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Kitchen Remodeling


Dave Hatfield
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Anyone ever seen, or used, bamboo for kitchen cabinets?

While I use bamboo primarily for flooring, I have seen it used for cabinetry. It has of course a very distinctive look, and as far as I know is only available in a "slab" door-style (i.e. no raised panel doors).

Was there anything in particular you wanted to know about it?

A.

"Slab" style, full overlay, is what I want, so it should work. Architect is bringing some samples with various finishes for me on Monday, so I can see what they do.

My concerns are looks and wear, equally. It's got to look nice but stand up to a LOT of use, wear, and cleaning, and not fade in the light.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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OK, here is my kitchen, did it myself excepting cabinets and countertop, but I did have the countertop measured without the tile, then I pulled them all out, laid tile, and remounted them. Countertop then fit perfectly, except where the fridge went in as it wasn't there for them to measure when they came for the measurements and the wall wasn't square as well, if that makes any sense.

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the entrance.

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looks left.

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further back left.

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from back left.

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money shot.

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from back left no dogs.

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from range window countertop.

*note, wal-mart spice rack not filled with wal-mart spices.

Edited by coquus (log)
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"Slab" style, full overlay, is what I want, so it should work.  Architect is bringing some samples with various finishes for me on Monday, so I can see what they do.

My concerns are looks and wear, equally.  It's got to look nice but stand up to a LOT of use, wear, and cleaning, and not fade in the light.

Well, considering it's also used as flooring, I'd assume it would wear well for a cabinet door. I have no long-term imperical evidence of this, I'm just sayin' ...

You should also make sure the bamboo "veneer" is as thick as possible. I believe the doors I saw had veneers that were about 1/8" thick.

As far as looks go ... you'll know once you you see it if it's your kinda thing. Bamboo, like cork, has a very specific look. I like it a lot, but other designers I know don't. What I would do is perhaps break up all the bamboo with a section or two of painted slab doors or some other material.

A.

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Coquus - Good looking kitchen; bet it works well. You must have saved a ton by doing it yourself.

Where did you get your cabinets?

O liked the dod as well.

Home Depot, American Woodmark, Anapolis, Hickory, Hickory Spice. With what I know now I'd like to make my cabinets next time, these premade ones are kinda poorly made, for the 5K I spent on them I expected some really nice stuff.

For those of you who don't know me, I would just like to point out that I took a page from Jacques Pepin's kitchen when I made backsplash myself with the help of some potter friends and my dad, the artist responsible for any little designs that you might see on the tiles. I went quickly, abstractly, as I had already wedged, rolled, cut and dried the entire batch of 872 myself and was just looking to "git-er-done", plus I was working under strict orders "not to draw anything on the tiles".

I have seen what people have spent on kitchens, esp. in here, whoa! I probably spent $25K doing the whole house including furniture and appliances, well maybe $26K, it's 1200 sq feet. new bathroom, kitchen (leveled floor, new walls and ceiling), 1/2bath, new drywall in whole house, new electrical and plumbing as well, new paint inside and out, redid floors and interior walls. I worked about 40 hours a week for six months plus cooking at night, plus about 10/wk for six more months after I moved in, not to mention her dad worked about the same and my dad put in lots of work as well as everyone else that helped out. We bought the house for $22K, the market is way different here, same house in LA where all those flip shows take place would cost $400 before fixing up. We're in the process of getting a home equity loan for our credit debt right now, and we'll be lucky to get an appraisal fo $70K is what I think. Pretty nice I guess, I wish it would be more, but I don't live in a "desirable" neighborhood, or a "desirable" part of the country.

Oh, here is the laundry room, 1/2 bath where the old bathroom was(downstairs, argh), sorry bout the time stamp on everything they were all taken yesterday.

gallery_32711_3831_222327.jpg

Edited by coquus (log)
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I have been waiting and waiting until my kitchen was spotless to document my reno...and have finally realized that my personal kitchen is *never* going to be Better Homes & Gardens spotless, so I may as well go ahead on a day that it isn't too much of a disaster :raz:

My kitchen in my new house is in a room that was formerly a bedroom I think...in any case it had nothing that was needed for a kitchen but since it's right above the utility room and next to the former kitchen (which kind of reminded me of a 1970s RV...*shudder*), it wasn't that big a deal to shift things over.

Daddy-A did the design/layout, and his people took care of the cabinetry and countertops. My people took care (or didn't) of the rest of it, essentially, so things that are wonky or still unfinished are completely NOT his fault :laugh: (see my odd broom closet, e.g.; I will find a suitable closure for it one day)

Here it is in progress:

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Here is the "kitchen" I used for three months until the new one came online (using the utility sink downstairs as the only running water outside the downstairs bathroom for the same period):

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And here is the finished product:

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And a closeup of the orange glass tile backsplash, one of my favourite things:

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There are a few things I would change if I could...if I could get another 5 feet of countertop, I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven! and if I could switch a few drawers around (the two-layer silverware drawer, while awesome, I should really have placed elsewhere than its current location) that would make the space more functional. The other day I had a vision of a fold-down counter that would come across the doorway and act as workspace and passthrough, and would also have a bottom that would keep my dear darling dog out of the kitchen and the catfood...I have to think on that some more.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Well, considering it's also used as flooring, I'd assume it would wear well for a cabinet door.  I have no long-term imperical evidence of this, I'm just sayin' ...
I'd assume so, too, but have had different experiences with wood flooring and cabinets warping. Bamboo would seem like a no-brainer to me, but so did oak and cherry ...
You should also make sure the bamboo "veneer" is as thick as possible.  I believe the doors I saw had veneers that were about 1/8" thick.

As far as looks go ... you'll know once you you see it if it's your kinda thing.  Bamboo, like cork, has a very specific look.  I like it a lot, but other designers I know don't.  What I would do is perhaps break up all the bamboo with a section or two of painted slab doors or some other material.

A.

Great advice -- and great minds thinking alike! The arch. just told me the same thing today, about the painted slabs. The upper cabinets will mostly be etched or opaque glass (I wanted no upper cabinets but that's not really practical in my space). When I get my hands on the samples, I'll have a better idea.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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It's coming, it's finally coming..........

Our house is under construction at the moment!

They removed the big pillar from the middle of the room - my fiance says it looks cool but really scary - there are 8 steel girders holding up the back of the house until they fit the rsj that will do the job permanently.

Have taken loads of 'before' pictures, and some 'in-betweens', so once it's all done in a few weeks I'll have my pretty house to brag about.

Can't wait.

Just goes to show that a bit of persistence goes a long way - after our builder pulled out on us at the 11th hour in August/September we got back on the horse and started looking again and found a really great guy who could fit us in almost straight away.

So exciting. Keep those fingers crossed for us.

Vx

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Terrific news, Vanessa! Can't wait to see the before/afters. My cabinet provider had to be fired, and we're going with custom. Hopefully we, too, will have someone who can start right away.

*Deborah,* I love the kitchen, it's dramatic and glorious and feels happy. And if anyone out there actually has all the countertop they desire, I'd love to hear how s/he managed it!

Coquus, wow. To have a talent for that, and family members to help, must be wonderful. Nice job! What is your countertop material? Is the tile hard to stand on? You know, for the hours of cooking you put in after your fun retaurant job! :laugh: (Geez, not even organic Wal-Mart spices? :raz: )

I'm getting so excited for my reno to really begin! I'm also getting anxious, even though the deck will be done by Thanksgiving, so it feels like something is happening.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Coquus, wow.  To  have a talent for that, and family members to help, must be wonderful.  Nice job!  What is your countertop material?  Is the tile hard to stand on?  You know, for the hours of cooking you put in after your fun retaurant job!  :laugh: (Geez, not even organic Wal-Mart spices?  :raz: )

Thanks, I would have been lost without them, they deserve a ton of credit, I was just the muscle for the most part. The countertop material is Silestone, it's only drawback is that you can't set really hot stuff on it, higher than 4OOdegreesF I think, other than that it's beautiful, easy to maintain with soap and water, and impossible to damage. They do alot of epoxy countertops nowadays, the one I really like is made of recycled pieces of glass set into the epoxy, same principal as Silestone, but you probably could hurt it with one of the Kyocera knives.

As for the tile being hard to stand on, I really haven't noticed it, but when I'm at home I don't tend to stand on it for more than an hour or two at a time. I am only entering my third of a century year today however! I wish it was heated however, it gets super cold so slippers are a must.

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  I am only entering my third of a century year today however!  I wish it was heated however, it gets super cold so slippers are a must.

Heyyyy, I had a feeling you had the Scorpion in you! (My friend Paulette-- see my signature line, my favorite blondie -- shares your birthday.) Happy Happy Birthday, and many more!

to keep this OT: One of the engineers working on my house is building a place on Montauk, and he's having radiant heat under the floors in his kitchen, so he can walk on them without shoes. How great would that be? I'd love to have that, and tile, but it's too hard on my back, Danskos or not.

My husband and I kind of sort of did our kitchen when we first married. We installed a new floor and countertops, replaced a range and sink, and painted the cabinets. It was about half the size of your kitchen and after we finished, we made a pact, and a business decision -- we'll never do it again! When I hear stories like yours, well, I think either you have it in you to work like that with family and loved ones, or you don't. Twenty-odd years and six houses later, we still hire contractors. I think one week on your job and we'd spontaneously combust!

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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My husband and I kind of sort of did our kitchen when we first married.  We installed a new floor and countertops, replaced a range and sink, and painted the cabinets. It was about half the size of your kitchen and after we finished, we made a pact, and a business decision -- we'll never do it again!  When I hear stories like yours, well, I think either you have it in you to work like that with family and loved ones, or you don't. Twenty-odd years and six houses later, we still hire contractors.  I think one week on your job and we'd spontaneously combust!

Well, her dad is pretty handy. She pretty much stopped coming around after the first month. We were staying with her parents at the time, which they made as nice as possible I might add, but all I heard was "this is taking so long, when is it going to be over". Now that it's finished, the story has changed quite a bit, "can you believe it went so quickly". I take the latter as a huge compliment everytime she says it, shrug, and say something like, "uh-uh". Speaking of compliments, she has a good eye for design, I think I do too, but it's nice to not have to worry about that everyday when doing something like this.

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I have seen what people have spent on kitchens, esp. in here, whoa! I probably spent $25K doing the whole house including furniture and appliances, well maybe $26K, it's 1200 sq feet. new bathroom, kitchen (leveled floor, new walls and ceiling), 1/2bath, new drywall in whole house, new electrical and plumbing as well, new paint inside and out, redid floors and interior walls. I worked about 40 hours a week for six months plus cooking at night, plus about 10/wk for six more months after I moved in, not to mention her dad worked about the same and my dad put in lots of work as well as everyone else that helped out. We bought the house for $22K, the market is way different here, same house in LA where all those flip shows take place would cost $400K before fixing up. We're in the process of getting a home equity loan for our credit debt right now, and we'll be lucky to get an appraisal fo $70K is what I think. Pretty nice I guess, I wish it would be more, but I don't live in a "desirable" neighborhood, or a "desirable" part of the country.

OK, got the appraisal for the house today, $58.5K, now is that a cold shower or what? That means 58.5-22(cost of everything that went in minus furniture)-22(cost of house)=6 dollars an hour (what I payed myself and her dad for our time-2400 hours), everyone else doesn't get paid apparently. I'm glad I didn't do this to get rich.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been lurking on this thread but haven't had anything constructive to add or any specific questions until now.

yunnermeier, I am intrigued by your island. It looks beautiful but I wonder how the layout works for you. It appears that the sink is on the other side from the cooktop. Is that a hassle when you need to fill pots, drain pasta, etc.? For the past year, I've been mulling over my own kitchen design issues and have been trying to fit an island into my odd floorplan.

I'd love your opinion as well as others' experiences with islands. I'm especially interested in anyone's experience with putting an island into smallish kitchens (mine is roughly 11x14, with limitations of odd doorways and such. I say smallish because I get the sense that it's smallish by some standards. For central Boston it's pretty spacious). I'm grappling with the "island vs. penninsula" debate.


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I'd love your opinion as well as others' experiences with islands. I'm especially interested in anyone's experience with putting an island into smallish kitchens (mine is roughly 11x14, with limitations of odd doorways and such. I say smallish because I get the sense that it's smallish by some  standards. For central Boston it's pretty spacious).  I'm grappling with the "island vs. penninsula" debate.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends the following minimum widths: 36” for walkways; 42” for single-cook work aisles; and 48” for multiple cook work aisles. Providing adequate passageways may not leave much room for an island in an 11x14 kitchen unless the long side is open.

Our 10x12 kitchen opens to the dining room on the short side. Pre-renovation, a peninsula between the kitchen and dining room was a major bottleneck. After evaluating several island and peninsula configurations, we decided that a galley layout was the most efficient and functional.

Good luck!

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I'd love your opinion as well as others' experiences with islands. I'm especially interested in anyone's experience with putting an island into smallish kitchens (mine is roughly 11x14, with limitations of odd doorways and such. I say smallish because I get the sense that it's smallish by some  standards. For central Boston it's pretty spacious).  I'm grappling with the "island vs. penninsula" debate.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends the following minimum widths: 36” for walkways; 42” for single-cook work aisles; and 48” for multiple cook work aisles. Providing adequate passageways may not leave much room for an island in an 11x14 kitchen unless the long side is open.

Our 10x12 kitchen opens to the dining room on the short side. Pre-renovation, a peninsula between the kitchen and dining room was a major bottleneck. After evaluating several island and peninsula configurations, we decided that a galley layout was the most efficient and functional.

Good luck!

If you can use the 14' dimension I think you'll be OK. My calculation is: 2 X 30" countertops = 5' leaving 9' , 2 X 36" walkways/work areas = 6'. This leaves 3' for the island width. More than enough; in fact unless you really do have two people cooking a lot of the time a 30" wide island works well. We had one kitchen where we only had space for a 24" island. That worked.

I think the association recommendations are great & ideal IF you can plan the kitchen from scratch. In the world of this is the space I have; how do I best use it corner cutting is necessary.

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Tall friends of ours raised the height of their new cabinets by having a taller toe-kick installed. Their particular cabinet maker (I don't know who they used and they have since moved) did not charge for the extra height.

Porthos Potwatcher

The Unrelenting Carnivore

Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I'd love your opinion as well as others' experiences with islands. I'm especially interested in anyone's experience with putting an island into smallish kitchens (mine is roughly 11x14, with limitations of odd doorways and such. I say smallish because I get the sense that it's smallish by some  standards. For central Boston it's pretty spacious).  I'm grappling with the "island vs. penninsula" debate.

My kitchen is almost exactly the same size as yours, just a little bit longer (15' 6" x 11' 4") and I too have pondered the island vs penninsula issue. In the end, we decided against either (sort of).

Our house is a typical toronto Victorian, and I understand is typical of Boston as well - not very wide, but deep. This means that the flow of the house, if that makes sense, makes the kitchen fifteen feet longish by 11 feet wide. Given the akward layout of doors, windows etc, you couldn't really orient it the other way around. So, that meant an 11' wide kitchen - not quite wide enough for an island, unless we wanted to keep one of the "long" walls free of cabinets. Which didn't make sense for us.

So, we went to the idea of a penninsula. But again, that wasn't ideal. Due to the configuration of the doors, there was really only one place it could go. But it would create a bottleneck effect between kitchen and dining room and make the space look and feel smaller. We really only wanted the penninsula for seating (well, more counter space wouldn't have hurt either). So, instead of a penninsula, we've settled on building a table that will slide under the counter (the counter will extend past the last of the cabinets by @ 30", and the table will slide under perpendicular to the counter), that we can pull out and act as the "penninsula" when required, and slide back under the counter (or fold down - we haven't built it yet) to preserve the flow of the kitchen. We've positioned this roughly where we were thinking of putting the penninsula.

I hope that made sense. We're actually in the throes of the reno now (cabinets ripped out Monday, plumging unavailable, subfloor ripped out today) - I'd post pics, but I am software challenged and egullet rejects them as too large.

I will add that I got the idea for replacing the penninsula with a slide out table while reading this thread - thanks again Dave!. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me earlier, but it didn't.

I hope this a) made sense, and b) helped.

Good luck with it!

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Daddy-A did the design/layout, and his people took care of the cabinetry and countertops. My people took care (or didn't) of the rest of it, essentially, so things that are wonky or still unfinished are completely NOT his fault :laugh: (see my odd broom closet, e.g.; I will find a suitable closure for it one day)

Here it is in progress:

[

And a closeup of the orange glass tile backsplash, one of my favourite things:

gallery_24715_3837_92920.jpg

Deborah,

Could you or Arne comment on the backsplash behind the stove (or range, or whatever we're calling it these days)? I'm guessing it's glass? Whatever it is, it looks fantastic.

Are you pleased with it? Any drawbacks? I like the idea of no grout in a backsplash - particularly behind the cooktop area. Is it difficult to work with when installing - ie. how difficult is it to cut holes for electrical outlets etc. Is it limited in colour palette available?

Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Just a quick couple of things about Ikea kitchens.

I, like Dave who started this thread, am installing an Ikea kitchen. (Well he's already installed at least two. My cabinets will allegedly be in before Christmas. Wish me luck).

I've recently learned that there is a website called Ikea fans (something like that) that may be of assistance for others thinking of doing the same. I can't vouch for it myself - I haven't tried to use it, just had a quick browse - but there are some custom mods that people have done, for example, that may be useful. I don't think it's associated with Ikea in any way directly, however.

I have also learned that the 36" sink cabinet can be cut down to 34" and that the doors from the 25" corner unit will fit. We are doing this, and we desparately needed those 2 inches. The kitchen staff at Ikea don't know about this (well, if they did, they didn't tell us). So, using an installer very familiar with Ikea's product might be a good way to go if you need to think outside the box (ugh - pun intended) a little bit with your kitchen design. Also, apparently cutting down the depth of the cabinets is fairly easy; it's the width that's an issue because the doors can't really be messed with. I expect this is true of other ready-to-assemble cabinet makers as well (whoa, look Daddy-A I'm learning some of the lingo!)

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Are you pleased with it? Any drawbacks? I like the idea of no grout in a backsplash - particularly behind the cooktop area. Is it difficult to work with when installing - ie. how difficult is it to cut holes for electrical outlets etc. Is it limited in colour palette available?

A trick we've learned & used several times is to just paint our 'backsplash' whatever color fits the kitchen. Or tile it in the normal way.

THEN paint over the other paint or tile with a clear matte polyurathane (sp?). Two coats is best.

The clear matte is pretty much invisible, but being hard & tough is easy to clean as well as long lasting. Just soap & water usually takes off any splashes or grease from cooking. On a daily basis we just wipe it down with a damp sponge.

Seems to last for at least 5 years & is then easily renewed by painting on another coat.

Doing it this way solves any installation problems, saves money and looks good!

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I'd love your opinion as well as others' experiences with islands. I'm especially interested in anyone's experience with putting an island into smallish kitchens (mine is roughly 11x14, with limitations of odd doorways and such. I say smallish because I get the sense that it's smallish by some  standards. For central Boston it's pretty spacious).  I'm grappling with the "island vs. penninsula" debate.

Our 10x12 kitchen opens to the dining room on the short side. Pre-renovation, a peninsula between the kitchen and dining room was a major bottleneck. After evaluating several island and peninsula configurations, we decided that a galley layout was the most efficient and functional.

If you can use the 14' dimension I think you'll be OK. My calculation is: 2 X 30" countertops = 5' leaving 9' , 2 X 36" walkways/work areas = 6'. This leaves 3' for the island width. More than enough; in fact unless you really do have two people cooking a lot of the time a 30" wide island works well. We had one kitchen where we only had space for a 24" island. That worked.

I think the association recommendations are great & ideal IF you can plan the kitchen from scratch. In the world of this is the space I have; how do I best use it corner cutting is necessary.

Unfortunately, in this kitchen, it's the other way around, the island would need to run parallel to the 14' length. one wall cannot have any cabinets. So, the floor plan provides for one length of 24" cabs, 40" walkways, and a 30" width island. Because of the dimensions, the island could easily run 6-8 feet (which is the temptation in an otherwise tight plan)

My kitchen is almost exactly the same size as yours, just a little bit longer (15' 6" x 11' 4") and I too have pondered the island vs penninsula issue. In the end, we decided against either (sort of).

Our house is a typical toronto Victorian, and I understand is typical of Boston as well - not very wide, but deep. This means that the flow of the house, if that makes sense, makes the kitchen fifteen feet longish by 11 feet wide. Given the akward layout of doors, windows etc, you couldn't really orient it the other way around. So, that meant an 11' wide kitchen - not quite wide enough for an island, unless we wanted to keep one of the "long" walls free of cabinets. Which didn't make sense for us.

So, we went to the idea of a penninsula. But again, that wasn't ideal. Due to the configuration of the doors, there was really only one place it could go. But it would create a bottleneck effect between kitchen and dining room and make the space look and feel smaller. We really only wanted the penninsula for seating (well, more counter space wouldn't have hurt either). So, instead of a penninsula, we've settled on building a table that will slide under the counter (the counter will extend past the last of the cabinets by @ 30", and the table will slide under perpendicular to the counter), that we can pull out and act as the "penninsula" when required, and slide back under the counter (or fold down - we haven't built it yet) to preserve the flow of the kitchen. We've positioned this roughly where we were thinking of putting the penninsula.

I hope that made sense. We're actually in the throes of the reno now (cabinets ripped out Monday, plumging unavailable, subfloor ripped out today) - I'd post pics, but I am software challenged and egullet rejects them as too large.

I will add that I got the idea for replacing the penninsula with a slide out table while reading this thread - thanks again Dave!. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me earlier, but it didn't.

I hope this a) made sense, and b) helped.

Yes, it made sense and helped, insofar as it helps to know that other folks have these old floor plans!

Truth is, the entire room is 20' long, but I'm trying to reserve a hunk of the room for an area that I can use as a very small study/seating area. Several architect friends have been generous with their advice, and I've ended up with two competing floor plans: island v. penninsla. Going with a galley seems to waste a lot of floor space. Truthfully, the penninsula plan is much more efficient. But I crave an island, and I fear the penninsula will feel too confining. Any penninsula fans out there?


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