Playing with Kitchen Space

Over the weekend I was in the new house and took some rough measurements and started playing with how the house might look with an addition on.  On the main floor we need a bathroom, laundry and kitchen space.  I am trying to anticipate everything so once I get something in mind, I often think oh..but what about this..or that.  It’s been challenging and fun.   We do have an architect scheduled to come but this is my kitchen we are talking about and I am a little territorial when it comes to a kitchen.

Here are some of the things I am trying to keep a focus on.
-plan for traffic flow
-plan economically
-must match the feel of the rest of the house
-nothing modern looking

I NEVER want to redo the kitchen again so I want to plan for longevity.  Will it work to be friendly to a herd of grand kids, friends, etc?  Will it be friendly when we age?  Will it be easy to maintain?  What frills do I need to be functional and not just the in thing?

Someone sent me a link to Houzz.  It’s a great website where you can see pictures of houses and the individual rooms.  It’s great as it gives ideas on design, etc.  It’s been wonderful because I can show Hubby a picture of what I like or don’t like and he can see it.  Right now, it seems the thing is big islands, “farm house” sinks, islands with a stove or sink in them, and fancy range hoods.  Part of me wants an island for the traffic flow of serving food cafeteria style..the other part says that gives the kitchen a modern look that I want to stay away from.  Hubby doesn’t like islands.  I know my sister in law has a stove in her island and hates it with grand kids around.  I know I want a window over my sink so if I do have an island-no sink or stove will be in it.

The farm house sink got “x-ed” by Hubby.  Me too though.  They seem lower than regular sinks and I don’t want a back ache from washing dishes besides, I hate cleaning the porcelain.

The fancy range hood.  Hubby wants that.  I am not a huge fan but it’s a concession I can easily make…(pick and choose battles-right??)

After looking a the Houzz website, here’s a few things I like.

I love that the microwave and TV have a place (in the corner).  Our kitchen will likely be L shaped similar to this.  I think I want the appliance garage from my mixer too.

Traditional Kitchen by Chaska General Contractors DURST & GANS BUILDING CORP

I want a mostly glass door that goes from the kitchen to the outside as that will be the back yard with a simple back porch.  I’m sure we’ll be grilling and have the fire ring out this direction so that would be nice to have a door-plus I love the open feel of it.

We are thinking about making the door between the kitchen and dining room larger.  If we do, I love this option.  Currently we have two windows with leaded glass that need to be replaced.  I think we’d take those windows and create this…but that’s a lot of putzy expense.  Maybe something that could be put off until later.

Traditional Kitchen by Seattle General Contractors Logan’s Hammer Building & Renovation

I like the general layout of this kitchen (as in where the stove, refrigerator and sink are-minus the island)

We already looked at kitchen cabinets.  The ones we both like have glass windows along the top, similar colored wood as these though.

These are the drawer pulls and handles I want.

Contemporary Kitchen by Minneapolis Architects & Designers Kell Architects

Hubby said he would like a window to the south too.  Here is a picture with that option.  I don’t mind that at all.  I want LOTS of light coming in.  I would have a traditional stove instead of what they have.  Then on the other side of the stove and small counter would be the refrigerator.

Traditional Kitchen

One thing we are having trouble deciding on is a pantry.  We know we need one.  Right now in my kitchen everything doesn’t fit.  We have an area at the top of the basement stairs for canned goods.  We also have a book shelf in the laundry room that houses the toaster, blender and other small appliances.  I don’t want to spend a fortune in cabinets so we are thinking of having a walk in pantry/laundry room off the kitchen.

It’s so hard to know how to meld those ideas together.

Right now, without the help of an architect, we are thinking something like this.

Of course the measurements need to be cleaned up and resized a bit.  The open area to the right is where the garage will go.  I am guessing the kitchen would be 15′ x 15′.  Right now, I have 12″ x 14″ and that works.  I only have cupboards along one wall.  This would be a nice upgrade.  Bigger but not too big.  Remember..I hate cleaning the house.

We have plans to put a “kitchen” in the garage too.  Along the front, we’ll take the old kitchen cabinets and sink and put them in.  Then the refrigerator we currently have and my current stove.  It will all be in one short efficient line.  That way we can host lots of people for a big family get together by moving the vehicles out and popping up tables.  I would already have a “kitchen” there.  Being we have most everything, the only extra cost to us to have it will be the water line coming in for the sink.

The entry to that bathroom and to the closet is from my office area.  The laundry room would have narrow shelves across the wall opposite the washer and dryer so that I have a simple pantry area.

So what do you think??  Is there anything that you would recommend or change?  This addition will be two story so all that space will be available for my sewing room minus an upstairs bathroom.  I haven’t even begun to think how to lay that out and make it work.

Please feel free to send us some suggestions..things you think are must haves or don’t does.  We only want to do this once and want to do it the right way!!

34 thoughts on “Playing with Kitchen Space”

  1. I would also put floor to ceiling cabinets between the frig and the wall and along the wall from the doorway to the bathroom wall. When we built our home I thought we had enough storage space, but wish we would have had more. You probably already have those areas planned for your beautiful antique pieces.

  2. You have some nice ideas going! After living in numerous houses I would want the refrigerator closer to the sink for dinner/salad preparations and putting away leftovers. If you don’t want an island, you may be able to pick up an antique or other piece of furniture (maybe with drawers for more storage) that your hubby could add wheels to and a new “counter type top.” I’ve seen numerous similar ideas in Pinterest. Some of the ideas even have an overhang for a couple of chairs to make it a mini-bar area. And you could move it around as needed.

  3. You’ll love more storage, I think. Trying to configure my kitchen was stressful but fun. One thing I did, after reading a lot of advice on the kitchen forum at, was to put in a lot of drawers instead of door cabinets in the bottom cabinets. The top ones are all doors, of course. But other than the sink and cooktop cabinets, all of my lower cabinets will have drawers (our house is being built now). If you don’t want drawers you might want the pull-out trays. The best website I found for figuring out the plan was this one: It lets you see a 3D version and that was so helpful. I was able to input my planned cabinet and countertop colors too. Have fun designing!

  4. As I’m sure you know, bathrooms are best built so that they ‘stack’ one on top of another. This way all the plumbing is in one wall and is much cheaper and easier to build. So the upstairs bathroom should be located right above the downstairs one.
    And speaking of having a ‘family reunion kitchen’ in the garage (great idea!), you might consider another door into your bathroom so that people can go into the bathroom from the kitchen and not have to walk clear around and through your office to get to it. During family get-togethers it would be very nice.

  5. i like you plan and where you have things, but i would make the following modifications:
    1. turn the laundry room into the pantry with shelving units on both walls, and a small counter just to the right inside the door. that way it would be easier to unload most of the groceries before you ever get to the kitchen, leaving just one or two bags to carry into the kitchen that are destined for the refridgerator/freezer. your home canned goods can also be stored in the pantry, along with the seasonal cooking/canning supplies. this frees up cupboard space in your kitchen for frequently used pots, pans, and dishes.
    2. move the washer/dryer to the garage and have a closit for them with folding, louvered wooden doors that can slide open and closed when they aren’t being used. You might also consider getting a stackable unit which would take up less space as the number of your big laundry loads lessen.
    3. change the downstairs bathroom into a 3/4’s bath with a shower instead of a tub. Save the tub for the upstairs bath, closer to the bedrooms. The downstairs shower can be used for quick clean-ups, and as an overflow guest bath. Changing out the tub for a shower will take up less space, and give you more kitchen room.
    4. replace the table and chairs with a small, moveable island with a butcher block surface that can be used for extra food prep space. making the island moveable means that it can be rolled next to the sink, or rolled to a corner when not in use.

  6. I am just going to echo what some others of said-possibly a moveable island. I think you would love an island esp. when the grandkids come along and want to help you in the kitchen-you can gather around the island. Also a great place for snacking(can you tell I don’t have an island and wish I did!). I would do more cupboards in those blank spaces in the kitchen but as someone mentioned you may be putting some of your antiques there. I agree about the stackable washer and dryer (if possible) would give you more storage room in the laundry. I love the idea of the kitchen in the garage! Would also keep the heat out of the kitchen during the summer!

  7. I absolutely love my laundry off my bedroom, That’s where all the dirty clothes are any way. You pop it out of the dryer to the bed & hang/fold what is clean right back into the closet/dresser. You then carry towels to the bath & kitchen. I had a laundry/pantry off the kitchen & forever running clothes across the house or upstairs to the bed room. getting older means you need less work.’


  8. Jo – we just built an addition to our almost 100 yr old home in Texas. I designed my kitchen with the help of one of the designer softwares. I totally designed our 2000 sq ft 2 story addition and I LOVE my kitchen. I have a LARGE L shaped island with drawers on 2 sides, cabinets under the sitting area (which became our bar) plus bookshelvles on small end of L for my cookbooks. Every inch of the island was used. I love it being big – I do my fabric cutting here because it is the right height. We can fit 6 easily around it and we almost never use our new dining room furniture!! (I can just see your family gathered around the island helping with cooking, canning, etc.)

    I strongly urge you to buy the software – you can draw in the old house and then start building your new space – it makes such a difference if you can see different ideas. You can change the colors of floors, cabinets, etc and SEE what a difference changes can make. All I did was hand over printout of my plans and our builder was able to work from them. We did not need a high priced architect.

    I have a 6 ft wide, long pantry with wide shelves on one side and shelving between the studs on other side for canned goods. We used 2×6 studs instead of 2×4’s so the shelves are able to fit 2 deep cans. ( great use of space)

    We saved money by using formica instead of stone for countertops – there are some selections that look much like stone. We also used wood colored sheet vinyl for floors – folks come in and think it is wood. Also big money saver. (the money saved I used for my custom built cabinets) The only mistake we made was not big enough over hang on the countertops. Make sure it is deep enough to get your hand underneath – you know when you spill flour and need to wipe it off the countertop?? mine is less than 1″ – make at least 2 inches.

    We wanted our new addition to look “old” – all moldings, window sills, etc are wood and we used foot wide floor molding. We have “garages” on both corners of kitchen – most appliances are therefore off the cabinet and hidden. Taller cabinets in corner also add a lot to the look of your cabinets.

    If I had to choose – I think I would put the laundry else where and have a large pantry. The extra kitchen in garage is great idea especially since you have a large family that likes to spend time together.

    If you would like to see pictures, email and will send along.

  9. We remodeled our kitchen 2 summer ago, I love our new one. My advise is to have the top cabinets go all the way to the ceiling for extra storage of seldom used things. I’m 4 ft 8 and I use a roly round library step stool to get up there. I had mostly drawers put in for bottom cabinets. I wish I did all drawers, with full extention drawers you can reach the back easily, no squatting needed. Its also less expensive than doors with roll out pot drawers (ask me how i know?). Make sure you have at least a small counter space next to your refridgerator and a deep sink. I agree that wherever you put the downstairs bathroom, it would be nice if people didn’t have to go through your office to use it. Maybe 2 doors for access might work? We bought manufactured stone for the counter top, no up keep, no stains, you can put hot pots on it, roll out dough, I love it. It looks like granite without the up keep. Have fun, relax a little, all this designing is a lot of work. Enjoy! ;-> pet Ruby for me, Toni Anne

  10. Some of the others had great ideas. Maybe the bathroom door accessible to the garage for company and when hubby comes in from work. Maybe a Jack and Jill bath(2 doors). Rolling island, maybe an antique hubby could find. And the pantry…. We always could use more space in that area. We always think we have enough until there just isn’t. I like the idea of the laundry closer to the bedroom. You don’t have to truck clothes back and forth thru the house. Alot of extra steps!

  11. Hi Jo…So many things to think about. Our old kitchen was like picture two…it was a nightmare with the table in front of the outside window/door. We have three kids and they were always coming and going…squeezing by!! Annoying! We couldn’t do away with the kids so we gutted the kitchen and started new…added 12′. Our table is now over on an angle with plenty of room for people to come and go. We also went with an island and stools…LOVE IT!! It is the hub and meeting place in our home.
    Your dilemma with the leaded windows…if it is too costly do incorporate into the frame do what I did…put two large (sturdy) hooks on the top and chain them up. This is what I did and they look great!
    This is so exciting for you!! We also hired a kitchen designer…we drew up the plans the way we thought we would like it…then he blew them out of the water and came up with four WAY better designs! Decisions…decisions!! Have fun!

  12. Check out Pinterest for homebuilding ideas – you can find neat stuff there. Search for “paper towel holder” and look at the picture of paper towels under the counter
    in space for drawer. Works wonderful – keeps off the counters. I placed mine opposite my sink in the island. Two long deep drawers on either side. because the space is deep – I can keep my future supply of paper towels behind the holder dispensing the paper towels. Lots of ideas on Pinterest – definitely worth looking at some of them before you build !!!

  13. I LOVE my drawers in my bottom cabinets. It makes getting pots and pans so much easier. Also I have a spice rack cabinet that pulls out in a small space that normally would have been just a blank cabinet front between a door and my stove. It’s just about 8 inches wide but holds lots of spice bottles and things like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, boxes of baggies. Love it! I like the idea of an antique piece made into a rolling island. That way you can move it when not needed and it would add the “hubby did it ” pride to the kitchen. Something with drawers would add storage. A friend of mine made one out of an old dresser and it adds lots of character to her kitchen. Have fun!

  14. Hi Jo: I agree with Gale that you should have drawers in the bottom cupboards instead of shelves. I went this route and love them. Everything is so handy and as we get older, we don\t want to be on our hands and knees to find things. You have so many decisions to make but I’m sure you’ll get through it. It will be so worth it!! Have fun.

  15. Nice pictures and ideas. Happy for you, must be exciting to plan everything. I would put laundry upstairs. Before you make more plans some of the door swing directions need to be changed and they open up against a wall. Doors from the outside open into the house/garage(garage door should be 36″). Door opens into bathroom, hinge on other side so opens against wall. We remodeled 8 years ago, things I love… had the toe kick made 1″ higher so my counter tops are 37″ high, Have a gas cook top with 5 burners, large pull out drawers underneath including shallow drawer for cooking utensils. No range or stove; have 1 wall oven, installed with 2 drawers underneath (9″ & 6″), this saves on my back since I don’t bend down to get heavy meals out of the oven. Splurged on a micro/convection oven; use this more then large oven, this is great for baking small meals, roasting small cuts of meat, quickly and without heating up the whole kitchen. We don’t have an island, have over sized table, 35″ high to work/gather around, has 1 shelf underneath and can be moved. My preference on your design would be to make a tighter triangle, move the stove over 24″ to where the window is and put wall oven on other side of the fridge. Get a cabinet flush fridge so it does not stick out 4-6″. Add another cabinet at the end of the “sink wall”, moving the door (32″ door) down and getting rid of the walk in pantry. This gives you more counter space, need this with no island. Instead of the walk-in, have cabinets that open up with roll out drawers, holding pantry items and small appliances. I think this will make pantry items more available and kitchen more spacious. Think about how you work in the kitchen and have fun.

  16. We redid our kitchen ourselves over several years ( seemed to take forever LOL) and the favorite things are: the pull out drawers under the counter for pots and pans; the pull out pantry beside the fridge. Everyone who comes over loves my pull out pantry, it is so easy to access items and find what you need. I can’t imagine going back to doors below the counter, just love pulling out the drawer and having all my pots or all my casseroles right there at hand.

  17. The one thing I would change would be to have the kitchen be more open to the rest of the house. I once lived in a home that had a narrow doorway into the kitchen, and I always hated that room – I felt so isolated from everything else that was going on in the house.

    In the pantry, I think your idea of open shelving is great, but I would add a countertop for appliances that don’t need to be used everyday, plus electrical outlets so you could then set up a crockpot or electric roaster, without taking up counter space out in the kitchen when you have those big family events.

    I like the idea of a moveable island, it could look like a butcher block or even an old table.

    I am so excited for you, can’t wait to follow your journey.

  18. Is there room on the second floor of the addition for the laundry? If not put in a laundry chute to make it easier on yourself. I imagine you will be coming and going mostly through the garage so you will need a place for your everyday coats and boots, also a place to keep brooms and mops. An entrance to the bathroom from the kitchen side will make it easier for hubby to wash up when popping in for lunch. If you must have a full bath on the first floor make it a shower unless you are looking to the future and possible one floor living. If that is the case where will the bedroom be? Take advantage of vertical space in the kitchen and build cabinets up to the soffit to store less frequently used items in the upper cabinets. Please reconsider an island. They are a great place for family and friends to gather round when preparing a meal. They also offer more storage and a place for stools to sit at and enjoy a bite to eat. An island may not be period correct for your house but neither is a kitchen with modern appliances. I think if you put in traditional cabinets and trim to match the rest of the house it will be fine. I like your idea of using cup pulls on the drawers. Do plan more pantry space than you think you will need, you don’t want to end up short on space. I agree with your hubby, get a hood. They do a lot better job of venting smoke and steam than those microwave and hood combinations. The second kitchen in the garage is a good idea for entertaining and canning, just remember to drain the water lines before winter so the pipes don’t burst. And lastly I like the idea of cutting a larger opening between the kitchen and dining room. It will create better flow when entertaining.

  19. House planning is fun! I’d be sure to include a spot for boots/coats coming in for the garage…as you know all those winter coats take lots of space. You don’t have much counter space, I’d extend counter down past the fridge on the left OR in the corner opposite the main kitchen part as a corner of cabinets and use as a built in china cabinet/or area for small buffets.

  20. BobbieBentneedle

    I know that you have probably already thought of this but… when you give in to the big fancy hood over the stove, make sure that you have enough clearance to accomodate your canner and lifting the jars straight up to remove them. I wasn’t canning when we built our house and I opted for a taller cabinet (2 shelves instead of one) over the stove, with a small vent-a-hood. Even so, I can’t go with a bigger canner than my little 17 quart Presto pressure canner – because I would not be able to lift the quart jars out. That second kitchen in the garage would be nice for canning as well!

  21. We remodeled our 40+ year old kitchen about a year ago so I have a couple of thoughts for you. I wanted a garage for my mixer also but found out after it was in that my Kitchen Aid didn’t fit under where the door rolled up. If you measured it seemed as if it would but as you slide the mixer in it won’t fit under the roll up door. It is tall enough in the back but getting it in and out would be a real hassle. The garage now houses the food processor and several other appliances and the mixer sits out.

    Second thought it that if you have “dead corners try to get lazy susans put in so you don’t have to reach all the way to the back of a cabinet. I even had a half lazy susan put in where a full one didn’t fit. I love them!

  22. My suggestion? If at all possible, put a sink /fiberglass tub in your laundry room. Great for filling buckets, handwashing clothes, washing pets, hair, etc.

  23. May I make one suggestion? If my tired brain remembers, you a 2nd story where you have bedrooms and a bath. Is there anyway you could put a washer/dryer closet upstairs? Since I suspect this will be your last move, having a w/d area upstairs is what I’d suggest. I think when houses are designed, they’re designed wrong by having a laundry room on the ground floor. 99% of the laundry is processed upstairs, if there’sore than one story. I’ve always believed that all houses w/ 2 or more stories should have the laundry room on the level where the bedrooms are. While a 25-45 person can carry up and down the stairs, an older person may not be able too.

    When we built a 2 story house, I insisted the laundry room be on the 2nd floor. Despite all the looks and grumbles, in the end, everyone was much happier having the laundry room on the 2nd floor.

    A simple suggestion.

  24. Sharon Hughson

    If you take a tour at one of the big box stores, they have software to layout a kitchen and that might save you some time with the architect and also give you ideas. Then talk to the architect. Just an idea. Also the house I grew up in had a table in the middle of the kitchen. There was no storage, but it served as an island before there were islands. I know you will enjoy your kitchen whatever you decide.

  25. Please make an entrance to the bathroom from the kitchen. Your husband will love being able to get to the bathroom easily from the garage, and that access will be much nicer than having guests walk through your office. And instead of a tub, a nice walk in shower. So easy to get in and out of, and much easier to clean.

    Once you have an island you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. I’d make it stationary, not movable, for plenty of storage underneath, and constructed to look old.

    Maybe that small corner outside the bathroom/office could become a closet or ??? for coats, etc….

  26. I love your plan! I have had a few ‘fancy’ rangehoods and when we redo our current kitchen I am insisting on avdifferent one! They are awful to clean on the outside!! It’s amazing how quickly the dust builds up if the stainless steel is not cleaned regularly; combined with the slightest bit of grease it can become quite a chore. Who needs extra cleaning? In my opinion, fancy rangehoods look great, but are not worth the cosmetic benefit!

    I’n not a fan of islands either, though I do love a galley kitchen that has a ‘breakfast’ bench built in. My kids (or your grandkids!) sit at the wider than normal bench and chat or do their homework while I prepare meals.

    I LOVE all the windows in the last picture of your post – you can never have too much light!

  27. Jo Anne Schnebly

    Do you really want bathroom traffic going thru your office? What about a door to the bathroom where that square closet is. That would make your bathroom a tad bigger. Perhaps put a closet in you office all along the wall between it and the bathroom. Just a couple thoughts off the top of my head. I’m not a kitchen island fan either. If you think you might need a island once in a while, could hubby make one on wheels with storage underneath and maybe drop leaves on the ends. Definitely need a window above kitchen sink. And stay with stainless steel double sink. White porcelain is the pits to keep clean.

  28. Hi, Jo –
    You might want to think about a walk-in shower at the end of the tub. We have one (it’s not very big) but it’s so much better than trying to hop over the edge of the tub. I never thought about it until we got older. Tom’s had some knee issues (me, too!) and being able to just open the door and shower has been great for us. And, do you think you might need more storage in the kitchen? There are 2 empty walls…maybe a built in pantry?

  29. Jo Anne Schnebly

    Do you really want bathroom traffic going thru your office? What about a door to the bathroom where that square closet is. That would make your bathroom a tad bigger. Perhaps put a closet in you office all along the wall between it and the bathroom. Just a couple thoughts off the top of my head. I’m not a kitchen island fan either. If you think you might need a island once in a while, could hubby make one on wheels with storage underneath and maybe drop leaves on the ends. Definitely need a window above kitchen sink. And stay with stainless steel double sink. White porcelain is the pits to keep clean. Being hubby is a farmer, laundry needs to be close to the door he uses to come into the house.

  30. I like the idea of the laundry room/pantry. My laundry room is right off the kitchen and I really like it! We remodeled our kitchen last fall and agonized over the design. I recommend making sure the cabinets go to the ceiling, and increasing the depth was no extra charge for us. Be sure to ask. I also recommend that you put a utility sink with in the garage or laundry room. We recycled our old kitchen sink to the garage, so my hubby does not wash paint brushes and other extremely dirty things in my fancy sink and grante counters!

  31. My husband and I purchased a partly-remodeled cabin 15 years ago, and finished turning it into a year-round home. Now in our mid-70s, here are our suggestions for planning for future needs:

    1. Starting now, get rid of seldom-used, single-purpose appliances and gadgetry. You won’t have to clean, dust, move, or store them.

    2. Would a big armoire in an adjacent room serve in lieu of a pantry for bulky, seldom-used items? It does for us.

    3. As you get older, bending becomes harder. Sliding shelves in under-counter cupboards or deep, wide drawers can hold small appliances and other equipment. Don’t skimp on quality of the ball-bearing hardware inside. You don’t want drawers that stick.

    4. My Kitchen-aid mixer is on a lifting-mechanism shelf inside a narrow cupboard below the counter. Beneath the mixer is a shelf where my pyrex baking pan fits. Below that, is where I stack my baking sheets. Everything is hidden behind the cupboard door on the front.

    5. Lazy-susan revolving shelves in below counter corner are great. Not strong enough for heavy equipment, but great for light-to-medium stuff.

    6. In my 10′ x 13′ kitchen, I had to make every square inch count and make some tough choices. I could afford an extra stack of drawers by downsizing the sink from 33″ to 30″, and still get the mixer off the counter. Wonderful!

    7. Drawers can be 2-deep, 3-deep, or 4-deep, and the heights of the drawers can vary. Think of exactly what you will store in each drawer. Having no wasted space above whatever the drawer contains may “buy” you enough height for an extra drawer. I keep canned goods in the bottom drawer of my 4-stacker…another mini-pantry.

    8. Would a space-saver microwave over your stove be of more value than a fancy range hood? There’s room for a cupboard for lightweight things like napkins and paper towels above it. Works great for me, but then, I don’t do canning or cooking in monster pots. Do you?

    9. Consider where you will keep your cleaning supplies so that visiting grandchildren can’t get into them. Mine are in an above-counter cabinet, next to the sink.

    10. Consider what you will keep in the cupboard beneath the sink. The drain pipe doesn’t have to be in the center, if it makes sense to move it to one side or the other. We have a septic system, so we didn’t want a garbage disposal. In my cupboard, there’s a trash can on one side and a recycled plastic kitty-litter bin to hold recyclables on the other. Behind both are crates that hold plastic and paper grocery bags.

    11. As we get older, we need lots and lots more light…for quilting, reading, food preparation, and dining. In the kitchen, my electrical engineer husband wired florescent lights in series underneath the upper cabinets. A flip of one switch will turn all of them on.

    12. You’re right about those deep sinks in vogue right now. They’re a killer on the back.

    13, Think about what kind of major kitchen appliances that you would eventually like to have, and plan space for them now. We didn’t replace the refrigerator with a top door freezer with a side-by-side model for 5 years, but it was simple to do when the time came.

    14. Consider the upkeep and maintenance required when choosing the materials used in your home. Tasks that are simple now get harder over time. Like repainting. And recaulking. And dusting all the crevices in the fancy molding, etc.

    15. The diagram that you have drawn above shows a kitchen that’s woefully short of counter and storage space for fixing even regular meals. Move the refrigerator to the corner next to the bathroom. Then, run the counter by the stove clear down to the corner on the left side, and build in cupboards above and below it. That’s what I have. Then, next to the refrigerator, you have room enough for a floor-to-ceiling “pantry,” about a foot deep, with lots of room for canned and packaged foods. Put a track down the sides so that at least some of the shelves are adjustable. There’s also room above the refrigerator for additional shelving, but it’s not particularly convenient. I have to stand on a chair to get picnic supplies, etc. that I keep there.

    16. One last suggestion: Consider building your kitchen in stages, as time and budget permit. Get a good plan…something that will work for you. Get enough of it done so you can cook a simple meal. Put a card table in the middle of the kitchen if you have to for extra work surface for awhile. Then, ponder your options. Beware of a pantry instead of enough counter and cupboard space. That’s what I had for 3 years, and it was dreadful. Don’t rush. Take your time and do it right, and you’ll come out just fine!

  32. Leaded glass did you say? Well, out of necessity my Hubby made some fabulous panels of it in coloured glass for a door in our previous home. He had never done it before .Really it could be regarded as (not to sound sexist) macho patchwork. Your hubby is a skillful renovator of furniture so I’m sure he could tackle a bit of leaded glass. And you could have your own design. Look online as there is lots of information on techniques etc. My Hub went on to make some beautiful lampshades to use up the leftover glass – just like us with our scrappy patchwork!
    Regards from, presently, Cool Britannia.

  33. I think that all of the suggestions above are good ones to consider. Something I haven’t read relates to the fixtures in the room. Given that you are assuming that you will be in this house for awhile, consider fixtures that are designed for those with more physical issues. The higher comfort commode, a seat in the shower/tub and a higher sink. Also consider rails in the shower, and wider doors into the room. While none of us likes to consider the aging process, the more of those things you add now, the better for everyone.

    BTW, I particularly liked the idea of a door from the kitchen area into the downstairs bathroom. It would make it easier to get in and out for someone who is coming in from the outside and may be a bit messy.

    Enjoy the time dreaming and gathering ideas.

  34. My hubs and I are planning on building next year. One thing I am adamant about is that it all be handicap access able. We are in our mid fifties and you never know when we might have to accommodate a wheel chair or other assistance devices. We have the front walk designed as a ramp but it just looks like a sloped walkway. That would be my suggestion. You don’t want to have to do major renovation to make these accommodations later. Much cheaper to just design them into the remodel now. Good luck.

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