I have a friend, let’s call him Dave, who has a house that he has just bought and is lovingly bringing it back to its former glory. His place is a wee bit older than mine and a wee bit rougher. I mean that in the nicest possible way, though, house, so please don’t be offended! Anyway, I finally got the chance to feast my eyes on this house tonight, and I am in love. It has great bones, so many fireplaces I couldn’t count them, and all of the potential in the world. Dave was telling me that he couldn’t picture his kitchen renovated. We stood in the room, brainstorming, and I could see his kitchen renovated 1,000 different ways!
I got home and decided to play around with renovation ideas. Behold, my magnificent MS Paint rendering of Dave’s kitchen as is.
The little blue rectangles are windows. Oddly, the window on the left is a full height, so it is really LOW. What looks like a door on the right is really a doorway into the main hallway int he house. The box at the bottom left is a HUGE pantry. The box at the bottom right is a full bath, accessed from the hallway. The filled in black boxes are old chimneys. They are drywalled off. This picture doesn’t do a good job of showing you that the hallway is open to the dining room between the two walls there. Maybe this next picture will help.
Dave is planning on getting rid of the bathtub in the bathroom and converting that to a half-bath. Don’t worry, a different bathroom is going to grow a tub. I also am planning on having him take out the entire pantry as it currently exists, so that the dining room and kitchen are open to each other. Does that make sense? If not, hopefully it will make sense when I show you the ideas I came up with. These are, of course, all just for fun. I have no idea what these ideas would cost, or if they are all possible. Well, except for demolishing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room – I know that is possible because Dave already knows that’s not a load-bearing wall.
VERSION 1: AKA MY FIRST CRACK AT THIS
Are you loving the bright color choices? Are you loving the jenky MS Paint designs? I know I am. I found out after I sent this to Dave that he is partial to side-by-side refrigerators, so the fridge will need to be scooched over a little bit to accommodate the fridge doors. The chartreuse green is used for areas with upper and lower cabinets. The kelly green is for areas with lower cabinets only. This keeps the current flow through the kitchen to the dining room and hallway and would keep that openness by adding a bar height counter top where the wall to the dining room used to be. It’s much clearer in this image that the kitchen is open to the dining room, too. I have dreams of beautiful pantry cabinets with GFI outlets where Dave and his wifey can hide away all those counter space hogging appliances – toaster, coffee maker, et cetera. I left the wall above the stove cabinet free because I thought a nice big feature range hood could go there. Nice, right? I thought the skinny cabinets by the chimneys could redeem what was otherwise dead space by providing a spot to keep those pesky food containers and lids for the one on the dishwasher wall and by providing a spot to hide the trash or recycling for the other one. There is never a good place to keep that tupperware crap!
VERSION 2: SHUT THE (side) DOOR (way)
I am really having fun with this now, so I tried to get a little creative. I kept what I liked best from Version 1: sink centered under the window (I didn’t put it in my earlier renderings, but it’s oddly to the right of the window now), big opening to the dining room with that bar-height counter top, and using those slivers of space that the chimneys create. I thought about it, and decided that building a pantry out with sheetrock and plain old ordinary shelves would probably save a lot of scratch and provide just as much storage. So I added in a new pantry in the space gained from ditching the bathtub. I decided to close up the hallway, which might not be an idea Dave ends up going with, but hey, it’s fun to play around with, right? I got the idea from my kitchen in my current house. It has two doorways, which is strange for a room that is all of 10×10, and I ended up putting a dog gate in one doorway to keep the dogs from tearing into the kitchen with their dirty paws. I don’t miss that doorway at all! Plus, if Dave goes with this option, it opens up a host of other options with his back hallway and the laundry room and bathrooms off of that hallway. He might even gain enough space to tuck a little home office or even a home workstation over there. You, dear readers, will have to trust me on this, because you haven’t seen the house. But I have. So trust me! Oh, and the rug in the center of the room is for the family dog! Got to think of the dog, right?
Version 3: Fantasy Island
This design could be subtitled: Wherein My Pants Get Fancy. I am not sure if getting rid of the chimney near the bathroom is possible, but it sure would be nice. You could still build a pantry in that corner with the chimney there, but it wouldn’t be nearly as functional. This design is pretty self-explanatory. I ditched the half-wall between the kitchen and dining room in favor of an island. I really like islands. I anticipate you’d want a couple of bar stools to sit on the side of the island closest to the half bath wall, so I didn’t put anything along that wall to ensure that there would be enough room to move. the rest of the layout isn’t anything too fancy. The only strange thing I put in here was a lower cabinet that would partially block that really big window. It feels a bit blasphemous to cover a window, but dangit, that huge window is not functional, and that is also blasphemy. There is a vent in front of that window, too, which is easy enough to move (says the girl who doesn’t have to move it). Really, this plan has a lot in common with Version 1.
Alright, internets! What do you think?