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My grandmother's kitchen ...

Posted by mtnrdredux (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 15:31

... was a big square. On one wall was the range. On one wall, between two tall windows, was a fridge. The third wall, a sink in a metal cabinet base, with shelves above, and a pantry to the left. On the last wall, a comfy cushioned green metal gilder once dragged in from the back porch. In the center of course was a big table and chairs.

To me, that is an "unfitted" kitchen. I know some people mean mismatched when they say unfitted, and that is certainly on the continuum. But I mean a kitchen that is made up of furniture. No cabs, no backsplashes, no counters, no wall ovens.

I have always wanted a kitchen like this. I remember food prep at the kitchen table, cousins and aunts sitting around each doing something. Then you clean up, set the same table, and eat. No islands no peninsulas or other topographical elements needed.

We are under contract on our new vacation home, and it will have a good size kitchen (preliminarily, 16x24). We have had a vacation home in another area for 7yrs or so and I have taken photos of all the contents of drawers and cabs in that kitchen, which has worked very well for us.

So, I know this is unorthodox, but keep in mind it is not a primary home. And that I always like to do things that are different! Below is my floorplan, the items in the space, and then where all will be stored (note that there are limitations in how things are depicted in the floorplan, but it should be pretty much to scale).

Floorplan (prelim)
version with less steep steps

Left to right from top left corner.
double drainboard sink, skirted
freestanding d/w, with Boos 6" butcher block top
Big Chill fridge
9'x3'4" table
hutch; size tbd
two swivel upholstered slipcovered rockers

Where things go:
Pots and pans on pegboard to left of range
Utensils over range on integrated stainless b/s and shelf (viking)
Cleaning products under sink (shelvgin)
Coffeemaker and knifebloack on top of d/w butcherblock
dishtowel on hook on edge of butcher block
glasses and cups on shelf over sink (~5'wide), in front of window
Flatware in jars on table, w basket of napkins
Fireplace mantel - platters, pitchers, and/or canisters, o&v, spices nicely displayed (fpl use will be rare)
Pantry - paper prods and food stuff (I have learned not to store a lot of food, it just goes bad)
Cookie sheets - store in the oven

Hutch (similar to link, may be made larger, or may find vintage)
Plates and bowls in glass cabs
Toaster and nice wood cutting board on buffet area
Top drawer - linens
second drawers, misc utensils and eqp
Bottom drawer, tupperware
Right cabinet (has shelf) extra cutting boards, pie plates, etc
Left cabinet (has shelf) - colander, salad spinner, some small appl.

Do you think it can be done? If it doesn't work, I can add a second hutch or a boos rolling cart, i'd think. Or even put in cabs ....

Here is a link that might be useful: this or similar (prob larger)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Every vacation house I've had has had a problem with field mice. Not because it's dirty but because they seeks shelter in what seems to be (to them) unoccupied buildings.

For this reason I always kept all my kitchen stuff (cookware, utensils, dishes, flatware, etc) and all my pantry items in mouse-proof storage. Cupboards that were specifically set up that way, and metal and glass containers for all edibles not stored in the fridge or freezer. (plus all paper products candles, soap, matches, etc.)

The very last thing I wanted to do was slide on in on Friday night and have to begin cleaning mouse poop off my pots and pans. I would cover the cooking surfaces with clean butcher paper before leaving and toss it away on arrival. I once had mice get into the insulation of a Vking range......... eeew! (That was in the Blue Ridge mountains where the mice are very bold.)

We always arrived with our cats who would have a merry couple of hours hunting. But by the next weekend, there'd be enough for another evening's sport.

I've had vacation houses in Vermont, on the Cape, in VA and in the Caribbean. Mice in all places.

My advice: plan on closed storage. Even without the mice if you're not there using and cleaning all your kitchen clabber on a regular basis, it will be dusty when you reach for it.

Isn't the point of vacation house to have easy living?


RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Oh goodness, we have field mice in our current vacation home, but the problem is under control. We have someone local who manages the property for us, and he checks the property and sets traps and whatever is needed so that we never see mice, or their droppings! He also manages a cleaning staff, who not only checks out the place before you arrive to make sure you have, say, your paper products, but even turns on the heat for you. It sounds indulgent, but it is very very reasonable because he lives within 5 minutes, and he is smart enough to promote these services to people with second homes.

I think about the ONLY industry there is in this new locale is property management - so I imagine we can find someone to provide the same level of service. I also have a thing about rinsing anything before I use it anyway, because I swear I can taste d/w residue.

But I hear you. When we first bought the place, I was doing some cleaning. I was wiping down a set of plastic shelving, the kind that snaps together and looks sort of like milk crates? Well, I saw a string hanging down, so I pulled it. It, umm was not a string. It was someone's tail. I am really squeamish about that kind of stuff, and as I told DH, if I hadn't been wearing gloves I would have needed to be institutionalized after that happened to me!

We even get mice here, in the "suburban country" as my neighbor calls it, every fall. It only takes a trap or two to get rid of them, but it was a bit unexpected the first time!

How nice to have all those vacation spots. Which is/was your favorite?

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

What is the item on the far left wall, all alone? I followed your descriptionmpretty well, but didn't see what that was. Looks like a big sink.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Hi Nini,
That is an existing FPL, in what is currently the LR. The stock icons in the Room Planner software dictate how it looks. It is actually rather diminutive, as shown here:

LR - turn into kitchen, save fpl

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Oh, how nice that will be!! I really love all of the vintage long as you are very organized, which it sounds like you are...I think it will be wonderful!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Of course, I love the idea of an unfitted kitchen! But having cooked in a similar layout...I would recommend some kind of landing area on either side of the range. Even if it's small cabinets with stainless steel tops, you'll need some place to set down hot dishes, besides the kitchen table. Otherwise, I think you have a wonderful plan for a vacation kitchen :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Thanks, Nini! I guess what emboldens me is I don't think it would be too difficult to change my mind in the future...

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Hi Lavender,

It's nice to see you. I might have missed your "return" elsewhere, but I hope all is well!

I agree with you about a place to put hot pans (and spoons, spatulas, etc). I could put them on the drainboard to the right, but that is not ideal. I wish I could find a range with a stainless steel workspace, like my LaCanche has. But I think only LaC does that. However, there is another route. My Viking in my old house was a 6 burner stove, but I confess I never needed 6 burners. One day I put a griddle over the middle two. It evolved that those burners were almost always off, and that griddle became a landing area, a spoon rest, some times even prep space. For that reason I am looking for a 6 burner range here too. I know it's a little backward! There is also a shelf that you can get from viking, part of the SS BS, but it is not terribly deep.

I could also put a stainless table or wheeled cart somewhere, but i think that would be clunky. I'm already accommodating a d/w, when I really wish there were none.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

That layout would drive me daft. A rolling cart would help.

Are you going to get a Big Chill fridge? I think it would look great there.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Yup, that's exactly what I have spec'd for there. Totally the vibe.

I do love those Boos rolling stainless carts. I will have to see.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

You may wish to check in Appliances for additional range options. Viking has had some QC problems. Wolf, BlueStar and Lacanche are a few. An induction range may look a little less "old" but it is as fast as gas and dumps much less heat into the room. Sometimes a serious consideration in summer.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Thanks, Dan. I just researched ranges 3 yrs ago for our primary residence, so I have a pretty good idea. And sorry, I only like gas. It's primal. I have a LaCanche, mostly a style decision, and there have been a few disappointments. I can get disappointment for a lot less in Viking, LOL. I had a Viking and while I did have one issue, it was just one issue in 8 or 9 years and was resolved.

Truth be told, I like the Sea Glass color VIking has.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Sorry, reno bleary and overlooked your BC spec.

Have you heard of Vintage industrial paradise, or as one article called it, the Warehouse of WTF. You'd love it.

It's rough and retro enough that you could do one or two nautical items without going kitsch.

They often have rolling carts.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Oh yeah, I have Modern50 bookmarked. I seem to recall that everything i wanted was always sold. I don't know if they still do but they kept all the sold stuff on the site just to show you how cool they were and what a loser you are for not finding the stuff first.

It's soooo easy to go kitch when you get near the water. The salt air does something to people's Good Taste Barometer.

Thanks for the images!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

One of the most memorable vacation homes I ever saw in a magazine had built in window benches that were actually twin sized mattresses that could bunk up an extra guest....could you squeeze one or two of these in your downstairs area? I have always thought they were so cool.

Back to your layout, I agree that a landing area next to the stove is a good idea, and would simply go for a butcher block cart, NSF stainless table, or even elf a style with a solid top. I think it should be something sturdy enough to hold a full cast iron roaster pan, and heat proof on top (wood, stone, tile, metal). Aside from that there would be lots of options.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I feel like a bubble buster, but I'm not criticizing your grandmother's kitchen or the vibe you want to achieve. So don't read on unless you want to.

I think the problem is that it takes a lot of people to make that type of kitchen work. Without all those relatives gathered around the table, sharing the tasks and the walking round and round the table - I don't think it'll work so well.

Giving a couple of specifics - when I see my grandmother's actual kitchen - it was pretty long. They lived on a large farm and the kitchen had a separate mini-kitchen room - like a canning kitchen or utility kitchen - big drainboard sink, old range, couple of full height pantry cupboards, a trash can and a small work table. The kitchen proper had one wall of sink, range, a dish cupboard and a pantry cupboard. An inside wall had the ref sitting in splendid isolation, the outside walls all had large windows and there was a small table with 4 chairs. The wall between the canning kitchen and the utility kitchen had food storage cupboards.

Even as a child, I must have been a kitchen freak. What made that work for her was a couple of things.

She was short. My mother said she was 5'2" and grandmother was less than 5'0". Table height was a good counter height for her.

The table was small and close to the range/sink. The small pantry cupboard and ref were also close - neither was more than 5 feet from the sink.

She did not cook in the way we seem to today. She would make boiled stews, partly using canned veg. She transfered the food to serving dishes and brought those out to the dining room. The kitchen table was used for incidental snacks, visiting children and prep or for stacking washed and dried plates.

The coffee maker and toaster were out in the dining room on a huge sideboard beside the equally huge table. She had a small set of everyday dishes stored in the kitchen. The dishes used for meals were kept in the dining room. After her children were grown and gone, the dining room was simply never used again.

She was more than willing to fetch something like an electric mixer from a different room. The twin design was long but fairly narrow.

The contrast between that - efficient in its way, but with a lotta walking around and how we work today is striking.

When I look at your plan, I wonder if you'll be ok without a micro, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender, etc. I agree that the plan would sort of work with a lot of people around - but what happens when there's not? Are you going to be ok when you have to use a mixer on the table?

I know its a vacation house, but you'll still need a selection of pots, bowls, prep tools, tupperware, salad spinners, appliances or whatever your cooking/prep needs are. There is a small pantry and space for a couple of 18" base cabs, but maybe not enough storage for kitchen gear - particularly for large groups.

How will helpers help? Are you expecting to drag loads of freshly washed stuff (dripping the whole way) over and pile it on the table? What will happen to veg scraps? Where would they pile up the finished stuff while its waiting to be cooked. If you use one, where would a food processor be set up? How many cutting boards/knives/peelers would it take and where would they be kept?

I so totally understand the draw of a large table, but it'll be a pretty big obstacle for helpers to walk around.

The drawing is one thought - using a smaller table centered on one side of the fireplace. Add a small counter height island or worktable. I would use the big puffy chairs at the table and then let them be turned to look outside if somebody wants to.

Other thoughts are to use two separate tables instead one big one. Generally, have one closer to the business area of the kitchen - maybe with a thick board on the kitchen end to temporarily raise the height for a standing worker. The seated workers would be closer and available for gossip or dope-slaps. And then the other table more towards the view side - smaller more intimate dining for those times without a crowd. They could be pushed together for a long centered table like you've shown.

I like the idea of built-in extra beds. An outstanding nap experience!

Consider replacing some of the french door units with same size fixed units. This would let you place some furniture against the outside walls or use some of the electrical outlets.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

You should see if the La Cornue W Collection is available in the States now. The induction cooktop table is to die for.

This unfitted kitchen is a favorite of mine. Similar pieces to your description: Romantic Stone Kitchen

I would definitely purchase the max size allowed for the cabinet for dish, etc storage. Have you considered using an English style larder cabinet? Would double pantry storage and either could be used for whatever needs storing. There is one here (scroll down), as well as other storage ideas. You could easily fit a larder cabinet and dish storage on that wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: La Cornue W Collection

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Could you use one of the 1950s style ranges, with the four burners and the big landing space in the middle? That might be similar to your 'griddle in the middle' set up, but more vintage :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

That cooktop is the kind of thing they invented the acronym "OMG" for. Wow, Stunning, I love it. I guess you missed the part where I swore this time I was going to find creative ways to keep costs down, instead of creative ways to waste money, LOL. Oh and the link to the image of the stone kitchen is the one that comes up every time I look for inspiration photos. I love the whole Atticmag piece on it, and of course your wonderful kitchen!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Lavender -- which brand are you referring to? Or do you mean actual vintage?

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

LOL Well, there is always a "gotta have" piece (or three) that ends up getting purchased during a budget renovation!

If I had more time during construction, mine would be more truly unfitted. Next house (or guest house)!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Reading through some of the comments brings up an important question:

What do you plan on cooking when you're there?

I have a totally different cooking repertoire during the Summer. It's common for us to arrive home from the beach or boat at 6:00 and we've usually decided what we're going to do for dinner an hour before we packed up to head home. I'd say 90% of our meals are prepared in less than an hour and usually cooked on the grill or in this portable propane tank (lobsters, etc) linked below. I highly suggest getting one, by the way. They can handle huge pots and you can use them outside so you keep all of the mess outside too!

Most of our meals consist of grilled vegetables, fish, chicken, or meat. I do find I make a fair amount of salsas (either for chips or served over fish and chicken) so I'd want a good spot for the cuisinart. And I use the stove top a fair amount for the kids at breakfast, also at dinner to make sauces, or popcorn for a movie. I also find I make a fair amount of cold salads. - grilled corn, greens, fruit, etc.

I find I entertain more during Summer too. When I do it's usually grilled vegetables, fish, chicken or meat, or good ole fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs. Salads, hummus plates, cheese plates, shrimp cocktail (i grill it and chill it) and chips, salsas, and guacamole.

Given our habits, I want lots of storage for the cuisinart, wooden salad bowls, dip bowls, platters, lobster tools and pots, etc. Oh and the blender for cocktails and/or smoothies.

Anyhow, something to think about since this is a seasonal home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propane Tank

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...


No, you are NOT a bubble buster. You are very helpful!

For one, I forgot in this iteration about the m/w, which we definitely need. It should go on the d/w, but I only want a mini one. We use it for reheating a plate or popcorn.

But means I need a new place for my knives (a strip somewhere? )and my coffeemaker. I don't drink coffee or even know how to make it (folks are so picky about it nowadays too), but I think I have to have one. In our lakehouse and primary house we actually do not have one out on the counter, DH does drink coffee but he likes to go to the local coffeeshop in the am anyway. I think the lady owner hits on him and it makes his day. : )

I also forgot to mention a trashcan, though I do have a large metal garbagecan in my moodboard (didnt post that yet).

"Even as a child, I must have been a kitchen freak" LOL

"She was more than willing to fetch something like an electric mixer from a different room." I am too, given the rarity with which I will have to. One thing I like about the beachhouse vs the lakehouse, we can stroll into town and we have at least a dozen restaurants, vs having to drive 15-20 minutes to find two!

"When I look at your plan, I wonder if you'll be ok without a micro, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender, etc."
The first three I plan on having, and I know I posted a lot but if you scroll back I addressed them. I don't need a blender, I use my small food processor for smoothies. I use a handmixer (even at home I hate to drag out my extra lg kitchen aid and more often that not use a $20 hand mixer).

Keep in mind I have a laboratory for this. As I said, we have had a lakehouse for 7 years. It is about the same size home, and I see no reason to assume our kitchen needs would be any different. I took photos of every drawer and cabinet and mapped the contents to this layout. I have never felt under-equipped in our lakehouse kitchen, and it all maps to here.

"Are you going to be ok when you have to use a mixer on the table?" I have a hand mixer at the lakehouse, and IIRC I used it once to make blueberry muffins (they grow there. Most of the time I mix batter by hand, because I don't make huge batches.

Plus, I think you are forgetting, I do have "counterspace". The butcheblock on top of the d/w is counterspace. The drainboards are, de facto, counterspace (esp if I dont hand wash dishes). The "griddle" is de facto counterspace; from experience in my old house i used it that way, even thought my range was in a run of cabinets with ample granite counterspace left and right.

"I know its a vacation house, but you'll still need a selection of pots, bowls, prep tools, tupperware, salad spinners, appliances or whatever your cooking/prep needs are. There is a small pantry and space for a couple of 18" base cabs, but maybe not enough storage for kitchen gear - particularly for large groups." See above re mapping. BTW, for anyone planning a kitchen, I highly recommend you take a photo of each cab and drawer, open, so that you can map where things go in the new kitchen. For our current primary home, I had printouts of the photos and just wrote cab numbers next to it. Easy.

"Are you expecting to drag loads of freshly washed stuff (dripping the whole way) over and pile it on the table? What will happen to veg scraps? Where would they pile up the finished stuff while its waiting to be cooked."

Why wouldn't I just put it in a bowl or even on a paper plate? In our primary home, my DH and I often do prep together for elaborate meals. Let's take the stuffing I made last week. My daughter was at the kitchen table grating carrots. My husband was next to her dicing the onions (dear man). And I was sauteeing at the stove. Are we really the only people in American who cook that way? We have two islands (one is really a work table) and they are great, but not indispensable.

"If you use one, where would a food processor be set up?" I will have floor outlets and wall outlets. But, i have to confess, I pretty much only use it (its little) for smoothies in the summer.

"How many cutting boards/knives/peelers would it take and where would they be kept?" Well, the ~24x24 top to the d/w will be a 6" Boos cutting board. But in my plan I also mention storing one onthe hutch (next to the toaster to cut bread --- we don't like presliced bread), and some in the hutch. Do note that the hutch is on a 12 foot wall. I drew in a hutch that I like the style of, but they do custom stuff, too, plus i can look around for an antique. But I think I need a much large piece than shown, given the scale of the table.

"I so totally understand the draw of a large table, but it'll be a pretty big obstacle for helpers to walk around.". That, is true. But I think we have created "hallways" around it. Not sure how to solve that problem. It is the table we have at our lake, but the room is different there too.

Your kitchen drawing is great (and, uhh, how did you do that?). There is a local consignment shop that has a massive antique butcher block, about the size of the piece you show near the sink. If I show DH this, he will go for it since he loves that butcher block. I think the issue Id have to decide with your layout is how I feel about giving up the seating. I had a sofa in my last kitchen, which people thought was crazy but everyone loved. Plus I hoped that, from those chairs, you could look left out to the cove or ahead to the open sea. But thank you for the drawing -- it's a real contender. I am trying to set up meeting with three architects, and they may spin my head around entirely but I think there is no such thing as too much preparation.

"I like the idea of built-in extra beds. An outstanding nap experience!" Again, drawing from our lakehouse experience, but if we aren't outside, we spend a lot of time doing puzzles and playing games at the table. Of course only adults nap, but for us... those lovely naps are for privacy! But it does remind me it'd be great to have a hammock.

"Consider replacing some of the french door units with same size fixed units. This would let you place some furniture against the outside walls or use some of the electrical outlets." I really haven't figured out my fenestration at all. Laypeople are inclined to want as many windows as possible. I need an architect to help me optimize that, inside and out. As far as outlets, I love floor outlets because I don't like furniture against walls. I think it's from growing up in a house where the rooms weren't big enough to do that.

Thank you so much for the thought provoking plan and all of your points!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...


It just occurred to me, I don't remember where they had the grill, but we have to make sure we accommodate one! hmm Thank you for reminding me!

But you are right, in the summer at least, it is all about grilling a protein, and then making a salad and cooking up whatever from the farmer's market. I guess I've not given much thought to it, because I don't think it will differ from what we've always done (and our lakehouse kitchen has empty space and is not that far from a Wms Sonoma outlet, so if Id felt a need for something, Id have bought it).

Two possible differences --- we may be more popular. : )
People do prefer beach to lake usually, but we are also harder to get to.
We may cook lobsters --- but --- both DH and I are allergic to shellfish. ANd I practically had to twist my eldest's arm to try a lobster roll last summer, because he was worried he must be allergic .....

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Most of my husband's family has shellfish allergies; I'm so thankful we don't!
I wanted to add to my other post that for me, because of the way I cook and the types of meals we're doing, I don't feel like a Summer kitchen needs the same level of storage and all of the bells and whistles a year round and/or winter kitchen needs. I rarely bake or roast in the Summer. In the winter I roast all of the time and because the weather isn't so great I'm more inclined to spend hours on a Saturday or Sunday cooking. In the Summer, I spend as little time as possible in there!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

The little 2 foot top with a tall thing to the right and a coffeemaker and knife block and a micro that is 15-20" square isn't counterspace - its done! Particularly for me as I'm right handed and I like my right elbow.

Is that picture the actual room? Are you going to move the radiator pipes?

If you like to sit at the table and do games, would you think about reversing the living room - so you could see the view at the same time?

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

But means I need a new place for my knives (a strip somewhere? )

I'm guessing you don't watch murder/mystery or horror movies.... lol

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Chris I so agree. One of my dislikes about our lakehouse is that there is literally no place to eat out other than one very high end restaurant which, both calorically and financially, is not a great habit. I like to cook, but I don't like have to to cook, breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole family and guests while I'm on "vacation"!

I might be daft or there is a typo or a missing word but I'm not positive I understand the first sentence? Are you saying I am out of room on that surface? I'm saying just the mircowave (now that you reminded me of it!) will go there. Coffeemaker in storage most of the time. As for knives, either a drawer or a strip somewhere. Remember I am showing a 54" wide hutchm but have room for a 144" hutch. That piece will be large, and its size will probably be the key to the success of the plan!

Allison, If someone wanted to stab me (and maybe some do), I'm guessing they are motivated enough to open a drawer, or stop off at Wms Sonoma.

A few years ago I needed a cleaver to cut up a chicken to marinate overnight. I could not find my cleaver. It was about a quarter to eight in the evening. We had a Wms Sonoma in our little town, and DH drove there hurriedly, arrived just before closing, grabbed a cleaver and nothing else and paid cash. We still wonder he wasn't trailed home!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I think it will be extraordinary. The whole point of a second home is to be away from the what you have in your daily life.

I do not like BMG's plan with an island for your beach home. it is too much like a standard home. Our friends' ski home that sleeps 4 families very comfortably (20 or so people) has a huge long table that can seat about 20 people. It is the most wonderful thing about that house. We all sit and talk, play games, eat together, play cards etc. We actually sit at the table and play cards rather than moving to the LR. Granted they have a standard kitchen next to it; with an island etc. The house is HUGE.

I really LOVE your long table that takes up the entire room. To me that is the soul of that house! You need to figure out what the SOUL of that house is and build around it even if it means that some of the function is to be sacrificed.

I champion your concept of open old fashioned kitchen where it evokes the by-gone era where life was much simpler without all the electronics and modern conveniences. If you can get the kids to stay there without wi-fi for the weekend, my hat is truly off to you! MY kids will not go on the sail boat readily because it is too far from wi-fi....

Having said that, I would make the range have a little landing room next to it as discussed above. I have seen people put old well used butcher blocks, movable carts etc to create unfitted kitchen with a landing spot next to the range.

I would also make the hutch larger with electric outlets to use it as a place for appliances. That way, you don't have to put them away. Not sure how to have something look like a hutch but still have electrical outlets for appliances... Hm...

I would make sure that the outdoor kitchen/BBQ had its own water source so they do not need to come into the kitchen for water. The sink is pretty far through the kitchen from the outdoors.

You talked of working at the table. I actually work on the kitchen table quite a bit if I am working with other people. I am also short so that may have something to do with that. As I get older, I like sitting to peel and do things that do not require me to stand. I need to stand to chop efficiently. But for peeling, shelling, cleaning, mixing etc, sitting works fine. It looks like your family is okay with that.

I suggest that you experiment with your lake house kitchen. Block off significant portions of the counter and use it for a weekend. If it works well enough, i think you will be fine. I think the storage is not the issue; the issue is the counter space.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

The picture in Allison's Romantic Stone kItchen with a big glassed-in dresser top is what I was trying to lead you to, for critter and dust protection.

It has a clear sense of open shelf-i-ness, but when you stow things one weekend, they will still be ready for you the next time you arrive.


RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

This is in the list you said to read
"Coffeemaker and knifebloack on top of d/w butcherblock"
and then you added microwave.

But thanks for your opinion of my sanity.

This post was edited by bmorepanic on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 19:31

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I'm only saying this because a beach house is different from a lake house. And much of it is when you have lots of guests. And you may become very, very popular.

We have a beach house. I don't do serious cooking there. Never have roasted or baked. Grill a protein outside, make a salad, sandwiches for lunch, max. And we bring in lots of good food. No one wants to leave the beach. Dh, not being a beach-lover, likes to go out. So i don't argue about that! It would be appealing to our family and guests to be able to stroll to dinner with so many choices as you have.

It does depend on whether you will have lots of guests. And whether being on the sand or hanging around the house is preferred. Each place has it's own culture. Little kids-eat at home. Big kids-eating out is an option.

Be prepared for breakfasts at home. A place to store bagels, breads and baskets. Linens, kitchen linens. Fridge space for gallons of milk, juices, eggs, butter, waters. Condiments accumulate. Small food pantry, large fridge spaces. Brooms and vacs for the sand! Storage for trays to and fro the grill. Placemat storage for outside dining. Pitchers though we used orange juice
containers, water bottles and canned soda (not green). Storage for bug/mosquito repellent.

Our table is 105 x 40 but we have adequate counter space in a small, fitted, 3 butt kitchen. We use the table for talking, playing games, puzzles, eating. But we have the option of preparing food there and if you choose a limited counter space kitchen, you will have no options. So when you arrive and want to throw stuff on the table, all the stuff you bring from home, it will be cluttery. Again, it depends on your use-no.of people, etc.

Sounds wonderful-enjoy your new house.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Don't give up your huge table.
Don't do the island.
Do (you are already thinking of this) get a sufficiently long hutch.
Do give serious consideration to a landing piece beside the range. I like Kaismom's suggestion.
You might consider one or two open shelvess (not a cabinet) above this landing piece to hold a knife block and open crocks for spatulas, cooking spoons, tongs etc. They would be in arm's reach of the range as you won't have drawers near the range.

Just my thoughts :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Thanks, Tuesday.
I was thinking about it and I don't know why I keep talking about a knife block. I only have a carving knife, bread knife, and paring knife at the lake. Not taking up butchering!
As for utensils, they will either go in a crock in the "griddle middle" as Lav called it, on the peg board to the left, or on the VIking shelf (see link)

Here is a link that might be useful: b/s and shelf

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I think our popularity will be manageable because we really aren't all that likable. : )
You make a good point that, when you come home, whatever you have gets dumped on the table. Voila, no counter.
When I look at the list you mentioned, it is the same for a lakehouse. You need a broom and vac anywhere (that's what the hall closet is for --- I am using hooks for all outerwear).
Don't get me started on bagels. I can't even get a good one hear, let alone at the beachhouse. No one understands the proper texture of a bagel outside of NYC! Sad, very sad.

Bmore - I'm still confused but yes i think you are sane and wow thanks again for the layout!

Lirio - that sure is a pretty piece! I have at least a year so should start looking. The tricky part is i want some counter space in the hutch.

Kais - thank you for your enthusiasm. Great idea about outlets in the hutch, water source near grill, etc. I love Boos rolling SS carts, and I think I will find someway to use one. It'd be great for when we want to set up dinner on the deck, too.

PS In re WIFI and kids. The kids weren't even school age when we bought our lakehouse. It had a huge TV and a satellite dish. We bought it furnished except we said to take the TV out. I think the kids have always assumed that we just can't get TV and wifi at the lake. They know now we can but won't, and surprisingly, no complaints. They get it, how much the internet sucks you in. That doesn't mean that, when we get home on Sunday nights they don't nearly trample each other to death to get to the communal Mac we have for them!
At home, we have found it easiest to categorically disallow computers and TV on school nights, and keep them to an hour each on weekends. We use timers and if they are found using the TV or computer w/o the timer set, it is assumed they have no time and it is shut off. They don't have any handhelds or phones. They do have shuffles. We have Wii but that's it.

In discussing the beachhouse, the kids have said we should not get internet or satellite TV. I think we should have a TV set up just to play movies, in the playroom. Movies are, to me, a legitimate art form (or can be), and we should watch more of them.

DH points out that we need to have internet and satellite if we ever wanted to rent out the beachhouse (which I have an aversion to but greed can surmounts aversions, so maybe). So maybe we will have internet. If I ever logon here from the beachhouse, please shoo me away.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Hey, my grandma had a green glider too! Except hers was on the front porch. I remember sitting at her kitchen table alot with mixing and peeling etc. Seemed like there was plenty of time available to get everything done--I don't ever remember her rushing around to get a meal on the table.

As far as needing internet and TV to rent the house, maybe your renters will love being "away from it all". Is there cell service relatively nearby? The first winter we were here in our mtn house (a mile from a ski area), we rented out the cabin next door. We had a TV with DVD player but no satellite TV nor internet. The ski area had cell service which (I assume) let the kids use their smart phones to get their tech fix. One family specifically rented *because* there wasn't internet/TV. Two others (separately) rented because their kids were on special diets so they wanted a full kitchen to cook all their meals.

Anyway, I guess my point is that internet/TV can be expensive, even if you write it off against the rent, so if you don't want the tech for *you*, maybe it's not needed. Depends on your rental competition too, I'm sure. There weren't any other rentals in our little valley which certainly helped us.


RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Good point, Mtn, I will ask. Id rather not have it. I can control the kids (sometimes). I cannot control myself.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

heh, well, if you decide against internet, you know you'll have to hie yourself over to a wifi location at least once so you can upload your kitchen pics instantly for us!


RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

As for the range, vintage would be great...if you can find one in working order or have it repaired. You know, those big ones (with two ovens) and all the open space in the middle.

I like the long table in the middle, but if you do a lot of salads and chopping/prep etc. maybe the island would be a good idea. Maybe an old table with a stainless steel top? And, the eating table still looks great in front of the big windows. Maybe some really comfortable chairs, for sitting and looking at the view. Just an idea :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I was going to say what Lav did (hi, Lav!) about the vintage stove. As she said, they have some landing space built into them depending on the model. And they are beautiful!

(mice. three traps set, 2 mice caught and one in the garbage can trying to get out. He, or another of his ilk, ATE THE PEANUT BUTTER OFF THE TRAPS after the other ones had met their fate. Another reason to off them, no loyalty to their kind at all. They seem to know when we're gone from here and break out the party invitations. I'd be nuts if I had pulled a string and found it attached to a dead rodent. Bleeechhh...*shudder*. Sorry for the digression, but I've been picturing that scenario since I first read your post about it.)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

LOL Deedles, until we put our property mgmt guy on vigil, I refused to go into the lakehouse until DH inspected it first. We once had a baby stuck in a round metal trashcan, squealing. And then there was the time the babysitter sat down on the sofa and a baby mouse crawled out from a cushion. I think DH knew if he didn't solve it, I was going to sell the place.

There is a lady who runs a little antique shop at the railroad station here. She has a very pretty stove in her shop, that I saw the day after we saw the beachhouse and immediately lusted after. It's a wonderful color pale bluish green. She said it was in her basement when she bought her home from the proverbial little old lady, and that the PO said "it worked fine". BUt you need to light it w a match.

A friend of mine has a brother who is a published expert on old stoves. She asked him about this one on my behalf. He said if I wanted to buy it he recommended I use it to put a lamp on. In other words, he wouldn't buy an old stove unless and until it was certified in good working order. Killjoy.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Sorry--that advice is ridiculous. There are plenty of people in NE who can work on old stoves after you buy them. Including right there in RI.

Speaking of gliders, I really want one for my back porch. Speaking of repair and restoration, there are people online who fix them up and resell them. However, the cost would pay for me to take a vacation to someplace that already has a glider, so I took a pass.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

After he burst my bubble, I did go look for someone who could sell me a refurbished stove, and did come across some one in RI. But i then decided a unique quirky stove in a hard to get to location might be a real PITA if I had any issues, and decided I'd probably go with Viking.

Maybe I should ask him more pointedly why he said that, esp since, as a reseller of old stove parts, he could have made some money off of encouraging me to buy.

Yes I came across overpriced gliders when I was looking for overpriced vintage wicker.

Off topic, didn't you want to put in Linoleum or Marmoleum or Forbo or whatever they call it now? Is it true that they don't make it in 9" squares anymore? Why are you choosing this product. I am thinking of it as a nice, strong, not wildly expensive product for my beachhouse. TIA

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

You can get reproduction gliders for not crazy money ...

I bought one from Restoration Hardware several years ago, it's not fabulous but on a covered porch it's okay. Is slowly showing signs of rust, not major, but small amounts of discoloration.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I'm going vintagey enough that Marmo is really my only choice. The Click feels great to the touch, but since it doesn't have the colors I want, I'll be doing sheet with a cork underlayment. The cush is really nice. I do not like tile, neither for the unyielding hardness underfoot nor the explosive shattering of dropped glassware. And I truly hate grout on horizontal surfaces.

I think it would be great in a beach house, but I'd also maybe consider, horrors, VCT, since the place will be unoccupied for so much of the year. Water standing on Marmo is not a terribly good thing, at least not on the seams.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Maybe you should run over to the published stove guy's place and see if he has a vintage pale bluish green stove from the antique lady's shop. That is the only reason anyone should say anything so dumb. d.u.m.b.

(At first I thought you were going to say you bought it and it had MICE IN IT! My DH had an old stove once, hooked it up and fired it up, worked fine til the whole place started to smell like mouse pee. They had built nests in the insulation.)

Engineer: someone has a longer version of that sitting outside rusting about 4 blocks from my house. It's an old one and I've often thought about stopping and asking if they want to sell it. Maybe I should go see if it's still there and ask.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

We vacationed once in a beach house in santa barbara that had a huge table in the kitchen.. We loved it. We went with 3 other families who are all foodies and it was great to sit around, prep together, eat together, drink together and play together. I remember a marathon monopoly session with adults and kids playing a cutthroat game for hours. We just put the Cuisinart right on the table to make salsa and aioli. The table was great for setting up assembly lines for raviolis and bruschetta. It was old and wood and nobody cared about staining it etc. The owner told us that she kept meaning to get rid of the table but all of her renters and family love it. The other stuff in the kitchen was a old range which needed detailed instructions to make it work (my advice is to keep the range simple if you wish to rent at all.. You may be willing to deal with the fussiness for the charm but any potential renters may not. But there was no counter per se.. There was another table next to the range that had stainless steel top and open shelves underneath with fiesta ware type of plates and bowls. . The sink was on the same wall as the range and was one of those old shallow double sinks with double drain boards and a wall mounted faucet. The sink had a curtain below and there was a dishwasher under one of the drain boards. The fridge was free standing. There was another wall with a long hutch with dishes and some cabinetry underneath. The floor was easy to mop tiles. Step on trash can was tucked under one of the sink drainboards. And the kitchen was yellow with dark green tile on the wall with the stove and sink. The other walls were white washed boards (kind where you can see the wood grain and distressed patches where there was real distress :)

No island please :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I am certain I have seen ranges like Lavender is suggesting on AJ Madison, just look for a 36" range that only has 4 burners. Growing up, we had a small vacation cottage. Kitchen was tiny. The old sink with drainboards did have cabinetry under it, then there was one small cabinet between that and the range (this turned a corner, though) and a pegboard over the cabinet and the range. Old gas range that we had to light manually, then fridge. Across from range and fridge was an old porcelain topped table. It was pushed up against the wall, under the big kitchen window and there was just enough room for 1 cook or 2 squished in between the range and the table. The table was used for everything - all prep, landing space, etc. My parents added a cabinet to hold a microwave, and I don't even remember what else, on the wall that led to the cottages one bathroom. Dishes, flatware, toaster, linens were all in cabinets in the adjacent dining room. We managed, and my mom is a baker - we had fruit pies all Summer long from that kitchen. It was a great place to spend my childhood Summers. Enjoy!

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Something like this? Scroll down the GW thread, to the picture :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Nice stove. Didn't like the comment further down about the cockroaches liking the pilot light, though.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Lalitha, Lalitha, Lalitha, and Controlfreaks, too .... You have described my dream kitchen exactly! Exactly. You have given me new found confidence that this is the right thing. And everyone else has given me excellent ideas and reminders for my file. I feel very well armed!

Deedles, I am going to have to follow up with him and get a clearer answer. We are in CT and he is in California, and he only deals in parts. I'm sure there is an explanation, or he was exaggerating and trying to be funny.

VCT must be very bad if you have to use initials. I will google it but I am guessing the first word is vinyl. Btw, it's so exciting to see your project progressing! You are so incredibly prepared you don't need me to wish you luck, but then with reno a little luck is always a good thing! The universe owes you a wonderful project for all you have done for others, and may it be so.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

I was off-line and haven't read all of the comments but in regards to Marmoleum, has anyone whose looked into it seen Nafco Vinyl Tile?. I put this into a mud room, kitchen and bathroom about 13 years ago (we no longer have the house). That stuff was bullet proof and pretty good looking too. We got it in slate, but I believe they have many colors. I actually found it when I was at my Grandmothers house and asked her what her kitchen floor was because it had held up so well over the years. She went into her basement and pulled out a box leftover from the original install from I don't know maybe the early 60's. It was 2000 when I asked her. I remember my Contractor telling me he used it in his house after he installed it and started recommending it to others. When we sold the house six years later it looked the same as on day one and we didn't baby it. I actually haven't seen Marmoleum though, so I can't compare. It might be worth a look.

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

juliekcmo --> I love those deep window seats and we are building 2 1/2 of them in our home. The 1/2 extends to a full one in a reading nook.

Mtnrdredux --> I was thinking that this could actually be quite a cost effective kitchen. You need a couple of stainless steel tables with shelves underneath.. perhaps from a restaurant supply store? The range itself (I still suggest doing a nice newer range that looks vintage or industrial if at all you plan to rent). A longish vintage sink. You need to build a steel frame to support it probably. A dishwasher... I would suggest a portable that has finished sides.. A plumber can plumb it for you permanently. Or else get one of those with a wood top, you can plonk down a boos board on top and have a chopping surface right near the stove. The long wood table. A long hutch or may be a matching pair. Assorted chairs and stools including a couple that adjust up and down so that you can conveniently position yourself for chopping. 4X4 tile is classic for vintage kitchens and some bright and wonderful colors are available. The beauty of this is that if you end up not liking this, there is no demolition really.. It is all furniture and you can just move it and do cabinets if you want :)

RE: My grandmother's kitchen ...

Lalitha -- you are channeling me. You are totally describing what I want to achieve.

I can imagine I am the only one who read all 53 posts, but if you were, say, stranded on a desert island and this was all you ipad still had in cache, you would see that I have already said...

1.I will probably have a stainless steel cart
2.Probably a Viking Stove because I like their Sea Glass color, SS BS and shelf
3. A double drainboard sink, 5' long, reproduction or vintage
4. A freestanding d/w w finished sides, topped with Boos butcher block
5. We own a 9' long table
6. I like the style hutch I linked to but I have a 12' wall and for function and scale it should be larger.
7. If I end up not liking it I can always do cabs later!

But I did get another new idea --- adjustable stools! Great one!

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