Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tiny Kitchen Tour: Retrofitting

When considering the use of space in an old house, it's important not to apply modern standards; houses that were considered luxurious in the 1940s seem modest by today's standards. 

Pre-war houses built in the 1940s were designed for the way people lived then.  For example, dishwashers were considered a luxury item and were not common in American kitchens. So when the open door of my dishwasher collides with a cabinet drawer, I have to remember that this kitchen was never designed for a dishwasher.

As you can see in the photo (click on the pic for a better look), when my cutlery drawer and my dishwasher door are both open, well, let's just say that I can empty the dishwasher without taking a step.  Rather than thinking of my kitchen as too small, I remind myself that the kitchen was not designed for oversize modern appliances, and certainly not for a dishwasher.


  1. I may be crossing a line here, but have you thought about taking out the dishwasher entirely? I don't have one and don't miss it at all. I have two people in this house and we just don't go through that many dishes to actually fill up a dishwasher without running out of dishes we keep on hand to use. To me, washing them by hand is minimal effort, but I know most people really do love their dishwashers, so it's a personal choice. Perhaps you could put up open shelving in that space with a covered curtain or left open?

  2. Steph, it's crossed my mind more than once! Both the dishwasher and the microwave get very little use and I'm considering not having either when I do the kitchen renovation.

  3. You have so much more patience than I. And perspective. The silver lining is that it's super easy to empty the dishwasher... I guess.

  4. Leigh, you're the one with the patience. You just went through a huge four month kitchen renovation--and did it all yourself--that would have pushed me over the edge!

  5. My house was built in 1949. I have to close the top rack of my dishwasher to pull open my cutlery drawer as well! Although mine is perpendicular. Too funny. But easy to put stuff away (once the top rack is pushed in!)

  6. My grandmama's home was a 1950's home, limited counter space and no dishwasher and still had no dishwasher when she sold it this past fall. It would have taken up too much room, and honestly, how many dishes can a person (or even 3 or 4) make? It just takes doing them when they're used rather than stacking them up. And with a wand sponge that holds dishsoap you don't have to be worried about being green.....you can simple suds up the dishes you're cleaning and rinse them off.

    Oh, and there are dishwashers that are tiny you might look into!

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