Friday, July 24, 2015

Think you have a bad kitchen?

I don't know how people used to cook when our grandparents were young. I mean, I understand this kitchen:



But that is not what we were left with when we purchased our home. The listing for our house highlighted that we were getting an "Eat in kitchen!"



Upon closer inspection, you may realize this small space is has two doorways, a window, and a charming split staircase to the second level. Where is the counter space? The range? A sink? Right behind the photographer:



That's a 7x7 space housing an original 1950's range and double washboard sink. What could we do with an awkward 11x11 room with another 7x7 room added on the end of it? 

Lets start out with our list of wants for the space:
  • Dishwasher (not named Ross)
  • A half bathroom - our only bathroom is on the second floor... and looks like the kitchen
  • A pantry - we have been keeping food in that wall cabinet you see to the right.
  • Counter space - our kitchen has about 18 inches
  • Lots and lots of cabinets!
  • A design that works well for entertaining 
We took our measurements and thoroughly stumped the kitchen designer at Lowes. After working with her, we became very aware that our charming double staircase needed to become a single staircase... We loaded the measurements into Ikea's kitchen planner and here is what we finally came up with on version 407 of the kitchen planner:


Floor Plan


Looking at it from the dining room


Looking at it from the 11x11 room

Having a design that is both easy to cook in and great for entertaining isn't easy because you have to give the cook room to work and company space to congregate. What we decided on was making the smaller area of the kitchen the main food prep and cooking area. With the addition of a prep sink and pullout waste bin, the smaller portion of the kitchen can handle some serious cooking! This area of the kitchen is complete with:
  • A 36-inch Range
  • 18-inch prep sink with pullout waste bin
  • 7 feet of counter space!
  • Easy access to the Pantry and Refrigerator
The location of the dishwasher and main cleanup sink away from the the prep/cooking area works great for us. It is really nice to be able to move dirty dishes completely out of the prep space when you are cooking and best yet, someone can load the dishwasher or hand-wash pots and pans while another person is cooking.

The location of the powder room off the kitchen was a necessary evil. We played at moving the powder room in other locations but there were too many existing doors and windows to squeeze it in anywhere else. Luckily, in our neighborhood with century old homes, powder rooms are often off the kitchen so it doesn't seem strange.

Room for work and fun

The flow from the main living area and dining room makes the kitchen a central gathering area. Friends and family can hang out in the larger section of the kitchen during parties without getting in the way, and we managed to tick off all the points on our wants list!


Look out for our next post: Coming up with what we wanted the kitchen to actually look like. Colors, what brand of cabinet, door style, counter tops; the kind of decisions people spend moths on Houzz agonizing over, and that little problem of budget.   

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