House Update: Kitchen Plans

We’re back to kitchen planning….there isn’t much else to do with the weather so cold.  Being we aren’t heating the house, it’s virtually impossible to work there with the subzero temperatures we are getting so we decided to get back to those dreaded kitchen plans.

I’ll show the plans to you but keep in mind that we are working around a few factors.  We are keeping the upper cabinets over the sink as is as we already purchased that portion and they are vintage.  That window opening and where the sink goes has to be there because of the cupboards.

The kitchen has really been grinding on me.  I’ve felt frustrated as I thought here we are putting on a big addition and I still don’t end up with much of a kitchen…I finally grabbed a paper and pencil and decided to start sketching.  I drew the existing upper cabinets first.


They are on the second drawing.  Then I gained momentum as I drew and just kept drawing.  I showed them to Hubby and we were both feeling much better.  From there we had a LONG extended discussion on where to put the microwave.  I didn’t want in on the counter and didn’t want it above the stove.  Hubby thought I was odd but I wanted it somewhere where it wouldn’t interfere with counter space.  So I came up with this.


If you look to the left of the layout, the washer and dryer room is there.  We’d cut into that room making a built in that would house the microwave and be a “pantry” too.  Maybe looking something like this.


The funny thing is, Hubby cam in from working and told me this great idea he had about cutting into the laundry room for the microwave…I said, “Oh like this and handed him what I had drawn”.  That when we both knew we liked the idea.  Great mind think alike I guess.

From there, I took the drawings to our cabinet guy.  I was feeling a little hokey with my self drawn designs but confident that we might be able to come up with something I actually like.  Here’s what he came up with.  The door on the dishwasher side goes outside and the door on the straight ahead wall goes into the laundry.  This is looking towards the north…


This is looking to the south.


We are to the point that we are asking for a bid.  We are having them break the bid up separately though.  We would still really like to find our own antique cabinet that would go to the left of the refrigerator.  Part of us would still like to come up with our own island idea.  For now, we are fairly certain that we’d go with the rest of the cabinets.

What do you think???  Better than previous thoughts I’ve had??

14 thoughts on “House Update: Kitchen Plans”

  1. I like the idea of adding your own elements, but make sure you have the cabinet you want before you order the prebuilt ones. The fillers between the cabinets will vary because a vintage cabinet will not be the normal dimensions. We tried doing some changes in an old farm house where the cabinets were built in the space long before pre-built were available. We made it work, but a lot of changes had to be made. Plus an old house nothing is square as I’m sure you have found out. I like the idea of the pantry also. Never enough storage space. Since you are adding electricity to your pantry area for your micro add one to the storage area also for a tray to pull out for mixer or blender. You will be so much farther ahead without those appliances on your counter. Never enough outlets. All this is suggestions and have fun in your quest for the perfect kitchen.

  2. Looks like both of you have about got your needs and wants set how you like them in this kitchen! Good for you!
    Speaking of cupboard sizes, we lived in an older home in New Hampshire and the kitchen cabinets were spacious! I think they were 15″ deep. When we moved into the brand-new home several states away, the cupboards were only 12″ deep and I missed that extra space.
    I like the idea of a pull-out tray under the microwave, so you can set something down while you open and shut the microwave door. I actually have a silicon hotpad sitting beside and in front of my microwave so I can set the hot things down without worrying about the countertop.
    Speaking of countertops, I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer formica over any other type of heat-sucking countertop because I always put my arms on the snack bar and a stone top makes my arms cold. And the countertop in this house (1979) is ‘orange peel’ style and makes it hard to write legible notes on.

  3. Jo Anne Schnebly

    Can the window beside the stove be shorter so you can have counter space and a cabinet there too? Ditto to a pullout under the microwave to set things on. Are you planning to put bookshelves or something inside the garage doors? There seems to be a lot of space along the walls on both sides of the door as you come into the kitchen. Maybe move the garage door closer to the living room and make the pantry/laundry bigger or add a set of cabinets or an antique cupboard there. Loving your postings on putting this all together!

  4. Jo Anne Schnebly

    One more thing. Is the island going to be on wheels so it’s moveable? That would give you options.

  5. Kitchen. Here is a thought. Consider making you island larger, centering the island left to right, between the cabinet section where the large cabinet, fridge and oven are. Put the microwave under the cabinet at an end, left or right (the space between you waist and knees kind of). You could also extend the counter top to accommodate seating. One more thing. That window. If you made the window smaller or raise it up, you could extend the cabinets all the way into the corner. One of my homes I had a sink in the corner and it worked fine. If the the sink, a corner cabinet with one of the rotating shelves inside for pots.

  6. Great idea to put the microwave in the laundry room/pantry area. My sister in law has hers this way and it works wonderfully. She also has an upright freezer in hers. The washer and dryer are next to the freezer with the microwave and a large toaster oven on a shelf above the washer and dryer and storage cabinets above the shelf. She has cats, so they also have their own corner for the litter box tucked under a cabinet with a curtain to keep it out of site and feeding station on top of the counter so they can look out the window to the back yard. Her kitchen trash container is tucked into another corner by the back door. It functions well in a very small space, just off of her kitchen. Remodeling can drive you crazy, but you seem to be working it out well. Have fun and try to enjoy the process. The results will be worth all the work.

  7. hmmm, having redesigned a kitchen..

    A kitchen is so very personal to those of us who enjoy and/or spend time in a kitchen out of financial/health necessity. And upon your invitation I offer this from my experience and 33y of 7 different kitchens.

    1. Would you consider eliminating or downsizeing the large window in favor of increasing counter and cabinet storage? You have so little space near your stove and constantly turning around to the island will get old (ask me how I know?) You’ll get a LOT of space added and a great corner cabinet for long items that can be tucked into a deep useless corner-or a lazy susan if preferred. Could do a window above the counter if you really want the light/outdoors (I love lots of windows and natural light and wish I had more in my kitcen but not possible).

    2. Be sure that island is as big as possible-great storage AND workspace. Consider an overhang top so you can have some seating on the opposite side of where you’re working. Guests ALWAYS want to chat when we’re in the kitchen and some seating makes it comfortable and we don’t have to work around them ;-) I can have my laptop there for recipes, lots of working space, guests have space, and when serving meals, plenty of room to set everything out for folks to dish up buffet style.

    3. Is the tall cabinet beside the egress door a pantry? I could see you really wanting a pantry as you cook for your family every day and cabinets are simply not the same as a pantry. We built a 36wx94tallx24deep pantry and I love love love it! I cook everything from scratch (and it seems you do as well) and ingredients for creative cooking take a LOT of space.

    4. And honestly, we did our kitchen over time. We lived in it first as awful as it was. Decided what we didn’t like and replaced bit by bit. We designed as went wall by wall, did all the work ourselves and hubby built every cabinet and drawer. It was a 5y project and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it. We did the island first as a solid starting point and then the pantry. These offered a ton of storage. That was very helpful in deciding what I needed from the rest of the working space.

    5. I don’t see a lot of drawers. I know you’re trying to have all vintage so that is limiting. If you have to build, consider drawers? We decided on a stack of 3 that are 36″ wide and 10″ deep. I LOVE those drawers for kitchen linens, baking hardware, utensils.

    6. This is not a large kitchen but highly functional and I love every inch of it. The total home is 1250 sf. But this is a fabulous kitchen and I can feed 30 easily if they can find a chair to sit on (my max is 29 :-)

    Do enjoy this journey Joe. It is a project of love to create your forever home and I enjoy following your journey.

  8. I had something similar with my first microwave. My husband built a cabinet that he put into the laundry room wall-from the kitchen side. He put a slide out under the microwave-like the bread boards you used to find in kitchen over a row of drawers. Does my explanation make sense. Anyway. the pull out really came in handy for unloading the microwave or for taking a dish out that needed to be stirred.

    Think about it!

  9. Check out Ana White’s blog at She has lots of plans to make your own kitchen island. They even have do it yourself cabinet ideas.

  10. Looks good, except the window between the two counter/cabinet areas looks out of place.
    I’d put in a shorter window that matched the one over the kitchen sink, and continue the cabinets above and below. A lazy susan or angled cabinets in the corner will give you access, and you can never have enough counter area.

    I’m also picturing a built in storage unit around the corner from your microwave/TV area. Would make an awesome pantry/home for lesser used or bulky items, maybe even a closet for the vac or brooms. Looks like you’d still have room on the wall opposite for coats, or whatever.

  11. Is it possible to move the door next to the microwave slightly so a pocket door would work instead of worrying about another door swinging into the kitchen or laundry area?

  12. Jo, I am enjoying your journey to make this house your “HOME”. Slowly but surely you are getting it the way you want. I am so excited for you.

  13. I would ditch the long window on the south wall, and have a continuous run of cabinetry. You could add a lazy suzan, blind corner, or a bank of drawers for your corner cabinetry. You do have the traditional window over the sink, so you do have some natural light. You are going to side the exterior so that would make my decision easier if it were me to close/remove the window. In our kitchen remodel, moving windows was one the easiest ways to add more cabinetry to our home.

  14. I follow many cooking blogs where entire kitchens are donated by manufacturers, if they’ll blog about it. A few had cabinets donated, some had the appliances donated….I don’t know how they do this, but you are very creative and might find a way. Just a thought. You could go about it from the angle of a re-do, vintage on a budget makeover. Using old with new or something like that.

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