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Old 10-10-2005, 03:43 PM   #1
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I know this has been done before, but I couldn't find it to resurrect it.

What is your real kitchen like? What about it do you love or hate? What would you do if you could gut it and start over? Would you if you could?

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Old 10-10-2005, 03:48 PM   #2
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I would have someone design it who really knows something about actual preparing and cooking meals. We have redone our kitchen about 3 times in 35 years, but never had a real designer. I think it would make all the difference in how well a kitchen works. I keep hoping someone will have a design plan online so I could put in the square footage and placement of doors and find an ideal arrangement of what I need to make it a top notch working kitchen.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
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What I have: When we moved here, we knew we wanted an old house, and the kitchen was important. Our real estate agent showed us several beautifully done kitchens, thinking I'd fall in love with them, then this one that he thought was a lousy kitchen (OK, he is a fast-food bachelor). I took one look and fell in love, as did hubby. Very old, with old, white-painted lower cupboards with doors, and sagging shelves up above. Big enough for a small table. THe fridge not even in the kitchen. Old Pine floors. Big, very country kitchen, built in the mid 1800s. We've periodically fixed this and that ... painted the cupboards, put on corian sinks and counters (the latter two suffering from 70s remodeling), put in a new stove, took out mistaken attempts at decorations (curtains that didn't even remotely look like they belonged in a kitchen. Not curtains, draperies). The sagging shelves in the open over cupboards became simple glass. The windows just got a white paint to go with the paint we put on the cupboards. A carpenter came in and put in new drawer boxes and hardware -- so the original old stuff is there, but you can open a drawer or cupboard without the #$$#@@## that tended to happen with the old hardware.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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What I want: New wallpaper. Mine is a weird plaid (another attempt at modernizing what shouldn't have been modernized). My pine floors stripped and polyeurethaned (I hate cleaning and really consider it the worst downside of cooking). On the slate (tomorrow!!!): Better lighting. In the winter, when I'm at the stove, it is too dark. It's a lovely, bright kitchen during the day, but it needs better artificial light at dinner time in the winter.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:42 PM   #5
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Probably the main problem with my kitchen is too much stuff. I do have a separate pantry - a room about 5 x 10 - where I store most of my pots and pans, electrical appliances not used every day, all groceries not opened, home made canned goods. paper products, cleaning products and supplies. Dh put in the sliding baskets in my cabinets a few years ago and that helps a lot, but my cabinets were put in 30 years ago and many new advances have been made since then. The cabinets are beautiful - solid oak inside and out, but they could be outfitted better. I have decided it isn't worth the bother to get him to redo it tho. He doesn't want to do it and I suppose I will just live with it or make small changes when I can do it myself. He did put in a wonderful skylight a year or so ago. I needed that because my kitchen doesn't have a window.
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:05 PM   #6
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I live in an apartment. I have 2 counter spaces - one 12" and the other 28" wide. I have 1 drawer - 8.75" wide - just big enough for a silverware tray.

Humm ... could I think up some kitchen improvements?
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:05 PM   #7
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My husband and I designed our own home...my husband planned the exterior and the basic things like plumbing, wiring, etc...and I did the interior.
Our bedroom and bath takes up one corner of the ground floor, and the rest is a big L shaped room with the kitchen at the opposite corner, flanked by the dining area on one side and the living area on the other. The kitchen itself is small and compact with a T-shaped counter that houses the stove and extends into a counter with bar stools. I can reach the stove, sink and refrigerator with only a few steps, and the pantry is right there also. My pots and pans hang over the stove on a Magnalite rack, and the microwave sits on a shelf over the counter. I have shelves on the end of the pantry for large pots, cookbooks, containers of pasta, etc. A lot of old crocks, Fiesta and other items interest are displayed on top of the cabinets, and several Renior reproductions and antique plates decorate the wall above. The window over the kitchen sink looks out over open fields with a hardwood forest on the other side. I've seen a lot of beautiful sunsets through that window, watched deer graze on the honeysuckle, and seen many little children (and adults) swinging from the swing my daddy hung from the big hard maple just outside.
The ceiling in the living area which peaks at about 22 feet, is sloped like the roof and covered with car siding, with three skylights to let in the sun, one of which is directly over my kitchen area.
In the east and west walls, there are octagonal stained glass windows, one of which catches the rising sun, the other gettin the setting sun. Across the front of the living area, which faces south, is a 30x12 passive solar greenhouse, with 3 sets of sliding glass doors, so that it seems one with the house. On the north side, patio doors open from the dining area onto a shady deck surrounded by woods.
It truly is my dream kitchen. I didn't know when I designed it that I would be disabled one day, but I couldn't have planned it better.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:07 PM   #8
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We live in a tiny flat, and the kitchen is like the one Barbie would be using!! Cris, the Mr. Home Improvement did an amazing job to maximize this tiny area, but for a couple of zealous cooking enthusiasts, there is never enough space! The working area is very limited and something is always in the way of something else, I must clamber up the chair to get to the oven or to reach for many things, and every time after our grocery shopping we have this very challenging puzzle game in the fridge and cupboard to fit everything in...Our freezer (the kind you open up the top) is sitting in our computer room, we can almost never get to what we need in the freezer before clearing out the armful of stuff sitting on top .
Therefore a spacious kitchen with ample work surface and storage area, designed for a smooth flow in cooking, everything within easy reach, with all the appliances that are handy to us in place would be our dream kitchen... Oh, and an direct access to our outdoor picnic/dining area where we would store the pizza oven and bbq pit, then we will be set!
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:27 PM   #9
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We redid ours a little over a year ago.
Mine is simple. It's all wood cabinets in a straight line about 15 foot. We still haven't done the food pantry. When we do that, we'll put another cabinet between it and the refrigerator. It's country. No dark colors. We didn't stain, just put clear coat over it. I liked the color of the wood too much.

The hole is not there anymore, got a dishwasher to fill it in.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:34 PM   #10
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i live between 2 houses and therefore use different kitchens, but i think i like the other one way better than the one here. also, there's a pretty awesome very-mini-kitchen in the upstairs at the other house, too, just the basics, and not a stove or anything, but i love it.
but the main kitchen there is just so inviting. the lighting is just right, it's not too big and it's not too small, it just has this aura. i love to cook there, love to read my cookbooks there while i eat (and then retire to my room in my armchair and read them..... soooo cozy. i want to go there now), love to watch tv while i eat, it's just awesome.

i like it here, too, but it's just different than the other kitchen. not as cozy, i guess. just not the same, but i like it in its own way.

my own kitchen is picked out, appliance/gadgets-wise, but i don't have the kitchen itself yet. i'm working on it. if i could choose, i'd just take my other house's kitchen with me.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:31 PM   #11
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I love my kitchen but who couldn't use just a little more cupboard space? I am short so I wish the counters were about 2 inches lower - my answer is to wear higher shoes when I need to chop or knead - that really helps my back and gives me some leverage.

DH indulged me when we moved in here 6 years ago and put in a gas cook-top, a new oven/microwave/warming drawer (which I could not now live without) and last year we replaced the window (from 3 very woody and dark panes to just two, sliders underneath) then we replaced the brick countertops - yes I said brick - glazed but with grout and horribly uneven - with Flowstone which I love. The sink is integrated so there are no sink edges to catch stuff and the surface is so smooth you can roll dough out right on it and it stays cool - you use much less flour and cleans like a dream with comet! I couldn't recommend it more highly!

The kitchen is U shaped but with a counter behind the U. I'm one happy cook!
Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. Oregon native transplanted to Chicago....
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:37 PM   #12
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Wanted to share this article. What I have, and what I want, might take a little thinking - or take up a chapter.

Keys to Creating a Kitchen That Works

By Chris Casson Madden
Scripps Howard News Service

Innovative solutions such as a drawer devoted to spices are a plus for an organized kitchen. (SHNS photo by John Vaughan / Chris Madden Inc.)

If you've ever spent any time behind the scenes of a restaurant kitchen, you know that the preparation of delicious meals is a fast-paced choreography between chef and sous chef, salad maker, grill cook and wait staff. It is an economy of motion within an economy of space, with the goal being the prompt service of food.

I don't see a kitchen in a home as being much different. With our hectic lives, we multi-task while we cook, people eat on the run and a meal where everyone sits around the table together is often a rarity. For some, cooking is a necessary evil. For others, like me, it is enjoyable. But no matter what your style, creating a kitchen that's efficient and convenient should be a priority whether you are a simple cook or have the heart and saucepans of a gourmet.

However, the way we use our kitchen space today is changing. In fact, a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) found that most women not only work but also share the cooking duties with others in the home. They also prepare very few dishes from scratch, which means today's cooks need pantry space for any number of packaged food items.

There are three important keys in creating a kitchen that works with you and not against you: plan the space for efficiency, choose the right appliances and pay attention to storage needs.

You may need the help of a pro, but whether you are remodeling or reorganizing, deciding how your space will accommodate prep work and cooking is a must. While the classic "kitchen triangle" layout and its variations are still workable, today's kitchen designers more often are creating multiple work stations to allow more than one person to work efficiently without getting in anyone else's way. Adding an island is the most common way to make this happen.

There are some truly wonderful major appliance options out there that can turn the least skilled of us into the next Julia or Emeril. The trend to stainless steel continues, which goes with all decors. In particular, gas ranges and cook tops are more preferable than electric because cooks know that gas flames give them more control over the heat, an important factor when cooking delicate sauces.

As far as ovens go, think convection. Convection ovens cook faster and more evenly than conventional ovens and thereby prevent food from drying out. Higher-end models will be more expensive, but will yield more professional results.

Here are some other ways to create a cook's kitchen:
  • Place a spice drawer by the main cooking workstation. This lets cooks have their cumin, chives or cilantro close at hand, and racks tailor-made for glass spice jars are available.
  • Position a warming drawer next to your cook top. An invaluable cook's tool, a warming drawer can keep an entrée warm while side dishes are prepared.
  • Mount a magnetic knife bar on the wall nearest where you chop and slice. The bar keeps cutlery stored safely above your countertop but within convenient reach for prep work.
  • Install an ergonomically designed sink. One system manufactured by Franke streamlines food prep and cleanup using a cutting board, measuring bowl, colander, open-bottomed bowl and a stainless-steel grid. Those elements are integrated into the design of the main under-mounted sink. Both Kohler and Kallista are also designing interesting new looks for sinks.
Just as you would put together any recipe, so should you find the right ingredients for your kitchen to make it work for you and your family and enjoy the added benefits of smart design in one of your most-used spaces.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:15 PM   #13
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Moved to the Food Talk Forum.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:20 PM   #14
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Ahhhh the kitchen!

We moved into our present house in July 1993 and we have done a few changes to the kitchen since then, but it's basically the same as it was when originally built in Spring 1949, same cupboards and same placement of appliances.

In the first photo, you can now see a butcher block in the center of the kitchen. This was made possible by moving the fridge back 2 feet - which meant cutting open the wall behind it and losing my walk-in pantry on the other side, this was relegated to the basement for now. The kitchen is a lot bigger now, we have effrectively created a two cook kitchen by doing that.

At the bottom left side of the photo, you can see a breakfast table pushed up against the counter with a long bench under it. Initially it was a breakfast nook built like a restaurant booth, not convenient at all. We removed the built-in benches and added chairs opposite the long bench. Now we can move the table back (it used to be built in as well but now has four legs and is separate) and we can stand at that counter on the near side of the counter, very convenient when we have others helping out with food prep.

The cupboard doors have been removed on either side of the stove, this has become a very nice feature, it facilitates putting away dishes or reaching for what we need, it is very beautiful now as well as convenient. You would have had to see it in person when the doors were still on and be able to compare the effect it has on the whole kitchen, it looks so much more open and HUGE!

The next step will be to remove the microwave entirely from the near left side, cut the cabinet doors to match the short upper cupboards, as well as build three shelves, matching the ones on either side of the stove. At the present time the shelves behind the doors above the microwave are totally unreachable so we don't use these at all.

By the way I was not pleased that this photo was taken showing the huge garbage pail in the forefront - LOL - I made sure that I cleared space under the sink for three pails, regular garbage, recycling and compost.

This is great that I can post photos and let you see what I am talking about. This thread is fascinating!
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All things are difficult before they are easy. -Thomas Fuller (1608-61)
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:11 AM   #15
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If I was rich, I'd raise my counters 2 or 3 inches (I'm tall), but that would be prohibitive! I agree with all who've said it .... I really wasn't sure I'd like those door-less, open cupboards ... too much for people to see! But in fact they are great. You can even put dishes away slightly damp, because they'll dry in place. You do have to pare down to the essentials, though, or they're too hard to keep clean and neat.
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