General chatter - Your ideal kitchen
I'm buying my first house. It needs some fixing up, but I'm quite proud to be able to do it. I have the chance to start from zero on my kitchen and pantry. Not the layout, but the contents. I'm using up my pantry foods so I don't have to move them, and I'm motivated to pack and move only those things that fit my new life.
So, what would your ideal (healthy) kitchen look like? What would you do if you were moving and had a fresh chance to start over with your kitchen?
08-09-2009, 12:49 PM
Contents as in food, or as in equipment?
08-09-2009, 12:53 PM
Storage.User friendly cabinets(not too high).Side by size freezer/refrig.(hate my freezer on bottom of frig).granite counter tops.Granite sink(I do have this and LOVE it)Pantry.
08-09-2009, 01:11 PM
Honestly? central vaccuming, with a little entrance on the floor in the kitchen so you can just sweep into the vaccuming system ;)
A big freezer, so that i can pre-make meals with controlled protions and freeze em, and bring one to work everyday for lunch. Many containers, too.
I really appreciate walk-in pantries and less cupboarding.
08-09-2009, 01:25 PM
JUST redid our kitchen WITHOUT the help of a kitchen designer or interior designer or ANYONE -- we just read up on it, slogged through the process, and came up with what worked for US.
Our MUST HAVES included:
tons of natural light -- we added windows
cooktop and sink on the same counter -- no running from one side of the kitchen to the other with hot boiling water
36 inches between cooktop and sink -- nice work area
one dedicated cabinet with wire racks for storing root veggies and garlic
cabinet depth french door fridge with freezer on the bottom -- smaller fridge means less left over food wastage (this really works!)
second small bar sink
tons of overhead general and task lighting
commercial grade vinyl tile flooring -- advantage is that if a tile gets damaged, we can use a heat gun and lift it and set another tile in place as the adhesive was made for this -- and about 1/2 the cost of sheet vinyl, and ceramic tile (once you factor in the cement, grout, and substructure required)...
We also really thought out where everything was to go during the kitchen design phase. Pots need to be at the cooktop. Tupperware is beside the fridge. Cutlery and dishes are near the dishwasher.
We used IKEA cabinets -- cheap! easy to install! easy to replace doors and such!
We layed our own countertops -- 16x16 granite tiles, costing $3.29 per square foot -- and we'd never done this before! Also did our own backsplash...
It works super well for US! Hope you take before and afters!
08-09-2009, 09:51 PM
Kira, I wanna see your before & afters!
08-09-2009, 10:09 PM
Really??? I so totally have them!!!
Here you go!!!
08-09-2009, 10:14 PM
You did an outstanding job. LOVE the windows and also love what you did with the fireplace.
Did you do the work yourselves or hire someone? We have plans for a more mini redo than yours, but I'd love to hear any details or advice you'd be willing to provide.
08-09-2009, 10:21 PM
Oh God, I so adore your windows!
Nice job with the whole thing:)
08-09-2009, 10:41 PM
GOD it took forever to do cause this was part of an overall renovation, so the contractor put in the windows. I chose all the materials, and ordered and sorted the Ikea cabinetry. The general contractor assembled them and put them in place. I built the shelving unit over the coffee area (by the ovens). I built the shelving unit for the tv (needed paint when I took the photo!) I layed the countertop and backsplash tiling (DH has two left hands when it comes to home renos, so he was prep and cleanup guy!!!) using tile sourced at a cash and carry place in the much larger city nearby. I rented a biga$$ truck and drove 3 hours to the city and picked things up! Electrical and plumbing was done professionally. Flooring was sourced at a discount shop in our town. The sinks and taps were sourced through eBay. The appliances were end of season floor model sales. The fridge actually has a super-minor dent in it, and as a result was 50% off. The double oven was last year's model, so 50% off. The cooktop was a splurge and the metal strip behind the cooktop is a pop-up ventilation system. You push a button, and the vent rises above the cooktop. It hides in the cabinet when you don't need it.
The contractor provided the stonemason for the fireplace, but I sourced the material -- it is a cast stone product (therefore light) and a gas fireplace. I sourced the mantel, which is a single piece of 12x12 fir, for a rustic look. I did all the color selection and painting, too, primer and top coats on all walls.
Thanks for the nice words...it took forever to figure out the appropriate layout as it is an odd narrow kitchen with 5 traffic patterns. And we wanted to take advantage of the views...
Advice? Get the electrical and plumbing done professionally because the consequences if you do it wrong are really really huge. Make a scale drawing of your floor and then make cut outs to scale of cabinets and play with them. When you think you have the layout, draw it out from the front to scale and on the floor to scale. And add your plumbing and your electrical to the drawing especially the wall boxes and light switches including dimmers. Then do your best to tape it out on the floor if you can to get a sense of things. I actually used boxes in the basement and replicated parts of this design to see if there was enough distance between the windows and the island to let us work. Figure out where you want things because that will let you sort out what cabinets you need -- pull drawers for example for cutlery and dishes near the dishwasher. We have pullout drawers in the cabinets on either side of the stove for pots and pans. Very useful. Really cut down on what you have, and make SURE that what you keep is actually useful and it has a place. Plan for food storage in a sensible place. If your kitchen is large enough, you may want to designate areas for specific things -- the wall cupboard next to the double ovens is for coffee and mugs because the coffee maker and bar sink is right there. The cupboard above and drawer below the double ovens is for baking pans and cookie sheets. The pull drawers beside the oven have oven mitts and such there. KNOW where you want things, and go from there. Look online for kitchen minimum codes -- for example, you want 18 inches of counter top minimum on either side of a cooktop/oven. You want counter space on either side of the sink. But you CAN compromise on the distances they recommend for traffic aisles -- we are well below the mimimum in the main aisle but we did the box test in the basement and have had no problems with a narrower space.
Have the layout and the diagrams available when the plumber and electrician do their thing. Make sure they KNOW where things will be and enforce it. If you hire someone to install the cabinets, make sure they have the diagrams. Be there and supervise!!! Cause it's your money!!! I had to push rope uphill to get the electrical installed in the island properly because we were using special electrical boxes, and the contractor wasn't aware of this. It took some "persuasion" for him to do the job correctly even though it took him longer than he thought even though he had the scale drawings when he did the estimate. And I had him quote for the JOB not by the hour.
WHEW...you must be BORED so I'll stop now!!!
08-09-2009, 10:44 PM
Awesome job Kira!!
08-09-2009, 10:46 PM
Thanks, Ms Julie!!!
and thanks to you, Ms Onder!
08-10-2009, 12:06 AM
Kira....you stud!!!Soooo cool!
08-10-2009, 09:05 AM
Kira, I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN!! Absolutely gorgeous! I so have envy going on here ;)
I had to type it in upper case for impact :D .
What kind of flooring is that? We're thinking of adding more recessed lights, a nice backsplash and I really do want to change the floor. We have that fake wood flooring, which the previous owners totally messed up as they had no clue how to do it.
08-10-2009, 10:11 AM
Hi there Ms Pinto!!! :hug: Thanks so much! It took alot of planning but was SO worth it...
The flooring is Mannington Adura vinyl tile -- NOT peel and stick tiles but a premium thick vinyl tile. What they do to install it is put a proper wood subfloor down, then float it with portland cement (fill the grooves and holes), then roll down adhesive and lay the tiles. Finally, they use a 200lb roller to make sure everything is stuck down.
The beauty of THIS is that if a tile is damaged -- say a knife falls and sticks in the floor and damages it -- they'll come in with a heat gun, warm up the adhesive, pull up the tile, then immediately drop another tile into place. No more adhesive is needed. So repairs are super easy! Not like ceramic tile or stone -- if there is a chip, it is a real bugger to repair, and usually you just live with the damage.
The newer tile that Mannington offers lets you set them with a grout line so it really does look like stone!!!
The other thing is that the tiles are THICK so the floor is quite soft on your knees. It looks like cork, and lots of people who come in say "I love the floor but I hate cork" because it is so soft and cushy. But it isn't cork!!!
We love it and we've put it in the workroom upstairs, too...
08-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Thx Ms Harrismm!! It IS a sexy kitchen, no?
08-10-2009, 10:30 AM
If I were buying a house and could start over with my kitchen, I'd have an extra freezer and a huge pantry. This way I could turn a large portion of the yard into a garden and plant fruit trees and have more than enough space for freezing/canning the extra veggies and fruits. A greenhouse would also be high on my list.
And Kira, your kitchen looks amazing!
This is great!
And, yes, both food and equipment. I'm eating through the pantry now, and I want to re-stock my new cupboards with health-friendly foods.
I haven't had a dishwasher in years, and this place has one, and I think that will encourage me to cook more (since washing dishes is my absolute least favorite chore).
My kitchen now is pretty small. I can't believe I'll actually have counter space and the ability to do what I want to it. I'll have garden space, too, although the yard is looking pretty sad because it's been vacant for awhile and no one has cared for it. But I figure the garden work will come in the spring.
08-14-2009, 12:59 AM
WHEW...you must be BORED so I'll stop now!!!
Not bored at all...very IMPRESSED but not bored. I so wish I had your talent. I struggle just picking out paint color for the house, let alone all the other stuff. Very, very nice job!
08-15-2009, 01:20 PM
my idea kitchen would be mine along with new ceiling, new cabinets, a dishwasher and a new paint job.
i'm not fussy, i just want to spiff it up some.
Is there anything you would NOT have in your ideal kitchen?
What about anything that would make it easier to eat healthy foods?
A professional chef would be helpful!
Kira, your new kitchen is stunning! You did an amazing job. It's going to be a joy to prepare healthy meals in there!
08-16-2009, 04:31 PM
Gas stove, and large refrigerator with a double pull out freezer drawer. All aluminum, with tile countertops. In the middle would be a huge island with double sink. Oh, and I would have an Executive Chef! lol.............