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Varmint

Story of Varmint's Kitchen Renovation

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Also, if I were to do a total demolition, I'd go further than what we've already described. I'd move the entrance to the kitchen, so that a major portion of the space isn't taken up with a hallway (see the first picture). Hell, I'd consider moving my kitchen into our "formal" living room, which is hardly utilized. It'd be beautiful! But then, I'd have to gut the old kitchen to make it into better living space!

Now there is an idea! When you get the money, that sounds like the way to go. You still have the old kitchen to use, the otherwise unused space won't be missed while it is being "transformed", and all is right with the world.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Have you seriously considered that, Dean? That would be a great space for a kitchen, with plenty of room for storage, a loft ceiling, and that nice window to put a table next to. You could then tear down the old kitchen, make it into a larger living/dining area, and add a mud room for backpacks & sports equipment. :smile:


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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It may be an option. It's pretty much an open book. We could do the demo of the existing kitchen, but then what???


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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That's where you get the house designer in on the action. :smile: Use the old kitchen while the new one is being built, then tear it down. Drywall and new floors are easier to do than new appliances and cabinets.

I could see enclosing part of the area that currently houses the sink, cooktop, and counter to make a mud room. Take out the wall (or part of the wall) between the dining area and refrig/wet bar area. Move the washing machine out of your office and into the mud room.

Just some ideas. :smile: We close on our new house, and will start renovating the new kitchen at the end of February.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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We have a cork floor. It looked great the first couple of months and then we added Bogie (mix black lab) to the family. Bye bye cork floor. Maybe the sealant was not properly applied, but nevertheless the marks from Bogie are quite noticeable.

It is definitely a nice surface to stand for hours cooking, but I do not think it is really durable with pets around or with hard use. I have mix feelings about the cleaning, other surfaces might be a better choice.

Alex

It is used in hospitals and libraries, which can be high-traffic areas. The renovated downtown St. Paul, MN library has cork flooring in the entry way. I do think the color makes a difference, though. We have two fairly active cats, and have not noticed any damage to the floor. But they're not dogs, so it could be very different! But any damage that a dog would do to our cork floors would probably occur on our maple floors as well, I'm guessing.

Those pictures were excellent! How do you not get completely claustrophobic in there? I love the idea of building a kitchen from scratch in another room and turning your current kitchen into something else. I wonder what the quote on that would be?

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I just did an extensive renovation including an all new kitchen. We researched all appliances for what seemed like a lifetime and ended up with a Kenmore 40 inch dual fuel self cleaning double oven. It's a 5 burner gas cooktop with a smallish second oven. Love it! $2,199 and worth every penny. Now where I did get in trouble was with the 42 inch range hood that started at $999 and ended up costing $2,200 but that is another story and a very valuable lesson! Do NOT let anyone convince you that this renovation has to be anything other than a great and fun adventure. EVERYONE groaned and rolled their eyes and implyed that we were getting ready to slip into a maze of suffering but we were very hands on, very precise, did our homework down to every nail, hired the best (reasonably price) contractor, then respected his opinions and talked over everything. He told us the clients from hell were the vague ones. We got high praise because we never had to re do anything because we didn't communicate with him or went away from a meeting without full understanding of what he was planning. The whole thing took 5 months (it was doubling the size of the house) and not one bad moment. So enjoy! Think of this as designing your very own Disneyland.

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Hell, I'd consider moving my kitchen into our "formal" living room, which is hardly utilized. 

Here in Europe more than 50% of newly built kitchens are integrated in the living room (or vice versa). I've never met anyone who regretted it. From what I've seen on your pictures - it would make sense. A lot.


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Varmint can correct me on the details, but here's a floor plan using my (admittedly undependable) memory, as refreshed by Varmint's photos. Maybe this will help folks visualize the situation more easily.

i2156.jpg

Does this look more or less right, Dean?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Varmint can correct me on the details, but here's a floor plan using my (admittedly undependable) memory, as refreshed by Varmint's photos. Maybe this will help folks visualize the situation more easily.

i2156.jpg

Does this look more or less right, Dean?

Damn, that's almost spot on, Dave. The L'il Varmints' bar extends about 8 inches beyond the plane of the wall ovens. The other thing is that the top part of the dishwasher (from these plans' perspective) does not quite reach the plane of the ovens. Finally, and somewhat importantly, is that the marble slab ends at the plane of the ovens, too. There's a wall there. On the other side of that wall (where the dishwasher part is) is a coat closet. The remainder of that wall houses the ovens. Does that make sense? The importance of this is that we may tear down the closet and oven walls, but there's still a load bearing wall between them.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I've cooked in this kitchen for 5 years

4 kids? Varmint, you're my hero!


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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The extension of the L'il Varmints' bar should be toward the sink. That bar is L-shaped, so it extends about 8 inches toward the bottom of the drawing -- not towards the closet. Also, the load bearing wall is the line between the ovens and the closet, not the new one you just drew.

A few other minor things you may want to add. Just to the right of the mini-sink sits the wine fridge under the counter. And to the left of the fridge (from the drawing's orientation) sits a Scotsman ice maker that isn't working well right now!

That's awesome!!!


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Dave, that drawing really brings out the maze like qualities! Varmint, was your FIL a researcher or someone who worked with rats, cheese,and mazes?? Perhaps designed cornfields in his spare time? :laugh:

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He's an architect who has never made a piece of toast in his life. Their new kitchen is 1 million percent more functional.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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(sigh) Clients!

i2159.jpg

Before resigning this Hell's Kitchen to the rubbish heap, I do have a few kind words for it.

1. As Maggie said, there are some fond eGullet memories here.

2. It's very mazeness actually creates a surprising amount of counter space. I recall that at one time -- the same time, as in simultaneously:

  • edemuth, maggethecat, Aurora and I were all working at the marble. edemuth and I were chopping, and Maggie and Aurora were picking thyme and basil leaves and cleaning shrimp.
  • At the bottom end of the Li'l Varmints' bar, guajolote was spatchcocking chickens.
  • On the counter opposite the sink, malawry was bravely subduing lemons.
  • KatieLoeb set up a makeshift bar along the back counter (the one parallel to the driveway).
  • On the grill counter, we had three crockpots going for stock.
  • Over by the wet bar, we were thawing ducks in two stockpots.
  • Occasionally, Heather would wander through to check the greens simmering on the cooktop.
  • Meanwhile, at the living room side of the Li'l Varmints' bar, Blondie and joler were picking the meat off of rabbit carcasses.

3. I'm not admitting to anything, but if frottage happens to be your particular fetish, this kitchen abounds in opportunity.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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He's an architect who has never made a piece of toast in his life. Their new kitchen is 1 million percent more functional.

Mrs. Dr. Varmint's mother's new kitchen inhabits a completely separate universe from Varmint's kitchen.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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The drawing is exceptional. Can you email me a larger version of this (assuming one is available)?

What the drawing doesn't capture is the upper cabinetry, how it's totally unnecessary and gets in the way. Also, there is a big ol' "I" beam that is embedded in the cabinets above the L'il Varmints' bar. Also, the track lighting. Don't you love those light cans???

I'm meeting with a designer-builder at 1:00 today. Maybe they can come up with a decent idea.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Dave, that drawing really brings out the maze like qualities! Varmint, was your FIL a researcher or someone who worked with rats, cheese,and mazes?? Perhaps designed cornfields in his spare time? :laugh:

Or played a lot of Pac Man!

Chad :laugh:


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Dave, that drawing really brings out the maze like qualities!  Varmint, was your FIL a researcher or someone who worked with rats, cheese,and mazes??  Perhaps designed cornfields in his spare time? :laugh:

Or played a lot of Pac Man!

Chad :laugh:

Exactly! With the twists and turns,and the red counter top, and all those hidden monsters ( like the dishwasher underhang) , Varmint has a video game kitchen! :laugh:

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What the drawing doesn't capture is the upper cabinetry, how it's totally unnecessary and gets in the way.

Funny, I came to that same conclusion. I am short. One of the pet peeves I finally noticed while making my kitchen diary was that I hated upper cabinets. I had never really though about it before. I mean... EVERYONE has upper cabinets. You HAVE to have upper cabinets. NOPE. I got rid of them and the new kitchen will still have tons of storage, and two windows I couldn't have had otherwise.

Also... Base cabinets will be all drawers of some sort. I also found out that I hate groveling on the floor.

Thanks for the drawing, Dave. I get it now, unfortunately. :blink:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Anyway, our designer suggested we use Amtico which makes vinyl flooring.  Her experience was that it's comfortable for long-term standing and easy to clean.  The selection of colors and styles is absolutely overwhelming - we spent several hours in the showroom looking at choices and figuring what would work best in our space.

Completely agree on Amtico. Mind-boggling selection: in fact, we're thinking of using their rustic wood style in home office and guest bedroom.


Edited by helenas (log)

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Just got finished with a designer. Might have the temporary solution, but I can't draw it. Remove the sink area. Insert 36 inch range centered along wall where cooktop currently resides. Sink now goes to a new counter area to the left of the grill. The counter closest to the doorway (by the word "Driveway") will need to be angled somewhat to allow passage. The diswasher will go where the compactor is. The marble slab will be removed and replaced with a smaller counter area with a cabinet above it. The lower oven will be removed. Get a new upper oven, and add cabinet beneath it.

This totally opens up the center of the room. Perhaps too much so, as traffic will walk through the center of the workspace. Perhaps a small island cabinet might help. However, this works well in the giant scheme of things. We'll see.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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[

Also... Base cabinets will be all drawers of some sort. I also found out that I hate groveling on the floor.

There is so much cool hardware around these days for pullouts, lazy susans, slides, etc. that you can do some pretty amzing stuff with lower cabinets that used to have lots of dead space in them and generally look like big giant disasters. Especially stuff in the corners, those twistl out corner shelves coupled with double doors in the corners (I hope you know what I am talking about or that makes no sense :wacko: )


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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This totally opens up the center of the room.  Perhaps too much so, as traffic will walk through the center of the workspace.  Perhaps a small island cabinet might help.  However, this works well in the giant scheme of things.  We'll see.

You could use a worktable instead of an island. Boos has some nice ones. I like the Cucina Laforza, with the simple stainless steel base, or the Cucina Grande, which incorporates drawers, with or without the pot rack. The Flex model would even make up for the fact that you'd have less storage than a traditional island, but any of them would probably cost substantially less than cabinetry.

You could re-use it when you do the full renovation, and I think the modern look would work well with what you've got. My brother has been using a Boos table as an island for several years and it still looks great.


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Have you considered changing the name of this thread to "Spend Varmint's Renovation Money?"


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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      I. Introduction
       
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      C. Evenness Comparisons
       
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      All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food.
      Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware.

      The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness.
       
      I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes.
       
      I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan.

      D. Other Considerations

      The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass.

      The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center.
       
      VI. Summary and Lessons
       
      The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two.

      In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance.
       
      I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil.
      In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package.
       
      The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control.
       
      Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200.
       
      The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo...
       
      Photo Credit:  Panasonic Corporation

    • By haresfur
      We have started into fixing the kitchen after starting planning several years ago - almost as long as the dishwasher has been dead and the oven barely functional. And don't get me started on the non-exhaust fan.
       
      Before the destruction but after removing all the crap:
       

       
       
       

       
      The fridge was replaced not too long ago and is staying where it is. We had to have its alcove expanded. Perhaps not the best ergonomic location but it fits. We aren't moving the other appliances or sink very far so are hoping the plumbing and electric are no big deal.
       
      End of first day. We caught a couple of things in time. The fume hood and cupboards over the cook-top were set too low. They were going to set the sink as an over-mount when we had bought and under-mount. Apparently it could be done either way but silly us for not making it clear that the sink described as an undermount should be under the counter top. We decide the cupboard to the right of the oven should open the other way so we can get in there when cooking. Our mistake but I hope we can keep the oil, salt, pepper, etc. there rather than cluttering up the counter. The cabinet guy insisted that the cook-top couldn't be centred over the oven. I still don't understand why but not a big deal. It will be easier to get around the island when someone else is cooking but harder to squeeze past into the pantry.
       
      It seems to me that the walls should have been re-done before the cabinets went up. I think this was easier on the cabinet guy who is doing most of the coordination but probably will be a pain for the plasterer. And we have some trim issues to work out.
       

       

       

       
      Day 2 fixing things, electrical work, and measuring for the countertops. Now we wait for them to be finished before much else can happen.
       

       
      Spock is not impressed.
       
       
    • By &roid
      We’ve lived in our house for about twelve years and did a small extension not long after we moved in. With our growing family (son number two arrived this July) we wanted to get a bit more living space so started looking at options about a year ago. We have a late Victorian house with a separate dining room, as nice as this is it’s been a big waste of space - we probably used it two or three times a year. So the plan was to extend the kitchen to add a decent sized dining area and free up the dining room for something better. 
       
      The kitchen we had is under ten years old so we’ve decided to keep some parts of it, adding new worktops, a large rangetop and a breakfast cabinet with pocket doors to hide away the toaster and coffee machine. 
       
      We’re about halfway through the build at the moment so thought I’d post up some pictures of our progress. Hopefully we’ll be finished this side of Christmas... hopefully!
    • By chocoera
      Hi guys!  So...as we all know hindsight is 20/20....so i'm sure we ALLLLLLLLLLLL  have things we'd do differently if setting up our home or professional workplaces.  I'm working with a space that's approximately 850 sq ft.  If you could create your ideal space, what would you do?  The kicker is, i'm a mixed media kitchen, i dont do straight chocolate work.  I do baking so i'll have a double vertical convection oven, i'm getting rid of my 6 burner range and switching to table top induction burners. I have a dishwasher and big sink for rinsing vs 3 compartment sink (hand sink of course) and mop sink....and i have multiple 7 ft and 8 ft stainless tables. I currently have a "cooling room" set up with 4 speed racks, but thought maybe i should switch to a fridge turned up to 40 or 50F? I freeze things for bulk production, so will still have some chest freezers set higher than normal....but yeah. i'm just at a loss of how to capitalize on space, and keep things organized and storage of bon bons, turtles, barks, chocolate caramel apples (things that need to be stored for packaging by employees before they hit the retail floor)  i know jin from vegas had a fridge set at 50F for cooling molds once sprayed and shelled, then once she filled them, moved to a 40F fridge to set filling, then she sealed them...but i didn't remember where she kept bon bons for her bar (where customers pick and choose) or the ones out ready to be boxed?  i know she and jean marie were freezing for bulk orders etc...but yeah.  my mind is just overwhelmed with possibilities, and i just dont want to mess up this new kitchen layout. i think its harder because i make so many things in my kitchen, so i have pots, pans, sheet pans, springforms, cookie cutters, muffin tins, kitchen aid mixers, a floor mixer,  mol d'arts, baking liners, molds, colors, EZ temper, brushes, kitchen utensils, transfer sheets, bulk chocolate and ingredients blah blah blah.   so. if you guys could make an ideal workflow....would you do a walk-in fridge for confection storage? a few fridges set higher (but would humidity be an issue if stored for multiple days before packaging), build another cooling room (it was a room with drywall/insulation/a door/speedracks and portable AC set to keep that room cooler...), or yeah.  thoughts?  oh yeah. and  i need to fit an enrober in there too.  sooooo, ideal workspace. what's in it?  and go!  :0)
    • By weinoo
      I've started a few topics about various renovation related subjects (here and here), but figured I'd put the overall project in its own. Pix often tell the story even better...
       
      It helps to have these. Well, you need to have these if you expect to get anything done in your coop.
       

       
      Then stuff can start...
       

       

       

       
      And then start getting rebuilt.
       

       

       
      A little better electrical system.
       

       

       
      New pipes have to be done in the walls.
       

       

       

       

       
      This Started on September 8th. They've had approximately 25 days on which work was done.
       
      Proceeding along nicely, I'd say.
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