Kitchen Correction

August 1, 2008

Oh brother.

Remember how my oven went kaput? Well, it’s still out, and Herr Mann and I are still agonizing over whether to replace it with a similarly sized range (30 inches), or purchase a smaller one to complement our tiny house. If we go smaller, we’ll have to redo the counters and the cabinets. And if we redo those, we’ll have to redo the cabs on the other side of the kitchen.

And we’re thinking about replacing the 16-year-old refrigerator, too. But should we? And what about the supra-ugly over-the-range microwave? And my ancient, stain-prone plasticky sink?

Any suggestions? Green materials you’ve found, used, and loved? Any kitchen inspiration you’ve seen? At this point, we’ve reached stagnation. The Living Smallers need your help. And we thank you.

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9 Responses to “Kitchen Correction”

  1. Michelle said

    If you’re not tied to the idea of keeping your kitchen in the same era as your house, IKEA has decent kitchen cabinets, countertops, etc. The modular design of the components gives you a lot of flexibility in a small kitchen, and from what I understand, they’re made with sustainable materials. My in-laws built a kitchen using IKEA components, and they’re very happy with it.

    From strictly an environmental standpoint, you’re probably better off keeping your ancient refrigerator–or replacing it with something used. If you’re getting new cabinets, I say absolutely replace the microwave and sink, since it sounds like they’re causing you frustration.

    If you’re feeling really overwhelmed by the whole project, have you considered hiring a green kitchen designer for a few hours to get you started?

  2. Jenna said

    Can you make (or have made) a slim somewhat-matching cabinet to use up the space from the 30″ oven? Even a mock-cabinet. Maybe a wood top, so it doesn’t require redoing the whole countertop? Built in chopping board ;).

    As for the fridge, check out the comparisons between getting new (faaar more energy efficient) and old (not requiring all the new materials and shipping…) – maybe you’ll get lucky and find something only a couple of years old?

    Me, I’d keep the oven 30″, because I bake. And it means two cookie sheets side by side, which means half the baking time, which means less electricity. Of course, that’s offset by having to heat the whole oven for a casserole – but then I don’t make many of those.

  3. Kissley said

    Londoners use their kitchens for extra closet space and just eat out.
    That’s really not helpful, sorry. Anyway, country ‘middle class’ folk out here have ‘Aga’ cookers – they can heat up your entire house too, apparently. http://www.aga-rayburn.co.uk/index.asp I don’t know how earth friendly they are, and they can be massive. Ok, that’s not helpful either. I know – you can have a baby and use it as an excuse to not do anything with the kitchen, e.g. oh man, I’ve got to change little Bo’s diaper. Man, I’ve got to take him the doctor. Oh, I haven’t slept in like, three days. We can’t redo the kitchen cause he’ll eat all the screws and paint, etc.

  4. Michelle: I have seen what Ikea can do in the realm of kitchens, and I likey. I do wonder about the sustainable materials, though; I mean, how sustainable is MDF? Maybe they make it without loads of preservatives. I’ll have to look into it. Agreed on the sink and microwave, too!

    Jenna: I didn’t even think about a used (but newer) fridge. I think you’re right about the energy efficiency, too. Ditto the 30-inch range: can’t cook as much at once. I hadn’t thought of it from an energy standpoint, though; good advice.

    Kissley: Ha ha. We’re dying over here. Maybe we should just have a baby instead.

    I have heard of the Aga ranges; thanks for the link. Do you think we can get them stateside?

  5. Hi there. Justin Garland pointed me to your blog awhile back, and I’ve really been enjoying it. Thanks!

    A 30-inch range is handy, especially if you bake and whatnot. As for the microwave, I would highly recommend getting rid of it altogether; I did so a year ago and haven’t looked back. Happy things about no microwave:
    1) Cooking–nothing actually takes that much longer to cook without a microwave, and everything tastes better.
    2) I don’t have to look at the ugly thing–very nice in a small space.
    3) Room for a storage shelf instead–also nice in a small space
    4) No nukes is good nukes, baby :)

  6. Thanks, Amanda. I’m all for the no-micro thing. But how do I convince my hubby to go for it? He’s really into it for melting butter and heating leftovers.

    We’re nervous about the placement of the vent (we have a gas range); it may be too high to function without a venting microwave. OMG, as they say. What a dilemma.

  7. […] for the certain changeling pictured below, it’s back to the Small stuff — like planning my kitchen reno. ‘Cept it’s kinda tough when I don’t have power tools (hello, tiny house), nor a […]

  8. icestone said

    In terms of the green countertop options out there here are your options (warning: they are not the cheapest)

    IceStone
    Vetrazzo
    Alkemi
    Dupont Zodiaq Terra Collection
    PaperStone
    Eco by Consentino
    EcoTop
    Bamboo

  9. Thanks for the rundown!

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