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Awkward Kitchen
Rich Kang
December 5, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Closing on a house in a couple of weeks. Whoever constructed this home thought it would be a good idea to place the oven next to the wall. Any suggestions on a quick fix for this awkward set up?
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Joseph I. Mycyk Architects, Inc.
I think we need to see or know more about the rest of the existing kitchen layout.
December 5, 2012 at 11:58am   
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Thom Torvend
provide a sketch of the kithen floor plan
December 5, 2012 at 12:01pm   
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Aggie Purvinska
It's a gas range and moving it to a different location would be costly, just to move the gas line. Then there is a cost of fitting the existing cabinets and maybe even having to make new ones to match the old to make this work. It will be a huge hassle. Save your money until you are ready for a full kitchen remodel with a new layout that works for you.
December 5, 2012 at 12:02pm     
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jagood
Somebody failed kitchen design class! Can you post a complete kitchen sketch and more photos? Also, source of cabinets, and can you still purchase them? How much will your budget allow?
December 5, 2012 at 12:25pm   
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Rich Kang
For some reason I can't add another image...Let me figure this out and I'll post one asap. Clicking "attach Image" and submitting only deletes the attached image...odd
December 5, 2012 at 12:34pm   
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Thom Torvend
I agree with Aggie, wait and redo the complete kitchen. Cabinets, lighting, counter tops, appliances all look very dated.
December 5, 2012 at 12:37pm     
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Grace Reed
This is one possibility IF the flex gas line is long enough to slide the range 9".
1. Go to your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and find a 9" and a 27" base cabinet. (Remove the drawer to use the 27" as a sink base).
2. Remove the 36" sink base. Install the 27" cabinet and a standard 25" x 22" single bowl sink beside the DW.
3. Move the range, microwave and cabinet to the right.
4. Add the 9" cabinet.
5. Get in-stock, laminate countertops at Home Depot or Lowes. (The available lengths are 4, 6, 8 and 10 feet. My hunch is that the 10' will be long enough).
6. Donate the sink to the Re-store. If you a DIY'er and haven't discovered it yet, have fun!
December 5, 2012 at 2:17pm     
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kennedytarheel
Use it as it is. Be patient and redo the kitchen when you can afford to redesign the layout, replace cabinets, lights, and floor, etc.
December 5, 2012 at 2:19pm     
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Grace Reed
By the way, the only reason I would go to all this trouble is because it's unsafe! I hate to see ranges, especially gas ones, positioned the way this one is. 9" is better than nothing.
December 5, 2012 at 2:25pm     
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Rich Kang
Thank you everyone for the tips. For the time being, I'm looking for a budget friendly quick fix because, as gkreed3 mentioned, it doesn't seem safe and it just doesn't make any sense to have it butt up against a wall.
December 5, 2012 at 2:31pm   
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Mary Dancey Interiors
Until you can move the stove you should look at putting up a fire retardant panel on the wall beside the stove. Did you pay for an inspection? This wouldn't be to code in most if not all areas in North America, you might have grounds to delay closing until the vendor fixes the hazard.
December 5, 2012 at 2:41pm     
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Rich Kang
We did get an inspection done, but he never mentioned anything about it not being in code....hmm..
December 5, 2012 at 2:56pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
I don't think the basic kitchen is to bad as far as cabinets, ect.. I would go ahead and pay to move the stove to the left side of the room where the long counter is, preferably with a bit of counter on both sides, but still reasonably close to the sink, and recutting the counter on top to fit.

Then I would move the cabinets you took out and put them where the stove is. and fill any gaps with a cookie sheet cabinet or pullout spice drawes or just shelves and bins You probaly won't be able to patch in the counter ther though, so I would build a shelving unit to just fill up the whole space, or consider adding a full-length cabinet/pantry, broom closet.

Having a functional floor plan is worth the expense of running a gas line, and it isn't that horribly expensive if you already have gas service. Probably cheaper than new counters and a sink.
December 5, 2012 at 2:58pm   
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Mary Dancey Interiors
Rich call your local building department and see what they have to say.
December 5, 2012 at 3:02pm     
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Vickie Burton
get a new over head light , paint the cabinets
December 5, 2012 at 4:13pm     
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Arbutus Interiors
I agree I would wait until you are ready to a complete reno. There is a number of things which could be improved if you are to start from scratch. There is no use throwing good money after bad,. It's amazing how little changes can add up and in the end you are still dealing with an older kitchen. Take the money and add it to your dream kitchen budget, it looks like you have a great space to work with.
December 5, 2012 at 5:31pm   
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Arbutus Interiors
I agree I would wait until you are ready to a complete reno. There is a number of things which could be improved if you are to start from scratch. There is no use throwing good money after bad,. It's amazing how little changes can add up and in the end you are still dealing with an older kitchen. Take the money and add it to your dream kitchen budget, it looks like you have a great space to work with.
December 5, 2012 at 5:31pm   
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indianagrammy
I wouldn't assume it would cost a lot to move the range. Someone suggested you call a contractor to give you an estimate and some ideas. I don't believe this kitchen looks like a complete gut unless you have the funds to do it. I would paint the cabinets gray. Congrats on the new home.
December 5, 2012 at 6:57pm     
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bygeorgi
Is your house on a slab or foundation?
December 5, 2012 at 7:08pm   
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Grace Reed
Absolutely agree...find out if it's to code and renegotiate your contract, if possible. And, before moving the line, be sure to have a good, functional kitchen design done. Don't move the gas line only to find it needs to be moved again. The sink and range often are on one wall with the refrigerator and pantry across from it.
December 5, 2012 at 7:34pm   
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jagood
My mother used a range positioned near the side wall and in the entrance to the room for over 50 years! However, she had empty space of about 8 inches on both sides of her range, so I don't think it was as close to the wall as your range will be. It wasn't ideal, but she didn't have the funds for a remodel and her kitchen was very small. Your range would make me far more nervous about a possible fire - not only from the burner flame, but from anything, such as grease, that might catch fire. BTW, you should be able to add additional images when you do a reply.
December 5, 2012 at 8:10pm   
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solraven
I've seen ranges positioned right on the wall before, but usually in a small apt or studio; your kitchen has too much space for that location. If you're not going to do a full reno then tile the entire backsplash. It will offer protection and update the kitchen at the same time.
December 5, 2012 at 8:30pm   
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Rich Kang
Here are the other views of the kitchen. Thanks for all the great suggestions!
December 5, 2012 at 8:32pm   
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Susan Gahagan
Move the fridge to where the stove is. Move the counter and cabinets that are currently beside the fridge to the left, along the wall. Place the stove on that wall.
December 5, 2012 at 8:43pm     
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solraven
Wow... now that we can see how spacious the rest of the room/house is, I can't even imagine what someone was thinking when they came up with that layout. That whole layout needs to be redone. I'm guessing the family room is at the far end and that the back of the kitchen could open up to it. Why someone would put a sink facing a wall, when you have those nice views out back, baffles me.
December 5, 2012 at 9:26pm     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi Rich Kang, marie here.
When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms - there are no quick fixes. These types of suggestions leads to all kinds of "other" issues. As a professional I can only guide you with what is safe, to code and best use of the space. I would leave it where it is until I can afford to re-design the kitchen. Good luck with your project. Be safe with any changes you do make.
December 5, 2012 at 9:38pm     
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alwaysdesigning
Seems like the only way is to do a complete remodel of the kitchen. Rip it all out. The entire layout would not work for me and does not seem very cohesive and is awkward. I would invest in a remodel and have it designed by a professional to get something that is what you want and will be forever. Good luck
December 5, 2012 at 9:50pm     
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alwaysdesigning
Seems like the only way is to do a complete remodel of the kitchen. Rip it all out. The entire layout would not work for me and does not seem very cohesive and is awkward. I would invest in a remodel and have it designed by a professional to get something that is what you want and will be forever. Good luck
December 5, 2012 at 9:51pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
Total waste of a nice space.

If you do remodel, it is possible to carefully remove the existing cabinets and applieances and rearrange to save quite a lot of money. They do match the woodwork and aren't horrible. The counters are a bit pinky, but possiblely some of it could stay if money was tight, or go with a new laminate or IKEA butcher block, and save the pricey stuff for maybe a work station near the sink or stove for chopping.

I personally don't like the undermount sinks much--they don't always stick and the caulk can get gross, and they are expensive and require impervious countertops, so I would keep the sink too, or go to stainless. The appliances seem OK, so you could wait on those, and focus on some color on the walls

You don't have any windows in the kitchen proper, and I think having a sink or stove where you can look to the side and see out the window is OK. At least you have a lot of light from the big windows..
December 5, 2012 at 11:08pm   
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fabulousitygirlz
Switch the oven and dishwasher places....
December 6, 2012 at 4:04am   
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Joseph I. Mycyk Architects, Inc.
The stove and refrigerators are probably not the same width. So, switching them out for now with some relocating work of the gas line is not going to work as a quick fix.

I would compare the cost of the following two options:
1)Relocate the stove, microwave w/exhaust to the wall where you currently have base cabinets but no wall cabinets. You may be able to salvage the existing end cabinets at this location with new countertops. You're work and cost here would be relocating the gas line in the basement below, electrical work to have the proper outlet/connections, duct work if the microwave/hood exhaust is one that truely exhausts to the exterior, some small new countertops on the salvaged end cabinets. The vacated space can then be used as your funds/needs/imagination allows. Standing wine cooler, stainless steel open wire shelving unit space just to name a couple.

2)Remodel the kitchen using a kitchen designer who understands and respects your budget over their commision.

Either way, someone cooking at the stove is no longer an obstacle of some one entering throug the doorway at the current stove location.

Good luck.
December 6, 2012 at 4:26am     
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charleee
Rich, we also had an inspection done before closing on our house, and the inspector missed the fact that there was only 11" of clearance between the top of the gas stove and the vent hood above it. Code is 30"! Call the inspector back out before you sign on the dotted line. Have him/her evaluate the safety of having the range so close to the wall.

If the inspector ok's it, you could tile the wall with ceramic or stainless tiles if it eases your mind.
December 6, 2012 at 4:27am     
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lucindalane
There are photos out here where stoves are against other surfaces, and sandwiched between counters. So, I think that if you are concerned that the heat could cause problems then putting a fire retardant panel like suggested would be the way to go. To me, the awkwardness of having it right there where the stove door blocks the doorway would be a big pain. Looking at your whole layout, it seems that the best place to put the stove, even in a remodel, would be right across from where the refrigerator is now, because then, when you had to pull the door down, it wouldn't impeded the traffic flow-as one could still come through that door and pass in front of the fridge and go around the stove, and there is plenty room in front-and it is still in the desired design triangle. The kitchen seems, overall, to be a good, open design, and just needs the cosmetic changes to freshen it up a bit. I hope you keep the cabinets-that will probably be the next thing everyone starts advising about. They look like they are in good shape-of course, you are the only one who can know about the wear and tear-and they are a nice, medium tone, so no eighties honey oak or crazy seventies embossed designs. Looks like you could just shine 'em up and they're good to go-by the photos, anyway.
Enjoy your new home. :)
December 6, 2012 at 4:43am     
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drememon
I can't tell from the photo if the wall and base cabinets directly to the right of the stove are single or double cabinets. If you're lucky, and they're single cabinets, you could pull one of each out, have the countertop cut carefully, and swap them down to the door/left end, moving the stove down 12 or 15 inches.. What is behind the kitchen? The garage? It may or may not be very expensive to move the gas line, electrical line for the microwave hood, and the exhaust vent (if there is one... it may be a recirculating hood.)
If it's not economical to move the stove, vent, and microwave, I'd leave it alone (other than facing the wall with a fireproof, cleanable surface), and save the money for a remodel later. Living with the kitchen the way it is for awhile will let you see how you live in the house, how you work, and what you really want. It's a nice-looking kitchen, but obviously designed by someone who didn't cook a lot.
December 6, 2012 at 5:37am   
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indianagrammy
This is not a terrible looking kitchen at all. I am shocked people believe the only alternative is to do a complete remodel. You ask for a quick fix and I assume that means you do not have the money for a complete redo. The biggest bargain you can get is a "free" estimate from a kitchen contractor.
December 6, 2012 at 7:30am   
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Patty E.
Get a carpenter/contractor in to shift some cabinets to the left of the stove and thereby move it more to the right, even just a smidge will make a lot of difference.
December 6, 2012 at 7:32am     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Hi. This is pretty basic because I don't think you want to spend a fortune, but this should be
pretty viable if my calculations are close. See what you think.
December 6, 2012 at 12:05pm     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
a few more renderings, colours and backsplash may be totally wrong, I just threw some stuff in there to fill the space. It's more your layout.
December 6, 2012 at 12:07pm     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
You may even get in a cute little portable island
December 6, 2012 at 12:15pm     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
If you can't read the notes on the layout, basically take the far left cabinet and switch it for the same size on on the section backing on to the dining room and add cabinets above if you can match, or shelving made to match the cabinets. If you have the funds move the fridge over and cover the sides with full panels and bump out the soffit on top and the cabinet to twenty four inch depth to give you better storage. This could be quite useable for a long time if you are happy with the cabinets and floors. I know we would all want a completely new kitchen, but if funds are a factor this might just fit the bill. Good luck!!!
December 6, 2012 at 12:20pm   
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Rich Kang
Uh, wow! Thank you for taking the time to do that, Carolyn. Definitely helps to see the space with some minor tweaks.
December 6, 2012 at 12:21pm   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Also, if your budget allows, and your fridge if full depth, consider bumping the fridge back into between the studs so it won't stick so far out into the room. It gives you a more clean line along that wall.
December 6, 2012 at 12:22pm     
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City Cabinet Center, San Diego
I really like Carolyn's idea. At least that way you have a way better work triangle and moving a few pieces wouldn't be as expensive as an entire renovation. If you cant afford that, than just put a fire retardant shield to protect the wall to the left of the range and save for a full kitchen remodel as others have already suggested.
December 6, 2012 at 12:31pm     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Good luck Rich. The changes suggested should cost the sun the moon and the stars :-) A bit to do it right though - even an IKEA butcher block counter on the cabinet replacing the stove area could work well and even a new piece of laminate to left and right of the stove , those aren't high cost items - it doesn't have to be the same as the sink side.
December 6, 2012 at 12:36pm   
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