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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been sweating on the layout for my parents kitchen. It's an odd sized room in a 200+ year old section of the house so I'm pretty restricted in modifying the existing structure(original beams). I'm also trying to do it pretty cheaply 25-30k(ish) for everything but appliances.

I've got a decent concept but there are a couple things I'd like to improve. I'm in a rush now but I can post a dimensioned layout later if anyone wants. The door by the fridge is the main guest entrance from a covered porch. The large opening at the other end is to a dining room. The door on the right leads down to the basement and the opening next to it leads to a den. Ceilings are 7'.

Anyway, I'd like to get a little more mix of counter height and materials because it's going to be a HUGE plane in a small room as it is now. I've been thinking soapstone and walnut or maybe hand-packed concrete and walnut if I can get the technique down.

The other thing I've been looking at is doing a wall oven next to the fridge and making that whole end look like a built-in. I'll probably have to sketch that up so you can see what I mean.

Advise and criticize away.
 

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It's too bad you can't tear down and open up the living room wall for a 25-30k kitchen. Soapstone and walnut sounds great but I might consider switching to Home Depot cabinets and using the money saved to tear out that living room wall.

Doesn't look like there's enough room for the range by the fridge. I don't see many other options as far as placement. For the range, plan on having it vent into the floor and out the side of the house if it's going to be in the middle of the room like that. A huge vent hanging from the ceiling just isn't good.
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's too bad you can't tear down and open up the living room wall for a 25-30k kitchen. Soapstone and walnut sounds great but I might consider switching to Home Depot cabinets and using the money saved to tear out that living room wall.

Doesn't look like there's enough room for the range by the fridge. I don't see many other options as far as placement. For the range, plan on having it vent into the floor and out the side of the house if it's going to be in the middle of the room like that. A huge vent hanging from the ceiling just isn't good.
Given that this house is VERY old and the main support post is located right next to that hall opening, I'm just not comfortable ripping out the entire wall. My stepfather is also a bit hard of hearing so my mother would have to listen to whatever he is watching at full blast if the wall wasn't there. I'm trying to design with some aging factored in.

I did allow for a telescoping range vent as there's just not enough ceiling height for much else. I'm also 6'2" and my brother is 6' so anything hanging down sucks at family gatherings. The lamps you see in the picture have inflicted many wounds.

There is 27" of cabinet next to the fridge in the current design so I can get a bit more for a oven/micro cabinet but it will squeeze the entry more.
 

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KemoSabe
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Keep in mind, a wall oven next to the fridge is like putting a space heater next to an AC unit. If mom does a lot of baking, I'd reconsider that layout.
 
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K&B Plus...
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Half the room doesn't seem to have much use other than for hutches that are pretty far from your cleanup area, so don't seem to be logical places for dish storage. Also, counter height seating for older people (and I'm including myself in that category now) isn't that comfortable, and there isn't enough room left on that end for a table. I'd rethink the peninsula. I'd probably put the fridge on the wall where you have the open shelving and put the range on the end wall, where it'll be easier to vent. Do a narrow island, even if it's 18" for some prep space, and not worry about stool seating. A cozy banquette under that end window and where the one hutch is, and make the other hutch a breakfast area housing the coffee maker, toaster, etc. And shallow pantries on the long wall opposite the sink.

Or, at least that's my impression this a.m. without coffee yet, and with no measured drawing.
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The total room dimension is 21'9" x 12'5" at it's widest point.

Thanks for the suggestions Live Oak. My original design actually had the banquette but it was very small and my parents would like to keep the double pocket doors as they work well.

In the interest of being brief I neglected to mention some of my mom's needs for the project. They currently have two dining tables that are very close to each other and it has always bothered her. Even with the casual table closer to the kitchen she has felt isolated whenever people come over because the room is so long. There also isn't any pantry storage or closets on the ground floor so the cupboards would be for infrequent use items and foodstuffs.

I'm not married to my solutions. It's just a wonky space.
 

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Is there any space at all on the LR wall that could have the fridge partially recessed into it? Closet, entertainment cabinetry, etc?
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is there any space at all on the LR wall that could have the fridge partially recessed into it? Closet, entertainment cabinetry, etc?
Nothing. And the wall is load bearing and likely to have large timbers in it.


Here's another set of isometrics where I tried out a number of ideas.

-Wall oven and cooktop instead of range.
-full cabinets in the oven corner which would all be full extension drawers with shallow edges. The bottom two would be for heavy appliances and the uppers can be for spice/pantry storage.
-Lowering the cooking area. My mother is 5'4" so having the cooktop a few inches lower would probably be better for her than the standard 36".
-I'd like to put a folding teak shower seat under the coat hooks so it can be dropped down to put on boots but fold right up when not in use.
 

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One last out of the box thought.... What nibbles at the brain is that you said that's the main entrance into the house. And there's no pantry. And you'd like more of a connection to the rest of the home. And only because you're the labor and can be freely abused for mom's sake... ;)

So, what if the entire kitchen as you've designed it shifted down to that wall between the kitchen and dining room. Shift the DR entrance over so that you've got a straight shot traffic pattern down that wall. And you header off the DR wall instead of the problematic LR wall. Add a wall at the other end to create a pantry/mudroom space by the entrance. Now you can do all kinds of open shelving because there is a large enough pantry to support the storage needs in the main kitchen. And you've got a nice mud area. The LR wall can be a large shallow storage hutch and small appliance area, plus you can have room for a small island.

I know it's a lot more work moving windows and adding walls. It's not as much work as tackling the LR wall though. And I think it gives you some of your goals plus. Pardon the artifacts in the quick sketch. I did it while munching my salad and didn't spend any real time on it.
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Gah, sorry LiveOak! I accidentally unsubscribed from my own thread. Thank you for all your help.

The idea of moving it all down is a very good one. I'm laying it all out now to see if it will fit and then I'll run it by the family. I tend to be very function oriented so the pantry mudroom is a good addition in my opinion.
 

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Careful about customizing it too much. A low counter or cooktop may work for your mom but when it comes time to sell the house, the buyers will not like it unless you're selling to another short person. Think about custom building a 32" high butcher block if she needs something low down, that way it's not permanent.
 

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General Contractor
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When the house is being built, its usually will have the best kitchen layout for that space. You can do little modifications to it and add more stuff to it but you will be taking away space from it, whether this being floor space or wall space.
Unless you doing addition, or removing a wall, or closing an opening to expand, then you can re-design... If you not, you better off do direct replacement and if you have a free wall, you can add perhaps a 16-18" cabinet pantry or a little counter.
 

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This is for your parents so I assume there's no design contract? Your design work is free? Might help to draw a plan view of the rooms around the kitchen and make notes such as; dad watches t.v here, the kids have lunch here. The design revolves around their needs, it's hard to suggest anything without knowing much.
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Greg That is frequently the case but this section of the house is almost 200 years old and things have changed substantially. I have no idea if this is even the room that was the kitchen on the original layout. The existing kitchen is about as unusable a kitchen as I have seen.

@Kenn My parents have no intention of listing the house so I'm not really concerned about lowering their house value by a bit in order to customize it to their needs. It's a good point though. This remodel is happening because they've decided that this is where they're going to get old and my mother isn't going to put up with this kitchen any longer(22 years later:rolleyes:).

I'm heading up to demo the kitchen tomorrow so I probably won't be able to deliver any more plans. My parents can't ever make a design decision until I back them into a corner but I imagine they'll start deciding pretty quick once I take the kitchen out and knock a few holes in their walls.:laughing: I know, I'm an evil bastard.
 

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I'm heading up to demo the kitchen tomorrow so I probably won't be able to deliver any more plans. My parents can't ever make a design decision until I back them into a corner but I imagine they'll start deciding pretty quick once I take the kitchen out and knock a few holes in their walls.:laughing: I know, I'm an evil bastard.
Man, I am in the middle of a job where someone did the same thing. The GC started tearing out the kitchen and several other things before a design was ever finalized. Worst idea ever. Now he's throwing fits because he's spending hours of his time helping with the design and not getting paid for it. In the meantime their house is torn apart and unusable. If they are unsure of a design, maybe they need more time. Or maybe they need a professional kitchen designer. But if they can't decide now, it doesn't mean tearing everything apart will make it any easier.

There's a reason they call it design/build in that order, not build/design. You sound determined to get started so I ain't stopping you. But you're taking a chance, let us know how it works out.
 

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@Greg That is frequently the case but this section of the house is almost 200 years old and things have changed substantially. I have no idea if this is even the room that was the kitchen on the original layout. The existing kitchen is about as unusable a kitchen as I have seen.

@Kenn My parents have no intention of listing the house so I'm not really concerned about lowering their house value by a bit in order to customize it to their needs. It's a good point though. This remodel is happening because they've decided that this is where they're going to get old and my mother isn't going to put up with this kitchen any longer(22 years later:rolleyes:).

I'm heading up to demo the kitchen tomorrow so I probably won't be able to deliver any more plans. My parents can't ever make a design decision until I back them into a corner but I imagine they'll start deciding pretty quick once I take the kitchen out and knock a few holes in their walls.:laughing: I know, I'm an evil bastard.
Ethan, I understand that perfectly well... I just did complete remodeling of a house which was built in 1901... and I had to leave the kitchen layout as it was, because I couldn't do anything with it...
I did moved a few things around and thats all I could have done without doing addition or taking extra room from part of the house because there was none there to take from.
I did direct replacement for the most part of the kitchen and it came out a good working kitchen.
 

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Talking Head
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There's a reason they call it design/build in that order, not build/design. You sound determined to get started so I ain't stopping you. But you're taking a chance, let us know how it works out.
So this Build/Design project is off and running.:thumbup:

I would never do it this way with another customer but I've done enough projects with my parents to know how they work. I was in business with them at one point.

I got to their house at 10pm on Sunday, with plans to start demo at 8am Monday, and the kitchen wasn't empty yet. 8:15, I had that kitchen empty.

They hadn't selected ANYTHING for the kitchen(except a dishwasher they had replaced a few months ago) but they had OK'd the first design drawings I posted on here. My mother had liked the second designs too but apparently hadn't bothered to show them to my stepfather.:whistling

By lunch on Wednesday the kitchen was down to studs and the second subfloor(20" pine planks) and my parents have selected a cabinet door style and color, a wood floor for the adjoining rooms, a DuraCeramic for the kitchen and soapstone(or comparable) countertops. The appliances hadn't been ordered but they were almost there.

So basically, in 15 months of thinking about it they hadn't decided anything but, once the kitchen was gone, it took them 48 hours to figure most of it out.:blink: And people wonder how I got to be so pushy and decisive.
 

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And people wonder how I got to be so pushy and decisive.

LOL! The hand holding and waiting on decisions from people who can't decide between 17 different shades of white is the worst part about my job. :whistling Thankfully, it's the worst. :)

Good luck man. I've been pushing my mom to get rid of her 70's kitchen for 20 years. At 90 years old now, not wanting to change anything has become her whole existence. At least I have the plans ready to go when my sister inherits the place. ;)
 
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