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Kitchen-can't take it anymore, help w layout! want addition + mudroom

Cindy M
4 years ago

I've lived long enough with the awful ("used to be a rental/foreclosure") cheap laminate and cupboards that are falling apart in my way too small U-shaped, no counter space kitchen. I've given up trying to figure out a new layout given the unmovable: 3 doorways on 3 different walls and a window on the 4th wall. So I'm hoping to add on a small (5/6ft x 14ft) addition to the back of the house, which also maybe gives me a coveted mudroom too?

So how would you lay this out (kitchen + mudroom area ) without changing: the sink location, the doorways leading to dining room and living room? I think everything else is up for discussion?






Comments (96)

  • Lindsey B
    4 years ago

    @Sophie Wheeler ... THANK YOU FOR THAT LINK!!! The averages for the renos. It's awesome... now I can see how much to "budget" for things if we don't buy new. Very sad that ROI is so low on a kitchen make over but such is life. I love the feature to narrow in on your exact market!

  • Skil367
    4 years ago

    The existing floor plan is very, very efficient. You could spend a fortune remodeling and moving walls, but it wouldn't make any difference. If you just can't stand the place, save your money and buy a bigger home.

    Cindy M thanked Skil367
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  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    4 years ago

    Skil367. She clearly loves her house. She didn't say she can't stand it. She only called her kitchen tiny and annoying--it looks tiny and annoying. There is no harm in exchanging ideas and getting a few bids.

    Cindy M thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Skil367-- I do really love my house, and yes the floor plan is very efficient and love the flow/circle (but just a few more sf in the kitchen, a place for the trash can, a titch more counter, not hanging the coats there--then it would be perfect). Maybe that's why either a small addition, or benjesbride's plan could work-- they don't mess with the existing floor plan as much--and benjesbride's is intriguing because no walls are moved or anything, just the purpose of the rooms are modified and I hadn't thought of that.
    But latifolia is right-- very good chance the library was once a porch/sunroom--those are very common in houses here-- as are the transformation of those into full rooms, and pricey additions. I definitely need to get the structural issue checked out-- it could be pricier than I think to support everything.

    I'm lucky enough to be in a neighborhood/city which is highly desirable and where houses sell for a premium even though the same house elsewhere would be less. einportlander-- I could easily spend over a 100K and still make a good profit IF I were to ever sell, but then I'd never be able to afford a house in this neighborhood again LOL! (and my monthly budget would not allow that, so I'm looking at options, but also I don't want to wait any longer-- I want to actually enjoy my "new" kitchen :)

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    The library is all bricked, but yeah, I feel like it was definitely an add on at some point-- these back "enclosed porches" are very common in the neighborhood, but at some point most were made into full rooms. Mine also has this "deck" on top. Here's the back of my 1951 house-- you can see the sad little paver porch with the very sad awning...

  • decoenthusiaste
    4 years ago

    I hope you take advantage of that upstairs deck a lot. That would be my getaway spot.

    Cindy M thanked decoenthusiaste
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The deck is awesome! But yeah right now it's snow covered LOL! The room it's off of is my very cluttered office/storage/guest/whatever room-- my next project is to reorganize that space... someday :)

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    So here is a variation on benjesbride's original kitchen design-- with just moving the back door. What do you think? I do lose some cabinet space but really I think I gain more usable storage with the drawers and the corner pullout than I have now. And I like the bit of open shelving in the corner.
    The stove against one wall is not ideal but I've had that situation in other houses, maybe there's a better way?-- though keeping it on this outside wall makes potential ventilation easier. This design also means another 18" dishwasher which is actually fine for me. Costed out with Ikea, it's around $3200 not including appliances/countertops (then I'd get quartz counters ideally and new appliances with a counter-depth fridge). I'm sure it would end up more but hopefully not much as far as cabinets.


  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Then I'd need to figure out if I can get away with (and afford) "building" a new back porch that's enclosed to serve as a small mudroom... and whether the city would allow that...

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Had my first phone call with a contractor today-- very experienced, lives right in the neighborhood, excellent reputation. So yeah, all ballpark of course without him walking through but he was looking at the house on street view and we talked through some options.

    A New kitchen in same location/layout would likely be 35+K-- so more than I was hoping for just that, but way less than Sophie's scare-me price :) If I did the full 70 square foot addition in my dream plan, then we'd likely double that plus some. However, he sounded like we could definitely do a more moderate plan with some kind of addition or "enclosed porch" for the mudroom in the under 50K range-- so I'm hopeful! We're meeting up in a couple weeks for a real estimate (and I'll be getting a couple more) and more of a plan, yay!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    4 years ago

    Is it cost prohibitive to run plumbing, etc. to the library? Moving kitchens to existing additions comes up quite a bit here, so I'm curious.

    Cindy M thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Yes, I mentioned that and he said running all new plumbing, etc., would likely make that idea even more than the other plans. But I might ask again when he's out here actually looking at everything.

    Of course, I might end up doing all new plumbing anyway but not my choice!-- pretty sure I have old galvanized pipes and once you start messing with those, it can get out of hand. My previous 1927 house had those and I replaced just one that was leaking-- the domino effect of the pressure on the old galvanized led to a complete redo in copper (thankfully very small 800sf house! so not too bad back in 2001)

  • jani
    4 years ago
    I was determined to do a full kitchen remodel...had no idea of costs like you. Got 3 contractors estimates and decided to be my own contractor. HD or lowes will give you free estimates. I ended using Cliqstudios for cabinets. we took one interior wall down, moved plumbing , electric, added gas, vents..added shorter windows..new appliances, 80 ft quartz, new hardwoods = 45K..

    Spent 6 months planning. can't wait to see what you decide.
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Wow Janice that's a great price for all that! I'm not sure I have the organizational skills to be my own contractor-- so did you hire individuals for each part and/or do a lot of work yourself?
  • J G
    4 years ago

    benjesbride-I know costs vary a lot, but 7 years ago we needed a first floor toilet so that my MIL could visit after knee replacement surgery. We turned a closet into a toilet room...literally they cut a whole in the floor and ran a sewer pipe out and cold water in. This was one the first floor over unfinished full height basement. This was $500, and the distances were not that long. Remember, they tend to stack the plumbing in designing houses to save on costs. While plumbers are expensive, copper pipes can be expensive as well. In the sun room plan the plumbing needs to move into a space that does not have basement...not clear how much access there is. In addition, the windows have to be adjusted. There may also be concerns about the construction....I *thought* we were opening up the wall between our refridgerator room and covered porch, and I came home to find a our fridge room demolished. There was enough rot in the floor that they decided that it was easier to demolish and rebuild the entire thing than to try to stabilize/fix rot/etc.

    Cindy-I think that you a beautiful classic house, and I actually prefer the kitchen where it is than changing the windows in the dining room or the library to make a different kitchen. How important is the door to the kitchen to you? I don't know if the library door has a key, but could you try setting up coat hooks and a key/stuff drop on the side of the library and see if it would work to go in that door? Their are more possibilities for the kitchen if you close up the door completely such as Anthony's first plan. You would have to decide what is important for you...we looked at relocating our back door (which would have potentially been difficult because it was not clear where it would go and clear the A/C compressors) and decided that in the end we like having an outdoor door in the kitchen...it makes sense that we take the garbage out through the kitchen rather than carrying the kitchen garbage through the rest of the house. We like taking food from the kitchen outside to eat. So we choose to keep a backdoor and two interior doors (to the front hall and the dining room) even thought it led to layout challenges.

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Thanks J G! Yes, I agree-- I like the kitchen where it is, and I also like having that back door into the kitchen for many of the same reasons. :) The door just needs to be shifted a little I think so I can get the most out of what I have.
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    All of the plans and suggestions have been so helpful and intriguing-- thanks everyone!
    benjesbride might have had the right idea at the start-- I've been working on some variations with smaller additions but with the basic plan of keeping, but shifting the back door. Here's the two options I think could work, depending on cost, etc. What do you all think?
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    My birthday is today! But yesterday was the best pre-birthday day: my sweet 11 year old son made arrangements with his dad to have a yummy pancake breakfast delivered (yes, my ex-husband cooked it and brought it over)! Then when I told my awesome mom that I'd found my perfect fridge at Costco for $400 off, she promptly bought it for me! So amazing all around!

    And then my other bday present is my ex taking down the over-fridge cabinets in the next week so the new fridge can fit--it's true counter depth but taller. Should also be a good time to peek at what's in the soffit...

    Hope everyone in Houzz land is having a beautiful day!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    4 years ago

    Happy birthday, Cindy!! You are loved and you’re getting a beautiful fridge. Sounds like a perfect birthday to me.

    Cindy M thanked benjesbride_misses_sophie
  • jani
    4 years ago
    Cindy, I hired everyone, did the painting of walls and backsplash. Every bit helps. Got some deals on appliances.
    Cindy M thanked jani
  • J G
    4 years ago

    Happy Birthday! I hope that you enjoy your fridge!!

    I hope that when the contractor is over to give estimates he can give some ball park info, but I think that long of opening for that small of a kitchen addition is not going to be very cost effective. While I like the first plan, my beam requires a post so that we are not going to be able to open up flush to the wall. It may be because of the construction of my house...but even with steel their needs to be posts and the beam needs to be below the ceiling.

    Cindy M thanked J G
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Actually I agree with you JG! I've been rethinking the opening-- I like that it gives me more room on the wall with the stove, but it is a big opening (more appropriate probably if I could afford the big original addition idea). Also-- the house electrical and meter are on the outside at that end--not sure how much that would be to reconfigure but I'm guessing it's not cheap.

    So now I'm thinking if I can only do a small addition (or just a covered porch), it would probably be better to just move the door opening to the center and fill in the wall where the door originally was--this actually helps give a space on the other side for mudroom furnishings. This shouldn't really change the load I'm thinking, and maybe I can even squeeze a 40 inch opening/door while filling in the old 36 inch spot. It doesn't help with making the kitchen bigger, but helps function with moving fridge and pantry to other wall and losing one of the corners. What do you think?

  • J G
    4 years ago

    I actually like some separation from the mudroom area and kitchen...we don't come in our kitchen door because we park in front (on the street) so that is not a specific issue that I have thought about.

    The one thing I am uncomfortable about is the distance around the stove. I have similar distances now (12" on one side, and about 15" to the sink on the other side, but the 15" is not very usable because I have some wood counter and some metal counter and they split 3" from the stove).

    I am torn about moving it to the dining wall. I think then you would be able to have trash on one side of the sink and dishwasher on the other. But you would probable loose the base cabinet space completely. If you put a 36" corner unit and then the stove you would only have 5" left on the left side of the stove, and I don't think that is enough.


    Cindy M thanked J G
  • J G
    4 years ago

    See this discussion on corner cabinets.

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5011827/which-provides-more-storage-space-super-susan-or-corner-drawers

    If you could do a 42" base blind with swing out, you could put a 2" filler next to the stove, a 30" stove and 15" cabinet on the other side of the oven. This makes the measurements add up, but I am not sure what type of filler you need between the end of the cabinet and the stove, or where you need to start your sink base to be under the window.

    Cindy M thanked J G
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Yeah, the stove space on the right side is tight (4-5") with 15" on the left to the sink, but the truth is it's not much different from what I have now, but something to think about, maybe if I use an over sink cutting board I can increase functionality. I have 12" on the right of my stove in current kitchen but actually never use that space for cooking/prep--it's right next to the back door and typically serves as the "drop zone" for everything. I might actually use the little 4-5" to the right of the stove in this plan more because it's just for that purpose.

    This plan shows the 47x24 Ikea corner cabinet with the swing out or susan thingie, they don't offer a lot of options in the planner so I was mainly just using that as a place holder, but thanks for that link! --literally anything will be better than what I have now which is a big wasted corner with a small 12" door and 2 even narrower pull out shelves. Oh, and this plan involves keeping an 18" dishwasher (which I was planning on anyway). BUT I desperately want a trash pullout, it's like my #1 requirement! (currently my kitchen trash can lives in the dining room, ugh)

    I'm not sure about moving the stove to the dining wall (or even the other wall where I put the fridge) because of venting to an outside wall? although I plan to use a microwave/hood combo anyway so maybe that doesn't matter?

    It's like a giant puzzle without enough space to fit all the pieces! :)

  • amanda99999
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    OP We had a similar layout, and wanted a small bump out. The bump out alone would add $40k+ (kitchen w/out bump out, gut job, starts around $80k where I am - YMMV), so we went with taking the wall down between the kitchen and dining room. I know you like the charm of your DR - ours is 1920s original 5' high moldings etc. So what we did was open it alot but not fully, and did a 'cased' opening both sides - so 4.5" detailed door casing on kitchen and DR sides of the new wider opening. It wasn't load bearing so was only about $4k to do including trim work (not painting). There's an episode of Property Brothers where they did something very similar for a young couple who bought a 1920s house and didn't want an open floor plan. It retains the old house charm, but saves $40k+.

    Cindy M thanked amanda99999
  • er612
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Cindy M thanked er612
  • emilyam819
    4 years ago

    Consider moving the sink from under the window. If the sink is on the short wall on the left and stove to the right if the window, your prep space between the two allows you to look out the window while prepping.

    Cindy M thanked emilyam819
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    amanda-- thankfully it seems a full kitchen re-do (keeping layout and everything as is) for my size/area is more in the 35-40K range, but yeah, once I try and add on an addition...$$$ But I guess I'm not really visualizing what you're talking about with the cased opening between kitchen and DR-- did you actually have some kitchen cabinets inside the dining room or?? I'm confused but it sounds intriguing as a way to gain space without compromising the look, do you have pics or?

    er612-- yep, love those layouts, but unfortunately it looks like the big 70sf addition is off the table due to budget-- still hoping for a smaller addition option...

    emily-- off to reconfigure with the sink moved!! my eyes were crossing last night trying to think of other ways to do it! thanks!!

  • er612
    4 years ago

    If you're set on keeping the dining room in place, consider moving the bath to the library.

    Cindy M thanked er612
  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago

    You’re spinning your wheels without hiring professional design help. That’s one of the first Red Flags for anyone coming into this. If you don’t engage a Pro for the design, finding one for the Construction just got even more difficult. Contractors are much too busy to deal with all of this back and forth changing your mind on the Scope, That’s the role of the designer. To get you focused on the changes that you can actually afford and that will make the most difference for that budget.

    Cindy M thanked _sophiewheeler
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Hey Sophie, it's all good :) -- I've got an architect in the hopper, and meeting with one of the local, very experienced in my neighborhood, contractors in a couple weeks to see what's feasible with my budget, and what I can get away with-- my city has lots of restrictions, like everything has to be brick unless you can convince the planning committee otherwise, but these local pros know all the hoops.

    What I appreciate about everyone's help here is brainstorming ideas -- you all have come up with things, and warnings! that never would have occurred to me. It's really helped me focus on what my needs are, what the possibilities could be, and different ways to achieve my goals. And I really needed the budget reality check too! But I also love this-- exploring different options and designs and ideas on my way to the end focus!

  • stillpitpat
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi Cindy, I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to comment that we have similar issues with our kitchen design. Old house, three doorways that we are keeping (including an exterior door) and a window, we also want to keep the wall between the DR and the kitchen, and we don't want to take any of the DR space for the kitchen. We also have an added-on back porch, although I love mine. My kitchen is bigger than yours but the current layout leaves about 2/3 of it completely bare. I have a similar square where 95% of the kitchen work happens. I know how frustrating it is, working in a small space with little countertops.

    Regarding the KD issue, my designer told me the last time she was here that it's great that I got so much help and had something of a layout before hiring her. She is tweaking the layout, but she said I did save money by exploring a lot of this myself, with the help of people on the forum. Now, we are not expanding (what's just outside the kitchen make that impossible without a LOT of money b/c we would have to move the exterior concrete basement stairs and pour a slab), so it wasn't crucial for us to bring the KD or contractor in early, and I think you're wise to bring a contractor in now. We have our first meeting with one tonight. And I would go for it regarding the bathroom. We have a full bath upstairs and a 3/4 bath in the basement. We had the 3/4 bath redone last summer bc it was really junky and awful, and it's now the kids' bathroom. They are 10- and 14-year-old boys, and it is so nice not to share with them anymore.

    Good luck to you! I look forward to watching your progress!

    Cindy M thanked stillpitpat
  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago

    “she said I did save money by exploring a lot of this myself,”

    And that is the Customer Service Lie, told as you internally roll your eyes and grit your teeth. Designers don’t give discounts for things that cause them more work.

    Cindy M thanked _sophiewheeler
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    So salty Sophie! ;-) I still smile and help even though I've heard the same (dumb?) question a million times in my profession as a librarian-- probably true for many positions. Too bad I can't charge by the question! then I could afford a big addition LOL!

    stillpitpat-- it's nice to hear I'm not the only one! I'd love to see your plans. And yes, a second full bath would be fab, but I don't think it's in the plans for now-- kitchen is definitely the priority for me.

  • stillpitpat
    4 years ago

    Lol Sophie. I didn't know you knew my designer personally.

    Cindy M thanked stillpitpat
  • J G
    4 years ago

    Sophie-

    I don't necessarily thinking that it is cheaper, but I do think that is helpful to explore possibilities and think about what is important to you before hiring a designer.

    Other people may have had better experiences, but we knew we needed design help so we started with a design and build firm. I knew people who had used them and I read the reviews here, which were very positive. I told them that we wanted to preserve the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, that we ate in the dining room not in the kitchen and that we were looking to add a little more space to the kitchen by enclosing a porch (yes, expensive but we really need the room) because I really need more counterspace and cabinets. We waited three months. The first suggestion that came back was to use the addition as an eating area, moving me fridge from that area into the main kitchen and leaving me with almost no storage and no counterspace. I suggested a different layout and he replied that it was a great idea and eventually three months later gave me a quote. When we looked at his cabinet layout, several of the walls were measured by more than 3" incorrectly. We chose a different contractor.

    We did consider using an architect, and this is not residential work but commercial, but both my husband have been involved in separate projects at work where the first plans were 20+% over budget because there were a lot of features included that the organizations we work for could not afford. It seemed like their mode of operation was to design a beautiful building and hope that someone changed their mind about how much they were willing to spend (and we are talking major buildings, so these are multiple millions more expensive than the budget).

    Once we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted, we gave it to the contractor and he had his kitchen designer/cabinet salesman draw up the kitchen plans and gave us a quote. I did hire a designer to go over the plans and help me pick finishes as well...but I did not wish that I had started with the designer.

    There is some very good design advice and some bad design advice, so I am happy to have a designer that I am paying...but I don't wish that I had started there. I am grateful for those who proposed different options, because thinking through those options help me realize that I am actually very happy with what I am building.


    Cindy-We are in national historic district with an architectural review board, so we had to buy a very expensive wood simulated divided light window and a wood door...but both of these are beautiful. We are fortunate that our house is stucco, so the new part will be stucco as well...but if I wanted to build a shed it would be a brick shed with a slate roof, which is well outside my price range for a shed (most of the houses are large single family houses and we live in one of the few attached houses in the neighborhood...they built these on the edge of the neighborhood to keep the rif raf out)

  • amanda99999
    4 years ago

    Hi Cindy - here are a couple of examples of cased openings - where the dining rooms were left intact. The blue one is from Fixer Upper. Top one is a real estate ad (not my home, but it is a 1920s colonial) where the dining room was left intact (other than about 6' extra of the wall was removed - so, inside the dining room they still have the 1920s wainscotting). I don't have cabinets in the dining room - mine is basically like top pic below except my island is an old $200 buffet I found at a thrift store. While I don't have more cabinets than before removing the wall, it really feels so much more open - the 4 of us walk through a bigger doorway (instead of a 28" wide doorway) several times every meal (DH and the kids like to help, and do all the clean up). HTH! Let me know if more questions. I really wanted the bump out but my goodness I can't justify $60k extra! (I did declutter alot too - figuring the cost of extra cabinets via bump out was so high, I'd just live with less stuff.)



  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Thanks for those amanda-- now I'm wondering, I have a similar opening on the other side of the dining room now, so I could mimic that, hmm...
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    So while my son and I are enjoying our Spring Break (yay Florida!)-- my ex was at my house taking down cupboards to fit the new fridge and peek in the soffit. He said it went very well just lots of screws, so he thinks we (he) can do most of the demo and save a bit on labor-- hopefully that works out! Also soffit is just an empty box-- there's probably one wire over the sink for a light but likely that's it, whew!
    My new fridge and meeting with a contractor happen when we get home, yay!
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    This is my fridge-- a nice small Haier counter depth-- I love the four doors with the bins and drawers in the freezer part! And of course loved getting it on sale! https://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/HRQ16N3BGS.html
  • J G
    4 years ago

    Yea for progress! And if you can take the soffit out you can gain more counterspace. I have 9' ceilings so stacked 54" cabinets were my splurge.

    While I think the pictures above are nice and spacious, I am not sure how a larger opening is going to help the layout issues; you loose the dining room wall for putting counter/cabinets along.

    I guess you could do an L with fridge in the corner (to the left of where the sink is now, with the back to the outer side of the house and the left to the dining room wall) and then the stove where it is now and put the sink on an island that would work better because you would have longer clearances; not quite sure how to lay that out.

  • amanda99999
    4 years ago

    Cindy - I suspect we have very similar layouts. I'm hesitant to post pics of my home but maybe I can send them to you directly in a message - I'll see if that's possible.

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I'm in love LOL! It's so shiny and pretty!


    New refrigerator fits perfectly and will be even better once the whole kitchen is done, but already helps it feel bigger!

  • eageree
    4 years ago

    Cindy - beautiful frig. We remodeled our kitchen a couple years ago and I studied Houzz small kitchens for 2 years, making my wish list and lots of floor plan drawings before contacting a kitchen designer. I knew a lot of what we wanted and how to do it. She put "the icing on the cake" for the project - guiding me where I needed to change. So I think you're very wise to study all this before contacting the professionals - I found that she did appreciate that I knew what I wanted and I appreciated her knowledge and expertise. BTW, I shared several Houzz pictures with her to give her an idea of some features we wanted and a general idea of the look we wanted and that was quite helpful for her. Have fun - you have a darling home.

    Cindy M thanked eageree
  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks eageree! I'm guessing my next move is a real KD-- since after my meeting yesterday with a contractor, it looks like the addition is likely off the table unfortunately-- just too much (though I do plan to get one more opinion). Even bumping out into the dining room is complicated now by the stack for the upstairs bath being in that wall. The contractor was very nice and good but even he felt flummoxed by my tiny space with so many restrictions. He didn't think moving the back door over was a good idea, especially for traffic flow, and would be $$$ as well. He took some pictures and said he'll think on it more, but he also quoted a ballpark of 35-40K which I think is a bit high considering I would keep current wood floor and that doesn't include any appliances...electrical would likely have to be done to bring everything up to code though.

    Sooo, I'm left with my current size and layout-- and need a fresh KD pair of eyes to tell me if I can do anything with cabinet options (like fit a trash pullout, and maybe one corner suzan, and frameless might help me squeeze out every last inch? as it's down to inches of space now). I did have one aha moment-- what if I turn my current tall pantry cupboard into a coat closet type set up-- maybe keep a shelf up top? Here's what I currently have to work with:


  • laughablemoments
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear that your space has more restrictions than we were all hoping for! Would it make any sense to switch the window and door locations? It seems to me that some gains could be made by eliminating those dead corners. Something like this? (It’s a bit like Carrie B’s kitchen on here. She also had to deal with size limitations...[Reveal here[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/reveal-the-door-south-philly-row-dsvw-vd~3514091)) I realize the DW is between the sink and stove, which is a GW no-no, but considering the challenges, it probably isn’t the end of the world.

    As far as coat hanging space goes...are you currently using the back of the door (basement door?) that has the kitty door in it? That could be a spot for coats, or for racks to hold canned goods, wraps, etc. If you didn’t want those things in the walkway, you could put the racks on the basement stair side of the door. We used one of these to hang brooms and mops on our basement door in a former home. It worked fairly well. https://www.amazon.com/Over-Door-Hooks/b?ie=UTF8&node=16412751

  • Cindy M
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Thanks! The contractor actually (at then end of puzzling at it for almost 2 hours!) suggested the hooks on the back of the basement door so that's definitely a possibility-- and got me thinking about maybe changing the pantry.
    Changing the door he thought would be too $ for what I get out of it, plus it's all so tight that the traffic flow wouldn't be great. I do still like the idea (though putting it on the side of the house like you have it probably wouldn't work -- the driveway and garage are straight out the current door), so I might float it with another contractor.
    I admit I'm a bit discouraged (if only I'd won the mega millions last night LOL!)-- but maybe I buy a new flat ceramic top stove now (so it will feel like more counter) and play with the coat hook placement-- and save up for another year or two, then come back and be able to get the addition. Sigh, and smile :)
  • Jillius
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Here's another idea:

    Your foyer is the right size to be a half bath. And since it's across from the stairs, it's also naturally positioned off what will feel like a little hallway. You mentioned that the stack for the upstairs bathroom is somewhere over the dining room (I think on the wall between the dining room and the front porch)? If so, then the plumbing/sewer lines aren't far from the current foyer.

    The front door could move to where the front-facing living window is. This is one of the few fenestration changes you could make to the front of an old brick house that would look right because it involves only removing the few bricks below the window. This doesn't require reframing (so it's not expensive structural work), and you don't need to add any bricks (which is good because new brick work never matches quite right -- good enough for the less-visible sides of the house, but not something you'd want on the front).

    You said earlier that your living room is so long that you don't use part of it, so it shouldn't be any issue to define a small section at the end of the living room to be your foyer. There's also a couple handy walls there for hooks or a bench or a wardrobe or whatever foyer-like amenities you might want. I suspect it'd be an overall upgrade from your current foyer, which is pretty cramped.

    Meanwhile, moving the bathroom frees you up to devote the current half bath space to the kitchen. The result is a MUCH more functional galley kitchen. Since all the working areas of the kitchen are in one line and the walkway is a generous width, you could easily have three people working in this new kitchen. You'll also be flooding both the kitchen and living room with light and creating a great cross-breeze by having a direct, uninterrupted line from the new kitchen door to that living room window that is closest to the library.

    The kitchen is where you'd be doing your only structural work -- removing the current bathroom walls (if those are even structural) and creating a new window over the new sink location. The kitchen sink in the galley hasn't moved very far from the sink's current location, so hopefully that'll be more of a plumbing tweak than a situation where you have to pay to completely re-pipe.

    You'd also be turning the current kitchen window into your new kitchen door (which, like the living room window conversion, shouldn't require reframing and therefore wouldn't be structural) and bricking up over where the old kitchen door was. You could leave the bathroom window as-is if it is above counter height and you're willing to forgo a storage cabinet to the right of the stove. There's also a possibility that the bricks removed during the living-room-window-turned-door process and the kitchen-window-turned-door process and the new-kitchen-window-creation process could be salvaged and used to feather in the patching for the old front door and/or the old kitchen door.

    As for the mudroom, I'd suggest you make the library a mudroom/library. There are two great walls for mudroom stuff right next to the library's backdoor. Even with whatever furniture you have in there for the library purposes, that room generally has space for the whole family to pile in and take off their winter things at once. And you'd no longer have people with mudroom business traipsing through your kitchen.

    In general, the above is a WAY better kitchen and a WAY better mudroom situation without an addition.

    Cindy M thanked Jillius
  • laughablemoments
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    While you save and ponder these possibilities, you could put the trash under the kitchen sink and get it out of the dining room: Pictures of trash pullouts under the kitchen sink. Switching to a glass top stove, particularly induction, is a great idea. Visited my BIL this weekend and used his glass top as extra counter while making sandwiches, it was very handy.

    In either Jillius’s or my plan, an L shaped porch could wrap the corner of the kitchen and have steps directly to the driveway.

    Cindy M thanked laughablemoments