Posts Tagged ‘kitchen remodel’

Remodeling Grandma’s Kitchen

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Matt’s grandmother passed away in January at the age of 104, she was a lovely woman who lived a full life and we miss her very much. Her small home that she shared with Matt’s grandfather needs to be sold, so we are evaluating the task of remodeling the kitchen before it’s placed on the market.

It’s a small kitchen with a nice L shaped layout that receives natural light from an adjacent courtyard. The location of the appliances makes sense so we have no plans to alter the configuration. We want to stick to a budget and not over improve the space, so we’re looking at affordable upgrades like laminate countertops instead of stone, and cabinets from IKEA or another similar brand that offers quality at good prices.

The remainder of this 1,100 square foot home is in good condition but the kitchen cabinets and appliances are dated and could hinder the sale. We stopped by over the weekend to take measurements and wrap our heads around what needs to be done to upgrade the space.

grandmas kitchen before

The cabinets are not horrible or bad looking but they are very old and layers of paint have left them sticky in places and dingy on the inside and upon inspection not appealing to a future buyer. The Formica countertops and appliances? Same issue, old and funky.

grandmas kitchen appliances

One of the debates we’re having is about this cooktop. We believe it was lowered decades ago before his grandparents moved in to accommodate a wheelchair bound person but to us it looks odd as it is.

lower cooktop

With any other remodel, we wouldn’t hesitate to raise it up but this home is in an age restricted 55+ community, so the issue remains whether to keep it at this height or raise it up to a standard countertop height.

sink cooktop

The sink and oven are a standard height, but not the cooktop, so we don’t really see the rationale of the lowered placement which makes us want to raise it up to a standard height for consistency but then again, is there value in having it lower in a retirement community? I welcome any insight you may have on the issue !      

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Counter vs. Bar Height

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Today is another peek into the home we’re remodeling with a design dilemma we will be tackling soon, this one is the debate between counter and bar height for the kitchen peninsula. This ledge is more of a stuff collector than practical dining surface, a dinner plate doesn’t even fit but I imagine it was designed to be that way on purpose in the original plan.

I do get the ‘divide the spaces’ look achieved with the bar height in this kitchen which looks out into the shared family room and breakfast nook space, but the narrowness of the wood shelf on top is odd to me. And say hello to the lovely vinyl wallpaper I have the pleasure of removing later this month.

counter height wall

And then there’s the sink nestled in the angle which I can’t even think about moving (the cost! the headache!) since all the plumbing to the dishwasher and sink is inside this pony wall and we’re working with a slab foundation. I’m not a fan of the layout of this kitchen, I am a U shaped kitchen lover and this one isn’t like that at all. But since we do plan to replace the cabinets/counters/sink down the road I think that will satisfy so I’m going to work with the footprint as is. (That tile/carpet combo is also leaving this month, more on that soon.) 

So it raises the question of keeping the higher breakfast bar as it is now but extending that upper surface with new countertops and corbels, or do we cut down the wall and extend a new countertop out in a single plane as one large surface to unify it all at counter height (my preference).

At first I was concerned about the sink if we cut down the wall thinking “there will be the splashing of the water everywhere!” but I realized plenty of well designed kitchens have islands or peninsulas with sinks at counter height.

counter height peninsula

john maniscalo architecture

   

counter height island with stools

teddy edwards

   

peninsula with waterfall edge

texas construction company

  

blue kitchen cabinets counter height stools

summerhouse interior design

   

counter height sink island bhg

better homes & gardens

  

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