Friday, November 16, 2012

Kitchen HELP!!

We've been renovating our 1978 tri-level home for more than five years now. When we moved in there was gold/blue/orange wallpaper on almost every vertical surface, a 70's bar with laminate yellow countertop in the family room, and blue office carpet in the kitchen (who carpets a kitchen?!?!).

We immediately stripped the wallpaper, pulled up carpet, and painted just about everything.  But now we're into bigger projects and we've got an SOS!

Our "vintage" oven stopped working this week. Won't heat above 190 degrees. We could possibly, maybe, might could (as we say in the south) have it repaired.  But, you know how much time we spend in the kitchen. And this model is a 27" space saver  so small!

I want a full-size stove and an oven in which you can actually use both racks.  A kitchen like this.

(see more kitchen porn here

Of course, our budget doesn't quite keep up with our dreams... so we're taking baby steps.

In a fit of "crap - my oven's broke" and "my oven's broke -- yay!", I wandered sped over to the nearest Big Box to look at new stoves.  I picked out a nice stainless steel one and bought it, along with an over-the-range microwave (I know... dated, ugly, inconvenient, so builder-grade.  But I agree with this woman from the parenting site Babble and this kitchen designer.)

Problem is -- and DIY home improvers will totally understand this -- as soon as we started prepping the area for delivery we discovered, well, problems:

1. The vintage stove and range hood are both hardwired into the wall. There is no outlet. We need outlets for the new appliances.  (texted our fabulous contractor. We may DIY, but we don't want to die)

2. The over the range cabinet is hung such that if we put the microwave below it the microwave will be too close to the cook top. It'll be code, but just barely, and certainly not enough room for our big soup pots. We could raise the cabinet, but then it won't line up with the others.  Which is okay, but not ideal.

3.  This is the REAL problem. Turns out our existing stove was 27", but our existing hood was 30", centered over the 27" stove. When we replace the stove the  hood/microwave will hang 1.5 inches off center to the right.  We can't cut down the base cabinets (can we?) and don't want to replace all the cabinets (too much $$).  We certainly don't want to be like this kitchen!  So, what to do?

Ask you!

So, here's the before...

(forgive the darkness... lighting is also on the punch list)

And here's what I think might be our solution:

Or something like that. A wall-mounted chimney style range hood that I could  center over the stove and not have the off-center or have-to-cut-down-the-cabinets dilemma.

We would then extend the glass tile backsplash up both sides of the hood (midway up the cabinets? to the top of the cabinets?)  We'd also have to figure out what do do on the left side of the new stove b/c there wouldn't be enough room to re-install our existed cabinet (which currently butts up against the moulding of a door frame).  We could either look for a slimmer cabinet or install open shelving.

Thoughts??!?  Would it look weird to have

<open shelving>     ......   <chimney style hood>    ......   <cabinets>?



  1. The first thing I thought of was the chimney style good. Very fashion forward. Open shelving is cool, but dusting and keeping tidy?

  2. Open shelving always looks great in photos, but the steam in the kitchen alone creates a problem. I do think the chimney-style hood is a great solution, though. (I have a 1960s KitchenAid wall oven and when it finally goes, I think I'll cry. It's amazing.)

  3. You might want to worry more about a good functional hood as opposed to decorative or cosmetic. I re did our kitchen and got a Zephyr Hurricane hood. It has three settings and the low setting is about the same as high on most other units. On high I can empty the entire kitchen volume of air in about 3 minutes. If you accidentally burn something or get a drip in the oven, having this volume of exhaust capability is definitely a good thing in my opinion.

    As to the microwave, just put it somewhere else.