dream kitchen

even though my kitchen isn't quite finished, i'm beginning to map out renovation of my folks' kitchen. i have a pretty good idea of what i want to do in there, but i'm still in the planning stage.

has anyone done any kitchen renovation? is there anything you absolutely LOVE about your space or something you would absolutely change, given the chance?

do you have a dream appliance? i have to say, i would love a kim chee refrigerator for home kim chee fermentation. hey! it's my fantasy. in it, i eat a lot of kim chee.


I'm in the process of remodeling a kitchen right now, as a matter of fact. The countertops are due to be installed, tomorrow morning.

Something I love: I built it from scratch, I started with a blank room and did it my way. I wanted red walls, so the walls are a deep laquer red. I wanted black fixtures, and they are, etc etc. It took me two years to plan my space, and each thing I took into great consideration. Do I want the fridge here, or here...do I want a one bowl sink, or two. So, I love the whole room, and I love it because it's so very MINE.

Some things I would change: I worked within a rather tight budget. I went "middle of the road" with everything. Nice stove, but nothing professional. Formica countertops, not the granite that I long for. I would upgrade almost everything.

A little advice, when planning: Measure EVERYTHING. Walk from where the sink is to where you think you'll chop veggies. Walk from the stove, to the counter you like to set things on. Think convienience, and use that old "work triangle" cliche. If it's awkward, or you trip over people or things, change it. That's more important than people think.

This is such a great blog, I read it daily, heh. I'm not much of a "commenter" though. Lately you've been making me so homesick for Guam...maybe I can get my dad to smuggle a plate of red rice and barbecue, when he visits...

Is it ok if I add your link to my blog?

a nice view above the kitchen sink (I remember reading you have an awesome view already, right!); kitchen cabinets that work; some of our favorites/now we can't live without -- bottom-freezer GE profile fridge; BOSCH dishwasher (even the low end-- 56 dB-quiet!)... can I dream too? dream kitchen from the pages of DWELL magazine!

hey lili

long time no comment! thanks for the lovely compliment, and i would love it if you added a link--thank you.

it would be great to see a photo of your kitchen when you're done. deep red lacquer walls [swooning]--what colour are the cabinets?

when i was working on my kitchen--an 8'x 12'galley--i really had to measure everything to get it to fit. the only place where i got sloppy was height--cabinets feels about an inch too low or too high for me. i spent most of my budget on almost-top-of-the line appliances, but saved on other stuff like tiles; i just went sort of nutty with it, so it would look more interesting.

the nice thing about my parents' kitchen is that it's a large, open square, with plenty of room to work with. the bad thing is i've got to get this done before christmas. oh god. christmas! and since i have to get it done so quickly, i have to work with what's available on island, which if you'll remember, can be sort of spotty and tricky.

hey maia

thanks for that link, well worth reading. i have the same ref, it's great. we're completely loyal to the bottom freezer concept. oh man, *dwell*. their idea of affordable kills me. i designed the sink to handle an industrial faucet like the one i saw on the cover of one issue, only to find out the fixture cost $1200! have you ever seen the uk magazine "living etc."? it's a modern design magazine geared towards women between the ages of 24-44. it's more liveable design than dwell, but still nicely modern.

hi s-- thanks for this magazine info! wow! will have to check it out!
p.s. reading about modern & "affordable" here too :)

Ahhh, so you're not going into this with no experience. Designing kitchens is so fun, hehe, but I can see what a problem it would be to find stuff on-island, what a pain...Though, I hear commerce has really boomed, since I lived there in the mid 90's.

My cabinets are natural maple, full overlay, all wood (that's one place I didn't hesitate to spend). Simple, lightcolored, and clean lines, is what I went for. No dust catchers, no weird angles for errant food particles to hide, etc. The countertops are a black granitey type, and the floor looks like black/white stone tiles (though it's only sheet flooring). I'm gonna be taking pics of it, while the guy is installing, tomorrow, I'll have them uploaded soon.

I'm gonna go add your link, now, thanks :)

If a kimchee fridge is not decadence, I don't know what is! But if anyone deserves it, it would most certainly be you! Good luck on the renovation - I unfortunately haven't done any myself, but am secretly planning one, so please spill all the tips you can!

Doors to keep people the hell out of my kitchen while I'm cooking. Who thought of open plan kitchens? One of those bins in a bench would be great. Those big hose nozzles for the sink. Dishwasher. Refrigerator with the ice, always wanted one of those. That'll do for now.
Took out a window.
I loves me old Metters woodfired stove, it's the heart and soul of the kitchen. Currently serves as secret wine cache but should put a flue on it and crank it up.

zarah maria

you are so sweet! unfortunately, i do not deserve a kim chee refrigerator for the mere fact i don't really like kim chee. only in my fantasy i do. i just love the fact that they exist.

secret plans? how intriguing....lili pointed out the best tip, which is to measure everything, and measure it twice. saves HUGE head and heart ache. if there's anything else, hm, i say we start a new kitchen renovation blog, anyone interested?


fear and loathing of the open plan kitchen? just what exactly are you doing in there?

bin in bench: yesss
big hose nozzles: zoinks, that was the $1200 fixture, but ah, dream kitchen, no expenses spared
dishwasher: machine or hottie in an apron?
refrigerator with ice: never liked them myself--takes up a lot of space in freezer unit, ice easily contaminated.

woodfired stove: photos, please

my 2 1/2 year old son (who has no concept of what an office is) keeps wanting to go to my "office". my response is always the same: "sweetie, my office is the kitchen!" yep, the kitchen is my office. stay-at-home-mom, that's why.

when we built our house (this is our 2nd one), I made sure I got my "dream" kitchen. i absolutely love my commercial kitchen. i have a thermador cooktop with a thermador vent hood connected to a 1000 cfm vent outside, a thermador double-oven (one of which is a convection), a 48 in Sub-zero refrigerator, a thermador whisper-quiet dishwasher, and a Scotsman automatic ice maker. add to that solid wood Canac cherry cabinetry, a 7x3.5 island and my ever-useful instant hot water dispenser. by the time we got all that, we can only afford Corian counter tops. how I wish I had black galaxy granite instead. and a warming oven. and two side-by-side dishwashers instead of one.

Doing in the kitchen? Oh just the usual beating and whipping.

As requested.

I want big refrigerator, big enough to put a human body, not that I have a body to hide but hey, u never know.
I want a professional stove, the kind with a grill in the centre.A professional oven will be nice too.
And since this is just a fantasy, I want that kim chee refrigerator since I like kim chee.


Before we moved into our current apartment, I made sure I got the kitchen exactly as I wanted to, within budget limits of course. Some of the things I really like about it are:

1. The blue and white colours throughout. Especially my chequered floors. The tiles were the cheapest in the store but everyone who visits my kitchen loves my floor.

2. Granite countertops. My mum highly recommended granite and she is right. Tough beauty.

3. Getting the contractor to make the stove top lower than the usual height, so that I can work my wok at a comfortable arm level, rather than resort to standing on a stool. Yes I am not so tall. But it makes such a difference, no more sore arms. This was my best decision I think.

4. Get two fridges. One for meats and veg and sauces. Another for fruit and wine etc. So that the smells don't mingle too much. I am so glad this happened because the other day the cincaluk bottle exploded. Cincaluk is a fermented condiment of tiny shrimps called grago, the liquid tends to bubble and hiss and grow, and if not opened for a long time, it will kind of bubble over. The whole fridge was stinked up, luckily it was in the "heavy-duty" fridge, otherwise the yoghurts and grapes would taste of cincaluk.

5. Instead of a central island unit, we decided on a little marble top table with stools for sitting on. It is more comfortable than perching on an island stool. Marble is porous, so I asked the store to cut a piece of glass to go over the marble, now I don't have to worry about stains.

There are more things I could change of course, but on the whole I am satisfied. Happy decorating!


Hi Santos,

I felt compelled to respond to this post because there are so many things I'm dreaming of. I thought of designing everything around my Dualit toaster, but thought otherwise. I love kitchens and kitchen gadgets, so it would probably have to be the largest room in the house (next time, of course). Here's a couple of items from my wish list:

1. Sub-Zero Refrigerator/Freezer2. Gaggenau Steam/Convection Oven

hey purplegirl--talk about an executive office you have there

anthony--who, the dishwasher? h-h-hot oven

st--right, ok, i am officially scared of you. no body, sure, whatever you say ;-)

hey umami--more amazing kitchenage! love the two fridge idea, i have a small drinks fridge along with the other one, it's the only one i use, really.

hey reid--can't say i'm a big fan of sub-zero (do you know how much a repairman charges?!), but i love my dualit and that gaggenau is one hot ticket

Hi Santos,

You know you can always get the Sub-Zero chiller drawers for next to the sink as well as the undercounter icemaker. =) Perhaps then you can get a GE Monogram refrigerator.

hey reid

i have the monogram. as you can see, i really need a big fridge, haaaaa.

you still can't convince me to buy sub-zero (or an icemaker--i don't use ice all that often, and yes, i drink a lot of drinks tepid or warm), but i'll tell you what. i'll get you those sub-zero drawer chillers if you get me this.

Hi Santos,

Did you get the Monogram fridge from Servco? I'm not sure if they are the GE distributor in Guam or not. Love the Smeg refrigerators, and the colors too! Too bad they don't sell them in the US. Besides, I think they'd be a tad bit too small for you! =)

hey reid

don't be thrown off by the size of those apples--they are from korea and GIANT gojira/godzilla sized. i think the smeg can handle a couple of those. actually, i don't know where the fridge came from--i bought it from someone else in the bldg who needed something bigger !!! better, stronger, faster so i got a really good deal on it.

btw, the two drawers are filled with lush bath products. maybe i should just put a fridge in my bathroom....

My dream kitchen has Ethan Allen Rock Maple Custom Cabinets in "Honey" with pewter hardware. Polished, brushed stainless steel digital appliances: double door fridge (ice and water maker), dishwasher, microwave, hood and double oven built into a warm golden colored wall with plenty of backsplash material in the same color. Honey colored hardwood floors. Moen faucet with large umbrella handle fixtures in pewter with veggie sprayer built into faucet. Large, Anderson crank windows, skylight and huge pewter hanging lights with lightbulb covers in ultra modern burnt orange frosted glass. Huge double deep single stainless sink with garbage disposal. Granite countertops in multi color speckle gold brown, silver and black. Ceiling to floor bookshelves to house my cookbooks with decent lighting. Built in Bose stereo system just resting above a cabinet, lazy susan's built into corner cabinets, center stainless hood with unbelieveable air suction directly to outside. Center island with tabletop gas stove with grill top. I know, dream on, but you did say my dream kitchen, right???

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