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Need thoughts on kitchen layout/design...
zennifer
January 1, 2013 in Design Dilemma
1984 split level, upstairs kitchen. The first rendering is the current layout...the freezer door can't be opened all the way, and we have limited counter space, mostly taken over by a coffee pot, knife block, fruit bowl, stand mixer, and toaster.

The second two are our favorite idea for cabinet layout...see any issues, or something better? Ideally the counter for the breakfast bar would be curved, but I'm still researching that. The thing to the right of the support wall is a desk unit.

(The plumbing will not be moved; finished basement ceiling and limited budget, so no moving the sink).

The kitchen measures about 11'x11', and is completely open to the attached small dining room/iving room space. There is a window shown, and a patio door to the right. Space to store and countertops are our biggest considerations. All appliances (except POSSIBLY the fridge...but it's fine and matches) are staying, and are black, not stainless.

The last pic is of the cabinets we are considering (the wood, stain, and doors).

Thanks for any ideas!
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decoenthusiaste
How close to the kitchen is another exit to the patio? I'm thinking if that exit were closed and room made for a counter depth fridge there, you'd have a better work triangle and could extend your counter and cabinets under the window into the fridge space on your #2 and 3. For more open feeling, consider lighter cabinetry.
January 1, 2013 at 12:37pm     
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zennifer
Sadly, there is no other exit to the deck outside; here's a better floor plan of the entire upstairs living space with a table in place.

Imagine a couch/chair area in the blank space; the half wall to the right is a stair railing, and that opening the stairs to the front door. The only way to get to the backyard from the house is through the patio door to the left, and out onto the deck. It's cozy and open at the same time.

The ceilings are vaulted over the dining/living area, and the window placement keeps it very open and light in there, even with the current medium oak cabinets...the ones we are looking at are one shade darker. It's a personal preference...i'd rather have a medium/dark natural wood kitchen that feels a bit cozier than a light or white kitchen. We are fixing to live in long term.
January 1, 2013 at 12:48pm   
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PRO
Dytecture
The L-shaped design works better, but I would move the fridge to where the full height pantry is to make the area around the patio door feel more open.
January 1, 2013 at 1:17pm     
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zennifer
We've toyed with moving the fridge to the right side where the pantry is...the thing that keeps us from doing it is the dishwasher. They would open right into each other. Here are ideas from an older sketch that includes that placement...the window dimensions are wrong in this one.

A plus would be that we could relatively easily recess the fridge a few inches into that wall, and get an almost counter depth look without buying a new one...
January 1, 2013 at 1:27pm     
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zennifer
So...it's better to keep the patio door space open and have the fridge and dishwasher open into the same space? (like, can't be opened at the same time ever).
January 1, 2013 at 2:30pm     
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decoenthusiaste
I'd really like to see photographs of the entire thing. You seem to have space you're not incorporating, or I'm reading this all wrong. If you're going to live in it long term I'd think the investment in moving the sink under the window would be well worth it.
January 1, 2013 at 2:42pm     
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decoenthusiaste
Could you live with a hall of 3' by the stairwell and steal just a piece of that landing?
Where is the patio door in relation to the stairs?
January 1, 2013 at 3:20pm   
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zennifer
I'll see about convincing my husband about the drywall to move the sink...we already did that exact piece to make it livable, so he's saying no.

I'm attaching a few snapshots of the space from the living room and dining room area.

The tiny wall to the right of the sink is structural. We could do something open there, but have tentatively planned to make it a built in desk/storage area with cabinets as that is what we use the space as now. We do need such an area.

Do the pictures help make the space easier to see?
January 1, 2013 at 4:21pm   
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solraven
It seems to me that if you move the fridge next to the patio door, you'l solve one problem but create another one. I think it should be where the full height pantry is as well. Recessing it into the wall is a great idea. Have you thought about eliminating one of the kitchen entrances to gain more storage space?

If you closed off the entrance by the patio, you could have a U-shaped kitchen and move your dishwasher to the other side of the sink. It may clash with the oven door, but since the dishwasher is usually loaded, well after the oven has been turned off, the chance of needing them open at the same time is less likely.

Another option is closing off the hall entrance, and moving the kitchen entrance to where the dishwasher is, and moving the dishwasher to the opposite side of the sink. It's close to both entrances, so it should still feel just as convenient, but the added storage would be so worth it.
January 1, 2013 at 11:43pm     
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thislittlehouse
A bit of drywall shouldn't be a factor when making such a huge decision! Make the right choice for the space and how you will use it for the next 10 years.

I agree with the above suggestion to close off the hall entrance. That could create an entire wall of storage space: fridge, pantry and storage cabinetry.

Then, move the sink and dishwasher (yes, move the plumbing - it will be worth the extra time and expense to have everything in the right place!) the ideal spot for the sink will be under the window.

This will create a U shape kitchen, with the stove in the same place it is now, centered at the back of the U, fridge and pantries to the right, sink and dishwasher to the left under the window.

The back and left of the U would have miles of counter space, and overhead storage as well. All the tall units (fridge and pantry) would be on the right, which is important as you don't want that visual bulk anywhere near the patio door or window.

We recently re did our kitchen - the right choice for us was to move it to the opposite side of the room! We had to redo plumbing, electrics, gas for the stove, everything. But it was worth it to get the kitchen layout that worked for us. You can read about it on my blog if you're interested www.thislittlehouse.com.au

Good luck!
:) Elise
January 2, 2013 at 4:29am     
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solraven
Elise is right; it would be so worth it, even if you had to wait a while to do it. The thing is, we all say that we have to live with it for at least 10 years, but how many people get remodels every 10 years? It takes that long before you even think about updating. You won't get really serious until at least 15 years, but work usually doesn't actually happen until 20+ years have gone by.
January 2, 2013 at 11:28am     
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zennifer
Thanks for all your ideas and input. I'm going to play around with them. You are right and we need to DO this right the first time. We've lived in the house about 30 months now, so hopefully we've figured out a little more of what we want. (DRAWERS!!!!) Our ETA is spring break at the earliest, so we've got (a little) time to figure it out.

Compounding our drywall issue for moving the sink is the fact that I LOVE having the sink overlook/face the dining room and kitchen. It makes cleaning up with kids so much easier, and makes cleaning up while entertaining so much easier, too. We really want a breakfastbar/extended countertop, too, for entertaining, counter space, kids doing homework, etc. We already use the little lip we have...

We are pretty attached to the two entrances as well...we lived in a tight u-shaped kitchen before and hated it. We were always falling over each other to get out, and with kids and dog, we don't want any less escape routes! I'm going to mock them up anyway, as maybe that drawback will be the only one and we will decide it's worth it.

Closing up the hallway entrance and leaving a WIDE u shaped kitchen might be a possibility, however. It would give a bigger open floorspace. No overlooking sink, and no breakfast bar, but it might be more counterspace?

I'm going to create some new drawings and attach them. Nice thing is the cabinets and granite are a (very generous) Christmas gift from the inlaws, so my husband and I may be able to swing a few new things like drywall done professionally instead of DIY like usual. :)
January 2, 2013 at 12:19pm   
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zennifer
Idea B:
OK...here's one where I trimmed the pantry by the patio doors down to 12 inches deep; the round thing on the base cabinet is my poor, quick attempt of showing a set of open curved shelves to soften the transition from 24" to 12". I realized the fridge won't open all the way if placed against the wall and recessed, so I put a small pull out spice or something cabinet next to it for spacing and storage.

The second one is the view from the front door/up the stairs.
January 2, 2013 at 12:35pm     
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fabia
The fridge should be switched from the dining room location. it looks unsitley and blocks the walkway. Put fridge to pantry location. This plan will always have a conflict. BUT it is a better plan to move fridge. Dishwasher will have a door conflct with fridge, but it already opens into doorway. Pick your battles wisely. Place a pantry facing into kitchen with a shallow pantry on side that opens into dining room. This buffers the side of the pantry- and now creates usefull storage. The side facing pantry can be 12 inches in dept. That fridge is massive.. 36 inches? To keep area around the patio door more open, drop depth of pantry to 18 inches. Play with depth here. You will find more volume of space. Or use an angle pantry. Just a note, the OTR placement is too low. I will try to add some cabinet pics for you.
January 2, 2013 at 12:37pm   
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zennifer
Fabia, do you want the fridge next to the window and door, or like the last plan I posted? It sounds like you like the last plan posted a little? I had dropped the pantry to 12 inches by the patio door.

It is a 36" fridge...it is big. We use almost every space of it, however, as we eat almost exclusively unpackaged foods, and shop once a week. It is generally crammed full on Sundays, and the freezer is full, too. It's the biggest reason i'm reluctant to go counterdepth.

We can play with microwave height...I just put it at the same height as the old one (see photos). Probably a range hood height from the original installation in 1984! We are more than likely using a local semicustom cabinetry company, and so we have a lot of flexibility. I'll look up what it should be. Thanks for the heads up!
January 2, 2013 at 12:47pm   
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fabia
This last set of drawing looks better. The shallow depth pantry gives alot more volume around a busy patio door. I also sugest trying an angled pantry here. Sometimes we just have to work with what is. I always win , in the battle of difficult spaces. I understand about the fridge. Keep it this big. I always tell clients to not underestimate the fridge. Never go smaller unless all kids and animals have left for good!! If you pull the fridge 3 inches from the wall(minimum) the fridge door will swing open. un impeded. Is that a wall cabinet sticking out over the penninsula? Why? I do however, like the wall and base cabinets on separate wall. Nice storage. At the pantry area. If you have an angled base, then 12 inch pantry this would also loks great.
January 2, 2013 at 12:56pm     
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zennifer
I will keep the angled pantry in mind. Since we are going semi custom, more than likely, I'm guessing it will be easily doable. :)

Would you do just a 3 inch spacer for the fridge, or as I drew and a pull out cabinet that is wider?
January 2, 2013 at 12:59pm   
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fabia
The pullout pantry to right of fridge in above rendering, will be a difficult access. The fridge looks about 31 deep. Pullout pantry will be 24 deep.. AND costly. These cabinets can add $2K to a design or more. I would push fridge close to door, the doors will swing freely into the walkway now. Give yourself as much working counter top space between stove and fridge. Did you say that it is possible to center sink? I think that would free up some counter top across from the stove. When we go to the fridge to get things out, it is usually a very quick task. Where is the garbage recycling?
January 2, 2013 at 1:05pm     
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zennifer
Sadly, not possible to center sink in design B, as the dishwasher must be in that counter, too. Right now the recycling is under the sink and the trash is a stepcan. I'm OK with both of those options going forward, unless we can afford a cabinet trashcan. (All about choices...what do we want more!)

The fridge is about 31" deep. If we put it on that top wall we can recess it 3 inches. The right door will not swing more than 90 degrees open unless we don't recess, or unless we do some sort of filler between the right side of the wall and fridge. We have that current problem on the other side, and I hate it!
January 2, 2013 at 1:19pm   
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zennifer
IDEA C:
Only 6 feet of floor space between the counters


(in idea A and B, that is a glass fronted and backed cabinet for dishes...would it be better left out?)
January 2, 2013 at 1:30pm     
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hmschoolmom
Here are some thoughts and what I think I would do if, like you wanted to keep general layout:
Widen kitchen taking up a couple of feet into the dining area keeping sink on the bar w/DW. This will prevent fridge/DW conflict.
2) OR keep original width, move sink/DW to window wall. Put fridge where several have suggested next to hall doorway. You could recess it or not as it wouldn't be as big an issue with sink gone.
January 2, 2013 at 2:20pm     
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fabia
I think the out of A- or B- C I like B. The one with the peninsula. More counter top , especially under window. Better combined storage values. If you are to have a deep cabinet over the fridge, then add a 3 inch filler to right of the deep cabinet over fridge. How deep is the wall to the right of fridge. If it is under 30" will door swing freely? Can you customize depth of wall to right of fridge to match depth of fridge that is recessed 3 inches? Make wall deep enough to cover side of fridge but not door.
The door will swing free, leave approx. 2 inches to right of fridge cabinet for filler. What is the dimension from peninsula to stove wall?
When designing kitchen tell the cabinet people you need a base cabinet of approx. 18 inches, into which you can install a garbage pullout. Buy one at Lowes, they are a lot cheaper that way and you can install. Keep it near the stove area. Give your self good pots and pan drawers 24 inches at lest. Then a four drawer cabinet for wrap, dish clothes cutlery. near dishwasher.
January 2, 2013 at 4:25pm   
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fabia
PS the wall glass cbinet over the peninsula is not a good placement. Put glass in another cabinet.
January 2, 2013 at 4:26pm     
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zennifer
Definitely like the idea of widening a bit; I think we should do that.

The wall the fridge is against in Idea B is 28 inches; we can inset none, just a little, or all 3 inches back with our 31 inch deep fridge.

I'll work on plans that include actual cabinet placements next...

I Think we are going with Idea B, hopefully widened a bit. We actually like the 18 inch pantry instead once we think about it...the back 6 inches of our current one is unusable.

Let's see if I can get all the great cabinet placement suggestions in now!
January 2, 2013 at 5:55pm   
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zennifer
On the glass cabinet...I'd love suggestions for how to put a little storage on that wall. There is currently a cabinet facing the window; we tentatively thought flipping it 90° and adding glass doors would be nice, but is there a better option? Not wedded to glass doors or a cabinet there.
January 2, 2013 at 5:57pm   
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decoenthusiaste
After seeing your pics and new illustrations, I like the open U that is not closed off with the bar. Since you like your bar so much, I do think you can manage a short 2-seat one at a 45 degree angle there on the right corner, extending into the dining area, yet not closing off the kitchen. You might enjoy making it a pass through bottom where you store large serving pieces and items you want to use in the dining room like platters. That would require doors on both sides of it, and it would retain the homework spot and serving space. I like the desk you put in the stairwell area too.
January 3, 2013 at 8:00am   
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zennifer
OK...small change. What about switching the sink and dishwasher, like this? Now nothing really opens into something else. This seems like a plumbing move we can do from above, based on where the pipes are coming from.
DH and I have decided we want to keep the peninsula/two entrances, so this is the approximate layout. Dropped the next to the sink cabinet, might add a high 12-18" open shelf or glass doored cabinet along the ceiling of the pennisula.
January 7, 2013 at 12:40pm     
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PRO
By Design EK
I think your last layout is the best option given all suggestions I have perused, and your comments. I would not bother switching the sink and dishwasher, you still have the stove there as well so it will be an obstacle course of opening doors any way you cut it, but hey the advantage is you have to finish loading/unloading the dishwasher before anyone can get anything out of the fridge to make another mess! If you want something on the wall next to/above the island I would put your open shelving there. You can use refrigerator end panels to create frame the refrig. opening to make the doors open fully. If you can recess it i would. They are making counterdepth refrigerators now that are less expensive than the professional grade so you may want to consider this. I would also consider taking out the soffit above the cabinets. Purchase taller cabinets to go to the ceiling and you weill have another 12" of storage for the items you don't use as frequently. Finally go with a full depth pantry and invest in organizers for your cabinets and the pantry if possible. I think this is the next thing and kitchen design and also makes all of the difference in small spaces. Instead of blocking off your corner use a blind corner cabinet with a pullout to access the corner storage space. Check out organizers for cabinets on rev-a-shelf.com.
January 7, 2013 at 1:01pm   
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zennifer
The last one layout already has the sink/dishwasher switched...it gives me a bit more space on each side of the sink. It's basically the way the appliances lie now, but flipped, so we are used to the maze. :)
The soffit is DEFINITELY leaving. Can't wait to take it out. Want to go to the ceiling...we have a lot of things that we don't use that need stored up there.

We were planning on a lazy susan in the corner...we will investigate all possibilities, however. (There are little or no actual cabinets marked out in the sketchup.)

We definitely want cabinet organizers...an over the fridge tray divider is on top of my list, too.
January 7, 2013 at 1:05pm   
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mapeggy
I have been watching your kitchen transformation process. Congratulations, you have accomplished the perfect layout. It is time now, to see if it will function for your family? You have a dog.. Where is it's food and water bowls? You have a growing family. If not now, they will soon be required to help clear up after dinner...will the placement of drawers and cupboards be convenient for that? Does your partner help in the kitchen by preparing all or part of the meals? Can two people work in the same space without constantly bumping into each other? Can the kids set the table without getting under foot when the adult is at the stove or carrying boiling hot water from the stove to the sink? How much food and dry goods do you need to be stored? Will a 12" pantry hold everything you need? With a new kitchen, knife blocks are a thing of the past. Use a knife drawer. Safer, easy access, and better for sharp knives. So how many knives do you have and how many do you actually use? That coffee maker and toaster! Who drinks it and when? Toast made by whom and when? These can be built in accessories at a reasonable price...saves counter space... What about the fridge decorations? Do you really want your new kitchen an eyesore of paper clutter? What have you planned for the desk area? Glad you removed the upper cupboard near the sink. This wall can be for YOU. Your collection of hot sauce bottles, plate collection, favorite painting or poster, tea cups, roosters, elephants, whatever? Mount on wall or rack the depth of a spice holder (
January 7, 2013 at 2:44pm     
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solraven
mapeggy, I want you to design my kitchen reno! That's what I'm talking about! Great questions!
January 8, 2013 at 1:31am     
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PRO
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
@zennifer, you're not putting in a range hood?
January 8, 2013 at 6:34am   
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Grace Reed
You've put a lot of work and thought into this. Are you able to work with a kitchen designer now to fine tune it? I ask because I do see issues that need to be worked out primarily because of the close proximity of the appliances.
January 8, 2013 at 5:07pm   
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zennifer
Great questions, mapeggy! The dog things live in the laundry room away from the wood floors, so when we do that room we will look at those cool pull out dishes. :)

The layout for table setting vs preoaing will almost be petfect, too!

Mulling the rest of the questions in my head, too.

We are waiting to talk to an actual designer until we get a good idea of what we want and what price point we are at, but I'm strongly considering hiring someone separate from the cabinet sellers. We shall see...ive said similar before.

We have an over the range microwave. We don't have a budget for a drawer microwave, or a good place to put one. No range hood. I'm not a huge fan of them anyway.
January 8, 2013 at 9:34pm   
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mapeggy
Range hood is not an option...most counties require them to meet building codes. Pull out drawers for dog food...why? A dog shower with wet boot storage is probably more useable for you in the winter and rainy days. Drawer microwaves hard to get food in and out, especially food still steaming. Must have built in garbage container/pull out.. You have not allotted any space for free standing trash can. Try putting microwave in base cabinets. Can sit on shelf, (behind doors) or install shorter cabinet and have micro sit between top of cabinet, but below counter top. Use 24" stock cabinet depth. Don't forget to plan electrical plug. I would suggest you itemize your kitchen utensils, appliances, bakeware, dishes, drinking things (including all the plastic young children use) pots, pans, etc. Then think when you use them. You use dishes in setting table and when emptying dishwasher..so they should be away from cooking area. But when at stove you need stirring utensils, pot holders and maybe cutlery... So on the side closest to the dishwasher and table you put cutlery and dish towels. On the other side of the stove you have wooden spoons , spatulas, tongs and pot holders. Now make sure your design has 3" depth drawers...see what I mean about planning? I have had every designed kitchen imaginable. The current one is so far the best. The space is 15 x 9.5 and has everything including sit down table eating. My husband does all the shopping and cooking. I set the table and clean up. So I started by dividing the space into two areas...ensuring our paths did not cross over. The stove on the back wall and the sink (right across from the stove) in the island is the dividing line. On one side is food, appliances, pots & pans,utensils, recycle, compost, IPad for recipes, micro, ff, and all cupboards have pull out drawers...no reaching or lost items. A pull out shelf under micro for putting hot dishes on. Tray dividers for cutting boards, pans,, dish drainer, etc. Above fridge is too high for me. For coffee pot, installed in-cabinet, pull up mixer stand. After coffee time the Coffee maker then pushes back under counter top out of the way and off the counter. I installed electric plug inside cabinet so it always stays plugged in. If you are handy buy, at storage container stores or component web sites, baking mixer hardware and install yourself..or buy it and have kitchen installer put in...if you buy it as a complete cabinet...it costs a fortune. Just make sure cabinet will accommodate width of pull out hardware ..usually around 10" - 12" wide and 24" depth. After 20 years my husband has finally stopped asking where things are...now everything as its place...and my husband is a true kitchen gadget junky. A custom kitchen is only good, if it works best for YOU and your family.
January 16, 2013 at 4:31pm     
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zennifer
We don't need to pull a permit unless we move utilities; I see a lot of new construction in our area with an over the stove micro, so I think we are good. Ours can't go in a base cabinet; it has a fan.

Lots to think about...
January 16, 2013 at 9:37pm     
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mapeggy
Zennifer you are right a micro with a fan over the stove is acceptable. I misunderstood. I thought you were removing the micro and not putting up a hood. Sorry for misunderstanding.
January 20, 2013 at 5:19am     
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lizzyf1969
Exiting project! thought I'd pass along an idea that might work with your design...We put cabinets on the other side of our peninsula for extra storage. We keep kitchen things that aren't used every day there...crock pot, waffle iron, cookie cutters, blender, etc.
January 20, 2013 at 5:59am     
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pebblebeachcottage
Amazing thread to follow!
January 20, 2013 at 6:15am   
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laurav507
Zennifer I feel your pain. I like your last layout! If you have enough room to the right of your window for the new pull out drawers or swing out for the blind cabinet that would be awesome. :). We also live in a split level and finished our remodel in Sept. with two kids I wanted more storage and a place we could actually sit at - no one ever sat at the "breakfast bar". And a place they could work on besides my dining table! my layout is similar however my entry is across from the patio doors. our kitchen dining area is 11 x 23 and although small, now it is much more functional. We actually made a structural change and knocked out the wall completely between the kitchen and living room making room for an island for additional seating and better flow for entertaining. It was not as costly as one would think! The island is only 3x6 but it houses drawers, recycling/garbage and a cabinet for trays. We also swapped out the 2 dining chairs closest to the wall for a built in bench seat flanked by pantry cabinets, on the wall opposite the stove. This allowed us to move our dining room table over about a foot allowing better flow for people coming in and out the slider while people are at the table (patio leads to pool area). Our pantry like yours is next to the patio doors with about 12" of wall space. it is not obtrusive at all so if you can swing for the full depth I would. Please keep us posted on your progress!
January 20, 2013 at 9:33am     
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, someone mentioned that the OTR microwave is too low and it is. Shorten the cabinet above 3". This will meet manufactures specs (21" min. clearance) and allow enough room to function. It's looking good!
January 20, 2013 at 7:12pm     
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, if you (or anyone) are interested in making your peninsula deeper but don't have space for 24" deep base cabinets, here's a tip. Semi-custom base cabinets can be reduced in depth but it will cost more for less cabinet. So, we often turn a 30" high wall cabinet into a 12" deep base cabinet by having the installer build the toe-kick on the bottom. (A base cabinet is basically a 30" high box with a 4.5" toe-kick underneath). Now, you have a 36" deep peninsula (or island). I'd recommend this in your kitchen (provided you have the 12") because the sink is on the peninsula. Have fun!
January 20, 2013 at 8:53pm     
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Grace Reed
Me again! The photo showing the cabinets that you like with the OTR and cooktop looks like a showroom display. It concerns me that a place designing and selling cabinets shows the microwave so low. Just a heads up.... I do like the cabinets!
January 20, 2013 at 9:29pm   
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kathy
Just one more suggestion about your microwave, if you can stand it.
I find the OTR microwave awkward - I'm only 5'3" and that puts any dish on the turntable at or over eye-level, plus if anything is heavy/hot it's an awkward reach over a hot stove. And when do your children start wanting to 'make it themselves' - or when do you want them to make it themselves! - an over the range microwave makes it harder (for good or bad ) for them to do so.

My neighbour has her microwave built-in to the pantry cabinet, so lower cabinet is pantry, then microwave at counter height, then more pantry above. You will need a full-depth pantry for that and you'll have to buy a hood fan, but there must be some fans you don't mind - even an under-the-cabinet fan.
January 20, 2013 at 9:57pm   
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zennifer
Wow! More great ideas! Right now we are pricing out various cabinets/cabinet makers...trying to find the right "fit" as far as quality and price.

Thanks for the heads up on the display being wrong; they are a custom cabinet maker who's work comes highly recommended, so I'm a bit surprised. Good to know and check out, though.

Good idea for adding cupboards on the back of the peninsula; I'm not sure we have space as the dining room is pretty small, and even extending the counters an extra 6 inches will cause a different. However, the existing island cabinets are 30" deep instead of 24" deep, so I will play with that and see how it feels.
January 20, 2013 at 10:05pm   
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kathy
oops, sorry - forgot to add that the pantry+micro combination is 30" wide - don't know if that must be or just because she had the 30 OTR micro anyway.
January 20, 2013 at 10:24pm   
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zennifer
I'm only 5'4", and don't mind the OTR micro...perhaps because it is too low. :p. My concern with a lower microwave...we visited a friend with a below the counter microwave this weekend, and our 20 month old couldn't stop touching it. We strive to provide a "yes" environment for her, so that the
"nos" really matter, and I hate just putting something unsafe and definitely a no right in her attention field.
January 20, 2013 at 10:27pm     
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onthefence
Zennifer, our microwave is too low too. When we eventually remodel, it will have to move. I'm 5.5" and I'm fine with it now...but if it were to move to a height that's code, it's going to be too high - particularly for taking hot dishes out.

For a below counter installation, I think many microwaves now come with child safety locks. Otherwise, is there a shelf of your pantry you could devote to a microwave? Or are any of your wall cabinets wide enough to accomodate a microwave that would work for you?
January 20, 2013 at 10:36pm   
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Grace Reed
Kathy, you are spot on IMO. I believe that OTR microwaves will become a thing of the past. They do a very poor job of venting, are inaccessible and are a serious safety hazard, esp. over a gas stove. Recently, a woman told me that something in her pocket turned the gas burner on as she was taking something out of one. She wasn't hurt but could have been seriously burned. Gas flames have been known to damage the microwave, also.
Fortunately, there are a lot of options now incl. microwave drawers. I'll attach a rendering showing what I've designed for my own kitchen.
January 21, 2013 at 12:08am   
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solraven
I think having an open flame plays a large part in OTR or in a cabinet. I grew up w/ gas and range hoods, but now I live in S. FL where gas ranges are rare. We now have a smooth-top electric range, and with the absence of an open flame, and not being able to see the heating element when a pot/or pan is on it, the 17" clearance seems perfect. Plus, the OTR doesn't extend as far out as a range hood would. If you need the ventilation, then a range hood is the only way to go, but if an OTR is adequate for your needs, and you have electric, I'd say that's the way to go, for sure.
January 21, 2013 at 10:20am     
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PRO
Montgomery Communications
love this discussion. arrange the kitchen by function -- i have always put the fridge and glasses at the outside edge of the kitchen, so visitors and kids can help themselves to beverages and not get underfoot.

it is possible to get some refrigerator drawers, too, put them on the outside perimeter, and let that be your beverage center.

it is also possible to have more than one sink -- a smaller one for (go ahead, laugh) beverages and vegetable rinsing, and a larger one for clean up of big pots and stuff.

regarding microwaves -- heh. i have not had a microwave for 15 years and do not miss it. having said that, what on earth do you really use it for?? for hot water ? get a special tap on your sink. for warming up leftovers? get a tiny one.

they are getting smaller and smaller. when they get the size of a toaster, i might get one. other than that, ... really? do you really use it? LOL

Here's a grand one -- can you put it in the pantry? that one i almost like....

:-) thanks again for a fun thread!!!
January 21, 2013 at 10:55am     
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PRO
Montgomery Communications
in terms of making the kitchen cozy, (you mentioned at the beginning of this post), a medium depth color and great lighting will do that. The white is making it cold and off-putting. you can then do what you would like with your cabinets.

there are some folks here who are terrific about colors to recommend, hope they join the conversation.

the lighting: get under cabinet, some track lighing if you will have a soffit. etc. etc. it has all been said before.
but
the coziness you are looking for will come from a rich color, plus lighting.
:-)

Ana Williamson Architect

Dark Cabinetry Kitchen
not sure any of these appeal to you, plz ignore if not.

this one came from your ideabook (a very nice ideabook, btw!!!)
Craftsman Home
notice the warm colors and the lighting. i agree with you, this is terrific.
January 21, 2013 at 11:15am     
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mapeggy
Zennifer, you have gotten so many good ideas. These are the ones I have used in the past and work well: 1) Micro on shelf behind doors, or in 24"deep pantry; 2) island two sets of cabinets - 24" for sink side with dishwasher and recycle/garbage and 12" for other (back) side. 30" base cabinets are almost unmanageable since most people can barely reach under sink to get items from back of 24" cabinet. If custom made then have sink and recycle section less than 24" depth and use extra space for backside cabinet depth. Although carpenters don't like them, I fully use a fold-down sink front which I can put small wet items -- sponges, mushroom brush, scouring pad, etc. 3) Use bench (kitchen cabinet that are installed above refrigerator work well). Put in drawers or use as cabinet with doors storage. Good for children's items or seldom used appliances/dishes. 4) Counter mounted hand soap, hot water and cold water taps (if not on fridge). 5) Pot tap at stove (wall or counter mount). Would be perfect if small sink with drain was beside stove. 6) Pantry depth should be 24" not 12". I have had pantry in same location as yours, and 24" was not a problem. Put pull out shelves at bottom two levels. 7)under cabinet lights a must for proper cooking, reading recipes, and non dining lights. 8) Put dining area light on separate switch. 9) Install 4- way kitchen switch at all three entrances to kitchen. 10) Add electric plug to side of island (you will use it, trust me). 11) Ensure any overhead pendant lights above sink are set back from sink, so you are not working in your shadow. 12) kitchen knives best in sectioned (one for each knife) drawer. Much safer and keeps knives sharp. 13) Ensure pot drawers are wide enough to put three pots into...otherwise too much wasted space. 14) space beside fridge and wall. I put narrow shelves (4"-6" and depth of wall) for storing pop cans, soda jugs, and even some small boxes which take the place of junk drawer). Could even put some glasses there since they would then be closer to sink. With kids plastic on the lower and glass above. Using this space lets the fridge door open without banging into wall, uses space which would otherwise be a "filler". 15) Recess fridge if possible so it does not stick out as far. Depending on mfg. make sure you leave 'breathable space' at the back. 16) Buy ceramic floor tiles. Budget friendly and durable. Porcelain tiles are coloured thru, but cracked is cracked no matter what the inside colour is. So make sure you have extras for future repairs. Chipped ceramic can be touched up with matching paint. It is not the colour which is the problem, but the actual crack or chip in the floor which will be the problem...so save yourself some money and buy ceramic floor tiles. I have hardwood, but with children and a dog, it you want wood consider engineered hardwood. But quarter sawn (expensive) may be the only thing dog claws can withstand. Other is high grade laminate...but make sure it does not look like cheap plastic....

Now for future: 1. I have microwave which bakes and roasts as well. Therefore, we do not need the double ovens we had before. 2. One dish drawer holds as much as regular dishwasher, in half the space. One daughter put one dish drawer on each side of the sink..she is 6'2" with storage below for kids plastic items. Other daughter 5'7" put two dish drawers one below each other. For myself I have two (one in cooking area and one in clean up) in the kitchen and only one in the bar area. (we entertain a lot). I only run clean up area dish drawer every few days in order to have full load. 3. Future will be induction cooking...still new to North America... so if buying pots, get ones that use regular stove BUT also good for induction cook top. 4) if any walls are being opened consider installing gas pipe to outside BBQ in lieu of propane...assuming gas is available in your area. 5. Install water line in fridge area even if you do not require it now...will cost very little now, but a lot down the road. 6. Kitchen counters...stone, granite and marble will be out..too expensive and not environmentally friendly. Quartz, laminate and man made stone are more durable, less maintenance and budget friendly. Just pick a nice edge finish. Granite will be just like avocado and copper appliances... scratched, scuffed, stained and still working but dated... 7. Smaller refrigerators will be coming. Putting them close to use rather than a monster holding all. Fridge drawers will be in beverage or breakfast area. Under counter fridge and separate freezer in secondary living space, ie rec room, in-law suite, 2-3 person homes, small spaces (gives more counter space). Others have mentioned some of these issues as well. I am just saying, I have used them and they work well. I am constantly talking my four kids and the grandkids into experiments on space saving, storage, and new lifestyles. I have two grandkids in College and I have redone their dorm rooms (with all the restrictions) so they have every convenience and proper study environments. Hope these insights help.
January 21, 2013 at 1:39pm     
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mapeggy
Zennifer, I read about you comparing cabinets and cabinet makers. When I went looking for cabinets, some of the high end places said their cabinets were custom made. What they really were was just different size standard boxes, with custom coloured door/drawer fronts. You can get that at big box stores now... so ask questions to see if they can customize a size, insert, or cupboard to fit your particular problem.. most will tell you they will put a 'filler' in so you will not see the gap. And get references, and contact each reference (find out how they decided to hire that company...some companies give relatives as references) especially if you will need installers. An installer can make or break a good kitchen design.
January 21, 2013 at 5:47pm     
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zennifer
I love the idea of the small shelves (open?) beside fridge to fill the space.

The one custom place we are talking to that is surpisingly affordable actually does create different sized boxes to 1/16inch, so no issue there. We have priced out the big box stores, and even RTA as we have experience woodworking for other options, both more and less expensive than the custom. Haven't decided which route to go yet...

We will be putting in granite, as the person funding this expenditure is a stone cutter, and has informed us as such. Won't touch anything fake. I'm OK with it being dated; real stone and real wood are two things I don't find offensive even when "dated". We are staying long term, so resale doesn't matter. We will likely end up with scrap or a salvaged stone, so still environmentally friendly, just like our first house. And the wood floor is already installed and staying. It's solid oak, and has held up quite nicely so far. The only place we are taking it out is the bathroom... (that HAS to go...)

I definitely want the sink front fold down thingy. :)

We use our microwave a LOT. Oatmeal in the morning, every morning. We cook large elaborate meals on Sundays, and eat them for much of the week, warming in the microwave. We regularly "bake" sweet potatos and regular potatoes in there for a quick meal addition. When you work until late...

We have a brand new smooth top electric.

Many of these ideas are great for a much larger kitchen and house than I have; a sink next to the stove would be 2 feet from the other sink. :)

Montgomery, great pics. :) Lots to think about; with such an open floor plan, we need to think hard about colors and coordinating!
January 21, 2013 at 8:41pm   
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mapeggy
Zennifer, my current kitchen is 15 x 9.5, I would not call that very big. It is planning which makes it work. We ended up having our cabinets done by a retired master carpenter. He only does 1 kitchen (one client) at a time. I drew out the main plan like you have done. Then he drew what cabinets and drawers fit in the space. Then I started my "where are things used" function analysis. And a wish list. We met again, where he suggested drawers which open with touch of knee, built in flat TV (iPad), coffee and toaster pop-ups so they were off the counter, pull out under micro, recycle bins, even drawers and built in vacuum in 6" space under base cabinets.

I did not accept the idea of having salt, pepper, sugar, etc built into the kitchen table which would pop up when needed.. I too did not have space for second sink, (thinking in corner to left of stove) but stove water tap is constantly used. I have no "corners" where cabinets meet in my kitchen. stove tap reduces need to carry heavy lobster and pasta pots filled with boiling water.

Met four times during construction to see progress, deliver faucets and hardware, sink, and dish drawers and appliance templates. Then, picking the finished wood stain colour was probably the most nerve wracking. Not too light, not too red, not too brown, not too dark, which of the fifteen Colours of white? .. Check online large paint mfg. and the have info of what colours to consider with N,E, S and W facing windows. The carpenter did 5 sample boards of various colour tones. Crossed our fingers and made a decision. Then I had the island painted in a different colour along with a matching free standing cabinet for wine and crystal glasses. Then the kitchen table (which is attached to the island) was stained in the cabinet colour. Have since painted kitchen wall darker grey to coordinate with stone backsplash.
January 23, 2013 at 7:40am   
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mapeggy
Zennifer, I also changed plug covers to stainless steel from white, had kitchen chairs recovered and in the open wall space designed and had welder make a cookbook rack. Books are stored flat with covers showing (very colorful) and magazines are put up in staggered placement. Everyone comments on how unique it is.
January 23, 2013 at 7:47am   
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Grace Reed
Mapeggy, you're kitchen is lovely. Tell me more about the popups! Can you add a pic also?
January 23, 2013 at 9:52am   
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mapeggy
Grace, I am not a good photographer. I don't know how to put these pictures into separate categories, so I hope they will turn out. I have shown, the pictures of the coffee maker in the up and down position, and then with the cupboard door closed. I also put the toaster below on a pull out since we seldom toast anything...but it could go higher if need be. Then I showed how I put pull out drawers at the front of the island. I used "push & pop open" hardware that his hidden behind the doors. I store odd shaped or seldom used serving and cooking ware. Between the two sets of drawers, I had an alcove built. It was originally for cookbooks. But after we got into the house,the cat bowls were always visible. So I removed the cookbook shelves and inserted her dishes. She always eats when we do. So now she has her food out and we are not tripping over her. Then I showed you the pull out shelf below the bake/roaster microwave. The bookshelf on the wall is only 2" deep. Otherwise the cupboard doors would bang against it when opened. You can see I put the books with the covers facing out. All the cupboards below 42" in height are either drawers or drawers behind doors. Easy for access. I just picked up another "pop up shelf (used for coffee maker) at Habitat for Humanity store. I guess a builder had an extra one left over. I plan on using that in my sewing room.
January 27, 2013 at 1:01pm   
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mapeggy
Seems I can only attach 4 pictures. So I will submit separately.
January 27, 2013 at 1:03pm   
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mapeggy
Only a few more to go.
January 27, 2013 at 1:05pm     
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mapeggy
And the black space under the coffee/toaster cupboard...that is the vacuum system I had installed. You sweep up the floor and instead of a dust pan you sweep it into that space and the vacuum turns on and takes the crumbs away.
January 27, 2013 at 1:08pm   
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mapeggy
sorry about seeing all the cords. Usually none are visable. My husband plugged in his Bose using the under the counter instead of the one on top of the counter....so those cords are showing.
January 27, 2013 at 1:16pm   
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Grace Reed
Thanks Mapeggy. So many interesting ideas! I love Hab. for Humanity, too. And, the cat's bowl in the alcove is just perfect!
January 27, 2013 at 6:09pm   
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sara1989
Hi Zennifer,
Just wondering if you could tell me what program you use to do up your designs.
Thanks
Sara
January 28, 2013 at 3:10am     
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mapeggy
Grace, forgot to include knife and utensil drawers. Zennifer, I too would appreciate knowing the program you use for your floorplans. thanks,
January 28, 2013 at 5:56am   
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Grace Reed
Thanks again, Mapeggy! Your cabinets are beautiful and your kitchen is so well thought out.
January 28, 2013 at 10:09am   
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zennifer
Mapeggy, I used google sketchUp. It's basic, but gets the job done!
February 9, 2013 at 8:58pm   
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zennifer
Ok; we have pretty much decided on natural cherry shaker cabinets, with a 4x4 tile backsplash in greens/yellows ala this period kitchen. Here's a thread discussing color choices; probably should have done that here, but its linked here for reference:
http://houzz.com/discussions/339190

Next post is the backsplash inspiration pic:
February 9, 2013 at 9:02pm     
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zennifer
Backsplash inspiration pic.



Now for the hard parts; finishing off details.

1) counter height bar or a raised bar? If raised I'd do an open raise.

2) undermount or drop in sink? Drainboard? Why? I've only ever had the cheapest $50 sink from hd. Also, thinking of doing a sink and a half instead of a full double to save counter space and a little passage space by getting a 33 inch sink base.

3) 96" ceilings. We want cabinets to the ceiling. 42 inch shaker doors, or do 30 inch cabinets with 12 inch doors above to store extras/break it up. Possible glass...
February 9, 2013 at 9:08pm   
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onthefence
And my votes:

1) For us, it would be raised bar. Hides the kitchen mess a bit while you enjoy dinner. I don't recall that you're using the bar for eating, right?

2) Undermount. I'll be surprised if you get many drop in votes at all.

3) I'll bet people who specialize in cabinets have suggestions there. I'd have to see a visual to know for myself.
February 9, 2013 at 11:14pm     
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parsleycarrots
1) Counter height bar to give you extra work space near the sink, and serving space for buffet dinners, kids doing homework.

2) Undermount sink for a cleaner look. No drainboard as you already have limited usable space around the sink; a drainboard would be "specific use" as opposed to "multi-function" space.

3) I like 42" cabinets but depends on what look you're going for. I had a kitchen with tiny top cabinets and they weren't very useful for storage--too high to reach and too small for anything sizeable. Glass front cabinets are nice if you have a few pieces of dinnerware you want to show off.
February 9, 2013 at 11:36pm     
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parsleycarrots
mapeggy, the kitty cubby is awesome! I don't think my German Shepherd would fit in such a space, though. :-(
February 9, 2013 at 11:53pm     
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solraven
I don't think my cats could fit in the kitty cubby. Perhaps if the food was sitting sideways, then they could fit in the cubby. My cats would drag those bowls until they were on the floor.
February 10, 2013 at 9:28am     
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zennifer
Open raised bar:
Something like this:

or ...
February 10, 2013 at 7:38pm   
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zennifer
February 10, 2013 at 7:38pm   
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zennifer
Not seeing any pics of 8' ceilings with double top cabinets... Guessing it would be too crowded? Saw a few with 42 inch cabinets that don't look too long.

Another question... Inset or full overlay? I love the inset look, but what are the drawbacks? (Besides price).
February 10, 2013 at 7:55pm   
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zennifer
Ok... Way over thinking things, but soft close hinges or no? I'm doing soft close drawers, but sm nervous about making the hinges "fancy" with more to break.
February 10, 2013 at 8:19pm   
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zennifer
Ok... I win for too many posts, but...one more thought. Maybe.

IF one was to put an under the counter microwave in the final plan, where would one put it? I'd think next to the fridge, but I hate to lose the pots and pans drawers. Perhaps I could store them in the corner cabinet instead?

To summerize:

1) raised or counter height bar

2) under or over mount sink

3) answered. :)

4) inset or full overlay cabinets

6) where to put a possible under counter microwave
February 10, 2013 at 8:48pm   
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kathy
1. counter height bar - more work surface
2. undermount sink - counter mess sweeps right into sink and no lip gets full of gunk
3.!!
4. full overlay - no silly frames that small items hide behind
5. could microwave go under the window - are there cabinets there or not? Or I think I suggested in an earlier post about microwave incorporated into pantry cabinet. Or think of it as an oven cabinet with only the microwave in it and the rest of the cabinet is pantry. Microwave is not behind doors. That puts the microwave at counter height, so away from tiny hands but not too high for a 10 year old to heat leftovers or whatever.
February 10, 2013 at 9:19pm     
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zennifer
Kathy, thanks, you did suggest the pantry before. It's super far from the fridge...but super closeto the table. Which is better over all...close to fridge or close to table?

We could go under the window as well; have to play with the cabinets there.
February 10, 2013 at 9:22pm   
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zennifer
We are doing face framed cabinets with either a full overlay or an inset door...so there is still a frame.
February 10, 2013 at 9:23pm   
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zennifer
Any other thoughts, particularly on location of an undercounted microwave and whether better next to table or fridge?

Also, should we do a single or double sink?
February 11, 2013 at 7:31am   
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, I find more people are going with single bowls. A double bowl (33" x 22") requires a 36" sink base cabinet, whereas, a single bowl (25 x 22) fits in a 27" SB cabinet. So, there's a lot of c-top space and useful cabinetry space gained with a single bowl.
February 11, 2013 at 8:19am     
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Grace Reed
Placement of the microwave is really going to depend on your design. Ideally, it's on the perimeter and accessible to everyone. I think a drawer micro. is the ideal, especially since you have kids. However, they run $800-$1000 so a std. one under counter is fine, too. The best wall placement is next to something deeper like the refrigerator or pantry. Thanks for the updates. It's fun to watch!
February 11, 2013 at 8:40am     
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Rio Brewster
I disagree on the single bowl sink. I like having a double bowl so I don't have to totally clear dirty dishes out to run the garbage disposal. A sink like the one below is great. The small bowl is perfect for washing/soaking vegetables and the big side can handle soaking large skillets.

Also, be careful with the depth. A lot of people assume deeper is better, but with a hi-arc faucet you don't really need a deep sink to get the large pots under it, and I find trying to scrub something more than 9" below the counter hard on the back.

And definitely undermount the sink.
February 11, 2013 at 8:50am     
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Rio Brewster
Oh and make sure there's nothing inside the soffit before you finalize the cabinets. Sometimes a soffit hides ductwork and/or electrical and it will add $$$ to try to move that - if it's even possible.
February 11, 2013 at 8:54am     
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Rio Brewster
Personally I like full-overlay doors. Much easier to adjust and replace if anything happens to them and I think they are more modern looking.
February 11, 2013 at 8:57am     
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zennifer
Soffits are empty (and go into the attic, so it would have been easy to move if not). Lucky us!

I am not someone who cares about looking modern/dated; if I could, this house would be an old house, restored. However, Rio, I'm thinking that full-overlay would be good for the modern look as well; I LOVE inset doors, but last night I was thinking as I was trying to fall asleep that perhaps inset doors PLUS a craftsman style backsplash PLUS shaker doors in cherry would be too much "period" look, and NOT fit in with our house. I've got to keep what this house IS in mind; trying to make it something else will not look right!

Our house is 1984, and has a LOT of craftsman influence in the details/bannister/etc, but a more subtle approach would probably look better, right?

So, as full overlay is cheaper than inset, and I think there are good design reasons to go that way instead...I think we will go that way.

I'm leaning towards a sink and a half with a lowered divider; we use a dishtub for all of our handwashing, so two sinks isn't essential. I do, however, want a smaller sink footprint.
February 11, 2013 at 11:56am   
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zennifer
Also, soft lose hinges...necessary, annoying, or just meh? We are doing soft close drawers, but curious about hinges.
February 11, 2013 at 11:56am   
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Rio Brewster
Craftsman/mission style is my favorite. I hear you on the new/old house thing.

I say "meh" on the soft close hinges. Unless you really hate to hear cabinet doors slamming shut, they are an extra expense you don't need.

Your kitchen sounds gorgeous - have you picked your granite yet? I love love love rainforest green in a craftsman style room. It's actually a serpentine, but almost as hard a a granite. If I could do my own kitchen from scratch it would be shaker style, medium cherry, with rainforest green counters.

BTW - your cherry will darken over time - especially if your kitchen has a lot of natural light.
February 11, 2013 at 12:39pm     
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zennifer
Granite...well, I do love that green, too. The FIL is a stone cutter, and will do the labor for us.

However, he's also funding this expenditure for the most part (they gave part of a down payment to BIL, and are "even steven" people, so we get a new kitchen), and doing the cabinets just how we want PLUS granite (even wholesale) might be too much. We are planning on doing salvaged oak butcher block ($5 a sf locally) either natural/waterloxed, or with a dark stain as a "temporary" but still nice counter for a few years if needed. Would rather make sure the cabinets are what we want and good quality first.
February 11, 2013 at 1:03pm     
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parsleycarrots
How about soft close hinges on just the lower cabinets, where little fingers could get pinched?
February 11, 2013 at 1:14pm   
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PRO
Chameleon Power
Hello Zennifer, The rendering software you are using is pretty cool. But you could also try a free to use kitchen visualizer that Congoleum has developed for flooring and Arizona Tile has developed for granite countertops. These consumer tools can give you a more true-to-life and photo-realistic view of your kitchen.
February 11, 2013 at 1:30pm   
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zennifer
Chameleon Power; you can do that with this program, too. I'm just too lazy. :)
February 11, 2013 at 1:45pm   
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zennifer
Parsley carrots; that's a good idea! Though, considering her bedroom is on the other side of most of the cabinets, perhaps soft close all around isn't a bad idea.
February 11, 2013 at 1:47pm   
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Richard
I'm trying to find a 3D tool to design a new kitchen from a blueprint. Suggestions?
February 11, 2013 at 1:54pm   
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Rio Brewster
That's the right approach. Cabinets first - then counters.
February 11, 2013 at 2:01pm     
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kathy
hi Zennifer
My kitchen has soft close hinges all around - it was great for teenage-boy-proofing the kitchen. Unfortunately the hinges on on the doors under the sink are shot. All other doors are fine. I think my kitchen finishes are pretty, but I also think think it's probably cheaper quality - kitchen was refinished by last owner who essentially flipped the house. It 's 30 years old so basically same age as yours, but smaller!
Microwave - I don't think it matters whether it's under the window or built-in to pantry. Your kitchen is not so large, nothing is more than 2 steps away. The only time fridge and pantry will feel far apart is when you are unloading groceries.
Sink - even with a dishwasher there are always pots and pans to be washed and rinsed and then set to dry - get a double sink. If you get the one with lower divider, let is know how you like it in actual use. They sound interesting.
I can't wait until you're actually doing the renovations - I hope you post some photos of the process and of course the final results!
Have fun!
February 11, 2013 at 4:56pm     
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Grace Reed
I agree with Rio on the sink depth. I've heard from tall and short people that their 9-10" sinks hurt their backs.
February 11, 2013 at 8:52pm     
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Grace Reed
Like the low divide idea. Kohler calls theirs Smart Divide; they come in SS and cast iron. My mom has a 25" Moen double bowl and I checked their site. It's a drop in and cheap quality (20 gauge).
You mentioned 42" high wall cabinets. I've seen it done but I usually don't because ceilings are rarely level. (When measuring, be sure to measure at several places). I use 36" cabinets, crown at the ceiling and a filler strip placed horizontally between them. The crown determines the width of the filler strip. Some manuf. offer 39" cabinets, too. (I'd still use the filler but it would be minimized). If it helps, I have a Mouldings Ideabook you can check out.
February 12, 2013 at 4:58am     
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Grace Reed
One more thing! Many cabinetry lines have made quiet close doors (and rollout trays) std. in the last 1-2 years. KraftMaid, among others, has incorporated the mechanism into the hinge, which is nice.
February 12, 2013 at 5:09am     
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zennifer
OK; another design issue: what size cabinet should I do over the desk area? The wall is 36 1/8" wide. Should I do a 36" or a 33" with 1 1/2" of empty wall on each side?
February 12, 2013 at 1:03pm   
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laurav507
Had to weigh in. We remodeled our split level kitchen also! For kids and older folks the counter height island is ideal. We opted for shaker style full overlay soft close doors and drawers and love it. Quiet with kids. They close by themselves. It's great! Under mount sink for sure is just a cleaner look. After much debate we did get a double bowl. One side is bigger but the small side is still large enough to put some dishes in that are hand washed. In The picture above the side is too small to be practical. Think about what you really use it for. I wash my big pots, wine glasses and good cutlery by hand. Also, I would either keep the micro over the stove or put it on a shelf next to the pantry. Let's face it our kitchens arent huge two steps like the other poster said! Oh, and we have 8' ceilings as well and did 39" cabinets with a 3" filler trim at the top. This ensured that the cabinets fit even if our old walls were not perfect any longer. Despite what people may think the tall cabinets make the room feel larger to me compared to our old 30" builder grade oak cabinets.
I was up many nights over all the decisions but so glad I researched all the details like you are doing. Oh and those Kohler sinks are beautiful but ouch on the budget!
February 12, 2013 at 7:02pm     
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zennifer
Oh, the agony! Too many choices!!!!!


Still debating about the desk area...

Dh just expressed interest in hidden hinge inset, which does look nice. Sigh.

And he has informed me that if his dad does the counter in granite we won't be doing undermount. I understand, as its a lot more work; going to talk to fil this weekend to see what he's willing to do. May go permanently with the salvaged butcher block. ($350 for the whole kitchen cut to size but not finished.)

I'm frustrated over the sink issue, as we need to decide. I am not buying a new sink until we decide, but we have a 36" drop in sink. I'd like to do a 33" cabinet for the sink and have a 12" cabinet next to it instead of a 9" cabinet... One more drawer that way. However...if we don't know what we want we
D better do 36".

Also, lazy Susan issues...do one or no? Doing that standard corner cabinet, but is a lazy Susan worth the extra couple hundred (for the good wood trays)?
February 15, 2013 at 12:40pm   
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, a lot of sinks sold now are dual mount and can be used as an undercount or drop-in. More important is to decide on the cabinet size. A std. 33"W mdbl. bowl drop-in sink can be put in a 33" SB, but, I wouldn't recommend doing it with an undermt. On the lazy Susan, think about what you will use the space for. In my experience, people do a LS.
February 16, 2013 at 4:01am     
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zennifer
So you are saying better to do 36" sink regardless? Or a smaller sink? (I haven't researched sizes too much...)
February 16, 2013 at 6:13am   
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, sorry if I was unclear and for the typos! It was late.

You CAN do a 33" SB with your 33" wide double bowl, drop in sink because the sink cutout will be less than 33". That would allow you to do the 12" cabinet that you want to do. (If however, you decide on a std. 25" x 22" single bowl, drop in sink, then you'll use a 27" SB).

Hope this helps!
February 17, 2013 at 7:53pm   
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zennifer
But what about the undermount? If we want an undermount 33" sink we will want a larger sink base...am I understanding correctly? (I'm a little dense, sorry!)
February 17, 2013 at 8:18pm   
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Grace Reed
You're not dense! A 33" under-mount sink normally goes in a 36" SB. However, we cheat that too at times. The drawback is that the cabinets on either side need to be cut into slightly. It won't affect the cabinet's structural integrity but it will void the manuf. warranty. (I'm prepared for other kitchen designers saying they would never advise this! Sometimes it makes the difference between a design working or not because of the exact dimensions or limited space).

One other thing, will your cabinets be all wood construction? If not, be sure to upgrade the sink base, and possibly the cabinets beside it to all wood construction. You'll be glad you did if you ever have a leak.

You're doing great!
February 18, 2013 at 9:39am   
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zennifer
All wood construction. :)

We just ordered; switched to inset after talking it over. Hope it all looks as good as my head!
February 23, 2013 at 10:00pm   
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zennifer
Deciding on hardware now...
Thinking oil rubbed bronze, but don't want an oiled rubbed bronze faucet. What should I use instead? Stainless? Thanks!
March 22, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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zennifer
Thoughts? Would a stainless sink and faucet be ok with oil rubbed bronze hardware in a kitchen with black appliances?

(And my MIL bought us a counter depth fridge...wouldn't take no for an answer!)
March 23, 2013 at 7:23am     
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PRO
OnePlan
What about a black tap ?!
March 23, 2013 at 8:34am   
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zennifer
Mmmmm...maybe. I haven't seen one before. Might have to go shopping! :) I would definitely go for black pulls over orb; that might be a area I let dh win on though so I get more pull on granite. It's a giant give and take when you decorate with someone else.

Assembling cabinets as we speak; our garage is so full!
March 23, 2013 at 7:11pm   
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Grace Reed
Hi Zennifer. I see the finishes mixed all the time with SS appliances. Not so sure about with black appl. But, go with what you like.
March 24, 2013 at 9:17am     
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zennifer
Thanks, Grace. :)

Maybe black knobs would be best since it will match our black appliances, and then we don't have to worry at all about color.

Should think a bit about lighting, though that won't be replaced for a longish time. Currently a basic orb "boob"light for main lighting and a recessed fixture above the sink. There is a three lighted hanging light in a greenish metal in the dining area next to the kitchen, but I hate it.
March 24, 2013 at 7:46pm   
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zennifer
You can see the lights in my snapshots.
March 24, 2013 at 7:46pm   
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zennifer
Any thoughts on lighting?
March 25, 2013 at 7:09am   
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zennifer
Destruction beginning...3/4 of cabinets assembled.
March 26, 2013 at 11:46am   
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zennifer
And a one inch flooring gap under dishwasher, soon to be walkway. Sigh.
March 27, 2013 at 7:20am   
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zennifer
1 inch gap
March 27, 2013 at 7:21am   
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ssteere
What software are you using to create these drawings?
March 29, 2013 at 12:29pm   
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zennifer
I'm using the free version of SketchUp. It works well; the tutorials are helpful to learn what does what.
March 29, 2013 at 4:42pm   
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zennifer
15 of 18 cabinets assembled, 2 installed. Plumbing moved, electrical moved, bulkhead removed, drywall installed

It's been a busy spring break for the two if us!
March 29, 2013 at 4:44pm   
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Grace Reed
Hi, Zennifer. How's the kitchen coming along? Any pics you want to share yet?
April 20, 2013 at 12:55pm   
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decoenthusiaste
Looking forward to seeing how it works out. Please upload the finished work!
April 20, 2013 at 8:03pm   
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zennifer
Will do! :) it's coming along; We are making the granite templates today! Picked Verde Marianace.
April 21, 2013 at 7:26am   
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zennifer
The cabinets are mostly installed, about half with doors. Hardware is due next week (on back order). However, I have a sink, stove, and fridge, so no complaints. :)
April 21, 2013 at 7:27am   
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zennifer
Update and pics...
The first two are of the template for the sink peninsula, no sink cut out marked yet, but the shape of the curved bar is there.

The second two are of the kitchen today, not all doors up, but cabinets are up.

The cabinet over the peninsula with the bulkhead still needs to be removed (and the drywall finished).
April 21, 2013 at 8:12pm   
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Vintage Jumpmom
Wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your kitchen reno! Things are looking great. We are in the midst of a similar project.
April 21, 2013 at 9:20pm     
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zennifer
Thanks, Vintage Jumpmom!
It's been fun...I love projects.
April 22, 2013 at 7:13am   
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zennifer
Score!
Just went to Lowes to buy the revashelf inserts we wanted...they'd dropped the price by $30 on one that I wanted, was clearancing off another at half price, had one we drooled over but was waiting on due to money for 1/2 price, and had pull out shelf drawers clearances for $30 each!

Plus, I had a 10% off coupon.

The savings basically paid for the new garbage disposal we discovered we unfortunately need...a nice change of pace!
April 23, 2013 at 8:02pm     
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Grace Reed
Fantastic, Zennifer. It's looking good!
April 25, 2013 at 12:09pm     
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zennifer
Getting closer...finally (2 months after ordering and a long story) got our fridge. Hood up, too. Counters are still half done, but we should have time to do ah those up in the next week or two...fingers crossed!
June 3, 2013 at 7:57am     
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decoenthusiaste
Moving right along... What's the plan for the "builder's special" light fixtures? Any replacements selected?
June 3, 2013 at 8:23am     
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onthefence
Your cabinets are gorgeous! You guys made a great call on stain shade and door style - and your cabinet maker did a beautiful job. Congrats on your progress.
June 3, 2013 at 8:51am     
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zennifer
Thanks! Light fixtures are fabulous, aren't they? :) they were our $5 each quick fix to meet bank approval when we moved in as there were no fixtures.

We want to replace, but may take a few months for budget reasons. Thinking of doing two or three recessed canned lights instead of the "boob" light in the middle and two pendants over the sink/bar area?

The cabinets are fabulous...we actually put them together and installed them ourselves. They are custom sized, so no filler. Lots of work, but so worth it....
June 3, 2013 at 11:48am     
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decoenthusiaste
June 3, 2013 at 1:55pm     
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zennifer
I like those second ones a lot! It has the canned lights over the main space, too. The first are nice as well, and I saw a great hack of an Ikea drum to look similar. :). (As we are approaching 11k for just the cabinets, appliances, sink, faucet, counters, etc, we have to think of ways to lessen the lights and backsplash.)

I'm going to have to think of the whole space when I decide du to it's openness. I've got a split level foyer with a light, an over the table light, and these kitchen lights in about 500 sf. I'll take some pics of it all when we have the kitchen cabinetry finished.
June 3, 2013 at 6:53pm   
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Grace Reed
Zennifer, it's looking great! So nice to see the progress.
June 4, 2013 at 10:03am     
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Ann
zennifer, how's the kitchen coming along?
July 22, 2013 at 12:01pm     
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zennifer
In limbo, and looking much like the same. FIL is just finishing up the counters...the price of free granite. :)

We've been working outside on the backyard while waiting...but I can't WAIT to have a finished kitchen and a dishwasher and a sink that drains from both sides. (Not to mention counters that aren't plywood!)

Maybe in a week? Thanks for asking!
July 22, 2013 at 1:35pm     
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zennifer
Granite almost in...it looks GREAT!!! I'll take pics once the sink is in tomorrow. :) It was such a pain to carry it up the seven stairs to the kitchen...but it's SO COOL!
July 27, 2013 at 9:19pm     
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Ann
Can't wait!
July 28, 2013 at 6:15am     
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zennifer
And granite!!!
Now to finalize backsplash. :) thinking cream or white. FIL has offered to make us Yule marble tiles...trying to decide.
July 28, 2013 at 3:41pm     
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zennifer
Money update to go with the pics:

For the following:
Rewiring 7 outlets and a 220 line
Moving sink plumbing 2 feet over
17 cabinets in plywood and solid cherry (inset doors)
Microwave, hood, and fridge
sink and faucet
granite counter
Pulls
Trash pull out, pots and pans pull out, shelf pullouts, etc.

...We are at $11,401.87

Just need to add backsplash and eventually new lighting!!!
July 28, 2013 at 6:25pm   
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Ann
That looks fantastic! You've done a wonderful job! I'm wondering if kind of a pale gray subway tile would look nice as a backsplash? I think I'd start a new post just asking about backsplash ideas, since backsplashes are so important and can make or break a kitchen.
July 28, 2013 at 8:40pm     
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Ann
I was thinking a color kind of like these backsplashes might be worth considering. I think they'd be great with the granite and really great with the natural cherry too.
[houzz=White classic kitchen design]
[houzz=Eisner Design]
[houzz=Woodside Residence]
July 28, 2013 at 8:49pm     
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decoenthusiaste
Great Granite!
July 28, 2013 at 8:50pm     
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zennifer
Toe kick in!
July 29, 2013 at 6:27pm     
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zennifer
Update:
Kitchen desk built and installed. :) It's bigger than intended (24" instead of 18") through a distributor error he wouldn't back up, but overall good.
Going to do a cherry/granite large mosaic for the counter/desktop here, as we only have small scraps of granite left. Need to figure out a great design for the mosaic.
August 2, 2013 at 4:54pm   
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zennifer
Oops...here's the pic of the update:
August 2, 2013 at 4:54pm     
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Ann
Nice!
August 2, 2013 at 4:59pm     
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zennifer
Made a decision...matted glass subway tiles in a medium grey/slightly brown color. I painted the wall with the same color to visualize the saturation on the whole wall.

Thinking to match the grout as closely as possible to the tile; should I trend lightly dark or light depending on what I find? The tile changes color a lot in the lights.
August 4, 2013 at 10:03pm   
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Ann
Looks nice! I'd just go with grout as close as possible, whether it be slightly lighter or darker.
August 4, 2013 at 10:15pm     
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zennifer
Thanks! It as inspired by your suggestions above. :) never would have thought of grey.
August 5, 2013 at 7:28am   
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Ann
I have cabinets (and knobs) that look very similar to yours. They might even be the same ones. So, I always look carefully at Houzz pictures with natural cherry cabinets and have kept admiring how well they work with charcoal, grey, grey/greens, and grey/blues. My walls are painted a creamy beige color and I'll certainly look into greys when we repaint. I have the same cabinets in every bathroom too. By the way, I just love your countertop choice - so, so great with the cherry.
August 5, 2013 at 9:56am     
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decorcrazy
zennifer what website did you make your layouts on?
August 5, 2013 at 10:02am   
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zennifer
I remember your kitchen. It looks great, too!

I'm going to order on my way to work this afternoon. :)

I made my plans on SketchUp. Works well, but a bit more work than say the ikea kitchen designer!
August 5, 2013 at 10:33am     
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zennifer
Tile ordered!!
August 7, 2013 at 11:15am     
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