Need DYI Kitchen choosing details discipline
midrashist
August 29, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have a big old stone Victorian (1891) in a poor city neighborhood, designed by Cope and Stewardson. It has some lovely features like large leaded bay windows, as well as some.....serious constraints. One third of the house was divided off into an apartment about thirty years ago. (Who needs seven bedrooms these days?) This left a 20 foot wide living room, next to a narrow dead end icky green galley kitchen. As soon as i could, i pushed the kitchen wall back by 'stealing" from the attached tiny rental unit's kitchen. Space now about 11X 14 with a door on two sides and two windows on third side. I have been designing my kitchen in my head for years, and am finally doing it in stages. (Somewhere on an old computer there are at least thirty different Autocad plans; I swear thinking about it that long makes process more complicated not less.) Many details are fairly set in my head, but some details aren't completely worked out yet. (All corner cabinets diagonal, i don't like squared off spaces: if i could, i'd have rounded cabinets....instead, some counters will probably be.)

I figured shaker style cabinets would have the simplest look possible without going to expensive straight slab fronts. They pass for almost modern OR quasi-historical. Anything ultra modern would look silly in the house. But I still need help to keep thinking "simple" at every point. it's clear to me that any busyness will make the room feel smaller and more crowded.

I've been doing what i can a little bit at a time. It's a great thrill to get five large cabinets up by ourselves recently, though then we had to remove several on other wall to fit a larger fridge! (RTA autumn shaker line medium stained warm, but not dark, maple.). I already have very simple copper pulls.

Appliances are or will be stainless, unless i attempt to cover some with copper appliance foil? I already have an IKEA stainless double sink with integrated board for main sink (and colanders which fit over it; think Elkay on a drastic budget). i don't like stainless exactly, but I hate white. Unfortunately, Moen no longer makes the faucet in copper i bought one of ages ago. Second little vessel sink will probably be copper, with a wall-mounted faucet. Having a problem finding bright copper in an affordable line......(I find the Danze fussy, and don't like their aged copper.) I was very glad to see an article on mixing metals here, but it does make me nervous.

What i need help with most is things like what kind of preferably copper backsplash would be great but not create too much visual clutter; what kind of countertop ideally, and can the peninsula have a different counter?
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vjs12
Hi, I saw that you were able to get onto the small kitchen chat. Here is a picture of my brother's kitchen reusing one of the bathroom cabinets for an island. (sorry it's blurry).
August 29, 2013 at 1:58PM      Thanked by midrashist
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Unravel Design
You can definitely do a different island counter top for the island. I'd recommend changing the cabinet stain as well, this will make it look more intentional and draws attention to the "star" of the show. I love copper tiles as well, the trick with this is to mix it with other types of material. Try finding something like this, copper with onyx.

Good Luck!
August 29, 2013 at 2:13PM        Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
Thanks, Unravel. I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible, and don't think small tile looks good in a small kitchen. I want most tones closer related. I know I "can" mix the counters, I'm just having a hard time thinking about it. An island doesn't really become the show piece in a room if you can't step back far enough to see it. Too much color and/or texture change worries me for a small space. (I love frigo's woven backsplash in theory, but think it wuld be way to busy in a small room.)
August 30, 2013 at 5:48PM     
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midrashist
Vjs 12, thanks. i actually am thinking about putting the bathroom vanity under the stovetop, against wall. I want to leave the island tiny bit wider.
August 30, 2013 at 5:49PM   
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apple_pie_order
Do you have more photos? Sometimes you can find copper knobs etc. from the 1960's on ebay. They tend to be simple. I have not seen any copper faucets in years. Many, many kitchens over the years have had chrome faucets and copper hardware everywhere else.
August 30, 2013 at 6:33PM      Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
Thanks! I already have some very simple knobs, and pulls, thanks. (Just haven't tried to attach them yet. I'm a bit challenged when it comes to accurately measuring things.) I will try to post more photos soon, it's just embarrassing how much clutter there is. (and right now we're putting back a wall between our side and an attached apartment.) It's sort of difficult to see what is going on, because we're still using the old cabinets, as their are four adults still using the kitchen during it's phased remodeling.
besides, when you can't get more than about eight feet away from anything, photos are a challenge.....
August 30, 2013 at 7:28PM   
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midrashist
i would feel more relaxed if it weren't rather small.....Anything out of place color or texture wise seems it could be jarring.... I've gone through hundreds of pictures on here, and have a fair sense of what i like, but how to translate into a little kitchen is a different matter.
August 30, 2013 at 7:33PM   
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midrashist
Picture as seen from the living room with the old teal cabinets which will start to leave as I get more cabs up. the stove top will be just to the right (which is why just a high cabinet.) the sink is just to the left of the corner; fridge and oven an short wall which you see to the left of this doorway. (I might be able to figure out how to get an approximate plan onto a PDF....
August 30, 2013 at 7:36PM   
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sstarr
Give the dimensions and I can draw it up and post here.
August 30, 2013 at 7:39PM     
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midrashist
so what i need to decide first for the next phase, is copper or glass vessel sink for secondary sink so my housemates don't suffer unduly when i'm replacing the sink base which is falling apart, and the sink itself. I know, putting a vessel sink is weird in a kitchen, but i think it will look a bit like a bowl for fruit.....and I'm hoping, though I have no confirmation yet, that using a vessel sink will allow me to put it above the dishwasher....!
August 30, 2013 at 7:41PM   
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sstarr
The copper sink is a good idea, but there's really almost no clearance over a dishwasher. Here's a small kitchen that might have some of the character of your house.
August 30, 2013 at 7:47PM      Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
I can get help getting a PDF up tomorrow. it's eleven by fourteen (see description where I first posted photo). Door 30" north from the southwest corner. Other door (in my photo above) twenty inches in from east side and rear yard on southern wall. the east wall will have two windows for now, but prob a door instead at some point. really, i suggest waiting til i can get help scanning it! however, i will post a photo of the front.....(kitchen is on back side.)
August 30, 2013 at 7:48PM     
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sstarr
no problem. You have a beautiful house!
August 30, 2013 at 7:54PM     
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midrashist
Thanks. it really is a lovely place to live, and there are tons in the neighborhood, and i live 20 minutes from one of the larger american downtowns by car or train.....on a whole half acre, also near a huge park.
August 30, 2013 at 8:00PM   
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sstarr
That's my new puppy, Eiger. He's a Bernese Mountain Dog. He's about twice that size/age right now (9 weeks)
August 30, 2013 at 8:04PM   
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sstarr
You're right, it would be better with any little sketch you can do. This kitchen might be more in the style (not the layout) of your cabinets, which could be stacked as yours are:
August 30, 2013 at 8:08PM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
So, East wall 11' with two windows, North wall 14', West wall 11' with door 30" from SW corner, South wall 11' with door 20" from SE corner...?
August 30, 2013 at 8:11PM   
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sstarr
And the ceiling height.?
August 30, 2013 at 8:22PM   
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midrashist
the verbal part sounds right. (not the mockup.) i went to see if i could find any photos. (Have hundreds of flowers, i have something bloomning 12 months a year. even under snow.) Even tried to download afee version of autocad, but that didn't work. I CAn get something scanned tomorrow.
August 30, 2013 at 8:24PM   
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sstarr
Pick it up tomorrow! Haven't been to Strafford.
August 30, 2013 at 9:14PM   
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sstarr
Possibly a desk space on the South wall with open shelves above for lots of cookbooks?
August 31, 2013 at 7:01AM      Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
With four adults living here i need all possible counter space. room for desks elsewhere in house. here finally is the PDF of draft plan. dishwasher is not going where marked. the wall entering from west/left side is on a diagonal. (that was too complicated to mention in descriptions last night.)
August 31, 2013 at 10:50AM   
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apple_pie_order
midrashist: you can only upload jpgs, not pdfs. Try again, please.
August 31, 2013 at 10:53AM   
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midrashist
another attempt to upload at no longer quite correct plan...... (needed help converting Pdf to jpeg.)
August 31, 2013 at 11:02AM   
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midrashist
Success in posting!!! north wall is now displaying to right. what shows as an island is desperately trying to become a peninsula. the door marked (instead of the two mere openings), will remain a window, it was just to hard to design around though it would have been by far the cheapest place to put a door to back yard as its just cinder blocks instead of field stone, and needs to be finished anyway. the mess of lines opposite the fridge is where we are currently putting wall back between ourselves and apartment. that funny line from sink is a sight line because i like to be able to look towards dining room and front door while at sink.
And for now at least there is no counter or second sink where marked by opening to living room, as the outside door will probably go there.....
i hope that makes a little bit more sense now?
August 31, 2013 at 11:09AM   
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apple_pie_order
Good start. Is the octagonal thing an existing table that you want to use?

You may find the Ikea kitchen designer fun and easy to use: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/rooms_ideas/kitchen_howto/NA/plan_your_kitchen_in_3d.html

It's click and drag. Fast, too.

I'm curious about your experience with the RTA cabinet brand. What aspects did you like? The cabinets look quite versatile.
August 31, 2013 at 11:35AM      Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
no, the octagonal thing is simply trying to create as much counter without cutting the minimum aisle clearance too much. if that shape, could be made from diagonal cabinets. i really want a peninsula instead. (it was a table when i needed to get to back door which now won't get put in.)

i have used ikea plenty (though not for couple years), but it doesn't let you put things at angles etc.

The RTA place i got mine from is in Conshohocken, Pa, so I could pick up cabs myself. i think there are at least two other online sellers of same line. (outwater, and one that sounds similar to above but isn't based in conshohocken, and i believe is a bit more expensive.

an engineer friend of mine examined their construction carefully, and thought they'd probably hold up reasonably well. they are not difficult to put together. there were very minor anomalies in the finish, but mostly where it wouldn't show. I like them because they look better to me (and not fussy) than anything in such a low price range. other than that, I can't tell you a whole lot, as I haven't had them long.

I also have a mock-up on the RTA web site. it's easy to use as well, but doesn't really let you do things like put wall cabs on floor etc. So that's mostly what i'm currently working off, but had no way to post it here.
August 31, 2013 at 11:49AM   
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apple_pie_order
Thanks for the RTA comments. If you like your RTA design, you can take a screenshot of the plan and save it as a jpg. If that fails, you can photograph the screen with a camera... all kinds of ways to get around the limits of various sites. The Ikea program is much improved over a few years ago. It does not do odd things well, of course, as you say. But it does allow you to specify 12 foot ceilings.

Something you may want to consider is hiring a professional kitchen designer for a few hours. Cope and Stewardson were fine architects, but kitchens do change over the course of 130 years. Your house must be magnificent, judging from the outdoor photo. The advantage of hiring a kitchen designer is that they have designed many, many kitchens and have solved many problems. You can get a feel for how sensible (or visionary) they are by reading their comments on Houzz if they are active on the site.
August 31, 2013 at 1:09PM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
Ah, there's the layout!
August 31, 2013 at 1:35PM   
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midrashist
Apple-pie, I am literally spending less than four thousand overall. What kind of designer can fit inside that budget? Besides, i haven't met many that will break the 'rules' they have learned. Whereas I will, cheerfully. A friend's wife who is apparently some kind of designer came over years ago. I didn't learn much except about her pre-conceptions. besides, I wouldn't wish me as a client on my worst enemy....

I doubt many professional designers have tried to design a kitchen for a 'cooperative" household where a number of unrelated adults may be sharing the kitchen at any specific time..... Experience is most useful for thinking about how to best make that work.

There's nothing left of Cope and Stewardson's original kitchen; it was gone long before I moved in.
August 31, 2013 at 2:32PM   
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sstarr
I can help with some aspects.
August 31, 2013 at 3:07PM        Thanked by midrashist
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apple_pie_order
@midrashist: Thanks for explaining the background and budget. I think low budgets are more fun because they often require creativity. I see your point about kitchen designers: I certainly haven't met many kitchen designers who will work with budgets less than several tens of thousands (one told me oh, twenty years ago, that she did not do jobs under $100K.).

Co-op houses where several adults may be in the kitchen simultaneously are familiar to me. Do you all require separate storage for each person? Two sinks would be quite useful, I agree. Do you need one dishwasher or two? How do you feel about picking up a gently used sink on Craigslist or at Habitat for Humanity ReStore?

Are you planning to reuse your current cabinets? For example, you might be able to use some in the octagonal unit with open shelves on the diagonal cut to fit from plywood, perhaps with re-used doors if they magically happen to be the right size. Maybe hexagonal would fit better as an island. I don't see where a peninsula would come off a counter toward the middle of the kitchen. Perhaps a recycled oak tabletop (cheap in many parts of the country) could be use on top of old cabinets in the center.

As for your original questions, a simple copper colored backsplash would be pretty in a quilted style. You can get that effect by buying sheets of metal and spray painting them copper. Real copper will tarnish and cost a lot. For countertop, if you can cut an Ikea countertop to fit the nooks and crannies, several of those would probably work fine. I find cutting boards more useful than butcherblock countertops. An alternative would be tile. It's not the latest fashion but it is quite serviceable and there are many simple tiles available. Off white tile and backsplash would be an option. You can do it yourself. Grout in a medium corrugated cardboard color does not show stains as much as white. Or buy some Lincrusta or anaglypta as a backsplash painted with copper spraypaint and overcoated with clear polyurethane. It's got more character than a beadboard backsplash and puts a nod toward the Victorian. Fancy or fairly plain patterns are available.

I'll see if I can find some ideas on co-op kitchens that fit the "simple" idea.
August 31, 2013 at 4:18PM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
Here's a view of the North and West walls. That's an Ikea stove and hood.
August 31, 2013 at 9:24PM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
South wall. Just getting a baseline, then can look at finishes.
August 31, 2013 at 9:31PM   
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midrashist
Yup! only i got a nice oven very cheap from a friend who remodeled, so oven and stovetop are across from each other. (Someone baking doesn't get in the way of someone cooking.)
September 1, 2013 at 4:18AM   
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midrashist
no, apple-pie, we don't require totally separate space for food, but some. We share staples but each have some separate supplies. The most convenient spaces are for public use, private use more likely to be a base cabinet....

why don't you like butcher block for (part of) counter?

So one can weave metal oneself to get that kind of effect? I totally love the frigo woven backsplash. I was thinking about thin copper foil behind glass..... I will spend real money on a few things. others will have to wait. like i'm likely to have plywood as a counter until I can afford what i really want. (Easy to change the shape while one lives with it too). I hate though paying for something that I think of as temporary, like ikea counter pieces. May have to though. (My floor is urethaned luan, and actually looks pretty decent. it will be a good subfloor whenever i get to that. But for now, its a vast improvement over what was there before which i couldn't sweep.....
September 1, 2013 at 4:43AM   
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sstarr
A hardwood countertop would be great. Lay it up yourself if you have a jointer or access to one, or use tongue in groove wood. Fill the voids and cracks with an appropriate product. Keep it sanded, (mineral) oiled.
Now I want one myself.
September 1, 2013 at 6:08AM   
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sstarr
Ah, I wondered about the oven notation on your plan. Makes sense. Is it a built-in oven, single or double?
September 1, 2013 at 6:10AM     
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sstarr
Here's the look with the cooktop, hardwood butcherblock-style counter, and metal ceiling material as a backsplash (copper look). I think it would harmonize with the period and style of the house. What do you think?
September 1, 2013 at 7:06AM     
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sstarr
http://www.tinceilingxpress.com/Available_Finishes.html - They have a powder-coated finish that is useable for backsplashes, in a variety of metallic tones.

Or, here's the look two ways: burnished copper sheet (or foil), and woven copper, slightly aged:
September 1, 2013 at 7:41AM     
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apple_pie_order
sstarr93: very impressive. Is there a view from the top which shows the measurements with door and window locations?
September 1, 2013 at 8:14AM   
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apple_pie_order
@sstar93: Tinceilingexpress.com looks like a fabulous resource with a lot of choices.
September 1, 2013 at 8:14AM   
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Pamela Danner
I wouldn't get into applying copper foil to appliances and I wouldn't buy stainless if you don't like it. Consider using black appliances and possibly buying appliances that use inserts to match your cabinets also GE has a new slate color that will go nicely with your cabinets and copper
September 1, 2013 at 8:24AM      Thanked by midrashist
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apple_pie_order
Depending on the smoothness of the finish and the amount of water they get, plywood countertops can serve for a few weeks to a couple of years. Several coats of polyurethane can help. But at that point, you might as well add a more sanitary tile surface using DIY cheap leftover tiles while you save up for a more expensive surface.

As for preferring not to use butcherblock, that is because I llike to set hot things down on the counter without worrying about making a mark. I don't cut on counters. I also like to spend the minimum amount of time on countertop maintenance. I've had both mineral-oil finished butcherblock and polyurethane finished butcherblock in small areas of kitchens, neither one added by me. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference.

As for taking photos without a fancy camera and lens, I have had good luck in cramped quarters by taking photos around the room, two or more per wall. You can even stand outside and take photos through a window to get better views. I agree it is hard to take photos when you are in the middle of construction but it is oh so fun to flip through those photos later when the work is all finished. Take them in daylight, with and without the lights on, for best results.

This is a really fascinating project. I've learned that searching for "co-op kitchen" turns up photos of kitchens in co-op buildings. Best results came from "multi-cook kitchens". This is by far the best article I came across: http://www.kellymorisseau.com/multi-cook-kitchen/
September 1, 2013 at 8:46AM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
Restaurant kitchens, with their prep stations and separate mise en place for cooks, are a larger-scale version of the home multi-cook idea. Would be worth looking at the design from that perspective.
September 1, 2013 at 10:06AM        Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
Back from a home depot run. thanks for comments, everyone. single oven. No access to a jointer. Just bought a used fridge (food was falling out every time we opened the door; prob should have gone with the brand new floor model instead, but too many decisions at once....) . it's stainless in front, black on the side. I think black would make kitchen feel too dark. i've noticed I like the stainless when i can see copper from elsewhere giving it a rosy glow. I did figure the appliance foil would prob look tacky. but was still considering trying it....
September 1, 2013 at 12:09PM   
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midrashist
i looked at the tin, pretty. do you really think it would be so obvious if I used the home depot version (which i assume is cheaper, though haven't checked) ONLY on the ceiling? (It does look fake from close up.) i like it on the mock-up above counter, but think it could feel fussy in a small room. (Some designer on houzz was ranting about people putting up cabinets everywhere. Personally I'd love a bare wall, with only a shelf or two. But there just wouldn't be enough storage. There's one 2 ft square or so coat closet in the whole downstairs....)
September 1, 2013 at 12:21PM   
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PRO
Mark Levy Studio
Midarashist....here are some possible options that would really give you unlimited options for the cabinet doors:




Please keep us posted on your continuing adventure!
September 1, 2013 at 12:36PM   
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sstarr
That might have been me ranting about putting up cabinets everywhere; it's one of my standard rants ;-)
I am personally much more of a minimalist, but if you're going to do upper cabinets, my opinion is to go high on one or two walls, then leave them off the other walls.
You have 113" ceilings, which permit two layers of 30" upper cabs... is that what you've purchased?
You might like a tall storage cabinet or two next to the wall oven, rather than the countertop to the left of it.
September 1, 2013 at 12:37PM   
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sstarr
I don't know what HD has for metal ceilings... I'll check it out later (I'm making a gigantic batch of crabapple jellly, a huge job)..
September 1, 2013 at 12:39PM   
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bubblyjock
You're making crabapple jelly???? YUM! I'm making ours soon - poor old apple tree is laden to the ground with bigger shinier apples this year than I've seen for ages.
September 1, 2013 at 12:41PM   
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midrashist
Read the two-cook piece. (Think I'd found it once before.) i put the sink and fridge where people could pass by someone using them, but tried to avoid the doorways. My second sink is placed like hers is; someone can get a glass of water without fighting for room at the sink.
however, i'm still trying to squeeze an island in. The number of square feet necessary with more cooks goes up fast. i'm willing to cheat on the clearances. (A designer on here hesitantly admitted to having used 30" aisle.) The real reason for an island is that you can be more or less facing each other and working. very important to enhance social time if you don't want to feel like you live in a boarding house with comparative strangers....
All ends of counters will be diagonal, precisely so one doesn't hit those corners. (Apple-pie, the old cabs have no diagonal pieces, and some are seriously falling apart. (We had to prop the sink base up yesterday.) Most will move to cellar. the octogon results from putting 4 diagonal cabinets next to each other.....)
September 1, 2013 at 12:48PM   
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midrashist
HD's copper-look ceiling is not really metal. plastic-y and looks it. But i think it might even look too busy on the ceiling.....

I love a minimalist look, Starr, just can't do with it here. I also like some open cabinets, but just not a good idea with different levels of cleaning by different housemates. hate reaching for something to find it's a dusty mess. I considered a wall to ceiling by fridge, but a) want counter to rest my coffee or whatever on while I pour milk and return it to fridge. And, b) i might at some point want to put glass sided cabinets and-or a pass thru towards dining room...... however, it counter will probably taper to wall depth, and will be higher than normal.....(One housemate is over six ft.) Yes, there are two rows of thirty inch tall cabinets, much against many friends advise. (Wish those rev-a-shelf shelf-lowerers were cheaper.....but its still a good place for seder plates and grandmothers china.)

By the way, the standard height counter is based I assume on some notion of average height? what would actually be ideal for someone who is 5' 4"?
September 1, 2013 at 12:56PM   
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midrashist
Mark levy, beautiful glass work. Particularly like the arts and crafts and the hollyhocks.
here's an idea I posted on a long ideabook discussion of glass cabinets. people were endlessly debating glass versus no-glass because they didn't want to have to keep everything inside perfectly neat. Someone should make panels which are more obscure on the lower end of panels, less distortion towards top. I really want more storage space at eye level, particularly for the most common foods. And I don't want to see more than vague outlines and color thru the glass there, but when it comes to less commonly used prettier objects higher up, I want to see them, and to know where they are......

I have fallen totally in love with pictures of water glass. No one has answered my questions yet about whether it is hard to clean. Considering putting water glass in front of totally plain but rather thin copper for backsplash. The texture would then be unified across those surfaces, but the color totally different. (And I could use less sturdy copper if it were really there just for color.).
September 1, 2013 at 1:12PM     
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apple_pie_order
You've got 11 feet by 14 feet. It's the 11 foot width that is the toughie for an island. 2 x 24 inches for base cabinets, 11-4 =7. 7 feet minus two 36 inch walkways is 12 inches, not enough for anything other than a bookcase. Squeeze down to 30 inch walkways, you get a 24 inch "island" width. That is enough for one person to lean on while cutting up onions, not two people on opposite sides working there. If you use less deep base cabinets along the wall, they will not function well as primary work areas. You really need that 24 inches deep along the wall.

So, alternatives. Have you considered a rolling cart that would live under the windows most of the time and be pulled out as a secondary prep area when two cooks were in the kitchen?

Check out the rain and water glasses at a local glass shop. That way you can judge how easy they are to clean.
September 1, 2013 at 1:23PM      Thanked by midrashist
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apple_pie_order
YOu might like google sketchup, by the way.
September 1, 2013 at 1:24PM   
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sstarr
Well for counter height, you're somewhat limited by the height of base cabinets. Some of them are somewhat adjustable (Ikea's on legs which as I recall can adjust).. But usually the counter height is 36" (34.5" cabinet plus 1.5" countertop).
If you're 5'4", a better height would be around 32-33". Whether you can achieve that depends on the cabinets.

One thing you can definitely do is go for a thinner countertop (1" or less), which is a much more current look anyway.
September 1, 2013 at 1:27PM      Thanked by midrashist
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sstarr
I'd say a peninsula would be more useful in this kitchen than trying to put in an island.
September 1, 2013 at 1:28PM        Thanked by midrashist
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PRO
Mark Levy Studio
Midrashit,
Thank you for the compliments. It is always good to hear from The HOUZZ members!

Regarding your well taken point, any design in decorative glass can be created to allow for the cabinet's contents, and usage, by knowing what the clients wants, and does not want to see.

In answer to your not-answered-as-yet question, here you go: Waterglass, which is a name several manufacturers use, is just as easily cleaned with glass cleaner as other types of glass. It has a more textured and a smoother side, so depending on which side you face out, that would be something to consider. Also, the closer to your cook-top or sink, the more cleaning will be required because of cooking oils or watermarks. But that fact is true of any glass, so select the one you like!
September 1, 2013 at 1:28PM     
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midrashist
Apple-pie, I've been adding those numbers up over and over for years! I have even taped weird shaped underlayment paper on the floor.....

I have rarely worked at a counter that didn't have irrelevant things on it. (Currently on mine there are teal glass storage jars along one whole side.) When the kitchen is done, they will be banished, maybe to an open shelf, maybe to a lit cabinet.) i go by the objects attract theory of kitchen clutter: if you leave one object on a surface, it multiplies. People are less likely to disturb a bare surface......
I have been seriously considering using a 21' deep bathroom vanity for the stove base. i really don't think I'll notice if I shave off three inches of depth there. What i haven't figured out is whether there is any way to fit a stovetop into an eighteen inch deep vanity. There are a number of 19.25 inch deep stovetops. I've only found one that is less, but don't want because I like continuous grates.

And on the other side, I will taper the counter down to a foot, as well. i only consider cabinet prime real estate if i don't have to look into the depths..... (So, for instance, this is where much non-shared food can be stored.) Now i can't really safe much that way, unless I could find a shallow depth oven instead of the one my friend has. (It isn't something easy to google for.) I've even considered digging into the wall cavity itself.....

Now, hiring a designer could be worth it if they could tell me 1) what is the shallowest depth stovetop, and is there any way to make one fit onto an 18" counter. Even if it bumps out an inch or two.
2) is it possible to put a vessel sink on top of a dishwasher? would I have to build a false top for the drain line? (I've seen a picture of a plumbing piece which LOOKS like it can go over the surface of the cabinet. (can use a wall-mounted faucet, so only drain line is real issue.)

because it is opposite door from living room, we currently have old base cabs back to back with wall cabs, and that seems to be working well enough.
September 1, 2013 at 1:42PM   
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sstarr
Miele and Smeg make smaller cooktops. However they are expensive.

They can sell you two individual units which each have two heating elements. You could set these at an angle on a more shallow counter, very probably.
September 1, 2013 at 1:47PM     
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sstarr
Yes Bubblyjock, we've just prepped two huge boxes of crabapples, which are simmering in my cheesemaking pot (about 9 gallons).
September 1, 2013 at 1:49PM   
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midrashist
starr, if I use the bathroom vanity as described above, it will already be lower. so then the question becomes what to do at the seams where counter joins the standard height sections......not an issue I'm looking forward to visually...... otherwise i'd have to figure out a way to jack them up.... which I will have to do for corner cabinets anyway, as RTA only has diagonal wall cabinets in the two ft. variety. (Though i could do a 42" tall one. maybe adjacent to oven.....) Wouldn't mind building the stove in slightly higher either.)
September 1, 2013 at 1:53PM   
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apple_pie_order
How about moving the interior wall out? Is that reasonable?

I don't think there is any way to put a vessel sink on top of a dishwasher and still meet plumbing and electrical codes. Even if you used a whoppingly expensive dish drawer on the bottom, it is not gonna pass code, IMHO. YOu could ask a plumber.

How about an 18 inch wide dishwasher with a vessel sink next to it? Or a regular stainless bar sink at least large enough for a cast iron frying pan.
September 1, 2013 at 1:57PM   
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sstarr
These are really wonderful: http://www.smegusa.com/cooktops/
September 1, 2013 at 1:58PM   
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apple_pie_order
Yes, things on counters attract other things. Best is a counter with nothing on it. Rarely seen, never in real life. Roommates leave mugs, mail, car keys and pretty rocks.
September 1, 2013 at 2:00PM     
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sstarr
I think your vanity idea is quite interesting. You could use two vanities to get the width if necessary, then waterfall the counter up and around to the higher plane. You'd do better in this instance using an impervious material like stone, as the cooking surface would be recessed, and I imagine spills hitting that inner corner. At least they would if I were the cook..
September 1, 2013 at 2:01PM   
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sstarr
I rather like the copper vessel sink idea; you don't need a huge cabinet underneath, just a small one (next to the dishwasher?) Essentially you're installing a bar sink.
September 1, 2013 at 2:04PM     
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midrashist
yup, it's basically a bar sink. Means there's an option if your housemate left a lot of dishes...... (the stove and sink are intentionally farthest from the living room.) what do you mean by waterfalling? any pictures?
September 1, 2013 at 2:40PM   
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midrashist
My plumber (whose very reasonable, and easy to work with) seems to know a lot of inspectors. Even an electric inspector didn't really look at something because he SAW the plumber there..... I'm not too worried about codes. I originally meant to drain it outside, and mainly wash veggies there. But seems pointless in a wet summer. it's an extra sink after all. We'll just say it's something else...... And i don't ever intend to move.....

In theory one could move the wall, but there's so little division of space as it is, that I don't want even less. (Half-wall on left of house entry where "dining room" now is.) I'd miss my bookcases too much. need way more than we have....
September 1, 2013 at 2:45PM   
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midrashist
If I went to expense of moving wall out altogether (where would fridge and oven go) I'd actually do it to outside wall and make a bay window there. (There is one above it, for of all things, what is now a bathroom.) that would be very tempting, but don't have that kind of money. would also brighten up the kitchen a lot.
September 1, 2013 at 2:48PM   
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sstarr
It looks to me like you could have a 4' wide peninsula with 3' clearance all around:
September 1, 2013 at 4:33PM      Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
Yup, that's the idea. only a little shorter on one side because there's be counter under the NE window.
As far as I can tell, some vessel sinks use a P-trap that goes above the counter straight to the wall.... so that should work, though i haven't actually found any diagrams. and my plumber may have never installed one. (Very few people I know have one, and none around where I live that I know of.) The advantage of putting the dishwasher there is that the door wouldn't get in the way. (My mother banged herself up pretty badly bumping into hers. I'm sure mine will get left open a lot too.)
September 1, 2013 at 6:23PM   
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midrashist
I'm thinking pretty seriously about trying to make a copper counter., haven't watched a video yet, because not ready to be intimidated about it.
September 1, 2013 at 6:25PM   
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sstarr
September 1, 2013 at 7:13PM   
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Amber Hackett
i could use some help on my kitchen remodel...narrow kitchen with lots of doors....help please (see the discussion i posted please)
September 1, 2013 at 7:39PM   
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midrashist
found lyptus counter less than $300 for six feet.......
September 2, 2013 at 11:10AM   
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sstarr
That would be excellent!
September 2, 2013 at 12:26PM   
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apple_pie_order
Lyptus counters on this link look good in a kitchen with similar cabinet colors to yours. http://www.swigerwoodworks.com/projects.htm
September 2, 2013 at 12:44PM   
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sdme
Please don't take this the wrong way, but by looking @the pics., all I can think of is "less is more". The kitchen is so cluttered with stuff everywhere I can't figure out how u can even begin to visualize the finished look. Start with a clean canvas, pack all the extras, just leave handy what's needed almost as though u r getting ready to move out. Then step back & take a look at your space, at different times of the day, with the natural & artificial lights. The answer will come to you because it's your space & u know how u feel there. By the way, the cabs., are just beautiful!
September 2, 2013 at 1:10PM   
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sstarr
There are I believe 4 people living in the house while renovating the kitchen. Not surprising that there would be "stuff everywhere".
September 2, 2013 at 1:26PM   
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midrashist
That's one reason i won't post more pictures: until I can put the extra stuff away. it's a daily challenge. The light isn't all that good at any time of day, but may improve when a homemade window that's been there forever and is very foggy is replaced.
September 2, 2013 at 1:35PM   
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midrashist
thanks, ya'all. i am not responding quickly due to computer power issues, but I am reading and digesting all comments!

i specifically looked for lyptus because it seemed to be in a similar color range as cabs/ copper etc.. So far i have only found cheaper versions in edge grain. (maple end grain is more common and affordable, but I was afraid the color would introduce a new unrelated element.) i do not want wood next to stove or sink however, so my current quandary is what should be near those counters and how the whole thing will tie together visually. Which ones ideally should be copper??? Wood would certainly make the peninsula look less blocky. (I did try working with Ikea, but got frustrated when i couldn't find corner cabs.) looking at Starrs great mock-ups, the peninsula looks too heavy and massive. I think a wall cabinet back to back with a normal base depth for most of peninsula would work. But, ideally, I would like a folding down extension so part of top could create a couple bar stool seats when useful. If there was a little space under the counter the whole thing would look less massive. (and i find base cab space less useful since i hate bending down. But lots of counter space is totally necessary!!
September 2, 2013 at 6:42PM   
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sstarr
Yes, if you sub in a shallower unit, you could have stools on the outer side of the island. You need 12" for stools, so it would be perfect to get 12" units for that side. Are these available from your cabinet source?
September 2, 2013 at 7:05PM        Thanked by midrashist
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midrashist
if i jury rig with wall cabs (as are the diagonal cabs as well). But real tables are lower anyway, and maybe sometime i can switch out for a thicker end grain block...... they say a baker should have a lower counter as well, not that we really have one here at the moment. (And I wouldn't exactly want to knead dough on a used butcher block.)

One detail I can't picture is what to do with when that level hits the full height dishwasher......really wish I didn't have so many planes. Or that there were some smooth curved solution for different adjacent heights.....

I'm updating the plan as best as I can on Paint.....there are a few funky corners I didn't bother to describe that still puzzle me.....Once I've painted walls (and removed whatever I clutter I can!) I'll take some more photos. Thanks for the help and encouragement!
September 2, 2013 at 8:22PM   
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PRO
VT Industries
Take a look at some alternative counterop opitons through VT Dimensions line. http://www.vtindustries.com/dimensions-countertops. VT Dimensions countertops take the look of natural surfaces and combines it with the enhanced performance of laminate. Let us know if you have any questions!
December 9, 2013 at 10:12AM   
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