Kitchen question: One thing you love and one thing you'd change

lavender_lass(4b)July 16, 2010

Someday...I may be able to remodel the old farmhouse next door. I've been asking advice on the home forum, but I'd like to ask you, too. What is one thing you love about your kitchen and what is one thing you would like to change?

My current kitchen is set up pretty well...I really love the wall oven/microwave combination. One thing I would change is to have a place to sit in the kitchen. A kitchen table would be great :)

Also, is your kitchen open to other rooms in the house, or off by itself? Thank you for responsing!

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Oops! Thank you for responding...LOL

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 3:03PM
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roseberri, z6(6)

hi Lavender Lass,
A couple years ago I got a remodeled kitchen, (we live in a 1919 era house) so I pretty much love most of it. The one thing we did not do was get a new range and refrigerator, and so that is what I would change. What we did do was add loads of drawers, and counterspace. The sink got moved across the room to be place under a window. the range was placed where the sink was. I have an appliance garage that houses coffeemakers and a toaster. but the most wonderful thing is the pull out pantry!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 3:41PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

A few years ago we gutted the kitchen and added on. The thing I love, in addition to having plenty of storage space, is the raised bar peninsula. We eat every meal there unless the weather's nice then we eat out on the screened porch. I made the lower level of the peninsula 30" deep vs. the standard 24" so I'd have plenty of prep area.

The one thing I'd change would be a larger keeping room, since as it turns out we basically spend most of our time in the keeping room/kitchen area.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:29PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

We have a small kitchen, but it works for us. There are only the 2 of us (plus cats). Only I eat in the kitchen (sometimes). DH lives and eats in front of the computer at the other end of the house. I like a couple things about it: It's open to other rooms (doorway into dining room, and wooden 'bars' let you see into the living room. When I used to bake more, I'd be able to watch the TV in the livingroom from the kitchen. It also has a lot of cupboard space.

The thing I'd like to change most is to replace the linoleum with stone(like) tiles. The thing I should change first is replace the 30 year old dishwasher. :o)

DH does most of the cooking now, so if you asked him, he'd want a new stove/oven unit.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:49PM
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I'd like the bead board on the walls and ceiling that I have dreamed about for 30yrs., ever since I tore all the old wallpaper off and never followed up with any other wall covering(!); discover a way to place the fridge so that it isn't as awkward to open and get into like it is now. Other than that, I'm happy with it.

I'm sure the next owners won't be, as it has no cabinets or counter space just standing cupboards and a table.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:59PM
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I don't know about the ceiling, but I don't think it would be very hard to put beadboard on the walls. Can't you buy it in sections, like paneling?

My mom put paneling up in her dining room in her old house. She had it about 2/3 of the way up the wall and then put a trim piece and painted it all white. She painted the wall a peach was very pretty. I don't think she even used the glue, she just nailed it up. It was one of her first home projects that she did all by herself, after her divorce and she was very proud of it :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 11:05PM
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lisa33(6b Bucks County PA)

My kitchen is tiny (8' x 13'), so one thing I'd change is to put an addition on the house to make it bigger! However, financially that is not in the cards in the near future (or maybe ever!).

That said, I do love my little kitchen. I renovated it from an old 60's or 70's remodel in my 100 year old house. There are some things that I like that I did to make the most of the small space. A big one was to move the basement door out of the kitchen and into the dining room. It gave me space for a small bistro set, which is where I'm sitting right now. I also love my little flat screen tv in the corner.

Some other space savers that worked out well for me were putting a large wall oven under the counter with a nice smooth ceramic cooktop over it. The smooth cooktop is integrated into the counter and basically gives me more usable counter space when I'm not actively cooking on it. I also chose a counter-depth refrigerator and built that in. If I had a big family it might not be the best choice, but for me and my son it is perfect.

Here's a slideshow that I posted last year at some point. Shows a few pics from various angles of before, during (while everything was ripped out) and after. I hadn't looked at that in a long time, and I forgot how much work it was! So, renovation is a pain, but it's kind of like child birth in that way. You quickly forget the degree of pain involved.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen slideshow

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 9:44AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Lisa, you did a phenomenal job! That's a beautiful kitchen!

(Btw, do you still want the wallflower seeds?)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 11:46AM
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Lisa- That's amazing! What a pretty kitchen...and so much more functional :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:49PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Lisa, great job! Style and function!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 2:04PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I love that we had a fridge nook built. We could have opened that wall up to the back of the office, but the nook made a really nice work triangle and gave us some extra space with the fridge tucked in.
I would change the counter top surfacing. We used laminate to get the right color - and I love the color but I hate the rolled edge! I wanted a square edge with a silver strip (like a diner). Get what you love (I would have had them replace it but the factory too 6 months to make my laminate color and refused to make more at the time. Nobody orders bright green, apparently).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:27PM
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Lisa, that's an amazing kitchen reno! I love that you can look out over your beautiful potager. That must really be enjoyable.

LL, I couldn't possibly keep it to only one thing! ;-D

Overall I love my kitchen - good thing as I designed it! It's 15 years old and quite plain but suits our farmhouse. There were a few things I would have liked but it's difficult to have everything. I gave up a pantry room and a raised DW in the planning because I wanted a large window over the sink and there wasn't enough space. I love my 6' window that looks out on the main part of my garden but if we ever build again I'll plan those items in.

Things I love are my 4'x6' island that doesn't have a stove or sink so it's a clear space for prep, serving, and I often do crafts there as well. I like the tray/cookie sheet storage cupboard that's over the frig but it's a stretch for me to get them down. I'd put it lower next time. Not a problem for a taller person.

We have sliders on all the cupboard shelves which are great.

I don't like our microwave/stove fan combo over the stove. I'd never have one again altho to replace it we'd have to have the cabinets rebuilt. I prefer a smaller microwave lower down, the combo with fan is more expensive and we've already replaced it once, and I'd do a more decorative custom stove fan.

We have a dining area at one end that we use even for company. We have occasionally set up the dining furniture at one end of the great room as originally planned, and when we did that we had a smaller table and a sofa in the kitchen. Our house is semi-open plan.

We have laminate countertops and replaced them after 12 years. They have a routered wood edging which I prefer to the rounded. I'd really love to have concrete but no one here does them.

If we ever sell this house I'd prefer to buy an old house, totally gut the kitchen, and do free-standing cabinets. I'd love an Aga and would use old painted sideboards and buffet/hutches for the cabinets like a European unfitted kitchen. With microwave and frig drawers one could have a unique kitchen that functioned well.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:25PM
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Luckygal- Aga stove! That would be nice :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I would purchase ovens with the "old timey" off/on knobs.
They are available but hard to find.

My $2200.00 double oven's push button control panel quit working just out of warranty and the replacement panel costs over $600.00 & comes with only a 90 day warranty. An extended warranty is a ridiculous price.

It has not been replaced yet, as I am still debating whether to just buy new ovens.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:43PM
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My kitchen is along the lines of schoolhouse's kitchen. (course we live in a schoolhouse too!)

All free standing cupboards and a true 8' farm house sink on legs with drain boards on both ends. Also a table in the middle of the kitchen. We also have the old wide wainscot (4 inch I believe?)

When we had the house re-appraised several years ago to re-finance at a better rate, the appraiser said not many women would like my kitchen! Bleh...what did he know?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:22PM
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I like my kitchen to be separate from the rest of the house so I had French doors installed to the dining room and back porch.

I had all roll out bottom shelves with a dedicated wide pan section. I knew bending and squatting to look for things wasn't going to be easy for me and maybe impossible. I love them.

I love the two glass doors at the top....and no, I do not try to keep inside them fancy looking; drives my MIL crazy.

The pantry wall is a favorite feature. It has pull out drawers too. One section of it has lower drawers like a filing cabinet (my idea) and I keep recipe folders and garden folders in it. One section was supposed to be a broom closet but I installed the shelves and use it for canned (home) jars and odd pans.

What I would change. I would have a wall oven (they told me I couldn't fit one in) instead of the stove oven. It really cramps me because of the large table. I do have a table in the center. I might change to a long narrow table which would help with the oven but then what to do with the antique table?

I hated the white sink that was always stained so I recently had a composite material black sink put in and I love it. Maybe my white was too cheap??

I live in an old farmhouse so I wanted everything kept pretty simple. I left the old yellow pine flooring that we found under layers of tar paper, newspapers and linoleum.

I wish I could have had a dedicated baking prep area with the counter top lowered and a marble room.

Another little thing I like is the narrow pull outs by the stove to keep oo, salt and pepper and various tall things in handy for cooking but off the countertop. Didn't do that because of taking from the pan storage.

My kitchen is pretty large I guess, 13 x 17. I have room by the pantry for my easy chair where I read. I know I would have more room if I would eliminate that, but I love the sports on TV to contend with.

I hope you get to remodel. I would do it all over again even though it was a 3-month ordeal.

I love the unfitted kitchens, but as always the practical person, I did what I thought might resell better.

I wish I had done the farmhouse sink thing now; just for looks and maybe the beadboard walls and ceiling.

A must: undercounter lighting. Be sure the lights are cool, ours get pretty hot if left on too long and they were a recent addition done too fast......they sold me on the long lasting bulbs.

Just some rambling thoughts.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:39AM
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good post!mmm...

I love my window over my sink..if I could (cant, stone house) I would have it bigger...wayyyy to look out over my flowers when I am at the sink! I wish it was a whole wall almost. Money well spent..with a nice wide ledge....

I have an island...but no electric in it..I wish I had that....I would like to plug in mixers or crocks in. MY island is portable..we added it to exsisting cabinets tho it matches perfectly. Hubbby keeps saying he can add that..but has not yet :)

A frivious wish..but one I would like..small fridge somewhere for drinks, and drink on the run...eats up to much room in my fridge now..

Love love love my has an addition flip up top that makes it TWICE the size..I use that for buffet serving when we have company ALL the time!

Lots of electric plug. I actually have too many...but I love that. Each wall/section is on its own breaker. I can plug in lots and never blow breakers. Our old kitchen was bad..whole thing was only on two breakers...blew breakers with toasters and crocks all the time. Hated it...was glad to change that. Would do it again.

built in coffee center....I have "modified an old piece of furniture to do this for me...and it works well..but I do wish it was recessed into the wall a bit for a cleaner I guess maybe a niche to slide in a coffee center. I love love love the coffee mess off the counters and my itself..and guests love it too. I have a K cup maker so they just help themselves and are never in my way if I am cooking.

Got rid of my ceramic..HATED it..dang grout..and have laminate in its place..LOVE LOVE LOVE its low maintaince.

I love love love my extra large, extra deep single sink with a small side sink with the disposal in it. I wash 90 percent of my dishes in the dishwasher anyway..and I love being able to put big pots and ect in it without lots of water splash. Would repeat it EXACTLY the same.

I do wish I had better under counter lightening also..mine stinks!

I would also like SEVERAL larger size cabinets for big serving dish storage. I get tired of how much space they take in standard cupboards!

good posts..loved reading everyones ideas and likes and dislikes...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:47AM
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OMG I just survived a kitchen remodel... My old kitchen was about 10 years old and poorly designed if not looking like a botched job of irregularly angled counters and drawers. it clearly needed to be worked on but I wasn't ready to attend to it then because we were already remodelling the staircase.However when my husband wants things done, I might as well be invisible to him.

We decided on getting an IKEA set up and it's worked very well I must say. We added more drawers and added pantry storage. The cabinetry is white. the counter which we got elsewhere is a deep grey, manufactured quartz counter. The backsplash are subway tiles- off white. The drawers pull out easily. I have those carousel types too for the pots and pans and teh spices. The vent is a one of those shiny stainless steel units. I have a gas stove and convection oven. I have a good dishwasher set up in an island. The sink was purchased elsewhere too. I wanted a deep one like a farmer's sink but ended up with one stainless steel double sink. We have pot lightings all over. The only thing lacking are undercounter lighting which we do later.

The floor is all cermics which were bought on the cheap.

The downside of man made quartz counters is that they might get etch by acids that include lemon, vinegar, etc.. And you cannot drag ceramics across it because it can mar the surface. Had I known I'd opt of a very user friendly counter.
The thing is, not enough discussion out there on what to do before you start the process. For example, set up an alternate kitchen before hand. Do not get rid of your refrigerator or dishwaher until the kitchen is done. How to deal with the dust. What or where to eat while the job is being done.. -- To me, this was the most stressful time because my DH was so stubborn about me packing up the contents of the kitchen. I had to stack the things in the basement but even then, dust got in the way. Plates, cups, spoons, etc.. were covered with tons of dust. (we were also redoing the staircase then - so wooddust galore). So lessons for me were: invest in boxes and lots of them. Also get a lot of disposable plates, spoons etc.. you will need it. I ended up handwashing plates, utensils in plastic tubs I set up in the washroom. -

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 1:11PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Ianna, we have quartz too except on the hutch where I put a piece of granite. You shouldn't have any problem with etching on quartz. I think that's mainly an issue with marble.

For those of you with 'hot' under cabinet lights there's always the option of fluorescent. That's what I chose. I keep them on from the minute I walk in the kitchen in the morning until I go to bed at night. No heat issues.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Fun thread and I'm trying not to be envious of those who live in older homes, especially old schoolhouses. I've always wanted to live in an old renovated schoolhouse or church. However my DH has never wanted to renovate a really old building which I can understand.

I forgot to mention that I *love* the glass doors I have on the end of my island and on the corner cupboard. True, one has to arrange things more decoratively and can't *cram* in as much stuff but it's something I would definitely plan again in another kitchen. The end of our island faces the dining area and I'm currently using that space for vintage clear glass and crystal items. I've sometimes put pottery or china there. In my upper corner cabinet with glass door I currently have brown toned pottery and roosters. These cupboards have glass shelves as well as doors. I change these cupboards out a couple times a year as they need a thorough cleaning then and I can bring out different yard sale finds to enjoy. Gives me another area to *play* with.

We also have sliding glass doors off the dining area to a small deck altho would prefer to have French doors instead of sliding ones. We use this area several evenings a week and enjoy a glass of wine after working in the garden. It overlooks the front garden and altho it's on the south side it's shady late in the day.

One thing I'd absolutely love to have is a screened porch off the kitchen/breakfast room. Maybe next house!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Natal, Thanks for the advice but it was the supplier that told me about the acids effect on manufactured guartz counters. It`s not a natural material and it can get etched. Natural materials can withstand such things.

Frankly I wish I got a really nice wooden counter. Anyone here watches Ina Garten`s Barefoot Contessa show.. Don`t you just envy her kitchen. I love that island of hers and her multiple kitchen aid mixers, le creuset pots

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 7:10PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I've had mine for 3 years and never had that problem. I use vinegar and citrus on a regular basis, so I think if it was going to happen it would have by now. IMO, someone gave you incorrect information.

Btw, quartz is 93% natural and 7% resin.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Thank you for sharing all the likes/dislikes about your kitchens. I have to say, it sounds like you all have fabulous kitchens and I love the old farmhouse style, too.

Luckygal- One thing I wish I had was a sun/screen porch. It's so cold here (like where you live) in the winter, that I'd love to have a screened porch in the late spring/summer/early fall and then put glass windows in for the winter. It would be so nice to have a place (maybe some baseboard heat?) for plants in the winter. I would LOVE star jasmine and an orange tree :)

As for the kitchen itself, thank you EVERYONE for all the great ideas. It gives me a lot to think about, while I save up some money! LOL

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:42PM
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Natal, Thanks for the advice. I work with geologists and I can tell you that quartz by itself is a natural occuring material. The counters we often see labeled as quartz is compost of exactly what you described. I agree it's a very strong material. My guy who has had his business for years, simply warned me that acids will eventually mar the sealant on the counters. I do trust him. He said simply to wipe off the acids as soon as possible and not let stay on the counter too long. Thanks anyway for your input.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:39PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

I know im late to this thread, but what a fun one!!! So, i lovethat my window looks into the backyard thats above my sink. I hate everything else! Its very small and closed off. The kitchen door is so old if someone wanted to break in, they could. Only 8 cabinet sets total! 4 above the counter and 4 below. No dishwasher... OY!
My dream would be beautiful french doors that went out to our patio. .and a pantry that was actually a small room, and our washer and dryer in the kitchen area (behind doors of course) id love too. Ours is in the unfinsihed basement..yuck.
A girl can dream!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:04AM
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When we built this house, I designed the kitchen myself.

The good:

No breakfast room/nook -- used all the space for the kitchen and included a place for a few folks to sit around one end. Our dining room is casual, so we don't mind eating there as it overlooks the gardens.

Hutches -- I had the cabinet maker build the cabinets on either side of the main sink to look like hutches. The top cabinets sit on the counter tops (which are painted sage green like the cabinets). One hutch has solid doors and holds food. The other has glass fronts and holds dishes and glasses.

Farm sink -- love it, especially the size! Would be difficult to go back to another type of sink.

Butcher block island top -- ours is mahogany and I'm so glad we did it. It is holding up great and no one can resist rubbing the surface of it every time that they pass by!

The not-so-good (for me):

My husband talked me out of the color scheme that I wanted. I wanted a sage green island with cream perimeter cabinets. I had even already ordered the cabinets and he changed this when I got back from making the order! He was afraid of a light color, so we have a black island and sage perimeter cabinets. He changed my granite choice, which means that I had to change my backsplash choice.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 10:04AM
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wonbyherwits... your kitchen sounds nice specially the farm sink. My hubby tho would be in big trouble if he changed anything in my kitchen after my choices were made..unless he wants ME to choose his workshop options, ect..he better not touch my kitchen.. :) I think I am territorial :)

Lilyfinch..I agree with your post, I would LOOOOOOOVE to have french doors in my kitchen..or a entire wall of glass above the base cabinets where my sink is. I love to watch outside while I am at the sink or cooking. I do love my window over the sink..but I would looooooove it if it was three times larger or french door :)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Lilyfinch- Maybe your dream kitchen when you move to NC? :)

Great views outside is so nice in a kitchen. I'm still playing around with a plan for the remodel (if we ever decide to do it) but it is fun to dream! LOL

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:22PM
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wonbyherwits, Isn't that so typical of husbands. I wanted charcoal grey floor tiles. We ended up with some yucky gray tiles which he swears looks 'close' to my choice. NOT! -- but having had to argue endlessly on tiny details HE wants.. I figure I want my peace more. -- Well our carpenter and all around guy took one look at it and told my husband the colour sucks.. Glad he sided with me. Fortunately, the floor doesn't call attention to itself. If I still had a choice, I would change it.

I would like to put a small tv nearby so I can watch in between chores.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:25PM
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The only thing in my kitchen that I love is my old kitchen wood stove and my old step back cabinet and shelves that came out of an old family farm house from by-gone days. Everything else is crap.

The kitchen is way too small, no storage and not a bit convenient for someone who cooks, bakes, and cans like I do. Three doors cut away what little space could have been used. The stove is jammed up into a corner by a door and there is little countertop space to work on. No place for my mixer, toaster, food processor, and etc. It sucks.

This house is just too little, and there is no storage anywhere, and I do mean none. No place to store a broom, mop, vacuum, linens, towels, trash, and dinky bedroom closets made for two changes of clothes. Not enough room for beds and dressers. You have to skirt around the bed to make it up. Gads! And windows? Not nearly enough windows or big enough windows. I like to see out and have house plants. It's a cave, not a house! It is too dark inside for plants. I have moss growing on my back. Would be a great place for mushroom farming though. The whole layout is terrible. I hate it. If I had my way, I would take my things out in the yard and burn it to the ground and spit on the ashes.

Other than that, it's great!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:14PM
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libbyshome(z9a BC)

I know a rich, single man who bought one of these for show. It was in a rather cozy area in a gigantic kitchen. This isn't his kitchen.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:08PM
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wonbyherwits, I'd love to see a pic of your kitchen. The colors sound lovely, and I'm contemplating a black island and sage cabinets, but am considering going lighter, like you wanted.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:56AM
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colorlady(Mass/NH Coastal Area)

I remodeled the kitchen in my last home and the thing I loved most was having a cooktop and seperate wall oven at a perfect height for me instead of a stove with the oven under it. The thing that didn't work out well was having an island (actually a penninsula) that only sat 2 people, when it could have been designed to seat more. When you have people over they want to be around that island or penninsula. I say make sure there is a minimum of 9" overhang on at least two sides of it with at least 24" per person. That means a 48" short end is the narrowest you should go if you want to seat 2 at the narrow side. Now I'm about to reno the kitchen in my new (1950) home. The thing I want to keep most is the 2 corner lower cabinets that have lazy Susan's in them. They are so useful. I have crock pots, blenders, Cuisinart, big salad spinner, and all those big clunky things on those sturdy turntables. The thing I want to change most is having a fridge with the freezer on top and sticks way out further than the adjacent counter. I'm sick of losing things way in the back of the fridge compartment that I have to bend down to look in. I actually have to do a squat in front of it to get a good view and that ain't pretty in front of guests, let me tell you. I've ordered a bottom freezer french door fridge that is cabinet depth for the reno. That was my splurge. Well, one of them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 9:56AM
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I love my kitchen. We live in a rather cooky cutter house that is 40 years old, but I'm slowly working on getting the cottage look. The kitchen is pretty large, have an island, and we have an old round oak table (from my MIL), and the sink overlooks the yard. Just last year we added a french door to the patio, sure beats the sliding glass door and will do the same thing to the window over the sink. My husband tiled the floor in 8X8" palomino colored tile years ago and built a pantry.

HOWEVER - we still have that yucky green of the 70's over the stove with backsplash of the same color along the cheap cupboards that are about 12" deep. Not a pretty sight. I am leaning toward white cupboards and perhaps light grey countertops to brighten things up a bit.

Good thread!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:55PM
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I hardly ever come over to this side, so missed this until now!

When we bought our house almost 4 years ago, the kitchen was the big thing we remodeled. We started with a small galley kitchen with a larger eating area, closed off from the living/dining room. We blew out the interior wall, and totally re-did the kitchen. (The original wall oven didn't work, and was a non-standard size, so once you replaced that, you had to do a lot, anyhow.) We made a large double-sided island at an angle between the kitchen and main living area, creating a triangle shape, basically.

Things I like:
Our double-sided island, which has two banks of cabinets with a dividing wall in between, so you can't see the dirty dishes from the living area. ;)

Big pot drawers

Tall, narrow base cabinets for cutting boards

lots of drawers for dishtowels, etc.

obscure, stripy glass in some of the upper cabinets

Things I don't like:
Our desk didn't work out quite as well as I'd like. The drawers were supposed to be good for files, but aren't quite wide enough. So, they have to sit sideways, and we have wasted space. Also, the seat is at the pinch point, and so I never do end up sitting there except to file.

We still aren't finished. No hood, temporary countertops. (Laminate loose laid, plus pieces of butcher block from Ikea.)

But all in all, I love my kitchen. :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:50PM
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When we moved in this house, the kitchen had been remodeled. It wasn't an expensive remodel, so no restaurant-grade range/hood, no ceiling-height cabinets (stock cabinets), etc., but I think it's beautiful and it suits our need.

My fav is the granite...they put granite tiles on the countertop and matching granite for the floor. I absolutely LOVE IT! To me, it was a good compromise on cost...I'm perfectly happy with the granite tile on the counter! And we LOVED the amount of counter space we had (the kitchen is 13x18, I believe). We also have huge windows on the one side that lets lot of light in.

What I didn't love...the sink is not quite where it was supposed to go so it's kind of off center. It bothers me a lil bit. Also, the spot above the range does not have room for an above-range microwave *wah*, so that bugs me. And finding a spot for the garbage can was frustrating...especially when you have a dog that is literally addicted to garbage and can't stay out.

All in all I loved it, and best of all, I'm sure it was low cost, couldn't have cost more than 5-10k to redo and we love it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:00PM
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lisa33 - those photos are amazing! You've really inspired me. I think I hate everything about my kitchen, from the ugly outdated cabinets, to the pink salmon colored ceramic tile. Oh yea, and there's a pink mica countertops to match! Ick.

I've done what I can in the 8 years I've owned the house to try and spruce it up a bit, but nothing combats that heinous salmon tile. I mean, salmon? Really?

The only thing I like in that room is the new oven that my boyfriend bought me. It's stainless steel, ceramic flat top, convection, all the bells and whistles, cost him a fortune. Yea, I like my oven. Everything else needs to be demolished!

My biggest hold up, though, is the cost. There's so much that needs to be done that it's not worth it unless I gut the whole room. And, the spot for the fridge only allows for a small sized fridge so I can't even buy the fancy one that I really want. To do that, i'd have to relocate the fridge which means knocking out walls, opening up different areas. And if I do that, well then I might as well add that room addition to the living room and make the whole area an open space. Yep... I got a project on my hands!

The most challenging part is trying to pick out which granite counter top I want, which cabinet style looks good with it, what colors go with what. And the other thing is the fear of living in a construction zone for weeks on end. The only good part about this process is that I found a company in Cincinnati who says they can put in new granite countertops in less than a week. I'm sold! And another company they work with does the cabinets and even has designers to help with the whole remodel. I might just give them a blank slate and tell them to make it pretty. Anything's better than that putrid salmon. Did I mention I hate the color pink? ha ha.

Just in case anyone on this thread lives in the Cincinnati area, here are the two places that I've been looking at for countertops and cabinets:
Granite Rocks
They have locations in Indy, Columbus, and around Cinci and Northern Kentucky I believe.
Thanks to everyone for sharing the pics and inspiring me to get this project started!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sims-Lohman kitchen cabinets

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Dyno- Have you thought of painting the salmon tiles? There's special paint/primer for tiles...but you probably want to wait, until you can open all the windows :)

Also, there are some beautiful stainless steel fridges available...sometimes they're listed as apartment size or scaled down. They use them all the time on HGTV's Income Property, with Scott Gillivray. Something like that might work in your space!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:52AM
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My husband and I just embarked on a kitchen remodel. We have an old, 1950s-era house, featuring a narrow, galley-style kitchen. That aspect I dislike the most. But we also have beautiful, well-constructed pine cabinets with gorgeous mid-century detailing. My dilemma was how to keep those while remodeling the rest of the kitchen - all by myself.

What do you guys think? Any ideas? I just started a blog in the hopes that people might send suggestions/ideas my way:

I'd appreciate any input!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Fifties Kitchen Redo

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:59AM
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FiftiesRedo- You should post over on the kitchen forum! It's much busier and I'm sure you'd get lots of great ideas :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:19PM
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One thing I have absolutely no regrets about is putting in two dishwashers - one full-size and one drawer, but two full-size wouldn't have been a bad thing. We have a fairly large family, but even just for holiday gatherings or dinner parties, it's been great. I regret not putting in a walk-in pantry and getting full-extension drawer slides. I wish I had just re-finished our existing cabinets and outfitted them with better drawer slides and pull-out trays. And tops of them all - I should have sprung for the full-time maid service :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:07PM
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LOL - I just remodelled the kitchen so I know it right away. The one thing I kept was the style of the cabinets. My husband built the rest to match :D The major thing I changed was we removed a walk in pantry (that just seemed to not have a whole lot of useable space and cluttered too easily) and put in a full wall of pantries. The other thing I love, is we used wainscotting on the ceiling (4' lengths) and covered the seams with oak boards. So it looks like an older ceiling than it actually is, but gives that country charm. I thoguht tin tiles would make it look too dark (considering the paint colour of the 4 sq. feet of wall in the room is chocolate brown)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Finally remodeled the kitchen in our 50s California ranch style house. Waited 18 years but it was worth the wait. Room is about 12 x 12, U shaped but the fourth wall has the fridge and some pantry space.

BEST THING: repainting the original cabinets (creamy white, Benjamin Moore Pottery Barn Mascarpone) and hardware (that old black colonial stuff) to save $$ for top notch appliances. I replaced my old cheap wall oven & fridges in kitchen and laundry with a 48" Sub Zero. It is quiet and it is so flat -- I gained a wider walkway through my kitchen. Even though the fridge is smaller than the two fridges that it replaces, I can fit everything in there that I need (though now I understand the popularity of the "drink station" fridge!) I replaced my 42" avocado green cooktop with the La Cornue Cornufe 43" in Provence Blue with brass trim. I did not want to give up double ovens, but the usual Viking / Wolf etc. 48" would require me to give up too much cabinet space, plus I never liked the huge oven and tiny oven combo and cramming 8 burners into the space where I used to have four plus a big griddle (that I used to plop things down, mainly). Now I have 5 burners so I have room for big pots and handles. I was really nervous about having two smaller ovens. However, you get the half sheet pans from Williams Sonoma and they act as racks. The fitted roasting pans that come with the stove work fine. I roasted a big five bone prime rib in there. I use my ovens so much more now than I ever did before, especially for meats. That stove is a thing of beauty and a real show stopper in the kitchen. LOVE the blue. So YES, the appliances make all the difference.

ALSO LOVE having everything look kind of old -- we have Carlisle wide plank hard wood in rustic white oak (knotholes and marks); we have Barroca soapstone with some white veining; my cabinets are not pristine but they fit with the overall look. Patina galore even with new things!

GO CHEAP with the faucets and just get chrome. With everything else stainless, it's nice to have something more glittery on the countertop. We have chrome in every room with plumbing and all of the rooms "match" even though we have faucets from different manufacturers.

Accidental benefit: We hid the trash can in a pull out inside one of the low cabinets. We just attached the door face to the pullout mechanism. Well, one of my undercounter cutting boards slides out perfectly so that I can chop and then sweep the trash directly into the trash can. Sweet!

By getting the new fridge, I gained more countertop space to the right of the fridge. I was able to have a built in shelf made for my microwave to get it up off the counter.

We converted one of the broom closets in the laundry room into a tiny little bar. We used a remnant from our countertops for the counter; we spaced shelves for wine and soda storage. My husband routered out a few leftover strips of the hardwood to make wine glass racks on the top of the cabinet. It's kind of cute.

What I'd change? I don't dislike my Kitchen Aid dishwasher, but for some reason it is hard to load small things like pyrex bowls, small cereal bowls, etc. It is great for tons of plates and glasses. However, I like to cook and I use a ton of those little custard cups for prep. I store leftovers in 1c, 2c, 3c, bowls and they never seem to fit right.

I did not get the dispenser on the Sub Zero because I think it will stay cleaner and also the dispenser takes up room inside. However, I do miss crushed ice more than I thought I would.

I always dreamed I'd have a fancy backsplash behind the stove. However, this stove is so beautiful that I do not want to upstage it. I will just hang a pot rail behind it like you see so often in the ads for the stove.

Also I did lose storage space -- we moved a hanging cabinet over the countertop peninsula. I lost my baking rack storage when I hid the trash can. I lost my pots and pans storage when I replaced my cooktop with the drop in stove. I have been getting rid of old things and making room for new things but I am still moving items around to figure out where they should go.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I 'm just getting ready for a kitchen redo in March. This gave me lots of ideas!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:24PM
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hillebop -- this is my first post! I've been agonizing over whether or not I should get the Provincial Blue La Cornue range (single or double oven), or a slightly pricier Lacanche. You've had your Williams Sonoma range for a while now. How is it holding up and are you loving it? The main reason I want one of these two brands is because I like the vintage look and think it will look real nice in our 50's cottage-style home. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:29AM
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lovely kitchens!

One big thing I think we'd all do well to consider is ease-of-operation & ease-of-care as we get older.

If I were to build or re-model, I'd put the kitchen & bathroom faucets on a big wide ledge, instead of that skinny thing every builder puts in, so it's easier to get back there to clean.

& I'd put in "taller" faucets, like the gooseneck faucets you see in the doctor's office, so there's plenty of room beneath them to fill big pots & such.

I'd do this in the bathroom, too, for the tub as well as the sink, & if I could manage it, I'd put the potty about 6" farther out from the wall-
I truly do not love those itty bitty tight areas!

My favorite kitchen thing right now is the pantry with pull-out shelves;
if I could, I'd have them in every single lower cabinet.

I too love big/double windows over the sink;
I think if I had to choose between a big or double kitchen window or hanging on to something for which there was no storage space, I'd get rid of whatever it was.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:14AM
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It's probably not an option for most *kitchens*, but someone had put big deep drawers, like a built-in bureau, under a staircase;
seems much more useable than those pyramid-shaped closets that you usually see, & probably cheaper than putting in a powder room.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:00PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I love your ideas Sylvia! Now, if I could only figure out how to find a way to redo our kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Our "standard ranch-style 60's home" has a bar between the step-saver kitchen and the den, which is fine, but the stovetop range is in the bar and over the stove are cabinets. I'd really like to have those cabinets over the stovetop removed so that the kitchen is more open to the den and less crowded feeling.
Another problem is, our den is a lovely solid walnut paneling, which I just can't stomach painting, and I'd like to get the kitchen cabinets re-faced or painted, but what goes well with walnut that's not so dark? I want something lighter to lighten up the kitchen. Our cabinets are a medium wood color now and I'm sick of them.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:38PM
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I am new to the site and am trying to find where there is a discussion on cooktop hoods. I am getting a wolf 30inch cooktop and trying to save some money but still get a decent chimney style hood. Does anyone have a suggestion? And where can I go on site to find more info. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:20PM
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I am currently building a house and in the midst of the kitchen design. I absolutely love the look of the lacanche ranges. I have chosen the Citeaux. I am leaning towards the ivory, as I think the white may be too stark. I love the black too but I am doing ivory cabinets and calcatta gold marble counters.

Does anyone have the ivory? I have never seen it in person. I don't live near a showroom - so doing this all based on a paint chip and pictures online. Is it hard to keep clean?

Also, for the brass... does it "turn" pretty quick? Do you keep it like that or how often to do you clean it? What do you clean it with?

Thank you for your input Lacanche owners! I really appreciate your insight...

    Bookmark   December 20, 2014 at 7:53AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Kleonard, you might want to cross-post on both the Kitchen and home decorating forums. I suspect you will get more responses, especially this time of year when the gardening forums are quieter.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2014 at 5:33PM
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