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Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Posted by carrieb (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 9:31

I'm planning a complete kitchen gut/remodel. I've hired a designer to at least help me with basic layout. She's come for initial consultation/to measure my space, but has not yet submitted any proposals.

Right now, I've got three unconnected work areas in my kitchen - the sink/drainboard on one wall (between a window & door), The oven & a small counter & Fridge on one wall, and then a corner counter/peninsula.

The designer seems set on my having a contiguous space - & suggested raising the level of the (only) kitchen windowsill to allow counter space below (which I agree with.) She also suggested moving the door - again, I think, to allow contiguous counter space - but I'm not convinced that moving the door makes sense.

I know that a lot of people have islands - which in and of itself constitutes non-contiguous counter. I don't have the space for an island.

*Edited to get rid of slideshow - link is to photobucket - first 4 photos give a sense of my entire first floor (rectangular, 3 story rowhome) and the next six photos are details of the kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Current Kitchen

This post was edited by carrieb on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 20:16


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

I am not a pro on planning, but it does look like moving that door would give you a u-shaped kitchen. That is what I have and I really like it......


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Thanks, Heidi. I think that's what the designer was thinking.

The only reasonable place to move the door to, though, is the wall where the current corner cabinet/microwave/toaster/trash cans are - so right around the corner from where it is now. It would buy me several feet of contiguous counter - but not an entire wall or anything.

My house is a small city attached home, and I'm on an end. The side with the fridge is attached to another house. The other side of my house there's my garden - a lot the same size as my house.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Move the door where? And why is the wall to the right of the stove bumped out?

I would say that contiguous counter space is very important. Right now your only work space is the peninsula. Even for something as simple as washing dishes, you're currently moving piles of dirty dishes to the sink from to a separate staging area and moving the drippy, newly washed dishes back to wherever to dry/be dried and stacked before putting them away. Doing a single person clean-up must be quite a production.

Of the many "before" kitchens we've seen, yours is going to be one of the most amazing transformations. Somebody (you?) has really tried to make the most of this kitchen with cosmetic changes like the faux Tuscan paint, the white surround for the 'fridge, and the mosaic floor, but it's none to soon to just gut and start over. Yours is definitely a project where you'll want to be true to the original house (1920s?) while still ending up with a kitchen with all the "mod cons." Challenging!


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

The only reasonable place to move the door to, though, is the wall where the current corner cabinet/microwave/toaster/trash cans are

Can that door be moved to the other end of the same wall - opening in the same direction as it does now (I know that on the wall with the refrigerator, that is not possible because there's another house there) - is that possible? You will gain so much space by doing that, the transformation will be amazing.

Contiguous space is great, but its all about how much working space you can gain. You noted that an island isn't contiguous to the other counters - that's true, but at least its contiguous to itself - meaning usually an island provides a good bit of contiguous counterspace, which yours doesn't have.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Suzanne - if the door is to be moved, it would have to go somewhere on the wall where the microwave is currently.

Washing dishes can be a bit of a pain - I don't have, and don't intend to get - a dishwasher. When it's just me (which it usually is, I live alone) it's not so bad. When I have a party, I have to stack dirty dishes on the counter across the way (and the windowsill nearby, and the stove) and carry them to the sink. I don't have to carry wet dishes anywhere though - that's what the attached dishdrain is for.

The kitchen is pretty much the way it was when I moved in 14 or 15 years ago - though I am responsible for the paint job (it was white before.) The house is actually about 200 years old!

sjhockeyfan - when you say "the other end of the same wall" I'm assuming you mean sort of where the bookshelp/candestick is? Around where the wall cabinets are? That is possible. I still haven't figured out for sure how to get a kitchen table (even a small one) into the design.

Fun and overwhelming, eh?


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

One thing we did was to build the kitchen window out. Framed the opening with a 12" glue lam and so the window has a nice sill for plants and such. We both like it a lot. The sill is the same material as the countertop, so counter, 4" backsplash, window sill overhanging that. As far as levels. You hired this person. Let her make her proposal and see if she can tell you why it makes sense.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Jackfre - I love the idea of a window with a nice sill! I've added four photos of my first floor to give some context to my funky kitchen - it's just a rectangle that makes up the living room, dining area & kitchen. The one structural improvement I've made in my house is the bay window you see in the photos - it was just a blank wall before that.

Here is a link that might be useful: First floor - context


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Does sjhockey mean to move the door to where the window is? That might help.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

I agree with Suzannesl that this could be an amazing transformation! With those high ceilings and the ability to put a counter under the window (when it's raised) you'll gain storage.

It would be great if you would draw an overhead, to-scale layout of the kitchen and the adjoining rooms, with dimensions, on graph paper, then scan and post it. (Or use something like PowerPoint, Sketchup, etc. to create it electronically.) Then the layout gurus here can go to town and show you some ideas.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Junco - that didn't occur to me, that that's what sjhockeyfan might have meant. Wow, what an idea! So, if the the door were to move to where the window now is, and maybe replace the door with a window... I like it.

I've also been thinking I really want to put a window in on the microwave wall - since it would face a pretty part of my garden. So, if we do that, then, we're putting in a new window, and reversing a door and a window - so three major external structural changes... uh oh. There goes the budget flying WAYYYY out the window!


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Well budget aside (:-) ), yes, that's what I meant - maybe even move it farther down from where the window is now - the farther away the door is, the more counterspace you get!


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Now that I'm almost done with my own kitchen, it's going to be FUN to help you design your's (probably less fun, more stress for you than for the rest of us though).


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Oh, gees. This whole idea started with NO major structural changes, with the possible exception of a new small window to look out of while washing dishes...


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Is there some way to have your pictures NOT in the slideshow format - just static? The way it is now makes it almost impossible for those of us w/o broadband connections to see them because of the need to load them all before any can be seen? Having them just be still pictures enormously lightens the data transfer load. I could wait for an hour or more, and still not get all of them d/l, which means I can't see any of them.

I did see one flash in a thumbnail before disappearing into buffering, I assume the first one with your sink between the window and door? There is no reason you need to raise the window sill - you can run a countertop across in front of it as long as you make a kind of pocket at the back of the counter to allow you reach down and open the window. Some people (I am one) use that space as place to grow small potted thing like herbs. (In the winter in northern NY where I live, it's too cold.) It looks fine from the outside, even w/o the plants, but with the plants it looks charming. It requires you to have special depth cabinets (just in front of the window) and you do loose a little depth on the countertop, but it is quite do-able. In my case when I redo my kitchen I'm planning on having a run of extra deep cabs and counter there, so it won't affect my design at all. I think you may be able to do that as well (but I won't know until I see your pictures!)

I think the contiguous counter issue does come into play when you look at the overall division of counters into little, disjointed slices. That's why it works with islands where you do have a longer run all in one go, even though it's not connected to the other physically.

If you can make a drawing on graph paper (with measurements) of your room and post it on Photobucket with a link to here (and stop the slideshow!) and I think you will get lots of great suggestions.

I, too, have a pre-Civil War house so I will be keen to see your room - and also understand your reluctance to just just start altering things. Old houses are just a more interesting challenge to work with, not an obstacle to getting a great kitchen.

Liriodendron


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Lirio - (great name, btw) just go to the second link I posted (or even the first one, at least, it works for me) and click through the arrows at your own pace.

My sister used to have the setup you're describing, with the counter/windowsill, and she said that it was a pain in the butt to open the window & to clean the sill, but I guess it's different for everyone.

Do check out my second link - it takes you to my Photobucket account where you can click on individual pictures.

Since I've hired someone to work on design, I'll post the base drawing once she's given it to me!


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

If those are pictures of your garden, it is spectacular! I can see double outswing french doors on the wall where the micro is but closer to the front of the house - looking out on the garden. Put the table/chairs in front of it. Then you will have plenty of room for a functional u shaped kitchen.

I usually am opposed to shortening windows in an old house but in your case it will give you such an overall improved kitchen that I think it is worth it. I would do wood floors throughout to give a bigger appearance.

I know you said you were not getting a dishwasher and I too thought it was over kill for me alone but I installed FP dishdrawers and would never go back. It really helps reduce the clutter which is a huge factor in a small space.

Take your time, get it right and keep questioning the designer.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

  • Posted by carrieb 7 Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 19:45

Thank you, judeny!

The closest to the front of the house that would make sense for any door would be starting around where the bookshelf is on that wall - to the right of the bookshelf is all the plumbing lines going up to the 2nd floor bathroom. I do like the idea of French doors. It so hard for me to visualize (I know, I should measure it out on graph paper) how to fit in a table & chairs & still be able to maneuver into the kitchen, out the door, etc.

I agree about the wood floors - that's about the only definite decision. The designer suggested the same thing, for the same reason, and I agree. The wood floors won't match my original old pine floors, but at least we can stain them a similar color.

Yeah, I've been second guessing the dishwasher, only because having to have a drainboard will take up extra counter space. Plus, you're right - it's always cluttered. I'm more likely to "live off" the drainboard than I am to go into the cabinets, so I've always got my coffee mug, cat food bowls, etc sitting out.

PS: attaching the Photobucket link (not the slideshow!) again. First 4 photos are an overall photo of my 1st floor, the next six are kitchen details.

Here is a link that might be useful: Same photos, kitchen as it is.

This post was edited by carrieb on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 20:18


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

I think the key to making french doors work in your space is to make them outswing so they are not taking up space inside the house. It would make the room feel so much bigger. Convert your existing door into another window and make it match the window you are shortening. I didn't say it but I assumed the counter jutting into the room would be eliminated.

Pay a lot of attention to lighting. You essentially have one room on that floor so it will be important to have different kinds of lighting in your kitchen - task lighting (undercabinet lights and not pucks), accent lighting on dimmers for ambiance, hanging fixture or a very few recessed spots so you can see inside the cabinets. I like the idea of strategically located spots on dimmers to reduce the visual clutter but if you have a special hanging fixture it can become a focal point and keep the cabinets simple background.

That garden is in Philadelphia? Just looking at the pics I thought it was a milder, longer growing climate. I can only wish my hydrangeas looked that good.

Just some thoughts re the wood floor:
I built a 2 story addition to an 1880 house that I moved the kitchen into on the parlor floor. I have wide plank floors in the rest of the house and knowing that I would never match it exactly, I installed 3.25" red oak in the new kitchen run perpendicular to the original. So far so good. Not wanting a jarring difference, I then had it stained very close to the color of the original floors (referred to as pumpkin pine for it's peachy color). I regret doing that since getting the color close just accentuates the difference in texture, variation and age. On the garden floor (a rental apt) I did the lower grade of red oak (also perpendicular to original pumpkin pine wide plank). I left it natural with satin poly. Even though it is completely different, I think the overall effect is better. Additionally, the lower grade of oak has more variation/texture (not so much to be busy or eye-catching) and looks better adjoining the original floor.


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I would want to see the garden! If it's in the budget, I would move the door to the current window location, close off the door and add a big window on the wall facing the garden.

So, fridge in current spot (maybe take out built-in cabinet) then counter with microwave...this gives you a nice snack area, out of your main work area. Then the door to backyard (current window) range on that wall, with sink under the new, big window overseeing the garden. The peninsula could have a few stools and serve as your main prep area.

If there's room, I would have the dining area out in the garden...with stools for casual meals/snacks at the peninsula. Just an idea :)


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Judeny - makes sense about the doors swinging out. The counter could be eliminated in the french door scenario - but also might move to the other side, coming out where the fridge is now, and the basement door switched to swing the other direction.

Lighting is not even something I have begun to think about! The garden is in Philadelphia. I've attached some photos of - more or less - what the view would be like looking out those possible French doors. Basically, the doors would be in line with where the outside table is.

Lavender - that's an option, too, though I'm starting to get worried about my budget! I love eating out in the garden, but, unfortunately, weather is such a limiting factor in this part of the country.

Garden shots: I hope this worked

Here is a link that might be useful: With Garden view shots


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

A thought on the lack of a dishwasher: While currently you live off the drainboard, it's important to remember that currently your cupboards are less than user friendly. When you have some nice easy to reach lower drawers, you'll find that you tend to put stuff away. Taking 1 step, opening the drawer and taking out or putting away a plate, bowl, whatever is a whole other story from trying to find a place in an upper that is already stuffed. A new joy about your new kitchen will be having enough cupboard space that you can get to without crawling on the floor or doing the tippy-toes routine.

And that has to do with a dishwasher because... you'll still have a small space overall and will wonder if it's worth the real estate. We've always had a dishwasher except for when that one died the day after the warranty expired. I was so mad I refused to replace it for a couple of years. It's mostly just the two of us and the dish washing thing wasn't a big deal. We generally don't make all that many dishes excect for special occasions (and that pasta and sweet potato dish I make a couple of times a year). If I were you, I'd seriously consider not doing it. If you decide you really want one, then maybe a dish drawer. My sister loves hers - came with the house she moved into a couple of years ago.

*You know that photo of the cat and the toilet paper? I have a very similar one of my 10 month old granddaughter. They both have that same "What?" look on their faces.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

I think doing a dishwasher drawer is a good option, but I think quite expensive. Maybe having an 18" dishwasher would be another option to look at. It would be good for resale to have a dishwasher, but you might also find it useful when you entertain. You can fit quite a bit into one.

As for contiguous counter space. I would consider it invaluable as long as it is in the right spaces. Next to sink for dishes and a long stretch with easy access to fridge, sink and stove for prep and cooking and some surrounding the stove. One short stretch and a longer is ideal to me next to the stove where the longer side falls into the prep zone. If reversed then it doesn't do me much good.

Beautiful garden and charming home.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Suzannesl - yeah, I keep going back & forth on the dishwasher. I don't mind doing dishes, and it is just me except for the few times a year I entertain, and, even then, I don't really cook - it's more pot-luck, so most of those dishes go home with the guests.

Also, unless it's when I'm entertaining, I generally don't even bother to dry my dishes - they air dry, and if I put them away, it's actually the wall cabinet right next to (well, around the corner, but only a few feet away) the drainboard - and it's not so stuffed as to be a problem.

The cat with the toilet paper is my Maddie - she's such a brat, even now that she's full grown!

Lyfia - Yeah, I looked at the drawers & the 18" dishwashers. The drawers tend to run above $1,000 for the cheapest (at least at Lowe's website) where the 18" are more in the $400-$500 range for the cheaper ones. If I do go with the dishwasher, it'll probably be the 18", but we'll see how my budget goes...

So much great advice & experience here - thank you!


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Your garden is beautiful (from someone whose only outdoor space is a fire escape!).


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

I've seen a few renovated homes in Philly. In your straight-thru, you may want to consider a galley-type kitchen with nice wide glass doors (lose the window) leading out to your beautiful garden.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Mags - where would you put the doors, where the window is? Or lose the window completely? I'm pretty sure I want more windows (or doors w/ plenty of glass) not less! And galley-type with the counters/cabinets/kitchen entrance where? Tell me more about what you're thinking!


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I think I got your garden in the wrong place; it's on the side and not the typical rear yard, right? You are lucky to be on what sounds like a double lot at the end of row. I've seen more than a couple renovated straight thru rows that are typically laid out as I mentioned earlier. You don't state a budget but you are looking at a complete gut. It can be a pay now (and enjoy your changes) or pay later (at sale time). If you hang out here, your budget will prolly increase but you will have TKO layout with lots and lots of great ideas! ;)

I'm far from a designer and have struggled with how to change my own teeny/small kitchen in a straight-thru. Layout and flow, as well as the need for that nasty little word, storage, in the older philly homes are quite a challenge. I decided on the first option - pay now and enjoy. My changes include moving just about everything except for the door leading to rear yard. I say all this to say, take what I say with a grain of salt. I can just share with you what I have seen in similar rehabbed/flipped city homes.

Your garden is to die for in the city. Showcase it. As others have mentioned, move the rear entry door to the side and close up the current window and rear door. That would leave you with an L-shaped kitchen using the current window and door to house cabinetry. I would give up the lower cab that cuts off your kitchen from rest of 1st floor. Depending on how much room you are working with on exterior wall, and size of entry door, and placement, a U-shaped as someone has already mentioned, with open part of U toward living room, has also worked from what I've seen. Go with eat in counter space instead of table and chairs. Use the table/chair space to increase kitchen size. Not sure if the built in fridge area is for structural reasons, assume door leads to basement, but if you could lose that fridge built in, I think it would make the kitchen appear larger. In terms of where each appliance, etc should go, I am of no help there. A room layout would prolly help the TKO'ers here for help. Just about anything can be moved, it just depends on how important it is to you.

A couple of things I'd like to mention from my own experience or from what I've seen around the city. A total renovation can be overwhelming in terms of costs. You do not have to do it all at once. It can be done in phases, as I have elected to do. Also some of your items can be re-used. Your French door comes immediately to mind. I'm re-using/re-purposing a pantry door (not sure what I was thinking years ago when I turned pantry into utility sink area) into a sliding barn door where kitchen space is tight. (I like the old original stuff in my house, plus it saves cost). The other thing I learnt is that the design-to-build firms in area were overall more expensive than a labor only company, so I felt I saved there. Yes it means more running around for me, but I like to pick my own materials and didn't want to be tied to an allocation amount or limited by the 'choose this or that'. I also have a tendency to have champagne taste with beer money, so some things to me were worth it; other things, not so much.

Dishwasher. If you're on the fence, put one in. It's pretty much expected at all price points. I suspect (but may be wrong) that rehabbing and flipping may be taking part in your area or will be soon. It could be a deal-breaker for many who grew up with such basic creature comforts. 18" European ones typically cost more than comparable 24" ones but space issues may come into play here.

Countertops. Minimum of Granite is a must, even in the lower price points. The level of granite often goes with the price point. Every flipped philly home I've ever seen has had granite. It's the 'keep up with the jones' mentality; pay now or pay later.

In terms of putting a window above counter, consider a casement window instead of the double hung window. Easier to open/close with the need to lean over a countertop.

Now if I was going pie in the sky and looking at my return on investment, I would move side garden to rear if possible and do galley-style kitchen as I mentioned in a previous post. I suspect, but again guessing, if parking is tight, I'd put asphalt down on part of side lot and create off-street parking. It may be doable now with your space. Buyers at every price point in area often want a rear yard and garage, or at minimum, off street parking. Often in the city, you don't get both a rear yard and off-street parking. It can affect number of interested buyers and even appraisal.

It seems I've digressed from topic, sorry about that. Gotta run and get some lighting for contractors to install 2mrw. HTH! Hope it makes sense and not too many ipad typos as I don't have time to review.


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

  • Posted by carrieb 7 Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 18:49

Mags - thanks so much for all your thoughtful advice! I'm going to try to address your suggestions in order.

Yes, the bulk of my garden is a side yard. I own the lot next door (apparently it was an abandoned house that was torn down, & lot purchased by a former owner.) I also have a smaller, typical south Philly back yard - which the current door opens to. What is TKO layout?

I'm planning on doing it all now - and never again. I may very well move the door to the side, but I suspect that it will be over my dead body that a window overlooking any part of my garden will ever be sealed up. If I do "seal up" the current door - it will be to turn it into a window. I have no problem with having the sills high enough to accommodate lower cabinets on both windows.

I've thought about the counter-seating option, and really, really wish I found sitting at counters comfortable. I never have. Not in peoples' homes, not in bars, never, anywhere. Maybe it is because I am short (5'3) or maybe something else, but I just hate counter seating - it always feels awkward to me, never relaxing, and I never want to linger at a counter after eating. I know this limits my options - but I just have not been able to find a way around it.

Yeah, the fridge frame-out is gonna go. And, yeah, the door leads to the basement - and I go down there daily (kitty litter boxes, all my tools, laundry, etc.)

I hired an architect/designer recommended to me by a friend. She has a full time position with the City, and does private jobs "on the side." I've just given her the retainer & signed the contract. I know I need help! Luckily, I am in no hurry.

Yeah, I might go with the 18" dishwasher, but, really, only to gain counterspace and to lose the clutter - washing dishes is just about the only cleaning task that I don't mind. I'm also considering going with just a convection microwave & a gas cooktop - no regular oven, but have not yet decided that for sure. I'm don't cook much & rarely use the oven. I am not worried about re-sale value. I plan to be in this house for another 20-30 years (until I can no longer climb my stairs to get to the bathroom/bedroom), and suspect that no matter what I do, whoever buys the house at that point will re-do the old (by then) kitchen.

As for counter tops - I am not doing granite. I don't like the feel of it and don't want to live with it. I'll probably go with Richlite (or maybe Paperstone) recycled paper countertops. I'm not flipping my house - I'm doing this to improve the quality of my own personal homelife.

So, my garden is mostly on the side, and partially in the rear. I can't change where my land is, and it's surrounded by other row homes, so, it is what it is. Since I'm not worried about re-sale, there's no way I'm gonna give up a significant portion of my garden to make room for a parking space - just not happening. Oh, I did not mention that I garden for love AND for a living. My garden, my cats and my house are about all that matter to me. The car - eh.

Thank you so much again, Mags. I'm in the process of drawing a to-scale layout of my current first floor on graph paper. Will post a new topic once I'm done with that!

This post was edited by carrieb on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 21:18


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Carrieb, the original title of your post caught my eye, as my current kitchen layout has all of these little cut-up workspaces (corners, between the sink and stove, and another corner...) so frustrating! Especially since I only have about 24 inches to the left of my stove and a 6 inch piece rounding to a peninsula to the right. As I plan (dream...) about redoing my kitchen, one of my priorities is to ensure long runs of counter space. I agree with your KD that this is an important consideration.

When I saw your layout! I immediately thought of a kitchen seen here on GardenWeb, by Justmakeit:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0613400817733.html?56

I think you could flip the door to the left like others have mentioned and follow a similar layout. I saved a link to Justmakeit's beautiful remodel because of the window 'bump out'. Being the avid gardener you are, I bet you could grow herbs, etc. in a similar space, if you have the right exposure. Either way, I like the bump out because it gives a visual of more space and really opens things up! Whatever you end up doing, I Hope this helps you visualize a few options for a U-shaped layout.

I love this site! I have learned so much from everyone here!!! thanks everyone...


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

JillyWilly - my counter to the left of MY stove is only 20 inches, and half of that is taken up with my coffee maker!

The kitchen you linked to is lovely - I think they've got a good deal more square footage than I do to play with, but I may be able to use some ideas from there. Thank you!

PS: I just googled TKO and all I'm coming up with is "technical knockout."


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TKO = Totally Kitchen Obsessed


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

sjhockeyfan - Ha Ha! Thank you!

I've got to assume I'm not the only non-cook out there to be TKO, right?


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Carrie, then you and I are at the same place. Despite all that I mentioned, I personally would not do much of what I said for us - lol; 19 yrs here and we won't ever sell, even with all the steps. (We turned our last house into a rental).. I worked with a kd for design set and designed the space with our current and future needs/lifestyle. We removed all walls to mudroom and laundry space. We are keeping laundry on first floor. I was questioned by nearly every contractor we looked at Initial meet and heard the same solutions although I never asked for their opinion. I canned our first contractor before getting started because of his continual pushing to solve what he felt was a 'problem'. All my decisions were based only on our lifestyle.

With the hiring of a designer et al, it seems you are well on your way to creating a kitchen space that works for you. Good luck!


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RE: Contiguous Counterspace: how Important?

Thanks, Mags! I'm kinda ornery & set in my ways - especially about windows. I like 'em. Lots of 'em, even though I know they can limit usage. It sounds like you get how rowhouses are - with windows only in the front & back, light is limited. Now, I'm lucky to have an end house - and I had that bay window in the living room put in soon after I bought the place, but still..

There will probably come a day that I can't make it up my very narrow, steep, spiral staircase... but I'm doing what I can to make sure that doesn't happen for quite some time.

I wish my laundry was on my second floor instead of the basement of my 3 story row... I sure hope I'm well on my way, and so grateful to have "crossed over" from the gardening side of this site to find you all!


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