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If I had a brand new kitchen


highchef
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after reading http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116998&hl= I thought I'd talk about shaking the kitchen up a bit. Why not?

My dream IS two dishwashers, and yeah, have them elevated...but I also wanted 20 years ago for my microwave to be in the island..now it's pretty ok.

so, what kitchen inovations have you got in your mind? what crazy kitchen can we cook up? and why is it that with downsizing you still stick with the crazy upstairs laundry room? If I'm downsizing, I sure as hell don't want to run upstairs to do laundry. Let's plan a real life, boomer. kitchen., laundry, garage. a place for a boat, more importantly, a place to clean fish under the house where it won't, can't smell. septic systems to handle it. Hell, let's do it all. I challange you to make the best foodie space there is. It is all about home and hearth, after all, right?

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Heck, I'd take an upstairs laundry room; anything's better than having to go to a laundromat. :sad:

For reference:

gallery_55197_4949_522925.jpg

As you can see, space is the big thing for me. Space for storage, and space for appliances. I feel really restricted by my tiny apartment-sized fridge and stovetop. When I was in school, we had a nice large industrial-sized refrigerator in my building (it used to be a frat house) and a full-sized freezer. Although I had to share it (technically with 30 people, but effectively with 15), and could only use space within reason, I feel like I had more space there than I have now. This is mostly because if I really needed space, I could find some for the big pot or pan that I wanted to put in.

So yeah, let's see...

I'd like a full-sized refrigerator (maybe bigger!), and a separate refrigerator for beer set at optimal beer-serving temperature. I'd probably also get a larger, separate freezer if I found that I wanted to store a lot of things; for instance, I'd love to buy whole animal from a farm (and watch it being slaughtered at least once, as some eGers have done) and be able to just take out parts as I need them! A more "standard"-sized stovetop and oven would be great .I don't really bake or use the oven that much, so I don't know if I'd bother with more than one or a setup with two compartments at this point. I need a real storage space for pots and pans that doesn't require a chair to access, and which would free up the oven for... you know.. cooking. It's kind of a pain to have to take things out of the oven before I want to use it. I need more pantry and drawer space, without a question. I'd also want a considerable bit more counter space, so that I don't have to sit at the kitchen table to do prep work. I want to be able to stand at a counter that's at optimal height. Oh, and a real sink! OMG! A real sink with two compartments (with a low barrier and a high faucet so I can wash pots and pans easily). A dishwasher would be great, but honestly, I grew up without one, so until I have kids (which won't be for a while), I don't think it's worth it.

I'd also like to have space for a real beer cellar for my boyfriend, since his 200+ bottles are taking valuable closet space. I'd also like to get into things like charcuterie, which obviously require some dedicated space. My boyfriend doesn't eat seafood (not for lack of trying), so although space for cleaning fish would be TOTALLY awesome, I probably will not need such a place. Fish rarely makes its way into our living space unless I have a craving for lox or herring (my herring purchases are the only time I've cleaned any kind of fish at home, since I prefer to buy Russian selodka whole and clean it myself), so I'm not about to take up fishing and bring in tons of it in, either.

I'll probably keep dreaming things up and add to this later... :smile:

Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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I should let you know that the fish thing is about having a house full of guys who love to fish, and new building regs that require us to build 15' up off the ground where we have our property on the water. when we build I plan on having lots of things down there besides fish prep...like an outdoor shower and a rig for the crawfish boils etc. if there's room, I'll put the car there too...although the boat will probably take up any laniappe.

yea, 2 dishwashers, refrig. drawers, beer frig. down with the fish stuff..

and stainless steel countertops.

and a new thought this a.m., a compost bin that will seal odors in but is a step away from sink, and a recycle center that won't take over my kitchen. If that means a trash compresser to squish things then so be it!

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I should let you know that the fish thing is about having a house full of guys who love to fish, and new building regs that require us to build 15' up off the ground where we have our property on the water. when we build I plan on having lots of things down there besides fish prep...like an outdoor shower and a rig for the crawfish boils etc. if there's room, I'll put the car there too...although the boat will probably take up any laniappe.

yea, 2 dishwashers, refrig. drawers, beer frig. down with the fish stuff..

and stainless steel countertops.

and a new thought this a.m., a compost bin that will seal odors in but is a step away from sink, and a recycle center that won't take over my kitchen. If that means a trash compresser to squish things then so be it!

:wink: maybe you could have a chute from the kitchen down to the compost bin (like a laundry chute)

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Its funny because that's what I was thinking, AND the only improvement that I haven't seen in my friend's kitchens. Convenient composting!

What about some type of easy to access herbs. The counter top gardens are too small. The backyard garden is not convenient. I wonder if something more substantial could be done inside.

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I should let you know that the fish thing is about having a house full of guys who love to fish, and new building regs that require us to build 15' up off the ground where we have our property on the water. when we build I plan on having lots of things down there besides fish prep...like an outdoor shower and a rig for the crawfish boils etc. if there's room, I'll put the car there too...although the boat will probably take up any laniappe.

yea, 2 dishwashers, refrig. drawers, beer frig. down with the fish stuff..

and stainless steel countertops.

and a new thought this a.m., a compost bin that will seal odors in but is a step away from sink, and a recycle center that won't take over my kitchen. If that means a trash compresser to squish things then so be it!

:wink: maybe you could have a chute from the kitchen down to the compost bin (like a laundry chute)

I've considered it!...worry about stepping in it though, but built into a cabinet with a locking/release hatch it would work!!!

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Its funny because that's what I was thinking, AND the only improvement that I haven't seen in my friend's kitchens.  Convenient composting! 

What about some type of easy to access herbs.  The counter top gardens are too small.  The backyard garden is not convenient.  I wonder if something more substantial could be done inside.

How about this: Earth Room It even gives the specs for the dirt!

Now I'm tempted to bring a packet of basil seeds when I visit...

Edit: Oh, and grow lights. You can't grow stuff in a dark room.

Edited by Margo (log)

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Its funny because that's what I was thinking, AND the only improvement that I haven't seen in my friend's kitchens.  Convenient composting! 

What about some type of easy to access herbs.  The counter top gardens are too small.  The backyard garden is not convenient.  I wonder if something more substantial could be done inside.

How about this: Earth Room It even gives the specs for the dirt!

Now I'm tempted to bring a packet of basil seeds when I visit...

Edit: Oh, and grow lights. You can't grow stuff in a dark room.

Now that is a reason to have an extra room free!

Man, I am certainly not imaginative on how I'd love to remodel for this thread. :raz: The compost and recycling sound like great ideas though; I'd love to have an easy way to cut down on waste like that!

Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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My Dad put in a long pvc tube in his pantry, and it goes down through the floor into the basement, where it's end is just above the recycling bin. Works a treat.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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(I can't believe I'm about to say this) I've been staying up late thinking about this compost idea. To me the problem has been that the chute or bucket or whatever will transport the materials is going to get nasty - hence no longer convenient. BUT, at my store we use only the biodegradable, compostable corn grocery bags. You could use those to line your transportation vessel.

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I guess I'm in the enviable position of being in the process of building a brand new kitchen--I'm 6 weeks into a total gut-rehab of what was an old, dark, ugly, cramped, crumbling, disfunctional space--so I can tell you how I answered that question.

Good traffic flow, more counter space, more storage space, more light, good ventilation, and a high BTU range topped my list. Once I had settled on the footprint of the room, I used some of that space for bookshelves and a small built-in desk. I'm looking forward to finally having a place for my cookbooks, laptop, etc. in the kitchen. I was also able to squeeze in a full-size fridge, which will be a luxury after years of the small ones. One little detail that I'm excited about is having the countertop on my island overhang by a few inches so that I have a place to attached my hand-crank pasta machine. I didn't have space for a big island with seating, but I always found it near-impossible to secure the pasta machine on the standard small countertop overhang, and I love to make homemade pasta.

Working with an existing structure constrains what you can do, esp. in older buildings or multi-family dwellings. I was lucky to be able to vent to the outside and add some exterior windows, not always possible in condo buildings like mine. Unless you're working with new construction, there are a lot of tradeoffs to designing a kitchen.

I'd love the kitchen garden someone mentioned. I used to have one and it made a huge difference to always have a wide range of fresh herbs on hand. I also miss the walk-in pantry I once had. Laundry? I've love that too, but decided that I could continue to live with having my own W/D in the basement so I could get the bookshelves and desk. In a perfect world, I'd like a second oven. But for now I'm looking forward to having one that actually works!


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In case anyone is interested there are some things I like about my new kitchen remodel, which I finished in January that some of you might want to consider. Firstly, a recycled electric cook top, all it requires is a simple exhaust fan and is satisfactory for all my needs, cost to me, free. Secondly, I kept the old solid wooden cabinets which were built in place sometime between the '50s and '70s. I stripped and repainted(they were painted several layers thick, the last one or two were clearly sub quality and/or latex). They provided a nearly perfect level surface for the new vinyl counter top I put in, and a lot of storage. I know vinyl is a huge turn off for some people but, I've had rock, and I still used a cutting board, so for the extra thousand or two I saved I can take an extra second to find a potholder for any hot pots that need real estate. I built a box for a dishwasher which we didn't have. I added it to the peninsula where it wasn't going to cut into storage yet still not be in the way of the fridge door(by 2-3", I went with an 18" model instead of the standard 24"). I couldn't put any new flooring on top of the vinyl because it would cut into the size refrigerator I could get. I really wanted at least 20 cubic feet. I tore out the vinyl and plywood(PITA), and laid new luann and a commercial grade vinyl composite tile which looks great, is durable, and stays cool but doesn't get cold. Since, I have heard that you can paint vinyl, that would have been worth looking into since it was in good shape just ugly, I think it may have had some texture however, and I wanted to do the bathroom as well since it was connected and in awful shape. The old cabinets also have a chute beneath the sink that goes down to the laundry in the basement, that's pretty handy when you have some particularly dirty dish towels to get rid of in a hurry.

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One of the few things I wish I'd had room for, but didn't, was an ice-maker. When I'm throwing a party, I want lots and lots of ice. Buying bags at the grocery store isn't the greatest of solutions because then I have to store the bags of ice until it's party time--pain the butt if you ask me.

And I don't get why the slam on upstairs laundry rooms wormed its way into this thread; I adore mine. Almost all of the stuff that needs laundering is upstairs anyway, so why haul it all downstairs, clean it, then haul it back upstairs for folding and storing? I added a drawer to my new kitchen specifically for dirty dish towels (thanks to the dish towel thread, I am now fully stocked with flour sack towels for everything from drying dishes to pulling hot pans out of the oven to draining fresh ricotta and consequently go through them at an alarmingly quick pace) which is lined with a wire basket that I just pull out and bring upstairs with me on laundry day. Works for me.

Lighting is obviously crucial, as is plenty of counter space. I'm loving the limestone we put in the island, but the marble on the perimeter counters is entirely impractical and I curse the day we were talked into it. It chips, it spots, it scratches--while it's beautiful in its pristine state, it irks me that I can't keep it that way.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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BekkiM, if my comment about laundry sounded like a slam, that wasn't my intention. I'd love to have my W/D upstairs for the same reasons you love yours, but space was limited and the W/D stayed in the basement. I'm a big kitchen towel user too, so I'm envious.

I'm very curious about your choice of countertops. I've always understood limestone to be completely unsuitable for kitchens. No problems with it? It's beautiful stone. I'm surprised about your marble, though. I know people with marble who love it.


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I'm not slamming the w/d upstairs so much as I'm slamming having an upstairs, period. I know it's good for my ass, but running up and down 50 times a day is getting old, as am I.

I've never seen marble on a counter...or I haven't recognized it. Bathrooms yesl, kitchens not that I recall. Is it white?

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  • 2 weeks later...

No, the marble is brown, so it doesn't stain, but it chips easily and shows every water mark, some firmly etched into the surface:

gallery_47119_3946_335332.jpg

The limestone is grey and it's actually holding up pretty well. The only thing I don't like is that the surface isn't completely smooth, so I have little "pits" that catch flour if I'm kneading bread or rolling out crusts. But it's cool (in more than one sense of the word) and quite stunning.

gallery_47119_3946_1511533.jpg

And I didn't really take the comments as a "slam" (I was typing quickly and didn't overthink my choice of words)--just seemed like you didn't like them much. I think that if I had a bigger family or a less helpful husband (who does the laundry more often than I do), I'd probably like the upstairs laundry less myself. As there are only three of us and almost all of the laundry is done on Sunday afternoon by someone other than myself, I'm very happy with the arrangement. :biggrin:

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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I've never seen marble on a counter...or I haven't recognized it. Bathrooms yesl, kitchens not that I recall. Is it white?

Marble IS classical for all kinds of pastry work. At Le Cordon Bleu in London we had it on all counter tops, but you only actually worked directly on it when you did pastry.

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BekkiM, I love the looks of both your countertops. I've never heard of brown marble, much less seen it. It's stunning, as is the limestone.

My dream countertop material is concrete. I adore how it looks and feels, and was certain that I'd use it when I finally renovated my kitchen. My numerous architect friends talked me out of it, citing all kinds of problems. So I've decided to use quartz. I figure by the time I get around to renovating kitchen #2 someday, the concrete folks will have figured it out.


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so, what kitchen inovations have you got in your mind? what crazy kitchen can we cook up? . . .Hell, let's do it all. I challange you to make the best foodie space there is. It is all about home and hearth, after all, right?

I'm so glad you started this thread. I'm the person who asked the two dishwashers question, and I'm becoming amused at the responses I'm getting. My 'regular' friends look at me like I've lost my mind and ask, "Why would you want to do that???" My cooking/foodie friends look at me like I've lost my mind and ask, "Why wouldn't you???" :laugh:

In the next few weeks my husband and I are going to get the house-building process started. For me, that means facing the sobering realities of how much money we DON'T have. I could spend half a million dollars on this house, and probably not get everything in the kitchen I'd love to have. (We're not even spending half that. Fortunately, we live in an area of the country where housing is far less expensive than it is on the coasts.) We have the plan picked out, and are very happy with it. The kitchen will be U-shaped, with an island in the middle and a walk-in pantry.

One of the things we're agreed on, is under-cabinet lighting. We both have had it with trying to work in our own shadows.

We believe we will be installing laminate countertops. Eventually, I'd like to get some type of stone, but we're going to go with laminate counters and a vinyl floor for now.

The builder's basic cabinet is oak, but I would like to upgrade to maple. In this area, most apartment kitchens have oak cabinets, and I can't walk into a kitchen with oak without being reminded of some really bad old days. Another possible upgrade is to have a glaze done over the finish, which would be really lovely, but it will add at least $1,500 to the cost of the cabinets, and I think we will have other uses for that money. At this point, I have no idea what kinds of compromises I'll have to make in the kitchen, but I should know soon.

I'll be watching this thread with interest!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ooooooooohhhhhhh, a pantry.

I haven't thought about a pantry in years. I live in a New York apartment.

A walk-in pantry. When I was a kid growing up, my neighbors had a pantry and I loved that room. Big wooden cupboards, shelf space galore, a secretive feeling.

Julia Child had a pastry pantry.

This is what I imagine: big tubs of flour and sugar at an easy to reach height. A phalanx of drawers where you can keep all sorts of pastry equipment, cookie cutters, dipping forks, pie chains . . .

A shelf where you can line up your plug-ins -- ice cream maker, waffle iron, etc.

Maybe a little freezer in there, too.

Garlic and chilis hanging from the ceiling. Herbs growing in the window.

There's that scene in Home for the Holidays, where Anne Bancroft has enough of her family and goes to sit in the pantry with the door closed to smoke.

Like that, maybe with a little a little cabinet of liqueurs and cheerful liqueur glasses.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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The kitchen will be U-shaped, with an island in the middle and a walk-in pantry.

Be careful with your appliance locations - pain in the a to have to scoot around an island to go from the refrigerator to the sink and cooktop/stove. Depends on the layout and overall length of the U and island.

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