needs help with stove. He and my 12 year old son cook their own eggs, toasted sandwiches, etc. But they make a terrific mess. Their friends are always here too.

The unfitted parts are hard to clean. I like the metal fan, but it is pretty scratched up from being cleaned over the years. I'm assuming that a hood would do a better job and keep kitchen cleaner? I also don't like that it is not centered above stove.

There's no place for trash, we keep it under large window with the cat bowls but all that must be moved to open cabinets and roll dishwasher over to sink.

Appliances: I'm tired of rolling this dishwasher around. I wanted a smaller one anyway, so it wouldn't block the trim around the window, but husband argued that we run a 24" dishwasher everyday, He also says the vintage stove makes him very nervous about gas leaks. I don't like the stove so close to the bathroom.

I have to find some compromises. I do not think we can do this in stages, because the cabinets will have to be move / demolished before they can work on radiator and walls. (except to wait on appliances).

I am going to look into the Ikea / Scherr's doors. Also growlery's suggested brands. My contractor has praised Ikea quality. He specializes in historic restoration but thinks kitchens should be practical. He is someone we trust, and we've seen a few houses he's done, really amazing. We've decided just to stick with him, we were surprised he would do just a kitchen.

Now are you wondering way I am bothering you guys with all this? I am so happy for the advice, and the other options you all have suggested. I need to know what I really want before my practical husband and busy contractor try to push me to make me choose what is easiest, cheapest, or more "practical".

Thanks for listening.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Maureen... I really really FEEL for you on the practical husband point. I've been going through the exact same thing. My SO/DH would leave everything in the kitchen we plan on remodeling if he could. Just throw some new cabs in and he thinks he's doing me a favor. No thought to layout, prep space, pathways, landing space, only see's the work and $$ involved. This is from the same man who was willing to spend 4 grand on materials to build himself his dream shed/workshop. (we ended up getting one for free for just the cost of shipping and setup ..$1000 so that won't work in my favor...:-) Our plans have been put on hold for a year or so but the point I want to make is don't allow the frustration to get the best of you. Continue to communicate but pick the moments wisely. I've discovered that my guy most certainly does not have the need to discuss it to extent I'd like to. I admit, I can be incessant and it's with concious effort that I keep it in check, not always successfully. Use this forum to it's fullest potential. I've created COUNTLESS and I mean countless layouts and always received patient and honest feedback. There were days I'd spend hours and hours creating something and then discover in a moment that my layout basically was awful. You will come up with a compromise that will satisfy both you and your husband.

I really don't know much about vintage restoration so I can't offer you any valuable input from that standpoint. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone and thought I'd commiserate a bit. Good luck... I look forward to watching/reading the progression of your soon to be successful renovation.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 10:03PM
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All this info is great to know, because knowing what your grievances are makes giving suggestions easier.

LOL about the farmhouse sink. They're actually rather practical in that they're closer to you and thus easier to reach into keeping your back from aching while handwashing lots of dishes... as long as the sink isn't too deep.

Another way to look at the function/looks debate is if you are in the kitchen a lot having pleasant surroundings make cooking more enjoyable and thus is practical in that sense. Your kitchen with all it's doors and windows is more than likely not going to have perfect functionality so at some point there are going to have to be compromises. You might as well make those compromises nice looking. Well, maybe that will give you a little ammunition, LOL:)

Anyway I have a couple of questions:
Can you put in baseboard heaters instead of the radiator?

Where is the mudroom? Is it handy, if so can you put a freezer in there? You could then put just a smaller fridge only unit in the kitchen to gain some room. I have an idea that could work if you can.

I also have another idea that I think could be very nice if you can move your dining room door toward the fridge corner. It keeps your windows intact and gives lots of counter space and moves the stove away from the bathroom.

I don't think you have to have inset doors to give a vintage look. Partial overlay with offset exposed hinges give a vintage look also. Hoosier offset butterfly hinges would look nice with a partial overlay door and a simple flat recessed panel. Also, you don't need to get your hardware from your cabinet manufacturer. I watched ebay and other places for antique hardware which I added to a new cabinet and I think it looks great. If you can't find antique hardware that matches, vandykes, house of antique hardware, kennedy hoosier parts, classic accents, and several others have reproductions.

I forget the name, but there is a member with a fabulous white vintage kitchen with all new cabinets and antique hardware. I'll try to find a link.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 10:38PM
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We used Kraftmaid, Cherry Ginger Glaze, which are a more expensive style so price wise they are probably equal to Kraftmaid's painted. You can also get Kraftmaid unpainted and paint yourself - we got one unit unpainted for the hall and will paint but haven't yet. Our small kitchen was around $9000-10000. We went to Just Cabinets and they are slightly cheaper than HD or Lowes in Maryland - go to them with that layout.

We love our Kraftmaid, but some people do have problems, we had tiny minor things with doors but got them replaced but that was us being picky. A year later they still look new and no issues! They didn't have a painted white last year or we would have considered it. Your kitchen is probably around the same size is ours - we have 16 cabinets.

You don't have to do everything at once - you can wait on appliances - just worry about the size if you are going with a bigger fridge and use fillers to hold the space open for now with the one you want - so it doesn't match for a while, not a big deal and you upgrade those later on when you can afford it - as long as they work, not a big deal.

We got granite but soapstone depending on the price - shop around shouldn't again be that much is a small kitchen - plan around $3000. This is the joy of a small kitchen.

For flooring, again, you can wait, and just throw down a sheet vinyl - we weren't sure what to do and decided to do vinyl and absolutely love it. $50 off the shelf DIY - but we had to replace our subfloor so that was about $250 with good plywood vs. luan.

And, you can probably get away without recessed lights and get something cute (a little more money but keeping to the house) from rejuvination or school house electric - we did - at some point we'll supplement with a few cans, but we do get decent light.

And, if you have any skills, even if you haven't done any of this before, you can DIY to save money - we NEVER did anything before we moved in and did our kitchen, windows, plumbing and electrical and our house is still standing (for now ) and we haven't killed ourselves (for now ). At minimum, you can gut the kitchen, prime/paint, and do other basic stuff to save money.

And, worst case, like us, we didn't want cheap laminate cabinets, so we waited 6 months to put away more money to get the ones we wanted. Turned out Just Cabinets had 6 months free financing so we took that and paid it off over six months but we had the money - my credit card - was being nasty and we kept low limits as who needs high ones and wouldn't up it to buy the cabinets and since you have to prepay we wanted some protection so we used theirs instead. But, I don't recommend doing anything on credit... we just slowly do our house and it's completely unfinished and looks just silly but we'll do it as we have time/money.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 10:49PM
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The person with the kitchen I was talking about is arlosmom, but unfortunately the post with her kitchen disappeared.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:11PM
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I have just read through all the responses you've received and I am so glad you came back to share with us the real issues as well as your family make up.

I lived and worked in the District and can I just say you are amazing for living without a/c in that humidity! My hair would get so big no one could sit next to me on the metro -- my hair took up all the space ... it was baaaaad. (and not bad as in good, but bad as in horrible!)

Based on what you wrote I think you all will be happier both in terms of your kitchen's function (and form) as well as the cost if you start from scratch. Francy's beloved hutch isn't working for you, get rid of it! A grown man doesn't fit into a little boy's waistcoat; the 1930s kitchen isn't meant to accommodate your twenty-first century family. Full stop.

Your whole life will be better if you have a built-in dishwasher, even if it's one of those washer drawers, or an 18" dishwasher -- whatever, you'll be happier!

Your cooking life will be better if you have an efficient venting system.

Your (family's) life in the kitchen will be better with a run of 24" deep lower cabinets.

The cursing in your kitchen will be reduced with having cabinet doors which easily open and close all year 'round! (okay, I'm projecting my cursing onto you)

I have an apron front sink so I'd like to add my two cents about that: it is wonderful! I love love love having an apron front sink for precisely the reason mom2lilenj cites -- what comfort. What a difference in the quality of my lower back's life!

I like the layout you posted.

Oh! Look at jgarner53's kitchen -- I think you might like it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Although I share the appreciation for orginal kitchens, and often prefer them (in pictures) to what replaces them, well... Anyway, I just wanted to say overall I also like the plan you've come up with. Assuming the 3 doors you're dealing with have to stay where they are. It actually looks like it'd be a very a nice place to work--I could enjoy cooking there.

I'm wondering if it might be worth it to get rid of the little piece of counter wrapping around to the left of the sink. You'd get rid of the blind corner and gain elbow room on that side while sacrificing very little. Even better, perhaps, splitting the difference, you might replace the standard counter on that wall with shallow storage--just deep enough to hold that microwave (?13-14") as well as dishes and food stores, similar, to Francy's shallow hutch, or in fact your own, just with a more workable distance between upper and lower cabs. In any case, a fitted touch that both works and offers an opportunity to continue the sort of built-ins original to homes of this era.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 12:47AM
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Carrier and other company's make single room units for heating/ac that you could maybe put above a doorway or window to get rid of the forced heat in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 1:12AM
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Circus Peanut

My heart is with Francy and my head with rmkitchen. I'm refreshing a 3-doored small '20s kitchen on a budget too, and can really empathize with your dilemma. As lovely as the current built-ins might be to the renovator's eye, there's nothing functional about cabs that don't open -- just because they're original doesn't necessarily mean they're very good. I lived in a few Wash, DC rentals with dreadful plywood boxes, and know how annoying those sticking doors can be.

But I DO think it's possible to restore the look in a better quality cabinet, even on a budget. Especially given how small your needs are, comparatively. You may perk up when you get a few bids from custom carpenters in the area. :)

If the fireclay sink is right out, you might consider a vintage (or new) porcelain sinkboard? I see them quite often on Craigslist, eBay, salvage places, etc. One example. Still extremely period (probably more so, since the apron sinks are really turn of the century and not '20s). And it would allow you a bit more space underneath for storage, pullout garbage, or even the dishwasher. You specified an interest in drop-in style, so this is very similar for a lot less $$ than fireclay.

Definitely consider the microwave-in-a-cabinet idea. Your GC or a good carpenter can modify any cabinet to fit a MW in the bottom portion, as long as the cab is 14" deep or so. I'd personally say this is vastly more desirable than the OTR microwaves, which don't tend to function that well as microwaves nor as ventilators.

(How are your wall studs? If they are relatively regular, that can make a huge difference, enabling you to cut open the walls to recess things like fridge and MW for even more room.)

Another idea that panned out extremely well for me is to haunt places like Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store for used cabinetry. I got a steal on some gorgeous cherry cabinets and saved about $20,000 that way. It's hit or miss, but it wouldn't hurt to leave your name with the friendly Habitat folks just in case something nice comes in. If you'll be painting, all the easier to find something, since the finish color won't be so crucial.

Hang in there! It will all come together with the able help of the amazing brains on this forum, never fear. :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 7:54AM
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Not sure if this was mentioned, but if you have hot water radiators, you can use a kick space heater instead -- only one would heat the whole room. They don't work if you have steam heat, though...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:07AM
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Here's a picture of my kitchen that mom2lilenj referenced (I reorganized my photobucket account and that broke the links in my earlier post, grrrr). We built the kitchen around the giant farm sink that came with the house and tried really hard to keep the vintage look. My cabinets are new and my hardware is antique, mostly from ebay. I'm painting the cabinets myself (I ordered them primed) and so far only the upper ones are done:

If your cabinets don't function, new ones make a lot of sense. A simple shaker door would look beautiful and vintage, and I agree with the other posters that you don't need inset to get the vintage look.

Could you center the sink under the window and put a dishwasher and pullout trash on the perpendicular wall to the left of the sink? I like the idea of moving the doorway to the dining room down by a foot or so. You could add upper cabinets on the wall above the dishwasher/trash. If you find a heating solution that doesn't eat up the space next to your stove, you could add a bank of drawers there and get storage and counterspace. If it were me, I'd really try to leave the big window full sized...not only does it provide the great light, but I think it also makes the room appear larger and more spacious to have the break in the cabinetry. You could replace the hutch with another shallow cabinet like a floor to ceiling pantry that would give you great storage. Instead of pulling the fridge out from the wall (the dead space behind it doesn't make sense to me in a small kitchen), you might be able to have a small broom closet next to it instead.

I really think your space has the potential to be wonderful on a pretty small budget. By the way, I had Ikea cabinets in two previous kitchens and they functioned great.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I have to agree with Circuspeanut: "My heart is with Francy and my head with rmkitchen". I frequently prefer the "before" pictures to the new ones (in pictures, as Rosie pointed out!)

I don't want to move the dining room door because it would mess up the symmetry I like and the furniture placement. (there's 3 windows in there plus french doors to the hallway). The mud room is not large enough for the fridge.

We are not really skilled, and don't have a truck either, but could do vintage elements with paint, tile, and hardware. That really makes me feel better.

I really like the idea of the DW on the left wall with the trash. It seems like it would be easier to put dishes away. With the DW in the middle, it might be hard to move around small space with door open?

I love those old porcelain sinks. There's a great warehouse in Baltimore called Second Chance I've been visiting, maybe something will turn up. If not I was considering an undermount fireclay sink. I'm not sure if that adds much to the kitchen, is it hardly seen? Maybe sink with inset stainless? When we really get started here I'll have more specific questions.

My next task is to look into cabinets with partial overlay with offset exposed hinges, like what I have now. So am I correct in thinking that for my kitchen inset would be best (looks-wise), followed by then partial overlay/exposed hinges, then finally full overlay shaker?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:33AM
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The inset doors in my built-in china cabinet in the dining room are also difficult in the summer...

While this is a problem with inset cabs, odds are that your doors have 'grown' over the years with added layers of paint. Either removing some paint layers or planing down the edges will help alleviate some of the sticking problems.

But what intrigues me is the 'built-in china cabinet'!! Don't overlook the possibility of relocating some other possibly original to the house cabinet work to the kitchen. And vice versa, of course.

Other notes--the doors on the upper cabs on the sink wall look like they were added later--plywood partial inset?

The hutch to the right of the sink--the distance between the countertop & bottom of the door is so small that it makes me wonder if the bottom shelf was added at a later date, when the plywood doors were added? What I'm getting at is that the hutch area might function better if it was restored, more or less, to what I suspect was its original configuration.

The cabinets are too short for a dishwasher.

Granted that this would be a labor of love, but that hutch to the right can be saved. Removing and reconstructing with a toe kick space would get that portion up to modern level.

Also, a cabinetmaker told me the cabinets would be difficult to move w/o damage...

True. More so because it's almost a certainty that the cabs were built in place. Also true is that cabinetmakers are most concerned with making new cabinets, not in restoring old ones. But it can be done; slowly; carefully. Wood splinters can be glued back in place. Holes can be spackled, filled and sanded. Wood can be stripped & painted.

In the real world though, this stuff can get hugely expensive and just not feasible if you're looking at hiring all of it out. Any DIY possibilities for some/ any of this project?

I know I'm rambling here--just to explain that I'm a bit more ditzy than usual because you're witnessing my brain on pain meds.

Another thought I had concerns the windows...Maybe consider doubling up on the smaller window ala' Francy's kitchen and eliminate taller window? I really hate suggesting that but it might somehow make the kitchen space more workable? (Noting that you have some lost space/ potential storage space to the right of the sink window already.) Depending on view/ sun exposure, you might want the sink/ windows on what is now the stove wall. Here I'm assuming that the house has a basement or crawl space & that moving plumbing that short ways is feasible.

Question--Where is the radiator currently?

Possibly recess refrig into dining room?

Picture of china cab in dining room?

Anyways, I hope you can make sense out of some of this and that some of this makes sense.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:56AM
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I've been to Second Chance LOTS of times! We got a beautiful set of french doors there. I don't know where you are in Maryland, but if you're up for a little drive there is also a wonderful salvage store in Richmond called Caravati's. I'll attach a link. Theirs is maybe the best I've been to -- large, well organized, and they've successfully rescued most of their stuff in good usable conditon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caravatis

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 12:56PM
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Good advice from cilantro (and others)! Regarding rebuilding existing cabinets, I definitely ran into problems with carpenters not wanting the hassle of that, and preferring to start from scratch.

Sooooo, as attached as I am to the hutch (and I would simply have to keep it because--bottom line--I probably couldn't afford to replace it while still having the other details I'd want), you don't have a lot of cabinet space. I have about the same amt of counter work space as you, but I have more cabinet space, and it would be hard to do with less. So I could see an argument for replacing all the cabs.

Mom2 had a GREAT idea for partial inset with hoosier hardware. I actually have one original cabinet in my kitchen that is in this style. So it is within the realm of period appropriate. I can't find any photos in Bungalow Kitchens that have an entire kitchen with this, but if it saves you money, it could be a worthwhile compromise. Btw, you can see mine in that "original" photo I posted. It is the cabinet over the avocado green dishwasher. I have since removed all the paint from the hardware.

Here is a related cabinet idea: I have recently fallen absolutely, totally, utterly in love with lower drawers for storage. If I could, I would never have a lower cabinet again as long as I live! Now, I don't know how the cost would compare. But, partial overlay DRAWERS (like the ones you already have) are of course the approopriate style for your kitchen. I would suggest trying to do these on that entire left wall, at the very least. This would also be a great way to include "hidden" dishwasher drawers (if those could be squeezed in the budget). Heck, I'd put them in the entire kitchen. Another advantage is that too many partial overlay, hoosier style cabinet doors is a busy look for such a small kitchen (there is a lot of visible hardware involved). So, all drawers on the bottom would, in my humble opinion, be more aesthetically pleasing. It would give you a better vintage look, with greatly improved functionality. It is a great scullery look.

Generallly, I still advise a local cabinet maker, and unpainted cabinets.

Sink: oh, those pesky husbands! They really get in our way, don't they! I fell in love with farm sinks about 15 years ago, when I saw one in Bucks County PA, in, of course, a farmhouse. I wanted one desperately, but when they became fashionable again, they were completely out of my budget. And, of course, my beautiful farm sink is NOT period appropriate for my house and kitchen. (So I quietly climbed off my "period appropriate high horse" to get my sink into my kitchen. Shhhhhh. Don't tell on me.) But it was something I loved for so very long. I neeeeeeeded it! But let me talk you out of one! The WORST thing about the sink, for me, is that it shares a home with 2 little boys. You said your son likes to cook. I just hate that my uber expensive sink, which is very PERMANENTLY installed under the uber expensive soapstone, has turned me into a nagging shrew as far as my sons are concerned. *Turn shrill, anxious voice on* "Put that plate GENTLY in the sink." "AHHHH! Keep those slamming Hot Wheels away from my sink!" "Don't drop that knife in the sink!" Etc. etc. etc. So the combination of fireclay, plus permanent installation has me pretty worried on a daily basis.

Still, keeping the fireclay idea, I think a wall hung sink with an integrated backsplash would be fabulous in your kitchen. This would also have the advantage of saving you money on a backsplash. Lots of period kitchens do NOT have tile backsplashes in the entire kitchen. Just in the water-prone areas. The rest of the walls are painted. Here is a sink visual for you, though I wouldn't recommend this particular one for a couple reasons--it is vitreous china, and it can't have a garbage disposal:

Um, what else? I'd still keep the long window for financial reasons, and do a shallow lower drawer unit perpendicular to it (like klb has near her doorway). Or maybe a hutch like this one, from a GW member (but with a shallower bottom to fit by the window):

And, of course, I want to keep talking to your husband about the vintage stove. It probably gives the biggest vintage bang for your buck! And awesome cooking POWER!! Gas leaks aren't really a concern--especially if you go with a later model. My 1955 stove as automatic saftey shutoffs incase the pilots go out. that is the only way you can have a gas leak--if the pilots go out. I've only had one pilot go out in almost 3 years (and I have no idea why it went out. It shouldn't, unless exposed to wind.) And the auto shutoff functioned as it should. There was a faint gas smell in the kitchen, which I immediately noticed. Now, my stove does have an exhaust type smell when the oven is on, but that is because it is supposed to have a stove pipe (and it doesn't). So there is an open hole on the top of my stove where the exhaust just floods into the kitchen. But that will be taken care of once I get a hood. The friend I have mentioned with the vintage kitchen has a stovepipe for her 1930's range and her kitchen never smells like exhaust. But, the vintage stove WILL add heat to your kitchen (great in the winter, not great in the summer).

Ok, that's my latest ramble for now! Sorry for the typos! I'm zooming here...



    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 2:16PM
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Maureen, continuing to follow your threads and feel your pain. You've gotten so much great advice overall I'm sure you'll continue to have a lot to sift through.

I absolutely support, encourage and adore "purist" restoration, but I love reconstructions with mod cons and "in the spirit" renos too. [Actually I love super-modern kitchens in old houses as long as millwork etc remains intact vs being stripped out.]

In our 1905 house, we preserve our footprints by default and use what's original whenever possible -- but we're ok with our overall use of materials giving the sense that the house has evolved over time.

In our kitchen reno, we struggled with layout and (lower-)budget issues in our ~ 10x15 with 4 doors/access points and low windows. Infrastructure stuff was nearly half of that, and that's with doing a ton of DIY.

We ended up with a 10K kitchen that is NOT nearly as wonderful/authentic-looking as my GW favs -- many represented on this thread. But the results are so much better than where we started, and the space is one I do enjoying being in. [Although I still hate my back door!]

Any or all of the layout and material choices we made would be deal-breakers for others, but we MAKE them work for us. You'll find your way.

Same B&A views above, different angles below

We did stained, frameless, full overlay shaker cabinets and mixed them with the house's ONLY built-in or non-70s era cab (a coated-in-paint hutch with missing glass doors and sticky drawers that I rehabbed cosmetically and Mr Vix improved by repairing drawer tracks). And actually we added a full overlay pantry cab to the end of the hutch and have yet to go back and convert it to inset! The hutch love impacted layout so much, but no regrets.

And on a related note (really!)....

I will say that 3+ years post-kitchen, we are wrapping up a gut reno of our small ~ 6x11 bath. Infrastructure costs were b.i.g. despite having venting for the new sink location in place and an unfinished basement for access. Never underestimate those costs in an old house, ha/sob!

I went with custom (unpainted) inset because I had salvage doors I wanted to use and space issues. Doing so made me realize 1) we could never have afforded that option in the kitchen and 2) even if one's budget permits, the inset vs frameless space debates are much more important in smaller kitchens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vix's House of Lino Luv (+ Many Many Compromises!)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Francy - I think you're right - now I want a sink like Arlosmom. I wonder if it is original to the house or were you lucky enough to find it? Maybe if I get a cool sink (focal point) and nice countertops, and uncover/refinish the original floor, I won't stress so much about the cabinets. Compromises!

Vix - your house is beautiful. You kitchen turned out great, especially the backsplash. I am going to investigate tile too. I like the subway tile but may want something with more color, especially blue-green.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 6:48PM
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Our sink came with the house. I don't think it's original, but it's been there for a very long while -- the house is 1905 and I think the sink is from the 1920s. Here's the old kitchen the day we first saw the house...scary, huh?:

We love the big apron front on the sink, but it means that you can't have a dishwasher the new space, our dishwasher is just to the right of the sink with a cabinet panel. My insistance on keeping the sink AND having a dishwasher and counter space was a big part of why we ended up building an addition. That, and wanting more than a single bathroom. Our old kitchen is now a breakfast room and we kept all the old elements intact.

Many of the drainboard sinks from the 1930s don't have the big front apron, (I think someone posted a picture earlier in the post) so you might be able to fit a dishwasher underneath. Our sink is a real space hog at 60" wide, but if you watch ebay or visit salvage stores you can find smaller apron front ones too. Some have the drainboard on just one side; those tend to be closer to 42". I've seen them on ebay as large as 78" If you do decide to go that route, I suggest that you find your sink first and plan the kitchen around it. Also, hold out for one that's in good usable shape because I've heard that re-glazing doesn't hold up well to the heavy use a kitchen sink gets.

Here's our beloved bohemouth in the new kitchen (I'm painting the lower cabinets this winter):

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 8:14AM
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I just realized that Francy's original sink is the kind of drainboard sink from the 1930s that I was talking about -- I think you might possibly be able to fit a dishwasher under the drainboards...Francy do you know the answer to that?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 8:29AM
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Circus Peanut

Someone just posted this sink on my local Craigslist:

If you were to go with this sort, with the shallower 2" lip (not a deep apron like Arlosmom's), I'd think you'd have quite adequate room for a dishwasher under there, depending on how thick your countertops are.

[LOL - Maureen, can you tell you've stumbled haplessly into a nest of relentless restorers here? :) ]

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:15AM
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I'm putting a dw under my antique sink. It's 52" wide and 20" deep. I'm pulling the sink out 4" from the wall and putting a shelf along the back to get the 24" depth for the dw. Mine is just wide enough to fit a 24" dw, otherwise an 18" dw could work too.

Here's mine:

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:35AM
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I forgot to add, if you do decide to look for an antique, verify faucet spacing so you can replace with a new faucet if needed and check drain dimensions if you want a garbage disposal. Also make sure the basin is deep enough to prevent splashing.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Wow--I want to have a cup of tea in arlosmom's breakfast room. Those windows, with the casement bottom are wonderful!

As mom2 brought up, the problem with putting a DW under a drainboard sink is the depth. And if the sink has an integrated backsplash, then you need to do some creative design, like her shelf behind it. But I think Maureen's space would work well with a DW on that left wall.

Will a disposal work with a vintage drainboard sink? Depending on the age, the opening might not be large enough.

I love that the sinks with the integrated backsplash can save one the expense of tiling the entire backsplash (unless one really wants all tile everywhere). I really like the simplicity of painted walls, like arlosmom and trailrunner have in their restored kitchens.

Maureen: if you do modify that window, and put lower cabs or drawers next to the stove, will your middle walking space be sufficient? I can never visualize these things, but you might want to stick a chair or something in the window section to block that space the way cabs would, and then invite husband and son into the kitchen to see if you can maneuver to your satisfaction.



    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:51AM
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Does anyone have Divamum's tiny kitchen saga saved? The doorways look like they are in the same places, the kitchen might actually be smaller than Maureen's (!), and she was on a very very tight budget.

I've always loved your backsplash, house vixen, good to hear from ya!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 12:26PM
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I've never seen a DW under the sink. Where do the pipes go? I really like the idea of putting it to the left though, it would be less noticeable there. I wouldn't get a panel (not with my lower-end cabs) anyway. My DH said, "Why do you want to hide the fact that we own a dishwasher, is it embarrassing?" One of those things, where, If you don't get it, you don't get it!

I am unsure about the vintage sink. I've been looking for one for ages but they all need reglazing. The salvage store sells them reglazed, but I've heard it doesn't hold up. Also, I measured, like Francy suggested, and realized that if all three walls are "fitted" the sink area will be less than 55" and I like counterspace next to the sink.

I am not opposed to the undermount sinks (That have no lip?, am I using the right term?) I think they may make clean-up easier? I have seen some pics on here: wilsonb, klb 2000, and vjrnts - they have great vintage-style kitchens with undermounts and soapstone counters. I'll have many questions to ask about maintenance - I probably should start another thread for that.

I want to thank all of you for giving me so much attention - I'm not used to it :) Most people I know have new houses. Even those I know in my part of town (the historic part) have brand-new kitchens. Dh is only interested in cost and maintainability. It's great to find people who speak your language!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:07PM
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maureeninmd, I should have clairified better, the dw will go under the DRAINBOARD part of the sink. The drainboard is 24" wide that's why the dw JUST fits. GE does make a dw that goes under the sink, but I think that it would be difficult to load if you need to rinse things first.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE spacemaker dishwasher

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:24PM
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My kitchen is only 1 foot longer than yours, and just as wide. I opened up the original doorway to make a peninsula and creat more prep/eating space. I don't know if this is an option for you, but I now have a kitchen with plenty of counters, a full height pantry,dishwasher 36" stove, 33" fridge and a radiator and pull-out trash. i haven't even installed upper cabinets yet!

If you want to see the whole process start to finish:

or just check out the last one to see where it's at right now.

Granted, it was all DIY, but it's Ikea, soapstone and butcherblock, apron front sink and a bunch of other random bits. everything in that space, including the floors, walls, electric and appliances has cost under $12k

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:50PM
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Maureen, your husband is cracking me up! I think I'm married to his twin. Luckily, mine has finally given up arguing with me. It has helped me to point out to his that if I have to spend hours every day in a tiny, dysfunctional kitchen, I need it to be as visually lovely as possible. That is the argument that finally got me my farm sink.

My cabs are about as low end as they come, but I really love love love my dishwasher panel. Please tell your husband that it isn't that DW ownership is embarassing. The problem is that having a dishwasher in a vintage kitchen creates cognitive dissonance for those of us who are obsessed with details. So does a microwave, and I am going nuts because I can't find a way to make mine disappear. So does a modern looking stove. But of course, while these kinds of details are quite vexing to some of us, they are not an issue for many others. If they do in fact matter to you, then your job is to make your husband understand that there is more to a kitchen (or any room) than functionality. Not always an easy thing to do. I know. I know!



    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Staticfritz, your albums are the best "during" pictures I have ever seen (and the "afters" are awesome too--more please!). I have been wondering how to prepare my 4yo, who hates messes, for the destruction that will ensue when we begin our remodel. Your albums will give him a way to see that his parents are not totally crazy and out to destroy our kitchen, house, and whole world. Let's face it, grown-ups are really weird when it comes to remodeling!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:34PM
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No kidding we're nuts! I'm glad you like them!
My girlfriend has been unbelievably patient during the whole ordeal. Especially during that 5 month period where i cooked everything in a toaster over, with the fridge in the dining room surrounded by lumber!
Now that's everything is pretty much functional, I have slowed down a bit to catch up on the rest of life and enjoy summer a bit. I have a lot of trimwork to do in the next few weeks, and I'll be updating it as I go!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 11:29AM
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