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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Kitchen in 17th century French house

puppyfurJanuary 10, 2013
Dear Houzzers,
Here is our dilemma. We are lucky enough to have recently moved to France, a long- time dream, into a wonderful, all stone, 17th century house. I have been collecting pictures of kitchens for 6 years, but the reality of our finances is disappointing. So, I am hoping perhaps someone can help us with budget ideas for this amazing room. I was leaning towards repurposed furniture from brocantes and flea markets but I now think it will be too expensive to convert them to hold sink, stovetop, etc. I've looked at Ikea, and really don't like Varde very much, which is the least expensive option. As you can see, the walls are stone and plaster and we have a beautiful fireplace, potager, and etager built into the wall. We know we want a double built in oven(eye level),an induction hob (stovetop), and as much counterspace as we can possibly get, including a large island. We don't want upper cupboards but perhaps shelves, and we want mostly large drawers in the island and counters, rather than cabinets. We are not very handy. The ancient cobblestone floor is uneven. We'd love wooden countertops, but can't afford natural wood for everything else. I will stop now, although I could go on:-). Perhaps someone out there has some wonderful, and affordable, ideas? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Do you have auction rooms over there in France? Maybe you could buy some furniture you could repurpose at auction ( probably cheaper than flea markets). I would also suggest looking for stuff on ebay. You can buy entire pre loved kitchens on ebay but you would need to careful re quality and dissassembling and reassembling. You can also buy NEW kitchens on ebay

I renovated my kitchen recently and was lucky to get a new kitchen out of a showroom that was closing down. All the display kitchens were half price.I found one kitchen that worked with space. it wasnt exactly what i would choose, but its medium quality, neutral and a vast improvement on what we had. The kitchen company pulled the kitchen out and apart and I had to pay someone to install it but it worked well as kitchen showroom kitchens are only loosely fitted.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Custom Home Planning Center
Find a local funiture or wood working shop. Your looking for a firm that has the ability to join rough timbers like you have on the ceiling. Once you have that your goal is to hunt up old timbers or floor joist from local tear downs or remodels that can be cut up and joined to form your new kitchen counters and island. There are a lot of companies that sell table legs, even ebay .http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p3984.m570.l1313&_nkw=table+legs+antiques&_sacat=0&_from=R40
You can have the drawer units built to fit under your installed top as you can afford them. In the mean time refaced wooden file cabinets with added furniture legs can fill in.http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=+image+funiture+legs&qpvt=+image+funiture+legs&FORM=IGRE

2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:05PM
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In the meantime, you could hang pots and pans from an iron bar, hung from the ceiling timbers with chain.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:38PM
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What about a really nice big wooden kitchen dresser, you know racks to display plates china and
cupboards underneath?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:56PM
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This looks like something that might work for you. if not check out the other stuff on their site!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:00PM
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AFC inc
I used to have one customer who moved from Paris to USA.
They brought the kitchen cabinets with them . The cabinets has been made in Italy.
When i looked on cabinets it definitely was not worth the price they paid .
They paid around 45,000 Euro but here in USA they can get better quality ones for $15000- $20,000 , I used to have other customer who build an expensive house here in USA he flied to France to get pictures and ideas of French style. The bottom line the cabinets are very expensive over there . The IKEA stuff of similar have two big disadvantages : very low durability and it can hardly match old french house style.
One of the possible solutions to order cabinets from Eastern Europe : Bulgaria , Latvia , Estonia the transportation cost is relatively low . Just need to be sure to make the right dimension and design . If you find the right source the quality may greatly exceed what you can get in France or Italy and you can save a lot of money.
You need to check local sources either . Especially in view the French Country style it is mix of
separate cabinets rather than whole wall of cabinets your task could be some easier .
If you will be find the cabinets made out of French Walnut it would be great , as i know paint grade could work too. The old surface can be successfully and inexpensive restored with Tung oil Good luck . Let me know if you have any questions . Thanks .
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:53PM
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AFC inc
Here is a few pictures .
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:07PM
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AFC inc
the pictures did not unloaded well
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Thanks to everyone so far, all with excellent ideas that are much appreciated and now my brain is working even harder than before! Particular thanks to 2dogssashatess as I have been in touch with that vendor and we are very interested in the kitchen.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:13AM
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HI Puppy fur, I thought that blue kitchen looked nice too! I do hope you find something nice for your kitchen
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Here's a freestanding kitchen dresser for inspiration. I don't necessarily think white, just giving it as example, you could find a blue one or a natural finish wood one.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:16PM
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here's another kitchen dresser for inspiration, might work with the blue secondhand kitchen i posted the link to.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:37PM
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ps never be afraid to haggle re price and ask what is their best CASh price
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:39PM
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puppyfur, eBay France has so much beautiful old furniture and much of it is very cheap. Learn the local terms so you can search and then look around!
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Thanks, ahoyhere. We do actually know the local terms, so don't have a problem there. The problem is affordability. French craftsmen (artisans) are very expensive so refitting beautiful old furniture, while a great-sounding solution, is beyond our budget.
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 12:28AM
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deb jo
I would say find a website that have houses on offer for sale, and if you see a kitchen you like contact them and just ask if they would part/sell the cabinets to you. Here in The Netherlands its done and people generally easily go for it as there are many flat conversions and it generally house 2 or more kitchens.
Regarding the repurposing of furniture, I would say go for it but study the layout. Buy only for example the ikea casing/shell/carcass as they are sturdy, for cabinets like the sink, hob and dishwasher and source the fronts by yourselves,that you can buy second hand as well so you can match them better.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:01AM
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deb jo
Cabinets facing with old wood fencing/reclaimed wood and so on..
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:15AM
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an old door can be a budget island bench without too many skills need to screw on some legs. You could then use a handsaw to cut off parts of the legs until you get the table level on the uneven floor.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:54AM
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In some parts of the world, pallets are made from Mahogany. I've seen them run through a sander and used to make beautiful reclaimed wood cabinets. If you know of a company near you that receives inventory on pallets, you could ask for them. They often pile up and get thrown away. Even if they're not made of mahogany, the wood is still usable If there is a cabinet shop near you, they will probably run them through their sander for little cost since commercial sanders are very fast (just make sure there are no nails in them. You'll have to dismantle them and bring them in as boards).
Here are some pictures of pallet furniture (even a desktop--idea could be used for a countertop)
Here is a picture of table on wheels:
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:06AM
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You could also find some deals from companies that do demolition. A friend of mine made a deal with one. An old schoolhouse was being torn down. My friend got all the hardwood flooring for doing the work to take it out. Word of caution though, it has to be done within the time frame required. He got some beautiful repurposed wood floors though. They're still there 30 years later.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Grace Miller

I have enjoyed reading everyone's ideas. I love the palette idea because it's so low cost and if you used longer 4x4 posts you could make it into an island and put a glass top or cut pieces from the other palette to fit in the gaps and then sand and cover with several layers of tung oil or polyurethane.

Open wooden shelves would be great. I suggest you move what looks like a dishwasher to the left of the sink, then cut the table in half - lengthwise that the microwave is sitting on - place cleat brackets on the wall to hold the side without legs up or add 2- 4x4 posts to give it support and put it between the stove. You may end up putting the refrigerator so it is on the opposite side of the sink. Just my thoughts for the least expensive options. Remember you are in France and that's what matters!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 9:17PM
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