I am beginning to formulate what I would like in my new dream kitchen remodel that we should be tackling within the year. I have ideas but having so many like minded food oriented people here is something I can't pass up. What would you love in your dream kitchen? Preferences on brands, types of equipment? Considerations for space? Pros and cons on surfaces? Things that you did that make you happy? Things that you regret? I'm interested in any input!!!!!
I really envy you - I have never had a house where I have put in a new kitchen and I fantasize about it. The feature I love most about my current kitchen is a large central island - it really helps having lots of space to cook on. The feature I wish I had is a 6 burner range with a double oven. I don't have space for it in this kitchen but I'm definitely going to get one in my next house (or next life!). I would also love to have a walk-in larder where I could easily see all my supplies on the shelves. An alternative that takes up less space is one of those pull-out larders that are floor to above head height with shelves that you can access from either side. I do like my corner appliance cupboard which is at counter height and I can stash away the food processor, waffle iron, coffee grinder, etc.
Good luck with it - keep us updated on your progress.
Oooooh, what fun! We took our 1901 fixer-upper down to the studs and started rehabbing it ten years ago (work still continues to this day), so I had the fun of designing my dream kitchen.
Things I got right:
For the floor I used the same rugged linoleum tiles they used in my daughter's high-school cafeteria, in a splotchy speckled pattern, dark and light on battleship grey. You could slaughter a cow in my kitchen and the floor would look none the worse for it.
Gas stovetop, two electric ovens, one topfit for broiling, the other convection for baking and roasting.
No dishwasher. I collect pottery, so have to wash most of my dishes by hand anyway.
No garbage dispose-all. It took a while for the composting folks in the City of Seattle to catch up with my concept, but Seattle now composts all food materials including animal bones and fat and soiled paper products (like pizza boxes). Having no garbage-eating appliance in my kitchen made me very forceful as an advocate for city composting.
I kept my old cutting table, an inexpensive 3'x5' wood table that I have been cutting on for 25 years. The first year, 25 years ago, it looked pretty grotty, but by now it's beautifully distressed and a memory bank for all our kitchens past. I warmly recommend a cutting table rather than a cutting board -- room to spread out. We also eat some meals there.
A big peninsula with open shelves up to counter height on both sides and then pass-through shelves above the counter. I keep all our ordinary everyday dishes on the pass-through part, so I can get help setting the table without having somebody elbowing me on my side of the peninsula.
On the other side of the peninsula, there's a separate area for my husband's cooking tasks, which include whizzing up veggie smoothies in the morning, making coffee, and making his lunch on work days. We can both work in the kitchen without getting in each other's way. He has his own small sink there, although he still does impinge on my big double sink on my side of the peninsula, I don't know why.
I painted each of the four walls a slightly different color, dark yellow mustardy and turmeric colors, because I knew I was going to spend more time in the kitchen than in any other room in the house and I wanted my view to stay lively. The painters told me I was crazy, and maybe somebody else might not like it, but I love it.
A forgiving surface for countertops, two of them wood, the third formica. I had a hard countertop surface, tile, in a house I lived in many years ago, and I'm just not careful enough to use a hard surface like that well. I broke dozens of glasses and plates and abused all my knives inadvertently. Never again. I wonder that people like granite countertops -- they must be much more careful than I am.
I just a couple of months ago got one of those thick gel mats to stand on while I'm doing the dishes, and I wonder what took me so long, my feet and legs love it.
Things I got wrong:
I didn't analyze the traffic patterns carefully enough, and there's one particular pathway, from the open part of the kitchen, past the cutting table, to my husband's side of the peninsula that's 2-3 inches too small when somebody's sitting at the cutting table. If I had thought it out better, the peninsula could be just a smidgen shorter and we wouldn't experience that particular bottleneck and bang into each other. Figuring out your working patterns and traffic paths is by far the most important part of the design.
Um, I'm kind of embarrassed to mention this, but I didn't test out my stove fully while it was under warranty, and I got some Cadillac features that haven't proved worthwhile. The wok burner is powerful, but because it's only a ring with no central flame it doesn't do a good job of heating the wok evenly. My nice little carbon steel wok I got in China has a usage ring where the flames hit the pan. And having two ovens is fabulous, I love it, but I can't have both on full blast or the stove blows a gasket, one or both ovens turn off, and I have to wrestle the stove away from the wall so I can hit the Reset button.
Things I'm still working on:
For many years we had a guest room, principally for our mothers, but both of them are past their visiting years now, so I'm converting the guest room to a pantry. It was quite a small guest room, but it's huge for a pantry. Oh joy!
I have granite worktops and unlike mcvl haven't experienced any problems with them. I like being able to put hot pans on the worktop without worrying about it. They are easy to keep clean and mine are black so never show any marks.
My parents have the induction solid surface cooktops and they are amazingly fast at bringing water to the boil. And so easy to clean. They cool down as soon as the pan comes off and you just wipe it clean. So easy compared to my gas hob where I have to remove and clean the burner tops and the grids.
I'm in the process of installing a new kitchen at a holiday home - it's meant to be a low-cost upgrade, but very fortunate that the cabinet maker had a huge granite bench that was wrong for another installation so getting it very cheap - the kitchen is being designed around it! I've had granite before and love it - though you do have to be careful with heavy pots, like Le Creuset, as it can chip. I've also had composite granite that is more hard wearing.
This is my 10th kitchen I've installed - yes I move around a lot! One of the major things I've learnt is that the flow has to be right. When I look at the plans I imagine lots of different scenarios and work my way around the kitchen. Making a cup of tea; the kids getting breakfast - while I'm making lunches; the table being set - while I'm making dinner; the dishwasher being loaded - what's the flow from the table. Preparing vegetables - where would you do it and how does that relate to the position of the bin/sink/insinkerator (if you're having one). I once had the sink on my left which was totally wrong. The only place I could put a fridge was at one end of the kitchen and there would be a lot of bumping into each other, so put a small fridge in the other end which has all the things the family needs - milk, yogurt, juices etc.
The other thing I do is mark on the plan what will go into every drawer/cupboard it really makes you think about the size and shape of every space. Think about everything you have in the current kitchen and place it into a space in the new one.
I love big, pull-out drawers rather than cupboards. I have them for pots, appliances and crockery.
I've had a wide oven, thinking it would be really useful. But now prefer to have two standard size or one standard and one small one - a configuration you can often get in standalone units. A large sink is essential if you have a wide oven - otherwise it's impossible to wash the trays!
I have an induction hob with 4 rings - I love it mainly because it's incredibly fast to heat up and you can control the heat very precisely. You have to be careful not to overheat pots - my first time using it I managed to crack a cast iron griddle. My ideal would be to have induction with one gas ring - as there are just a few things that I don't think it does as well. I haven't been able to make good omelettes or pancakes and I prefer gas for wok cooking.
A lot of the design comes down to your personality as well. My husband likes everything hidden away (but then he doesn't cook) I like to have lots of thing on the bench or hanging up. Think about what you want showing - utensils, platters, cookbooks so you have plenty of open space for these things without taking up all your bench space. There are some good kitchen sites that I've been looking through for ideas - I love looking at people's kitchens on The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/home-tours
Hope this helps - have fun!
The best recommendation would be a Gaggeneau steam convection wall oven that you can virtually cook everything. My oven is smaller up to an 18 pound turkey but they now have a larger sized oven. I purchased for bread but now I virtually cook everything in the oven. Look at the other ovens in their line for a companion since you can add roasting, pizza stone and many other additional features. You can cook fat free or add your olive oil at the end to retain its flavor.
Sketch a schemetic of your kitchen. What works? What doesn't work. When you visit someone's kitchen, again sketch their kitchen when you get home. The same goes for kitchens on TV and in movies. You've got to figure what works in a kitchen. You also need to calculate your linear feet of everything you need.
If you have a limited space then create a kitchen that you frequently check for any intrusion of extra things.
Make sure you leave adequate prep room between your stovetop and your say sink. Think of the flow of food. You want space on either side of your refrigerator as well as the area in front You must plan for how things come out of the oven as well as the storage.
I keep my tabletop things near the dishwasher and away from the food prep area. Serving dishes I keep near my food prep area.
This is the third kitchen I've designed and it's not there yet. Post remodel extra cookbooks moved into a den. Extra or rarely used pans and equipment live in the gargage. When I can it becomes a hurricane of stuff in my kitchen. There isn't enough room for my current cadre of small appliances.; that storage space is being used by foodstuffs. I'd like the countertop designed for a baking space to be bare rather than covered with the kitchen aid I had plus the Electrolux purchased later.
If I had a barn it would probably fill.
This is a wealth of info that I will be referring back to over the next few months. So glad there are granite counters that are hardworking and that Gaggeneau oven sounds like a dream! Thanks again for the wonderful input.
The design of your kitchen can say a lot about you.Conceptual and inspired kitchen designs are new life into your home.An awesome furniture with little paintings reflects good contract over the visitors and relatives coming in home.
Colors also give a unique and attractive look to our kitchen.
This may be way off base, depending on the look you are going for, but my dream countertop is zinc. I have a kitchen remodel that keeps getting postponed for various reasons, but zinc countergops - or at least a zinc-topped island is my goal. Zinc, used all over the place in France and at some restaurants and bars here in the U.S. is food safe and develops a lovely patina over time. You can shine it up if you'd like, but left alone it looks like pewter and you don't have to worry about smudes, spills, stains, etc. that are often problems with marble, stainless, and sometimes granite, depending on the coating.
The catch will be finding a contractor who knows what to do with it.
You can check out samples at: http://zinccountertops.net/zinctop/
click on "Design Tips" for more photos.
It is not for everyone, but if you like something different and yet Old World classic at the same time...
I love that it looks beautiful and you don't have to worry about spills. Even though I clean as I go when a cook (a necessity in a tiny kitchen), I don't want to burn something or overmix something because I have to freak out over a squirt of lemon juice missing the bowl.
My BEST things are low-simmer burners - have them on a thermador and bertazonni stove. also soapstone counter tops!
After spending a snowbound winter two years ago glued to the Garden Web kitchens forum, I had a plan for renovating the whole kitchen. Once the snow melted, and budget realities reasserted themselves, the plan was streamlined down to what would make the biggest functional difference to our cooking: a new sink and faucet (and replacing the ancient pipes to the kitchen to restore decent water pressure.
A 'super single' sink of composite granite replaced the 50-year-old chipped, eroded, and stained enameled steel double sink -- and miraculously fit exactly into the existing cutout. With a stainless grid in the base that effectively doubles the workspace available, it's made everything easier and faster (e.g., straining and cooling stock can be done at a safer and easier-to-manage height, and with zero mess). The faucet has a pull-down sprayer that makes it simple to rinse out the sink and to do clean-as-you-go pot washing. It's a pleasure to work there now.
If and when we have the resources, it'd be nice to replace the lower cabinets' balky drawers and fixed shelves with smooth-gliding full extension drawers, and to ditch the ancient Formica countertop-and-stainless-edging for something solid and smooth. But the new sink by itself has dramatically improved things enough that there's no great urgency for that. The sink is the most-used appliance in the kitchen, and is too often treated as an afterthought in remodels.
We're getting quotes right now for a complete redesign of our kitchen long in the planning. We'll be combining current laundry, kitchen and dining room into one big open space with lots of windows and clear surfaces (I hope!). We're sticking with the workflow spaces that are tried and true and will have a large island with seating opposite the enlarged work surfaces. I took on board some suggestions from earlier in this thread, especially Fiona's about working out where everything is going to fit.
Oven: We have a 2 year-old Miele single oven that we'll stick with. Disadvantages - despite assurances from the sales people it doesn't really grill properly like our old open gas grill used to so we prefer to use the barbecue or griddle pan for that. Very occasionally I have to time things carefully when two dishes need totally different temps and would prefer a double oven. Otherwise I love it.
Stove top: I'm unconvinced by induction and don't want to have to replace all our saucepans etc. and a good wok burner is essential for us, so gas, 5 burners.
Cupboards: Sadly we have to replace the existing solid Tasmanian Oak aka Mountain Ash doors and drawers which I'm hoping to sell, as they don't fit the new configuration. Replacing with timber in plainer design. All the lower cupboards are being replaced with soft-close drawers. Shallow upper cupboards so you can see what's there, appliances under benchtop at the end of island not visible from dining area. Simple rounded cupboard and drawer handles that things wont get caught on. All are carefully designed to house recycling and compost bins, cleaning items that currently sit on the benchtop etc. etc. Including a glass-doored display cupboard.
Bench tops: This is difficult, but have decided on granite composite. Someone in our house manages to break lots of things even on our old laminex(?) top, so have my fingers crossed. Composite because it comes in paler colours to contrast better with the timber cupboards. Very dark benchtops look great but decided against that for visibility reasons.
Flooring: No debate - sticking with cork tiles - easy care and dropped things just bounce. Hang the fashions.
Sinks: We'll have a separate sink in the laundry corner (which will all disappear behind full-length cupboard doors), keep our dishwasher and have a double kitchen sink with stainless steel drainboard rather than the kind that are set into the benchtop. I use the drainboard as a fool-proof landing for hot things for eg. Sink to be deep for hiding dirty dishes etc.
Extractor fan: Our old one is hopeless and you need a good one for wok cooking We were tempted for a while by glamorous looking ones with curved glass tops, but I hear they're extremely difficult to keep clean. Have settled for an apparently very quiet (a priority) yet powerful one whose hood pulls out turning on lights and fan.
This is getting to be an essay and I've hardly started! The main problem so far has been the creative tension between the desire for lots of spectacular double-glazed windows (I'm sure by co-designer thinks it's going to be a conservatory!) and the need to never run out of cupboard space again. Not everybody understands, but I'm hoping for sympathy from fellow EYBers - when you like to cook in 5 or 6 different cuisines, you need to keep a lot of basic ingredients etc. to hand.
Anyway, we're sure to have overlooked something important despite all the effort and probably won't be able to afford any holidays again. Wish us luck!