Asked on Sep 03, 2012

The lone stove: A much needed mini-kitchen makeover on a serious budget

Crystal Paul
by Crystal Paul
I have an older home, built in 1826, with a kind of country style kitchen. This is not an eat-in kitchen and the table placed in the center is for prep work. The cabinets are all handmade wood painted white (and in need of a recoat). The stove is new, black, and is gas. It can't be moved too far since the hook-up extends out of the wall at least 8 inches. As you can see from the photos, the stove sits on a wall by itself. The wall it's on his not really painted brick, but painted paneling. The floor is new and is an interpretation of slate made by Allure. We don't have a lot of money for a full makeover and would like to work with what is here for the most part. Cabinets run the entire right side of the stove, and partially on the left side of the stove. My question is, how to tie in the stove with the rest of the kitchen in an easy way. Ultimately I would love to do it in a way that would make more counter space (my cook books and bread maker take up the whole countertop on the left and 2 spice racks, plus flour, sugar, etc. jars take up the right side). I was thinking of a way to place shelves on the top and open cabinets on the bottom? But I think that I would have to sacrifice the top and bottom cabinets on the adjacent walls? Also, I think that I would have to have a range hood over the stove? Any suggestions are welcome.
my lone kitchen on a wall by itself
  23 answers
  • Susan R Susan R on Sep 03, 2012
    Is that a flue cover on the paneled wall? I wonder what is under the paneling? Is it brick? If it is, that may match the color swatches you have up on the wall. Maybe then some shelving up high and a hinged, fold down work shelf to the right of the stove. I'm not sure about the range hood but something keeping with the era? Old homes have so much character!
  • Crystal Paul Crystal Paul on Sep 03, 2012
    the stove that used to be here was a 70's gas stove in avocado green. it had a space heater in it on the left side which was vented through that circle above the stove. behind the faux brick is just a plaster wall (there is an attached shed/workshop on the other side). the color swatches match red and copper tones in the faux slate floor. i am trying to tie the color in somehow either with paint or a tiled back splash.
  • Freckled Laundry (Jami) Freckled Laundry (Jami) on Sep 03, 2012
    Your kitchen is so charming. If you could find two narrow vintage side tables (like the small phone tables but taller), putting either on the side of the stove would be charming and give you a tad more space to set your bread maker or spice racks. (Wouldn't really provide functional counter space.) You could even keep that backsplash neutral (the same color as walls) and use the pop of red/rust in the two tables that you set on either side. If you could find tall & narrow shelving in black wrought iron finish (or black iron & wood) like your hardware, that might be nice, depending on your rang hood. Even if you found shelving in brass or another finish, you could spray paint it with the wrought iron finish that I think Rustoleum makes. On the upper shelves you could accessorize with your red/rust and on the lower, more accessible shelves, you could put your cook books & things. Just some thoughts. I think your kitchen is adorable.
  • Elaine Elaine on Aug 31, 2013
    If you can get a couple of old vintage ironing boards to set up when you only need them.It will give you more space when not on use put in closet or just lean against a wall .I have a small kitchen so when I bake or I just set them up when I am canning or doing prep work ,grandkids like to use small barstools and eat there, when they are over.
  • Jerri M Jerri M on Dec 05, 2013
    What if you found a narrow island on wheels instead of the table in the middle? then you could have shelves for your cookbooks or lesser used appliances? What about a pot rack above the stove ? In the first picture on the left is a brown shelf? or is that a table? could that be changed into a cabinet or a shelving unit or a regular/small desk. then you'd have the shelves or drawers for your office type stuff? Good Luck!!! Everyone has some great ideas!!
  • Pat Pat on Dec 05, 2013
    What is under the brown counter under the window? Could you build shelf storage under that? Then find an island that has rollers with storage underneath for your appliances (bread maker..cook books...things like that. Putting anything on either side of your stove will cause the drawers/doors on your other cupboards to be useless. I would hesitate to put a shelf over your a clutter/greasy dust catcher....I would rather see some sort of art or a clock over the stove.
  • Kathleen Turner Kathleen Turner on Dec 06, 2013
    Have fun with the remodel....I would definitely install a range could build around it (either in the style you eventually want or "budget minded" just to get by) At my age, I need more lights(keep that in mind)....Since the stove is to one side, and cannot be centered, add a small cabinet/shelves to the right(as you face the stove) side of the range still allowing access to the other cabinets. I would paint them black to extend the illusion of the range & center whatever you build around the hood over both..maybe my OCD is taking over, but centered is nice. If the rest of the house is country, I'd keep the could use repurposed findings(metal or wooden) for the shelves...just a few ideas
  • Susan C Susan C on Jan 08, 2014
    Would it possible to move the white cabinet under the window and get a corner lower cabinet that would fill in the corner and extend to the stove. Could remove drawer and cabinet door of last cabinet. add counter on either side of the stove leaving open under the counter top. Add shelves to store your larger appliances and cook books. What is stored in upper cabinets? Is it possible to remove doors and store your cook books.
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Oct 02, 2014
    2 simple things I would do is get rid of the tables, both of them. I would get a base cabinet for the one under thewindow. paint it to match the cabinets you have, and top it with a piece of butcher block, or remnant stone.... the cabinet would give you more storage than the table. I would also use a different style in the center,, you need a shelf on it, space for baskets, canisters or buckets underneath for more storage. .. above that I'd put a pot rack. maybe one made from an old ladder, hung from the ceiling Chaines or rope. I'd then add a fan over the stove, shelves on both sides.. or else cabinets painted white,I would replace the centers of the door with chickenwire... since everything else is very rustic vibe.. also replace the lighting. The desk style just isn't what you need. I'd find something in a rectangle shape with several bulbs, since you have a long narrow kitchen, spray paint it matte black.. try for some undercabinet lights to help the overall function of the work areas..You could remove a few cabinet doors on the existing ones, place on the new cabinet pieces to make them look like the were part ot the original.. leaving a couple of cabinets open.. use the same hardware on all of them.. also when I say "NEW" I ment refurbished, or salvaged.....for your question regarding the stove.. an old tea cart painted white on the R side would fit. and be on wheelsfor easy access to the lower cabinets in the corners..
  • Priscilla Giuseffi Priscilla Giuseffi on Nov 12, 2014
    OMG! I see endless possibilities here. I would center the stove in the middle of the space it now occupies, measure for either small 12" cabinets(bookcases perhaps?) OR, cabinets and a counter top on each side of the stove. U can usually get up to 20' straight lengths of this at Home Depot or Menard's fairly inexpensively, and they will even cut it to the proper length for you. Above the stove, I would also put cabinets that incorporate a microwave/range hood fan over the stove. The whole thing would look built in, and I would be wiling to bet that either one or all of the big box stores have a person that would help you to figure out what cabinets would fit with a computer program that they have in-store. You might also ask about floor sample cabinets that they have in-store that usually go on sale around the first of the year at a decided bargain. I would imagine, that the whole thing could be accomplished for less than $500 not counting the new over the stove microwave that could go from $199 to over $600 depending on the type you would choose. Remember that January is a great time to purchase floor samples for anything for the home (probably because it's the time when nobody has any available cash after Christmas) But, it's a beginning, and if your hubby is even a little handy with this kind of thing, you might be quite surprised at how lovely this could turn out. (Although your kitchen is pretty cute the way that it is)
  • Vetinia gorman Vetinia gorman on Nov 18, 2014
    I have a small kitchen too. My solution was to create a U-shape kitchen and it works very well. For you, I'd install cabinets on both sides of the stove and add shelving above these. This would give you additional storage space, and give a seamless look when facing that wall. Why not invest in a small trolley-like (moveable) island? This can double up as a dining table when not used for food prep. For your existing table, why not put a vase of fresh cut flowers or a bowl of fruits on it? This little touch could transform your current table.
  • Lori Lori on Dec 12, 2014
    You have probably done it by now but I am going to put my 2 cents in anyway. This is a cheap and easy fix. I would put a piece of trim to mimic the edge of the counter across the space at counter height and paint below it black to match the stove. Above, I would paint the wall white like the cabinets and install 3 floating shelves shelves, black ones, or white if you aren't that brave. The stove must be centred on the wall for this to work. On the bottom shelf install lighting which will be hidden by the trim you edge the shelves in. I hope this makes sense to you.
  • Carole Carole on Dec 13, 2014
    For more bench space, get an Ikea butchers trolley. If you want to make it look more vintage you can paint the legs. Leave the block top as it is. You can move it out of the way so you can open your other drawers and cupboard as two legs are on wheels for mobility. It would be just the right height and size for that space beside the stove and the two shelves under it could hold more stuff too. Look out on Craig's List or ebay for a second hand one but they are not that expensive to buy and very useful. I think would go very well in this space if you paint the plain timber legs to a colour you like.
  • Nikkis Insights Nikkis Insights on Dec 28, 2014
    shop your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, for a used over the stove microwave with range hood build it. it won't have to be vented out if you don't have the wall, many just vent back into the room. (not ideal but they have a carbon filter that helps) but they are made that way. you will save on budget buying used and open up some space on the counter for other things, once your microwave is off the counter. and go vertical. i think the moving island idea is great too, then you can use some downward space for storage. use high and depth, to maximize space and store what you don't use at the highest points, then use the lower spaces for daily use. contain contain contain as much as you can... and make for easy pull out work station tools. example, baking center items... then store them in upper spaces until you need them, then pull out the container with all things you need to do task, then put away. also, i saw this great idea, where you can build "drawers" under the cabinets! then put in items like flat pans, and thin items in the drawers. again, you can shop for skinny used drawers or shop ikea for hardware on a budget, or even thin drawers from them. also, i used ikea doors, that you can buy alone, and did build in between the studs in the walls, then covered them with flat ikea doors... to maximize a space in my hallway. it worked out well for my brooms. you could do the same in walls for spices etc. and not take up any more visual space in the room. you can only do it on interior walls, and ck for no wiring in wall before you cut into to get "between stud space".
  • Nikkis Insights Nikkis Insights on Dec 28, 2014
    also consider soffit areas over the cabinets. often this is just filler and could be usable space, if removed. keeping old cabinets. then you can again, create added doors overhead where the soffit was, and store smaller things up overhead when not in use
  • Pat Pat on Dec 29, 2014
    Have you thought of moving your refrigerator where the stove is now? I can't see if the refrigerator is built in or just standing on the end but could a stove be worked in there? Not sure if you could open the doors/drawers with the refrigerator there but I think it would look more continuous with the bigger taller appliance there.
  • PattyV PattyV on Jan 31, 2015
    To be up to code and for safety reasons, you should invest in a exhaust. My suggestion would be to first center the stove on the wall. Purchase a large sheet of peg board to cover the fake brick behind the stove. You won't need a floor to ceiling piece as you will find out why below. Paint it white (or use an accent color!). Center the stove on the wall, then get hooks to hang your pots and pans and maybe some baskets on either side to hold utensils. I would then get two book shelves from a thrift shop, they would not have to be wide enough to cover the entire empty space but I would definitely get them the same height as the stove top and with possible adjustable shelves. Remember, you can always add legs of block of wood to get the desired height. Paint them in a black gloss to match stove and place on either side of the stove which will make the whole area more substantial looking. I would place your cook books inside the shelves and store whatever you use less on the bottom shelves. You could place a tile or slate to allow you some additional surface space to place hot pots or pans removed from the stove. I also suggest, if financing permits, to get a smaller, narrower center island that has shelving underneath to store more of your items.
  • C. Ryberg C. Ryberg on Aug 03, 2015
    Perhaps you could add three to four shelves running the full width of the beige painted area. Use decorative brackets. On the shelves put your small appliances, cookbooks, etc. that would free up your counter top space.
  • Pat Pat on Aug 04, 2015
    This is from 1912.....wonder how she solved her kitchen problem.
  • Wanda Arganbright Wanda Arganbright on Aug 04, 2015
    I think a couple of rolling utility carts would work for both sides of the stove, then they could easily roll out for needed access to the lower cabinets on both sides. Definitely install a vent hood and a peg board to hang utensils would be great. But, I would try to do some purging of unused or seldom use cookbooks and stuff. Larger, seldom used items could possibly stored elsewhere.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 23, 2024

    Buy or construct Pull out (on casters) shelf units, so you get more storage and pork surfaces but don't hinder the units you already have!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 23, 2024

    One thing you could do is ask yourself how often do you resort to opening a cookbook, select a recipe, and make it. The answer by many is not very often. I would clear off that area occupied by cookbooks.

    Then take out all the tables and put in cupboards for storage and countertops. Make a wider shelf under the window and keep small items there (s & p shakers, etc).

    Leave the stove where it is and install a hood with the microwave above the stove-be sure this is done to code.

    Some good ideas from PattyV for pots and pans.

  • Janice Janice on Jan 23, 2024

    i enjoyed seeing the picture of your 1826 home's kitchen; however, I won't offer any advice as this seems to be a very old request for help (maybe 2012) so certainly by now the remodel has been done. Many good suggestions were offered for consideration.