Giving up the dishwasher?

Since I'm chronically unable to focus on one thing at a time, I've been thinking about the kitchen again. Specifically, bringing our old, original cabinets back into the house. The real reason I'm even considering un-remuddling the kitchen before we've done the bathroom is the back porch/laundry room project. We need to rip out the carpeting that runs from the laundry area into the kitchen. I'd like to replace both with some nice, new Linoleum, instead of some cheapo temporary flooring. And if we're replacing the flooring, it only makes sense to get rid of the '80s cabinets and have the new gas line run at the same time as the dryer hookup is moved.

It would be a relatively cheap remodel. We fix up the cabinets on our own (~$200), buy new hardware (~$300, but we may be able to polish the old stuff), install flooring (~$1200 including labor), get a salvage sink (~$50)and buy a new range (~$500). After lighting and such, we could probably bring it in under $3000. Best of all, we could do it in stages, so it wouldn't be an all-at-once cost.

Here are the old cabinets, unhappily banished to the garage:

Imagine them a nice, clean cream or white. The refrigerator goes on the left, the stove on the right. The dishwasher goes...in the trash?

Dishwashers use a lot of energy. I found statistics online that said if you fill both basins of the sink with water for wash and rinse, you use 50% less water, and less energy to heat that water. We don't entertain often, and we usually run the dishwasher twice a week. It's rarely completely full when we run it, but we've run out of silverware, glasses, or bowls.

To help you visualize, here is the kitchen right now:
The door at the bottom leads to the stairs and basement.
And the original layout:

The original layout is good for the kitchen. It keeps it from looking cluttered and cramped. Right now, the refrigerator is right next to the door to the laundry room, and it feels very closed-in when you're walking through. It will be worse when we put back part of the wall that used to separate the dining room and kitchen.

Another pro is that when we take the cabinets and appliances off of the west (bottom) wall, we can have a heat vent back that is now covered by the stove.

A third plus is that the old cabinetry leaves room for a 40" stove. And I really wouldn't complain about having a nice, antique Chambers range... (And I just made the mistake of looking "Chambers range" up on ebay. There's a beautiful one an hour away in Valparaiso. I'm trying not to hyperventilate... Why did I look?!)

I'm just not sure if there's enough storage for a modern cooks. Granted, I don't even use all the storage in the kitchen now... And even though some cubpoards are full, I know I can pare it down if I have to. We could also install some shelves or cupboards between the studs on the west wall.

So, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

Just a thought, look to the future. Using a dishwasher twice a week for 2 people is different than using it when (if) you have a family. It will be missed. But, then the family can partake in the kitchen activities :)

We are in said...

Dishwasher or not, I just love those old metal cabinets and think they'll look great sanded and painted.

drwende said...

I adore your original cabinets.

Barring weird twists in life, is this a "forever" house or a starter move-up home? If it's where you intend to stay as long as possible, do the kitchen to suit yourself and forget the dishwasher. Families managed without dishwashers, even with large numbers of kids.

Di said...

Oh, it's a forever home. The only way we'll move is if something old with lots of wooded property comes on the market for an obscenely low price. Since I don't forsee that (even with the cruddy housing market, property is still too expensive), I think we're here to stay.