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Old 04-05-2014, 11:22 AM
 
3,713 posts, read 2,198,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Originally Posted by JR_C
I meant utilitarian in that it connected so many other spaces, and/or that it was meant for work, instead of living in. Our priorities changed since then. But again, like closet space, this isn't about quality, or being "disposable" but about preferences.

No, that kitchen is about quality. Now I don't remember what the old cabinets looked like. I was just 10 years old when it was remodeled. However, there was no "work triangle" like a kitchen is supposed to have. Kitchen Design Guidelines It didn't have any kitchen counters to speak of. It didn't have a place for a refrigerator. These are all examples of how "they don't build them like they used to and that's good".

I can't say why your old house was configured the way it was. There may have been a reason. (maybe, since it also didn't have a closet, it wasn't intended to be a bedroom for the family, initially) Or, it might have just been problematic trying to get a duct run to that bedroom.

Well, it's a little odd to only heat two of three bedrooms. I could maybe, maybe, in my wildest imaginations, see a reason for not heating a "guest" bedroom, but three bedrooms is a standard size.

That's what they did in my old house. The back porch, where the help would have entered the kitchen, was enclosed and made into a full bath. Someday, I plan to remove the bathtub, and make it a half-bath/laundry room.

Katiana, the blue is you from above, but I'm kind of answering to both of you.

JR_C - my house had a back porch, which had a pass-through into the pantry for the ice box, so the iceman didn't have to come in the house at all. On the pantry side, I can still see the door for it behind the fridge, though it's a little baffling how it worked, as it seems to open INTO the pantry. In the 1980's or so, they walled in the back porch and converted half to a small bathroom. They drywalled the bathroom over the plaster and covered up the other side of the pass through. I can kind of see that as well. What I ideally want to do is take most of that out (toilet has been out since 2007) and make it more of a back porch/mudroom again. At the moment putting any shoes out there in the winter means you trip over them as you exit the back door and unfortunately I've gotten in the habit of using the "bathroom" as storage.

Katiana - perhaps that 3rd bedroom wasn't really a bedroom? In my grandparents house and a house I once rented, they each had a very large closet upstairs. The houses themselves were old enough that they weren't built with closets in the bedrooms, as people used armiores or other wardrobes at the time. (I have 2 large metal ones from my grandparents). My grandparents house was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home. There were 2 rooms in the attic that the kids slept in when they were older. I looked on Zillow - not that it's an authority - and it's listed as a 4 BR, 1 bath home now, so I don't know if they are counting that little room or the 2 attic rooms. The house I rented was a little bigger with 3 bedrooms and that one huge closet. They had tried to make closets in one of the bedrooms and ended up making it so small it was worthless - I used to iron my work clothes in there.

I'm laughing a bit here at your Kitchen Design Guidelines link. (gently laughing of course). I don't remember how old the house you talk about was but mine is almost 100 years, my grandparents is over 100 years, yours IIRC was built at least in the 1950's if not prior. Those guidelines didn't exist back then! There was no work triangle. My grandmother had a nice square kitchen with no counters, yet the kitchen table fit in there beautifully. They had a fridge and stove. The washer was tucked into an alcove under the stairs. There were a couple of metal cabinets that had Formica counters on them (I have one and my dad has the other). A breadbox sat on one. There was something else in the corner I can't remember. Then she had the tiniest of pantries, that had shelving in it (wrap around). All her dishes were kept in here, there were some cabinets along the bottom, and a sink looking outside with small counter space on either side. People didn't have as much stuff back then and I don't know about you, but both my grandmothers made some killer meals and desserts in those non-conforming kitchens!

Waaaaayyyy back when, kitchens weren't even part of the house. In warmer climates, they may have had "summer kitchens" to keep the heat out of the main house. Others had preparing areas in the basement and dumb waiters to bring food to the main floor.

All that said, your parents old kitchen sounds just like mine! Except I have an extra door - 2 actually. You walk in the back door, and directly in front of you at the other end is the basement door. Right next to that is a built-in ironing board. Next to that is the hall door. Perpendicular to that is a closet (the only one on the main floor - the chimney is built directly behind it). The room takes another right angle where the stove sits in a corner. Now you are looking directly right as you walk in the back door - to the dining room door. To the right of that is the radiator, and on the back wall is the pantry door, and the counter and sink fit between the pantry door and the back door. The fridge is in the pantry, where the ice box would've been. In the pantry are shelves on both sides, and a wrap around counter. I had considered a lot of things when I redid the kitchen (when I first saw it, there was the sink with a small cabinet under it and a horrid louvered doors thing above it that was only good for putting small glasses in, and a small 2 seater table under the windows). I'm guessing in the 1920s it had a fantastic porcelain sink with drainboards on each side. Anyway, I have 6 doors, an ironing board, radiator and 2 windows in my kitchen. I suppose I could've moved the sink there, but would have had to put smaller windows in and that would let less light in.

I ended up doing an L-shaped counter that goes between the pantry and backdoor, sink is diagonal, and the counter stretches into the kitchen from there. But there was no other way to do it if I wanted the counter, without ripping out walls and I didn't want to do that. It's more than functional to me and I have plenty of storage - even more once I got divorced. (my ex SO was a hoarder and we used to toss so much food it was pathetic)

Don't suppose you have pix of your old family kitchen? My POs could never show me any so I was only able to see the house as it was from the late-70's on. I'd do about anything to see the house at it was with the original fixtures in it!
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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No, this room was not supposed to be a "large closet". It is definitely bedroom size, maybe 10 X 12, with a window on the front side of the house. Oddly, though there is no closet in the room, there is a closet in the hallway.

The house was built in either 1916 or 1918, depending on the source. When we sold it, the title search said 1918; Zillow says 1916. But whatever. It is exactly my point that kitchens were not considered an important part of the house back then. Who cared how difficult is was for "the help" to prepare food? They weren't the homeowers! That is one way "they don't build them like they used to and it's a good thing". Yeah, you can cook in them; it's just not convenient. Those kitchen guidelines were actually developed by the Small Homes Council of the University of Illinois (one of DH's alma maters) in the 1940s. Prior to that, there were no design guidelines for kitchens. As my mom said, the male builders didn't care much about the kitchen. It wasn't important.

I don't have any old pictures, sorry.

I was thinking about his "disposable" issue, and what we have disposed of in our house. Several rooms of carpet that had been ruined by a dog peeing on it. Several doors that had been scratched severely by said dog. The old kitchen cabinets; we were getting the kitchen redone and didn't like them. The old countertops. Some of the laminate was peeling. That is probably the only thing that had degenerated. The rest was personal choice. Oh, yeah, we got a new roof. The wind here in CO had blown off a number of the shake shingles, and the city had passed an ordinance outlawing shakes on new homes in any event, due to them being a fire hazard.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,896 posts, read 42,133,814 times
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Some old house foibles;
As mentioned, poorly designed kitchens. I do know where the drainage hole was for the icebox.
Bathrooms as an afterthought (ours is in the hallway and is a step up). I have found the two septic tanks and the outhouse location in the back yard.
Wiring. Ours still has the original fixture that houses got when the electric finally got to them.
Small or non-existent closets. Most bedrooms had wardrobes for clothes storage.
High ceilings and multiple windows.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:45 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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multiple windows is a foible?
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:52 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,896 posts, read 42,133,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
multiple windows is a foible?
No. But I've been criticized for not filling them in or making them smaller. You know, to bring the house into the 21st Century. The person who made the comment, an investor who bought the one year older than my house next door, filled in about 1/2 the windows in that house. Didn't re-side them, just filled them in with plywood and painted them the trim color. So now it's a 1915 house with yellow (vinyl) German lap siding with the odd window filled in with plywood painted white.

Oh, she also wants us to tighten our design standards, which she violated.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:57 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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One of other old house weirdness I've seen is doors between bedrooms (and there always was a separate hallway).
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:58 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
No. But I've been criticized for not filling them in or making them smaller. You know, to bring the house into the 21st Century. The person who made the comment, an investor who bought the one year older than my house next door, filled in about 1/2 the windows in that house.
Odd. Why would filling in windows or making them smaller be more modern? Or desireable? [Unless there's so much the house is a wall of glass].
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:01 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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The only problem I can think of with multiple windows is insulation.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:02 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,896 posts, read 42,133,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Odd. Why would filling in windows or making them smaller be more modern? Or desireable? [Unless there's so much the house is a wall of glass].
I forgot to mention, she's an idiot. As an investor she bought high and now is selling (or trying to, the market here is still in drop mode) low. As a Realtor she prices her listings high, they sit for months or years on the market without a price adjustment.

But she gets an award every year for "Most Listings".
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Some old house foibles;
As mentioned, poorly designed kitchens. I do know where the drainage hole was for the icebox.
In our increasingly "foodie" society, this will often be a problem. Hopefully, if they are also old house enthusiasts, they can reuse intact original features in a kitchen redesign, instead of ripping it all out. Also, there are still some of us who only need a microwave and a working range for occasionally boiling water.

Quote:
Bathrooms as an afterthought (ours is in the hallway and is a step up). I have found the two septic tanks and the outhouse location in the back yard.
This is part of the reason why my favorite era of old houses is from the 1890s to the 1920s; they are still old houses, but were built with the modern amenities found in new houses. (at least, in my experience, in this part of the country)

Quote:
Wiring. Ours still has the original fixture that houses got when the electric finally got to them.
One could argue that this is another case where "remuddling" causes more problems than it fixes. K&T wiring isn't inherently dangerous until it's modified, has been buried in insulation, or is overloaded.

Knob and tube wiring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Is Knob and Tube Wiring Safe? | Blue Crest Electric LTD.
Should You Buy a House with Knob and Tube Wiring?
Home Inspectors - FAQ's - Knob and Tube Wiring

In my case, because I can't afford to run new circuits yet, I've installed GFCI outlets for kitchen appliances that need a 3-prong outlet.

Quote:
Small or non-existent closets. Most bedrooms had wardrobes for clothes storage.
High ceilings and multiple windows.
This is one of the benefits of old houses, IMO.

Based on your later posts, the lady does sound like an idiot.
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