Heart of the SoMoToHo – The Kitchen – Part One of Many

Remodeling & Design / Friday, July 31st, 2015

2014-09-16 09.43.29Historically, fire considerations dictated that the kitchen be separated from living quarters. The picture above shows cooking facilities in the Valley of the Kings, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey. Here is another shot: 2014-09-16 09.40.59Primitive though these facilities may be, the food that came out of them was fantastic, proving that cosmetics is not everything. For the SoMoToHo, however, appearances are a more crucial consideration. If you’ve been following this blog, you know how important we think the kitchen is. “Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses” is not just a cliche. More than its marketing potential, however, the modern kitchen reflects the character of the home. If you don’t feel good about the kitchen, it’s hard to feel good about the house.

Recall that the SoMoToHo was born in the mid ’80s. The kitchen when we moved in was pure pink and grey time travel:

kitchen3 kitchen1The appliances were of pretty good quality and almost new – well, at least some of them.IMG_2523This Jenn-Air is quite the relic (although I have to admit, it still works just fine). The main problem with it – apart from the fact that it’s an antique – is that it is electric. And we want gas. There is gas to the property – the furnaces and both fireplaces are gas. We’ve owned houses that had electric cook tops but also had a gas line stubbed and capped in the vicinity. Apparently, no such luck in our SoMoToHo. Running a line for a gas cook top may prove problematic – but more about that in another post.

The spatial arrangement in the kitchen is awkward. kitchen2The L with the sink and the dishwasher jutting out into the middle of the space probably was intended to demarcate the breakfast area from the kitchen proper. What it actually does is interrupt the flow, physically and visually, and unnecessarily constricts both the eating and cooking areas.2014-12-28 04.25.29 One of the first things we did, since the SoMoToHo didn’t come with one in the package, was buy a fridge. We really liked the panel-ready model that we put in the Mid-Century Modern and Debra found a good deal on one at a local appliance warehouse, so that’s what we bought. Since the millwork guys will have to make the door panels to match the new cabinets, this is what it looks like:2014-12-28 04.24.24So. That’s the palette. What does Debra have in mind for this space? Well, here is her original inspiration:kitchen inspirationBut the layout has been a perplexing problem, considering the dimensions we have to work with. The space is not really wide enough for an island, unless you forego cabinets along one long wall or the other. Doing so would sacrifice both storage and counter top space and impair functionality. Pretty is nice, but we want to make a kitchen for cooks.

Debra puzzled over the problem for weeks and finally enlisted the help of the wonderful Carol Reed of the design shop. While I haven’t been party to the correspondence, I can attest that she and Debra have filled cyberspace with plans, ideas, re-workings,and what-ifs. IMG_2524

We’re still tweaking, primarily due to budgetary considerations. The start of demo is still a few weeks away. I, for one, want things to move as quickly as they can once the first pink tile is chipped from the wall. Because I remember this:IMG_0358We’ll keep you posted. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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