Tiny galley kitchen
dinichillibeanie
October 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We're buying a 1960's Florida house that has a lot of charm but a tiny galley kitchen. This photo shows how there is a partial wall separating the kitchen from the front living room. I'm thinking to take the wall to the ceiling so there can be cabinetry above the fridge. Maybe on the living room side the cabinetry can be lit for decorative display. To the left in the kitchen photo, not seen, is the sink and stove and minimal counter space. Also to the left is a dining room that has nice wainscotting. I am thinking to open the upper wall between the kitchen and dining room so the wainscott is preserved but there can be a counter/bar above the splash guard of the sink. We need to maximize counter space and cabinetry but open up the space somehow. Any suggestions?
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decoenthusiaste
Pix aren't detailed enough to see what could be done. My first thought would be to open that laundry room and include that square footage in the kitchen. I love galley kitchens, so I want to see it work for you. Don't care for the idea of punching through to the dining room though. Think about the mess in the kitchen when you have guests over for dinner. I'd prefer to be able to close off the kitchen from view.
October 20, 2013 at 7:37pm        Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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Collette Tattman
What does the back of the fridge face, the dining room?
October 20, 2013 at 8:52pm      Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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terrimatern
I agree there's not enough info from the pics. But with what I can image you may want to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining making the stove counter an island between the dining and the kitchen. Also bring the wall with frig to ceiling height. I am only saying this b/c I don't know what is to the right of the kitchen.
October 20, 2013 at 9:10pm      Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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LB Interiors
It sounds like if you remove the upper half of dining wall, you will be losing upper cabinet space and cook top hood on the other side in the kitchen. Is that correct? I don't think there is much you can do to give you more cabinets except your idea about extending the frig wall for one more cabinet.
October 20, 2013 at 9:28pm      Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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latifolia
I would use the vertical space better. What is the dark thing on the counter between the cabinet and fridge, a microwave? You could replace the cabinet with something that goes to the ceiling, maybe with space for a built-in microwave. You could also get a counter-depth European fridge that is taller and narrower. I would also consider combining the laundry room and kitchen, perhaps with stacking washer/dryer. Using the vertical space better will free up room for a cabinet with counter space.

Are you going for a vintage look? Wainscotting looks a bit dated, particularly in a Florida home. We recently re-did one for sale, and the preference is for clean, contemporary lines.
October 20, 2013 at 11:08pm      Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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dinichillibeanie
Hi everyone, thank you for commenting. I will post more detailed photos asap. We're under contract to purchase.

To answer questions, yes the back of the fridge faces the living room but there is a partial wall which I am thinking to take to the ceiling.

And yes by punching an opening to the dining room I would lose overhead cabinets if the opening is ceiling height, but it would be more spacious and in keeping with current style preference... Or we could punch an opening that is not ceiling height (like a window) and have cabinets above the opening.
The stove is to the far right so the hood would not be affected by a the opening.

Is wainscotting out dated, never to be loved again? Does everyone agree? I'm not going for vintage but not ultra modern either.

The "dark thing" next to the fridge is a microwave. We don't use micros. But I do need counter space for a yogurt maker and slow cooker.

Opening up into the laundry room might work but there is a lot going on back there. To the left of the washer/dryer is also a small (3rd) bathroom which we're thinking of converting into a utility sink and shower room (a place to wash buckets, mops, and for showering after surfing when we don't want to traipse sand through the house to one of the other bathrooms). To the right of the washer/dryer is a passage to the entry from the carport.

We are thinking of replacing the door to the washroom with a sliding door. The elderly seller of the home has pots and cooking utensils hanging on a rack that is hidden when the door is open. She calls it her pantry! :)
October 21, 2013 at 4:16am   
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decoenthusiaste
Consider installing an outdoor shower for post-surfing cleanup. If you get a steam mop, you won't need buckets and mops and you'll love it. I'd really consider including the laundry room space. The fridge might go at that end and you can leave the living/kitchen more open to each other. If you like casual entertaining, you might be happy with your island/peninsula idea for the dining/kitchen, but I'd open it completely and not just punch a hole under cabinetry. If you add the laundry space, you may be able to just open the dining side all the way to the ceiling and get your cabinet space in the new area.
October 21, 2013 at 6:38am   
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latifolia
Here's another thought - could you swap out your kitchen and dining room spaces, keeping the sink and stove roughly where they are? That would give you a bigger kitchen, with a combination living/dining room.
October 21, 2013 at 7:08am   
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decoenthusiaste
I like the way you think latifolia. Bigger investment = bigger payoff
October 21, 2013 at 7:26am   
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dinichillibeanie
I had that thought too. I'll have to get estimates to see if we can afford that! Anyone know of kitchen makeover sweeps? :D
October 21, 2013 at 7:31am   
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dinichillibeanie
We've closed on the house and now I have more photos, and more ideas. The
November 18, 2013 at 6:36pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Due to budget constraints, I think I need to keep the existing cabinets and replace the doors. The wall separating the living room from the kitchen will be replaced with an island (for more base cabinets). The empty spot where the fridge used to be will be widened to open up into the dining room. The wall separating the kitchen from the carport entry/washer dryer area will be removed, and we'll get a stacked W/D. The bathroom will be replaced with a pantry to compensate for lack of overhead cabinets. There is a small window currently in the bathroom that I'm thinking might be a good place to put a bar sink and have a smoothie station and appliance garage. I'm struggling with where to put the fridge. Either it goes next to the W/D or it goes where the current standing cabinet is, opposite the stove.
November 18, 2013 at 6:42pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Currently over the sink is a window into the dining room, which was originally a patio. I'm thinking the least expensive option is to keep the existing cabinets and simply fill in the window. Make a nice backsplash or commission an artist friend to make a pretty tile mosaic piece to go there.
November 18, 2013 at 6:48pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Thank you for any feedback and suggestions
November 18, 2013 at 6:52pm   
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LB Interiors
I would not close off the window to the dining. The kitchen will feel larger with it open. You will like looking through the wall to the dining, rather than facing a backsplash.
November 18, 2013 at 9:30pm   
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LB Interiors
Maybe you can move the stove on the other side of the kitchen. The frig where the stove is?
November 18, 2013 at 9:31pm   
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
Suggest using the space between the fridge and cabinet for a full height pull-out pantry, add the cabinet above the fridge unless light transference is important or keeping the space open avoids a closed in feeling.
November 18, 2013 at 10:11pm   
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Cathy Goodman
Think I would open it all up and make it a huge eat in kitchen... and possibly large center island with sink and stove to avoid to much plumbing and electrical relocation.
November 18, 2013 at 10:34pm   
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Collette Tattman
Its usually never a good idea to get rid of a bathroom unless you are moving it to another location. If the bathroom is close to an exterior door I would think it would be an asset so you can come in from the outside and not track dirt everywhere. There are a zillion storage ideas for small spaces, I suggest you investigate that more thoroughly before you remove a bathroom.
November 20, 2013 at 9:19am   
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Collette Tattman
Looks like the fridge was designated to go to the left of the dishwasher where the green wall is? Can it not go there?
November 20, 2013 at 9:23am   
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chill4455
We just completed a remodel of a similar vintage duplex. We used the existing cabinets, knocked out the wall between the kit and DR, leaving a only a short wall which allowed us to rotate the fridge into the larger walk way. We moved the bank of cabinets flanking the stove to the adjacent wall, so the kit and ding room are one larger open space. We also tore out the drop ceiling in the kitchen to gain volume, and math the ceiling height in the DR. This allowed us to use a microwave over the stove. New flooring throughout, new countertops, sink and appliances. The whole thing was about $7k.
November 20, 2013 at 9:44am        Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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Rustica Hardware
That's a great place for a barn door. Take a look on our site there are a many choices and options for both barn doors and hardware see: http://rusticahardware.com/barn-door-hardware/
November 20, 2013 at 10:57am   
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dinichillibeanie
Thanks Chill4455, can you post a photo? Sounds similar to our situation.
To answer Collette, the fridge was originally where the green blank space is, but the previous owner didn't like looking at the fridge from the living room, and neither would I. She moved the fridge to its current location, and built a partial wall to hide the kitchen from the living room. But I don't like the wall. I'd prefer an island (or peninsula) bar with storage space.
The original fridge space could be widened to open into the DR.
Re: the bathroom, it's a 3rd bathroom and although it would be great to have a "utility bathroom" it's also the only place the kitchen can expand into... I'm torn between making it into a pantry or a W/D room with rack for air drying. We need those more than we need a 3rd bathroom...
November 20, 2013 at 12:14pm     
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LB Interiors
I think your plan sounds real good. Use the space that is best for your lifestyle and family.
November 20, 2013 at 1:00pm   
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Barn Doors & Hardware
If your interested in quality yet inexpensive barn doors and hardware for your project look here: http://www.barndoorshardware.com/
November 21, 2013 at 2:05pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Hi again, so we're taking out this wall that currently blocks the view from the living room. In its place will be a peninsula/bar. The kitchen will remain white, and the living room predominately will be soft gold/tan with accent colors in the range of teal blues and greens. I welcome suggestions regarding lighting, replacing the ceiling fans in the kitchen. I'm looking through Houzz photos, but would also appreciate your feedback.
Also, that blank green space on the left will become a custom cabinet or hutch/desk. White like the kitchen.
November 24, 2013 at 1:56pm   
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amydutton Home
My suggestion about the wall that is blocking the view to the living room and turning into a eat in counter should also have storage below. Finish this with bead board or something that is interesting to look at from the living room.
Regarding lighting: The ceiling height looks relatively low, I'm not loving the ceiling fan idea. Perhaps a better focus would be some subtle recessed lights where the ceiling fans are and a sweet fixture over the new peninsula? If they are small, you could possibly do two or one more significant fixture. Just my two cents, but go white with the shade - not a color. And remember to match all the finishes from faucets to fixtures.
The area that is now a green wall... This has great potential to become a desk / charging station, organization spot but just make sure that there are doors over the space. I've even used a full height pantry cabinet and adapted it with electrical . The shelves can be used to charge laptops, phones etc. The doors can have cork on them. You can use baskets for those things that you need to hide (cables, batteries etc). This becomes a wonderful and powerful use of space.
Lastly, If available, I could consider 18" deep, 24" is a bit too deep and you will loose things.
November 24, 2013 at 2:15pm        Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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dinichillibeanie
Thank you Amy, love your ideas. I'm saving pendant lighting to my ideabooks, and am attracted to the woven shades, or blown glass, or shell. Are you suggesting having the shade of the pendant lights be white? And by recessed lights in place of the fans, do you mean canister lights set into the ceiling?
November 24, 2013 at 2:30pm   
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dinichillibeanie
I'm considering this shell lamp over the bar, as a transition from living room to kitchen. Not sure how to attach an image from Houzz into this discussion:
November 24, 2013 at 4:53pm   
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LB Interiors
That's a nice light, depends on the dimension. I think two small pendants at the island in a teal color, will be very nice.

November 24, 2013 at 9:32pm        Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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chill4455
Hi there, Dinichilibeanie, sorry it has taken a while to get my photos together; not the most technically savvy person. These are before shots. We actually remodeled both sides of a duplex, but they are mirror images. One unit had a large peninsula, with stove and upper cabinets, the others had the mirrored wall with pocket door leading to the dining room. As mentioned before, we kept the existing cabinets, as they are solid oak, and we're built in place, but we took the stove wall cabs and rotated them into the dining room space, creating an L- shape configuration. Next, I'll post some post remodel shots.
November 25, 2013 at 4:36am      Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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dinichillibeanie
Design update: We'll keep the existing cabinets (replacing hardware and painting white), restoring terrazzo floor throughout the house, and putting in a bar where the partial wall and fridge are currently seen on the far right in this photo. The bar will separate the kitchen from the living room, which are both small. The existing counter top is in great shape and we'd rather not spend money replacing it. But will it look very similar to the floor... too similar?

Would it look odd to have a different counter top on the bar? In the blank green space currently seen on left we'll build in a hutch with surface the same height as counter top. What if the surface of the hutch matches the bar, but is different from the existing counter top? I hope this makes sense.
November 28, 2013 at 1:51pm   
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brickln
When you say bar, will it be open to the living room? Are you extending it from the fridge, or moving the fridge?
If it were my home, I'd extend the wall between the kitchen and living room and align it with the dining room door. I'd move the fridge to the green wall, and the pantry blocking the entrance to the DR over to the wall where the fridge is now.
November 28, 2013 at 4:07pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Hi, thanks for your comment. The bar will be where the fridge and partial wall are currently, and yes it will be open to the living room. (Keeping/extending the partial wall would make the living room and kitchen seem even smaller and darker I think.)
The wall seen at the end of the galley (washer dryer partially visible) will come out so kitchen is extended, and fridge will go there. Also a pantry.
November 29, 2013 at 5:04am     
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dinichillibeanie
Question for all you design aficionados: The existing counter top is in great shape and we'd rather not spend money replacing it. But it will look very similar to the floor... Too similar?

Would it look odd to have a different counter top on the bar? In the blank green space currently seen on left we'll build in a hutch with surface the same height as counter top. What if the surface of the hutch matches the bar, but is different from the existing counter top? I hope this makes sense. Thanks!
November 29, 2013 at 3:26pm   
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latifolia
I would not try to match the existing countertop because it's likely to be "close, but no cigar", but you could use a different material; e.g., wood, granite, stainless steel. What material is the existing countertop? If it's Formica, then doing it over when you add the others would probably cost very little. You might only need one sheet, depending on your measurements.

Is the white cabinet on the left staying? To me, that visually blocks the entrance to the left of where your hutch will go. Personally I would lose or move that so you can extend your new bar further and create a larger galley kitchen.
November 29, 2013 at 10:32pm        Thanked by dinichillibeanie
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Kalev Valgma
tight squeeze.on the fridge side make a counter and the wall cabinets,build the wall behind the fridge and the cabinets above.want to maximize you floor space,shrink your counter cabinets,instead 24 inch use 18 or 14 inch deep cabinets or even 12 inch like the wall cabinets.Want to open the space up a little use a shelves instead of cabinets.
November 29, 2013 at 10:47pm   
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dinichillibeanie
Hi latifolia, I love the idea of wood! Thank you! The existing counter is granite. The cabinet to the left of the fridge is not staying. The bar, with base cabinets, will extend.
Thanks also estcountry, the fridge will move. Thanks for suggestion about shallower cabinets and shelves.
November 30, 2013 at 2:59am     
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latifolia
If there's an Ikea near you, they can be a good source of inexpensive wood countertops.
November 30, 2013 at 3:49am   
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brickln
I'm really lost- are the laundry and bath 2 separate rooms? I see there are matching cabinets above the laundry- would they work in the kitchen? I think getting the cabinetry to blend is a bigger challenge than the countertops.
Different countertop styles will look fine. If you make it at bar height, you could wrap a narrow section around the partial wall to connect the two spaces. Guests will have a place to set drinks while entertaining, with minimal space being taken from the LR.
Have you considered switching the DR and LR?
November 30, 2013 at 7:19am   
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Meghan
Does the fridge not fit into the empty green space? It looks like that is where it belongs. If the cabinets are too low, I'd move them up.
November 30, 2013 at 8:29am   
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