Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The New Kitchen - In Progress

Besides creating a family hometeading farm, we are also building our home. 1/4 of my time is devoted in some fashion to the creation of our house and home. I really haven't talked much about the house, so I'm going to add that to the topics of discussion.

The thing that we've been without since we moved here is a real kitchen. And even though I don't have much in the way of domestic instincts, I do appreciate the idea of a kitchen. I mean the sort of kitchen that makes most women happy. These past years the kitchen has either been a sink, refrig, and range in the living room, or else ditto out on the porch.

Now having a kitchen out on the porch isn't as bad as it sounds. Sure, yellow jackets can be a nuisense and you have to take precautions against rats, but hey, it's really convenient to chuck that onion peel over the railing into the flower bed. Carrot peelings? Flick. Apple cores? Fling. Drop the bag of flour? No problem, just get out the leaf blower. Spill water on the floor? Ha, it will dry by morning. Plus cooking cabbage or fish doesn't smell up the house. Thus an outdoor kitchen has some nifty advantages.
Hubby assembling the new range. He also converted it to propane use while he had it apart.

In the original house floor plan, there was no room for a separate the kitchen. The previous owner had set up a "kitchen" along one side of the living area, a large room used for everything except bathroom and bedroom. Partitioning that room into a living room and kitchen would have created two tiny rooms not acceptable for either function, so we decided to create a separate kitchen room. A solution that was acceptable to both of us was to enclose part of the wrap around porch. The original vision was to enclose just enough for the kitchen, but our ideas ran away with us, and we ended up enclosing the porch on two sides of the house. Oh I am so happy we did! Now I'll end up with not only the kitchen, but also a large pantry and a separate little room ......a craft/sewing room? office? ...a guest bedroom? Haven't decided yet.
Looking down the kitchen from the livingroom access doorway. The Stecas are
on the left out of view behind the wall. 

I wish I had taken photos while the work was in process, but I had no idea that I would be sharing this information. So I'll do the best I can. The outdoor porches originally were roofed over, having solid plywood floors, and a porch railings. So enclosing them wasn't too difficult a task. Luckily the
flooring was level and solidly built. The walls went up easy, then we installed high quality sliding windows. Boy am I glad we went for the bonded, good windows! They were hubby's choice and I was hesitant in spending so much money. First, they are the nicest windows I've ever had, but more importantly, they are holding up extremely well in the vog. We lucked out on this one. (Thank you, hubby!) Wanting as much airflow as possible, we installed windows the full length of the kitchen. 

Next we needed to consider how to cover the walls. In that mold and mildew are major problems, we opted for cedar. Absolutely no drywall or manufactured wood! We used cedar tongue and groove, installing the smooth side toward the room. Lightly sanded, we then gave it a coat of polyurethane. We were pleased with the results. 

What to do for a ceiling? It was already low, though within code, but we didn't want to simply nail a ceiling to the roof rafters. We thought it would make the room look like it was ready for midgets, hobbits, dwarfs, and the like. So we opted to sheath the 2x6 rafters with pine to give the effect of beams, then put the cedar between the rafters. 
When you leave the pantry, this is your view. The new range and the two
Steca units in their new home. 
Onto the floor. Both hubby and I are slobs, just face it. So a durable, easy to wash floor was a must. Tile seemed a good solution. And some pattern that wouldn't scream, "I'm dirty! Look at these footprints!" I picked out a mottled neutral pattern, planning to use a highlight, accent color in the kitchen accessories. That way I would not be locked into cherry red, sunshine yellow, autumn orange, blushing blueberry, or whatever.  The room is narrow, so I opted for small tiles to help give the illusion of the room being bigger. A friend who installed the tile suggested putting them on an angle. I'm glad he made the suggestion. I think it turned out pretty good. While I'm pretty good at laying tile myself, laying it on the angle was a bit daunting. Thus I let David do it. 

The pantry. Walk thru and to the right and you're in the kitchen. 
One thing that I really, really, really (get the idea yet?) love is that I can walk around the corner and be in a large pantry area. You can enter it from the house's front door, for easy putting away the groceries, or from the kitchen, for easy use. As you can see, we've started building in the storage shelves. In the photo you'll notice that even before they are finished, we've found their horizontal surfaces to be fairly handy.   


  1. I love the layout of your kitchen and the walk-through pantry and oh, all those great windows!...but...are you going to build floor cabinets/counter tops for storage and as work surfaces?

    I have so much kitchenware and gadgets for the kitchen I would be lost w/o lots of storage!

  2. I plan to have a long countertop plus plenty of storage below. There will be some storage above the refrig and freezer, plus shelves on either side.

    I'll draw up a floorplan and post it next week.

  3. Another post I can well relate too. Our kitchen was a disaster when we first bought our house. Revamping it meant a make do kitchen on the back porch for about a year! Yours looks super. Love the natural wood and the layout. A good kitchen is meant to be a good workshop, really.