Small Kitchen Layout--1920s Craftsman Puzzle--Please help!

May Fieldson
April 28, 2019
last modified: April 28, 2019


Longtime lurker, first time poster here. Seeking kitchen layout help for my small kitchen. I'm hoping you will have a look at my answers to Buehl's insightful list of questions for those seeking layout advice.

I did my best to answer thoroughly, its a little long, maybe an adult beverage would be in order…or...COFFEE!

Here we go...first the floor plan:

Now for the detailed kitchen dimensions. (Note that adjacent spaces with broad stroke dimensions are on the floor plan above.)

What are your goals? E.g., more counter space, more storage, seating in the kitchen (island? peninsula? table?), etc.

To begin, I'll mention a bit of context before I address our goals for this project.

The house is a true Craftsman constructed in 1923. The whole scale of the house is about 2/3rd scale compared to today's houses. In general the ceilings are a bit over 8 feet, all the rooms are in proportion and small.

An architect told us that the kitchen was too big AND too small--too big to traverse easily and too small for an island.

My partner and I have never actually lived in this house or actually cooked much in the existing kitchen, so we don't have deep personal experience to draw upon. The home belonged to my partner's father, now deceased.

We are now repairing/renovating the house. This entails new electrical, new plumbing, and a new energy efficient heating system with new insulation in various places. We were not really planning to remodel the kitchen (or the bathroom), in this go round, but you all know how one thing cascades into another... and here we are, hip deep in a kitchen remodel (the bathroom is next).

SHORTCOMINGS of the original kitchen:

Previous cooks have complained that the kitchen was difficult to cook in. I suspect it was because the legs of the work triangle were too long in every direction. The stove, opposite the sink, was 7 or so steps away. The refrigerator was located in the adjacent breakfast nook, 10 or 12 steps away from the range, 5 or 6 steps from the sink.

There was NO ventilation aside from opening a window.

The kitchen was also short on counter space. Storage seemed a little short as well. The lighting was okay, not great, countertops were shadowed at night. On the positive side, three windows (1 kitchen, 2 in breakfast nook) keep the kitchen bright and cheery most of the day.

Though the original 1920s cabinets were charming, they were low, limiting the usefulness of the counter tops beneath them. In addition, there was/is a traffic pattern that cuts directly through the work triangle.


Our overarching goal is to make the best use of a small space, for cooking, eating, hanging out, cleaning up, while addressing the shortcomings mentioned above as best we can.

Developing a workable layout has been quite the puzzle. We have wrangled with it and come up with several different approaches, some of which we taped out on the floor and mocked up with boxes and then "played kitchen" in. Somehow, all our designs have fallen short in one way or another.

I know that compromises have to be made, especially in a small space, I'm not looking for perfection. For example: One issue we may have to live with is a traffic pattern problem (see the orange "traffic flow" arrows in the floor plan).

We are aiming for something that is reasonably efficient/functional, attainable/affordable, and not a struggle to work in.

We are not attached to any specifics of HOW we can achieve this (for example, having a peninsula or island with seating). We are looking to make the most of what we have, whatever form that takes.

I'm really hoping that the kitchen design brain trust evident here will be able to crack the code… or at least help me evaluate the tradeoffs and make good decisions about what to do.

What is your family composition? Adults? Children? Age ranges of children? Current? Future?

My partner and I are in our early sixties, retirement is still a few years away. We do not have any children. After we finish the remodeling, we are planning to rent the house until we move into it.

It is likely that our prospective tenant pool will be young professionals.

How many kitchen workers are there? Cook(s)? Cleanup? Helpers? Now? Future?

Its just the two of us. There no other cooks, cleaners or helpers now, or on the horizon.

Do you or anyone in your home cook? (No, this is not a facetious question. Some people do not cook and their kitchen is a show place only. If that is what works for you & your family, that's fine! We just need to know that.)

Yup, cooking happens, I'm the primary cook. My partner occasionally makes a dish or two. We generally don't attempt to cook at the same time as we have different approaches. I read cookbooks and like my mise en place. My Beloved is more of an improvisational cook. He prefers to wing it, producing...um…mixed results.

I have cooked more than he has in the past, but its possible that he could become more interested in cooking when he has more time. I'd be delighted if he took a genuine interest in upping his game!

Often I cook, he washes the dishes. (I wash dishes too. We don't have a dishwasher.)

If useful--a quick list of some things I make in my kitchen (nothing fancy), otherwise skip ahead:

• Soups, Stews, Ratatouille

• Roast Chickens, sheet pans of Vegetables.

• Potatoes Au Gratin, occasional casserole dish

• Rice, Quinoa, Beans, Lentils

• Stocks/Broths

• Stir frys (occasionally)

• Pizza

• Crudites/dips, cheese & fruit plates

• Eggs, Omelets, Frittatas, Bacon

• Fresh Fruit, Granola,Yogurt parfaits

• Smoothies, Juices

• Salads

How do you see your kitchen used?

-- Just for cooking/cleaning up?

Yes, this would be the primary function of the kitchen proper, with occasional special projects. (see "Something else?" below)

-- Children doing homework while you cook?

No children, but my Beloved might very well be working on his computer and hanging out with me while I cook. This is a very likely scenario.

-- Party place?

Not so much, I'm an introvert and its a pretty small space. If the cook and three other people are in the kitchen/breakfast nook we are pretty much at capacity!

-- Something else?

• The laundry possibility: We have considered putting a washer and dryer into the breakfast nook, under the right side window. If we do, we'd likely be folding clean clothes and sorting clean socks on the table in addition to eating, computing etc. (though not at the same time!) Dunno if a laundry is the best use of this space though. It might be better in the garage (but the down side of that location is a lot of traipsing across the deck and yard to get to the garage when its raining….)

• I aim to grow food, herbs and flowers at this house, so workspace in, and around, the sink for washing/flower arranging comes to mind (in addition to the primary uses of food prep and clean up).

My partner is a beekeeper and so far we are processing the frames of honey in the kitchen (messy/sticky!) I may try my hand at jam making and canning. We'll see.

• I've been seriously considering one of the workstation sinks (Kohler Stages, Kohler Prolific, Franke Kubus). They seem like a great way to amp up the utility of the sink area and keep existing countertop space available for other tasks. I've perused the threads on these sinks here on Houzz and they seem pretty useful. I'd love to hear from people who have firsthand experience with these, both positive and negative. Please do chime in!

Do you entertain a lot? If so, formal? Informal?

No, we don't really entertain much at all. Any entertaining we might do would certainly be informal. We might have another couple over for dinner, or an occasional small gathering on the deck in the back yard. Did I mention I'm a bit of an introvert? ;-)

Do you want your kitchen to be a "hang out" place? Parties only? Everyday?

Yes, everyday…but only for few people besides the cook. There needs to be a table and chairs for eating, working on the laptop, reading a cookbook, making a shopping list, etc. somewhere in the breakfast nook adjacent to the kitchen proper. This space may very well end up as the only actual dining space in the house.

Historically the kitchen/breakfast nook has been one of the most used spots in the house. It is much more private than the dining room which is on the front of the house, very close to the sidewalk. The neighborhood is nicely walkable, there is a fair amount of foot traffic. People passing by can easily see into the dining room.

Do you have a separate DR? Do you use it frequently? Infrequently? If infrequently, do you want to begin using it more frequently (e.g., for daily/nightly family meals)?

Yes there is a separate dining room, in the front of the house which is considerably less private (see above). When my partner's father lived there it was a TV/hang out room. When the renter lived there, it was more of an office space.

With modern lifestyles being what they are, and the house being such a small one, I expect that this room will be most useful as an office or workspace of some kind, not used as a dining room. An irony: it has a built in china cabinet (which is very sweet)!

Would you like to open up the kitchen to adjacent areas? Close it up?

Do you plan to merge two rooms/areas (e.g., Nook and Kitchen into a Kitchen only)

Ah! Now we get to the heart of the dilemma.

In our meetings with the architect, she drew, and we pondered, probably 10 or 12 different ideas about reworking the dining room, kitchen, and sun room spaces.

In the end we discovered how tightly designed our little 1920s Craftsman house is--that removing or rearranging the walls might not be a win. In addition, the sun room space's floor is lower than the other rooms by about 4 inches and would have to be elevated to make the spaces truly contiguous (we think it was originally a porch that was enclosed).

So…that leaves us with the kitchen and the breakfast nook area to work with.

Kitchen proper square footage: 106

Breakfast nook square footage: 82

We'd like to preserve as much of the breakfast nook as we can for the dining/hanging out space.

We are aiming to keep appliances out of the breakfast nook area (potential location for a washer/dryer [under the right side window], table/chairs, etc.).

Do you have a basement under the Kitchen space? Crawl space? Slab?

There is a crawl space under the kitchen and the rest of the house, with the exception of the Sun Room, which is on a slab.

Where are you flexible?

-- Can windows or doorways change size?

-- Can windows or doorways be moved or eliminated?

We can NOT alter the door from the living room into the kitchen.

The "demi-wall/pass through" between the kitchen and the breakfast nook *might* be able to be moved or eliminated. Another alternative might be to narrow the pass through area with a peninsula, which would add counter space and some storage below.

My partner is not a fan of eliminating the distinction between the kitchen and breakfast nook entirely and/or and reducing the square footage the breakfast nook substantially.

However, I suspect merging the kitchen and the breakfast nook might be part of the solution. Any ideas you have would be *greatly appreciated.*

-- Can windows be raised/lowered?

Hmm… this might be a possibility, though I'm not sure it would help.

-- Does the sink have to be centered under a window?

-- Does it have to be under a window at all? (Sinks under windows are an old paradigm left over from the pre-Dishwasher days. Today, we spend far, far less time cleaning up; in fact, the majority of our time spent working in the Kitchen today is spent prepping.)

Good question!

Aging eyes need good lighting and mine see better in sunlight. Given that so much time is spent prepping, I think that having the sink under the window might be a good idea, but I'm open to hearing about other options.

That said, I'm also aware that the window is in the middle of what could be a long run of countertop and having it interrupted by the sink makes it less useful. I'm a bit on the fence here. Does it makes sense to prioritize the prepping and downplay the counter space? Or vice versa?

My Beloved chimes in: The sink location is also in keeping with the charm/character of a 1920's house. He notes that the "sink under the window" seems period and scale appropriate.

-- Do you bake a lot and do you want a Baking Center?

I don't think we bake enough to warrant a baking center, though it would be lovely, I'm sure.

I bake occasionally and again, nothing fancy--small bundt cakes, muffins, madelines, cornbread, spoon bread, cookies, granola. My Beloved bakes bread every now and then.

-- Do you want a coffee/tea/beverage center?

Again very nice to have, but I don't think we have room for it.

-- Do you want a snack center?



What appliances do you plan on having (it helps to figure out work flow, work zones, and types of cabinets...upper/lower vs full height, etc.)?

-- Range or Cooktop or Rangetop?

-- Single or Double or no Wall Oven?

Short answer: Some kind of 30" gas range.

Have considered electric smooth tops and induction and decided against them for a variety of reasons.

Long answer: Despite my considerable efforts I have not been able to settle this one.

I've made to multiple trips to appliance stores and have read many threads on Houzz, Chowhound and elsewhere. I feel like I have done my diligence and yet I'm *still* debating my current candidates, undecided. Rather frustrating for all the time an effort expended.

In my heart of hearts, I'd like a gas range top and a electric wall oven (So much easier to use, less bending over). It doesn't seem like we have enough wall space for a wall oven. <sigh> This arrangement is also quite a bit more expensive than a regular range, which is a consideration given all the other work we have to do.

Thus, I've focused on 30" gas ranges in the middle and upper end of the "consumer" product lines, primarily GE because they seem to have service available in our area.

I've been dismayed by the questionable quality of many of the ranges (especially mid price and below), and the prevalence of (flakey) electronics that apparently don't cope well with the heat exposure. Its also disappointing that many seem to be shipped with manufacturing/electronic defects. I realize that people are more prone to post a complaint than a positive experience, but even so, if the same failures show up repeatedly, it does seem there are actual problems with the products.

Seeking to avoid the electronics/circuit board issues, I started looking at the simpler, more "mechanical", more expensive ranges and found I liked the open burner Blue Star the best. However, I don't' really need all that high heat and I'm a little nervous about putting that fire breathing piece of equipment in a house I will be renting out for a few years, especially with the scary convection problem I discovered in some of the Blue Star threads here (resolved now?). It might be waaaay to much firepower for a rental--and yet, its built like a tank and would likely survive the rental experience better than the GE. In addition, they are pretty pricy, (especially new) to say the least.

By chance, there happens to be a 30" Blue Star sealed burner (ironic, eh?) floor model at one of my local appliance stores for a good price, similar for what I would pay for a new GE (model #CGS986SELSS) we are also considering. These are my front runner candidates at the moment.

In a perfect world I'd be spending less than these two options suggest, maybe between $1200-$2000 on a range for the time the house will be a rental with a thought to upgrading when we move in. The problem is, I haven't been able to find anything that seems presentable and robust enough for a slightly high end rental.

The Samsung and LG appliances are feature rich for their price, but they are apparently UNrepairable in our area.

In addition, since the hood must be chosen to accompany the stove, and all the stoves are a little different in their installation needs, maybe its a false economy to think that I could come out ahead by installing something cheaper now and upgrading later?

Opinions? Recommendations? RANTS!!??

-- Warming Drawer?


-- MW? (Advantium, MW Drawer, OTR MW/Hood, countertop, built-in, shelf?)


We don't actually use a microwave, but our potential tenants might.

We are thinking that countertop models are available if the tenant's want one.

- DW? Standard or drawers? If drawers, 1 or 2?

Since its just the two of us, it seems that it would take quite a while to fill up a standard dishwasher, so I have been considering the dishwasher drawer approach. Haven't decided on 1 or 2 drawers.

I guess another option is to omit the dishwasher completely, it might simplify the layout puzzle some. A cabinet designer told me this would be a mistake. Whaddaya think?

-- Refrigerator (French Door (FD), SxS, or all-fridge/freezer? Counter-depth (CD), standard-depth, or built-in?)

We are thinking that a 36" counter depth, bottom freezer might be the way to go. Do NOT want water or ice in the door.

If we could arrange the layout such that a standard depth refrigerator would work, we would certainly be open to that (and save some $$$).

(Does anyone have any recommendations?)

I have noticed than many folks in these threads choose to lowball the fridge and prioritize their appliance budget on the range and hood.

-- True ventilation hood?

Absolutely! Was thinking that maybe a Zephyr model with 600 CFM or so, more research to do here. I realize that I need to nail down the stove choice before I can accurately spec the hood. (Recommendations?)

By the way, the distance the vent has extend to exit to the roof is short, and will be a straight shot, no turns.

-- Other?

The water quality in town is not that great in general and the water is *hard* so we have been considering an under sink water filter arrangement OR a whole house water filter/softener. The whole house approach would definitely be more expensive, but would also be better for all our new plumbing and the water related appliances and fixtures.

Have not delved into this much yet, I'd really appreciate recommendations for good systems and warnings about bad ones, if anyone has any experience to share. There is much to know about this topic, and could certainly use some help with this one.

--Sizes of desired appliances (e.g., 30" or 36" or 48" cooktop; 36" or 42" or 48" wide or other Refrigerator? etc.)

To summarize:

• 30" gas range (most likely--not a range top and wall oven, sadly)

• 30" or 36" range hood, 600 CFM, and quiet

• 36" counter depth refrigerator, bottom freezer, no ice or water in the front door

(though open to a standard depth,

if that could be made to work with the layout)

• a Disposal (have not looked into this yet--recommendations?)

• a good sink (workstation type? what size?)

Pantry... Built-in or cabinets?

-- Types of built-in: Reach-in, Step-in, Walk-in

-- Note that built-in pantries are the most cost effective and the most functional.

Oh, what a luxury a pantry would be! I'd love to have a pantry, but I don't think I have room.

The most I could hope for would probably be a reach in.

-- In the Kitchen or outside the Kitchen (e.g., Mudroom or hall)?

Again, something I'd love to have, near the front door. A place to land, set your bag down, take your coat and shoes off, etcetera. I have thought about a little bench and some wall hooks, that might be as close as I can get to the mudroom idea.

****** Very Important *****

Is there anything you:

Cannot live without?

The set of appliances detailed above.

Definitely do not want?

Water and ice in the fridge door, a microwave.

Would like if you can find a way?

A wall oven, the right workstation sink, a pantry. Sufficient counter space adjacent to the stove, sink and fridge.

In closing...

I am thinking about this whole project along the lines of a universal design/aging in place perspective. My partner and I are healthy, active, and intend to be so for a long time to come. Yet, life is unpredictable. Should anything unfortunate happen, I don't want to be struggling against bad design decisions in the kitchen on top of everything else.

I'd like to thank you for making your way through all this. I'd also like to take the opportunity to say a heartfelt Thank You to all the folks who choose to share their opinions and expertise with those of us struggling with our kitchen design/remodeling. I have learned a great deal on a great range of home improvement topics from reading various threads on this site.

Its a very kind and generous thing your are doing by sharing your insights and experiences. I, for one, am grateful for your consideration. Its much appreciated. As the Aussies say, "Good on ya." :-)

Looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

Comments (51)

  • emilyam819

    I haven’t gotten very far, but I’m thinking if you made the cased opening to the breakfast room on the left 12” smaller, you’d have more room for cabinets to run into that wall.

  • scottie mom


  • Related Discussions

    U-shape Kitchen puzzle - Please help!


    Comments (22)
    The cabinets are dark cherry the granite is Gialllo ornamental and we took a risk with backsplash. I was worried it would look busy but we love it. It is sassi earth mosaic tiles. We don't have a pantry so we stole some dining space for extra storage, we had no option and couldn't do a full pantry. more pictures
    ...See More

    Need help on kitchen remodel. (Contemporary/Craftsman style)


    Comments (13)
    I like the direction you're taking this--the old kitchen layout would drive me crazy with the range on the peninsula like that. We're getting ready to start a big kitchen gut (1905 kitchen needs to come into the 21st century while still looking like it belongs!) too--I've found so much good stuff here. Some thoughts and links: Can you believe this hood is actually made out of wood (the link takes you to the DIY page)?! We're going to do something quite similar when we priced the metal hoods like you posted above. This kind of shape seems to help with cabinets right next to the hood. At the same time, I've seen lots of photos of kitchen range hoods that leave some &quot;negative space&quot; between the hood and adjacent cabinets. I've also found this post super helpful in thinking through the layout (and it's funny!). Seems like you have a decent order of Ice (fridge), Water (sink), Stone (countertop), and Fire (range) without having to backtrack. I've &quot;walked through&quot; a bunch of different cooking scenarios with the layout we're going with to see if I'm backtracking or bumping into people. In &quot;walking through&quot; prep and clean with your layout, the only two things I would potentially consider differently are: 1) maybe a small worktable / island in the middle (I think there's room but search on Kitchen NKBA, I think they have needed space measurements for walkways, etc. all listed there) 2) maybe consider the DW in the peninsula (where I think a MW is currently positioned)? If someone is cooking and needing the counter space to the left of the range (most obvious prep space) and someone else is cleaning as you go (now isn't that just every cook's dream?!), you could have some people at really cross-purposes and potentially barked shins and/or ingredients taking a nose dive into the the DW (I know people say you can cook in the DW but hey, that's a gorgeous range that would go to waste). Just my thoughts. It's exciting, alarming, and crazy-making to renovate a kitchen, isn't it? I hang on to what I know is going to be super worth it in the end! All the best!
    ...See More

    Working on a 1911 Craftsman Kitchen Remodel Project


    Comments (16)
    I don't care for a cooktop on an island, but that's my prejudice. Functionally, though, for effective venting, you'd need a more expensive island hood, which would break up the sight line. If you remove the wall on the left, you'll still have to deal with traffic from the back door, so I'd put the fridge on the left, sink/DW on the island, and range on the back wall between windows. Removing the wall between the kitchen and LR would make it more open, but eliminate that space for storage, and with no uppers on the range wall, you might need the shallow pantry. Also, dirty dishes on the island would be in view. The DW and dish storage are on the DR side--easy for a helper to unload the DW and set the table while you are prepping and cooking. I'd suggest a vented hood, 6&quot; wider than the range, since there are no uppers to help contain steam and grease. This rough layout is based on the posted plan--as acm mentioned, a measured drawing will help us with details.
    ...See More

    Need help with small 11x13 kitchen design in craftsman home!


    Comments (8)
    All new cabinets; big drawers instead of base cabinets; real corner storage instead of blind cupboards; built in trash/recycling; reworking sofits and lighting to get in higher wall cabinets; moving fridge and building tall pantry cabinets around it; cookbook storage on 19&quot; wall (and/or shifting the door to allow full-size cabinets there instead of a dumb narrow cabinet on the other side of the door); new flooring; more lights. I think you want a kitchen designer, and also to plan to work in the mud room space right from the beginning. All your millwork is beautiful, but it can be salvaged when you start yanking down the rest to inject some sanity.
    ...See More
  • Sara
    Just wanted to say I admire your thorough consideration of your options and wishes-what a well thought out post!

    Re fridge-that’s exactly what we are looking for, too. I want reliability above all else, so no water or ice in the door. Stay away from Samsung at all costs-ours has been a nightmare and our repair guy has said he works on them constantly. I am leaning towards a simple fridigaire or whirlpool. Not super expensive and won’t kill me to replace in a few years.
    May Fieldson thanked Sara
  • Lyndee Lee
    Where is your main entry to the house? Is primary transport by car and where is it parked...garage, driveway or street parking? What is your climate? Since you mentioned laundry in garage and crawl space, I am thinking a reasonably mild area so bulky coats are not a major issue
    May Fieldson thanked Lyndee Lee
  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    Is the built-in original to the house or a later addition? If it's original you should try to keep it. Without photos it's hard to say, but here's a perfectly charming new old kitchen in a craftsman for inspiration:


    ETA More photos linked at the top of the OP on that page. She also had to deal with multiple inconvenient openings, although her kitchen is smaller overall than yours.

    May Fieldson thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    Just wanted to say I admire your thorough consideration of your options and wishes-what a well thought out post!

    Agree 100%!

    May Fieldson thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • partim

    With your small space, I wouldn't keep a room (dining room) that doesn't do its share of the work. You say it may be used as an office by renters for a few years. That wouldn't be a good enough reason for me to keep it.

    What you are remembering as a home office is no longer needed or wanted by the young professionals who are your renters. With people using laptops and online documents, working at home doesn't mean big computer sets ups, paper storage and fax machines. You just need a comfortable chair and maybe a small work surface. Your potential renters will be more impressed by a large functional kitchen, especially since your sunroom seems to be a good alternate place to sit and work if the other rooms are busy or noisy.

    The loss of privacy because of the front-facing windows can easily be remedied by light-filtering bottom-up blinds or non-permanent window frosting on the lower panes. If you want a nicer view, some taller shrubbery in the front might also be planted. And how glorious that you will be getting light in your most-used room from 3 sides!

    We went through this decision when we renovated, deciding whether to remove the wall between the family room and kitchen, to use some of the family room space for a large harvest table. Our decorator's comment was "how else are you going to get the space you need without an addition?" We love our spacious kitchen and never regretted it.

    With the dining room space, you will have ample room for everything you need including laundry, an island/peninsula with a bit of secondary seating for more extensive food prep on a durable surface e.g canning. Otherwise, you still have a cramped kitchen and potentially 3 living-room type areas (living room, sun room and dining room), where you really only need one or two.

    May Fieldson thanked partim
  • Lyndee Lee
    How much do you value retaining the craftsman vintage charm against the modern trend of opening up spaces? You have a lovely large living room so I would not have a problem with a smaller kitchen and eating space if it was workable.

    One option is to narrow the breakfast room opening to 48 up to 54 inches which would leave wall space for cabinets. With careful detail work, you could close up the space and not look cramped

    Another idea is to put in a laundry stack opening into the breakfast room and stealing a corner from the kitchen. I could see laundry in the left corner balanced by a matching size space from the right side used for a pantry. This would create a short tunnel type opening between the kitchen and breakfast nook. You could manage to grab some space for a small landing zone, coat closet or other storage
    May Fieldson thanked Lyndee Lee
  • Bloomingbug

    Lyndee gets to the core of the situation: vintage charm vs. trying to make a style intended to be cozy into something more open. I highly recommend the series of books by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen: Bungalow Kitchens, Bungalow Bathrooms, Bungalow Details: Interior, and Bungalow Details: Exterior. These books are based on real-world experience by the authors and offer a range of renovation options from purist to compromise.

    May Fieldson thanked Bloomingbug
  • katinparadise


  • damiarain

    Great post - on my phone right now, but a quick question: sorry if I’m being blind, but I don’t see a doorway between the kitchen and living room? It looks to be a solid wall?

  • partim

    A couple of questions. I read your comment "see the orange "traffic flow" arrows in the floor plan" but I don't see that anywhere.

    Also, you say We can NOT alter the door from the living room into the kitchen. but I also do not see a door there. Which door are you referring to?

    Thinking about your sun room, last summer we lived for 3 weeks in a renovated Edwardian home in Shropshire, which had a 4" step down, right across the middle of the kitchen. The refrigerator, cutlery drawer etc were on the top part, and the stove, sink etc on the bottom part. We cooked almost all of our meals there. The first 2 days we tripped a few times, then we got used to it and never noticed that we were stepping up and down.

    If you did raise the floor in the sun room, would you need to change any of the doors and windows? Or would it be flooring only? Ceiling height? I would seriously consider it.

    Which way is north in your house plan?

  • May Fieldson

    Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to my post. I'm only getting to see them now after a busy day and will answer in more detail later this evening.

    But first , I have to call out a mistake I made and offer my gratitude to those who discovered it. Both damiarain and partim asked about the door I said we cannot move "from the living room into the kitchen", because they didn't see a door between the living room and the kitchen in my floor plans. Yup, they are right there is no door there.

    What I meant to say is that we cannot move the door from the Kitchen to the Dining Room.

    Apologies for any head scratching spatial confusion caused by my misstatement. Hats off to damiarain and partim for noticing the discrepancy and asking the question. Well done, and much appreciated.

  • partim

    What I meant to say is that we cannot move the door from the Kitchen to the Dining Room.

    Why not?

    If we stay in the original kitchen, this is a pretty obvious option, and probably one of the plans you've already thought of. The stove can't go on the outside wall because of the window, so the sink goes there. Stove and refrigerator opposite, with the stove venting out the roof. It meets the work triangle suggestions i.e. each leg of the triangle between 4' and 9', and the total between 13' and 26'.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    I like your idea for the peninsula, which will give you more prep space, and also put that space a step closer to the range. If you can use the back of the built-in as a wall, then I'd put the fridge there, which will put it a step closer to the sink/prep area. The only spot for the DW would be to the left of the sink, in conflict with traffic from the DR, but your kitchen is essentially a pass through so you'll have traffic no matter your layout.

    Or, to put the range in a more protected spot, put it on the built-in wall, with a tall pantry cabinet to the left (of the fridge):

    Kudos to your beekeeper partner for the lovely bread. :)

    May Fieldson thanked mama goose_gw zn6OH
  • M

    Get a counter-depth fridge. Those few inches of extra space will make your already small space look a little bit less crammed. If you don't need a large oven, get an induction cooktop and a 24" wall oven (e.g. SpeedOven or CSO). Again, it'll gain you more space without really giving up much functionality. And it gives you more options to rearrange things so that the kitchen feels as if you didn't try to stuff it to the gills.

    May Fieldson thanked M
  • May Fieldson


    Yes, the dining room built-in bumps into the kitchen, and yes, we want to keep it. Its a china cabinet with glass front doors and a mirrored back splash--its a vintage, 1920s touch that really adds to the charm of the house.

    Forgive me, but I'm little confused by your suggestion:

    "if you made the cased opening to the breakfast room on the left 12” smaller, you’d have more room for cabinets to run into that wall.

    I clipped a section from the whole house floor plan with the area I think you may be referring to circled in purple. Please let me know if this is the area you are referring to, or other wise clue me in. I would like to understand.

  • May Fieldson


    So nice of you to compliment me on my attempts to think through and communicate my questions. Very kind of you. I have given it my best.

    Yeah, the fridge thing is a struggle. Actually the whole appliance thing seems to be in so many ways a roll of the dice.

    Bummer to hear you had such a bad experience with Samsung. At least you have a repair guy! There is no such thing in my area.

    Hmm… I'll have to check out the Frigidares and Whirlpools, haven't delved into those brands yet. One appliance person told me that Whirlpool makes a great many of the appliances in the US marketplace, but they are badged as another company. I believe that the appliances Ikea sells are Whirlpool

  • May Fieldson

    Lyndee Lee,

    You are asking some very good questions.

    The main entrance to the house is through a pair of french doors in the living room, at the top of the main floor plan originally posted. If you are headed to the kitchen with a bag of groceries, you will probably walk through the dining room into kitchen. Alternatively, you could also traverse the entire living room, the sun room and the breakfast nook to arrive in the kitchen proper.

    Primary transport might be by foot or bike. The car is for things you can't carry home on your person or your bike (grocery is a few blocks away).

    The car is parked on the street in front of the house (right outside the front door)down a few steps. The car rarely makes it into the driveway, which is up a little hill and a bit to narrow for easy use.

    Yes, you are right, we live in a reasonably mild climate, a coastal one in fact. We don't really need bulky coats and it is rare that it gets cold enough to freeze our pipes, but it has happened.

    To help everyone get a better idea of the situation, here is a new image of the floor plan. It has the entryway/porch added, larger orange traffic flow arrows, and a compass rose indicating North which partim asks about down thread.

  • May Fieldson

    To All,

    I have also reworked the floor plan of the kitchen so it includes the breakfast area, adding color coding and handwritten notes. I hope its more helpful/informative.

    I wish I could edit my original post to feature these updated images, but it doesn't seem like I can.

    NOTE TO PARTIM--some of these changes are in response to your questions, asked down thread

  • May Fieldson


    The built-in is original to the house. Here is a photo where you can see its glass front doors, and mirrored backsplash. By the way, it will be getting a fresh coat of paint. ;-)

    (ADD china-cabinet.jpg)

    Thanks for the pointer to Rudebekia's gem of a kitchen!

    This was certainly a puzzle--with the multiple openings *and* a significant level change. She did a splendid job making the most of her space and still managed to preserve the vintage character.

    Amazing how much she was able to do in such a compact footprint. An inspiration!

    (By the way, nice of you to agree with Sara on the thoroughness of my post-so kind!)

  • May Fieldson


    You really engaged my questions in a substantive way and I so appreciate your articulating your stance in such detail, very helpful.

    Allow me to share a bit more about out situation that has not been described in my original post.

    You make a number of great points:

    1) The home offices of the past with big furniture and equipment, is an outdated model. The potential young professional renters will likely need "only a comfortable chair and maybe a work surface." You also mention the sun room as an alternate workspace if the other rooms are noisy or busy.

    I agree with you on all these points. Its not that people need a special place to work anymore, its that this room is just well suited to the kinds o high focus, energetic activities I associate with working.

    The dining room is the sunniest, most open feeling room in the house to do things that take a lot of visual acuity and alertness. My renter chose to set up her laptop and standing desk in the dining room and worked from there. She also chose to home school her grand daughter in that room.

    It just has an energetic quality that lends its self well to those kinds of activities. And of course, it has a more public, less private vibe.

    As an aside, I'm sure you won't be too surprised to learn that the sun room gets too hot to hang out in in the summer.

    2) The loss of privacy in the dining room could be remedied any number of ways with shrubs, shades or sandblasted glass in the windows.

    These are all perfectly respectable solutions to the visual privacy concern, but thats not the whole story. The street is so close to the front of the house, we can hear passers-by conversations from the dining room and they can hear ours as well, especially in the summer when the windows are open. This is one of the main reasons it just feels too exposed for private life. This might not bother other folks as much as it bothers me. I'm an introvert.

    By the way, the small front yard was filled with large shrubs when we took possession of the house. They were dense, oppressive and made all the rooms in the front of the house dark. They didn't do a thing to muffle the sound of conversations. The house seemed much bigger when we removed them and sun poured into previously gloomy rooms.

    I like your suggestion about the bottom up shades and I think that is a great idea. I'm going to look into that.

    3) A large functional kitchen would be a more impressive, more attractive aspect of the house versus the smaller division of space than a dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, sun room, etc. would offer.

    Interesting point, one well worth considering.

    We have also wondered whether our potential young professionals will care about the kitchen at all. It is quite possible that they may not cook much, preferring to opt for take out/dining out.

    Early on, we considered opening up the whole right side of the house, which is what I think you are proposing--making the whole dining room, kitchen and breakfast room one gigantic room.

    It would be great for fitting all the kitchen appliances, work zones, hang out space, beverage and baking centers in. However, it would be completely out of proportion with the rest of the house. It would be a great bowling alley of a room, right next to the living room, two silos in effect.

    In the end the public nature of the dining room and the period charm of the built-in china cabinet in the dining room seemed to be best left alone. Thus we decided to focus on the kitchen and the breakfast nook/room as the spaces to rework.

    I'm delighted to learn how happy you are with your spacious, open plan remodel, and I'm a little jealous! It sounds like you made a lot of good decisions and ended up with a space that works well for you and your family--something I aspire to in my remodel.

  • May Fieldson

    Lyndee Lee

    You have identified one of the sticky wickets of our remodeling endeavor: the tradeoff of vintage charm versus modern open spaces.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence in maintaining the small scale of the rooms, that it is possible to do it in a way that would not feel claustrophobic.

    Your idea of narrowing the passageway between the kitchen and kitchen and breakfast nook/room to 48"or 54" is imaginative and intriguing--a completely new idea!

    I did a quick check on dimensions for laundry stacks. They might not need the full width that narrowing the passageway would allow for, if apportioned equally to both sides of the room. Of course, laundry equipment comes in a range of sizes, so there's that.

    I would LOVE to have a pantry, that would be grand! I could also use the small space for a broom closet.

    Very cool, unconventional Idea, just the kind I am looking for. Thank YOU, Lyndee.

  • May Fieldson


    Ah, you have sung the siren song of "books" to me. I ADORE books and have found the Bungalow and Bungalow Bathrooms in my local library's database. I will be heading the library ASAP.

    Thank you so much for the pointers.

    Yes, you are so right about the ongoing issue of how to keep the charm and yet make things actually work in today's world. Its a non-trivial dimension of the puzzle.

  • May Fieldson


    Regarding the "orange traffic flow arrows in the floor plan" that you aren't seeing.

    I initially posted two images of the floor plan--one is the whole house, and one is just the kitchen proper. The orange arrows are in the whole house floor plan. Is it possible that you were looking at just the kitchen image?

    You were also asking about where North is in in the floor plan.

    I have reworked the image of the whole house floor plan to include the entryway (which Lyndee Lee asked about), enlarged the orange arrows, and added a compass rose to indicate North.

    Please scroll up thread to find the new images.

    Thanks so much for telling me about your visit to Shropshire with the bi-level kitchen, very interesting to hear how quickly you adapted to the change in level. Good to keep in mind.

    RE: the question about raising the sun room floor, YES we would need to change the french doors that lead out to a deck that is currently the same level as the floor in the sun room. That change was one that had all kinds of repercussions in terms of the local code. We could have lived with the windows and a lower ceiling.

    After we considered all the changes we'd need to implement to elevate the floor, we decided to bail on it because it was going to be so expensive and we had so much other stuff to do (electrical, plumbing, heating, etc.)

    Its would be a great thing to do, but we just decided that we couldn't afford to do it now. Who knows, maybe we'll take up this challenge after we have a few years of rent to finance it.

  • May Fieldson

    Hello Mama Goose,

    Delighted to see you here, thanks for chiming in!

    You are absolutely right, the kitchen is essentially a pass through and we will have traffic through the triangle, no matter what.

    We are definitely thinking of the back of the built-in as a wall.

    I'm quite intrigued with your proposed layouts, I think both of them are pretty functional and the photos attest to the personable, inviting quality of a peninsula element--lovely.

    Although they look similar, they offer different affordances and efficiencies.

    Design 1

    --shorter trip for fresh produce to the sink

    --longer trip from the sink to the range

    --more "elbow room" and countertop area around the range to work/set down

    --lots of space left of the fridge to unload groceries

    --a little less light coming into the room from the dining room (tall fridge)

    Design 2

    --longer trip from for fresh produce to the sink

    --shorter trip from the range to the sink

    --less countertop area to the right of the range to work/set down

    but plenty on the left (I'm right handed).

    --set down space on the peninsula for unloading groceries into the fridge and …PANTRY!

    --a little more light coming in from the dining room (countertop height range)

    Another possible advantage to Design 2 is that I might be able to minimize the need for upper cabinets, which would make the kitchen seem bigger. I know its a tradeoff (light and openness vs closed storage). Opinions?

    Given that most of the time in the kitchen is spent prepping does it make sense to prioritize the fridge to the sink pathway?

    That said, I notice that the way I cook (mise en place--bowls of ingredients that I tend to dump in the sink as soon as I use the ingredient, rinsing off the knife when I decide at the last minute to add garlic) I end up needing the sink a fair amount.


    I'll certainly pass your Kudos along to my beekeeper for his "bee bread". He'll be tickled.

  • May Fieldson


    You have made some excellent suggestions here.

    Yup, the counter depth fridge does seem like a good call, we have been strongly considering this size/style. Your recommendation is noted.

    As you probably already know, I'd love to have a range top and a wall oven. I have also been intrigued by the CSO option. They seem very versatile. I love the idea that it would be smaller and the kitchen would feel larger as a result.

    Unfortunately I don't have a good idea about where we could place a wall oven. We are still wrangling with the layout, by all means speak up if you have a solution!

    I guess I'm thinking that I need to have a conventional oven because we will need to rent the house for several years before we move in and its already a slightly quirky, small, old house. I don't want the lack of a "regular range" to be yet another strike against it in a competitive rental market.

    Regarding the induction: Though there are certainly positives, we decided against it because we'll be renting and the glass surface is not as durable as cast iron. In addition, we didn't feel we wanted to either provide cookware or render the prospective tenant's cookware un-use-able with an induction cooktop/range.

    The appliance decisions have been surprisingly complex. I had no idea how many options there would be to consider in every appliance category. Then there are the reliability issues and local service availability if there is a problem.

    Despite hours expended, I am still working to identify my particular makes/models.

  • emilyam819

    Yes, May, the wall you circled in purple was the wall I meant. Sorry I did not explain clearly. I meant that if you make the wall a but bigger (opening smaller) then it would make more room for the cabinets. But as long as the wall is at least 24” and the fridge wasn’t there, it’s fine.

  • May Fieldson


    BOO! I attempted to add the image of the china cabinet for you and blew it! Here it is, at long last:

    Did I mention that we will be repainting it? It was supposed to be a much softer peach.

    Paint colors are tricky. I've learned my lesson.

  • damiarain

    Lovely china cabinet (color not withstanding ;)

    Here is a layout with the opening between the breakfast nook & kitchen completely removed. Which I realize you may not be interested in, but thought seeing it wouldn't hurt =)


    - space for cooktop + separate wall oven

    - washer & dryer added to the nook

    - DW can go on either side of the sink (depends if it's more annoying to have it ~block the doorway to the dining room or more annoying to have it between sink & fridge)

    - trash could go under the sink

    - that's a 36" cabinet for the sink - so lots of room for a nice, large, single basin sink! #teamSingleBasin

    May Fieldson thanked damiarain
  • M

    Having to rent things out does indeed complicate things a lot. Where I live, if the house has the majority of all four walls (a roof would be a bonus), then it'll rent out within 5min of listing; with two months deposit up front, and a hefty application fee.

    On the other hand, getting a tenant who'll treat the place nicely is a whole other question. Most landlords would be well advised not to install top-of-the-line appliances. In fact, if you plan on moving into the place after renting it out for several years, the normal thing to do would be replacing all the appliances when the last tenant moves out.

    That makes things challenging, as you need to build the kitchen so that it can accept the fancy appliances that you actually want (i.e. nice stove or range, CSO oven, counter-depth fridge). But it also has to be built so that it can accept "builder-grade" semi-disposable appliances. And those often don't come in the same dimensions. Also, the math has to work out, and the rental income has to provide enough provide to pay for two sets of appliances.

    The reality of things is, that where I live, nobody would put much effort into a remodel when putting a unit on the market. The remodel would happen only after pulling it from the market when the owner is ready to move in themselves.

    I assume things are different where you live, though. We have a uniquely tight housing supply.

    May Fieldson thanked M
  • May Fieldson


    Wow, what a beautiful rendered layout you have designed and modelled, thank you very much. Such a nice hardwood floor you gave us! ;-)

    Removing the opening between the breakfast nook & kitchen is absolutely fair game, we're brainstorming here. I'm delighted that you went for it.

    I do like the expanse of counter top adjacent to the cooktop, lots of space for my bowls of ingredients, spices, etc. In addition, I could actually have that wall oven I want!

    The laundry seems right at home there tucked in under the window, I think that could work out very well.

    The machines you chose appear to be full size machines, which is what I would prefer, much more capacity. (How does laundry accumulate so fast? Before I know it, its time to do it *all over again*.) A laundry in the kitchen would be so much more convenient than the garage.

    Seems to me that the dishwasher/DW drawer might be best located next to the fridge, as it wouldn't block the door to the dining room when it was open.

    YES, I want that big single basin sink! And trash underneath would be convenient and sleek.

    Very streamlined design, which I appreciate damiarain, well done.

  • May Fieldson


    I applaud your insight. You understand our appliance dilemma precisely--we are kinda damned if we do, damned if we don't.

    We will need to rent the house for a few years, and yes, it absolutely complicates things in multiple dimensions.

    You mention that in your area no one would remodel for a rental, delaying that for the time when they would be moving in. Makes sense in many cases, not in ours.

    In essence, our little house was uninhabitable. The plumbing and electrical systems were nearly 100 years old and failing. No working heat, *bitter* cold in the winter. There is so much more to say, but I'll just leave it there, I'm sure you get the idea.

    Now onto the rental situation--our housing market is tight too, though maybe not as tight as yours. As I peruse the listings to see what the competition looks like, I have noticed landlords upgrading their properties. More and more, upscale finishes and features are becoming common. This is also a piece of our appliance puzzle.

    Right now, I'm looking in the "higher end of the middle" of the consumer product lines, something with decent build quality and would be serviceable if need be (technicians and parts are available in my area).

    These options are maybe not exactly what I would choose for myself, but I would be okay with when we move in. Choosing appliances with installation requirements that are not so unique, such that a similar replacement in a few years (for us) would still play nicely with its surroundings.

    As I mentioned before, I'm still undecided as to which brands and specific products, despite giving it a really good try.

    This is the best compromise I have come up with. What do you think? What would YOU do?

    And on a different, yet related note:

    Yes, finding good tenants is crucial, no question about it. I've been a renter quite a bit myself, and I learned much from the experience.

    My approach with a small apartment we manage is to make it *spotless* and as nice as it possibly can be, given its modest charms.

    I/we also endeavor to be diligent, responsive landlords--staying on top of maintenance and such. We have had an abundance of great tenants, but I've also been surprised by some.

    I aim to take the high road, and in general they return the favor. So far, so good, ~20 years in.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    Thank you for the photo of the built-in. It's very charming.

    May Fieldson thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • May Fieldson


    You are welcome. I'm very pleased to see that you found the photo. Thanks again for the pointer to Rudebekia's clever craftsman kitchen.

  • cpartist

    Did I mention that we will be repainting it? It was supposed to be a much softer peach.

    Paint colors are tricky. I've learned my lesson.

    Did you know it probably wasn't painted originally but was stained?

    May Fieldson thanked cpartist
  • May Fieldson


    Yes, you are right. it was probably stained, as was the practice when it was built. The mantle and twin cabinets flanking it were probably stained as well.

    All of that woodwork was painted when the house came into the family, so we have never seen it stained, its always been painted.

  • May Fieldson


    Hmm...how to evaluate charming? I guess the most charming aspect of the breakfast nook might be the windows, (cottage style ) and we are not planning to change those.

    Your point about a charming old floor plan will never work for modern needs is a great one. This is exactly what we are wrestling with.

    If this were your house, what kind of changes to the floor plan would you consider?

    One aspect of this house that I haven't mentioned previously is that we do not have space on the lot to expand the footprint of the house much at all. The only space where we could put an addition on would be the back bedroom and that doesn't help with the kitchen situation!

    In the spirit on making do with what we have, I'm becoming more convinced that we are going to need to merge the kitchen and the breakfast room spaces into one.

  • M

    I am a strong believer in form follows function. I primarily design my house so that it is functional for what I need, and then I decide on design.

    This means, for an old house, I wouldn't have any qualms about sticking modern amenities and modern floor plans into a vintage shell. Some people would complain that this results in a design that isn't true to the original heritage. And they are correct; sort of. On the other hand, I feel that my approach is equally defensible.

    In other words, you have to decide for yourself just how far you want to move into either direction. And then of course, it's a matter of execution. It is all too easy to botch both form and function. But with some effort, it is possible to design a modern functional home and have the original vintage design-spirit prevail.

    And yes, in your case I think that means opening up the space between kitchen and breakfast room. It isn't authentic. But small rooms isn't what makes 1920's houses appealing. It was a pragmatic solution to poor insulation and high heating costs. We don't have those problems these days.

  • shadowpipersallie N

    My DB is in a similar situtation as yours. He planned on renovating a home, renting it for a few years and then moving into it himself. But he is in a hot rental market. He met with a realtor who advised him to do some repairs, painting, and a few changes required for legally renting. But she said not do do the "big" renovation now. She advised him to build up his nestegg with the rental income and then he would be able to have plenty of money on hand to do his dream renovation later. Depending on your rental market, a similar approach might be right for you. It might be helpful for you to talk to a realtor about it. On the other hand, if your rental market is slow, you might get the opposite advice.

  • Karenseb

    I really like Damien's kitchen layout with laundry. I suspect the W/D shown are the compact variety. I have a pair of compact front loaders with a counter on top (very handy space) My counter is 30 inches deep to accommodate the compact W/D. You need about 5 inches behind appliances for hookups! I would probably prefer the larger version, but then the W/D would be 5 or 6 inches deeper!

    I have gotten use to the smaller size and decided they are the best use of the space that I have.

    If you look, you may find some top loaders of an older style that may work, but everything is getting bigger!

  • M

    Miele is famous (infamous?) for making relatively compact washers and dryers. Everybody who bought them seems to really love them. They are very different from traditional American washers/dryers, but judging by the raving reviews they must be doing something right. I am afraid they'd be too small for our household. But your needs might very well be different.

    As all things Miele, though, they are not exactly cheap. If this is your own home to live in, I could see splurging and getting really nice appliances. But if this is a rental property, I wouldn't chance it. Renters tend to put a lot more wear and tear on appliances.

  • May Fieldson


    So great to hear your take on form following function. I think we share a practical streak.

    On the one hand, I'm not a preservationist, on the other I do want to be true to the spirit of the house. I'm not aiming to make it something its not, and I don't want to "over improve" either.

    I agree that its entirely possible to "design a modern functional home and have the original vintage design-spirit prevail". In fact, thats precisely the balance I'm striving to achieve.

    In my situation, honoring the vintage design spirit means keeping certain elements intact:

    --the cottage windows

    --the china cabinet

    --the built-ins in the living room flanking the fireplace

    I'm not as attached to keeping the kitchen and breakfast room spaces separate as my partner is.

    In the spirit of cooperation and domestic harmony ;-) I've solicited feedback on how we could fit everything in the footprint of the kitchen proper, and posters to this thread stepped up admirably (THANK YOU!!)

    Reading the comments here has allowed me to feel more comfortable with merging the kitchen and the breakfast room--that this might be the right place to "modernize". Considering the two spaces as one is beginning to feel…well…more practical to me.

    Your point about it being possible to botch both the form and the function strikes a cautionary note---Sheesh, that would be awful. Aiming to avoid this, on both counts!

    Thanks so much M, for your always incisive comments.

  • May Fieldson

    shadowpipersallie N,

    I think your DB got good advice about making minimal repairs and building his nest egg for the major remodel down the road.

    I don't know if you saw my previous response to M broaching the same subject: the wisdom of remodeling what will be a rental for a few years.

    Long story short--we are doing the remodel now because the house was pretty much uninhabitable. The electrical, plumbing, heating, systems needed total replacement. There was *no* kitchen ventilation, some windows and doors needed replacement, etcetera.

    Given that we had to rebuild all the infrastructure, it didn't really make sense to exclude the kitchen and the bathroom as they are so integrated with the electrical and plumbing systems.

    I am a remodeling newbie, I didn't understand the magnitude of what we were taking on. So, here we are, dog paddling as fast a we can, in the deep end of the pool.

    I guess its a familiar story.

  • May Fieldson


    I like damiarain's layout too! I wondered if the equipment she included in her layout were compact or larger sized versions.

    Great to know about the need for space behind the appliances for hook ups--crucial detail!

    What is it like to live with compact laundry equipment? Do you find that the capacity is sufficient? Do you have to wash your sheets and towels one at time? Does it take less time, the same amount of time, or more time to do the laundry?

    Another question. When I looked at washers and dryers at the appliance stores, it seemed that almost all the compact versions had condensing dryers. Is yours a condensing model? I've only had venting dryers and am curious as to what they are like to live with.

    Please do post again to let us all know the pros and cons as you've experienced them.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I agree that things are also getting bigger. There are some HUGE washers and dryers out there!

  • May Fieldson


    Yes, I've seen the Miele compact washers and dryers on the market. The small size is quite appealing, especially since we are tight on space.

    That said, I don't know if they would work for us either, even though we are just 2 people.

    I do hope that Karenseb will respond and let us all know about her experience with these compact units.

    Good to know that the Miele's compact equipment has garnered the good opinion of their users, thanks for passing that along. I haven't looked as closely at washers and dryers as I have kitchen equipment. The kitchen has been keeping me pretty busy, as you know.

    I agree with you about not splurging on the super nice appliances for a rental.

    I think I mentioned to you my deep descend into the rabbit hole of appliance land and how I had decided to focus on the higher end of the middle of the consumer grade product lines. I'm aiming for something that will perform reasonable well, for at least a few years, but I won't be crushed if/when have to replace it.

    Of course, I'll be missing out on that Blue Star when I move in. :-(

    Ah well, such is life.

  • May Fieldson

    To all,

    I got busy and was only able to read the occasional new post, didn't have time to respond for a few days.

    Today when I sat down to write I noticed that a couple of the postings that I had seen before seemed to have evaporated! Is it possible for a poster to remove their post? I'm a newbie here and don't know the ins and outs.

    There was one poster who shared a really unusual layout with a peninsula and a banquette that was very thought provoking, and I never got to tell them how interesting I thought it was. BOO! Who ever you are, I want you to know how much I appreciate your boldly striking out into new design territory, please come back!

    Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for participating and sharing their opinions and experiences. It continues to be really helpful. My thinking about what might be possible has moved in new directions. (Now, if I can just bring my beloved along with me ;-)

    I feel very fortunate to have discovered this place where I can learn from people who are engaged in the home improvement domain, as its a new one for me.

    Its been a bit overwhelming at times and your comments have been a big help. Hats off and a sweeping bow to all the generous souls here.

  • partim

    Yes, posts can be removed but I do see a layout with a peninsula by mamagoose.

  • Lyndee Lee
    I have a front load washer and dryer from 2002 which are GE Profile. The units are small and easy to tuck under a countertop. We did not go crazy with the dryer vent solution but we were able to get the unit to sit out about 3 inches from the wall so about 30 inches total from back wall. Look into the recessed vents for best space saving but you may need to be precise with the location of the connection. We bought them used about 10 years ago and they work great for us. We do have access to a very large LG machine across town for the couple times a year I want to wash a big comforter.

    When we remodeled this house, we decided to bring those units with us as they suit our needs and I would rather see the dollars in my bank account than huge, shiny new equipment in my laundry room. We are empty nesters and don't generate much laundry so the only time the dryer isn't large enough is when the DD brings 3 weeks of laundry and wants to finish it all in a couple hours. DH and I use a clothesline whenever the weather cooperates so dryer capacity is only an occasional inconvenience.
  • Karenseb

    It sounds like Lyndee"s washer and dryer are compact also. The Lg washing machine and Whirlpool dryer were in the house when we bought it 6 years ago. I looked really hard at remodeling the area. It is a mudroom/laundry/office space off the kitchen and looks out over the really pretty backyard. It has oodles of storage which I love, but it took a while to get used to the compact w/d. My husband still does not like them. The w/d smallness and the space constraints make it work for me. I have a king size bed and can fit both top and bottom sheet, but feel they wash better separately with a few small items. The dryer is the main problem, but it works.

    I have to take the sheet and other items out and put it back in to get the sheet dried evenly. Shirts and other items dry fine.

    I usually take one laundry basket and sort it into lights and darks and do two loads at a time. If I had to run to the basement or garage, I would definitely get a larger W/D.

    If one of these machines break, I am hoping GE still sells the vented model and will probably get GE as a new pair.

    The bigger problem you may encounter would be the noise from the machines. The washing machine is fairly quiet, but all dryers are noisy as far as I can tell.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268