Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

MelissaH's Kitchen (Renovation) Dreams


MelissaH
 Share

Recommended Posts

So, my husband got home from work this afternoon and I told him about my idea of appliance garages in the corners of the counter. His response: "Those are fairly common, and I've seen them before." I haven't, and came up with the idea all by myself based on Smithy's question! He says that we've both seen them in some of the kitchen setups in various stores, and I've always been so anti-garage that I wouldn't even remember seeing them. :biggrin:

That said: if we're both thinking of them, does that mean they're a sure thing in our new kitchen?

MelissaH

edited after we talked more last night

I think they're a terrific idea!

We have the crock with utensils, a couple of drawers with utensils, and small hooks just under the cabinets for hanging some utensils, so the backsplash of the work counter on either side of the stove has spatula, ladle, scoop, sieve, potholders and so forth hanging. I resisted the idea at first, but it actually looks good (to us) and puts the most-used utensils within easy reach without having 5 other things fall out of the crock when the desired item is removed.

Oh, very definitely, appliance garages in the corner! (You get points for creativity, even if someone else had already invented them. :raz: ) That is, if they leave enough room for work surface.

Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I posted this idea yesterday but since I don't see it here, I'll try again (sorry if it's a repeat).

I've been shameless about culling ideas from a bunch of architect friends and their own kitchens, and one of my favorites is a recessed shelf that one of them builds into the walls adjacent to his ranges, running the length of the countertop. About 6" above counter height, 6" depth, running up to the bottom of the cabinets. Its the perfect size for jars of utensiles, salts, bottles of olive oil, etc.--and the best part is that it keeps everything off the counter. It's on my short list of "must haves" for my own kitchen. It isn't big enough for the Kitchen Aid, but they are great to "organize" clutter.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the advantage of granite tiles versus granite slab - is it less expensive?

Two advantages, from what I've seen. One, it is cheaper. Two, granite tiles you can do yourself. You order the tiles (around here, nobody keeps them in stock) and rent, borrow, or steal a tile saw for a day or two. It's pretty much like any other tiled countertop, except that the tiles are granite. A slab typically needs to be installed by someone else (or three or four people, depending on the size of the slab) and you hope they measured things properly before they cut out the sink.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have the crock with utensils, a couple of drawers with utensils, and small hooks just under the cabinets for hanging some utensils, so the backsplash of the work counter on either side of the stove has spatula, ladle, scoop, sieve, potholders and so forth hanging. I resisted the idea at first, but it actually looks good (to us) and puts the most-used utensils within easy reach without having 5 other things fall out of the crock when the desired item is removed.

Our potholders currently live in the top of the rickety turntable in the corner between work area and stove. If we wanted to display them, we'd have to get some new ones without burn holes, scorch marks, or bleach spots. We should probably get some new ones anyway, come to think of it.

One of the reasons I like having my stuff in crocks is that I can then organize it, at least somewhat. One contains nothing but whisks. Another has mostly spatulas. My favorite ladle is so enormous that it would tip a crock over, so it has to go in the drawer. The skimmer I keep in the drawer also, but more because I don't want to get it splattered with other stuff.

We should look through everything and assess our near-the-stove storage needs.

Oh, very definitely, appliance garages in the corner!  (You get points for creativity, even if someone else had already invented them.  :raz: )  That is, if they leave enough room for work surface.

Any chance I could convince you to work for the patent office? :biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I posted this idea yesterday but since I don't see it here, I'll try again (sorry if it's a repeat).

I've been shameless about culling ideas from a bunch of architect friends and their own kitchens, and one of my favorites is a recessed shelf that one of them builds into the walls adjacent to his ranges, running the length of the countertop.  About 6" above counter height, 6" depth, running up to the bottom of the cabinets.  Its the perfect size for jars of utensiles, salts, bottles of olive oil, etc.--and the best part is that it keeps everything off the counter.  It's on my short list of "must haves" for my own kitchen. It isn't big enough for the Kitchen Aid, but they are great to "organize" clutter.

Sounds like a great way to keep things available but out of the way. My one concern is that if you're putting a recessed shelf in, you'd be taking out pieces of studs. I really hadn't planned to reframe any walls during this process. But it would certainly be possible to put it "cubbies" between studs without otherwise affecting the structure. (I say this not knowing what lurks between my kitchen wall and my bathtub surround :unsure: )

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the advantage of granite tiles versus granite slab - is it less expensive?

Two advantages, from what I've seen. One, it is cheaper. Two, granite tiles you can do yourself. You order the tiles (around here, nobody keeps them in stock) and rent, borrow, or steal a tile saw for a day or two. It's pretty much like any other tiled countertop, except that the tiles are granite. A slab typically needs to be installed by someone else (or three or four people, depending on the size of the slab) and you hope they measured things properly before they cut out the sink.

MelissaH

Are granite tiles "solid surface" enough to undermount a sink?

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are granite tiles "solid surface" enough to undermount a sink?

Don't know that you could undermount a sink, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't do a tile-in sink at the same level as the tiles, like you can do with any other tiled countertop. That would accomplish the same goal as the undermounted sink: removing the raised lip that makes it impossible to just brush gunk from the countertop straight into the sink.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday we replaced the other circular fluorescent ceiling light with the other Ikea fixture. Overall it's a huge improvement, because the light now shines into the areas that actually get used. I also like that you flip the switch and the light is on instantly. The downside of these fixtures is that because they're mounted in the middle of the ceiling, your shadow flops right over your work surface. I don't think these lights are ideal for the only lighting in a kitchen, especially as a retrofit. However, it's still a huge improvement over what we had before, and it's livable for the next year or so. In the "new" kitchen we'll be looking into undercounter lighting, and in the areas that don't have upper counters we can put something directly above on the ceiling.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My girlfriend has a neighbor who is a kitchen designer. Over drinks they got to talking and now 3 months later she is halfway into her new kitchen(waiting for countertops). The designer came up with things that I would never have thought of and I was a carpenter/contractor for 30 years doing this. Have Daddy-A fly in for dinner. :biggrin::biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My girlfriend has a neighbor who is a kitchen designer. Over drinks they got to talking and now 3 months later she is halfway into her new kitchen(waiting for countertops). The designer came up with things that I would never have thought of and I was a carpenter/contractor for 30 years doing this. Have Daddy-A fly in for dinner. :biggrin:  :biggrin:

If Daddy-A ever was in our neighborhood, I'd happily feed him, ply him with appropriate beverages, or whatever it took. However, since I have a hard time getting people to even drive the hour up from Syracuse, I somehow doubt this will happen. :raz:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

melissa- i am also in the process of redoing a kitchen. mine is looong and narrow. to solve the problem of a refrigerrator door blocking the working space, we have opted for a three door refrig. i have an old one-13 year old kitchen aid- and will be replacing it with a maytag counter depth 3 door. in this way one can open the refrig door and still work at the counter across. we were all set to go with a regular bottom mount freezer refrig combo but realized this new three door would really solve the narrow space problem. also i am putting the microwave betwseen the upright freezzer and the refrig. so that frozen items can go quickly in the micro-main use for this appliance. i too have an old kitchenaid mixer of the tall crank up type and i didn't want to cut into the wall for a garage so i have succumbed to a special under counter cabinet that will hid the big baby and also make it available to pull up to use. i know it is a waste of space but i don't use the machine very much and still don't want to get rid of it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More random musings now, while I still have time before classes start tomorrow (yikes!). I'm going to be quantitative now, for once, since I've been thinking about numbers most of the day already.

I put a price tag on the cabinets, as calculated by last year's version of the Ikea software. With last year's pricing and Adel birch fronts, we're at about $4000 in cabinets. (I couldn't do this year's pricing because I haven't downloaded the new version of the software on this computer. You can apparently only have one version at a time, and rooms made in last year's version don't open properly in this year's version. Since I don't want to redo the whole thing, I'm using last year's prices for my guesstimations. Even if things have gone up by 10%, we'd still only be at about $4400, although this could go up depending on the amount of customization we'd need to do.)

After a lot of discussion and thought about the way we cook, we've scaled down our range thinking, from 36-inch pro-style to a good-quality 30-inch consumer model. If we decide we need a second oven, a convection toaster oven to replace our current Black and Decker model will probably fit the bill. The list price on the top-of-the-line GE Profile dual-fuel range is about $1750 if you don't want stainless. While my husband doesn't mind a little stainless used judiciously, he doesn't want large expanses of the stuff. Considering the price markup on stainless and the fact that anything low is bound to get noseprinted, I'm inclined to agree with him. For the range we'll probably go with either black or bisque/almond/off-white/whatever you call it to match our refrigerator. Downsizing the range will also get us 6 more inches of storage space down below, and we've always thought more is better.

Hood: this is one place we're thinking it may be good to use some of our range savings. I want a hood that sucks! :biggrin: We'll need to talk to someone to help us figure out our needs, but with the amount of smoke we've been known to generate, oversize (say 36-inch hood for a 30-inch range) might not be a bad idea. The house is old enough that makeup air shouldn't be a huge problem. But we'll be talking to people when the time comes so we don't mess up. Wild guess of $1000 here.

Dishwasher: we haven't really talked about one much, other than it WILL exist in the new kitchen. I'd like something with a stainless interior, but without a tube sticking up the middle of the bottom rack that makes it difficult to load large items. I suspect we'll be visiting somewhere like Sears that has lots of brands and lots of models on the floor, opening every model, and looking inside. I'm guessing that we'll probably be looking at a list price of $700 to $800, but I wouldn't complain if a lower model will do everything we want. Anything's better than the current dishwashers in this house!

So far, the price tag's at about $7500 for cabinets and appliances. To this, we'll need to add shipping costs on the cabinets if we get them from Ikea, countertops (probably about 55 ft^2 or a bit less) and possibly their installation, a sink and faucet, a new mighty garbage disposal to go in the new sink, a floor (no more than 144 ft^2 because the kitchen is about 18 ft by 8 ft if you measure from the walls), lights so we can see what we're doing, permits to do everything, and a little help from a plumber and an electrician, maybe also HVAC although we need to talk to one of those people sooner than next summer anyway. Maybe a little help from a contractor if our time looks like it's going to run too tight for us to make the kitchen livable and functional before classes start in the fall. Probably a whole bunch of little things too, like new silverware organizers and trash can. Appliance garage-building materials. And either a dumpster or a day's use of a truck to haul a load of demolition debris to the dump because you can't do that on a household yearly pass.

I also haven't considered paint or backsplash yet, or drywall to replace what's likely to get torn out. I'm guessing that color is going to be the toughest decision in the whole kitchen. One thing we're wondering about is if it will be possible to somehow incorporate the Lion of Flanders into the kitchen, if yellow and black won't clash with beech-veneered cabinets. Neither of us is Flemish in the least bit, but we're both huge cycling fans and we fell in love with the region on last year's summer (cycling) vacation. I don't think I want a big flag in the kitchen, but maybe we'll get lucky and find appropriate tiles already made. Or we'll just hang a flag in a different room of the house. We already have a cycling-themed bathroom!

Did I forget anything in my list of kitchen stuff that we'll need to buy? The more I can add now, the less likely I am to be surprised later.

Overall, I'm guessing that we're probably looking in the neighborhood of $20,000 for the entire renovation. I'm hoping that my guess is on the high side of things, especially if we can do a lot of the work ourselves, but this is a number I can live with. After all, this is a house that we're planning to stay in for quite a while (knock on wood) and we want it to make us happy.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melissa-

FYI, the Ikea cabinet prices don't seem to have gone up at all so far. They are all the same. There are some new door styles that are a bit pricier than some of the others, but the older styles are all the same. An Ikea kitchen designer told me that it is generally a good rule of thumb to add 25% to the dollar amount in the planner to account for all of the necessary trim and filler, taxes, etc. that the planner doesn't include.

DO NOT uninstall the 2005 planner for the 2006. It is full of bugs, doesn't have all of the styles in all of the sizes of cabinets, and automatically includes countertops, making it impossible to guage the price. My DH changed mine thinking he was doing me a favor - grrr. Fortunately, I still have the 2005 planner on my office computer. :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melissa: Dishwasher. If it is going to be on an outside wall, it doesn't need to be quite a quiet if it is going to be on an inside wall.

When I bought my last dishwasher, I discovered that most now have stainless interiors.

But, do like I do and bring along the largest and most cumbersome items when shopping. The sales people look at you like you are odd, but quickly understand that you know what you are looking for.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

*bump!*

The semester is over, our grades are all turned in, and we can start thinking of kitchen again, at least for a few weeks.

Looking back through this thread, I still kind of like the last version I posted of the proposed kitchen.

We still haven't heard a peep from the designer we talked to way back in August. Either he forgot about us (in which case we don't want to work with him) or he looked into what we were planning to do with the IKEA cabinets, and realized he couldn't touch it price-wise (in which case we don't want to work with him). So, forget about him!

I've e-mailed another designer in the area. This one doesn't sell cabinets, which immediately makes me feel a little better. We'll see if we can't arrange a meeting shortly after the new year, so we can get some planning help. I suspect we may be making a quick trip to Philadelphia sometime this spring, since that's where the good IKEA kitchen people are.

Our new lights are mostly great, but they'll need to be relocated somewhere in the remodel so they don't cast your shadow onto your workspace.

The kitchen cart makes a big difference: much more area than the old semicircular shelves.

The glass backsplash is gone: in trying to remove it to clean behind, we shattered one of the panels a couple of weeks ago. We confirmed our suspicion that the glass wasn't tempered. And the faux brick is still really ugly.

You might think that in the winter, the drawers and cabinets would work better. But no: we still can't open our utensil drawer without also pulling the cabinet door below open also.

I'm really starting to lust after other peoples' dishwashers. My knuckles are cracking, as they always do this time of year.

I'm starting to like the idea of a stereo in the kitchen, especially if it's something we can protect from gunky hands. I'm also thinking that an iPod might make a nice kitchen accessory, especially if we set things up so that the speakers project into the dining area.

Definitely time to find someone who sharpens knives...or get a system and learn how to do it ourselves.

Lots to ponder about the kitchen, at least for a little while until I need to think about my spring classes and the things I've never taught before!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Melissa,

I urge you to go for the iPod and a docking system for the kitchen\dining room. We did this and haven't looked back. We ended up with the Bose deck which came with a remote control that is gunk proof. This means we can keep the remote in the kitchen and change music without moving a step.

Congrats on the progress!

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We met with the designer yesterday. She came here, armed with pad, pen, and tape measure, and measured everything. We also talked about the sorts of things we like and don't like, showed her some of the pictures from our scrapbook, and lent her our latest IKEA catalog because they're difficult to come by in these parts (hours of driving from any of their stores).

The way it works: she takes the measurements and our ideas back to her drawing board, and comes back to us in a couple of weeks with a few drawings. She'll go through the drawings with us, and when we pay her fee the drawings are ours. We can take or leave as much of it as we want. If we need more work, it's on an hourly basis. I particularly like that she's not trying to sell us anything except her services.

Something that we do want to explore, once we have a firmer idea of cabinet plans, is the cost and quality of IKEA compared to what we can get through our local hardware store. While I like the IKEA cabinets, something we've become quite aware of since moving to a small town is buying locally from local vendors when the choice exists. (There's also the small matter of fixing things that don't go as planned: if the wrong cabinet gets sent, it would be a huge deal for us to ship back the old one and get a new one shipped in, compared to calling the hardware store a mile down the road.) If they have something in a style we find appealing and of comparable quality and price, we'd be inclined to go local. If not, we'll need to make plans to visit our friends in Connecticut again. :biggrin:

I'm most curious to see how her designs are similar to, and different from, the ideas we've put together in this thread.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Melissa,

I am enjoying the thread... I too am at the beginning of a remodel/addition that includes a master suite and enlarging/upgrading our kitchen, dining room, family room. I can relate to all the planning steps you are going through in the kitchen.

With our architect and designers from our local highend kitchen appliance store and Home Depot, we are finalizing the layout of our kitchen area. Now, we are picking materials and appliances... I will continue to monitor the thread for eGulleter's preferences and experiences regarding materials for counters, floors, lighting, cabinets, sinks (like Franke?), etc.

In terms of appliances, I am considering the works: range, hood, refrig, dishwasher, microwave, "beverage center", and other nice-to-haves. I will likely go over-the-top with a Wolf range and hood (or similar), but am struggling with dishwasher choices - I think you are also looking at dishwashers.

The two brands that people keep steering me toward are Bosch and Miele. Right now, I have a quote on a Miele Platinum Stainless G892SC and am leaning that way.

I would love to hear your thoughts/needs/wants in a dishwasher and other's comments on Bosch and Miele or whatever dishwashers they opted for.

Sitting on the fence between gourmet and gourmand, I am probably leaning to the right...

Lyle P.

Redwood City, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love to hear your thoughts/needs/wants in a dishwasher and other's comments on Bosch and Miele or whatever dishwashers they opted for.

I love my Bosch, purchased about a year ago. The brand decision was based on various published and word-of-mouth reviews. I wanted performance and quiet. There are a range of models with prices to match, and I went to my preferred appliance store ready to buy at the low end--personally, I don't see a need for a dozen wash cycles and many other unnecessary bells and whistles that are offered.

In the end, I went with a higher-priced model because it had two features that appealed to me. One--the top rack is adjustable in height, which means you can fit larger plates and pots on top. On fixed-height models that I'd had previously, it used to really bug me that a lot of my mid-sized plates were an inch or so too large for the top rack. Love this, in fact, I keep it at the lower level almost all the time. Two--it has a top-rack only wash option. Perfect for smaller loads. The Fisher-Paykel two-drawer model works on the same principle. I use this a lot, and makes the adjustable top rack feature really practical, since you can fit dinner plates and smaller pots on top. Features I rarely use but like to have--top rack can be removed and a second jet sprayer popped in for extra-tall loads.

peeves? the silverware rack is rather small, I wish it were larger.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're back from a working vacation to Belgium and Amsterdam, and tomorrow morning (take advantage of the jetlag and our new propensity to bounce out of bed at 5 AM) we're meeting with our designer to see her drawings. I can't wait!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got our drawings from our kitchen designer this morning. All I'll say for now is that we have lots of things to think about. I'll post more later, once my husband and I have digested things a bit, because her ideas are different from what we'd been thinking of. (That's a good thing, in my opinion.)

The most valuable thing I've learned so far: Even if you want to vent your hood to the outside, the stove doesn't need to go on an outside wall!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most valuable thing I've learned so far: Even if you want to vent your hood to the outside, the stove doesn't need to go on an outside wall!

so enquiring minds want to know: just how does that work....

First, a picture (reposted from Page 1 of this thread) to show the yucky old kitchen (but now, take out the semicircular shelves and replace them with a cart to give us more countertop): gallery_23869_1329_8042.jpg

The short stretch of wall is an interior, load-bearing wall. The designer's plan (she gave us two but we like one much better) puts the stove (in her design, a 36-inch range, although I suppose we could do a 36-inch cooktop and put a 30-inch oven down below, since we want the 36-inch space for the burners but the only 36-inch ranges that seem to be available are the pro-style ones with hefty price tags :shock: ) on this wall. The kitchen is on the top floor of our house, and she asked early on if we were planning to tear the ceiling down to studs as well as the wall. We are, which gave us the ability to put the stove on the inside.

With the stove on this wall, the venting can go up and then across the ceiling: only one bend still. The designer said a previous client of hers, who does much wokkery, did a similar hood with similar distances, and it works fine to contain the oil and smells. Apparently the blowers suck enough to manage that sort of distance without a problem.

Something else we've been mulling over: the design we like would make it possible for us to put multiple countertop surfaces in the kitchen, easily. I promise I'll post pictures sometime before the end of the weekend so you can see what I'm talking about, and I'll share our concerns as well. The designer's asked us to take a week and think about what she's given us, and then we'll talk some more to firm things up.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...