Cabinet layout - Doorway Moving - Please Help!

mtpam2January 20, 2013

Back again and hoping for your help to get the best layout of cabinets for our space. Started to DIY, but have finally gotten a contractor to come in and do at least part of it, so that helps with the decision to consider other options that might have been beyond our DIY abilities! However, he just let us know he is available within a few days (due to a postponement on another job) so we need to make these decisions ASAP.

Just a reminder - DH and myself at home, 3 girls grown and mostly gone. New siding and windows 3 years ago so prefer not to change them, but would consider. Electrical wire being replaced so can move electric stove. Sink is where current plumbing is located (and centered on the window), but will consider moving to help layout and function.

For months (years actually) I have been trying to decide where to place our fridge so I could move forward on our layout. Former Discussion Kitchen is our only eating area, although after all the input from the last discussion, we may turn part of our LR into a dining room and just keep a small table in kitchen.

After much back and forth with my husband, we have decided to go with the stove and fridge on the same wall something similar to this unless someone comes up with a better suggestion for us soon.

Question 1: How far down on the fridge wall should I move the doorway to the Living Room? Currently there is 19" between the doorway and the bottom right corner. However, to get the fridge and stove together we are moving doorway down. Contractor says no problem, but how much space do we want to leave? Picture as drawn shows 8" in bottom corner, but there will actually be 11" since we ended up NOT moving the bathroom wall as originally planned. What is the minimum space I need to leave in corner to accomodate at least 1 light switch? Do I need to use wood casing around the doorway, or could I use a rounded sheetrock corner to conserve space? How bad would it look without casing since the windows and bathroom doorway will be cased? Also, how narrow do I want to go with that passageway (between bottom wall and fridge to keep it from feeling too closed in? With 11" in bottom corner and 36" doorway and 3-4 inches before fridge enclosure I would have about 50-51 inches. Can I bring this down to 48"? Then I could add another 3" to cabinet run.

Question 2: I am concerned about room between stove and fridge since I have had zero prep space to the left of stove and prepped to the right for at least the last 17 years. Thus the 9" cabinet on the left of stove and 30" cabinet between stove and fridge. However, after further consideration, I would probably gain more functionality by putting the extra space between stove and corner rather than between stove and fridge. How narrow would you go between stove and fridge? Is 24" too narrow? If I did 24" I could turn the 9" cabinet into a 15" base, or even an 18" if I stole the extra 3" by moving the doorway further down.
What would you do?

Question 3: It seems like all my bases are small, which was one reason I had put a 30" base by stove originally. If I make it a 24" or 27" will I regret not having a larger cabinet there? On the top left corner of the Sink wall between corner and DW I am showing 2 18" cabinets. I considered a 36" drawer base there as shown in this perspective from HD that I was considering, but am afraid it might be too large up in that corner. I have never had drawers larger than 21" so 36" seems huge

This picture shows a 15" cabinet between corner and stove and a 24" between stove and fridge. Ignore the OTR microwave. We are having a vented hood put in and need to find another home for our microwave.

Need help on the Fridge - Stove wall especially, but any comments on cabinet placement are welcomed! I haven't even started on the wall cabinets - need the base layout first! Thanks so much for any help you can give me!

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Area to the right of the stove would not end up being prep area. I think you will naturally prep between the sink and stove.

The graph does not match the photo rendering at some points. The area between the dw and the wall I would put a 36" drawer bank. Cabinet on left of stove I would do a 9" with just a door, no drawer for flat pans, cutting board, etc. Drawers between the stove and the refrigerator.

I see two choices for the mw. In the lower part of the upper cabinet between the wall and the sink. Personally that is where I have it and like it as it creates a separate cooking area. You could also put it in the lower part of the upper cabinet between the refrigerator and the stove. While being close the the refrigerator it would seem crowded there to me.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Thanks debrak for your comments. In the graph I was trying to tweak the stove wall. The photo renderings had been done earlier.

I had considered putting the mw on the counter in the upper corner/sink area or using an upper microwave cabinet as you suggested. See attached picture. That seems to be the best location even though it is a long way from the fridge. I was concerned that it might be harder to use up high, especially as I get older since I have always had the mw at counter height. It is good to hear that you like your mw there. Also good to know that you don't think a 36" drawer base is too big.

If I don't consider the area between stove and fridge prep space, will 24" be okay for breathing room? I could then make it a 15" cabinet between stove and corner, either a 15" trash pullout which would get it away from the sink allowing me room for a 30" Drawer base there if I wanted. Or I could do a 15" drawer base by the stove or a 15" door cabinet for my baking pans as you suggested. I really appreciate your suggestions.

So many options - most of them hinging on how far down the wall to move my doorway and what spacing I use between the stove and fridge. Anyone else have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Disclaimer. My mw is not in place yet. We are doing open shelving instead of a cabinet. DH is building the shelves this week. We have a ge spacemaker and only need a 12 deep shelf/cabinet. I did read about mw placement and that height was a good height for most people. If you/we ever needed to the mw could put it back on the counter. Right now ours in on the counter so I have experienced the separate cooking area. Our refrigerator is across the room and it has not been an issue.

I love my 36" base. I have it in top drawer - flatware and utensils, middle drawer- dishes, bowls. Lower drawer - casseroles, cake pans. My 30" drawer base holds utensils, pots and pans.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Thanks again debrak. It helps to know what fits in your 30 and 36 inch drawer bases. I will be interested to see your mw shelf after it is built. I think I have seen that done by others on here and was wondering how we could do that ourselves without getting a special cabinet! Will yours be even with the other cabinets or are you lowering the mw and shelf? I was thinking of lowering ours 6" if we go with a shelf instead, but DH thinks with only 12" underneath that it would just be a junk collector. He could be right!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Oh, I so don't miss those days, now that we finally placed our cabinet order I feel like a weight has been lifted!

Have you thought about where you will store things? That really helped me out and is often recommended at this stage. I have a 27 inch drawer base between the sink and range for pots and pans. I wanted 30 or 33, but once I figured out they are now stored in 2 x 18 inch regular cabinet with 1/2 shelves in them, I realized they would fit fine. Some of the current space is taken up by sheet pans and such, and I will have a tray pull out for them, and there will also be more storage above that section if needed as I have a 12 inch spice pull out, and currently all the spices are in the 18 inch cabinet above that space.

I also wanted a dish drawer. I was going to have a 30 x 21 deep drawer, which worked fine when I mocked it up on cardboard with our dishes. I'm happy to now have a 30x24 drawer, but it would have worked the other way too.

You may be fine with what's pictured. Mock it up with markers if needed, just be sure to account for face frame (if applicable) and drawer sides when determining inside dimensions. The 36 inch drawers should be fine, you may want to make the 24 inch stack 27 or 30 if you can, depending on your needs.

I ended up giving up the thrash pull out to get other things I wanted. I will have a small recycling pull out under the sink though. Everything's a trade off. Once I figured out what I needed where, it was easier to make choices. Still not 100% there, but I know the important things have a home, and the rest will definitely fit, just not sure exactly which space will have which things yet so I haven't ordered dividers.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 7:03PM
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mtpam2, I will post photos when its done. I attached a link to Starcraft custom builders kitchen design rules. Much of the info there is from the NKBA. Starcraft has so much cool info on their site about the history of kitchens, homes styles, etc.

In there you will find that for an upper microwave the bottom of the microwave should be 3" below the shoulder of the primary user. For me its perfect and I'm the shortest in the house. The bottom shelf which will hold the mw will be about even with the bottom of the cabinets. We didn't put a cabinet there due to wanting our cabinets to not be over budget, plus I wanted space to display things and wanted a break from all the cabinets.

Here are photos showing the space where the two shelves will be.

Here is a link that might be useful: NBKA kitchen guidelines posted by Starcraft builders

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Williamsem - Thanks for the info on your drawer sizes and what fits for you. I think you are right about time to decide what should go where. This layout is different than what I had so I need to re-think where to put stuff. Also, I have discovered after 2 years of having some stuff packed up that if I can't fit it in the main part of the kitchen it won't be that big a deal! Anyone else have too much stuff that just seemed to accumulate?

I think it makes sense to be sure that I have at least 27" between stove and fridge if possible for my pots and pans. A smaller 12" between stove and corner could then hold my cookie sheets and such. But the trash is a problem, isn't it? Some days I am tempted to forgo the trash pull out and use the freestanding step on can like I do now, but then where would that go? I may also end up with a small can under the sink and the step on can out on the perimeter. No recycling available around here!

Thanks for your input and congratulations on getting your cabinets ordered! I have been following your progress and you have really worked through a lot of issues.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Debrak - Thanks again for all your help! The pictures really help me visualize what you are doing - and I love your kitchen! The pencil line in your back splash is so cool and really looks great with your cabinets and granite! I'll be looking forward to the photos when your shelves are done.

It looks like your sink may be a little closer to that left corner than mine. What is the width of your cabinet in the corner - 24" or 30"? I had considered moving my sink to the left to give me more space for prep between sink and stove but wondered how much room to leave on the left of the dw between it and the wall. Also, moving my sink down would off center it from my window, but it might be a worthwhile trade off!

Thanks for the link to Starcraft. It looks like I have a lot of reading to do!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:12PM
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The drawer base on the left of the dw (not in place in photo) is 18" plus we have a filler against the wall. To the right of the sink I have a 30" drawer base, then 9" door only for flat stuff, then a 36" corner base. My 36" drawer base is in the island. To the right of the stove is a 15" drawer base.

As for your pots. I wish I could take a photo (batteries dead) of my pot drawer. My set of 4 different sized pots just fit in my 30". Not a big deal but it would have been nice to have a few more inches. You may wish to layout and measure your pots and pans to make sure they will fit where you plan to have them.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Debrak -
Thanks again for the measurements and clarifications. You have gone above & beyond. Tonight I will have to lay out my pots and see just how much space they take. Your patience and explanations are really appreciated!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:25PM
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