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How to Make Your Kitchen Work? Share your Ideas,Tips, Photos ...

 
master steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I want to make my kitchen work better!  Can you help?

I  have to work with an already designed kitchen so lets set up one that will flow easily.  


Here is some information that I found:

With careful planning, working in your kitchen can become a pleasure.

Dishes and silverware near the sink and dishwasher if you have one.
Pots and pans near the stove.  Food prep area near the sink and the stove.

There are usually four zones present: food preparation, baking, cooking, and cleaning.  We usually have to work with an already designed kitchen so lets set up one that will flow easily.  With careful planning, working in your kitchen can become a pleasure.


The kitchen work triangle principles are used by kitchen designers.




Here are some suggested dimensions:

No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m).
The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).
If possible, there should be no major traffic flow through the triangle.
   

Besides the work triangle itself, there are several rules of thumb to consider when planning a kitchen:

As measured between countertops and cabinets or appliances, work aisles should be no less than 42 inches (110 cm) for one cook, or 48 inches (120 cm) for multiple cooks.
A sink should have a clear counter area of at least 24 inches (61 cm) on one side, and at least 18 inches (46 cm) on the other side.
A refrigerator should have a clear counter area of at least 15 inches (38 cm) on the handle side; or the same on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator; or the same area on a counter no more than 48 inches (120 cm) across from the refrigerator.
A stove or cooktop should have a clear 15 inches (38 cm) area on one side, and at least 12 inches (30 cm) on the other side.
At least 36 inches (91 cm) of food preparation area should be located next to the sink.

I added these as a FYI as this won't work since my kitchen is already set up.


Here is a video on using ergonomics in your kitchen:


 

 
Anne Miller
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Here are a couple of neat ideas:




 
Anne Miller
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This is not my kitchen, it is much prettier!  This is the layout of my kitchen except that my refrigerator would be where the door is.




I am still trying to find options to make it work better. Also no one uses a walker or a wheelchair currently so I want to leave space for ones in the future.

I love these:








 
Posts: 614
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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About lighting: we recently had a major renovation done that included the kitchen. We opted for dimmer controlled LED down lights that throw a yellow rather than white light - white is VERY bright, the yellow is subdued and nice. Also had a motion sensor controlled one installed in a two door pantry = big tick of approval. At night when the house is dark and you want to raid the pantry or get a drink, just open the door and it casts enough light without disturbing others

Big pull out draws for saucepans and frypans work well

A good exhaust rangehood over the cooktop stops fumes and oil build up - look for ones that have the motor on the outside of the house rather than in the actual hood = more powerful and substantially less noisy

Door handles and fancy wood working: less is more. Otherwise every little crevice will collect oily dust and crap and make it harder to clean.

Cooktop/stove: limited options, but some are better than others - look for the placement of knobs away from the burners (seems obvious but manufacturers have terrible designers), and, look for ones with one big sheet of metal rather than joins = cleaning PITA.
 
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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My kitchen is long and narrow, know she style.
The changes I've made that I like best:
-No cabinets, just open shelving and containers,fewer places for pests to hide,easy to find stuff.
-6' long counter. Wish I had more.
-Dishes kept  in wire closet shelving over my sink, skip the drying rack.

I want to add:
-Large spice racks on the fridge/freezer doors.
-Second sink.
-Purified drinking water tap
-Exhaust hood
-Pass through to dinning room.
-Floor drain
-Switching out Chambers gas stove for induction "burners" and two hacked electric ovens.

On the last note, I love the Chambers oven, but I think I could build something even more efficient,and way more accurate.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1252
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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Lots of good information here.  I keep looking at my current kitchen and shaking my head -- this is an old farm house, a very small one - the main house, not counting the enclosed porches, is 26' by 26'.  The porches don't add much space, though they are useful, as they are only 5'9" deep by 20' wide; the front porch is our entry and also where I keep tools and such (not shovels or pitchforks; those are in one of the barns).  The back porch is the laundry/utility room/pantry.  The main part of the house is divided into quarters, so the kitchen is 12'3" by 12'5".  It has three doors, one leading to the back porch, one leading to the downstairs bedroom (that doorway is blocked off), and one leading to the front room where we sit and eat.  There is a chimney in the center of the house, with stove pipe openings into the kitchen and the front room, but it hasn't been used in decades and needs to be thoroughly checked out before we use it (I want to build a masonry cook stove in the kitchen with an attached heated bench in the front room, but that's a project for the future).

So, when I bought the house, the kitchen had been completely gutted.  There was an outlet for a cook stove, and you could see where some cabinets had once been, but that was all.  I was checking prices on cabinets, and even DIY, it was going to cost several thousand dollars to put in a complete kitchen (probably around $6,000).  That meant I'd have to wait a while -- the house needed all new plumbing, and still needs an electrician to do a bunch of work, before I can get to spending that much on the kitchen.  In the meantime, we were cooking in the back yard and using cardboard boxes (full of kitchen stuff) for counter space indoors.  One of my daughters showed me Facebook Marketplace (I used Craigslist a lot at our old place, but it wasn't working as well here), and I found a Hoosier cabinet -- something I've wanted forever -- for $175, half the cost of a base cabinet the same size and it comes with upper cupboards!  AND the countertop pulls out so you have more space!  So I got that, and got it into the house, and it's great!  Then I found another one for five dollars more (they used to be a lot more expensive, so I was happy with the prices).  Now I had one for each side of the kitchen...and my other daughter came for a visit (she and her hubby did a bunch of work while they were here) and they bought a wide sink cabinet from Lowe's clearance aisle -- it's unfinished, and had a little damage at the bottom of one end where nobody will ever see it.  I don't know what they paid for that -- I'm afraid to ask, even unfinished and clearance!  But now we have the two Hoosier cabinets and the big sink cabinet and they fit really well across the window wall of the kitchen!  (Oldest daughter had already brought me a section of countertop with a sink in it that fit the new cabinet with only a little trimming.)  With a used frig and the small appliances I already had, we have a functioning kitchen!  I've added a few more things for storage, and now am not sure I even need the shelves I was going to put up in the utility room (I will put them up, because eventually I'll start canning again.)  

I was figuring it out the other day, and not including the sink cabinet whose price I don't know (and won't ask), I've spent well under a thousand dollars, and I'm very happy with the way my kitchen functions.  There are things that will get changed eventually, but I don't feel like I have to be in any hurry, other than I really do need to get the new flooring down (it's just exposed plywood subflooring right now).  That has been waiting on my bad back -- the boxes of flooring are stacked in one corner of the front room.  I'm still cooking with the small appliances; am debating whether I even need to get a regular kitchen stove.  Eventually I do want to put in the masonry cook stove, and between that and the small things we can cook almost anything we want to.  

I'm going to try to attach a couple of pictures here, and maybe a floor plan.  

ETA:  I was still unpacking boxes and finding places for everything when I took these pictures!  It looks better now!
White-Hoosier-cabinet-west-wall.jpg
Hoosier cabinet
Hoosier cabinet
Kitchen-sink-west-wall.jpg
That great big kitchen sink cabinet
That great big kitchen sink cabinet
Cabinet-with-drawers-north-wall.jpg
originally a bedroom dresser
originally a bedroom dresser
Kitchen-island-view-two.jpg
The kitchen island
The kitchen island
 
William Bronson
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Trialing the fridge mounted spice rack:
IMG_20181118_190630.jpg
fridge mounted spice rack
fridge mounted spice rack
IMG_20181118_190648.jpg
on door
on door
 
William Bronson
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I'mma gonna go clean up after myself, left some grubbieness behind ,and the wife isn't sure about it anyway.
I think it's a perfect use of space,  and I will be putting in another on the lower door if she OKs it.
 
gardener & author
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I think permaculture zoning can help a bit in the kitchen. The stuff I use more often, I make it easier to get to, the stuff I don't use as much can go further away. I've also minimised the amount of gadgets and things that I use over the years.

I like having a big island bench. I have the sink on one wall, with the woodstove around a metre or so further away on same wall, and the island bench is opposite both of these, so it's easy to get things from either place to prepare vegetables or to move a hot pot.

To find the right placement for this, I 'played house' a bit, and worked out the best distance that is still close to everything, but doesn't feel cramped when I'm cooking and someone needs to get a drink.

I like to have as much bench space as possible, so that I can have the island bench clear and ready for butchering, baking, sorting out bulk food etc, while still having space to stack dirty dishes, air-dry washed jars etc, leave sourdough and other things fermenting, grains and nuts soaking and so on.
 
F Agricola
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William Bronson wrote:I'mma gonna go clean up after myself, left some grubbieness behind ,and the wife isn't sure about it anyway.
I think it's a perfect use of space,  and I will be putting in another on the lower door if she OKs it.



Good to see the essential 'hemp spice' is kept conveniently handy, right beside the beer and munchies too!
 
pollinator
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So I actually completely redid my kitchen 2 years ago. It's a life changer. Before our kitchen, while large, was so oddly shaped as to be not that awesome. Now, after removing several walls, sinking my fridge into our 1/2 bath and building my own island and pantry I'm in LOVE with my kitchen.

I was going to link a million pics but I already did it on my blog so   http://peacockorchard.com/page/2/?s=kitchen

Ok so I wanted a massive, butcher block island for slaughter. It also is amazing for cooking with the kids, who all like to get on the counter to reach and help. Also, making pasta on an 8 foot island is a dream. I made the island, the butcher block, everything myself. Totally easy and soo sooo beautiful!

It was a bit of an adjustment. I mean the only place to move our fridge too was not exactly the most convenient. Most of the food prep happens in the little space between the stove and the sink. This is super good because I removed the drawers in the cupboard below and built my own pull out trash can booth. So cleaning away stuff into the trash is a sweep.


Ohh and when I did the island I did pull out baskets so I could store my onions, apples, etc right there without rot. It's been amazing!
pasta.jpg
I'm in LOVE with my kitchen.
I'm in LOVE with my kitchen.
pasta-2.jpg
Ohh and when I did the island I did pull out baskets so I could store my onions, apples, etc right there without rot.
Ohh and when I did the island I did pull out baskets so I could store my onions, apples, etc right there without rot.
 
Posts: 499
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We live in a tiny 1,100 square foot house with a tiny kitchen so we installed a tiny 24 inch stove.



We also kept our kitchen simple... no microwave, no garbage disposal, no trash compactor, no toaster oven and no gigantic refrigerator. Our fridge is a small Hotpoint my parents bought in 1948. It still runs perfectly and uses only 300 watts of electricity.
 
pollinator
Posts: 138
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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We live in a single wide mobile home, so the house is only 14' wide. I dislike this house intensely, but it was what I could afford to put on our 13-acre property. The main traffic from the living room to the bathroom, master bedroom, laundry area, and back door all passes right through the kitchen. The best addition to date has been a small rolling island that my brother gave me for free, my favorite price. With mobile home the cabinets are not real boxes, they are really just cabinet fronts so there is no separation between spaces. This means that things fall between and under drawers and cabinets, which makes for lost lids etc. The dishwasher had a leak which the previous owner did not disclose so the flooring under the dishwasher, sink and surround area has been damaged and there is mold damage, which makes tearing out the cabinets and subfloor a priority. Since the upright supports of the cabinets have now rotted from the water damage, the cabinets will need to be replaced. I had been keeping an eye out on craigslist and marketplace for a vintage double drainboard sink. Prices run from $20-$2000 depending on condition and simple greed. I found a sink that was perfect that came with the cabinet base and other cabinets. The phots make than look rather pink. My nickname is Pinky, for those that don't know. Sure enough, they are pink. When I asked for more photos the seller noticed that there was more rust than she remembered, so she offered them to me for $300. They are Montgomery ward metal cabinets from the 50s, and they are pink! I rented a u-haul van and picked them up that weekend. Right now they are stored in a dry outbuilding. I need to give them a bit of sanding and refresh the paint. Then when the floor is redone we can install them. The dishwasher needs to be replaced anyway, The door keeps falling off and has already landed on my toe, ouch! With the new cabinets, we will need to downsize to an 18" dishwasher, which is fine. There are 3 base cabinets, the 54" sink base, a 24" and 18", but there are a lot of upper cabinets, several more than I have now. I still will use the original peninsula cabinets until I can afford to replace them, and will eventually add a tall pantry as storage is sadly lacking in this house.
wall-of-base-cabinets.png
wall of base cabinets
wall of base cabinets
pink-metal-cabinets-farmhouse-sink.png
pink metal cabinets farmhouse sink
pink metal cabinets farmhouse sink
uppers.png
uppers
uppers
cabinets-and-sink.png
cabinets and sink
cabinets and sink
 
Posts: 61
Location: Zone 11B Moku Nui Hawaii
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We're renovating what may be a 'tiny house' since it's only 740 square feet.  Although when it was built in the 1950's it was more or less regular sized for a two bedroom house.


This picture was from when the house was still for sale since the Realtor's paperwork is still on the counter.   We got the little house after some squatters had been there.  They hacked out walls trying to make the tiny house feel bigger, although they almost dropped the ceiling on themselves.  They took all appliances as well as most of the light fixtures and interior doors when they left, but at least they left.  We've been fixing and upping for most of the summer but we work slowly.

The edge of the doorway opening there on the left side of the picture is the end of the wall that you can't see in the picture - which is the wall on the other side of the kitchen.  We want to leave that wall open without a counter or appliance so it can be a small dining area.  That really limits the locations for the stove and refrigerator.


This is how it was with the initial layout.  We got the counters from a yard sale so they're being reused instead of recycled or worse yet, dumped.  The stove came from the dump and it cleaned up nicely.  People throw away the strangest things.  Not sure about a stove behind the door, though.  Plus the stove blocks the counter.  But a refrigerator there would block the counter more.  We put in a bit of wall back between the kitchen and living room.  Mostly so it could hold the ceiling up, but it was also something to put the refrigerator against.

There's the door knob barely in the left side of the picture and the wall between the kitchen and living room on the right side of the picture.  We will be putting a big slab of silky oak there as an eating counter, it will be about six inches above the counter height to hide a bit of kitchen clutter from the living room side.  

Oh, this house is in Hawaii and it's 'single wall construction'.  The walls are all vertical 1" x 6" T & G boards since we don't need insulation around here.  Probably it 'only' being a 1" thick wall is why the squatters thought they could hack out walls with impunity, but in single wall construction sometimes even the trim is structural.  But, that's why the 'wall' in the picture is only 1" thick.

The stick in the window is because the sash cord broke and the sash weights had fallen off.  BUT it's very fixable.  That's the nice thing about old houses, most things can be rebuilt without much fuss.  Repair and continue to use instead of replace or even recycle.


Another awkward layout picture.  This one shows the door swinging inwards as well as now the refrigerator is in.  It wasn't a big kitchen to begin with, adding in the appliances made it a lot smaller.  The refrigerator really split the kitchen into two sides since it was impossible to see past it.

So, to tame the refrigerator, we cut a hole in the wall and built a refrigerator 'niche'.


That's the back door that opens into the kitchen.  The yellow area is where we're gonna put the 'niche'.  There had been a water heater in a small enclosure there but we can move that elsewhere.  Probably over near the bathroom/laundry area.



The bit of cut out wall was useful to make a wall for the fridge niche.  It already had the structural 'racing stripes' on it, too.  Those bits of trim hold the vertical T & G boards together that make up the walls.  We also reframed the doorway since it had been a squatter hack job and rehinged the door to swing outwards instead of inwards.  We will probably build a screen door at some point that will swing inwards, but screen doors are usually kept shut so it shouldn't annoy the stove on the inside.



There's two vents in the floor so the niche will stay cool.  Refrigerators don't make cold, they remove heat so it's always good for the heat to have a place to go.  The fridge will run more efficiently if they have lots of ventilation.



This is pretty much the exterior of the finished niche.  There's a vent up above to let the heat out.  When the door is open, the door knob is past the end of the niche so it doesn't hit the niche.

Oh, those are three tab asphalt shingles being used for siding.  The little house was in terrible shape and it would have been almost impossible to get it nice enough to look good painted.  The shingles not only cover up changes in siding, but they don't need painting for decades and decades.  Our current house has sixty plus year old shingles on the sides of it and they're still in great shape.



It was a lot of work to niche the refrigerator, but it sure made the whole rest of the kitchen feel huge.  

Pretty much streamlined the food path, too.   Take food from the fridge, put it on the counter, wash and prep it in the sink, then cook it on the stove.  There will be an eating counter between the kitchen and living room on one side of the stove and the little eating area in the kitchen on the other side.  Maybe we will move into this tiny house instead of renting it out, the kitchen will be lovely to cook in.

Not sure what we will do with the ceiling yet, that will be one of the next projects.
 
Posts: 84
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When we bought this place it had a 3 ‘ x 10’ peninsula in the kitchen! Looks wonderful when it’s empty, but unless you have 6 people in your family or do commercial cooking, it becomes a really big catch all. Its way better since we turned it into a 3’ x 6’ island and counters.

There’s over 1’ height difference between us and we both cook. That means I use the bottom shelf and the front edge of the 2nd shelf in conventional wall cabinets. It also means that bottom cabinets are really too deep. What we have always planned to do is buy upper cabinets and use them as lower, base cabinets.

One of the best things we did when we redid the counters was put in a cabinet that’s at my work height, I use it a lot. Another I’d recommend is raceway plugs above the backsplash or on it. You can plug in an appliance where it makes sense to use it, rather than some electricians idea, god knows how many years ago, of where you might need a socket. We also have a counter immediately to the left of the stove which is a diy maple cutting board.
 
pollinator
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Josephine, those are "buy once" cabinets. They are about the most durable functional kitchen furniture out there. They are definitely an "acquired taste", but if you find the look acceptable they are very hard to beat. They can be a pain sometimes if a hinge has been damaged or a drawer slide bent, but they are strong and fixable. I have about 15 of them in two garages getting the shit beat out of them for the last 40 years. They all survive and work great.

They _can_ flex and tweak. Be sure to take the time to install them square and true onto totally solid structure.

Congrats.


Regards,
Rufus
 
Rufus Laggren
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Jennie

> cabinets too deep...

Considered full extension slide-outs? Good sliders will carry 100# or more.

Good idea, that custom counter height. Many people might think it's too much trouble, but man, not for the person working there hundreds of hours!


Regards,
Rufus
 
Rufus Laggren
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Niele

Thanks for sharing. That was nicely thought out and executed. And you get usable storage in that corner, too. Good going. <g>


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Niele da Kine
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Thanks, Rufus!

It's 'just a rental' but it had seemed too small with the refrigerator hogging the whole kitchen.  Had we been planning on living in it, there'd be built in cabinets with drawers instead of recycled garage sale cabinets with shelves.  

Have you done things to your kitchen to make it work better?  I keep thinking a drain in the middle of the floor with waterproof cabinets and a pressure sprayer may be a good thing?  Commercial kitchens always have a drain in the middle of the floor with cabinets that can be mopped under.  Seems like it might be a good thing for a residential kitchen as well.
 
pollinator
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Rufus Laggren wrote:Jennie

> cabinets too deep...

Considered full extension slide-outs? Good sliders will carry 100# or more.

Good idea, that custom counter height. Many people might think it's too much trouble, but man, not for the person working there hundreds of hours!


Regards,
Rufus



There is another way to do this as well...just keep a pair of clogs or shoes with a platform sole on them, close to the kitchen. This is what my wife does when she wants to roll dough or something. In that situation she wants a bit of height so she just slides on her clogs (we are a shoeless house) and instantly she is raised by a few inches. In this way the countertops are at the proper height most of the time, but in an instant she can be higher for the operations in the kitchen she needs to be higher for. And a pair of clogs is comparable in price to a countertop at a higher height. She uses a pair of nurses clogs, or the same kind that teachers or waitresses wear, but a woman can wear a pair of high heels if they want too! (LOL)

It would not work for everyone, but it is a cheap way to accomplish the same thing!
 
Travis Johnson
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But sometimes it is good to go down too. (LOL)

We really like our old Crawford Stove (circa 1917) because it is 6 inches lower than a regular stove top. For lifting heavy stock pots, it is really handy. We do not use the oven because it lacks the modern conveniences of a modern oven, so we have a wall oven next to it. But we really like this stove, we would not trade it for any new stove out there!

Our home is set up to look like our favorite era; the 1930's, so this is Katie in a real 1930 dress to look the part...



1917-Crawford-Cook-Stove-(gas).jpg
1917 Crawford Cook Stove (gas)
1917 Crawford Cook Stove (gas)
1930s-style.jpg
1930s style
1930s style
 
Travis Johnson
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We live off our islands, and that is plural as we have two. The first is the "small island" and that houses our deep freezer, no going out to the mudroom for frozen stuff. That is REALLY convenient. We extended the countertop out, and put a stool there, and that is where the kids typically do their homework.

The other island is bigger, because it is a double island, so 4 feet wide with cabinets on both sides. Spanning the two islands is a drop leaf, or a bridge. Most of the time we leave that down so Katie can walk between them without having to go all the way around, but when her family comes up from out of state, we flip the countertop up, latch it, and then eat buffet style on an island that is 13 feet long. That is convenient!

kitchen-counter-islands.jpg
kitchen counter islands
Picture with leaf down between big and little islands
kitchen-counter-leafs.jpg
kitchen counter leafs
Picture with the leaf up between the big and little islands
 
Travis Johnson
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Our kitchen has two sinks which also really works well. One we use for everyday kitchen stuff, but the other we use for veggies and the like. It is located right beside our pantry, and our coffee area. This sink is unique in that it looks like an old Pitcher Pump (it is) but modified with old porcelain knobs with hot and water routed to come out the spout. No hand pumping required.

To the left of the sink is our coffee area, where we hang mugs, have the coffee maker, but also have the slide out trash...and another refrigerator. This is a dorm room refrigerator and is used to hold just our creamers. In this way, we do not have to traipse to the other big refrigerator for creamer. Sink, coffee, mug, trash, and creamer is all at hand without having to make even one step.

Coffee-and-breakfast-area-with-second-sink.jpg
Coffee and breakfast area with second sink
Coffee and breakfast area with second sink
 
Travis Johnson
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Naturally we have a big walk-in pantry...we are a big homesteading family after all (LOL). It is in the corner of the kitchen, between the breakfast area, and the wall oven/cookstove. It is big at 4 ft by ft and 8 ft high with lots of shelves.

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Pantry Corner
Pantry Corner
 
Travis Johnson
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Another thing that has really worked well in our kitchen is to have a entry area. That has slate flooring (taken from slate that we bulldozed when clearing the pasture out back), which keeps people from walking too far into our shoeless home with muddy boots and stuff on. It is just a natural barrier. But beside the front door is a bench where visitors often sit down at. Its a spot where people can sit when they don't plan to stay long, but too long to stand at the door too. The bench has storage inside the seat, as well storage in the a flip down back rest.

The door (now a sliding barn door) leads to a half bathroom so that kids and visitors do not track through the house if they need to go to the bathroom from outside.




Bench-Area.jpg
Bench Area
Bench Area
 
Rufus Laggren
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Travis

Ye know,  I wondered if anybody did that "clog" thing; seemed like it might be a little "tippy", but I'm a tall guy and don't have any experience there...

Those transition areas front and back sound like they really  help with house keeping. My sister uses the front door mostly and she lays down a track of runners and "samples" from the front door to the kitchen. Works, sorta, to save the formal floors, but looks a little bush league.

Her husband has been trying to make the house "shoeless" for years, but he has so many shoes that the entries just become a booby trap zone where one false step and you twist an ankle on a pile of footwear. And then there's the "back door shoes" and the "front door shoes" and the problem when they are the same pair (my problem anyway - I'm a one pair person).

Oh well. I can see how nice it is to keep outside dirt outside, but there _are_ some logistic problems there.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Rufus Laggren
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Travis

Another Q: Those wide floor boards in the kitchen area - they stay flat? I've seen problems in several different buildings (not my responsibility, thankfully) with wide boards cupping or a corner raising as the board twists. And I can personally testify that that can be a real *pain* to encounter unexpectedly.


Rufus
 
Travis Johnson
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Yes, they stay flat.

These are 10 inch wide Eastern White Pine boards, sawn 1 inch thick.

This is an old concrete slab without radiant floor heat, so to get radiant floor heat in the great room, I laid down 1x3 boards and hilti-gunned them to the concrete. Then I put in the radiant floor tubing, then put in sand over that, and then screwed the flooring boards to the sleepers I had just hilti-gunned.

They are shiplapped, but I do not have a picture of that. I do have some pictures of me logging the wood and sawing them into boards though.

It should also be noted while I am on the subject, that with the exception of a few sheets of plywood, most of the material came from the farm here. The wood, the trim, th hand chopped beams, even the countertops are from concrete mixed from our gravel pit, the slate is cut from the slate that is found here; so most of the materials. And naturally I built everything, from making the cabinets to making the concrete countertops, to splitting the slate boulders. It is not perfect I know, but I do try and do as much for myself as I can.

My-daughter-and-I.jpg
My daughter and I
My daughter and I
Pulling-a-few-out.jpg
Pulling a few out
Pulling a few out
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Sawing into boards
Sawing into boards
 
Rufus Laggren
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Niele

> fix up kitchen
I have only done small changes like repurposing a lower cabinet for a dishwasher and cutting out the back of an upper cabinet to accommodate a deep microwave. That last one has worked, but I can't really recommend it unless you do some careful measurement and thinking about how to deal with cutting into the wall behind it. In our case, pushing the appliance as far back as possible was required because of the limited counter space under that we really could not give up. Not a first choice, I'm afraid.

> floor drain
That's hard to justify any way at all. What are you planning to do there that will put gallons of water on the floor regularly? Better to ensure that space below the cabinets can "breath" and use ordinary clean up with a mop and bucket. Install a good finish floor properly and it can be maintained as needed with a reasonable amount of water without degrading. I have installed many floor drains and it requires serious plumbing and _also_ it requires a real water proof (mostly) floor running up the wall 4" all around _and_ that work all becomes somewhat pointless with the doors in the kitchen which don't prevent water from going out. If you avoid "laminate" flooring (eg. Pergo), regular residential construction well installed suffers water problems fairly well. If you want to get paranoid, install "sheet goods" like linoleum or sheet vinyl and run it up the walls with "cove edges". That makes the whole floor waterproof. Put raised sills (eg. 5/8"-3/4" wood) at the doorways, sealing under them, and you have a very robust and contained floor system w/out tearing into you plumbing. But even vinyl tile, laid properly, does a good job and bang/buck, it's probably the winner. If you're a high roller, install slate or tile. As long as you don't pressure wash the dog every week on the kitchen floor, floor drains in the kitchen are a long stretch. Commercial kitchens sometimes install them because of the amount of trash and fluid that can be expected to land there during the feeding of dozens or more people each day. However, many commercial kitchens don't bother or incorporate them as part of a "floor sink" which _is_ required by code to drain their food prep sinks.


Regards,
Rufus
 
Travis Johnson
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Rufus Laggren wrote:Travis

Ye know,  I wondered if anybody did that "clog" thing; seemed like it might be a little "tippy", but I'm a tall guy and don't have any experience there...

Those transition areas front and back sound like they really  help with house keeping. My sister uses the front door mostly and she lays down a track of runners and "samples" from the front door to the kitchen. Works, sorta, to save the formal floors, but looks a little bush league.

Her husband has been trying to make the house "shoeless" for years, but he has so many shoes that the entries just become a booby trap zone where one false step and you twist an ankle on a pile of footwear. And then there's the "back door shoes" and the "front door shoes" and the problem when they are the same pair (my problem anyway - I'm a one pair person).

Oh well. I can see how nice it is to keep outside dirt outside, but there _are_ some logistic problems there.


Cheers,
Rufus


We do not have that problem because before you get to the entryway, we have a mudroom. In that mudroom we each have a locker, so since we are a family of (6), we have six lockers. Our four daughters have a locker apaiece on one wall, and then on the other we have two bigger lockers for Katie and I.

We live in Maine so we almost have to have this, only because it gets so cold here. They call it an air lock, because you walk in one door, shut it, and then open the main door to the house. In our mudroom, we take off our shoes and coats before entering. It is heated, with radiant floor heat as well so that the rain and mud dries on the floor in short order. I can take a picture of it, but it is kind of a mess. It is also not done. We are putting in a dog wash area out there so that we can wash the dog, but also fill up mop buckets and that sort of thing.

As for being a shoeless home, honestly that is just a habit-thing. I fault no one for wearing shoes or not in their home, it is just after awhile of taking off your shoes, it feels strange to walk around the house WITH shoes on. But that is just me. I watched a show on why a shoeless home is a great way to prevent nasties from coming into a home, and I was sold on the concept.

Katie has a hard time with her back, so if she is in the house all day, sometimes her back will ache, so she will wear her Keds. These are sneakers, but darn near slippers, so she finds they keep the house clean, but helps her back. It is kind of a cross between a shoeless house, and barefoot.

But without question, our mudroom is really an extension of our kitchen, and keeps our house cleaner and more organized.

This picture was taken outside, but Katie is wearing Keds. She has about twenty pairs of these things in every color combination possible. Some she just wears in the house; slippers of sorts.

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Keds
 
Travis Johnson
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Here is a picture of our mudroom looking towards the front door where people enter.

Incidentally, I never mentioned, but we have a front porch before you enter the mudroom. Then the mudroom where we take off our shoes and coats and put them away, and then the entryway with the slate in the kitchen for guests that come in, but do not plan on staying, so kind of (3) different areas of "entry"...the porch, mudroom and entryway area of the kitchen.

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[Thumbnail for DSCN0823.JPG]
Mudroom
 
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Niele da Kine wrote:We're renovating what may be a 'tiny house' since it's only 740 square feet.  

So, to tame the refrigerator, we cut a hole in the wall and built a refrigerator 'niche'.



I doubt it's a problem in Hawaii but for others thinking of doing the same, fridge freezer combos stop working around 9C  (48F) once the temperature difference between the fridge and air is to little. so in a cooler climate when the back of that niche hits 9C (48F)your fridge/freezer will stop. Not a huge issue for the fridge but a massive one for the freezer. We lost a lot of frozen food becasue we didn't know this rather inconvenient fact!

Rufus, "clogs" are normal here every farmer has them and wears them, we have two pairs in the entrance hall, his and hers but they certainly don't get any further into the house!  (All Danish houses are no shoe zones) Modern danish træsko (wood shoes) have wooden soles but leather uppers, mine have steel toecaps as well I like to keep my toes.
 
Travis Johnson
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I have heard that wooden clogs from Holland were really comfortable. Katie wanted me to make her a pair, and I once read an article in Fine Woodworking on a guy that makes them, but have yet to do so.

Are they really comfortable?

I think it is the only kind of shoes Katie does NOT have. At last count she was closing in on some 100 pairs of shoes. At once time, she belonged to (3) shoe-of-the-month clubs, but has now cut it back to one. She no longer even tells me about the shoes she picked out, just that monthly package at the door with her all gleeful saying, "Oh, I got that cute pair of shoes today."
 
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