Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kitchen Thinking

I am drowning in floor plans.

Floor plans drawn on pads, piles of scrap paper, the backs of envelopes and serviettes.

We must have redrawn every possible configuration of this house multiple times and the evidence is all over the house.

It's a necessary process, to work out the best way to get the most out of our home's unusual layout (which is displayed under the tabs at the top of the page).

The big focus at the moment is on how to lay out the kitchen. We're considering opening the two walls that separate the existing kitchen from the pantry and the former post office room, which we'll use as a study. That would effectively give us a large open plan kitchen/study.

Having the kitchen and study open and joined is unusual but makes sense to us. We've always kept our main computer near the kitchen to access recipes or flit back and forward between bill-paying and checking on whatever's on the stove.

Lucinda will eventually be able to be there on the computer while I am nearby too, which seems practical.

I'm interested in hearing from people about their kitchen ideas. What are you happy you included in your kitchen? What would you do differently if you could? If money was no object?

And here are some piccies of life lately, just because. As you can see, we finally got Lucinda on a horse.

Ps. Still no interwebs. Soon, they say. Soon.


  1. Look how green it is over at yours! As for the kitchen, I think it's a great idea to have a spot for an office/computer nook nearby. We are planning a similar thing for our house. I think it's rare for people to be 100% happy with their renos - there is always something you wish you did differently. I think the main thing is to spend time and plan well at the beginning, which will hopefully result in less regrets in the end. xx

  2. wow it looks totally beautiful in your garden. I've never renovated a house, but my parents did when I was a teenager and the best thing about our kitchen/dining room area was that there was a place for music, eating, sitting drinking coffee, reading the paper, having big parties and drawing.

  3. Hi Edwina, your place is looking very fresh after all the rain. Great photos, and Lucinda on a horse - well done!

    We have been living in our open plan brick house for ages. Our kitchen/family room is big (and open) fully lived in! Lots of activities for our son from babyhood through to now a uni student! The computer has always been in that area and definitely that's the way to go (I think). So I'd say go for it, you will find the bigger open space very family friendly. cheers Wendy

  4. We are on the same wavelength it seems Edwina. I just posted the plans and concepts for our soon to be new kitchen. We worked on our plans for about 18 months before we were sure so just keep on drawing, happy to give you my ideas too if you like. We have put a desk nook in our walk in pantry for a computer, bills noticeboard etc to keep it all close, and the kids if they are on the computer too. I have never had a walk in pantry before but suggest lots of shallow shelves whatever pantry you have. We had an island bench in our last house and it is great for kids/visitors to sit at while you do stuff in the kitchen and we are doing it again this time. Other than that lots of windows and light would be my strongest recommendation. I LOVE designing kitchens too if you need a second opinion. mel x

  5. I think the thing i wish the most was that my walk in pantry was bigger. I would have had to do this right at the start but that and a bigger laundry would be my first changes if i had to do it again. It seems we put alot of space where we spend little time but the space where we live is not as big. Who needs a large front lounge room if everyone is in the centre of the house all the time. Dont forget you'll need your computer near the kitchen so you can pop on and update your followers without having to stop fully.

  6. We renovated the kitchen in our previous home. Later we moved and now I know a lot more about what suits our family. I hate dust and greasy film on things so I had absolutely no open shelving. My life is full and I have better things to do that clean dishes before they can be used.

    I like two pantry areas. One is storage of all the things I use often such as the food not requiring refrigeration. The other is a major kitchen storage area like a separate room. In that area I like to store all the appliances, including the breadmaker, the food processor, the electric knife and more. This is also where I stored all the cake tins, baking dishes and oven trays. I also stored the tupperware and freezer-ware in this area. Picnic hampers and eskies, bottles of spirits, and foodwraps were also on the shelves. So in the kitchen itself I had everyday cutlery, plates, saucepans, cooking hardware, and the necessaries for making a cuppa. I also stored all the really good china and glassware in the kitchen because we used that quite often.

    I suggest you make a long list of all the items you use and then group them. Then you will know what you need to store and why. Do not forget the brooms, mops and buckets. Where will all the cleaning gear and insect spray live? The inherited bowls and glasses? Tea towels and tablecloths? Candle sticks? Dining room storage? Laundry storage? Picnic storage? Barbeque storage?

    It will cost more than you expect, no matter what you do. Choose a style you really like and that you can live with after fashions change.

  7. Designing a personalised kitchen is a big job, you are off to a good start with lots of drawings and ideas, my two cents worth would include :- lots of drawers,(more useable space than cupboards), a breakfast bar or island bench that doubles as a work, craft area, as bench height is ideal for working, where a table height will kill your back, after about 10 minutes.
    If you can get someone to look after Lucinda, go together and have a GOOD long look at Ikea, they have some kitchens all set up, full of great ideas and you can get a "to scale" kitchen planner sheet, with cupboard ,fridge, stove, sink, etc. templates which you can move around.

    The ready set up kitchens will give you an idea of how you might like your own layout to work for you.Good luck and have fun.

  8. I would love more storage - a dark, cool closet to store all of the preserves I make. Back in the day a housewife made a year's worth of jam at a time, and had a jam closet to store it in. And somewhere for those empty bottles..
    I love our kitchen, which opens onto the dining room, and has a breakfast bar as well, so I can talk to visitors while I am cooking, and the children while they are doing their homework. The breakfast bar means my youngest can chat to me, and even help me cook, without me tripping over her in the kitchen, which is brilliant. All the best with those plans...

  9. You have a teepee! I want one! (For the kids, of course..) Where did you get it? Or did you make it? Chad keeps saying he'll make one, but alas, not yet. Re the computer - definitely seems sensible having it in or near the kitchen. Ours is in the room next door and we have to to and fro quite a bit when looking up recipes etc. Having said that I'd love to ban computers from my house.. the thought of the girls and social networking or anything to do with the internet sends me into a panic! (slightly premature, but anyway..) Your place looks lovely already. :-) And your followers seem to have some great ideas. Not me, I just like teepees. :-)

  10. We have an absolutely tiny kitchen, and it drives us both crazy. There's no hope of us renovating it until we can build on to (or under) the house - our place is about 750 square feet, with two decent-sized bedrooms, and no basement or second floor. We will, however, be adding an island for more counter space, and I've added a bookshelf under one window for our farming/gardening/animal husbandry/recipe books. This bookcase is brilliant - I should have done it sooner! If we could, we would also have our computer in or closer to the kitchen - we also use it to look up recipes and pay bills, and for listening to music. Plus, at the moment there's lots of hollering when one person is on the computer: "Hey, come look at this, what do you think?" "Okay, let me just put this down ad come see - I have to dry my hands, hang on..." so a more accessible computer would be great :)

    Your place is looking wonderful already!! What a great clean-up job you've both done :)


  11. I have never remodeled a kitchen but my dream kitchen would have a Dutch door in it (one that splits in the middle so the bottom can be closed and the top open like a window). It would give extra light and allow me to keep an eye on the kids, dogs, etc. while they are in the yard.

  12. There is an amazing app called planit2d that you can use to make house plans, it's so quick and easy. I'm not affiliated with them but tell everyone because its so good.
    As for the kitchen, the more storage the better! I like everything to have its place.