The Kitchen: Now or Later

The hubby and I have been toying with the idea of a new kitchen since we moved into this home. There is no doubt that it is needed, see the evidence below. The questions are more along the lines of how long can we stand it in this condition, when can we afford it, when would be the best time to do it, etc.

This past weekend we took a huge step forward; we met with a contractor we really liked. He was recommended by a couple of our friends and has over 20 years experience. But most importantly, he actually got excited about the plans! This was a big part of what we liked about him. He willingly spent over 2 hours listening to our ideas, brainstorming, and generally offering his expertise. I don't think I have ever had an experience with a contractor like this before.

Our kitchen is not a huge space, but for the age of the house it isn't too bad; at 10' x 14' with an additional 4' x 5' adjoining butler's pantry it's definitely workable. I plan on using a lot of design tricks to make the space feel larger without actually adding any square footage. Think glass fronted, ceiling height, narrow depth cabinetry; counter depth and built in appliances; light finishes, just to name a few.

One of our biggest debates evolves around the oven. Can a kitchen this size handle a double oven? Would we be sacrificing too much counter and cabinet space? Could a free standing, 6 burner, 36", duel fuel range combined with a built in convection microwave oven be just as good? So many things to think about. I'd love to hear an opinion or two from anyone that has been through a similar debate.