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fleur222

tears today

fleur222
13 years ago

After finally deciding on painted rather than wood kitchen, I keep finding myself not ready to place this order for the cabinets. ( I'm still deciding between 2-3 paint colors, and would like to choose my countertops first too, but doubt that will happen.) Now I am rethinking the layout because it was such a compromise for me. I do not like a boxed in feeling.

The new layout will give me much more cabinetry and countertop, and be new but it is still small. It is essentially a 9 x15 space with a U shape and a small peninsula at one end of the U. Problem is the "work triangle" is at the other end with only about a 4 and 1/2 isle.

It is a huge improvement from the old 1950's cape kitchen, as that amounts to an L shape with only 15 linear feet! I should be happy just to remodel, but I am afraid it will feel crowded, and surrounding the kitchen there is such open space that it is frustrating. I have had more than one person look at it, and to use another area or take down a load bearing wall seems to only give minor improvements at great cost or cause other problems.

Neither my DH nor I want to stay in this home for good, but our children are happy with the neighborhood and friends. Youngest one 11 yo. We have made other improvements and the rest of our home does not feel 1950's at all. I guess if I can live with the old one, I will adjust to the new, but I want to be happy about it.

To further complicate things... we do have family visiting from far away this summer and I know that we would love to at least have the cabinets and countertops in by then so I would say the order must go in today or tomorrow if to give it enough time.

Any thoughts on it all? I thought about uploading a layout, but that is another thing to learn and I am running out of time.

Comments (30)

  • bugbite
    13 years ago

    Not sure where your delima is. You are getting new cabinets and a new counter top, that should be uplifting.

  • loves2cook4six
    13 years ago

    DON'T RUSH!!

    The worst mistake you can make is rushing. Honestly, there is very little chance your kitchen will be at the stage you want when your guests arrive and why have the added stress of a kitchen remodel when they do. Plan on doing the kitchen once they've gone home and enjoy your time with them instead of rushing around doing all the things a kitchen remodel requires no matter how well planned out you are.

    Take a deep breath. Post your current and proposed layouts here and let's see what we can do. Remodeling a kitchen is an expensive proposition and you shouldn't settle for second best until you've explored all your options. There are some VERY creative people on this board and may who can and will give you EXPERT advice.

    Then explore this forum and do lots of research. You will end up with a great kitchen but take your time.

    There are lots of posts here telling you how to upload pictures. You will need to scan your layout or take a photo of it.

    Before you start ordering cabinets etc and tearing down your old kitchen you should have a vision of the finished kitchen. List what works in your current kitchen, what doesn't. Have a file with ideas. Have a mock up board. Have samples of finishes and counters.

    This all takes time and I can't say it enough - don't rush into something you are not 100% sure of. You may end up happy with the results but why chance it when time will give you certainty.

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  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Geez, did I sound like I was simply not happy with being able to remodel my kitchen?
    My dilemma is that I have to decide now if I should go ahead with a floor plan I am not really happy with, but so far have not found a better plan and we do have a good reason for trying to finish it sooner, rather than later. OR do I try to find a way to improve the plan, take my time making all of these choices and not have the kitchen done this summer like my DH and I hope to do. (and maybe having to end up with the same layout in the end)
    And not to sound like I am whining, but it will be $$$$$ spent on something not easy to change once it is in. I am happy to be getting new cabinets and all, just want to do it right. I would like to take my time and even enjoy making the choices and be sure of everything as I go along.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    13 years ago

    >do I try to find a way to improve the plan, take my time making all of these choices and not have the kitchen done this summer like my DH and I hope to do. (and maybe having to end up with the same layout in the end)

    Yes.

  • kpaquette
    13 years ago

    Fleur, I agree, don't rush. Even if you started your kitchen tomorrow that's no guarantee it would be done for your guests. I'm not sure of your process so far (I haven't been around lately) but have you been working with a designer? If not, try that. If you have and you're still not happy, maybe try someone else with fresh eyes on the whole thing.

    Our kitchen was minuscule before our renovation, and it's still pretty small after. We couldn't add on (lot constraints, historic district rules) and so had to make do within our original outside walls - and while it's still too small, not enough storage, blah blah, it's 1million times better than what was there before. So if in the end you're stuck with this layout you're not entirely happy with, at least in the end you'll know you did the best you could.

  • Stacey Collins
    13 years ago

    I totally agree with the posters above. Don't rush.

    I was in the same boat a couple months ago.... about ready to place the cabinet order but procrastinating because I felt the layout was just not right.

    I posted my layouts here, and the wonderful, creative posters here made some thinking-outside-the-box suggestions that totally changed the kitchen. It was soooo helpful and when I finally placed the order, I really did feel it was the right plan!

    Let's see what you're struggling with!

  • cotehele
    13 years ago

    Unexpected things happen all the time, however, knowing guests will be in your home later in the summer is reason enough to wait on the kitchen remodel. We can all attest that a remodel takes longer and is more stressful that we thought. It would be a shame to be so wrapped up and stressed out with your remodel that you did not enjoy the family's visit.

    Have fun with the planning stage and be totally happy with the layout when you order cabinets. It has been more than two years since we began planning. Actually waiting has been good for us because we saved longer and will need to borrow less.


  • sweeby
    13 years ago

    "The new layout will give me much more cabinetry and countertop"

    More cabinetry and more countertop --
    Sounds good, but enough is enough and more is not always better.

    I spent two full years working on my kitchen layout. Not all day every day of course, but two years. And it was time well spent, because the layout that I ended up with did absolutely everything I needed, and almost all of what I wanted. And I know this because I made lists. Lots of lists. Prioritized lists. Weighted lists. Lists of lists. (well, almost)

    What was on all those lists?:
    - How much countertop space did I need where and for what purpose? (18" on right side of cooktop, 24" on left side of sink for prep and clean-up, 36" clear run within two steps of cooktop for plating food, 24" within one step of fridge as landing zone)
    - How much countertop space did I want where and for what purpose? (30-36" on right side of cooktop and 12-18" on left, 24-30" on each side of sink for prep and clean-up, 24" within one step of fridge as landing zone, plus 60" continuous for a buffet run.)

    Having this information turned out to be a fabulous thing when comparing this layout with 17 linear feet of countertop space to that layout with 25 linear feet of countertop space but disadvantages in other areas.

    - How much upper cabinet space did I need where and for what purpose? (36" for casual dishes, 24" for glassware, 30" for cookbooks, 72" for dishes and glasses I never used -- hey, let's toss those!...

    You get the idea?

    Once you know your space needs and wants, go on to your personal preferences and use patterns. Make more lists about how your dream kitchen will feel and function:

    - I need to be able to help Sonny with homework while cooking dinner.
    - I need to be able to visit with family members and entertain while I cook.
    - I need to manage foot traffic through my work area.
    - I really want a nice view from my prep area.
    - I want my kitchen not to feel long and skinny.
    - It would be nice to have a showpiece professional range. (Didn't happen -- it would have cost me some 'needs')

    If you're worried about feeling 'boxed in', then you're not done with your layout yet.
    Stop the presses. Hold the order.
    Measure.
    Make lists.
    Post your existing space here and your 'in the running' layouts and pull in the free advice.

  • desertsteph
    13 years ago

    by the time i even start on my kitchen redo it'll be at least 10 months in planning - and it's very,very small and my money is very, very limited. no changing of walls or layout etc. just getting new cabs, counter top, floor and a couple of appliances. possibly a BS over stove. my options are very limited and it's still taking me forever to figure it out...

    post your layout. there's a thread on p1 (usually) to read if new - it will tell you how to post the layout here.

  • debbie_123
    13 years ago

    I agree with everyone else. The planning, getting samples, searching for your inspiration kitchen and developing your vision is part of the fun and the frustration! I'm at the point of listing ideas, tile, flooring, granite etc. on 3x5 cards. Don't rush. Have fun. Be amazed by some of the finished kitchens posted by others. I only plan to do this once. I have a small kitchen, but I want it to be something that I really wanted and not something that I had to settle for in a hurry. You want to look at your finished kitchen and smile, not grit your teeth and wish you had done things differently.

  • pharaoh
    13 years ago

    Same here. WAIT....

    My recommendation for a kitchen remodel is -

    6 months - getting ideas from internet, stores, shows, etc
    6 months - planning, purchasing, contracting, logistics
    6 months - building and completing

    Total - 18 months from concept to cooking :)

  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thank you loves2cook4six. (I was writing a comment as you were posting) and all of the other responses. You are right, and your comments help me to focus on the process. I do need to slow down, and believe me I want to take my time and not rush. I want to enjoy it. It is also very important to me to continue try to complete it this summer as I posted earlier...I haven't quite given up on that yet.
    Some background: I have done some research and had a collection of photos, etc. (Now I am realizing that it takes much more planning) We also had more than one person look at the space to make a plan. Every plan was very similar to the other. My hope was to open up the kitchen, because I would like an island and an open kitchen. Mostly though, I felt that our foyer was a large wasted space while the kitchen small and closed in. This is my main conflict. When I was told that it wouldn't work to take down a load bearing wall, I went along with the proposed plan, enlarged a window, and then got caught up in the sandwich generation and had to stop completely for months. Now, here I am still questioning the layout.
    Finally, after my rough start this morning, the contractor stopped by. I had never asked him about the load bearing wall and he says "sure", he can take it down.
    I will try to post some sketches. Apologies for the quality.
    Looking forward to your comments. I have learned so much already.

  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    So, here are the sketches to follow up to my "tears today" post.

    {{!gwi}}

    {{!gwi}}

  • hollylh
    13 years ago

    Hi fleur--probably too late for many more posters tonight--but just to keep the ball rolling, I have a question: how do you want your kitchen to relate to the front door? is it okay if you can see the whole kitchen when you walk in? it looks that way from what you posted. That's an issue I would think long and hard about. from your sketch it does look like there's a lot of underutilized space in that foyer though.

    I spent years just staring at our kitchen/family room/mudroom, trying to figure out exactly how and why it wasn't working. We also are in a house I didn't think we'd stay in. Well, we finally did the reno, did all the things I had been obsessively working out in my head for so long, WITHOUT adding on, and the space is now amazing and perfect and there's no reason to move! so it is possible.

    good luck and have fun!

  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Guess this is part of the roller coaster, but now that I know there is an option, and I see it on paper, I don't feel so bad about the proposed plan.
    Yes, it is a concern about being open to the front door. Also, my sister just pointed out that she didn't like the stools in the open floor plan being "in the hallway" space either.
    What a day.

  • Buehl
    13 years ago

    What are the dimensions of the space? Each wall, doorway, window, distances b/w doors/walls/windows. From what I can tell on the drawing, I think the top wall is 14' (but you said 15' in your first post), right wall is 9'.

    How wide is the opening b/w the DR and kitchen, 9'?

    What about the opening on the right wall b/w the kitchen and what looks to be stairs? And, where does it lead? [I can't read the label there, sorry!]

    How many children & adults in the family? How many cooks or helpers will there be in the kitchen at one time?

    What do you plan to do at the island? Big projects (school, craft, baking/cooking, gift wrapping, etc.)? Homework? Meals?

    Do you use the DR for family meals?

    Are those stairs open or is there a wall b/w them and the Foyer?


    Sink. How big a sink are you planning? 36" sink base (can hold up to approx 35-1/2" total width sink)? If double bowl, the wider the better. If single bowl, determine what the largest bowl you want & can find is and size the sink base accordingly (e.g., if sink is 30", go w/33" sink base).

    Refrigerator. What about the refrigerator? I recommend at least 36" or at least size the alcove to be 36"W x 72"H. Narrower refrigerators are getting harder and harder to find. Cabinet depth or built-in? (Built ins will be a true 24" or so deep; cabinet depth are actually closer to 30" due to the need for the door to extend past the counters/cabinets on the sides to allow the doors to open fully.)

    Range. 30"?

    Hood. 36" is ideal for a 30" range, but 30" will work if you don't do a lot of high-heat/high-smoke/frying/stir frying/etc.

    Microwave. Where will it be?

    BTW...are you going with stock cabinets or semi-custom or custom? That will also drive the design somewhat since there may be size limitations.


    So, it looks like you're planning to take down the wall labeled "load bearing" and move into the Foyer somewhat. You might consider building another wall in the Foyer several feet down to provide some kitchen "privacy".

    Depending on the aisle widths, having the stools in the "hallway space" may not be bad...t also depends on what that doorway is to the right. Don't abandon the new ideas yet...we may find a way to make it work...this is only the beginning!


    I know I'm throwing a lot out there, but I know you're in a hurry so I'm trying to ask everything I can think of right now!

  • lascatx
    13 years ago

    Take your time. We stopped and started with the planning and picking stages a few times -- had to deal with another house, then had other crises, then got my leg crush by some granite at a yard (no fractures and it healed okay -- just had to stay off my feet as much as possible for a long time), and then took a long time to get back into things. The delays meant we continued to think about what we liked and wanted and the few things that drove us crazy about what we were living with. That led us from changing counters and appliances, splash and fixtures -- maybe tweaking to move the micro to replacing all the cabinets. We had to keep the same footprint, but we changed the layout. I had some doubts at times, but the more I thought about it, walked and measured the space and thought about how it would work, the more I knew I wanted to do it. We have loved it. All those other problems helped me get the kitchen I love and it was worth waiting for. But I'm so glad I didn't have to wait any longer. LOL

  • Buehl
    13 years ago

    Oh...meant to also ask...

    Can you move or change the window?

    What's on the other side of the right kitchen wall?

  • kpaquette
    13 years ago

    have you considered turning your kitchen so that the island is facing the current dining room, and then flipping the dining/living room? Or moving the living room to the current DR, and moving the dining room to the foyer (my townhouse is configured that way, and it actually works.) and then using the current living room as an extension of the new one? Maybe it could be a study? (all of this with maybe opening the load bearing wall with a large entry, but not knocking it down completely.

    If not that, then if your island was facing the current foyer, would you be converting the foyer to the family room? Then maybe you could have a small dedicated foyer, defined by furniture. Then you wouldn't be staring at the kitchen so much when you walk in the door. But it doesn't solve the stools in the hallway issue.

  • kpaquette
    13 years ago

    Oh, and if you moved the family room to the foyer, you could make the current family room a dedicated living room, if you want that. (personally we don't use ours.)

  • loves2cook4six
    13 years ago

    SEE, I told you! (love it when I can justifiably say that LOL)

    Here comes everyone with lots of questions and then advice. Sit down with paper and a pen, draw out suggestions given, sleep on them, think how they would work, come back with answers and more questions and it moves from here.

    And please rethink on your need to complete by the end of summer. Without a vision, you may well end up unsatisfied with many elements. Taking your time and creating a kitchen that fits your needs and melds with your house can turn out a perfect result that, like hollylh and many others on the board, you will never want to leave.

  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Ok. Great questions and yes we asked these too. Even the flipping spaces ones. My DH always disliked the foyer becoming the dining room, but it did look good at one point to flip the diningroom and the kitchen, but in actuality, the space does not really get much larger and it would require moving more windows and doors and carrying all of the electrical and plumbing over further, so it didn't seem cost worthy, but now I'm looking at taking down a load bearing wall, so I guess I should even look at this option again. It does probably make more sense than opening the kitchen to the foyer.
    The opening between the diningroom and kitchen is 8' 2" I was thinking that the peninsula was too long, making awkward or narrow passage into dining room. I will check for a more finished drawing of this peninsula. The sink base is 36".
    Currently, the 5 of us gather in the kitchen and eat at the wide peninsula. I think it is partly because my dining room furniture is formal and because it is just closer. Also, it just seems cozy. If I do go with the plan as is now, I think I would have to change out the table.

    I will post another picture of a close up plan to answer more of the detailed questions about the kitchen specs.

    {{!gwi}}
    {{!gwi}}

    {{!gwi}}

  • kpaquette
    13 years ago

    I think if you don't use your foyer for something, either the dining room or family room, you still have that big wasted space in the end. Maybe try furniture in there now to see if anything works??

  • frank59
    13 years ago

    How about some pics taken of the actual room configuration in your home? A view from the Dining/Family area and 1 or 2 from the foyer. Then a couple of shots from the kitchen out to those adjoining areas.

    Like those who've suggested design concepts with visits to your home, it's much easier to offer suggestions when you can see from your vantage point. ;)

  • both
    13 years ago

    My husband and I are rehabbing a home and the kitchen is the same size as yours. I understand your dilema. Here are some ideas I am playing with. Were you have your fridge in the kitchen I know that is a load supporting wall but you could make an opening in the wall and push the fridge back so that it is not so in the kitchen. This would cost to hire for this but it will be less money than taking your kitchen to the dining room side! Then in the foyer in the space between the outpocket for the fridge along that wall put bookshelves or something.
    Also can you extend your cabinets from the kitchen into the dinning room? I can't tell if there is a wall there or not. If you can you could use wall cabinets biult up on 2x4's to get them to counter height and then they do not stick out so much. I am thinking of doing this and then using the area as a serving place for the dining room or where I may keep the coffee maker to free up counter space in the kitchen. Or I am thinking of doing a wall of cabinets there with the top cabinets of 42 inches sitting on the floor cabinets with glass in the top cabinets to give a more formal look.
    This extra cabinet storage would then free you up to use wall cabinets as floor cabinets on one wall or half a wall in the kitchen. I want to try and visualy widen the kitchen.
    One of the kitchens that has been recently posted has a great example or deep floor cabinets becoming wall floor cabinets. (or maybe they make not so deep floor cabinets) We did this in our last home on one of the walls so that it did not get in the way of the entrance to the kitchen. I stored all my caserole dishes and bulk baking supplies and odds and ends that I did not use all the time and I loved it. I hope this makes sense.

  • fleur222
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Yesterday I felt such a block in decision. I think that I needed to explore options again, and really define what I did not like, what I wanted most, and what I could live with and not live with. Yes, I wanted more open space and I want to use the foyer better,(there is furniture in there now...but I will be revisiting it after the remodel to be sure it is used well) The foyer is a high traffic area, but we have also used it for entertaining with temporary seating and it works great.
    After thinking it through again and weighing the pros and cons... I think the new layout in the existing kitchen is the best way to go. I put masking tape on the floor and lived with it yesterday too. And today, I tried to imagine again my kitchen in the dining room, connected to the living room. It did not feel right to me. This is our relaxing place in the evening. Plus, as I said, this kicks up the total cost much more.
    I still very much appreciate all of the suggestions and ideas. I'm still telling myself to "breathe". It helped just knowing that you all gave even the most minutiae details such careful attention to your kitchens. Your finished kitchens are some of my inspirations! I realize now that to have the end vision clearer and to define my priorities for the kitchen are essential.

    I am still going to order the cabinets and try for the remodel sooner rather than later. I realize that it seems that I just began yesterday and want it done asap, but really it has been alot of thinking and planning and research in bits and pieces over time, so that things just weren't coming together as quickly as I wanted it to once I finally had time to get focused on the plan.

    Sorry I did not answer all of your questions.. I did read and think about all of them... many we had asked ourselves before, so it reinforced that we have given more consideration to things than it seems.

  • shannonaz
    13 years ago

    I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of WAIT! I would bet real money or guarantee that your cabs and counters will NOT be in by the time your family comes. They will not :) Even if you order today. So please don't let that factor into your decision-making. You may really regret it. I just did a bathroom remodel: the cabinets came in way early, but there was a small error and they could not be installed until several weeks later. You never know what is going to happen. My 4 week remodel took 9 weeks with my awesome contractor that didn't waste a single second. There aren't many of those :)

  • kpaquette
    13 years ago

    yeah. My last kitchen was a 4 week kitchen took 14. And we were not waiting for cabinets - they sat in my dining room for weeks. This current reno was 4 months that has so far been 8. And they're still here. These things ALWAYS take longer than they say. Often much much longer.

    But if you have construction going on while family is there, it's not the end of the world. However, not finalizing your downstairs layout (including the kitchen) before ordering your cabinets might end up being a huge mistake.

  • jejvtr
    13 years ago

    Fleur
    I feel for you - something I think most all of us have gone through in the remodel -

    I didn't read any responses -

    To me the upside is you have not invested yet, there have been posters on here w/"buyers remorse"
    If it doesn't feel right to you - it isn't, plain and simple - this is a process & the most critical part of the process is what you are experiencing right now - Why pay all that $$$ for bells and whistles if the function and design don't work?
    I too went through same as you - I decided on no pennisula rendered in one design - island was never an option
    I also took some time on a critical layout part where pantry would go - I kept saying we are gutting, opening up space, removing walls, doors - I don't want to close it back in. Glad I stuck to my orig vision - even though it wasn't detailed, I knew I didn't want to close things back up -
    Keep working at it & posting here you'll get yours w/diligence
    ANother helpful hint is mock up your existing space w/3D as much as possible - use lots of boxes - painters tape - to "see" end result.

    Good luck!

  • diwoman1
    13 years ago

    I would definitely not rush into the remodel especially if you're not sure about the layout. I've wanted to remodel for 10 years. we also have a 50's kitchen. we did one layout last year and 2 days before we were going to begin the demo, we got wet feet. we just weren't sure about taking down the bearing wall and making a great room. both my husband and I weren't completely sold on it. We're glad we waited. We worked on a layout ourselves, and then a few months ago sat with a cabinet designer and honed the layout. we're are going to custom cabinetry but I must say that spending the extra $5,000 is making all the difference!
    you can get cheaper stuff, paint your old cabinets...whatever, but spend time on the layout! there are many creative options and you shouldn't settle for something simply to get it over with. you'll cry after!
    so...get a 3D program from Costco if you have to...or some expert opinions and wait until you're happy! by the way...most contractors (in trying to get your business) will work a layout for you at no cost. you can always say no to them, and still have their ideas (shhhhh!)
    good luck and my best advice is DON'T RUSH!!!