A kitchen introduction

fourambluesJanuary 22, 2012

[Read much of FAQ and still can't get a single quote to appear correctly...]

Hello, I thought it would be good to let you all know I"m here. I"ve been an avid lurker since I discovered gardenweb, mostly on this forum. You people are so helpful! I"ll be asking for a lot of advice in the coming months (mostly about decorating, since I don"t have a great eye), so I"ll tell you about my project.

DH and I built a large, rectangular, manufactured home in 1994 with no architectural help. (Bad idea, should have had help.) It"s 100% builder grade. Now that we have 2 kids in college (and two younger), it"s time to sink a lot of money into the house, right? We really need to fix some of the layout errors and replace the dying appliances and dead kitchen cabinetry.

Below is our current layout. The breakfast nook is 8". We use the dining room as such 3 times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. The rest of the year it"s a junk spot and computer lab. Not pretty.

So we enlisted our architect friend to help. He warned me that I"d have to do a lot of homework to get the right kitchen. I had to measure the cubic feet everything in the kitchen and everything not in the kitchen that should be (eg. wine glasses and canning equipment in attic), and categorize it. I wrote a kitchen journal so that I could give him a typical day in the life of the kitchen on a weekday, weekend, and holiday. After multiple iterations, we came up with the floor plan below. (3 of the cabinetry measurements are slightly off on this diagram, but you get the idea.) I"m so excited! I should have posted earlier, since by now the floorplan is set (he"s completed the permit drawings), and I"m about to order cabinetry. But here it is, for what it"s worth:

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I'd definitely move the prep sink down to the other end of the island. Closer to the range and frig. But then I might scoot the sink/window down and put the 24" on the other side of the DW. Additional (most used) prep space and won't butt bump with the moved down prep sink. That won't impact your cab choice.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:05AM
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I agree with remodelfla - I'd move the sinks/window/dw.

I'd get drawers in base cabs except sink cabs.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:42PM
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I agree about the prep sink and the DW.

If the doors are reversible, I would consider switching the fridge and freezer. It does put the fridge a bit further (33'') away but it opens toward the kitchen and island, instead of opening away from it. It will also open the freezer toward the microwave, and I would imagine some things will go almost directly that route.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Yes, the architect, DH, and I went around and around on doing just that sink moving business. But, though not ideal, the current layout works best for how I want to use the island. (I will do most of my prep on the end of the island closest to the range.) @desertsteph, I did drawers where I thought I could. There are two bases with a door for all my baking sheets, cutting boards, etc., (could I use drawers effectively for this?) and one for a possible future kitchenaid lift (the whole aging in place thing), then open shelves to the right of the range for my cast iron collection, which is heavy and used daily.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Oh, no, palimpsest, I love your idea, but the doors are not reversible! Will have to look for new refrigerator/freezer within budget that will allow for swapping... desertsteph, you got me thinking. I've never been happy about that blind corner. (Hate them.) So how about a base with 3 24" drawers, which would leave a void in the corner? Already have a void in the uppers since I don't like digging in cupboards.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I like the overall design alot. I am not a layout expert, but do you have your island wider on one side than the other? It looks like a straight edge counter on the left and curved on the right. You might want to consider having it the same width across and put only one stool on the left sid and three facing the prep sink.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:54PM
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@dilly_ny: I'd like to have 3&1 seating rather than 2&2, but there'd be no clearance by the freezer if I deepened the island countertop. :( (If I understand what you're saying.)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I think the 2 and 2 seating is a bit more amenable to conversation, not like you are lined up in a diner.I like that aspect of the island myself.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:55PM
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OK, so you made me reexamine the base drawer/cabinet issue. Turns out that my monster range (which I LOVE) sticks out and makes drawers in place of a blind corner impractical, sadly. I'd have liked to get rid of that blind corner. I've seen some really cool drawers to hold baking sheets, etc., but they're not available in my cabinetry line, and I can't pay for customization. BUT I've nixed the future appliance lift cupboard and have added drawers! It will look SOOO much better, and will function for me really well, much better than the cabinet. Thank you!!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:03PM
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Do you have a plan for covering that hole (at the bottom where the two wall cabinets meet) where you have "void" marked on your drawing?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:01PM
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@catbuilder: No, I haven't given covering the void a bit of thought! Should I??

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I like the layout as is with the exception of the prep sink. Congratulations and good luck!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:19PM
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It depends how tall you are, and how far from the counter the wall cabinets are set. You probably won't see it when standing at the counter, but might while seated at the island.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:27PM
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'all my baking sheets, cutting boards, etc., (could I use drawers effectively for this?)'

yes, or a pullout

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:52AM
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To use the space in the "void," you could use an easy-reach corner cab.

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy-reach corner cab

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:56AM
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@catbuilder: Yes, the installer will put up a couple pieces of plywood to cover up the hole. I thought that you were going to tell me we should do something tricky! :)

@desertsteph: the pullout you pictured on the top is just what I need, but it looks custom. Are you aware of any place I can get an accessory like this for an 18" cabinet? Couldn't find anything from rev-a-shelf or hafele (not that I could afford hafele).

@angie_diy: the way I'm using that cabinet, I'm happier just to have a void. But that easy-reach cabinet is cool! I've never seen that before.

Thanks to all for your great feedback/suggestions!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:22AM
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it wouldn't be difficult to 'customize' a 'drawer' like that yourselves - or get a handyman/cabinet maker locally to refine it. with your cab order get it as a top drawer with door below but WITHOUT the pull or holes to put it on the door. And NO hinges or hinge holes. You can later put the pull on as is shown in the pic.

attach the 'door' to a pull out on the bottom. those pull out drawers are available with high sides/front/back on them if you want.

You can even use an IKEA drawer as shown in pic 1 below. They have great dividers.

pic 2 - shows how it would be (sort of) w/o the separate top drawer but with 2 higher up pull outs. the bottom one in the pic looks like an IKEA base. If you don't need the height for your cookie sheets etc you could put a higher pull out drawer in there also. the waste basket in the pic is where you'd have the dividers and your trays, sheets, cutting boards etc. There looks to be plenty of hgt for those things plus another pull out drawer above it (that might be a place to store mixing bowls, measuring cups or smaller cake/bread pans).

Note that on the 1st pic above and the 2nd & 3rd ones here the drawer front looks just like a door w/o the hinges and with the handle on the top middle of it.

pic 3 shows this done with deep 'drawers' used. I think I'd want to reinforce the front of the 'drawer' with a piece of wood that is more the hght of the door. otherwise i'd be concerned about pulling on the handle at the top of it with the weight of the drawer and contents on the bottom.

pic 4 and 5 here are a corner insert I found online but don't think I've seen posted on this forum before. It turns but is divided into sections that pull out for better access to items stored on it. It is probably very expensive tho.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Very nice layout! Here is a possible solution for the blind corner. Rev-a-shelf is one company that makes inserts, but there are others. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blind Corner System Inserts

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Knowing how my family uses a microwave, that one way down the line looks to be a problem spot in our way of usage, since we reheat coffee, defrost meats and veg, cook rice, revive baked goods, melt cheese, and make some entrees. If I were reading newspaper at table or out on deck and I wanted to use microwave, there's a lot of walking ahead of me.

By the way, we have a closet on backside of a blind corner. We put an Elfa cart into that space and access it from the closet. This is for winter boots &c, not flour, but the concept might work for you--party gear? Christmas trimmings?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 8:37AM
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@desertsteph: Thanks so much for the great suggestions and pictures! The DH is very handy and is certain that he can install one of these for me. Below is a link to a soft-close bin that will work really nicely. Hooray!

@clarygrace: These blind corner pullouts are nice! (Though I'd prefer no BC at all...) I plan to get the Hafele Magic Corner II in a couple/few years, after we've recovered from the expense of this reno. :)

@florantha: Thanks for looking at my floorplan. LOVE the idea of a little cubbie open to the pantry. We're not a big microwave family (it's used mostly for defrosting), so I hope the current location is OK for us.

Here is a link that might be useful: pull-out bin with dividers

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:22AM
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