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Kitchen Remodeling

Dave Hatfield

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Here we go! Kitchen #3 and we’re all going to be jealous; at least I know I am. Y & A only recently finished this absolutely beautiful kitchen/ dining room. It shows what can be done when the partners are in synch and have complementary talents.


We all thought that Y & A’s old kitchen was pretty nice, but they wanted something better. The old kitchen was in the wrong place (that space is now a very nice room). It was also too small & narrow. The linear layout made it difficult for two people to cook at the same time. It had to go. Fortunately Y & A had a great potential kitchen space below the level of the old one. As an added bonus this space was large enough for the new kitchen PLUS a dining room. As you can see in the pictures below it needed a bit of work having formerly been where the cows were kept when this was still a farm.



Amazing. It took imagination to see this as a new kitchen.

The ‘Discussions’

Y & A were a real team when it came to this kitchen. They knew what they wanted in terms of equipment & functionality. Y did the design and A did the physical layout. The partnership worked very well and they’re very happy with the result.



Astounding. What a transformation.

Essential Elements

There were a number of elements that Y & A agreed were essential. Foremost, the kitchen had to work for two simultaneous cooks. This dictated an island layout which they both wanted anyway. A walk in pantry was essential. (There is a linguistic quirk here between pantry which is more American & larder which is more English. Larder, however, tends to only denote a place to store food. What Y & A have is something that does food, but also more.) Two sinks were another essential as were black granite work tops. Finally, they wanted the superb La Canche stove.





Four more detailed views of the kitchen area. What a great island!


Other than the normal budgetary ones the only serious limitation was the need to hide lots of pipes & wiring on one wall. Space was not a problem – the kitchen/diner is 31’ x 16’ and the pantry/WC/laundry room is 16’ x 13’.


A new large fridge & a freezer both in the pantry were added. A third combination oven/ microwave unit, integrated fridge and freezer and a dishwasher complete the equipment except for the stove. The stove as mentioned is a La Canche with a five-burner gas hob, gas & electric ovens. This is a wonderful piece of equipment that will last forever (and it’s pretty too!).



A very serious stove for very serious cooks.


All of the cabinetry is from Schmidt. Although this sounds German the company is French (Alsace). The fronts are a pale cream color.


Black Granite


Under floor heating was installed to keep the walls clear. The flooring itself is a type of stone called “Bradstone”. Bradstone is a manufactured stone although you would never guess that by looking at it. It looks totally natural, but has the advantage of being sealed and impervious to stains. Bradstone comes in a variety of colors so Y & A were able to match it to the rest of the kitchen’s color scheme.


3rd oven/ microwave


Recycling center.


Only in France do you get purpose built storage for your Bagette & your mineral water.


Organised drawers


More drawerrs.

How much of the design did you do? 100%

How much of the construction did you do? 0%

How long was the kitchen supposed to take? About 3 months.

How long did it actually take? About 4 months.


Dining table. Seats 10-12 with the leaves in place.

Costs were on target. ( Note that in France you always get a ‘devis’ (quote) from the craftsmen before committing to the job. Unless there are major changes or big unexpected difficulties during the job the quoted price will be honored.)

Y & A’s relationship is intact post kitchen. In fact they’re happy as can be; a kitchen like this would make anybody smile.


Peppers & pans over the island.


We're watching you! Cook well!

Quite a kitchen & quite a project. You can clearly see the planning, thought & design that went into making this one of the best kitchens I've seen. A dream kitchen that Y & A can rightly be proud of.

I have two more kitchens to go. Let's see yours!

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I am speechless!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Great thread Dave!

I have a question about IKEA cabinets, which I had always dismissed as consistent with the average build quality of their other products.  What makes them "second to none"? 

I like the idea of saving money by using their cabinets but having the doors made elsewhere.  Are the cabinets available sans doors so you don't have to go through the trouble of returning them?

Mano - As you can see on a previous post the IKEA cabinetry is much admired. The design is good and the components are of excellent quality. Its due to their volume that they can bring the cost down. Yes, some of the side panels are compressed wood with melamine, but so are far more expensive units. When we did a no expense spared kitchen in California the side panels were still only plywood with veneer. Don't think they were really any better or would last longer than IKEA.

I'm pretty sure that you can buy the cabinets without doors. Hopefully somebody who has done this in the states can share their experience. Our problem was linguistic; we just were not confident enough of our French to try the more complicated ordering process. I strongly suspect that a knowledgeable sales person who speaks your language would have no problem placing the order.

Let's see if we can get some help from somebody else who's done this in the states.

When we redid our kitchen, we opted to go with IKEA cabinets (intact with doors, mostly).

The way it works here in the U. S. of A. if you do your ordering or order planning at a store:

First, you sit down at one of their computers with their kitchen planning software, and put in your kitchen. Then you look at the list of pieces/parts required for your kitchen, which the software generates.

This next part helps to have a second person: you take the list of cabinets, and transfer the numbers corresponding to each cabinet (or other part) and the quantities of each onto a form. The planning software doesn't collate same-parts, so the second person is very helpful as you go around the kitchen plan and make sure that everything you want is, in fact, on your list.

The people who work in the IKEA kitchen section should be able to help you plan for things like the appropriate numbers of legs, baseboards, and moldings, none of which is accounted for in the planning software. If you're doing IKEA countertops, don't forget those.

When you have the form filled out, you bring it to the counter. They put the cabinet numbers into their computer and give you a printout of a draft order. On the draft order, every cabinet is broken down into its component parts: sides, top, bottom, shelves, door, etc.

You then double-check the form against your initial list (and also against your planned kitchen) to be sure everything's there still. At this point, if there's a part you don't want, you can cross it off the draft list. We did this with turntable assemblies for corner cabinets, because my husband built ones that are better than IKEA's. We also eliminated a door from a base cabinet, where we chose to put the microwave.

Then they take your changes, print you a new draft order, and have you check the new draft. If everything's correct, you're ready to actually place the order. Since we don't live near an IKEA store, we took the copy of the draft with us, and faxed it to the national phone order center.

I don't know how it would work if you don't live close enough to plan your order at the store, but it all starts with the software (free download).



Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Does anyone have an opinion about/or has used linoleum.

I am at the beginning of a kitchen remodel that will take a few years as it will be done in stages. I presently have a wood floor in my kitchen and I hate it... it looks good admittedly but needs refinishing (sanding, restaining and 3-5 coats of urethane every 5 years or so) as well as daily cleaning. I don't think I want tile because it is hard on the feet but admittedly also looks good and is easy to clean (needs resealing I think periodically). Which leave me linoleum as I refuse to consider vinyl.

We have linoleum and I could not be happier. I didn't want tile because as you said it's hard on the feet (and dropped glasses). Wood would have been OK but I would have obssesed about the scratches. So we got lino with a design around the border. Works for us (family of 5 and 1 dog/2 cats).

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Oh my gracious! I go away for a little while and look what I miss, WOW! All the kitchens are envy-worthy but the La Canche stove just makes me drool!

Dave, I love the Mansard windows in your kitchen, they call to mind the doors in Alice in Wonderland.

We'll be moving in a couple of weeks and smacking in new appliances immediately. Finances will determine what happens after that.

Thanks for the photos everyone. :smile:

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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My recommendation is tile.
Does anyone have an opinion about/or has used linoleum.

I've had tile and if you actually spend a lot of time on your feet in the kitchen, it is cold, hard and uncomfortable (though it does look nice). One solution of course is to use area rugs where you stand most often, but those get kind of gross with dropped food, and what's the point of having a nice tile floor if you put worn out, food stained rugs over it.

We installed Marmoleum-a brand of natural linoleum-and we LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It's soft and warm, things don't usually break when we drop them, and it doesn't show dirt-at least our blue swirly pattern doesn't (you can go an embarassingly long time without mopping). It's also solid color throughout the tiles so if it gets scratched (dog nails or whatnot), the scratch doesn't show.

But, nothing is "best"-it's all about what you like most.

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I'll just add that we have Pergo on the kitchen floor.  The kitchen had been remodeled shortly before we bought the house, so we weren't about to tear it out right away.  Although I wouldn't have chosen it, the Pergo has held up perfectly for the past 5 years, no dings from stuff being dropped, no stains, no damage from lots of wet incidents.  It looks more or less like wood, but behaves more like vinyl, and looks exactly as it did on the day we moved in.

My parents have had Pergo for about 10 years. It's been starting to warp the past two. It was fine for about the first 8 years.

My father's a business owner in a distributing corporation, namely building materials. He wasn't dissapointed in the initial investment of Pergo-- easy to clean (we had a dog), nice look, but for the long term, it doesn't hold up well. He got what he anticipated from it, and him and my mother are debating over tile versus hardwoods.

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Love the last kitchen. I am trying to swing a LaCanche Cluny for our upcoming kitchen remodel but there really is no way I am going to convince the wife to justify the price. Waaaaaa.

Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

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Oh my goodness that kitchen looks like absolute heaven. I am so jealous.

So remember how I said that the work was due to start next Monday on our kitchen and bathroom?

Yesterday (Wednesday) our builder pulled out with a 4 month job for a semi-state client, leaving us in the lurch. Yes, yesterday, 5 days before work was due to start.

We have moved out all our belongings and food and furniture, we have recycled our fridge, and more importantly we had built our hopes up so high, and finally started thinking that it might actually happen after a year of planning.

Back to square 1 looking for builders to quote.

I give up - we're picking up and going off for a week to Sicily to forget about it all.

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Yesterday (Wednesday) our builder pulled out with a 4 month job for a semi-state client, leaving us in the lurch. Yes, yesterday, 5 days before work was due to start.

Bummer! I've yet to meet a reliable contractor. They survive only because their competitors are as lousy as they are.

I give up - we're picking up and going off for a week to Sicily to forget about it all.

Like your attitude! Don't let the ba.....rds get you down.

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I feel your pain. We left for a one week Colorado trip after totally cleaning out the kitchen and they were to start the day after we got back. They started 2 weeks after we got back since they started a new job while we were gone. Even though we had appliances, all kitchen supplies and pantry items were packed away. The cupboard's were bare :sad:

I've yet to meet a reliable contractor. They survive only because their competitors are as lousy as they are.

Ain't that the truth! :angry:

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Kitchen #4, here we go. This is one of my favorite all time kitchens. To me it is the quintessional (is that a word?) farm house kitchen. It’s warm, inviting, and spacious and you know the moment you walk in that the food & conversation will be excellent. It truly reflects the personalities of D & A who had it built & designed and who are wonderful people & wonderful hosts.


The kitchen was part of a whole house renovation D & A did in 2000. The kitchen was the only living room in the farm house at that time. It is about 23 feet square. It features a massive fireplace and an evier. (An evier is a stone sink, very traditional in these parts and a very desirable feature.) The before pictures show part of the room.


Corner of room before.


Before, window & evier. The broom is ready to start!

Essential Elements

A large room was essential as D & A knew they wanted a farm house style kitchen in which they could entertain and one which would take their large dining table. They wanted plenty of storage space and all of the modern conveniences. The La Canche stove was another must have. (Eat you hearts out again) as was a TV. (D likes noise when she cooks.)


The floor had to be reinforced to take the weight of the new stone floor. It weighs 3 tons! D & A wanted to keep the evier open, but it just wasn’t possible so it was renovated anyway & can be partially seen behind the stove. They would also have like to have kept the fire place open, but it lost too much heat up the chimney & was messy so the wood burning stove was installed..


Right side as you come into the kitchen


Straight ahead as you come in. Note the evier behind the stove.


Left side. Door to the rest of the house is just to the left of this picture. The cat's name is Wally. He matches the stone floor.


The Welsh dresser is on the left wall as you enter.


All of the standard stuff, top quality. THE La Canche stove, of course, in stainless steel. Looks and is a serious piece of equipment. Now 6 years old yet still looks new. It will probably outlast me.


Sorry about the light. It is stainless steel.


Gorgeous isn’t it.


The cabinets are from Italy and were purchased through Mr. Naa in Toulouse. The black granite worktops also came via him.


As mentioned above the floor is solid stone and is very heavy. The fact that there is no sign of wear after 6 years attests to the ruggedness of this material. The stone also matches both the kitchen design and the farm house look. (Well it should look like a farm house since it was one!)


Here’s that beautiful table which seats 10 easily. Many a memorable meal served here.


Yes, they get used all the time.


D did all of the design herself. It was up to Mr. Naa to fit things into her design.


D & A did none of the construction themselves.

The plan was for 3 months of construction; it actually took 4. Having a site manager helped.

Costs were on target with the overruns being balanced by the under budget items.

No problems in the relationship.

Now I’m going to start showing you some of my favorite parts of this kitchen. Here goes:


Guardian chickens. A whole flock! Just sitting around the evier gossiping.


The boss


The boss’s buddy.


Mrs. Boss

Some people call all of this clutter. I call it interesting and think these fascinating & unusual pieces are what makes this kitchen so warm & welcoming. There are so many neat things that I could have easily taken twice as many pictures.


I call this the ‘whatsit’


A few baskets for fun.




Last, but not least my favorite duck.

As I hope you can tell I really love this kitchen. D & A’s taste is wonderful and this kitchen reflects it. It is always a treat to be invited for lunch or dinner. The warmth, the food & the companionship are second to none. We’re very fortunate to have friends like this!

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Wow, these are spectacular kitchens all! How fantastic to see true farmhouse kitchens in their natural settings! (If I hear one more TV kitchen designer croon about "Tuscan" kitchen design, I'm going to lose it).

We are planning our own (modest by these standards) remodel to begin after the first of the year. I'm pretty much in charge of it all. My husband hasn't really voiced much of an opinion on any of the design or functionality, though he does half the cooking. But the plan is to create a kitchen that will be at home in our 1923 house, with modern functionality (generous fridge, dishwasher, and 36" range), but we are constrained in that we don't really want to move any doors or walls, so we are limited to the 10x11'6" size.

I hope this topic can continue until then!

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Wow!!!! Nice kitchen!!!

I'd give my eye teeth to have a 23 foot square kitchen instead of the 10 by 22 foot kitchen I have now. Not that 20 by 22 is small but....

"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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I hope this topic can continue until then!

Me too. We've got several people doing remodels either now or in the near future. If they're contractors show up that is. Hopefully they'll be kind enough to document their efforts.

I'd really like to see more of a before, during & after post. We've only had one, I think, but it was great.

Anyway, I've got one kitchen to go. Well, maybe two. The one for sure is sort of like two in one. This is a friend of ours who has a very nice kitchen, but had a second kitchen built when she decided to open a cooking school. Should be fun.

I'd give my eye teeth to have a 23 foot square kitchen instead of the 10 by 22 foot kitchen

I gave mine some time ago, but it didn't work. Our kitchen is about the same size as yours. Just have to continue being spatially challenged I guess.

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We are working on a project now in Piedmont but we hit a bit of a snag because of a support wall we didn't expect. We have found a good local mason and fixed a price so we begin work on October 15. I can't wait to post before and afters.

Here is a little taste of the before: (yes that is just cold running water in the sink)



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I am positively drooling over these kitchens. Thank you for posting about them, Dave. smile.gif
  Outstanding job Dave.

Many thanks for the praise. I'm just happy that we have friends who have good taste & like to cook and were gracious enough to let me photograph their kitchens.

I'm looking forward to SWISS_CHEF's remodel. It looks like a real challenge from the preview.

Additionally FFB, who is currently blogging, is promising to share her remodel.

PLUS; we have several promises on this thread.

Looking forward to an interesting fall.

We're off to the mountains for a few days, but will get to my promised 5th kitchen upon our return.

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I'd go out today and buy a cow barn if I could have a kitchen like #3!

You can Abra ... you just have to make room for your Canuck Kitchen Designer!

Just to add to this thread, I'd suggest a visit to the NKBA website (National Kitchen & Bath Association) for some good background information. Certified Kitchen Designer's (CKD's) like myself aren't for everyone, but they are another resource to consider.


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