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When looking at new kitchens

September 12, 2010

AAM and I are starting to look at new houses. We absolutely love our present house, it will be so hard to leave it, but we know that it is best to have a small backyard for Serafina. Because we want to stay near the city, we realize we can’t have a list of demands. However, seeing 7 different houses, I realize how different the word kitchen can mean.

In looking at houses, I realize I am very flexible with kitchens. After cooking in a galley kitchen for 5 years, and never noticing its size, I find that I work well in small spaces. Sometimes, it is so nice to have a countertop in front of you and behind you, it makes for some fun cooking show antics. My mother-in-law compliments us for our use of space, and when she does, I suddenly remember that most people have much bigger kitchens than we do. We have hosted several Thanksgivings, and every Christmas Eve dinner. We host intimate cocktail parties and a baptism party of 20. We have a small house, and love every inch of it.

Clearly, it would be ideal to have a bigger kitchen, but I can’t decide my priorities. Right now, I am thinking that the kitchen could be a bit bigger, but if the furnishings were from the 50’s I would not care. I could embrace retro for a few years. Paint the cabinets and love me some metal.

Readers, I really want to know, what are your priorities in a kitchen?

please leave your ideas below,

tell me about your kitchens. What do you love or hate?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    September 13, 2010 12:08 am

    I wish I had more counterspace, bigger pantry so I could see my food, and ample cabinets to put my pots and pans and smaller appliances. I miss my gas stove but do feel somewhat safer with electric. I love having a garbage disposal(I didn’t at my last apt).

  2. Meredith permalink
    September 13, 2010 12:08 am

    Several must-haves in my kitchen:

    – natural gas range and oven. You just can’t cook properly with an electric coil and I just don’t think much of the flat-top ranges. Plus they stay hot! I just don’t think it’s safe for kids. As for the oven, electric ovens take forever to warm up. So annoying. Bonus feature: if you have gas appliances, you probably also have gas heat, which is nice and warm.

    – a flat countertop surface. This never would have occurred to me until I moved into my townhouse and am living with tile counters. They are impossible to keep clean, both in that you can’t just sweep your hand across the surface to clear up crumbs (and don’t even get me started on sugar and flour), and who knows what’s growing in that grout. Run away from tile countertops.

    Other nice to haves:
    – a window with a west, east, or south face, so that you can grow herbs year-round. If the window box actually juts out, all the better.

    – an island or peninsula. I would consider this closer to a must-have, but if you really have a large space, you might not need it.

    In general, I’d say that you could probably deal with ugly cabinets or flooring, but make sure you can work with the appliances there since cooking is important to you.

  3. September 13, 2010 3:24 pm

    I get what you mean about your galley kitchen. When we lived in OC, our kitchen was a tiny square space with about 3′ x 3′ floor space. From left to right it went: oven, microwave on the counter, dishwasher, sink, fridge. Small doesn’t even begin to describe it. And yet it had more (and more efficient) storage space than the 2 larger kitchens we’ve had since then. It’s really nice to have the contents of your entire kitchen within reach. Not so nice when a second person tried to help out, but great for working alone.

    My priorities (were I to be kitchen shopping right now) are: 1) no granite counter tops; 2) no stainless steel appliances. Does that sound crazy? These two features, which pop up on every home show and on every real estate listing as luxurious upgrades, will instantly date the look of your kitchen 10 years from now. They are too trendy. Think harvest gold and avocado green appliances…bleh!

    One thing I love in my current kitchen that I had never had before is a tiny extra faucet on the side of my sink that puts out 190 degree water on demand. Not quite boiling, but perfect for a cup of tea. Also if I need to boil water I fill my pots from the 190 degree tap, and it comes to a boil very quickly. It’s turned out to be very useful. I don’t own a teakettle anymore.

    Robb would say he needs a double sink, but I can live with one. One thing that I need, though, is a window above the sink.

  4. September 13, 2010 8:27 pm

    So interesting, and it is such a regional thing. I think my issues are close to Laura’s, space costs a premium in DC, so I am just hoping we have more than a galley. We will probably have electric. In fact, I actually love my flattop stove, and I grew up on gas. I feel better about not having gas in the house, and it easier to tell if the stove is hot.

    Barb, you raise awesome points about granite and stainless. We bought stainless for our house now because we knew we were going to sell within 5 years and that it would still be the trend. For the next house, we are hoping that we can rehab the kitchen and do it in our style. So, I think my wish list will include a retro 50s kitchen. Why pay for someone else’s rehab? I kind of like the idea of sticking to renewable resources for the countertops…but another topic for another post.

    hmm. I guess for me it is space and a retro kitchen….everything else we can improve 😉

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