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This Kitchen Must Be Big Enough


Gayle28607
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Just for your general edification, here's our kitchen:

Leslie\

History: the kitchen used to be on the right of the drawing. It was a fairly normal 70s kitchen with minimal bench (sorry, counter) space and was a fetching shade of pink. The bench ran across most of the end wall, with a sink under the window and the stove by the door (into the hall) at the bottom of the drawing. The fridge fitted in the space at the top right (it's a brick house, and for some reason was built with an 'alcove' sticking into the house from the back door, hence the funny shape). There was a small dining area taking up maybe the leftmost third of the area represented by the drawing and our lounge, with lovely sea views, extends beyond the left of the drawing.

We decided, since cooking was becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, to move the kitchen to centre stage. We removed a sliding glass door in a partial wall which divided the old kitchen and dining area (about where the little man walking to the right is), which was an interesting episode in itself - the beam holding the roof up wasn't, essentially! Our small dining table now sits under the window on the right, and we have a fake antique 'cocktail bar' under the window at top left.

As you'll see, we've avoided corner units entirely. The island is a symphony in black granite, three metres of the stuff and, on the side away from the work area, has glass shelves behind translucent glass doors where our glassware lives. There are lights inside which make it beautiful, but we rarely use them. There are two fluorescent tube fittings above the island (modern fluoros, not the old flickery horrible things). There are three halogens built into the rangehood over the (gas) hob which provide heaps of light there - we actually bought two other fittings for that area but once the hood was wired in decided we didn't need them, so they're still in their boxes! There's a smallish cupboard above the fridge with a tilting door, and two similar ones above the wall oven at bottom left. These hold things like recipe books (well, some of them ...), microwave and tea and coffee accoutrements. There is a selection of drawers of various sizes on the 'working' side of the island and under the hob, plus another small one under the oven for roasting pans and such. As previously noted, the double pantry is on the 'other' side of the island, which works just fine.

The measurements are different, of course - from top to bottom we've got something like 13 feet (I don't really speak feet any more!), where you've got about 10 - but possibly something like this design could fit in your space. A few more ideas, if nothing else.

Enough wasting time creative effort at work - I'm off home to cook dinner (lamb roast, since you ask).

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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I think you said upthread that your house was of the 60's. It is likely brick veneer over a standard wood frame [AKA stick-frame]. As such it is nearly impossible that the roof structure relies on the chimney for any support. If it did the chimney would have to go down to the basement floor and sit on a footing there. Not likely.

I have a separate walk in pantry and don't mind that its about 20' when I need something. I just figure out what pots and things I will need and get them and any foodstuffs out when I start and really only make one trip, well maybe two or three if my brain misfires.

I really like this last concept by cbread.

Robert

Seattle

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I think you said upthread that your house was of the 60's. It is likely brick veneer over a standard wood frame [AKA stick-frame]. As such it is nearly impossible that the roof structure relies on the chimney for any support. If it did the chimney would have to go down to the basement floor and sit on a footing there. Not likely.

I have a separate walk in pantry and don't mind that its about 20' when I need something. I just figure out what pots and things I will need and get them and any foodstuffs out when I start and really only make one trip, well maybe two or three if my brain misfires.

I really like this last concept by cbread.

The fireplaces do go down to the basement and sit on, or are built above, what appears to be a footing there, with cement blocks rising to the ceiling in the basement under the entire fireplace area. I will have to measure to be sure that it undergirds the entire fireplace structure, but that huge basement "thing" is why I've thought the fireplace might hold up the roof. The oil furnace vents into this stack from the basement, too. Back to an intense day at work; I'll respond to some of the other ideas later. Thanks, all.

gayle28607

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Even if the chimney supports the roof, however unlikely, it's amazing what can be supported with wood or steel beams. Don't rely on the word of folks who speak of bearing walls etc. being "unremovable". They can usually be dealt with given a dose of creativity and a bit of steel. Some contractors have a far better sense of the possible than most. Chances are very good you can take out part of the chimney.

And if you can get access to the attic space, you almost certainly can vent any stove. I use a big fan up in my attic space to vent out a side wall ten feet further away. Works fine.

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Here here! Cbread has it right. Even if it is supporting, I can't see it being more than a couple (20')2x12 and a sheet of 1/2" plywood and some 16p nails.

If removing this stuff- f/p closet, etc - is something you think fits your possibilities, then it is time to hire that architect. This is what they do very well rather than the a fore mentioned real estate value advising.

Robert

Seattle

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A couple of notes.

The mass of brick or stonework you see in the cellar under the fireplaces is most likely there to hold up the mass of the fireplaces and chimney, and not the roof. An overview of the structure in the attic will tell about the roof support system.

I can't impress too strongly the critical importance of hiring a "can do" designer for jobs like this. Do yourself a huge favor and steer well clear of the legions of droopy drawers dabblers who deliver structural answers that stopped being correct a century ago. They are the ones who stopped learning about the time they drove their second nail.

I'm not sold either by the idea that a kitchen designer is the lead dog for this sort of task. You need a rethinking of the whole plan. The kitchen may be the driving factor that impels you to change things, but it's one part of a larger entity. A kitchen designer could be part of the process, but the whole house, whole site, overview is critical.

With good design, you have the opportunity to utterly transform the living experience of your house. A really good designer will see more possibilities than our brief glance here can. You need someone to come on site and see all architectural aspects of the house from footings to roof ridge, it's siting in the land, what views are to be emphasized and suppressed, driveway, walkways, solar orientation, much more... It all matters. Until you have seen all that goes into a good design process, it's hard to see how all encompassing good design has to be to be any good at all.

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A couple of notes.

The mass of brick or stonework you see in the cellar under the fireplaces is most likely there to hold up the mass of the fireplaces and chimney, and not the roof. An overview of the structure in the attic will tell about the roof support system.

I can't impress too strongly the critical importance of hiring a "can do" designer for jobs like this. Do yourself a huge favor and steer well clear of the legions of droopy drawers dabblers who deliver structural answers that stopped being correct a century ago. They are the ones who stopped learning about the time they drove their second nail.

I'm not sold either by the idea that a kitchen designer is the lead dog for this sort of task. You need a rethinking of the whole plan. The kitchen may be the driving factor that impels you to change things, but it's one part of a larger entity. A kitchen designer could be part of the process, but the whole house, whole site, overview is critical.

With good design, you have the opportunity to utterly transform the living experience of your house. A really good designer will see more possibilities than our brief glance here can. You need someone to come on site and see all architectural aspects of the house from footings to roof ridge, it's siting in the land, what views are to be emphasized and suppressed, driveway, walkways, solar orientation, much more... It all matters. Until you have seen all that goes into a good design process, it's hard to see how all encompassing good design has to be to be any good at all.

Hi cbread,

I couldn't agree more. That was what I was hoping to get when I hired the original architect. I pretty much said what you wrote above, about the site, the sun, everything. It didn't really happen, though I like the architect and think he has a lot of talents. I spent what to me was a lot of money - $2.5K, but didn't get what I wanted, and what you are referring to. I've gotten more of that, in many ways, here. I could have gone back to the architect, but he would just keep billing me more for his time, right? At least that is how I understand it. While I liked many of his ideas (I was looking for a modernist, which he is), that connection to the site and the space still isn't there for me. I did say that to him, however I couldn't really figure out how to keep the dialogue going without continuing to spend a lot of money. He likes his plan, and I like things ABOUT his plan, but it still doesn't really work for me. That combined with the threat of the university allowing all game exit traffic past my house really stopped me in my tracks.

This topic, here, has been my first resurrection of it.

gayle28607

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A couple of notes.

The mass of brick or stonework you see in the cellar under the fireplaces is most likely there to hold up the mass of the fireplaces and chimney, and not the roof. An overview of the structure in the attic will tell about the roof support system.

I can't impress too strongly the critical importance of hiring a "can do" designer for jobs like this. Do yourself a huge favor and steer well clear of the legions of droopy drawers dabblers who deliver structural answers that stopped being correct a century ago. They are the ones who stopped learning about the time they drove their second nail.

I'm not sold either by the idea that a kitchen designer is the lead dog for this sort of task. You need a rethinking of the whole plan. The kitchen may be the driving factor that impels you to change things, but it's one part of a larger entity. A kitchen designer could be part of the process, but the whole house, whole site, overview is critical.

With good design, you have the opportunity to utterly transform the living experience of your house. A really good designer will see more possibilities than our brief glance here can. You need someone to come on site and see all architectural aspects of the house from footings to roof ridge, it's siting in the land, what views are to be emphasized and suppressed, driveway, walkways, solar orientation, much more... It all matters. Until you have seen all that goes into a good design process, it's hard to see how all encompassing good design has to be to be any good at all.

Very well stated.

Think about the flow of people, light, function, etc. that you want, not only in the kitchen but between the kitchen and other rooms. Those decisions will point you in the right direction for you. Structural changes can be expensive but can make all the difference. I moved a doorway and added windows to get the kind of room I wanted--money very well spent. It not only made possible a well-functioning kitchen but also transformed my DR and LR. None of it turned out to be very complicated, but it was daunting to consider on my own. I needed a professional who understood the structual bones of a house and as well as how the kitchen related to the other rooms to advise me not only on layout options but also what was, and was not, possible within my budget.


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A note on corner cabinets trapped in dead corners. I see others feel much the same as I do. They hate them. I hate them. The solution I came to in my own kitchen is radical enough I'm not sure I would recommend it to others, but for fun, I present my solution here; I just leave my corner cabinets empty. It utterly violates the demand for spatial efficiency, but I just hate the clumsy workarounds that purport to make corner cabs into good storage. I have never missed the space, not a single time.

That has to be seen in the context that I am blessed with a kitchen I was able to design from scratch. I had room for a real pantry and have tons of storage space. It has been several years before I came close to filling my pantry to near capacity, so I doubt I offer up my kitchen as typical and mu solution to corner cabs as a good solution for others.

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