Saturday, September 26, 2009

our kitchen: a work in progress

We have been busy working on the kitchen since we moved in. The kitchen before was pretty much awful to look at. I'm not one for white walls, green sponge paint splats, and red and green country-style wallpaper borders.

We are making great progress in the arena... but even so, the layout of the kitchen is really bad for cooking. There is no "work triangle." You must go across the entire kitchen if you want to take a hot pot from the cook top island thing to the sink. (I usually yell "head up, hot hot hot" and shoo people at of the way while I run through the kitchen!)

The island is at an angle and makes it so if you walk by it, you risk someone coming in the back door and smacking you with the door.

Furthermore, I want to ditch the cooktop island, the double wall ovens and modern fridge for vintage appliances. We picked up a 1930s Detroit Jewel gas stove. We are on the hunt for a 1930s ice box that we can covert to modern. Still searching for the perfect farmhouse sink.

We have the light fixtures bought... after we paint the dining room, we will begin tearing out the sheetrock on the ceiling to bring the ceiling up to the original height, about 18" higher.

I have been busy sketching out (not to scale) my plans for Steven to work from. I think it helps him visualize what is in my head when I tell him I want to move the stove, move cabinets around, etc. Here is what I have cooked up so far:

The Lighting Scheme
We will be adding a schoolhouse pendant above the sink, two "natural iron" finish ceiling fans with schoolhouse globes and two industrial pendants.

Layout - Before
We are lucky to have a huge kitchen, even by today's standards. It actually was two rooms that were combined, probably in the early 80s. The layout is a real problem.

Layout After
By moving some cabinets out, we gain room to add a gas stove on the far right, near the ice box and the sink. Removing the island and cooktop area makes room for a new table and chairs. We plan to build a rolling island for additional seating and workspace. The wall ovens will become a built-in china cabinet.

Oven Wall -Before
Here is what we started with on this wall. Really cheap cabinets, laminate counters, vinyl peel and stick floor, aging wall ovens, etc.

Oven Wall - After
Here is my plan for sprucing everything up. Remove wall ovens and create a built-in china cabinet with glass fronts. Replace cheapo cabinet doors for homemade Shaker-style doors. Replace hardware with black icebox latches and bin pulls. Replace laminate countertops with sugar pine butcher block. Build up cabinets with 1x6s and crown moulding. (Cabinets used to go all the way to the ceiling.) Beadboard backsplashes. Wide plank hardwood flooring.

It is all ambitious, but I decided to ditch the idea of having an "interim" kitchen until we had a dream kitchen. Our dream kitchen is within reach. Once we snagged the antique gas oven, I decided it was attainable. I took a closer look at the cabinets and decided with re-arranging and new doors, they were fine. No need to scrap them for new cabinets.
I think sometimes we flip through magazines or watch HGTV and see these super-fancy kitchens and it feels rather unrealistic. People drop $75,000 on a kitchen remodel and act like it is just an every day thing. I don't know about you all, but that just isn't realistic for me. Somehow, I realized that you can do a lot with what you already have if you can just be creative.


Martha said...

Love your ideas. Can't wait to see the completion. We had a 1985 kitchen in our 1920's house -- our cheap "fix" was to put glass in the uppers and paint them. It made the kitchen look like it belonged to the house!

Helen said...

Your renderings are great! I am thinking about refacing my kitchen cabinets or even painting them if I work up the courage. I definitely need new counters - mine are 19+ year old white tile. I don't have a huge budget, so I am shopping and comparing all the time. Keep up the good work - your end vision is wonderful!

Livinia Redlips said...

Have you seen these:

More 50's - ish styling, but certainly better than mod w/your fab stove.

Casey said...

My mom found her farmhouse sink at a junkyard type place that specialized in old radiators and bathroom fixtures. It's in Somerville, MA... which is a little far for you. If you want to see photos, check out my dad's website: Dad's new kitchen