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And so the journey begins.....

Matt
2 years ago

My wife and I are about to embark on our journey of remodeling our kitchen and the rest of the first floor (if money allows). We often look at this site for ideas so therefor i thought it would be a good place to solicit help and feedback.


I feel like i should give some background on myself. I'm a model maker by degree which means i design (CAD) and build physical prototypes for a variety of consumer products. So i'm a very hands on person and very rarely do i hire anyone to do anything for me, including home remodeling work. I've done some decent size projects thus far. Our last house i finished out our 1600 sq.ft. basement (wiring, drywall, ceiling, 3rd bathroom, etc.), designed and built an elevated (10ft) 600 sq.ft wood deck. Thus far on our current house i've remodeled the half bath, built a 400+ sqft stone patio and gutted a portion of our basement and built a bar. So needless to say, i plan to do as much of this remodel myself as humanly possible.


On to the task!


Below are some photos of our kitchen as it sat when we bought the house 3+ years ago. We've done nothing aside from replacing their clutter with our clutter :)


The first thing to note is that the "informal" dining area flows uninterrupted into the kitchen. Our plan is to eliminate this dining area and solely use the "formal" dining room since it rarely get's used. Here are some of our goals/wishes:

  • Replace or refresh the cabinets (we both like grey colored cabinets)
  • Replace broken casement window with new awning window
  • Remove textured walls (via skim coating) and paint a lighter grey color
  • Add backsplash (color and material TBD)
  • Replace countertops with stone (material and color TBD)
  • Create a larger and rectangular island since we are eliminating the "informal" dining area
  • Replace floor with plank system
  • Replace sink with apron/farmhouse style
  • Add/remove ceiling lighting as necessary
  • Replace sliding patio door with french door

Task #1 is to decide what to do about the cabinets as this will decide if we stick with the current floorplan or go to a new one (which involves all new appliances). Aside from being outdated, there's nothing wrong with our current cabinets. We're just tired of the wood look and not a fan of the raised center panel with all the nook and cranny detail work around it. We both like the simple shaker style with squared off main frame and flat recessed center panel. If we keep what we have, what sort of cost (do it myself or hiring someone) am i looking at to repaint cabinets like these? Are there any downsides with going this route?

Option B is to buy new cabinets. I'm being told to expect anywhere from $5k-$20k. And then there's the whole painted vs. foil debate which i'm still trying to understand. So we've scheduled a meeting with Lowes this weekend to get some perspective on what all new Kraftmaid of Shenadoah cabinets would run us.



(PANTRY IS TO THE RIGHT OF THE DOOR SHOWN IN THIS PHOTO. BASICALLY A CLOSET WITH BI-FOLDING DOORS)







Comments (68)

  • Sharon
    2 years ago

    I did not buy anything from Lowes for my kitchen reno, but i did use their online room planner. You can create and save multiple layouts. I found it easy enough to get the hang of. I tried a few others from sites but liked Lowes one the best. Start with saving a "basic layout" with room dimensions, windows, doors, etc. Then do a "save as" to keep your designs so you don't have to start over each time you want to create a different layout option. Good luck!

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Holy smokes batman!!....i like the activity on this forum!

    I'll try to go through and answer where necessary.

    Anglophilla..thanks for the input! I'll check out your recommendations.

    Rantontoo...I do believe i have the skills and tools necessary to build the doors, faces or the entire cabinet for that matter. The reason i didn't pursue this is because we wanted solid color at the time, plus the face-frames have rounded edges at the ends which i think would have looked goofy with squared off shaker style doors. i'll research your post.

    Open House...i'll check out your link.

    Jhmarie...Yes, we were planning to carry that them throughout the rest of the house. I planned to skim coat all the walls (we have this light, sandy texture), paint, new vinyl plank flooring and white trim. We do have solid wood panel doors and i planned to either have them sprayed (tough to spray in winter here in WI) or do it myself in spring by investing in a sprayer.

    Hillside...I'm definitely going to dig into the IKEA cabinets more!


    Here's what i've got done last night for a dimensional layout of our current kitchen.


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  • leelee
    2 years ago

    If you want to keep your fridge then you should enclose it so it doesn't look like a mistake. Make sure the door have room to open.



  • leelee
    2 years ago

    Are you and your wife going for a whole new style of decorating? If so what are you leaning toward?

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    As much as I’d hate to get rid of a perfectly good fridge, I think it needs to go in favor of a counter depth unit regardless of which route we go for the kitchen. That 33” depth sticks out like a sore thumb! Plus my wife really likes those new fridges that have the flex fridge/freezer space!

    We grew up in very plain, white walled houses. All 3 houses we’ve owned so far in our lives have been more of that country theme. So we want something different, brighter, more fresh and light.
  • leelee
    2 years ago

    If you have a garage big enough you can move the big fridge. Always nice to have that extra room.

    A standard fridge can look just fine as long as it has panels around and a cabinet above that comes out to the place where the doors begin. Looks built-in.



  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    leelee... understood. However, its more about how it looks when you come in from the garage door (door next to pantry) and from the living room (bottom left of my detailed view of the floorplan). It just sticks out so awkwardly from that wall that is directly next to it. I think it would look so much better if everything was kept more flush to that wall. However, the area where the fridge is currently is not 24" deep. That's why in my alternate plan near the top of this post i moved the fridge over where the microwave is currently and then put 12" deep cabinets in it's place.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Does anyone have a good reference post on building islands with IKEA cabinets? Trying to understand what cabinets you would use if you want an island that is deeper than a single 24" base cabinet but not as deep as two 24" bases back to back.

  • Laura Hill
    2 years ago
    Following...
  • modellie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    For the island you can use Ikea's shallow 15" deep cabs back to back with the 24" cabs. Or, if you need some deep cabs on both sides of the island, you can stagger them, so they fit like a puzzle. This makes it easier to connect the cabs to each other too.

  • Hillside House
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    We used one row of 24” cabinets, and then basically built a pony wall behind them out of 2x6s. I didn’t want storage on the seating side, because I think it’s a PITA to access, but felt like our island was disproportionate, and looked like a runway when it was shallower.

    When all was said and done, our finished island is about 11’ wide by 4’ deep.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    This is pretty close to what we were thinking for the island in terms of cabinet and open'ness underneath.


    There is only me, my wife and 11yr old son. So 2 spots with a potential 3rd at the end is more than sufficient for seating for us. Plus, with the open end extending halfway of the patio door won't block any of the light coming through.


  • backyardfeast
    2 years ago

    I'm hoping that you're going to get some suggestions on your layout, before you go too far down the cabinet rabbit hole. I have real concerns about the aisle widths in both your current layout and the proposed one. The standard advice is 48" aisles anytime you want two people to be able to pass each other, or open appliance doors fully and safely while standing in front of them. This is particularly an issue if you are moving appliances in and out of a kitchen reno. Please do read that "new to kitchens" link above. You can certainly go down to 42" or even in a pinch a little less, but it needs to be done judiciously.

    I would also caution about the gas cooktop with no venting. People do omit vents from time to time, and with induction, you could just about get away with it. But gas has volatile chemicals that are required to be exhausted for the safety of everyone in your home. Look a little more closely at appliance dimensions, too. Your cooktop will be 24" deep and have specific clearances required. the 1' of island behind it n a 3' span will not be useful for anything.

    Personally I think a 3' island is pretty narrow. Fine to do 3*6, but 3*10 may be a little odd looking. The photo you've posted above is at least 4' deep, and probably more like 50", as it has two 24" cabinets back to back, plus panelling, etc.

  • jhmarie
    2 years ago

    I suggest you sell the paneled wood interior doors and buy MDF white interior doors. This will avoid the paint cracks at the joints - doors have lots of joints. Paneled wood doors have more value then painted and are much easier to upkeep (I have a white door to my garage - hate it - gets dirty quickly around the handle) but if you are set on gray / white then sell solid wood or donate and get MDF replacements. At least you won't be chasing cracked joints every year.


    Consider the budget for the cost of transforming the entire house from warm to cool. As I said before, you can brighten and refresh to a more modern look less expensively if you think of combining warm wood and white, rather than the ubiquitous white and gray. Gray hardwood looking floors are already "out" in some areas. Natural hardwood is very flexible style wise and will not date the home.


    The floor in your picture above is great and works with the light gray cabinets.


    Some examples of wood and white - the first two pics are a remodel home that changed its white trim to wood:







  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Not sure if i need to pause this thread and reset to a new one focused on the floorplan or not....if so, just tell me.


    Based on all the great feedback ya'll have given so far, and even more reading and research on this site i finally have realized i need to go back to step 1 and come up with a good floorplan before i worry about the other details.

    So here is a more detailed drawing:

    Recap:

    The big 4 must-do's for us are:

    -Replace counter tops and sink

    -Remove "informal" dining area

    -Enlarge the island to now include what is currently the "informal" dining area.

    -Improve pantry situation


    Without moving walls, windows, doors, etc. i cannot envision a different layout for this kitchen. I cannot see a way to maintain 42-48" clearances, an unobstructed work triangle, ice-water-stone-fire, etc.


    The one possible, single layout i can come up with (which i illustrated very early in this post) causes a daisy chain of chaos...but here it is anyway:

    To maintain 42-48" between the island and surrounding items i cannot see the island being able to be any deeper than 36". To get that, the fridge has to go in favor of a counter depth one and it would have to move onto what is currently the stove wall. The cabinet that's currently next to the fridge would also have to go since that wall is only set back 17". So whatever is on that wall has to be 17 or less to keep the 42-48" clearance between it and the island.

    Now that the fridge is moved, the stove and microwave have to find a new home. This means we need a cooktop on the island and the stove would likely have to go into the pantry as a wallmount combo unit. The pantry could go into the shallow cabinets on the wall that requires 17" or less depth cabinets.


    Now with that said, if we keep going towards the island style i posted 3 post earlier, i don't think the island can be any longer than 8-9' long which would keep the sit-in end of the island at the centerline of the patio door. But as another posted said, a 3' deep by 8-9' long island is going to look like a runway. Plus, a cooktop on there is going to consumer everything up.


    What am i missing??!!!

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    P.S. Started looking for a "certified" kitchen designer. The best i've found locally so far only has a 4yr degree at a university in interior design and architecture with 9yr residential design experience......while she's not certified, is she qualified?

  • partim
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Glad to see that you're taking some of the good advice given to you on this thread.

    Your dilemma reminds me of my neighbor, who has lived in her home for 35 years with the original budget builder kitchen, which is starting to fall apart. Her problem is that she gets stuck at the design phase because she wants an island, but the kitchen is too narrow for it. And I think yours is too. Your space for the island is 11', and if you need 2 x 4' aisles, that leaves you only 3' for the island. That can't be changed without making compromises where you shouldn't.

    Throw out your preconceived notions and go back to the basics - you want a functional traffic flow. You want more counter space. You want counter-height seating for 2. That doesn't mean that you should have an island, in the same way that you have realized that "better storage" doesn't mean "pantry". Take a really fresh look at the possibilities. (Or think of it as an island attached at one end LOL.)

    For example, maybe you need a G shaped kitchen, with 2 seats on the peninsula. In fact, this would be somewhat similar to my very-functional G shaped kitchen. If you go this route, you may want to keep your sliding door with the opening to the left, rather than French doors. Or only have the left door functional. If you want to move the peninsula more to the left, you could have it free standing i.e. actually make it an island which butts up to the right hand glass of the door opening, i.e. a peninsula which is finished on all sides because it will show through the glass.

    And don't forget that you can sometimes move door openings to create better flow. For example, I eliminated your pantry and moved your dining room door to the right, which left a nice long counter beside the refrigerator. I bumped the refrigerator into the dining room too.

    Not all of these ideas will appeal to you but I just throw them out as food for thought. I think you're constraining yourself unnecessarily at the planning stage, by your focus on an island as the answer to your needs.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Partim...thank you for your suggestions! I did mention to my wife a few weeks ago about putting the island as you've illustrated and she immediately balked at the idea. I don't recall the reason, but i'll be sure to revisit that with her. Do you think the accumulative distance between ice, water, stone and fire (particularly between prep and stove) will be an issue?

    I also wonder if the 29" deep peninsula will be to narrow? To the left of the sink is the dishwasher and then a 12 or 15" wide cabinet. Wonder if it wouldn't make sense to increase the depth of the peninsula to eliminate that narrow cabinet. This would increase prep space on the peninsula and shorten distance between prep and stove.

    The wall the fridge currently backs up to is a load bearing wall. So doing any modifications to that wall would a fair amount of work, not to mention the return air vents that also run through it to the first and second floors.

  • jhmarie
    2 years ago

    One possibility is to do an island that is not built in. My island is a free standing piece. The drawback is it has no electrical and I have to sweep under it. It is moveable and I can adjust where I want it. I will admit I cheat on the distance to my island. It is about 40" between sink and island, and 36" between sink and range - the minimum. I have enough room around the other two sides, though some of my other kitchen furniture is too close technically - my pie safe is too close, but that is not the path through our kitchen. This works for us because I am generally the only cook and my daughters and I are in the petit range. My husband and son are tall, but not heavy. It would be a different story if we were a bigger boned, heavier family. My island is 36" by 50" and it gives me just enough extra counter space.


    https://www.houzz.com/photos/my-pics-work-in-progress-phvw-vp~109854052


    I got my island several years ago at an Amish furniture store, but you can probably have one made to match your cabinets if you get new ones.


    While you do not want an island too close to counters and appliances, you don't want it too far away to be useful either. I can easily get food from the fridge, or pull out a dish from the range or microwave and the island is right there.


    Some people mock up ideas with large cardboard boxes to get a better idea of how intrusive something really will be.

  • partim
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My peninsula is 36" wide, and there's 20" between the edge of the peninsula and the edge of the over mount sink. That 20" has a pull out with deep bins for organic waste and for garbage. And it's also one side of the lazy Susan, since my wall goes right across. Our dishwasher is at the end of the peninsula closest to the refrigerator. I don't really know about the accumulative distance. You'd have to think about that.

    As far as where we do prep, if it's something that will take awhile we use the peninsula. My husband and I like to cook together so one of us sits at the peninsula and the other stands on the other side, and also acts as the "go-for" person LOL. We also use the counter beside the refrigerator, or on either side of the stove, for prep. One advantage of your set up is that you won't have 2 corners that need lazy Susans.

    In our kitchen, that same wall is also load bearing, and also had some mechanicals. But we were still able to enlarge the opening in the wall when we renovated. I don't think it's a big deal to move an opening in a load bearing wall, as long as you will replace the uprights that you take out, with ones in a different place. I'm not an expert but it might be worth looking into.

    You've raised some valid concerns about the G shaped kitchen, but nothing that can't be resolved, I think. If you google for G shaped kitchens you'll find lots of different variations for where the appliances are.

    Think of it as an "attached island".

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Well, talked to my wife last night about the peninsula idea. She reiterated again that she does NOT want a peninsula in her kitchen. Aside from the aesthetics, she does not like the idea of a single pathway into the main working area of the kitchen.


    So it looks like i somehow need to make a 3' deep by X' long island work

  • muskokascp
    2 years ago

    At this point I would start a new thread looking for layout advice. Have a scale drawing of the proposed space and your initial plan. I haven't read the entire thread but there is some great advice here about aisle clearances and the downside to cooktops in islands. Have your wife read threads on going the induction route instead of a gas cooktop. Many people have made the switch and would never go back to gas. I would highly recommend it. Same instant control without the heat of gas or the mess. A 3' wide island would not be sufficient for a cooktop.


  • jubel_designs
    2 years ago

    Hi Matt, I attempted to build your kitchen, but didn't have much luck because your drawings are missing important measurements. I would recommend drawing an As Built of your space with architectural dimensions. Leave out cabinetry in the initial As Built and then add cabinetry, appliances, lighting, etc. to the next As Built version. You could even draw center-line dimensions to your plumbing fixtures and major appliances. This will help everyone help you. We need measurements from wall to wall, window & door widths, ceiling height, etc. Oh yeah, don't forget to post your As Built drawings! Thanks :)

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Muskokascp....consider it done!

    Jubel...Sounds like a good weekend project for me! I'll get rolling on it.

  • acm
    2 years ago

    Lots of good chat here and reality checks. I just wanted to add one: if you're switching to a gas range, you very much cannot skip the hood -- not just because people will want one for resale, but because the burning gas produces combustion products that you don't want to be breathing week after week. If you get a good hood that's vented to the outside, it should have a quiet setting for basic stovetop business.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Maybe i'm anti-hood because the one above out current electric stove doesn't do squat and vents back to the inside.

  • Cyndy
    2 years ago

    Matt - once you have a great functioning hood you won't know how you did without it!

  • leelee
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Island free standing is a good idea.

    This really opens up the kitchen. You could add an overhang if you wanted seating.




  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    If i don't have room for a stationary island, how would a freestanding one be any better??

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    2 years ago

    Because when you realize you don't have room for it, it's much easier to move out of the way : ) .

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Just thinking out loud for a moment.


    If i relocated the fridge (not shown since i'm not at my computer with CAD program) and took out the 24" deep cabinet next it and put 15" deep cabinets on that wall. Add a 4'x8' island (shifted to left to allow for 48" path), i would have 40" between the island and wall. Drop the depth of the island to 44" and then i have 44" which clears Rule 8 for traffic clearance if someone were sitting at the island.

  • partim
    2 years ago

    Where would you put the refrigerator?

  • Hillside House
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    You could put the fridge where you’re pantry is currently. You will lose some storage space, and your layout isn’t optimal, but it does give you your list of wants.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the island extending out of your kitchen space. It just feels... hacky, like you renovated and wanted to fit in an island no matter what. (Which is true, but still.)

    Have you considered a bi-level island, really more of an attached table? That makes sense to me, visually, if it lines up with the boundaries of the kitchen proper.

  • chindman39
    2 years ago

    Matt, when we sold our home our real estate agent said we had a 2 butt kitchen. Two people could be on the same side open bottom cabinet doors on both the island and wall cabinets this allowed room for more than one cook to use cook top, ovens and refrig. without waiting for someone to move. Also on pantry doors had shelves to hold spices of all sizes One door was spices and herbs and the other door held all the baking spice, extracts, etc. .Obly thing I missed was pull out shelves for the food containers. inside the pantry itself.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    So we had our Lowe's meeting this weekend and spent 4hrs with the "Cabinet Specialist". This is the layout we ended up designing with her:

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The island shown in that layout is 39" x 9'. They had an island in the store that was near identical to this and in person i didn't think it was to small or runway'ish. I'm thinking we could bump it to 44" and still maintain all the clearances.

    Right now that overhang on the island is 29". We drew in some legs but they looked horrible. She did not reccomend doing more than a 10" unsupported overhang. So she was going to look into those flat steel bars that run along the top of the cabinets and are basically invisible. The hope is we could use those to support 19 of that 29". I also personally don't like the ratio of the overhang to supported section. I feel like we need to take away a row of those 18" cabinets so that we have 47" of counter without cabinets below (yes, i know it needs to be supported).

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The quoted price for this setup in Kraftmaid with particle board boxes, foil fronts, plywood ends was about $18k without the discounts. They have 20% off on Kraftmaid plus 50% of premium finishes brings it down to about $15k.

    A near identical layout in Shenadoah painted full overlay was around $10.2k with discounts.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The only structure type mod that both options required was the removal of the 2 walls of the pantry so that a full cabinet setup could go in it's place.

  • Kathi Steele
    2 years ago

    Well, I'm going to be the first one to say it. Cook top on an island is a HORRIBLE idea. Plus, there is not enough space where it is for pot handles, etc. Move the fridge to the space to the right of the door on the other side of the ovens. Move the cooktop to the fridge space. You need a GOOD hood to vent that cooktop and on an island, you cannot do it well.

    Search Houzz for cooktops on island in advice and see what everyone says. The layout they "designed" is bad.

  • partim
    2 years ago

    I strongly recommend that you and your wife go through the steps outlined in Kathi Steeles' post from last Monday. I've seen some truly awesome kitchens designed by the folks on those Kitchen forums. Not just because they look good or have the latest trendy design (aka an island), but because, according the people using them, they function very well for how they use them.

    Your Lowes design is a "give the people what they ask for" design. You asked for an island and they gave you a design with an island. Aside from the island cooktop issue that Kathi identified, everything seems jammed into one corner of the kitchen. I can't imagine 2 cooks using it.

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    After some more thought and research, i think we are going to have another floorplan quoted. On this plan we will put the fridge where the wall mounted stove combo is shown on the illustration 4 or so responses above. We will then put the stove back on the wall it is currently (as shown in original post) with no cabinets above it, just a full hood of some sorts.


    Not only will this reduce the # of appliances we must replace right away to just the fridge, but also give's us island top space back as well as the ability to put a nice hood in, in the event we go with a gas cooktop.


    Now we just need to find a place for the microwave with this layout.


    Thoughts on this?

  • Hillside House
    2 years ago

    So... the layout I suggested Saturday? ;)

  • partim
    2 years ago

    I don't know about everyone else, but I have don't understand what you are switching. What is "the illustration 4 or so responses above".

  • partim
    2 years ago

    Thought you might find this thread useful. There are some good posts in it about spacing. https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5534535/will-this-12-cabinet-in-the-corner-look-weird#n=33

  • Kathi Steele
    2 years ago

    Put the fridge where the bank of cabinets are in the Lowes design. Put the microwave on the other side of the doorway. Best to put the fridge where people can get to it without bothering the cooks!!

  • Matt
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hillside House...yup, you were the originator on that idea!

    Partim...sorry, i really wish this forum had numbered post for easier reference. In the black and white floorplan posted above (11/12) is what i was referring to. Basically keep our current stove/oven where it is but take out the 2 walls of the pantry and put the fridge there.

    Kathi Steele...what "bank of cabients" are you referring to? Which "doorway" are you referring to?


    Since this remodel has rendered by unable to focus and therefor useless at work, i've been messing around on IKEA's design program today. So basically, this is the new layout i'm talking about with putting the fridge in the current pantry area (the software would not allow me to put a doorway to the right of the fridge shown below):

  • Hillside House
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would switch the cabinets to the right of your missing door (where the fridge currently is) to floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets. I think the counter there will become a drop zone/junk collector, anyway, and you can probably use the storage since you're removing your pantry. If you're still looking for a spot for the microwave, you could also put it there, and use the island as the landing spot.

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    2 years ago

    following


  • Hillside House
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Matt, can you share the link to your IKEA plan? Email it to yourself from the planner, and that will include a link you can post here.

  • Kathi Steele
    2 years ago

    In this photo move the fridge to the right of the "doorway" and put the microwave where the fridge is......well the photo will not copy. The one above from 11 hours ago.