Not long after we were married, we bought a house in a great area that an architect had designed for himself and his family. We loved it – very Frank Lloyd Wright, with lots of land. So began the adventure. Having just moved into our new home, we came to the conclusion that the kitchen definitely needed to be redone – yes, the kitchen interior design project was on.
There were so many things to be thought about and planned for during the reconstruction. We plunged head first into the project with little experience and our heads full of remodeling ideas, just an ideal of what we want the kitchen layout to be.
We had the contractors start the parade – looking at the layout of the kitchen and the cabinet construction, the overall construction of the house and the kitchen in particular. The bids came in – slowly at first and then in a deluge. The prices were astounding. This was in the early 1980’s and the low bid was $12,000, and that was for a new sink, paint and “new cabinet facings” (new doors on the existing cabinets!) Now the house was not inexpensive, but these prices were out of sight! Times were much like today, many people out of work and contracts were few and far between.
We looked and planned the movements around the kitchen, what we wanted to do with the space and how we wanted the kitchen to function. So, one week, we ordered a 40 yard dumpster to be delivered to the house. We knew about these as when we moved in, we had filled five of these babies with junk from inside the house as well as the yard. We checked with each other hoping that we were really sane, picked up sledge hammers and started on the walls. What fun it was, tearing away what had become a kitchen that we did not like and could not stand.
We had decided to open up the kitchen – that it would only have two walls with an island that was filled with drawers – big drawers with heavy file cabinet drawer slides (The things that filing drawers use to pull in and out smoothly while supporting the heavy load of paper, files and books.) They can support over 100 pounds each and we thought they would work fine to support drawers that held large stand mixers, iron pots and pans as well as dishes. We built drawers that were tall enough to hold big bowls and other tall things that are used in the kitchen. We also made drawers that were deep enough to hold baking pans and all sorts of things for cooking. There were even spice drawers with angled racks in the drawer so the labels could be easily read.
You may have guessed that the kitchen was to revolve around the stove and all the details that are needed to cook on the marvelous one we choose. After much research, we choose a gas Viking 36 inch, six burner stove with one oven. Black and chrome, it was a thing of beauty and held the place of honor in the kitchen. We had a custom range hood designed with a ‘double lung’ exhaust system, so the kitchen never over heated while the stove was being used. We had a pot of stock on one of the back burners most of the time.
The counter heights were at a special height as we are both tall, so the counter was perfect for working on for us. This is sometime to be considered if you have planning to keep your home for a long time or if are you remodeling the kitchen to increase the selling value. We also put carpet in the kitchen. The rest of the house had either hard wood or marble flooring, but the kitchen was to be soft under foot for the standing time is greater there than anywhere else in the house.
When you understand what you want to do with your remodeling, that is when you can start your new kitchen interior design.