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Help me make this tiny kitchen work!


babyluck
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Fridge: the owners are taking it so we do need to buy one.  I was thinking of a counterdepth model so it would lie flush in the recessed area and open up the pantry doorway (if you look at the thick line in my drawing you can see where the doorway is blocked by the current fridge).

A (can't bring myself to call you Daddy), thanks for taking the time to draw it up!  Extending the countertop over the radiator is brilliant.  I wonder if it would affect the heat distribution, though.

You can call me Arne :smile: Don't worry about the heat ... although I might paint the underside of the countertop just to protect it from the moist heat.

If you've got to get a new fridge, look at LG.  Some friends had to replace their fridge and got a smaller LG that works perfectly in their small kitchen.

I really like the new LG fridges. Trouble is they're only about 10-12 cubic feet if you're looking at 24-26" (counter) deep. If you can work around that, they are a terrific solution.

A.

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I am impressed with the ideas and comments you're getting, and even more impressed that you found a house like that within your budget! I have a question about removing the door to the stairwell, though. In a few years, assuming you have small children running around, will you be happy with a baby gate across that doorway?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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I know LG from the whole internet fridge thing--I'm wondering what is so special about their "other" fridges--temp control?

Good value for money really. I know they have that Intello Air Flow that helps distribute the cold air evenly around the fridge. :wacko: I find most of that stuff pretty gimicky.

Mostly I like the value, and their smaller sized fridges. Most other manufacturers ignore the small fridges, forcing you to look at more expensive European models.

A.

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I am impressed with the ideas and comments you're getting, and even more impressed that you found a house like that within your budget!  I have a question about removing the door to the stairwell, though.  In a few years, assuming you have small children running around, will you be happy with a baby gate across that doorway?

Good point. There are so many things to consider!

The house is great--we were able to afford it because it's a 2 bedroom--enough room in the attic to make a great master bedroom/studio or two smaller bedrooms. I also speculate that not many people (at least not those in my tax bracket) are looking for original features like I am. Most may want an easy move-in, with all the modern conveniences ready to go. I definitely consider myself lucky, although it does have all these mixed blessings, like a huge old oak tree in the side yard, right where a garage should be. Kind of like the kitchen table--wonderful but badly located.

One of the things I'm looking forward to most: being able to use the roasting pan & cookie sheets I got for wedding presents 4 1/2 years ago--they are too big for my current oven!

P.S. What is it with those big grey cats? I have one too--he is looking forward to the move as well.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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To the right of your sink was probably a wall cabinet. In CA it would have been one of those cabinets that had a mesh-covered opening to the outside-I suppose they don't have these back East, eh? You could store a lot of dishes in a nice tall cabinet there. Also, a wall-mounted pot rack would be handy next to the stove.

Every time I look at that table, I think that someone out here would pay lots and lots of money for it. It's very unique. Is it made out of redwood or fir?

PS Be careful about taking up your floor. If you are lucky, it will be incredibly beautiful Douglas fir, but if you are not, it will be funky subflooring, made in an era before they mastered plywood.

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I have some more ideas, but I need to know some measurements:

The sink area (radiator to wall by DR)-length & depth.

Length of stove area.

How long is that blank wall to the right of your stove (measured to the indentation for the fridge.)

How deep & wide is the indentation for the fridge?

How far away from walls is that table (which is growing on me, BTW-every house needs a quirk or two.)

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You could take the door to the stairway off, but store the door if you have room. Then you could put the door back when you have kids. (Your final kitchen remodel will allow for the door clearance. Removing it now could give you more room.)

You could put up cheap open shelving to have extra storage space instead of more cabinets. It would not be permanent, but it could be a good temporary solution.

I like Arne's floorplan. It really makes the space look a lot bigger.

I would check the flooring to make sure the subflooring is stable. If you can get up under it to check it out, that would be great. That old subflooring rots easily and you can fall through the floor if it rots enough. Hopefully you'll luck out and it's Douglas Fir under there. :laugh: (I had a house that had original cypress floors. :wub: )

edit: spelling error

Edited by dumplin (log)

it just makes me want to sit down and eat a bag of sugar chased down by a bag of flour.

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You're in luck, marie-louise--our inspection is tomorrow morning and I will measure everything--was going to measure the fridge area & sink cabinet anyway.

I'm thinking in the medium-term (6-12 months) if we turn the stove 90 degrees we could put in a Hoosier cabinet next to it. That would allow me to have some workspace and basics near the stove. I have trouble imagining a built-in cabinet there because it would limit access to the recessed fridge. A Hoosier would be a little less deep and very period-appropriate. Plus, I could reuse it in most any future kitchen configuration.

On ebay there is a company who sells repro Hoosiers. I got a kick out of their slogan: "Hoosiers are like Corvettes in the eyes of a woman."

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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I was thinking someone along the lines of Arne's drawing (but without changing the pantry or taking out the table.)

I would do almost exactly what he drew for the sink area-take a look at pictures of origninal Craftsman kitchens-you can get a narrow cabinet or set of shelves above the DW (to the right of the windows, all along the wall). You could store glasses, dishes etc. there. In your case, get a smaller sink so you have more counter space. There are some square Farmhouse sinks that would look PERFECT. If you can, move the dishwasher 12 inches to the left and make the cabinets go all the way to the doorway.

Depending on how big those walls are, you could turn the stove 90 degrees (that shouldn't be too expensive) & do one of several things:

If you don't bake much, Viking makes a 27-inch stove. The burners are full size, full BTU, but the oven is a little smaller. If you are lucky, you will be able to get a 24 inch x 24 inch heavy duty chopping block (the kind w/ the 12-inch thick top) to put on one side of the stove. You can put some wall cabinets around & on top of the stove hood.

If your lifelong ambitions include a massive 6 or 8 burner range, well, this is the kind of kitchen for it (see Andiesenji's green stove on Dave's thread.) Just get one w/ a griddle & buy the chopping block cover for it. That will be your other workspace.

Hoosiers are wonderful. I've had them in several old kitchens. They would be right at home here.

You will adapt to not having much counter space. You will have fun working at that table. It is too special to get rid of, even if it takes up too much room.

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(snip)

On ebay there is a company who sells repro Hoosiers.  I got a kick out of their slogan: "Hoosiers are like Corvettes in the eyes of a woman."

And most Hoosiers have a pull out counter which is great for pastry. My friend Gloria who has a craftsman home in Pasadena, has her kitchen restored to the way it was when new and done all in cream and green with an old Glenwood stove of the period. She has cream and green enamel steel cabinets with the upper cabinets with the obscura glass panels in some. She has a Hoosier (restored) with cream and green enamel counter which pulls out for more work space. She and I spent a lot of time rounding up all the original accessories that go with it.

She was fortunate in that she was able to locate a descendant of the family that originally owned it and was able to borrow photos taken in the house when it was new.

The only thing she couldn't restore was the hand pump in the kitchen sink. The cap of the old well is still in the back yard but the well itself was filled in long ago.

I think a Hoosier is a great idea.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I love those cream-and-green Hoosiers. It would match the current almond stove, too. Almost makes me think I should get the other appliances in almond (or bisque as they call it now) but I am pretty set on black & white vinyl tile for the floor and I'm not in love with mixing cream and white. I'm torn between having a light-and-bright kitchen and a warm-and-cozy one, tending toward the former.

The inspection was delayed...

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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Every time I look at that table, I think that someone out here would pay lots and lots of money for it. It's very unique. Is it made out of redwood or fir?

I think it is fir--that's what the moldings appear to be and the grain looks similar. Like the open-air coolers, there's not a lot of redwood out here.

I'm not an expert at wood grains, though--yet! My dad will know but he can't really tell from the pictures.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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The pegboard idea is fantastic. One of the things that I was amazed with when we went to see Julia's Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian in DC was how it was geared entirely for efficiency. There was pegboard on every flat surface. There were multiple small countertops at differing heights. Cubby holes and drawers of all different sizes and shapes. Magnetic knife strip so there was no knife block on the counter. And on and on.

It makes me nervous to see suggestions about changing the pantry into a breakfast nook. Mostly because I have always craved a pantry and I would be hard-pressed to get rid of those custom cabinets.

Pegboard should be fairly easy to install as temporary while you work out the details of how you want the kitchen to eventually function.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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This is probably a stupid question, but what is a hoosier?

This is a Hoosier cabinet.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'M NOT GETTING RID OF THE PANTRY.

I personally think it will be really useful and though I love breakfast nooks with built-in benches, I think I will like not running down to the basement for cans of tomatoes better.

If in the future we decide that we don't need the pantry, I would only change it around if I could remove the cabinets intact and move them somewhere else in the house.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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For our kitchen, we plan to actually utilize a fold-down table, based on a picture we saw in Cooking Light, and it might work for you, time/space/budget permitting. . .where we have windows, we're going to extend the house just long enough for a fold-down table with a built-in bench on either side. Windows above the benches, a true "nook", as the benches & table will be the only pieces in the small area. If you do choose to take out the table, perhaps it can be used later in a similar way?

Diana

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I got excited for a moment until I realized that the table can't go in the current pantry as the shelf unit would cover the window. Oh well.

I just looked at the Julia's Kitchen website at the Smithsonian and I am thinking "yes" to pegboard especially for the wall where the 3 pans are now hanging. Below that chair rail is brick painted white. I can't wait to scratch off a bit and see if it is nice red brick underneath--if so, I would strip it (yes, it can be done). I have an as-yet-unsatiated desire for exposed brick. That area above the chair rail would be perfect for pegboard. I was planning to put our pot rack there but thought it would project too far and I'd be stirring sauces at the stove in a forest of clanging pots and pans. Pegboard! Love it.

I do have a butcherblock unit that I bought for our apartment. Nothing special--it's similar to this one. I don't think it will fit in the current setup but it could stand in for the Hoosier until I can spring for one (after we turn the stove).

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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