5 Kitchen Remodel Ideas I’d Recommend; 2 I’d Skip

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Kitchen-Remodel-collage.jpgJulia Child had a kooky kitchen feature: a pegboard with the outline of her pots to precisely hang them in their proper places. Functionality, love it. Three times in my married life, we’ve torn a kitchen to the studs. One was our commercial building (renovated a 50-year-old Hungarian restaurant into offices and professional test kitchen). This house, a decade later, I can give an honest critique. These are FIVE decisions that ended up working well, and TWO I’d say you can skip.

Thumbs up:

  1. Two-way swinging restaurant door. I like closing the door between our dining room and kitchen. Here, the window is key – it helps us not crash into a cabinet, guest or open dishwasher. The two-way swing is quite useful when hands are full and you are using your be-hind.
  2. One massively deep storage drawer. “Hey lady, what size do you want your drawers?” I went to a restaurant supply store and bought the LARGEST stock pot that a home cook would use, handed it to the cabinetmaker and said, “At least one drawer this deep.” Also bought the tallest box of cereal for them to build the pantry shelves. The stock pot is handy for brining turkeys, BTW.
  3. Warming drawer. We use it more than I ever dreamed we would.
  4. Two ovens – one gas, one electric. The electric is in the wall, and the gas is part of the range. I gravitate to the gas oven for its cooking nature and frugality. Larry prefers the electric, I think because the window is at face-level. When we entertain, both are going.
  5. Disposal in the proper side of a double sink. Pick a double sink that can lay a half-sheet baking pan in one side. Put the disposal in that side. Strangely, some people have two sinks the same size. And/or the disposal in the small side. NO. You need to be able to lay pans, platters, etc. flat in soapy hot water to clean, which means that is the gunk can also go into the disposal.

And here are two decisions that were “cool” but I wouldn’t do again:

  1. Pot filler.  Never use it. One would think it’s great for filling really large pots, true. But, you still have to carry that full pot to the sink to empty.  And even one drip onto the stove is annoying. Yet, everyone goes ooooh when they see it, so maybe it will be a selling feature.
  2. Beverage fridge. We built a terrific bar, so of course, a beverage fridge is needed, right? In hindsight, I’d opt for a second under-counter food fridge. We usually have a fairly stuffed fridge. Yet I am too cheap to add a second garage fridge. Again, hopefully a selling feature.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erdmann Exteriors December 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

Installing a Two-way swinging restaurant door would be a nifty and fun addition to a house if you are into that and want a different change and fits your personality.

2 DanielsRemodeling.com March 6, 2014 at 4:47 am

This should be very helpful for those who are in middle of their home improvement project as well as for those who plan to start. Try to contact friends or someone who have remodeled their home recently or have the experience in remodeling projects. That would provide more tips on what are the do’s and don’ts.

3 Parker January 16, 2013 at 2:02 am

Agree with you, I have my own two oven and 2 fridge as well, but it make my bills like touching the sky. But Its still fine for me. Anyways thanks,.

4 Worth The Whisk October 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Kathy, here in LA (actually in the Valley), we have Valley Door and Sash, I think that is where we got it. You would most likely need to go to a specialty door place rather than a Home Depot. THANKS for understanding my pot filler stance.

5 Kathy Matthews October 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I just discovered your site. Love it! I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel and an in awe of your swinging kitchen door. Where did you get it? I can find the swinging hinges but where can you get a door like that with a window? (So refreshing to see you diss the pot filler. They always seemed crazy to me. Fill the pot at the stove and then call in a team to carry it to the sink to empty it!)

6 Jean | Delightful Repast July 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I so agree with you, Patti. The pot filler is just silly. When I remodeled, I got a big, deep, single sink. Four years later, I love it just as much as the day I fell in love with it! But NO garbage disposal. The house had one when we moved in, and I immediately had it removed. Hate ’em.

7 Worth The Whisk July 22, 2011 at 8:10 am

Laura, I am with you. I would have to say with firm belief that the small-sink-with-disposal was NOT designed by a home economist. We think big. Big platters, big families, big piles of stuff to go into the disposal.

8 Laura @ Family Spice July 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

Great tips! Totally agree about the sink. Why these people thought a small sink for the disposal was a good idea is baffling to me! I wish I had warming drawer. Everyone I know who has one raves about.

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