Saturday, January 24, 2009

Come into My Kitchen

Troy tells me the other day that he is just itching to tackle the kitchen...this summer. Although the whole house is a mess and functioning just well enough to live here, the kitchen is functioning the worst. It is by far the biggest heat sink, having lots of single pane windows and no insulation, and half of it being built out onto a former concrete porch. It's also hard to get stuff accomplished when it sucks up a lot of extra time just to prepare and eat food. (Troy's also looking ahead to having a bigger garden this year and just how we are going to process all that produce...) Plus if we get the kitchen in ok shape, maybe we could entertain a little better/more often. Everyone always hangs out in the kitchen at parties, anyway, right? Perhaps they won't even notice the condition of the rest of the house...we could hope...

Troy is getting this started now because until this past Wednesday we didn't even have accurate measurements of the room, let alone drawings, plans, or any clear ideas of what we were going to do with all that space. (Besides revel in it, of course.) So Wednesday we measured. Thursday I got an accurate outline of the room drawn. And today I spent all day (after sleeping in late, let me be honest) cutting out scale kitchen items on graph paper, and looking through a dozen and a half of kitchen magazines Wendy lent to me. (Thank you, Wendy!)

Besides the usual things one wants in a kitchen (like cupboards, counters, appliances), the one thing I had been stuck on is that I wanted a booth for everyday casual seating/eating. Troy wants a kitchen with room to process large amounts of food; loads of storage; and a nice eating area with a view outside.

Here is the initial plan I came up with. Let's call it Plan 1A:
[Clicking on the pics in this post should give you a full scale view.]

Some general notes:
1. You will notice some extra room behind the refrigerator and north counters. Right now that is hidden behind drywall and not being used at all. We are thinking that we will put in a broom closet behind the fridge (accessible from the east), and above the counter, we may use that space for an appliance garage. (Eew, fancy, fancy, I know!)
2. We will be taking out all existing windows, and in this plan would put in twin double-hung windows at the end of the booth (so we could watch all the pretty birdies, and Troy could still shoot squirrels while eating his dinner).
3. We have cleverly added 6.5 feet of pantry space (floor to ceiling) by using what is now empty space around the chimney on the east wall.
4. There would be upper cupboards above the north and west counters; but not the peninsula.
5. This layout has 14.75 linear feet of counter space. It has 9.25 linear feet of upper cupboards.

The next plan is Plan 1B, so called because the only change was to try out a "corner" sink (and I'm not even sure the sink would fit exactly in the corner like that, but that's what I assumed for now):
Notes on Plan 1B:
Besides notes 1-4 from above, all of which apply, I can add that
5. This layout has 15.5 linear feet of counter space. It has 10 linear feet of upper cupboards.
So this plan does yield a little more work and storage place, but only one person is ever going to be at that sink at one time. Since there are only two of us and we have a dishwasher, perhaps this would be acceptable.

On to Plan 2:
Definitely a more contemporary look, following the overwhelming trend to have an island. (But I will refrain from completely revealing my biases until you have had a chance to air your views.)

1. The space behind the fridge/counter is used in the same way.
2. I lose my booth; replacing it with a partial booth. The feel changes, but the seating is more accessible. (I.e. four people can sit there and no one is locked in.) I forgot to draw in the chairs, but you can imagine them on the sides of the table without a bench. Yes, I'm sure you can.
3. The only window would now be centered in front of the sink, following a very old tradition. If you want details, you could also imagine an archway topped by half cupboards over the window, and then the same design echoed over the stove.
4. I have completely lost the desk workspace and china cabinet that was in the SE corner.
5. On the up side, the room works as a whole in this design. I'm sure it would feel much larger. (Of course it has less in it--see note 4.)
6. Now the really up side: this layout has 14.75 linear feet of counter space, plus the 3'x5' island. It has 13 linear feet of upper cupboards plus the ~5 feet of half cupboards above the stove and sink. That's a lot of stinking counters and cupboards!

So take a look, if you have some time. Which plan do you like? What would you change? How do you like your island, or do you love your peninsula instead? Would you not visit me because booths make you claustrophobic? Please spout off in the comment section or by other means, and click through the poll as well.

In any case, I am confident that any of these plans will beat the 6 feet of counter and 9 feet of upper cupboards we have right now. And having the fridge and dishwasher in the kitchen proper would not be bad either.

Alright, I am kitchened out right now so I will say good night!


davidbanga said...

my vote is for plan 2. i think the kitchen area (in front of the sink, stove, etc) would feel quite small in plan 1. And I think you would immediately regret a corner sink, btw.

Anonymous said...

NONONONO, I love the corner sink!! Do it and make it work so you can prove banga wrong and then I can get a corner sink too!
However, I did click on "option 3" for my vote because I like the booth next to the window, but I also like the openness of the island. I had envisioned an island with lockable wheels that you could roll out of the way or roll to add to the booth if you so desired. That way Troy could butcher a deer in the middle of the kitchen floor should he so desire. he he he.

troy and christina said...

I need to go to a kitchen place and try the corner kitchen in a "dry run" so to speak. But I am coming around to the island. It would probably not be rollable, as I am starting to consider a small sink and power hookups. (And your comment about deer processing would make me nail it down as hard as I could. Thanks for the thought, Wendy!) -c

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