The Kitchen to end all Kitchens
At least the last we will probably ever have built - after all I am 60 in a few weeks, and the last kitchen lasted nearly 30 years.
Our old kitchen was put in when our son was 8 months old and he has now passed his 30th birthday, so it did well. When we bought the house it had a kitchen just 2.7 metres square (9 ft square) with 2 doorways which robbed it of about a third of its space.
The original kitchen layout
I designed a new layout in 1979. By walling up the doors and putting a new door in another wall we got much more space. However, going for maximum storage space isn't always the best way, as we learned over the years. Corner cupboards and a corner pantry sound great in theory but are not so useful. You either don't use the out of the way parts, or fill them with things you can't reach and end up forgetting about. And it was still the same size kitchen overall. Much better than what we had, but not so useful as we had hoped.
The 1979 layout
and a photo of what it looked like
What was wrong with the old kitchen?
Construction was typical for the 1970s, melamine covered chipboard in a fake woodgrain, with melamine covered bench-tops.
- After nearly 30 years it was looking shabby. The doors where swelling at the bottom, one cupboard had water-damage from a roof leak, and the drawer unit from a dishwasher leak.
- After nearly 30 years crouching to get things from low cupboards was getting hard on our bodies, especially knees!
- After nearly 30 years wrestling with the sliding-door-around-the-corner pantry was becoming a real nuisance
- After nearly 30 years of dancing around one-another in the kitchen the need for more space was getting to us
- After nearly 30 years the noisy built-in range-hood was making conversation hard, especially as my hearing is not so good anymore (and yes, I'm a bloke, and therefore by definition not good at listening under the best of circumstances - I plead guilty, and I am working on it constantly ~8-)
- After nearly 30 years the one-piece upright stove was getting shabby too, and was never a help to great cookery (eg, a single element, non-fan-forced oven)
What we did differently this time
- Twice as big! - we had extended the house some years after the kitchen, so what was once our tiny dining area was spare space. A wall and a half came out and voila! - a double sized kitchen.
- No corner cupboards at all - we went for a "galley" style.
- A wide and shallow front-access pantry
- Granite bench-tops
- Solid timber (Tasmanian Oak) doors and drawer fronts
- A beautifully quiet and effective Siemens range-hood, ducted to the outside. It was going to be a Bosch DKE985CAUSS, but there ended up being none in stock when we needed it, so we were offered the Siemens LC75952 instead - made in the same factory and identical in specification, with just minor cosmetic differences. The fan is quiet enough for conversation at the stove, even on the maximum power setting, and almost inaudible on the lowest setting. Yet it is so effective that we no longer have the smell of lamb or fish through the house after a roast. The rangehood and the other new appliances came from Winning Appliances - their range of appliances on display is huge, the service was very good and the price competitive.
- A fan-forced multi-function double Bosch oven. This works very well. Even and accurate heating and the closed door grilling using the top, smaller, oven is very clean and odour free. Bosch HBN43M551ASS
- A Bosch electric induction cook-top. Very easy to control the heat output and more efficient than any other electric cooker (no gas where we are). Downside is you need magnetic pots and pans. Good news was that our recent purchases where magnetic, and Bosch gave us a set of 4 pans for free! It really does work well - my wife loves it - easy to control the heat output to just what you need, and very easy to clean. Bosch PIE675T01E
- 22 drawers in total, which replace almost all the below-bench cabinets. Drawers use Blum self-closing roller slide mechanisms which make using them (with heavy loads of pots, crockery, etc.) easy. Its soooooo much better than crouching and reaching into low cupboards.
Here's the sketch plan of the new kitchen
...and the cardboard model I made to help visualise the new layout
What does it look like now?
Here are 2 pix of the new kitchen
And a long shot from the entrance, showing the "galley" layout well
These are on a separate page
This page http://tardus.net/kitchen.html
published: 4 Apr 2009
Contact me, "Tardus"
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