Remodel Stories: How Do You Know When It's Time To Get a New Kitchen?

Making the decision to remodel your kitchen can be difficult. There are many factors to consider such as the budget, knowing what to expect, and the general disruption of your daily life. However, the results are worth it!

Follow along with me over the course of the next few months as I go through the process of remodeling my own kitchen.

Before Photo of Kitchen

At first glance, you might wonder why I'm remodeling my kitchen. There is ample countertop space, plenty of cabinetry and storage as well as an open floor plan or layout ... so why have I made the decision to remodel? Simply put - the kitchen does not function very well for me and how I like to cook and work within the space.

My main issue with the kitchen is the layout or location of cabinets and appliances within the kitchen. I've recreated my current layout using a computer aided drafting program to create some 3-dimensional renderings to help illustrate my issues with the layout.

I've removed the kitchen island to allow you to see the current cabinet and appliance layout.

Range - let's start with the placement of the range. Placing the range in the corner limits the amount of countertop workspace between the sink and the range. There is only 21" of space in which to work with. Now, I don't know about you - but I prefer to do most of my prep work in-between the sink and the range. This allows me to easily access the sink to clean vegetables, as well as, keep an eye on anything that I may be cooking (oops - I mean burning) on the stovetop. In addition, this location limits access to not one (1) but two (2) electrical outlets that are located behind the range. Oh, did I forget to mention how difficult it is to clean behind the range...I literally have to climb onto the countertops and range to clean the countertops located in the corner. Trust me - this is not something you want to see!

Over-the-Range Microwave/Vent - Personally I don't like over-the-range microwaves. Now don't get me wrong, they are great space savers and allow the microwave to be off the countertop so as not to take up valuable workspace. However, I feel that they are too low to the stove or cooktop which makes using my large stockpots (to make my great-grandmothers homemade spaghetti sauce) very difficult as they do not fit under the microwave. So instead of a four (4) burner stovetop - I only have two (2) usable burners. Due to the corner installation of the microwave, the light and vent fan are installed back too far which means that they don't light or vent anything! In addition, this is a recirculating vent which means that there is a charcoal filter that "filters" the smoke and blows it back into the room which is not the most effective form of venting a range.

A different perspective of the kitchen.

Refrigerator - The location and placement of the refrigerator works well for this design. It is located close to the back entrance to allow for easy unloading of grocery items. However, it is a standard depth side-by-side refrigerator which sticks out 9" beyond the cabinetry and blocks the natural light from the kitchen window and patio door from reaching the back entry. In addition, when the refrigerator doors are open it is too close to the kitchen island which impedes on the traffic pattern between the refrigerator and the island.

Island - This brings me to my final issue with this layout which is the kitchen island. A kitchen island is one of the most desired features that homeowners are looking for in a new kitchen and I'm no different than anyone else. I loved the idea of having a kitchen island - however, not this island! First off it is too far away from the kitchen sink - I have 52" of space between the edges of the countertop surfaces which makes using the island difficult. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends at least 42" of space for a one-cook kitchen and 48" of space for a multi-cook kitchen. This island needs to be moved at least 7" to 10" closer to the sink to be used comfortably. In addition, there is only 9" of countertop overhang for the seating area which is not adequate. The overhang for a kitchen island at 36" in height should be a minimum of 15" in order to avoid hitting your knees when seated. If your island seating is 42" in height the overhang should be a minimum of 12" and a minimum of 18" at a 30" high seating height.

Computer generated rendering of my existing kitchen layout.

Stay tuned for my next blog post when I'll give you a sneak peak at the new layout, cabinet door style and finishes along with the rest of the color palette.