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Monday, August 8, 2011

#73 - A Mutt Kitchen

I'm looking forward to enjoying a unique kitchen in our cabin. It will be awesome to finally enjoy the chance to build custom storage space, the kind that's not typical in a cookie-cutter home. After scrolling a few thumbnail pictures on-line for cabin-style kitchens, I decided to highlight the kitchens below as prime examples at what strikes my fancy. I don't know who or where these thumbnails belong, but they were available for sharing, so here they are...

These kitchens look WORKABLE. However, I have unusual tastes. For instance, I love the Julia Child peg board organizer for all of her cooking tools. Remember this awesome "high-end" feature in Julia Child's kitchen? Her husband laid out all of her cooking tools on the pegboard and outlined them with a magic marker so she and kitchen visitors would know exactly where to put what. Genius!

That peg board mesmerized me. My husband was sweet enough to hang one on the high wall in our master closet for my special purses and scarves and other things rarely used. Peg boards are a thing of beauty, not to be exclusively used in a tool shed.

I am one of these people who is a solid creature of habit and most items frequently used in our house must be stored in the same place, every single time. If there is a pile of papers that looks haphazard, I still know what is in the pile. But, having to search for that slotted spoon makes me grumpy. As far as I'm concerned, a Julia Child kitchen peg board is a piece of organizational heaven.

I love this tight cabin kitchen, this might be what our
guest quarters might look like. Functional and Fun.
Heck, this might end up to be similar to our main kitchen.
In our current home, the kitchen cabinetry shelving was constructed with the storage shelves spaced too far apart. If we had some shelves placed closer together, then we wouldn't be forced to stack, unstack and re-stack pots and pans to get to the one on the bottom. I'd rather have more shelving built closer together with an OCCASIONAL shelf large enough and spaced far enough away from the next shelf to accommodate a dutch oven, pasta pots and countertop appliances instead of fewer shelves built farther apart. The picture below is a perfect example of the shelving idea I'd like to build.

The hanging pot rack is used wisely---saving an enormous amount of shelving space, but it's a bit too crammed with pots for my liking. I could see myself standing in that kitchen trying to unhook the little saucepan...I'd be smashing pots against each other while wrestling to free the pot that's stuck tightly in between its clanging brothers as I issue sounds similar to a quasi-sailor.

Pots aside, I do love this style of country kitchen cabinetry.

I really do like the style of these cabinet doors, but not the handles.
I think I'd want some kind of whittled wood handle.
I adore the thin shelving layers for all of those dishes.
And look at those pots handing everywhere!
In our country kitchen, I'd love to have vertical slat storage zones with a little lipped ends to hold lids of various sizes upright so they aren't stacked...I always have a jumble of various sized lids all over the place. It's kitchen craziness. A larger version of the same kind of storage will hold cookie sheets.

And, I can't help it...the functionality of hanging pots is brilliant. However, I want sturdy waist-level shelving to hold my cast-iron cookware, shelving that is built close together so I can store each iron skillet and pot single file. I have a good-sized pantry at this time, but I can picture a revamped pantry with floor to ceiling shelves smartly designed to store food and cookware.

My bottom line is that I CAN'T STAND to have bulky things stacked. I'd rather have shelves carefully designed so that each shelf has its own pot or maybe two stacked pots. No more than two.

Having to dig through skillets stacked 10 deep is enough to make me batty. Of course, Murphy's Law shows that you will usually need the skillet tucked beneath layers of other heavy skillets. Not fun.


Since Deputy Dave is a big kitchen fanatic and I like cooking certain dishes, we must have a kitchen layout that provides each of us easy access to all kitchen cookware with a thoughtful layout. Having an organized kitchen is a hissy-fit topic for me, especially since this has been a major struggle ever since Hurricane Ike ruined our home. Dicky-Darn-Darn...I don't like searching for a kitchen tool...the kitchen scissors are kept in the same drawer, in the same spot inside the drawer and neither one of us likes to look for them. Put it this way...those scissors better be in that drawer...or else.

Or else my fangs and claws protract and I become a lion-bear-sloth hybrid. I had to throw in the sloth, they are my all-time favorite animals.

Re-claimed wood and left over log cabin construction scraps
used for cabinet doors and facing. Nothing from the fancy
lumber/hardware store.
Our future kitchen can store highly accessible and organized kitchenware without expensive expenditures. Big money? Absolutely not. We simply need to wisely layout organized shelving, hanging racks, hooks, etc., and enjoy using our unconventional kitchen.

The unconventional kitchen. That's what I want...a kitchen that doesn't lose its functionality in the effort to be flashy and pretty; I want our kitchen to be all about what works best for less. Just like the mixed-breed mutt is usually a better dog than the fancy AKC breed, I know our mutt kitchen will be good to us. I've seen kitchens worth more than my house and they are often overstuffed chaotic disasters that only work well on paper and as a showcase. No thank you.

Having good appliances matters, but the rest of the kitchen does not have to be dressed out with Gucci Cabinetry and Cadillac Countertops for it to be my dream kitchen. I especially want Deputy Dave to be happy in the kitchen, so he'll most likely have a granite island that's always cleared off and ready to meet the challenge of his baking urges. Believe me, keeping the island cleared off is the biggest challenge of all.

Another Favorite of mine.
The deal is...kitchen storage solutions do not necessarily have to come from a kitchen supply store, we can use other items to create organized space. I saw a pair of horse-shoes used for towel holders, such ideas are interesting, useful and I enjoy the re-purposed usage of such country items.

If I could have any kitchen I wanted, the below picture would probably be close to the layout I'd choose. I love the huge window over the sink with the smaller windows along the countertop providing additional natural light. I love the large sitting island which also functions as workable space in the kitchen to allow easy visiting with guests. We have regular gatherings at our house and everyone migrates to the kitchen. It's a natural thing to do. So, it's better to work this fact into your kitchen design. Did I mention that I just love, love, love this kitchen?


I am positive that our country kitchen will be warm, welcoming and perhaps a bit quirky.

During our gatherings with family and friends, everyone will be happy and safe, as long as they put the wooden spoon back into its proper place.


10 comments:

Paula said...

Those kitchen are all wonderful! I think I like the first one the best- I love cozy kitchens.

Rae said...

Love all the different design ideas. I especially like the black strap hinges in the reclaimed wood pic. Repro wrought iron strap hinges would be pretty cool. Could be tied in with a pot rack of the same material? Wish stuff like that would work in our house!

Leigh said...

Well, I had to comment on this post because we are finally getting back to our kitchen update/remodel as well. Looks like we can get all the beams (functional and decorative) for the ceiling from our woods, yay! I love your style, similar to mine. I think country always lends itself to one's own unique personality.

LindaG said...

I've never understood hanging pans either, but I think that's because I'm short.

They're all lovely kitchens. :)

Texan said...

Some of the things I did here that I love is drawers! All of my lower cabinets are drawers not cabinet doors with shelves. I will so do this again if and when we build again! You just can't beat drawers on the bottom.

Another thing I can say is there will NOT be a microwave vent a hood combo installed in another house we build. For one we rarely use a microwave for two they sit to close to the stove and prevent you from using some of the nice canners. If you plan on canning then think hard before you install a micro wave vent a a hood combo!
Canning is something I intend to do from here on out so no mikky wave vent a hood in the next place!

I also love the sink we put in here not to long ago. Big enough sink basins to hold my hot water bath canner all the way down into the sink, gotta love that and a high tall faucet that clears it. Yes the new one I just installed is tall and clears it as well :O)

Our kitchen is one of our most used rooms and I will make sure we have another large one as we do here. That is one room the square footage is so not wasted in! Unlike a dining room that we rarely use! My next house will just have a giant bar area that holds say 6 stools. Thats it. No breakfast area wasted space and no formal dining. We have no children so for us that works.

I love our home its beautiful but for the two of us, its to much. Scaling back to just rooms and square footage we truly use is the goal for the next home.

stampedconcrete said...

great post .. i like all design .. but still standout .. the 2nd to the last pic .. it seems like it's a trunk of the tree ..

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Hi Lana, my choice here is no 2, love collecting and my what a collection on blue and white crockery TG Green/corningware. The hanging pots I like the idea but maybe if you had a seperate scullery/wash up area. I am going for a lot of colour (White or soft old green/blue) painted surfaces atm, the woodlook is just to dark. The plain style cabinets are great, plenty of packing space. You need a lot of pantry space esp when you can't just pop into the supermarket for something.
As you know we are just about to start with the kitchen on the farm, that's after the bathroom. My dinningroom/kitchen will be combined, cupboards will just wraparound the table and chairs. Kitchens are the heart of a home.

Vickie said...

Hey Lana - great kitchens! I love the rustic look, too. That's what I'm going for next house I have - if there is one. I suppose I have a mutt kitchen, too, in our little farmhouse. Not exactly what I'd have designed. We ripped all the doors off the top cabinets and I've had to really edit to be able to store all my stuff. I don't really have a place in my kitchen for extra pots and pans, but in my utility room, I bought an old bookcase to house the leftovers. It doesn't look that appealing but it is what it is - gotta have it. My kitchen is really small and the dining area is combined there, too. When we build, I want room, big farm sink, open storage, easy accessibility to pots/pans, and alot of the same elements that you're wanting. Can't wait to see your cabin and kitchen!

By the way, your comment about adding the URL address came in as spam. I published it, and I am going to change that, too. Thanks for the good tips!

luckybunny said...

Beautiful kitchens! I love them all. I especially enjoyed the ending to your post "as long as the put the wooden spoon back in place." LOL.

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Paula --- I also love the 1st cabin, it's a contender. But, ours will probably have cedar siding.

Rae --- I will do everything possible to get custom, local hinges, etc. My dad was a master welder in his early years; I might be able to convince him to help since he did some cool welding designs in his free time.

Leigh --- Being able to use wood from your land is incredible...I hope we'll be able to do the same. I hope you will get to share pictures!

Linda --- as for a hanging pot rack, I'm a short gal as well, so the pot rack would have to be creatively installed so I would not have to resort to "sailor mode!"

Texan --- I'm with you on the drawers. Before my mother passed away from breast cancer in 2006 at age 56, she had been fortunate enough to renovate her kitchen...all lower cabinetry was out and beautifully deep rolling drawers were in. It was so much better than the cabinets that you have to get on your knees and dig around in to find something! And, I am SO THANKFUL you mentioned the vent/microwave being a nuissance and a blockage because we were about to replace ours, at this house, with a combo so we could install a double oven in the place of the microwave that's currently built in to the oven wall. My husband and I quickly decided against doing this after reading your comment, so thank you for saving us the aggravation. We are looking forward to canning, so this is important. And, as for the kitchen area, I also want a huge bar area that joins up with the cooking zone, but I just want one adjoining table area. I'm tired of heating and cooling space that is rarely used. And...the sink...I am at a loss as to the kind to lean toward in the cabin, but again, your comments have given us great reason to carefully think out the angle of canning equipment with a tall faucet. Thank you!!!!!

stampedconcrete --- I like any design for a cabin that involves some natural wood elements, hopefully wood from our land.

Rina --- first of all, I must say, I love your Australian vocabulary!!! I get to feel so international when we communicate!! Anyway, I love the collection as well, I think that is part of what drew me to post the picture. I have carnival glass pieces that I'd love to somehow display. And, currently, my cabinetry is painted and I really do love it. I feels very warm and inviting. You are DEFINITELY right about needing to carefully think out about having roomy pantry space when in the country. I had not really considered this too much, but we will keep this in mind...lots of storage space because I will hopefull be going to the store much less. And, it is a hefty trip one-way and gas prices make it undesirable. Plus, I want to enjoy being on our land as much as possible - as sustainable as possible on our own.

Vickie --- We all know that you have a designers touch with your place! I'm so glad that you are finally living on your farm! I still can't wait till you get your first flock of chickens. I love your comment about "editing" the upper cabinet contents after you removed the doors...I think I'll have mucho editing to do, everywhere.

LuckyBunny --- yes, my wood spoons are like gold in my kitchen. I need to post the picture of the wood spoon Howdy "killed" a few weeks ago. It became toothpicks.