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Don't let the cute pink cabinets fool you

So I’ve shown you all my horrible to slightly less horrible kitchen that I will be renovating, and next I thought I’d show you the layout ideas I had for the new kitchen. Here’s a photo to recap what the kitchen looks like currently:

I’ve done a rough drawing of the layout to make it clearer where everything is located. (Sorry but I don't know how to use software to do this so you'll have to bear with my lovely drawings).

As you can see, this kitchen is really REALLY badly designed. Or not designed as I see it. And the craftsmanship everywhere is AWFUL. The cabinets are made of solid wood (MDF?) – so the drawers are heavy and are a total pain to open and close. Half of the magnet latches to keep the doors closed are missing. The little built-in china cupboard with glass doors got a serious chuckle from my contractor. He thinks they are bifold closet doors made into cabinet doors. The island was made with scraps of tongue and groove paneling and bits of trim, and was initially left unpainted/unstained. There was an ugly square table that was built at the end of the island that I ripped off and tossed the day I moved in, that came with 2 cheap wooden chairs that I also tossed. The cabinet over the island is a pain to get into because you have to lean over the island to see into it. So that’s the cabinets in a nutshell.

Then there’s the worst tile job EVER on the floor. Seriously, I burst out laughing when I first saw the kitchen floor. The tiles are ugly to begin with, and the grout is much darker than the tile colour which makes them look really dirty. When they were grouted, the excess was not wiped off so there’s grout everywhere. To make things worse, the person that laid them must have been drunk because there is not one straight line.

The appliances – UGH. The stove is not bad, but the elements take a long time to heat up. And it’s cheap. The fridge is just that – a fridge. There is no freezer in it. And I am the only one that lives here. So it’s HUGE. There is a big chest freezer in the basement so when I want ice in my drink, I have to go down there to get it (so I stopped using ice). If I am by the sink or stove, I have to walk around the dining table to get to the fridge – that has to be the most annoying thing about the space. The dishwasher, housed in the island, makes a total racket when it’s running.

The lighting is terrible. I have a ceiling fan with lights over the table, and that’s it. I had to put a lamp on the counter near the stove because it’s too dark when I’m cooking. There was a hood fan over the stove with a light but it was mounted so low I couldn’t see what I was cooking. I tossed that after the third time I smucked my head on it.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with since December. You can imagine how elated I was to learn all this can go in a big dumpster...and SOON!

When I first began daydreaming about a new kitchen, I had figured I would go to Ikea, get some glossy white cabinets, and keep the layout basically as it is, galley style. The wall the fridge is on would come down, opening it up to the living room, and the dining table would be between the island and the living room. But then I got word that I would be getting Greentea's gorgeous solid wood kitchen cabinets and I knew galley style wouldn’t work. Their beauty would be for the most part hidden so I knew I had to come up with a different layout to expose them more. I knew the wall had to come down to open up the tiny space, and since I have 3 doors on the main floor that open outside, I thought I could seal up the door next to the island. So with that, an L shape layout seemed to work. This is the first drawing I sent to the guys at Greentea, with the door gone, the wall gone, and an L shape design (rotate this 180 degrees to get the same angle as the drawing above).

This is not the final design I ended up choosing, but I thought I’d reveal that with my next post, and show you the cabinets I decided on. I'd like to take this opportunity to get your opinions, and see what you guys would do with the new kitchen layout. Do you favour uppers? No uppers? Would you have done it galley-style? Greentea has a fantastic kitchen guide that helped me immensely - be sure to check it out, especially if you're looking to give suggestions.

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I didn't realize your original kitchen was so poorly laid out - how glad you must be to get a new, more functional one! When I first looked at the plan, I too thought of an L shaped layout and closing up the door. Depending on budget, I'd consider moving the window and enlarging it so that its centred on the wall in front of the sink. Then, I'd run the counters all across under the window to run into the other cabinets. Your idea of open shelving on the wall is that great, maybe Dana uppers to the left of the window and move the fridge and add a full height pantry to the right of the window. Its just me, but I prefer to have counterspace on either side of the stove. Spreading the appliances around would also keep the short wall from looking too 'heavy'.

I agree, Greentea's cabinets are so beautiful that you would want to expose them as much as possible, so a galley or large island design may not do that. Love what you've come up with so far... can't wait to see the final design!
So to respond to the comments on both blogs for this post....

One thing I did not like about the first layout idea was the fridge and stove stuck together.

There is no dishwasher coming in with the new kitchen. I decided to forfeit the dishwasher in lieu of more cabinets!

The window currently goes below counter level. Not obvious in my drawing but you can see it in some of the photos in the first post. That will change with new layout.'ll have to wait and see. But that hole wall looks out to the side of my rather large shed. So the view is the pits - all you see is some lovely aluminum siding.

Flooring too is another thing I'll keep quiet about until a future post. But those that know me well will have a pretty good idea of where I'm going with that. :)

P.S. Thanks for the ideas everyone! Perhaps you have me second guessing some things...
Looking at the plan I have to ask the reason for not using the space below the window. Is it below counter height? If so you could change the window and gain more counter space and an efficient plan.

Just a thought.

Great blog.;)
Anon, the window is below counter height, and it turns out I am changing it to allow me to be able to layout the kitchen more efficiently.
I'm going to comment on both blogs. The final layout is fab in case everyone is wondering :)
I like uppers....with some having glass doors. I left a large expanse over mysink with no upppers and I put a big window there. Even if you can't have a window I'd painting or something there.

I took out a wall too when I got my pretty cabinets...opened it up to my family room and I like it sooo much better.You can see how it turned out here:

Wonderful that Greentea is supplying your are such a smartie!
Ooops wanted to add ...a friend had a window that was low too. She didn't want to change it because she wanted to keep the older windows in her historic home. She just dropped that section of counter down a little lower to dip under the window. That way she still has storage in the cabinet and she has a great place for a huge plant on top of the counter right in front of the window. It's unconventional, but it looks great.
Great kitchen pedalpower! Looks so homey and totally functional. I'm excited to get the wall down and see what the space looks like big (ok, as big as a 12' wide house can look) and open. I love a window over the sink. Makes washing dishes a tad more bearable. That's an interesting idea about dropping the counters below the window. Although I have newish but totally cheap windows so I'm not against replacing them.
It's going to look gorgeous, Kim. And congrats on that other news!!!

Just one thing: are you SURE you want to sacrifice a dishwasher? Think HARD about that one! :^) You could always get an extra small dishwasher and put it under the window...doing that drop-down cabinet/counter thing pedalpower suggests.

I'm having trouble figuring out whether the room open will now be to the rest of the house?
Ooops...just re-read my comment. Last sentence sounds like Yoda talk. I meant "whether the room will now be open to the rest of the house."
Yes, the kitchen/living room will be one space - a big rectangle really. Here's a photo from the living room looking towards the kitchen and the wall that is coming down.

NO DISHWASHER. They're for lazy people. KIDDING. No, I cannot sacrifice the space. No way. This house is so small I can't really see someone with a family buying it so not really a need for one.
Please don't put everything in the dumpster. Seriously, you would not believe sometimes what is valuable to people who are less fortunate and even though stuff seems to you like it wouldn't be wanted, there is always somebody worse off. Also, it means more for the landfill that could be diverted to where it could get used. There are Habitat for Humanity Re-Use stores that will come and pick it up for you and there are also other recycling places that will do the same. Where I live the SHARE store comes and picks up what you don't want and sells it at barely anything and puts the money into the foodbank. There is also a publication called the Pennywise that people who are done with something will advertise that it is free if you come and pick it up or take it apart and remove it and people get rid of all sorts of things including kitchen cabinetry. Saves you the hassle and the work and expense and helps out somebody who needs it.
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