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New Kitchen
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:06 am    Post subject: New Kitchen Reply with quote

Yay! Yay! Yay! The day has finally come to get a kitchen. Well, it might have been a couple months ago or even a couple years ago but now we're actually going to start it.

Have you guys got any hot tips on materials, appliances or dealing with renows? Know some other forum where the info will be useful and unbiased?

My head is swimming. I met with a designer this morning and spent the rest of the day looking at appliances and materials. I want to slam my head in a door just to make things in there quiet down a little. But it seems I can have a specifically baking area with cabinets scaled to my (miniscule) height with kneading in mind in the new pantry area. And this is supposed to fit in my budget!

Thanks in advance. ::smooch:: ::smooch:: ::smooch::
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enjoy every moment!.."scaled to height" words music to my eyes!

might add that I do believe this kitchen-to-be is much more than excited! Wink
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is great Rainey. There was a thread a few months back on new kitchens. In case you can't find it I'll repeat my suggestion - Corian benchtops.
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Barbara
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madame- I can't tell you how exciting having one area I can knead in will be. I'm only 5'1" and I think the arthritis I have in my shoulder has more than a little to do with always working above my personal ergonomics. I won't be able to afford that kind of customization throughout. But I can do it in one small area. And I'm thrilled for that!

Barbara- Corian is actually the direction I'm inclined to go too! But the designer is pushing me away from it and at least one of the larger design show/sales rooms in LA has discontinued it. This makes me apprehensive about it's future.

I like the version that simulates concrete without the expense of the fussy on-site fabrication. And I love the idea of the molded in sinks. I also really like the softer, honed appearance. I have some marble in 2 baths and the bar area of the family room. But it's not me. It's too glitzy and Las Vegas for my personal funky/country taste.

I would, of course, just insist on what I wanted but we'll probably only be in this house for 4-6 more years (now that it's becoming a 4 bedroom empty nest) so one of the central considerations needs to be what makes the house more salable.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey..may all the angels of Kitchendom be with you!...again..I doth say this kitchen-to-be is simply beside itself with excitement...
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drawers instead of cupboards - you'll never lose anything at the back of a cupboard again!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judy- Yes, that appears to be a trend. Here, even the cupboards with the familiar long doors have drawers set inside. Of course, I'm assuming drawers only work on the lowers.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Judy. Drawers are the only way to go. My kitchen in Sydney had drawers for all underbench storage. Even the pantry was a big door which concealed pull out shelves! So fabulous and easy to work in!!!

Personally I prefer stainless steel for the benchtops and splashbacks. Easy to clean, great to work on, and more hygienic than most surfaces (not porous, cracks or grains etc). The more you use stainless steel the better it looks.

I had my ceiling light moved to a wall and pointed the halogen lights at teh ceiling. THis gives a good work light, without direct shadows. Also had downlights under the top cupboards.

One of the things which we also did was to connect the internet to the kitchen. I could use my laptop there if need be, and we were planning on getting an internet connected fridge which can compile your shopping list and order once a week/fortnight (or whatever) from your favourite internet supermarket site.

Heaps of power points!!!!! You won't use them all at the same time... but it will make life easier when you don't have to keep clearing a space near the few powerpoints that you do put in for toaster/kettle/microwave etc... A powerpoint low down is good for the vaccumn cleaner or floor polisher etc. Can also be used if you do ever need to plug a fan in to help cool down (or "desmoke" Wink Laughing ) the kitchen.

I am so happy for you Rainey that you are finally getting your kitchen!!!!! I know what it is like to do without facilities for so long.. Evil or Very Mad
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Exciting Rainey! Sam designed and built the kitchen of my dreams in our old, tiny house - and we moved within 2 years! Crying or Very sad

I totally agree with Corian. I just loved mine! So easy to keep clean and so gorgeous.

Another thing I loved aboout my kitchen was the spice shelf. Sam built it in next to the cooktop in the base cabinet. It pulled out and there were 4 shelves on either side of jars and bottles - with a tall shelf at the bottom for oils and vinegars etc. It was about 6-8 inches wide. On the other side was a matching pull out cabinet for trays. And below the cooktop were the drawers for pots and pans.

Some friends of ours had a breakfast table in their kitchen and when they had the kitchen remodeled, Debra had them install hidden pull out drawer for the toaster right next to the table. Every time I saw that I lusted after it, but they had their kitchen done after we did ours, so it was too late. boo hoo It was very clever.

I agree with Debbie about making sure you have enough power points. Also, next to your baking center you might consider an appliance garage - which, for me, eliminated a lot of llifting and carrying of heavy kitchenaid mixers etc.

One thing I really miss from the other kitchen is a little desk area. It was not close to the stove, so I didn't worry about grease , etc. But I had the computer there and I could work in the kitchen while waiting for things to cook. It was great when Ben was young, because he would be in the kitchen with me!

I also highly advocate using Consumer Reports to help you choose appliances. When I bought my new washer and dryer I did all the research about what was important and then got the Kenmore washer and dryer from Sears - with the exact features as the Maytag - and just as many red dots - but for half the price. It taught me a lesson. And I recently have been looking for wall ovens and in doing the research again, found a Kitchen Aid that has exactly the same features as a Bosch oven - but for way less.

Well, Congratulations! Hope you're enjoying the ride! It can be like heaven one moment and hell the next, so hope it goes well! Laughing
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off Rainey, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! after 30 years if toiling in less than opitimum conditions, a dream kitchen is something I have daydreamt about a lot. I Had perepared as long and detailed list of suggestions to send when i had time, only to find Debbie had matched me almost point for point ( debbie, as much as we think alike...it's a pitty we don't get along Wink )
but I thought I add my two cents ...

Countertops, I absolutely agree on Stainless steel, not only for the reasons Debbie cited, but also because they offer the most "bang for the buck" as beautiful as the designer tiles and synthetic marbles are, they really don't make the food taste better, save the money and spend it on a better range.

Lighting, I also agree that even, shadowless, lighting is crucial, I like the indirect "bounce" lighting. I have opted for halogen track lighting that i can aim to the crucial work areas

Electrical outlets... (again we agree) the more the better!!!! I however prefer them to be all countertop height, even when cleaning the floor or putting a fan on the floor, at my age and girth, I prefer not to bend too low, too often

Speaking of fans (to either cool, or de smoke) ventilation is another comodity that is hard to over supply. Nothing can sap one's strength and endurance more than a hot smokey kitchen a big industrial strength vent hood is a good thingand a dedicated aircondtioning vent and/or a ceiling fan to keep things cool is desirable as well.

When designing storage I have found it helps to consider where the stored item will be ultimately used. I have recently purchased bins for onions, potatoes and garlic which store directly below where i use my cutting board, seems like a small thing, but it is amazing how much time and extra steps this simple act has saved.

Rainey, I am so happy for you, getting a dream kitchen, good luck and enjoy!!!!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that great tip about the toaster. Our breakfast table is in the kitchen and next to a bay window with a wide ledge and an electrical outlet right below it. I'm going out and moving the toaster right now! No more fumbling incendiary toast from 8' away!

This is such a wonderful brain trust to be doing this with!

Debbie- That fridge sounds like something out of the what-will-we-be-doing-in-ten-years film strips! Can't say I've seen that option here. But we have our internet signal broadcast through the house so we've got a connection wherever we have a laptop. I, of course, am the one who does NOT have a laptop but I'll never give up my 10yo but gorgeous Mac Cube which resides in an armoire in the bedroom. I suspect, tho, that at some point in the not too distant future I'll inherit Steve's old Powerbook as an auxiliary computer that can live in the kitchen with my recipe database.

I think I'm gonna pop for some design software, learn to use it and general contract this myself. I have an excellent plumber and he says he can recommend some people he works with for electrical.

When I get up to speed on the designing program I'm hoping I'll be able to get Home Depot or Lowe's cabinets and save enough to get what I want in appliances and maybe redo Steve's office too. The old 50s pine cabinets that are coming out of the kitchen are actually stable boxes. So, if I can find someone to clean them up, I can reinstall them in the new laundry room and Steve's office. ::I hope:: ::I hope::

Did I ask here if anyone has any experience to share with soapstone? It was my other first choice that the designer is poo-pooing.
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eatingbritain



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Brighton UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just think carefully about which parts of the kitchen you will have to cross to take something from HOT place to cooling / working place. Try and keep the sink off to one side rather than central and give yourself LOTS of working space and LOTS of storage space Smile
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your ideas but I'm afraid I don't understand why a sink should be off to one side. I thought the whole idea of kitchen planning was to establish a working triangle with the sink as one anchor.
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eatingbritain



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Brighton UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I guess that depends how you will use the sink. If you are going to have a dishwasher as well and will put stuff straight in then it wont matter too much about the location of the sink.

I guess it is personal preference but I have found that sinks only get in the way when the occupy central work space in any kitchens I have used. At the end of the day, this kitchen needs to be built around you and how you will use it, as such, ignore my previous comments Smile lol
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey...a few random thoughts from my own remodel experience:

1) I wanted the biggest possible sink...big enough to submerge a half sheet pan, the top sections of my stove, or the largest pan or roaster that I own. Tiny sinks never made any sense to me. Ended up buying a large, rectangular stainless steel Elkay and have never regretted it.

2) If you've got an old house that's settled and is out of plumb, consider devoting a good chunk of your budget to custom cabinetry. It's $$ well spent, and everything fits and closes properly. (The maneuvering of shims and kickboards to accommodate this 85 year old house was impressive...)

3) The first kitchen designer we consulted offered up a plan that included every single one of the "absolutely nots" that we listed. We trusted ourselves (and our big notebook of clippings and ideas), our contractor, and our cabinet maker.

4) My counters are granite, and I love them.

5) If I were doing my kitchen now, I'd look carefully at the double drawer dishwashers. I hear great things about them, and the idea of being able to do a small load of dirty dishes is appealing since there are usually only two of us around here.

Congrats on undertaking this project. You'll love the results.
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