Kitchen renovation, here we come! How to combine old and modern?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    New kitchen has been pipe dream of mine last ten years. Ours is seriously outdated but it works, so I have always just talked about how we will remodel it after we have done putting all of our money to boys' hobbies and other expenses. Hobby cost have crashed down lately but we were looking of using that money to difficult child's therapy costs. But against my expectations he got a letter today about being accepted to public funding for intensive therapy. So I may really get that new kitchen of mine! :choir:

    So I should probably stop dreaming about a new kitchen and start to plan it. And there lies the challenge. I always ooh and aah for seriously sleek, ultra modern kitchen designs. I would love to have that kind of kitchen! But, first of all, I don't even have a kitchen per se. We live in older farm house. It has been built in late 19th century and instead of kitchen we have a big room, that was meant for cooking, eating, doing most of indoor crafts, living room and place where farmhands also slept. Okay, no farmhands, much less crafts done, but it is still The Room of the house. Place there everyone always was especially when kids were younger. Used for almost everything people can do at their homes. If needed, could even double as a football field.

    It's rather big open space, over 800 square feet, windows in three sides. Floor is hard wood, made of ten inch wide planks that are currently painted with light colour. Walls are currently coated with panels in lower part and with drywall and wallpapers on the upper part. Under them there are log walls. On the inner wall there is a big masonry fireplace with cooking oven and old wood cook stove. Sink is also in that wall. Most of the more modern kitchen furniture is on the other wall. It's not very handy, because my everyday cooking is mostly done in the more modern part, but I have to always walk to the sink. I have been thinking adding second sink to that area and keeping a small sink (and maybe dishwasher) near old stove and fireplace and making that more of the baking area. Other possibility could be to build a kitchen island with the modern part of the kitchen mostly there. But that of course would change a traditional open space idea of old farm house kitchen/living room a bit. Though we already do have somewhat separate cooking, dining, living room areas in the room.

    Floors I may want to sand and wax and I'm thinking taking a log wall into sight in one or more walls, but it could be quite overpowering to make it to every wall, because old logs will be rather dark gray most likely. Painting the logs would make a headache for later times (removing paint from old log walls is very difficult process) but some kind of staining to better the gray hue may be a possibility.

    I would be very interested to see pictures and descriptions about how people have combined old and new in cool ways in their kitchens. Some reason Google is not being helpful for me in this (wrong search words I guess.) Have you seen any cool sites etc. about that kind of kitchens?
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Your kitchen/house sounds beautiful. An 800 sq. ft. kitchen? Seriously? With a fireplace?
    The picture below illustrates the integration of the kitchen island with the rustic farmhouse look seamlessly, I think:

  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I would write up a list of those features I would like, then make a few sketches to scale for the space. I'm sure you can come up with several options on how to effectively and beautifully use 800 sq feet!
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    We live in the cold climate. It is easier to keep warm an open space than several smaller rooms. So in the older times our houses were mostly one big space. Idea of several rooms started to get more popular but still in late 19th's and quite a bit after that, houses were built to have that one big room and then smaller rooms in other part. And in fact now the idea is coming back. Many of our new popular house designs again have a combined kitchen, dining and living room, but nowadays the chimney and fireplace tends to be middle of it all and other rooms being around it or in upstairs/down stairs. In our house this big room is in the other end of the house, chimney middle of the house and other side has some smaller rooms and one bigger room, bedrooms are upstairs. In old times this big kitchen was where people normally were, other side of the house was more for 'showing', everyday life was more focused to this kitchen end of the house. And some ways that is how it still is. No one spends much time in our official living room, kitchen space is the heart of our home.

    Thanks for the picture. Yes, kitchen island seems to work well in it. And from the same site that picture is from I found this:
    Home_-_Kitchen_-_01_-_The_Carneros_Inn_0.jpg It's not an island, but because of the door mine would need to be. But I really like how the space has been divided to kitchen, dining and living area in this. I just have to find out, how I could get that awesome light. Luckily the room is high, so some kind of lowered ceiling and modern lighting solution could be possible.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    OMW - THAT is gorgeous, Suz! In our area, a reno like that would be $70-100 grand, easy. High end appliances cost a bundle over here, too. That is SO pretty, though...sigh!
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    So true. With kitchens gorgeous and affordable never get that well together. Sigh!

    But one can always look pictures and try to get some ideas that would fit to the budget. With our kitchen the share size of it will make it rather big and expensive project anyway, even if we do part of the work ourselves. Those have been the reasons it has been a pipe dream. But now we have time (and we do know how to do the easier parts, we have renovated and build new in our summer cottage before) and bit more money, especially when we will not be paying that 25000-30000 dollars to difficult child's therapist in next two years, so we can renovate. And at least we already have some things (like that fireplace/cooking oven and floors) so that helps a bit to keep it in budget.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Start with cabinet placement, and make sure to include your work triangle. You will get the best deals on cabinets at a cabinet outlet, and they will help you to figure out which cabinets will fit best to suit your needs/wants. Also, you will see every type and style of cabinet available, so while you may have one thing in mind when you get there, you may find that you can afford more/better than you thought with only a slight alteration.

    One thing I have to say is NEVER EVER GET A BLIND CORNER CABINET. Thats the one that sits in the corner and has a very small door with a great deep space that goes way far back and you never see that stuff again. For the bottom corners, get a corner cabinet with a bi-fold door and a lazy susan, and for the top corners, get a five sided cabinet with a lazy susan. You'll be very happy that you did.

    If you can, keep your plumbing and electrical where they are. Moving your plumbing will be many thousands, as will electrical. If you have an electric stove and want gas, now is the time to run a gas line to the kitchen and get it done. It will cost a couple of hundred dollars. Of course, that's only really an option if you have gas for your furnace or water heater. Running a gas line to the house is prohibitive.

    Good luck, and keep us up to date on what you're doing!
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No pictures, but... have done kitchen reno's.

    Mark the items that "will not move" (such as the existing oven etc.) - you will have to work "with" those.
    Next, get some medium-sized boxes - lots of them, all the same size (we used moving boxes). And a couple rolls (or 3 or 7!) of painters tape in different colors.

    An efficient work triangle is no more than 15 steps total, and max of 8 between any two items. The key items on the work triangle are: Fridge, Sink, and Stove. If there's more than one stove, or more than one sink, then your "triangle" will have more than three points, OR you will have more than one triangle.

    Stack up boxes. Write on them (cupboards, fridge, etc.). Use tape to track the walking lines.
    And then... play around for weeks and weeks.

    We ended up doing this with salvaged cabinets rather than boxes... same diff (only heavier!).
    I wouldn't do it any other way... good design takes TIME. And it needs to match how YOU use your kitchen, and how YOU entertain.
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    So much fun!!

    Start haunting and join pinterest so that you can create a scrapbook of looks you like! Keep pinning on pinterest and alternatively tearing out pics you see in magazins etc. Eventually, you will find that there is a common thread in everything you love - and that's where you start!
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Also check out everything you can on and They have some awesome kitchen and renovations.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tips. especially boxes and really playing it out is a great idea!

    One of the problems with the kitchen has been in just that. Work triangle isn't working at all. Sink is simply too far from everything else I need the most.

    Doors and old fireplace and wood cooker make it a challenge to plan. Kitchen island could be an answer to that, but of course it tends to be more expensive solution than keeping things on walls. We don't really use gas over here at all (well, only gas bottles for grills and in summer cottages without electricity) and my modern stove will be electric like also current one. except I'm thinking I will go with induction stove this time (most of the new ones are those around here.)

    We need to redo the electrics. They are just old and we don't have enough outlets and those we have are in wrong places. Better to redo them now when we are opening walls and floors anyway. Moving plumbing may need to be done also, because location of the sink has been a biggest pragmatic problem.'

    And Sig, you are right. This is so much fun! Reno itself probably will not be but planning is.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Did you consider a two-sink option? I didn't have enough space to pull it off, but... one for doing dishes etc., and a separate one for food prep (washing veggies, for example) can be really useful. I have friends with that kind of kitchen. In that case... can the old sink be used for prep? If not... with plumbing already there, could the dishwasher go there? (or do you use those much where you are?)
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm considering also that. If we end up keeping things in walls, that will be absolutely needed. With kitchen island, if it's possible to place near enough the current sink, we could maybe do with only one. Currently our dishwasher is, of course, next to the sink, but I don't find it a problem that it is 'too far.' I tend to do what i'm doing first and then clean up, so I don't need to get to the dishwasher that often. Of course emptying dishwasher takes longer when you have to take things to different places that are 'far' away. The more I think of it, more it seems like kitchen island could be a best choice to make it more compact.

    But of course with that there is a problem with fridge. Our bake oven/fireplace is an essential part of our heating. Our central heating is oil based and that is expensive and not environmentally friendly so we are really using our fireplaces for heating. And this kitchen fireplace, while old, is very good one. It has high energy storage capacity and from fall to spring it is heated daily. So we can't/won't place fridge near it, because that would be total waste of energy. And of course fridge should not be near dishwasher or stove either (though induction stove doesn't produce that much warmth to around it) so that makes it difficult.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If just the dishwasher and clean-up sink end up being too far out of the main triangle, then design your kitchen with a kitchen cart... to go to and from the clean-up area.

    Fridge, stove, and "a" sink = basic triangle - dishwasher doesn't "count"!
    In my house, dishwasher is close to eating area... that's where most of the dirty dishes come from.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I want to redo my kitchen too but it sure doesnt sound as nice as yours!