Change One Thing in Your Kitchen

We live in a rented Craftsman, built in 1917, which has not been fully modernized. There are many things I love about this home… and there are delightful aspects to the kitchen (so many deep cupboards and drawers!) that the lack of counter space, while annoying, is workable.

Here’s the counter:


Yes, that’s it. Challenging but we have a collapsing butcher block on wheels, with three levels, that I use when needed.

Here’s what drives me insane:


This is the one accessible outlet - and only the top works. So everything is plugged into a power strip and we can’t run more than three things at a time without tripping the breaker.

But wait…I did say “one ACCESSIBLE outlet.” there is a second outlet, but, well, it’s covered:


Yes, it is above the vent hood, covered by a cabinet, and completely ineffectual as the nearest countertop is about five feet away! (The one thing plugged into it is the vent hood.)

When we moved in, the landlord was so proud of the new cabinet - didn’t have the heart to tell him it was a mistake.

What’s the one thing you’d like to change in your kitchen?

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Great topic!

I’ll have to go over some major “fails” in ours and get back on here. :pensive:

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Hi, Elsie:

Living in a 1907 Craftsman, while the outlets could be more plentiful, I would pick the original lighting. Believe it or not, the kitchen proper, the pantry, and the nook each only have one single-bulb hanging light fixture, all dead center, on pullchains. I’m used to having no switches at this point, but a few more fixtures would be nice.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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My input is likely not relevant since i have lived in tiny nyc apartments. My last apartment had a TOTAL counter space the width of your microwave. And no way was a butcher block or anything aside from me going to fit in there. Hell, if i opened the fridge door that was literally the width of the kitchen space.
My “new” apartment was likely “renovated” by the landlord’s teenaged son and some basics from home depot. What makes me the most insane is that there’s a good sized gap between the counter tile and the godforesaken wooden (??) decorative thing on the front edge of the counter- aka the crap catching crack. Although the not hung quite straight cabinet door would be a close second. I could certainly keep going, but you get what you pay for and its significantly larger space with more counters than my last apartment

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A range hood. This house was built in 1926 (it’s as old as my father!), and none of the previous owners installed one.

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The kitchen in our 1926 house is not big. There is only one light fixture in the kitchen. So it can get annoying when we are blocking the light while cooking.

Same here. No range hood until we moved in. We asked a contractor to install it.

Before moving in:

And lastly, I wish there isn’t an odd gap to the left of the Wedgewood stove. We put a kitchen cart to the right of the stove. But food, grime, dust all fall into that gap on the left and it is disgusting to clean.

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We bought our house 30-some years ago knowing that the kitchen cabinets were butt ugly. And the door installation was so poor that only one set closed properly. Nothings changed…:weary:

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We just bought an old Victorian home that was renovated by the previous owners about 12 years ago. They made some very good choices and overall the home is lovely, but they made some SERIOUS mistakes in the kitchen. If I were coming from a rental these issues probably wouldn’t bother me, but I renovated my previous kitchen to my own liking almost 10 years ago and so I have become very particular about having things just so! I have remedied some of the problems by installing a new hood, a garbage disposal and a dry island, but fixing the biggest problems will be more costly. They chose Corian for the countertops, which I despise, and installed a tiny, shallow single sink. UGH! There is no good place for a dish drainer to sit, so I have to pile wet pans on top of each other on the island until I can find time to dry them. I can’t wait until I can afford to rip out the Corian and install a much larger sink, even if it means losing cabinet space.

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Great topic! I would be hard pressed to decide between changing the cabinets (perfectly functional but 1952 U.G.L.Y.), converting the broom closet into a pantry with charging stations for phones and IPads or adding an outlet on one wall in order to put in a butcher cart for the FP. Probably the cabinets.

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My sink is way too small. I’d love a bigger one but then I’d lose counter space

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Can you use the fridge outlet? My kitchen has two outlets. One for the fridge, the other pretty much dictates where the microwave and small appliance go.

Elsie, it occurs to me that using the power strip off of one working outlet presents a fire hazard. Why in the world won’t your landlord fix that? Better to fix than have his property go up in flames.

My kitchen. Period. 1957 ranch-style home, kitchen is a separate room, four double outles not counting where the fridge is. It was remodeled at some point, and I do’t think they did it any good, just shuffled things around. I would knock out the wall that divides it from the dining area and put in a double-depth breakfast bar/counter with storage underneath. LOTS of storage.
One good thing it has is existing ductwork for the range that actually vents out the roof. It had been closed off, but I got it patent again and put in a real exhaust hood.

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There are too many things to count that I would like to change about our kitchen, but the #1 is a lack of door / drawer nobs or pulls. I absolutely detest pulling on the edges of the cabinets or drawers to open them.

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The entire kitchen! About a year after remodeling my old kitchen we sold our house and moved 10 houses up the street to a great house with a really shitty 80’s kitchen. Imagine my frustration when I went to use the oven and did not have a single sheet pan small enough to fit in the wall oven. I bought two cheap pans and they are all I have. It’s been six years and we just got a bid to redo it. If we get started I will document the process. Fingers crossed.

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Sending good thoughts in your direction!

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I hate my kitchen. I grew up in a good sized, architecturally designed, custom built house with a good kitchen, for the year it was built, 1974. I was spoiled. Lots of storage space, gas range, full freezer on top of a second fridge in the basement for storing things that take up too much space.

Now I have a tiny kitchen with zero prep space. I miss not having an island for prep space. It’s not even possible with the shape of the kitchen now.

Unfortunately, when I moved here for a job, the housing market was extremely tight, and rental market completely full. I had no choice.

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Ha! At least you HAVE a broom closet…

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It’s happening! Contract will be signed this week and we have managed to pick flooring, cabinets, counters, backsplash, and appliances. So exciting and a bit scary.

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Courage!

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold