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What do you HATE about your kitchen?

Last September I moved into a new apartment, and I find cooking a little less pleasurable every day. I live with 4 non-foodies and, despite being awesome people, they only make it worse.

- No oven (!!!)

- Gas burners are super old and uneven, more like four little bonfires. The knobs are also SUPER sensitive at certain regions.

- Only a 2ft X 1ft area of usable counter space. Part of this area is filled with sawdust spices from the roommates (dried parsley flakes, powdered 'bouquet garni', etc), and a large, cheap drip coffee maker.

- Tiny sink. When I wash dishes (3-5 times a day) the water gets everywhere. It spreads all over the strangely angled counter and onto the floor. My kitchen feels disgusting because it is always so wet with dishwater, it feels like a bathroom at a club.

- It is always freezing cold. These old buildings in Spain are designed to maintain the cold to combat the heat during the day. So when it gets kind of cold during winter (10 C / 50 F) it feels ten degrees colder inside than out. There is no heating nor air conditioning. I want to wear a sweater when doing prep work but the sleeves get in the way.

- It never stays clean. With five people living here, and in a country where you have to walk everywhere, the floor is always filthy. The three girls leave hair and cigarette ash on the table. This all normally wouldn't bother me so much but in combination with everything else it's annoying.

- We have to divide up the refrigerator into fifths.

- My roommates have apparently never cleaned a dish before because there is always food left on them.

- We only have a few cheap non-stick pots and pans. I can't hold it against them, but since the other 4 roommates are here as exchange students from other parts of Europe, their money is tight. I can't justify buying a 50 euro pan either because I'll be leaving in July. I can't get a fond on meat to save my life, and sauces never come out right.

What about your kitchen? And what are you going to do / have you done about it?

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  1. Fortunately I love almost everything about my kitchen - it is large, functional, has a huge island, lots of storage, a large pantry and loads of room for my KA stand mixer. However, the one thing I hate is that one of the windows is literally 12 feet from my neighbour's kitchen window! When doing dishes, do you look at each other and wave? Pretend you don't see one another?

    What are we going to do about it? We will be moving to our lovely stone house in Istria where all you see is trees, vineyards and more trees and hear birds chatting. No other person even remotely in sight.

    1. Not enough counter space and the lack of a proper ventilation hood over the stove.
      I dont need much to cook properly, but when the fish hits the pan you know it throughout the house!
      Amd My wife picked these lights that hang too low over the sink. I hit my head every time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdamD

        I will agree with you on lack of a proper ventilation hood. My parents moved into their second home 7 years ago, and the new(er) house has a ventilation hood that leads to the outside. It's loud, but sucks up most of the smell to the outside.

        My dream home would have this feature.

      2. The black top on my gas stove.....such a pain to keep clean. Have to wipe it to remove crumbs, splatters, the spray with windex, then wipe again, and finally polish.

        16 Replies
        1. re: SSMDelta

          +1 on the black top! My first time having a black range at home and it is a beast to keep presentable.
          Even after I wipe it down with soapy water it will look smeary. I've had to embrace counter top cleanser and polishing.
          Glad it's a rental. If I ever buy the place and have to replace the range, I will not be getting a black one.

          1. re: rabaja

            I just got a GE Profile ceramic black-top electric range and at first I was horrified at how much grease splatter it showed while cooking. It's been a couple of months now and I've calmed down about it and now it's just part of the evening cleanup: I go over it with a sponge and soapy water and then I use a ceramic cook top cleaner on it. It really doesn't take me that much more time and it always looks bright and shiny.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              I DETEST THE GLASS BLACK COOKTOP HERE; I AM PLANNING ON LAUNCHING IT INTO A FIELD WHEN I DO THE REMODEL NEXT MONTH!!! When I am stiring something in a pot it is all over the place, and the splatter clean up SUCKS! It shows everything, and the black counter tops are just as BAD.

                1. re: weewah

                  I am counting the days to launching, there may be pictures!

                2. re: JEN10

                  How many burners does it have? I may just be there to catch it after tossed....:))
                  I completely know what you mean.
                  Our son has the most gorgeous black diamond countertop area in his monstrous kitchen. When I first saw I thought how lovely. But guess who cooks when I'm there?
                  They have two cats. FenderBender and HobyCat love the countertops. I'm usually doing something on the Island and when I do it always needs to be cleaned of course.
                  The effort of continuing to swipe it down with whatever they use to take water spots off and leave a clean clear coat over it, is too much work for me to have in my home.

                  Another dislike I remembered in my kitchen, and I have the best kitchen so really shouldn't complain, is the stovetop I chose. Kitchen Aid 6 burner. Had a choice of stainless steel, white or black. All appliances in kitchen are white so I chose white, duh. That's fine although I hate cleaning the thing but mostly I hate those really fat heavy grids that are light gray. Who knew that'd be such a problem? The oil/fat/grease sticks on there like glue and just try to get it off. Some of it is so baked on by now, having not caught it in time, I wish there was an appliance spray that would hold up to 6 different levels of burner power and not peel off. I'd paint it black, flat black at that.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Have you tried putting the grids in the dishwasher on the I CAN"T GET THIS
                    %#$@ OFF CYCLE? It may loosen things up a bit and help break down some of that cooked on stuff.

                    1. re: JEN10

                      well my thing is if I can't get it off with oven cleaner in the front yard with a pressure washer and brillo pad, the dishwasher prob wouldn't help much

                  2. re: JEN10

                    Finished the kitchen, finally posting pictures. The new range is a blessing compared to the glass cooktop. I am once again enjoying cooking!!!

                        1. re: JEN10

                          I love your island, Jen10. It is beautiful and looks incredibly functional. No wonder you enjoy cooking!

                          1. re: jlhinwa

                            This kitchen went from dysfunctional to WOW! I took out a small walk in pantry and a closet accesed from the hall to make room for a larger island. It really is a blessing to be able to have such a wonderful space. The island is rustic cherry, a great place to do all the prep work.

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        I found that after cleaning the top of my black stove, I wet a towel, throw it in the microwave to get it warm/hot, and wipe the top down. Leaves it streak free...

                        1. re: VeggieHead

                          This thing is not even worth the effort. Though I do appreciate the tip.

                    1. re: SSMDelta

                      Co-sign! I love the look of my stove, love the functionality of the center burner & cast iron griddle or grate option. But HATE that black & stainless combo.

                    2. Afilador, this is not really "your" kitchen! You are leaving in 6 months! If you bought yourself a good pan you could certainly take it with you. Could you put up a simple sturdy shelf to get the spices off the counter space? If you get a Dutch oven (take it with you in July) you could approximate some oven dishes.

                      I'm in Utah with a decent kitchen, but I want one or two of those solar tubes (to illuminate the decency!)
                      Still researching these, afraid they'll leak, but hope to do this in the spring.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: blue room

                        No, I mean I'm leaving the country in July. I can't sacrifice much more bag space, mailing overseas is pricy, and there is nothing here I couldn't get in the States, so I will just have to wait.

                        1. re: Afilador

                          I've lived abroad a couple times in North Africa, and each time I go I buy proper pots and kitchen utensils, knowing I'll be able to find an incoming expat in need of some. Are there any message boards for foreigners living in your city in Spain? I always find the message boards an excellent place to sell off kitchen utensils (as well as Egyptian appliances, etc) to recoup at least half of my costs.

                      2. I know you're not asking for advice, but could you ask the girls to not comb their hair in the kitchen? That is seriously nasty! Hair in food, or the possibililty of hair in food is one of my peeves.

                        As for my own kitchen, I wish I had a serious vent. I have a dual fuel range/oven with a downdraft. It does a great job cooking, but it just doesn't....suck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Isolda

                          The vent is my issue too; the fire alarm is always going off. I can't complain too much about my kitchen, besides the lack of counter space. There's not much room, especially with my KitchenAid Mixer and drip coffee maker. But it is cheerful and relatively well equipped.

                          If I could change anything, I'd want a window. I can't grow anything in my kitchen! A dishwasher and garbage disposal would be nice, but I'm fine without them.

                        2. We hate our kitchen and have done nothing about it. When we bought this house, it started raining in our kitchen about a year later to find out the inspector missed some serious leaks. Caused $$$$$ damage and now paint is chipped and wall needs to be ripped out due to water damage and electrical probably needs to be redone. It has great space but does not look pretty. Would love to tear it all out including the wall but that will have to wait as we were not expecting this at all when we bought. Lesson.......get a plumber, roofer and electrician and screw the inspector when buying a house.

                          1. I just bought my house 6 months ago. I knew when I bought it that the kitchen would have to be a total gut job (for reasons known only to them, the previous owners updated and upgraded everything in the house BUT the kitchen).

                            Fortunately, for the most part it's just cosmetic--there are plenty of cheap cabinets, outdated appliances and ugly counterspace. But the range is for some reason located next to the wall, so any pots on the right burners have to have the handles over the stove--very inconvenient when pans are also on the left side. Oh, and after a lifetime of cooking with gas, this house only has electric :(

                            However, after reading your post, I suddenly feel pretty good about my kitchen--and the pots, pans, etc in it.

                            But I would take Isolda's advice and suggest the girls comb their hair in bedrooms/bathrooms. They're young, and if their parents didn't teach them this it's best they learn it before lunching in a company cafeteria somewhere ;)

                            1. Here in California most newer homes have large combination kitchen and family room areas. While this is a great idea for family togetherness (and few people ever really used their living rooms for much) it does present a noise problem with kitchen sounds (water running, garbage disposal, in our case a trash compactor) often overpowering conversation, music and TV in the adjacent family area. I guess you can't have it all.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Midlife

                                Yes, I totally hated that in our last house. We lived in Texas for a few years and it was the same thing there--big central kitchen combined with "great" room or family room. Worst idea ever. Noise, chaos, and mess, all together in one big room. Architects must do a lot of takeout because they don't seem to be cooks.

                                1. re: Midlife

                                  First get a new garbage disposal. It'as amazing how much quieter some of the new ones are, even when they're grinding what you think would be noisy. You can also get significantly quieter dishwashers if you're willing to research and pay more. Our entry level Bosch DW generates less than half the decibels of the DW it replaced.

                                  1. re: Midlife

                                    I live in an "old" (1974) house in Phoenix that's like that. While on the one hand, I like not being separated from the family room, it can indeed get very noisy.

                                    But, after reading some of these stories, I can't complain about my kitchen. It has a few annoying issues, but for the most part, for a galley kitchen, it's fine. Do wish I had a gas range though.

                                    1. re: Jen76

                                      Jen76, I lived with an old electric stove for 20 + years -- when it finally quit, I got a gas stove (nothing special, a decent Kenmore about $700). I just love it, cook at least 50% more than I used to. Maybe it's *all in my head*, but my pans seem to perform better, baking works out nicer, etc.

                                      1. re: blue room

                                        Would be nice, but alas, no gas line on my street. I suppose I could go induction, but I would have to replace every piece of cookware I own, except the cast iron dutch ovens, so that's probably not a realistic option.

                                        1. re: Jen76

                                          We don't have a gas line either, but the previous owners of the house had a propane tank put in to power the range. I never would have thought of it, but it's been great.

                                        2. re: blue room

                                          Switching to gas was a revelation for me. I too have a gas stove that is nothing fancy, and it work really well. When you look at the pictures in lots of cooking blogs, it's amazing to see how many people who love to cook manage to cook really well in stoves that don't cost more than a new car!

                                    2. There's not much I like about my kitchen. My house dates back to about 1880. What is now the kitchen, AFAIK, was originally an enclosed back porch, added on to the house for use as the post office from 1894-1898. Sometime later it was converted to the kitchen. The improvements include running water and natural gas. If I had to describe it in a word, it would be "dysfunctional."

                                      At 10 ft x 15 ft it is decent sized, but is poorly executed. It has 3 doors and 2 windows to break up the space. The walls are Celotex over beadboard. The upper half is wall papered (with a pattern which will wash off along with the grime) and the lower half has cheap Masonite wall board grooved to look like tile. The room is built on 24 inch centers.

                                      The main counter is an inch lower and an inch narrower than standard, and even at that one end of the counter has to be angled to match one doorway. The last "update" was around 1947. I have a portable dishwasher which takes up valuable floor space, but I wouldn't give that up if you put a gun to my head. I also have three ft of counter next to the stove and a small rolling work table. I do have a nice GE gas stove and a two-year old bottom-freezer, French door refrigerator.

                                      Since I have limited storage space, appliances and gadgets really have to earn their place.

                                      I had planned a major overhaul but disability set in and the upgrade is derailed until I hit the lottery.

                                      1. My issue is mine is too small. between not enough space between fridge and stove, and nowhere near enough counter space, its near impossible for hubby to help out in the kitchen when I need him. At least the appliances are new and functional, and that I have a dishwasher and garbage disposal. Really would like a window too, so that I can cook without having the light on, even at midday.

                                        1. UGH--everything!!! I moved into an apartment after being spoiled by having a nice home with a great kitchen previously. It's small, has almost 0 counter space, cheapie appliances and the dreaded all white color scheme. I'm actually looking at maybe moving into a different place because I hate the kitchen that much, lol!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: alliegator

                                            Just took action on this and signed a lease on a new unit in my complex with a completely upgraded kitchen---YES!!! Happy dance.... I need to treat myself to some new gadgets or something to celebrate!

                                            1. re: alliegator

                                              Congrats! That's like the best news ever!

                                          2. -No dishwasher and a single sink (not divided) for washing dishes. The first time I had a tapas dinner party I wanted to kill myself the next day. Dirty dishes for days.

                                            -Very little counter space. I am used to the space limitations and can make it work, but larger dinners present some challenges.

                                            I can't complain too much, though. My last apartment featured a teeny, tiny kitchen that two people couldn't fit in, with a small stove and small fridge. The worst was the lack of ventilation; there were about 25 apartments in the building and fire alarms went off at least once a month because of cooking smoke (twice due to me attempting to sear a steak).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: LeoLioness

                                              I too suffered without a dishwasher. Have you looked into one of the dishwashers that hook up to the sink<

                                            2. While it's not the end of the world, I really dislike my white countertop, which was here when I moved in. Everything stains it.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                I had one of those white counters in my last house, and the island had white tile with white grout. One of my neighbors had the brilliant idea of keeping a squirt bottle of water mixed with a little Clorox, and every time she spilled tomato sauce, wine, etc, she'd squirt it. My grout was stunningly pristine by the time I sold that house!

                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                  I hope you told the new owners your secret!

                                              2. I hate really rather a lot about my (rental) kitchen; there's not a lot of storage space, or counter space, even though the kitchen itself is actually quite large, because it's not very well designed. The cabinets are old and ugly, as is the vinyl floor, which always looks dirty, even after you've mopped it. The landlord didn't fit a splashback, so the wall around the cooker has permanent fat stains on it, and the paint is an unpleasant magnolia shade.

                                                All this, though, I can live with.

                                                But an electric hob? Barely a meal goes by when I don't curse it, and I've been living here for about six years. I can't wait til we can afford to buy our own place and get a gas hob, I feel like I haven't cooked a decent stirfry in nearly a decade.

                                                1. Ours has very little natural light, so we use a lot of fake light, which i hate. especially those dreaded green fluorescents, but we use them. Also, the stove is nowhere near a prep counter, and the kitchen is too small to put a butcher block cart in. And, until this week, I had a love/hate relationship with our oven. The oven and range (separate units, next to each other) are Western-Holly, and the oven/broiler was a doubledeckered, porthole windowed stainless steel beauty, but the broaster didn't work (well, it did but it made such a racket and we never got around to oiling it) and the temps went from 250 to 600 - to keep it anywhere in between you had to keep opening up the door to let it cool down. But it was gorgeous! and um, matched the range, a concept beyond my landlord, apparently, because when the door of the oven finally busted its springs, they replaced the whole unit with a WHITE new model digital oven with a drawer broiler. sticks out like a sore thumb. Haven't had a chance to use it yet, but the saving grace will be accurate, even temps, much more control. Which is more important than having a cute kitchen. I guess.

                                                  1. I love my kitchen... I have a huge duel fuel stove/oven, all high end appliances in stainless steel. But what I HATE the lighting. We have lots of natural light during the morning/noon hours. after that... sucks with fake lighting. I actually used a flashlight to read a recipe card!

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                      I should now retract my own lighting gripe. It's bad, but not flashlight bad.

                                                      1. re: shanagain

                                                        Are you light-deprived posters aware of those solar tubes? In spring (after the roof isn't covered with snow) I'll probably get one or two for my kitchen.

                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          Do you mean the solar tube skylights? Those are awesome - I tried to talk my husband into putting one into one of our bathrooms but he was resistant. (boo.) But yes, forget the bathroom, it'd be AWESOME in the kitchen, particularly since that side of the house is Southern exposure.

                                                          1. re: shanagain

                                                            My Mr. resisted too-- but I *almost* have him convinced! He's worried that they'll leak, but I have yet to see evidence of that.

                                                          2. re: blue room

                                                            Solatubes are GREAT!!! I think we're up to nine now. They're in the kichen, family room, hallways, living room, bathroom - they really make a dark house much more pleasant to live in. One did leak from improper installation; the company immediately came out, fixed the problem, and paid for (expensive) professional cleaning of the rug that got wet without batting an eye.

                                                      2. Too small. We only have a small bit of counter space, two gas burners, and a big single sink; the refrigerator, most of the dried food, and the other small appliances go in the main room. We also have no oven. The sink is too big to fill with water, so you have to wash under the running tap.

                                                        The gas burners do blazing hot well, and one burner is designed to hold a round bottom wok steady, but they don't do simmer well, even with a heat diffuser.

                                                        The kitchen counters are the exact right height for whacking my head. A little higher and I'd miss, a little lower and I'd see them.

                                                        We're living with it, because it's the nicest kitchen we saw in all the apartments we looked at.

                                                        1. I would love more counter spaces and somewhat less unattractive counter and floor, but the thing I hate the most is that, due to outdated electrical supply about which I really know nothing, I can't use any two of the coffemaker, microwave, or toaster at the same time. If the coffee is brewed but the plate is on, I can use the microwave but not the toaster. Otherwise BAMZAPdark.

                                                          1. I swear, there's not such thing as a good apartment kitchen. Mine could be much worse. I do have a gas stove top, but, like many have said, the temp. range is limited. I can't put it on low, or it goes out from the slightest draft. Closing my pantry door is enough. And lack of counter and cabinet space is a constant problem. Made worse by the fact that my dog can reach the counter tops, so God forbid I leave the bread out.

                                                            1. When I saw the topic I was all set to complain about something, but after reading Afilador's post, I forgot what it was and thanked God for my lovely, newly renovated kitchen. :)

                                                              1. The venting system-it whistles...and it's getting replaced in 2011!

                                                                1. I've endured almost 20 years of bad kitchens - shotgun style; had to walk through son's bedroom to access... poorly laid out, etc., since I moved to New Orleans. I recently bought a house, and since the kitchen had to be gutted, FINALLY have a kitchen I love.

                                                                  It's actually pretty spare - no dishwasher, traded the "fancy" electric stove for a used gas one... but BOY is it ever user-friendly.

                                                                  Funny how years of making-do without thinking about it, can change so dramatically once the setting improves... :-) I actually love to cook now.

                                                                  "Before" kitchen with crap particle board cupboards and drawers - most of which weren't functional, electric stove, and broken dishwasher.

                                                                  "After" kitchen with birch butcher block - made by a former carpenter/neighbor - for about the same cost as Home Depot's pre-fab stock.

                                                                  We won't talk about the fact that it took several months to complete, and I had a gutted kitchen when I moved in... all worth it.

                                                                  Now. ;-)

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dearcallie

                                                                    that is excellent - all that workspace surrounding your stove!

                                                                    1. re: dearcallie

                                                                      Excellent - you have all that workspace surrounding your stove! you had that before too, but it is so much prettier now.

                                                                        1. re: dearcallie

                                                                          Sweet sweet kitchen! I love the open simple kitchen you have!

                                                                        2. my Jenn Air glass cooktop. The down draft draw sucks and I have broken the glass top twice.

                                                                          1. I like to think my kitchen and I have reached a certain level of understanding one another over the past 25 years and can work together without too much vitriol, but I keep seeing this thread title and thinking: gawd, I hate my refrigerator.

                                                                            Or rather, the space into which the refrigerator must fit. Twenty eight inches is the maximum fridge width I can accommodate, positioned as it must be between an outside wall and a bank of cabinets that was built sometime in the 1940s with a fortress mentality. It's either gut the kitchen (and I looove those cabinets, so they have to stay) or build a bump-out for the fridge (and I've had quite enough of renovations involving a recip saw over the years).

                                                                            I really need a tall skinny fridge (I can go up by a foot in dimension, and that under-used space galls the heck out me), but I'm guessing it's out of my price range to do so. I

                                                                            The silver lining is that I have to keep the condiment collection down to a dull roar.

                                                                            1. What I am not crazy about in my kitchen is the black/white square linoleum floor tiles we had put in a year ago. I love the look but it is difficult to keep clean. Not much I can do about it now but sweep constantly and search for suggestions on cleaning. The problem is the white squares stain and the black gets dull.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: foodseek

                                                                                foodseek, are they actual linoleum? Not vinyl or vinyl compostion tile?

                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                  Great question, I have wondered as well since installing. The contractor told me they were linoleum squares tiles. They don't look look or "act" like vinyl but I am wondering if they may be some sort of composition tile. They are somewhat porous unlike vinyl. But, I wish there were some sort of test to determine what they actually are since it would point me to the correct care and cleaning method.

                                                                                  1. re: foodseek

                                                                                    I would contact your contractor for a manufacturer and get ahold of them for the proper cleaning and care instructions. Your contractor should have left you with that information after the installation.

                                                                                    1. re: JEN10

                                                                                      Good idea, thank you. I have been debating doing just that since he did not leave any info. Hopefully, he can provide it.

                                                                              2. I don't have a hood over my stove so I need to open the windows to ventilate. Unfortunately, the windows are placed badly as to create wind current that funnels everything into the rest of the house. As a result, I rarely cook items like fish until the summer when I can gril it on the BBQ outside.

                                                                                1. I hate the hole in the floor and lack of counter space in my kitchen. That said - I think you win! At least it's just for a short period of time, not forever.

                                                                                  1. The lighting. We gutted and remodeled our smallish 60's ranch (small for TX, large for other areas?) and while we worked wonders with our small kitchen (the space is only about 10x13 but the space itself is so functional and perfectly laid out to my specs that I love it overall - BUT...

                                                                                    We really didn't add enough lighting. I've read/seen that's a common diy'er mistake, and we made it, and still haven't gotten around to fixing it 3 years later. Also, the halogen bulbs go FAST - like every 6-8 months. That may be because of the power supply to the house, but once you get used to the newer fluorescents everywhere, this would drive anyone crazy, and they're expensive little buggers. And one of the spots shines on the back of my head at my major prep area, making a shadow.

                                                                                    We really REALLY need to overhaul that.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: shanagain

                                                                                      I'm a broken record on this thread--but again, do you know about solar tubes?

                                                                                    2. I have a beautiful apartment. It is one of the most charming places I've ever lived, and the kitchen was redone (sort of) before I moved in. The cabinets (open shelves), are hand-crafted, and lovely. The counters are decent, and the flooring is new. The landlord spent quite a lot of time remodeling the kitchen. He decided to keep the old appliances.

                                                                                      Where do I start? The broken broiler? I was told it worked before I moved in, but was not informed that the drawer falls off the track when you try to pull it out. Every time. It tilts drunkenly to the right, the corners hitting the floor underneath, and then the lid tries to escape. The stove is gas, but not very powerful, and has no hood.

                                                                                      The buckets under my one basin sink? We are not only up to two, yes, two buckets, but one of the has to be emptied twice a day (every time I do dishes, because I don't have a dishwasher). The sink leaks from not only two spots underneath, but around the base of the faucet, and the faucet itself drips, unless you find the sweet spot. I have learned that any 'fixes' done by the landlord might last six months, so I've convinced the boyfriend to approach the landlord about a *new* sink. We pick it out, we install it, and pay a portion of the cost, with the rest of it deducted from the next month's rent. I doubt he'll go for it, but, seriously . . . four leaks total. And the water pressure is pretty low. It takes forty-seven seconds to fill the coffee pot.

                                                                                      My linoleum is weird. When we swung by one day to check out the apartment's progress, I said, "I thought he said he had laid the floor?" Because I thought it was sub-flooring. Nope. Just a matte, textured pale linoleum that likes to stain. I have to scrub it, down on my hands and knees, once or twice a week, just to stay on top of it. The large braided rug I picked out to minimize this is totally my fault. I hate that rug. Stuff gets into the weave, and the cat's 'un-braiding' project is coming along nicely.

                                                                                      The freezer is missing the rail that keeps the food in the door, and the refrigerator only has one. When the boyfriend wants to buy popsicles, I panic. The refrigerator is wedged in what was once a pantry, with the door sitting in the door frame itself. It is missing the panel that stops things from going under the fridge. The cat mourns many fuzzy mice, because once they get in what used to be the pantry, they're history, they're dead to us. Did this give me more counter-space in the kitchen? Yes, but my 'pantry' is now two uncovered shelves just inside a window. I have a 'wall' of cereal boxes that protect my canned goods from the light and heat.

                                                                                      People always tell me how 'beautiful' my kitchen is, and how lucky I am. I like to let them think that, and don't tell them about how I have to give the pet-sitter more detailed instructions about using the kitchen sink than taking care of the actual cat when I go out of town. Last time, I forgot to tell the kid not to use the sprayer. Because the button sticks, and then I felt like I had set him up for a frustrating ten minutes.

                                                                                      I solved my lighting issue by setting up a very small lamp on the counter where I like to use the cutting board, and a banker's light by the stove (I can tilt the hood on that to direct it as needed).

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                        What kind of sink is it? Is the sink itself bad? If it's not an undermount sink, maybe it was just installed poorly and can be taken out and reinstalled. Same with the faucet and the pipes under the sink. Sounds like none of them were sealed properly. My husband is really good at installing things and making minor repairs, especially plumbing related things. He replaced our toilets, removed a bathroom vanity and put in a pedestal sink, replaced every faucet/bathtub/shower nozzle in the house, put in a new garbage disposal, installed our dishwasher, a new hot water heater, and the waterline for the fridge. If you know how to do it and can do it well, you'll save a ton.

                                                                                        1. re: Jen76

                                                                                          Now you sound like the boyfriend. ;) He's pretty skilled at these kinds of things, but he works crazy hours, and has so little time of his own. And the landlord was the one who installed everything, so asking him to repair it just feels like putting a finger in the damn. On a scale of one to ten for home repairs, I'm a five, which leaves a lot of room for something to go wrong.

                                                                                          The sink is a standard drop-in basin, and the basin itself is fine. It's *everything* attached to it that is shot. We likely could reseal a few of the components (landlord used that clear rubbery stuff that likes to peel off the first time you scrub it), but the joint where the faucet handle attaches to the base and quite a few of the pipes are pretty corroded (the metal is flaking off). I think the U pipe underneath needs replaced entirely, and the pipe coming off of it on the side is actually plastic, and is cracked (we taped that guy up, or there would be a third bucket).

                                                                                          You're right, of course, we should just spend the fifty bucks for parts and have that deducted from our rent. It's just that part of my apartment dweller self really wanted to *choose* the sink for that kitchen.

                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                            I understand the long work hours. I have to give my wonderful husband lots of props because he was working as a restaurant manager at the time, which pretty much means 60 hours a week, not including the hours he worked when he got called in on his days off (which was almost all the time). I would start at repairing; replace later if you have the time/money/inclination. I fully understand your desire, though. ;)

                                                                                            1. re: Jen76

                                                                                              Kudos to your guy. Mine manages two 'food retail' spots, with the tiger stripes to prove it, as his people like to call off or no-show in groups of three. His days off consist of a ringing cell phone and sighing over *recreating* yet another schedule for a group of thirty-plus people who never remember their own availability or R/O's.

                                                                                              On the plus side, one of his employees has a mom who makes damn good tamales, and we have a batch coming to us tomorrow.

                                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                          Well at least the cat got a nice project for the kitchen?

                                                                                        3. It's tiny, it's a galley kitchen in an apartment not meant to turn out foie gras dishes and the like. Not meant to have over 900 pots and pans. Or cabinets full of oils, vinegars, herbs and spices. It has very little counter space as well. Grrr When I finally earn enough to buy house, the room I'll be most interested in is the kitchen. I want one BIG, well lighted, ventilated with LOTS of counter spac, cabinets etc.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: YAYME

                                                                                              Honestly, that sounds more like hoarding than a kitchen. No offense intended, but 900 pots and pans? a. what for, and b. how do you know? have you counted them?

                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                Stuart Smalley has left the building.

                                                                                            2. My kitchen has no windows, flourescent lighting, a leaking fridge (broken ice maker), torn linoleum, no garbage disposal, very limited cupboard space AND counterspace and has FOUR doors in its walls.(which measure 10.5" X 15")
                                                                                              My stove is a hideous electric from sometime in Oh, I don't know , maybe 1962 or so?? Two of the burners don't work and the oven over heats by almost exactly 50 degrees! Here's a similar oven, only mine isn't a double. Notice that the burner deck slides into the body of the oven. All the teenagers think it is very cool, lol.
                                                                                              Wow - I see on the site that I guessed the age of the stove correctly!

                                                                                              Any way. My kitchen still doesn't bum me out too much. It beats a campfire, which I have lived with as my only heat source w/ a board on a rock for a counter.
                                                                                              It beats a camp stove set on top of a broken kitchen stove - w/ a 2 foot tall gas bottle taking up floor space.
                                                                                              It could very well be better than I deserve! And I'm still a damn good cook.

                                                                                              1. when we redesigned it, we should have listened to the contractor for this one thing only, cause everything else, he screwed up but I digress.............

                                                                                                extending the Island

                                                                                                1. 1) It's long, not wide enough for two people and a dog.
                                                                                                  2) The "brand new cabinets" are not deep and I constantly have to tighten the screws on the door hinges,
                                                                                                  3) It doesn't have counter space and the idiots that decided to put a counter right by the refrigerator and I can't fully open the refrigerator doors
                                                                                                  4) the oven does not cook evenly and has been calibrated 4 times in two years-- my friend who fixes appliances called it "slum lord special Hot Point"
                                                                                                  5) the floor has deep nooks and collects dirt like crazy.
                                                                                                  6) The window was broken and doesn't have a screen or guard-- it was just recently fixed after 2 1/2 years of complaining to the landlord/coop board and super.
                                                                                                  7) the giant hole under my sink to the pipes that my super made to look for a leak and still hasn't fixed it.

                                                                                                  And that's just the kitchen....

                                                                                                  1. First of all, it's a main thoroughfare, but there's nothing to be done about that - this house was built in 1908, and there's nowhere else to route traffic. What's really bad is that the pantry and dishes and things are on the low-traffic side, while the cooktop and oven are where everyone walks. This can be more or less easily changed, but it'll take a remodel we can't afford for a few years. When that happens we will also get rid of the expensive and seriously flawed Bosch cooktop we bought when we moved in, and install a very fine '50s Wedgewood range that's now sitting in the garage.

                                                                                                    The kitchen is small, too, but again that can't be helped. I prefer to cook alone anyway, and an intelligent re-ordering of work areas and tools (and restoring the ceiling to its original 11' height to allow an overhead pan rack) will be enough of an improvement for our needs.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                      Oh, raise the ceiling! My old creaky Victorian suffered through some dubious remodels in the 1960s, including a ghastly dropped ceiling with fluorescent panel-lights that dropped the whole business down to less than 8 feet and made me feel like I was cooking in the B-Team's conference room. I felt hunched whenever I cooked with such an oppressive ceiling. Ripped it out, raised the ceiling back to 9 1/2 feet, raised the cabinets, found lots of unused space above those cabinets and hung a big overhead pot rack. It was a godsend. The smallish-wonkiness of my kitchen layout ceased to be such a problem when I opened up the "above" and used it. A de-ceiling job sounds like a horrible project, and it is a relatively messy affair, but it's not ultimately too expensive (be aware of the urge to go nuts on lighting, something I didn't do and wish I had now in hindsight). And the extra space overhead is wonderful.

                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                        It will actually be one of the easier parts of the project, since we'll also have a LOT of very ugly tile tops and backsplashes to remove (those were too dispiriting to mention!). The ceiling above is in good shape, and the drop ceiling is on a suspended grid. I misstated the height - it is about 9.5 feet, like yours. I was thinking of my brother's house, a '90s Victorian that DOES have 11' ceilings throughout. He can store dangerously large things on top of his cabinets, but generally doesn't!

                                                                                                    2. The placement of the floorspace vs. the cabinet space means that I had to settle for a refrigerator much, much smaller than I'd have preferred. This year; out with the cabinets, in with the new, and a big-ass GE stainless with a pullout freezer basket. Yay!

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                        Yeah! Nothing better than a big old stainless fridge with a pullout freezer. That's what I'm eyeing for my kitchen redo.

                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                          Woot Woot! Yay us!! ; )
                                                                                                          The thought of a lil kitchen redo makes me dance a mental jig. Counters happened last year and I love 'em, a black/gray/cream granite.....we're having to totally do things little by little. But hey, the wait makes it worth the while. Ok, that's a lie. But eventually we'll get there.

                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                            I've set up a corner of the basement with a microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker and small fridge to get through the redo. Now that I visited the Philly Home Show and seen so many options, I think I'm experiencing paralysis by analysis.

                                                                                                            But I do know I want your stainless fridge with the pullout freezer.

                                                                                                            How do you like the granite? I was thinking of going Corian as, despite all the kitchens I've seen, I'm a little leery of the shiny aluminum and shiny granite with the already shiny wood floors. And I'm definitely going stainless on the appliances and cherry on the cabinets.

                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                              Love the granite, but re: shininess, the only reason it works is that I have a matte linoleum, flat black veined with pale gray; not shiny at all. And existing cabinets are a sort of weird cream-gray, again flat, and a little aged ( by me, I mean.) But the fridge, it's what I have at work; and I love it so much i'd let my daughter marry it.
                                                                                                              I have friends who did the Corian thing and LOVE it.
                                                                                                              Paralysis by Analysis. What a great phrase for "too many choices and my brain is melting." It's like when you're starving and you sit down at a restaurant with a great menu and immediately start shutting down. : )

                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                But the fridge, it's what I have at work; and I love it so much i'd let my daughter marry it
                                                                                                                Mama, thanks for that laugh--I SO needed it after these last few days at work.

                                                                                                                And yes, my brain is melting . . .way too busy at work and at home.

                                                                                                      2. I hate that it exists. For what I do in a kitchen, which is basically boiling water, microwaving and refrigerating/freezing some foods, this rather large kitchen is a total waste of space that I would rather be using for something else (like a nice wide entryway instead of this narrow hall).

                                                                                                        1. i want a bigger fridge and more freezer space. but cant get anything bigger up the stairs

                                                                                                          1. Great question.

                                                                                                            At the moment I'm struggling with:
                                                                                                            - lack of counter space
                                                                                                            - electric stove with black glass top (who the eff invented this!!)
                                                                                                            - not enough storage space
                                                                                                            - black granite countertops that show every speck of dust and dirt
                                                                                                            - weak dishwasher
                                                                                                            - white ceramic floor
                                                                                                            - absence of a beer/extra fridge

                                                                                                            We were in a jam when purchasing our condo and we know it's "temporary". Soon we'll be on to bigger and better things! In the meantime all I can do is suck it up. Some very good meals have come out of that kitchen though and I guess that's all that matters.

                                                                                                            My dream kitchen has a gas stove, a stainless steel backsplash, a massive island with a prep sink in it; a wall of cupboards, a dedicated spot for my KA stand mixer, and a BI wine rack.

                                                                                                            And hey, if you buy an expensive pan, bring it home with you!

                                                                                                            1. I am anxiously awaiting the day that I can yank my electric glass top cooktop out of the counter...followed immediately by ripping the hideous yellow and white laminate countertops out. Of course, my heart wouldn't be broken if we managed to ding up the laminate floors while we were taking that stuff out too, so we'd have to replace those!

                                                                                                              We also have a very large, awkward space between our kitchen and living room. It's just big enough to put a 72" or so round table and four chairs, but it has doors (to the garage and the backyard) on either side that would be impossible to open if we actually put a table there.

                                                                                                              Hoping to replace the floors in a month or so, and the countertops in the next 9 months. Hopefully, with the countertop will come a new cooktop and a built in eating area. I just can't imagine why the previous owners spent so much on the trim and other components in the house and then went the cheap route on the kitchen and floors!

                                                                                                              1. My "kitchen" is a hallway with appliances. As in 2 people don't really fit horizontally.

                                                                                                                There are no cabinets, just shelves I put up. There are no built in drawers, just some small chests and cube storage I put there.

                                                                                                                When we moved in, the oven didn't work. I went down to complain to my landlord, (we live on top of a bar, and my landlord is the bartender most days), he sent some guy up who said, "yeah, it's broken", so he gave us some half-sized stove.

                                                                                                                I went down and asked if we could get a counter, he said sure, and took a countertop from some other of his buildings and stuck it to the wall. It really doesn't have a smooth finnish.

                                                                                                                2 years ago, my husband asked him if we could have a real stove/oven. He asked if I really cooked. We simultaneously said YES! and he got us one in 2 days. At least it's gas, but it takes a while to heat up cast iron or a wok. Too bad there's no ventilation...That's my next request.

                                                                                                                We bought a dishwasher, told him if he installed it, he owned it. I would never live without a dishwasher again, I consider it a necessary luxury.

                                                                                                                A few years ago, my sister in law came to visit, and the next x-mas, the family chipped in and bought us a real refrigerator...that was wonderful.
                                                                                                                Last x-mas, my sister-in-law got me a Le Cruset French oven. She rocks!

                                                                                                                Anyhow, I'm somewhat jealous of those of you with great kitchens.

                                                                                                                1. I'm looking forward to updating small, awkwardly designed 1960's kitchen in my 1920's row home in the lovely, historic Powelton Village neighborhood of Philadelphia. Reading this thread has helped move me along on my planning.

                                                                                                                  Kitchen designer has recommended some copper and some butcher block countertop. Does anyone have experience with a copper counter?

                                                                                                                  1. i hate that my kitchen doesnt clean itself. lazy bastard

                                                                                                                    1. A friend inherited his uncle's cottage on the Big Island of Hawaii. Cute little place built in about 1915. The kitchen was just a room with a freestanding sink under one window, a gas range under another window, and some freestanding cabinets and tables. The refrigerator was out on the back porch where there had originally been an ice box. Electricity had been brought in around 1925. A 'fuse box' consisted of one (1) ten amp fuse. if you wanted to use the toaster you had to unplug the refrigerator or make sure there were no lights on anywhere in the house.

                                                                                                                      1. My primary complaint with my kitchen is the design: it is a large kitchen with lots of counter and storage space and at first glance, it looks like a lovely area for cooking and entertaining. As a functional space to prepare food, it is lacking.

                                                                                                                        The pantry is across the room from the stovetop, counter area, etc. The refrigerator is located in a space where there is no nearby counter (hello..am I the only one who likes to load the refrigerator from shopping bags on a counter instead of from on the floor?), etc. I could go on and on. I also dislike the tile countertops. The tile isn't hideous (which is why it hasn't been replaced yet) but I would love a smooth work surface. And for some odd reason, despite being a large area, it isn't conducive for multiple cooks working together.

                                                                                                                        We have a vacation place in AZ with a kitchen about 1/4 to 1/3 the square footage of this kitchen, with a fraction of the storage and counter space. Not to mention bare bones cooking tools and stock builder's-issued appliances. The layout of that space is so well-organized that cooking there is a joy. Very odd.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                          Good kitchen design is often hard to come by. I can tell you that a good kitchen designer is worth looking into, their experience in design practices is priceless.