1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Open or Closed, Part II

Now I understand why everyone makes such a big deal about NYC. The cultural diversity, the people everywhere, the traffic, the food, the architecture, the shopping - wow. Just wow. I love it.

I'm already planning my next trip ... maybe a week next year with Darwin. He's pouting because I had so much fun while he was home pining away for me. Technically, it was a business trip, but I squeezed some sight seeing in, too. And I bought a snazzy pair of pointy-toed shoes (which I am now wearing on my aching, blistered feet).

The weather was beautiful and not-too-cold. It started snowing big, amazing flakes while we were at the top of the Empire State Building. My first - and probably only - encounter with snow this year.

OK, OK, I'll stop talking about New York now.

Back to the house and the kitchen question: open or closed?

I think what I like about the open design is that the kitchen looks instantly different and fresh. I'm a person who likes instant gratification - it's the Veruca Salt in me coming out - and this way would get me to an end result faster. Open shelves would eliminate the hinge-changing difficulties for those cabinets, and I'd have less to paint.

But Darwin hates the idea of open shelves. And there are the cons listed by helpful commenters - that open cabinets would let dust and grease get on the dishes and would require us to keep the contents of the cabinets organized and presentable.

Then commenter Mindy (from Fixer Upper) pointed out that open shelves can make a small kitchen look bigger. Most any room can benefit from looking bigger, right?

Another thing I've considered is cutting out the centers of the upper cabinets (within the new trim) and replacing the wood with something like chicken wire for a rustic look. That would give us the best of both worlds.

Darwin says a jigsaw would be necessary for that job. In a quick scan of Home Depot's selection, I found them as cheap as $40. But what's the difference between the $200 one and the $40 one? Would the cheap-o be good enough to cut through our chintzy plywood cabinet doors?


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5 Comments:

Jennifer said...

Actually, I've been thinking about the same thing in my old house's kitchen.

My alternative (I have a big, eat-in kitchen) was to put a bookcase along one wall where I can display some of my nice mixing bowls and other decorative things (like my teapot collection) and leave the doors on the 70s cabinets.

Although I like my cabinets. They go with my 1948 stove. And they really go well with my antique gateleg dropleaf table I'm using as a kitchen table. It just works. To me, at least.

I like both of your pictures. I know that doesn't help. :)

2:07 PM  
Kristin said...

I like both, too! That's the whole trouble. :)

Your idea about the bookshelves is about the same as what Darwin suggested. He said he'd build some shelves beside the pantry cabinet (not shown in these photos) for my Fiestaware, and we'd leave the cabinets closed.

I mentioned the cutting-out-the-centers idea to him again last night. I think he can't picture it.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous said...

I'm only posting anon. because it is easier than registering. That said, here is a suggestion. Cut open the space above your cabinets. I suspect that it is just drywall put in after your cabinets were installed. Put in a bottom shelf and frame the opening(s) with molding. You can use plywood for the sides and ceiling of your space. Install a switch that provides power to an outlet and plug in a light up there. We use florescent grow lights. Copy and paste this URL address to see what we did with our kitchen. It is the third picture down the page. It solved two problems. Space and ambiance.Our theme for the house was art deco. It was built in 1910. http://www.members.aol.com/_ht_a/coolllor/existinghouse.html

If you plan on doing any extensive work with a jigsaw do not buy a Black and Decker. It will not stand up to anything other than general use. I buy Dewalt tools now.

Gary

1:09 PM  
Kristin said...

Awesome idea about the cut-out in the drywall above the cabinets! I think it's definitely just an open space back there ... they left it open above the pantry cabinet and the cabinet over the fridge for extra (but pretty useless) storage.

Cut-outs like yours would be a great place to display some of my Fiesta. Ooh ... I can't wait to get home and show Darwin! Thanks!

2:02 PM  
Jennifer said...

That *is* a great idea about the cut-outs! I might even try it, if I get the gumption. I do have all that wasted space above the cabinets... :)

12:25 PM  

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