Never in my life did I ever think I would design a kitchen, much less three. My first kitchen design was in my Brooklyn house. It was an old kitchen, but large for Brooklyn. The kitchen was the last major home improvement, but very important to me. I spent a year doing research.
I looked at cabinets and their construction. I looked at 10 year old kitchens to see how they looked after some wear and tear. I wanted to be sure the kitchen would look good 10 years later. My husband insisted on cabinets with a wood face.
I had six different kitchen designs done. I took all the ideas and all my dreams and put them together for the final design. I wanted 2 sinks, 2 dishwashers, and 2 wall ovens. I wanted the garbage cans in a cabinet, plenty of drawer space, a warming drawer and pot drawers. I put in an island with eating space. I had to consider where I would put the dishes, glasses, gadgets, utensils and pots. I loved that kitchen.
Still, I saw the mistakes I made in the design. Also, I felt the cherry wood cabinet faces did not wear well and showed wear and tear after just 10 years. I have to consider the mistakes and design flaws as I design the two kitchens in this house.
First the upstairs kitchen of this two family house. This was the kitchen where I saved money. No walls or windows were being moved. Working within the existing floor plan, I chose wood cabinets with a high gloss front face, white, for easy cleaning and wear. We moved the refrigerator for easier access. We found a nice granite counter at my old fabricator for a low price. I chose a porcelain floor for easy cleaning. I find ceramic floors are not smooth and harder to clean in high wear areas. I was able to find a matching backsplash at Costco for a very low price.
Now to the preparation. To prepare the room, we had to demolish the old kitchen, move plumbing and the gas line, and redo the electricity in the entire room. With the walls open, I am having insulation put in, as well as improved lighting. This is a work in progress and my hope is it will be finished by the second week of September.
Now to Kitchen 2 – my kitchen. The new kitchen is one fourth the size of my old kitchen at best. I can barely fit pots, dishes and gadgets much less anything else. I can’t seem to find a place for my pot holders or dish towels. My onions, potatoes and fresh garlic are in a basket. I find it very frustrating. Maybe I am spoiled. I cannot live with this kitchen.
In the first week I had my cousin Julie in the house for advice. Julie is a godsend. She helped me decorate my old house and is especially good with paint colors. In looking at the kitchen and floor plan, the first thing Julie said was we had to break down walls to create an open floor plan with the dining room and living room. I cringed and thought $$$$. Then she suggested we close off the back door and one of the windows and move the back door to the adjacent dining room. It would still open onto the back deck but give us space to expand the kitchen.
In the back of my mind I hear my husband David saying ‘Don’t spend money.” Or “we are on a budget.” I hear the cash register ringing and the budget being blown. In my mind though, this is my last kitchen design. I am ending my sixth decade on this earth and to me the kitchen is the most important room of the house. It is the center of family and bonding. To my shock, David thought it was a great idea! $$$$
As of now, we are waiting for the exterior contractor to begin work so he can move the door and close off the window and door in the kitchen. In the meantime, I am having designs drawn up and looking at cabinets. I made a list of all the cabinets I need in the new kitchen. Where would I put this and that? How many drawers I need. I will use the designs to create a workable kitchen and correct any design mistakes I had in my old kitchen into my new kitchen. I will share more on this kitchen as it develops.