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Found 61 results

  1. For a couple of decades -- all of my post-college life -- I lived with kitchens that did not befit the director of a culinary arts society. Our first kitchen was weak even by New York City studio-apartment-kitchen standards: essentially a trailer kitchen. Our second kitchen was not terrible, and a lot of New Yorkers might have said it was pretty nice, but it had so much wrong with it I flirted on occasion with the thought of becoming an arsonist. When we finally got the chance to build a kitchen from scratch I was determined to make it my dream kitchen. A few things got in the way. First, some guy named Nathan Myhrvold already built my dream kitchen and it turns out there's no set of equations that work out to me affording anything like it, even considering the income stream from my incredibly lucrative career as a freelance writer. Second, we were limited by many architectural elements such as the logical location of plumbing, a window, and the overall shape and size of the kitchen area. Third, pricing the components of a kitchen independently it just wasn't possible for us to afford the cabinetry and appliances I wanted in my fantasy world. Enter the "renovation package." We recently left our quiet neighborhood of Carnegie Hill, part of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, for South-Central Harlem. This allowed us to trade up to more space, and also take advantage of the fact that at the bottom of the housing dip brokers told developers that if they put more money into renovations they could increase the values of their properties. So, basically, the developer we bought from was offering an outlandishly lavish (by my standards) package of kitchen appliances and fixtures for free, or at least at no identifiable marginal cost to us. The tradeoff was that with the developer's renovation package we had to use his architect and contractor and every departure we wanted involved delays and protracted discussion and debate. I think I lost a week of my life just to the issue of the placement of our ceiling-mounted pot rack. Here's what our kitchen looked like around Thanksgiving at the end of last year. It was, as you can see, a total gut renovation. In mid-February, we were up to this. Some of the appliances got delivered before the cabinetry, so the stove spent part of March in the bathroom. A little farther along (those are the contractors conferring about something or other). A couple of weeks ago, just before we moved in. The task of unpacking and settling in is enormous and overwhelming, but we did manage to get a lot of the kitchen stuff in place -- enough to do basic cooking. This is the state of the kitchen as of shortly after moving in. There is much to do and over the next few weeks and months I'll cover the slow process of getting the kitchen in order. There's much more detail to go into but I'm not sure what will interest folks so I'll primarily react to comments and questions regarding further specifics. On another topic some folks asked to see diagrams, so I include those here.
  2. Good Morning everyone -- As previously discussed in the Kitchen Photos Forum, I am going to start a forum on the progress of my Kitchen Rehab -- Old photos of my kitchen can be found here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/148589-kitchen-photos/?p=1971912 - That kitchen, as you can see below, is gone. This process has been challenging to say the least -- Working in our living room with just a microwave and induction burner has been fun -- kind of like camping since we don't have heat right now either and it is starting to get cold at night! We are hoping to be done by around Thanksgiving, but I am not planning on cooking this year. Some highlights of the future kitchen will be soapstone countertops, a butcher block island, a wolf steam oven and bluestar salamander (both of which have been sitting in my garage for better than a year). We are hoping this is our last remodel for a very, very long time!
  3. So the fiancee and I bought a fantastic house -- very much a right place at the right time situation -- a 1930's era brick colonial. While everything is in decent shape -- the previous owner was an engineer for the DPW who was meticulous about maintenance -- the kitchen is very small and needs some updating, especially for folks like us who like to cook (me) and entertain (my fiancee). On the upside, though, I get to re-do the kitchen how I like it. On the downside, our funds are limited. I'll post photos in a bit b/c I'm sure you folks would have some interesting ideas on how I can update the space, but my first question is about appliances. Do people have recommendations on good "entry level" gas ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers (we need all three)? I can't afford a $3000 rig, but I could probably swing something in the $1500 range, for example. Thanks, Sander
  4. My wife and I just bought an apartment on the Upper East Side and while the 3 bedroom was bought for a good price (well, good for Manhattan) the trade off is a small kitchen. The kitchen is about 5.5 x 13.5, which is a bitch, but I rationalized it by thinking that if Gabrielle Hamilton can turn out such good food in her small kitchen at Prune, an amature chef, with no tables to turn can make it work as well. The issue is obviously to maximize the space, but give it the function of a professional kitchen. To design a small kitchen that has the flow necessary for someone who is going to be using it heavily. Does anyone have the name of a kitchen designer that works in Manhattan that they would recommend? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  5. ...The kitchen renovation, that is. Yes, after many years of putting up with a kitchen the size of most Americans' shoe closets, I've decided to throw down the gauntlet. Time for a kitchen renovation... God help us. One of the first steps was to replace the old range, a GE model from 1995, with a brand new Bosch 700 Series Evolution Gas Range. The old model's oven died in May and so I've been pan-searing/sauteeing/boiling/steaming since then. No roasting. As someone who loves cooking, this situation was completely unacceptable. Luckily, we had a toaster oven, but man did I have to jam that roast chicken in there. When it came out, it certainly didn't look like chicken anymore... Well, after procrastinating a long time and researching a lot, I decided on the Bosch range. Whereas the old one had a hard time getting water to boil, this one can basically send the Space Shuttle into orbit with 16K BTU of power. When I first turned this on, the paint on my ceiling peeled. The next time my upstairs neighbor gets noisy, I'm turning this sucker on and letting his floor melt. I made our first meal on it tonight, a quick saute of chicken, vegetables, garlic and pasta. Easy right? Well, apparently there's a learning curve with this new-fangled thing. The chicken was over-cooked, the pasta slightly mushy, the pan handles got very hot, so I've got some adapting to do. I am worried about my next omelette. In any case, the next step(s) will be taking down the wall separating my study from the kitchen, replacing it with a peninsula with storage cabinets underneath. All the cabinets in the kitchen will be replaced by custom-made ones, and a new granite countertop is being cut as I write these words. Yay! I'll keep updating this blog with the work as it progresses (or doesn't), and I estimate we should be done in, say, 2012. Pictures can be seen on my real blog at http://vinotas.blogspot.com/ To celebrate, we opened a bottle of 2002 Jacques Frederic Mugnier Chambolle Musigny, which was, to put it mildly, lovely. Cheers!
  6. Finally on Monday they will begin the total destruction of my kitchen in order to build my dream kitchen. As I've been packing up this week, it occurs to me wonder, short of eating out every night. what I'll be able to cook for the next 6 weeks or so. i will have a fridge, convection microwave (i've never used the convection part), a toaster oven and a Hamilton Beach combination deep skillet, griddle. No stove, oven or dishwasher. And a husband who won't eat leftovers. I'll be operating mostly out of my dining room for prep, so won't have a lot of room. Any ideas on things to make?
  7. Tomorrow we are having our kitchen demolished, in a remodeling project that will take 2 months. Here are the before shots -- Rachel will provide the ongoing narrative and we'll document its construction over the next few weeks. The Perlow Kitchen, prior to remodelling (click)
  8. We recently bought our first house, complete with a kitchen which we will be remodeling right away. The cabinets are due for manufacture in September, but we still have a lot to decide - and many kitchen aspects about which we keep changing our mind! (Size of stove and oven is the current one. We were originally thinking a 90 cm range cooker. Now we're thinking a 75 cm hob with 60 cm oven + warming drawer to allow for a little more cabinetry. The second oven would have been mostly for plate-warming anyways. Oh, how I wish I could justify an oven big enough for my American-sized baking trays though! We lived in the US and Canada before moving here. But storage space takes priority given the space we're working with.) Anyways, my first question is this: Is there anywhere in the UK (ideally in the Greater London Area) to go and look at lots of kitchen sinks? A kitchen sink and tap showroom of some sort? B+Q have them high on the walls so they're hard to see up close. Catalogues just aren't the same as knowing what they feel like. Kitchen display places have a random and limited selection of whatever happens to be installed.
  9. It seems like everyone in the world is renovating their kitchens today. so why should I be the exception? Here's the deal. We've recently purchased a new house. The house has already been extensively renovated and it has a pretty decent kitchen to start with. There are a few things I want to do to it though, and I could use some advice. First, here are the pics of the kitchen. I've had to do them in three shots, because the kitchen is huge. In the first shot, you can see the microwave/oven combination in the wall, and there is a small cooktop over by the fridge. Underneath the micro/oven thing are two pot drawers. Underneath the cooktop is a huge utensils drawer and two more pot drawers. The second pic shows a table and chairs which we won't have because that island/breakfast bar is huge. The third picture shows the built in bar fridge and wine fridge as well as the back area of the kitchen where a desk is. Here's what I do. Even though this kitchen is particularly large, 25'3 x 17'9, I have less cupboard space than I do now. In addition, this kitchen was recently renovated, so I don't want to rip it up completely. Keep in mind as we go through this that the basement ceiling below is finished which will make any wiring we want to do more complicated. 1. I need to get a second oven in here somewhere. 2. I'd like to build some sort of worksurface/island where the table and chairs are now 3. I'd like to replace the small 30 inch cooktop with a gas cooktop, preferably 36 inches. 1. Here's my thought's and resrictions on the oven. I could put it in under the cooktop, but that means losing the two pot drawers and large utensil drawer. I'm less concerned about losing the pot drawers becauase I could build more into the island in the middle of the room. Losing the utensil drawer would be worse as it's a perfect place to grab wooden spoons, spatulas etc as one cooks. I could remove the micro/oven combination and replace with a double wall oven, but then I need a place to build in the microwave. yes, I need the microwave built in, because I don't want it cluttering up my counterspace which will have enough stuff on it. I could, if I could get power to the new island put the new oven there, but I'd rather keep the second oven as close to the work triangle as I can. 2. The worksurface in the middle could either be butcher block on top, or more of the granite that already exists in the kitchen if I can find it. Ideally, if there's room, I'd have the top overhand on one side so extra people could hang out there. I'd like to have power at the island, but that may not be possible given the status of the basement ceiling. In the island I'd like to have , a place for cookbooks, pot drawers, and anything else I haven't thought of yet, but I will. Probably more drawer space since drawers are at a premium in this kitchen. 3. I'm pretty sure that gas is available right outside the kitchen as they currently have a gas connected bbq on the deck. So bringing gas in shouldn't be a problem. What do I lose in cupboard space underneath by bringing in a gas line? In addtion, I'd have to find a way to make the granite bigger to hold a bigger cooktop and of course, I'm going to lose the utensil drawer and possibly at least one pot drawer since gas cooktops are deeper than electric cooktops. So there you have it. I'll try to get a floorplan posted in a few days, but in the meantime, I figured I'd give you experts a few days to ponder this.
  10. It's funny--I started looking for a place to buy our first house by proximity to ethnic food and good supermarkets. But I fell in love with a place that has neither. Then I said I need to have a spacious kitchen and a dishwasher. My husband and I fell in love with a 1925 Craftsman-style bungalow that has neither. Hey, at least it has a gas stove. We intend to do some remodeling in a few years to get some extra space in the kitchen, so I don't want to do anything major right now, but I do want to preserve the original features while making the space more workable (and add a diswasher!). Prep space especially is very limited. The kitchen is 9x10 with a 5x5 attached pantry. There is beautiful built-in cabinetry in the pantry but just one original cabinet above the fridge in the kitchen itself. There is a standard Home Depot-type cabinet with sink that has been added. That's where we'd like to put the dishwasher--either carve out a space for it in the existing cabinet or get a new unit for that space. The main limiting factor is the built-in table that swings down from the wall. I love it, but allowing space to eat around it cuts down on the possibilities a lot. Here are some pictures, going clockwise around the kitchen starting from the living room entrance: Believe me, there will be more hanging from this area than 3 pans and a potholder. This area is too shallow for cabinets (the fridge, which the owners are taking, is sunken in) but I have lots of ideas in mind, such as using medicine cabinets for spices, etc. Here is a shot of the cabinet over the fridge, the pantry, and the built-in table: To the right of the table is the door to the outside/basement, then a radiator in just the wrong place: And we're back to the living room doorway: All comments & suggestions welcome!
  11. We live in NYC and are looking to completely renovate the kitchen (approx 8ft x 10ft) in our 2 bedroom apartment. This means destroying everything and starting all over. I've read through some of the previous threads on kitchen renovation but I hadn't seen any for NYC apartments. My wife and I don't cook that much but my mom does come over and cook chinese food sometimes (lots of grease). I think I read something on NYC apartments and the rules against venting? Not sure if I read this right. Anyway, we've just started seeing contractors and would look for any recommendations on how to proceed. Do we need a designer? Since we don't cook that much, I'd think that we wouldn't need any super high end appliances but wouldn't want to go cheap either (resale value). Also, everyone seems to say that it will take twice as long and cost twice as much. Where have the additional costs been in your experience? So: 1. Designer? Do I need one? 2. Contractor recommendations 3. Cabinet recommendations 4. Counter (I think we've decided on granite) 5. Refrigerator recommendations 6. Range recommendations (we like gas) 7. Hood/vent/fan? 8. Dishwasher recommendations 9. Hidden costs 10. Where to shop! Thanks for any help you can give me! Howard
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