Thursday, December 29, 2011

Similar Yet Totally Different

It is an odd feeling to walk into a house with exactly the same floor plan as your own--and have the experience be utterly alien. But intriguing and interesting, too, because it's a bit like stepping into, well, not to go too sci fi on you, but something like an alternate dimension.

I have had the privilege of stepping into not one, not two, but three alternate house universes. One was a long time ago now and has since passed to new owner. The other two are somewhere in the neighbourhood. They were all built in about 1948 or 1949.

Today, we'll just look at the kitchen.

Firstly, to orient ourselves I've drawn a really rough sketch of the ground floor. The arrows with circles indicate where I was standing and the direction I was facing when I took the picture.

We'll start with view A, and then go around the kitchen to the sink wall, view C, then to the end wall, view B, then the last wall Vvew D. Only one house is featured for view E.

As you can see, the kitchen is situated at the back of the house and has three entry points. We will begin at the back door. Go up two steps and in my house, you see this (view A):

There is a window to the left in every house.

In house A, you see this:

This counter makes this kitchen a "U" shaped kitchen. The other three are L shaped kitchens

In house B, this is what you see:

The kitchen layout in House C is similar to this one above in that it doesn't have a counter against the wall to the left.

Already there are significant differences. I have no cabinets of any kind here. One has a stove, the other, the dishwasher. It's hard to judge (and I didn't measure) but our sinks all look to be in the same place.

Here's a better view of the "sink wall." (view C):

My house:

House A:

House B:

Interesting choice here not to put up cabinets.

and, now I have a shot of this wall for the third house:

The previous owner told me that originally her kitchen counter had ended where mine did: but she insisted she wanted a double sink--and more cabinets--so she got them in the mid-sixties when she moved in.

The end wall, the one opposite the window to the left where you come in has the doorway to the dining room. If you take a look at the diagram above, it's View B. (I hope this makes sense.)

So, we'll begin with my kitchen.

House A also has the fridge in this position:

In House B they've put the stove here, instead:

and House C retains the original cabinetry:

This area was re-purposed for the dishwasher and microwave. (Our lower cabinets were built at 34" high--too low to accommodate a dishwasher and keep the original cabinetry.)

That leaves the last wall, view D. It's opposite the sink wall and chopped up by two doorways and a chimney flue by the back door. The flue been camouflaged in each house.

Here's mine:
The flue is right beside the door to the right and behind the little cabinet and the spice rack.

The chimney flue is behind these doors in House A:

I've often wondered what it might be like to put my table and chairs in this exact spot.

House B has cabinetry brought flush to the wall:

and in the last house the chimney flue has a fairly decent sized closet built in front of it:

The last view is E --and I only have it for House B. There's a neat corner cabinet built next to the fridge:

We all have the same elements: a sink, fridge, stove and microwave. Each of us is working within the exact same footprint. One doesn't have a window where the others do, three have dishwashers and one doesn't. Only two managed to squeeze in a table. The resulting feel in each kitchen is very, very different. And, oddly, given how much it frustrates me, but luckily, cause it is mine, I like my own best.

I don't know. Maybe it is just me who finds this sort of thing interesting!?


onshore said...

No you are not the only one, this is very interesting! How did you end up in so many similar houses? Are they on your neighbourhood?

scb said...

It's fascinating to see how differently each owner has made their kitchen, given the same basic floorplan. They didn't mind you taking these pictures? That's so cool.

And yes, I like yours best, too. And just for the record, I prefer your placement of the table. The other seems too crowded and out-of-place.

I've been thinking about the house my aunt and uncle lived in (in your city) when I was growing up. Their floorplan was the same as yours only flipped -- the kitchen was on the other side of the stairwell. They had the table by the window, as well, and the cabinets ended where yours do. They had one of those drop-down ironing boards in a cupboard on the wall along the stairwell. Wish I'd known to take pictures of the house back then! I wonder who lives there now... (I still know the address.)

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