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Green Acres farmhouse - need help updating - first post

8 years ago

First, I must tell you how in awe I am of all of your kindness in helping each other. You bring up things that I would never dream for solutions to problems that seem to have no possible solution. I sure do hope that you can help me to maximize my limited space and constraints.

I have spent weeks studying the suggestions from “read me first”, work zones, aisle widths, storage, layout help.

With that all in mind, let me begin my plead for your advice, insight, and assistance with a little “how did I get here” background. We took early retirement after way too many years climbing the corp ladder, left our gi-normous home that had more storage than, even I, could fill to capacity (boy do I miss my walk-in attics), shocked our family & friends, left the city and moved into a 100yo home in the middle of no where. The home has good bones and FABULOUS views, clean air, tons of wildlife. Literally no neighbors but the view is absolutely to die for!!! Its the reason we bought this home. It has withstood 100 years of all that Mother Nature can throw at it. We have spent the past 2 years fixing electrical, adding propane, plumbing, septic, well, bath reno, fences, chicken coop, building a garage, etc. I am finally ready to tackle the kitchen… We kid that we are Oliver and Lisa Douglas from Green Acres!! too true to be funny!! But, soon as we get our pig Arnold -it will all fall into place.

My restrictions: Being out in the middle of no-where means there are no trades people in the vicinity to speak of. They must travel 2+ hours to get here. Expenses for building are at least double-triple what I could expect to pay in the city and there really aren’t much in the way of references. So, we have been doing most everything DIY. Me enthusiastically and MrMan more reluctantly. But I grew up building with my family in the building business. Our closest Home Depot or Lowes is a 3 hour drive. Shipping charges are occasionally ridiculous and none deliver directly to my home. I must be very careful and quite selective in how I proceed due to these restrictions. Slab countertops - forget about it! Left those in the city at my old home. Truck couldn’t make it up the mountain roads anyway.

My goals: (1)a simple design with open floor - no island, (2) eat-in kitchen, (3) very informal…oh, and I want to make my own cabinets!! (started playing with woodworking during early teens - LOVE the smell of sawdust)

The house style is basically a combo of simple craftsman/prairie.

Here is a pic of the original floorplan when we bought the home (sizes approximate) and with current / future changes planned:

changes we have made thus far:

more exact measurements on kitchen:

Family composition: 2 adults, grown kids, 8 perfectly adorable grandchildren!!! After years of not cooking because of no time due to work, MrMan and I are learning how to cook. However, we tend to go through spurts of cooking and sandwiches. We sometimes cook together but not often. Mostly we prefer to be outside working on some new project to cooking. Most meals tend to be things we can seal/freeze/reheat. Grocery trips are 1/month - 3 hour drive.

Party/entertaining: we are about a 8 hour drive from our friends and closest family. Since we downsized we only have 1 group at a time come with us during the spring/summer/fall. The temps are so nice that most of that is BBQ, grilling, eating outside. I actually gave all the china/crystal to the kids when we moved so they could enjoy now and not have to wait to use it.

What cannot be changed:

1-Exterior walls cannot be changed as it is a concrete house.

2-Sink must stay centered under window. Multiple reasons: (1) I LOVE window over my sink, and (2) I can replumb a new sink into old one - I do not even want to try to move plumbing. NOPE!!

3-Gas line location for the range cannot move.

What can/probably will change:

1-I already have plans to open the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Matter of fact, we removed the drywall so we can begin to visualize how it will all work (using cardboard as cabinets, columns, etc) make sure there was nothing preventing us from removing it. Verified that the wall is not load bearing. However, it is earthquake country so we will be adding columns along with the header beam just for a little insurance.

2-I want to change the window above the sink to a larger size because out here - the view is EVERYTHING!

3-The cabinet configuration will probably change because, quite frankly, I’m not a fan of the I-kitchen. Had galleys, had L’s, had U’s - they are all just great….but the one wall thing - not so much.

Would like to have:

1-I would like a baking center - nothing expansive or elaborate. Just a space to fluff flour. :)

2-A place for the coffee pot is necessary, but any old corner on the countertop is fine with me


1-Propane range/convection oven. New since we move here. LOVE!!

2-No wall ovens/warming drawer

3-When microwave dies, I probably will not replace it as we don’t use it anyway. It sits on a shelf in the laundry room and will probably stay there.

4-Frig - currently using our garage frog that we brought from last home. Still haven’t bought frig for this home. Probably wait until after kitchen re-do is locked down to begin shopping. May go with side/side or French - don’t really care - long as it cools and makes ice for my iced tea. Then we will have a frig in house and one in garage.

5-Ventilation hood - currently none. Will begin researching/shopping for one as reno plans progress. I go back/forth on style. I don’t want to put a little city kitchen out here but I’m really not a farmhouse/chickenwire decor kind of girl. I bet I’ve looked at every style vent on the WWW.

6-Dishwasher, would like to add a dishwasher. We are doing just fine handwashing but I’m getting annoyed with the counter space that drying dishes take up. I’ve looked at 18” D/W but for the price it seems that a 24” is the same cost for a stainless steel inside/quiet.


I already converted the hall coat closet into a full walkin pantry approx 5x8 size. And, when I get to the laundry room I will fill it with more cabinets for extra storage. No no worries about needing any additional pantry in the kitchen.

The following is a layout I have played with from IKEA. I really like the idea of the open wall between the kitchen/LR with a peninsula for baking/prep.

I can only put 12-15" cabinets on either side of the range because of the gas stove/heater on that wall which cannot be moved. But, up until now, we have been working with no countertops on either side of the stove or refrigerator so anything will be wonderful!

I plan on building a bump-out behind the cabs by range to allow for gas line and to bring the front of the counter/cabs out more in line with the front of the range and frig so the counter will be deeper. Like I said I haven't yet decided on a vent hood style until layout is a little further down the road but it will be vented.

the window above the sink is currently 36w x 24h. That will be changed to 48w x 36h.

Thank you so very very much for reading all the way through and for any insight/help/guidance you may have for me!

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