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Kitchen remodel - drama vs. functional

4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

I have a 1920 bungalow that needed an updated kitchen and bath when I bought them. I am swapping the kitchen location with the bath and laundry room. Trust me, I have heard how this is not done often. My motivation is the SE corner of the house that faces the backyard (and gets the best east and some southern exposure) is a warren of closed in old porch, water heater closet, and oddly shaped laundry spaces. The kitchen has a sink and a frig, diy cabinets built 2 owners back, and a north facing exposure with a view of the very near neighbor. The neighbor is a rental with gray peeling paint on the house with a plywood walled deck area add on. This is not an inspiring view. There was not one photo of the kitchen in the realtor's listing when I bought.

When I moved in the stove was in the niche. It was coated with cat hair on the bottom and back. A happy couple with cats of their own rescued it from the curb.

This is from the realtor listing for the house and informs the current layout. The architect is very keen to keep the sight line from the front door through the house to something interesting in the kitchen (where the current bath backed by closets are shown). I am concerned she is putting a design aesthetic above function.

This is one of the closed in porches by the back door to the yard.

We have been in the design phase for a long time. And the time does mean more money than was originally budgeting for the design portion. Part of it is my changing my mind. Part of it is poor communication. Part of it is the architect not able to convince me why her vision trumps my need for function. It is a kitchen for goodness sake.

Some of the first kitchen plans she moved us away from had sight lines to the kitchen frig or the stove from the front door. So she would say "that is the ideal place for the frig in the layout but not a good place for the view through the house". Or "I don't think any one wants to see the stove from the front door". It has taken a lot of time to get to this....

I do like this floor plan. I like the island. It allows a fair amount of storage for an older 1450 sq foot house. Note the pair of windows on the east wall above the sink. The placement of the windows is so that the sight line from the front of the house looks straight out windows. I am not full on Feng Shui, but dabbled in the 90's. I though this might encourage energy to flow right through the house and not be ideal?

But more than that - I am concerned about the upper cabinet layout on the east wall.

There are many things I think are not ideal. The 12" cabinet next to the sink for drawers seems too narrow. I find narrow drawers impractical if those are your only drawers. The upper cabinets being 3" different in width? She was trying to maximize storage, but this would be a place I would make them the same size for continuity. Am now concerned the upper cabinets being in the corner... how will I be able to use them? Will I find them a pain in the neck? It doesn't seem very functional. Again the cabinet placement is driven by her placement of the windows... because though that corner is also ideal for the stove or the frig, she doesn't think it good overall design.

Trying to avoid another huge starting over of the design process and spending much more money.... I was fiddling around with an idea.

So this change is moving the window from the left of the sink to the right. Putting open shelving of sort in the SE corner. This might help light too as there is a single window to the south (shown on plan of kitchen footprint). The cabinets need to be fiddled with a bit more - but maybe give them a more modern built in hutch look? It will make all the upper cabinets accessible. Much of it would be glass doors. Of course the cabinets below the counter top would have to be changed a bit to line up. Is that a good enough view from the front door? Is the function of cabinets not essential? Thoughts?

Peace and thanks


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