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Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Posted by marcolo (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 17, 10 at 21:52

So, Ive been piping in on your kitchen questions. Oh, and reading johnliu and wondering if I was sleepwalking and posting under another identity.

Well, now its my turn.

I finally did it. I bought a house yesterday. With a kitchen that needs helpfast. Oh, and it has a layout problem that is going to stump even the best on this board. Are you up for it?

The rules:

- No moving walls

- No addition or expansion

- I really, really dont want to open the wall to the dining room for an island, but would consider it only if it solved all my problems, lowered the earths temperature and provided an additional $750 billion in stimulus before Great Depression II sets in

- It must be eat-in, even if just a little. Aaaa! Nooo! Yeah, I dont really care about eat-in myself. There are just two of us. But in this rat-infested, um, I mean, family neighborhood, there is no way I am ever selling this house if the buyers cant see themselves with spit and sippy cups and spilt cereal all over the table/island/pig trough or whatever you guys come up with. Good news: It doesnt really need to be that practical. I dont care if some poor sucker comes in fantasizing she can put in a bigger table only to find that the corner of the fridge goes all up in her Spanx whenever she stands up. For us, I just want a place to chomp breakfast and also keep drunken dinner guests from falling over while they annoy me while I cook. Caf table, fine.

- I want cabs to the ceiling (93", except for a beam at the end)

- I like the basic layout of the cab runs, which is landing->DW->sink->prep>range, EXCEPT the range area itself (youll see why in a second)

- The kitchen gets great light from the back. I like having two windows, and Id even consider keeping one over the range somewhere, but not an operable double sash window with inflammable window shades on it.

- Budget DNE infinity, but this WILL be a gut

So, heres the layout:

Here are some photos:

OK, heres the problem thats the killer. SO Im walking through the house with the real estate agent, and open the oven. Its 24". Basically, an Easy Bake. Well, we say, no problem, just take out that cooktop and slide in a range, then Ive got two ovens. Right? Um, look under the cooktop:

THATS THE WALK-UP EXIT FROM THE BASEMENT. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!??!

Yes, it may be possible to get rid of it. We havent gotten firm quotes yet; for various reasons, its not an easy job.

Even so, though, what do I do with this kitchen? Can I lay it out to avoid moving the basement walkout? Should the fridge and wall oven go where the "peninsula" is nowand will I have room for a cute caf table or something near the door? A banquette, maybe? Or should I keep seating and (counter-height) workspace near where the peninsula is now, blocking the flow out the back with another big, ugly fridge?

HELP!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Can we move the plumbing?

How much of the under the cooktop area is the basement walkout? Is that a live water problem seen inside of that cabinet?

Can we build a wall?

What do you want as appliances?

Why worry about the window treatment? You'll get a better fire by igniting the sill *looks just possible*.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Congrats on the house! :) And we also have an old house that's been remuddled over the years, so I hear you on the craziness and challenge.

Here are my two cents, though I imagine others who are better at this sort of thing will weigh in:

- Move the fridge and keep that passageway clear. I'd put coat hooks on the wall there, make it a mudroom-ish space, and call it a day.

- Check local code on the range and the window; in CA, for instance, this isn't allowed.

- Not clear on what a basement walk-out is---do you mean if the range weren't there, you'd be able to access stairs to the basement? Is this the only entrance to the basement? If so, and assuming basement has storage potential/etc., I would definitely clear this area out and put actual access in there. If basement has other access or doesn't need to connect to house (ours doesn't, though it's attached) I'd open it up outside so there's access---our house originally had access through a side hatch, which was later rolled into the garage. Our neighbors' houses all still have access from a hatch in the yard. Not a huge issue if you don't have stuff like laundry there, and if it saves your kitchen layout, a viable option.

All that said, I think your biggest issue is squishing in the eat-in area. Without that in play, what I'd do is replace the cooktop with a range with oven below and put it where the table is to make a galley layout of sorts, and then either 1) open up the area where the basement walk-out is to create a real entrance, put the fridge where the d/w is and the d/w to the right of the sink and run that counter to the wall (not wrapping the corner), or 2) close off the basement entirely so access is from outside, put the fridge where the wall oven is or in the corner near the table, and make the cooktop area into a baking area or some such thing. But none of that gets you eating space.

I'm generally loathe to open up walls, but here you might benefit by having it half open so that you could put the range where the table is with counter on either side, and then extend it into the dining room to make bar seating---so people would sit in the dining room but at the edge of a big counter looking into the kitchen. A house near us that was recently for sale had done this and it actually worked better than I thought it would---they essentially half-opened the wall so the eat-in area could be in the DR but it felt like you were in the kitchen. So something to think about!

Good luck! I also found it super helpful to look at what other houses our age had done (through real estate listings, etc.)---lots of ideas, both good and bad!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

What about moving doors? In particular, the DR doorway..."north" about 24"????


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Congratulations on closing!

A first thought: 24" or 27" tall built-in fridge where the oven is. The Liebherrs are supposed to be good quality and less of a budget buster than others. This kind of thing, though individually expensive, can sometimes make or break a design in a small space.

I don't know anything about basements so don't know what the shape of the space behind the board is. And I don't know about weird plumbing other than amazing things are possible. Is it possible to put a sink there, with the plumbing shifted to the side next to the putative fridge? Oh. Not enough room for the DW, and you don't want to do DW drawers in the corner, I'm sure. Sigh.

Is there any kind of vent over that cooktop? Or is the window the vent? I think the way they've done that is kind of genius. Maybe replace the shade and pots with a chimney hood and let it hover in front of the window?

I'm out of ideas. It's too confusing. The light is great! And I'm sure it'll be a lovely room.

Oh! An idea. You could cover that whole wall where the table is with shallow cabinetry. Even 10" deep is useful, 12" is better. You could have a similarish table that folds down to be flush with the rest, and even storage for a couple of folding chairs behind it. And a garage door just above the table for an area that extends the table top and holds the condiments and napkins or whatever you keep on the table. A Murphy table. With dish storage, cookbook storage, even some pantry stuff, all around it.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

How far up into the area underneath the cooktop does the walkout extend? My thought would be to rearrange the room and put a built-in banquette there, which also satisfies your requirement for an EIK...but obviously the feasibility depends on the answer to that question.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I am assuming thats an partially interior / partially exterior set of stairs that come out of the cellar through a bulkhead into the yard. I have gotta say, given an obstruction like that, they came up with an ingeneous solution, minus the flammable window treatment. If only they had put in a wall oven of reasonable width.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Thanks for the congrats!!

OK, in order:

Can we move the plumbing?

Absolutely. I briefly thought about moving the sink there, and having custom made drawers put below. This way, youd be able to throw away trash in the kitchen, and take it out from outside. Cool, huh? But I dont know if the plumbing would fit there, what with the traps and Insinkerator and such.

Plus, then Id have to put the range somewhereand I absolutely want the view and sunlight from the back wall.

Can we build a wall?

And make it smaller? Well, sure, if it solves something

Code doesnt say too much about the window here, as far as I can tell. But no matter. Im not willing to inhale gasoline fumes and light them just cause its not forbidden by code. The house hasnt been burned down mostly because as far as I can tell the seller didnt cook much.

I am willing to consider a fixed window or something, if it can be made to work.

- Not clear on what a basement walk-out is

Sorry, its hard to explain. There is a nearly-unusably-steep set of stairs coming up from the basement below going outside. The exit is right under the range window. I need some kind of exit for systems and special equipment projects onlynot for day-to-day use. I dont have a picture but Ill try to take one and post. We havent moved in yet.

What about moving doors? In particular, the DR doorway..."north" about 24"????

Possible but only break walls in case of emergency. The dining room is pretty and has lots of wainscoating, so spendy to move things. Also, might look a little weird to put the door so far in the corner, but I wouldnt rule it out in advance.

Heres the dining roomthe lurid orange is a product of my iPhone. The sellers taste wasnt THAT bad.

Yes, I'm thinking about fold-out or pull-out tables. But you still need to leave the chairs in there.

I will have to measure the walk-out as best as I can. I have enough trouble with 2D and this thing was designed in 6D.

Yes, palimpset, their idea was reasonably clever. Fooled me when I went to the open house!!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Thanks for the congrats!!

OK, in order:

Can we move the plumbing?

Absolutely. I briefly thought about moving the sink there, and having custom made drawers put below. This way, youd be able to throw away trash in the kitchen, and take it out from outside. Cool, huh? But I dont know if the plumbing would fit there, what with the traps and Insinkerator and such.

Plus, then Id have to put the range somewhereand I absolutely want the view and sunlight from the back wall.

Can we build a wall?

And make it smaller? Well, sure, if it solves something

Code doesnt say too much about the window here, as far as I can tell. But no matter. Im not willing to inhale gasoline fumes and light them just cause its not forbidden by code. The house hasnt been burned down mostly because as far as I can tell the seller didnt cook much.

I am willing to consider a fixed window or something, if it can be made to work.

- Not clear on what a basement walk-out is

Sorry, its hard to explain. There is a nearly-unusably-steep set of stairs coming up from the basement below going outside. The exit is right under the range window. I need some kind of exit for systems and special equipment projects onlynot for day-to-day use. I dont have a picture but Ill try to take one and post. We havent moved in yet.

What about moving doors? In particular, the DR doorway..."north" about 24"????

Possible but only break walls in case of emergency. The dining room is pretty and has lots of wainscoating, so spendy to move things. Also, might look a little weird to put the door so far in the corner, but I wouldnt rule it out in advance.

Heres the dining roomthe lurid orange is a product of my iPhone. The sellers taste wasnt THAT bad.

Yes, I'm thinking about fold-out or pull-out tables. But you still need to leave the chairs in there.

I will have to measure the walk-out as best as I can. I have enough trouble with 2D and this thing was designed in 6D.

Yes, palimpset, their idea was reasonably clever. Fooled me when I went to the open house!!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Can the basement stairs be reconfigured to eliminate the intrusion into where the range could be? For example, made less steep, or exit to a below-grade area from where a better-located stair would rise, or exit somewhere else? I don't know how important the basement will be to you.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Here are some unusual ideas...without removing the wall b/w the kitchen & DR. Layouts #2 & #3 do, however, play with the wall by moving the door but creating the same size "segments" so the wainscoting can be reused...just rearranged on that wall. Layout #4 moves the door to the end.

These layouts are simply meant to get us started...definitely not "finals" as there are issues with each, for example, split seating, potential "black holes", etc.


Marcolo's Kitchen #1
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Marcolo's Kitchen #2
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Marcolo's Kitchen #3
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Marcolo's Kitchen #4


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, I'm going to start with layout 1.

How awful is a CD fridge? Are there tall skinny fridges I could use that have the same space as a regular fridge? I can run down the basement for holiday overflow but I do cook, and need refrigeration. I have thought about putting the fridge there.

Then, I'd almost like a little prep sink under the side window, with trash-pullouts below (which would have to be custom). Then you get to my idea of being able to empty the trash from outside.

The MW placement is an issue. I have lots of bowls in my big corner cabinet in my apartment. Plus, I actually like a MW near the range, for melting butter, heating stock, etc.

The seating bar is interesting, and I'd thought of it myself. But now it really seems like it truly can only fit one person?

I'm going to look at the other plans, but it's 2 a.m. here and I've been meeting with contractors since 8! Thanks so much!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Oh, really quick--4 won't work--the basement walkout occupies the whole square under the cooktop and can't be clipped at an angle.

But I am very seriously wondering about putting the fridge and oven on the wall where the peninsula is. BUT could I fit tiny seating near the hall and back doors?

Other question is, what if I keep the layout similar to what it is now, ASSUMING the cooktop can become a range. Can I stop the fridge from being the great wall of China? I really haven't been following the discussions about odd-sized fridges. Please don't tell me I need a Subzero.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Cabinet depth fridges aren't awful. Tall skinny fridge is what I recommended above. There are quite a few. Most are built in and cabinet depth. I think Liebherr makes freestanding of the sort as well.


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idiotic same topic error bs, anyway:

OK, dumb question: What's wrong with an undercounter wall oven? It could then be wider than the current Easy Bake, but in the same place. I know that some people hate this arrangement, but I think I've read that some are less annoying than others.

Or in the peninsula, if it becomes more like an island with cabinetry?

Totally random tangent: Not saying I like this but FYI, I would only consider an island if there were a perfectly symmetrical (from the DR) wall opening with the island floating in the middle, and NOT protruding into the DR. So, opening starts right where the current door does, and goes all the way up until 30" from the far corner. Island would be perpendicular to the main run, like the current table. But I don't see how this solves fridge/oven issues.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Under counter wall ovens are just really low to the floor. Usually lower than in a range. If you have good knees and back and don't mind lifting, there's nothing wrong at all. Lots of people have them. The biggest problem with them is that some people go on looks and never thing through how they'll be in real life usage, and end up really unhappy. A full sized oven, or even a single double like Judydel has mounted under her counter, mounted low is a much better feature for resale, which you said you were interested in, than the easy bake.

The perpendicular island sounds like a tripping hazard. I don't like the wall mounted table, and having it solid would be worse.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Is the basement walkout one of those bulkhead types with descending stairs? I wondered if the current cooktop space would be big enough for a sink if the counter depth was increased to 30 inches from current cooktop to the left (right of current cooktop would remain the same.) If so, range could go where current sink is, DW where wall oven is and CD fridge to left of range. Window sill above range would be removed but window above new sink would have an additional 6 inches in front of it.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Congratulations on buying a house. Good luck with your kitchen reno.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

riverspots, I'll post a picture of the walkout when I take one. It's not an actual bulkhead, but a hobbit door with steps that go partway down, then you enter the house with your head just below the window. Below that is a short set of super-steep, not up to code steps. It's useful for water heaters and washers and other systems equipment, but nothing you'd ever use for daily entry.

If we replaced it with a regular bulkhead, that would be the cheapest solution, HOWEVER, the bulkhead would extend too far in the driveway. You'd lose a parking spot, and never get to the garage.

A couple of contractors suggested lowering the door and turning the stair, so that you descend with the foundation wall at your left shoulder, turn, descend a little more, and then enter the house, with a few more stairs inside the basement to go. One guy thought that would only cost $3K, but I don't know how that is possible. Plus, doesn't that change the frost line, or do I not understand these things?

30" cabinets--I forget to say, I definitely want those anyway.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

The exterior basement egress is a regular feature of many houses here that have interior winders that are less than 3' wide between floors. Sometimes they are as small as a window well with a ladder like set of stairs and you end up lowering things into it rather than carrying things down. Here, the door is usually on or in the sidewalk, (think of those metal plates you see in front of stores sometimes), so people take them out (security, they can leak in heavy rains). Everyone I have ever talked to that has taken it out regrets it. I know it creates a major obstruction in your kitchen, but unless you have interior stairs with straight shot access, fairly wide, that are not reached through the best part of the house, I would leave it alone. You may not need it often, but when you need it you need it.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

This is more in the nature of hoping it gives someone else a thought. In this, reversing range/ref ALMOST works - Would work better with a 30" ref.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hi Marcolo,

Here are two ideas. The first plan has a pull-out island cart, which would be ideal for adding some counterspace when necessary, and would make the basement easily accessible. The second floor plan has a large pantry and full access to the basement.

Floor plan #1:

Floor plan #2:


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Wow, such cool ideas.

bmorepanic, I have really been eyeing getting a booth in there.

sarah ch, I was staring at #2 until I realized--the basement access would sit like a box under the window, blocking that fridge.

#1 would work, though, and gives a HUGE amount of prep space.

I can't quite see the numbers in the plan. How long is that seating peninsula? Do you have a bigger version of those layouts?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

sarah_ch, I'm giving your plan #1 more thought, and I really like it.

As I said, the walkout is like a "box" in the kitchen giving you headroom in the basement when you exit. So here's how I think the moveable island could work: a Russian doll setup. Very custom in that space, but maybe cheaper than hiring a mason and digging out my driveway. Like so:

a) Innermost: Trash and recycling slide-outs, so they could be filled from the kitchen and emptied from the outside! When equipment had to come from the basement, you simply open these drawers out of the way. Or perhaps the sliders could be detached somehow. Obviously custom, would take work to figure out.

b) Next-innermost: Surrounding the The "box" or frame that contains the headroom for the walkout. Has to be painted, etc. The top should also function as a lower countertop or workspace for when the island is pulled out. But no stone or anything; maybe SS.

c) Outside of that, wrapping around the box is a moveable island, a sort of Parsons work table that slides into the countertop somehow. Built in is a long drawer for my knives and prep tools. Should this surface "hang over" the regular countertop? If it were flush crumbs would just fall in the cracks. (Incidentally, I imagine the front casing of this table would similarly enclose the "crack" in the front where the island detaches.)

Some questions:

1. Where would silverware go? Can that blind cab be unblinded somehow? We can always get access to the deep corner from the back.

2. Would pots and pans fit into the drawers next to the range? I have lots. Currently they live happily in a Super Susan next to my range, but I wouldn't want to stride across the kitchen in this setup.

3. Is that corner susan/drawer setup in the upper left right? I'm not sure how those fit together.

4. Where do I put big sheet pans, food, ice cream maker, etc? Is there room for a shallow pantry where the fridge used to be? I don't care if the exit wall out the back is a completely straight shot, as long as the door isn't totally blocked like it used to be.

This stuff is great. Thanks, all you guys.

BTW, I am frantically searching for kitchen software that works on a Mac. We are still packing for our move, which is extra fun now that I have a fractured knee, so mastering Google Sketchup is probably not in the cards for the near term. I found one program that seemed so easy but it sells for $1600! I think it's for KDs.

Oh, and if you're in Boston--can you think of a KD that would be as creative as you folks?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hate to do this, but can't have those two seats in that position. Most stools in the position closest to the exterior door would prevent the door from opening - just by the amount of room a stool needs. If someone is seated, it gets worse.

You could try to increase the size of the aisle between the peninsula and the range bu shortening the peninsula, then place a seat on the side and one on the end, but I didn't think there was enough room for that either.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

In plan 1:

You could do it by narrowing the sink base by 3 inches and not having the sink exactly centered under the window plus making the base cabinets under the peninsula only 12'' deep, so the stools tucked under all the way.

You could also do it with an 18'' DW which would work in some households but be a big compromise in others.

You could also do it by switching the DW to the inside corner, sliding the sink base up and narrowing the drawers from 30 -->24 and putting them where the DW was, which would definitely put the sink off center to the window and affect upper cabinets.

You could also do it by having shallow backless stools.
A client of mine has stools that are less than 12" deep kind of wide and saddle shaped...asian looking.

This is one of those situations where having a tight place to sit is at least better than no place to sit.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

sarah_ch, I'm giving your plan #1 more thought, and I really like it.

As I said, the walkout is like a "box" in the kitchen giving you headroom in the basement when you exit. So here's how I think the moveable island could work: a Russian doll setup. Very custom in that space, but maybe cheaper than hiring a mason and digging out my driveway. Like so:

a) Innermost: Trash and recycling slide-outs, so they could be filled from the kitchen and emptied from the outside! When equipment had to come from the basement, you simply open these drawers out of the way. Or perhaps the sliders could be detached somehow. Obviously custom, would take work to figure out.

b) Next-innermost: Surrounding the The "box" or frame that contains the headroom for the walkout. Has to be painted, etc. The top should also function as a lower countertop or workspace for when the island is pulled out. But no stone or anything; maybe SS.

c) Outside of that, wrapping around the box is a moveable island, a sort of Parsons work table that slides into the countertop somehow. Built in is a long drawer for my knives and prep tools. Should this surface "hang over" the regular countertop? If it were flush crumbs would just fall in the cracks. (Incidentally, I imagine the front casing of this table would similarly enclose the "crack" in the front where the island detaches.)

Some questions:

1. Where would silverware go? Can that blind cab be unblinded somehow? We can always get access to the deep corner from the back.

2. Would pots and pans fit into the drawers next to the range? I have lots. Currently they live happily in a Super Susan next to my range, but I wouldn't want to stride across the kitchen in this setup.

3. Is that corner susan/drawer setup in the upper left right? I'm not sure how those fit together.

4. Where do I put big sheet pans, food, ice cream maker, etc? Is there room for a shallow pantry where the fridge used to be? I don't care if the exit wall out the back is a completely straight shot, as long as the door isn't totally blocked like it used to be.

This stuff is great. Thanks, all you guys.

BTW, I am frantically searching for kitchen software that works on a Mac. We are still packing for our move, which is extra fun now that I have a fractured knee, so mastering Google Sketchup is probably not in the cards for the near term. I found one program that seemed so easy but it sells for $1600! I think it's for KDs.

Oh, and if you're in Boston--can you think of a KD that would be as creative as you folks?


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I hope whatever programmer wrote 'message rejected' gets warts

Oops. I have no idea how that double post happened. Sorry.

Anyway, of all those options, I prefer the shallow stools, rather than put the whole kitchen off center. I'm going to go for a very vintage look.

If the micro could go elsewhere, couldn't someone scootch in on the end of the peninsula?

Also I'm worried about the hood venting in this layout. If the joists run in the wrong direction, not sure where I can vent out.

In a completely different direction, we plan to bring a tiny outdoor cafe table to the house this week to see if that kind of seating would work where the fridge used to be. Prolly not, but worth a look. That would let me put a decent wall oven and fridge where the peninsula is now, and then keep the cooktop under the window (which would become fixed and non-inflammable).


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

It's very difficult to find stools that have bases > 15" deep. You might want to look before committing to the peninsula.

Also think about whether both of you will commit to not using the area as a drop zone and always push your stool in perfectly.

The problem with thinking someone could slide in on the end is the oven door opening into their back and the live burner about 12 to 18" away.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Just throwing out a wild idea - do you really need the doorway into the dining room? Can you easily get to the dining room via the door by the frig? That would give you another full wall to play with.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hi, Pam! Actually, without the DR door, you'd have to go most of the way toward the front door to circle back to the dining room, so it's got to stay.

This is the first floor plan. Note that the kitchen measurements and layout aren't quite right. Somebody earlier must've had a peninsula by the back door, too.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Here is something I thought of while weekending with the zombies (inside joke). It is bizarre but, on paper at least, might meet the requirements.

Top view 3D

marcolo1top

Top view 2D

marcolo1plan

The plan is built around a 60'' x 55'' Great Table which is big enough for eating, prepping, hors d'oeuvres, etc. Actually it is an island with deep drawers and prep sink.

The cook's zone is between the range and the Great Table, he has 38'' of aisle, drawers for his prep stuff, his heat source, prep sink and prep space, landing space, and he's in a dead-end corner where there's no traffic and only the most amorous of spectators would try to squeeze in there with him. If the drunk horde does rush you, you're in a natural defensive position and can die gloriously like the Spartans at Thermopylae.

I've assumed the area above the basement walk-out and under the window is useless for anything but a counter. If you could steal some shallow space for spices and oils, that would be helpful. I'm not sure where the microwave goes - on the landing space counter I guess, under that counter would be better if headroom for the basement access permits.

Guests can reach the refrigerator and either sink without penetrating too deeply into the kitchen. The refrigerator drawn is a 32'' counter-depth, because I'm not sure a 36'' will fit. Even the 32'' leaves only about 6.5'' inches to the wall. If feasible, a 36'' is ideal as it is a more standard size.

The washing-up zone is on the periphery of the kitchen, dishes just come in from the dining room and get stacked on the first counter inside the door. The open dishwasher would block traffic somewhat, but that is a 40'' aisle so it might work, especially if you used dishdrawers. Before dinner, the wash area can be a second prep area or a beverage area, there is 15'' of counter to the right of the wash sink for coffee-maker, electric kettle, etc.

Dishware could go in drawers on the side of the Great Table facing the wash zone. Glassware could go in the shallow hutch/cabinet drawn by the back door, though I think I drew it a bit too wide. There was a picture recently of a shallow pantry cleverly set into the stud space, that idea might be worth a thought too.

The eating zone is where the bar stools are, on the far side (cook's perspective) of the Great Table. Obviously the storage here is a bit inconvenient to access, but might work for things that one doesn't use too often, on deep full-extension rollout shelves. 55'' of width should be enough for the two of you, or for three small terrorists. Presumably this is also where you will encourage guests to perch.

I was thinking of a raised shelf across the center of The Table, kind of like the slide in a restaurant kitchen, but it would have to be removable for resale and for big projects.

The sheer size of The Table makes it a multi-purpose surface. If you need to lay out 10 half-sheet trays of tasties, you'll have room. If a St. Bernard needs grooming, you'll have room. If the amorous intruder gets the better of you, you'll have room.

Visually, the kitchen will be dominated by The Table, so the surface material is a big-deal decision. I sort of see a massive expanse of butcher-block, but lots of materials would work.

By the way, my first reaction when I drew this was that the plan gives up a lot of lower cabinet storage. But on closer inspection, I don't think it does. You will need some impressive drawer slides to make the volume accessible, and the aisle width to work said slides. The aisles can be bigger if needed, as the The Table won't notice a few inches pared off here and there.

marcolo1NW

marcolor1SW

marcolo1SE


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Remember The Spartans

Here's how it looks to a guest who enters the kitchen and wonders if he should hover over your shoulder, or go sit on the other side of the Table and stay out of the way.

marcolo1spartan


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I thought of something else. If you put an induction cooktop in the landing space between range and refrigerator, you'd have all the burners you could want - 8, 9? Since there would be no flame under the window, conceivably this would be permitted. The induction top could serve as landing zone when you're not cooking for 300, plus being black it might blend with a black counter. Need a custom hood for sure, venting is easy on the exterior wall, unless the soffit is in the way.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, I'm kind of in love with johnliu's plan. I don't know if it's the crush on his prose or that he has gladiators who drop by for tea, but I'm really digging it.

Here's something I came up with if eliminating the door to the deck is an option. I was thinking you could put a big door in the LR where the triple window is.
marcolo plan


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I wrote a whole big post about johnliu's exciting yet highly disturbing rendering. Apparently it violated the FCC's standards, or something.

For johnliu's "300"-inspired layout, I am going to have to stand in the kitchen and try to imagine how it will look with a table and a greased-up Hoplite in it. It's not something I've ever thought of. It's kind of hard to see where the storage would be, though. The kitchen is deceiving, because your mind keeps forgetting about the dead space over the exit.

laxsupermom--what a name!--we're actually thinking of putting in a French door in the LR. Not sure about having to traipse through the LR with snowy feet from the driveway, though. But your plan might work even with the door in place.

I'm going to try to draw by hand a couple of more pedestrian ideas. No kitchen planning software on the Mac, unfortunately. And I'm terrible with remembering what all the rules and standard sizes are. But it's time to give it a shot.

My goal is to come up with 3-4 plans to take to a KD. Which, I need one, hint. Last one I tried to hire got called away to be on a TV show.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Here's another thought... I'm reading this for the first time, and have NO idea if the rest of the kitchen would work, but thought I'd throw it out. What about seating under the walkout window, with the "table" being the box, with an overhang? Like a cabinetless island? I suspect it would end up being a waste of space, as that whole wall might lose function, but just a thought....

I like Johnliu's idea, esp if you can get the outfit as part of the design...


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

If you have a run of lower cabinets along the west wall (were the sink is now), from the back door to the north wall cabinets (where the cooktop is now), it is appx 2900 sq inch in footprint. The Great Table is appx 3300 sq inch in footprint. So the volume potentially available for storage is equivalent, but the Table needs unusually deep drawers to access all its volume.

I also realized that, if the Table is trimmed in size, you could have bar stool seating on the east side as well (facing the dining room). The whole happy family gathered around one big table, blocking mom's access to her storage! I don't personally see the appeal of this, but it could be staged that way for resale.

Back on the topic of storage, anyone who likes upper cabinets won't be happy with this design. The Table and the seating positions block off uppers on the west wall. The uppers over the wash station could hold everyday dishware (left side) as well as breakfast or beverage stuff (right side). The shallow cabinet, inset-into-wall cabinet, or shallow hutch on the powder room wall will be important. How much plumbing runs through that wall?

Why are there no pulls on most of the lower cabinets' drawers and cabinet doors? I know some of them are fakes, but the rest - a styling decision by the P.O.?

By the way, I wonder if the bit of wall between the basement stairs and the powder room door could potentially fit a shallow pantry, if you used the ''inset into wall'' trick? Just deep enough for one layer of cans, jars, boxed stock, etc?

I know I keep calling it the Great Table instead of the more accurate ''Big Island'' or ''Big Peninsula'', but the first says Hawaii and the second says Michigan. Neither says a small coastal hillock in eastern Greece.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I'd keep it simple and leave your cabinets and most of the counters. I'd spend my money on appliances:

A 30-inch Viking range and a good hood where the current wall oven is. (Pick a cool color as you will see it from the dining room!)

Build in a Sub-Zero where your current fridge is.

The last splurge would be to take out the cooktop and put a huge piece of Boos end grain butcher block as a counter. I have a 30x60 inch, 3 inch thick slab in my own kitchen (mine is an island) and it is my main prep area. Having it under that window would be a wonderful place to cook. You would also have a large expanse of counters for plating food when you entertain.


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Soffit

What is in the north wall (where the cooktop currently is) soffit, anyway?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I think that soffit is just a soffit. There can't be any beam there, and there's no A/C or anything (yet). It's just, um, "decorative."

marie louise, sadly the cabs are pretty shot and need replacing. They're also tiny and nonfunctional. Good call on the butcher block--I may do that if the layout permits a work surface there.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I want to see Johnliu's plan built! (I still mourn for the Koolhaas plan for LACMA that never got built, too.)

You could add some wall storage, like some shelves over the Great Table (which, btw, could have drawers on three sides, inc. a pullout in the middle for trays and boards), and a grid on the left wall by the stove for pans and utensils, but I think you have at least as much lower storage and you take advantage of the open floor space.

It's definitely a defensible position. :)


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I'm having trouble opening this thread in Safari. And the forum has never let me post using Firefox. So if I disappear, look for a new thread somewhere.

Anyway, a couple of questions:

- A few of these layouts use 36 inch CD fridges by the DR door. Will one really fit there, and open properly?
- What do you all think of using the bar by the back door for seating, and putting the fridge and wall oven on the current seating wall?
- Is there a realistic way to keep a cooktop under the window? What would the window frame need to be made from?
-If I do put the range where the seating is now, is there enough landing space, or will I have nowhere to put things when they come out of the oven or off the stove, hopefully not on fire?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hi Marcolo, I'm using firefox and usually do not having a problem posting.

cooktop under window: I've had some issues with renovations in your town and I suggest learn the code before you spend too much time down a path (my town is even worse). Spend a little time at the inspectors' office asking questions and looking up the latest code they use/enforce. There's both a state code and a city code/ordinance. (Today I got a fence permit - most people don't even know they need a permit. I knew more about fences than the inspector. He has been enforcing the state code and not the town code which is more stringent. I came in with both codes and asked for his interpretation. I pointed out the discrepancies. This isn't "my" inspector so I asked for my inspector's interpretation. Because of my visit all inspectors are now changing their fence inspections and require 5' for pools per city ordnance).

There's also one guy who mans our town's inspectional service desk that is really "touchy feely." I ask what is the code/law but he tells me "this is what I would do". No, I want to know what I have to do by law not what you think is best for society. OK, sorry for the rant but make sure you're also getting the right information. I've had others at the desk tell me something that I know is not true. It really comes down to your inspector and what he will accept. Each town in MA can have a whole set of different codes so even your contractor may not know what is correct.

My electrical inspector interpretation of the NEC code is different from 99.9% of the country/state. At least he told my electrician ahead of time that I needed tamper resistant plug mold (but after I ordered the too small light rail). This was new to my electrician and contractor. I have another issue with my electrical inspector and pool lights. We're jumping thru hoops. sigh... It all comes down to what YOUR inspector will enforce.

sorry for the long rant, a few glasses of "whine" will do that to you.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

''- A few of these layouts use 36 inch CD fridges by the DR door. Will one really fit there, and open properly?''

Buehl and others usually have this information. From remembering their posts, don't most (consumer) refrigerators need at least a few/several inches for the door to open, or else the drawers can't be pulled out? Something like that. Commercial refrigerators are different.

''- Is there a realistic way to keep a cooktop under the window? What would the window frame need to be made from?''

In Boston's climate, and you not having A/C, I'd try hard to keep as many operable windows as possible. You can get new windows with aluminium frames (non-combustible?) and casement design (so you're not reaching over a counter to lift a sash).

''-If I do put the range where the seating is now, is there enough landing space, or will I have nowhere to put things when they come out of the oven or off the stove, hopefully not on fire?''

Don't know, but how will you vent a range on an interior wall? Which way do the joists go, are they tall enough for an adequate duct, would you have to make a soffit, will your CFM's survive a long duct run?

I didn't originally understand your idea about making drawers in the basement walk-out space, but now I get it and think it is a cool idea. If the tops of the drawers are open to the basement, I'd wonder about insects/rodents. In olden days there used to be drawers with sliding metal covers (for flour, etc) maybe something like that is possible.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

There are two aspects to the cooktop under the window vs. operable window.

I am not sure the flammability of the frame or window itself is as much of an issue as the trim and the propensity of people to want to put a window treatment on it. The window reveal itself could be tiled right out to the actual frame that held the glass. We did this on a job simply to reduce the number of materials and it looks really nice.

The other aspect for a gas range is for a pilot type range and and operable, open window that close to the cooktop--it could blow the pilot light out and then gas would be leaking into the house. With electronic ignition and failsafes on modern stoves this should not be an issue but this does not mean the laws have changed. Also I think there is some concern that the draft will cause the flame to distort and heat unevenly.

I think a fixed window over a cooktop could be interesting. If you can still get cross ventilation in the kitchen.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

You could have a window with a fixed lower part and an opening upper part.

Here is a vignette that I thought was interesting, but haven't fit into a coherent layout. Just posting in case anyone can make something of it.

Range on half-wall by the backdoor, upper part of the half-wall is glass or glass block for light. Island hood above.

glassblockhalfwall


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, another question:

How hard is it to unhook and move a heavy gas oven? I don't mean, by yourself on the weekend when you get bored of Adam Corolla reruns. I mean, as a special and important project. What would it cost?

Because I'm thinking, what if I build a hatch in the floor under that window? Something that a gas range could sit on, but could be moved, with effort, if I need a new hot water heater?

Would that be awful? Impossible to build?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

If the range is on casters, and you have enough slack in the flexible gas hose, it seems like a reasonable enough thing.

Or, you could replace the hot water heater tank now with an instant hot water system, get the federal and/or local subsidy, and not have the issue. The instant systems are a lot smaller than a hot water heater tank, and could even be brought in/out via the interior stairs.

In fact, a hot water heater tank can probably be moved in/out via the interior stairs. Our basement holds a big hot water heater tank, a big central air/heat unit, and big front-loader washer/dryers, and it all came in via interior stairs. Not on my back, but the movers weren't gorillas either.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

"How hard is it to unhook and move a heavy gas oven (range)?" I believe in MA you're require to use a plumber to unhook and hook up the gas range. He should be there for the delivery/hook up of the hot water heater so it shouldn't be an issue. My 650 lb 48" Blue Star range is a "2 person" lift and it has been moved a few times. The weight is pretty evenly distributed so it's not too difficult. I think you're having a smaller range which should be lighter.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Going back to the Great Table layout ideas, I wouldn't put shelves on the wall there as the table's depth would make it hard to reach them. Put a huge potrack over it instead and free up your drawers for mixing bowls, casseroles, etc.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, any thoughts on this? I'm trying to develop 3-4 distinct ideas to take to a KD or talk over with my contractor.

I can't make the lower left work correctly, partly because I think I screwed up the scale. It's not really that tight, I don't think.

Thoughts? Ridicule? Derision?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

If the peninsula at the bottom were a table with no cabinet at all underneath, so the stools could go all the way underneath when not in use, it could work I think.

I might reverse the fridge and ovens since the fridge gets a lot more use. I would still probably hinge it on the right.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Do you have code requiring at least 36" wide egress? I'm thinking that's nation wide, but could certainly be wrong. It would just kill the 12" deep cabinet.

The only other thing you might try to get away with in retaining that particular cooktop location is pulling the cooktop forward. You had said that you were interested in deeper counters.

Other than that, see if there were ways not to have 12" wide cabinets. I don't know your tastes, but even with frameless, its pretty small.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

What if you made the tall next to the door 6" deep for shallow pantry storage. Do you really have 39.5" there...if so even 6" would be a bit much.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Lookie! johnliu has rendered my harebrained scheme in 3D.

As I mentioned to johnliu, I am reminded of Han Solo in the garbage compressor.

Can anything be done to make my harebrained scheme work?

Will the peninsula work better if it's shorter, or rounder, or perhaps spherical, or on pulleys?

If the peninsula were dispensed with, along with my liquor cabinet--er, shallow pantry--would a teeny petite-y cafe table fit?

Or should I totally give up on the fridge and oven side by side on that wall?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

marcolo - I'm no layout expert I'm afraid, but in the latest plan I'm concerned about the narrow (35.5") passage between the edge of the peninsula and the fridge. I know that you and johnliu generally like to keep pesky pedestrians out of the kitchen entirely, but will there ever be more than one person in the kitchen? It looks like a real bottleneck to me - or brilliant design if the intent is in fact to keep everyone out. (but still, might they not get thirsty from time to time?)

I would eliminate the peninsula if you can and go for the teeny, tiny caf table idea, or just a round stump peninsula. Round would protect that occasional passer-by from nasty bruises. I like the fridge and oven side by side combo and location, and the rest of this layout looks great to me!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, more efforts by the super-generous johnliu:

Same plan above, slightly different measurements:




Here's a rendering of sarah_ch's plan #1, from way up in the thread:









Some questions:

1) Which works better? johnliu has pointed out that the first plan, which he labels "Death Star" (?), does cause me to cross the kitchen less--it's mostly a matter of sliding down the counter. Plus, there's a pantry. But sarah's plan is more open-feeling and offers tons of counter space.

2) Can that L be made to work? Note that the cab itself will have to be shallow. Where do I put my flatware when I unload from the DW?

3) What if I learn that a little cafe table works by the door somewhere? Do either of these plans work OK without the L? I'll lose the liquor cabinet (but that has to be partly recessed into the wall anyway to provide aisle space).

4) Let's fantasize for one second that I'm able to make the walkout problem go away (still have to get quote, etc.) Which is the better plan then? Would it be remotely possible to eliminate the wall oven and put a tiny banquette (1 person) in its place, with a small table and stool in front of it? I spent about two hours yesterday trying to work a banquette into this kitchen and just ended up with something less functional than what they have there now.

Help!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Well, I like Jane's. I think it makes far more sense to have a counter under your window than a range.
Your flatware - what about a bank of drawers on the peninsula. the top drawer could be flatware, that you could open at the same time as the dishwasher. the other drawers could be things you'd never access when the dishwasher was open, avoiding conflict.

What about making your liquor cabinet shallower, and longer? I just find that piece of cabinet a bit bulky in that space. Do you need a physical door there, or is a doorway enough?

Here's another tweak idea for the latter plan... instead of a peninsula with a cabinet under it, what about a counter that pulls out, aka a breadboard, with a foldable leg under it? I saw an island somewhere that expanded to twice it's size by a counter that tucked under it when not in use - very slick. This would take some thinking, but if you're not sure you want/need sitting space on a regular basis it could be away to make it available when needed.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I was trying to keep the liquor, um, pantry cabinet from hitting the door. Wider might work, though, with a good door stop.

Loving the idea of a pull-out. That would only give me seating on the outside part of the L, the rest could be dish/flatware storage. But it's very interesting.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

(1) I think you can do Einsteinian ''thought experiments'' with these layouts. Imagine different challenging situations. Cooking many dishes amidst a large dinner party is the main one that comes to mind for me, but there could be others. Where will you stand, reach, move, carry hot things, retrieve needed things. Where will others stand, obstruct, help, not help. Where do you have enough/too little room, clear/obstructed paths, find your needed things close/remote, and so on. Which kitchen will be your Waterloo?

(2) Flatware doesn't need a big/deep drawer, I think it could fit in the peninsula.

(3) I think of a cafe table as a circle at least 24'' in diameter, with people sprouting off opposite sides. If you remove the peninsula and the liquor cabinet, drop such a circle there, seems hard to fit it in, without or without the peninsula. But anyway, I don't think the peninsula adds much to either plan, other than the ''eat-in'' aspect.

(4) That seems essentially like what is currently there, if the refrigerator were where that floor-to-ceiling cabinet is now.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

The range on the interior wall plan would work (assuming it's ventable) without the peninsula, but there's nowhere to put your cafe table either. The fridge/oven structure on the interior wall is better, but the peninsula is still wrong.

The interior wall range plus magic disappearing island in the access space, if that can be an table structure is a possible.

I still think John's Great Table design is the best use of the space. The main strike against it is the range in the corner. Is that why you decided against it? I'm not a believer in the cooking happening in an island or peninsula, but in this case, I can see a range or cooktop in the Great Table with the prep sink in the corner instead, or the cooktop under the window as it currently is (or even offset to be away from the fridge side, though that wouldn't necessarily be a pleasing assymetry), with an under counter oven, maybe in the front of the Great Table, across from the clean-up area.

If you chose the materials and finishes carefully, they could be done so that it would go well with the more traditional aspects of the house, though it would be in apposition, in more of a European look.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

With you two, I hesitate to say this, but you should invade the stud space of the powder room instead of having the 12" deep cabinet. Stick out 5", in by 3-5" depending on drywall v. plaster.

I'm not a big fan of that peninsula. I can't imagine a 31" aisle to a doorway with a stool in it. I can't imagine a 31" aisle being attractive to a buyer.

Have you thought about one of those crazy tables inna drawer contraptions? It might be worth it to buy the contraption, but not install it until you're ready to move.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I like Sarah's plan 1 the best because it has a more open look. Put your liquor cabinet in the DR or LR (does it really need a sink?)

Also - incredible news! - Ikea has just made their kitchen planning software available for the Mac!!! I KNOW!!!! Just go to their website, download a plug-in and you are all set (it needs Leopard and the newest versions of Safari or Firefox)

I spent the entire day yesterday playing with it and telling my kids 'yes' to every question. No idea what they asked me, but I think they watched a lot of telly. And I got three different kitchen layouts planned and printed to show DH when he comes back from a work trip tonight.

The software even lets you select different views from the windows, flooring, backsplash tile etc. and you can put in tables and chairs (ooh.. they have fold down tables). No, gladiators, though :-(


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I'm getting the sinking feeling that I'm going to end up with the same layout the kitchen has now, with only minor tweaks. Maybe a CD fridge partly recessed into the powder room wall, maybe a range with a pantry where the oven is now, and nicer/bigger cabs. What did I do? I love my apartment kitchen, and now I'm stepping down?

I do think johnliu's plan is really ingenious. I'm not sure whether the drawers would work, if there's enough storage, or whether something so different would really fly for resale in this neighborhood. I guess I can't picture the vintage "signals" and details that would make it seem almost original, especially with no uppers.

I wish I could at least think of a nicer seating solution for that trip hazard peninsula. People keep telling me to knock down the wall and put an island there. One contractor suggested putting the cooktop on the island. But I'm not trying to make this look like a flip. I bought a '20s house because that's what I wanted.

Oh, and just so you guys don't think I'm not pulling my weight--I keep trying to do paper and pencil layouts, but I end up erasing them, because they just don't work! I'll keep at it.

That's in between reno'ing a bathroom I did not expect to have to fix, calling contractors who don't reply, packing, nursing a fractured knee, and, oh yeah, wondering where all my money has gone already.

Does anybody know the right dimensions for a corner sink or corner range? I'm not a genius at this stuff like buehl.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

What about making the peninsula out of a freestanding square table, so that you could get the seating but get it out of there if there will be a lot of people in the kitchen for something special, or when it comes time to sell the house? Not as nice as a full wraparound counter, undoubtedly, but could give you some flexibility. I agree that the aisle/stool combo would make me feel squished.

I like the table in a drawer idea, too, or even just a flip-up table that could hang flat against the counter when not in use, if the storage there isn't critical. Not sure where the stool would go then, though...


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OUCH!!! Be careful with that fractured knee!!

My last argument for the Great Table plan: Yes, the drawers will work, if it's custom made. If you'd be making it out of Ikea, they'd work, but you'd lose a little space in the middle by the wall. I haven't had enough sleep, so I may be adding wrong, but I think the Great Table has as much storage as the line of cabinetry that it replaces. What I would want to do, however, is make the overhang retractable (to slide under the surface material) so that it would be easy to access the stool side storage. That way you could get more knee room too.

As for selling it, I wouldn't do the "vintage signals". Anything house structural, like the door and window casings, and the doors themselves, and even the floors, should match the rest of the house. Since there's no way to make this plan historical, don't. Instead, use materials that aren't inconsistent with period, but in a modern style. Or go flat out Euro modern, but that would be if you wanted a glossy red kitchen, not to suit the house. (You could do it, but it would be very pyramid at the Louvre.)

Rather, I'd use Machine Age elements, which are very au courant as well as period, and sleek enough for the design. Soapstone counters, or wood or pewter, are both now and period. If you really want periody you can do slab door/drawer fronts on framed cabinets, or just go slab full overlay on this one for the extra inch of storage. Slab is very very traditional, while being ultra modern.

I think it can be done and look fabulous! And also be a really nice kitchen to cook in.

Restoration Hardware (as well as many other places) has a bunch of this kind of thing:

light

pull

stool


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, I will have to look again at johnliu's plan while pretending FDR is president. Love that period, you said the right words.

As I think about some of the great ideas I've gotten so far, I will continue to churn out abortive botched plans like this one:

Thoughts? Not sure if the banquette really needs a full L-shaped, but if it's not there the top gets smaller.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I like this plan better than the peninsula ones, but I'm not sure about the island height. Counter seating height banquettes would be something of a climb. Would you be putting in a raise floor under the feet like they do in funky raised restaurant booths? That would help. Also, what are the dimensions? There should be plenty of room for two people, but, because of feet and knees and all, there are only so many people who can sit in an L. Rounding the seat will make the corner more useful.

No to the DW in the island, though. The drawers are clever, but putting the plumbing in there would be awkward. Much better next to the sink. Instead, I think that island would be better on locking castors, so that it can be pulled out for ease of cleaning, as well as accommodating bum knees and stuff like that.

Doesn't this plan have a lot less storage? Though maybe if the banquette is raised you can get double morgue drawers? If they'll suit that much of your stuff well?

This is certainly a way to get it to be an eat in kitchen.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

For me, the counter height is important, so that I can use it for cooking and such. Not sure whether it really needs to wrap around or not.

I believe this actually has a little more storage than some of the L-peninsula ones if I put 3 drawers for dishes in the island. A full 12-inch "liquor cab" could also be used for dishes and glassware, even if it's partly recessed. Plus there's that pantry by the DR.

I should play with this more--it might work better if I use one of the perimeter layouts from the other plans. For instance, if I kill the basement walkout somehow, maybe I do the CD fridge by the DR, followed by the sink, then workspace, then the range under the back window. That window is already high off the counter, so it would work better for a range location anyway. Gotta think more.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

How 'bout this? Range and sink switched.

Note that this works better window-wise, if the range is going under a window, since this window starts higher up the wall (probably a wall-mounted faucet there originally).

- Still not sure about the comfort of counter-height banquette seating, but it has to be that height for this to work.

- Don't know correct dimensions for drawing a banquette, with overhangs and such. Took my best guess.

- Yes, the DW across from the sink opening into the aisle is a pain. But there's no other place to put it. I've read such awful things about drawers, but those would fit better.

- Note I put in 30" counters. Always wanted these, but they do trim linear counter space a couple of inches in the corner. On the layout it makes things look tighter than they really are.

Thoughts on this? I think it has possibilities. Which arrangement of sink and range (even assuming I can afford to take out the walkout) is better?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, just back from the house, after an abortive attempt to strip wallpaper in which we discovered we didn't have anything there to cut open the plastic lock on the stripper bottle.

We also realized that none of the 16 paint colors we picked out look good anywhere. Square, meet one. Clock, meet tick.

ANYWAY, I went over the kitchen with plans and a tape measure. Sadly, it doesn't look like any of the L-peninsula ideas will work.

However, I do think the banquette plans may be winners, with some modifications (johnliu's alternative is still in the running). Oddly, it even looked as if I might be able to fit a dishwasher next to the CD fridge, in the plan where the sink stays where it is. I know the scale of my drawing is off, but I didn't think to remeasure that same stretch.

Anybody know any skinny dishwashers that don't cost a trillion bucks?

Ditto with skinny fridges?

In the alternative plan, are DW drawers really that horrible?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Congratulations on your new house!

Our kitchens have similar dimensions (though you're fortunate to have much more height). Mine is 120"x210". One of the first things we did was tear out the peninsula. It was too much of a pinch point (though we have three rugrats so our flow needs are different).

As for wallpaper removal, try a Wagner power steamer. I bought mine from Costco for $55ish (I think). It has been an absolute workhorse in getting off wallpaper, and you don't have to deal with the chemical sludge.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

-Still think the counter-height banquette only works with a step up raised floor for feet resting. Gives you extra drawer space too.

-Measure both of your laps, and those of the tallest other person most likely to want to sit in your kitchen, or if you're all short, the first tallish person to cooperate. That is, seated in a level chair, feet flat on the floor, measure from front of knee to the back of the chair. Add the length of the feet from ankle to toe. Add a few inches for wiggle room. That's the amount of room you should have for comfort between the back of the banquette (front of the backrest cushion) and the wall back wall of the island cabinet. At least 3'.

-Still hating the island dishwasher location. Much better to step across for drawers than DW. You want to be able to sell this kitchen, right? The counter height banquette is weird enough. You've got to keep the rest of it "normal" for that to fly. I think the Great Table, if done right, is a much easier sell.

-How are you solving the walkout in this plan?

-Remember, counter widths don't have to be in multiples of 6. If 28" counters make things work out better, you're still gaining some depth. Reality--nominally 24" cabinets are often 24" boxes, with the doors adding another 3/4" door, with another half to whole inch of counter edge, so that they're really 26" or more. Cheaper ones, and ones that are metric are shallower.

I think you're trying to get the bulk of the fridge away from the stove, right? I get that, but there are tradeoffs. Do you really need a 36" fridge? You said something about overflow in the basement, right? (Presumably lowered through your stove.)

Re news from visit to house: Sometimes wrong colors can be rescued with color added. Wrong paint can also be donated.

Great news on thought that you could squeeze in the DW. DW drawers aren't horrible at all! Lots of people love them. You have to make sure they're installed correctly, you have to learn how to load them efficiently, and you have to be okay with convection drying (use rinse aid).

Skinny appliances aren't cheap. The Liebherr 24" fridge/freezer is very well regarded and well designed, however, and isn't as expensive as the top tier models. (Amazon isn't the best price, just an easy link. You can also get it built in.) GE makes an 18" DW that's about $500 less than the Miele one, though more people like the Miele. The drawers are 24" wide, however, they just don't need the clearance to drop down the door. Palimpsest knows the most about skinny, I think.

I like the sink where it currently is better, but I don't know why.

For wallpaper removal, try liquid fabric softener as a stripper. It's easy to open and pretty non-toxic. And it works.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

18" dishwashers run the gamut in pricing, there are some reasonably priced ones. I've never used one, will they be big enough for you?

My good friend, who uses her kitchen harder than anyone (two sinks, two ranges, a third range outside, dinner parties all the time) swears by her FP dish drawer. I was so impressed by it that I want one.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

- OK on a raised platform, or even table-height, as long as my "stuff" fits underneath

- I have been googling and forum-searching my brains out, and I don't seem to find any of the standards for banquette seating sizes. I think 3' is too generous for a tiny Mass. house--I'm short, but I have flipper feet and I don't measure that far out. But I'll have to check. My family is shorter than I am, and even shorter are the local rugrats whose shrieks, I discovered tonight, sound like cats being molested.

- No problem with DW drawers. I've been reading the Appliance forum, and their reviews are no worse than any other higher-end kitchen moneysucker.

- Walkout remains unknown. The two banquette plans assume either the walkout gets rebuilt, or I move the stove to the back and disconnect the plumbing when a water heater needs replacing, which is fine if it works; or an undercounter oven goes to the right of the walkout/cooktop.

Thanks for the tips on skinny DWs and fridges; more reading.

Can't wait to start, after they redo the bath, the floors, the electrical, and rip out the entire heating system. Plus painting and I forgot what else. Did I tell you I was affluent four weeks ago?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Well, that's what houses are for! To pump your extra affluence back into the economy! It's not like you have your own molested catlike rats to do it for you. :)

The problem with your banquette is that you have a solid wall on the other side of the foot space. That is, the back of the drawers. That's why you need three feet of tush, thigh and foot space.

If you're willing to accept table height, with the drawers on castors so that the whole thing can be adjusted if someone with a broken knee is having trouble getting in and out or something, it'll be much, much better. You can put a pop top, a box, or a butcher block on top so that you can temporarily raise the table height to counter height. Also, for a lot of tasks table height is useful. Anything you beat by hand, whether it's eggs or pancake batter or anything, is easier to do low. You can put more shoulder into it. It's easier to roll pastry or cookies low (I don't know if you bake). It's just as easy to lay out serving platters low. ...

So if you're willing to have it table height and movable, it'll work a lot better. It can be pushed back against the banquette, when you need more floor space, and pulled out when you need more seated foot space. And you don't need the crazy trendy-bar platform.

Enjoy your further reading!


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

OK, here are the indefatigable johnliu's renditions of my banquette idea--the version with the sink by the DR, rather than against the back wall where it is now. Obviously it won't work precisely as rendered.






-I wouldn't do a full wall behind the banquette, just a knee wall.
- The banquette might work better with just one seat, probably away from the DR door, so the entire front could be DW drawers and storage drawers
- A 30" fridge would probably be needed

Oh, and just so you all know what I'm talking about, here's the weird basement walkout from the outside:


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hmm. That is ''Silence Of The Lambs'' creepy. Is that . . . blood?

Can't deepen the well out by 40'', have four additional stair treads going up along the side of the house where the driveway is, and have a few stairs treads in the basement? All the different kitchen plans do work a lot better if you can have something useful where the walkup is.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

What you suggest is precisely what a couple of contractors have suggested. I have to figure out if it is going to cost me another million bucks (I will NOT talk about my unplanned Art Deco style bathroom renovation, and don't get me STARTED about what adding a few pot lights and plugs turned into. And NO ONE TOLD ME that replacing an about-to-break water supply would rip up my ENTIRE LAWN). Also it would be useful to know if such an arrangement would collapse the house.

I don't know what that stain is. I think they just put up the single crappiest piece of half-used plywood possible. Where it sits, there really isn't any way it could be water damage. Unless somebody had a very big boiler damage.

I am reviewing your revised Altar of Sacrifice plan now.

Also, I feel like I didn't give enough time to reviewing buehl's initial efforts. Perhaps I've inadvertantly sent her off in a huff?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

But I see someone wisely thought ahead with the paper towel holder placement, in order to mop up any errant entrail drips. You can't beat good planning.

Marcolo, that banquette idea is the bomb. And you can put recessed shelving above it, in the wall, for books/glasses/stuff. All of which is very 1930's in feel. Strongly recommend. Yes. Like.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

"Unless somebody had a very big boiler damage."

Caution: Do not learn touch typing, or your typos will consist of entire inadvertent sentences.

Meant to say: "Unless somebody had a very big boil-over," meaning, from the cooktop above.

My actual boiler was surgically removed today. DON'T GET ME STARTED.

You know, if the banquette works, putting something over it could be cool. Bookshelves, in particular. It's a great look.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

That banquette still looks like torture to me.

It's less than ideal to have the stove partially protected, and to have such a narrow aisle in front of the oven door.

This thread is getting ponderous to open. :) Maybe after the responses to the new drawings you might want to open a new thread and link back to this. There 150ish message limit, anyway.


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Programmer's mother fooled around with a monkey

LOL. I guess I'm overreacting to all the posts where the commenters have to say, "Pics, please."

I think the banquette might work better simplified. Either with seating only on one side, or with the sink and range back in their current position. I'm also starting to dread the realization that the current layout might be the best possible, with the exception of fixing the walkout. That means a fridge in the walkway to the back door, although at least a cab-depth version encased in cabinetry.

I also realize--not to dis johnliu's brilliant Thermopylae kitchen--that buehl also had an interesting idea about moving the DR door. Which I don't want to do, but this entire kitchen is an exercise in doing what you don't want to do.

Getting a little down about this process. It's very hard to buy a house in Boston; most in my price range (which is not low, but not millionaire-level either) are very ugly. This one is really cute. So I overlooked a key criterion that I applied to every house we visited--a kitchen that was easy to fix.

Plus, I'm unable to find a KD to help. Most, as everybody knows, are affiliated, and I don't want a cabinet salesperson. Those I've spoken to so far are unavailable. I lost three hours of work on the buggy Ikea Mac-version kitchen planner.

I think I'm going back to my Negroni now.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Well, you get style points for your cocktail of choice. ;)

Look for an interior designer who does kitchens, as opposed to a kitchen designer, if you want live help and can't find an independent KD. Then run the plans by us in case there are some big "if s/he knew ktichens s/he'd know that" misses.

Moving the DR door to get a U might actually work for you, but moving a door, and the problems you find when you open the wall, can cost a lot of money to do right. And you did buy the house for cuteness. At the point that you're throwing thousands around you might find other solutions, like the expensive built-in fridge. This is no disrespect to Buehl--if anyone can make an awkward space work it's she--but I really don't like that angle by the sink.

The big "problem" with your kitchen is fitting all the modern appurtenances as well as a sprawly eating area. You might need to compromise.

I was stuck for months after floating much weirder plans than any you've had so far, stuck in imperfection land. During that stuck time I was tending to family members who'd had surgery. Then I started interviewing cabinetmakers and GC's and that solidified my compromises really fast. They'd had time to gel in the back of my mind, and I had to have something to show, so then I did. I didn't want an island, but I wouldn't have any deep counter space without it because it didn't work to have a deep perimeter. I wanted a table, but then I wouldn't get the fridge drawers in the prep area that were my big but-I-want-it, and wouldn't have quite enough refrigeration for entertaining. I wanted a big sink, like my old one, or a farm sink with drainboards, and couldn't fit it. If I had an island I could do a big single bowl and a prep sink. I ended up with a small island, just big enough to fit the fridge drawers and sink, with an extra six inches off the back, and a fold down "table" projecting a little into the walkway (i.e., a comfortable place to sit, but goes away when something needs to be brought through, or for crowds). I never could have dreamed that up at the beginning.

You'll figure it out. You're so mired in your other remodeling and fixing work that you're not at that sticking point where you have to compromise. When you are, it'll come and you'll find a good plan that works for you.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Marcolo --

As I recall, Albert Einstein intuited relativity suddenly with his right hemisphere after exhausting his left hemisphere trying to sort it out rationally. You have all the "information" about possibilities for your kitchen stored neatly in your left hemisphere, so go on about your other tasks and see whether you are not suddenly seized by a concept that makes you clap your forehead and shout "Of course!"

My only practical advice has to do with the monstrous size of modern refrigerators in small period kitchens. I finally decided to exile mine to an adjacent pantry space, so as to avoid its looming bulk throwing the scale in my 10 x 11 Sears kit house kitchen totally off. Another possibility would be various Leibherr fridge models, if your pockets are deep enough and you are tall enough to take advantage of their relatively tall and slender profile.

It is my experience that things go infuriatingly wrong in any renovation, and that you are more likely get through them with relative good cheer if you love an idiosyncratic house than if you have bought a house that corresponds to your check list but has no hold on your heart.

Meanwhile, your challenges have engaged an array of resourceful minds on this forum, which keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.

Best of luck.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

About the water damage...

Bet you got no flashing under those shingles between the window and the door frame nor under the door frame trim.

Its also possible the replacement window is incorrectly installed and the water is running down around the outside of the window unit - hitting the old sill and coming inside.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

My main concern with the banquette plans is that the entire kitchen becomes a ''L'' shaped corridor, at most 40'' wide on the long side. There is no protected place to work, every zone is in a traffic aisle, and come dinner-party time the banquette basically tells guests to ''come hang out in the kitchen, here's seating for you''. I see a knot of guests sitting in the banquette and standing/walking around it, laughing and drinking wine, while you fight your way through the crowd up and down the ''L'', crying and drinking tears.

My other issue is, what purpose does the banquette serve? How does it fit in to your priorities and goals for the kitchen? At the start of this thread, you laid those out - ''eat-in'' was a low-ish priority, you wanted a hint of it for resale but didn't value it much yourself. A banquette plan, or similar, takes over much of the square footage for eat-in seating, and forces the rest of the kitchen to fit around it. In a kitchen this size, anyway. It seems more suited to someone who actually has some little orange-juice dribbling rats and has eat-in as their top priority.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I really don't think there's any water damage at all. That board is immediately behind, as in touching, the fake cabinet doors under the cooktop. I think the plywood was damaged before it was put there.

johnliu, you're right, but I think that's the kitchen I've got. OK, your plan does provide an alternative. But in pretty much any other plan, whether the banquette is there or not, it's going to be an L-shape. There's no other way around it, only because of its size and the jog of the wall by the hallway door, which can't go away, because it supports the arched kitchen door that is my favorite element in the house.

I think after seeing all the efforts above, I am now doubtful that it's possible to provide only a "hint" of seating. The L-peninsula won't work, and neither will the cafe table. It's kind of all or nothing.

And even if it's nothing, what would I put there? The range, possibly, if it's possible to vent it (I think not; there's a main beam where I drew the dotted line in my first sketch, so I think the joists run the wrong way for that). So if I don't use that wall for seating, what good does it do me anyway?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I'm with johnliu on some of his points. In terms of floor space, a couple of seats have become the dominant feature. Everything has a cost and that looks to me to be costing you the cleanup area, storage and placing the cooktop in a major walkway. When entertaining or even the average family dinner, since you're thinking resale, it looks like disaster to me.

Are you SURE you won't consider dropping the wall to the dining room?

4 x 6-ish island-like thing attached to the hall wall...

Or a version of john's superisland plan that's actually an "L" plus island-like thing attached, but perpendicular to the outside door wall - galley plus seating? Close up existing door and take a chunk out of the dining room wall for a new opening closer to the hall?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hi Marcolo,

I responded to you on your KD in Boston thread, but after reading this thread, I feel even more strongly that an architect is the way to go. Once your bones are in order, I think it will be much, much less problematic getting a fabulous design.

Additionally, you may find that opening the kitchen to the DR is alot less costly than you think.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Again, even if I eliminated all eat-in elements to the kitchen, I don't see what that would get me. It would still be an L-shaped aisle through work zones. It is what it is.

Same with opening up to the dining room. Only a portion of that wall can be opened up; that whole wall in the kitchen isn't all in the DR. All I would gain is a small island, and ruining the formal DR to boot.

paulines, I did contact architects. Not interested. Told me to go find a kitchen designer. It may be a depression in the rest of the world, but in the renovation business in Boston, you have to take your number from the deli counter, take a seat, and have a long, long wait. You can use all that time to contemplate the fact that your needs, wants, and even MONEY just aren't that important to a contractor. Or designer (three have blown me off all summer). Or architect. Or structural engineer.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I hear and understand your frustration. However, either you're missing the point about the L's or just too bothered to take it in. There's quite a bit of floorspace in your kitchen. If it's taken up with a banquette and island, then everyone who wants to hang out or walk through is going to be tush to tush with the cook. Even worse if there are two cooks. And you've expressed a preference for people to stay out of your domain while you cook. That's what '"L" shaped corridor' means in Johnliu's message. The skinny, less than 40" aisle shaped like an L.

My first reaction to your floorplan was that the cooktop over the walkout was genius. I also think your drawer idea is great, if it works. I mean, why not use the head space when it's not needed. I'd just worry about whatever you're carrying down there messing up the runners. I wonder if there's a way to slide forward a whole cabinet box, underneath the cooktop, for when you need access to the basement.

Since you've been talking about the original layout being the best to get out of the space (and with the amendation of the window and addition of a hood so that the cooktop works where it is, I think I agree), I thought I'd offer up a quick sketch of another possibility. It might not be an ideal layout, but the kitchen isn't so large that it would be bad.

What also doesn't show here, is a piece of counter on a folding bracket (like my table has) that lies along the sink cabinet, so that the table can be pulled out of the way and the counter pulled up for extra work space. I called the table a "pub" table, but I was thinking counter height so that it can be pushed up to the side of the sinktop as a continuation, when the adjunct counter is folded down. It could work at table or bar height. This allows you to use the area in the back doorway as floorspace for the eating area, but gives you the space by the wall near the sink for when you need that space clear to use the doors.

kitchen plan


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

I think that's cool. Very vintage to have stools in an old kitchen, plus a table like that on locking wheels is very adaptable to different uses. Island worktop, serving, etc.

It does seem to give up storage and DW size.

plllog, I was looking for a pic of your drop countertop, but couldn't find one. I assume it has a leg or something?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Hi Marcolo, Just chiming in on your post for the first time. As you know, the problem is you have too many doors. (I have six doors leading off my 1920s kitchen -- so I know what a problem that is.)

I have a friend with a very similar floor plan to yours and she:

1.) got rid of the door between the kitchen and the front hall (to create many more options in the kitchen layout). She says she doesn't mind not having it at all.

2.) put in a new door between the living room and kitchen for better flow at the back of the house. (I'd love to be able to zip from the kitchen to the livingroom along that new back "corridor". )

3.) Put in french doors from her living room to her pack deck. (If you did this you could get rid of the door to the deck from the kitchen, creating even more counter space. But I suspect that you won't want to do this.)

Just some ideas.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Yes, they seemed to have confused kitchens with train stations back in the day.

The layout has a lot of quirks that trick you when you try to change it. The door to the kitchen from the front hall is arched, and the cutest feature of the house. In addition, it's the only source of natural light for that room in the afternoon (which is why I'd love to keep the fridge out of the way). Similarly, opening up the kitchen to the LR would remove the only wall large enough to hold a couch; plus, there's already a logjam there with the powder room and basement doors, so it would be like trying to run through a car wash and dodge the brushes. We're still debating the French doors, but again, with no back door in the kitchen, you'd have to circle through the whole house to take out the garbage.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Oh, sorry, Marcolo, I thought you'd seen my table before. There's no leg. Just a couple of strong folding brackets. It is supposed to be able to support more than a hundred pounds of pressure or something. I can't remember for sure, but my cabinetmaker said I could roll dough (i.e., lean hard) on it if I wanted (I'd rather not for other reasons, but I could). I don't know if this is a good application for stone, but you could easily do the counter extension from wood, metal wrapped wood, or even formica if that suits.

This plan does give up a little storage by the sink, and keeping the sink centered on the window requires either the smaller DW or a blind corner, but you gain all the pantry space above and below the oven, as well as where the old oven was. By not remodelling the structure you also gain money to put into better slimmer appliances. I have a new full sized DW, but I swear it doesn't actually fit that many dishes because of the way it's laid out and how it works. An 18" Miele might hold just as much or more.

I didn't want to get into details in putting this sketch in, since they can get in the way of imagination. One thing you can do to maximize storage is to have a run of short upper uppers that go round the room, with some decorative brackets or corbels to "support" the places where there aren't wall cabinets under. You could have the hood over the window go up just to the cabinet as its support as well. On the wall where the table is pictured, you could put art, beadboard, shelves/cupboard above head height, or even standard uppers if you don't want to be sitting back to the wall.

The kind of table I've shown doesn't even need the castors unless you want it topped with stone to match counters. It should be light enough to just lift. Though the castors allow you to move it while lunch is already set out.

Here is the picture of the table side of my island. The stone overhangs the table by 6". When the table is folded flat it's entirely underneath the overhang. I think it's about 3" thick folded. No more than 4". You can just see the bottom of the bracket on the right side, against the side of the island. These brackets do have a diagonal brace. I can find out more about the hardware and take a picture of the underside if you're interested.

island


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

BTW, re the train station kitchen, when I was little (and I'm not old) we had the milkman come into the kitchen to put his wares in the fridge, the water man came in and changed the water bottle, the meat man came in to put the meat in the freezer, and the only reason the bread man didn't come in is that my mother usually bought from a different bakery herself, so if she wanted anything from the bread man she had to go out and buy it from the truck. I've heard there was also a produce man but his wares weren't as good as at the store. My father remembers the ice man with his horse who knew the route. There would also have been the coal man, the chandler, and even the dust man.

All of these service people came in and out of the houses by the kitchen door, regularly. The kitchens really were akin to train stations. :)


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

Marcolo, Just wanted to let you know that akchicago left you a sweet apology over on the appliances forum (on 8-1-10 @ 10:46 in that ugly "best in class".) Always nice to see ugliness being corrected so I thought I would pass it along in case you missed it.

I'm sorry I don't have anything useful to add to your interesting kitchen predicament. I have followed along with interest. For what it's worth, out of the suggestions so far, my favorite has been to have a range along the dining room wall and counter space over the basement thing. I'd like to see more exploration of that arrangement even if it means that counter stools are not ideally completely out of the back door aisle. I would not want a big table or a big booth taking up most of the floor space.

Fun thread though! I'm enjoying the creativity which emerges on this jovial forum.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

What if you replaced the windows in the LR with French doors to give you access to the deck, replaced the existing kitchen door to deck with a window, and added a new kitchen door to the right of the existing cooktop, up against the wall of the DR? That would give you a longer counter run on the back wall and quite possibly room for a corner banquette near the old doorway. I'd vote for putting a fridge/pantry set-up (wall of tall) on the DR wall of the kitchen. If you added a pass-through feature at one of the kitchen windows, you wouldn't have to walk through the LR with food destined for the grill although you could take the long way there via the new kitchen doorway.

Is this a totally crazy idea?


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

lisa, it's not crazy. But the exterior isn't set up to allow it. The deck doesn't extend as far as the kitchen window, and a side door from the kitchen would project out into the driveway.

So, I got a new perspective yesterday. I was having so much trouble picking paint colors that looked so completely different on the wall than they did even on the poster-sized SIX DOLLAR PAINT CHIPS that I bought 40 of, I went ahead and got a friend-of-a-friend designer to give me some advice. (I think my bright, sunny yellow interior is suddenly going gray and dark blue, but that's another story. If anybody knows a paint color that isn't BM Montpelier, but goes with it, and also goes with antique brass fixtures, fax me.)

Anyway, she HATED the current peninsula seating. She said for us, we really should use that for the stove, or fridge/pantry, or something like that, and just make do with a cafe table, even if it does interfere with the back door.

So tonight, I was thinking about a setup like that. What bothers me, aside from the lack of seating in the house's sunniest room, is the idea of the DR door coming between me and my range. Or fridge, but that's a little less of a problem. Remember, johnliu and I are very defensively-minded when we cook. What to do?

First, I thought I could put a latch on the DR door, and simply ask people to go around when I'm cooking. Suddenly I'd have a protected U-shaped kitchen--not ideal, but better than nothing.

Then, a little elf suggested a different idea--one that would protect my cooking space without sealing me off from guests in the DR:


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

You mean a Dutch door from DR to kitchen? Might work.

btw, you wouldn't have to walk straight out onto the driveway from the new kitchen door. You could put a landing, same size as the walk-out from the basement and then stairs parallel to the house's side. I have a friend with this kind of set-up on her old house and it works well. It might not be as elegant as you desire and you would have to lose some of your landscaping along side the house but if you gained a more usable, less choppy kitchen (and especially gained a protected cooking space), it might be worth it.

Or if you do go with the above suggestion from your friend of a friend, how about making the cafe table a fold-up type that hugs the wall when not in use? I'm sure you could also find a clever solution to the chairs, too, perhaps folding chairs that tuck into a slim cupboard except when needed.


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RE: Tiny '20s kitchen, big problem: Marcolo needs layout HELP!

A landing with steps would have to go forward, toward the front of the house, making it extra inconvenient to get to the back. It can't go backward, toward the backyard, because remember the steps up from the basement walkout are right there.

Sadly, I think a lot of this will be driven by budget. We wanted to simply add AC, but because the boiler is old and there are many tax credits available this year for certain projects, we ended up replacing the entire heating system. For various reasons, electrical went WAY over budget. We gutted a bathroom we originally had no intention of touching. You know how it goes.


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