A Kitchen Renovation.
The FIRST thing you should do.

I swear to you I have no idea how this happened, this kitchen renovation of mine.

One day I was simply laying a new floor and the next I was all hopped up on new sink and fridge choices, frothing at the mouth over the possibility of a new tap.

Picking out the things I like, I can do.  I can pick out things I like while blindfolded with earplugs in and mittens on.  What I cannot do is plan a kitchen.

And this kitchen of mine needed a new plan. This is how my current kitchen is laid out …

 

Current-plan
The fridge is directly beside the stove, there isn’t enough storage and I’m pretty sure  Idris Elba, whom I brushed off just a few months ago, wouldn’t enjoy cooking for me when he has to go all the way into the basement to get the Kitchen Aid out.  I’ve totally un-shunned Idris by the way.  We’re back on, so feel free to let him know.

Left in my own hands my kitchen would become a disaster.  There would be be a monster walk in refrigerator, a fireplace, but not necessarily any room for a stove.  Definitely no sink.

Because I get confused.  My brain just can’t handle the thought of rearranging the things in the kitchen and making them better than they are.

So as soon as I came to terms with the fact that I was indeed going to do my kitchen over, I did the first thing anyone planning a kitchen renovation should do;

I worked a kitchen designer into my budget.  And then I hired a kitchen designer.

Carol Reed is someone who I know only through Twitter and the Internet. I’ve been following her design career through the miracle of Twitpics, Instagram and her blog.

Plus she designed my Chicken Coop gates for me so I knew she had the grit needed to tackle my kitchen which holds 4 doorways and 2 windows within it’s walls.

It all started with a few emails sending Carol some inspiration pictures, my kitchen measurements  and what my wish list was.   I knew I wanted to keep the kitchen authentically old feeling and I wanted a kitchen table.  I did not want an island.  To me an island is just a space sucking trend that doesn’t have a real purpose.  So, no island.  But I definitely wanted an antique butcher block in the kitchen.  Either the relatively small one I already own, or a great big one.

After several and I mean SEVERAL back and forths between us, we whittled it down to these plans.

 

 

What I like about this plan is the fact there there’s a kitchen table.  I LOVE having a real kitchen table.

What I don’t like about this plan is the layout is not much different than my current kitchen and has less storage.

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What I like about this plan is there’s a fair amount of counter space.

What I don’t like about it, is the fridge being so far away from the main work area. Plus there’s still less storage than I’m used to.

What’s labelled as a kitchen island here is actually a great, big antique butcher block.  Which I LOVE.

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I really like this plan. There’s a HUGE pantry, but I’m not so sure about looking in at the fridge from the dining room.  I really don’t know if it’ll bother me or not.  If you’re wondering why the sink isn’t centred on the kitchen window in these plans, it’s because it’s because having as much counter space as possible was more important to me than a centred window.  Moving the sink off to the side allows me to have a continuous run of counter as opposed to a little bit on either side of the sink.

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What I like about this plan, is everything.

It has a lot of storage, a nice view from the dining room (a big pantry), all kinds of counter space

and a place to sit, even if it isn’t a real table.

PastedGraphic-9

 

So that’s the plan I went with. The final plan.  Which, you may have noticed, has no butcher block but DOES have an island in the middle. See?  I’m totally screwed up and can’t be trusted when it comes to kitchen ideas.

It took me months to decide on this plan partly because I knew I was doing things that were unconventional and quite honestly, wrong, according to most kitchen designers, but right for me. Carol was nice enough … and wise enough, to indulge me. She convinced me when my ludicrous ideas truly were ludicrous. And reminded me of things I would never have thought of. Like the fact that even though I’ve always dreamt of having a 6 burner stove, it didn’t make sense to have one if it meant I wouldn’t be able to have a corner cupboard.

And partly because a kitchen renovation, even when you aren’t paying for the cabinets is an expensive thing. There’s electrical and plumbing, and installation and lighting and appliances and clown costumes …. uch.  There’s a lotta stuff.  So, you don’t want to get it wrong. And the layout of the kitchen is the one thing you can’t change your mind on.

If you decide you want a new sink or lamp, those are things you can change down the road, but the layout is here to stay until your next kitchen renovation. Which will hopefully happen exactly once every NEVER.

You wanna know the most interesting part of this story?  Carol Reed and I … have never met.

Along with her regular design business she runs an e-design business.  You just send her your measurements and inspiration photos and she does the rest of the work.  IT’S AN INTERNET DESIGN MIRACLE.

I cannot think of a better way to work.  It was genius.  AND less expensive than having her work here with me in person.  Plus there was the added bonus of me not being able to see Carol roll her eyes when I suggested things like a trapeze so I could swing from one end of the kitchen to the next with a stylish flourish.

And she couldn’t see me scowl when she suggested something ridiculous like paying attention to where my toaster, coffee maker, etc. would go so I could have electrical outlets installed at those spots.

So that’s it.  The kitchen is planned.  Somebody tell Idris.

 


154 Comments

  1. West Coast Nan says:

    I don’t know, I think I like the first version best. The table and chairs is great and the fridge might be in a better spot. But who am I, just a nosy Parker putting in my 2 cents worth. I guess I can live with your choice too, that’s how gracious I am.

    • Karen says:

      Well! That is gracious of you. 🙂 Honestly. There isn’t any storage in that plan. Less than I have now, and I don’t have enough now! ~ karen

  2. West Coast Nan says:

    Yes, you do need more storage. You can’t keep asking Idris to go downstairs for every little thing, he might not like that. I withdraw my first choice and agree with you. Storage for everyone!

  3. Marti says:

    Don’t tell Idris. He’ll just want you to put in a pole dancing arena in the pantry. And won’t that interrupt your various potato and squash collections?

  4. Laura says:

    What a hard decision!! I love it!

  5. Christine says:

    I think you are gonna love your island after it is all done.

  6. Lyn says:

    I haven’t hardly been able to concentrate on the plans due to the bathroom. Granted I’m not good at reading one dimensional plans but is your bathroom really in the kitchen? No hallway, no separation between the potty and the kitchen except a door? I’m freaking out.

    • Leslie says:

      Me Too! In my mind I’ve moved the bathroom door to the wall between the bathroom and laundry closet. Little things like real-life dimensions … meh. As long as I can imagine it, it “works.”

      Karen, I really like the one you chose! I have a feeling you’re going to make the view from the dining room beau-ti-ful!

    • Langela says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I would also have closed off the door to the kitchen/bathroom and combined the bathroom with the laundry. It would also give the kitchen more wall space for cabinets, etc.

      However, knowing Karen, she has probably come up with a way to make her poop smell like fresh wild raspberries. 😉

  7. Shawn says:

    I love the 3rd choice and there is no reason that the island can’t have a butcher block top and act as a table too.

  8. victoria says:

    glad you have nailed it down! if i may come with a suggestion (it may already be what you planned) and that is that you keep the space underneath your counter top by the window that is next to the refrigerator open (looong sentence) so you could use it old style and sit and eat there, pull out your sewing machine etc etc. A lot of old Swedish houses have that and it’s really useful. Put a pull out stool underneath and maybe add a drawer…..

  9. Maria says:

    Really like the final plan much better by far because: counter space! Also, you’ll love the interaction with others that the island will give you. Folks like to hang out in the kitchen and this keeps them from being underfoot when you are cooking. The island is a barricade and that’s a good thing.

    Also, one suggestion. If you are going to all the trouble to redo the kitchen, look hard at spending a bit extra to reverse the door swing of the bath/laundry doors. They should swing into those rooms vs. into the kitchen if at all possible. I know it will mean new jams, but those doors won’t be invading the kitchen either and that’s a forever gain/defunking of the space.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maria – LOL. Well, those two rooms are about 2′ by 2′. So, the idea of a door swinging into them is kind of hilarious. Of course you wouldn’t know that, but the thought does make me laugh. No, I”m afraid it’s definitely not possible. It’s not a big deal anyway, those doors are always closed and they’ve never gotten in the way. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Allison says:

        Another idea. . .Can you convert the bath and laundry room doors into pocket doors? That would eliminate swing space, and be in line with the age of the home. . . Of course, it’s also additional cost when you’ve already said the doors aren’t a problem. 🙂

        Another question: Is that mudroom drawing to scale? Cause I could totally see building out additional shelving for storage in there if you need it.

        • Amanda says:

          Pocket, schmocket. Those are expensive and require tearing out a wall to install. So I just use sliding doors on a barn track. I happened to build my doors myself, but you could repurpose the doors you have. Might work in the bath, but not the laundry. Use saloon doors there! Ha! I’ve always wanted to strut out of the laundry room after stuffing my undies in the washer through a pair of swinging doors! “Howdy, I’m washing my drawers.”

  10. CJ says:

    You know what I really love about this? Knowing when paying for help is really and truly the smartest and most cost effective thing you can do. There’s a huge difference between knowing what you like and knowing how to make it work and Carol’s plans demonstrate that expertise.

    Excellent advice. Excellent work. Ecellent final plan.

  11. Meg says:

    “Which will hopefully happen exactly once every NEVER.”

    AHAHAH!!! oh my god, yes.

    this brings back so many memories of a kitchen we DIDN’T redesign: we sold the house to avoid it!! (The kitchen redesign would’ve involved every room of the house – not a joke.)

    Looks like you have a great plan to not knock down walls but still double your counter space, separate the fridge/stove, and still have an island/place to sit. Brava! (I think that’s the feminine version of Bravo?! Also I am not sure about Italian pluralization, because your designer is also a lady! Bravas?)

    • Kristin says:

      When congratulating two women, it would be “Brave!” (“BRAH-vey”) For two men or one man and any number of women, it becomes “Bravi!” (Italian is a very sexist language!) and for just one woman, it is, indeed, “Brava!”

  12. Kris Wilson says:

    Karen, I’m sorry to question your final decision, but I would most definitely try to find a way to have that 6 burner stove. And a second wall oven. I have planned lots of kitchens, and know that the next one will have both of those for sure. Could you possibly put the stove where you have the pantry now, with maybe a narrow cabinet or counter on the bathroom wall? You may have to switch your sink and dishwasher so you have some counter space to the right of the stove. And the blackboard wall is great but a waste of space, could it be a full wall of cabinetry (shallow for food) and use blackboard paint on the doors? Also, have you considered putting your washer and dryer in the basement and using that room as a full walk in pantry? Just a few thoughts to totally mess you up. Sorry, Kris 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kris – I actually laughed out loud when you said to add a second wall oven. Um, no, there definitely isn’t room for that. Hah! See? I laughed again. And no, this really is the best plan for me. I like a room to have a bit of breathing space and cupboards on the back wall (which is where I had a pantry before) would take away that breathing space. I love a walk in pantry, but my basement stairs are 18″ wide. So, I’d need a hobbit sized washer and dryer to fit them down there. Besides, having the laundry right off the kitchen like that is incredibly convenient! Trust me. Both Carol and I have given this kitchen months of thought and planning. It’s the right plan. 🙂 ~ karen

  13. Denise Leavens says:

    Well done, Karen ! It HARD WORK to make those kind of fantasy vs. reality decisions. Especially for a crafty-cuddle-kitten!

  14. Kris Wilson says:

    Just one more thing. Cant tell if this is already in the plan, but be sure to have your cabinetry go all the way to the ceiling. Having regular height uppers is such a waste of space. (And the cabinets over the frig should be frig depth, divided, great for trays and platters and cookie sheets ect.) I’ll stop now.

  15. Clara says:

    Well, if you push the huge butcher’s block close to the “large framed blackboard” you get rid of the island concept, just as you wanted, ha ha.
    Last plan seems perfect… but a piece of the window on the right gets covered by the fridge!!?? and the entrance from the living room, isn’t it too narrow? (I suppouse not, as this has been designed to measure, etc -but so it looks from the plan).
    I guess it’s too late now for this, but another nice touch would have beeen to put the ranger at 45 degrees in the corner, you can cook more comfortably and gain better storage space, corner storage is a drag.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing, other people’s kitchen renovations are huge fun! I’m sure yours will make for some wow-ing before-and-after pics

  16. Sia says:

    I can’t wait to see the end result!! Especially that butcher block island… I have a picture in my head of what you’d pick.

    Happy renovating!

  17. Trish says:

    Karen have you thought of reversing the sink/dishwasher? It would get the sink closer to the prep and the dishwasher out of the traffic area…just a thought and not an expensive solve, love the last plan other than that
    Enjoy!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Trish – I prefer the sink where it is in the final plan visually. Also, I like to have work area on both the left and right side of the stove. I’ve lived with work area on only one side for 15 years now and it’s a PAIN. ~ karen!

  18. Pate says:

    Kudos Karen! You & Carol did a great job. I’m glad you moved the stove over too. And…..if you can clean off the island
    surface when you do laundry, it’s a good place to fold clean/dry clothes. I’m interested in what you did for
    backsplashes …if any than behind the stove. 🙂

    ps. Don’t have any low hanging pot racks, Idris hates hitting his head.

    • Karen says:

      No need for backsplashes Pate. There literally isn’t anywhere to put one. There will be some form of stainless at the back of the stove. ~ karen!

  19. Debbie J says:

    I love the final design. So functional with the antique island just steps away from the sink and stove. The only slight problem I see is that when the fridge door is open that it will block access to the mud room but that is a slight inconvenience when considering the overall plan. So much storage. Love the idea of the large blackboard wall. Can’t wait to see it all done.

  20. Kelly says:

    your new kitchen lay out looks GREAT! Totally functional for someone who cooks. The earlier designs look great for someone who makes coffee at home and that’s about it. there are a lot of folks like that out there, but given your various recipes, you chose the right design for sure. I have also followed Carol Reed’s work, love her aesthetics and did consult with her over a couple of design issues when we gutted out house to open things up. She more than gave value for the $$ and her help was invaluable. I could never have afforded a full interior design but her ask a question for $75 thing was GREAT. If I could afford a designer to wave a magic wand, she’d be my first choice BUT I gather she hates double sinks and as a mom who does lots of dishes and has a husband who leaves the stock pot to cool in a sink with a bit of cold water, and kids who leave dishes, I don’t care what I would have to give up, I can NOT live and function without a double sink.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. See? I *have* a double sink and I HATE it. It isn’t big enough to easily wash the large pots I use. I am extremely excited to have a large single sink. ~ karen!

  21. Ev says:

    How exciting! How much of this are you doing yourself? We can’t wait to come over for the first dinner! Hope it goes well.

  22. Genia Gojsich says:

    What’s happening to your beautiful corner cabinet you were so proud of??? Huh? Huh? Even tho the L-shaped counter will give you so much more counter space…… At the expense of that cabinet?????? I’m so disappointed…..

    • Karen says:

      Cabinet is GONE. It was cute, yes but didn’t work into the plan and I didn’t love it to the degree that I was going to make sure it worked into the plan. It has found a new home with my friend who plans to put it in her new hair salon. So I can visit it. ~ karen!

      • Denise Leavens says:

        So glad that question was asked and to know the corner cupboard has gone to a good home. I loved the corner cupboard in the childhood home of my best friend. Seeing yours always made me feel happy – especially when decorated with lighted up salt snow at Christmas time!

        • Karen says:

          I *already* have a place in mind in the new kitchen for those Denise! LOL. I actually thought of it as my corner cupboard was being carried out the back door. 🙂 ~ karen!

  23. Tigersmom says:

    You are going to adore having that many flat surfaces, especially that expanse of counter next to the fridge and in front of a window. I predict that will end up being the setting for many a blog pic and how-to video.

    Can’t wait for the full reveal, especially since you do so love to tease us with glimpses of possibilities (you know, like marble counters.)

    I will say there is not a more timeless and classic choice to go with than white marble counters. It’s what I chose and I got them honed, not polished, so they look like they were always here. Helps to keep things from getting too dark with my low ceilings, too. Christopher Peacock does a beautiful classic white scullery kitchen that I totally copied. I also want to redo my kitchen in exactly never.

    I think you made a great choice with you kitchen plan. Functionality is what will make the whole reno process worthwhile.

  24. Sally says:

    My first thought was, no don’t say you hate islands. Your kitchen is much more workable in the final design. I love your layout. You have counter space next you you fridge, stove and sink, all crucial. I think your going to be very happy with your decision.

  25. KarenJ says:

    Love kitchen renovations!

    We did ours a couple of years ago (mostly cosmetic changes).
    http://mosaicworksca.blogspot.ca/2011/08/our-kitchen-makeover-is-finished.html

    I’m thinking that, in the end, your space ‘sucking trend island’ just might be your most favourite thing. Speaking of which the design possibilities with an island can be endless. But I’m sure you have that one covered too:)

  26. Jody says:

    Love the layout. Love the plan for an antique island. My question is–What happens with the flooring you just laid?

    • Karen says:

      Nothing happens with it Jody. It stays as is. Any areas that need to be patched, will be patched. It’s very easy to do with VCT. ~ karen!

  27. Su says:

    just wondering – since you have that island/butcher block table (which I just LOVE LOVE LOVE) – can’t you put shelves under it for some more storage? maybe even raise it up to pub table height???

  28. Amie Mason says:

    Good choice! I love that the fridge is hidden and you have loads more bench space. I’m a big lover of a floating kitchen island too! Only thing I can’t stand is corner shelving. Are you having open or enclosed shelving? I would love a 6 burner too… not sure if I would compromise on that – but space seems to be at a premium…

    Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

  29. Linda J Howes says:

    None of these would be my choice but good luck with it. I hope you don’t bump into that island every time you go from the fridge to the sink or vice versa or we’ll be seeing pics of food flying and how to’s on bruise remedies.

  30. Johan says:

    My vote goes with the final plan as well. The island is cool and you will never (ever, ever) regret more cupboard space. Butcher block is nice and I like the look too but how often are you quartering a beef in your kitchen?

  31. Maryanne says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your design evolution experience. The end result is beautiful!!!

    A quick question: Undoubtedly your mudroom is stylish and immaculate, but are you planning to put a pocket door there? If not, consider whether you’re going to need a threshold (in the traditional sense) there. I mention this because I know that if there isn’t some sort of barrier all the dirt, leaves and sand from the floor of your mudroom will migrate into the kitchen, floor mat notwithstanding, that others may track in when they come to swoon over your new kitchen.

    Great blog! Have a good day 🙂

  32. amyfaith says:

    As a veteran of many (!) kitchen renovations, I can attest that there are an infinity of details to attend to when designing a new one. I tend to be rather iconoclastic and not necessarily hew to conventional “wisdom”. For instance, I will often put the sink facing a wall and the main prep space along the window (like in your current ‘old’ kitchen) because these days, we don’t spend long hours at the sink hand washing — which is why sinks were placed by the window in the first place — we just toss dishes into the dishwasher. We spend most of our time prepping/chopping/mixing at the counter, so why not make THAT space the most pleasant.

    I do have one suggestion for you to mull over if you want. I don’t know the layout or dimensions of your bathroom, so this may or may not be feasible, but I’m guessing that the sink is directly ahead and against the left wall as you walk in the bathroom door. If you were to create a doorway immediately to the left and infront of the bathroom sink, you could pivot the washer/dryer stack so it was accessed from the bathroom. I’d use a slider door that pulls from the right, as you’re facing that new opening. Here’s the potential big benefit: there might just be enough space to the LEFT of the repositioned w/d to add a wall and have a floor to ceiling pantry closet accessed from the old w/d doorway. It wouldn’t be terribly deep (12 -14″ maybe?), and there would be a dead space to the (new) right of the w/d (because it would be inaccessible if it were jammed to the left of the sink), but it just might work and would double your pantry space.

    Anyway, free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it 😉

    Good luck with the reno; it’s hell going through it, but the results are worth it.

    • Andrea says:

      I thought the same thing… seems like a waste of space to have the WD open into the kitchen like that… but there may be a perfectly good reason why she doesn’t want it to open into the bathroom…..
      Because it’s hard to tell on the plan, the fridge might be able to be tucked into the same alcove, though the traffic pattern might not allow. I love tweaking plans…. especially to include a narrow pantry. Truly, we had a one foot deep cabinet that we kept an obscene amount of stuff in. From canned goods and dry goods to phone books and take out menus. It held a bunch of stuff that no one ever suspected could fit in such a narrow space!

  33. looks like its going to be a great layout. cant wait to see what finishes you pick.

  34. Ann says:

    I love the last plan also. I think you will learn to love the island and to think of that as your “table”. Or…..Could you not make the island multi-level? At one end, lower the top and have it table height and 2 chairs or stools that slide all the way under when not in use. Otherwise, I think the plan is genius. I wish I had just a tad more room in mine so I could have it redesigned. I love every other inch of my house, but the kitchen. Oh well. The land the house sits on was so more important to us than the house. To get 80% of a dream house and 100% of your dream land is better than the other way around.

  35. Brenda says:

    I am one of those kitchen island freaks..I like your choice, love the big chalkboard wall and the storage……I also think I need Carol Reed …

  36. Penny says:

    I think you have chosen the best design.

    Have you considered rehanging the door to the mudroom so it opens from right to left? And putting shaker pegs behind the door for coats and stuff, leaving room for a bench with storage underneath on the right hand wall? Or perhaps something built in ?
    Just a thought.

  37. annie says:

    When I got to the plan you chose, I actually uttered, “Oooooh, yeah…” so there’s one vote of confidence for your choice. When I win the lottery, contacting Carol Reed may be one of the first 5 things I do…

  38. TC says:

    An internet design miracle lol! It really is a genius concept. Of course you need storage, or what’s the point? Great choice! Plus, we’ve seen pics of your basement, I’m not sure Idris would survive more than one trip down to your basement. Can’t wait for your kitchen’s big reveal post!

  39. Maria Ripol says:

    Ok – silly question… Why can’t you move the island to the short wall labeled “large frame blackboard or gallery wall”? Then it won’t be an “island” any more – you said you LOVED it against the wall on the second and third plans. There was a 72″ pantry on that wall before, so the 63″ butcher block should fit.

    • Karen says:

      Maria – Because I have other plans or that wall, and now that I’ve lived with the “island” I like it where it is. 🙂 ~ karen

  40. Scouty says:

    love, love the final design! I liked seeing the progression to the final decision. Carol and you have done a fine job, so far!

  41. Robyn says:

    Given your space, I think you definitely chose the best design ! Once you remove the swinging door between the kitchen and the mudroom, it gives you a full stretch of counter and the perfect spot for the fridge. I just hope your mudroom is sufficiently heated (given that you live in an older home). But you could always hang enough beads in a doorway to get that “thermal block” LOL!
    If you like the “old-timey” feel of having a table in your kitchen… I think the centre “island” will give you the more of a heart-of-the-house feel rather than pushing a table up against a wall will.
    It’s going to be gorgeous!

  42. carolyne says:

    Did you ever consider making the bathroom and laundry one room so that there would only be one door? Idris would like one door.

  43. Amy in Stl says:

    That’s the layout of my kitchen! I bought it from the nephew of the builder. He built it in the 1930s for his new wife and except for the weirdly small closet in the master bedroom it’s a nice house. Glad to see you’ve picked the proper plan.

  44. Absolutely fantastic. I also used Carol Reed’s e-design services for my bathroom reno and she also saved me from making a very bad (and unconventional) choice with the layout. Honestly…I still say it was the best money I spent in that reno!!

    Love the option you chose with all the extra counter space.

  45. nicole d says:

    yep! love it. Well done.
    Tis true, a kitchen design takes time and imagination.
    well done, both of you.

  46. Susan Bosscawen says:

    The last thing one needs is second guessing months after a decision has been made from someone who doesn’t live or know how your floor plan flows in your house. But…our home was built in 1900, quite large for the 2 of us with all of the kids gone now, but there’s still precious little storage space & I get your love of old homes.

    In looking at your final plan, I ask:
    1. Could storage cabinets be installed on the right side of the mud room in that wider space behind the door? Or possibly just do away with having a mud room–is it necessary? You could extend the counter & cabinets over for a little more space?

    2. Do you really need a half bath in the kitchen? Or the closest in the other room? I assume it’s a dining or living space? We have a ‘guest’ closet but our guests always toss their coats on our bed anyway. And our master bath is near enough it’s used as much, if not more, as the guest bath. Possibly place the w/d in the corner of the existing bath, remove the walls & open up that end for an in-kitchen table in the left corner.

    Or not:)…it looks very nice as is!

    • Karen says:

      Susan – 1. Yes, I definitely need a mud room, and I already had cabinets on that wall and didn’t like it. 2. Since that’s my only bath, yes … I’m pretty attached to it.

      karen!

  47. Tracy says:

    I am living vicariously through you on this whole renovation, Karen. I’d have chosen the same floor plan. I can’t wait until we (you) get started.

  48. Heather says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Karen! I just finished my kitchen reno – both my fridge and stove were moved, and I love it! I never would have thought of moving the stove, but now I have a huge expanse of counter space, where I can spread everything out, uninterrupted. I too have a huge cutting block (a countertop style, handmade by my brother). It now sits on my new workspace. And because it’s not right beside the stove anymore, I don’t have all my chopped veggies falling down that crack between the stove and my cutting board. The great abyss, from whence there is no return! (Because how often does one pull out the stove??)

    Good luck with your kitchen reno. The pain you’re about to experience will all be worth it in the end!!

  49. Jamie H. says:

    Could you make the door to the laundry room one of those hidden doors – that has a book shelf on one side but opens to the laundry? That would give you a bit more space too for books and knickknacks . I saw it on pinterest. Another cool thing I saw on there was to make it look like a pantry – but when it opens, it’s really a doorway into whatever room is behind it. Might be cool….

  50. Laura says:

    Just perused through Carol’s portfolio, thank you for sharing! Now I am strongly considering her e-services for our kitchen reno. Cheers to you for taking the legwork out of my designer hunt.

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