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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

tin ceiling and associated design issues for Victorian kitchen

hechthouseFebruary 24, 2013
I got some wonderful advice weeks (months?) ago from you folks when I was trying to decide on kitchen layout. I am back now with a provisional kitchen layout and would love more advice:

1. Any comments on layout of cabinets/appliances would be much appreciated. We have a large rectangular space and not such a huge budget. We propose a long L on two walls, which would include range, second oven, and wink; two new windows (there are two current windows but they are in poor condition and in the wrong place). On the opposite wall we propose to put the fridge and a closet pantry. What do people think of the cabinet locations, especially upper cabinets? Where would you put a microwave? We have ruled out an island because we think the room is to narrow (we tested it, thanks to some great Houzz suggestions, with a table and found it too narrow -- thank you Apple Pie Order!)

2. We have a large chaotic family and are trying to decide if we have the nerve to put in white painted cabinets. The alternative would be (light) stained wood. Door design would probably be shaker -- or some other understated design that is plain but not too contemporary (the rest of our house is elaborate Victorian with a lot of paneling and stained glass). But we do like the idea of white. We would love feedback. Drawer size: we like the look of wide drawers (like 30 or 36) but have read complaints on this site that they deteriorate faster than 24" drawers (so most of what you see in this layout is narrower). Is this a worry for drawers that will contain pots and pans or dishes?

3. There won't be a lot of natural light coming in (the windows face north) and we would like to maximize the light in the room. But we also like the idea of a (dropped) tin ceiling, probably copper colored -- my husband likes the idea of a pub theme (wide plank floors if we can afford them). We'd love opinions as to whether this would be too dark. We'd have some recessed lighting and also fixtures -- maybe slightly below the ceiling(rather than just up against it) so as to create some reflection.

4. If we go for a stained cabinet (rather than white) does anyone have suggestions for choices for wood and stain that would go well with a copper ceiling ; and suggestions for what kind of granite top would coordinate well? I like callacatta (sp?) -- the one that looks a bit like marble -- but wonder if this might not complement the copper. I have seen a stunning kitchen on Houzz with a silver/grey tin ceiling, white cabinets, and dark wood floors with a dark granite counter. We like this kind of plan if we use white cabinets but worried about dark counter being too dark if we go with stained wood. Advice?

5. We would love to use wide plank floors -- so far have found only very pricey ones (more than $20/sq ft separate from installation). Any suggestions as to sources, or alternatives?

Photos of layout in the current atrocious 1960 kitchen are attached; so is our floor plan. Elevations in next
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Here are the floor plan (a better image) and two of the elevations -- I don't have one for the west wall (the bottom of the L) but our current plan is to have about 7 ft of counter and base cabinets below, nothing above.

We are ripping out the dark paneling and want to put up drywall instead, probably just some version of white on the walls, except for splashback area.

All comments and advice much appreciated!
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:57AM
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Maryl Hershelman
OMG a real kitchen....with real issues! Not...I want to replace my new granite counters with newer granite counters. Are those metal cabinets? GE modular 1950's type? Are you planning to rip out everything? I'm new here. If you're balking at the cost of flooring then work with what you have...I love the green cabinets but hate the glass....if you can handle open cabinets then do it. Have you lifted those drop ceiling tiles....I discovered copper ceiling above mine. Maybe expand that island to house a counter with stools....that pub feeling your husband is looking for. I used a composite tile that looks like clay for my floors to offset my pink (yes pink) Mamie Eisenhower kitchen. Check out RetroRenovations for ideas. Have fun...the challenge is to love what you've got.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Hi, yes, they are metal counters. And rusting! Yes, we want to rip everything out.

The floor is linoleum tile but in poor condition, and below it is plywood patched with the old hardwood (but there is only a small amount of the old hardwood). One flooring issue I wonder about is whether we must rip out the existing floor/subfloor, down to the joists, and level from there -- the floor is about 1.25 out of level across the whole large space. could we level on top of current floor and put boards on top of this (even though it would create a step down to hall and adjacent room), or are there more than aesthetic issues here (could such a floor crack when heavy appliances put on it?)

Ceiling: is amazingly horrible after decades of bad work. Was once lovely -- a cove plaster ceiling. But no longer...
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Maryl Hershelman
Flooring questions are out of my realm or expertise....I know how to renovate a kitchen for $300...maybe I was lucky to find a house that I loved for all it's quirky charms...like 60 year old cabinets. Metal cabinets are truly making a comeback....high end. I'll be thankful for stainless to go by the way side....finger and dog nose print nightmare. Hey on eBay there is a whole GE modular kitchen for peanuts....everything: dishwasher, under the cabinet refrigerator, double ovens, push button stove plus miles and miles of cabinets....all in great shape.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:53AM
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