The Stove Has a Name, I Took Better Pics, and I Need Your Opinions Again (Where You Tell Me How to Improve My House: Part 3)

Back to Important Things instead of that detour we took yesterday to talk about feelings, and doing the Right Thing, and Making Mistakes, and working, always, on Listening and Loving Well . Back to Important Work on the Kitchen Remodel now. Because PRIORITIES, FRIENDS. Priorities.

We have results from our recent poll on What to Do With the Stove and How to Approach the Remodel. And, of course, we have New Decisions to make. 

But first, I have received a few emails like this:

Dear Beth,

I say this in love.

You are an adorable, sweet, darling woman, and I care for you deeply, but you CANNOT ask us to make INFORMED design decisions with crappy photos. You’re going to need to give us better pictures so we know what in the world we’re talking about.

You asked for help and WE ARE HERE FOR YOU; give us what we need so we can do our damn job, lady. 

The Designers Among Us

So, fine. I get it. As Carrie Fisher said in When Harry Met Sally when Sally told Carrie the married man she was dating was never going to leave his wife, not ever,  “You’re right. You’re right. I know you’re right.”

You’re right, friends. You’re right. know you’re right. I can’t expect you to give me the Very Best Advice while I’m providing you with Substandard Tools. And, since the Whole Point of asking you for help is to AVOID the Substandard, I have done the unthinkable and cleaned my kitchen and walked all the way upstairs to get the good camera and took these new and improved pics for you.

The Whole Kitchen
taken from the living room perspective:IMG_9466-001

The Affected Corner of the Kitchen:IMG_9467

The Stove Area:IMG_9469-002

Better, yes?


Now we can see what we’re working with.

Unfortunately, I have also just proven we Woolseys can technically clean up after ourselves if we would just get our butts in gear. That’s sad, but we shall ignore that bit of news like we’ve been doing for years and move swiftly on.

Here are our results.


  1. We are overwhelmingly pro-window. I have tallied Team Beth’s opinions on Options 1 and 2, as follows: 73% of us chose Option #1 (keep the window and put the oven and range hood in front of it), 14% of us chose Option #2 (remove the window and construct a wall in its place with smaller windows on either side so the hood isn’t awkwardly in front of the window), and 13% of us chose Option #3 (both of the options suck, so can we please find any other way to keep the window and not obstruct it??)
  2. As a result, we have made ONE IMPORTANT DECISION, based on 86% of the vote. We will NOT be getting rid of the window. 
  3. HOWEVER, we have not decided it’s best to obstruct the window, either. There was Very Much Concern over this, so we must discuss.


  1. The 1950’s stove was the most awesome idea ever. Yes! Yes, she was! And thank you!
  2. She should have a name, though.
  3. Jessie suggested we name her Betty, and since a) Betty was my grandmother’s name (until she named herself after me), and b) my grandmother had an abiding fancy streak and zero budget, and c) “a Betty” is synonymous with a gorgeous, super hot lady, we agree with Jessie. Betty is perfect. Problem solved. Case closed. Betty is our stove’s name.
  4. Can we just not install a range hood? Leave it off entirely? Maybe install just the stove in front of the window and no silly hood, thus solving the window obstruction issue? The answer, friends, sadly, is no. Oregon law requires an exhaust system, not just ventilation, so we must have a hood. I know, I know; boo.
  5. If we must have a hood, is there anywhere else we can put Betty so she’s not blocking the window? Blocking the window will drive us CRAZY. The answer is… actually, maybe we can. Maybe we can put Betty against a wall and not the window. Let’s chat. 

Which bring us to…


The Decision, Round 2, is where we operate within the parameters already decided, which are 1) we’re keeping Betty, 2) we’re keeping the window as is.

That leaves us with either of the following:

ONE: A NEW idea… we put Betty against the same wall as the fridge, sort of like this:


You may have to zoom in on the photo to see where Betty, the hood, the dishwasher and cabinets might go.

This is the more expensive of the two options because we would have to restub the gas line, move the dishwasher to the right of the sink, and do a fairly extensive cabinet remodel.

Please note: our neighbors just had their gas line moved, and they say it’s not too expensive. However, these same neighbors keep their house clean and purchase certain items like clothes and shoes and the occasional electronic device motivated by Investing Wisely in Things That Will Bring Pleasure for the Long Term and NOT motivated by DEAR GOD OF COURSE I HAVE TO HAVE THAT BECAUSE IT COSTS $0, so they’re not exactly reliable sources of “not too expensive.” They BUY THINGS, you guys. With MONEY. Like some things are Worth Paying For! I’m just saying we should take their advice with a grain of salt, you know?

On the other hand, if we bite the bullet and swallow the expense, Betty would be closer to the fridge and sink, which is far more convenient for cooking, and would have cabinets above, which I’ve missed, actually, quite a lot since we’ve lived in this house.

For another view of Option #1, here’s where the dishwasher would move and how cabinets would be positioned in the former stove location:IMG_9469-002

TWO: Or, Option 2, we put Betty in nearly the same location as the current stove and suck it up on window obstruction, kind of like this:IMG_9469-001

This option is clearly MUCH cheaper than the first option because it would require very little remodeling of cabinets, no restubbing of the gas line, and no moving the dishwasher. The reason I haven’t shown it centered in the window is because many of you pointed out it would be too close to the sink to be practical, and my friend, Emily came over and verified. We could move it to the right a little, but we run into a similar issue with being too close to the door. Centering it between the sink and the door seems to be the best place if we choose this option.

So, friends? Considering these newest developments what’s your verdict?

Option #1 (Betty goes against the wall) or Option #2 (Betty goes in front of the window)? I’ll tally every opinion and give you the results soon!

Also, GOD BLESS YOU for not making me do this alone.

With love,





P.S. Here’s the Pinterest Board Rachel put together for us. WOOHOO, RACHEL! She has titled it “Beth’s ‘We aren’t being cheap like Greg anymore’ House Idea Board,” so we can rest assured she gets us.

P.P.S. If we decide on Option #1, which is the way I’m leaning, we need to think of creative ways to explain the added expense to Greg. I’m thinking maybe popping naked out of a cake. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. Wait, wait, wait! When did your house get so clean. What happened?

  2. You are such a popular blogger, that I can’t take time to read all the comments – so pardon if I’m a repeat. I saw recently on Property Brothers some new-fangled exhaust system that does not even HAVE a hood, but looked like it was built into the cabinet/island/wall behind a stove and popped up when you need it? Probably uber expensive and may not be an option an outside wall, but figured I’d mention any way…

  3. Beth, I’m gonna throw out another option, if I may. I know you are trying to keep as much light as possible but hear me out, okay. Remember, that Betty is wider than the old stove, so you are going to have to move or replace the base cabinets. What if you replaced the large window with a match to the small window on the left? Place it far to the left side and close up the hole to make the wall wider. Then, you can use the base cabinet, that is currently on the right of the stove, on the right side of the sink. Set the stove beside the window, in front of the wall with an attractive range hood. You will have room for a narrower countertop and drawers than are currently there on the right side of Betty. Or replace both pieces that are there now with some other option that fits. I’d play around with what’s available. I personally think giving up some of the window width would be more attractive than placing a range hood in front of it!!

  4. […] of us voted to put Betty against the wall between the fridge and the sink. Whether we were motivated by the desire not to obstruct the […]

  5. I agree with option 1. You need to do what makes you happy. In twenty years the cost will not be remembered, but you’ll still have the kitchen. Just cut out eating in fancy places. (As if.)

  6. Option 1, for sure!

    But I’m concerned about the new location for the dishwasher – I’m imagining a special kind of dance and stretch you’ll have to do to stand at the sink and put dishes in the dishwasher. We can’t have that.

    Maybe you can move the dishwasher down that wall a little ways so you can stand at the sink and with one dramatic flourish move, pop the dishes into the dishwasher without having to back away? I am in no way recounting this dance from memory. Except of course, that I am, and moving the dishwasher improved my quality of life by about 1000 points.

  7. I have made this comment before, so sorry for repeating myself. What lovely comments you have! Nobody is mean here, everyone wants you to have a lovely place to cook and eat and drink your morning coffee. Restores my faith in kindness on the internet.

  8. Option 1. All the way.

  9. Option 1, but why do you have to move the dishwasher? Can’t it just stay next to Betty so you’d save the cost of moving it, and put the cabinets where the stove used to be?

  10. You already have unanimity, but I’ll add my two cents. Option 1.

  11. OPtion #1 all the way!

  12. You can put a hood in like this:^102131943004-device^c-plaid^169453226404-sku^20713-adType^PLA

    I believe that is the one I have, when I googled ‘pull out hoods’ I got several options.
    Then it won’t be as terrible in front of the window.
    BUT I still like moving the stove to the wall without the window.

    1. Great idea!

  13. Option 1 and nakedness and cake, totally!

  14. Ooooohhhhh….you could also get a microwave/hood mounted over the stove!

    1. I like this radical idea! Go with option one and do this! Takes care of multiple renovations in one! Tell Greg we are saving money by bundling our projects!

  15. Chanting: Option one, option one, option one!

  16. Against the wall for Betty! She’ll be happier there, you’ll be happier there and Greg will get over it;)

  17. Tooooo tired and too strong menstrual cramps to type more, but: option 1 is what I would have suggested the last time, had my comment not been eaten…
    Tell Greg the Internet told you so?!

  18. Definitely go with 1. It looks and works better and will add value to the house if you ever decide to sell it ( selling point for Greg).

  19. Three words — retractable vent hood! Goes behind Betty, disappears when not in use, satisfies all applicable laws and costs less than all the above listed options. Really, look into it, windows are worth not blocking!

  20. 1. I think I’m in love with Betty! You totally did the right thing in bringing her home. My mom lives in the house she was born and raised in, and there’s something about a vintage stove that warms the heart and the home. But a brand new one?!? Get out!!!!

    2. Totally go with option 1. You need to keep that view out of that gorgeous window unobstructed. And, as a trained chef – though non practicing professionally – it gives your kitchen a better workflow.

    3. I’m totally impressed at your clean kitchen. I’m pretty sure my kitchen hasn’t been that clean since I moved into this apartment three years ago. Although I’m determined to have it so before I leave for Paris for a month two weeks from now. Surely I can get it done in two weeks. Which is exactly why I’m dishing out advice on a blog instead of cleaning it on a Saturday afternoon, right? Or doing the menu planning since I’m supposed to be cooking for 10 people in Paris for a month and haven’t done anything to plan because I’ve been too busy trying to figure out how to get a month of from the regular job because Paris, right? Now, I’ve just got to figure out how to have all the dishes clean at the same time…..

    4. Can I come cook in your kitchen once all the decisions have been made and the remodel is done? I’m more of a dessert girl, and I can make a mean chocolate cake. Perhaps not large enough to jump out of naked, but guaranteed to knock your socks off!

    1. Yes, of COURSE you can come cook in the new kitchen, Trained Chef Friend Who Makes Chocolate Cake. OF COURSE.

      1. Wahoo! I hope you mean that. I don’t recall off the top of my head where in Oregon you are but one of my best friends lives in Portland and has a weekend place in Lincoln City so I get up there from time to time. Especially if it gets me away from the Arizona desert heat and where people have been known to fry eggs on the hoods of their cars. Not that I’ve tried it or would recommend it. Though I do have a friend who did really and truly bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies by leaving the sheet tray on her dashboard inside the car and it worked quite well… But we won’t have to do that because Betty! And I can come up your way because even though I’m your painfully phone shy friend who works in a call center for a living it’s for American Airlines so flight benefits! Can’t wait!

        1. Yep — I mean it! Also, we are literally on the way from Portland to Lincoln City, so Match Made in Heaven. <3

          The Daughter of a Pilot Who Also Has Occasional Flight Benefits And So Has Grown Up Finding It Perfectly Normal to Visit People I TECHNICALLY Haven't Met in Person and Staying/Eating With Them Because Radical Hospitality Is Awesome

          1. Awesomesauce!!!!!!

          2. PS My whole name is Tara Cummins, which you probably know from the email address the internets makes me put in to leave you a comment, but I don’t really like the second part so I don’t use it unless I have to. But I’m putting it out there in case you want to find me over in Facebookland to friend me and follow my adventures in Paris where I won’t really be in Paris but about 30 minutes east of there in a warehouse district. At least that’s where the guys will be working but I don’t know where we’ll be living because I still have to find us a house. No pressure! Still praying and fasting and roaming the internets for housing searches near EuroDisney and menu planning and packing and cleaning the kitchen and working at my real job and finding coverage for those three last shifts…. Le sigh. See, it’s an adventure already!

  21. Against the wall.

  22. It makes me sad that you have to look into the corner while you’re at the sink. It’s like you’re in time-out and being punished when you have to do the dishes. Which you kind of are.

  23. I’d go with option 1. Because it would make me happy and if I went with option 2 I would be frustrated and wish I’d gone with option 1 every time I was in the kitchen. And my husband would do it because he loves me and because he knows if I feel bitter and frustrated in the kitchen he won’t get his pierogis and vats of chili and chocolate cake with peanutbutter frosting and fresh hot bread with home-canned peach jam. He’ll get off-brand box mac n’ cheese and toast with maple flavored corn-syrup and granola bars. It’s not that I stop loving him, I just can’t face a depressing kitchen. So you could go with that angle. “PLEASE don’t ask me to cook in a depressing, dark, cramped, kitchen! I must breathe free while I create masterpieces of loving deliciousness!!!!”

  24. Option 1 all the way but with the dishwasher and ice pick stove swapped because the extra cost of moving it outweighs standing in a tony space to load the dishwasher against the sink.
    As for cost, maybe you could consider moving the top cabinet you’re removing to the space between the window and door (reusing!) and you could point out that moving a few items is much cheaper than replacing your entire kitchen. Plus your space is gorgeous and you need to spend time there. And maybe you promise to make greg’s favorite meal once a month until the cost of the gas lines etc. is paid off—and he could always have that meal served in bed (when you can kick the kids out of the house that is). You should be able to do a small hood: we had one that fit above our stove and then vented through the cabinet to the outside. In our current house we got lazy and have a hood that fits above the stove and vents out into the kitchen facing the window so the few times a year we need it we just crack open the window and the vent blows it toward the window. It keeps things interesting. And I cook and/or bake very day. (Food allergies plus baking relieves stress. So does my emotional eating which also creates stress but whatever.)

  25. Go with option 1. Two reasons. 1) It sounds like that’s the option you favor anyway. 2) It’s far less expensive to resub a gas line and move a few cabinets (you can likely do that part yourselves) than to replace windows. Trust me. I replaced windows a couple years ago.

    Good luck Mama. And I, for one, love your charming kitchen with its big bright beautiful windows. The orange countertops, eh, but you can change those without *too* much expense, especially if you go to the local auctions and/or discount store. 😉

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