Kiss the Cook

The electrical work started this week, which means that slowly but surely we are now putting this house back together.  Right now the basement is being rewired, but we need to continue to make decisions upstairs to keep our schedule on track.  We’ve got the upstairs bedroom and the bathroom all planned out, but the kitchen had been giving me trouble.  Let’s start with the sad (but potential-filled) “before” layout:

Kitchen floor plan before: wide open spaces

The plan after the jump.

There were a number of special challenges with this room.  For one, remember back in February when I got a set of kitchen cabinets for free using Twin Cities Free Market?  Well it turns out that using custom cabinets that weren’t custom-made for your kitchen is somewhat like playing a game of Tetris from hell.  Additionally, there are two large windows in the kitchen but they are quite tall and low–around 24″ from the ground, in fact.  This is yet another old home feature, as I quickly found out from the MN Historical Society visual database:

I adore this photo for many reasons, but its also a great example of the tall, low windows often found in kitchens around the turn of the century. 1925 (Credit:

So of course we are keeping these windows where they are, but that means that there can’t be any cabinets in front of them.  Anyway, despite these challenges, I think we have (finally) come up with a viable layout for this room:

I was shocked at how difficult this was to put together.

Where to start?  I had to do a bit of research to figure out this layout.  For example, did you know that for an L shaped kitchen, the sink should be between the stove and the refrigerator?  (Well you do now)  Unfortunately, after placing the major appliances, I realized that there was no room for the dishwasher next to the sink.  Since a dishwasher apparently needs to be next to a sink, we’re adding a second sink!  The kitchen is well large enough for an island, so we’ll be putting the dishwasher in the island and adding a small salad sink there.  This will also give us more counter space, which was severely lacking.  We’ll put a breakfast bar on the west side of the island, for no other reason than I really like breakfast bars.  As long as we’re talking about the island, there is one other feature that you can’t see in the aerial layout view.  I was flipping through a kitchen remodeling book at the library a while back and saw this:

Yes, I took a photo of a page in a book. Im not paying 10 cents to use the librarys scanner!

What a good idea, right?  Between Paul and I, we have dozens on vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, and what’s better place for them than the kitchen?  Paul said he could make something like this pretty easily, so I’m very excited for that.

The only other major decision for the kitchen that is coming up soon is the flooring. We have a pretty good idea of what we’re doing there, which I will detail in a subsequent post.

So, what do think?  Please comment on things you like or don’t like–we’re just about in need of locking down our layout, but would still love any input we can get!

Update: another view of the kitchen plan:


About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on April 21, 2011, in Design, History, House, Renovation, Reuse and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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