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smokey847 08-25-2013 09:26 PM

Economic Kitchen Renovation
Just bought this house in a beautiful neighborhood right outside of Nashville. We plan to rent it for the time-being and an eventual flip may be in order. The updates are all cosmetic--we are excited to make it livable and update the place. It's a nice 70s 3BR 2 bath ranch with around 2000 sq ft. on a lot with a creek.

A huge eye sore is the awful dated kitchen. We want to update it, but definitely don't want to break the bank, as it's just a rental--but it is in an upscale neighborhood and we expect to attract a crowd not typical of slum lord rental properties, so we want to make it nice. The obvious things go without saying--lighting, wallpaper, cabinet paint/replacement, etc., but I'm seeking some ideas that would update the kitchen. A little disappointed with the amount of cabinet space, I also hate that the stove and fridge butt up against one another. Any other suggestions?

smokey847 08-25-2013 09:30 PM

A friend just flipped this home and painted the kitchen cabinets, painted the old appliances, and even made an island out of an old computer station. I'd like to go for the same look, but just can't figure the layout in ours to look better.

TarheelTerp 08-25-2013 09:43 PM


Originally Posted by smokey847 (Post 1234203)
Just bought this house
We plan to rent it for the time-being and an eventual flip may be in order.

A huge eye sore is the awful dated kitchen.
We want to update it, but ...

Avoid the temptation.

Rent it as is. If when you flip... deal with that need then.
Until then focus on clean and functional.

joecaption 08-26-2013 06:13 AM

I'd at least change that stove to a different color and the get rid of that ugly light fixture.
What's worked for me is the rent to own instead of just renting.
Been using a one year contract that says they have one year to decide to buy it or move on.
They tend to take better care of it from what I've seen.

oh'mike 08-26-2013 06:35 AM

Take your floor plan to a kitchen designer---
Moving the cooking surface to the peninsula makes sense ---a stove top in the counter top----dish washer where the stove is now---

Just a few thoughts.

Make the place sharp and you will attract a better grade of renter---

wkearney99 08-26-2013 10:18 AM

As someone that's renting a house in a better suburb (while our new one is being built) I can tell you how annoying it is to put up with crappy-ass rental grade approaches to things. Spigots on sinks being a real annoyance.

Hard to say what to do about the stove/fridge as I don't know how the rest of the space is arranged. But I agree it would be nice to move them apart. Just make sure you put the fridge reasonably close to a decently sized stretch of counter. And to likewise have a reasonable amount of counter next to the cooking surface. It's very annoying having only a small section of counter next to the stove or fridge. I prefer being able to take things out of the fridge and set them on a nearby counter, instead of carrying them across the room and keep opening/closing the fridge each time.

And is that CARPET in the kitchen? Eeeeewww. I'd absolutely replace that, if just with linoleum. Especially if you're not doing the cabinets yet.

wkearney99 08-26-2013 10:21 AM


Originally Posted by smokey847 (Post 1234204)

For that kitchen I'd much rather have the stove/oven in a single unit. That'd give much better counter space next to it.

Live_Oak 08-26-2013 07:15 PM

A lot depends on what the wall that's opposite the window looks like. But, that would be a good place for the fridge and a cabinet or two for landing space. Then rework the wall with the range, scooting it down, adding a few cabinets, taking away the short wall cabinets, and doing a chimney hood with plain inexpensive tile for the entire wall behind the hood. Paint the rest, replace the counter. That's about as cheap as you can do a refresher without a gut.

Or, if this is in Brentwood or other more spendy suburb, you probably want to do a gut and replacement and really tweak the layout without breaking the budget. For that, yeah, you need really need a KD. I know a couple in the area if you need a recommendation. We have a NKBA chapter meeting in Nashville this week, actually, where a lot of KD's will be getting some CEU credits and I'll be driving the 4 hours to attend.

smokey847 08-27-2013 02:41 PM

Unfortunately the adjacent wall is occupied by a door that enters the laundry room (which we plan to double as a pantry). Right next to that is a door into the front formal living room/dining room room. The second picture is taken from the doorway of the dining room.

In the first picture, I am standing in a fairly lofty nook--we plan to remove a wall that separates it from the family room. Oh how I wish it wasn't such an awkward layout. There is a normal-sized window on the same wall as the sink window that is centered with the light fixture designed for over the table. I'd love to extend the entire kitchen out to border the family room with a counter bar, but the cabinets would cover the window. Ugh.

smokey847 09-02-2013 10:58 PM

After much deliberation, we have finally decided on a remedy. We plan to have the door moved from its current location to the laundry, which is spacious enough to double as a mud room (and even a pantry). From there, we will frame in and drywall the spot where the door is now and place a refrigerator in the corner there.

The plan then is to center the range on that far wall with possibly an over-the-range microwave, open shelves flanking either side, and two cabinets to the left and right with counter space. This will separate the appliances, as well as get the stove out of that awkward corner. We plant to remove the soffit, add beadboard wallpaper to the cabinets, paint them a muted white, and replace the sink and countertops. If I'm feeling up to it, I may drop a few can lights in and around to light the space up.

Stay tuned for pictures. Thoughts and suggestions?

ktkelly 09-02-2013 11:33 PM

A simple solution would be to move the range into the peninsula, add a dishwasher where the range was, add microwave above the DW, and leave the refrigerator where it is.

Eliminate the soffit, add crown molding, new counter, sink and stainless appliances.

Maybe use some 1/2" Birch plywood, and edge banding, to make side panels for the fridge (moving that fridge cabinet forward) so it looks built in like a counter depth one.

Even some cheap ceramic tile could give a upscale looking back splash (check your local Habitat "ReStore".

wkearney99 09-03-2013 09:46 AM

Personally I never like hot cooking surfaces in a peninsula or an island. There's also the hassle of trying to vent it effectively (and no, those pop-up things aren't good enough).

I think the laundry/mudroom scheme is a good one. Congrats on coming up with it.

As to the bulkhead/soffit removal, just be sure there's nothing in them that would present problems trying to move. Like plumbing for a bath above, or AC ducts.

Live_Oak 09-03-2013 04:37 PM

Island and peninsula cooking is often done very badly and unsafely. There's a whole host of ways to get it wrong, and very few to get it right. It takes a lot more room to do them safely than they used to do with those island cooktops that started popping up in the 70's. It's also a lot more expensive to do than a perimeter cooking zone. I'd never suggest doing it unless it's a last resort. Never a first resort!

OP, I'm glad you figured out a solution! Sounds like a good one too. :) A win/win. The only thing to double check is the specs on the fridge that you choose. Many need to open their doors past 90 degrees in order to be able to pull out the interior bins for cleaning, and some even need to go past 90 to be able to open the bins at all. With the door handle projecting, a fridge in the corner next to a wall often has issues with access. French Door fridges are often better with acces with this issue than the old side by sides. One solution, if you have the room (and funds) is to create a shallow broom pantry or pullout pantry between the fridge and wall and not worry about the clearance issues. (Or am I misreading that the fridge will be next to a wall? The pics don't show that side of the room.)

smokey847 09-03-2013 09:51 PM

I've thought about the refrigerator issue. If you look at the first photo, there is a small wall next to the door to the garage (about the length of a standard refrigerator) and then a doorway on the right wall going to the laundry room where the new entrance would be. Looking forward to getting things underway.

cleveman 09-04-2013 10:11 PM

Do yourself a favor and sit down at a desk and draw out a plan of the kitchen, and the whole house as far as that goes.

Then you'll have plenty of time to move things around and redesign. You can take this plan to the kitchen designer at the lumberyard as well.

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