Help mostly with kitchen layout but also MB
March 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought our 1922 home (1372 sf, 3BR, 1 ¾ bath) in a great neighborhood in So Cal 3 years ago. It has some original Craftsman features, which are holding up well. But the awkward and ugly 1970s kitchen and equally awful bath show their age. Also, access to master is only through ugly bath or middle BR.

We have a limited budget and many things to tackle beyond just the kitchen so we're trying to do much of the original legwork ourselves. Once we get a good enough plan, we'd like to get estimates from some GCs, then run our designs by some professionals.

Can you help us get closer on a kitchen plan and how to access the MB and MBR?

1. Open up kitchen and improve flow by removing wall between hall and office; combine with kitchen. Install FD to new deck.
2. Update kitchen with basic appliances (36” range, bottom-freezer fridge) and Ikea-type cabinets, etc.
3. Create separate entrance to master, without passing through bath or BR. (We thought about opening up existing hall all the way to the MB, but we’d lose 2 closets.) Add FD to connect with same new deck off kitchen.
4. Create larger MBR to include combo tub/shower. Also, it would be great if we could create a small hall and pocket door to access MBR from back of house without entering MB.
5. Move WD from basement to kitchen.

Additional question:
Does anyone think a small addition (i.e. cantilevered bump out) to the MB would be a good idea? We thought extending it 2-3 feet would give us more room for closets/bath but none of the GC or architects thought it would be worth the money. I worry about spending money on a remodel and then feeling like it’s still squeezy and lacks storage.

I'm including some photos of the existing LR, DR, kitchen, and a layout of the full floor plan.

Thank you for time!
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Ironwood Builders
Your floor plan didn't post! The designers her will need that to help. Try again as a jpeg?
March 24, 2013 at 7:32am     
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Ironwood Builders
By the way....this is a huge scope of work! Skimping on planning and design is not in your best interest. A good design and construction team can actually save you money with good planning, value engineering and phasing. I recommend interviewing and hiring a design professional and a general contractor familiar with older homes to consult with you. You can find help by hitting the "find local pros" tab on the header and following the prompts.
March 24, 2013 at 7:37am     
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This looks like a lovely Craftsman house. You have a clear wish list. The kitchen is going to be highly visible, so you may want to keep it in tune with the Craftsman feeling. My two cents: go back to the architects, ask for references, go see their client-homeowners if possible. Pick one to work with who works mainly in your price range (not in much higher price ranges). Give them a list of your priorities and your budget which should include 20% contingency. A design-build firm can be a good choice, too. This one has a lot of photos; I have not seen their work in person:

2-3 -foot bumpouts of small areas are not generally cost efficient, I agree. There are times when they are worth it. Closets don't usually meet the "worth it" criteria for most people.

If you have a small budget, you may want to be flexible on the kitchen remodel by re-using the cabinets you have (which look sturdy and well made) by getting new doors in a Craftsman-ish style and painting them. That would be cheaper than an all new Ikea kitchen. Removing the brick, if it is veneer, will not be too hard.
March 24, 2013 at 7:53am   
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Thanks all for this advice. It encourages me that we're on the right track. Yes, it's a huge scope of work. Yes, we need design input.

Ironwood Builders: When you say design professional, do you mean architect, or could it be a kitchen designer at a box store, or a good interior designer? How do I find a talented professional willing to do a small job? I don't mean to be cheap, but the high cost of our house didn't leave much room for remodeling. We don't mind sweat equity and doing lots of legwork. What tends to be a more budget-conscious path?

Apple_pie_order: The cabinets are deceiving. Our neighbors told us they were a DIY project put together in our driveway from plywood, and stained with mineral oil and tar. They stop at the dropped ceiling (which we hope to remove.) I was thinking we would save money by choosing lower-end flooring, tile, countertop, sink, faucets etc. and maybe some second-hand appliances, but get new, simple cabinets. I'm just not sure the existing cabinets are worth refurbishing.

Apologies for the layout not posting. The post froze halfway through uploading and the jpeg dropped off. I'm trying again here.
March 24, 2013 at 12:44pm   
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