Planning My New Kitchen!

In only a few months, I’ll have owned my house for four years! That’s pretty wild. Which also means it’s been about four years since I started thinking about how I’d like to someday renovate the kitchen…you know, after that time when I kind of already renovated the kitchen. That’s a long time to design a kitchen! Yet somehow I keep changing the plan again and again—waking up one morning certain about something and then going to bed roughly 16 hours later absolutely sure about the exact opposite decision. It’s vicious and at some point very soon I need to just make up my mind once and for all so I can get on with things like roughing in my plumbing and electric.

Granted, the house has changed a lot in those almost four years! I drew the above floor plan on some weird software back when I bought the house. It’s like a different place today!

So yes—I’ve definitely lost some square footage, but that loss is totally outweighed by what I’ve gained in natural light, structural integrity, and—I’d argue—giving this house much more of an architectural identity. Just looking at that 2013 plan makes me feel kind of anxious! But the clarity and simplicity of 2017 makes it feel better.

ANYWAY. The area highlighted in yellow. It’s ALL CHANGING. Bear with me and let’s see if I can stumble through this.

Cool? Just pretend you zoomed in on the bright yellow part, and then changed all the things.

Ah, memories! One thing I always hated about the kitchen was the sink location. If you look back at the first floor plan, you can see how the doorways align—meaning you can be standing in the living room at the front of the house with a perfect view of the kitchen sink! Blech. I also hated the huge soffit overhead and the lack of countertop adjacent to the sink. The sink itself is really not in good shape—the enamel chipped and rusting in some places, and just very worn down overall—and the base cabinet below it basically started disintegrating several months ago. So that was all pretty cute.

Also, the stove location. It sucks! That little kitchen cart was the only thing that made it OK, but still. No prep space and no room to add any. See what I mean? I feel like I made the kitchen as cute and functional as I could without doing anything major, but ultimately there’s only so much you can do to turn a bunch of rotting lemons into something resembling lemonade.

Blam! That grey mass on the left is meant to represent that antique hutch that currently lives in the dining room, by the way. This one:

I’ve always felt like it was more of a kitchen piece, and so I really wanted to work it in. I think it’ll hold the majority of my everyday dishes and stuff, which I’m really excited about!

The original radiator stays, but changes locations to be where the sink used to be. I don’t mind being able to see a nice black radiator from across the house, but not a big sink full of dirty dishes. Of course, the soffit is gone, and both the window and exterior door get replaced with windows that match the ones that got installed on the side of the house this summer. It’ll all feel so uniform you won’t even know what to do with yourself.

Also, I’d like to put a little wood stove in the fireplace! That’s what it’s there for, I love burning things, and can you even imagine how cozy?? This kitchen has historically been VERY VERY cold. Hopefully a lot of that will be resolved with new insulation and less house than there used to be (I think the solarium/”side porch” was a major culprit), but I love the idea of that option for some supplementary heat.

Also, burning things.

Confession: when Max and I broke up, I went a little nuts one night and ripped out the upper cabinets and the soffit in this picture, started work on repairing the wall, and that’s as far as I got. I never repainted and it looked like total shit for about a year. Adorable.

But who cares now because it’s all gonneeee. So you might be wondering…if I remove the exterior door, how am I going to get outside?? Good question. The door moves to the current laundry room, basically right where that funny little window is now.

And no, I can’t actually believe I’m messing with my laundry room. I love that laundry room! BUT, let’s think of it this way: I have a better idea, and basically all the value in that room is the machines themselves, which of course will be saved. The entire rest of the space cost me about $350 and a few weeks of part-time work three years ago, so I can get over it.

Want to talk about that island? It’s a concept I’m digging. As much as I’d really love to just put a nice old table in the middle of the room (which might end up being a short-term solution that ends up lasting a very long time), I think I’m going to want more storage. My biggest anxiety with the kitchen is that I DON’T want it to look super new and…suburban? I grew up in the ‘burbs and got nothing but love for the 90s granite-countered kitchen that raised me, but that’s kind of my biggest fear here. So I like this middle-ground, where the island is still a piece of cabinetry but doesn’t match all the other base cabinets and end up feeling like a huge mass in the middle of the room. Ya dig?

YIKES. I do not miss this.

Now about where that doorway to the solarium used to be, there’s a stove! But not just any stove! A 36″ gas range! I haven’t picked one out yet (omg, so many options, so many reviews, so much money), but I’m really excited. I think it’ll feel like a big upgrade over the 1960s bottom-of-the-line Sears-Kenmore electric stove I’ve been rocking all this time! I’ve given a lot of thought to doing an induction cooktop at the encouragement of several commenters—everyone who has induction seems to love it, and I’ll admit they are very very cool!—but I just can’t see it in here! I can’t! I’ll do induction in the super mod lake house that I’m building (someday, no formal plans).

I know these images look really….blah…but try to imagine this as a real space. The back of the island can hold cookbooks and pretty bowls and whatever, and that shelf over the sink will be styled out all pretty with bowls and cutting boards and shit, and the room will have color and texture and a rug and…ya know. It’ll look like a real space and not a computer drawing.

I couldn’t bring myself to install a range hood in the SketchUp rendering. I know. I know. I know. I’m trying really hard to convince myself that this is something I need or want since I know the rest of the universe has decided they are necessary.

I don’t want one. The thought of drilling a 4″ hole and installing a vent cap outside on the newly restored side of my house is giving me agita.

Have I lost you? Is this making any sense? I feel like I need a focus group for this post.

SO. I wanted badly to sort of isolate the laundry room from the whole kitchen and first floor bathroom renovations, but no. It will not be spared, because I’m moving the laundry! I’m moving the laundry upstairs! I’m PSYCHED. It’s an option I wrote off long ago but then reconsidered just this past weekend and I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out sooner.

This means that the current laundry room, above, becomes a small mudroom kind of space but also an extension of the kitchen. On this wall, I see doing a nice big built-in, with shallow cabinets below and open shelves above. Hey, new pantry! At some point I had to stop obsessing over SketchUp and just put up this dumb post, so use your imagination. It’ll look great.

I’m toying with the idea of widening and heightening the doorway into the current laundry room and adding a transom window above. YES THIS IS THE SAME DOORWAY THAT I NARROWED AND SHORTENED A FEW YEARS AGO TO FIT A DOOR I NEVER INSTALLED. Oy vey.

I can’t stand me either.

New exterior door goes essentially where the window is and that’s how we’ll get to the backyard. Washer and dryer move on up to their new glamorous second floor life. The wall behind the machines gets demo’d. I steal about 3′ of space from the downstairs bathroom.

And that makes enough space for the fridge and a closet! I haven’t really sorted out quite how this build-out will go, so the drawing shows a location but nothing else really.

And yes, I know as a blogger that putting the fridge here might actually get me murdered because people are SUPER INTO their working triangles and stuff, but…well, find me a better spot where I don’t lose countertop, storage, or a window, and I’ll eat all my words and do that. In all seriousness, though, refrigerators are hideous and counter-depth panel-ready ones are WAY out of my price range. THIS WAY, I feel like I can have the huge honker of a fridge (switching to a cute designer-y fridge or under-counter both seem super impractical), but it’s out of sight while still being right there.

You don’t seem convinced. Please calm down it’s going to be OK.

Anyway, the original plan was to stack the washer and dryer and put them in the space next to the fridge, but now that the laundry is going upstairs I have a nice big closet! I usually want to rip closets out much more than I want to put them in, but in this case I’m really excited to have a space to actually store the vacuum cleaner, the mop bucket, I guess even winter coats and boots and stuff, conceivably! The options feel endless.

LASTLY. Downstairs bathroom becomes a powder room.

Toilet and sink locations swap, window moves over and down a little, and that’s basically it. Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.

For those of you who were horrified at my plans to reuse that tub-turned-temporary-human-grave, YOU WIN. FOR NOW. I still have the tub and I’d still like to find a home for it, but not here. I decided having a full bath on the main floor kind of felt like a carry-over from the house’s past as a two-family (in fact, this bathroom was installed when the house was split up originally in the 30s), and the whole fridge/closet thing just made so much more sense.

So that’s where I’m at! I know this is not the kitchen that everyone would install, but I’m feeling really good about it! We’ll talk all about specific materials and fixtures and stuff soon, but I just wanted to put the basic strokes out there.

Let’s do this thing, kitchen!


464 Comments

  1. NO YOU SHUT UP! This is all COMPLETELY brilliant! Fireplace in the kitchen? Make all our dreams come true, Daniel. And the beloved kitchen triangle is overrated. I always think of Julia Child first learning to cook in her tiny Parisian kitchen that was basically a hot plate and a shelf and if she can do it, one can cook well anywhere (especially in a kitchen with a fireplace!).

    • Thank you, April! I agree with that—I’ve cooked in lots of different kitchens in my life (some better than others of course!) and I feel like unless something is REALLY bad, it’s not hard to adapt to plenty of different set-ups.

      • Well, you’re supposed to do mise en place anyway, right? So after getting everything needed from the fridge, it doesn’t matter where it stands. What’s more important is that you have counter space next to the stove.

      • Judith—agreed! I do see the point (and agree, and am still futzing!) of those concerned about the lack of counter space next to the fridge, but around the stove is my biggest concern! Maybe partially from living without any except that little kitchen cart for so long, but maybe it’s just my cooking habits? Not sure, but I do know that’s very important to me!

      • In our 1912 farmhouse, where we’ve lived for 30 years, the refrigerator has always lived in our laundry/mudroom adjacent to the kitchen. I love it. There is no counter space next to the fridge (although the washer works as a staging area in a pinch), I just gather my things and schlepp them to the kitchen counter. And if I’ve forgotten something, nbd – I just go and get it. We’re supposed to be taking 10,000 steps a day anyway, right? Not having a behemoth refrigerator in the kitchen is so right in this situation.

  2. ok…whew….a little rattled after trying to follow all that …but I likey.
    couldn’t you get one of those stoves that has some kind of built in fan that sucks the smoke down…I’m sure I’ve seen it on some show….
    and you MUST put a small woodstove in that fireplace…it WILL MAKE THE KITCHEN. …plus burning things.
    and totally get the fridge outside the kitchen…in England they put all their “white goods” in a utility room…and only the range is in the kitchen…so go for it.

    • I was going to suggest the same. I have a built in fan system on a gas stove, it’s brilliant, but be warned high flames plus a high fan pulls the flam away from the pan toward the fans. My fan system is down the center of the stove, some are along the top, I’d recommend those.

      Also go with convention on the oven. It’s the nicest thing I own!

      • Thanks, Debbie and Ashlee! I’ve been curious about those down-venting stoves, but many of these comments seem to note the same thing, that they pull the flame down too much. Hmmmmm!

    • In England, they do not. The fridge is in the kitchen, it’s just a built in one that looks like a cupboard. The utility may occasionally contain a fridge or freezer, but it’s definitely not the usual layout. And if a fridge didn’t fit in the kitchen it would be a big turn off for anyone considering buying the house.

      • I hear what you’re saying! I think the major thing to note is that those refrigerators you’re talking about—at least in the States—are at least several thousand dollars which is prohibitively expensive for me. It’s so stupid that counter-depth fridges aren’t the standard, but that’s a whole other issue I won’t get started on! But I already have a fridge that’s great, so I think this (or some version of it) is going to work best for me, but it would be easy for someone (including me, who knows!) to swap the hutch for a counter-depth fridge and some cabinets down the line.

      • Ikea has a counter depth fridge.

      • Kathryn—I’m actually not sure they carry it anymore! It looks like they’ve totally changed their whole fridge line-up recently. Either way, those aren’t ones made for custom fronts which is really what I’m talking about…counter-depth is definitely an improvement, but not really a solution that makes sense for me right now!

    • I had a Jenn-Air with the vent between the gas burners and it was horrid for stir-frying, sucking the flame down to a simmer. I also feel sick and light-headed when a gas oven is on without being vented. Does anyone remember those passive vents (like those that dryers now have) that used to come out of gas ranges? I think that’s what they were for. I can’t understand why they’ve been allowed to go away.

      • Thanks for adding your experience, Heidi! Your sentiment is echoed a lot in these comments. That’s a shame, because that’s an option I was considering! Although Jenn-Air is pretty well outside the ole budget.

  3. That is a lot of planning! I am sure the you will make it all look lovely. The only think I have to say is that I really, really, really think you need to keep the sink in front of a window! If you cook or use your kitchen at all, you spend more time in front of the sink that you probably imagine. It is so important to be able to look out at the world instead of staring a a wall (no matter how beautiful). I’d change the position of the door from the dining room before I moved the sink from the window!!!!

    • Totes agree on the sink/window thing. I was even thinking this could let him move the fridge back into the room, if the sink went to the left of the stove then you could put a fridge next to the door… maybe?

      • I thought the same thing!

      • I know, I know! Basically “option B” as I’ve been calling it is to put the sink where Rachel is describing, and the stove where the sink is. I’ve gone back and forth a bazillion times, but I really think I prefer this! Here are some things to consider, I think…

        1. The depth of the chimney is only about 20″, so putting a sink next to it is sorta lousy because it sticks out further than the chimney. That, plus the sight-line issue I talked about! And I’m definitely not changing the layout of the house. :)

        2. The view outside these windows is totally unimpressive—I’m on a street corner and this side of the house is the cross street. If I wasn’t as concerned with the exterior fenestration or having natural light, I wouldn’t have windows on that wall at all!

        3. I loveeeeee the shelf over the sink. It’s about 10 or 11 inches deep and I think will hold a ton. Moving the stove means raising the shelf a minimum of 6″, but then I don’t want a shelf right there above the stove (too in-your-face and too grimy), so you either interrupt it with a range hood (sigh) or lose it altogether or break it some other way, and I don’t like any of those options!

      • I just have to take a deep breath and remind myself that this isn’t *my* kitchen, but seriously, Daniel. Put the stove where the sink is and put the sink where the stove is and put the goddamned refrigerator in the kitchen.

        Love the woodstove idea, though!

      • I find that you spend way more time chopping and preparing food than you do dishes in a sink (dishwasher anyone?) so why prioritize the sink for a view. A counter with a natural light way better!

      • Isabella—sorry, it’s not gonna happen! That’s the nice thing about it being mine. :)

        IDA—YES! I’ll have a dishwasher and I HATE doing dishes manually (or dealing with wet things, generally) so I’d much prefer naturally lit countertops for the things that I don’t hate and actually spend time doing!

    • agree about sink in front of window.

    • agree

      • Totally disagree! I live in a place where the kitchen faces a wall, and I have to tell you I don’t ever have this feeling of oh God I wish I could look out the window right now. I do cooking nearly every night and I in no way feel deprived about this. It is all about the vantage point and I just think it’s not that big of a deal.

      • Kiki—I’m right there with ya! I think this is one of those kitchen design things that became ubiquitous and then became viewed as a requirement, but doesn’t actually serve any practical function. I know and understand the perception that it’s nicer (I’ve designed a few kitchens with sinks under windows—this is not a new concept to me, ha!), but like anything else I think it’s case-by-case! It works great for certain houses, but I don’t like it here…the “view” out that window is so bad! I’ve lived and worked in kitchens that were set up both ways, and not having the window was never something I thought of negatively. I dunno!

      • I don’t think it is about the view out the window so much as it is about having natural light where you are working. Light makes a BIG difference to me at a sink. But then, since I wash veggies before chopping, I am usually prepping at the sink, and right by it, too. But I think with the window just to the side of the sink here, you’re ok on the natural light issue

    • When I redid my kitchen I moved the sink away from under the window. The kitchen designer’s theory was that with a dishwasher, less time is spent washing dishes, so it’s better to have counter space under the one window so I could look out while chopping vegetables. . I have a tiny kitchen (7′ x 10′) – the sink and fridge are at either corner – and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go SO FAR to get something out of the fridge – so I would definitely try to make the fridge closet open up into the kitchen rather than the pantry as many have suggested.

      • Anna, wondering about your kitchen size and how you redid it. We have a small kitchen too and actually are considering removing a few cabinets to create a picture window into the next room in order to open up the space. Since you redid your kitchen already, have any advice for helpful kitchen design that maximizes small space?

    • Can someone explain this sink-in-front-of-a-window thing to me, please? It seems to be very important in US but where I come from it’s not a thing at all! I mean, when you wash the dishes, you look at the dishes. Right? You do your thing and you run away before someone brings something else to clean. You don’t need a window for that.

      • Love this comment! And I totally agree :-)

      • Haha! I tend to agree. I think it’s a thing that came mostly out of post-war American kitchen design and really stuck—at this point, it feels almost required! I’m not surprised by the amount of comments suggesting it, especially because people aren’t familiar with what’s going on outside those windows like I am. It ain’t anything to look at! Let it go, people!

    • A window in front of a sink is really not a necessity. I don’t have one, and, as someone else said, have never felt trapped. I don’t actually spend that much time at the sink. Most dishes go in the dishwasher, and washing pots takes like 20 minutes max, not enough time to worry about what the squirrels are doing.

      • Nothing to add, except…yep!

        (WASHING POTS FOR 20 MINUTES? I’m so lazy. I’d basically rather just throw it away, thus is my hatred of washing dishes.)

    • As an apartment dweller whose sink is against a wall, I think window+sink combo is unnecessary. I put two 12×12 square mirrors above the sink to bounce around the light, and I can still turn my head to the right to look out a window if I really want to see the parking lot.

  4. Totally my kind of kitchen. LOVE the island. And no you don´t need a range hood. We don´t have one either and it´s fine. I´ve never understood why the world has decided that they are necessary.

    • Thank you! I feel the same way about the range hood…I feel like I’ve lived in enough places and cooked in enough kitchens that both had a range hood and didn’t. Did I use the range hood when it was there? Sometimes, but not very often. Did I miss it when I didn’t have one? Very occasionally. To me it’s kind of like a garbage disposal…sure, nice, but not a need.

      • I don’t have a range hood (condo living and range on the island), and the only time that I wish I had one is when I am frying meatballs (which is maybe 3-4 times a year). I don’t really fry anything else, and now that I have an outdoor space to grill, I don’t need to sear meat on the stove top. That said, cooking smells do linger longer without a vent, but you probably won’t have much issue with that because your kitchen is its own room and not part of an open floor plan. Long winded way to say I support your conclusion that one isn’t necessary.

      • I’m renovating here in Italy and it’s mandatory by law if you have a gas range to have a range hood. Bleargh! Please, if you do not have this bullshit going on in the States, do not add it. BTW Your kitchen is not open plan, so if you fry something you can use the classical trick of closing the door and opening the window. I know, I know what a revolutionary concept, right? ;-)

      • I have lived in many places without a range hood. The closed door/open window is one solution, as is a small bowl of vinegar (esp while cooking fish) – and the old trick of lighting a match and blowing it out. Grease will present itself – so be prepared to wash the things you keep on open shelves, and try to keep those to things you’ll use often to make keeping them clean easier. I confess I do have some special pieces up high that are rarely used, and I always have to wash them when I take them down….

        In-stove vents aren’t worth it – noisy, hard on the flames as noted by others, and space taking.

        Do make a place to put your groceries to unload easily into the ‘fridge or you’ll regret putting it out of the way all the more. And hand a tray nearby so you can carry what you need into the kitchen in one trip.

      • I use mine when I burn things that could just as easily be done with an open window and a ceiling fan, which you have tons of ceiling height for. Do what you want! It’s your kitchen!

    • Agreed!

    • We actually paid a hunk of money to have our microwave/hood vented to the outside. It gets the smells out, it gets the smoke out if something starts burning, and it also blows the heat out, making cooking possible in the summer. The microwave over the stove thing I could ditch but I wouldn’t do without proper kitchen ventilation ever again.

      Also, if you have gas (we don’t) building codes everywhere require a vent fan to the exterior. My aunt decided to just ignore that and I hate being in her kitchen when she’s cooking. If you want gas but don’t want a hood and you plan to actually use your stove for more than a design statement, look into downdraft options. The fan rises up out of the counter at the push of a button, all the fumes get blown out of the house via a vent down by the foundation, and there you go.

      • I’ll also add that if you live in a place with cold winters opening a window isn’t always a viable option. Unless you like freezing your ass off or paying way more than you need to for heating.

  5. Love the plan! Agreed. Fridges can be hideous. Although a compromise for having your fridge in the closet might be to put in a refrigerator drawer to the far left of the stove for those items you need in your “triangle” and to appease the haters and not tank yourself for resell. No one needs to know that’s where you will really store your wine and beer ;-). Dishwasher to the right of the sink?

    • Yes, dishwasher to the right of the sink! I should have mentioned that. Oopsie. I actually got a dishwasher about a year ago and it’s life-changing. I despise doing dishes but I actually kind of like loading and unloading the dishwasher!

      See, I’ve thought about the under-counter fridge, and I just think it’s not for me! It’s not as though the fridge is far away at all, and I feel like I wouldn’t enjoy having things in two places? Like I’d forget what’s in each, and it would be irritating? My friend has one (whose real fridge is in the basement), and it always just feels kinda…cluttered. Luckily I think I’ll be here for a very long time, and I don’t think the haters are worth spending several thousand dollars to appease! :)

  6. Moving the laundry upstairs is so smart. That way, you don’t have to carry dirty clothes or sheets or towels down to through the kitchen and then back up again. 3 cheers for efficiency!

    • Yes! The hallways in this house are very narrow, and doing the laundry means going through both of them with a big laundry basket. I gotta admit, it’s the only time I ever really think about the narrowness of the hallways, and it’s really annoying! Always hitting and scuffing the walls. I still think of having laundry in my own living quarters as a huge luxury, so moving it UPSTAIRS just seems so extravagant and exciting.

      • Wouldn’t you ever want to hang your clothes outside? If I am ever lucky enough to have a garden, one of the things I am most looking forward to is hanging washing outside so when it comes back in it smells beautifully fresh and windswept. I am so tired of washing drying on radiators and the clothes horse.

      • Sure, but in that case, I can always carry them downstairs! Realistically, though, that’s a VERY, VERY rare occurrence—like maybe a couple times a year. It’s either too cold outside, or too humid (to the point that nothing dries and everything just get swampy smelling), or it’s raining…my clothes either all go in the dryer or on a hanging rack for the stuff that might shrink, and it all works A-OK for me. :)

  7. Yay!! That kitchen will be awesome. Re: a range hood. See, http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/options-for-no-range-hood-over-stove/.

    I see no reason to put the fridge in the kitchen rather than the mudroom. It’s like an extra five steps, tops. And it makes the rest of your kitchen so lovely and open. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

    • Omg, that post is hysterical! Speaks. To. My. Soul.

      And YES, it’s literally a few feet from where it would be if it was in the room. It’s not up in the attic!

      • My fridge is at the end of my kitchen away from everything else and I found it helped to have a surface next to it (mine’s a small table) to put things eg the glass when you want to fill it with juice or the bowl of cereal when you want milk. It’s surprising how many trips backwards and forwards it saves! Previous comments are correct, most English homes have fridge in the kitchen but often another “drinks” fridge in the utility room ;)_

    • Oh my actual christ, that post was brilliant and I want to be friends with that Victoria person.

      Also, I have been cooking on a gas range sans hood in a windowless kitchen daily for 8.33 years and I have not died even once yet.

    • I was going to suggest her post as well. Check out her piano kitchen island as well! Given you have windows near the range, I think you could skip a hood and add one later if you (or someone else) realllly needed it

    • :D I was ALSO going to suggest Victorias post on range hoods. I love her blog, too funny!

      Also Daniel, I approve of this post. Do a kitchen that works for YOU as far as finacial burden and layout goes. I’m sure it will turn out beautiful! Besides, who says it will have to stay like that forever? You will probobly renovate your kitchen several times over the years, and have completly different budgets when you do. You do you!

      *hugs from Sweden*

    • My first thought was Victoria’s post….so glad someone else beat me too it!
      I also thought about her antique piano to kitchen island conversion when i saw you were thinking of a stand alone island:
      http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/repurposed-antique-piano-kitchen-island-part6/

    • Why haven’t I been reading this woman?!!! Oversight corrected and onto the favorites she goes. Common sense and humor are too rare in these times to pass up.

    • I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard at anything all week as I have at this. :D

      • Me too. First time I’ve come across Victoria. She’s now added to my regular reading/viewing list.

    • THANK YOU Ashley. I came in here to link that exact post. You saved me time. Also now we know Daniel has read it and can MOVE ON from vent hood horrors.

  8. I love your plans. The kitchen will be beautiful and will fit the historic house.

    Also, have you seen this blog about range hoods? It is so great! Enjoy. http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/options-for-no-range-hood-over-stove/

    • Haha, Ashley beat ya to it! I’ll admit, I actually don’t know her blog! Too funny!

      • I’ve long suspected that you and Victoria are long-lost siblings and I recommend that you start her blog at the beginning. Don’t skip the comments on the range hood and don’t miss the kitchen-island piano. …

        I love your kitchen and your blog. Thank you!

      • I’ll spend some time with it, thanks! I was looking up the piano project last night—she’s crazier than me!!

  9. Psychotic work triangles makes me want to slap someone. Let it go, people. Daniel, I totally dig your plans! The little wood stove is brilliant and completely necessary, of course. I wonder if you’d have room for a small but cozy armchair near the stove, maybe in front of the radiator? I keep seeing someone curled up with a cup of coffee (sorry, I meant wine) near the fire, especially if there aren’t any stools at the island. Fabulous deVol-esque island too. Very in keeping with the age of the house. Now, I have to say….get the external vent for your stove. Otherwise you’ll smoke the house out every day like I do.

    • Maybe on the chair? I don’t know, but it would be nice! deVOL has been a huge inspiration—their work is just amazing! The vent…I don’t know! This is coming after 3 years of cooking consistently in this kitchen, and I feel like I wanted a vent only a handful of times! And at those times, I also would have happily settled for more ventilation, and this kitchen has four big windows! I think what I’ll do is rough in the necessary electric and just leave it in the wall, and then it’s not such a big deal if I ever feel like I want to add it.

      • Am I the only one that feels like when I open the kitchen windows to vent the kitchen, it just blows in air that blows the smoke, if there is any, and food smell and steam which is what is usually present, through he cracks around the kitchen doors into adjacent rooms? It somehow makes it all the way to the back of my large apartment, too.

  10. I think you have done a good job with challenging project. I was wondering where you were going to put the refrigerator. I don’t hate your decision and I work in kitchen design. I understand that we must have one and the really good looking ones start at about $8000.00 plus panels and custom handles. I could actually live with your plan, maybe just have a basket handy for carrying stuff from the refrigerator to the kitchen work area.

    • ooh, the basket is a great idea!

      • YES! That was my thought is that you often grab like 6 ingredients or other things from the fridge at a time, and set on an adjacent counter, so yes some means of transport might be most helpful!

    • Yup, basket. That’s what we do. Our fridge is in the basement and we keep a basket next to it to gather all of the things we need from the fridge before cooking. Of course we forget things and have to run up and down the stairs but we are still young and need more stairs and steps in our life. I do plan to put a small undercounter panel fridge in soon but only because the basement is pretty far away when you just want an ice cube.

      • Linda—yes! I know it’s fun to plan as though money were no object, but a new fridge to replace my completely functional fridge is just not in the cards.

        Oh! And the pantry built-in thing will have a countertop for exactly that reason, and from there it’s only about 9 feet to the island. It’s definitely not like going to the basement! My friend has that situation with a fridge drawer in the kitchen and it works out really well!

  11. I’m for sinks in front of windows, too. But hey, you could put a mirror over your sink and look out the window behind you! Thank you as always for sharing your process so openly and well, Daniel. Revealing the messier parts of a creative endeavor is so encouraging to all us readers, renovators or not!

    • Oh, oh you’re crafty! Mirrors, brilliant.

      • Ha! I have a ton of old mirrors, so I’m gonna say there’ll probably be a mirror! I talked a bit more about the sink-window thing in comments above!

        (and thank you! I know everyone has valid opinions about this kind of stuff specifically, and it’s honestly kind of scary to put it out there. I know it won’t be everyone’s thing!)

    • I’m too old to want to look at myself over the sink (or really much of anywhere except brushing my teeth) although mirrors in a kitchen are good for bringing in more light if you need it (over the stove might be pretty) I’d suggest instead choosing a terrific photo – landscape preferably, or, alternately, a photo of a window out onto a lovely scene, i.e. Paris? Tuscany? a vineyard? an orchard? I’ve done that over a stove or two (one out a window into a rainy Nanctucket scene, and another of a meandering stream among willows and grasses turned fall colors) and it’s quite wonderful to stir and think of pretty places.

  12. Love that you are doing the kitchen. As for the fridge…couldn’t you turn it 90 degrees and niche it into the wall? Nudge the hutch toward the dining room and move the fridge down alittle too and have a bigger closet. I also agree with the sink comment. Looking at the wall while doing dishes is sooooo boring. Maybe you could move it the the corner beside the fireplace? It’s not right in front of the window but close enough that it gives you something to look at or you could just have a cutout looking into your dining room. Something to thing about. Looks great though, I wish my kitchen could be this big.

    • I was wondering about turning the fridge and opening up the wall to make the fridge niche face the kitchen, too. Seems more practical that way?

      Besides the fridge and the sink placement, I think this is wonderful. The fireplace is brilliant!

    • I agree with rotating the fridge and framing a niche for it. If you have to lose the hutch in the kitchen, having the fridge more accessible than decorative bowls might be wise. I love everything else and support your lack of range hood- if you don’t constantly fry things, you don’t need it. Sinks in front of a window are fine, but not a necessity. From where you have your sink, you can still turn your head and look out the window. My last house had a sink in an island looking out into the family room (it was not under a window). I survived.

      • Thanks everyone! Thing is, that wall is only 9′ between the corner and the door into the mudroom. The swing of the door from the dining room into the kitchen is 3 feet, and the hutch is 4′ wide, so there just isn’t enough space to do both! I really don’t want to lose the hutch…I think the room is going to need that character, and I think it’ll be super functional, too! It’s not just decorative—I think it would nicely house all the everyday dishes and glassware and stuff. Anyway, the fridge isn’t at all inaccessible—it’s right there! Don’t worry!

    • Why not steal a little space out of the powder room and recess the fridge, before the hutch? Sightline would still be the hutch, the only downside I’d see is the door to the kitchen would need shut to access anything fridge-wise.

      • There’s no more space to steal out of the powder room! The whole thing is less than 6 feet across—the depth of a fridge is close to 3!

    • My thought too, to turn the fridge and recess it. Put the hutch opposite the fireplace for balance

      • … and then put a cabinet where the rad is, so the fireplace looks nice and balanced too, and you can have nice objet and fruit bowls and flowers on it for that view down the house.
        But I don’t hate your plan either :)

  13. I think it depends what kind of climate you live in … neither the house I grew up in nor the apartment I live in now have had range hoods. It’s usually very cool (Canada) and dry here, so no, the smells don’t linger and cracking a window (like literally a quarter inch crack) pretty much takes care of it. So idk, I always assumed it was for humid places. ???

    • Huh, I’ve never heard that! I guess humidity might make smells linger longer? I think people mostly like them for the smoke mitigation, though. It’s pretty humid here, but with all the windows this kitchen will have a ton of ventilation, so to me the window venting makes a lot of sense! One could always be added.

      • We have pretty dry climate here, but pretty much everyone has a rangehood. It’s not about the fact that humidity makes smells linger, but more about the steam from the cooking carrying the grease and smells. The grease settles on surfaces in your kitchen otherwise, and smells do get carried to other rooms.

        How the rangehood gets vented has other implications btw. I’ve read people here who said that they got lightheaded when using a gas range. That’s NOT the fault of a gas range, but of improper venting. There are two ways to vent a range hood: one way is to have it pull the air through a filter, and then release it back into the room. That gets rid of grease and smells, but keeps the same air in the room. This is the way my range hood is installed, because the other way wasn’t feasible.

        The second way is to actually vent it, through a connection to the outside. But if you do that, there needs to be an open connection from the room to the air outside if anywhere in your flat or house is any sort of open fireplace or gas range. Because otherwise, the venting to the outside lowers the air pressure in the room and pulls in the gases that are supposed to go out through the chimney while burning wood or using a gas range. This is what is probably happening to the people who complain about getting lightheaded, the emissions from their range get pulled back into the room.

        In my country (Germany) it’s actually a code violation to install a range hood with a vent to the outside if you don’t install a system as well that automatically opens a hatch or cracks a window the moment the hood gets turned on. I suspect that many people don’t know about it though, I only found out because I happened to get into a conversation with our chimney sweep at the time I got my range hood. He was the one who explained to me why I couldn’t just put a hole in the wall and attach a vent hose.

        I’d very much recommend getting a gas range, I love mine. And with everything installed correctly, it’s not dangerous at all.

      • Thanks, Judith! That’s fascinating. I don’t know of a code like that here, and I’d assume that kind of set-up is pretty uncommon? Unless I just have NO IDEA, which is always a possibility, but that doesn’t sound at all familiar! I definitely thought I could just install the range hood with a vent to the outdoors, period…the second part is kinda blowing my mind, but it does make sense!

  14. So exciting to see this plan! I have to admit though, I’m with others that have commented about the sink in front of the windows. I think swapping the sink and stove would be nice. Plus, any plans to include stools at that island? Since people ALWAYS congregate in the kitchen, it might be a nice place to have folks sit and nibble on cheese, drink wine, etc. while you’re cooking your gourmet meal. ;) Overall, looking forward to seeing this plan get put into action.

    • Thanks! There’s quite a bit about the stove/sink location debate above, but I have some reasons! I can see having some stools hanging around in the kitchen, but I don’t want to do a whole contemporary bar seating set-up. Does that make sense? I don’t want an eat-in kitchen, but I do want it to be comfy!

      • People usually think of stools so others can hang out in the kitchen, but if your island were more of a table, it could be very nice to have stools there so you, the cook, can sit while you chop/peel etc. I don’t often want to sit when I cook, but in the middle of Thanksgiving prep or with something tedious where there’s a lot of repetitive peeling, it can be such a load off.

        Or if you have cooking helpers, you can all pull up a chair and work together while facing each other, and then it’s really lovely and social.

      • I definitely prefer the table idea (where your can put some equally old stools under so they are out of the way when you don’t need them), especially because of the fireplace – having a fireplace and nothing to sit by it just seems mean ;) – also and old table with some old stools wouldn’t feel like the American bar-seating thing, i think.

  15. To have a window over a sink is wonderful, makes my day…

    The kitchen island with drawers and shelves is great. But you need to think how you are going to use it. Will you work on it standing, than it needs to be the same height as the countertops. Perhaps you want to have a stool or two for people to join you, in which case the cover panel needs to come out a little more on that side.

    Love reading your post, your sense of humor, taste and your creativity, so refreshing and inspiring!!!

    • I’m not sure it would make your day if you had my view, haha! I think I will work at the island standing while cooking. In this drawing it’s actually 32″ high—midway between table and counter height! That’s a 100% personal idea, because I can, and I’m kinda short, and I find it comfy to work at that height! :)

  16. YES YES YES YES YES. I mean, YES TO EVERYTHING. You’ve got a fantastic line of sight from the living room now. You’ve got a wood stove. You’ve got tons of light. You’ve got cross ventilation if you open the windows. You’ve got symmetry. You’ve got license to get the biggest, best, ugliest fridge ever. You’ve got a kitchen that matches your house; it feels historical in all the right ways, but not like a shitty 90s version of historical. Bravo! Also, this greeny-gray-putty color in the rendering is really getting it done for me. Are greeny-gray-putty painted cabinets in the running?

    • Thanks, Kelly! And yes to big ugly fridge!! I’m not gonna pretend I don’t love them…I just don’t love to look at them or have them awkward-ing up a room! You get me. And yes! A greeny-yellowy-grey-putty color has been in my brain forever for this kitchen, but I think maybe walls/ceiling and something else for the cabinets? I don’t know yet!!

      • Kelly took the words out of my mouth (or words out of my typing hands, maybe?) and probably articulated my thoughts better than I could. I love everything about this and the fact that it is so historical looking. Don’t let anyone change your mind too much as you have such good instincts. I can’t wait to see some more of your actual design aesthetics in your house as you get more rooms to that point of the renovation.

      • Thank you, LRC! ME TOO! The interior of my house has gotten so little attention in the past couple of years (exterior and freelance projects pretty much took over), so this has felt like a little re-introduction in some ways! I’ve gotten used to things looking and being a certain way so it’s super exciting to feel some forward momentum. :)

  17. Also, for all the pantry-fridge haters, it would be SO EASY for a future owner to put the fridge we’re you’ll have the hutch.

    • Exactly right! Step one, remove hutch. Step two, move fridge. I’ll even rough-in an outlet back there for them (because who knows, “them” could be me with a slick counter-depth panel-ready number. I like to plan for my fickleness).

  18. Four years of planning? Talk to me when you hit seventeen years. At least we’re seriously rolling now, and I know a lot more about what I want in my kitchen now than I did all those years ago. So I think you were wise not to jump right in.

    Also, love Sketchup. We did all of our CD’s in Revit, but I still use Sketchup for space planning and figuring out all the details. It’s such a great program.

    Your building code should dictate whether you need an exhaust hood for your range, so I’d start there. I agree, they can be painful to add. Ours is going to be massive, and it sort of give me hives.

    • Haha, Kristin—I’m a total creep, but when I wrote those words I thought of you because I remember you mentioning a kitchen reno that was a really long time in the making! I know, four years ain’t nothin. I’ll never speak of it again. :)

      (but yes, there’s so much to be said for waiting! I can’t imagine how much I could have screwed up this house if I had had the budget to do everything right after buying. Modest budgets are tough, but I think they lead to better choices!)

      I’ll check on the building code—that hadn’t even occurred to me!

  19. Very exciting. I would also swap the stove and the sink to have the sink in front of a window. And thennnn you would have enough room for a DISHWASHER! Eff piles of dirty dishes in the sink, get yourself a friggin dishwasher! (Plus if the stove is on that solid wall, installing a range hood wouldn’t look funny at all.

    The idea someone else posted about rotating the fridge 90 degrees is interesting. I think as long as you don’t have a door there, it’ll be fine. But I have to cook a lot, and maybe you don’t. :)

    • OH, I will most definitely have a dishwasher! It fits to the right of the sink in these plans. I should have mentioned! I got a dishwasher a year ago and it’s indispensable to me now. Screw washing dishes!

      (There’s a lot of convo above about the sink/stove placement, but I have some reasons! You’re describing exactly the “Option B” that haunts me daily, but I think I prefer this plan after a lot of agonizing!)

  20. After living with a hood and without one, I definitely want one. Maybe it’s my not so great rental ovens, or my not so great cooking skills, but after setting off the smoke alarm multiple times, or coming back to a house that still smells like fish a week after cooking it (mostly because it was winter and I couldn’t open the windows to help with the fish smell) I definitely want a hood in my next place. I think they can also help with grease residue from cooking oils??? Don’t quote me on it. Like debbie in toronto suggested, maybe one of those ovens with a built in fan? It’s up to you! Maybe you are a better cook than I am! Who knows! Though, a dishwasher is also on my must haves when I eventually get a house. Even a small drawer one to help with flatware and mugs. How do those stack up so quickly??

    Otherwise, LOVE the island looking more like a piece of furniture with some legs, LOVE having a fireplace in the kitchen, LOVE the addition of a mudroom! I totally get not wanting to stare at the sink while you are relaxing on the couch. A window and a hutch is much nicer view!

    • I hear you! But I’ve also lived with and without a range hood, and I DON’T feel like I want one! If it was invisible, sure, but I guess I feel like I’d use it too infrequently to want to have it there all the time? One could always be added, but I think I’d like to try without it and see. I’ve never had one in this house before and it’s so rarely felt like an issue. I dunno!

      And YES—I should have mentioned dishwasher in the post!! To the right of the sink. I love dishwasher.

      • I totally get not wanting a big thing in there taking up lots of visual space that feels out of place! It really is a preference thing so don’t worry about all of our opinions. ;) Like you said, it can always be added. I’m excited! Looks like a great remodel!

  21. That original fireplace is such a find!! I’m still in love, makes me look past your top of the line Kenmore stove. Speaking of… agree with you on the gas top for the home if you’re wanting it to blend.

    I like Laura’s idea above… maybe push the doorway towards radiator and the hutch towards the other door in order to have them on the same wall. Even if you can’t do cabinet depth fridge now, I’d totally be okay with it sticking out until I could get a new one later. Perhaps with the winnings of your next laundry room makeover? ;))

    I kept toying with moving powder room to run along the outside wall (where the closet is) and make a hall of sorts so you can close one of the kitchen doorways and gain counter or fridge space. Not sure how it would affect the flow to the rest of the house (I can only imagine so much, ha) but seems like there’s a solution in there since you’re ripping up the bath at the same time.

    • what a good idea!

    • I understand what you’re saying, but there’s not enough room on that wall! Honestly part of the appeal of having fridge space a bit out of view to me is that I don’t have to be committed to a counter-depth fridge! The price of them freaks me out. What if I save a bunch and gets one and then it breaks and I have to replace it? It’s basically the cost of a new roof. I know this is a kind of crazy thing to think, but I like the idea that I can always replace my fridge with another affordable functional mid-range fridge without taking out a home loan!

      (there’s really not room for that! The whole bathroom space is only about 65″ wide!)

    • Stick to your guns, Daniel. For space reasons once, I put in a counter width ‘fridge, which cost the earth, and I HATED it – I got the side by side and the ‘fridge side was way too narrow to put any pot or platter of serving size in, AND it wasn’t a very cold ‘fridge. Pooh. Never again.

      • Oh bummer, that’s a shame! That’s kinda my thing with fridges…I feel like there’s negligible functional difference between an $800 and an $8,000 fridge (and sometimes the better looking ones seem less functional!), so while it’s completely not in the cards financially right now, I don’t love the idea of being tied to the decision of counter-depth forever anyway! Like if it breaks and needs replacement, whatever, that sounds like a nightmare!

  22. I love the idea of the fridge out of sight – until you pointed it out I didn’t even notice it was missing! (durrh.)
    I also think a second toilet is far more important than a second full-bath, and support your “powder room” plans. Luckily, having the door around the corner from the kitchen gives you a buffer-zone!

    I personally am waiting anxiously for your reuse of the murder-tub.

    • Bwahahahaha! I am reading along and everyone else is full of helpful ideas and commentary on the kitchen, and I was wondering if I had been the only person to yell (to my empty apartment) “No! Daniel, what about Murder Tub!?” * I am glad to know you haven’t given up on it yet.

      *I know that technically no murders were involved, but c’mon.

      I have terrible spatial imagination unless I’m really familiar with the space already, so I am going with “I trust you, it will be awesome.” And I’m so happy to see you moving forward on it.

  23. Piping in to say I don’t have a range hood and my life is just dandy. It’s fineeeee, if you’re not preparing a gourmet feast for the masses every night you really are fine without it. :)

    • I’m amazed by how split the responses are with this! I tend to agree—I’ve cooked a lot of meals in this house without one and never felt like it was a problem, so I’m not sure what will be so different about my new kitchen that it’ll feel necessary all of a sudden!

  24. Well, this is exciting. I do remember thinking “What is he doing with that death bathroom” and the original kitchen wasn’t much better.
    Your plans looks great. Sight lines are important.
    1) Induction is everything and better. But maybe it’s cooler when you live in the sticks and there is no natural gas and you have to give up your firstborn in order to get your propane tank filled. That was enough to get me off gas. And it’s so fun to make water boil instantly then stop instantly.
    2) Personally I would regret not having the fridge in the kitchen. Eggs and milk would be dropped on the floor. Leftovers would sit in the kitchen because it’s just TOO MUCH EFFORT to go all the way to the fridge. It wouldn’t be pretty. You wouldn’t lose storage because you could put a lot of stuff into cupboards in the pantry. And what about those setups where the fridge and freezer are separate and look like just another cupboard?
    3) The island. Something I wanted to do but didn’t pull off, so I would love it if you would do it and I could take vicarious pleasure, is to find an awesomely cool buffet or some other antique furniture piece, preferably with a nice, sturdy marble top, and use that as an island. In your design, it could even be some kind of office/industrial furniture. Anyway, NOT suburban.
    4) Love the idea of sconces for task lighting. We did this and think it’s way cool.

    • This is what my sister did in her old house – she took an antique wooden island of sorts and put a countertop on it so it was wipable, cleanable. The best part was that it had super deep drawers so she could store her plates, pans in it and it was at at waist level so easy to put away from the dishwasher. Perhaps that’s something you could do…so you could then keep the hutch in the dining room (cause it’s so pretty there) and then keep the fridge in the kitchen? I’m in the camp of – if the fridge were not a few steps away, it would drive me nuts. No need for a triangle, just basic cooking needs. Excited to see how it will all come together!

    • Ya know, I spent WAY too long watching youtube videos of induction cooktops at work…it’s like some crazy sorcery! I’m totally into it, just not for here. I like the idea of having an induction hot plate. Science!

      See, if the fridge really was ALL THE WAY anywhere, it might be a problem (because I am lazy and clumsy), but I just feel like it’s RIGHT THERE! It really doesn’t seem functionally different to me than having it in the main space, except it’s not the biggest thing in the room taking up a ton of physical and visual space! If somebody wanted to lose the hutch and do nice built-in looking fridges someday, they totally could. I don’t have NEARLY that budget, though! Those appliances you’re talking about are like 8-10K.

      And yes, I’m totally open to finding something vintage for the island/table! It’d just have to be the right thing.

    • Totally agree with Taste of France here – I actually have both gas and induction in my kitchen (it’s fairly common in Johannesburg but I have discovered people living in other places think it’s a bit nuts, anyway) and I literally only use the gas for stir-frys (because I don’t have an induction wok yet) and when the power is out. The induction is that much nicer to cook on. I know it’s not what you want, and I’m not trying to convince you to get it, it’s just that I have to put my two cents in with my experience of a direct comparison.

      Also, I have recently been staying elsewhere for work and the fridge in this apartment is in another room and it’s a real pain. It really didn’t seem like a big deal when I got here but it’s one of those little annoyances that I wouldn’t inflict on myself on purpose if I had a choice.

  25. Nice antique hutch. I would be so annoyed with a fridge in an out of the way space. I want to stand in front of the fridge/freezer figuring out what frozen pizza I would use tonight or (since I cook) where the lemon juice is. I can then turn to the island and put them there and then back I go to figure out how many eggs for the breakfast omelet…on, and there’s the bacon. It would be supremely annoying to walk back and forth from the fridge to the island while I think through what I will cook. I am a gatherer of all ingredients before I start so this kitchen layout would be frustrating.

    I’m a bit surprised you aren’t going all out and blowing out walls and getting rid of doors while you’re enlarging openings. I don’t have the same regard for historical use. I would create a quite large kitchen by consuming the dining room (who uses a dining room these days?). Oh, go ahead and put in double pocket doors to the living room and to that den/office. Leave them open or shut them off. If entertaining, leaving them all open would make a great circulating space. There I go spending your $$.

    Not a bad use…again, surprised you aren’t blowing up walls…..

    • I hear ya, but it’s not like the fridge is moving to the basement or the garage or something! This is not an enormous space—no matter where I put it, it would be within close proximity to everything else!

      Nope, my walls and doorways aren’t going anywhere! It might be hard to appreciate from floor plans, but the layout of this house is really pleasing—all the doors align nicely with other doors, and I think trying to force an open floor plan on this house would be extremely sad! The kitchen is plenty big, and I do use the dining room…if I wanted it to be that different, I think I’d be much better off buying another house!

      • Yes!!!!
        Good Lord, if I comment more, esp. with exclamation points, I’ll be banned from the internet. (!!!)

  26. I have so many thoughts! I love the layout, love the fireplace, love the island/table. I would get annoyed having to walk that far to the fridge (call me a triangle worshiper, I guess), but I love that you are thinking outside of the triangle. Not everyone cooks in the same way. For some reason we have decided that our chest freezers and washing machines belong in separate rooms from the kitchen, where otherwise all the household non cleaning work gets done, so why not move the fridge out too. I am curious to see what you decide on the vent. I’ve also read of the horrors of life without a vent, but we have now been in our house for nine years. It came with a vent-less fan. I hardly ever turn it on because it is loud and doesn’t really seem to do anything. Maybe it is the superhigh ceilings in our 100 year old house, but I haven’t noticed smoke or layers of yuck yet. And we cook supper at home everyday for our family of five. I’d rather scrub and reprint every twenty years than have a loud hood if this is all it means. On the tub, I agree that you don’t need one on a floor with no bedroom, but I’m glad you’re not skeaved out by someone dying in it.

  27. Amazingly wonderful. If you aren’t familiar with her (but I’m sure you must be, as a lover of all things old and glamorous) … Victoria Elizabeth Barnes did a blog post on the whole debate of having a range hood. I can’t remember what won.

    If you do find yourself wanting a smaller counter depth fridge, we love our 10cu.ft one from LG. Tiny but completely serviceable for two grown adults and one small dog.

    • I was going to suggest that post too. I’m pretty sure no vent won in her house. Also, check out the piano turned island that she/Paul built that has added drawer storage.

      • Thanks, guys! Some people have linked to it above so I saw it yesterday—too funny! I wasn’t brave enough to look at the comments. I’d wager no hood won!

  28. It’s beautiful!!!! I can’t wait to see it in real life!! That said, I am totally pro-range-hood… I don’t have a real one (just one of those dumb fans) and I really really wish I did. But, I cook a lot and sometimes I fry things and sometimes I burn things… to each their own for sure :)

    I also am totally in agreement with those who suggested moving the sink to under a window… I was even thinking you could leave the stove where it is, move the sink to the left of the stove, and put the fridge next to the door (on the wall where the sink was). I don’t know if you would have to make the island a little shorter for fridge door clearance. You would lose a teeny bit of cupboard space, but honestly from my point of view you still have at least 3x the cupboard space I have so it seems pretty awesome, haha! I’m not a blogger but I am an avid cook who isn’t very disciplined about mise en place so I think the fridge thing would bug me. But, I guess it’s not really THAT far away in terms of actual steps, just visually. Also I loved Linda’s basket idea!!

    I LOVE that you are moving the laundry upstairs and getting a kind of mudroom/pantry out of the deal. I think that will be AMAZING!!

    I can’t wait to watch it all unfold! :)

    • Thanks Rachel! There is lots of discussion in comments above about the sink/stove locations, if you’re curious! I have reasons! Your idea is actually one of my original plans, but a fridge is just really unappealing in that spot. Super huge, kinda blocks the window, makes the island much smaller…I dunno, trust me, I’ve worked through that whole plan! But yes, you hit the nail on the head—”it’s not really THAT far away in terms of actual steps, just visually.” That’s the whole thing! It’s right there without being…RIGHT THERE.

  29. I worked for someone who had a pop-up exhaust fan- the range top was in an island and a hood didn’t make sense there either. It makes such a huge difference with keeping the kitchen clean, especially if you have rough surfaces like brick and wood and open shelves. I’d say it’s worth looking into for that alone, even if you aren’t a hard core cook like me.

  30. As someone who cooks every day (ok, you got me, it’s really my husband who cooks) a range hood is necessary. Ours hasn’t worked for a while and the kitchen gets filled with smoke super quick and grease is now covering everything. I’m counting down the days until we reno so I can get a new hood.

  31. You can do a pop-up exhaust vent that lives under the countertop and comes up only when you’re cooking! Agreed with the previous commenter that they’re great for not setting off fire alarms. I have seen super attractive ones that I cannot find through googling, but they work like this: http://www.bestrangehoods.com/cattura

    • Thank you so much, EK! That might actually be kinda perfect! For some reason I always thought those were part of the stove and I’d have to get some really fancy brand with that as an add-on…this changes things!

  32. Ha, I always thought it would make more sense to enter the garden via the laundry-now-mud-and-fridge-and-storage room!
    Some thoughts to your ideas and previous commenters: a sink under the window is not so good as you might not be able to open the window anymore properly due to the tap (if you take one of the larger ones and also depending on your specific window height measures etc…).
    Yes to the fridge solution- I never understood how you americans (sorry!) all seem to love these big fat ugly fridges in your kitchens (snobby german with a hidden solution I am…). Forget that triangle thing in regards to the fridge -space next to stove and sink is more important.
    Vent thing – you have two windows on either side of the stove – totally sufficient.

    Overall I really like it! I am afraid it might be a bit too full/ crowded with the island plus the big antique dresser – but I trust you. :-)

    • I hadn’t really considered the taps/window issue, but that’s true! The windows are pretty low in this kitchen (I did them so they’d be as close to counter height as possible), so I do think it would be a little…clumsy. Also, I don’t want to see my faucet through the window when I’m outside the house.

      I’m glad you like the fridge solution! I think it’s VERY un-American of me which is why there are so many comments trying to find another solution. Americans and their big fat ugly fridges…no need to apologize, it’s true! Haha!

  33. We are kitchen kindred spirits! That’s a thing, right??? My 1900’s New Orleans cottage kitchen had a horrid 1970’s renovation. I did a slap dash make it work mini reno 4 years ago. The full gut job is on the horizon. My beautiful 1958 Chambers gas range (Craigslist score for $150) will be the only appliance in the kitchen. I will have a fridge and a freezer in the utility/mud room. I hate looking at appliances. Fridge options are terrible. I managed to score a counter depth sub zero fridge and a freezer at the habitat restore for less than the one I was on my way to buy at the lowes across the street. Bravo for making some great design choices. Can’t wait to see some of your material selections!

    • Thank you, yes! I think it’s just a very personal thing…PERSONALLY for me, I’d rather have the fridge a few more steps away and out of sight than closer to everything and taking up as much physical (not to mention visual!) space as it would have to. But that’s me, and I don’t expect everyone to see things that way! (Congrats on the sub zero score!! We had those in the house I grew up in and they were terrific.)

  34. After being in awe of your awesomeness (Again!), my first thought seconded that of many others. Move that range to where the sink is shown! Especially if you’re not having a range hood. A window at the sink is one of life’s pleasures for me. Put the sink by the window to the left of present range location, and you’ll have a great expanse of counter top prep area.

    I admire your restraint in not planning any upper cabinets, but you’re probably much better at editing your dinner ware. And cabinets could always be added later.

    Love all the rest of it, so no further comments needed. You go, Daniel!

    • Thanks Ann! There’s a lot of discussion in comments above on the stove/sink placement debate (what you’re describing is my Option B!), so feel free to check that out! I’ve thought a lot about it and I think this arrangement wins out.

  35. Kudos for resisting the range hood (for now anyway)! I know what you mean about the universe having decided they are necessary. After my house tour and a later kitchen tour went live on Apartment Therapy last year, people gave me SO MUCH CRAP for having skipped the range hood. I could not believe how obsessed people were by the thought that if I never cleaned my kitchen for something like six years the shelves would get ‘greasy.’ I don’t know what to tell those homies but that their fears are unfounded. We cook daily, but we’re not frying up porterhouse steaks, I guess, so it’s all ok. Anyway, know that if you do decide to skip the vent hood, some people are going to go nuts on you for it. But I’ll back you up!

    • Oh man, you’re brave! Apartment Therapy commenters are…a different breed. And yes, I know…luckily I have almost 7 years experience blogging and learning to disregard some of the wrath! Ultimately it’s my kitchen, and part of the joy of that is that it really only has to make ME happy!

  36. Hmm…a lot of thinking has obviously gone into this plan, and as one who’s been too paralyzed with fear (of regret, mostly) to begin my overdue kitchen reno, I salute you. The particulars are tricky; you’ve got to imagine what will please or bug you most down the line. My reaction to your planned changes: Laundry relocation? Good idea! Powder room? Excellent. Situating stove with adjacent prep counters? Practical. Using the antique cupboard in the kitchen? Great. But I’m not a fan of islands–even ones with legs. The best kitchens I’ve known have all had big tables (with chairs) in the middle, where things can be chopped, mixed, and eaten with friends. I wish my kitchen could hold one. So I guess I’m hoping your temporary fix will end up being a longterm solution–but that’s just my sentimental favorite. As for the sink move? NO. Sinks should be under windows! Natural light, a view of the garden, an encouragement to daydream–sinks and windows belong together. I’d prefer a view of a nice sink with pretty faucets, etc. to a view of the radiator, and if it’s a deep enough sink, you shouldn’t see many dirty dishes from the front door. But it’s important to do it your way, so have fun!

    • The table in place of the island is an option, definitely! I think it’ll come down to storage, and whether I need more of it. It’s a little hard for me to gauge, but I’m not worried—once certain things start to fall into place, I can figure that stuff out.

      In general I agree with you on sinks and windows, but I think this is an exception! There is quite a bit of discussion on the topic in comments above, so feel free to check that out! :)

  37. I wouldn’t like the fridge “around the corner”. It annoys me tremendously that my upright freezer is around the corner! I would turn the fridge 90 degrees and have it open into the kitchen proper, but that might make it tight for the hutch. I actually would leave the hutch in the dining room; you’ll have dish storage in the pantry/mud room area.

    Turn the island 90 degrees and there’s your work triangle, too. With a clear path to the back door, too. I know you don’t have spouse/kids now, but never say never. And a way to the back door without running through the center of a work space is more than wonderful (says the mom who raised a rambunctious son in a house with a galley kitchen leading to the back door!!!)

    I’m also voting for sink near/under a window, with a dishwasher to one side. That puts the stove on a wall where you could put a hood or not as you see fit. BTW, my mom had a down draft JenAire range – they work great.

    Kitchens are so much fun! BTW, you were talking about a back deck at one point. Does that move around the corner now? I can see a nice area in the “L” of the house.

    • Yeah, there wouldn’t be room for the hutch if you did that, but honestly I just don’t think that layout is for me! I really don’t want the fridge to feature that prominently, even recessed into the wall. Don’t think I didn’t consider it long and hard, though!

      (I’m not sure I’m following what you’re saying about the back door—relocating it gives it a clear path that doesn’t go through the work space! I think it’s a big improvement from the current location…)

      (I don’t know about the deck! maybe someday? maybe never?)

  38. I’m on team range hood especially if you have a gas cook top, for some reason gas stove make all this greasy air that coats the whole kitchen with grease. I know this because I worked cleaning houses.
    Apparently you get the same kind of responsiveness as gas with induction (so that’s gonna be my pick in my new house but mine new house doesn’t have historical anything to match or fit in with) I say get the gorgeous gas stove and the best range hood you can afford.

  39. So sexy.

    The best part to me is WASHER-DRYER!! I keep saying that if I had a pair I would be doing laundry all day, every day, and just watch my clothes tumble and spin and think of how lucky I am to not have to go to the laundromat.

    That toilet/sink swap might get expensive if you have to run a new stack up to the roof + drains? I’m also not a plumber so maybe I’m wrong there…

    • Thanks, Adrien! Yes—having laundry in my home feels like such a huge luxury! I do a ton of laundry because my shit is filthy all the time (renovating for four years will do that!) and I’m just so glad I made that a priority early on.

      No worries about the toilet/sink swap! It doesn’t make anything more expensive or complicated in this case. All the plumbing will be new—nothing remains of the original plumbing for that bath, anyway. The plumbing rough-in and fixture installation is looking to be about $1,500—not a drop in the bucket but not horrific either. :)

  40. It seems that you might need more room around the fireplace. Maybe a smaller island? Also, I have always wanted a kitchen fireplace at counter-top height, with a grill and a bread oven. A chimney such as yours could probably be altered to provide a place to cook things and a place to burn things as well. I second the preference for a window over the sink, and having the fridge in the same room, but sometimes one can’t have everything. Anyway, it’s all looking good.

  41. I don’t have a vent hood either – no big thing unless you deep fry everything or make bacon twice a day (use one of those mesh covers for your pan when you do though and you’ll be happy you did because a lot of oil can vaporize and show up on your cabinets without you ever seeing it get there). And I am thrilled you want to move the fridge out of the kitchen holy grail triangle. I do too and everyone thinks I’m crazy. I look at this way. The fridge is part of the pantry – the COLD part. Keep a tray with it so you can bring what you need into the main space when you need it (and have a glasses cabinet/shelf near the fridge no matter what). Can’t wait to see it!

    • I like the way you think, Chrissy! I think the fridge thing just goes against modern American kitchen design wisdom, but I think there are plenty of cases where it makes sense! Especially if you’re into how stuff looks, which I obviously am very into.

  42. Hello!

    I’ve never actually left a comment before, but you’re my Internet bestie (it’s pretty one sided so far….). I have spent most of the past five years working as an interior designer for high end residential projects in London so sometimes I know what I’m talking about(currently licing back home, trying out the havingababy thing. I think we will keep him!) I think your plans are good! And fuck work triangles Daniel, you do you!
    But some of the comments have said sink by the window is a good idea, and it is if you caN swing it. Especially if there isn’t a dishwasher. (I didn’t quite catch if the ewould be one, sorry if I skimmed and missed! ) I live in a flat with no extractor fan and when I moved in I thought “uh oh” but it’s fine. You cracking the window a bit to get rid of lingering taco smell.
    What I think you could get to help make the kitchen easier is: https://uk.pinterest.com/kbtbywhitehaus/pot-filler-frenzy/
    Just a tiny tip.
    Also why are you swapping the basin and wc over? All I know is that moving a wc and the soil pipe is expensive. But hopefully you will get away with it if you’re not moving it too far!

    Love that you’re posting more these days!

    • Aw, hi bestie! Nice to meet ya!

      I shoulda mentioned in the post, but there will be a dishwasher! To the right of the sink in the plans.

      The sink/toilet swap has a couple of reasons. The first is that the door is actually off-center, so there’s more depth on the left side of the room than the right, so more of the toilet is concealed behind the wall/door. Considering it’s a straight shot from the front door to the bathroom, it would be kind of nice for the toilet to not be the first thing you see when you walk into the house! The other reason is that I still want the powder room to have a window, and it feels more natural to have that over the toilet with a wall for a mirror above the sink than vice-versa. Does that makes sense? (all the plumbing will be brand new, although we’ll be tying into the existing vent stack. There’s no difference in cost between the two options!)

      I’m considering the pot filler!! Honestly it seems kind of totally unnecessary to me, but it’s fancy and I know it’s become totally normal/practically required to put one in, so I’m considering it. I guess I just don’t like tacking on that kind of cost for something that I don’t feel like I need, but I’m not closed off to the possibility!

      • Pot fillers are pretty, but I’m old school in that I don’t trust water pipes on exterior walls in places where winter lasts like six months. ;)

      • Good point! I tend to agree, although I gotta say I think they’d be fine with a PEX line and the foam insulation behind…that insulation seems to do a phenomenal job! The plumber probably has another take on it, though. :)

  43. I just like that I laugh out loud when I read your posts.

    As a short person that has a sink in front of a window, I like it but it would be ok if it wasn’t there since you have so many other windows. My bigger concern is that I don’t see a dishwasher in your plans???? That is where you keep the dirty dishes!!!!

    • I should have mentioned—to the right of the sink there’s space for a dishwasher. Essential!! I hate hate hate doing dishes. HATE.

  44. This is exactly the kitchen I would want to install here. :) Great plan!

  45. I don’t know how much you’d find this useful but there’s an app called Procreate that I’ve seen people use to take photos of rooms in their house then create layers to change aspects like add rugs, paint colors, furniture etc without having to build it all in sketch up or the ikea kitchen planner.

    • I’ll check it out! I haven’t tried an app like that in years—I bet they work a lot better now than they did when apps were a new thing!

  46. Now I’m wondering why the work triangle is even a thing. The fridge is like cold-pantry space, and you’re literally putting it in the pantry. This all makes perfect sense.

    Although you might want a shelf or table near the fridge, for when you’re loading and unloading from it while holding the door open. But it could always be a rolling cart or something, if you decide you care about this later.

    • Thanks, Keely! I guess I see the “pantry” built-ins opposite the fridge kinda fulfilling that need for a countertop by the fridge for loading and unloading. But yeah, I’ll figure out what feels comfy and practical!

  47. Love your ideas and seeing the thought process you go through! You should be fine with the refrigerator in the new mud room – the basket idea sounds great for when you need to move a lot of produce from to the sink & stove are for cooking. Looking forward to watching how it all comes together.

    I cook a lot and would hate to be without a hood that vented to the outside. I hate cooking at my mother-in-law’s house where she has a microwave over the stove with a recirculating fan as it is totally useless for removing humidity & grease from the kitchen. Here is a post from Ayse at Casa Decrepit about Kitchen Hoods & Why They Matter http://www.casadecrepit.com/archives/002400.html – she has lots of opinions about kitchen design (I believe she is an architect) and they have been working on their Victorian for many years.

    • Thanks, Cheryl! That is a lot of opinions and she clearly knows what she’s talking about! I don’t like what she’s saying, but I don’t doubt that it’s true! :)

  48. Daniel, I think the kitchen you’ve designed is beautiful and fits the house perfectly.

  49. I’ll be in your focus group! I love it! Big fan. And hey, if you want to put a fridge in a closet, who am I to complain? The only thing that would bum me out, personally, if it were my kitchen would be the lack of counter space bordering the fridge, because I like to set my grocery bags on the counter and then load them from the counter to the fridge. But that’s just me! You do you. (I am also sad about the laundry room because it was a work of art, but I have no doubt that your new laundry room will be awesome. And also your new kitchen. I’m weirdly jazzed about it, considering it’s someone else’s kitchen.)

    • Thanks, Kat! I see the pantry built-ins opposite the fridge fulfilling that need for a countertop near the fridge—I understand! I like that too.

      I’m sorta sad about the laundry room too! It’s a great little space, and the tiling job in there is pretty perfect. OH WELL.

  50. Well, check out Victoria Elizabeth Barnes’ website. She is still working on her kitchen and she made an island from a 19th century piano. It is fabulous. You can use anything you’d like. I’d suggest something like a store counter, or display case thing. I always wanted to make my kitchen from all old store fixtures, but I’m downsizing. Great job. Like the powder room idea. Have I been following you that long? 4 years in Kingston, two ? years in Brooklyn, one year upper east side, dorm room? Great job. But, we want to hear about the cottage down the street.

    • Thanks AnnW—several people linked to her site above, so I’ve seen it! Very cool. I appreciate the insanity of the piano project. I’m definitely open to something vintage, it just has to be the right thing!

      (And yes, this blog is coming up on 7 years and you’ve been here for most of it! Thank you for sticking around, as always! <3)

  51. Love this, it’s going to look fantastic.
    Love the wood-burning stove, yes to the hutch and hell yes tot he fridge! Also, it would be my dream to have my laundry room on the first floor. It’s so annoying to schlep clothes up and down the stairs all the time. Much more practical upstairs.
    Have you thought about opening the wall to the dining room? You could have a much bigger island and storage, it would make your room feel bigger too.

    I have to admit I’m a little disappointed with the tub though, oh well.

    • Oops hit send too quickly :)

      As I was saying, wassup with the tub!! You promised drama!! Bates motel!! the whole shebang. I’m disappointed. :)

      • Thanks, Doorot! I’m actually really opposed to opening up walls in this house—there’s a time and a place with some houses (usually not old ones, in my opinion!), but this isn’t one of them! The original layout (with all its original doors and walls!) is really great as-is—it’s actually one of my favorite things about the house.

        Don’t worry, the tub will come back around! I have an idea. :)

  52. Imma just leave a couple of things here:
    Karen’s kitchen remodel (Art of Doing Stuff):
    http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/my-kitchen-the-reveal/
    She has a good mix of modern and traditional, including a big, powerful stove and vent hood:
    http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/the-four-corners-of-the-kitchen-the-stove/
    Re: venting a hood: oval duct pipe that you can run between wall studs is a thing:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/6-in-x-5-ft-Oval-Duct-Pipe-OP6X60/100191960
    Maybe run it down then out? Or all the way up to the roof? Is that a thing? If the exterior vent is down by the foundation, you could hide it behind a bush or something.

    • So funny, I was just on Karen’s site the other day reading about her self-leveling concrete experience! Which I also read about years ago, but I never saw her completed kitchen! It turned out so great! I’ll have to go back and read more of the process posts.

      And thank you, that’s an interesting idea! Unfortunately I don’t think it would work for me because my walls are 2×4 framing, and so even with my slim foam insulation panels I don’t have nearly enough depth in the wall. In general you can’t really vent stuff down, though—I’ve never heard of anyone doing that!

  53. So, I just started reading your blog a few months ago and I love it! I’ve never commented before, but I felt you needed someone to tell you it’s ok to put the fridge in a separate room. If I had a butler pantry situation in my house I would totes do it! Unfortunately (for now) I live in a boring old 1970s ranch, but a girl can dream. I can’t wait to see how this goes! :)

    • Hey thanks, Amanda! I know everyone thinks I’m out of my mind but I swear I’ve given this a lot of thought! It’ll be great!

      (or terrible, and then I’ll just change it. I can do that kinda thing.)

  54. I would rotate half-bath for 90 degrees and use that space behind the door in the kitchen for niche for the fridge. Also, how would the hutch fit into mudroom? That place where the sink used to be looks like a great spot for a built in bench … I totally understand your unwillingness to commit – there are so many possibilities.

    • Yes there are! If you rotate the half-bath 90 degrees, how would you get into it? I’m not sure I follow! Bench would be great, but I gotta heat the room somehow! :)

      • Can the radiator go behind the kitchen door – next to the hutch? Then you could have lovely bench under the window (with firewood storage underneath!).

  55. Kitchen renovations are making me excited, I’ll try to behave.
    Love your fridge plan- out of plain sight, great, and the perspective of a pantry/mudroom
    Gas cooktop- great, but I personally would opt for a built in cooktop with seperate oven. I can’t stand the looks of these range appliances. Could be, this might be attributed to my european take on kitchens,
    As it seems there is no dishwasher, right? I would definitely not want to go without, but I openly despise doing dishes. Anything that is not supposed to go into the dishwasher is basically not entering my house (except good knifes and nice glasses). Creating this new layout is really feeling right to me. Love the fireplace btw!
    the island is geat; just love it.
    Cheers
    LIs

    • There is a dishwasher, I’m sorry! To the right of the sink. I didn’t mention it in the post and I should have! I HATE HATE washing dishes but I actually enjoy loading and unloading the dishwasher for some reason. And I totally know what you mean about the separate cooktop and oven! I think that is much more common in Europe, but I agree that it’s preferable to most ranges. I don’t dislike the look of a nice “pro-style” range though—very simple and clean, no LED display or anything yucky—and I think that’s going to win out mostly because of budget. But it’s something to consider. I grew up with a cooktop and two wall ovens, and having the big drawers right beneath the cooktop for pots and pans was really great!

  56. I understand it’s just sketch up, but you really hit the whole The Knick inspiration on the head with the proportions and lines! Looks amazing and really feels honest to the age of the house. I know what you mean about the vent hood, but it’s basically life changing, especially with a gas range. Just save for 10 more years and get a copper one. Ya know, easy as that :)

    • Aw, thank you, Becky! I love that you see the relation! I can’t wait to get the materials pulled together…

      Ha, simple! But actually, that’s an option…I’ll probably rough-in electric in the wall for one and install later if I feel like I need it, that kind of thing. Although copper—that’s probably never gonna happen! Did I mention the two bathrooms, kitchen renovation, exterior restoration, interior restoration, foundation fixing, chimney-lining…omg

  57. Love it. Love it all so much. I don’t mind the refrigerator in the pantry at all, but I think it should be easier to get to. So, one suggested change. Bear with me, it’s hard to describe. Move the hutch down toward the radiator, and bring the door to the back hall toward the dining room into the spot where the refrigerator now is in your drawing – this would form the new opening to the back hall – then push the fridge into the space where the new closet would be, facing the kitchen, so when you go to the fridge, it’s out of the kitchen but straight ahead and much easier to access from both stove and sink (i.e. you would pass in front of it to get to the back door). Trick out the rest of the room with mudroom/pantry niceties, shallow storage, etc. Just a thought.

    Btw, @whiteflowerfarmhouse did a great job putting panels on a cheap bottom freezer fridge, it looks awesome.

    • I *think* I’m following. It’s a good idea! I know I tried to make that work a while ago and I can’t remember why I nixed it…I’ll sketch it out again and see what I’m missing. Thanks!

      I wasn’t aware of that account, thank you for the recommendation! Beautiful! I’m trying to find the freezer…I’ll keep looking.

  58. We used to own a 1933 house that had the refrigerator just outside the kitchen on a landing by the back door. It looked strange, but it really wasn’t inconvenient, and I always liked to think that it was probably where an icebox was and could be accessed from the back door. Your house is even older, so you could definitely say that it’s where the icebox would have been!

    • Yes, the icebox has been in the back of my mind! Exactly…a little unconventional in terms of modern kitchens, but functionally fine, and it does feel historic to me. That’s a big part of what holds me back from trying to recess the fridge into a niche facing the kitchen, too…I just can’t imagine that looking right in this house, either!

    • My grandmother’s 1920s house was designed the same way, probably for the same reason: the refrigerator sat in the “outside kitchen,” a small one-story room (really a vestibule) off the kitchen, with an outside door leading to a small fenced area that held the trash cans and the tin cooler in which the milkman left things. I’m pretty sure the outside cooler was a later addition, and that the original arrangement was that the door between the kitchen and outside kitchen could be locked, while the exterior door to the outside kitchen could be left unlocked, allowing milkman, iceman, maybe even the grocery boy to make deliveries (remember, commuter suburbs built before most people owned a car assumed that much shopping, even things picked out in person, would be delivered later in the day).

      I cooked a good deal in that kitchen (which was missing a lot of things that are now considered necessary, probably in part because it was originally designed to be used by “help,” but did have 2 dishwashers — the one that worked, but had to be rolled up to and attached to the sink, and the one that originally came as a unit with a big old sink of the sort you currently have, but eventually stopped working, and became a pot-storage cupboard), and I don’t remember there being a problem with the location of the refrigerator. There was a temptation to balance a few too many things in one’s arms so as to save trips, so a basket sounds like a good idea, as does a place to put down grocery bags.

  59. 1) Range hoods are overrated. I have literally never lived in a home with one and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Save yourself the $ and time (IMHO).
    2) I have a cleaning closet and I LOVE it. It’s a really narrow, otherwise-stupid random closet in my living room, but it holds the vacuum, mop, broom, rug cleaner, dust buster, and caddy of cleaning tools. (Also, I never thought I’d grow up to be someone excited about cleaning closets, but live and learn.)

    Looking forward to watching this unfold!

    • Dreaaaammyyyyy and yes I know exactly what you mean! I am STOKED for the closet. A place to store all that stuff conveniently is so nice!

  60. I have a couple of seconds to the comments that are already here (fine-tuning for that beautiful layout):
    1) A hood vent is required by code, especially when you are going for a gas range (combustion! exhaust! You don’t wanna live in the equivalent of a closed garage with a small car running, even if your house is old and leaky enough to keep you from dying). You’ll also have to plan for “make-up air” to bring in an equivalent amount of fresh air to that pulled out by your hood. All this is why I went induction instead. But I understand that gas fits your kitchen better.
    2) Dishwasher! The only thing that is a deal-breaker for me is the lack of a dishwasher. It appears as though there’s enough room for a standard 24″ to the right of your sink, but if not, there are also 18″ models for not a million dollars. Maybe you could buy a make-do one for now, and upgrade it to the fancy panel kind when you win the next Angie’s List contest?
    3) Landing zone for the fridge. Maybe a roller cart or a small cabinet on one side would be good?

    Can’t wait to see where this all goes!

    • 1) From what I’ve found, it looks like a hood vent would actually not be required by code because the windows provide natural ventilation. Remember, there are four large windows and an adjacent exterior door in this room! I think its at least worth trying without one, and adding later if necessary.
      2) Oh, and I should have mentioned in the post, but there is 24″ to the right of the sink for the dishwasher! And yes, I actually bought a dishwasher about a year ago (less?) and figured I’d upgrade when I renovated the kitchen and then WHOOPS I gotta renovate the kitchen! Ha. So it’s inoffensive but stainless, and I’ll upgrade someday. :)
      3) The pantry built-in directly across from the fridge will have a countertop (maybe 16″ deep?) which I think will be a good landing zone!

  61. Looking good! I have seen a couple of period-style kitchens that have solved the island dilemma by using white marble for the top of the island and adding some extra molding so it looks more like a table (and you get a bonus baking center) I know money is tight, but you should be able to find a piece of marble that’s left over from somebody’s remodel, or even salvage a countertop/table that needs to be restored. Another option is to look for around for old store displays or an old table/cabinet, and steal pieces to incorporate into the island to help make it look more like a piece of furniture and less like a built in.

    One thing I didn’t see in your diagram is zoning. We all think about storage, but we don’t think about zoning. When we bought our cottage, somebody told me to make a list of the things I do daily, weekly, and monthly, then figure out how to work in work zones that accommodate those tasks before I redid the kitchen. I realized while working out zones that a small freezer was a bigger need than another cabinet and getting one made a huge difference in my work flow (and we found the freezer used for $25 – much cheaper than the cabinet I was thinking about!) One other thing – you have been eliminating doors, so it may be a good idea to think about creating a landing place for groceries and how you can make it easier to store things that become a pain to lug back and forth, like dog food. Yes, this is voice of hard experience talking :)

    • I love the marble idea in theory, but then I think…if I spring for marble in this kitchen, shouldn’t I do the countertops and then just do butcherblock on the island? The island is pretty large here…6’x3’…so I think the chances of finding a salvage piece that big are slim…I dunno!

      • You might be surprised! There was a countertop supply place here in Austin that decided to relocate to a warehouse across the street, and announced on Craigslist that all of their slabs that had been paid for and not picked up by the moving deadline were free, first come, first served. I got there at the end of the weekend and still got a piece of soapstone big enough for a card table and a piece of white marble big enough for a bathroom vanity, and the people who’d gotten there before me had walked away with slabs big enough to lay down in the bed of a pickup. If only I’d found out about it earlier, my crappy DIY feather finish countertops would be a thing of the past! (sob!)

        Or what about pool table slate? Sometimes you can salvage that for cheap. Maybe not for the island top, but maybe the hearth on the floor?

        P.S. You are the only blogger where I read not only your posts, but also all the comments and your replies. I learn so much, and I’m always entertained!

      • That’s amazing, Lori! Definitely a good thing to keep an eye out for. Not quite as good, but our Habitat for Humanity got a load of stone remnants a few months ago, and had them I think for $50 for the smaller slabs and $100 for the bigger ones. I think it was all polished granites which I have no use for, but a pretty good deal! It does happen…

        The pool table slate idea (which is insane and also brilliant!) wasn’t even on my radar until a few days ago, but I think it’s pretty ingenious! I kind of like the idea for a fireplace hearth, too. It’s something to consider!

        (out of curiosity, did you do the Ardex feather finish? I want to know about it! I’ve considered it for a few projects where budgets are tight but a better option has always presented so I don’t have any experience with it!)

        And thank you, that makes me so happy! I’m always blown away and feel so fortunate for the comments section of this blog…I feel like we have good conversations and stuff! It’s a nice time! We learn things! We grow! It’s civil! That feels increasingly rare on the internet nowadays, so it’s really a treat to have here. :) :)

      • Hi I have a friend who used an old pool table stone to make countertops and it worked well and look beautiful. She had to pay to make it cut to the right fit but it was not expensive

  62. I came all the way to your actual site from my rss reader just to comment on the fact that you said it’s giving you agita. My New York Italian boyfriend says this all the time and I love it.

  63. NEW KITCHEN! YOU LUCKY DUCK! I haven’t read all the comments so this may have already been mentioned. Have you thought about turning the fridge towards the kitchen and making it a built in? You could move the old hutch to the mud room where the built in hutch is going. Or get rid of the wall altogether and make a large kitchen. I cook a lot so having the fridge in the mudroom would drive me crazy. I also have the Jenn-Air gas downdraft (because our city code requires some type of venting and I couldn’t go up). I love the stove but I rarely use the fan because it sucks the flame and makes for uneven cooking. I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

    • Thanks Barbara! Yes, I’ve thought about it! I just don’t love it? It just feels…not for me. I really feel like the fridge is so close that it really won’t feel like a big thing, but I’m still mulling things over!

      Luckily I don’t think my city code requires a vent provided there’s natural ventilation (windows!), so I think I have options with the range!

  64. My in-laws have a pop-up range hood and it’s great.
    I hope you end up with a big old table and some chairs rather than the kitchen island. With your current plan there’s nowhere to sit in the kitchen. With the beautiful fireplace I can imagine this room would be an lovely cosy place to chill out, chat, read or eat breakfast. So much better with somewhere to sit!

    • I’ve been looking at those! They seem cool. The hardcore exhaust vent people think they’re stupid but they seem like a great compromise if the hood isn’t a good option.

  65. Waow that is very promising, I can’t wait to see the final mood board . I feel you so about the constant struggle between affordable cheap IKEA suburban kitchen vs crazy expensive dreamy devolesque kitchen.
    After considering lots of options we finally took the decision to build it by ourselves the furniture …and I have to admit we are currently still living with an old door on trestles for 6 months as ‘temporary solution’ –ahah this triangle thing is so overrated. Anyway who needs this to cook a good old racette?
    But, during this looooooong project, we happily found out it was very easy to have beautiful and affordable huge boards of pine cut out at the local sawmill to make an authentic butcher top. … I know our local sawmills are far away from yours – I live in France next to Bordeaux- but I am sure you should have great sawmills also around Kingston.

    • Ah, cool! I so want to avoid building my own cabinets (I need that additional project like I need a hole in my head!) but the thought has crossed my mind many times!

  66. I hate to be the one that can’t see this vision but it is always good to hear the opposite side!! Your dishwasher needs to be next to your sink. You need a good looking stove oven microwave and hood. The dish cabinet can display fancy dishes in the dining room and the fridge and more counters should be along that back wall. Also the island is way too long. You need more walking around room. How about matching pendant lamps above the island storage. i have a small black fridge. You need a smug (?)–but anyway, stuff can’t get lost in the back of a small refrigerator and you can wipe it out in 5 minutes.

    I am so happy the washer/dryer is going upstairs–saves mess in the downstairs. And, I see no reason to put that tub anywhere in your house. But I am sure you could get a nice looking shower in there.

    So, I am very sorry for all these suggestions, please just take them as one person’s opinion. But I have lived in a lot of different houses.

    • Greta, I think you might need to adjust your expectations or you’re going to be very disappointed, ha! But I will have a dishwasher (essential!). I definitely WON’T be getting a Smeg (I think that’s what you mean?)—way too expensive, and they seem horrible! Adorable but bad quality and way too small. I really do like my existing refrigerator from a functional standpoint. It’s all gonna be ok! Definitely no room for a shower downstairs but I don’t want one!

  67. I’m trying to figure out why you are not taking out all, or at least half of the wall / doorway between the kitchen and what will soon be the former laundry? It looks like you could really utilize that space and have your fridge, pantry and more counter space in the kitchen instead of on the other side of the wall. I like that you are not having upper cabinets. Love the fireplace and hutch.

    • I understand what you’re saying, but the kitchen and laundry are two separate structures—the kitchen pre-dates the laundry space. So aside from the load-bearing exterior wall issue, there’s also a lower ceiling in the laundry and it just…well, it feels like a separate space. A larger cased opening is an option, but that’s about it!

  68. You don’t need that thing over the stove, you have three windows and at least one door to let out the smoke if you burn anything!

    I love how you so blithely relocate outside windows.

    • That’s right now—there will be FOUR big windows and an exterior door! If that’s not enough ventilation, I don’t know what is!

  69. This looks great! It has a real Plain English vibe, and Plain English kitchens are some of my favorites. I’m jealous that you have enough space to do away with upper cabinets – it makes the kitchen so much more inviting. But I have to say, for the first time in my life, I now have an exhaust hood that vents to the outside, and it’s totally worth it – it gets rid of cooking odors, cuts down on aerosolized grease, and keeps the kitchen cooler in the summer. If you want an unobtrusive hood, you could always enclose it (there are some great examples in Plain English kitchens). And I’m sure there are ways to disguise the vent on the exterior. Good luck, this is going to turn out great!

    • YESSS, Plain English kitchens are some of my very very favorites! Definitely a big inspiration here. I was gonna do a post about them soon, even though I think maybe I’m the last person to know about them? Ha.

      I hear what you say about the hood! I think what’s the most practical for me is to do without, but give myself the option of adding down the line. I’d prefer to not have one, but I can get over myself if it really is an issue!

      • I am actually about to google Plain English kitchens, so you’re definitely not the last. Maybe second-to-last? ;)

      • Lori—DID YOU DIE OF JEALOUSY FOR WHOEVER OWNS THOSE KITCHENS? They’re the best!

  70. Looks dreamy Daniel! I’m considered a serious cook by all who know me and I don’t have a range hood. If you are planning on deep frying things all the time, then you should have one; but if you just want to do normal cooking you should be fine. Can’t wait to see you tackle all of this!

    • Even if you’re just telling me what I want to hear instead of what I need to hear, I’m running with it. Thank you!

  71. This looks beautiful! Elegant, restrained, practical too. Sorry to lose the Dead Guy bathtub, but it makes sense. Of all the odd things I’ve heard of renovators living with, yours was the most… striking. :D

    • I do feel like I have a special distinction there! Don’t worry, it’ll get used. It’s still on my living room floor!

      • I am picturing you giving the home tour, and you’re just casually like, “Here’s the living room, and here’s the tub where the previous owner died and then partially liquified.” I am perhaps too easily amused.

      • Nope, that’s exactly what it’s like. I love a shock factor!

  72. WhenI bought my gas range I wasn’t planning for hod…the chef sales person went batshit crazy and claimed I would burn the house down. We bought the hood…hardly use it…house still standing.

    Love the antique hutch. I used my grandmothers in a similar way for years.

    I’ve had sinks with and without a view…love the view but aldo loved the antique tin ceiling piece I framed and hung when no window was available…you of all people can make this work!

    I too would pivot the refrig and create a nook!

    Look forward to seeing your work in progress.

    • Thanks Robin! Yeah, I think the reactions to the sink/window situation might be different if people knew the view! It’s a street and other houses that are not particularly cared for…to me the windows are ALL about the light and making the exterior look right!

  73. I’ve been waiting (not so patiently) for you to tell us your kitchen plans, and as per usual they make me all swoony/wish I lived next to you so we could be best friends. But let’s move past that creepy stalker comment, and I will just chime in a few thoughts on your layout and the previous comments.
    1) I think the fridge in the pantry area works just fine, especially since that way it’s a big food storage space all of its own. My only small recommendation is that you consider not having the mud room style closet, and move the fridge to the center of that wall so you can have some counter space on each side of the fridge. That way you can have a tray or something there that you can use to pile all your ingredients on so you can carry them to the island in one go (to alleviate the haters that say it would be annoying to run back and forth). I just think the fridge space looks a little tight (speaking as someone who has a fridge tucked into a wall nook in my kitchen).
    2) I also like the idea to switch the stove with the sink. I’m also going to second the range hood idea. It may not seem like those cooking oils are vaporizing into the air, but they are, and it’s not only a cleanliness thing, it’s also a health/safety thing as breathing in vaporized particles can be pretty damaging in the long run (as in linked to cancer, but I guess so is everything else so maybe it doesn’t matter). I understand the desire for the pretty stylized shelf, and I would totally love to see that so I can just gaze lovingly at it through my computer screen. However, you could still do some shelves on either side of the range hood so we can all get the #shelfie envy.

    But let’s be real, whatever you do will be shear perfection so I’m just gonna go ahead and let you plan your own kitchen space. Good luck, and I can’t wait to see the final result!

    • Thanks Steph! Yeah, I need to keep thinking through the fridge/pantry/closet/mudroom set-up. It’s a small space that I want to accomplish a lot..obviously that part of the plan could use some refinement! None of this happening tomorrow…everyone can chill. Haha.

      There’s a lot of discussion up above about the sink/stove placement, so I’ll leave it there! Thank you! :)

  74. I’m assuming you’ve already thought of this and vetoed it for some reason but if you put the stove below one window and the sink below the other you could do the fridge where the sink is and do a built in around it to serve as your pantry/appliance garage.

    Pro: In theory you will one day have a back deck out that door. It might be nice to have your fridge space serve as a buffet space where you can have a coffee bar and wine bar sorta set up at all times. It would also have a counter for serving to your back deck. You could also transfer your open shelving for the wall between the two windows so the sink/stove would share the benefit of whatever is stored up there.

    Con: Like you said, you’re particular about having open shelving and maximum counter space. So you would lose the space surrounding the sink currently. But that’s an awful lot of counter space wrapped to the left of your stove and I’m not sure you would use it as much as you think since your island is right behind the stove and you would still have the counter space on the right.

    Anyways. Food for thought! You would still have the radiator view from the front door, your stove could vent out an open window, you could gain a cool wine/coffee buffet, you gain the convenience of the work triangle or whatever, and the lost counter space might not be as big of a deal as you think?

    • I think I’m following! I’m still playing around with the plan, and obviously there are lots of options! Unfortunately I think that plan ends up being really crowded and cluttered in real life, just taking into account the actual dimensions of everything. There’s not as much space as there might seem to be! But nothing’s set in stone and I’m still playing around with options. :)

      • Haha I know it’s really easy for me in my bird’s eye throne of limited awareness to have opinions. And I’ve given mine significantly less thought than you have; I definitely know you’ll know what’s best for your own space! I’m excited to follow the progress. I look forward to your blog posts!

      • Thanks, Casey! And I do appreciate it (I try not to sounds defensive because I don’t feel defensive, but apologies if I do!)! I’m blessed (and cursed, just from a time perspective…as in, there’s not enough of it!) to have a LOT of feedback and different perspectives at my disposal, and I genuinely like thinking and talking this stuff through. Ad nauseum! It really helps me clarify things that I don’t feel great about or I don’t feel is developed enough, so I really do welcome it all!

  75. Please, please, please!! Never show that horror show bathroom picture ever again!!! It freaks me out and makes my tummy hurt. Thank you and hugs.

  76. Yay new kitchen! Yay upstairs laundry (that makes so much sense)! Love the kitchen fireplace! It’s gonna look so great!!! Can’t wait to see it all happen!

  77. I know it’s going to end up being amazing, and you haven’t even started talking about colors and finishes yet! On the topic of the fridge though, would it be possible to have an outlet on the fridge circuit added in on the wall behind the hutch as a sort of back-up plan? Maybe covered with a plate or something if the building code won’t allow another outlet? You’d never see it, because it would be behind the hutch. You could placate the naysayers though, by having the option of putting the refrigerator where the hutch is on that day in the distance future when you decide to sell the house. OR if you live with the refrigerator in the mudroom/pantry for a while and it ends up driving you crazy, moving the hutch back into the dining room and putting the fridge there can be an easy plan B. Because there should be NO SHAME involved in changing your mind later, especially if you planned to be able to change your mind.

    • YES absolutely—I think I mentioned this in a comment up there somewhere! Easy! I plan to do kinda the same thing for a range hood…give myself the option of adding or changing down the line by putting the electric in the wall and ready to go. I think part of why I don’t freak out about this stuff so much is that this doesn’t feel like the kind of thing where I have ONE SHOT to get it right and then can never change it again! I can always change it! It’s my shit! It’s gonna be FINE!

  78. Ahhhh I hate to be the one with a dissenting opinion. You’ve clearly given this design a lot of thought and I think it’s a great start! My suggestions revolve around playing to the strengths of the room and the period of the house.
    1) I know you’ve made a conscious decision to avoid uppers, but consider that full height cabinets would look amazing in that space given the tall ceilings. Upper-less kitchens tend to look bottom heavy and squat, whereas cabinets that go to the ceiling draw the eye up and make the room feel grand and elegant. If you did glass fronts for the uppers, it would look beautiful alongside the windows and work well with the character of the house.
    2) focal point: currently there is none. My eye is wandering all over the place trying to find somewhere to rest. Consider playing more with symmetry: for example centering the sink on a window as others have suggested.
    3) Consider putting a floor to ceiling hutch to house the fridge in the space next to the dining room door. This will mirror the large architectural feature of the fireplace and give the room some balance. Even if you don’t move the fridge here and just do cabinets…
    4) Exhaust hood: I know you don’t want it, but I highly recommend one. If you move the stove to where the sink is, the hood will be less of a focal piece. Also if you go with uppers, the hood can be integrated quite nicely.
    Those are my thoughts! I just finished my kitchen remodel so I know how exciting it can be! Good luck!

  79. Love it! And I am completely supportive of the fridge being in the pantry! The most important triangle, I think, is the sink, island/major counter space, and the range.

    And speaking of the range, for the love of g-d, DON’T buy and induction top. No matter what I do, the thing always always looks dirty. If it’s not smeared, it’s dusty and I HATE IT. I long for the day when I can have a gas range top and electric wall ovens. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • Thanks Jen! I was wondering that about the induction!! My boyfriend has a glass-topped electric range, which I assume is similar when it comes to maintenance, and it’s the same problem! He’s more fussy about it than me but out of respect I feel like I’m cleaning that thing multiple times a day, thoroughly, with weird special cleaner chemicals, and it’s still a mess somehow.

      • The office? Wow. Does that mean your laundry room will have the most gorgeous black and gold wallpaper ever? Please say yes.

      • Yes it sure does! (I’m PRETTY SURE. Although I’m nervous because I somehow have to plumb that wall. So I might have to redo it…but I still love that wallpaper so it needs to be somewhere!)

  80. This post shows how much thought (and re-thought and re-re-thought) you’ve put into this layout. It’s gonna be SO good. I’m glad people linked Victoria Elizabeth Barnes’ rant about range hoods; you’re two of the funniest people in the blogosphere, and you’re kindred spirits on this issue.

    Where will the laundry space be upstairs? I’m trying to picture the stack situation with the bathroom up there, but you had a plumbed 2nd kitchen upstairs, too, so??? (Also: Won’t you toss us an Instagram bone with even a tease from Bluestone or Olivebridge Cottage?)

    • So…wait for it…don’t hate me…don’t think I’m crazy…the little office will become the laundry! Eek! I DID have a (poorly) plumbed second floor kitchen when I bought the house, but it’s long gone. Definitely no space in the bathroom, or anywhere else, and that room is kinda perfect. I’ll talk more about it soon! (and yes I know, those projects are long overdue for updates. I think it’ll make sense why when I do post updates, which are coming, but it’s a bit much to get into!)

      • Oh my god. I’m just swallowing that you will be redoing so much of the stuff you’ve already done. If you can live with that, though, the internet can live with it (I think my horror is 80% that I have been in my rental condo for five months now and have barely managed to make it livable; the scope of what you get done is unfathomable to me). I wish I could come out for an afternoon and do grunt work just to move through some of the painful bits with you!

  81. i learned to cook on a gas cooktop with a “downdraft” that actually popped up so it never pulled the flame that i recall… like so: http://www.dacor.com/Products/Ventilation/Renaissance-48-46-36-30-Downdrafts
    they’re actually an accessory that you can install behind a slide-in range. best of both worlds?

    • Claire, thank you so much! That kind of thing might be a great option for me. Definitely worth exploring! (for some reason I always thought they were somehow part of certain fancy stoves that I can’t afford, but as an accessory it’s kinda feasible!)

  82. Who are these people who can wash dishes while staring out the window? I’ve had sinks with windows and I never look out them! Right now I have a glass door cabinet with all the pretty things in it and I barely look at that. You do you and keep your sink where you please! My mom has some framed art that is easily wipe-able and that is also fab.

    I also think you can crack the window and skip the hood. You don’t have any uppers, so things won’t get quite as greasy. Maybe think about tile all the way up the wall so you could wipe it down if you get some grease droplets?

    Love the basket idea for the fridge – or maybe a shelf of some sort to store things on while loading/unloading.

    I didn’t catch microwave placement – also in the pantry? Will that have a door? You could also do the closet to the right of the fridge as a U-shaped pantry shelf area with microwave and then do an arrow coat closet on opposite wall for coats and cleaning equipment. Keep food things together (fridge/pantry)

    • Thanks Kate! We’re on the same page! I understand the window/sink thing but don’t particularly relate (not here, anyway! it’s not anything nice to look at out there!), and I think natural ventilation will suffice for the stove. And yes, I imagine that the microwave will go in the pantry space, which I don’t think will have a door. That’s why I said I have to think through the build-out of the space more…I do want it to look nice and feel like a natural extension of the kitchen, ya know?

  83. I am so excited! This looks awesome. It’s a great solution to what’s is now kind of an awkward layout and it feels like it belongs in the house. The wood stove is a great idea. I even like the idea of hiding the fridge; I have a narrow galley kitchen and I dread the day when my 27 year old kelvinator dies (it came with the house). It’s small, so it happens to be counter-depth by default. Also, I have used my stove hood 2x in 8 years, both times accidentally when I meant to turn on the hood light.

    (You are braver than I am. The dead guy tub would have been out on the curb before the ink dried on the deed) :)

  84. Hi,Daniel
    Love everything you do with your house,so beautyfull.About the fridge placement- I would change the door swing inside the dining room ,move hatch closer to the wall and gain the space for fridge.As it was mentioned above it it very convinient to be able just open the fringe and put ingridients on island.
    But that is your house .

    • Thanks Anna! I totally understand what you mean, and it’s a fine option that could easily be done! But probably by someone else…I know having the fridge slightly closer at hand is slightly more practical, but this is one of those instances where I’m OK with not doing the absolute most practical option. For me, I’ll be happier with it and more excited to use it if it looks the way I want it to! :)

  85. I don’t feel very strongly about this, but architecturally, doesn’t it make more sense to put the back door where the sink was and where you have a radiator planned now? Then all those doors through the house would align. If the door had a glass panel through which you could see the backyard, that’d be a pretty view all the way through the house. Here’s a very rough before/after mock-up: http://i.imgur.com/V4JHSlZ.jpg

    Also, just from functional perspective, putting the door there would keep through traffic from having to walk through either the pantry or the working areas of the kitchen. Part of what’s nice about your house with your central hallway is that that you don’t have to walk through rooms to get to other rooms, and having the back door between the kitchen and pantry would continue that theme of walking by/between rooms rather than through them. You’d also have a little more elbow room when coming in the back door with groceries or bags and be able to walk in and immediately drop everything on the island.

    • I rather like Jill’s idea, too. To place the outside door in line with the dining room door would create an enfilade, and allow the pantry to be a place for mess… you could even put the dishwasher there, too, if you wanted.

      We love having a wood stove in our kitchen. The only worry I have in your plan is that code requires a certain distance between the stove and any combustible surface — so there may not be space for the island as you have planned it (and which is both beautiful and efficient as a prep space).

      Finally we also rejected upper cabinets for a wide, long shelf above the counter, and its been lovely for both stemware as well as spices, serving bowls, etc. We had the shelf made of marble (actually quartz) supported by heavy brackets, which gave the shelf the slightest tilt down towards the counter, allowing for drainage of dishes or stemware washed by hand.

    • Jill (+Rosie!)—I understand and it sounds great, but there’s a stairwell down to the basement on the outside of that wall! It’s just not possible! (I used to think I’d maybe build a porch off the back of the house with a trap door of some kind to still access that stairwell, but I think that’s a little nuts. I actually use those stairs quite a bit, so I’d like to keep them accessible.)

  86. I’m so glad you’ve been planning your kitchen for four years. Makes me feel better about our kitchen which has had exposed drywall and only half a floor for two years now (yikes…)
    I don’t have the patience to delve into the other 135 (!!) comments, so I hope my suggestions aren’t too repetitive:
    I’m sure I’m not the only person saying you must vent that gas stove. But just in case I am, please do 10 min of research on the horrors of indoor air pollutants and you will be convinced. It’s scary.
    We have a vintage Chambers gas range (it’s butter yellow ❤) and also this handy little plug-in induction
    burner thing. We use the hell out of it every day, it’s awesome.
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/paragon-the-ultimate-smart-cooking-system-technology/#/

    And what about a cute wooden cover for that radiator? We had them built for our radiators, they’re great.

    • I’ve been thinking about buying an induction hot plate thing!

      I don’t know, I’m more of an exposed radiator kinda guy! I think they’re super cool and beautiful!

  87. Plans look great – love the sink with a shelf over it, hate extractor fans (range hoods) – I don’t have one and just open the window when I cook anything that might cause smoke, steam or smell, to hell with all the rules and conventions – you know what works for you.
    In my renovations I have completely ignored everyone’s advice, opinion and resaleability considerations and done exactly what works for me. I am sure when I sell down the line the next owner will rip out everything I have done anyway to change for works with them, I am not so vain to assume my taste is everyone else’s, and anyway, isn’t that the fun part of a new home!

    • Ha! I like your style, Louize! I have to admit, I pretty much don’t think about resale at all. I plan to live in this house a very long time, so who the hell am I to renovate a kitchen for the next owners? Hopefully I’ll be dead, and they’ll just redo whatever they don’t like. That’s the plan, anyway.

  88. “In England”, whatever previous commenters may say, we do whatever we can with the space, money and time we have. My fridge is in the under-stairs space because that’s where it fits without looking like an eyesore. My laundry is in an old outside bathroom upstairs from the kitchen. Look around any of the houses here and you’ll find people doing what they can with what they’ve got. Which is what you’re doing! (Personally I think in-cabinet white goods are supertacky, but that’s just me. It’s like putting a TV in a faux antique cabinet.)

    I love this design plan – can’t wait to see it come together!

    • I think that’s true for most of the world, Jo! And yes, it’s what I’m trying to do here anyway. It’s fun to pretend everything is an option, but ultimately these are real dollars and cents at play and real inches and feet that I can neither stretch nor shrink! So thank you. (and yeah, I think I might feel the same way? I grew up with the built-in fridge and freezer, huge and side-by-side, and there is a faux thing about them that’s pretty…ridiculous. I guess I do think they look better than a big regular old fridge, but it’s still not something that I love by any means.)

  89. I reckon you should have a smaller under counter fridge in your kitchen, with the main one as you have it planned. Most of the time having your fridge slightly out of the way isn’t going to be a problem but for milk and butter for tea/coffee and toast/sandwiches something closer would be better. And you can never have too much fridge space (wine?)

    • Possibly, although I talked about this a bit in the comments above…not sure it’s for me! And maybe you can’t have too much fridge space, but you can definitely have too little cabinet space, which is something I’m a little nervous about!

  90. love. everything! well almost. I guess it’s an American thing, this Kitchen Island must-have. It’d be the most originallyish thing to put a table in there, you’d still have countertop, you could sit there and watch things burn (only in that stove hopefully). the best parties of my life always ended sitting on a a kitchen table.
    And you don’t need more storage, do you really?
    btw. fridge/freezer drawers are too much of a budget challenge, I assume? that way you wouldn’t need a fridge….

    • It’s an option! I’m honestly not sure about the storage…I haven’t gotten to the point of laying out cabinets and figuring where everything goes. Since I don’t have upper cabinets, I am a bit concerned about storage. I do like the table option, though. It’s on the…table! ha.

      I thought a lot about the fridge/freezer drawers and other under-cab options. The cost is a whole different issue (and yeah, I don’t think I can swing it anyway) but honestly…I think THAT would drive me a little nuts. As much as I don’t want it in my direct line of sight, I really do love my normal-sized fridge, and use it!

  91. Daniel, I love that the laundry is going upstairs. I never understood why they are usually in the basement while the clothes are upstairs. Kudos.

    Also, I see no need for more than one bathtub in a house. I don’t remember if you have more than one bathroom upstairs, if you don’t it might be worth it keeping a tiny shower down there instead of a powder room. Just in case your upstairs shower breaks so you have somewhere to clean yourself until you can get it fixed.

    On the fridge conundrum: I have a somewhat strange suggestion. Think about a corner sink. In the corner between where the stove and the sink sit in your plans today, put the sink, the fridge can be near the door. I saw this on a tiny kitchen in Brooklyn and copied it to my small kitchen in São Paulo. It was the best solution to fit a working triangle into my space. Working triangles are meant to spare your feet from walking miles when you cook, trust me, I have lived without them. Besides, when you are making a full meal and need like 6 items from the fridge, how are you going to carry them all at once from the fridge to the kitchen?

    If you are getting a new fridge, I am going to share one of my pet peeves. I hate that the standard fridge is mostly fridge and just a tiny bit freezer. I would love to have a fridge that was half and half. Do they make those in the US? In Brazil there is like one model and it is very, very expensive.

    • Thanks Leticia! There’s really no space for anything in the downstairs bathroom except for a toilet and a sink, but that’s OK! In dire shower situations, I have friends or a gym membership. Ha! I may eventually put in a second full bathroom upstairs, but for now that’s not a priority at all. Too many other things to deal with, like having a kitchen again! :)

      Ha, this is totally a personal thing, but I cannot stand corner sinks. I hate them so much! I had one in my brooklyn kitchen (well, it wasn’t actually a corner sink—just a regular sink set on the diagonal in a corner) and I loathed it daily! Sorry, you struck a nerve apparently!! I’ll shut up about corner sinks. Putting the fridge on that wall doesn’t really work for me, though—a fridge sticks out almost 3 feet into a room (plus the swing of the door, plus space to comfortably stand while the door is open) and the window on the stove wall is only about 10 inches from the corner. I think it would just be too overwhelming in this case, given the real dimensions of everything!

      I think half-and-half french door fridge/freezers are pretty common here! My boyfriend has one that came with his place, and I gotta say…I’m not a fan! Each side is so narrow and deep that you’re constantly digging for things and forgetting about food that’s lost in the back of those deep narrow shelves. It never feels organized and always seems full even when it’s pretty empty! He doesn’t like it either and plans to upgrade to something else when he can. I’ve never been bothered by a smaller freezer department, though…I very rarely eat frozen food, so it’s basically just leftover chicken soup, ice cubes, and a few other things for me?

  92. Daniel, please don’t move your laundry upstairs. Soooo IMPRACTICAL, and a laundry nowhere near a clothes line will lower your resale.
    With your to-ing and fro-ing (I suffer from the same wretched malady), an architect friend? or interior designer? then just do it once?!
    Sez xox

    • I’m not sure where you’re writing from, but I’m guessing this is a very American thing! I think it’s fair to say that having laundry on the floor with the bedrooms and typically mainly used bathrooms is absolutely an American preference in homes—typical in new construction and popular in renovations. This is a country of electric dryers. At least in this region, we so rarely have weather where line-drying is practical (plus it’s more work, another thing Americans do not like). So having the dirty laundry from beds/baths on the same level is great!

  93. Love it! Especially the colour of the cabinets, and the table (hopefully!) or island. (I’m thinking a rustic farm table in front of the fireplace)

    I think the refrigerator siuation will be fine, you will survive without the range hood, and it is all possible to change afterwards if you can’t stand it.

    Regarding sink in front of window…. I hate it! The window gets super dirty! Splatter all over the place. Tile you just wipe down, a window you need to CLEAN. Plus, since you are planning for a dish washer, how much time will you spend making dishes anyways? I do it for about 2 minutes a day. Maximum.
    All said, you do you, it will turn our great!

    • Yes I agree! I think you’re the first one to bring it up! My sink was under a window for the past 4 years, and the bottom panes of that window were always spotty because of it. These windows sit even lower than that one did, so that makes it extra unappealing!

  94. I think the whole thing will look fabulous because it’s you doing it.

    As the owner of a 150 year old house, I wanted to share our experience with moving the laundry upstairs (for much the same reason you are). The vibration in our old house, when the machine gets spinning, is too much for our old home’s bones. We even bought a new Miele washer thinking it would be better than our LG. Even reinforcing the floor hasn’t helped. We are now moving it back downstairs. I can’t take the rattling walls anymore.

    • Argh, that’s a bummer! I hope that’s not the case here. It’s a very solid house and my machines have VERY little vibration…they really are wonderful, those two. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end of the world to relocate again…but I’m hoping it sticks this time. :)

  95. I can’t wait to see the “after” pics! Your kitchen is going to look awesome.

    Question for you about the entry vestibule that you eliminated. I would have thought having it would be the best thing ever because it would confine any mess/clutter created by walking in the front door (shoes, mail, dirt, dog stuff) and perhaps also prevent cold air from coming in the rest of the hallway and house by having that extra set of doors to close it off. Maybe those things aren’t an issue if you don’t use it as your main entry/exit point, but I’m curious how you like having the hall be completely open. Do you miss the vestibule?

  96. We LOVE our range hood and use it every time we cook. Which is a lot. BUT–we have an open plan first floor and also an open staircase to the upstairs, and in that case ventilation is critical. It’s a real drag to go to bed with intense frying smell in the bedroom.

    We got the best hood we could afford–a decent Broan–and everything is metal and we just throw it in the dishwasher. The opening on the outside of the house is small and not very noticeable, but I planted a Lollipop Tree (grafted variegated willow) in front of it and it’s just fine.

    I never had a range hood before and now I wouldn’t be without it.

  97. That looks awesome. Looks very very fitting to the age and style of the home. And, AND!! putting the fridge in the pantry might feel inconvenient for the little things, but I lived in a house with a open kitchen and a big pantry with the fridge off the kitchen. It was really fun! I think it fits with the house and all the work you’ve put into it.

  98. god, I can not wait to watch your progress!
    I don’t miss my hood range, never got around to installing one & lets face it, susie homemaker I am not! So who cares. A crock pot is a beautiful thing :)
    I would kill for a fireplace in my kitchen & a beautiful free standing hutch!

  99. Until I read your post, it hadn’t occurred to me that I’ve never lived anywhere as an adult where my kitchen sink had a window over it; they’ve all faced the wall. Obviously it has not affected my quality of life one iota. I also have never had a range hood. On the rare occasion I burn something, I open the window. You’ll be fine with both decisions.

  100. Can’t remember if I’ve seen your thumbs up on their site/Instagram – do you follow ChrislovesJulia?
    Awesome kitchen, separate fridge & freezer units. Freezer in the pantry. Best kitchen on the internet (so far)

    • Yes, I’m actually doing a project with them very soon! I’ve hung out with Julia but never met Chris. Just delightful! They do great work; their kitchen is awesome! But let’s remember that they live in a new construction house. This is a very different house, a very different space, and a very different budget! It’s not going to be anything like that, but that’s OK for me. :)

  101. If this has been suggested before, forgive me: have you considered moving the sink to the island? Might be pretty useful for washing/chopping/disposal. I mean, you’re already ripping up the floor and stuff so you *could* run plumbing, and you really don’t *need* a huge sink with a dishwasher (trust me). Then I’d move the fridge to the end of the counter where the sink was. That’s just me though.

    “Architectural identity” was the term I was looking for last week—thank you so much for it. I live in a 1910 house that’s torn between being Victorian and Craftsman. As I replace little things like period-inappropriate door hardware, I’ve been mulling over the best way to hybrid.

    • Even if it hasn’t been suggested before, it’s definitely been considered! I think for me I really want the island to just be a big work space (maybe incorporating storage as shown here), but I’ve never felt good about putting a sink or range or cooktop in it. The fridge doesn’t really work on that wall, though, not without making the island MUCH smaller or just nixing it entirely (I talked about it more in comments above!).

      (you’re welcome, haha! those houses are challenging, but kinda fun to figure out! it gives you some creative license to draw from different influences and do what you want, ya know? Enjoy!)

  102. Are you going to electrify your island? As someone who never thought one house could accumulate so many kitchen appliances, I am certainly glad we added outlets to our island. Blender, Juicer, Kitchen-Aid Mixer, Cuisinart, Toaster, COFFEE MAKER, Crock Pot…No, I don’t have them all plugged in and on view 24/7, but it’s good to be able to pull them out from under the counter and plug them in where I am working. Just thought I would add that to your list of what if’s.

    • No, I don’t think the island will have electric. I want it to be completely free-standing, movable, removable, whatever, and just a good big work surface! There’s plenty of counter space around the walls (and more in the pantry—plans have already changed!) and storage for that stuff when it’s not in use, though. :)

  103. I don’t disagree with your fridge trade-off, but if you wanted a more affordable counter-depth option, check out Summit refrigerators – we realized after we taped out our cabinets on the floor that we absolutely had to have counter-depth, and we hadn’t budgeted for that either. We got the Summit FFBF281 model for about $1,400, plus there was a small energy star rebate on it. It’s a little smaller than a standard fridge (about 16 cubic feet), but because it’s really well lit and it’s fridge on top, we actually see the leftovers and use them up – so we don’t need as much space for stuff to mold in the back! We’ve had it for about 6 months, and I love it. I think LG makes a 10 cubic foot counter-depth model that is also a lot cheaper.

    Also, if you want to put a woodstove in the fireplace (of course you do – it’ll be wonderful!) – you might want to shrink your island a little but – from your models, it looks like you might not have enough space to walk through there with the stove going – plus people are totally going to want to congregate around it while you’re cooking and you’re totally going to want to pull a chair up to it and read on a rainy afternoon. Also, I’m sure you know this already, but different stoves have different clearance requirements for hearths, walls etc., so it may be worth figuring that bit now so you leave the space you need for that.

    • We got the exact same fridge in white! It is stunning. 16cf is plenty for us and we love the efficient use of space. The LED lighting on the inside literally made my BF go “oooooo” the first time he opened it.

      • Thanks guys! Unfortunately a new fridge just isn’t in the cards financially. But that’s really fine—my current fridge (also an LG—about 10 years old and working perfectly! I’m a huge LG appliance devotee). I’ll make it work, and we’ll all like it goddamnit! :)

        Could be right about the size of the island/table. There’s plenty of time to feel all this out! :)

  104. Heya Daniel, long-time reader but first comment I think! What a dream to design your own kitchen..

    Was looking at what some folk were saying about that a sink should go in front of a window and don’t agree at all – but maybe this is because I work full time and the only time I do washing up seems to be when it’s dark/darkish outside, which makes it almost a bit eerie (creepy) to stand in full light inside being projected into the outside world.

    Also, about fans – does the US allow hoods that just pull the air up and cleans it before circulating back in the kitchen rather than extracting it to the outside through a hole in the wall? I’m thinking a hood would probably help with potential condensation on windows when cooking something that creates a lot of steam, but maybe there are alternatives to that awful hole…

    • Thanks, Helene! I’m glad someone agrees about the sink, haha! I know it’s tough without being in the space in real life.

      I believe recirculating fans still satisfy code? In that case, though, I think it’d definitely just spring for a direct vent option, but because the aesthetic difference is small and the functional difference is large. I was kinda half-kidding about the vent hole…it wouldn’t be hard to install, I just feel like it’d look like a pimple on all my glorious newly rehabbed siding! They do make nicer looking covers than the standard but still, it makes me kinda twitchy. :)

  105. I always look forward to your posts and the comments are so enlightening! What a community! Re: the fridge…so controversial…you do you, buddy! For one thing, any future buyers that love your home for its historically accurate renovations, are also going to love that you squirreled away the fridge. There weren’t any refrigerators when your house was built and the kitchen really does look so much better without it. For another thing, I have a tiny kitchen where the fridge is literally 2′ away from the stove, and yet when cooking I still get all my ingredients out at once, and put them all away at once. I feel like most people do that? What I’m saying is, I don’t think an extra five steps at the beginning and end of the cooking process are a big deal at. all.
    And on the vent, I don’t know that I’ve ever had an actual vent, just those range hood fans, and really not a big deal at all…I only even use it if I burn something. Like you said, definitely something you can install later if you get smoked out but I don’t think you will be. Another option would be a well-designed ceiling fan to help dissipate cooking smells. But I usually just light a candle after dinner. The comment about closing the door and opening a window cracked me up, so true :)

    • It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I feel like I’m not allowed to talk about it because it sounds like I’m bragging, but I just feel so lucky for this community and their willingness to engage (and so civilly!)!! I feel like I’d appreciate seeing it anywhere on the internet, but to be the admin behind it is really special to me.

      I agree with what you’re saying! I think people get WAY too caught up in the idea of resale…it’s easy for me to think about less because I have no intention of selling, but I also think of it like this…you can try to renovate for mass appeal, or you can do what YOU find appropriate and beautiful and functional for a given space/house. At least for me, the two very rarely align. But if someone else is going to own this house and I’m going to have something to say about it, I don’t WANT the mass-appeal buyer who is just looking for a good house. I want the buyer who loves THIS house, who understands and appreciates the choices I’ve made (or how easily they could be changed without destroying the integrity of the place). But at the end of the day, the biggest value I’ll get out of this kitchen is how much I love it—plain and simple.

  106. Four years pondering over a kitchen remodel and you put it out there only to have everyone weigh in…I admire your openness ;)

    I recently moved (6 months ago) and reading this post & the subsequent comments completely made me realize how much I miss my window over the kitchen sink. I hadn’t really thought about it until now but it was seriously a lightbulb moment. I have always hated doing dishes but since the move it has become sort of a ‘thing’ – like I seriously dread it every day sometimes before I’ve even started cooking. I am now attributing it to the lack of window. It might seem insignificant but a little sunshine on the face or space to stare is a lot better than a suffocating wall.

    • It’s…a lot! Considering it’s march 1 and I’m still responding to comments from February 23. Is anyone even going to see these at this point??

      I think it’s just about this kitchen specifically. I know, understand, and have lived with the concept of a window over a sink, and it’s nice in some instances and not as nice in others! The only point I’m trying (and clearly failing!) to make is that it’s just not right here. The kitchen will have PLENTY of light, so I don’t think it’ll feel suffocating no matter where the sink ends up!

  107. Daniel, I love your plan (mostly) for your kitchen. Like a lot of your readers, I would pivot the fridge and leave it in a nook. If you push the entrance to the mud room to the right, would you have enough room for the fridge nook and the hutch? I know this would destroy the plan for the pantry but it could be in place of the closet, and then on the bare wall you could put hooks for coats, leash, a cute broom… The hutch and little stove will give such character to your kitchen. Then if you do go as you planned, I am totally on board, I mean I know you will prove us wrong and I am excited to be surprise and delighted by your vision. This is actually what I love about you, how your vision always makes so much sense in reality! I always have this vision of a cat you never met that just roll over and offer its belly for a big rub, I have this much confidence in you!
    Also, I hate the look of range hoods, but maybe you have to have one according to code?
    And I kind of like the idea a reader had about switching the back door for the old sink window.
    I can’t wait for you to show us your plans for the finishes, seems like Black and white Daniel as been taking a walk lately!!! Thank you for sharing your home with us, it is so much fun to tag along!!

    • Thank you for adding! A lot of people above (and below) have suggested a fridge niche kind of solution, but I just can’t see it looking good here, in this kind of house. I totally understand that it’s maybe mildly more practical, but I just think it’s not for me.

      I don’t actually think I need a hood for code because the room has so much natural ventilation! But I’m trying to confirm that. And yeah, definitely less black and white (I think that worked well for the stop-gap kitchen, but it’s too stark for this)…my new inspiration is poop! All colors of poop! :)

  108. So many comments! I apologize if someone has already said this…

    What about putting the sink in the island and then putting the fridge where the sink is in the plans? It’s a 0 net loss and may even be an improvement because you could put shelves where the fridge would go in the closet. Storage that doesn’t need to be pretty!

    • Yep, I think it’s been suggested! The fridge just really doesn’t fit on that wall without overwhelming the room, just when you render everything to scale. I’d really prefer to keep the island as just one big working surface, though, no cooktop or sink. :)

  109. I did not read all the other comments (because you have clearly created a maelstrom here!) so this may have been mentioned before but you are holding on too tightly to the idea of that hutch being in the kitchen. Let it go. Then use that wall space to build a niche to recess your fridge into. This still leaves room in the mudroom for a good sized closet/pantry behind the fridge enclosure. If you must have the hutch, put it on the wall where you are planning the built-in. I’m sure you could still do shelves on either side of the hutch for more storage. That being said, I’m sure anything you do will be beautiful, and I eagerly await the process!

    • That could be the case, but I’d still like to make it work! The niche has been the subject of a lot of comments up above (maelstrom, indeed!), but I just don’t like that solution for me—sorry!

  110. WOW-this is almost as hot as the wood floors in the bathroom debate!!
    I’m on teams no fan, like the frig hidden.
    When I cook fish I just put a small dish of vinegar out and it absorbs the smell; if something burns I open a window :)
    I wish I could hide my refrigerator- it’s messing with my kitchen plans.
    Can’t wait to watch you transform the space!

    • I think maybe it’s hotter! I actually find it funny that even though I haven’t talked specifically about materials, there ARE wood floors in these renderings which is also the real life plan! I feel like 5 years ago I woulda gotten torn a new one for that, but now people aren’t so appalled by the idea? It’s funny how this stuff changes…:)

  111. Stephen Earl was Style Director for Martha Stewart Living. His kitchen reno in a 1843 Greek Revival home in Maplewood, New Jersey. is divine! Of particular interest to you, perhaps, is his treatment of his radiator. Here is the link:
    http://marthamoments.blogspot.com/2012/09/stephen-earls-kitchen-renovation.html
    Make sure you watch the video as it explains the molding they used and perhaps the most lust worthy sink of all time.
    I too live in an old house, 1850 Greek Revival, and keeping her dignity intact yet making it comfortable is a perennial struggle.

    • Wow, gorgeous! I LOVE the style of his open shelving. Did you catch the tidbit about those being modified IKEA cabinets??? Maybe there’s hope for me yet! I’ve had this whole scheme for hacking IKEA rolling around in my brain for a while so I think it’s time to get a couple cabinets and do some testing…

      • Perhaps you could buy one door from these folks to see how they did it? I like the Old English Ogee Panel Door | style : http://kokeena.com/ready-doors-paint/

      • Thanks Margaret! I didn’t know about that company (there are a few that do this). Unfortunately I REALLY want face-frame cabinets, where the doors and drawer fronts are inset into the frame. These are still full overlay, which is definitely the modern standard! I have a few ideas, though…stay tuned! :)

  112. I LOVE your plans, Daniel! I’m sure it’s easy as an outsider to say “add this!”, “move that there!”, “don’t leave out x!”, but in reality, you have lived in this space for FOUR YEARS! so I’m sure you’ve gone over every idea possible. Also- guaranteed- anyone who walks into the finished space is going to be absolutely blown away and won’t be concerned with where the fridge is or why there isn’t a range hood. I haven’t had a working fan in any home I’ve lived in for the past 8 years and with a husband who cooks daily it has not been a problem. Your fellow blogger Victoria Elizabeth Barnes is also struggling with the same question: http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/a-manifesto-against-the-tyranny-of-luxury-kitchens/. Anyway. I can’t WAIT to see the end result. It’s going to be Ah-mazing!

  113. I’m sure you have your reasons for placing your appliances where you have and I think your plan is workable. My opinion on that doesn’t really matter – it’s your house after all. But I do have a thought to add that may be constructive: The corner cabinet return by the chimney is really a useless thing. Corners in kitchen cabinets are in general a pain and I personally would want to avoid them if at all possible. You don’t lose much by running the cabinets on the stove wall right into the corner and I think it would look better to leave the chimney freestanding in its entirety, not to mention making access to that window easier. I’m sure whatever you do it will be beautiful and I can’t wait to see the final result.

  114. No to range hoods. When did these become a thing? Fun fact, in my old flat the landlord installed one, but only put the out bit on top of the cabinets instead of out the wall of the flat. Whatever. even when they are installed properly they’re only good for hitting your head on.

    Also don’t listen to the induction hob lovers

  115. I scanned the comments looking for this, but may have missed it. The room looks too full to me with that island in the center. The island is up pretty close to the fireplace, not a lot of room to scoot between your woodstove and the island without burning your butt.

  116. Congratulations on writing one of your most controversial posts ever! I have so many opinions but I will keep them to myself and only say – I’m excited to see how this renovation will play out. Exciting stuff!

  117. Hi again! I was reading through the latest comments and had an idea… I know you love the look of a beautiful black radiator, but what if just this one time you use a radiator cover as a way to create symmetry on the other side of the fireplace? I’m envisioning a faux cabinet that has the right facing for a radiator, but still a counter on top. Maybe? Crazy?

    • Maybe, but I actually think I’d prefer to lose the cabinet return to the left of the chimney and keep the radiator exposed! I just don’t think I’m a radiator cover kind of guy in general!

  118. Oh I just can’t help myself! I’m a long timer reader but rarely comment. This is one of those times I just had to. I love everything you do but I think this kitchen layout is rather forced. It’s a small room with so many windows and openings. Have you considered moving the kitchen into the dinning room – then putting the dining room in the kitchen? I think it’s bigger and has more wall space – which could solve a few problems. Also, I have no opinion about the vent over the stove but most building codes require it. If you pull a permit, I bet you’ll have to put in a vent.

    • Sorry Christina! No way, no how, never gonna happen, not on my watch. Ha! It actually doesn’t really more wall space, but that’s neither here nor there. There’s plenty in this kitchen! But I’ll try to…un-force it for you. :)

      I’m not sure about the vent, I think I can get away without one because of the natural ventilation in the room. Lots of doors and windows!

  119. I have a bunch of thoughts about your kitchen remodel.

    1. Check code on your vent hood. If it is not required by code, you can skip it. I call mine my anti-fire alarm device, but your mileage will vary.

    2. Check code and dimensions on your wood burning stove. I’m pretty sure you can have a fireplace insert and an island, or you can have a wood burning stove and no island. I’d go with a wood burning stove with a pizza/bread oven myself, but I adore fire cooking.

    3. I have a full fridge in the kitchen, another one outside the kitchen, and a full chest freezer another 20 feet down the hall past the laundry room. (I promise, you don’t forget what you put in which one any more than you forget where you store the spices.) The one outside the kitchen works mostly because there is an easily accessed counter through a doorway. The freezer is a pain because there is no nearby counter/flat spot.
    I dislike your plan to move your fridge because you are making poor work flow choices for aesthetic reasons. By all means, move the fridge out of sight. Don’t hide it in a nook with no counter space nearby. Twice over don’t place it in an area where you will regularly track mud/dust/grass/wet into the house with no counter space nearby. I know you think you’ll put them down across the room on the built in, but my experience says that the sacks will go on the floor next to the fridge. And it is worse when you need to get several things back out. Other than that, your kitchen is not so large that putting it around the corner will be a major issue.

    4. Your garage is at the back of the house, so I assume this is going to be your normal daily entryway into the kitchen? I would put the door where the radiator is from a usability perspective, but it looks like it would be over the basement door? So is it even possible? Right now you are wasting a third of the kitchen to walking through space, but you could do a proper large pantry in your laundry room space without the door. A big deep built in around your fridge with an appliance garage area. Also, if it were me, I would do a shallow purpose built mop cupboard rather than a deeper closet. Only one mop/broom/whatever deep means not having to move 5 things to get the one you want.

    Anyway, love your ideas!

    • Thanks Berry!
      1. I gotta call our department, but from what I’m ready it sounds like the windows would legally compensate for not having a range hood. It’s required where other ventilation isn’t available, it sounds like!
      2. True! i don’t have the stove picked out yet, so I’m flying blind on that one right now. As much as I love burning stuff, I have irrational fears about doing it in the house (real wood-burning fireplaces make me so nervous!! Although stoves seem much safer) so I’ll be cognizant of those clearances.
      3. Let’s not worry about the fridge right now! As I said, that part of the plan is still very preliminary, and I’ve been re-working it to address the concerns that I think are valid. I’m already much happier with it—update to come!
      4. I’m not actually sure. I typically use the front door, because the garage is shop space and I generally park on the street. Historically this has just been getting the dogs and myself in and out of the backyard, but not the main entry of the house. BUT YES, there is a set of basement stairs on the other side of that wall where I want to put the radiator, so a door there just really isn’t an option.

      Thanks!

  120. Ok, before I read the comments and even before walking the dogs, just gotta (gotta!) say I love it all.
    Totally understand about the cost factor. When the refrigerator/freezer drawers come down to the masses, I will be all over it. Same for dishwasher. Till then my standard fridge dominates the room and I wash dishes manually. Again, love, love, love it!

    • Yep! I’m so bad about doing dishes so a dishwasher is a necessity for me (mine is nothing all that special, bought at steep discount but unfortunately not panel-ready, which is breaking my heart), but yeah…everyone’s gotta give up on the new fridge(s!) dream right about now because I can’t afford that shit!

  121. Oh, and completely random side note, what *I* would do is an over the top built in side board on the dining room side and a floor to ceiling cabinet in that spot only on the kitchen side with a pass through into the dining room. Like this: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/i/partypictures/02_04_14/BOH/IMG_6819.jpg (from: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1910566/print yummy other pics) I’d also set the radiator up as a dish warmer for reasons.

    This also has some fabulous pictures for drooling. :) http://amyvermillion.com/blog/2013/01/a-real-butlers-pantry-the-people-who-worked-below-the-stairs/

  122. Goddamngenius. You’re amazing, Daniel. I am so excited for this plan.

    I have a fireplace in my kitchen and I LOVE it! Baking in the wintertime becomes baking in the wintertime with a fire next to you. Having cocktails with friends in the kitchen while you finish up a few last things before dinner? Fireplace.

    Also – I have no range hood. Took it out after we passed inspection five years ago. Never missed it.

    Thank you for posting all this awesomeness. I look forward to each update and I’m always impressed.

    • I love this comment, Lily! I’m so stoked for the fireplace. It’s gonna be so fancy I won’t even feel like it’s my house. That’s the idea, anyway. :)

  123. I love your plans! I have rented my whole adult life, and all the apartments and houses I have lived in have had range hoods. I kind of didn’t know that going without one was an option?

    Besides, I kind of want to do this now: https://www.reddit.com/r/gifs/comments/5412qt/the_guys_who_used_to_live_in_my_apartment_left_us/

  124. Hey! So many comments! I haven’t read them all so this might have been suggested already. Could you slide the kitchen entry door over a bit so that you have 24″ behind the door to allow you enough space for a length of millwork? And possibly the fridge (hate me, but counter depth would work best there). Might even have room for your range if you wanted to do a vent above it. I imagine it as a ‘tall cabinet’ wall with full height pantry units? Maybe that beautiful hutch could live where you currently have it planned to put the stove ? I also feel like your brick fireplace is asking for symmetry? I don’t know. Just a thought. Maybe a counter on that side too ? All the best!! I’m sure it will look wonderful.
    Jackie
    Your friendly northern Canadian architect

    • Sorry, that’s not an option! This door aligns with the door in the next room, which aligns with the window and it’s all been there for 150 years…I’m very protective over the original layout of my house! It’s just so neat and orderly and intentional.

  125. Did you actually demolish that wall of windows in the big living room?

  126. I love how you anticipated all our reactions! I think the refrigerator should go where you plan to put the hutch….just recessed into the wall (the same area you plan to put it but just facing in to your kitchen!).
    I think you will regret having it around the corner…

  127. Cant wait to see it all, the fire and bench sound very cosy. If you were English I could imagine you toasting crumpets in front of the fire (no thats not a euphemism). I always loved the island/ bench Simon Hopkinson had in his show The Good Cook. It wasn’t matchy matchy with his cupboards and as it was wood it was almost Victorian kitchen vibe wise. Good luck.

  128. How exciting! It’s sounding/looking great so far :)

  129. The sketch of the island reminded me of those produced by deVol Kitchens in the UK. Their kitchens are stunning. Simple and classic.

    • Yes, those are some of my favorites! Oh to have one of THOSE budgets! I’m sure those kitchens cost more than my entire house, but man…if ya got it…

  130. A little off topic, but looking at the floor plans, I noticed that you removed that divider thing in the living room. It was sort of cool looking, but it really chopped up that nice big room. It must be nice having it all one space again.

    • Sorry Steve, that was my oversight! It hasn’t been demo’d yet, but that’s still the plan. You and I seem to be the only ones who think it’s a good idea, but it’s a good idea. :)

  131. Hi Daniel!

    I love your blog! And best of luck on your kitchen renovations.

    I know you’re inundated with other people’s opinions but I just can’t help myself so I’m going to leave my two cents as well. I think your plans and reasoning are great and it mostly just comes down to personal preference but the one change I would make (you know, if it was up to me) is to preserve those sightlines and continuity you talk about and align the back door with the other two doors inside. While a radiator is a better view than a sink, I think a glasspaneled view of the backyard would be even better. It would create a nice flow through the house, direct access from the kitchen to the yard for your morning coffee on the patio and summer bbq’s and as a bonus you could preserve your tiling and trimwork in the laundry as it would be just as lovely in a pantry as it is in a laundry room.

    That’s it! I’m sure that whatever you ultimately decide it will be amazing, as all you makeovers are. I look forward to following along. I hope you & Mekko & Linus come through it unscathed :)

    • A hear you Aslaug, but unfortunately there’s a stairwell outside that wall, directly below the existing window, that leads down to the basement! So a doorway in that location would mean a 10 foot drop, haha. It’s just not possible!

      • Of course! I Should have known there was a good reason you didn´t consider it.
        I´d also just like to mention that while the island looks great I think this would also be a great eat-in kitchen, especially if you end up having a working wood stove. It all depends on your personal eating/cooking habits and storage needs of course. Best of luck with everything!

        p.s. You are amazing at answering comments, it must have taking you ages! Feel free not to answer this one :)

  132. I’ve been thinking about this layout since yesterday. I too think the fridge would be much better connected to the main room. I also hate not having counter space next to the fridge to put things down as I pull them out.

    What about flipping the pantry shelves and fridge/cleaning closet locations, so the fridge and closet are on the bottom exterior wall? And then rotate the fridge so it faces into the room in a nook. You could even put a piece of marble on top of the radiator to use as a small shelf/counter space for loading/unloading items into the fridge. The mudroom interior and exterior doorways would scoot up and the hutch would scoot closer to the dining room door.

    • Noted, Kristin! I’m playing around with it. Don’t worry!

      What you’re outlining doesn’t work (the actual dimensions just don’t jive), but I think I have a better idea. I don’t like the niche idea for me/this kitchen, but I understand the practical benefit! It’s just not right here. :)

  133. Lol I have been trying to convince my husband to let me move our fridge into the little pantry/mudroom off our kitchen forevvveer and he is having none of it. Mainly because the room isn’t heated (I say efficiency, he says cold!), but I’m with you! Fridges are ugly! Hide that shit! The walk is shorter than a lot of giant modern kitchens anyway.
    A thought in case you wanted MOAR counter space – my childhood house has a counter top over the radiator. Their set up actually has the radiator in a spot similar to the nook on the other side of the fireplace and the adjacent cabinet is just a normal cabinet, not a corner cabinet. I’m sure this affects the radiation, but I never noticed it. It’s kind of an odd set up, but they have a little shelty-chihuahua mix that likes to hang out there and then pounce on scraps (we call it the “Wyatt Pocket”) so it makes up for it in cuteness.
    Glad to see you have been introduced to Victoria’s range hood rant already – I’m mostly vegetarian and the hoods really seem to matter most when you cook meat, so I’ve never bothered. Your shelf is gonna be adorbs, so show those range hood police the door and you do you!

    • You get me! I think what this comes down to is that there are people like you, and people like your husband. I know, factually, that I will be happiest if this space looks and feels beautiful to me…and having a honking fridge staring me in the face (recessed into a niche somehow or not) is just not going get me there. So people will think I’m crazy, because there are (obviously and less obviously) more practical/efficient ways of going about it and foregoing those options just does not compute for certain people! EVEN when the “practical” difference is literally a few steps. Feeling good in a space is a practical achievement too, and keeping the fridge out of view is what’s going to do that for me personally I think!

  134. I’ve been following along for years, but have never commented! It has been really exciting to watch your progress over the years and I love where it’s going. Removing those extra spaces was a great call.
    Regarding the refrigerator, have you considered recessing it into the wall where you’ve located your hutch (as nice as it is there!) and then putting built-in storage immediately to the left of the fridge? This will eat up some of the space in your powder room, but you could rotate it’s layout 90 degrees and take over the mudroom closet. Although looking at your plan, this might be a load-bearing wall I’m talking about taking out, so perhaps your current solution is best! I am sure it will be beautiful, whatever you decide.

    • Thank you, Chelsea! Much appreciated! :)

      There’s a ton of discussion about about basically what you’re describing, so I’ll leave it there! (short answer—considered it, nixed it!)

  135. I say you do you on the appliance placement. I had a shelf above my kitchen sink once, & I loved it.
    I will however, strongly recommend a vent hood. (As I’m sure a million other people have done.) My current kitchen doesn’t have one & I can t even tell you how much I hate it. Every time I cook, the smells just linger, and god forbid I fry anything, or burn anything, it’s awful. I know cutting a hole in your house seems awful, but you’ll thank yourself later!

  136. My goodness, turns out a kitchen floor plan is the way to get a flood of comments! You’ll get no criticism from me — I think the only rule for kitchens is that yours has to work for you. After all, I placed my trash pull-out between the stove and the fridge instead of near the sink or wherever else a trash can is supposed to go. It might be unconventional but it’s one of my favorite things about my kitchen now. You do you.

  137. Put your stuff where you want it. Like you said, you can always move the hutch and put the fridge there if you don’t like it in the “closet.” Have you thought of putting the hutch in the “closet?” It makes me think of a butler pantry (such things make me swoon). I know you want more character in the kitchen, but remember you said fireplace/wood burning stove in the kitchen (That’s character that makes me swoon too).

    Please allow me to sing the praises of our counter depth, french door refrigerator: I love it! It’s a normal width, but the smaller depth is so wonderful and doesn’t eat up extra floor space in our kitchen. I don’t know why Americans have decided they need the world’s largest refrigerators. To save money I almost caved to the bigger is better philosophy, but my tight hubby convinced to buy what I wanted, even if it cost more. I also bought a white fridge because I have white cabinets and hate the stainless fad, but those thoughts are for another day. Best!

    • Yes I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure…I think it’s too hulking for a space that little! I’m not that concerned about the hutch…it’ll either live in the kitchen or stay in the dining room, maybe even on a different wall…ya know.

      Counter-depth sounds like a dream! An expensive dream that I can’t afford! But next time I’m in the market, I’m there. :)

  138. Hey Daniel! This plan looks SO GREAT, and it’s very exciting to see you finally begin the in-depth kitchen renovation. I think your fridge-in-another-room idea is probably fine! My sister lived in an old apartment in Chicago that put the fridge in a walk-in pantry. It’s just not that hard to go to the pantry for the fridge items, or grab everything you need from the start of cooking. She cooks all the time, and we cooked together every time I visited. I think it might be a bit odd to have your main fridge in a mudroom, and I bet you’ll have to sweep it more frequently than you might otherwise, but hey . . . nobody hates a clean mudroom.

    I also just want to throw my personal support (you’ve been just pining for it I’m sure!) behind skipping a range hood. I tried to google information about hoods, and it seems like it really boils down to preference. They probably help keep the wall behind the range a bit cleaner, but . . . if you know how to clean it, nothing is difficult to clean. And I don’t peg you for a frequent deep-fryer. One of the preferences most empowered by a range hood seems to be a preference for WASPy-smelling kitchens:
    “Having an effective way to remove odors also allows greater freedom to experiment with various cuisines.”

    I mean . . . is the person who finds a few hours’ lingering curry smell even going to enjoy EATING that curry? The inclusion of that argument kind of devalues the entire side for me. And most of the stuff I found on it was actually just selling range hoods. It seems like it’s mainly a fad with a few practical upshots. Not sure why it should seem so dire to people, except that they want to justify their own spending as being necessary.

  139. seriously. this is fucking beautiful. now we’re all going to have to suffer while we wait for more updates. :)

    thank you for acknowledging the hideousness that is a fridge & having the balls to think outside of the box with that one. it’s just one of those bullshit things that people put up with because they think they have to because “it’s just what you do”… like racking up debt & having kids. NO PEOPLE. NO.

    • also. i totally don’t have a vent hood above my stove. i never think anything of it until someone eventually points out, “you’re supposed to have a vent there”, while i give them the side eye. i really don’t care. would it be nice to have the bacon smell leave slightly faster? maybe. but do i want to install a hood for that? hell no.

  140. I know I need to shut up about the location of the refrigerator. BUT what if you lost the hutch and inset the refrigerator into the wall. Use the same closet space but have it flush with that wall were the hutch is now. Was this already discussed? Sorry if so…

  141. As far as the hood problem, could you do a 50s era round exhaust fan? Retro Renovation has a discussion on them – http://retrorenovation.com/2007/10/01/50s-style-nutone-ceilingwall-fan-solves-your-exhaust-issues/ and there’s a photo of one installed on the page about Pam’s kitchen – http://retrorenovation.com/pams-kitchen/

    • Yes, it’s an option I’ve considered! My friend actually did this in his period-style kitchen, where a range hood would have been horrendous. His stove is toward a corner and it’s installed on the wall to the right of the cooktop, not above the stove. He took it a step further (BRILLIANT STEP FURTHER) and built the cutest little shallow cabinet around it that you can’t see has no bottom…so you just turn it on, and the exhaust gets pulled up through the false bottom on the cabinet and outdoors…nobody would ever know it’s there. I’ll have to ask him about it…I know there’s something he doesn’t like having to do with it letting too much cold air into the house in the winter (which sounds like maybe an issue with the fan itself?) but it’s super effective and just so smart!

  142. Exciting plans! I agree that having no hood and moving the fridge to the mudroom sound fine.
    I’m not sure what exact look you are going for, but for my 1920’s house, I found a large (and heavy!) 1950 stove w/ beautiful chrome on craigslist for $600 and it fits in with the ‘period appropriate’ look very nicely. It doesn’t have all the modern features (e.g. you need to light the gas w/ match or lighter) but it works great and looks even better. Just another possibility. I can’t wait to see what you do :-)

    • Ah, that sounds lovely! I think for here, I just want to go brand-spanking-new. I’ve been cooking on old, mostly crappy stoves for about a decade now…I don’t want anything finicky!

  143. Your kitchen, your decision, but I’m putting another vote in for the hood vent for the range. I lived and learned to cook without one, then I had a couple places with the crappy above range microwave-vent combination. Then I lived in an apartment with a properly vented hood – and rules mandating that I run it while cooking to avoid mold/mildew etc. I love to cook. I don’t ever want to have a kitchen without a good vent again. Ever. Would I like a quieter version – yes. But I didn’t understand the point until I cooked regularly with one that worked as advertised (and now I’m jonesing for an oversized hood vent system).

    But I love the fridge in the mud-room/pantry space. Love :)

  144. I love your kitchen plan – your fridge solution will work fine for you and you’ll adapt quickly to having it outside the kitchen.

    We downsized a year ago and our new kitchen was also inspired by Plain English and de Vol. I love our island table, which is very similar to yours and is covered in zinc. it’s a joy to prepare food on such a large surface. Like yours, it has no space for stools which works fine. People stand and chat and help. Plenty of room for their wine glasses as we cook!

    Our sink is also on a wall with no windows, (do leave your windows free of taps and upstand) and we have hung an oil painting above it – far more beautiful than the view and wonderful when lit at night.

    Which brings us to the question of lighting. Have you thought about the type of light fittings that will give you task lighting on the work tops and the island top? We ended up spending much of the budget on lighting and it makes a fantastic difference having lots of ceiling LED lights switched in different combinations, as well as one lamp on the worktop.

    I’m sure you will love your new layout. Any idea when you might complete the new arrangement?

    • I wanna see your kitchen!! Plain English and DeVOL are my faves. It sounds absolutely gorgeous! (seriously, if you feel so inclined…daniel@manhattan-nest.com)

      OK…so everyone will probably hate this even more than anything else…I’m not doing recessed lights. There will be a central pendant (which I know was there originally because the gas line is still up there!) and probably four sconces. I think that will be plenty! My kitchen before just had the central pendant and it was always more or less fine, so I think the addition of the sconces and I’ll be good to go.

      I’m really still in planning stages, but it’s definitely going to be a long renovation! I’ll be happy if I’m finishing up this time next year honestly, I think. But we’ll see…sometimes I surprise myself. If I could just clear my whole schedule and work on it all the time, maybe it’d be ready by summer! I find it’s better for my mental health to stay focused on the progress and do what I can when I can. :)

  145. Sorry to hear you and Max broke up…love reading your blog, I learn a lot!

  146. The answer is right in front of you. Turn the fridge around, knock a hole in the wall, put the beutiful cupboard closer to the stairs so it still hides the bit of fridge you can see. Voila! Still doesn’t have a work triangle, but less awful.

    You probably won’t get a permit closed out if you do that much work and don’t put in a vent. They are apparently OK with it until you break into the wall, then the grandfathering goes away.

    • Sorry, that idea’s been covered many times over above! I get it, I just don’t like it! Hopefully you can cope with my awful kitchen. ;)

      I’m still trying to confirm, but I actually think the natural ventilation in the room gives me the option of skipping the vent. That’s how the code makes it sound!

  147. I like the fridge in a separate area, I have a 1960’s house in Australia (old for here) and when I redid the kitchen I ended up putting my fridge in the laundry right off the kitchen – and I love it. I even prefer it I think. I like your plans, I too didn’t want a swanky modern kitchen as I love the oldness of my house, so I have no upper cabinets and put an old set of shelves up on the wall instead, Its a narrowish kitchen so it looks so much bigger that way. All those words to say I think your kitchen is going to look great.

    • Thank you, Helen! Glad to hear from someone with experience that it’s not a big deal! I just know that given the option between the MOST practical kitchen I can muster an the prettiest kitchen I can muster, I’ll choose the pretty every time. It’ll be plenty practical! I’m not for doing anything truly crazy in terms of sacrificing efficiency for looks, but when we’re talking about the difference of a few feet…c’mon.

  148. Daniel, I’m too lazy to look through all the previous comments to see if this was addressed:

    STOVES/ HOODS/ and BUILDING CODES: In Virginia, you can put a kitchen stove directly under a window or vented hood. I’m guessing NY is probably similar/same. So, we just had our heinous hood knocked out and added a much needed window (light!) right above the stove.

    • Interesting! The code sounds to me like the two windows on either side of the stove would also meet ventilation standards, but I have to confirm that. I think having a window right behind the stove would drive me a little crazy? How is it? I just imagine it being dirty all the time, and 6-over-6 windows aren’t exactly the quickest thing to wipe down!

  149. Daniel,

    I generally like what you are doing with your kitchen but one thing bothers me, this blowback about range hoods I get it, it was not something found in your home when it was built, but if you do an extensive reno, you’ll be bound by modern building codes and likely a range hood is a requirement these days, even in Kingston as most building codes are now largely codified across the country to make things a bit more consistent as some states/countries/jurisdictions have had their own codes, if any in the past.

    And from a reader who’s likely been cooking for longer than you have, I prefer to have a DECENT hood. Right now, my kitchen lacks anything resembling one and I so miss it as my kitchen was built long before current codes (originally from 1908, but redone in about 1924, according to the original listing on Redfin last year.

    I totally agree with Casadecrepit.com in her findings about proper hoods and those that are not proper hoods (0r undersized). For 13 years I lived in an apartment built in 1960 with an in wall Nutone exhaust fan and a hood that had the light and was self venting, it was just barely adequate, but it was better than none, and noisy, but I wa SO glad to have it as it did help to suck out smoke and grease, but even so, I had an Expidit from IKEA in my dining area just outside the kitchen and it got greasy and grody, just from my cooking with the fan on so if furniture can get gross and greasy in an adjacent room with an inadequate fan, just think about how things might be with out one. I also cleaned my kitchen once a year from ceiling to floor, including cabinets and walls and just by doing that and periodic wiping down of the cabinets as needed kept the kitchen from ever getting really bad.

    By the same token, I do saute and sometimes do my steaks on a grill pan and yes, GREASE will accumulate even from just doing that, even if you use a grease splatter shield, grease will still make it into the air, and the excess moisture from boiling watter does not help things, though when I do pasta, I turn the heat down on the pot once it comes to a boil as you don’t need to boil the pasta at a full boil during the time it cooks as that’ll help reduce the moisture in your kitchen.

    Believe you me, I know when I say, a fan is really preferable, especially if you super insulate your kitchen during the reno, but codes may require you to have one, even if you don’t like it but there ARE ways to make it blend in so give that a thought whie you finalize your plans.

    Overall, I like what you are doing and wish I could be doing the same in my kitchen too.

    • Thanks! I think it’s possible that my windows satisfy code without a range hood, but I’ll report back. It’s kinda tricky. But yes, there are also much more inconspicuous venting solutions than the big hood, which I’m open to!

  150. I didn’t read all the comments because there are a million, but I searched salvaged to see if you had discussed looking for period cabinets at an architectural salvage place, and didn’t see anything. Nothing would keep your kitchen looking architecturally appropriate more than that. Have you looked in that direction? As for the sink next to the chimney layout… it would be a lot of work (but you LOVE that) but you could add another course of brick to the chimney to bring it out another 4″ to countertop depth. Could be a good use for some of your leftover wall filler bricks since they would be inside and basically just decorative. Also, we need a Bluestone Cottage update! What’s happening there?

    • I love salvage, but I think for here it’s just not going to be practical. I imagine incorporating a lot of salvage into the pantry space, but for the kitchen itself…I want the cabinets to look a certain way, but I also want nothing more than new, clean, easy to slide, soft-close, lots of organization options…modern. I know, I know! But I think that’s just going to be for the best, especially since I’m not really flexible on sizes.

      Problem is, the thing that’s beautiful about the chimney is its age and imperfections! No reason to cover it up and then try to fake it, you know?

      (long story, I’ll get to it!)

  151. Not sure if you’ll read this far down, but…

    I have the original blueprints for my 1921 home and the fridge (icebox) is not in the kitchen. It is exactly where you place it: in the mud area/small room at the top of my landing from my back door entrance. I know your home is older, but I thought I’d share that your fridge placement is period appropriate, at least for 1921.

    • I read all the comments always, Joy! i don’t respond to every single one, but I do always read them!

      And yes! That’s exactly right. Having a fridge, at least the way we think about fridges and kitchens, seems to be primarily a postwar thing. I don’t know where my icebox was located, but I’d actually bet it was right around this region! I think what people are reacting negatively to is that it’s not a modern standard, and that causes mass panic and confusion.

  152. sink doesn’t need to look out a window, esp with a dishwasher … and what a great excuse to buy that cute RÅSKOG cart to shuffle fridge foods back and forth into the kitchen (or some other fold-up wheelie-ma-jig) like this http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/kirikiri/item/pw-313/ … I have one and I love mine

    • Haha, I look at that cart every time I’m at IKEA and never pull the trigger! Honestly I think that might be overkill for here, but hey….I do like a little roll-y cart! :)

  153. So many opinions and comments… and now I feel the need to share mine. If you are putting the refrigerator in the old laundry room and the washer/dryer are going upstairs, then I would get a full size freezer for one side and a full siz frig. I would love that. Great for batch cooking, and great for parties. Everything else is fabulous. Can’t wait to see it all done. Love you, Daniel!! Thanks for your great posts. I want more!
    Bluestone cottage update??

    • Thanks Robyn! But part of this is that I’d really like to reuse my existing fridge…there’s just no budget for a new one!

      (soon!)

  154. Refridgerators: Check out Fisher Paykel brand. We needed a small counter depth french door refrigerator to complete our kitchen refresh. All northamerican brands were just too big. We bought a 17 cubic foot french door model with freezer on bottom. Love it. So we’ll laid out that I never notice that it’s smaller. Food is easily accessed and stays very fresh. Plus if you can see it your more likely to use it before it goes bad. Note: not cheep. I had to swallow hard when we took a chance and ordered it. Worth every penny. Very quiet. Plus I didn’t have to install all new cabinets in order to make a spot big enough for a new fridge. Bonus French doors solved the traffic flow problem between island and fridge. Now there is lots of room. Expensive but saved money on not having good to change everything else.

  155. My expectations are not even important. Only offered in the spirit of brainstorming. A total kitchen reno is a lot of decisions. You had so many comments and I appreciate your reply. I decided to look up plain English kitchens and I found this post. Very interesting and different.
    http://www.plainenglishdesign.co.uk/projects/

  156. Daniel: you didn’t ask but here’s another vote for keeping the fridge in the kitchen. But IF you are determined to keep the fridge in the mud room then I respectfully suggest that you put some sort of “counter” at least 16″ deep in the mud room so you can set a glass on it while you pour yourself some O.J. Or set a container on it so you can get something out of the back of the fridge. Think about how you use a fridge. How often might you open it, get our one item or items you can hold in one hand versus how often you might want to juggle things around? Or say you’ve made a wonderful dish that needs to be refrigerated but it’s so stuffed full of goodness it’s too heavy to hold it with one hand while you open the fridge door? You would NEED a counter.

    I vote for putting the stove and the sink along the long wall with the two windows; the breakfront in the place where you have the sink; and then set the fridge in the same space but with the doors opening into the kitchen instead of the mud room. (The face of the fridge doors would be more or less flush with the wall.) That gives you a straight, unobstructed shot from the door into the kitchen to the mud room – visually nice.

    Kitchen Island: Ikea no longer carries what my friends bought but the STENSTORP Kitchen island is similar and it’s a place to start for comparison purposes. Best regards to you, Mekko & Linus!

    • I hear you! I think you might like the second round of plans better, but the fridge is pretty much staying put! Sorry! ;)

  157. Ok, I didn’t read ALL the comments yet, but these are my thoughts

    1. You’ve got to get rid of this notion of having an island. WAIT – hear me out. Your kitchen in not large enough for a big hulking storage island. With one, you end up turning your kitchen into a series of walkways AROUND the island, which is a lousy use of space when cooking. I know you want storage – without uppers – I agree – and a place to do prep work – and I have some better ideas for you.

    2. First, your kitchen walls need to work hard since there are so many windows and doors and a chimney, so you can’t have a door opening into the kitchen taking up wall space. So, that door to the dining room should be switched to open outward into that corner of the dining room. It works great to do this – it’s an empty useless corner – I’ve lived in many a place with doors switched to open where they aren’t in the way. The other option is to make the wall so there’s a sliding pocket door to the kitchen – but I think your house with its old doors would look better with just a switch of which way it opens. Yes, you’ll also likely need to switch the door that opens from the dining room to the hall – not necessarily so it opens into the hall, but at least opening the other way into the dinging room – I can’t picture what’s in your dining room right now to say which way to go with that one. Also, if you put a door between the mudroom and the kitchen, it needs to be a pocket door – no swinging door there.

    3. The other problem with the island is that you will not want to be walking on that hearth stone to get around it – that was my very first thought on seeing your first kitchen plan photo. Walking on different heights or surfaces gets to be a pain – take it from one who has seen this floor treatment be in the way in many Brooklyn brownstones in front of old fireplaces. Then I read you want a wood stove there – fine, but putting an island next to it will make the stove backed into a corner, and you won’t even be able to see it because of the island. Don’t to this to the little stove you put in that chimney – give it room to breathe and to be admired. If you don’t do a stove, don’t put in that big hearthstone – it just makes the floor uneven and is a pain to walk on or around.

    4. The fridge int the pantry is fine. I’ve lived in old apartment and homes with this, and it is truly fine. I think it is the only way to go to honor the old house feel of your kitchen. It works well when it is in pantry with other food storage on shelves – you store all the food in there, both cold and room temperature stuff – it makes sense. Resist any temptation to have the fridge open into the kitchen instead. But make it a pantry – forget this idea of a combination mudroom and pantry. Store your boots and jackets elsewhere. (Near the front door maybe, in an old wardrobe – you’ve got a big hallway running through the house, you can use it for stuff like that perhaps, or if you want to keep your hall empty, there’ll be tons of room for furniture pieces that big old room you haven’t gotten to yet.) But I would add a small broom closet in that fridge wall – you want a broom and mop and dustpan and some cleaning supplies handy to the kitchen. Instead of building a closet, I’d consider building in tall kitchen cabinets flanking the fridge on one or both sides, and using a tall narrow section as a broom closet – it may or may not fit your vacuum – that may have to go elsewhere. But I like the idea of the pantry fitted out with kitchen cabinets, as is common with cabinets flanking fridges in renovations – I like the built-in look, you don’t have the problem of a big swinging closet door, especially next to your door to the outside there, and I actually find it a better use of storage space to have segmented up cupboards than one big closet.

    5. Another problem with your island plan is that is screams suburban kitchen. I know you want an old timey looking one, and old kitchen had work tables, but this sectioning off a kitchen into narrow walkways is just bad modern design and needs to be scrapped. Also, your kitchen is not large enough for it. Now, picture your kitchen without the dining room door swinging in and no island, and the possibilities for the that wall where you want to put your old hutch are much greater. I like your old hutch, and I like the use of pieces like that in the kitchen, but I think it may end up being too hulking in your kitchen and may need to be in your dining room anyway. I’ve this idea that you can now build out that will with cupboards, maybe with glass door uppers, and some cabinets below, and then just where you have the hutch sticking out in the plans, build out a squarish table-shaped section of counter space that flows out from the side wall with wood posts for legs at the front. (Round the front corners of the countertop if you don’t like bumping into sharp corners.) I know someone who has a old place with a kitchen like this, and it makes a truly great prep space. It is the space where you can drop your groceries when you walk into the kitchen. One could pull up stools if one wanted (I hate the kitchen bar myself) but in my friend’s place there are no stools – it works as a place to gather around to chop and prep and snack and talk while standing and cooking. Though I think she has a stool she can pull up to sit and do paperwork or computer work there when home alone. It doesn’t look modern at all – it is styled to work well in a kitchen styled be be of an early 1900’s sort, mission or shaker style. It is a generous sized table-sized counter in a not huge space – but it doesn’t crowd the space because there are no chairs or stools = and the addition of that prep space is what makes the kitchen work and be fun to cook in – people can be standing on three sides of it working together, each with enough counter space to prep what they are working on. I like this far better than a kitchen table and chairs – which I generally like, but as in your kitchen, they are just things that would have to be walked around all the time, as the kitchen is not large enough for them, and neither is yours – and like you, she has a dining table right next door in the dining room for meals. (On the wall under the table side are shelves or lower cupboards for little used stuff that one has to crawl under the counter-table to stash.)

    6. I think you need to get over yourself about not having a range hood. Not because they are so great – the residential ones generally aren’t. What you need is to go restaurant quality in how much air the exhaust pulls, and you’ll never regret it. I stayed in a friend’s house last year and cooked who did this when she was renovating, and it was great (and I’m one who never saw the need for a range hood because I’ve lived my adult life in city apartments without them. I almost never turn one the anemic fans I’ve had above stoves that don’t exhaust to the outside, and I never thought the ones in the houses I grew up with that did exhaust to the outside did much anyway – because really, they didn’t. In my current rented condo with no exterior ventilation do have a line of grime up on the trim at the top of the stove wall over the nice white paint job put on a few years ago just because I saute veggies – cooking DOES need exhaust ventilation. ) Now, the restaurant quality ones are a whole different thing. i now would put one in any actual house I renovated – it’ll work great with your big 36″ stove. They aren’t just for frying – I turned it on when I was just boiling beets to make beet salad – in a pot with a lid – and instead of smelling the kitchen and nearby rooms up, as it does in my apartment, I couldn’t smell them cooking at all – but when I went outside to take the garbage out, I noticed the air around the house smelled like beets. A lot. I was shocked at how well that thing worked. It also vented well when stuff was cooking in the oven. These are a wonderful thing. (Its not that I care about the smells of food cooking, it is I know that all that steam from boiling, and all the grease from saluting veggies that now graces my upper kitchen walls, is instead outside – much better for your house. It will be expensive, but it is part of the air exchange infrastructure of your house, and you won’t regret it. It doesn’t need to be on the outside wall – her stove and exhaust were on an inside wall that backed the dining room – and the vent was strong enough that it pulled the air pretty far to exhaust outside in some inconspicuous place on the side of the house – I never did figure out where it hit the outside, it wasn’t visible. You’ll need to get a professional involved to plan this properly – which I think you need to finalize a good kitchen plan anyway.

    7. I also like a sink on front of a window, or least on a window wall next to a window. So I would consider swapping the position with the stove. The sink doesn’t need to be directly in front of the window, so there’s no tap problem. As someone above pointed out, when you agree to add the exhaust, you may prefer that one the wall where the sink is now, rather than between the windows – I’d make the decision based on where I wanted that exhaust. Your sink could be just fine where it is = with a window just to the side of it. A big problem with making standing at a sink feel unpleasant isn’t just not having a widow near, but having your head space crowded by all the uppers people tend to put on kitchen walls everywhere except where there are windows- and you’ve take care of this problem. So the sink will be fine if it stays where it is. But resist the corner sink idea – they are a pain in the ass to work at. I do think the exhaust hood would look better on the solid wall than between the windows – you’ve such a nice window wall you aren’t spoiling the look of with uppers, so why put a range and exhaust there? (Unless what you design works well there.)

    8. Consider using a shorter squat radiator and building in a window seat over it – it is is nice to have a nice warm space to sit and sit coffee or tea for a minute in a kitchen by a window.

    If you draw up my plan, you’ll have a kitchen that feels old and fits with the house, feels spacious because it IS spacious with room to move around in, not just segmented walkways carved out around a hulking kitchen island, but with enough room to move, to breathe, see your wood stove, to mingle, and with generous flexible prep space. (You’re welcome.)

    You must resist the tyranny of the ubiquitous kitchen island in kitchens where there isn’t room for one! If the idea of having open space in the center of your kitchen seems odd to you, because you are used to designs with islands that are everywhere these days, know that open space will work in your new well-designed kitchen with lots of counter space – it won’t be like your current kitchen space. I have a square kitchen now (laid out in 1929) and when I first moved in all that open space seemed odd as I was used to galley kitchens, but as I think about how I would renovate it if I owned it (as I always do) I get that the kitchen is not big enough for an island and that making all the side walls of a squarish kitchen work well is what is key. And I have gotten used to having to take steps to reach my fridge and stove from my sink – when I used to be able to reach all three hardly taking one step at all.

    • If it wasn’t clear what I was describing in #5 above, what I’d put on that wall where you want your hutch, the second picture on this page is something similar – only it’d be twice as wide as the one in the photo so as to be squarish, have no stools, to the right out of the picture is where the doorway to your pantry would be, where the stove is here would be cabinets on that wall (they don’t need to be a full 24″ deep, you don’t need that deep to store china, 15-18″ is fine), or have a 24″ one for the counter space, and then a less deep one behind to where the door opening to the dinging room is (where the kitchen and sink are is where your dining room door is) – and I realize you don’t have a very deep space between the doorway and that wall, so you may not want to build to that wall – maybe one cabinet is fine there. And my peninsula wouldn’t have that beveled top edge in the photo, and would have nicer wooded legs. Just an idea. Makes a nice sort of table/prep counter space/serving space/gathering space/space not far from your fridge to put stuff on, etc. mash-up.
      http://www.designnewjersey.com/features/index.cfm?id=144

    • All excellent ideas!

    • Having looked back at photos of your dining room, I’d add that the kitchen door doesn’t need to swing into the unused dining room corner – it would probably look better if it swung the other way into the dining room, and laid flat (when open) against the wall. And I presume this door will be open most of the time, as it is the only access to the kitchen from the rest of the house. It would look great there open on the wall next to your hutch. And, seeing that hutch in your dining room photos, it is ever more clear to me that that hutch is too big for your kitchen, and should continue to live just where it is in your dining room. There’s also no interference with the door from the dining room to the hall that way, and no need to change that door to the hall around at all to accommodate the the kitchen door opening into the dining room.

    • Oy vey, can you just write my blog? Haha. OK…

      1) Could be right. Not sure.
      2) You’re absolutely right—both the door between the dining room and the hall and the door between the dining room and the kitchen originally swung the other way, and I want to restore both! I don’t picture a door between the mudroom and kitchen at all.
      3) I hear what you’re screaming! Lots of time to feel it out. :)
      4) I’ve been working on designing that space, and I think you’ll be pleased with the changes! They’re significant and I think accomplish more or less what you’re saying.
      5) We’re on the same page!
      6) Maybe, maybe. I get it. I’m just not sold. Also, I think restaurant-grade ranges/fans are specifically NOT recommended for residential use—the ranges aren’t insulated and put out too much heat, and the hoods suck all the heat out of the house if you’re using in the winter! I will, however, rough in the necessary electric so one could easily be added.
      7) Correct that a hood would look better on the wall where the sink is. Things might still change! DEFINITELY no corner sink. Never ever.
      8) Maybe, but the existing radiator is good and getting a new one that’s properly sized is no small (or cheap) feat!

      Don’t worry, I won’t cram an island where it doesn’t belong! Seriously, just don’t worry, period! None of this is happening tomorrow…this is just a concept. I’m still playing around, too! :)

      • Maybe you can can a radiator swap with another renovator? I suggested to my next door condo neighbor that she put a seat over the radiator when renovating her kitchen – she used the same Ikea butcher block as her countertop, as I suggested, with a hinged flip up top to be able to get to the radiator value to adjust it. The radiator was already short and the right height, as the window was taller and went further down the wall than your windows – and the original 100-year old radiator had been sized to fit under that window. She did it, and liked having it there to sit on and look out the window with a cup of coffee herself – with the taller window and the incredibly beautiful city view (stunning, really) that we both had out of our kitchen and some other rooms windows in that building, that was a great move.

        Now, you have a higher window and not that incredible view you could see out the window while sitting down – but the nice thing about that window seat was than when I (or someone else) was visiting and chatting with her while she cooked, I could sit on the radiator seat and look not out the window, but into the kitchen to chat with my hostess while she cooked for us. That was necessary be in that kitchen with the cook, because it was smaller kitchen and there was no room at all for any chairs or stools, and really no room for the guest to help with the cooking, either, in that galley kitchen. And as the window was off in a little nook at the end of the kitchen, away from the main kitchen workspace, much as yours is with that chimney jutting out next to it on one side and the pantry was on the other, the seated person was out of the way of the cook. So, think about the person you want to chat with you while you cook. Though with all your counter space, you may want your guest to be cooking with you – but it is nice to have the option of having them sitting out of your way and having a drink and letting you do the cooking. Though totally not needed if you have some kitchen chairs for them to sit on in the kitchen.

        The nice thing about this idea is that it is a completely separate project from the rest of the kitchen renovation, and could be done at any time in the future if you wanted a seat there.

      • Maybe, maybe! There is science and math behind sizing radiators appropriately for a room, though, so that makes it sort of a challenge to go lower because there isn’t really space to go wider…and I think a smaller radiator for this space is DEFINITELY a bad idea…so there are some complicating factors. But possibly it could be done! I’m sure the dogs would love it, at least!

      • I get you aren’t adding a range hood now, and likely ever. But since I suggested the restaurant quality one like someone I know added, I feel the need to add more info to those reading, for safety information. It isn’t that you can’t have a powerful range hood in a home, it is just that you have to have it installed properly, and your ventilation system has to be changed so that more air comes in from the outside, called “make up air” in the articles below, to prevent serious problems. It can be done, though as noted in one article below, those who sell powerful fans for residential use have no clue as to how this is to be done, and don’t get make up air at all, and so you have to have someone install them who knows about adding make up air to your HVAC system, to get everything to balance out right, which is no doubt a very expensive proposition.

        This artlcle is an eye-opener about what is in our kitchen air – which is why if I’m ever renovating a house (though that seems unlikely with each passing decade) I would want to have a powerful exhaust system installed in my kitchen, with make up air added to my HVAC system.
        http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-building-curmudgeon/why-range-hoods-don-t-work

        I do feel the poor air quality in my place for days if I burn anything, even slightly, in my condo kitchen, even if I open the windows. It would be easier to air out a house where you could open doors to the outsides, and have windows on enough sides to have cross breezes, though difficult when the climate isn’t great for open doors and windows.

        This article explains a bit of why it is important to have the whole system installed right, and why those who sell powerful hoods for residential use are shockingly not at all helpful in their installation recommendations or information:
        http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/makeup-air-range-hoods

        There is a lot to read out there, and it all gets very technical, which, since I’m not doing it presently, I can’t be bothered to figure out. If I ever do such an installation, I will try my best to understand some of the technical HVAC stuff, though I know that ultimately I’ll be relying on hiring expert installers and HVAC people who (hopefully) know exactly what they are doing to do it all right so all the air coming in balances out with the ventilation sucking air out.

      • Thanks for all the info!

      • As I understand sizing of radiators, it all has to do with the surface area of the outsides of the radiator. Which is why shorter radiators you see are often fatter than taller ones. And why radiators that have more sections, even if skinnier sections, can heat more space. Sizing them is a finicky art, though, I know. You do appear to have some room for a deeper radiator, especially if you are putting a seat over it, as a seat needs to be a certain depth to perch on comfortably. And you could box in any side that stuck out past the chimney, and the front if you wanted, with that radiator cover screening material to let heat out. Might make a nice place to sit to enjoy the heat of the wood stove insert. You could also cut the seat front an angle, deeper next to the wall, so as not to stick out past the chimney on the other side. Which would give one a wider seat, with the wall behind it to lean on, while sitting looking into the kitchen. Not something to worry about doing now, though, if ever – just a possible future thought.
        .
        Also, if you think you are going to need more heat than you have in this kitchen with the one radiator, with all the windows and now the exterior door in the pantry, look into toekick radiators. You could have an additional source of heat coming from under the cabinets on the other side of the kitchen with one of them, without taking up any additional floorspace with another radiator.

  158. Love this plan especially the pantry. In my own kitchen currently, love having a stone with the windows around it and I hate doing dishes but I do have a window over my sink for the rare occasions I’m forced into the task!! Some pictures here. http://www.houseography.net/2015/10/new-paint-reveal-finally.html?m=1

  159. I read the rest of the comments. I want to say I totally agree with whomever it was that suggested that you end that line of cabinets on the window wall at the wall, rather than turning the counter and running it under the window to the chimney. A very good suggestion, that one was. There’s no need to visually crowd the chimney. And I agree that corner lower cabinets are a pain, even with a large chrome lazy susan in it like the one that I had in the the Ikea kitchen in a place I bought – you will get better use from a lower cabinet that ends at the wall than having a corner one. And it will be easier to get to the window. And, you always need some empty floor space along a wall in a kitchen. I used the wall space under the window in my last place for my first foot-pedal kitchen garbage can (a Simple Human one, which turned out to be my favorite kitchen appliance ever, hands down). I don’t have pets, but many use such kitchen floor space for food bowls for their pets. And, having had countertops that turn corners in a few places, I can say that the back of such countertop corners is always dead space – you stash useless stuff back there on the counter, they aren’t spaces you use (they’re not easy to access, standing at a counter corner, which is also why corner sinks are such a bad idea).

    Speaking of lowers, I hope you are planning to use big drawers for as many lowers as you can – with some stacks of smaller drawers for smaller stuff like utensils and kitchen towels somewhere – and avoid using lower cabinet doors wherever possible (I think you may need them under the sink still.) The large wide drawers just work so much better than cabinet doors for pots and pans, even when those cabinets have pull out shelves in them. I know that they aren’t the most old-timey looking, but they truly are a great innovation in ease of use in kitchens. I’ve mainly only seen the Ikea ones – they are especially useful and necessary in kitchen with limited upper cabinets, when you tend to store plates and other china in them too instead of in the missing uppers. I know you want to do this fairly inexpensively – I would consider using Ikea boxes (I had them in a place I bought and they were great) and have wood doors made for them by someone who makes such doors – there are lots of places people mention online – on the two walls with sink, stove, and cabinets. Then use the old-time wood construction and inset doors you want for the old-style feature wall where you build cabinets where you now want the hutch to be to add the old house vibe. I agree with the idea that repurposed old cabinet salvage could look great there.

    I have to say, I think you are going about thinking this kitchen backwards. You have this idea you want the hutch in there – which is a great idea – but not at the expense of having a functional and well-balanced kitchen. You also have the idea you also want a large kitchen island – also a nice idea – but again at the expense of having a functional kitchen. To get the best kitchen you can, you have to start with the kitchen room you have, and then figure out if these things work in there. I am much like you in this sort of thinking, and I have learned the hard way that I have to start with the room first, and sometimes let go of my cherished pre-conceived ideas of what fits best in a room. Hell, I’d even consider whether I wanted to keep that exposed brick chimney wall, or if my kitchen would work better if I covered and used that wall. (That would be an easy choice for me, as I don’t like exposed brick in homes much, and had some in the kitchen in the place I bought that I considered dusty from the old stuff between the bricks, and would have covered up, or at least painted it, if I had gotten around to any work to that place. And I don’t want a wood stove because they aggravate my allergic asthma.) I get that you like it and consider it an architectural item you want to keep, and want to add a stove insert – that’s fine, but then that choice dictates what else you can fit in there, and with that choice, the kitchen island has to go, I think. (An island might work with the brick sans stove insert if it was built as a peninsula coming out of the brick wall – but I don’t think you have room for a sizable free standing island in there as is with your fireplace/stove plan.)

    Also, a large-ish square-ish kitchen is a thing of beauty, when so many kitchens are built as narrow galley rooms these days. When you have a larger than normal kitchen, you start out thinking you have room for an island, and/or a kitchen table, and many crave a tall pull-out pantry cabinet as well. (I had a friend who after she gave up on fitting in an island in her kitchen renovation, was stuck on having a pull-out pantry cabinet – which she ordered because, yes, there was a place on the floor for one, but when it came time to install it, she realized it would overwhelm the room visually and cut off wanted sight and natural light lines, so it got returned. Her kitchen seemed huge at first – she had taken down a wall between two apartments and had two rooms worth of space to work with – but when you start planning what actually fits well in a kitchen, the rooms become smaller than you think.) You can build in a pull-out pantry next to your fridge if you want one – I’m no huge fan of them, and think you won’t need one with all the open shelves for food you’ll have across from your fridge.

    When you get right down to it, a largish, squarish kitchen often isn’t big enough to hold everything one wants it to. This one can’t hold that island well, and I have this idea your nice hutch may overwhelm the room. I’d build out the sink and and stove walls first if I were you, and then only later move the hutch in and see if I liked it there in reality. If not, I’ve move it back to the dining room. And if you want more storage, you’d get more if you kept the hutch storage in the dining room and built more cabinets on that wall of the kitchen. I’d do the same with the kitchen island – hold off on getting anything built or purchased for that until I’d figured out and finished all four walls of the kitchen first – including the hutch wall decision, and installing whatever stove insert you want to install in the fireplace. Then you may have room for an smaller island, or, as I suspect, you’ll find that anything at all freestanding there in the center of the room will unnecessarily crowd the room. Good luck with all the planning and installing!

    • Haha! You are so thorough. Hats off! OK let’s break it down…

      1. I agree completely about the cabinet return at the chimney. Done!
      2. YES to big drawers! TONS of drawers! I love drawers and I hate shelves.
      3. I’m not married to the hutch. If there’s space, great. If not, I’ll find a better solution. Plain and simple!

  160. Wanted to ad that if you are moving the wall to the bathroom just to have enough room for a deep fridge, it might be more cost effective to leave the wall where it is and just get one of the cheaper of the counter-depth fridges. I think there are now even french door counter depth ones, if you love the french door look (I’m not a fan.) Or just get a not huge cheaper regular fridge. I’m living with what I think may be Sears cheapest fridge – or close to it anyway, because that’s all that would fit in the space for it in my kitchen – it is white, basic, has a door for the freezer below the main fridge door – and isn’t much deeper than a counter depth one, just mere inches. It works fine. I don’t see the need for fancy appliances. I really don’t like putting panels on fridges or dishwasher, either – seems unnecessarily fussy, to me. Having cooked on fancier stoves, though, with really powerful burners and with ovens with shelves that roll out and stay put and don’t wobble and dump your food on the floor if you pull them out too far, I must say I’ve become a fan of fancier stoves, in addition to heavy-duty restaurant-quality exhaust fans.

    • The wall is already built (spoiler!), and I can’t afford a new counter-depth fridge! Trust me. It’ll be fine. Take a breath, NestFan! :) :)

      (but yes, I also don’t really care for too-fancy appliances, especially refrigerators! An $800 fridge keeps food just as cold as an $8,000…I’d rather work a little harder to disguise a normal fridge than sell my kidney to buy a new one!)

  161. please please, re-think the fridge placement. As a designer and a realtor please re-think this. Pantry is a great idea but don’t put the fridge in it.

    • I’m still playing around with the arrangement, but I hate to tell ya it’s probably not going to be what you want! Hopefully that’s OK, since it’s not your design or your listing. :)

  162. For the first time ever I couldn’t read your post as soon as I got notification of it. I tried but I was so damn tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I’ve been busy since but now I’ve given it my full care and attention. I must apologise for keeping you waiting for my verdict.

    I’ve questioned the position of the sink, the stove and not having a cooker hood and read your replies to others and … all things considered, I think your plan is right.

    I’ve only had a cooker hood once, when I was in an apartment and there was no window to the kitchen. I hated it because it was soooo noisy that I had to wear ear defenders whilst cooking. Not fun!

    I think the idea of having the sink in front of the window stems from days when people used to do the laundry and dishes by hand and the maximum amount of daylight was needed.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who hates the kitchen being dominated by a large fridge freezer. I don’t see that putting it in the new mudroom/pantry will cause any problems as long as there is a surface in there to put things down on.

    I particularly love the idea of the old laundry becoming a new mudroom, with the fridge and a closet, or as we call it, a broom cupboard, to store the vacuum cleaner, cleaning materials and all that type of stuff. I really miss it when I don’t have that kind of cupboard.

    Moving the laundry upstairs is inspired. Converting the bathroom to a powder room makes good sense.

    As for what we do over here, as one commentator put it, we use the space as best we can in the way which suits us and our circumstances. At the end of the day, it’s your house and home. It’s what works for you. And I am sure that plan will work for you.

    Just get your chimney checked out before you fit a wood or other type of burning stove in the opening. You may need to have it lined but I guess you know that already.

    I’m avidly waiting for the progress reports.

  163. First things first: good job in narrowing down your needs and getting idea to paper/computer screen. I haven’t read the other comments but I would maybe have the following suggestion concerning the scary fridge/love triangle thing:
    Switch around your fridge and hutch:
    Rotate the fridge 90 degrees towards the kitchen and do a built in around it (it stays in its place and is now accessible directly from the kitchen). The bummer would be that your lovely hutch would more out of sight when moved into the pantry area in front of the ex fridge doorway. Makes sense?
    Fridge is more out of sight but you have quicker access to your work surface (you’ll appreciate that). I find the hutch in the way of the door a bit uncomfortable and I feel it shrinks your space…

    Good luck! Avidly looking forward to new developments.

    • This has been discussed rather extensively above, so I’ll leave it there! It’s a good option, just not a good option for me. Thank you for offering it, though!

  164. I love your tucked away refrigerator— my family house (built by great-great grandparents around 1915) has a fridge in the hallway between the kitchen and the bathroom and honestly, I adore it. Why waste working or social space on a fridge? Get what you need outta there and get back to cooking! It also seems like you’re going more in the direction of a period-accurate look to your kitchen, which I love.

    • Love that, Eva! And yes, that’s kinda why the whole “rotate the fridge 90 degrees and niche it into the wall” just doesn’t work for me. I can’t imagine that looking good in an old house!

  165. Ok the window over the kitchen sink was placed there so that moms, who spent hours in the kitchens of days gone past, could keep an eye on their kids in the backyard or frontyard playing– depending on the location of the kitchen.
    For the refrig in the pantry– take a peek at how ChrislovesJulia put their freezer in the pantry. It’s huge and screams metal.
    http://www.chrislovesjulia.com/2015/09/how-our-frigidaire-professional-appliances-transformed-our-kitchen-and-how-we-use-it-a-video.html

    Or check out how this fridge was disguised in a rental cabin in this weblink:
    http://housetweaking.com/?s=8+space+saving+ideas
    You can choose to disguise yours as you surround it with a pantry cupbaords in the pantry room, if you wish. Happy Monday!

    • Ah-hah! Moms! Luckily I’m not a mom…and if my kids were visible out that window, I’d have bigger problems…

      The House Tweaking link is so good! That whole house is gorgeous. For me that would require new (and much smaller!) appliances which I don’t have the budget for (and I like my regular size fridge!), but the point is well-taken!

      Thanks!

  166. Man, all these people would freak out about my kitchen, I don’t have any windows so my sink faces a wall. Whatevs. I do have some fantastic skylights though which keep the room bright, otherwise it would be a sad dank galley kitchen. I also don’t have a range hood. FOR SHAME. I’ve never been too worried, other than when I made latkes one year for Hanukah and my house smelled like McDonalds for a solid 2 weeks.

    The only thing I would change and I know you are not going to is keeping the hutch in the living room and rotating a regular fridge 90s degrees with a cutout the size of the fridge you have now. Fake built in all the way. At least buitl in from the point you can’t see it from looking in. If you have an island with drawers and all those lower cabinets and a pantry you’ve got plenty of room for everything you could need in a kitchen. I say this from my 900 sq ft house from someone who loves to cook and has way too many plug in small appliances.

    I do love the hutch, but with your sink moved and the hutch in place, your window sightline from the dining room will be thrown off by said hutch. Honestly though its your kitchen and do what makes my happy. I can’t wait to see it.

    • Haha! Latkes! I’m in the same boat.

      I’m sorry—definitely not doing a cut-out (the house is too old for that to look OK, I think!), but I think I’ve tweaked things so the fridge placement makes much more sense. Have faith! Ha!

  167. On the sink-window debate (I was early on in the comment): I think as an experiment you could block off the current window over the sink with something to block the light to emulate a wall and see if you miss the window! As many have said it is about the light as much as the view. Also, after looking at the plan again, looks like you could put the sink to the left of the stove and still have room for a cutting board in between, which is my current setup. This works well because I am often washing veggies before cutting on board and then them mover right to the pan on the stove. All in a row and efficient! Very convent – good luck!

    • It’s all gutted! I have no kitchen sink! But this whole room will be so drastically different than it was—so bright and open. I really don’t think the window/sink thing is an issue for me at all!

  168. Hey, Daniel.

    I’m only commenting because I know you’ll do whatever the heck you want and be very happy with it.

    I just don’t feel there’s enough of The Knick here. I do like the idea of the shelf above the sink, but where are the glass fronted cabinets? I feel you could take a leaf from Victoria Barnes and go get some giant fancy thing off craigslist and have a kitchen that look like this:
    http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/repurposed-reclaimed-kitchen-cabinet-inspiration/
    If anybody could buy a set of built in cabinets from a sanitarium and turn it into a kitchen, it would be you.

    I love the hutch, but it’s more “rural beauty” not so much “turn of the century hospital.” Can I persuade you to leave it in the dining room? It looks so beautiful there. If you left it in the dining room, you could use that
    wall for the refrigerator and you could put a shelf perpendicular to the wall that was as wide as the fridge. you could put rattan on the bottom doors and glass on the top doors. When people looked from the dining room what they would see is not the side of a fridge, but a shelf of beautiful things facing toward them in–you know– glass fronted cabinets! : )

    And I agree with the people who say you don’t need a hood if you don’t want one. I’d want a fan up there in the ceiling, but you probably don’t set fire to things as often as I do.

    I don’t love the island. I’d rather have space in the middle of the room in order to admire the fireplace.

    I really, really agree with the people who say they wouldn’t run the cabinet up against the side of the fireplace.

    If you do put the fridge in the pantry, for God’s sake put a counter next to it, not a closet.

    That’s all for now.
    I’m sure I’ll have more scintillating suggestions in the future.

    • I can’t figure out why everyone is so hell bent on a counter next to the refrigerator. maybe it’s because i still have a classic, cheapest fridge in the store, top freezer unit but I just put all the grocery bags on the floor when I’m putting things away. It would be an awful lot of standing and bending over if I used a counter instead. If Daniel needs a closet to store the broom and vacuum and perhaps his gardening gloves it seems like a good use of the space instead of a counter top that only functions as a waystation for groceries.

      • Yeah, I put the grocery bags on the floor, too, even when I have a bit of counter next to fridge – because there’s usually something on the counter, or the counter isn’t large enough for the grocery bags anyway.

        And, I think I actually prefer the refrigerator out of the way. I had two old apartments in Chicago when I was in college, and the fridge in each was in the pantry off the kitchen – and it seemed perfectly normal to me. There were lots of shelves in each pantry for food and pots and dishes and appliances, and even a window in each. There were no doors on the pantry, so the fridge was only one or two steps from where it would have been if it was in the kitchen. And because it wasn’t placed in the kitchen, there was room in the kitchen for a kitchen table and chairs against the only wall where the fridge could have been if it was in the kitchen. So, it was a big win, really, to have the fridge in the pantry, as it allowed us to have eat-in kitchens. In each case, we ate in the kitchen, making what was the dining room next door into our living room, which allowed us to turn the living room into a large bedroom with the installation of a curtain in the doorway, making a one-bedroom apartment function as a two, and a two-bedroom as a three-bedroom in the next place (we were poor and cheap when it came to rent – school was expensive.)

        The last home I lived in growing up had the fridge in the hallway to the back door, again just one step from the kitchen, and that kitchen also seemed more spacious that the previous two I live with growing up, where the fridge was right smack in the middle of the kitchen against the a wall.

        When I bought a place in Brooklyn, the refrigerator was across the central hallway that ran through the brownstone apartment, across from the rest of the kitchen, and it thought it was a clever layout the people who reunited the place and moved the kitchen from the back of the apartment came up with. But now I realize that I also liked the kitchen better because it left more room in the main part of the kitchen itself, though sadly there was no room in that kitchen for a kitchen table. There was, however, a dining room next door, which was nice to have, though I rarely ate in it. Having a kitchen table and chairs to sit at is really nice for everyday cosiness.

        The place one would fit in Daniel’s kitchen would be coming out the wall where he wants to put the hutch if he didn’t build up that wall with cabinets and if he didn’t put the hutch there or have a kitchen island. There would be room for a rectangular table with the short end against the wall, with 3 chairs on the other sides (yes, one be in front of the pantry doorway, just as there was one such chair in each of my Chicago kitchens – though perhaps his kitchen in large enough for the table to be closer to the living room than right past that doorway, especially since he plans to change the dining room door to swing into the dining room. A decent sized rectangular table would seat 5 if needed, maybe more if pulled out from the wall or with a leaf added when needed. Or, as in one my such kitchens, where we had the long end of the table against the wall, so that one sat four without being pulled away from the wall, maybe a table would fit in there that way. I would build out the sink and stove cabinet walls here, and then see it I liked having a kitchen table (a normal height, not bar-high, table with chairs) along that wall, if I lived here. Just another idea to throw out there.

      • Put some lockable wheels on that table, and it could be placed going either direction, and even pulled out to the center of the kitchen for more prep space or larger dinners with more chairs when needed – without taking up the center of the room with a permanent hulking kitchen island that sucks all the life out of an old-fashioned kitchen in an old house.

    • Haha, I appreciate that! The Knick is inspirational, but I’m definitely not looking for a carbon copy. That show is set in 1900—VERY Victorian era—which my house really isn’t. I think it’s fair game to draw from Victorian influences (because srsly, my original kitchen didn’t have plumbing or electric and was probably in the basement and extremely primitive), but I do want it to be more simple, understated, and modest than all that. For my house, I just think that primitive/simple look will work much better!

      Otherwise, yes! I agree about the cabinet return to the chimney (gone!) and I’m definitely not 100% on the island. Still designing the fridge/pantry/mudroom space. The execution of much of this plan is a LONG time (too long, sadly) off, so there’s plenty of time to feel it all out. :)

  169. I’m excited to see how this turns out! It is different, but different is what makes things beautiful.

    As to how practical those differences are – everyone’s style of cooking and living varies. You aren’t staring out a window while doing dishes for hours, then you know you don’t need a window over your sink. Simple enough. When I was determining the practicality of cabinets with no toe kicks, a look I love, I placed a board in the toe kick area of my then cabinets to test out living with no toe kicks. Ultimately, I just needed toe kicks under the sink. Your refrigerator in a different room sounds like a nightmare for me, as I am constantly dumping things from the fridge to the island behind me. But for you, it may be no problem. Perhaps borrow a dorm fridge off someone, place it in the other room, and try living for a week while fetching all your food from it, to see if it really is no problem for you. I would guess it comes down to budget. If you are meant to have a fridge in the room, then the Craigslist gods will bestow a stunning panel ready fridge upon you. Otherwise, your legs are meant for more walking.

    I am one of the huge fans of induction. And as an owner of an 1850s home, I actually prefer the look of extremely modern in the space. I guess I just don’t think of a big gas range – something that really didn’t become a thing here until the early 1900s – is actually period appropriate either. To me, it has a faux look of people trying to look authentic, but failing. Like granite, I view the big gas ranges to be a suburban look. The induction is so clearly modern that in a vintage style kitchen, it creates a nice juxtaposition. But to each their own style! And for another idea you may or may not have considered already – I love the look of old brick fireplaces retrofit with the ranges inside of them.

    I also am too lazy to turn on the hood vent, and have somehow survived all these years without it. But your concerns about indoor air quality and gas fumes does change with kids, and I will say that if I had a gas stove now with kids, I would vent the fumes. No concerns for my personal safety, lol, but absolutely neurotic about the kids’. Of course, the same thing can be said about bathrooms. One full bath is totally fine until you have to share it with a teenager.

    Upstairs laundry is a huge upgrade, with no drawbacks! Regarding another commenter’s note about vibrations, our old house is fine with no vibrating. Theirs was probably off balance. It is tricky getting it balanced on old slanty floors, but if our appliance store installers can handle it, I suspect you can as well.

    • I’ll have to try that out with the toe kicks! So smart. I’ve been wondering the same thing. I love the look without, but I feel like they’re there for a reason!

      I totally hear you on the induction, more than you know. I had the same thoughts! This kitchen has been through so many different concepts…including one where everything including an induction cooktop was contained in a big blocky island, and the rest of the room was super simple and freestanding furniture and stuff. You could do it with the plan I posted here, I guess. Ultimately it was more about what I want to cook with, which unfortunately IS that big gas range that I’m comfortable with and like. I really dislike my boyfriend’s electric glass cooktop—I know induction is a very different technology, but it’s that same kind of feeling. I wish I could bring myself around to it! (I think my fireplace is structurally too small to do that, but I love the idea of having it as a real heat source! I do like that in other houses, though.)

      That’s encouraging to hear about the laundry! Fingers crossed!

      • Not to beat a dead horse, lol, buttt…
        I would suggest trying out a cheap induction hob, to really decide how you feel about induction cooking. That’s what I did, before I made the switch in my kitchen remodel. I had purchased one just because of all the talk of how fast it brings water to boil, and I figured it was worth having yet another kitchen gadget to stash if only to cut down on my water boiling time. After a few months, I found it was always on my counter, and I was only using the HOB, instead of my big (very nice, very expensive) gas range. So when the time came for a remodel, it was easy for me to make the choice to only put a cooktop in the kitchen that I would actually be using.
        The HOBs are quite cheap, for trying out induction. https://www.amazon.com/NuWave-PIC-30141-Precision-Induction/dp/B00DP6BJE2/

        Anyway, you like what you like, and everyone is different. I’m just saying – I am a big fan of doing as much as possible to try out living with my options before making a huge choice in my house I have to commit to for years.

  170. After skimming through most of the comments: just tell people you have one of these:https://www.remodelista.com/posts/remodeling-101-ceiling-mounted-recessed-kitchen-vents-for-open-kitchens/
    And then tell them the vent is disguised.
    I loved this post, BTW. Loved that it came after the knick post, and it totally seems like the knick. I see it. And I had so much fun rearranging your layout in my head and then deciding that the way you did it is better and agreeing with your layout placement after all. There’s something really satisfying about your layout.

    • Woah, science!! I’m gonna say there is 0 chance of that happening, but I’m fascinated.

      Thanks, Jo. It’s a fun, ruthless game, right?? I could be indecisive forever on certain stuff, but I think I’m getting much closer!

      • Pretty much anything on remodelista is guaranteed to be way out of my price range, but I do like the idea of a hidden vent in the ceiling. however, as I said, I wouldn’t change a thing about your kitchen plan. It seems perfect to me. If you do change it, I’m pretty sure your idea will be better than any of mine – that is why I read your blog obsessively after all.

  171. Hi Daniel, it looks great and I like your plans. It’s a great idea to get rid of that diagonal toward the backdoor and I love that table and how natural the fireplace looks in all this. I also love that the space to the right of your entrance will be the livingroom. I loved that space when you first showed it to us. However I would like to make two recommendations (I’m sorry if someone else already made these remarks but 300+ comments is just too much to take in).
    First I would not put the fridge so far out of the kitchen. It’s going to drive you mad in due time, trust me. The set up with all these low counters is gorgeous so maybe a small inbuilt undercounter fridge for daily stuff and a big fridge to the side with your stocks etc?
    Second I don’t think exiting through the laundryroom/ pantry is a great idea. Why not place that radiator on the wall next to the cupboard (great idea moving it to the kitchen) and make the outside door there instead? Because you know, you can cook with an open door in summer, have people walking in and out without having to tidy up your pantry before they come (I’m OK with moving the laundry room, though it is nice to hang laundry out to dry on sunny days). I’m not sure having your pantry double up as a vestibule is such a great idea.
    I also have a tip for you, what I do in all the kitchens I design is I leave the first 30cm of the counter free and I place the (built in) stove in the last 30 cm at the back. That way you can chop and keep an eye on your cooking at the same time. Also the “movement” from choppingboard to the pan is from front to back rather than from left to right (which in my mind and experience works better).
    Anyhow, good luck with all the work, I look forward to seeing how it will turn out.

    • PS I agree with one of the comments that said you should not let the door turn into the kitchen because it takes up floorspace. Why not take one of these beautiful old doors and hang it on one of those cool rails they use for barndoors and turn it into a sliding door? That way the kitchenwall can be used more efficiently.
      I would also like to add that 120 cm (4 feet) is really the minimum width needed between counters (I have no idea of the measurements of your plans). We have 1 meter at one point and it really is an annoying bottleneck that drives us nuts.

      • Thanks, Simone! OK, soooooo…
        1. There’s lots of talk about the fridge placement, under-counter fridges, and the back door placement in the comments above, and it’s a little much to rehash! But it’s up there. :)
        2. I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand! Google tells me that 60 cm is about 24″, standard counter depth. So is the built-in stove (a cooktop?) a single row of burners or something? I’m sorry, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this! It’s intriguing. If you have a pic, even better!
        3. I think NestFan was the first to bring that up, and she’s (he?! oh man, do I know?) right! The door originally swung the other way and I’d like to restore that. It will take some light carpentry (they cut the door down to change the swing, grrr) but should be doable. Definitely no barn doors in this house (too mod).

    • Oh, I love your idea of counter space in front of the cooktop. It makes me remember that in wide kitchens like this, you can put in extra deep countertops (whether or not you spring for extra deep cabinets underneath them) giving you so much more workspace – if you aren’t crowding the kitchen with a big island, that is. That’s an option to think about instead, Daniel, extra deep counters.

      • Extra deep counters are also how many people get around the expense of counter-depth refrigerators.

  172. Dude, I am constantly going in my fridge. Making a planned meal is one thing (getting all the ingredients out at once), but thinking about how many times I go in and out of my refrigerator a day…it would suck to have to go to another room for that.
    What if you kept the fridge where it is but opened up the to the kitchen, then rotate it so it’s built in and accessible from inside the kitchen? You could do a partial recess and build cabinetry around it. You’d have to loose the cupboard in the kitchen, but man, it’ll be worth it.
    Either you are going to get this house totally restored and want to sell it (buyers will want the fridge in the kitchen), or you are going to stay and do lots of entertaining (because amazing house) — meaning you will be in and out of the fridge A LOT!

  173. I was thinking about you and the kitchen today (so creepy, sorry) and I realized that you could make a custom hood for the kitchen that would be completely gorgeous and streamlined and very The Knick. Jenny Steffens Hobbit made one in her kitchen that is enviable, same w Chris and Julia. I think the issue you have is messing up your gorgeous outside, but I bet you could do a vent cap cover that blends and is lovely.

  174. I doubt there is anything left unsaid, so just consider this an addition to the chorus: For six years, I’ve been living a very full life without a vent hood (we have a downdraft JennAir range) and a refrigerator across the room from my kitchen U. There are only two types of cooking I avoid on the stovetop: fish and latkes. I know you’re a nice Jewish boy, so the latter may be hard to hear, but something tells me you are familiar with the smell of potatoes and oil that permeates every nook and fiber of even the well-ventilated kitchen, and I think even an industrial hood could not combat the byproduct of this time-honored Chanukah tradition. Which is why you go to someone else’s house to eat latkes. :)

  175. Good Lord Daniel!
    I am so impressed how diligent, kind and thorough you are about responding to everyone’s posts, especially when SO many of them are repetitive. Do you have any time left for actual renovation?

    • Haha! This one was a little challenging, but usually it’s pretty manageable! I love talking to you guys, though…for me it’s such a big part of what makes blogging fun and stimulating! It blows me away that people take the time to think about this stuff and leave such thorough and thoughtful comments and it makes me feel so weird and bad to just not respond. I appreciate it so much!

  176. How are you feeling about subway tile in your new kitchen?

    • CONFLICTED!! Haha. I DO love subway tile…it’s cheap, easy to install, classic, simple. It’s also appropriate to the house, and the options there feel very limited. I LOVE tile and there are so many amazing tiles out there, but really…other than subway or maybe 6×6 in a running bond, what else is right for walls in a house this age, if you’re trying to stay faithful-ish to the era? It’s like…plaster, beadboard, subway tile. If I had ALL THE MONEY the options would open up a bit, I guess, but that’s not the case. I also think I’d prefer to stick with one wall treatment around the room (rather than, say, tiling one wall and then doing beadboard on the others), so that makes it kind of a challenge too. I think I’m leaning toward a larger format if subway ends up being the best answer—probably a 4×8 instead of 3×6, but yeah. Clearly I have some decisions yet to make, ha!

      (how are YOU feeling about it is maybe what I should be asking!)

      • I’m getting a bit wary of all the subway tile all the places. I have it in my own kitchen, and I like it…but sometimes it looks so shiny and like I slapped it on yesterday…instead of looking like something that’s survived decades of dinner party preparations.

        I can’t get enough of British kitchens by Ben Pentreath: http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/polopoly_fs/1.4696772.1473870339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/image.jpg

        The square tiles are so institutional and perfect. I personally want to feel like I’m cooking in a early twentieth-century English orphanage, but I’m not sure everyone agrees.

        Beadboard could be SO GOOD.

      • Haha, no, “20th Century english orphanage” is EXACTLY the vibe. It’s what this kitchen needs! It’s what I need! It’s what everyone needs!

        And it’s true what you say…new subway tile is FINE (and I’d MUCH rather see people put it in than, well, most things people put in), but that’s kind of all it is? Fine? Because it is too shiny (and matte is too matte), and too white, and the grout lines are too big, and the easement way too pronounced, and there’s no crazing in the glaze…so it doesn’t come across as old. Just trying to approximate the old look. Unless you have serious money, in which case there are much nicer repro options and stuff out there than the standard Lowe’s/Home Depot options. So ya know. Like I said…FINE, but I’m…open? I’m just not sure what I’m open to that is possible budget-wise.

  177. All these ideas have got me slightly crazy thinking about the plan, obviously many others are caught up also.
    I’m a retired cabinetmaker for high end clients, so I know it’s possible to get trendy magazine quality results from architects plans. I love the idea of getting the look you want on budget.
    I like the fridge in the pantry along with open shelves for food. I like the stove between the windows, if you have to have range hood I would suggest a 12″ bump out , mechanical guts hidden up inside, kind of mimicking the fireplace, covered with wall material. For distance between stove wall and island 60″ is best, two can pass while working, maybe you’ll meet and fall in love with a cook. Forget spending money on corner cabinets, they are very expensive and useless. Best proportion size for cabinet doors is 18-24″ wide. Work backwards from that. To get your look I would do Honduras Mahogany solid frame and panel faces with black slate countertops, or honed grey granite, and grey slate floors. Very knick.
    For the wood stove I would get an enameled airtight stove from Canada or Europe, my last one was deep burgundy and looked smashing. Cabinet doors and faces can be ordered online in most woods. I would makes the boxes from maple or birch plywood, no particle board boxes. Thanks for reading my babble, any questions mail me. Erica

  178. Sorry I am so late commenting on this but I hope you will see it anyway.

    Over the sink please consider putting a mirror. I visited a friend of mine in Nova Scotia and she had the almost the exact same kitchen layout as you (except for fridge location and that her island is a round dinner table). Her kitchen was wonderful because of the mirror over the kitchen sink. One night she was washing dishes while I sat at the table and we could actually look at each other while we talked and she washed. The next morning I washed some dishes and even though I was alone in the kitchen I didn’t have that weird feeling when I am facing a wall with my back to a room.

    The other thing you might consider is a dish rack over the sink. I have one that attaches to the wall and folds up (from ikea). Having a place to put a pot or other dish after you have washed it, without getting water on the counter is great.

  179. I love this so much! Also, I feel like you are the younger, east coast version of Orlando Soria from Hommemaker…. in the best possible way of course

  180. I meant to comment the day this was published…as one of the people who was pushing induction (how nice of you not to scream, “IT’S MY DAMN KITCHEN AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT, YOU FREAKS”): So glad you are doing what YOU want to do. Congratulations! This is a gorgeous design. Screw the vent hood for now–I agree (and I have been a professional cook). You have windows. You also have windows near the sink if not immediately adjacent. And, again it’s your kitchen.

    The couple of things I would think you might want to consider adding involve lighting and air movement. I know you don’t want a suburban style kitchen, but…can lights. I always think lighting is the most important part of any kitchen. We have can lights wth 75W 4K LED bulbs (no under cabinet lighting and in any case someday, God willing, we won’t have upper cabs anymore) and they have changed my life. And, I don’t have this, but–since you have your sink and stove on the perimeter of the kitchen–you might want to consider a ceiling fan. I can just hear everyone screaming now…but with both windows open and a fan going, after you’ve finished cooking of course, any stubborn odors would air out quickly. I’ve always wanted one in my kitchen!

  181. Daniel, what if you move the door between the Dining room and the Kitchen over 6″ or so? This would give you enough room to move your hutch closer to the doorway without blocking the pathway. Then you could have the “box” where your fridge will go, open into the kitchen instead of the pantry. Just a thought…

    Love following your blog!

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