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As a cook, what do you love or hate about your kitchen?

I'm planning a new kitchen. I have lots of room and although I am delighted, I am paralysed by choice. Nice dilemma, huh?

So as someone who cooks, what feature do you most value in your kitchen or wish you had?
So far I have decided
NO corner cupboards, I hate them
YES big pantry
YES open shelves

And does anyone cook on an induction stove? How do you find it?


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  1. I live in the North East of the US and my deepest fantasy would be a kitchen fireplace.

    1. Pull out shelves in cabinets (or drawers) wherever you can, as many as possible. Much more space effecient and so easy to find things. I put them in nearly every cabinet.

      7 Replies
      1. re: DGresh

        oh yes, that sounds really good. I was planning to have lots of shallow open shelves but a pull out would be good in some places.

        What is on the back of your pull out shelves? Are they pretty much like drawers with no fronts?

        1. re: hillsbilly

          each shelf has "walls" which are about three inches high, all the way around (four sides).That way nothing falls off when you pull it. They pull out all the way, so you can really see what's in there. I have about a five foot tall pantry with five such shelves, and each "regular" bottom cabinet has two such shelves.

          1. re: DGresh

            I have two of those and adore them. And not only can you see what's there, you can lift those things out without having to pull out what's in front of it.

            A friend of mine had a small shelf in her pantry with an outlet nearby. She kept her toaster in there. I always liked that idea.

          2. re: hillsbilly

            Don't put regular static shelves on any lower cabinets. Drawers or pull out shelves only. You will not regret it.

            Also consider a dish drawer near the dishwasher instead of putting your everyday dishes in upper cabinets. I love having mine that way.

          3. re: DGresh

            Instead of pull-out cabinets, our cabinetmaker made drawers for me. I love them! Heavy-duty bottom-mounted hardware provides 200 lbs+ capacity per drawer and I can open them with a single finger (instead of opening a cabinet then pulling out the sliding shelf). Dishes of all sorts are stored in there. I also lovelovelove the European pull-out pantry that makes best use of a 15" wide space. Everything is instantly visible. Other pantry shelves are one can deep, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling in an under-used space and I can see at a glance what I have.

            A potfill over the cooktop has been a boon! I had no idea how often I used water when cooking. I also love the shelf we installed over the cooktop - very handy for more than just keeping plates warm.

            1. re: Sherri

              Our last house had the pullout drawers and the cabinets. I preferred the cabinets. Used them all, of course.

              1. re: c oliver

                From a functional standpoint, the best of both worlds might be open sliding shelves. No doors to mess with, and no high sides to get in the way. Of course, that puts the contents of the shelves on display, so in my kitchen the functional advantages are probably outweighed by the aesthetic drawbacks. Kitchen design is all about compromises.

          4. I hate these hate threads, but you got me! My stove! It is in the right hand corner of the kitchen stuck in a corner w/ small counter space to the left. The kitchen table is behind me when I cook, I worry that if people (my wife) go behind me I'll suddenly turn and burn them. The cooking triangle takes up half the kitchen and lends it self to ballet or collision. Further more, we got a new GE Profile stove last year and it is the worst designed piece of crap I have ever cooked on. Due to the rear panel overhang, large pots cannot be centered over the burner and cooking w/ 2 large pots front to back is impossible as well. The super hot burner (gas) is not as hot as my old one and if using the oven the top burners do not get enough gas and cannot be turned up high. The gray enamel raised grill cannot be cleaned well, and food falls through the grill, cannot be retrieved and burns. Give me back my 50 year old Caloric range. To keep it balanced, I'm laying oak floors in the rest of the house this summer and next summer will gut and build myself new kitchen to my design. By doing the work myself (tile floors) I can afford better appliances. I have never owned a dish washer! The view from the kitchen allows me to watch the birds, including wild turkeys (I keep a rifle next to the back door.), deer and the occasional bear. the evil corner is behind me in the lobster coup de grace photo.

            5 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                My double wall oven thats not your everyday oven size. I curse the clerk that talked me into buying the smaller ones every time I want to use my sheet pans for cookies, my large cake pans & or my big roasting pan. Had to saw the handles off the darn roaster to get it to fit in the ovens!

                More pull out drawers & lower counters too. I have two pull out drawers under my gas cooktop but wish I had them throughout the kitchen as you can store things easier and see them better when needed. I also have a small work area that is lower than the rest of my counters and wish all my counter space was as low. Being a short person, normal counters are a bit too high for me. If I'm making a big pot of soup on my cooktop which is situated on the higher counters, I have to stand on a stool so I can see whats in my pot!

                1. re: Joyfull

                  Joyful how wide are your ovens?

                  1. re: Island

                    Island, so sorry for the late reply, I missed your question completely. Sure glad chow has added this comments on posts feature!

                    My ovens are only 21 inches wide, and the racks are indented by 1 inch so that makes them even smaller for fitting sheet pans, large cake pans, roasters etc.
                    They work like a charm, I do love them for that, but I hate them for size. Especially turkey time & wedding cake time!

              2. I HATE our $%&$#^ kitchen sink faucet, which has NO verticality to it and doesn't allow for any clearance into the ceramic ivory sink, which I also hate. I'd love to replace both, but beneath the heavy sink is a ginormous garbage disposal, and I can't figure out how to easily take it out to get to the faucet at least.

                2 Replies
                1. re: E_M

                  Remove the garbage disposal and compost! You'll have easier access to the incoming plumbing lines. It can be done easily w/ a few parts from the box store.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    In my neighborhood the covenants and restrictions require that each home will have a disposer. The C&R's don't say you have to use it though. Oversight on someone's part. I think the intent was to help with deterring rodents. So yes i do have compost bins but they don't get used as much as we should, we don't garden as much as we used to. Anyway check on the C&R's before getting rid of it. If you decide to sell the house it could become an issue.

                2. I chose to have wide, deep drawers instead of bottom cabinets with pull-out shelves, and it was a great decision. My lowest drawers are tall enough to hold my largest stock pots, baking sheets, racks that hold pot covers standing on end, KA stand mixer, blender, etc.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CindyJ

                    I also really appreciate the tall cabinet I use for dishes, glassware, serving pieces, etc. My height (or lack thereof) keeps me from being able to reach things that are placed on the upper shelves of typical above-counter wall cabinets. This cabinet that goes from the floor up keeps my everyday pieces very accessible.

                  2. Hate: Tile floor. Not the tile, but the grout lines that always seem to trap dirt. If I had my druthers, I'd redo the floor, probably in large (12 inch / 30 cm) square-edged tile that would allow me to have paper-thin grout lines. Either that, or pour a concrete floor with some sort of patterning material on the surface (just color, no texture). I suppose I could do some sort of wood flooring with an epoxy topcoat too, as long as there aren't any cracks, crevices, nooks or crannies that catch dirt and dirty water. While I was at it, I'd also slope the floor slightly toward the sink, and add a floor drain so that I could just dump soapy water on the floor, and then scrub and squeegee everything down the drain. Clean floor! No mop! No drying time!

                    I also hate my lack of a hood vent over the stove. I'd put one in, but ducting it would be a pain. But I'll be fixing that by simply cutting a hole in the outside wall and mounting a vent fan near the top of the wall. Much cheaper than a hood, and lets me put a cabinet above the stove.

                    I'm also going to redo the lighting. More light, and just as important, *less shadows*. Task lighting sucks when there's too much contrast. I'm switching to large area ambient flourescent lighting.

                    What I like is the positioning of workspaces. From left to right: Fridge, sandwich/beverage prep counter, stove, corner, prep area for meals, sink, workspace for electrics (mixer, processor). I can work uninterrupted, no one needs me to move so they can get at a glass, slice an orange, whatever. Scrape things off the cutting board into the sink, or a short arms reach to the stove.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ThreeGigs

                      Threegigs - I'm in the same boat you are hood-wise and it's driving me crazy. This might be a stupid question, but will an outside-wall mounted vent fan really do the same thing as a vented hood? If this is true, it would save us a boat load of money, not to mention that cabinet over the range I hate to give up....

                      1. re: flourgirl

                        The fan will be inside, not outside, although it'll be flush with the wall. Something like one of these:

                        And here's a site with more through-wall fans:

                        If you have a doorway into the kitchen, the upper two feet of airspace in the kitchen will trap the hot air, and a fan mounted up high will exhaust it. As you can see in the links, 500 CFM isn't a problem, and heck, I could even go as high as 1000 CFM if I wanted a 12 inch fan. In my case, I'll be building a header across the ceiling between the kitchen and dining room, kind of making an archway, as I don't have a doorway into my kitchen so I'd need something to keep the hot air from moving out of the kitchen.

                    2. Of all the kitchens I've had and cooked in, the things I liked most were:

                      Under-cabinet lighting. The slim fluorescent fixtures are great.
                      A separate prep sink w/ disposal. A small single bowl is fine.
                      Slide-out shelves in lower cabinets, as others have mentioned.
                      Pull-out pantries. Once you've had 'em, you'll never want to be without.

                      The things I've liked least...

                      Ceramic tile countertops. The grout lines make for an uneven surface and trap dirt.
                      A layout that routes foot traffic through the work triangle.
                      A sink and cooktop on opposite walls, unconnected by counters.

                      As for induction, everybody I know who has one seems to like it. There's apparently a bit of a learning curve, but once you've mastered it it beats gas or conventional electric.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        I actually went from a sink and cooktop separated by about 18 inches, to a sink and cooktop directly across from each other. In my case the latter is so much better, as I now have counter space on both sides of the sink AND on both sides of the stove, without "sharing" between them as before. So in my case I went from 18 inches of good useful counter to more like 4 times that amount.(that is counter space right next to the functional unit)

                        1. re: DGresh

                          My brother's kitchen has the cooktop all the way across the kitchen from the sink (at least 8 ft) - and we all hate it. I guess it depends on how far the cooktop is from the sink. But generally speaking, I would never do this in a kitchen if there was any way to avoid it.

                          1. re: DGresh

                            Too close together and too little counter space could definitely be problems. But when draining pasta requires moving 15 pounds of hot steel and boiling water all the way across the kitchen while people are walking through the work area, I think it's safe to say that the kitchen could have been better designed.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              That is the exact problem my brother has....

                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                I'm lucky that our kitchen isn't a walkway to anywhere :) Mine aren't exactly across from each other but I turn around and take a step or so to the left and I'm at the sink.

                                I'd wanted to mention also that a friend of mine had a pot filler installed at her cooktop which solved the first part of the heavy pot problem :)

                                Also to mention that unless it's new construction, most design is going to have some type of limitation as far as existing walls/support, etc.

                              2. re: DGresh

                                DGresh, I have now what you have and used to have what you used to have. (Are we confused yet?) I also prefer the current arrangement but hadn't really analyzed WHY I do. It's exactly what you describe. I had a little more than 18", maybe 24. Now I have cooking space on both sides of the cooktop. On the right side of the sink is the always-present dish drainer with another 18" or so. I almost always have a dish towel lying there for the overflow of handwashed things. On the left side of the sink, I have a couple of feet before the counter makes a 90 degree turn to the peninsula. So needs-to-be washed on the left, already washed on the right.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  OMG we have the same house :)
                                  Including the same dish rack and extra towel :) And peninusla (though mine is an island). But same idea.

                                  Actually coming to the realization one day that those 18 or so inches were all I ever worked in was the real impetus to deciding to dedo the kitchen.

                              3. re: alanbarnes

                                Our cooktop (6 burners) is on an island with plenty of counterspace to the left & right, as well as space along the far side of island. The sink is along the wall immediately behind the cooktop, with counterspace to the left & right of the sink. We love this floor plan as:
                                (a) it allows 2 people to simultaneously cook at the stove, each with ingredients staged to the side of the burners where they are working, or one busy cook to cook at multiple burners and keep the ingredients for separate dishes, staged closest to the burners where the pots are located.

                                (b) leaves room to one side of the sink for the dishdrainer, with prep space to the other side.

                                (c) the space along the far side of the island is great to serve as a buffet staging area, or if just to lay out serving dishes so they are available as items are coming off the stove.

                                Since the sink is immediately behind the cooktop, it's only a matter of a few paces to move a pot of pasta, etc. for draining in the sink.

                                To answer the OPs question more broadly, the best thing about our kitchen is the floor plan, and it's the one you really need to focus on when you do the kitchen redo, speaking from experience. If there is anything else you don't like -- you bought an appliance you don't like, or you don't like your counter top material or flooring -- you can replace them, with some expense, but it's not a complete kitchen gut. I say this from experience: we did a complete kitchen redo 20 years ago, and after living with that kitchen for about 10 years, did a modest tweaking to address things we did not like, consisting of: (a) refacing the cabinets as we found the white color showed too much dirt; (b) replacing the cooktop, as we never liked the functionality of the KA we first bought: and (c) replacing laminate counters with granite, which had been a thought all along -- we went with laminate originally as a budget measure.

                              4. If starting from scratch with 8' ceiling - a gas stove with hood with exterior wall fan. Hoods do a good job with preventing damage from errant flames to cabinetry and help contain oily smoke and grease. I don't like hoods with the built in fan because they are generally too weak. I prefer a fan on the outside wall of the house that is covered and pops open when used. A gas stove because of every reason not to buy an electric. No light fixtures that you will hit your head on. A couple of separate electrical circuits for appliances(tripping a circuit breaker isn't fun while cooking). Hinges on cabinets that won't need replacing in 6 months if a child applies some downward force. Twice the amount of storage space that you think you will need. No plastic supports holding up shelves that pots and pans will go on.

                                1. I would strongly recommend that you consider induction. Here's just one of several threads on the topic:


                                  I just switched a few months ago and love it. More power, instant temp changes, incredibly easy to clean. Besides being more energy efficient than gas or regular electric. And the prices have come down. I got a range with induction cooktop and convection oven for about $1700.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Love my Silestone countertop (no screwing around sealing/maintenance) and single deep undermounted sink.

                                    Hate that I have too little storage space--I have to keep my mixer in the basement. Hate the corner lower cupboard, only place to put pans in my small kitchen and a clattery PITA to find anything. Hard on the aging knees, too.

                                    I would LOVE the pullout pantry like Rachel Ray has in her TV kitchen.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                      I love my Ceasarstone (quartz like Silestone) too.

                                      Just remodeled last year: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid...

                                      1. re: Jennalynn

                                        Jennalynn cute kitchen and love the pop of wall color. I love white kitchens and want to redo mine, but afraid white cabinets might be a disaster for keeping clean. What brand are you'rs and how's the finish holding up? Thanks.

                                        1. re: Island

                                          My were custom made... They are holding up really well. But I don't have kids. I wasn't afraid of white cabinets, but I'd never have white counters or floors. That's where I make the messes.

                                          1. re: Jennalynn

                                            I have white corian counters (arctic white). I am VERY messy when I cook - but these counters are a breeze to keep clean. I can use bleach cleaner on them - and if that doesn't take the stain out, bar keepers friend does every single time. I love my white counters. My whole kitchen is variations of white, cream, wood, and stainless steel and I love how light and bright it is. (The floor is fairly dark though, it's a multi-colored tile in natural colors. Love the tile colors, but I probably wouldn't have used tile if I could do it all over again. It is a little a hard on the legs and feet.)

                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                              I have artic white with integrated sinks in one of my bathrooms. I knew those sinks would be a dream to keep clean, but was surprises how easy it is to take care of that white countertop. You're kitchen sounds like what I'm after. Do you have any pics you could add. Would love to see it.

                                    2. We did our kitchen over about two years ago, and there are many things that I love about it. First off, the sink. It is granite, made of the same material as the counters, and it is really large and deep making it really easy to wash the largest roasting pans. We have a big spray in the sink that is like the kind you would find in a commercial kitchen. It is fabulous for blasting gunk off of dishes and pots. I love my Miele commercial dishwasher that can go on a rapid cycle doing the first load in 15 minutes and subsequent loads in 8 minutes by making the last rinse water the next wash water. We have a small kitchen, and with this dishwasher, we really didn't need the second dishwasher we had originally thought we wanted. I have a corner cabinet, but inside the cabinet is a fabulous device called a magic lazy susan. It makes every single thing inside the cabinet completely accessible. I love my warming drawer, which was an 11th hour decision. It is not only great for warming plates and keeping food warm, but it is also wonderful for proofing bread. I love the huge storage cabinet I have in the mud room. I have all my appliances in there within easy reach but put away until I need them. I have drawers for all my baking pans and molds and everything is completely within reach. I love my rubber floor in the kitchen proper. It is industrial flooring and it is very cool looking plus it is easy on the joints. Can you guess that I love my new kitchen? I am living abroad this year and I have none of the things that I love in my kitchen and I can't wait until I can get home to it!

                                      19 Replies
                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        That rubber floor sounds great. We live in ski country so have wood-look vinyl throughout for practicality. I would never want tile underfoot - too hard. Don't know if wood is any better. I know you can't take a picture of it but could you give me more info if possible. Thanks.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          The flooring is the same flooring that you frequently see in airports and such. It's got raised rubber circles on it. The best picture I have of it is of my dog on the flooring. This picture looks into the butler's pantry from the kitchen. It was a riot when the flooring was delivered -- it came in a huge tractor trailer and they refused to deliver it to the door since they never had delivered to a residence! But my kitchen designer was the one who suggested it and she's used it before, so who knows. Anyway, we adore it. It comes in many colors, but as you can see, ours is a charcoal grey.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            Ah, I wondered if that's what it was. I am far from being Sally Spic n Span, but how hard is it to clean. I've wondered about that before but then thought about all the detritus that get all around those little circles. I have washable throw rugs in front of the stove and sink and I'm amazed at how dirty they get. Thanks for the picture and great dog BTW.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Thanks, that's Dixie Doodle, and I really miss her! In fact, the floor is extremely easy to clean. Sometimes we mop and sometimes we swiffer, but it's really not a big deal. The charcoal was my husband's color choice, and I was a little worried having once had a kitchen with a black matte tile floor, but it really doesn't show a lot of dirt. As you see, the floor in the butler's pantry is red oak, and the kitchen adjoins a mud room entrance that we put slate on the floor of. We are actually thrilled with our choices for all the floors. I have some joint issues, and I can't tell you what a difference the rubber floor makes. I love it.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I really appreciate your comments. I'm an "older gal" and standing for even not so long periods of time really gets my back. My problem would be the transition from the adjacent dining and living rooms. I'm going to ponder on this.

                                          2. re: c oliver

                                            Yes, in our huge storage cabinet, we have slots for all the cookie sheets, and trays and sheet pans. They're so easy to reach and use that way instead of being under something else and having to wrestle to get it out. Our magic lazy susan (that is actually the name of it) is done so that it looks like the cabinet door is an actually door but it's really just a facing that pulls straight out. Since it is a wire basket, that's where we store our onions and garlic and such, and since it's right next to the sink, it makes it easy to grab and peel. Redoing our kitchen was a life long dream of ours too. We had a really crappy kitchen before though we had replaced the stove and dishwasher when we had moved it 13 years ago. Eventually, the cabinets started falling apart, so we had no choice. I was so happy we finally got to do it, and it was thrilling getting to pick everything out. My husband's only regret was that he didn't change the Viking stove to a Blue Star one. But our Viking works really great though it doesn't quite have the BTU power of the Blue Star. When we re-did the kitchen, we changed all the facings on the stove and grates and things like that, which made it look really new. And my husband also bought the Sub-Zero fridge with the glass doors. That was pure indulgence, and the fridge is so heavy that we had to have lolly columns put in the basement to support the weight. The other thing that we did around the sink that I love was to make the window sill out of the same granite of the counter and the sink. Our old window sill was always getting nicked by leaning things against it as they dried. Our granite does not look like granite at all -- in fact, people are always asking what the counter is made of. It was 'flamed and wire brushed,' which raises the nap of the granite and gives it a complete matte finish. It is so easy to take care of and it doesn't show any streaks or anything else at all. We love it.

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              nice floor and sounds like an amazing kitchen! Good idea for the window sill, I am always putting wet things on mine; it's right above the sink, and even though I try to resist so i don't further wreck the paint and wood, it is just such a handy place to put little things. Your granite sounds really nice; I'm no so fond of shiny & polished; I have three children and I don't want to be wiping fingerprints off all day.

                                              1. re: hillsbilly

                                                A house we visited had what looked like marbled turned out to be tumbled granite. And a light color. My opinion is that the granite countertops sometimes visually overwhelm the whole room.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  We have granite on the sink side of the kitchen only, so it's sort of an "L" shape. On the stove side, all the counters and cabinets are stainless, as is the stove. Our kitchen is actually not that large, and we didn't want to combine it with the butler's pantry, so our concept was a ship's galley. On the side with the granite counters, all the cabinets are very simple cherry. In the butler's pantry, the cabinets are also cherry but the top cabinets are glass fronted and the counter is zinc with an integrated zinc sink (zinc sink, zinc sink, say that 10 times fast!). It is going thu it's adolescent phase now, but I am told the zinc gets better and better with time.

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    Your kitchen sounds amazing. I've always thought a butler's pantry was such a practical room. Now if it came with a butler, I'd be all in.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      lol! Yes, all these old houses in our neck of the woods had butler's pantries, and it is actually very handy when entertaining. Since our kitchen is on the small side, we usually have the BP set up for drinks when we have large parties keeping everyone out of the kitchen. It works out really well, particularly since the BP has two doors -- one to the front hall and one to the dining room. One of the things I really love is that we were able to fit a bookcase into the room by narrowing the door to the hall and moving a waste pipe. I love having my cookbooks near at hand. They used to be scattered all over the house and I could never find the one I wanted when I wanted it.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        I'm moving in to your house, okay?!? Setting up drinks, even for small groups, takes up space in the kitchen and causes unwanted traffic.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Anytime! I'm not even living there now, lol! We have two "maid's" rooms and a bath that you can reach via a staircase from the kitchen. One of the rooms is my sewing/craft rooms with a small pull out sofa, the other is an extra guest room. It works really well when we have company since everyone back there can be completely private.

                                                        2. re: roxlet

                                                          Our house (built 1912) also has a butler's pantry. When we redid the kitchen, the designer actually suggested redoing it as a small study area, with a desk. I'm so glad we did not follow her advice. Ours is rather small (maybe 8 ft long) and rather narrow, so although we originally thought it would serve as a bar area when we entertained, typically the bar ends up on the island in the main kitchen area. But the extra cabinetry and counterspace is terrific. For dinner parties, I line up all the clean dishes, serving pieces, and silverware that I will be using throughout the meal in the counters in the BP, so it's out of my way from the kitchen, but easy to get to as we go through the courses. One of the under-counter cabinets is set up as a bar cabinet, with a slide out drawer for tall bottles below, and a shallow slide out drawer above for bar implements (corkscrews, etc.) and short bottles. All of our glassware is in mullioned cabinets above the bar sink. The other below counter cabinets are used for storage of serving pieces, plus one shelf is where I keep rolls of paper towels.

                                                          1. re: masha

                                                            Yes, we love our BP and would never have taken it out. We also have the under counter bar cabinet as well as storage for serving pieces. We have a half refrigerator for beverages and an ice maker that my husband was obsessed with getting. It makes top hat shaped ice cubes that are completely clear. They're really great and we never, ever run out of ice.

                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                  your countertop sounds very interesting - do you have pictures to post? thanks!

                                                  1. re: 1foodie1

                                                    These photos make the counter look much shinier than it is. The finish is matte, but between the flash and the sun (finally sunny today!) the effect is shinier than reality...

                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                My mother has a lower corner cabinet with lazy susan shelves that both swing out and pull out. This gives lots of storage space (she uses it for all her many, many mixing bowls, colanders, etc., plus some pots and pans) that is very accessible.

                                                Other things she put in her kitchen when she redid it that I like: drawers directly under her wall oven that hold cake and baking pans; a narrow lower cabinet with vertical dividers for "filing" things like baking sheets and muffin tins; a wide, shallow drawer next to the stove for storing spices; a wide, shallow, practically floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet with folding doors; a prep sink in an island counter near the stove, with a high, swinging faucet that can be positioned over the counter.

                                                I dream of being able to (re)design my own kitchen someday.

                                              3. REALLY wish we had an undermount sink. So sick of catching crumbs on the lip when wiping counters. Love our deep drawers. First time we've been able to store tupperware without it falling all over the place. Wish we had a pullout pantry.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: mojoeater

                                                  that's where my tupperware is now too. So much better than having it fall on your head from an upper cabinet.

                                                  1. By corner cupboard, are you talking about the bottom cabinets that the have the lazy Susans in them? I have a peninsula off one end of a run of counter. If I didn't have the corner cupboard, that would be either lost or extremely difficult space to access. I have a lot of my pots and pans there.

                                                    Regarding open shelves, just remember they may look a whole lot better in magazines than they do in a real kitchen. All my cabinets are very neat and well organized but I wouldn't want the contents to be visible cause it's just too busy looking. In addition the items on those open shelves are going to get dirtier and dustier.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I absolutely agree with this. No way do I want to worry about how I put stuff away. Plates I can imagine on open shelves; nothing else I have looks well-matched or neat enough for that.

                                                      1. re: DGresh

                                                        I had a weird soffit I wanted to put the fridge partway under, so I built open shelves to one side of it to house my small appliances. Yes, you do have to dust them, but it's vastly better than having to hork 'em out from cabinets. Plus, they look nice (see photo).

                                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                                          Brilliant! Great place for those unwieldy appliances. You did a great job.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            How nice of you to say! Thanks much. The kitchen was an enormous amount of work. I did all of it myself, including building the cabinets from scratch (though I bought the cabinet doors and of course hired a stone company to do the soapstone portion of the counter tops). It was very rewarding -- but this is a whole-house remodel stretching well into its second year. I'm ready to be done with it.

                                                            1. re: dmd_kc

                                                              OMG. You did this? Holy cow. I'm very impressed. Sincerely.

                                                    2. I just finished my remodel, and I'm most pleased with:

                                                      * Half soapstone, half butcher block counter tops. I try to do as much chopping/mixing/hand work as possible on the wood, which is easy on bowls and so forth.

                                                      * Extra-deep under-mount stainless steel sink with double equal bowls. All sorts of people tried to talk me into a single bowl, but I would be lost without two.

                                                      * Cork floor. Soft, forgiving, and very pretty -- not to mention environmentally responsible.

                                                      * Double pullout trash bins on a Rev-A-Shelf cart behind a lower cabinet door. It even does a good job at keeping odors out of the rest of the kitchen most of the time.

                                                      * A big, deep and wide pots/pans drawer just to the left of the stove.

                                                      * A microwave mounted under the counter tops. Had this is my last house, and bending down to program it is a very small price to pay for not having to take up valuable counter space or take boiling liquids out at eye level.

                                                      I didn't do slide-out trays inside the lower cabinets, but I really don't have that many of them anyway.

                                                      Wish list would be a second prep sink, but it wasn't worth giving up the counter space for it.

                                                      So far, I hate none of it.

                                                      38 Replies
                                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                                        Can you fit large roasting pans in one side of your double sink? I love my single, SS for that reason.

                                                        I have my MW/convection on one of those 6' tall shelving units that Costco sells. I have it at about chest level and think it's just great.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          No, the one drawback is that I can't get my two biggest pans all the way into one side of the sink. It's actually in the smallest standard sink cabinet made -- 30 inches -- and would have been extremely difficult to redo.

                                                          All in all, I was happy with my choice, though, because I've used an equal double sink my whole life. I DETEST my mother-in-law's 70/30 split sink (and so does she).

                                                          Chest-height would be great for the microwave too.

                                                          1. re: dmd_kc

                                                            Yeah, I hate that 70/30 split also. I said the other day --- when seeing a historic house that is clearly being redone with NO budget - wouldn't that be fun???

                                                            1. re: dmd_kc

                                                              I've only had the two-sinks-in-the-space-of-one experience once in my life, and I HATED IT. They were the same size, and there was no way my skillets could sit and soak on the floor of either sink prior to my washing them. The best I could do was balance the skillet on the middle part and hope for it not to fall on the floor. I literally cursed whoever had put that ********* sink in.

                                                              What is the purported reason for a double sink? It was of no use to me except as a bit of minor torture with which to end each meal. I can't imagine their original purpose.

                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                Wash in one bowl and rinse in the other?

                                                                1. re: Jen76

                                                                  Honestly, I've never lived anywhere in my 54 years without a double sink. HOW do you rinse your dishes, after you wash them, without just running the rinse water into the hot, soapy washing water, and messing it up (or filling up the sink too high, eventually?)

                                                                  All my life, I've run hot, soapy water in one side; wash. Place washed items in the other side, let a few accumulate....Then rinse them and drain or dry.

                                                                  Either you can't get you dishes fully immersed in good, hot water (you just rub them down with a dish cloth?) or you pile everything on the counter, to return to your one bowl sink, to rinse, later? How do you do it?

                                                                  1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                    I put a plastic dishpan on the right. As I wash, I put those things in/on the other side. As needed, I rinse and put in the dish drainer. I find no disadvantage to doing it that way and then I have the big, deep sink for doing the large items. Win-win for me anyway. PS: I'm 63 :)

                                                                    1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                      Becky, I have a single sink which replaced a double and I love it.

                                                                      Most of the dishes go in the dishwasher anyway. I scrape them, and wash the gunkiest stuff off (my machine is REALLY old & won't clean the really sticky stuff off very well) and put them in the machine. No need to rinse. The stuff that doesn't go in the DW, which isn't very much, I do stack on the side and wash one at a time. I don't fill the sink. I get the item wet, turn off the water, wash the item and then turn the water on to quickly rinse.

                                                                      Unless I had the room for a HUGE double sink (which I don't), I would never go back to a double. I can easily fit almost every pot and pan I own in my sink, which makes it much easier to wash them, as well as fill.

                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                I love my big farmhouse ceramic sink for the same reason. My biggest roasting pan fits down flat. I'd never go back to a double.

                                                                1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                  My last house had a big farmhouse sink that I miss dearly! Whoever invented those split sinks needs to be shot. What a PITA! My new house has a split sink, and I make a watery mess every time I wash a pan. The only reason we haven't replaced it is because we are not staying here, so why spend the extra money. My next house will have the big single sink come hell or high water - or I'll never cook again!

                                                                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                                                    Jennalynn and Jacquelyncoffey - I'm researching farm sinks - I need a new sink and I think that I would love one. Any suggestions for the best depth. I think 8" deep is standard. someone told me I may be able to get 12" - haven't verified that....

                                                                    1. re: Bite Me

                                                                      Mine is 10" deep but I've never needed all the depth; it's the length and width that I prize. Everything, with the exception of a *very* large cutting board, fits flat in this baby. Best sink that I've ever had; lovelovelove it.

                                                                      1. re: Sherri

                                                                        Thank you Sherri. That is very good advice and I can see your point that length and width would be more important. Would you mind telling me the length and width of the sink? The manufacturer?

                                                                        1. re: Bite Me

                                                                          36" X 20" approx, but there is no manufacturer; it's an old French farmhouse sink. The real thing.

                                                                          I'm sure there are available copies, just be certain that the length and width work for your everyday gear as well as your kitchen design. That's the best part of this kind of sink -- everything fits and can be soaked, flat, if necessary.

                                                                      2. re: Bite Me

                                                                        Go as deep as you can... you won't regret it.

                                                                        I went with Fireclay, which is a ceramic product. I just don't like the spots that end up on a stainless sink. I've loved the sink and have dropped things in it numerous times. No chips it's hard as a rock.

                                                                        You can see it in this pic.

                                                                        1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                          Very pretty kitchen!! And I really love your bar stools - I have the same ones in table height chairs. ;)

                                                                          1. re: flourgirl


                                                                            That was the day the contractors left... It's a lot more cluttered now ; )

                                                                        2. re: Bite Me

                                                                          I have two sinks and I wish I would have gotten the sink I wash dishes in a little shallower. My arms are too short and you have to lean a little to wash dishes and it hurts my back. My husband who is taller does not have that problem with the sink. The farmhouse sink is good ergonomically because the sink is closer to you. stand in front of the sink and make sure your hand touch the bottom of the sink.

                                                                  2. re: dmd_kc

                                                                    Our microwave is mounted over the stove and I hate it. I'm short and can't even see if the food is bubbling or not. And getting it out of there is not fun, especially if I've got more cooking on the stove.

                                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                                      Over-the-stove microwaves are, indeed, a horror for us short people. And the one we used to have had an exhaust fan that was intolerably loud even on it's lowest setting. Use a conventional overhead exhaust, I say.

                                                                      A guy I know's got a $100,000 kitchen but has to go outside on his grill to do high-fire work (even with a skillet) because his exhaust is one of those downdraft things (that disappears into the counter when it's not on) from Thermador and it just doesn't get rid of the grease spray and odors the way a conventional 'hood would.

                                                                      1. re: shaogo

                                                                        One of my bugbears with double built-in domestic ovens is that they (all?) are hinged at the bottom. I want one hinged at the side. I see no purpose to a drop-down door except you can bang into it. That is unless it is the bottom door that is open; then you can trip over it. I know this from experience.

                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            Thanks for the link. Do you know of any electric ones?

                                                                            (ps, I'm guessing that unit is a little expensive)

                                                                            1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                              That unit isn't a little expensive. It's a LOT expensive.

                                                                              I don't know of any double-door electric ovens. You can get single-door models from Fagor, GE, and Frigidaire, but they're on the small side (the Fagor is 24", the others are 27").

                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                I don't know whether you can install a Blodgett in a house, but it fits your criteria of double doors.

                                                                                1. re: Sherri

                                                                                  It's not the double doors I want, just side hinged / opening. My vertically challenged partner has a hard time leaning over an hot open door to pull out a hot heavy cast-iron dutch oven.

                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                    But the two things go together unless you can get by with a 27" oven. AFAIK all the wider units either open from the top or have double doors.

                                                                      2. re: dmd_kc

                                                                        dmd_kc: how do you clean a cork floor? i love the idea but in a kitchen it's bound to get dirty. can you just mop it (or wet swiffer?).

                                                                        1. re: bbc

                                                                          You care for it just like hardwoods. They make a special cleaner for it, but damp mopping with vinegar and water is what I do.

                                                                          1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                            I thought, because it's porous, that you have to periodically reseal it. No? What about grease stains?

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              Mine is prefinished with polyurethane, just like hardwoods. It's similar to the stuff they sell at Lumber Liquidators and the big-box stores via special order. I won't say it's impervious to stains, but it's darned close.

                                                                              It's a locking, floating floor that comes in one-by-two-foot planks. It was the best decision I've made, I think.

                                                                              1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                Thanks. I've always liked the idea of the softness but was concerned about greasy stains.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  We love our rubber floor -- it's soft, never a grease stain, and no polyurethane to wear off.

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    How do you clean your rubber floor? I had one years ago & loved it -- except it never really looked great....maybe it was my cleaning technique not that I remember what I did. I also wonder if the newer rubber flooring is improved...

                                                                                    1. re: fauchon

                                                                                      We vacuum, then swiffer. We never have a problem keeping it clean at all.

                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                      I am so glad you mentioned your love for your rubber floor. I am going to explore this option now. Any particular company's product that stands out to anyone?

                                                                                  2. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                    How long for the polyurethane fumes to go away?

                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                      There is no smell. The cork / hardwoods are driy. The only time you smell it is when you are finishing it yourself and the solvent (ie the smell) is evaporating.

                                                                          2. Thank you everyone so much. Ideas i am loving include the rubber floor, and the in-floor drain, the floor to ceiling can-deep pantry shelving, microwave at chest height, and big drawers for pots and pans and tupperware.

                                                                            Thanks for sharing your photos and ideas so far. It's been a big help.

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hillsbilly

                                                                              Re: can-deep pantry shelving - depending on construction materials and methods, these shelves can fit very nicely between wall studs. They allow you to turn the otherwise empty spaces in your hollow interior walls into usable storage.

                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                Oh,man, I got SO excited. I dashed (well, didn't really move that fast) to the kitchen only to discover that I have no space like that available. None. But attached are a couple of photos of my pantry-equivalent. When designing our major house remodel/addition, our architect wasted NO potential storage space. With our budget in tatters, we had decided to wait to put doors on the space but now I wouldn't want the doors. This makes the access much easier and doesn't impede the way doors would. That's my HUGE MW/convection on the middle shelf.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  That reminds me of another thing I like about my kitchen: double ovens, but the lower one's a standard oven with convection, while the upper is a microwave that also has true convection and halogen cooking.

                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                    Well, you know that you were my advisor when I got the MW/convection and the range with induction cooktop and convection oven. It gave me two "real" oven without having to rip out/lose cabinets. Thanks again.

                                                                                      1. re: Island

                                                                                        GE. Nothing special about the bottom one, but I love the microwave / convection / halogen oven on top. I've got this one: http://products.geappliances.com/Appl...

                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                          Ahh the Advantium! I have 2 sister in laws who have that and swear by it. They live elsewhere and I haven't seen it in action, but if I get 220 in my kitchen I'll certainly consider it. They're always cooking for a crowd and don't know how they managed before that. They rarely use their regular oven. Thanks Alan.

                                                                                          1. re: Island

                                                                                            You might want to seriously consider the 110v Advantium over the 220v. It's been five years or so since I bought mine, so things may have changed, but at the time the higher-voltage units were significantly smaller inside and didn't have the convection oven feature.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      c oliver:

                                                                                      You can tell a lot about a person from the way they keep their cabinets/shelves. I gotta tell you that I, personally, could *never* keep all the stuff I see in that photo as neat and clean as you do. I'm a pig no matter what kind of lovely shelves I have, tho.

                                                                                      Say, you wanna come work at our restaurant?

                                                                                      1. re: shaogo

                                                                                        "Will Work for Food."

                                                                                        The organization you see is actually several months old. When I got the new MW/convection, I had to take everything off that shelving unit in order to raise one of the shelves. At that time Costco had a dozen or more plastic shoe boxes for some really cheap price so I got them. I felt like Martha Stewart esp. when I labeled some of them :) I tend towards very messy and wind up with either none of something or a lifetime supply. This has helped hugely. Also we do house exchanges and I always feel guilty if I leave it my usual mess. You should see the dining table though :) We don't have lastminute dinner parties.

                                                                                2. We built a new house and didn't have much of and option when it came to the cooktop/microwave combo... that is the part I hate. The cooktop is 30" and we even replaced it with a better-designed 30" cooktop... it's just not enough space and the knobs are a real pain. 30" ranges and rangetops work because the knobs are out of the way.

                                                                                  Love: double ovens, granite counters, large and deep undermount sink.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: tzakiel

                                                                                    If you built the house, why didn't you have an option? That would seem to be one of the things about building a house!

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      No. Not unless you build a custom house. This was a big builder's design. The choices were 30" cooktop or 30" range. I chose the cooktop becuase we already had double ovens going in. Cooktops are lame, I have discovered. Ranges are fine, rangetops are fine. Cooktops are not fine.

                                                                                      1. re: tzakiel

                                                                                        I sincerely don't know what a "rangetop" is. If it's not a range and it's not a cooktop,what is it? Followup question: what's lame about it? BTW, I recently bought a new range that has an induction cooktop and convection oven. Love it. Oh, yeah,and it's 30"

                                                                                  2. I rebuilt my kitchen from scratch, right down (and up) to the studs and joists. This kitchen was designed for our lifestyles, which involves many guests eating at our place. So my first decision was how to make the kitchen part of the living space. This involved ripping out a wall to the adjoining family room. The 8x3 island unit became the focal point, but instead of the traditional sink I put the 6 burner gas top in the centre embedded in granite. I also moved a few doors so as not to have any corner cupboards. I used tall(er) upper cupboards that go all the way to the ceiling. I never liked that dark space above cupboards that become home for unused baking trays and dead flies. All-in-all, it has been very successful. So here is my list of what I though was important AND worked out well.

                                                                                    1) Walkout to the deck from the cooking area with a BBQ running on natural gas from 2 supply points. In Winter I can have the BBQ right by the glass patio door so I can BBQ without even leaving the kitchen

                                                                                    2) The design allows people to congregate without interfering with the four main work areas ... the sink, the oven and two separate work surfaces at the ends. This allows my partner and I to prep at the same time, or get to the sink. The fridge is accessible by people for wine / beer without encroaching on the work area. The oven can get in the way, but it is far less used then the other area.

                                                                                    3) Separate cooktop and ovens. I want glass-fronted eye-level ovens. I do not like cooking on a range with the oven on. Too much heat just in front of me. It is also a problem when there are two cooks in same household. The six burner cooktop allows two people to cook at the same time. And all the pots and pans (well, a lot of them) fit under the burners.

                                                                                    4) A 15 inch appliance counter with cupboards underneath. These are glass-fronted doors to break the monotony.

                                                                                    5) Lots and lots of receptacles. 14 doubles. This is not so I can use lots of devices, but so that I can use a small appliance anywhere. The ice-cream maker can churn happily in an out-of-the-way corner. Receptacles are not required by code on an island unit. Make sure they are there.

                                                                                    6) Speckled granite floor that does not show dirt, dust, flour. It has the disadvantage that if your drop something it can be hard to find. I laid the tiles at a 30 degree bias to break up the monotony of everything being at right angles. This includes the 'interface' between the kitchen and the den. Helped them become part of the same space. It also makes them easier to wash.

                                                                                    7) Put the floor cupboards on stainless steel legs. The tiles run under the cupboards so the kitchen is tiled from wall to wall. This 6 inch space somehow makes the room look more open than having kickboards running round the units. It also means it is far easier to remodel the kitchen at a later date. All pipes, wiring, cables etc are run in the wall for the same reason. The final reason for legs is that if water is frequently spilt on the floor (eg by the sink) there is no chipboard there to soak it up and slowly disintegrate. A Roomba can get right underneath. If I had cats they would find a refuge there.

                                                                                    8) A master light switch which overrides all the others in the two rooms, so you can switch off one light and go to bed.

                                                                                    9) Under-cupboard lights.

                                                                                    10) Stools on the other side of the island unit. Your guests can sit, nibble and drink while you do your stuff.

                                                                                    11) A special work-surface / table where the laptop, telephone and ipod dock goes. Also a place to recharge cell-phones.

                                                                                    12) A gas fire in the den. Makes it more homely. (In the UK sense rather than the American one).

                                                                                    13) Cupboards in the den that are actually my pantry.

                                                                                    14) Two sets of ceiling lights in the kitchen so I can have vary the lighting according to mood. (eg, cooking, eating, preparing tomato sauce.)

                                                                                    15) The hi-fi and TV in the den are visible from the cooking / prep areas. I use a Logitech Harmony remote that replaces all the others and allows me press a single button that switches on the hi-fi, the cable box, the TV, tunes the TV to the cable, sets the hi-fi to video-in and gives volume control to the hi-fi. (Or with one press go to radio, DVD, computer game etc)

                                                                                    16) Goose-neck faucet. Once you have had one of those you realise why restaurants use them.

                                                                                    17) A stainless-steel rack above the double sink on which things can drain and dry. This is a godsend and will be used twenty times a day on average.

                                                                                    18) A double pull-out garbage unit under the sink which has pails with handles. One of these is used for compost scraps. But if you are doing a lot of veg prep then it can go on the counter, or stuff can be swept off the counter / cutting board directly into the garbage pail. Then the pail goes back under the sink as the guests arrive.

                                                                                    19) Separate counter-depth fridge and freezers. I dislike the American-size fridges that stick out an additional 6 inches into the room. They always look like an afterthought rather than part of the plan.

                                                                                    20) Cups, plates, cutlery and implement storage right by the dishwasher.

                                                                                    21) I built the walls and door spaces so that standard cupboard sizes fitted exactly. So no custom size units of odd little gaps.

                                                                                    22) Pull out drawers

                                                                                    23) Filter water unit plumbed into the mains, including a pressure tank. All the gubbins associated with it are not under the sink but are fed through from the basement.

                                                                                    24) A designer junk drawer that has compartments for pens, elastic bands, clips, notebook and address book, tape etc.

                                                                                    25) Horizontal SS handles on lower cupboards that do dual duty as tea-towel racks.

                                                                                    Now the things in hindsight that I got wrong....

                                                                                    1) Didn't put the under-cupboard lights on the master switch.
                                                                                    2) My island unit overhangs at the back - which is good. I should have made it overhang on one side as well.
                                                                                    3) I had the wrong combination of glass and wood paneled doors. However, as I bought my cupboards from a box store I could buy additional shelves and doors without a problem.
                                                                                    4) The ceramic sink can chip. It has, but I am still happy with it. If necessary I can replace it for $300.
                                                                                    5) I should have put a floor-based central vac thingy inlet. Sort of like this http://domestikgoddess.com/sneaky-tri... I may retrofit it with one of these.. http://www.centralvacuumstores.com/cv...
                                                                                    6) Should have included a pull-out pantry unit.
                                                                                    7) My 6 ring gas burner has all the small burners at the rear. This is a horrible mistake.
                                                                                    8) The hot-water run is too long. Should have moved the furnace.
                                                                                    9) Should have run speaker cables outside while doing the reno.
                                                                                    10) Put a light-switch in a non-intuitive place.

                                                                                    Finally, I spent many years as a systems designer, trying to make things intuitive. You can always tell if you have it right. How far do you have to walk of make a cup of tea or coffee? If a 'stranger' to your kitchen needs a plate or a glass can they find it? Do you have things you haven't used for 6 months close at hand? (This includes your gadget drawer). Even worse, do you have something (portable) on your counter you haven't used for a month? Are your outlets always in the right place or do you have any of those plug-in six-way adapters? (North American will know what I mean by that). How long does it take to empty the dishwasher? Do people come in and say "Wow, I wish I had this kitchen."? Are your plastic bags bursting out of a drawer. If the dishwasher / fridge door is open does it interfere with some other activity?

                                                                                    Finally, is there something that really annoys you every time you use it? It is difficult to design a new kitchen without creating at least one of these.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                      Re: No. 8: just insulate that pipe really, really good and that waiting time'll go away...

                                                                                      1. re: shaogo

                                                                                        I just used the standard three-quarter foam. I put in a Rinnai instantaneous water heater in the process.

                                                                                        The plumbing is a whole new area. It's a 200,000 BTU unit and I made sure it had a 3/4 feed to every branch point. This means that someone can take a shower while the dishwasher and kitchen taps are running. This disadvantage of the 3/4 feed is that the is more water to pass through the tap before it gets hot. In hindsight I should have fed a 1/2" directly to the kitchen sink from the heater.

                                                                                        Edit: Looks like I ran off at the mouth in my previous post.

                                                                                      2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                        Paul, that sounds amazing. Thanks for all the tiny details as well as the big uns. Maybe you could attach some photos?

                                                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                          Oh - receptacles! Yes! I have woefully barely enough however I did have electrical outlets put in outside so I can cook out there and they're used a lot, especially in the summer.

                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                            Gooseneck faucet - I finally got one and love it very much. I'm still reading thru your post Paul so I might comment in agreement or jealousy, et.

                                                                                          2. I would love to adjust the layout of my kitchen so that the dish sink isn't in the food prep and cook triangle. This would necessitate a prep sink, preferably on the island, so new plumbing. But, it would make our shared household tasks arrangement much safer. I am constantly afraid I will burn or cut myself or anyone else in the kitchen the way it's currently set up. I love that I don't have to do dishes all the time, but I hate that there is someone else in my space doing them while I'm trying to cook, a constant test of my patience, and sometimes downright scary.

                                                                                            I would love those pull out pantry shelves, but it would take some major adjustment to this 50's era kitchen to fit into the layout.

                                                                                            I would love to knock out the wall between the kitchen and living room, both to facilitate conversation and add the view through the tall windows in the LR for the person working at the island. I would love to hang many of my pots and pans a la Julia Child's kitchen, if I cannot get rid of that aforementioned wall.

                                                                                            I need to replace the stovetop, but doubt I can afford it this year. One of the burners inexplicably and unpredictably goes blazing hot from time to time. If anyone knows what's up with that, I would love the info on a DIY project. It would be great if that's repairable...but I'm pretty ignorant on electrical repairs.

                                                                                            I do love that my current kitchen is about three times larger than my last one, which had only one counter about 18 inches wide and 24 deep. The oven was so small it wouldn't accommodate a cookie sheet and ran about 100 degrees hot. So, no temp lower than 325, basically. The fridge froze anything on the bottom shelf or in the produce drawers, no matter adjusting the settings, so a third of it was useless space. My landlord refused to repair or replace anything but a broken furnace or water heater. It was, in short, ridiculous. Cheap and ridiculous. I stayed far too long at four years, but it did enable me to save a lot of money to move here. I'm ever so much happier, even with the current 50's era kitchen needing a remodel. The appliances are much newer than that, thankfully.

                                                                                            1. Grievances as a renter:

                                                                                              - Kitchen does not have any access to windows
                                                                                              - Microwave over ELECTRIC oven
                                                                                              - ELECTRIC oven
                                                                                              - Standard Refrigerator
                                                                                              - Pantry shares wall with W/D room
                                                                                              - Limited counter space (especially by ELECTRIC oven)
                                                                                              - Oven and refrigerator are too close.

                                                                                              To date, I have not had one kitchen I really liked. Once I am able to purchase a home, the indoor AND outdoor kitchen will be a major priority I focus on. .

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  what on earth is the matter with an electric oven?

                                                                                                  I can see complaining about an electric cooktop (though my MIL and mother both were amazing cooks using those, so I think it can be overblown), but an *oven*?

                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                    Actually, you're right. I wrote (and read) "oven" but I thought cooktop all the while I was doing it! I wonder if that's what cityhopper meant...

                                                                                              1. My slightly obnoxious comment about the mouse in our kitchen seems to have been deleted, so I'm going to try again and be a little more helpful.

                                                                                                In building the kitchen, take extra care to fill the holes and spaces around all the appliance/water pipes. It would also be prudent to have a design that allows easy access behind them, both for repair and cleaning purposes.

                                                                                                Spices and oils should be kept in the dark.

                                                                                                Segregate some of your pantry so that if you do get an infestation of either moths, ants, rodents, etc, you are able to segregate the damage. For example, do not store food on the ground. Maybe keep the flour and sugar away from the cereal. Have tight-fitting containers. I saw once someone kept their flour on a floating shelf 5 feet off the ground, and I thought, "Take that, Mickey." Of course, mice are clever creatures so who can say.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: E_M

                                                                                                  thank you E_M, glad you reposted (they've 'edited' me before too :P we're so subversive!), good ideas since I have had problems with both moths/weevils and rats in previous houses.

                                                                                                  At my last house, in the inner city, a rat stole a WHOLE LOAF OF BREAD. I had left it on the kitchen table and In the morning the loaf had disappeared, I had no idea what had happened. Later while sweeping I found the end of the bread bag hanging out of a hole about the size of a golf ball. The little shirt must have pulled the whole bag down off the table, across the floor and ...I don't know, rolled each slice to fit through the hole?!

                                                                                                  Anyway, totally gross. Totally going to seal everything now that you have reminded me. We live near bushland. Lots of critters.

                                                                                                  And for anyone who is having problems with moths in their food, I read that often eggs are already in your flour etc when you buy it but two weeks in the freezer will kill them at all stages of their lifecycle. I have a giant freezer so I just store all my flours and grainy things in there anyway.

                                                                                                2. My kitchen is woefully inadequate (three upper small cabinets, three lower, 1940's pine) with about 4 feet of laminate counters...and the refrigerator door knocks the cook into the stove, when opened. And the damned fools who lived here before us carpeted it!

                                                                                                  So, I guess I hate all of it that came with the house. I love almost everything I've added (my 40's and 50's posters, kitchen doodads, my bright yellow chrome/formica dinette set, my all-clad and le creuset, etc. etc.)....but as to the actually kitchen, I just dream about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and the day I can gut it.

                                                                                                  Okay, I thought of one thing: the window over the sink looks out on my flower beds, the white birch currently filled with goldfinches, past the 50 foot Norway spruces, and off, off, off across the Iowa countryside.

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Prairie Gal

                                                                                                    View from the window: priceless. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: Prairie Gal

                                                                                                        PG, sounds like my kitchen. Birch plywood cabinets and RED carpeting. I can't wait to rip it out net summer. From our window the mountain laurel is now in bloom, We look up through spruce-birch-pine forest to the the pond and the deer, foxes, eagles and bob cat. The bear cleans my BBQ smoker for me.

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                          I live in NJ, and I can see deer, foxes, eagles, hawks and the occasional coyote through my kitchen window. No bear here - yet. Plenty of them in jersey, just none in our neighborhood so far.

                                                                                                          1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                            I know bears are a problem in Sayreville. My mom had the tiniest of kitchens, but produced sooo much good food. My buddy bags more deer in Sayreville than I do in Maine.

                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                              LOL - we regularly have a herd of deer romping through our back yard. At certain times of the year there can be 20 or more deer out there.

                                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                email me if you wish, so we can discuss the wilds of NJ further.

                                                                                                      2. If I had to change one thing in my kitchen, it would be to improve ventilation. I have a down draft model, and unfortunately, I am one of those cooks who, in a single week, will use a cast iron grill, a wok and do some deep frying stove top. For some reason, I am always making food that needs the most ventilation. I dream of doing a minor remodel to install an overhead model strong enough to be a threat to our small dogs, but I like the clear line of sight without a hood (center island cooktop), so I haven't done it. I need to run the ventilation fan in the adjacent laundry room and sometimes open doors and turn on ceiling fans. These down draft thingies were made for people who reheat most of their food in the microwave, or at least this is my theory.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                          Lol! We got one of those models with a billion cfms and the guy who installed it said we needed a lead collar for the dog. Seriously though, we have to make sure the door to the basement is closed before we crank it up since it will blow out the pilot light on the water heater if we're not careful!

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            There is another problem. Furnaces have a sensor to detect back-draught so that combustion gases are not drawn into the house. A high cfm fan can pull air through the chimney triggering the sensor. The sensor can be three in one of three ways.
                                                                                                            1) The electronics reset the sensor after a period of time
                                                                                                            2) You have to manually reset the switch
                                                                                                            3) You power the furnace on and off.

                                                                                                            1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                              We just never power it up to full force. We don't need to -- it does such a great job at half power, and rarely do we turn it above that. My sister was appalled when she came for Thanksgiving because she said it didn't smell like anything was cooking...

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                How did I manage to spell 'reset' as 'three' ??

                                                                                                                I'm losing it.

                                                                                                              1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                                My DH is a fiend when it comes to having the hood on when the stove is lit. It's his thing.

                                                                                                          2. We bought a house 3 years ago with a relatively updated kitchen. The previous owners renovated it and there are things that I love and things that I hate....

                                                                                                            -- Very large kitchen/family room area with large island. Great for entertaining.
                                                                                                            -- Double wall oven (electric, which is good, but still haven't figure out if I can really broil anything in there)
                                                                                                            -- Cooktop next to oven, directly across from sink (which is in the island)
                                                                                                            -- 2 large drawers under cooktop, where all pots and pans are stored.
                                                                                                            -- One side of the cabinet above double wall oven (goes from top of oven to ceiling) has about 6 vertical slats creating ideal space for large serving trays and the oversize flat pieces that I could never seem to find a place for in my previous kitchen. I HIGHLY recommend this in one cabinet.
                                                                                                            -- Pull out drawer shelves (bottom cabinet) where I store tupperware.

                                                                                                            -- Electric cooktop (no gas in our area unless we want to convert to propane)
                                                                                                            -- Sink: current one is way too small. I like a single bowl, but next one will be a LARGE single bowl sink
                                                                                                            -- Don't really hate this, but could certainly use improved ventilation hood.

                                                                                                            1. I remodeled my kitchen.
                                                                                                              The Good:
                                                                                                              1)The counter space between the stove and the sink is 4 ft. The counter is completely empty. All the appliances are on other counters. The dishwasher and a pull out trash can are in this space as well. When it's time to cook I can bring any appliances I need (blender, mixer, etc) and ingredients, then I NEVER HAVE TO MOVE. I've been in extremely large kitchens that actually aren't conducive to cooking.
                                                                                                              2)I love my bottom freezer refrigerator. However a friend loved hers then moved and grumbled about her new one. Discovered that she now has a Cabinet Depth fridge. I had my cabinets built out to accommodate a large deep fridge. You won't be happy with a shallow fridge.
                                                                                                              The bad:
                                                                                                              1)I hate my fan. The day he installed it the contractor informed me that legally it had to be a certain height above the stove. But the manual said it would only work within a certain range and the legal limit was out of that range. So now I have this powerful fan that is simply too high to be effective.
                                                                                                              2)Immediately after the remodel my husband bought a $2000 espresso maker. After my heart attack, he informed me (he swears he was joking) that the best place for it was in my 4 ft. cooking area. I spent 20 years in prison for murder...kidding kidding. He put the espresso maker on the other side of the sink because you really need a sink for high end coffee making. If I remodeled again I actually would have a coffee and/or bar area with its own dedicated sink.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: blackpippi

                                                                                                                If you're going to drop that much for a coffee maker, consider doing what the pros do and spending a few more bucks to have a (filtered) cold-water line plumbed to the machine. You only have to blow up the boiler on one Pavoni to understand the value of making sure it never runs dry.

                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                  Well, as you can imagine this is one reason I was so mad at my husband. He waited one month after a complete down to the studs kitchen remodel to mention that he was going to buy what amounts to a major kitchen appliance. Oh, well. What could have been...

                                                                                                              2. I keep all my spices in a pull out drawer near the stove (Thanks to Lowe's) and they're in alphabetical order (Thanks to my sis). I truly love that.

                                                                                                                I second the no corner cupboards - that is where the rarely used appliances go and it's a bi*ch to get them out.

                                                                                                                I like my slate floors and a rug on it between the sink and DW.

                                                                                                                Oh! - a truly excellent fan over the stove would be great and better lighting. I've finally gotten task lighting over the stove and counter tops.

                                                                                                                I like having a really good ceiling fan and an easy switch station for music.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                  Re spices, ya hear how they should be kept in a cool, dark place and yet so many people have that drawer by the stove. I've always wondered about that.

                                                                                                                  A pot filler.

                                                                                                                  Dimmer switch on the overhead lighting. Kitchen is connected to dining area so I like being able to dim when we're eating. (I have dimmer switches in the bathrooms too.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    That's one of the reasons I put in two different sets of lights in the ceiling. The first are large fluorescent pots. These cannot be dimmed. The others can be.

                                                                                                                2. I love - love - love my oven. Before moving into my home I lived in an apartment with an oven that never cooked my food properly and a stove that had - like - not gradiations. The flame was either too low or too high. I was physically incapable of making tomato sauce - it either burnt or just never cooked. My oven in my kitchen now has the 'true temp' and the flames are beautifully adjustable!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                                                                                                    In my old apartment, I used to say that the oven had two temperatures -- high and off. But the burners on that old stove had no controls either and they could really blast a high flame. It was great for wok cooking, I have to say!

                                                                                                                  2. I highly reccomend this book for anyone designing a kitchen. It really made me think about how I use my kitchen.

                                                                                                                    I was lucky to tear my kitchen to the studs and add on a room for eating. I had a great carpenter who listened and worked out everything I asked and my son is a plumber, so I saved quite a bit of money. This was a project we did for our 25th anniversary.

                                                                                                                    I divided the kitchen in half. On one side of the island is prep and cooking. All the cooking /baking pans, knives, utensils are on this side. Also a sink for prep work. The other side is dishes coming back for clean up. The dishwasher and cabinet for dishes is on that side as well a s a sink for washing dishes.

                                                                                                                    The microwave is by the refrigerator because it is mostly used to reheat it is just out of the immediate cooking area. I don't cook with it so it is on a shelf and easily replaceable. I have some paper plate. in the drawer below. The kids can come in and fix without getting in my way.

                                                                                                                    I have no blind corners in any of my cabinets.

                                                                                                                    I used all drawers in the lower cabinets except one side of the island facing the range. They are just deep enough to hold stockpots, the mixer etc and the top shelf has dividers to hold baking pans sideways.

                                                                                                                    I made the counter top on the back bank of cabinets extra deep so I can leave out the mixer and food processor and still have 24 inches deep of workspace. The upper cabin is also a little deeper and I am going to put in magnetic stick on sheeting and put spices in tins on the doors.

                                                                                                                    I made room for a 36 inch 6 burner range and a wall oven. We regularly cook for 30-35 people.

                                                                                                                    I used plugmold under the cabinets. I like it ok except you have to lean a little to plug something in.

                                                                                                                    I used air switches on the garbage disposal.

                                                                                                                    We have a plug in the drawer under the coffee maker. I keep the coffee grinder plugged in and the coffee in that drawer.

                                                                                                                    I have a whole set of china stacked in a drawer.

                                                                                                                    I put soapstone on the peripheral counters- the advantages of marble for candy making, and silestone on the island.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: wekick

                                                                                                                      Sounds great, any pictures to share?

                                                                                                                      1. re: Island

                                                                                                                        We are out of town at present I'll try to post some when we get back in a few days.

                                                                                                                      2. re: wekick

                                                                                                                        Thanks wekick, lots of great ideas to think about.
                                                                                                                        And yes, I'd like pictures too.

                                                                                                                      3. I bake more than I cook, but in general the thing I hate about my current kitchen..

                                                                                                                        1. A drawer that doesn't pull out all the way because it hits the oven door
                                                                                                                        2. A drawer that rubs against the front of draw in 1 because it was put in too close together
                                                                                                                        3. The oven itself has no light inside and the door has no window..

                                                                                                                        This is a rented townhouse but still... modern times people.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                          I had an oven with no window in the door and no light inside for 5 years. Now I've had both for one year, an in a wall oven, and I can;t imagine going back. It has been wonderful.

                                                                                                                        2. I love the oven (commercial Garland range from the 60s with two ovens, six burners, griddle and salamander). I wish I had a larger fridge. The fridge is nestled in between cabinets so the spot wouldnt accomodate a larger one. I wish the kitchen faucet moved or swiveled.
                                                                                                                          This would never happen but I would love a comfy chair to relax and read a book while things simmer.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                            I've made room for a comfy chair
                                                                                                                            : )

                                                                                                                          2. Probably too late for the original poster but remember the tendency of items on open shelves to collect dust. I have open shelving and cookware hanging on walls out of necessity and, while it looks really impressive, it's a constant struggle to keep everything clean (especially with cats in the house).

                                                                                                                            1. No corner sink! It looks great but my back hurts like a mofo when I handwash a lot of dishes.

                                                                                                                              Also, be mindful of the height of the upper cabinets/shelves - mine look great proportion-wise but are so tall that I have to use a stepstool to reach the second and third shelves. Awkward.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: kathleen440

                                                                                                                                +1 re corner sink. I had one. Great view out the windows but really uncomfortable.

                                                                                                                              2. Ironically, I love AND hate the very same thing - My walk in pantry.

                                                                                                                                For the first time in my life, I have a walk in pantry and I have filled it with the necessities and the niceties.

                                                                                                                                BUT, it is also the barrier between my kitchen and my living area, and as much time as I spend in the kitchen, my dream is to knock it out and open up the area. I would like to replace it with an island.

                                                                                                                                It's a little frustrating, though...

                                                                                                                                1. Love my Bosch dishwasher. Love the smooth top stove with warming drawer; I preheat plates regularly. The top cleans easily with Softscrub. I hate the 70/30 sink my S.O. insisted upon. The disposal is on the tiny side of the sink. I would love a single farmhouse sink in its place.

                                                                                                                                  1. lots of input here, all valid.
                                                                                                                                    I for sure regret the high microwave.
                                                                                                                                    I am tall.
                                                                                                                                    Yet, it is just not my thing to have the microwave above counter-height.
                                                                                                                                    in fact, I regret this entire new expensive kitchen.
                                                                                                                                    It is way bigger and so I just can't get the "flow" that I had in my one-person kitchen. I never thought I would say that.

                                                                                                                                    I LIKE my view. wow. ocean and mountains. It is the view from my kitchen sink. Tho i enjoy it mostly as I shove EVERYTHING in the dishwasher

                                                                                                                                    I like my raised bar (we have open plan house) - between kitchen counters and dining area. I know it's maybe not "current" style - but who cares, it hides the clutter and makes a great family-style self-serve platform for the often large gatherings we have here.

                                                                                                                                    cabinets - I used to have some sort of beautiful solid oak, stained dark - well, OK, they were just out of style. So I changed to a more beautiful beach coastal off-white (bisque?) -- well, I never knew how much dirt there really is in a kitchen til i worked with these light white cabinets!

                                                                                                                                    plus - the other thing that woke me up is the quality of things these days. It just isn't there.

                                                                                                                                    my other advice is have less stuff. I just got rid of the crock pot. I won't give up the food processor tho. What else? All the pans? I'm working on it.

                                                                                                                                    if i could have the perfect kitchen, it would be my outdoor kitchen at my cottage. Fantastic. These big kitchens these days that one sees in magazines, well, maybe it works for some, but it didn't for me.

                                                                                                                                    oh - i like my bookshelf in my kitchen. It is below counter height, at the end of the peninsula. It is visible only from the kitchen entrance, not from the rest of the house, so it works. I have maybe 50 cookbooks etc. Maybe about 75 inches of linear bookshelf space.

                                                                                                                                    I like that all my food is in ONE PLACE. Even the spices, salts, vinegars, etc. I hate having to search thru various cupboards, and as mentioned above, I have considerably downsized my food collection.

                                                                                                                                    in fact, I am now in habit of felt-marker dating all my food that comes in the house (not the meat or veg or dairy) but all the canned and pkg items. It is a good lesson.

                                                                                                                                    I like how close my kitchen is to the entertaining patio outdoors. Plus, we have a guest in/out re: the same patio - so it's not like I have people tramping thru my work zone.

                                                                                                                                    i like that gas bbq is just out my kitchen door (the service entrance) as we often cook outside but eat indoors in this part of north america (pac nw)