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Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Posted by koko1982 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 14:52

I have been a longtime lurker (dreamer) and have learned a lot from so many people on this site. We are in the process of purchasing a new home (new to us) and the kitchen needs some updating. Our budget is tight but we think we can afford to spend approx 10,000 which will include a much needed new cooktop and oven. We are bringing our speed cook microwave with us from our old house. We would like to put in granite or some other type of solid surface. Do you think there is a way we can reconfigure some cabinetry as the current oven and the oven cabinet is very small?? The cabinets appears to be in very good condition. We would need to expand the center island somehow as it can only fit a 30 inch cooktop and I would like a 36" but we don't have alot of room to play with. Also have been watching the posts about gel staining cabinets but I lack the ability to visualize what they would look like....suggestions Please !!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Save your money. And keep saving it. 10K won't do what needs to be done here. And absolutely don't set that layout in stone! Leave everything as is until you can do a complete remodel and get the cooktop off of the island.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Here is another view ....hope this works !


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Another view


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

If you reconfiquired the oven wall, could you put a range there or a separate cooktop and oven? Then add venting?

Also think you should live with it for a while. Though I don't think I could live with that cooktop on a small island like it is.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Bummer.... Was hoping for better news than that.....looking at another 5 or so years before we would be able to do more than that amount of money. So not even new staining or back splash etc can save this kitchen?


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Don't think venting on that wall is an option as there is a living room on the other side of that wall. Do you think we could trade the refrigerator and the oven wall around and put a cooktop and oven in that space?


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I say live with it for at least 3-6 months to see what works for you and what doesn't. I don't like cooktops on islands(dangerous) and that island is especially small for it. Once you move in, you may find the cabinets are not in as great shape as they appear and things aren't positioned optimally or where you would like. As you live with it for a few months, keep paper and pencil always handy to jot down what works and what doesn't, then reassess how to get the kitchen you really want.


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I don't know why some people are so against having a cooktop on an island. I think they are just fine, as long as you have sufficient space on the sides and in back. Then it is no more "dangerous" than having a cooktop against a wall. With that said, I do think that the existing island is not deep enough. If there is not space to overhang the counter over the back, then I can see it being justified to move the cooktop off the island.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 17:21


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Two story house?


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Hi, Koko. You're starting with a nice, modern kitchen with a decent layout. Your goals seem fairly modest, mostly a refurbishing to make it your own. It'd be really nice if you could bring it in for far less than $10K, though, since you have other dreams for this room.

Modest except for rebuilding the oven area with the same cabinets. Hmm! on that. How about instead leaving that side alone, with the small oven there as a backup, and building a new island with new cabinets and setting a separate stovetop and larger oven in it? Or a drop-in unit.

As for budget, at least consider used for any appliances you want to replace. There are such GOOD, like-new ones available for drastic discounts. I mean, $2-3 grand for a run-of-the-mill refrigerator? Subtract the $1000 you might pay for a higher quality one used and then imagine what you could do with the rest.

Your cabinets look nice. If you don't like them, sure, gel stain or paint.

That should leave you some nice spending money for new counters and backsplash. Ideally you wouldn't put expensive stone on cabinets you wish to replace, and it'd be nice to keep it all well below your $10,000 limit and put the rest in savings for another project, but you'll be the ones to say on that. Do go ahead and price stone tile while you're shopping, though. Stone tile looks very nice, and the grout lines on laser-cut tile are so fine you have to move your head about to see them.

And be sure to check ready-made products for retrofitting conveniences into existing cabinets so you know the possibilities. Home Depot and Lowe's both have various items right on the shelf.

Rugs in the kitchen have been in style, so maybe a rug?

Congrats on your new home. Have fun.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I have a question regarding the space around the cooktop.

I totally agree there is not enough space on the sides of the cooktop. The question is, how is it any different as far as the space goes then cabinets that go down to the counters on either side of the cooktop when on an exterior wall. I see this in a LOT of NEW kitchens. I feel claustrophobic just looking at them, I can't even imagine trying to actually use the area. I suppose it's a form over function decision.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

My friend has a similiar room for kitchen and she has range where your fridge currently is and fridge where your wall oven currently is. If it was my space, I'd buy a 36" range and put it where your fridge is and take out wall ovens and put fridge there. Then I would do an ikea off the rack countertop for the island only and live with that for a while before doing a $tone counter. Once you see how the kitchen functions and whether the cabinetry is staying long term, you can think about other changes.

Good Luck!


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Look into gel staining. A few members here have shown amazing transformations and could probably give you a few tips. They will look dark but rich looking/
I think you will be happy with the results and won't mind using this kitchen as you save for a major renovation.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Thank you so much for the ideas....sometimes it's easy to get stuck on one train of thought and forget about all the other options


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"...The question is, how is it any different as far as the space goes then cabinets that go down to the counters on either side of the cooktop when on an exterior wall...."

You are absolutely right! And...we tell people that on this Forum! Those cabinets to the counter flanking ranges/cooktops look nice enough, but they're lousy functionally unless you have 24" b/w them and the range/cooktop on each side. (Even then, they're an obstruction...) Just b/c a kitchen is new does not mean it's functional. Yes, some people are for form/looks over function - especially those who don't really understand kitchen design. Even some who do understand kitchen design prefer form over function - in that case it's a conscious decision - but at least they are making an informed decision!


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I think part of the question here is how much can you DIY and how much are you doing yourself? $10000 can go a long way if you do a lot of labor yourself, but will dissapear very quickly if you hire it out.

Personally, I would stain the cabinets, install your speedcook microwave on the otherside of the kitchen, and cosider investing some of your money in getting a new, slightly larger island to accomodate the larger cooktop you want. If you are putting the island and tops in yourself (and buying slightly used appliances as Rosie suggested) you will be surprised at how far $10000 can go. I personally am not a fan of granite. I think it has run it course, can't be installed by the homeowner, and is in every kitchen built at every price level now. We have decided on wood (though I am torn between an nice cut of walnut and a butcherblock cut and need to decide like yesterday according to hubby), but there are plenty of other options out there for a budget that don't look "budget".

By the way, it is a great space. I wish my kitchen were that large. I would also recommend living in it for a few months before actually doing anything. We are doing a remodel of our entire house. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in our kitchen, but while I had been living in the gutted space with just tables, plastic shelving, a stove, fridge, and sink, I really got a feel for the space and how it was easiest to work and where I liked to be most to look out windows (yell at kids etc...).

Good luck.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Very nice sized kitchen with a heck of a lot of potential!

I don't care for stoves in the middle of the island and it's not a fire hazard thing. It's people leaning there trying to talk to me. Kids trying to be involved. Pot handles...
Heat.

But I'm also not so cool with a stove on the end of a cabinet run into a doorway. Same issues.

I second the idea, though, of living with it for awhile. See how your life flows through the space. Get to know those cabinets to see if they're worth refacing or replacing. Those hinge types tell me they're older than they actually look -- which is a good thing!

The least expensive update to do would be gel staining them. It's one of those, "what have you got to lose" things.
Just picture your kitchen much darker.

I'm not a stainless fan, but it the light of a darker kitchen cabinet, I think stainless gives the brightness needed, where white appliances would be glaring. But again, save your money.

You're going to find a lot more immediate needs for that money than spending it on a currently functional kitchen. Please (voice of experience echoing here) live with it. Then decide how to make it work for you.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Thanks for all of the great suggestions !
We do like the size and generally the layout of the kitchen. Seems to be a good workflow. I really do not like the cooktop. Not only is it electric but I do a lot of canning and preserving and am unable to do that with that type of ceramic top.
Would like a gas cooktop and a larger oven but am open to the suggestion of a drop in range/oven combo
As far as the cooktop in the island issue, my previous home had that and I really didn't mind it......but I do agree that this island is too small and would need to be made larger
As Rosie stated.. We want to refurbish what is already there and make it our own.....of course including some of the "toys" ( gas cooktop, convection oven, speed cook microwave) that I love.
Also I didn't realize until now that gel staining would be a much darker look...hmm...have to think on that .....just not a fan of that golden oaky look.

So happy to have you all to bounce ideas off of !!


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Cosmetic changes like painting or gel staining only address the looks of the space, not the functional issues. Addressing the functional issues will be expensive, and you won't want to waste 10K on doing something merely cosmetic now when those functional issues will smack you in the face every time you try to use the kitchen.

As it exists, you don't have enough room to make a larger island with more overhang (BADLY needed for basic safety!) It would impact your aisle clearances too badly. Moving the cooktop off of the island will be expensive, but it should be your goal with an eventual remodel. Or, creating a more functional island cooking zone by creating a much larger island. Either would work, but neither will be a cheap band-aid that you can do now. Investing a lot of money into what exists now(like putting in expensive quartz tops) locks you into some very poor choices that you will really want to address.

The only thing that I could see doing here other than something minorly cosmetic, would be doing a "half and half" type of remodel where you remove all of the pantry cabinets and desk and wall oven area to replace with 12" deep pantry cabinets. Move to a slide in or pro style range instead of the cooktop and separate wall ovens. You'd have enough room then to do a bigger, safer island with ventilation through the roof. You leave the cabinets on the sink and refrigerator runs until another day when the funds recuperate. Then you address the other half of the space.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Why is moving the cooktop off the island expensive?

Are the ovens gas or electric? Is there gas to the house?


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There is electric and gas available.....one previous owner had gas everything for cooking and baking and one had electric everything for cooking and baking
So I guess in that respect we are lucky


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don't know if this confuses the issue but this is what the other side looks like...can see the ceramic counter and backsplash really well....definitely not my taste...and who knows how sanitary at this point!


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[LOL]
That's why God made bleach.
Not a reason to spend $10k on a kitchen you're not even familiar with yet.


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If you have gas to the house and are at all handy you can move your own gas line if need be.

Also if needed right away you can install prefab laminate counters from lowes or HD. Again if you are at all handy this is an easy DIY.

Clean and live with it for a while.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I know I already said live with it for a while, but I have to re-state live with it for a while. I also can and preserve (almost everything we eat for the year either from our own garden or local pick your own) and the BIGGEST factor in how my kitchen flows is how my jars are prepped to go in my canner and how they come off the stove and set to cool. I can tell you that that alone makes my kitchen contrary to a lot of advice I read in this forum.

I also dissagree a lot with what I read in this forum about minium spacing around islands for work zones and such. But we are in our forever home (been in hubby's family over a hundred years already and not ever being sold), I have lived with it for a while, no one here is over weight, so I don't care if my isles are a bit smaller than everyone considers ideal. My advice is you wont know for yourself either until you really live with it for a while. You can only read so much.

Also, if you don't want darker you may need to either strip the cabinets and start over, or go with a painted finish or cabinet refinishing system like Rust-Oleum. There are other options out there, more labor intensive, but you do only have to go through it once.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I know I already said live with it for a while, but I have to re-state live with it for a while. I also can and preserve (almost everything we eat for the year either from our own garden or local pick your own) and the BIGGEST factor in how my kitchen flows is how my jars are prepped to go in my canner and how they come off the stove and set to cool. I can tell you that that alone makes my kitchen contrary to a lot of advice I read in this forum.

I also dissagree a lot with what I read in this forum about minium spacing around islands for work zones and such. But we are in our forever home (been in hubby's family over a hundred years already and not ever being sold), I have lived with it for a while, no one here is over weight, so I don't care if my isles are a bit smaller than everyone considers ideal. My advice is you wont know for yourself either until you really live with it for a while. You can only read so much.

Also, if you don't want darker you may need to either strip the cabinets and start over, or go with a painted finish or cabinet refinishing system like Rust-Oleum. There are other options out there, more labor intensive, but you do only have to go through it once.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Many suggestions and advice to think about for sure!

Not giving up hope that we can figure out someway to do a minor overhaul that we can live with for the next 5-7 years.

We do a ton of entertaining so the 24" oven definitely presents a challenge and in the 3 yrs we have owned our high speed microwave it has been a rare day that it hasn't been used at least one time a day.
The already mentioned canning and preserving issue with the ceramic cooktop is one that needs to be addressed sooner than later as my garden is beginning to explode...Lol

Thanks again to all of you who have weighed in with some well needed advice !


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Koko, have you actually run your pressure canner on the ceramic? I know a lot of people say they have issues using a ceramic or glass cooktop, some say you "can't" do it depending on the canner, but I have no issues using my 23 qt Presto on my glass top. I find it prefferable to my old coil. ( I don't have the luxury of gas way out here in the country and hubby wouldn't go induction). There have been lots of threads in the harvest forum on this issue, I believe the main reason people had issues was when their canner was not straight on the bottom. A few test runs empty and you should be able to find a setting on the stove that runs it right to the right pressure every time without fail.


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

I have not tried to pressure can on the top yet.....typically I water bath process and I did try to heat the water in that pan as a test run but the shape of the pan bottom on those canners I think is why I was having so much difficulty
I know someone who owns a pressure canner that I could borrow and try it out ...thanks !


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I actually use my 23 qt as a water bath also (small kitchen, little storage, lots to water bath process.... it is just easier for me), but it has a perfectly flat bottom. I did have to replace one other of my pots when I got my new cooktop ;-( I loved that pan, but it had a bowed out bottom and just spun around on the stove. I gave it to my brother and treated myself to a new flat high quality super skillet ;-) Obiously you will use your canner again when you get your new gas top in there, but maybe there is something you can do cheaper in the meantime to get you through.

Good luck and happy canning.


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Kali615, what IS your preferred layout for prepping jars and then setting them out for cooling?

BTW, not EVERYONE here insists on clearances wide enough to waltz through. I did 35" so I could inch past an open oven, but if the oven weren't here, I might have gone narrower. DH and I are used to sharing, and an occasional pat on the hip on the way by's not exactly a problem.


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Sorry if this was covered, but is this kitchen on slab or is there a basement/crawl space under the kitchen?


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There is a full, unfinished basement under the kitchen and actually the entire house


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RE: Please help me visualize this kitchen !

Personally I have found that one large deep table type set up works better for me in prep than a counter only 24". I choose to have a very large island across from the stove for all prep. My island is 34" from the stove. I didn't do this for canning, but I would never want to carry a hot jar with tonges the 48" everyone is always saying isles should be. My DW is right next to my stove and my sink right next to my DW, so short counter on top of DW to land jars on. Honestly my kitchen is too small to be cooling lots of jars, so if it is a big canning week I have planned a special counter in the laundry room (8ft from the stove) that is a "folding laundry table" but is going to be fully heat resistent so I can hold jars there for cooling the full day.

I did have a lot of constraints in setting up my kitchen. My house is 300 years old, my water comes in one spot and can't be moved, my ceilings are 6'9" and I can not have upper cabinets because it just feels claustrophobic in here when you do tand the counter is unusable, and I have 5 doors in a small kitchen. My husband's family has owned this property for almost a hundred years and I have seen a few versions of this kitchen, but living in it gutted with moveable furniture for 9 months was the BEST thing I ever did, especially during last summer. I will not be second guessing how we spend any money in this kitchen.


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