The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen

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redtressed
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2003/10/06 19:32:27 (permalink)

The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen

Talking about my house in another thread made me think of this topic. As I said in that thread, my house is a big old Victorian with eighteen rooms. One would expect in one of these oldie but goodies a huge kitchen that would make Julia Child envious...but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. The builder of this home obviously was a bachelor man. My kitchen is only 6 feet wide and 0 feet long. Add cabinets and refrigerator and range, and I have the room of a furnace duct space to work in. I have talked to several remodelers and the original builder had a perverse sense of humor and some of the main supports for this home are within this space, therefore adding space to it would be exhorbitant. If I put a few bottles of spice on the counter and various ingredients for recipes, it looks like I'm ready for a yard sale in my kitchen. Therefore my dining room and table gets LOTS of use.

I wanna hear about y'all's kitchens and gnash my teeth in envy.
#1

39 Replies Related Threads

    EdSails
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/06 20:42:50 (permalink)
    Oh yeah! For several years I lived on a sailboat-----the sink was not big enough for a full sized plate, the fridge was around the corner and under the cabinet, I had 2 shelves for all the canned goods and spices. My counter space to work on existed only when I left the cutting board on top of the 2 burner stove----and BTW, there was no oven. That was accomplished with an outside barbecue. Small, yes------but I still made some amazing meals in it. These days, I think I'm a better cook cuz I learned to reuse pots, plan better and WASH/REUSEe pots immediately! Plus, it's what got me into using pressure cookers which also are a great find. Big is nice-----but small works too!
    #2
    lleechef
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/06 21:33:30 (permalink)
    I lived in a big old Victorian in South Boston, the kitchen was 500 sq. ft. I had to buy antique drop-leaf table, four chairs, antique corner cupboard, etc. just to fill up the space. I easily cooked for 22 people one Christmas Day and had 118 people go through the house one St. Paddy's Day, at one time we had 42 people in the kitchen!
    Now I have a 700 sq. ft. kitchen replete with fireplace, rotisserie, brick oven for baking pizza and bread here in Alaska. The tables, chairs, corner cupboard and all copper pots, whisks from France, mandolin, stock pots and everything else followed me up to AK.
    Needless to say, the kitchen is my favorite room of the house and the one that everyone invited for dinner hangs out in while sipping wine.........oh, I have a built-in wine fridge, as well as a 6-burner Viking range with two convection ovens and a double-door Viking refrigerator-freezer. Sorry, redtressed.......try not to drool. I do every day.
    #3
    redtressed
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/06 21:49:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    lived in a big old Victorian in South Boston, the kitchen was 500 sq. ft. I had to buy antique drop-leaf table, four chairs, antique corner cupboard, etc. just to fill up the space. I easily cooked for 22 people one Christmas Day and had 118 people go through the house one St. Paddy's Day, at one time we had 42 people in the kitchen!
    Now I have a 700 sq. ft. kitchen replete with fireplace, rotisserie, brick oven for baking pizza and bread here in Alaska. The tables, chairs, corner cupboard and all copper pots, whisks from France, mandolin, stock pots and everything else followed me up to AK.
    Needless to say, the kitchen is my favorite room of the house and the one that everyone invited for dinner hangs out in while sipping wine.........oh, I have a built-in wine fridge, as well as a 6-burner Viking range with two convection ovens and a double-door Viking refrigerator-freezer. Sorry, redtressed.......try not to drool. I do every day.



    <-----wails, gnashes teeth, but nobly says:"Ahhhh what a wonderful space that is to have. You are blessed." (then plans a coup)

    I gotta admit I learned great creativity in this kitchen. Often I too would have to fix for 30 people or more during holidays and whenever I felt like it, generally. As Ed said, the use of pressure cookers helps as well as electric roasters(I have three), electric skillets, electric woks, rice steamers and so on......My pantry is as large as my kitchen and stores a heckuva lot of handy dandy appliances.
    #4
    Pwingsx
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/06 23:19:26 (permalink)
    Lovely six-year old range style. Combination great-room-kitchen. Black appliances, oak cabinets, four door pantry with pull-out drawers. All bottom cupboards have pull-out drawers. Lovely upper ledge on two sides makes decorating with junk a cinch. Also makes lots of room for Christmas decoration. West window has view of front range mountains. Sliding glass doors on wrap-around deck. 15-foot cathedral ceiling in kitchen and great room, colonial fireplace, couches and easy chairs, big tv and stereo system. Perfect gathering place for family (I have five brothers and sisters, plus significant others). The 'parlor' has yet to ever be used.

    Thing is, Redtressed, and I feel so guilty about this -- I don't cook! I just eat. Good thing my sister lives with me who DOES cook.
    #5
    CoreyEl
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 00:28:03 (permalink)
    My kitchen is stunning--was advertised in the realtor's brochure as "Entertainer's Delight--right out of the pages of Southern Living" and it really is. Maple cabinetry, recessed lighting, a huge center island, an eat-in area with two huge curve top windows at one end, a pantry with pull out maple shelves, 9' ceilings and a built-in desk across the room. Of course I found out after we'd bought it that the lady of the house was as decorative as the room and did not cook at all--which is kind of rare for a native Southern woman. This would explain the drop-in flat glass top electric range and the MATTE BLACK FORMICA countertops. The room was meant to be looked at, not used heavily, which is what I've been doing to it. Black formica scratches at the least provocation, and when I found out what it would take (in both money and construction) to put in the dual-fuel Viking stove I want, I almost fainted. But just give me time...
    #6
    EliseT
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 02:15:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    I lived in a big old Victorian in South Boston, the kitchen was 500 sq. ft. I had to buy antique drop-leaf table, four chairs, antique corner cupboard, etc. just to fill up the space. I easily cooked for 22 people one Christmas Day and had 118 people go through the house one St. Paddy's Day, at one time we had 42 people in the kitchen!
    Now I have a 700 sq. ft. kitchen replete with fireplace, rotisserie, brick oven for baking pizza and bread here in Alaska. The tables, chairs, corner cupboard and all copper pots, whisks from France, mandolin, stock pots and everything else followed me up to AK.
    Needless to say, the kitchen is my favorite room of the house and the one that everyone invited for dinner hangs out in while sipping wine.........oh, I have a built-in wine fridge, as well as a 6-burner Viking range with two convection ovens and a double-door Viking refrigerator-freezer. Sorry, redtressed.......try not to drool. I do every day.


    700 square feet? Our realtor showed us entire houses that were 880 square feet! It must have been hard organizing things to save needless running around.

    When we bought this place 8 months ago, the kitchen was a big selling point. It is literally the heart of the home, surrounded by the other rooms. It is also perfectly square. There is a counter that opens up to the dining room so you don't feel isolated.

    The cupboards are awful though. Homemade pressboard with no backing (so dust falls down the back wall onto dishes). They aren't deep enough to store much, and hang over the counter so I have to pull out the mixer and coffemaker to use them. I can't wait until I can afford to redo them.

    I decorated it to look like a 1940s farm kitchen...cream walls, light green cupboards, with huge mixing bowls, old milk bottles and jadeite set on top the cupboards. I have a pastry table my dad made for me out of an old wooden table that is in just the right place between the fridge (to rest groceries) and stove (to set ingredients as I work). Accents are red and black, with gingham and flourcloth teatowels and mitts. I have inexpensive new appliances...there is an old stove at my dad's cabin, but my mom suffered so much using a woodstove on the farm all those years she talked me out of it. I wish I had room for both.
    #7
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 02:40:55 (permalink)
    We just did a massive renovation of our kitchen, spurred by the fact that we had to replace the floor due to carpenter ant damage. Ditched the stove and bought a new one, repositioned the fridge for better use (including being able to plumb it for ice), got a new sink, garbage disposal and dishwasher, and ripped out all of the cabinets and had new ones custom built to fix two problems: 1) I'm 6'6" and could not comfortably use the old cabinets, and 2) We live in a row house next to a rail yard in the heart of the BU student ghetto. Translation: roach central. The new cabinets are much taller and are also completely open, to reduce hiding places. The roach problem is still terrible, but it's nothing like it was.

    We went with cobalt blue and lemon yellow for the color scheme, keyed to some great 40s fabric I found in New Hampshire last Thanksgiving, which was turned into the curtains. We still need to do some work in the pantry and a couple of walls still need painting, but it's much more inviting and sunnier now, and the space -- about 220 square feet -- is much better utilized.
    #8
    lleechef
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 04:08:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    I lived in a big old Victorian in South Boston, the kitchen was 500 sq. ft. I had to buy antique drop-leaf table, four chairs, antique corner cupboard, etc. just to fill up the space. I easily cooked for 22 people one Christmas Day and had 118 people go through the house one St. Paddy's Day, at one time we had 42 people in the kitchen!
    Now I have a 700 sq. ft. kitchen replete with fireplace, rotisserie, brick oven for baking pizza and bread here in Alaska. The tables, chairs, corner cupboard and all copper pots, whisks from France, mandolin, stock pots and everything else followed me up to AK.
    Needless to say, the kitchen is my favorite room of the house and the one that everyone invited for dinner hangs out in while sipping wine.........oh, I have a built-in wine fridge, as well as a 6-burner Viking range with two convection ovens and a double-door Viking refrigerator-freezer. Sorry, redtressed.......try not to drool. I do every day.


    700 square feet? Our realtor showed us entire houses that were 880 square feet! It must have been hard organizing things to save needless running around.

    When we bought this place 8 months ago, the kitchen was a big selling point. It is literally the heart of the home, surrounded by the other rooms. It is also perfectly square. There is a counter that opens up to the dining room so you don't feel isolated.

    The cupboards are awful though. Homemade pressboard with no backing (so dust falls down the back wall onto dishes). They aren't deep enough to store much, and hang over the counter so I have to pull out the mixer and coffemaker to use them. I can't wait until I can afford to redo them.

    I decorated it to look like a 1940s farm kitchen...cream walls, light green cupboards, with huge mixing bowls, old milk bottles and jadeite set on top the cupboards. I have a pastry table my dad made for me out of an old wooden table that is in just the right place between the fridge (to rest groceries) and stove (to set ingredients as I work). Accents are red and black, with gingham and flourcloth teatowels and mitts. I have inexpensive new appliances...there is an old stove at my dad's cabin, but my mom suffered so much using a woodstove on the farm all those years she talked me out of it. I wish I had room for both.
    Elise, the kitchen is small compared to the living room, 1700 sq. ft. We also have 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths, 4 fireplaces. One thing we have plenty of in AK is space! My fav. room is STILL my kitchen! I love to stoke a fire in the brick oven on the weekend and bake sourdough bread and then roast a pheasant or duck on the rotisserie over the fireplace.
    #9
    EliseT
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 04:14:21 (permalink)
    I can imagine the kitchen is the only room easy to keep warm in the winter! With all those bedrooms and baking, I think you and Redtressed should open up Bed and Breakfasts!
    #10
    lleechef
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 04:49:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    I can imagine the kitchen is the only room easy to keep warm in the winter! With all those bedrooms and baking, I think you and Redtressed should open up Bed and Breakfasts!
    We have thought of that many times but I hate to make beds and hate even more to clean bathrooms on a daily basis. So that would leave us with just a "Breakfast" without the "Bed and" part, and my SO made me promise to leave the food and restaurant biz behind....soooooo......we'll just enjoy as is. By the way, it's a log construction with 4 porches. Very neat when the snow is flying and we've all spent the entire day on snowmachines running up and down the mountains, or after skiing or snowshoeing.
    #11
    spadoman
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 08:20:05 (permalink)
    I've moved a lot over the years and have had some great kitchens. One of the criteria when looking for a place to rent is the kitchen.

    The best one, however, was the kitchen at a YMCA Camp in far Northern Minnesota where we lived and worked. Yes. it was where I worked, but in times when there were no people visiting or attending programs at the camp, it was our "home" kitchen.
    It sported the usual commercial things like convection oven and large grill, but it was set-up the way I wanted it because I was the manager.
    Christmas dinner was no problem. Everyone who came brought food to cook there instead of warm transport from their own home, so, the holiday was a kitchen full of folks all doing their thing with no-one bumping into each other and a big dishwasher!
    #12
    kland01s
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 09:46:50 (permalink)
    lleechef, it doesn't sound like you are "roughing" it in the Alaska wilderness? I suppose you have a spetacular view too Sigh.....
    #13
    Lone Star
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 10:59:19 (permalink)
    I nominate lleechef to invite us up for a roadfood forum thanksgiving.

    My Kitchen: Well disaster struck the Lone Star household last Thursday. My son came home from school and called me at work to tell me there was water all over the downstairs of the house. Appartently the ice maker had constantly called for water and ran, and ran, and ran.

    Now, my beautiful Pergo floors are halfway hacked out (they ran throughout the length of my kitchen and den which are a continous space), the carpet ( only three years old) in my formal living and dining room is halfway ripped out as are the wood floors in my entry way and powder room.

    Service Master, a water damage company our insurance uses came out and did all the ripping up, including the bottom boards of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. We had 13 turbo fans and three refriderator size dehumidifiers running in our house from Thursday til last night. It sounded like you were in the engine room of an aircraft carrier. My teeth are still vibrating.

    Anyway, I am meeting with the adjuster tomorrow at my house at 0800 to decide our fate. So far, all the flooring and cabinets will have to be replaced.

    The Service Master technician told us he estimated almost 1,000 gallons of water did the damage. I don't know about that, but I do know that the insidious ice maker did more damage to our house than any hurricane or tropical storm.

    #14
    KimChee43
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 11:08:28 (permalink)
    We have a small galley kitchen, so there isn't a whole lot of room to store cookware, bakeware, small appliances, and so on. My husband has organized some shelves in the laundry room for any "culinary stuff" that I don't use very often. That seems to work out well for us.

    When I cook, there's barely room enough for me and one other person to move around. Therefore, if we ever decide to sell our house, it would be accurate to say that our home has a "two butt kitchen". (Someone actually referred to our kitchen that way once!)
    #15
    Kristi S.
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 11:21:55 (permalink)
    Ahhh, condo living, 1974 style. Stuck with cookie-cutter (if you'll pardon the pun) kitchens designed EXACTLY LIKE the schmoe next door. The lack of counter space has me in fits. Especially near the food prep area which must double as the stove top. I have gotten creative with some baskets from Dollar Tree to hold my spices and oven mitts and stuff. I hate how I can't have the dishwasher open and open the fridge door at the same time. KLUNK! The cabinet space is abysmal with the dozens of different pots & pans and dishes I have. My fridge is the only thing that holds a ton of stuff yet is never completely full at any given time, thanks to the growing teens in my home.
    #16
    lleechef
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 12:01:52 (permalink)
    kland01s and Lone Star (et al),
    Yes, we do have a spectacular view of the Chugach Mtn. Range, also Cook Inlet, and on a clear day we can see Denali (Mt. McKinley for you "Outsiders") and also Mt. Foraker. Bring on the masses for a Roadfood (wow, that's a hell of a long drive!) Thanksgiving. On one condition: That I get to hear the end of Mayhaw Man's fried turkey story! We could probably accomidate 200-300 people for Thanksgiving dinner.........it's a great party/ski/barbeque house. Let us know!!
    #17
    EliseT
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 13:26:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lone Star

    I nominate lleechef to invite us up for a roadfood forum thanksgiving.

    My Kitchen: Well disaster struck the Lone Star household last Thursday. My son came home from school and called me at work to tell me there was water all over the downstairs of the house. Appartently the ice maker had constantly called for water and ran, and ran, and ran.

    Now, my beautiful Pergo floors are halfway hacked out (they ran throughout the length of my kitchen and den which are a continous space), the carpet ( only three years old) in my formal living and dining room is halfway ripped out as are the wood floors in my entry way and powder room.

    Service Master, a water damage company our insurance uses came out and did all the ripping up, including the bottom boards of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. We had 13 turbo fans and three refriderator size dehumidifiers running in our house from Thursday til last night. It sounded like you were in the engine room of an aircraft carrier. My teeth are still vibrating.

    Anyway, I am meeting with the adjuster tomorrow at my house at 0800 to decide our fate. So far, all the flooring and cabinets will have to be replaced.

    The Service Master technician told us he estimated almost 1,000 gallons of water did the damage. I don't know about that, but I do know that the insidious ice maker did more damage to our house than any hurricane or tropical storm.



    Oh, how awful for you! Good luck with that! I thought one of the benefits of Pergo was that it was supposed to be waterproof.
    #18
    Lone Star
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 13:35:56 (permalink)
    It is waterproof for spills and "normal" kitchen mishaps. I've had it for about 6 years in my kitchen, den and bathroom and it still looked beautiful.

    The problem was all the water that got underneath it. Before they started ripping it out sections were bowing up from all of the water. I am going to replace it with Pergo or one of the other laminates again.

    But for now, it is a disaster!" />
    #19
    kland01s
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 14:18:45 (permalink)
    Lonestar, I can't imagine what a disaster that is. I hope the insurance goes smoothly and you can quickly get a contractor to repair things.

    llechef, I would love to come! Its been 10 years since I went to Alaska, I drove along the Cook Inlet to Portage Glacier and later spent 4 days in Denali and saw the mountain every day, it is amazing. I had friends stationed in Fairbanks and got to do alot of driving around, not touristy things.

    I had a galley kitchen but now have a very large one and just recently replaced the 50 year old built in oven and cooktop, yipee!
    #20
    KimChee43
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 15:07:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by kland01s

    Lonestar, I can't imagine what a disaster that is. I hope the insurance goes smoothly and you can quickly get a contractor to repair things.


    LONESTAR: I share the same thoughts as KLAND01S. How awful to have such a disaster in your home. I hope things return to normal for you as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Good luck.
    #21
    lleechef
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 16:23:33 (permalink)
    LoneStar,
    Sorry to hear about your disaster. I cannot imagine what damage 1,000 gallons of water would do. Settle up with the insurance co. and take a road trip to Alaska.....I'll make sure you're all well fed.
    #22
    redtressed
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 18:44:10 (permalink)
    I can sure sympathize, LoneStar. My little shoebox kitchen and dining room have Pergo. This past winter was very very hard on water pipes(old house......poor insultaion in some areas =waterfalls)I lost my dining room ceiling and the Pergo in the kitchen ended up looking like bowed wood from the bottom of a rowboat.(made for interesting two stepping in the kitchen until it was redone), but my walnut Pergo in the dining room didn't buckle a bit, where the main waterfall occurred. Go figure
    #23
    Vince Macek
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 20:56:51 (permalink)
    Easy for me to plan with someone else's money, but...

    Any chance you could turn one of the 17 other rooms in your house into a kitchen? You could convert your current kitchen into a pantry...

    I imagine in the Victorian days the kitchen *would* tend to be a little no-frills workplace for the help (or the wife) to be isolated in. I myself have a ca. 1950 Levittown-style place where the original kitchen was 8x12 feet. After extensive renovation on my part it's still 8x12 feet...but knocking out the connecting wall to the 8x9 foot dining room made it into a much more convivial place.
    #24
    redtressed
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/07 21:40:31 (permalink)
    I've thought about that too, Vince, and when the house is mine free and clear....and if I can afford it by that time, that's what I will do. The house still belongs to my Mama...who is in the throes of senile dementia. The house , her care and she and my Dad's properties have been tied up in court for a couple of years now, between me as advocate for my mom and a couple of my siblings, who felt that she needed to be in a nursing home instaed of at home, and her home used for either student housing or sold, a promise I made to both parents that I would never let happen, so my hands are tied on any major changes to the house at this time.(Gotta love siblings sometimes)Both their wills give me the house and properties, as I was their caretaker for 25 odd years, but you know how that goes;).
    #25
    4fish
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/08 17:13:19 (permalink)
    I have a two-bedroom bungalow built in 1926. It's a cozy little house that I like very much, but the kitchen does have some drawbacks. It's got plenty of space for such a small house but is poorly laid out. It's also got ugly paneling, linoleum and cabinets that all look like they came from an early-1970s fire sale. Can't afford to do anything about the layout, but I'm working on what I can. The plastic fake-brick paneling had already been painted, so I painted the wood paneling to match (sort of a buttermilk color). The next step is to strip and paint the cabinets a soft green color to match the Jade-ite I've started to collect. I've got my eyes open for a nice Hoosier cabinet to go in the space along one wall.
    #26
    Lone Star
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/08 17:18:55 (permalink)
    redtressed - the insurance adjuster who came out to my house this morning explained to me that the layer of floor padding under the laminate acts like a carpet pad as it soaks up, spreads and retains the water. Not only is the floor in my kitchen going to be replaced, they are replacing the entire downstairs as it all ran together.

    At least my house is dry now, and the noise is gone , but the downstairs of my house makes for some very interesting terrain.
    #27
    Lone Star
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    • Joined: 2003/05/22 10:02:00
    • Location: Houston, TX
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/08 17:20:29 (permalink)
    lleechef - thanks for the invite! One can only dream.
    #28
    Vince Macek
    Double Cheeseburger
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    • Location: Decatur, GA
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/08 18:32:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    I've thought about that too, Vince, and when the house is mine free and clear....and if I can afford it by that time, that's what I will do. The house still belongs to my Mama...who is in the throes of senile dementia. The house , her care and she and my Dad's properties have been tied up in court for a couple of years now, between me as advocate for my mom and a couple of my siblings, who felt that she needed to be in a nursing home instaed of at home, and her home used for either student housing or sold, a promise I made to both parents that I would never let happen, so my hands are tied on any major changes to the house at this time.(Gotta love siblings sometimes)Both their wills give me the house and properties, as I was their caretaker for 25 odd years, but you know how that goes;).


    Sounds like a tough situation; hope all works out well for you and yours.

    While I had my kitchen torn up I improvised a temporary setup, kind of an indoor camp kitchen. Having the fridge across the far end of the living room was fun. For a while.

    Took me some 10 years of patience till I could do something about mine, but it was worth it, as I'm sure it'll be with yours. If this helps, I made a pilgrimage last summer to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece. A vacation home as a work of art, the stuff of inspiration - and it had one tiny, cramped kitchen. I hear it was a major chore for the cook to work in it.
    #29
    redtressed
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    • Location: Morgantown, WV
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    RE: The Heart of Your Home-The Kitchen 2003/10/08 18:50:52 (permalink)
    lol, Vince.......so true about Fallingwater...it's just about 45 mins from me.and that was the VERY first thing I noticed about it, my first trip there, along with the major craters in the road leading to it
    #30
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