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New house, old kitchen needs lots of design help
Laurie Dreesen
December 28, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi! We just purchased a 1970's single-story home and I'm excited to tackle the kitchen, though I'm sort of at a "paralysis by analysis" impasse and am looking for design ideas. The room is essentially 13ft x 22ft and has concrete floors, stained a dark grey with an almost green hue, and I don't plan on altering it at all. The cabinets are also staying, but the countertops will have to go. I'm looking for a material that would go well with the floor AND cabinets, and I'm also partial to this paint color for an accent wall (back wall?): http://www.serenaandlily.com/Fabric-Paint/Fabric-Paint-All-Paint-Persimmon

I will also be looking for a butcher block-top island, if anyone has any recommendations regarding that.

Anyway, thoughts, suggestions or ideas much appreciated! We have about a month before we need to move in!!
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apple_pie_order
Will you be keeping the appliances? I'd put in a vent hood over the gas stove.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Will be swapping the dishwasher for a stainless steel until, new fridge as of yet undetermined. No range hood - lacking the structure to support it and I like the clean line of sight into the living room (maybe it's actually a necessity for gas stoves - I've always used electric!). There's also a bar that can have stools set up there just behind the stove.
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Oh, there's a functioning "whole house fan" nearby that sucks all the air up and out - works great for that purpose. I'm assuming that's why it's there - seems kind of Little-House-On-The-Prairie but hey it works!
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 1:02PM
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mpoulsom
I like your orange color you have in mind for the wall. With that in mind I think I would do a very light colored countertop. Something in the white or light gray/green family or something wild like an apple green. I kind of like the idea of a stainless steel backsplash for one idea.
For an island, instead of a rectangular shape, what about an L-shaped one with barstools on the outside and on the inner side have open shelving for storage. Then add pendants over it. See if I can find some pics.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 1:13PM
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LM Designers
I would think there are a lot of nice granites that would go with your floor and cabinets. Go to the granite showrooms and pick up a few samples then lay them on the floor and up against the cabinets. Something will stand out as a favorite.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 1:16PM
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mpoulsom
ok, this is totally different from what I was talking about above..BUT...I do love this color combination for a kitchen and it uses the oranges, golds, reds, with wood and some greenish grays....you may be inspired by this??
Not sure what your budget is either, and if you are a DIYer, but you can use the site as a guideline for your finished product. If you can afford stainless steel appliances, I would invest in that for sure.

[houzz=
]
3 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Laurie Dreesen
OMG! I have actually seen that very photo! My current kitchen is painted "orange spice" by Behr and after living in this for so many months I'm ready to tone down the orange a bit, but I still LOVE it in small, more neutral doses. Thanks for the ideas! I'm interested in soapstone and granite. Love the L-shaped island idea - very cool! :)
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 1:24PM
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mpoulsom
think of this color green with your orange and the light countertop!

[houzz=
]
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Laurie Dreesen
I also want to avoid any "country kitchen" style, so the stainless steel backsplash would be great. I'm tempted to keep the butcher block top that is directly to the right of the stove. I love it, but how many different kinds of countertops can one kitchen have without having a personality crisis?? ha.
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 1:26PM
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jagood
Please do some research on why ventilation units are so important over cooking surfaces, especially gas ones. IMHO that is the most important consideration to protect the health of you and your family, and to protect your kitchen and nearby areas from accumulating the tiny by-products of cooking that float in the air. Some of the older homes in our area (tract homes - originally inexpensive) did not provide them, and instead had some sort of round fan-thing in the ceiling. My Mom got COPD, probably at least partially caused by a non-ventilated gas range that she used for a number of years. For best health, crack a window and turn on the ventilation hood fan every time a gas range is used.

It looks like someone may have done a remodel to "open up" the kitchen more to the living room, creating that half wall behind the stove. If you close that up with a full wall, you will have the structure to support a hood, plus have additional wall space for added storage of your choice - pot rack, open shelves, enclosed cabinets. The kitchen will still be very open to the living room because of the opening that connects kitchen & LR.

I really like the stained concrete floors in your kitchen, and the large window.
5 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 1:39PM
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mpoulsom
if you do the butcher block on the island and leave it to the right of the stove, that will be fine with ONE other kind of countertop! hahaha!
but seriously...you can have as many countertop materials as you want my dear!
I've been trying to find some interesting L-shaped islands, but they are almost impossible to find for some reason.???? I did find a couple of other cool modern examples that you might like. But most of the islands shown are traditional. ;(
You will like the stainless steel backsplash. They also have some mosaics that are mixed with stainless, glass & ceramic. Nice as well. But first you may want to decide on paint colors and countertops, then decide backsplash. There are also some interesting sizes in the stainless steel tiles. I have 1'x12' in my kitchen and I love them. Long and skinny. Ordered them online from an ebay seller from florida (?). But they will send samples for free or a minimum price. That's something that can be done later after you move in, as far as a non-messy project.
3 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 2:16PM
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PRO
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
Yes, a range hood would be a definite plus, both in terms of air quality & cooking comfort, and updating the style of the kitchen environment.

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2 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 2:19PM
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PRO
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
jagood, from your lips to more kitchen professionals' ears! We wish more designers & architects were as aware as you are, of the huge difference a range hood makes. It's not just about smoke & odors, it's about long-term health benefits, too!

We even wrote an article detailing the multi-faceted benefits of having a range hood: http://www.futurofuturo.com/rangehood-FAQ-10-reasons-to-have-a-range-hood.php
2 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Wow, this is all very useful information!! I have 2 small kids and health & safety are WAY more of a priority than countertops. I'll definitely look into it. The whole-house fan was supposedly the answer to noxious gas concerns but I guess we'll have to crunch some numbers as to whether or not it's truly effective for that purpose. Thanks again. I guess I'm in the market for range hoods!
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 2:45PM
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apple_pie_order
A range hood sucks air from around the range; their shapes are designed to do exactly that. The whole house fan is tremendously efficient at sucking air from any available opening. THey are very, very good at getting hot air out on summer nights, for example. But they are way overkill for a gas range. With a gas range you want to get rid of the products of combustion.

Recirculating vent hoods are totally useless (by definition) at removing the products of combustion. They are also almost useless at attracting grease to their metal filters.

Even if you don't have a wall behind the stove, you can install a vent hood directly on the ceiling. Here's a fashionable one:

1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 3:04PM
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designideas4me
laurie.. I have a few questions for you. In that I am still considering a stained concrete floor , can you tell me if you put this in or was it there and tell me what its like to live with? Any negatives? I see one area that seems to have a blotchy effect and some scratches. Also they did not do under the frig so I guess you need to put one in the same spot.

also can you tell me about the butcher black? what its like to work on and does it scratch up or do you always use a cutting board? Did you put this in or buy house with it? Do you like it? I was thinking it could be a temporary fix for me as I am so undecided. If its not too expensive.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 3:22PM
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designideas4me
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods.... Its unfortunate so many microwaves are made for over the range and make the customer feel this is a good option. I just spent $800 on a micro/convection oven combo for over the gas range. It has a more powerful vent than I had before but my house does not have an exterior exit for a hood and I have solar panels on the roof. In some cases it would be very expensive to alter all of this. It makes it difficult for some of us unless we have a huge budget to reconfigure the house.
2 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Laurie Dreesen
I wish I could answer your questions about living with the stained concrete floors but we have yet to move in so I have not lived here yet! These flors, by the way, are COVERED with dirt, dust and crud. This house has not been lived in for more than 6 months. It looks like the butcher block countertop by the sink has significant water damage (hence, we're changing it out for natural stone). Let me see if I can find a picture of the floor before it was covered in dirt:
(this is the front entry- shows the more uniform color)
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Are there any "budget" methods for adding a vent system? This involves cutting through the ceiling, attic and roof??? Seems like an enormous job - much more than simply purchasing a new hood. This is going to be a hard sell to the hubby, but I'm all for it if the alternative is too dangerous.
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 3:50PM
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jagood
While on the subject of health, I noted in one of your other discussions that you will be remodeling a bathroom. Another thing to be aware of is that some houses from the 1970s had materials that contained asbestos. You may want to get the flooring material in the bathroom tested before you begin to tear it out. Hopefully, it doesn't contain asbestos, but some flooring did. Also, some ceilings, especially the "cottage cheese" sprayed ceilings. You can also research this online, and find instructions for how to take out small samples safely to have them tested.
2 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 4:02PM
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lulamarie
Congrats on your new home. The concrete floors are a cool feature. They are also tiring on the legs. You may want to purchase some rubber type kitchen mats if you spend a decent amount of time in the kitchen like this or similar: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=17729884&findingMethod=rr

I agree with the comment above that you should create a full wall behind the stove, add an over gas range microwave above. Because you don't have much upper level cabinet space, I'd recommend adding additional cabinets to the right of the stove...or open shelving like this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00011428/
(helpful hint - all of those freestanding range hoods/fans are super expensive)

Here's a few "butcher block"esque options for the island:

1. http://www.lumberliquidators.com/catalog/thumbnail.jsp?parentCategoryId=18&categoryId=21&nonFlooring=1&nsa=1
2. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90057855/

You'll need a really good sealant since liquids are bad for wood: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50070378/

As for paint, because your cabinets are basically "orange," I don't know if I'd paint them the persimmon color (unless you are planning to paint your cabinets).

When you go to the store to buy any stainless steel appliances, check to see if fingerprints show up easily. I went with white appliances because I refused to spend the extra money coupled with the added task of wiping down fingerprints every 5 minutes. Also, you can't put magnets on stainless steel, and I like putting stuff on my fridge (all personal preferences I realize).

Best of luck to you.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Thank you so much for the input! Yes, we're looking at a huge job for the bathroom. Asbestos is always a possibility. We will likely not demo the floor but we will be tearing down walls in the bathroom (the closet) so it would be good to find out what's in there. These are great ideas! So, you think the Persimmon would be a bad idea for an accent wall in the kitchen? I was actually thinking of going with this: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW6627-emberglow/

Maybe on the far side, in the dining area...
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Laurie Dreesen
So, I am thoroughly freaked out now about using a gas stove/range with no vent. The cold hard truth is we don't have the budget (or time, or energy) to add a wall, cut through the ceiling and roof and run ductwork and a venting system and buy a range hood with proper vent system. I have been looking at induction cooktops as a possible alternative. Maybe we just won't use that stove that came with the house. I think we will also invest in a BBQ station for year-round outdoor cooking of the meats, and I'll do what I can to trap grease manually while cooking inside (any ideas??). These are the tangled webs we weave!! Thanks so much again for the input!
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 4:50AM
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PRO
Cottage Craft Tile
If you're looking for a traditional craftsman look to compliment the butcher block, you may get some ideas from the photo gallery on our website www.jvtile.webs.com Let me know if you have any questions...Jim / Cottage Craft Tile
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 5:44AM
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mpoulsom
Laurie, don't freak out about the hood yet. Look on ebay. I know of one seller "markdown madness" located in ny, that sells appliances and hood vents. You can sometimes get a great deal if bidding from them. Just look at the shipping charges. Not sure where you are, but they have pick-up as well. I'm sure there are some other sellers on ebay as well, but that's just one of them that I am familiar with.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 5:50AM
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lulamarie
Laurie,
The wall is already half-way done and looks like it already has electricity - bonus. Since you're having other work done, have an electrician look it over when s/he's there. Have a carpenter build the finish the wall to the ceiling and finish the drywall/trim work. You can do the painting to save money. Install a microwave.

Above the range, you can install a microwave. You can have it installed for recirculation such that it sucks up the smoke, filters the air, and the air then blows out into your house. Many homes have the microwave over the oven for this exact reason. I did a quick search and here's one that would work for you: http://www.lowes.com/pd_329000-46-MMV1164WS_4294735523__?productId=3185729&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating|1&facetInfo=#Infoandguides_tab

Once you move in, you'll notice real quick that you don't have much cabinet space at all. I know you might hate the idea of "closing off" the kitchen, but extending the half-wall to the ceiling will allow you to add open shelving (the Ikea Grundtal series works wonders for cheap) or cabinetry (although it might be difficult to find a match) to the right of the stove. You also may want to purchase something like this for the wall beside the door in the kitchen for storing items as well: http://www.homedepot.com/Storage-Organization-Garage-Storage-Free-Standing-Shelves/h_d1/N-5yc1vZb9pd/R-100656306/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051#.UN8FmqyxkWA

Considering you have kids, you will exhaust yourself and your budget without a functional stove/oven. Based on what you've shared thus far, I would consider this a top priority in the home.
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 7:03AM
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Laurie Dreesen
Thanks - these are great points. I'm not wild about the re-circulating of air. It makes sense to make venting a priority, but to the outside. I think our compromise is, it's going to have to be done but not at this point. We will likely need a kitchen island with cabinets, and maybe at that point we will get rid of the gas stove and put a convection cooktop on the island, and install a vent hood at that point or some solution to the grease/vapor/particle problem. This will have to wait until we can save up more dinero for the project.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 7:45AM
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lulamarie
For what it's worth...

A convection slide-in stove/oven for an island costs $2,000
(I'm also not at fan of stovetops in an island with children around. Islands are popular spots for homework and mail to land...paper)
Installing a new island with electrical will cost a minimum of $1500
Countertops for island with 4 finished edges 2'X6' = $200 (laminate) - $500 (granite)
An island hood will cost $800-$1000 plus installation, likely costly
New cabinetry (will be difficult to find a match) and countertops for hole where previous oven lived=$500
How will you use that side of the kitchen now?
Plus the hassle of inspections
Conservative total: $5,000-$6000

Your current gas stove is "free"
If the power goes out, you can still cook.
Finishing the wall $1000 (labor and supplies)
Adding some open shelves = $100-$200
Over range microwave = $260
Ability to use stove/oven=priceless
Total: $1,460
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 9:31AM
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jagood
Laurie, I can definitely understand your stress when the budget doesn't allow certain things, because I've been there. It is not going to cause your family any huge health threat on a short term basis if you use the gas stove for a while without a hood ventilator. (Unless of course, someone has an allergy or lung problem already.) It is a very high priority to get this done, but your ideas for mitigating the problem in the meanwhile are very thoughtful. I agree with you that it would be far better long term to get a hood with ducts that vent to the outside, and you can find them at very reasonable prices. I do not recommend microwaves over a range unless there is absolutely no way to vent to the outside.

It may seem overwhelming to make the changes (wall up to ceiling, ductwork through the attic, etc) but it really isn't hard if you take it one step at a time. You can learn what is required by reading how-to books (Sunset makes some with good illustrations) that you can find at the library, or just spend time researching online. Almost all appliance manufacturers include links to installation manuals online, so you can even research how to install a particular hood before you buy it. Except for any electrical work that may be required, most handy DIYs could do the work. And you probably already have electricity in the wall behind the stove if the stove has self-starting sparker units installed, which most modern gas stoves have, so perhaps it would be fairly inexpensive to have an electrician prepare what is needed to add a vent hookup.

Where the ducting goes once it penetrates the ceiling is also dependent upon what is in the attic, the strength of the duct fan, etc - in other words, you have to know the specifications of the particular unit you buy and abide by those in the ductwork for maximum efficientcy. You may have a choice of penetrating the roof or penetrating the side of the house. Either way, there is "flashing" that makes the job easier and ensures no leaks. Again, not hard if you know what you are doing and have the right stuff. The key to getting this done is (1) Research, so you know what is required. (2) laying out the plan - step by step (3) Having the right people lined up to complete the job in a timely manner.

You willl have the time to do this after you move into your home, so please don't panic! I also think it is a greater priority and will be much cheaper than building an island. ( In the meanwhile, you could place your kitchen table closer to the main cooking area and use it for additional preparation space. ) And even if you put a stovetop in the island, you'd still need to have a ventilation system for any type of cooktop, not just a gas range, although I think it is more important with a gas range. And putting ventilation in the island will be far more difficult then putting it where the existing gas stove is.

I think you have the bones for a good future kitchen - the window lets in a lot of natural light, and you don't need to replace the flooring. The dishwasher seems to be too far from the sink but perhaps you can address that problem when you add new countertops if the drawer unit is separate from the sink unit. I hope you are very happy in your new home.
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 2:29PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Thank you so much for the thoughtful response! I sincerely appreciate the encouragement and the ideas!!! :)
Happy New Year!!!
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 5:31PM
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mveasey
How about putting the stove plus an eventual range where the fridge spot is? It would be on an exterior wall and you cold vent it directly outside.you also have a ceilin there to hang it Only thing then would be the wiring, you need a special big duplex for stoves.it is between two windows, so better general ventilation. Budget is always an issue, but you could add a cabinet to the left of it, for more space.
just where to put the fridge then?
Butcherblock is wonderful, just make sure you always wipe spills immediately and don't cut fruit and veggies on it directly, just use paper towel underneath or a cutting board, because it stains.Treat the clean surface with special oil, google that, but we use olive oil on ours and has worked wonders.every few weeks, work it in and let dry, then wipe again.This prevents it from cracking and wear and tear.
An island is a perfect idea for the space.
I would stay away from orangey colors with the wood.
Countertops now come in recycled glass and paper and everything in between.i found ourHome Depot style place with a kitchen centre had more options in the Formica colour range then any other kitchen or countertop place. It is reasonable, easy to use( but can leave burn marks), and lasts forever...if you would go neutral in general you could do apple green formica countertops.
If you are adventurous, you could pour and polish your own concrete countertops to match the floor...Check pintrest,also some people have reused old butcherblock, resanded it and made islands out of them.
I would have more storage, cabinets or baskets under island if it is a table.you can always use more storage with kids!
There are lots of resonable range hoods out there, check online too, BUT also check the decibel sound rating, some range hoods are cheap but super noisy...
Sometimes it is best to live with something for a while, to see what works and what you cannot live with and then take it from there.
Otherwise great place, love the cabinets and hardware, have fun moving in!
1 Like   December 30, 2012 at 9:15PM
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Laurie Dreesen
I like the idea of moving the stove to the fridge area, thereby creating a space for a vent to the outside. Where would the fridge go, then? On the wall opposite the sink? If there's an island is that creating a space issue - is it unrealistic to have to constantly go around the big island to get to the fridge? Then back around to the sink? Maybe so, but it might be worth it to have proper ventilation...
I'll attach some more pictures of the opposite wall (this is the wall I wanted to pain the persimmon color (or, actually the "sunset" color by SW)

BTW, I'm not wild about green, unless it's as a small. complimentary accent piece. I don't think I could ever paint a wall green. The floor has enough green in it that a wall color with green will likely make me feel like I'm a bug living on the body of Kermit the Frog. Just sayin'.
:)
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 5:44AM
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Laurie Dreesen
Except, I'm pretty sure the exterior of that wall is solid brick...
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 5:56AM
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PRO
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
We completely understand your concerns regarding venting to the outside - most of the time, it is a giant headache as well as an additional expense. What we would recommend is, once you've more-or-less finalized the kitchen layout, get a competent contractor to take a look at the space and try to figure out what would be the shortest vent path from the hood location to the outside.

To get around limited-clearance areas, it's possible to convert a round duct to a rectangular one, for example a 6" round duct is equivalent to a 10" x 3 1/2". If it's impossible to go into the ceiling, then a small flat soffit below the ceiling could contain the duct and run it to the wall or window. And so on, and so on - there are plenty of "tricks" that can be used to set up venting. P.S. You can drill through brick, too, having the outside wall made of brick is not a deal-breaker.

Let's put it this way - if it's possible to create an outside duct in an "impossible" situation like a high-rise Miami condo, with concrete floors & ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, it's definitely possible to do it in a "normal" house where you can actually cut into the structure.

All that being said, budget-wise it may make sense to just go with what you have now (like what lulamarie said), and worry about venting out later on, after everything else is settled. Just make sure to plan for the future outside duct in advance.

Hope this helps!
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 6:33AM
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tomjones44
I have a friend with a "Jenn Aire" type of range with down draft venting. I can see the fan pulling the steam and fumes downward. Fumes are then vented through a pipe underneath the house. Would this not be an economical considerationn since you mentioned that you may be changing the stove anyway? (Asking the experts).
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 7:15AM
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Laurie Dreesen
I think the downdraft vents overall are not as effective as overhead vents. I've read lots of reviews and some experts give the advice to go with nothing at all rather than spend money on downdraft vents. I feel the same way about re-circulating vents. I think it's all or nothing.
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 7:18AM
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tomjones44
His down draft vent is not recirculating and the fan is very strong. I can actually see all the fumes and steam being pulled down, and since it's vented through a pipe to the outside it seemes like a viable option. This would require less construction and therefore less cost.
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 7:22AM
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tomjones44
A lot to think about Laurie. Isn't this a wonderful and helpful site? Would love to see pictures of your finished kitchen. Good luck!
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 7:27AM
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Laurie Dreesen
That would be the perfect feature for the kitchen I'm in now, as the house here is pier & beam and everything's negotiable. This new house is solid concrete and brick everywhere. I'd rather not touch the floor if we can help it, but maybe there is a way to vent through the wall over by where the fridge is supposed to go. If that downdraft vent works I would use it!
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 7:30AM
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sholmin
down-draft venting would work but requires a range or stovetop without a raised back, with space behind it for the pop-up vent, and that type of venting is expensive to buy and to install.
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 7:43AM
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lulamarie
- If you put the stove to the left of the dishwasher, you won't have any cabinet space for pots/pans, etc.
-I'm not a huge fan of an oven right beside the dishwasher.
-You currently have zero space for any pantry goods. You barely have enough cabinets for glasses and plates. The upper cabinet to the left of the sink looks extremely narrow.
-Without finishing the half wall to the ceiling, you will have an efficiency-sized kitchen in functionality.
-Downdraft vents are super expensive. If you get a cheaper one, it is super loud. It also doesn't work well with gas - some models "pull" the flame toward the vent.
-You could finish the half wall to the ceiling, move the stove over a foot to the right, move the existing cabinet to the right as well. This gives you more counterspace between the sink and the stove (the busiest spot in the kitchen).
-Talk to a contractor about how to best run the vent - perhaps up and left so that the air exits through the kitchen wall (it doesn't necessarily have to go up to the roof I don't believe).
-Honestly, your cabinets were not well done. To increase the value of your home and enjoy it while you live there, I would go ahead and replace the cabinets. By doing so, you can essentially redesign the kitchen in whatever way makes the most sense to you. New cabinetry is costly, but a worthwhile investment.
-I think you have room for a pantry to the left of the fridge. If designed right, a microwave could be positioned in the center of the pantry space with a cabinet above and below.
-Not sure if you have a fridge yet, but a double door works nicely in a kitchen with an island (door doesn't swing as far out into the room when open).
-If adding an island, I'd keep it about 2' wide, and go as long as you can. (You need 42" clearance on each side of the island for a comfortable walkway.) With an overhang, you can add two stools at the short end of the island by the dining area.
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Appliances Connection
Congratulations on your new home! This seems like a great time for new beginnings and redesign. I'm sure it's been said but I think it is really important to pick 1 style and 1 personality for each of your rooms and plan accordingly.

I agree with lulamarie that it would be great if you could redo your cabinets as well. They don't seem to match your vision. More importantly, you should probably replace your appliances. It will instantly make your kitchen much more modern and your idea of doing all stainless steel will give it a sense of completion and consistency.

I agree that it would be ideal to have a range hood, but I see that the layout of your kitchen makes that a little difficult. I don't know how you feel about the window over the sink, but I've seen a remodel where they sealed that window space to create a wall. That may give you some freedom to maybe move things around. That will give you a lot more freedom to choose what appliances you want and where you want them.

Also think about replacing your sink with something more modern and stainless steel fixtures like this Vigo sink and faucet. This particular sink is a little pricey but you get the idea. I'd love to take a look at the current bathroom as well if you have any pictures! I'm currently working on a bathroom ideabook and we have ideas on our pinterest boards if you want to take a look. http://pinterest.com/nyappliances/
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 8:58AM
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mveasey
It all depends on your budget in the end. Moving, renovating and having a family is expensive.you have to set priorities. Sure it would be nice to completely redo the place as many suggested, but I guess then you would have simply contracted out everything. but you are here, as,ing for advice to work with what you have.
A few more thoughts:
If the whole gas combustion byproduct is an issue, and you are not totally set on gas, then I would sell that stove and get an electric one. If you dont want the whole range next to the dishwasher, you could have a glass stovetop only. We had a Jenn-Aire one withjust glass, no buttons sticking up, so you can use the surface as a countertop if neccessary, just be careful not to scratch it. You could put the oven under the counter where your current range is, since there is already electricity.
We got a great rangehood, very pro looking at a place called kitchenhoods.ca. They are between $400-800. Im sure there is a place in the States like that.
Another fridge option is to have undercounter fridges in your island. Drawersfridges are handy, regular door ones you have to lean down everytime but are less expensive.
I saw you liked a big harvest table on one of your photos. This would act as an island if you put it in the middle if the kitchen. I would then have a "wall of cabinets" with the fridge on the opposite side for pantry items. Ikea makes great and resonable cabinets and in your big space it would be ok to have different cabinets, lets say not wood, n that side.we supplemented our old oak cabinets with high gloss white on the other side and plays nicely off each other.
If the walking around is an issue, you could opt for a square island, not directly opposite the fridge, maybe just across the stove. You could even hang your pots over it, that would break up the huge space visually a bit, if you are into that and have pretty pots.
By the way, sorry for the green suggestion being totally off!
With all the thinking and " issues" dont forget to enjoy your new home and understand that a lot of things simply take time and/or compromise.
Happy New Year!
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 10:19AM
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jagood
Laurie, I've been following your two discussions with interest because I think it is so great when young families are willing to put in sweat equity to move themselves into better and better living situations. We have remodeled four homes and built a "dream" home, and did almost all of the remodeling work ourselves so I know what you are facing. We also raised two boys.

I really like the basic floorplan of your house and it has a lot of potential to become an emotionally satisfying home. (I did notice that the floorplan you posted on the other discussion doesn't seem to match the photo you posted above that shows the kitchen area from the living room. I think the utility room isn't drawn quite right.) I understand budget.... and I think we've gotten ahead of your immediate concerns with our suggestions. I think you should pick a color you like, paint your kitchen, and move in as is. Nothing will tell you what you need more than living in a home for a while, and you have the option of taking your time to draw your plans and shop around and research and talk everything over before you begin projects.

The good things (that I can see from your posts and photos): windows let in natural light in kitchen work and eating area - don't ever close any of them off! You have a direct line of sight to the back yard door when you enter the house - that's wonderful for a future door that is mostly glass, so you have a long view to walk toward the light as you enter the house. Your central hallways are another very good feature - you do not need to use the living room as a hallway. The privacy gradient in the home is perfect (common areas first, then more private spaces.) Inside utility/laundry is a luxury lots of people would love to have. A pantry closet in your kitchen and a coat closet in your entry is also a great thing that lots of houses don't have. You have two full bathrooms, so will have one to use while you remodel the master bath. You have a fireplace in the living room and it looks like it will be relatively easy to place the furniture in that room. You've made a great choice in a fixer-upper house and I hope you'll be very happy there.

The negatives as I see them are the same as you have seen - need for a more functional and pleasing master bath room and a kitchen that functions well. The bathroom looks original. We once had a vanity like you have - the one without a sink - in an early house. The kitchen looks like somebody without adequate funds redid it. Unfortunately those are expensive fixes and take a long time to plan properly, but you have the time.

I recommend and think you will enjoy reading books by Sarah Susanka - especially her book on remodeling. Look her up online. There are videos you can watch too. You may be able to purchase her books on half.com if you enjoy learning about remodeling and home design that meets our emotional needs. It's one of my passions, because I think home is our sanctuary and how it functions and the structure and flow is more important than the color we paint a room or the fabric we use on our chairs. (Susanka does too.) If the function and flow and natural light is right, an almost empty room that is clean and serene can seem like a spot we want to occupy. (It's not that I think the decorative finishes are unimportant, but to me they are icing on the cake, and the cake is more important to get right.) I think if you move in, take your time, and keep the integrity of the house intact as you make improvements you'll end up with what you want. Happy New Year!
3 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Deli Johnson
New counter..
0 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 11:43AM
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lulamarie
@jagood has a wise point of view. your house has great light and loads of potential. if you only have one month before you move in, i wouldn't rush any of your remodeling efforts either. i would not destroy the bathroom before you have a plan in place for the whole house. as many have mentioned, you could reconfigure things so many different ways to make your house more awesome - but doing so is expensive. in the bathroom, plumbing is the killer expense wise. if you move anything with the plumbing, the bill gets steep fast. at the same time, you don't want to put all new fancy tiles and fixtures in a bathroom, if a year or two later, you plan to reconfigure your layout. the same with the kitchen. it wouldn't be wise to add stone countertops to your kitchen, and then realize that you hate your cabinets and desire to change things around. also, you can live without a stove/oven for a while, it's just inconvenient: http://www.thekitchn.com/what-ive-learned-from-7-months-140857

while it's ideal to remodel before you move-in, if you complete your remodel in sections and can seal of those areas (to help prevent the dust from going all over the house), you'll be fine. so as jagood said, only work on one bathroom at a time. or sleep in the "office" room while remodeling in the back.

i am a first-time homeowner who bought a fixer upper at age 28. with the help of my dad, we demolished and cleaned up everything ourselves. it took three times longer than we thought it would and about double the expense. from what i hear, this is common. anyway, we did the design. we bought the materials, hauled them over to the house, had everything ready to go, so when the carpenter arrived, he had everything he needed to just work. i didn't put in high end appliances and fancy fixtures because i couldn't afford it at the time, plus i wanted to be able to have some money to buy furniture and cute curtains and all. now with my house, the improved layout is amazing and it looks great, not to mention how much pride you in feel in doing it yourself, and gratefulness for all those who helped you. my friends all came together and helped me paint my whole house....took a month, but i saved $14,000. and when they come over, they feel pride too. so now, because my house is in a desirable location, if i move, i'll put in all the fancy stuff (whatever is in style) to sell and will make out like a bandit.

like you, the house i bought was not loved. it totally stinks to have to deal with planning all this crap when all you really want to do is decorate and make it feel like home. at the same time, it's the biggest investment of your life, it's your house, and you want to make it something special. it's true, you can't have everything happen all at once. the good news, is that it's yours and you have many years to build it into something you love.

you love the orange, paint it orange!
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 12:13PM
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Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
Kitchenhoods.ca hoods are NOT "Made in Italy". The brand Spagna Vetro is made in China, and they used to at least have some shame by calling it "Italian Style" or "Italian Design". I see now they've dispensed with any semblance of honesty and are calling $ 300 Chinese hoods "Made In Italy".

Being familiar with our production costs, as well as the price ranges of other Italy-based range hood manufacturers, I can say with 100% certainty that there is absolutely no way that a sub-$500 range hood is made in Italy.

UPD:

From the kitchenhoods.ca website:

"Q: Where are your products made?
All of our products are manufactured from our own facility in China and directly imported to our warehouse here in Vancouver, Canada."

...answers that one.
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
@Laurie Dreesen: seconding the opinion that downdrafts are not as effective as overhead range hoods. Plus, consider the ducting, which will have to go down through the counter, make a turn, run below the floor, and typically make at least 1 more turn to exit outside. The more turns in a duct system, the lower the performance. Also, the cost of ripping up the floor to install a duct may be more than installing a duct in the wall/ceiling.
1 Like   December 31, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Laurie Dreesen
@lulamarie and jagood - thank you so much for your thoughtful responses and for taking an interest in my situation. You guys really captured the spirit of what's going on here. Most of our budget is being spent on a new a/c and possibly a heat pump (the furnace may or may not be good - we will find out this week), new windows, and a bathroom remodel. I'm trying to be logical about floor plan and use of space but I'm also very emotional about my decisionmaking when it comes to my home.

Thank you so much for recommending the author and the blog link - I will check both of these out and dive in! Again, thank you

(PS - the drawing of the utility room is accurate - you can see the door to the utility hall (dark door) in the first picture of kitchen from living room, and then you can see the pantry door (painted white) from the view within the kitchen. That utility hall has no climate control whatsoever, which

Thanks again!
0 Likes   January 1, 2013 at 6:33AM
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Appliances Connection
Laurie,

I completely agree that you should be sticking to a very strict budget and spending now on things that matter the most. Your remodel can always come to fruition over a series of stages. Older houses always require a bit more work, but they have charm and character that new homes often don't. I think you can use that to your advantage as you slowly plan your stages. For example, I once lived in an apartment that used to be a large house built in 1918. My landlord added modern touches (fixtures and appliances) to the original frame, walls and windows of the apartment. It gave it a completely unique look. My point is to have short-term visions that slowly build up to a long-term vision. You don't want to invest in something now just to end up disposing of it.

I'm really glad you are looking into smarter ways to update the house like paint. I know this can be emotional, but always remember that it's your home and you can always change it. It's all a part of the fun, so just enjoy it!
1 Like   January 2, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Laurie Dreesen
That's what is so great about these discussion boards - I get so much input and some can be filed away under "big picture projects" and some are completely relevant for the short term goal of just getting the place ready to move in. I appreciate the whole spectrum of responses!
1 Like   January 2, 2013 at 5:16PM
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mveasey
Just checking in to see how you are doing... How is the new house coming along?
0 Likes   January 23, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Laurie Dreesen
Thank you! It's been pretty stressful but we're making good progress. The kitchen has been pushed to the back burner for now (accidental pun) although we did get new appliances namely, a monster of a fridge that BARELY fit through our biggest exterior door). The bathroom is taking longer than expected and we discovered some vent pipes that needed re-routing that were in the wall we took down. The shower stall in that back bathroom must've been a nuclear fallout shelter, the way it was built in there. Now we are just trying to stay in budget and get it all done.

We have decided to paint the back wall of the kitchen (dining area actually) a blue shade, though we are deliberating on exactly what color. Everyone is working really hard and doing their best but this is a monster, I tell ya! Thanks for checking in! I'll post some update pictures soon. :)
0 Likes   January 24, 2013 at 4:02AM
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