I need help in my old kitchen
Adria Spain
March 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
The house was built (poorly) in the early 80's. While the kitchen isn't awful, it's not great or inspiring to work in either. It's open, but sad. The counter space is sufficient, but not great. I need someone to help me liven it up a bit.
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Robin W
Declutter first.
3 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 12:58PM
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AMN
Would you please provide more information about the scope you are willing to take on? Are we talking a whole new kitchen or just changes to the finishes? Also, could you post a couple more photos of the space so we can see what is on other walls and learn more about the context surrounding the room. Thanks!
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Adria Spain
I'd be willing to do quite a bit on the "remodel" of this (mainly finishes), but I'm not looking to do a full tearvdown and redo. I'll definitely declutter, but unfortunately most of these items have no place to go :(. What do you do when there is no room??
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 1:49PM
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PRO
Imperial Kitchens and Baths, Inc.
It definitely looks like you need more storage space and a better work flow. If you are in the Chicago area, would you want to start a dialogue to see what kind of ideas we could some up with?
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 2:06PM
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Counter Culture
What is in the space in which you stood to take the picture? A dining area I presume?
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 2:06PM
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PRO
A Crew of Two
It would help to know what is 'after' the peninsula, as mentioned above. We had a kitchen like this- we took the cabinets from the peninsula and put them against the wall continuing to the left of your window/sink. This opened up the kitchen and allowed me to get an island. We put open shelves over the newly place cabinets, stained to match existing cabinets. A new counter top and back splash. Not sure of your flooring- it looks like hardwood? This is the part you may need a pro if it is. You are not talking lots of money for this reno though....and the mess is minimal.
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Adria Spain
I'm not in Chicago, I'm in Atlanta, sorry! You're right, storage has been an issue from day one. As for the space, yes I took a picture from a space that is an in-kitchen dining area, that is roughly the same size as the kitchen itself. I'd be willing to "move" the kitchen counter out a bit to make this area functional.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Adria Spain
Yes, the floors are hardwood. Unfortunately the room is full of windows (terrible that I think this is unfortunate), but it removes the option to put more cabinets up on the walls. The other issue is the room is rectangular and somewhat narrow.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Counter Culture
@KKlinton...my thoughts exactly. Unless it will short you on dining space, I'd open the area up and put in an island with some seating. Should be able to increase storage and counter space pretty significantly that way.
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 2:59PM
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onthefence
Our kitchen/dining is exactly what kklinton describes and our plan is to do exactly what she did. I've been fiddling with figuring out what goes where since we have a couple large windows and entries to work around. However, we took the peninsula out quite a while ago and it makes a world of difference. The old cabinets from the peninsula are sitting on 2x4s on the wall (SUCH an attractive look!) but it gives us the feeling of how the area will flow. It's much better!
2 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 3:10PM
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onthefence
Adria, if you could post a sketch out a rough layout of the whole area (kitchen and dining area) including measurements and the size of windows, etc you'll probably get a lot of great suggestions!
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 3:29PM
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PRO
Riddle Construction and Design
I would consider meeting with a certified Kitchen designer to help you with your project. The NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) has a website that allows you to find accredited designers in your local area. http://www.nkba.org/
2 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Robin W
But do you really need 2 microwaves?

I can't see much else in your picture, but the 2 microwaves sticks out to me and that would be the first thing to address. I think you'd gain quite a bit of space just from that.

Do you have other shots of the kitchen?
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 3:58PM
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onthefence
rwillekes, even if the microwave on the countertop is redundant, that space is pretty much useless as prep space anyway.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 4:07PM
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7768
Please post more pictures. I like counter culture's idea of moving the counter over into the dining area of the kitchen and have it as a bar to eat at as we'll. your guests can visit with you as you cook :-). I would also add a hutch or armoire or some other type furniture for storing the items you don't use every day that are on your counters. The garbage can takes up a lot of room and is distracting, could you move it somewhere less conspicuous? Your kitchen has a lot of potential !
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 4:11PM
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PRO
Sarah Bernardy Design
Looks as though you work from home or are officing in this location. I don't see this stated. I have a similar kitchen set up. I office from home and have found a self dedicated room doesn't work for my young and active family so we have set up our dining area to function for both dining and office. We replaced our standard dining table and chairs with a custom island that is counter height and has storage for my printer (on a roll-out) and office supplies/active client files. It is designed to look like a piece of furniture and has a painted cabinet with stained top and base. Toe-kick lighting adds a great effect and the piece can be moved if we decide to change our "office" or move. It looks like you could extend the countertop and the wall that hides the cabinets to hide the garbage and give you some added countertop space. This would require new coutertops but you could definately add some interest with a quartz product or granite. Declutter and then really address where your space issues are. Do you need two microwaves as rwillekes pointed out? If you are willing to put money into new cabinetry or at least new upper cabinets, if you are going enameled, I would take them all the way to the ceiling so you can gain storage there.
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Robin W
Regardless of functionality, the second microwave contributes to the overall feel of the room.

The cabinets are awesome, as is the space.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 4:26PM
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PRO
A Crew of Two
Windows do not have to be an obstacle. Your kitchen seems narrow because of the peninsula. It looks to be nearly 11 feet wide. But if you really feel the floor plan cannot be rearranged, then you could stagger the existing cabinets. Take the two cabinets to the left of the fridge and raise them up about 6" and do the same to the one with the microwave. I don't think the way it is set up now is code- you need 24" between micro and stove top in most cases.This will make the space feel more open as well. You could modify some of the upper cabinet doors by putting glass in them. Fresh counter tops, back splash and a pretty paint. Pendant lighting over the peninsula, some cute stools, too. Informal French Kitchen Brettkelly Residence, Oakland, CA Joni Spear Interior Design Valley View Model - Sun Valley Design
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 5:00PM
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anitajoyce
Looks like you have two microwaves. I also see a coffee pot and a kettle on the stove. Can you remove one of these? Get rid of one. Do you have a family or live by yourself. If you live along, what do you have in your cabinet that you may not have space for some of the things on the counters?
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 5:14PM
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camillealbert
When you have no room for stuff, get rid of it. You'd be surprised if you went through your cabinets, all the stuff you don't need. I did it. Is very liberating. Then you can start to redo the kitchen. It that a pantry closet on the right??? How about some fresh paint, a round rug and a roman shade on the window with a light hanging over the sink?? Can you put a trash can under the si k??? If you de clutter, you can. Good luck and have fun !!!!
1 Like   March 6, 2013 at 5:27PM
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onthefence
I completely agree with KKlinton about windows not needing to be an obstacle. I think sometimes upper cabinets are almost more of a tradition than a necessity. I know for us, many things stay on the counter simply because accessing them from an upper cabinet would require a step stool. Accessing them from a lower cabinet can often mean getting on my knees to unload half a shelf to get to the item on the back. For something that gets used once or twice a week, I don't want to do that EVERY time I need something.

Adria, your eat-in kitchen - is that the only dining area in the house or do you have a separate dining area?

And a note to everyone who believes that decluttering is the answer - speaking personally here - yes it can help. But if you have a kitchen that isn't well planned and areas that are easily accessible, things congregate on countertops. And some duplication of appliance purposes does happen. We too have a coffee maker and electric kettle on the counter. Both get used daily and neither one is going anywhere for us. Adria may be different.

Do pay attention to what you use in your kitchen and how often you use it. You may find zones defining themselves and it will make it easier to plan how your kitchen needs to be be set up and what kinds of storage and prep space you need.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 6:07PM
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PRO
Imperial Kitchens and Baths, Inc.
If you are having a difficult time finding someone in your area, we would be happy to help you define the design that fits your needs. If cost is an issue, as many times it is, there are ways that you can reuse what you already have (still changing the look) and add to the space with new cabinets. We are contractors as well as designers, so we will be able communicate well with your contractor or we can assist you via phone if you choose to DIY. If you are interested in discussing this further, email us at information@imperialkb.com.
0 Likes   March 6, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Adria Spain
As soon as possible, I'll clear the counters and retake photos. As for the double microwave, yes, the second one was moved into the space after I sold one of my homes. It will be leaving for college shortly. :) Along with the coffee maker and some of the other items on the counters.
1 Like   March 7, 2013 at 11:20AM
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donisha
Hi! I think your space is great...just poorly used to its potential. As you've heard before...decluttering is the most important step to a kitchen! We need space. I see you have a panini press...unless its not used everyday then i think it should be put away until then. Same with the blender..an unexpensive make-over would be to paint your cupboards. I would go with an off white to make it seem a little bigger and brighter and add some pretty hardware. maybe a backsplash and how about accent lighting while your at it. But nothing too busy. The garbage has to go! a cupboard door garbage or a sliding one..hope that helped a little and have fun! This should be exciting .
1 Like   March 8, 2013 at 9:05PM
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