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RE: Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it? (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: pirula on 02.26.2011 at 11:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi breezygirl (great name!). Yes, I just do a new coating of tung oil and citrus solvent. Spread it on generously, leave it overnight to dry, buff it the next day. And that's it.


clipped on: 03.27.2011 at 07:38 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2011 at 07:38 pm

RE: Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it? (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: pirula on 02.26.2011 at 11:16 am in Kitchens Forum

First, thanks everyone for the compliments on our kitchen.

Second, if you use wood near water without treating it properly, you are inviting trouble. If you treat it with tung oil as the Chinese did their ships, and you maintain it (once a year MAX) you are not inviting any trouble whatsoever. We're going on six years of wood counters, two sinks, spills galore, splashing everywhere, water left standing, and the counters are good as new.

Oh, and hardwood floors in the master bathroom. Same story. Zero water issues. You just have to know how to treat the wood.

Would it survive a flood? Probaby not. But unless you're planning to take a hose to your wood counters and walk away, I know from experience that you'll have no problems using properly treated wood in your kitchen. Anywhere in your kitchen.


clipped on: 03.27.2011 at 07:37 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2011 at 07:38 pm

RE: Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it? (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: writersblock on 02.21.2011 at 05:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

> it cannot be removed without destroying the cabinets because it is glued down

Actually, Ikea BB is supposed to be installed with the slotted brackets provided so that it can expand and contract with changes in the atmosphere. It needs to be able to breathe a little


clipped on: 03.27.2011 at 07:13 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2011 at 07:13 pm

RE: Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: pirula on 02.10.2011 at 11:19 am in Kitchens Forum

I would, and I did, and I love it. The thing about wood is that if you do scratch it or whatever, you can spot fix it or renew the whole thing. Or I can anyway. I used pure tung oil laced with citrus solvent for a food safe, completely renewable finish. It's hard as nails. Water sits on it until it dries, leaving a "shadow" that easily wipes off. I've never stained my counters, but I don't use food coloring much, so cannot comment on that specifically. But tea, coffee, tomatoes, red wine and a memorable cranberry chutney explosion (don't ask) have left the counters unscathed. About once every 12 to 18 months, when I see the counters beginning to look a little sad here and there, mostly in the two spots where we prep the most, I just pull out the tung oil and do one coat and they look almost like new again. I do not cut directly on them...but we do roll pasta and do other sundry things on them. After almost five years I do think it's time to maybe give them a light sanding and oil. But it's patina not wear, and it's only in my perfectionist moments when I want them to look like they did day one. DH is like "um why?" As are our friends who think they look new. They don't, but they're exquisitely beautiful.


clipped on: 03.27.2011 at 07:05 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2011 at 07:05 pm

RE: Kitchen Upgrade (too much white) (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: kris_ma on 03.26.2011 at 05:00 am in Kitchens Forum

There's a LOT to love about the kitchen (lucky you! Congrats!!!), but "polar bear in a snowstorm" is what comes to mind when I see all that white. If it were me I think I'd start by leaving cabinets white and paint the island a color -- maybe something that ties in well with the other colors you use in your home. There's a thread about colored islands that has some beautiful examples of gorgeous differnt colored islands in otherwise white cabineted kitchens (link below). Since I was painting it anyway, I'd also add another cabinet to extend it toward the eating area so that it seats three, and then find a couple legs from to add for an updated look (use Google Images to search "Christopher Peacock island" -- love his islands and their trim/legs!!). I'd maybe add a dark stained walnut top, or maybe some marble. Then, depending upon what color, etc. I made the island, I'd find a backsplash tile to incorporates the color from the island and put it on the far wall. After that I'd consider possibly changing out the counter tops and/or the floor. I really think changing the island and the backsplash would be enough to address the problem, and would very cost efficient compared to changing out all the counters or the floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: White painted cabinets w/diff color paint on island??


clipped on: 03.26.2011 at 11:12 pm    last updated on: 03.26.2011 at 11:13 pm

RE: Banquette Seating - love it or hate it? (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.06.2011 at 01:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Yes, we did a banquette and absolutely love it. Impressive, breezygirl, that you noticed the seating angle! Our cabinet designer had us come down to his shop and try out different angles (as well as distances from bench to table, etc.), and so we ended up with a banquette that fits us very well.

As much as I love the banquette, I agree with many of the criticisms on this thread. Even with custom dimensions, the wood isn't comfy for long periods of time and you have to get up to let people out. We're also pretty thin people, and I don't think it would be nearly as comfortable for some of my larger friends.

That being said, this family of four now eats almost all of our meals there, and are enjoying every one of them. The coziness is worth a lot. Call me crazy, but I really think it brings us all together in a way that we didn't quite get at our table with chairs (which was larger in every dimension, and so we were sitting further apart). And the wood makes for easy cleanup (I've got a 4-yr old and a 6-yr old!).

Ours is definitely comfy enough for a half hour of eating (on the rare occasions that my kids actually sit for half an hour!). If my spouse or I wants to hang out longer, we might turn and sit with our backs to the window wall and spread out our legs along the bench.

One of the big benefits of the banquette that I haven't heard folks mention is that it's often in the kitchen, and that alone is worth a lot. Probably not as big of a deal for folks with newer homes and open floorplans, but it makes a difference in an older house with a walled kitchen.

When you eat in the kitchen, you can cook/clean/serve 2nds/fill glasses/make lunches/etc while chatting with your family. And the other choice for in-kitchen eating is typically the bar. Not any better for comfiness IMHO. We have seating at the bar, too, and it's great for hanging out chatting with the cook, but much less suitable for a meal. The main reason being that when you sit at the bar, your companions are on your side instead of across from you. This makes it harder to talk to anyone but your immediate neighbor, and harder to have conversations as a whole family.

Here's the relevant pic from the other thread:
Breakfast nook

And here's what our custom dimensions turned out to be:


clipped on: 03.25.2011 at 10:20 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2011 at 10:21 pm

RE: Banquette Seating - love it or hate it? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: breezygirl on 03.05.2011 at 08:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

Circuspeanut said about what I was going to say. "'d have the whole thing sprung like a regular sofa or chair." That's what restaurant-style benches are. That's why they are comfy. Restaurant-style ones also have the seat slightly angled back. (Check out the new kitchen reveal by jm_seattle to see his wooden one with slanted seats.) The back should angle back as well. I've sat in restaurant booths that don't have padded backs and they aren't comfy to me. Not a place to hang out in as I'd like.

Blfenton--I suggest you check out the booths on the website I linked above. Each one has a spec sheet showing all the dimensions and the slants of seats and backs. Very helpful for envisioning. You won't get storage underneath a restaurant-style booth, but you'll get comfort. They aren't as expensive as you think. If you have a restaurant supply store in your area, go ask them if they have a booth maker you could contact for a residential booth. They'll give you a price that you can compare to a carpenter-built/upholstered one. Are you in Vancouver BC by any chance? If so, I could hook you up with DH's branch up there to talk booths.

Chris--I'm with you about the fabric! There aren't a lot of fabric opportunities in a kitchen. There are some great kid-proof ones out there too!


clipped on: 03.25.2011 at 10:17 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2011 at 10:17 pm

RE: Banquette Seating - love it or hate it? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: breezygirl on 03.05.2011 at 02:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a drawing of standard booth dimensions made by one of the restaurant designers at DH's office. I've read similar measurements myself in Sarah Susanka's books and elsewhere. (Google booth dimensions or the like.) Bench should be 24" deep to account for the slanted back. Standard table width is 30", but you can go less. The table usually overhangs the bench by at least 3", but 4-5" is also common. Top of the seat should be 17-18" off the floor. 24" width is standard "per butt" spacing. Beware of corners where two diners cannot share the same leg space.

Booth dimensions

I'll also link to JH Carr, a major booth fabricator in my state. (They're the ones who made our old booth and will make our new one.) They have a gallery of many different styles they make. Click on a booth you like and then click on the spec sheet to see dimensions. This was also very helpful to me in planning my new kitchen's booth. Mine will be custom made by them because I need the back height to be very specific in order to fit in perfectly with the island around it.

I love the pics of the ones Lavender posted above, but they don't look extremely comfortable to me. I've never sat on one to judge it though!

Here is a link that might be useful: JH Carr, booth fabricator


clipped on: 03.25.2011 at 10:11 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2011 at 10:12 pm

RE: Is your second sink a prep sink? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: zelmar on 12.09.2010 at 01:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

"Having a separate prep sink also allows you to separate the Cleanup Zone from the Prep & Cooking Zones...a much more functional setup."

I really like having our whole kitchen be the clean up zone.

Large sink: located in the prep/cook zone near the range. The large sink allows me to rinse out pots and large bowls while I'm cooking so that I can reuse them to minimize the final clean up. I can also have a pan of sudsy water in the sink so that I can drop items I want to hand wash into it. When I'm waiting for something on the stove, I can get a head start on clean up.

Small sink with dw: located outside of the cooking zone. Someone can start clean up by loading dirty prep items or can use it for helping with prep (usually I want help cooking before dinner and help with clean up after dinner.) Or, as I mentioned above, the small sink can be used with the baking area.

But the best thing about the sink and dw locations is that clean up can be very efficient with enough helpers.. I can be at the main sink washing pots and pans, large bowls and cookie sheets, wooden and plastic items. Dd can be loading the dw at the small sink (close to table and prep area.) Dh can be putting leftovers away (leftover dishes close to table and fridge.) Usually, it's just me. But I love the potential.

The inside dimensions of our prep sink are 13" wide by 18" front to back by 10" deep. I've never wished for anything larger, even when it was our only sink. But that's probably because our main sink is near the range where the large items are washed--no need to carry large pots across the kitchen to the clean up sink.


clipped on: 03.24.2011 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 03.24.2011 at 10:16 am

RE: Is your second sink a prep sink? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: pussuskattus on 12.09.2010 at 07:42 am in Kitchens Forum

I am in the "second sink is large" group. My main sink is a 30" single-bowl in the island right across from my cooktop with the refrigerator to the right and the dishwasher below.

The second sink is a 20" single bowl - it's over in the part of the kitchen I have set aside for my husband and son! That's where we keep the bread and the snacks and there are a couple of pull-out pantries for peanut butter and cans of soup, etc. The microwave is there, too. We also keep the everyday dishes and silverware over there, as well as second dishwasher,so THEY can set the table (and clean up!) while I cook dinner.
So my second sink is really the clean-up and dishes sink, while my main sink is the food prep and pots-and-pans sink.

Your area to the left of the refrigerator could be used the same way - convenience foods, silverware, bread drawer, everyday dishes, even a second dishwasher - all of the things you don't need for serious cooking. Maybe that's exactly what you had in mind when you called it the "snack area"? Your disadvantage is that it is on the opposite side of the kitchen from the dining table. Mine is right next to it.

I guess you can say I divided my kitchen into "eating and cleanup" and "cooking" instead of several cooking zones.


clipped on: 03.24.2011 at 10:14 am    last updated on: 03.24.2011 at 10:14 am

RE: Is your second sink a prep sink? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: buehl on 12.09.2010 at 02:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

LOL, Zelmar...that's what I've been trying to get away from! Usually, I'm in a hurry making dinner, etc. b/c I just got home from work and it's late. So...cleanup is the one thing that can wait until later (or even dishes until the next day)! I do often put the used/dirty pots, etc. at the cleanup sink...and it's nice not to have them in the way as I continue to prepare a meal.

I cook, DH cleans up. DS & DD help if homework and practices permit (homework is huge, though...they get a lot!) (They always help on weekends...they switch off helping cooking & helping clean up.)

Here are a couple of pics showing how our kitchen works with's wonderfully functional!!! I love it!!! (I told my DH that if we ever move, the kitchen goes with us!)

Prep & Cooking Zones & Baking Center on Cooktop Wall

Cleanup Zone on Window/Sink Wall

I had sixteen 13-year old girl scouts work in this kitchen...twice! The parents were all amazed at how well it worked for that many! No, I don't often have that many working at one time, but it provides plenty of space for two or more of us to be doing our own thing w/o getting in each others way!


clipped on: 03.24.2011 at 10:11 am    last updated on: 03.24.2011 at 10:11 am

RE: Sink in a corner? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: remodel1958 on 07.26.2008 at 12:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Shannon, I thank you for sharing your backrub story -- making sure my dear ones read your post ;-)

To me corner sinks simply think outside the box. Both KD's we interviewed were aghast initially at the thought, and then quickly came around after we described our reasoning. btw this was one reason we decided not to hire a KD - heck shouldn't they be the ones offering the creative choices? Anyway it made perfect sense in our setup: a small (10 x 14) U-shape with a large garden window centered on the U.

EZ TO WORK UNDER: I think I caught my plumber and electrician taking a nap inside ;-)

LOTS OF STORAGE in otherwise wasted space.

And the #1 reason for us was ...
As far as losing a view from the sink, we spend much more time at the counter preparing than at the sink scrubbing and now we can working side-by-side. I just don't spend long stretches of time at the sink anymore - haven't ever since I heard about that lovely machine which scrubs most everything for us ;-)

And as far as the DW proximity goes, we just planned a trash pullout and a towel tilt-out hamper on the left side and a set of not-so-large drawers followed by the DW on the right. Plenty of people room. Now that we can simulate what it will really be like in our kitchen (we're about 85% complete) we're amazed at how at least 3 people can be prepping, cooking and cleaning up without bumping into one another.

Best of luck, dolly


clipped on: 03.24.2011 at 09:44 am    last updated on: 03.24.2011 at 09:44 am

RE: Putting an electric oven range in the corner (at an angle) (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: buehl on 02.23.2010 at 02:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

When corner ranges are installed, an angled wall is usually erected to allow the range and hood to have something to be installed against. On the plus side, it gives you plenty of room behind the range and hood for plumbing (pot filler), gas line/electric, and duct work! If you have plenty of room, it's also a way to "handle" a corner.

On the minus side, it does take up a lot of wall & counter space...around 48" on each side for 30" range or 33" oven cabinet, more for 36" or 48" ranges.


clipped on: 03.22.2011 at 10:27 pm    last updated on: 03.22.2011 at 10:27 pm

D sink or rectangular - likes or dislikes

posted by: bbell on 02.17.2011 at 08:56 am in Kitchens Forum

I can't decide on whether to get a D sink or a rectangular one. I would be installing a faucet, facet handle, soap dispenser, and a sprayer. I was all set on putting in the rectangular sink when the fabricator told us yesterday that the new thing is the D sink and that we should really reconsider.

If anyone has a D sink, I would really appreciate any pictures, opinions of whether you like the d sink or not. Any benefits over the rectangular?

If I do the d sink I was going to put soap dispenser and sprayer on one side and the for the faucet and handle.


clipped on: 03.22.2011 at 03:50 pm    last updated on: 03.22.2011 at 03:50 pm

RE: Alternatives to Tung Oil for Butcherblock Countertops? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: macybaby on 03.09.2011 at 04:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I used General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish (bought from Rockler) on unstained Ikea butcherbock - love how it looks but it is getting scratched (not bad though) I expect patina and I can always wipe on a refresh coat when it get to looking too grundy. This is my main baking center and I'm not shy about using it.

I love the look, and it was so easy to apply. I did both the top and underside before mounting the counter top.

Funny - I just used this picture for the thread about canisters - but it is also the best one I have showing the counter top!


clipped on: 03.21.2011 at 02:12 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2011 at 02:13 pm

RE: Waterlox, Good Stuff or Tung Oil (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: dlspellman on 10.01.2008 at 10:18 am in Woodworking Forum

Just as a followup from my walnut top fabricators wouldn't use Waterlox because they didn't have the time & place to let it dry between coats (not to mention they were just being stubborn about using their own methods). So I negotiated some money back and I did the finishing myself. I'm a somewhat handy previous experience with went great! I brushed two coats of the original as a base coat. Very light sanding & tack cloth in between. Then I switched to the lower sheen and brushed on two more coats with light sanding in between. I now have a couple of scratches, etc. and my goal is to get a couple more coats of low sheen on before winter (fumes). I think I will rag apply the last two coats, b/c in just a couple places if you look hard, you can see some brush marks. I want to see if they will disappear with a rag application. Any tips or recommendations for this process - ie) adding coats after several months to remove scratches and just build up more finish?

By the way, this was my second top - the first I had used the product Good Stuff. I much prefer the Waterlox, despite the longer application and smell (which is no worse than oil based paint or varnish IMHO). The Good Stuff was kind of like applying a wax. Rub on, let sit, buff off. Has to be reapplied every 4-6 months when it is washed on a daily basis, and it started to look more uneven in appearance as it wore off. I did use Good Stuff in some other areas of my kitchen (but not a horizontal counter that gets washed several times a day), and it is looking great, too.

But, in conclusion, the Waterlox is beautiful!!!! Looks very much like a handworn, beautifully maintained patina on a cherished antique. I love it.

On a side note, I did some light distressing before applying the Waterlow - banged around with various objects, then added just a little stain to some of those divets and places with an artist's brush before applying the first coats of Waterlox, worked like a charm. I'll try to post photos later.

Thanks to everyone who has posted here, I found the right solution for me!


clipped on: 03.16.2011 at 06:02 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2011 at 06:02 pm

Helpful video: oiling wooden countertops

posted by: jw34 on 03.16.2011 at 07:51 am in Kitchens Forum

The forum has been enormously helpful to me in planning my kitchen reno so I thought I'd pass on this helpful video I stumbled across to other members contemplating butcher block counter tops.

Several interesting instructions in this video:
- sand first, even though top will have been sanded at the manufacturer
- oil the sides first to prevent drip marks
- oil both bottom and top
- recommends 5 coats, top and bottom, *before* installation, then another 5-6 coats on the top

I am 90% decided on Ikea butcher block with a tung oil finish though it's been quite a journey to get there. Thanks to all of you who have shared your advice, instructions and photos of your lovely counters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oiling Wooden Kitchen Worktops - HD Video by Norfolk Oak


clipped on: 03.16.2011 at 10:10 am    last updated on: 03.16.2011 at 10:10 am

Finished Traditional Kitchen (lots of pics)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.05.2011 at 01:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

THANK YOU GARDENWEB! We got so many great ideas from this forum, and everybody was so incredibly helpful and generous.

Here are some pics and a few details:
Kitchen corner
Refrigerator and pantry:
Message center:
Message center with built-in chalkboard
Breakfast nook:
Breakfast nook
Our KD wanted an extremely large window area to bring in light, but made it fit into the old house by breaking it up and using leaded glass:
new leaded glass windows
Sink w/glass filler, runnels, & built-in compost bin:
Sink w/Runnels & built-in compost bin
Built-in compost bin close-up:
Built-in compost bin
Mug shelf:
Mug Shelf
Charging drawer. This entire cabinet is deeper than it appears because it is built into the interior wall behind it, gaining an extra 4" or so of storage space without creeping into the walkway in front of it:
Charging station built into drawer
Island cabinets:
Island cabinets wtih cutting board
Miele ovens installed as flush inset (I searched and never did find pictures of this, so hopefully these will help somebody else):
Miele appliances mounted flush inset
Cleaning closet in "invented space" from interior wall:
Cleaning closet
Extra depth for the vacuum was made by reducing the depth of the drawers under the pantry:
Cleaning closet
The placement of the outlet underneath the music player shelf allows the nasty cordness to be hidden from eye-level:
Music Shelf
Toe-kick heater vent. The toe-kick face under the message center & island is covered with stained oak flooring. From eye-level, the toe-kick absorbs the correct amount of light and gives the appearance of freestanding cabinets.
Under island heater vent
The freestanding appearance is clearer here:
Cabinet built-into wall
Drawers under nook seating area:
Under-seat drawers in nook
There is a powder room off the kitchen. This wasn't our first choice, but ended up being our only choice in this old house, and has been okay, especially considering its placement is directly next to the hallway and away from the primary cooking area:
Bathroom off of kitchen
Adjacent mudroom, which became part of the kitchen remodel. The door is to a laundry chute which we use mostly for kitchen towels & napkins.

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures


clipped on: 03.14.2011 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2011 at 05:42 pm

RE: Wood Kitchen Countertop (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: clg7067 on 12.01.2010 at 01:57 pm in Woodworking Forum

I also plan on making a face grain wood counter. I'm going to have the lumberyard plane the edges for a good fit because I don't have that kind of equipment.

I'm using Titebond II on a flooring project right now. I'm glad somebody mentioned that or I'd probably use plain old carpenters glue.

The thing was fastened down to the base cabinet front and back with slotted brackets for expansion. The center crowned up about an inch and a half from wiping it down with water.

I, and many others here, have the IKEA counter tops.

If you want to use it as a wet surface you need to use a finish on it. Most people choose Waterlox.


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 12:41 pm    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 12:42 pm

RE: Wood Kitchen Countertop (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 11.23.2010 at 04:35 pm in Woodworking Forum

Depends on the wood you use. Use a lesser wood and you'll need a film finish to protect it from moisture, stains, etc.

if a film finish (like polyurethane, for example) were to get dinged...a knife edge, a dropped object, can't really be spot finished. It's usually a sand-the-whole-thing-down-and-recoat proposal.

If you use a durable wood that is naturally durable then you can use something like mineral oil on it. Anything happens and you just renew the oil with a wipe on, sit, wipe off.

When I use teak in a kitchen I'll use mineral oil.

For construction, if end-grain butcher block, I'll usually use epoxy. If edge-grain, plank-style, then I'll go to biscuits (for alignment and added joint strength) and titebond or epoxy.

Treat the top of the counter the same as the bottom (if you urethane the top, then urethane the bottom, for example) and you won't have uneven moisture, eliminating, or at least minimizing, any cupping or crowning.

I've had wood countertops in my kitchen for years. Zero issues. Undermount sink. Zero issues.


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 12:36 pm    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 12:36 pm

RE: Need input on wood countertops (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: pirula on 01.30.2010 at 09:40 am in Kitchens Forum

Thanks poorowner! We used waterlox on our floors so know all about how great it is. Wanted something different for the counters. I've refreshed the counters once in three years, and was glad at the time that it smelled good as opposed to stinky waterlox. It was alot more work to do the pure tung oil though, alot more coats, and alot more waiting between coats. Just something to consider.....


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 11:48 am    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 11:48 am

RE: Need input on wood countertops (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: pirula on 01.29.2010 at 11:44 am in Kitchens Forum

theresse, if you're going to worry about it all the time to the point that it will affect your enjoyment of it, then you shouldn't get the wood counters.

But I have them throughout my kitchen. I have two undermount sinks. It's been over three years with absolutely ZERO problems or water damage. I am also OCD about wiping water drops but not because of wood damage. It's because the form spots that drive me nuts (again OCD). In other words, the water just sits there beading, until it dries. The spots wipe right up. I clean water when it spills on them, but the two men in my life do not.

American cherry treated with several coats of pure tung oil cut with some citrus solvent

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood counters...


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 11:47 am

RE: Need input on wood countertops (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: kdlarue on 01.29.2010 at 10:50 am in Kitchens Forum

If you are getting a wood top, I would definitely finish it with Waterlox (on both sides) or some other type of waterproof/food safe finish. We installed butcher block with just a mineral oil finish 4 years ago. I love it on our peninsula but we are now going to replace the counter around the sink area with soapstone because of the water issue. My husband and I really tried to be diligent about oiling it all the time around the sink, but it became much too challenging with raising 3 small kids as well! Metal rings also happen if you leave a can on the counter too long so it became a stress for us. At family parties, people try and help with the dishes and then there are water spots everywhere, despite recently oiling it! The mineral oil finish was just too tough to maintain around water.


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 11:45 am    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 11:46 am

RE: Wood island counter-too much maintenance? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: chihuahua6 on 08.11.2009 at 02:10 am in Kitchens Forum

I had them in my last house for three years. I had maple but they had two coats of marine epoxy sealer on top, not oil. I had an undermount farmhouse sink with sprayer. The wood got wet often and never had any damage.


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 11:22 am

RE: Wood island counter-too much maintenance? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: allison0704 on 08.10.2009 at 09:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

The link is where I've purchased it from. They applied it -following the directions - after making the counter, which did include sanding.

When we've reapplied since moving in, we do not sand. If you want, you can go over the counter with very fine steel wool between coats, but it is not necessary.

If you do not follow the directions and end up with swirls, etc they can be removed with fine steel wool also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Stuff for Wood


clipped on: 03.10.2011 at 11:21 am    last updated on: 03.10.2011 at 11:22 am

Buckeye Cookery advice for kitchen usage (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: florantha on 03.04.2011 at 10:32 am in Kitchens Forum

Liriodendron, nice work! Thanks for your well-written piece. Great advice.

I will add that architectural historians find that the kitchen is almost always updated when people lay hands on an old house, even back a century or more in past, so an old house kitchen may have been a stylistic mismatch with a house's pre-Civil War provenance for a very long time.

As for lighting, electricity was unavailable until 1880s and many rural areas did not have it until the Depression brought in the Rural Electrification project. If you want historical flavor, get something with candle look or mock kerosene/gas fittings and perhaps a clear glass chimney. There are a lot of wrought iron skinny arm faux candle lighting pieces showing up on the GW these days. They're perfect. Copper, tin, wood are all good also. Hang them over the table and a work area or two or mount them on the wall. Go ahead and install a lot of recessed lights if you must, but put in one or two other fixtures that indicate that you're serious about honoring the past. No, don't do a schoolhouse fixture. Remember that in this period lighting was by window as much as possible--it was a social blunder to stand in someone's light. The comments above about windows are excellent. I would add that plain white cotton or linen curtains are extremely appropriate, and not fussy ones but ones that follow the advice typically given for Scandinavian style, with light-admitting fabric and simple methods of hanging them, sans decorated rods, etc. A line of lace or embroidery or a contrasting trim at most.

I've been hoping to find a thread suitable to recommend "Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping," one of my reference cookbooks for historical cooking. Originally printed 1876, reprinted by Minn Hist Soc. 1988. This looks like the right moment. From the chapter on Kitchens..

"It is almost impossible to give any directions except in a general way regarding the kitchen, as there is an endless variety of plans and arrangement. The main point is to systematize every thing, grouping such things as belong to any particular kind of work. For instance, in baking do not go to the china closet for a bowl, across the kitchen for the flour, and to the farther end of the pantry or store-room for an egg, when they may all just as well be within easy reach of each other. Study and contrive to bring order out of the natural chaos of the kitchen, and the head will save the hands and feet much labor.

"If kitchen floors are simply oiled two or three times a year, no grease spot is made when grease drops on them, for it can be easily wiped up--carpet or paint is not advisable. Neither paint nor paper the walls, but once a year apply a coat of the good old-fashioned whitewash. Do not have the wood-work painted; the native wood well oiled and varnished lightly is much the best finish. A wide, roomy dresser is a great convenience; it should have two wide closets below and three narrower ones above, with a row of drawers at top of lower closets. Here should be kept all pots and kettles, sauce-pans, waffle-irons, kitchen crockery, tins, etc., all arranged and grouped together so as to be convenient for use. If possible, have good sliding doors, and at top and bottom of same have a narrow sliding panel for a ventilator, which should be closed when sweeping. By this arrangement every article of kitchen ware can be inclosed from the dust and flies. A well-appointed sink is a necessity in every kitchen, and should be near both window and range, so as to have light, and also be convenient to the hot water. It should be provided with a 'grooved' and movable dish drainer, set so as to drain into the sink. Always have bracket or wall lamps placed at each end, or at the sides, so that the room may be well lighted in the evening. The sink should be washed and wiped dry daily, or it will become foul, especially if the weather is warm. When possible, a long table at the end of the sink, and so close to it that water can not drip between, on which to dress vegetables, poultry, game, etc., saves time and steps; and the good light, which is a necessity in this part of the room, leaves no excuse for slighted or slovenly work. Under this table may be two drawers, with compartments in one for polishing materials, chamois leather, and articles needed for scouring tin and copper; and in the other, articles for keeping the stove or range in order. Back of the table and sink, the wall should be ceiled with wood for three feet above them, and here may be put up galvanized iron hooks and nails on which to hang basting-spoons, ladles, cooking forks and spoons, the chopping-knife, cake-turner, etc. A set of drawers close at hand for salt, pepper, and spices is also convenient. There should never be bevel, beading, or molding on kitchen window or door frames; and the kitchen door, leading to the dining room, should be faced with rubber and closed with a not too strong spring. Not less than three large windows are desirable in every kitchen, which should be cheerful, pleasant, well ventilated, convenient, and clean.

"In houses of the old style [this means pre-Civil War] there was either no pantry at all, the kitchen being furnished with a dresser and shelves, or it was merely a small closet to hold the articles in less common use. In modern houses [in 1877] the pantry is next in importance to the kitchen, and it should be so arranged us to accommodate all the appliances used in cookery, as well as the china, glass-ware, cutlery, and other articles for the table, unless a dresser is used as before suggested. In arranging a plan for building, the pantry should receive careful consideration, as next in importance to the kitchen; it should be sufficiently roomy, open into both the dining-room and the kitchen, and, in order to 'save steps,' should be as convenient to the range or cooking-stove as circumstances will allow. The window should be placed so as to give light without infringing on the shelving; the shelves should be so arranged as to not obstruct the light from it; the lower ones should be two and a half feet from the floor, and two feet or more in width, and project about three inches beyond the closets and drawers below; and the part near the window, where there is no shelving, may be used for molding and preparing pastry, and such other work as may be most conveniently done here. Other shelves, or a china closet, should be provided for the china and other table furniture in every-day use. The pantry should have an abundance of drawers and closets, of which it is hardly possible to have too many--the upper closets for the nicer china and glass, and the lower ones to hold pans and other cooking utensils in less frequent use. The drawers are for table-linen and the many uses the housekeeper will find for them. If possible, the window should be on the north side, but in any case it should have blinds for shade, and a wire gauze or other screen to keep out flies. Instead of spreading shelves with paper, a neat marbled oil-cloth is better, as it is easily cleaned."

[more of the text available on Google Book Search, a wonderful resource]


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #138)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.17.2011 at 11:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Even with DIY, running plumbing and wiring costs money in materials...and you already have money and much effort spent in the kitchen you have. That makes it the most economical to use, by far.

I'm not saying the middle room is the best for the kitchen, but trying to offer you workable options to consider...You have to decide which downsides are the least problematic. Really, I think a stove where people are rushing through and carrying things is not going to be good in the long run, and having the stove with the island completely blocking access to the fridge from the stove is a bad idea for which people decide to remodel their kitchens.

As far as considering sewing counters in the east room...I would only do it if you're turning that room into the school room. I would want to maintain one space in which majorly messy projects aren't always in progress. Have a place that can be clean and nice for guests, and for yourself to sit and breathe in!

I don't think that with all the needs you have for this house that you have room for 2 kitchens. My opinion. That's another reason to leave the kitchen where it is. As it is, it's kind of like a kitchen and a half, so it can serve for daily tasks, and still fit the canning and butchering stuff when necessary. You get 2 for just over the room of 1. If you have 2, you take more room, and other needs suffer. I don't know if I'm explaining that well, but I hope so.

A 40" oldie range sounds like a risk to me, mostly because you have an odd space to fill if/when a replacement is needed.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #135)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.17.2011 at 09:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Just to answer: Sewing and preserving saves us money and allows us to have things we wouldn't does woodworking, baking, I consider them necessary life skills for us. Our boys sew. They mend seams and narrow their jean legs! LOL. My boys were the ones to jump in to help me process tomatoes. I'm sure they won't be doing canning a lot through their lives, but it sure doesn't hurt that they know how these things work...No one can say the kids will continue with these particular skills throughout their lives, and no one can say they won't.

But what matters here, I thought, is that Laughable does do canning and sewing, and her kids are also learning to, and they need the space. If the spaces aren't used that way down the line, they can be changed or re-purposed. (Mostly we're only talking about supported countertops.) They suit now and in the lengthy foreseeable future. We've had homes in which I had to make sewing space out of other rooms and other work spaces...It was horrible. Nothing worse than trying to sew on a dining room table and having to clear it up every night for dinner, or worse, to leave the mess and live around it. That's when food gets on fabric.

I have cut fabric on a cleaned dining table or island, because I don't have another option (unless it's the floor). I don't cut them there during meal prep. :-)

I'm confused though...Are you saying she shouldn't have the sewing areas? Should they be somewhere else? Is there a better answer so they're not sharing the island?


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RE: sewing counter (Follow-Up #129)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.16.2011 at 10:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

With bins under a lower counter:


With bins in pantry:



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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #127)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.16.2011 at 05:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Honestly, at first I thought your list was far too ambitious for the space...But I completely relate to and respect your values and live those same I went back to it.

Economically, it makes the most sense to leave as much of the kitchen where it is. It also makes the most sense to use the middle room for something that can handle the cross traffic, and a centered table does that. The thing that really cemented that idea for me is the ability to stretch the table. That was a priority in designing our home, and I made sure that although doorways offer delineation between rooms, they are wide enough to fit a table and chairs through, so we can stretch it as long as we need.

I changed to your 2 ranges...You can easily start with 1 for now and add the 2nd later. Just put in temporary cabinets or removable work tables. I took out the prep sink and there is no opportunity for a 2nd dw...Those were economic decisions. It seems like overkill to have 3 sinks if you're trying to cut costs. The prep sink can go back in, there isn't room on the perimeter for the other dw with the 2 ranges...Maybe in the island? The minimal aisles would make that tough, but placed carefully, and if you want it badly enough, it might be possible. Just make sure both can be open at once.

Having the sewing attached to the kitchen makes sense, as some of the counter and the island can double as craft and sewing layout/cutting/work surface. (I only show 3 bins, but that's just because of the symbol I chose. I'm not sure how large your bins are, but I could fit 4 of mine in that space.) I still feel you need the big pantry, and don't see another alternative for it.

The dining room offers the wallspace for the computer center and some storage. You could put more shelves or upper cabinets between the windows, but if you can do without it, it's a cleaner, more spacious feel to leave that upper wall clearer.

Whole plan:

Close up of the kitchen area:

Close up of the middle room:

Renderings (My software doesn't offer sewing machines, so forgive the use of microwaves instead!):






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List of Priorities (Follow-Up #125)

posted by: laughable on 01.15.2011 at 10:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

To sum up, I think what we need is:
-windows stay put
-wood stove stays in corner of East room
-Farm sink stays put
-2 standard fridges next to each other
-a dedicated sewing area that will house 2 sewing machines, minimum. We don't have fancy equipment, just plain Jane sewing machines.
-Storage for arts and crafts supplies.
-A dedicated spot for computer(s) that will hold printer, files, etc. Visible is better, for children's sakes (internet safety type issues).
-Bookshelves, a sum total of 10 linear feet, floor to ceiling.
-a spot for cookbooks relatively convenient to the baking zone.
-30" of range/oven space to start with, could expand later, if planned for now.
-A dedicated baking area, with room to hold 4 bins of grain
24" tall, 18" front to back, 11" wide, all on wheels. One holds oats, which would be awfully convenient to have near stove top.
-A sink with 1 DW, and a 2' cab. nearby that could be converted to a 2nd DW if we feel the need later on.
-A prep sink
-Some sort of island for group cooking projects.
-Open lines of vision for easy communication between various areas of house
-wall to be opened up between middle room and East room for light and view.
-Convenient storage for all the kitchen accoutrements, as well as larger pots, pans that a large family uses.
-Dish storage
-Sizable pantry
-Room for a nice big family table, and an option to set up an eating spot for guests. It's not unusual for us to have another family as large, or larger, than ours over for a meal. A folding table can be set up, as long as we take that need into account.
-Remember that we can and butcher throughout the year.
-Zones that "make sense" for work flow, and can be used efficiently solo, or with multiple cooks.

I think that's the majors. Phew! This is why my head spins. Oh, we could use a spot for someplace comfy to read books and visit, you know, a living room. ; )

One idea DH and I tossed around today was to make the "old" kitchen the canning and butchering kitchen. He thinks keeping craft supplies in there would work too. Hmmmm. . .


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #108)

posted by: skatiero on 01.14.2011 at 11:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

Rhome, all of our towels are white cheapies, I think they were meant for hotels but I got them very inexpensively in a lot years ago. I sewed little loops on to hang them from. If you fold a towel in half and pick it up by that top corner of the fold where you;d naturally hang it on a hook, you are holding the perfect spot to sew a little colored cotton band to hang it from, like the loop in a jacket. I bleach them a lot, but the loops have not faded too badly. I am a full-time special ed teacher, so my husband does most of the laundry. The kids are pretty good at policing each other about the cup colors. ;) Wow, I wish you could get a good look at my kitchen! we were quite limited on space and cabinet availability (bought closeouts) so we did our best. We had to decide veeeery quickly. Your family sounds like mine-- we all have the design gene in some form or another. I am an artist as well as a teacher. Your sewing room makes me drool!!!


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #106)

posted by: skatiero on 01.14.2011 at 10:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

Rhome, you are brilliant! I have just loved seeing all of your ideas in this and other threads. Are you a professional designer? You have such an amazing knack for getting to the real root of things. Wow. LOVE your latest design here. Droooool. Wish we has so much room!

We have seven kids, and we DO have color-coded cups. Each child has an assigned color for everything-- I sewed little loops on the towels and washcloths, too-- they hang them from their colored loops so you always know whose towel is on the floor. Back to cups: we have three of each color by necessity, but each person is supposed to use the same one all day if at all possible. The colors help a ton, since no one has to get a fresh one out b/c of being unsure whose is whose on the counter. We have cut WAAAAY down on the number of cups and towels to wash each week. Each kid gets one towel, one washcloth and one set of pajama and sheets for the week each week. PJs go under the pillow each morning. I know that has nothing to do wiht kitchen design, but it helps us a lot.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #103)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.14.2011 at 06:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

The island is the best place, IMO and experience, for letting the kids help you bake and as soon as you make it the cooking or cleanup center, that's mostly lost.

DW door in the back of the cook's legs might work for the lone cook who doesn't EVER open the dw until after a meal, but for households with lots of kids, I have grave doubts.

Is that front window where you show the baking area one of those that goes almost to the floor?

It's not that we're anti- woodstove, or can't see it's possible's just not really helping the functional kitchen layout issues, which are the priorities we have in mind. There are lots of have-to-haves, requirements, and desires up against things that can't be changed....They can't all 'win,' and I don't want you to end up losing in function for the long run.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #101)

posted by: rhome410 on 01.14.2011 at 12:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Blunt questions that I could ask more nicely if this wasn't in writing: Do you really want dirty dishes gathering on the island, which is supposed to be your wonderful, everyone-can-use-it-from-every-side work space? Really takes a lot from its value for me...Like all of it. Do you have to see the driveway from the kitchen? Can you see it from the windows in the dining room? One of those "You can't have everything" deals?

Dishes: I didn't have the number of dishes or type I have now when my kids were the ages of yours. We don't have any fancy dishes either...Only one set. I finally ditched the flimsy and mismatched stuff and got 20 or 24 settings of restaurant heft porcelain. Not expensive, but finally enough for other families to join us and match, and of a quality that will last, while still not expensive. And there are always serving bowls, and mixing bowls, and platters, and cake plates, and water pitchers, and glasses, and cups, and mugs.... No matter what it's made of, a big family has to have comparatively a lot of dishware/serveware/glassware, and I think it's so much better to have a substantial storage place for it so it doesn't end up being pieced out around the room.

Really, I wish you the best on the one-glass-one-person thing, because I could never get it to work, and I gave up being the glass-police. ;-)

THe overall plan: I saw what Bmore is seeing, but the windows, again....
OH. What about stove where fridges are, cleanup where baking is, fridges and oven where stove is, and mixer counter where desk is? 2nd OH...You had the stove under a window before, so why not move it to the front? And dishes where the fridges are.


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RE: Plan drawing (Follow-Up #56)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.30.2010 at 06:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Help! I have many of the measurements close to what you show, I think, down the left side of the house, but it makes the middle room 2 ft too small...Where have I gone wrong? (The dimension lines will read 1" longer than the room size, because it measures from framing, not inside the sheetrock.) Are my laundry and bath measurements wrong?

There is a discrepancy between your overall front room depth (15 ft) and when I add the 10'4" measurement and the 3'7" alcove measurement, plus the size of the post...which comes out to be about 14'6...Which is correct? I know that's nit-picky, but it can make a difference in the house drawing, and in your kitchen.

Other things that would help:
How high are your ceilings?
Do you want white cabinets again?
Do you know what kind/color of counter, flooring, walls, backsplash, etc. you'll have?
What style you're planning?
(forgive me if some of that info is included above)

Some of these things are not hugely important at this phase, but I have to choose things as I do the drawing, so I might as well start with something close, so the 3D views reflect how your choices will look.



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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #53)

posted by: ideagirl2 on 12.30.2010 at 02:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

**Because of the 10'4" opening where the post must stay, putting an island in that spot makes it so narrow it's hardly useful.**

Is there some reason you can't build the island AROUND the post? I mean, have the post stick right out of the island? That way the island's width/length wouldn't be limited by the placement of the immovable post. The post could become a decorative feature and/or a useful one--depending what activity you anticipate doing on the island, perhaps you could build something appropriate onto the post (spice shelves, wiring and outlets for one or more small appliances that live beside the post, whatever). And if you positioned the island carefully, the post wouldn't have to be in the way of drawers, shelving etc. under the island.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #45)

posted by: bmorepanic on 12.29.2010 at 05:03 pm in Kitchens Forum


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.28.2010 at 10:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

I like the idea of having the grain under the counter where the window is low.

I don't think you'll find it convenient to have the 2nd fridge in the entry as your family gets larger and the extra fridge space in the kitchen is more necessary.

Your question about my kitchen: We were wondering why you only put 4 chairs in there, though. Do you not have the family all together for breakfasts and lunches?

Our kitchen table isn't meant for family meals. We use our 10 ft table right through the doors in the dining room for that. With our kids not all at the stay-at-home age, and with DH working, we tend to eat weekday breakfasts in shifts...DH and a kid or two early, and the rest of us eat breakfast as we get to it. The kitchen table is used for those early-shift breakfasts. But it's primary use is for hang out space...A kid who is a little behind on his math or other assignment, and who might need more of my help while I cook or bake, can be there. A couple of kids can play a board game or do a puzzle. DH can go over his mail or school papers...out of the work area and out of the splash zone, but still within conversation distance. It's a wonderful place for my grown daughters and I to have late-night girl-talk. Kitchen-wise, it's also a good staging area or serving spot. It held a lot of cookies recently when I baked and decorated 530 for a wedding.

This all brings me to the subject I was pondering while DH and I were on an outing to replenish our grain supply today...The change from 'front room and kitchen' into 'only kitchen' with a bit of mud room. I'm afraid, especially as the family grows, you will regret losing that additional seating space...out of the main living room. The mud room might be 'play space' for a 4 yr old and some Legos, or a couple of pre-school-aged siblings building a fort, but not much else? I can imagine the bench being very utilitarian, but not a beloved seating/conversing spot.

If you kept some comfy seating, a banquette, and/or a small table like we have somewhere in the space, and like I drew in the plan above, it means that room is still multipurpose...It doesn't have to diminish it as kitchen space, since it can also double as work space, but it allows some room for people to be with you while you cook and bake, read a book or work on schoolwork while watching bread in the oven, or just allows from some separation of groups.

- The older kids might work independently on school work in a quieter atmosphere while you instruct the younger ones at the big table.
- The younger kids may be playing a rousing game of charades in the living room, while the older ones might want a place to converse with other teen friends, or each other.
- Or you and your husband might want to talk with another couple while their kids and yours play together in the living room.

I know you're probably thinking that you all spend time together, or you don't need or want separation from your kids...but think beyond today or next year to when you have a 17 yr old and an 8 yr old...and maybe more younger ones, since I did notice you said there are 8 of you 'so far.' ;-) I just think that having NO seating in the kitchen might be a mistake for a family the size of yours who lives in the house 24/7, doing all you do.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.28.2010 at 03:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

If you went with 2 ranges, I'd try to keep them together. If you did 2 cooktops (or chose to go with a wide cooktop), and separate ovens, I'd keep the burners together, since people can work side-by-side at them, even if the tasks are different. The ovens could be together, but not by the burners, or you could have a 36" range with that oven by the burners, and one oven in a baking area.

Everything you said in the last post supports having more burners, and a 2nd oven.

I REALLY wanted induction. Planned on it for most of our build, until I realized it wouldn't give me the number of larger burners I needed. That's when we brought in the propane tank and decided on the rangetop. "Reasonably priced" is probably not how I'd describe it...But I believe its value depends more on how it meets your needs in the long run than the price at the cash register. I would have plywood floors and countertops, and cabinets without doors in order to have the tools that will do what we need. If you buy something 'affordable' now and have the rest, and regret it, you're either faced with 20 years of the wrong appliance, or buying another, which negates the initial savings. No appliances are inexpensive enough any more to buy and have to fight with. --Just my own thought process on this issue. I 2nd guess some of the spending we did in building our house, but having appliances that perform well for us is not one of them.

You could certainly use part of the pantry for homeschooling supplies. But I don't think with bulk buys and canning, you'll have trouble filling it! It could also hold baking pans, small appliances, etc.

More counter can be better, but only if it's specifically where you need it (since otherwise it collects clutter), and if it doesn't deprive you of other needs. Make sure the counter is accessible and conveniently located to the resources it needs. Things like nearby tables can double as workspace when occasionally needed, and maybe be more usable as table space for eating or school on an every-day basis.

This last plan is better than any of your previous ones, IMO, but I'm concerned that you're missing a fridge and some major storage....By 'major' I mean that can hold large and odd-shaped items, bulk buys, extra supplies...deep and you can close the door on. ;-)

The link below is the 'my kitchen' page on my blog, showing the plan, the work areas, and my pantry. I tried to explain the thought processes and choices that went into the design. There is always give and take...counter vs storage...spend on appliances or more cabinetry, etc. Your space is more challenging, but I hope it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.28.2010 at 12:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

I come from the angle of having 6 of our 8 kids from 7th grade to just out of college....They eat more!!! And if you ever want to cook extra to freeze or to save for another meal, I don't know how I'd do it with only 2 large burners. I got tired of cooking in shifts, and having people wait, or having half the meal get cold or dried out as the rest cooked. Of course, it depends on what you cook, too, what size pans you have, etc. It also makes a difference that I personally hate to have to store and drag out a portable burners and other cooking surfaces....and deal with making room, the safety hazards, etc. In the long run, it's way not worth it to me, and has been better to install enough burners to start with...but that's just one mom's opinion. :-) I don't want to sound like I'm arguing. Just want to give the view from this vantagepoint and make sure you're not disappointed, and limited in what you can ever add, in the end.


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RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: skatiero on 12.28.2010 at 08:34 am in Kitchens Forum

We have seven kids (one in each grade from second to eighth) and are getting ready to do our kitchen. When I planned the last kitchen I had only four children. We are trying to make sure we can seat seven at the new island- whew! I like the latest Rhome plan a lot-- here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. First of all, a regular 30" cooktop is all you need most of the time. Get an extra countertop burner and griddle for the occasioanl extra need since you are tight on space. We have seven kids and two extras who often stay with us us and that's enough burner space for us. Can you put a large table with two benches and a chair at each end in the front room? One could be the bult-in bench under the windows. This would shift the table to the windows and give you lots of space to play wiht in between. We made benches with sorage boxes bult in and they are awesome!!!! We also solved the coat cubby idea a little differently-- might work for you. We are putting eight 18" base cabinets into a 12'run, so each child has his own base cabinet for jacket, shoes, backpack etc. Then above that we have uppers for dishes etc. And have you ever really tried to cook with 24" ovens? Don't! they are tiny!!!! The single oven in a regular range is much better! Seriously!!!!


clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:57 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:58 pm

RE: the plan I worked up a couple days ago (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.28.2010 at 02:35 am in Kitchens Forum



clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:57 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:57 pm

RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: rhome410 on 12.28.2010 at 01:05 am in Kitchens Forum

I can't believe I totally missed the separate cleanup area in the dining room before! I did that in our last house and it did NOT work, so I'm glad to see that gone.

I worked on a plan that maintained the front room as sitting and school space, but it seems you're willing to give up the front room? I'm concerned about the running needed to get veggies and raw meats from fridge to prep to stove in this latest plan. It seems a bit disjointed. I wonder about a larger central island that connects to the post, and an open path on the bottom side of the post to get to the stove...

A smooth top stove only gives you 2 large burners and 2 small, right? How do you fit large pots on all? The heat wouldn't be very good/adequate from the small burners. I really suggest you get yourself more now, and not wish you did later. The kids will only get bigger and eat more...and bring friends! :-) A weekend breakfast here can mean 2 skillets of bacon or sausage, 2 skillets of potatoes, and 2 skillets of eggs...None of them small, and any would suffer from being over a too-small burner.

Is there very much selection when you're looking at 24" ovens? Get something that will do a good job. The 6" you save in your cabinets won't make up for being limited to an oven that won't be what you need.


clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:56 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:56 pm

RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: macybaby on 12.24.2010 at 01:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

cpartist- it's possible the closet in the living room is for the Master Bedroom. Our old house originally had no closets in the bedrooms. 100 years ago, people didn't have near the "stuff" that we have now. I have a big wardrobe in my dressing room (small bedroom off the side of the master). This way I can move the closet around as needed.

My folks also had all the furniture against the walls with a big opening in the middle. That is because there was not enough seating for everyone, so the younger kids sat on the floor. That big open floor space was the scene of many a board game, card game and jigsaw puzzles.

laughable - I like this plan, it gives a lot more room to the kitchen/work area.

Make sure to double check the clearances on the wood wood stove. I had mine at an angle and was surprised at how much room it needed - each corner had to be at least 18" away from the wall. I love my wood stove, but it is messy and you want to make sure the travel path with a load of wood isn't cumbersome. That was one big reason I gave up the idea of a second Island. It worked OK for everything else, but caused someone hauling in wood to have to make a rather curved path around it. Since we burn wood from November through April, that was a big consideration. My current plan will have a table that can be moved out of the way as needed.

On the outdoor kitchen, I'm post kids so had not considered some of that. When we would be processing when I was a kid, the littler kids played in the yard in sight, and the older kids helped keep an eye on them while pealing/cutting/washing while Grandma and Mom handled the actual canning.

I plan my garden so I get a lot ripening at the same time - and I'll get two canners going at once so it doesn't take as long.

As to insects - I have a spray system. It is a battery operated unit that squirts every 15 mn. The spray is safe to use in food operations, but you are suppose to shut it off when actually preparing food. Just have to wipe down the counter first - which I do anyway because the cats have access ot the building (mouse control). I don't even have the unit in the actual summer kitchen, it's in the rabbit area next door, but I keep the door open between the two areas and that keeps the bugs down in both. We even have one in the horse run-in shed. One bottle lasts about a month - I go through three a summer. Gives the horses a place to get out of the bugs in the summer, and they sure appreciate it.


clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:55 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:55 pm

RE: Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: laughable on 12.24.2010 at 12:18 am in Kitchens Forum

Here is an altered version of the earlier plan. I've tried to take what you've all shared and incorporate it as much as possible with what's already existing.
Large Island, Mudroom area in back
Here are some thoughts-
1. DH wants "farm sink" aka utility sink to stay put. It's very handy by back door for our farm needs.
2. Land fridge in current range spot.
3. Install prep sink in south counter.
4. Replace SS sink on west wall with an inset of butcher block.
5. Put in a cook top (hopefully 6 burner) in front of heat run to upstairs. I'm assuming venting could be run off to one side rather than straight out? Is bumping it out a bit because of the heat run too weird? Also, I'm thinking we could just run the counter to the right of the cook top directly in front of tall window.

Do these changes take care of setting up an efficient prep zone?

Would it be better to install wall ovens in part of the long closet, or to put them under counter?

We could put coat cubbies along n. side of back kitchen area for kids' play coats and boots/shoes. DH and my coats and boots could go on hooks and shelves next to laundry rm. door. A small bench has been put in the hall by basement door with hooks above for guest coats. These ideas could free up much of the closet in front room for pantry storage.

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!


clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:53 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:54 pm

Mom of 6 needs kitchen planning insights

posted by: laughable on 12.23.2010 at 04:05 am in Kitchens Forum

Hello and thank you all in advance for your help. I have been gleaning as much as possible while lurking, lurking, and lurking some more. I'm excited, and a bit nervous, to be asking you for some insight into what kind of kitchen will best fit our family's needs. Here is our floorplan (you can ignore the writing off to the left. It's my cheat sheet of all the things that need to be stored.)
We are living in a DIY fixer upper house. There are 8 of us so far, my DH, myself, DD 10, DD 8, DD 6, DS 5, DD 3 and DD 1. Phew! : ) We've gotten the kitchen started on our own. (Wish we'd known about GW 2 years ago.) But, we'll just have to jump in from here.

I'm wondering where to go from what we have now. The windows and exterior doors are set. (Groan, I know, I know, we should have consulted earlier. Please forgive us.) The heat runs are not movable. There are posts (1840's post and beam house) that must be left alone. We have two sinks already installed, which works pretty well for us. We often use both sinks at once, for prep, hand-washing, cleanup, you name it.

I originally planned to set up a baking center under the big window between the stove and sink. Here's set back #1. While I somewhat like this spot to work, I usually have little helpers. Wonderful! Except. . . they want to sit on the counter to see what's going on (grrrr, not to mention safety issues), or, they are carrying stools over to help. The stools block the drawers and cupboards, land on my feet (ouch!), or gouge the cupboards on the way to the floor (bad, very bad.) Also, when I work here, my back is to everyone in the house. It's good in the summer when all my little ones are playing in the back yard, not so good in the winter.
I've set up a peninsula with a folding table to give that a whirl. I think I like it. Now my helpers can be directed to work across from me (YAY!) rather than next to me. They can see what's going on without being in the way. Over the long haul, will I regret the peninsula pinching the front room into a tighter space? I'd love an island, but I can't figure out how to land one peacefully in my kitchen.

Also, after reading about zones here, I'm thinking we could use more delineated work areas, as well as more counter top space and storage. What do y'all think? How much storage will we need as this crew grows up? Are we going to need a second stove, oven, fridge???? How do we fit it all in, kitchen stuff, office and computer stuff, school supplies, books, mudroom stuff, sewing stuff? It's a lot of stuff!!!

Here's a description of our goings on: We homeschool, so we're here more days than not. We cook most things from scratch, including all meals, breads (I have K Tec mixers to help with this), desserts, yogurt, meusli, maybe cheese someday. We raise our own chickens, beef cows, and egg layers. We garden. We have access to fruit trees. So, there are occasional bouts of canning and butchering, dehydrating, and freezing. We entertain some, but not as much as we'd like to. We've been 2 years trying to whip this place into shape. When it's more done, I think we'll feel much more freed up to have people in regularly. Even so, we're fixing 168+ helpings of food per week for our family.

We definitely don't operate a 1 person kitchen. So, how do we make it work for our good-sized group of helpers? Even though my DD is only 10, she already bakes up a storm, and the other girls will soon be doing likewise : ) No, we don't mind that a bit. Everyone helps clean up, as well.

I want the children to play and work nearby. This lead me to swap the dining area from the front room to the middle room about a month ago. We were reluctant to do this, because we really like all the windows in the front room. But, I think we can resolve the dark middle room by cutting a pass through style window in the wall between the middle room and living room. Anyway, the kids seem to be enjoying having more of a play area off the kitchen, and I think I like it this way. It is a lot farther for carrying dishes and food though.

The front room gets chilly in the winter. This tends to chase the kids to the wood stove in the living room. (and me too!) I'd rather not have them so far from me when I'm in the kitchen. It's too hard to monitor what's going on when they're so far away. So, we're talking about adding a 2nd wood stove in the front room that has a cook top on it (it's a Waterford Ashling, FYI), so this could be nice for soups and eggs and things in the winter. I love the idea of a cozy wood-warmed kitchen.
We have some major storage issues right now. It's called: Lack of it! You can probably imagine the coats, boots, snowpants, mittens and hats that accumulate faster than snowflakes this time of year. We are thinking of putting a coat closet in the front room along the long wall that adjoins the stairwell. This should help some, and could possibly catch the overflow storage of the kitchen, maybe even some toys, puzzles, games.

The entry room has no heat, and would be nigh impossible to insulate. We do use it for coats and shoes during the warmer months. It also currently holds our upright freezer and small chest freezer. It's not your BHG pretty entryway (boo hoo!) but it does work pretty hard for its keep. Honestly, I'd be lost without it here. Where else would I put all of our Good Will donations, extra egg cartons, and overflow from the fridge. (Told you it wasn't too pretty.) I LOVE winter. It means I get lots of free cold storage. : )

We also have a basement where we can keep our root veggies. The freezers may eventually move down there, but it's awfully convenient to have them on the same level as the kitchen. Our garage is on the other side of the driveway, so putting food out there is not a good option.

We've talked about putting a window seat under the front windows. This could hide a lot of the canning supplies, or boots, toys, a few small children (just kidding!) I think it would make a nice place to land when we come inside, and a great spot to play and read.
Another spot we're undecided is where to park the fridge and build in some pantry storage. We've made a hidey-hole to slide the fridge into, and it was there for a while. It is pretty specific to the fridge we have now (a 30" wide Crosley), as there is an angled support that goes directly above it, and support posts to either side of it. This is an 1840's post and beam house. The archway is 10' 4" and we didn't dare push our luck trying to make it any bigger. Those are our children sleeping above, after all. We don't need any unexpected drop-ins in our kitchen. : )

We tried moving the fridge around the corner to the front room when we set up a temporary counter (it's blue). I liked the counter, loved the storage underneath and above, but it pinches the walkway at the bathroom end of the kitchen terribly. It's quite a bottleneck down there. Has anyone done 18" deep counters and been happy with them? Should we put pantries in there instead? I like having some counter space across from the farm sink, but we do need a pantry, too. Should the fridge go back in its hidey-hole, or stay in the front room, or. . . where does that behemoth belong?

We've talked about setting up a clean-up/ beverage center on the 10' section of wall at the south end of the middle room. I was thinking of putting in a European style drain rack above the sink where the everyday dishes could drip dry and be stored. I'd love to hear from someone who has used one of these.

Yes, we have a GE QuietScrub DW, but it's out of order after 1 year of service. We're debating on just going to hand-washing. We already hand wash all our pots and pans. Most of the dishes had to be scraped and/or rinsed before going in the DW. By the time you do all that, you might as well run a cloth over them and be done! We don't like listening to a DW run, either. I know some of you are Bosch fans, but they looked small to me. and pricey. The salesmen I talked to said DW's had a life expectancy of about 5-7 years, if I remember right. That's a pretty heavy replacement regiment, especially when we think about the rigors it would receive in our home.

I'm sorry this is so long. Any ideas/feedback you could share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures and Floorplan at Photobucket


clipped on: 03.04.2011 at 02:49 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2011 at 02:49 pm

One more post about my farmhouse table :o)

posted by: worldmom on 02.21.2011 at 09:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

(Previous thread about this table is here.

We finally got the table fully assembled with the brackets and breadboard ends, and it is a sight to behold. :o) Now I need to get serious about deciding on a finish for it, so of course, I'm turning to you guys for help!

Here are some pics of the completed table:

From Last Import

From Last Import

For those who may not have seen the original post, my dad and I built this table to resemble one at Restoration Hardware. We tweaked the plan to make the table large enough for our family of 14. Photos of our chairs and chandelier (minus the shades) are below:

From Last Import

From Last Import

From Last Import

So for finish options, I'm trying to decide between a lighter, weathered look like these:

(This is the Restoration Hardware one we copied)

From Last Import

From Last Import

or a darker finish like this:

From Last Import

From Last Import

There will be a dark-stained oak china cabinet (a copy of one of two original cabinets in our 1910 house) in the dining room, and the dining room is open to our white kitchen (white cabs, some blue-grey accent cabs, soapstone and marble).

Any thoughts on which finish I should try to reproduce, and better, yet, HOW to reproduce it? ;o)


clipped on: 02.22.2011 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2011 at 10:47 pm

RE: Painting Kitchen Table Black (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sugarbreak on 10.11.2008 at 03:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

So do I!

Here are a set of instructions I have been saving. I think I found it here on GW a couple years ago.
Sherwin Williams PrepRite ProBlock Interior Exterior Seals and Bonds, Latex primer (it's the most expensive...but if you don't like sanding or using chemicals to prep, this is the stuff for you!). I've never had to sand or strip first using this on the worst shiny stuff.
Sherwin Williams Exterior All Surface Gloss Enamel
Code IFC411X
Woodsy Brown 100% mix formula 2924 (color code)
They use Acrylic Latex HIGH GLOSS Ultradeep base 6403-25932
Code A41T00204
Do not take a less glossy finish. This finish dries HARD and rich :) (There's a man joke in there somewhere but I'll avoid making it)
I use one coat of primer and let it dry a day at least, then two coats (one day between at least) of paint with a good Purdy brush (which is important). With just one coat the grain still effects the paint, but with the two on top of the primer you get that nice smooth look :)
I'm a paint freak, so forgive me for saying this if you know. Don't use rollers for wood. I like a 1 1/2 inch and a 2 1/2 or 3" brush at the most. The smaller works well on the small areas so you don't drip or oversmear the sides of the project.[/quote]


clipped on: 02.05.2011 at 10:59 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2011 at 11:00 pm

RE: Kitchen Help!!! Need creamy cabinets with white appliance pi (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: honorbiltkit on 12.29.2010 at 10:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Here's an example where the walls and woodwork are painted the same color as the cabinets, so that white stunningly becomes the accent color.


Great inspiration. Love the oak island with the creamy cabs. Good example of a functional narrow island. I'd love to find a stove like that that's LP.
clipped on: 12.29.2010 at 09:16 pm    last updated on: 12.29.2010 at 09:20 pm