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tell me about your *dream* kitchen

Whether you are already enjoying your dream kitchen, or still just dreaming, I'd love to hear about it!

My partner and I will be gutting our little kitchen and starting from scratch (except we already have a fridge - french door, bottom freezer JennAir). Tell me about your favorite appliances and gadgets. Countertops and cabinets, flooring, layout and lighting.

Budget is definitely a consideration, but I'll take any and all suggestions, tips, how-tos, and horror stories!

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  1. I'm a "still-dreaming." I'd love:

    Two sinks. A colorfully stained concrete floor that might even have a proper drain in it, and a stained concrete counter. I love the softly fluctuating color you can get that way. (I'm all about cleaning, not avoiding broken dishes; I don't mind putting a towel or cutting board down to limit the risk.) A definite place for my compost scraps. A high tiled backsplash. A huge and beautiful butcher's block on an island. A leather (easy to clean) couch away from the mess but near enough to crash on and chat with the cook(s). Bar stools where friends can sit with their wine. Good light-- a friend installed inexpensive skylights and WOW, does that make a difference in her kitchen, and I think a HUGE one in my gray Pacific NW climate. Another kitchen in my area that I loved was mostly glass on the southern side, and again, it was a night and day difference in how cozy the kitchen was. A REALLY good hood. I've lived years in rentals with non-functioning hoods, and it is finally driving me batty. I love my magnetic strip for my knives (don't do what I did and put them near your stove or other source of grease/moisture!). An open shelving unit suitable for lots of enameled cast iron, kitchenaid mixer and other frequently used but heavy items.

    I could go on and on. I hope you have oodles of fun with your project!

    1. When my lottery number hits, my dream kitchen will include:

      Eco-friendly appliances, counters and cabinets
      Italian tiled walls & floors
      Fabulous light including a stained glass window of my own design...leading out to a equally fabulous outdoor entertainment area with it's own exterior kitchen space.

      Until then, I'll enjoy the space I have :o)

      2 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        seems to me that eco-friendly and Imported are diametrically opposed!?

        whats the carbon footprint of a few tons of stone being shipped halfway around the world?
        if eco friendly is what you want, think more about bamboo, cork, concrete and local stone/composites.

        1. re: nkeane

          nkeane, the wonderful thing about describing a dream kitchen....is that it's entirely personal choice. Atho I didn't ask for suggestions for flooring or wall surfaces...if that is your idea of a dream kitchen more power to ya.

      2. My dream kitchen is any kitchen where someone else does the dishes.
        But seriously, a gas stove that has a really high flame and a really low flame. Too much work space (can't happen). A pantry. When we renovated, I found a used restaurant chargrill for a couple of hundred and that has been alot of fun, especially in winter. You must have a good exhaust system and a source of outside air to feed it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ligature

          I have a kitchen where someone else does the dishes! It's heaven. But it would be even more heavenly with more counter space, granite please, gas burners and a dishwasher that doesn't take two hours to run, very noisily. And someplace where I can put a grill! Apartment living is hard.

        2. The one thing I really want is an induction stove. I had one while living in Japan and loved it. The downside is that a lot of pans will not work on induction, but the upside is that it is more eco-friendly than other options. I think my dream kitchen would include other eco-friendly appliances and features.

          I am not too fussy about the size. I like smaller kitchens but would prefer a larger double sink than I have now that would actually allow me to soak bigger pans (now they will not fit) and a small pantry.

          1. Anything with a view of the Ocean out the window while I wash dishes :)

            a 1000 sq, ft open concept with huge island in the center with built in wine cooler and ice maker.
            That, and a lovely set of matching stainless steel professional appliances, especially a 6+ burner gas range, with high and lo BTU options. Marble floors, and countertops, with large double sink....

            and one more thing, someone else to pay for it.

            1. My mom loves composite sinks. They are stone-like. She learnt the hard way not to buy a white sink. Needless to say her new house has a black one.

              1. I'm fairly close to having a dream kitchen. Not "my" dream kitchen, but it's not bad. I designed MY dream kitchen a few years ago, and as soon as I win a couple of major lotteries, I'll build it!

                Meanwile, my real life kitchen is a combination kitchen/breakfast room. One wall in the breakfast room is floor to ceiling cabinets and the opposite wall is a huge picture window that overlooks my good sized back yard. Spring through fall I see a wall of gorgeous green trees, including my three huge pecan trees. In the winter when it's all naked, I see the Arabian breeding form on the other side of the creek.

                The kitchen half is separated by an island with a large custom wood hood over it to suck up the steam and odors from my cooktop. I love love love having my cooktop on the island because it means I can see people and talk to them while I'm cooking. I hate cooktops that face a wall. Let's face it, you spend a lot more time cooking than you do loading a dishwasher or washing veggies at the sink! The house has no gas, so my cooktop is electric. After much soul wrestling I went with electric to save my copper pots and pans, but I find I'm wishing I had gone with induction. The cooktop is black ceramic, with the electronic controls (flat) and blends in with the black granite countertops. That allows me to use the whole island as a work counter for baking or whatever. The cooktop has a lock on it so the burners can't be turned on accidentally. But if they're not locked... I once "cooked" a plastic bag on a burner. I'm glad to say it came right off with a straight edge razor blade.

                I have two wall ovens, not a double oven, but each is unto itself. They are both GE. One is an 220v Advantium that cooks with microwave and/or halogen light. I love it! I use it the most. The other oven is a Trivection, which I also love. It cooks with radiant heat, convection, and microwave and functions with all three or the radiant or convection can be used alone, but not the microwave. It only works in conjunction with the other two heats. I only roast a turkey once a year, for Thanksgiving with the family, but this oven does a stuffed 22 pounder in 2 hours and 10 minutes, and does it so much moister and flavorful than any regular oven I've ever used. In fact, I've never found anything these two ovens don't do better (and usually faster) than any other oven I've ever had. If I ever move, I will have to have new ones installed!

                My refrigerator is a side by side with all the ice and stuff in the door. It'a a Maytag counter depth. No choice on that because it goes right next to the small hallway door that leads to the garage and the pantry. Counter depth means a LOT less room! And Maytay - in my experience - means poorly designed interior. I'll never again buy anything by Maytag. The thing broke down (the fans that distribute cold) when it was less than a year old, and while they repaired it free, they didn't contribute one thin dime toward all the lost food! I'm still ticked about that.

                The pantry houses a large upright freezer, some cabinets, and 15 linear feet of bookshelves for my cookbooks! And all appliances are Energy Star.

                The breakfast room is "casually formal." Brocade cafe curtains and drapes, a glass top table, ultrasuede parsons chairs, and a crystal chandelier I love. My neighbor says I should change out the chandelier for the brass one in the dining room, but I just told her I rarely eat in the dining room, and I enjoy it where it is!

                The floors are all oak. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! But I didn't choose them. They were damaged, but alread here when I bought the house. I see all these photos in magazines and on TV that show wooden floors in kitchens, and they do look nice, but wood and water don't mix. I don't know about you guys, but I spill things. My pantry was a laundry room when I bought the house three years ago, and what greater insanity than a washing machine waiting to ruin a wood floor? So I moved the washer and drying to the other side of the wall, which happens to be in the garage. Perfect!

                The only thing (still!) left to do in the kitchen is painting the cabinets. They are STILL this horrendous "arsenic green" that I hate. But I can't decide what color I want them! Can't figure out whether it's time just getting away from me, or if deep down inside I'd rather live with someone else's mistake than to make one of my own. I'll figure it all out someday.

                I bought the house a bit over three years ago. It was reposessed, and I bought it from the bank. The former owners trashed it maliciously, including ripping out everything in the kitchen except the vent inside the wooden hood. I mean they even took the garbage disposal! LOL! In reality, they saved me a lot of trouble, because there is no way I would want ovens that are only 24" wide! But they didn't have to rip up chunks of the floor! Crazy people! They took all of the shower heads and the thermostats too!

                My favorite counter top appliance has to be my Jura Capresso superautomatic espresso machinel Friends LOVE "my" coffee, and all I have to do is push a button! Close runners up are my Kitchen Aid mixer and Cuisineart. Oh, and my toaster.

                My dream kitchen is a little larger than this one with a "T" shaped island, with the leg of the "T" at dining height that will seat six comfortably. There are countertops with cabinets above (and below. of course) on three walls, but the "cabinet doors" on the side (long) walls are vertical tambours that will roll down to only cover the top cupboards, or roll down all the way to the countertops while leaving just enough countertops sticking out to serve as a shallow buffet. Lots of other goodies. As I said, when I win a couple of lotteries... '-)

                EDIT You asked about lighting. I have can lights (4) in the ceiling of the kitchen proper, plus a hood light and an over-the-sink can light, and the chandelier takes 15 candelabra base bulbs. I had all CFL bulbs. Candelabra base CFLs are like seven bucks each! BUT! What they do for your electric bill make it well worth it! The thing they don't tell you is that compact fluorescents don't come on with full ight immediately. They take up to five minutes to reach full power. I would love to replace them all with LEDs, but those suckers are $70.00 each for a standard bulb! God knows what a candelabra base would cost, if they even make them yet! But they are even cheaper to operate than CFLs. I read somewhere that some state is thinking of banning incandescent bulbs. Not a bad idea. Replacing all of my downstairs light bulbs with CFLs cut my electric bill by nearly a hundred bucks a month. I was stunned! Not to mention happy.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  Bit off-topic, sorry... you use copper pots on your electric cooktop?! We just got a new ceramic glass cooktop (not induction), and the manual and everything else I have read/heard strongly recommends against using copper. Bummer because we have a new set of copper-bottomed pots and pans and we're too scared to use them...! Have yours caused discoloration or problems?

                  Good luck with your lottery win... Meanwhile, your kitchen sounds lovely.

                  1. re: WTBD

                    Yes. I use my copper on a ceramic cook top. They're old. Some are European, some are American, I prefer the lighter weight ones because of the arthritis in my hands. I probably have around 14 pots,pans, lids, etc. In time, the bottoms do bow a bit, but that happened cooking on gas. Even with the bowed bottoms, they still cook fine on the ceramic though when boiling water for pasta, for example, they may spin and dance around but they do stay on the burner.

                    This is the first house I've lived in in around forty years where I don't have a huge pan rack hanging from the ceiling with the pans (and many others) suspended within easy reach. It's just not practical in this house because of the huge wooden ven over the island/cooktop. When I had the pans on the pot hangers I kept them wwell polished and bright. In this house I'm not as particulat. In fact, I'm rather enjoying the unpolished look. Ihave an ancient English copper tea kettle my grandmother boughht with her when she came to t his country, and I've been advised that polishing it will diminish its value. Some of my copper pots and pans are almost a match for it! Not polishing copper does nothing to diminish how well it cooks.

                    If your pans are only copper bottomed, I would think they would be even more resistent to any sort of distortion from heat. You might want to pick a small piece that can be replaced if you want, and try using it on the ceramic cooktop and see what happens. If it has a lacquer coating to keep it from tarnishing, you do need to remove that. Most copper pieces come with directions on how to remove the anit-tarnish finish.

                    The luck with my lottery win has to first strike in the form of me remembering to buy the lottery tickets. I only think of buying them the morning after a HUGE win... by someone else! '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Thanks for the reply. I'm mostly scared about the copper discoloring the hob. I'm fairly certain cooking with the copper bottoms won't be a problem; I just want the shiny black hob to stay shiny and black. Oooh - what should I do? I might be more inclined to do a test if I had ever used the pots in the first place - they're still brand new. I'd really hate to ruin the new hob with the new pots. Urgh, for now, we're just using our normal stainless steel-bottomed pots and pans with fine results.

                      I know what you mean about the lottery tix: gotta be in it to win it! Still, with the prospects of a dream kitchen waiting, why not get a ticket?

                      1. re: WTBD

                        Ah, yes... A Londoner! You gave yourself away with "hob." Assuming the same compound is used to fabricate ceramic cooktops on your side of the pond as on this, I've never been able to damage any of mine. I will say that they look bloody awful when a stew boils over and continues to cook the boilover to a charred crust, but not to worry. First I scrape it up with one of those "clean paint off windows" single edge razor blades in a holder. Then I use a few drops of Cerami-Brite cleaner and a paper towel to remove any fine film that may be left. Voila! It looks like new! The brand name my be different there, but all brands are pretty good. But my experience is they work like silver polish: use a little and they work better when there's a lot of tarnish in the cloth.

                        If there is a tarnish-preventive seal on your copper, the reason you remove it before cooking in the pans is to protect the copper from discoloration. No problem with the ceramic cook top.

                        Consider this: To buy anything and not use it is simply making a cash donation to the manufacturer. All it's doing for you is taking up storage space. Use them and enjoy them!

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          Please, for a daft "yank," is a "hob" the ceramic cooking surface of a "range-top?" Even in our flat in London, I have never heard this term before and just have to know. Sorry to be so very dense.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            A "hob" is what we call a cook top. Except the Brits have called a hob a hob even when it had ovens attached under it. Basically, it means a cooking appliance that has burners. You know... Hobs, boots, bonnets... Strange Brit names for familiar things.

                  2. re: Caroline1

                    Caroline1, this will be my first Thanksgiving in our new home which also has an Advantium and Trivection ovens. Is there anything special I need to know or do for the turkey in the Trivection? Two hours for a 22-lb bird is fantastic.

                    I have also enjoyed the Advantium. It truly cooks everything to perfection. Swordfish steaks, filet mignon, even just reheating leftovers on a plate. Every time.

                    I am trying to figure out how to roast a head of garlic in the Advantium. It should take no time, right?

                    1. re: LJBTampa

                      My only admonition about roasting a turkey in the Trivection oven is to use a shallow roasting pan if you're using metal. If the pan is too deep it will block the microwaves and convection circulation to the bottom/back of the bird. Putting the turkey in a roasting rack in a pan no taller than 2 inches on the sides has worked well for me. Unlike a regular microwave oven, you can use metal pans when using Trivection. Oh, and you have to preheat when using Trivection, then after you put the turkey in the oven, you MUST press "Start"! If you don't, it won't cook. Voice of experience.

                      I think you will be amazed with your turkey. Mine turn out so moist, with crispy skin. And so much better than I have ever had from a standard oven.

                      As for roasting garlic in the Advantium, I think I would just nuke it, as opposed to using microwaves with halogen. I like my roast garlic mushy, so I would probably cut the top of the head off as for regular roasting, then coat it well with oil, maybe put it in a covered dish, and nuke it using the "Manual" setting for about fifteen minutes at a microwave setting of about 4, but not using either the upper or lower level halogen.

                      For me, come Thanksgiving my biggest problem is repressing the urge to start the turkey waaaaay too early if I want it to be ready at the same time as the mashed potatoes. Trivection means I get to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade with my grandson. Yay!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Thanks, Caroline1. I think I'll give it a try!

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      my new kitchen has oak floors. Like you, they were part of the package; I didn't choose them, but I have no complaints, even though I am also a spiller. must be either because I wipe up quickly or because I am nearsighted and can't see the limited damage it causes. or both. They do look nice, at least to me :-)

                      This kitchen is probably as close to a dream as I will ever have. The features I love most are the high end Bosch dishwasher (came with the house, cost more than I probably would ever spend, but it is a wonderful dream come true to be able to hold an actual conversation while standing right next to it running!), the fact that there are two sinks (with two garbage dispoals!), lots and lots of space, an adjacent pantry, great high end stove, and two ovens. In addition, its biggest selling point is how open it is: we have one big room that encompasses kitchen, dining area and living room, and I love the fact that after years of living in old houses with closed off kitchens that I could actually interact easily with guests while cooking....

                      Items I would change if I were doing it over (which I doubt I ever will, it makes me happy as is): add a built-in wine cooler and a rack for wine glasses (well, this I might do one of these days), and exchange the griddle on the stove for fifth and sixth burners (the built in charcoal/gas grill I would keep). I have a nice griddle pan and haven't used the one on the stove yet in seven months in the home, but I definitely could have used another burner or two at Thanksgiving!

                      as for layout, it is basically an open square of counters with walls on only two sides (the sides away from living and dining areas, those sides are open), very high ceilings (love those), a large square island in the center (that has one of the two sinks), with entry on two corners: one from the hall and one from the dining area. Easy to manuever. However, another change I would consider would be to move the fridge location: it is right at the edge of the square closest to the dining area entry: handy for getting ice or a quick drink but when the fridge door is open with hubby (or someone :-)) standing in front of it contemplating the leftovers I don't have room to easily squeeze by to get in and out of the room.....

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Ditto the suggestion to avoid Maytag appliances. Go for a gas stove, that's the most important appliance in the kitchen. Don't get a ceramic cooktop, they are a pain to clean. Had one at my last place.

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          If I were to go back to electric, I'd have the smooth top again, like the one I just got rid of. I found it far easier to clean than coils. Just get a razor-blade scraper and a bottle of Cerama-Brite. After a couple years cooking on it, I really found it completely acceptable.

                          1. re: dmd_kc

                            Thanks, dmd_kc. I used one of the special products, probably Cerama-Brite. . . it never looked clean. We don't have a ceramic top now and love it. Not sure what you mean by coils. We have a plate over the gas part, very easy to remove and clean. Luckily I haven't had an electric stove since I was a kid.

                      2. I am still planning my dream kitchen while working in a 7'x9' cramped,dark kitchen that was the former pantry in our 250 year old house. The few things that I have had in the past that I feel really strongly about are:
                        1,The ability to shut the kitchen off from the dining room. There is nothing gracious about serving an amazing dinner while your guests stare at piles of dirty pots and pans. Also there are times I want to work on getting dinner out without all my guests watching me.
                        2. A large, roomy pantry, divided in half, one side for dishes, serving pieces, glass ware etc, and one for food storage. It should have some work counter space and a dishwasher if possible.
                        3. Double ovens with at least one of them being a convection oven. If you cook for large crowds, two ovens are a life saver. I also like having one oven for baking and pastry and one for savory foods.

                        I could add lots of windows, open shelving, a great hood, two sinks, and room for a cook book library and desk with room for a computer.

                        I am not a fan of big, open kitchens that look directly into my living room, dining room, etc. or that you can see from the front door.

                        1. I'm huge into mis-en-place, when I cook I make every dish/bowl dirty. I need more counter space for all of my prep work - about 2 more feet would be good. But the hugest annoyance with my kitchen are the spots I can't clean...the lip where the stainless sink sits on the counter...the weird 1/2 gap between the stove and the counter (I've found fossilized peas down there). That drives me crazy...so I want a smooth counter top that has an inset sink and a proper fit between the stove and counter.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BeeZee

                            the weird 1/2 gap between the stove and the counter (I've found fossilized peas down there). That drives me crazy...
                            BeeZee, until you get your dream kitchen, maybe this will help prevent fossilized peas?


                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              yes!!! much better than the cheesy faux chrome ones I've seen before

                          2. I would have a flush-mount sink (no more trying to push things over the little hump and into the sink), 2 dishwashers (but not dish drawer washers), and a gas cooktop. Currently have a ceramic glass electric cooktop, which I love, but it's just not gas. However, my 50 yr. old GE wall oven (electric) still kicks ASS! (Too bad that the oven light is permanently disabled, so I have to cook w/ a mag-lite always handy...) It is remarkably true to temperature (less than 5 degrees plus or minus) and we just painted the front black to match the rest of our apps. It's orig. color was 1958 brown enamel. Would also love a marble surface of some kind (we have good ol' Formica...) to make my pasta and pastry dough on. Dreaming on.... Adam.
                            P.S. Oh, and a Maid!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: adamshoe

                              I'm curious why you don't want the two-drawer dishwasher. My husband really wants those for our new kitchen.

                              1. re: snacktime

                                See Caroline's post down-thread from here. Nov.12th. Pretty much sums up my feelings, too. Adam

                            2. I'd want two ovens and LOTS of counter space. Cabinets and a pantry that hold everything and are organized in a way that makes sense. (My current kitchen arrangement is a nightmare--lots of cheap cabinetry thrown into place, and obviously by someone who doesn't cook.)

                              The church kitchens in these parts have a hole cut in the counter that goes directly into a trash can underneath. In my ideal kitchen I'd want one for trash and one for compost, maybe with some kind of trapdoor or something over the opening.

                              My current kitchen is plenty big enough, but extremely poorly designed. There is no counter, for instance, anywhere near the stove. There's no exhaust fan in there anywhere, and the ceiling is suspended, with acoustical tile, like in an office building. Dumb. So I guess my *dream* kitchen would simply be one that makes sense, which my current one doesn't.

                              1. We re-did our not huge kitchen this year, and we are thrilled with the results. It's and old house, so we have a smallish kitchen with a butler's pantry that we kept separate. We had a great Viking stove with 6 burners, a griddle and a grill and two full size ovens. We never use the grill. It is way too difficult to clean, so if we had to do over, we wouldn't get one. We have a very powerful exhaust hood, which we love. Our counters are granite but they are treated by wire brushing and flaming, which gives them a matte, textured feel and look -- the grain of the stone is raised by this process. The counters and cabinets next to the stove are stainless steel so splatters and such clean up really easily. We adore our really BIG sink; it is great to be able to wash any pan or pot with no trouble. The sink is fabricated from the same stone as the counter. An 11th hour decision was to put in a warming oven, and it was a great decision. We use it for everything from heating dishes, proofing dough to resting meat. It's great. We love our Miele Professional Series dishwasher that does the 1st load in 15 minutes and subsequent loads in 8 minutes. We originally thought that we would want a 2nd dishwasher, but we don't need one with this Miele. Finally, the other big thing we love is the floor. We chose Pierelli rubber -- you've seen it in every airport in the world. It's the stuff with the raised dots on it. It is fabulous in a dark charcoal grey. It doesn't show dirt and it is easy on the legs. We made the Butler's Pantry more formal with wood floors and zinc counters and integrated sink. We have an ice maker and half refrigerator for beverages in there. The small fridge is great for freeing up space in the main fridge -- we found that there were so many beverages in our fridge that the size was doubled once we removed them.
                                Good luck. Renovation isn't a lot of fun, but the results have sure been worth it!

                                1. My dream kitchen includes my 5 burner Capital cooktop. 4 burners with 18,000 btu (as well as a very low simmer setting) and a center wok burner with 24,000 btu. There is nothing worse than a cooktop with one high output burner with the rest being wimpy.

                                  1. Oh boy...

                                    Two deep farm sinks. A faucet at the stove to fill pots. I want a DCS gas range with 6 burners and a flat top, two ovens..and a big hood! I want a huge dishwasher, concrete countertops and floors..but with soft, cushy "rugs" in front of prep areas. I want a pot rack filled with All Clad Cookware. I want a walk in pantry.. and cupboards I can reach (I am short). I want a well-lit kitchen...and I want a huge "booth-like" seating area right off the kitchen. I want a glass-tile backsplash....Oh, I could go on and on. A magnetic board to store my Globe knife set would be nice too...and a built-in book shelf that can hold at least 300 cookbooks.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: melly

                                      "cupboards I can reach"

                                      Me too! I'm asking Santa for a step ladder this year :)

                                      1. re: WTBD

                                        I got a folding step stool last year and and a "grabber" some time before that.

                                        1. re: lgss

                                          I've been known to resort to using tongs when something is out of reach and I don't want to be bothered getting the stepstool out. Things you do when you're 5' 3" :)

                                          1. re: maplesugar

                                            Yup, I have all kinds of short person tricks - grabbers, tongs, platform shoes. The most effective seems to be flattery: "Dear, would you come over here and show me how tall you are?"

                                            1. re: WTBD

                                              I was 5'9" by the time I started 8th grade but my mother stayed just 5'1" early in the morning when her spine was still stretched from sleeping. She constantly interrupted my homework for things she couldn't reach. I even gave her a stool for Christmas! The ONLY thing that worked for me was doing my homework in the attic! '-)

                                    2. I loved the poster response that said "a view of the ocean out the window!" I'd have to say that would be right up there on my list if I'm going to talk about my dream kitchen.

                                      I'd also have to say that I would wish for acres of counter space. I actually have a fairly large kitchen (we combined the original kitchen with the too small dining room and made one big room.) but I still don't have a lot of counter space. I'm older and wiser since we redid our kitchen - which was forced on us at a time that I wasn't really ready for it - and we made a few mistakes. Not enough counter space was one of them. I make up for that with two roll away carts - one granite, one butcher block - that really help a lot.

                                      A huge sink.

                                      A proper place for the garbage can.

                                      A huge walk in pantry with floor to ceiling shelves where I could store all the non-perishables, small appliances and serving pieces, etc. and be able to easily see them.

                                      A six burner cooktop/range and double ovens (btw, this was one of our mistakes when we redid the kitchen. We could have fairly easily designed the kitchen to fit a six burner range, but I just wasn't as into food/cooking then as I am now and didn't give this area enough attention. I guess looking back, it was really a budget issue as well.)

                                      1. We're in the process of remodeling our small kitchen. My husband has done most of the work, I've helped some. We have a tiny house as well as a tiny yard so there isn't much space between the back of the house and the property line so the available greenhouse/garden windows were too deep. My husband designed and built our greenhouse window. One of our goals was environmental sustainability. Appliances all went back in the same places. Stove and fridge were fine so we didn't replace them. We reaplaced the washer and dryer a couple years ago with a front load, Energy Star washer, matching dryer (we dry most loads on a wooden rack). My husband built an ash countertop to set on top of the washer and dryer. We made it and the backsplash above it removable for easy access to plumbing and electrical if needed. We had the old frosted, leaky window near the washer/dryer replaced with a energy friendly unfrosted one so we get more light.

                                        The old kitchen had a bathroom exhaust fan instead of a range hood. My husband built a new cabinet for above the stove because the old one did not allow enough clearance for the range hood to pass code. We did the demo of the old peninsula and my husband built the new one.

                                        We kept the cabinets above the washer and dryer, above the fridge, and beside the fridge and will repaint them. The old floor was vinyl tile, the new floor, which we installed is Forbo Marmoleum. The old countertop for the peninsula was formica, the new one is granite. The old sink was double bowl, the new one is also double bowl and stainless steel, but undermount. Oh, and we had a trash chute hole cut into the countertop and a lid milled from the ash slab leftovers. The trash can fits under the counter from the opposite side. The area under the sink will have a drawer (eventually) and then curtains (which I will make) rather than cabinet doors. The area where the trash and recycling goes will also have curtains rather than cabinet doors.

                                        We also replaced the dishwasher a couple years ago with a Bosch, Energy Star. In the old kitchen there was dead space to the back of the dishwasher and there was a radiator behind that. We got a in-wall radiator and had a pad made for it from the same granite as the countertop. The area behind the dishwasher (it's in the peninsula) became a bookcase for cookbooks!

                                        For the eating bar there was a platform with old diner stools. We tore out the platform and bought moveable stools. The new eating surface is one we had milled from an ash slab which we bought (about 6 blocks from our house and walked home with a dolly borrowed from the store where we bought it. We walked carrying some of the other lumber, too, from another lumberyard farther away.) and had in the house for about a year before we had it milled.

                                        Everything will take longer than expected. Especially important for us since we're vegan and I'm gluten-free, we came up with a restaurant list with hours and addresses before we did the demo. I also made up a bunch of food ahead of time and froze it and bought groceries that didn't require much in the way of prep.

                                        1. We're in the middle of redoing our kitchen right now. I wouldn't say it's my dream kitchen - we have to work with what tiny space we've got - but it's such an improvement over the old one.

                                          Our biggest delight: the cantilevered carousel that makes the annoying space under the L of the cabinets use-able. I'm not a big fan of lazy susans in general, but we love this thing.


                                          1. We bought a new house last Spring. The main attraction was the dream kitchen already in there. It has a nine-foot island with a prep sink in it. A prep sink is so handy. If you can fit an island in your space, get the biggest you can.

                                            It also has GE Monogram appliances. I can't recommend spending extra for the Monogram name, but the Advantium is awesome. It cooks with microwave and halogen lights. It has pre-programmed settings in it (i.e. 2" filet mignon cooked medium) and does it perfectly.

                                            A walk-in pantry is a must. Just this week we are getting the builder's wire shelving removed and a custom pantry system installed. Can't wait!

                                            1. When my DH and I designed our home, we decided to build a kitchen and put the house around it.
                                              Since we were starting from scratch, I was lucky enough not to have space constraints. We included a 4X8 ft island (cut the corners off to prevent bumps & bruises) and a 12 ft peninsula (ditto for the corners) with bar stool seating; miles of additional countertop
                                              All dishes, pots, pans etc are housed in drawers; banks and banks of drawers with great hidden hardware. Each drawer will hold 200+ pounds and I can open it with a pinkie finger.
                                              6 burner + griddle cooktop that I love and use daily.
                                              Warming drawer
                                              Double convection ovens.
                                              Large, individual refrigerator and freezer units
                                              Potfill over the cooktop (yeah, I remember a thread about how people hate these because it might spring a leak someday ..... someone's child could turn it on, etc but I love it and use it all the time. My waterheater might spring a leak too but I'll be damned if I want to go without hot water just to be on the safe side of overly cautious)
                                              Very large farm sink; large prep sink w/ garbage disposals in each. Ditto for high-necked faucets
                                              Cookbook library
                                              Pantry + a pullout Euro-style shelving unit. Pullout spice storage
                                              Great lighting, and more outlets than I thought anyone would ever need or want - glad I put in each and every one.
                                              Windows that open to the outdoor patio; more windows
                                              Powerful fan, heat lamps and shelf over the cooktop
                                              Very glad that I included "walk" space that includes moving around with the diswasher door open

                                              These are the highlights. Of course there are things I wish that I had included:
                                              knife slits & trash hole in the countertop (knives slide in and live here; trash falls into can below)
                                              an "egg slot" on the countertop next to the cooktop
                                              silvercloth-lined drawer for sterling flatware
                                              pasta poles
                                              wine storage that is closer to the action

                                              All in all, I am extremely pleased six years after completion.

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: Sherri

                                                What's an egg slot? And pasta poles?

                                                1. re: snacktime

                                                  An egg slot is a long groove cut into the granite, at the cooktop's edge, so eggs do not roll around; they stay put in the groove.

                                                  Pasta poles are long poles hidden in a cabinet that pull out to act as drying rack for freshly made pasta ribbons. I had these in my last house and loved them. They also act as a cattle guard at door openings to keep unwanted guests (Read: MIL) out of your working kitchen.

                                                  1. re: Sherri

                                                    "They also act as a cattle guard at door openings to keep unwanted guests (Read: MIL) out of your working kitchen."

                                                    I love multi-tasking tools, don't you? :)

                                                    1. re: Sherri

                                                      Pasta poles, I knew. Egg slot is new to me. Interesting.

                                                      My mother used to drape the pasta over the backs of chairs, and even put up lines in the kitchen to dry it - mostly around the Holidays. Would she not have been happy with a modern kitchen?


                                                      1. re: Sherri

                                                        For me, an egg slot is a place for things to settle you don't want settling on the counter. What I use that works well and isn't permanent is to set two wooden chopsticks on the counter and set eggs between them. A soft cloth works too. I just don't like dips and grooves that make cleaning a drag.

                                                        But what I would like that's sort of along the same lines as pasta rods is a linen cupboard with "rods" to drape table cloths over that minimizes the creases in them. I hate storing tablecloths and linens in a drawer because no matter what I want, it's ALWAYS on the bottom! And I suppose if push came to shove and my pasta machine ever escaped from the box in the garage, I could lay a couple of tablecloths over the back of a chair and dry pasta on the table cloth rods. Why not? '-)

                                                    2. re: Sherri

                                                      Your kitchen sounds great. This is a list, off the top of my head, of ingredients for my dream kitchen: Pirelli floor; drinking fountain sink; at least two prep sinks; 6 or 8 burner range (Blue Star or Wolf or Russell Range w/serpentine grates); two wall ovens for baking; salamander; baking center with Carrara marble counter (ergonomically lowered); butcher block counters for other areas; potfillers; separate refrigerator and freezer (haven't selected make); dishwashers; warming drawers. All sinks to be undermounted and fitted with the same high-necked faucets and blade handles for ease of use.

                                                      I'm probably forgetting something, but that's a start.

                                                      1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                        Nice! I love the baking center with Carrara marble counter (I just added that one to my mental dream kitchen - don't know why I hadn't already, but it's probably because I currently have a granite-topped cart that works great for this purpose so I probably don't feel like I'm missing anything) and the butcher block counters.

                                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                                          Thanks flourgirl--

                                                          I designed the kitchen a while back when I took space planning while I was studying Interior Design. The things I have listed were on the original plans. One of these days . . . sigh!

                                                        2. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                          I'm curious why you want marble in the kitchen? Are you aware that things like vinegar and other "kitchen chemicals" will etch it? If you're thinking marble because it's great for rolling pasty and especially puff pastry, or for candy or fondant making, consider granite instead. It's far more etch resistant and works as well or better than marble because it isn't as soft. Oh, and another curious characteristic about marble: Beer will etch it, champagne will not. I've lived with marble for half a century. I wouldn't have marble counter tops for anything! But my granite is impervious!

                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                            Hi Caroline!

                                                            I love granite, especially Emerald Pearl and Blues in the Night. The Carrara marble is only for the baking center. I do a lot of baking and right now I have a slab that is 18" square. I chose Carrara, which is white, because I like how it reminds me of flour. I plan to have black granite elsewhere in the kitchen.

                                                        3. re: Sherri

                                                          Hi Sherri, My husband and I are renovating in Manhattan and it sounds like we will be doing a lot of the same things you have done with your kitchen. Is there any way we could see pictures of how it came out? If you'd like, you can email me privately instead of posting here. My address is Laurel Touby AT G Mail Dot Com. (Obviously, you have to run that all together as one address! Trying to avoid getting spammed). Thanks in advance for your help. --Laurel

                                                        4. counters that are low enough for a short person , 5' 1" to work comfortably.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: LadyCook61

                                                            I should have mentioned that I lowered my cooktop 3" because I'm not the industry standard 6' tall male.

                                                            1. re: Sherri

                                                              We raised our countertop, now our backs don't hurt as much when we stand at the sink washing dishes.

                                                              1. re: lgss

                                                                One of the modifications I'm making to my dream kitchen, before I win those lotteries and can afford to build it, is to raise the dishwashers to a higher level. The interior of my present dishwasher is a lot closer to the floor than models I've had in years past, and it's a real pain in the back!

                                                                Someone mentioned the drawer dishwashers. When I redid all of my kitchen appliances a bit more than three years ago, they were not available in energy saver models. About two months after this one was installed, they came out with them. At first I was ticked. Then I read several articles that said they won't hold plates in a larger diameter than standard dinner plates. No trays. No large platters. No tall pitchers. So my regrets flew out the window.

                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                  I'd probably go with one in the chef's pantry, but I have been very pleased with my Kitchen Aid, and would only add one more like it, should I win that same lottery!


                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    They are also vastly more repair-prone than conventional models if the salespeople I spoke to (at multiple stores) are to be trusted. Any time a salesperson will talk me out of a more-expensive option, I believe him.

                                                            2. Actually, it’s two kitchens: the main one, and the one in the chef’s pantry.

                                                              I see double ovens, plus warming drawer (in each). Side-by-side-by-side SubZero refrigerators and freezers. That is 2 of each and in both locations. Two dishwashers in the main, with one in the other. Though I have a wine cellar downstairs, I’d have a large (600 btl.) unit in the chef’s pantry. There would be plenty of counter space and a very large island in the former. Sinks with specialty faucets would be all over each. The main kitchen would feature a 400 sq. ft. walk-in pantry, with good lighting. There would be ample outlets, on separate circuits, all around - no tripping breakers, regardless of what was being used at any time. Great lighting, with special task-lighting, would abound. I’d also want a pass-thru window to the outdoor kitchen, where some of this would be duplicated, or triplicated.

                                                              Hey, I can dream, can’t I?


                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                The problem with multiple refrigerators or freezers is that whatever you open the door to get, it's in the other one. Promise!

                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                  You know, that is a great point. With one side-by-side in the kitchen and another in the garage, I find that happens all of the time.


                                                              2. My dream kitchen is the one that cleans itself. Actually all I really want is enough space to for at least two people and counter space. I live in an apartment with a small kitchen.

                                                                1. What I have now:

                                                                  Builder standard chocolate brown laminate counter tops with a "peninsula" eating bar around the main work area... open to the dining area and living room(leather couches/hardwood throughout), great for parties since I can cook/serve and still socialize... Counters are ok but not so good for pastry and after just 5 years are beginning to show their age. Oh, and the double sink has a pull out faucet (I think that's what they're called) - much nicer than trying to use a teeny vegetable sprayer to clean pots!

                                                                  Pet peeves: 1)The "display shelf" at the end of the row of cabinets on the back wall... I could have used another cabinet or wine rack there... that shelf is just a magnet for clutter *argh* 2) Microwave/hoodfan combo above the oven/cooktop - fine if you're the only one cooking but a pain when DH wants to reheat something and you're having to duck while working on a roux....and I can't count how many times something plastic has landed on a still warm burner. 3) Maple Hardwood floors in the kitchen, hard on the feet/back and easy to dent (or maybe it's just my kids)

                                                                  My list of if-I-win-the-lotto wishes:
                                                                  <>Double wall oven(one of which I've now decided needs to be Trivection!) tops the list o
                                                                  <>a bigger cooktop/hob(6+ burners instead of 4),
                                                                  <>a marble slab at *my* height (4-5 inches lower than standard counters) for pastry... still on the fence about the rest of the counter surface...
                                                                  <>cork floors or a chef's mat ... something to make holiday baking/cooking marathons easier on the feet.

                                                                  I'm sure there's more but the kids are distracting me heh... oh, and I did have a winning lotto ticket on last week's draw - unfortunately all it got me was $2 and a free ticket. Still dreaming! :)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                    Agree with maplesugar about microwave location above the stove (dangerous IMHO). I had it below the counter at my last place, which was not a good choice either. We now have our microwave in an unused corner of the counter at countertop height, to the left of the fridge.

                                                                    We love our hardwood floors. Not sure why but there have been several "con" posts regarding wood floors in the kitchen. We spill, we damp mop the floors, we stand on them a lot - they look great and are comfortable.

                                                                  2. A billionaire's kitchen I designed and specified (ok, they didn't pop for the cooking hearth):

                                                                    1. Cooking hearth for tuscan grill and rotisserie.
                                                                    2. Water tap on the back of the range wall.
                                                                    3. Hole in the veg prep counter (use metal bain marie lid for cover when not in use) with compost bucket underneath.
                                                                    4. Speed rack - for holding half and full sheet pans.
                                                                    5. Commercial under counter high temp dish machine. 2 home style dish machines.
                                                                    6. Sloped stainless counter to a deep pot sink.
                                                                    7. Gigantic lazy susan in pantry.
                                                                    8. Laundry chute for dish towels.
                                                                    9. Recycling bins (accessible from outside for emptying).
                                                                    10. Hand washing sink.
                                                                    11. Vegetable washing sink.
                                                                    12. Sliding drawer for all small electrics.
                                                                    13. Chalk board wall for recipe development, grocer list, etc.
                                                                    14. Counter top butcher block for meats.
                                                                    15. Dough bench (flour side and back splashes)
                                                                    16. Marble slab for candy and pastry.
                                                                    17. CCTV with over head view of dining room table from kitchen.
                                                                    18. Dust trap in floor (sweep into removable hatch, empty hopper as needed).
                                                                    19. 3 ovens.
                                                                    20. Six burner range with griddle.
                                                                    21. Make-up air system.
                                                                    22. Hanging pot rack over island.
                                                                    23. Elevator to walk-in refrigerator.
                                                                    24. Rolling glass storage racks.
                                                                    25. Two head Pavoni espresso machine.
                                                                    26. Two burr grinders.
                                                                    27. Counter top coffee roaster.
                                                                    28. Chef's fridge. Family fridge.
                                                                    29. Induction pads for buffets.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: keg

                                                                      I wanna be a billionaire. ;-) (An ELEVATOR to a walk-in fridge?)

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        That was my initial response to that post too. :)

                                                                        Then I started thinking about my kitchen - my real kitchen - and I realized that, while it's far from perfect, I'd rather have my cozy ktichen any day over the one described in the post above. I love my collection of vintage chocolate molds and flat-backed cookie cutters hanging on the walls, I love my collection of functional pottery in the pretty little white washed hutch, I love my family's pictures all over the fridge (most of all!), I love that my family is close by when I'm working in the kitchen (and not lost somewhere in a 25,000 sq. ft "bungalow" as caroline1 put it, below. I guess I'm OK with not being a billionaire after all. :)

                                                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                                                          I agree, but it was fun to dream it. :-) I *do* want a larger, more functional kitchen, with a side pantry, with some good appliances, but something that massive wouldn't do for just me. I don't want a showcase kitchen; I just want a good one so I can have my kitchen tchotckes (collection of wooden spoons and bobble-head bottle stoppers, Christmas baking tins, etc.) and still enjoy working in a nice kitchen.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Yes - I love my house, modest though it is, but I would be in heaven if we had a walk in pantry next to the kitchen. I *finally* got a new range so I'm very happy about that but my dishwasher is about 20 yrs old (with the W & D not far behind that) and we have to pay off the range (12 mo. no interest financing at a local appliance dealer is a life saver for us) before we can consider replacing those things. That's OK, I'm still grateful for what I have.

                                                                      2. re: keg

                                                                        Sounds more like a restaurant than a dream kitchen. I have to have aesthetics in a dream kitchen!

                                                                        A commercial dishwasher in a private home can be a BIG mistake! My son wouldn't listen and installed one. First problem is that they take much longer to cycle than home dishwashers without getting anything appreciably cleaner, and I don't think I've ever seen an Energy Star commercial machine. But the greatest problem with them is that they are designed to be running all the time. My son was replacing gaskets on his like what seemed to be weekly. Finally the manufactuer's rep told him that if he wanted to save on gaskets, he needed to run the machine at least two or three times a day. He finally took it out and replaced it with a home machine. It was like a three or four thousand dollar dishwasher. Stupid for a home!

                                                                        There is a commercial dishwasher that runs like an assembly line. You put the dishes in racks on a conveyor belt, it runs them through the wash rinse and sanitize sections, then the blow dry section and finally out the other end. But someone had better be there to unload it. Takes about 15 or so running feet for the small size, is very energy inefficient and costs an arm and two legs. But you don't have to worry about gaskets.

                                                                        Your design sounds like it is for someone who lives in a 25,000 square foot "bungalow." It also sounds like the kind of kitchen the homeowner only sees once, on a walk-through with his builder when he accepts the place. Or with his realtor. Those things are never a "dream kitchen" for family members who like to cook. They're for people who don't like to cook and hire a live-in chef so they don't have to! That's a HUGE difference.

                                                                        As for #18, it's a whole lot easier to put a buuilt-in vacuum system in the basement, then in the kitchen (as opposed to the rest of the house) just have a kick-switch on an undercounter trap you sweep stuff into and off it goes to the central vac system.

                                                                        There are some interesting induction warmers intended to be installed under granite or marble counter tops. I find them interesting buty not very practical. The biggest problem with them to my way of thinking is that they dictate where you have to serve food, and there is always a fixed number of them. If you want less than you have installed, no problem, but if you want more, problem! I much prefer really lovely chafing dishes. You can set up your buffet anywhere, you can use as many as you need, and no one is going to pass the food up because they figure it's got to be cold sitting out on a rock counter top. Since space is no problem, give me a big walk-in butler's pantry to store all these goodies instead of an elevator to a refrigerator any day!

                                                                        But... To each his own! '-)

                                                                        I also take it you're a designer and don't have to live with this stuff?

                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                          Yeah, this is a no-budget extreme, but it was indeed a dream set up. Overall square footage was in the 15,000 range. Practically a cottage :0. Family occasionally had parties for up to 200 guests (huge patios). The scale of the kitchen was surprisingly livable. Center island had eating counter on the end. This was the center of the home. Beautiful cabinetry. Stellar coffee pot collection. The commercial machine was only used for large parties, included its own hood, and special flooring. Didn't work as expected. Cycle was in the 5 minute range, everything had to be polished immediately before being put away.

                                                                          In the process I saw several giant custom kitchens, and intentionally kept things small and efficient. Three steps from side to side. One sheet pan width between ovens and opposing island. Walk-in was frequently cycled off, and used for beverage storage.

                                                                      3. Two simple things would make any kitchen dreamier --- a sink and garbage can for guests/helpers/kids! And completely out of the way of where we cook.

                                                                        After that it would be an oversized flat island with nothing on it --- we use it way beyond cooking (fold laundry, do sewing projects, play games) and great for entertaining as can have appetizers plus guests have rooms for drinks, plates.

                                                                        Extra lighting over the sink and stove! Watch for the shadows. Separate cooktop and large convection oven with a smaller second oven.

                                                                        1. Custom cabinets, no uppers
                                                                          Antique terracotta flooring
                                                                          Lots of windows
                                                                          2 apron front sinks
                                                                          Large, walk-in pantry
                                                                          Baking center
                                                                          Marble/limestone countertops (have limestone now and they're easy to maintain, as long as they're sealed well)
                                                                          Pizza oven that goes to 800-900 degrees

                                                                          1. I am in the final stages of my total kitchen redo, and I've now been cooking in it for about a week. I'm happy to say that my choices are pretty much exactly as I'd hoped so far. I was on a budget too -- but willing to spend money where it's going to be highly practical.

                                                                            The greatest hits:

                                                                            I redid my rather large pantry completely, moving the door around the corner and getting rid of the five very deep shelves that ran the full width of the closet. I rebuilt them with shallower shelves that run in a horseshoe around the three walls. The one on the right is only about the depth of a can of tomatoes. On the left I can get things like boxes of crackers or two or three cans' worth, and the back shelves vary in depth from about nine inches to up to about 18. LOVE IT. Everything remains visible, so you don't accidentally buy garbanzos when you already have two bags that got shoved to the back of a giant shelf.

                                                                            Counter tops are in a horseshoe with an island that's about three by three and a half. The sink is a 12 o'clock, the range at about 11 (in the corner of the cabinet bend) and the fridge at about 8 o'clock. The counter tops are soapstone on the center and left (around the sink and range), and maple butcher block on the right and on the island. I absolutely love how soft and forgiving the butcher block is, but I like how impervious to water the soapstone is. For the butcher block, I bought Lumber Liquidators' raw slabs and joined them myself into one run that's wider than the stock width, and the almost-square island. I've done all of the work in the whole kitchen myself, except for installing half of the counter tops (the soapstone). Joining butcher block isn't that hard, and the LL stuff is very high quality. It might have a bit more mineral veining than the John Boos stuff, but that's not at all a negative in my opinion. It was CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP ($200 per eight foot run -- you do the math).

                                                                            Flooring is floating cork. Can't possibly rave highly enough about it. It was extremely inexpensive, and feels like you're walking on rubber padding. Before laying it, I soaked a piece in water overnight, and once it dried back out, there was no discernible damage whatsoever. It was incredibly easy to put down.

                                                                            As I posted in another thread, I chose the Electrolux free-standing dual fuel range, and it's performing brilliantly so far. I loved a GE Profile I used to own, except I have white appliances, and the grates on the GE are light gray enameled iron. They're very good looking until you get even the slightest scuff or burned-on food on them, at which point they become extremely ugly. You can never, ever get them completely clean. Yes, I have a touch of OCD (for real). :)

                                                                            I have a weird soffit in the room that I had to deal with, so I decided to nestle the fridge underneath it, and then I built little appliance cubbies all up the left side and above. It's hard to describe, but essentially I now have five open shelves, which are perfect to keep my blender, food processor, stand mixer, coffee grinder and panini press in. I'll try to post a photo later, maybe. Moving the fridge also enabled me to add a window into a wall that had none before. Huge, huge improvement to the light and feeling of space in the room.

                                                                            We had a plumbing catastrophe some time ago, which meant the entire ceiling fell out of the kitchen (long story). So since it was all open, I decided to redo the lighting entirely. Good-bye single ceiling fan in the middle of the room. Hello four new can lights spaced evenly around the room, with additional task-lighting cans above the sink and on the counter top at 9 o'clock. Over the island, I bought (but haven't yet installed) a small, decorative pendant that will also give some task lighting.

                                                                            I got a deep zero-radius (square corner) sink with two equal bowls. I would have also been happy with a 60/40 or 70/30 split, but I couldn't find a model with the other features I wanted in the 30" width I was limited to. I'm happy with it, but I think a shorter person might find such a deep sink to be a drawback. It's amazing -- the deep bowls make it **feel** much narrower than the old sink, which was barely six inches deep (weird, I know).

                                                                            Cabinets are painted white. On the bottom, I left most of what was there, but added a bookshelf at the end of one run where there was plenty of room. On top, I built all new boxes because I had to hide a plumbing line that used to necessitate a huge, ugly soffit. That's now gone, and I have cabinets that run all the way to the ceiling. The top shelves are only about four inches deep in one cabinet to hide the plumbing line, which is a fine compromise, in my opinion. To be honest, a shelf that's over seven feet off the floor is of limited use anyway.

                                                                            Cabinet doors are here but not painted or installed yet. They're just a simply Shaker style with very plain right-angle pulls. I'm all about simplicity in things such as this.

                                                                            In moving the fridge, I lost my spot where the trash can used to live. However, I also got rid of a hideously impractical trash compactor, so I turned that spot into one of those pull-out Rev-A-Shelf double trash/recycling bins. Loving that so far. A tip from my counter top salesperson: Hinge your door if you hide your trash can, instead of mounting the door on the front of the pull-out rack. About 80% of the time, you can just open the door to throw things away, instead of having to pull out the little trolley every time.

                                                                            I built my own range hood to match other architectural details in the house, and installed a Broan "power module" inside it. It's just a fan, light and filter in a very plain metal box, which you can hide inside cabinetry of your choice. After speaking with knowledgeable HVAC pros, I decided the super-high-output fans are not for me. I don't run a commercial kitchen, and I don't want to accidentally reverse the airflow in my furnace or fireplace -- a true possibility with those monster 1,000-cfm units. Mine tops out at 410 cfm, which is plenty for a home cook, in my opinion.

                                                                            Not exactly a kitchen gadget, but a huge, huge contributor to how much I'm enjoying the kitchen: I installed a set of in-wall speakers, connected to a sound system in an adjoining area. Being able to put on music while I'm working is a wonderful thing, and I already can't imagine that I didn't have so much as a clock radio in any other kitchen.

                                                                            Whew. Long-winded, I know. But I've been working on this project non-stop for about six months now, and the end is within sight. Good luck on yours! We've done all of ours for shockingly little money, which is possible if you just roll up your sleeves. The only real expenditures were on the soapstone, range and fridge -- and the last two were necessities.

                                                                            If you have an island, try your best to install an electrical outlet in it. It's indispensable in my book.

                                                                            I also highly recommend building a shelf under the counter top for your microwave. I hate losing counter space for it, and I'm uncomfortable taking boiling foods out of an oven at eye-level, as with my sister's over-the-range model.

                                                                              1. I got to re-do my kitchen 2 years ago and do pretty much what I wanted with it. Two years later, it's still a joy and there aren't any major changes I'd make.

                                                                                Our house is a 50s ranch so the footprint of the room is a long narrow galley and we were locked into that to avoid changing the whole roofline and front profile of the house. What I was able to do, tho was repurpose a utility room at the end of the kitchen that had been storage and laundry into a pantry and baking area with a marble counter at kneading/rolling height. We also took out a part of the wall that separated the kitchen and dining room. And we repurposed that dining room as a family room connected to the kitchen across a broad peninsula. Our new dining room is one room removed from that in a room that we previously never used that has a fireplace. So it's lovely to be able to have a fire on the special occasions when we eat in there.

                                                                                Back to the kitchen. My splurges were an enormous soapstone sink to match the soapstone counters, a 36" Wolf dual fuel range (it's stand alone so it can move with us) and a Miele range hood over the peninsula that's very, very minimalist. For the remaining appliances I got good KitchenAid stuff including a second wall oven in a stack with the microwave in my baking area. They work for me. So does the original classic work triangle in the galley. I'm never more than two steps from anything and, tho I've always thought an island would be a wonderful thing, they come down to that working triangle too and my open peninsula is a similar concept.

                                                                                We replaced our old breakfast table and chairs with a banquette that gives us additional storage space including morgue drawers that pull out into the room on the sides so they're accessible even if someone is sitting there (the back opens up with lift tops for bulky appliances). The new banquette was part of the cabinetry package that has 4 different style doors and three different color finishes. Every single person I talked about my plans either looked at me like I was nutz or tried to talk me out of such a complex plan. When it was all done, no one remained skeptical and I was delighted. The effect of so many different things in a small space is to keep the eye moving around and provide a sense of more space than there physically is. But it *was* necessary to make sure each configuration worked with the others and defined a logical space or purpose.

                                                                                One of the things that's a continuing pleasure is foot activated faucets in the kitchen and pantry. Another is the baking height workspace and the drawers underneath that accommodate hotel pans for storing my flours/sugar/salt. One thing that I passed on that I don't regret in the least are self-closing hinges/slides on the cabinetry. I still have to walk behind my husband to make sure some things are shut but how hard is closing a door or a drawer? There were other things I wanted more. The other thing that everyone everywhere should have is drawers for dishes. I chose to have my drawers behind doors but the point is that you have much greater use of your storage area with enormous convenience that you'll bless *every single day*. And, speaking of convenience, don't over look the kick space under your cabinets. I have a very long, very shallow drawer in one of them to hold a ladder so I can get to the storage up at the ceiling and I have suction vents from my central vac system in others so the sweepings on my hardwood floor disappear with the touch of my toe.

                                                                                The remaining tip I'd share is plot everything out with masking tape on the floors and counters and live with it and move through it and walk through cooking scenarios with your proposed new layout. Do that even if you have elaborate drawings. You'll pick up errors and oversights that will be expensive fixes if they're even possible later. And for god's sake dispatch all the kitchen designers who don't cook. I passed on two of them and then designed it myself. And I am POSITIVE that I did a better job for me than they would have. You may be a lot more close to your needs too.

                                                                                Took 60 years to be in a financial position to have what I wanted. Took about a year to get it done. But it was well worth everything to have a space that fits my unique needs and work habits.

                                                                                1. My dream kitchen will have to wait until I build my dream house, hopefully in the next year or so. But in the meantime I fell in love with my current kitchen by doing some sprucing up with all new appliances. New GE profile induction range, GE profile space saver over range microwave, GE profile french door refrigerator, and Kitchen Aide dw. All stainless. Hubby moved the cabinet above the range to accommodate the built in one. He installed crown molding above the short cupboards to add height and interest. Next he will replace the old microwave cabinet with a new matching cupboard that will unify a corner and add much needed storage. Lastly, he steam cleaned the grout on the porcelain tile floor, scrubbed it dog gone clean and applied 3 coats of grout sealer.