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Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Posted by jac0404 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 4, 09 at 11:12

Hi! This is a duplicate of a post on the Kitchen forum. I have a 1922 bungalow with a tiny (9x13) kitchen. One wall has a huge built-in, and another wall has a radiator. I'm thinking about taking out the built-in and doing a modest remodel, hopefully moving the stove over to the built-in wall, putting in some new cabinets, and adding a dishwasher. After looking at the pics, does anyone have any suggestions? (Even if that suggestion is "don't mess with the built-in!") I couldn't get them small enough, so you can see the pics here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/35067371@N03/

Thanks so much!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of tiny kitchen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

jac0404,
Is the built-in original, do you think? I really like it and if it were original and it was my house, I would be loathe to remove it. I read your post on the Kitchens side and suggested you ask over there for floorplan help because there are some wiz-kids over there with floorplans. I have four doors in my 1913 kitchen and we worked around them. I thought that was bad, but now seeing your space, I think it is a more difficult one. I really don't know what to suggest you do, while keeping the built-in. I'll be interested to read what others suggest. Having a small pantry does help with your storage. But, I just can't see any space for appliances and sink to move to. What is on the other side of the basement stairs? Is there an option to open the kitchen up in that direction?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I don't think that built-in is original to your kitchen and it appears way out of scale. Can you use it in another room or sell it? I'd love to see that refrigerator out of that space too. It's too close to the sink. Maybe it was just the angle of the photo. I'm going to look again at your drawing.

-GoldDust, who has a smallish kitchen too.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Thanks to you both. The built in is original, yes, although the handles on it are not. If I removed it I would either sell or donate it or try to store it somewhere for the next owner.

The pantry area is on one side of a bedroom, and no, there really is no way to expand the kitchen that way. Truly, the only ways to expand the kitchen space would be to: (1) do an extension onto the back of the house or (2) open up the kitchen to the diningroom. I don't want to do either of those things since the first would be prohibitively expensive for my area and the second would wreak serious havoc on the integrity of the house (the diningroom has a beautiful built in and some really lovely dark molding).

I'm excited to see if anyone has any other suggestions! I can always leave the kitchen as-is, it will just mean that we'll need to take our leave of this house more quickly than I would like.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I wonder if it would be that easy to get the cabinet out in one piece (or even a couple), depending on how it was built in and what happens if there's no real 'back' to it, apart from whether it would fit through doors now.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Really good question re: fitting through doors, etc. It definitely does have its own back, but I have no idea whether it would be possible to extract it in one (or two or three) piece(s) such that it could be used again. There is a company here that does "demolition" in older houses specifically with the aim of getting these types of things out such that they remain usable.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

If you can move the built-in without damaging it, you could move it to where the stove is, opposite the dining room built-in. Then put the sink under the window with the radiator (moving radiator), and bump-out the back wall 2' for the stove and fridge.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Is there any chance you could move the sink into the built in? It's a modification to the original I know, but done right, it could appear appropriate. I'm all about keeping the original things, except when it makes no sense for real function...and that kitchen is not functional! If you moved the sink, you could center it in the built in, with counter on both sides, and obviously a close place to put away the dishes. Then it leaves you with just the fridge and stove to deal with in that little corner, with space for a counter inbetween, making a much better functional space.

I also wonder, if it's not in the budget to get a fridge that's counter debth, can you recess it into the wall some so it does not loom so large next to the cook and make that counter look so dark and dreary?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

This may sound off-the-wall, but any chance of flipping the kitchen with the dining room? Then the built-in would stay as a buffet, and maybe there would be more design freedom.
Otherwise, get fridge drawers, and gain much-needed countertop space that way.
Casey


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

How about I come over and take that off your hands!

It exactly what I wanted in my kitchen...Are you near florida??? : )


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

We often buy old built-ins at yard sales. We either trim them out as stand alone pieces or build them in to a room in our house. A $300. yard sale built-in cab from a dining room turned into our bathroom cabinets.

You should be able to get that out of the house in one or two pieces - if you choose to. The window light seems compromised by the size of the hutch.

Great idea about flipping the kitchen with the dining room! But you have built-ins in the dining room too, right?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I wish Home Forum had a section just for small kitchens. I have to laugh when posters describe their "small kichens" in feet; I describe mine in inches (108" x 96" - same as a flat sheet for a full sized bed).

The built in piece is pretty and I hope it finds a good home. It reminds me of the upscale kitchens photos I see in UK with all of the cabinetry more like furniture - unattached.
It's a shame that your appliances look so new, because that kitchen really screams for some of the smaller but snazzy appliances, like the Bertazzoni or Avanti 24" gas range and the 24" counter width Blomberg or Leibherr fridges. Your cabinets and the built in seem to be a good match. Good luck!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I find myself wondering if the current kitchen might have been a butler's pantry at one time? That built-in has the look of built-in's that I've seen in BP's from that era.

Regardless...I'd figure out a way to keep it, I think. I'm going to throw a fly in the ointment...

Have you considered removing the radiator and moving the sink to under the window? Then one replaces the radiator with in-floor radiant heat...or baseboards.

(I have NO idea what that would cost...but I'm pretty certain it can be done.) Just thinking outside the box!

melanie


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Here is another question: Do you really even need the heater in the kitchen? Not every room in our old house has heat. Our bathroom is located in the middle of the house with absolutley nothing, and the temp is no different from the rest of the house if the door is kept open. We also close my kitchen heater vent in the winter and only open it in the summer for air conditioning. So long as you have good draw through the house, you maty find you can eliminate the heater all together and have so much more room for the remodelling.

I love the built in. I would be tempted to put it where the stove is, if it will fit, and then use the L of the outside walls for putting together a larger work area.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Boy, I thought I had a tough kitchen to configure!! This is a doozy! (can't believe I just used that word).

What's tough is that that built-in really is so lovely, like I said on the kitchens forum...with new hardware, it would just be perfect as is! However, I do like the idea of retrofitting it with a sink...that would be really cool and a neat selling point. However, it still doesn't solve the fridge issue, which I personally think is the biggest problem.

So tough...because that fridge would be ideal on the wall with the built-ins, flanked by some much needed counter space and cabinets.

Hmm...I'll think onto it. And you've already gotten some great suggestions above.
:)
Sarah


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I, too, really like igloo's suggestion of retrofitting the built-in for a sink. I would consider that. While it is not completely authentic, it allows you to keep the piece and get more functionality out of the rest of the room.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Retrofitting the built-in with a sink is a really cool idea and one I hadn't considered. Also, maybe I don't need the radiator.... You all have given me a lot to think about!


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two more things....

I forgot...did someone mention toe-kick heat? We were thinking about taking our our big 'ole beast of a cast-iron radiator and putting in toe-kick heat. That could be an option for you. We wound up keeping the heater and making sort-of a baking area/breakfast bar area. Here's what we did with our radiator...see it under there?

Photobucket

Maybe you could somehow link in a run of countertop there.

Also, would the kitchen be just terribly dark without that window? It looks like you have another window in there. Probably a terrible idea--just trying to get you more space.

Sarah


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

DONT MESS WITH THE BUILT IN!

Couldnt resist - somebody had to say it!

Whats in the pantry? Can a refrig fit in there? I had a fridge in a pantry once and it was WONDERFUL not having that huge honkin tank of a refrigerator filling up half my kitchen. Not to mention the noise. Yur kitchen is not that big so walking to the pantry to retrieve stuff is not a hardship. If the sink is on the wall where the fridge is that can be your landing area for stuff you pull out of the fridge.

Can the built in fit into the pantry? The thing about that built in besides the fact that it was made specially for your house and for that particular spot - is that it has phenomenal storage capacity which is essential for a small kitchen like this. If you sacrifice any of that you are going to feel it. I think what I would do is sorta use (& decorate) my dining room in a different way, more like an extension of the kitchen and less as a formal space you only sit down & eat in perhaps with some wood work tables around the periphery of the room that you could use for those times when you need more space to work in. Add open shelving above for vintage teapots, decorative containers, or whatever

I wonder how that kitchen was laid out originally? Probably had a much smaller fridge to deal with. Id be interested to see the whole house and how this room connects with the rest of the house would it make sense to make your dining room an eat in kitchen and leave your kitchen as the pantry/ workroom you could leave the fridge in there & make your new kitchen/former d.r. into a real showpiece vintage kitchen with one of those really big cool vintage repro stoves and the big 4 kohler sink with legs. True those items are not cheap but just think of all the money youre saving by not gutting and ripping out stuff! Im a strong believer in working WITH a house whenever possible instead of trying to get it to fit some contemporary ideas of what it "should" be.

BTW, around these parts a cabinet of that size, quality, and nice design would sell for way more than $300 try 500-1000!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

If the radiator is hot water you can use a fan-forced toe kick heat exchanger. If steam, no such luck. You can go with a electric toe kick heater, if you have the capacity in your breaker panel. A room in an old house with a window and an outside door almost certainly needs to be tied in to the central heat system, or it will lead to convective currents that will be perceived as drafts in other rooms.
Casey

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydronic Toe Space Heaters


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impressive...

(wow...I bow down to that explanation, Casey...)


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Your kitchen looks great...just a bit tight, I agree. I have been on million dollar sailboats with much smaller (and eaten very well), so think of it this way: some very rich people pay a lot of money to have a kitchen smaller than yours!

Could you fit a freestanding farmhouse sink with a drainboard over the radiator? They also come without legs. If the sink won't fit over your existing radiator, runtal makes a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on your timing, I have a couple of radiators that recess flush to the wall that are getting ripped out; I'd gladly give you one.

If you search on clarion farmhouse drainboard sink, you'll see what I mean.

Since your kitchen is so close to the basement steps, would you consider getting smallish undercounter fridge and freezer units (drawers or whatever), and then having a second fridge/freezer in the basement? In Europe many people have smaller fridges and just (I guess) make more frequent, quick trips for fresh supplies. You could be making those trips to restock your small fridge, but it would only be to the basement instead of to the store. Actually, your existing fridge could become the basement one.

My neighbor's father is a carpenter and she has wonderful shallow pantry shelves installed between the studs of the walls along her steps down to the basement. That might be a nice way for you to gain some additional storage. Less frequently used pots and baking items, if shallow, could also be stored/hung there.

I'm concerned about the clearance from the base of the built-in to the top part, in terms of fitting a faucet and being able to work comfortably. Not saying don't do it, just proceed with caution.

Another way to gain a little counter space would be to consider switching to an induction stove. It is a flat surface, and the glass cools very quickly after use, (much faster than a radiant unit), and you could cheat and use it for counter space whenever you weren't cooking, or even if you weren't using every single burner, the other spots would become counter space. Try browsing the induction site for more info. if you want to consider this.

Best of luck with your lovely kitchen!

Hmm, gw won't let me post links. Here is a link to some kitchens with sinks like the one I'm describing:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg022021012366.html


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I posted an idea on the kitchen site that keeps the built-in where it is, gives you more elbow room and counterspace and doesn't expand the kitchen. I wasn't sure if you checked there, but I was curious if you liked the idea.

Here is what I wrote:
I have an idea that leaves your built-in where it is, and doesn't expand the kitchen.
(I've got to get my software fixed so I can post drawings again!) It's a galley with the sink and dw along the window with radiator wall (radiator moved) and the fridge and stove along the basement steps wall, nothing along the dining room wall. Ok, working from the dining room door you would have 3' open space, then 18" base, 24" sink, 24" dishwasher, leaving 34" to the built-in for a total of 13'. If that isn't enough you could shrink the DW or the 18" base. DW is close to the built-in and out of main-traffic flow which goes diagonal.

Then on the opposite wall, working from the dining room side, a tall narrow 24" deep pull-out 6" or 9" wide, then fridge (also out of main traffic flow, but easy to get to) with a 24" deep cabinet above, 12" lower and upper, 30" stove, then a 15" or 18" cabinet and last a rounded or angled cabinet to the door trim.

Hopefully, I explained it well.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

mom2lilenj's idea of creating a galley is interesting. We have a square kitchen and basically created a double galley to work around some doors. But, I am wondering if that wall along the basement steps is anywhere near long enough for the (approx) 8 foot run "mom" is suggesting. However, the idea could still be viable. Even if you were just moving the sink to the radiator wall or built-in wall and then putting nothing on the wall backing the dining room and putting the fridge in the corner with the stove next to it on the basement stairs wall. Would there be enough length on that wall to put a small cabinet in between the two? A measured drawing might help.

I also think slateberry's idea for fridge/freezer drawers with a regular fridge in the basement is a good one.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Yes a measured drawing would tell exactly what is feasible. jac0404 can you get some exact measurements? I went by the room dimension being 13' along that wall and assumed a doorway area of 4' with a little extra for clearance to the 20" deep built-in. Having a pinch point of 36" or less might be worth having a little more counterspace. Also with that point being counterspace instead of a fridge I think you can get away with less clearance.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Wow! Thank you for all of the ideas! I have taken some measurements and posted some more pictures in my link (of the diningroom, which someone thought perhaps could become the kitchen -- something I don't think would work with this house, but a good idea!). I added my measurements to my awful drawing of the layout -- I'm sure they aren't exact, but they should be approximately correct. The one measurement I failed to put on there is that the built-in itself appears to be 6 feet, 8 inches long. If that measurement is correct, and my measurement of the wall along the basement steps is also correct, it looks like it might be possible for me to put the built-in there. I didn't think that wall was big enough, but maybe I'm wrong!

The galley idea is an interesting one, but as kimkitchy mentioned, I don't know that the basement wall is long enough for that. The drawer fridge/freezer is also a good idea. I'm really, really interested in getting a dishwasher in the kitchen if possible, so I tend to not want a farmhouse sink, although I do think they're beautiful.

Thank you all!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Ok, so the actual dimensions of you kitchen are 9'22" x 9'3", not 13'x9'. That definitely changes things.

You say the pantry is 18" deep would it be possible to it be recessed further to 24"?

Back to the drawing board, but first dinner for the kidos.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Oh my goodness! If those cabs and the built-in are original, I would do everything I could to keep them!

I was going to suggest a farm sink on the window wall, over the radiator, so put another check in that column. ;o)

Here's another thought: can you borrow some space from your dining room? This is ultimately what we decided to do in our 1910 house. Our DR wasn't huge, but as we scrambled to try to eek a usable arrangement out of our kitchen, we realized that where we needed more space was the kitchen, and the DR had it to give. We really only need room for a table, chairs and hutch in there. Borrowing a mere 30" from the dining room made all the difference.

Could you bump out the wall that divides the kitchen and dining room? It's probably load-bearing (as ours was), but you can have a beam installed to take care of that. That whole wall could shift forward, doorways and china cabinet alike. Even a foot would make a tremendous difference in your kitchen. It looks like the doorway to the hall would also have to move, and since I don't know exactly what's behind there, this may not work. (And what's behind the door to the right of the china cabinet?) But even if you could bump out just from the china cabinet to the left, that would help. Those other two doorways could stay as-is, and there'd be a little jog there.

Hopefully my description made a tiny bit of sense. ;o)


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Yeah, clearly I was wrong on the dimensions of my kitchen. I just took that measurement from the documents I have from when we bought our house. I'm not sure how the seller measured the kitchen such that it came out 10x13 -- she may have included the area with the door to the backyard. Sorry!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

You didn't say you wanted a dishwasher (sniff!, dramatic gesture).

Seriously, I was wondering about that. I'll ponder. In our rental days we once had a portable dw hooked up to the same plumbing as the washer in the laundry room, which was right off the kitchen, but I bet you are looking for an um, more elegant solution than that! Those were the days though (pre kids--what did we care about kitchen layout when there were only two to feed and clean up after!)


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I'm thinking too... Maybe the best gift you could give yourself is a cabinet depth refrigerator.

I am seriously drooling over your dining room. It's too bad the house design was drawn up by someone who obviously wasn't a cook. I've made serious compromises to my kitchen layout - just to save the dining room built ins - and your dining room is sooo much better than mine. Luckily my original kitchen design is much friendlier than yours is.

Your house is to die for. Maybe you could just resign yourself to ordering out? :+)


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Still thinking... but that dining room built-in is even more beautiful than the kitchen one! And don't worry about the mis-measurement, real estate info can be very misleading.

What's on the back side of your pantry off the basement steps? Can it be bumped out 6"? If you can get the fridge out of the kitchen, it would help tremendously!

The way your kitchen was probably setup, is with a wall-mount single drainboard sink and the stove in that corner and there was probably a table over the radiator where all the prep happened. Often times tables like that were 32" or 33" tall. And no fridge.

Through the back door is there a mudroom or any room for the fridge?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Oh, I'm dumb...you added new pictures! I love the built in in the dining room even more! I just wish there were some way to open up that wall where the beautiful dining room built in is...but it's recessed into the wall, isn't it?

Honestly, the more I think about it and try to tweak it in my head, the harder it gets. For the integrity of the house and the built-ins, the only real long-term solution I see is a small addition off the back or the side. I would hate to see a window covered up or the built-ins compromised...but it's tough because that kitchen is SO tiny!!

So if it's not your forever home and you are planning on reselling in a few years, I think I might go for the cheapest solutions possible...cabinet-depth, side-by-side fridge (I doubt other homebuyers would recognize it as cabinet-depth...but they would notice the added space by the sink. Maybe something more substantial over the radiator...something to give the feeling of more counter-space....maybe a small antique buffet that you could modify to go over it...I don't know.

Sorry...I keep wishing I could be of more help! It's such a cute house!
:)
Sarah


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

For what it's worth, tomorrow I have a local carpenter coming to give me an estimate for custom making a built in for my kitchen. One of the previous owners took it out. It's going to cost me an arm & a leg. To recreate the inset doors and old growth wood is expensive. The stuff you find now-a-days just isn't made to the same level of quality. From the photos, yours looks to have all of the charm & quality of the 1920s craftsmanship.

Luckily, I still have one wall of the original cabinets that they can use as a pattern.

I'd really think long and hard before I removed those lovely cabinets you have ;-)


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

jac0404,
The only thing I can see is to replace the fridge with a narrow counter-depth, and try and move the sink out of that corner. If the sink could go below the window where the radiator is currently, that might work. You could at least get a little working counter out of that corner. I'm attaching a link below to a discussion on narrow counter-depth fridges. Fischer Paykel and Summit, among others, offer narrow models.

As for the dishwasher... Here are a couple of interesting options. GE makes an under-counter dishwasher and KitchenAid makes an in-sink dishwasher (the "lid" can double as a countertop and/or cutting board). The GE is about a third of the price of the KitchenAid. Both are kind of odd, but inventive for small spaces!

KitchenAid
Photobucket

GE Spacesaver
Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: narrow cd fridge thread


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

After seeing the new pictures - you may not like this but I think I'm going to repeat what someone else said - put the fridge down in the basement perhaps w/ a small counter height extra one upstairs and call it a day (maybe think about adding a kitchen wing if you have the $$$ at some point)

You have simply too much to lose by slicing and dicing your kitchen to maybe get 1 or 2 more extra square feet out of it. Many of us spend incredible amts of time and/or money to get our houses back to what you have there - it is just simply gorgeous.

Is running up and down the stairs to the fridge really such a hardship - I know to some it really is difficult if not downright impossible but others of us - speaking strictly for myself here - could really use a bit more excercise and activity- seriously!

If you can't build a whole new kitchen out the backdoor, how about a larger walk in (or walk thru)pantry which could include the fridge in there?

I'm curious - how do our responses here compare to what you've been getting on the Kitchens forum? I'll bet they have you ripping out walls right and left!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Everyone's ideas have been so great and have given me so much to think about. I have decided not to remove the built-in; after reading all of your responses, I'm reminded how pretty it really is, and I recall when we bought this house how charmed I was by it. As for what to do with the kitchen...that I'm still thinking about. The pantry can't be expanded in a meaningful enough way for it to be worth it. The back of it is the wall of my son's room, and there is only six inches between that wall and a window -- and frankly, it would look odd to butt the wall right against the window.

That leaves me with the space I have now, period. I think a narrow, counter depth fridge might help, and I am very intrigued by those under counter and countertop dishwashers, kimkitchy. There's also the possibility of removing or moving the radiator and putting something -- like the farmhouse sink that was suggested -- under that window (Although the window is lower than counter height, so I wonder if that might be odd?). I think I'll take some measurements and do the math and see if, were I to get a narrow fridge, would that allow enough space for a countertop or under sink dishwasher in the corner? I'm just not sure -- and I'm equally unsure whether putting one more appliance in that corner would look even more ridiculous.

As for the suggestions for putting the fridge in the basement: I'm not adverse to that personally, but if you were looking at this house to purchase, how would you feel about it? I guess I tend to think a buyer would find that odd and would be more amenable to a narrow fridge than an under-counter one, even if that meant less counter space; I tend to think it would highlight exactly how small the kitchen is. Do you think I'm wrong?

Oh, and kashakat, funny enough, no one in the kitchen forum told me to rip out anything! I didn't get nearly as many responses there, but most people really thought I should do my best to preserve the built-in.

Thank you all again so much!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Last night I had an idea...what about undercounter drawer fridge under the window (provided I could move the radiator) with a little counter either on either side of the fridge or to the right of it, depending upon space and some small cabinet drawers under the extension of the counter next to the fridge; leave the sink where it is (although I need a new one); put a dishwasher where the fridge is currently, and have some counter on top of that. I'd get nice new counters and put up a backsplash of some vintage tile or something. If the radiator could be moved, I think this would work. The only issue would be that the window currently above the radiator extends lower than normal counter depth, but I have to believe there's a solution to that.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

My only concern, if I were walking in that house, would be "where's the fridge?" A fridge drawer wouldn't do it for me--and I would be a little put off if the main fridge were down in the basement--but maybe that's just me. When I walked into our old kitchen, the fridge was way out of the main kitchen and I HATED it. Is this a home that you think a family would move into or just a couple? Because as a mom of three, if I were faced with just a fridge drawer when I walked into a house, it would be a no-brainer--I wouldn't be able to buy it. And I literally am in the fridge HUNDREDS of times a day, so I would not want to go up and down the stairs (plus, my kids are just getting old enough to help in the kitchen and get their own yogurt, fruit, etc., so I wouldn't want them up and down into the basement to get stuff all the time.)

I think I would still do my best to get a real fridge in there on the first floor somehow...maybe one of those apartment-size fridges (almost like the ones they have in Europe?).

I kind of still like the idea of retrofitting the hutch to have a neat farmhouse sink in it--I think it would keep the integrity of the hutch and be a really cool selling feature. I wonder how much that would cost or if it would even be feasible to move the plumbing over there...hmmm...

-Sarah


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Well this is quite the challenge. I just cant leave it alone!

What about this is there anywhere else you could put the stairs to the basement? Is there just a closet above it or is it another set of stairs going to the 2nd floor? if theres just closet or deadspace above, you could take out the basement stairs and build a new stairwell down into the basement elsewhere. Id put it out your back door but enclose it so you can haul laundry and stuff up and down into the basement without having to go outside does that make sense? Then youd have a nice expanded kitchen space to work with and still keep your original cabinet and layout more or less.

Sink under window - probably would strain the back having to stoop down remember the dishes would be down in the sink, and be that much lower than the tabletop.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

kashka kat, I can't leave it alone too! Sarah, please bear with me, but I'm still trying to put a fridge in your pantry, LOL! The depth of 18", does that go to the outside of the closet door? If the measurement is only the closet itself, then demolishing the framing would gain 3-4" of depth. And then the fridge could be recessed into the wall by reframing the back gaining a few inches there. Then you wouldn't need to expand into your son's room.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

OK, your idea about a fridge drawer under the window is creative and that could work. You'd get more counter space and that would be terrific. But, I think I agree with Sarah that a regular fridge, even if narrow or small would probably sell better. I'm still in favor of moving the sink out of the corner. Put it either in the built in or in front of the window, if the radiator can move. Now, I know the window is low, but I've seen several people put a regular height counter top in front of a lower window in these forums and made it look fine. There was a question about how this could look, not all that long ago on this forum or the kitchen forum but I can't remember who the poster was... The thread had photos of finished cabs/sinks in front of low windows. I'll try and find it for you. Anyone else remember that thread?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I remember the thread, but can't find it. I do remember Casey put a sink in front of a window. I'm sure there are better pictures around, but this is what I found.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0110110612336.html

I think someone else put a window box behind the sink and put plants in it.

I do think the undercabinet fridge could work under the window. Though I'm not sure about the sink in the cabinet. It looks like the top part is quite low; I'm not sure if you would have enough room to manuver in such a short space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Casey's kitchen


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Yeah, this is a house for a small family (I'd say up to two kids, max though), so if a fridge drawer only is a huge turn off for a family buyer, I shouldn't do it. Bummer, because I thought that was a pretty good solution!

There are a couple of real issues with the retrofitting the built in with a sink, I think. First, The built in is shallow - 19-20 inches. Is a sink going to fit in there well? Second, the built in is low. I have to stoop a bit to use it as a counter (which I do). Third, I don't think there's enough clearance between the bottom and top of the built in for a faucet to fit comfortably. I think were I to retrofit it for a bathroom sink I might have more luck, but for a kitchen sink, it just doesn't seem like it will cut it.

The steps to the 1/2 story attic are above the steps to the basement, so I don't see how I would relocate the basement steps, but otherwise that would be a good idea.

It's funny reading the comments, because it seems like everyone really wants that sink out of the corner. Funny enough, that's never bothered me at all. I'm bothered by the lack of counter space and lack of dishwasher, but I don't mind working at that sink. It's so interesting to see others' perspective.

Maybe the only thing I can really do unless and until an addition is feasible is put a more substantial counter (rather than that little table) over the radiator to eek a little usable space out of that, and maybe a narrow fridge to eek a tiny bit of counter space near the sink. That brings up another point though: were I to put in a narrow counter-depth fridge where the current one is, would you find it odd that the area was clearly originally designated for a larger fridge (which you would be able to tell by the width of the upper cabinets)?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

How wide is your current fridge? When I suggest "narrow" for a counter depth fridge, it might not be much different than the one you have now. When I was buying my counter depth fridge, it seemed like 36" wide was kind of standard (and wider than my old old fridge). So, I'm thinking less than 36 is "narrow". You could check out the Fisher Paykel, Summit, Liebherr and see how narrow they are. You are right that the over fridge cab cutout will look funny if the fridge is narrower than your current one and you'll have to do something about the lower too... so there's some cabinet-maker work to retrofit for a narrower fridge. At least any counter depth fridge would make it easier to use the sink... you are right about it bothering me :-)! But, if it doesn't bother you at all, then I'd say you are correct about just trying to get more counter space over the radiator.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

mom2lilenj, I wish the fridge could go in the pantry; I agree that would be the best solution. But the 18 inches is to the outside of the pantry door, yes.

Now I'm again considering whether I could move the built in to the fridge wall. Then maybe I could put the fridge freestanding on th stove wall, remove the radiator, and do an L counter where the radiator and built in currently are. The sink could look out the window with a dishwasher to the right of it and the oven could be in the middle of the wall with the built in with a little counter on either side. I think that might work, but it hinges on: (1) the kitchen staying warm without the radiator; (2) a great carpenter who would be able to move the built in; and (3) the fridge not looking odd on a wall by itself. Any thoughts on that?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Oh, and that last plan hinges on my measurements being right, something I'm not sure is true - but that's easy enough to rectify. Ah! I am totally obsessed with this!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I think potential buyers will miss a fridge in the kitchen.

I looked at the pictures again and I don't think the fridge cabinet will be a problem with a counter-depth fridge. The fridge cabinet is not as deep as the current fridge. I bet it isn't even as deep as a counter-depth fridge. Even if it had to be changed, I bet it could be done relatively easily.

We added one to a wall of narrow cabinets. It still stickes out further than the cabinet (it's not flush with them) but it "feels" better. Check out LG. Ours is a whirlpool. I love it. I don't notice it being counter-depth--it holds a large pizza box, that was my biggest concern :)

As for the radiator, are you already committed to changing the floors? If you moved the radiator, could you put a drawer DW under the window? Is there even room for a 24" cabinet/counter there?

Could you put a smaller window in?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Jac0404, I like your last idea. Here's a question though. If you move the built-in to the current fridge wall and put the fridge where the stove currently sets, will you be able to open the drawer and doors on the right side of the built-in? Or, will the fridge block that?


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

Well, I will tell you I am very relieved that you will not be tearing out your built in. I can tell you now just reading about it being pulled out gave me a stomach ache. It is just lovely.

Again, FWIW, I had a local cabinet maker that has done work for me in the past come out to give me an estimate to recreate a cabinet about 1/3 of the size of yours, but also birch and similar inset doors, etc. for my 1924 bungalow. $3500 (and I'm finishing it myself). And I think this estimate is pretty reasonable. The cabinet maker just kept saying to me, they really knew how to build them back then.

P.S. If you don't mind, I may show my cabinet maker the left side of your built in. I love the little pull out (I'm assuming flour bin?) on the left side of the countertop.


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I'm glad you aren't getting rid of the built in. As the contractor about yanking that rad and changing the height of the window. Perhaps it is do-able. Then you could have a DW there...

I think the reason everyone hates the corner sink is it looks positively claustrophobic. Perhaps a counter-depth refrigerator would fix that...


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

suzyq - of course, feel free to use the pictures! Yes, on the left that is a flour bin. I'm not sure what the smaller bin above it is for, though. Coffee? We've never figured out a good use for those.

kimkatchy - I think precise measurements need to be taken to see if the built in will fit on another wall, and see if a fridge would block opening the cabinets. Last night I re-measured, and this time I get that the fridge wall is shorter than the built-in, but the stove wall is a little longer than the built-in. It's really hard to get into the sink space and get accurate measurements. I'll have to get some help with it. I actually think that the built-in on the stove wall would work better aesthetically. It would just be flipping the kitchen around, really.

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to get a couple of experts in here to do some measurements and tell me whether it would be feasible to move the built-in. I'll let everyone know when I have a plan! Thank you all again so much for your thoughts. This forum is so great!


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

I've been following this thread from the beginning, and I'm so relived that you aren't going to remove the built-in. It's wonderful. It needs to stay. :)

A couple of posters have suggested moving the sink to in front of the window, and I know you said your window is low. I just wanted to show you this (my scanning skills leave a lot to be desired). It's from Martha Stewart's How to Decorate, and it was the inspiration photo for my kitchen. I'm pretty sure they didn't reduce the size of the window the sink is in front of, they just left it back there and put a board in front of it. I think you can get away with that kind of thing in an old house -- it just adds to the charm.

Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Help with a 1922 bungalow kitchen with built-in

LOVE the sink under the window idea! Just perfect, IMHO. That with maybe a little bit of counter on either side, if there's room and still a counter depth fridge. Wonder if that would really give the impression of usable counter space between the range and the fridge. Hmmm....

Sarah


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