Repurposed / Reclaimed / Nontraditional Kitchen Island.
Obviously I want a sink. And a stove. And for sure a dishwasher… But the rest of it?
I DO NOT WANT THAT.
And the thing I most do not want is cabinets… Paul is so excited.
We have been everywhere from the super high-end custom place to the maze of hope-turned-despair that is IKEA… and? They’re exactly the same: boxes.
Varying degrees of niceness and bankruptcy, but still just boxes… That look just like everyone else’s boxes. Which, invariably is what I will end up with, but is still bothersome.
It is strange that a total kitchen remodel is one of the most expensive projects you can do in your house… And after you spend all of that money, what you have is a kitchen that looks JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER kitchen.
I mean, maybe you project your specialness onto your cabinet doors and countertop… But I am not sure that I can limit my self-expression to knob-choice.
On the other hand – I hear that boxes have good resale value.
And that you may be burned at the stake for violating the box code.
I just read a comment thread on one of the shelter-magazine’s Facebook pages where random people said how DISGUSTING someone’s kitchen makeover was because they had replaced two upper cabinets with open shelving.
I cannot overstate the angry-mob-with-pitchforks-and-boiling-oil.
The commenters predicted doom and armageddon and ranted about how the shelving would soon be coated in a thick layer of grease, dog hair, and unimaginable filth.
It was hilarious. And completely insane– what is wrong with people? How can anyone possibly care that much about a total stranger’s kitchen choices?
I mean, as a blogger – I can only HOPE that people care so much about my kitchen.
I hope all of the haters arrive together, on a party bus… I will welcome them and hand out Mardi Gras beads and jell-o shots to fuel the shrieking outcry of criticism and loathing.
But what if Paul and I do not live here forever? What if at some point we need to move?
If total strangers can hate a minor deviation from traditional kitchen design THAT MUCH… How might they feel if they are actually considering buying our kitchen?
9 million more kitchens– my pinterest board
I will love you EVEN MORE… if you share me with your friends!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:29 am
Thank you for reminding me how much I hate cabinets. My ideal: a walk in closet with 12-inch shelving in a u shape to hold single rows of bowls, pots, pans, canned goods, everything – oh, the joy of being able to see everything you have at once.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:30 am
I love all your kitchen island ideas. My husband and I turned a 54-Drawer Card Catalog into a buffet for our kitchen. Fits everything from silverware, to spices to foil/plastic wraps to wine bottles. And it replaced an ugly old cabinet. Pictures on my pinterest board “Library Card Catalogs – our projects” Love your blog!!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:31 am
We’re in mid-kitchen remodel. No cabinets. Two glorious old Hoosiers, and a spectacular Eastlake Victorian marble top dresser on casters, tucked under a big butcher block counter that runs along one wall. Drawer storage most of the time, and when I need extra counter space I can just pull it out in the middle of the room. Oh, and my windows…. Big wood windows with clear glass shelves across them, and then sliding glass panels just like the front of a display case across the front. No kitchen schmutz to settle on the contents. Which is a lifetime collection of brilliantly colored glassware, which I can rearrange whenever inspiration strikes. We actually eat off it too. A functional rainbow. The whole room glitters! Look here for an earlier version before we lost kitchen, bathroom & laundry to rot discovered beneath the floor. Right now the only thing left is those two windows.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:40 am
Oh! And I do love the printer’s cabinet island the most…
February 3, 2015 @ 10:33 am
The great thing about your house is the next person who buys it will tear down that terrible addition, and build a huge, white princess-fantasy kitchen, so you may as well go crazy with what you’ve got because the resale value of your house isn’t going to be back there. I can’t wait to see what you are going to come up with, though I guess I can wait because we have been talk talk talking about it forever!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:34 am
When I moved in my house nearly six years ago, I took out one upper cabinet and replaced it with two open shelves. Love it. I can reach all the spices I use on a regular basis (they aren’t cluttering my counter), and my smaller microwave rests nicely where I need it.
It didn’t have an island (but certainly had the space), so I made an island with a huge three drawer dresser. Love it. The drawers are wide, deep and hold stuff. The top has just enough space to be helpful (without overwhelming my kitchen).
I needed extra shelves and a cabinet next to my fridge, but there was a heater/AC vent on the lower wall (it’s an older house), so I created my own “cabinet and shelving unit” with furniture legs I bought at Lowe’s and an old linen cabinet I had and the top shelves from a small buffet. Painted it all white. Love it. It holds my cookbooks (handy in the kitchen, but not in the way) on the shelves and the cabinet holds stuff I use, but don’t want right under my nose. The furniture legs hold the old thing up away from the vent on the wall.
Who needs to be just like everyone else?
February 3, 2015 @ 10:35 am
I cannot love this enough! We are currently trying to plan a kitchen remodel and I feel EXACTLY the same way. I do not want to spend so much money for my kitchen to just be a cookie cutter of everyone else’s! It is so frustrating- thank you for renewing my determination to find something different and better.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:42 am
Well said by all! And I couldn’t agree more!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:45 am
Love the pictures. I have a 100 yr old pine cupboard/sideboard for my island and a farm table with a wing back chair. Yours will be fab!……..I wouldn’t recommend black granite for counter tops, it shows everything!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:47 am
I just know you’ll find something interesting and functional and beautiful at the same time! My only thought is that I want a blue stove, one of those $6000 ones, in the kitchen with the antique server island. I want my kitchen to be a cookie cutter of that one! I want an English tall two-piece open shelving cupboard with NO doors, but I live in Michigan and I’ll probably be looking for one for a very long time. (I did find one but my kitchen ceiling would have to be raised about two feet.)
February 3, 2015 @ 10:51 am
I ALSO DO NOT WANT BOXES. I want a free-standing kitchen, with long prep tables and an island that I can MOVE so my kitchen can either be blocked off or open, depending on the shindig, or my mood.
So, I echo the above sentiments – it is your house, your kitchen, you are the one using it, so make it what you want! You have done amazing work in the rest of the house that is authentic, so I think that (hopefully) prospective buyers looking at your home would also want/understand the design of a non-box-kitchen.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:52 am
Please don’t cave into the ‘box’ kitchen. That is so boring and not you at all. and stop thinking ‘resale’.
What if you install ‘everybody else’s ‘ kitchen and you end up living there the rest of your life…so sad. This should not be your future.
Go Big! Go Fancy!
Love you posts!
February 3, 2015 @ 10:53 am
I’m considering moving just so I can buy your house, because that is EXACTLY my type of kitchen! Do what you want. Love it. Then when you’re done loving it, sell it to me. Thanks.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:53 am
If you aren’t planning on moving any time soon, I think your home should be an expression of you and make you happy. Designing for resale value only is like buying art you really don’t like because you believe it will appreciate. The only difference is that if your home starts to annoy you you can’t store it until a market develops. You have to live there and look at every day.
Make it a home that you and your husband both can enjoy.
February 3, 2015 @ 10:53 am
Totally agree with Bronne Wilson on that being the most beautiful kitchen ever! Where did you find that? Love colored appliances! Consuelo’s pantry idea is a great way to go, too! But when you put your kitchen together Please Yourself!! You always find the neatest stuff. Love your wonderful blog!
February 3, 2015 @ 11:02 am
We just redid kitchen. We’re turning it into a rental in as few years as we can afford, so we had to go with general appeal, and wanted to spend as little as possible top make a modern, functional kitchen.
It’s an incredibly boring flat white box kitchen from Ikea. The functionality is out of this world, I love working in it. But the flat white cupboards and generic steel handles bore the crap out of me. I’m just not a flat white cupboard kinda girl.
But everyone who sees it gushes over how lovely, clean, and modern looking it is. Obviously most people are boring.
You’re actually planning to live in your kitchen longer than 2-3 years. Build it for yourself. Boxes are cheap, then next owners can put them in if they want.
February 3, 2015 @ 11:06 am
Before even reading the whole thing I have to say: When you say “Paul is so excited” I giggle like a schoolgirl hearing her first dirty joke.
February 3, 2015 @ 11:12 am
The internet is filled with unhappy people who vent their spite because they can hide behind fake names.
Do whatever you love in your kitchen. It’s YOURS.
As long as it functions really well, and is spotless clean and well maintained, that’s all that matters.
For everyone that hates something, there is another person that will love it.
February 3, 2015 @ 11:13 am
Do what you want. If some future potential person doesn’t like it and you are stuck with it forever, forced to allow hobos to squat in it for decades? At least you got a kitchen you wanted.
Also? Whatever in this world we have, there are other people somewhere who have it. I mean. the world is only made of so many elements, you know?
Besides, your house, let’s be real, is going to be turned into some sort of Blogseum. People will travel for days with sticky toddlers to get to it and pay $49.95 to take a tour. Then they will drop another $100 each on $8 bottled water and plasticy pretzels with coldish cheese dip. It’s the American way, dear.
February 3, 2015 @ 11:16 am
YOU and I would get along GREAT!I too have the odd kitchen and mine was done 18 years ago….I did the chicken wire cabinets as I ADORED the LOOK!We did later change it out to glass as MY SONS knees would occasionally GO THROUGH!But NO upper cabinets!YUCK!INstead portraits and old signs………….old furniture to house the kitchen accessories and my GRANDMOTHERS chaise LOUNGE adorned the kitchen as I get tired easily from stirring………..
BEST of LUCK with the remodel………..and I too married a MAN just LIKE YOURS!!!!
Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza
February 3, 2015 @ 11:25 am
Wow – that sounds vaguely familiar! 😉 What a bizarre thing that was. Who knew my kitchen was so controversial?!? I only wish I had thought of Jell-O shots and Mardi Gras beads!! Hey – when you and I are in the HOV lane to cabinet-removing hell, at least we’ll have each other!