Friday, October 19, 2012

The Wacky Kitchen

This post is mostly for my sister-in-law who has a mind for fixing wacky room issues.  If you are not interested in wacky kitchens ~ come back another day.  If you want to stick around for this post ~ I would love your two cents.

We are getting good feedback on our home (which has been on the market for one month), but several people have complained that the kitchen is strange, wacky and quirky.  If you were looking to buy this house, what aspects of the kitchen drive you the craziest?  The counters are new but more narrow than most modern counters and the windows are new and double insulated.  The appliances are working but 10 to 11 years old.  The portable dishwasher moves across the room to hook up to the sink.  The floors are hardwood (but could use refinishing, just as could the floors in the rest of the house), and the ceiling and crown molding is brand new (2012).  The cabinets are in good shape but original to the house (circa 1931).

Looking from the dining room door.  There are cabinets to the right and the doorway is narrow.
Looking from the breakfast nook.  This is the dishwasher and fridge with a wasted space corner.
The cabinets go to the ceiling.

The sink area--double extra deep sinks were new in 2011.

The breakfast nook is 65 x 65 inches with the end of the kitchen counter jutting into it.

The laundry room and basement doors.

Another view of the wasted space by the fridge. 
(It is usually cleaner for a showing.)

There is a swing door in the basement which creates a formal divide between the kitchen and the dining room.  We took it down years ago, but it could be rehung.  We found it always in the way and catching little baby fingers.  

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I suspect that when the house was built there was a counter from that wacky corner to where the dishwasher is. Or maybe the old ice boxes were more wide than tall and filled that space?

    I don't think there is a whole lot you can do to "fix" it without a lot of work and cost. You might just have to pray for the right buyer to come along and see the possibilities. If I was that buyer, I'd probably want to gut the kitchen and move things around, like put the sink under the window and no jutting counter into the dining area. Square off the end of the counter that is angled. Put a built-in dishwasher next to the sink.
    Maybe open up the kitchen and dining and move some cabinets over to the dining wall.
    But it is hard to tell from just photos without being physically in a space.

    If someone loves the house enough, they will be willing to live with the kitchen the way it is or do a big remodel. I mean, just think about what you and I are doing with the houses we've just purchased. You will have your own new wacky kitchen to focus on :)

    The easiest thing you can do for the kitchen now is to get everything off the counters except a vase of pretty flowers and I'm sure you already do that for showings.


  2. I would come to your friends hours and borrow her small wicker table and chairs off the front porch and stick them in the eating area, so show a little eating area? With it empty it really looks to small for any type of table (which I know it is but you could fake a small one). As you know most people have no vision to see what it could be.

    Could the dishwasher fit into the wacky hole next to the frig? Otherwise I would just keep it clear.

    I vote no on the door. kristi

  3. I have no good suggestions, but it all looks bright and clean! (((Dawn))) I know its hard to keep things that way for showings too! Are you working with a realtor? If so, he/she might have ideas for you.

    Saw your comment on Assateague - hope you are able to go. We loved it. There is camping on the island too if that is something you like!


  4. The right person will come along! Your kitchen has a lot of potential:)

    Could you move the dishwasher to the corner by the fridge or to the laundry room? If so then you could put something in its place. Look at carts, islands, and utility tables at Lowe's or Home Depot as a way to fill that space. Just a thought:)

  5. I'm horrible at these kinds of things... but I do like the idea of putting a table in the breakfast nook area to show it in action. I'm so excited for you to close on your new home!!!

  6. Oh no! You're moving? I'm going to miss seeing this lovely house! Hmmm, the kitchen is tough to fix like someone else said, without a lot of labor and expense. You've done a lot of great things like decluttering. When staging a home to sell it's all about making a showplace, in that it's not about how we live in it but how they could live in it. But we don't know them so less is more.

    The wicker table idea sounds good. Try that and see if it fills the space without cluttering it. Hard to tell without pictures of everything. Also take more things off your counters. Leave the vase of flowers on the counter. Put the soaps under the sink. Perhaps leave one item on the long counter leading to the sink. I'd take down the wooden knick knack shelf over the sink. That way the lovely archway and window curtain can be showcased. Take everything off the window sill.

    I'm sorry to say this, but a new homeowner is going to want to have the money in their budget to reconfigure the kitchen. That might need to be factored in to the price of the house.

    One tip is to do a comparison of what your home offers versus other homes in your area that are at the same price point. What does your home offer that their's don't, and vice versa. Anything you can do to make your home more than the others, is an asset. It doesn't always cost tons of money, but cleverness. I used to like a show on HGTV, Designed to Sell and Lisa La Porta was my favorite. Everything I learned from that show I did for our house and it worked. I'm sorry I'm not clever enough to figure out your house. It would help to have more pictures of how the fridge and dishwasher relates to the sink, because an ideal kitchen has a work triangle but I'm not sure where that is. It is an odd layout. Someone who is good at space planning can give great advice.

    Okay, can't think any more. Lost power for a minute! Fierce storm!

  7. I had another thought based on a Candice Olson design show on HGTV. She turned a horrible frat house kitchen into a budget beautiful bistro for a family of 3. I can't tell from the pictures but do you have room to put an island in the center of the kitchen, to maximize oh so needed counter space? Then under the counter push the dishwasher. It can be pulled out as needed to hook up (I assume) to the kitchen sink. This is how Candace *gave* the new homeowners a dishwasher that wasn't there before. Then stage the island with the vase of flowers and clear all the countertops pretty much, and windowsill, etc.
    Also this will take the dishwasher off the wall and make that area look larger.
    Also I'd probably get rid of the cart between the fridge and wall and install a narrow broom closet so on the outside it looks more streamlined and more properly encases the fridge as it should.
    Also if you can make the island wide enough with hanging counter top to add bar stools underneath, that would be great. Islands in the center of kitchens are the going thing these days.

    Then if you can do a pendant light over the island, that would add more of a decorative look to the kitchen.

    All of this can be done on a budget. HGTV should have lots of tips for it. I used to see it done all the time on that Designed to Sell show. They worked on a $1000 and $2000 budget and often got 10x that back on the selling price of the house.


  8. I love your quirky kitchen. I think you just need the right person. Our house has been on the market for three years. It is the economy.