Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreaming of change

This is my house. Well, it is an exact twin built by the same builder. A 2000 square foot split level built in 2000.
We were not in agreement over it, but it was the biggest and bestest house we could afford.
It also had the added bonus of being in the same neighborhood as my parents.
The boys were tiny and our house is directly next door and in front of community space, so we only have one next door neighbor, and a playground on the other side.
There was a huge drawback to this house though,

Like the layout of the kitchen! See the pantry, it is connected to the wall beside the refrigerator by a drywall beam. Like a fake doorway. The dishwasher is located in the island. What this diagram doesn't show is how if you open the dishwasher like this, you have to stick your booty in the cupboard behind you to stand near the sink to load it. And to unload it, you have to stack the dishes on the counter, close the dishwasher and then put them away.
Needless to say, it did not stay like this too very long...

(Picture taken from MLS but is exact replica of my old kitchen layout.)
About 6 years ago, I used an insurance settlement check, my dad, and my sister Angie to make it look like this.

By taking uff the island (peninsula?) and pushing the dishwasher and cabinet against the wall, I opened up the floor plan to give more room for loading and unloading the dishes.
Then, we removed the pantry and put it back up reusing the 2/4's in an alcove beside the refrigerator on the living room side. Where the original pantry was, we added a pony wall so we wouldn't have to move electricity. There is a plug in on each side of the pony wall and two light switches in the kitchen/dining areas.

In the kitchen, I added three new cabinets in an L shaped island. They are not an exact match to the existing cabinets, but the closest that were in my budget. Then, my big splurge...
I pulled up the linoleum (kitchen) and carpet (dining room) and installed oak floors.
Looks great, fits 6 people in the kitchen at a time, gives way more storage and counter space.
What could possibly be wrong with it?

When I reconfigured the kitchen I "borrowed" 11 inches from the dining room. You know, it is less than a foot, what difference does that make?

Even with the narrowest dining table, there is no room to walk around when everyone is seated, I actually go around the wall, into the living room, back into the kitchen or dining room if I have to go through.
The cabinet over the dishwasher is not centered, andlooks funny where it is.

Then there is the brass fixture which is no longer centered in the room.
And not one, but two seams in the laminate countertops.
and the fact that the wood floor is NOT under any of the cabinets.

I need to change something, I need to put more room in the dining room. I am willing to sacrifice one of the cabinets.
I am very tired of the oak cabinets, but the oak floor stays!
Got any ideas for me? Since I did the fireplace, I am interested in white, traditional, and crown moulding.
Oh, and my budget does not exist, so I am going to bee squeeking this out $50 at a time. ( except the floor) craigslist, and garage sales are my friends.
And so are you, so I would love to hear what you have to suggest!


  1. I am not good at this, but I can't wait to watch it unfold! And I love that you are so close to your Mom...that means if I get out there to visit, you'll be there too!!!

  2. Take out the Full sized cupboards that make the island and use upper cupboards as base cupboards.(I sure with all the handy people you have around you could cut the big ones in half.)
    They will take up half the space and still give you some counter top. We did that in our kitchen and I love that I do not have to crawl into the cupboard to get what was shoved into the back. I open it and can see everything.
    A smaller counter top would be big enough for food service and small enough not to be piled high with people's junk. (If they put their junk there anyways I'd make sure that it got knocked off!(but I'm mean like that!)) You could sneak some oak flooring in there with little notice too.

  3. I agree with Kris...we have a huge bar counter a the end of my counters. Larry put doors in on the other side for access (and yes it collects junk*er* stuff!) Cutting the counters down is very doable! In the mean time can you back the tabl up toward the door more and angle it a bit? That would get the chairs off the wall ( my pet peeve!)

  4. For your counter tops: Have you seen those granite counter tops that fit right over your existing counter tops? I don't know how much that costs, but it's supposed to be cheaper than slab granite. There is also granite tile at a reasonable price.

  5. Greetings - You have a very nice kitchen, so I am sure whatever you decide will look great! I did read your profile... You sound like a very loving and caring Mom. I am a single Mom with one 19 year old son - so I could give you advice on a teenage boy to use for your own sons! Which is: STAY ON TOP OF THEM AT ALL TIMES/KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Of course, they have to have SOME freedom, BUT not too much. And always try to eat meals together too! :)
    Best regards and good luck with the reno,

  6. I'd suggest paint, first for those cabinets if you're not happy with them. The fixture you described as "off center" could probably be moved a few inches by whomever installed the electrical outlets on your bar. You might try bench seating against the wall, rather than chairs. THis way, you get 3 people in the same space and you'll be able to slide the bench all the way under the table when you're not using it. Good luck!


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