Mama says this is it! Now let's fine tune it.

laughablemomentsJanuary 30, 2013

Specifically, where is the best spot for the micro? We're planning on a standard micro on a shelf since we're wary of micro drawer longevity.

Does the cupboard storage look well planned for basic point of use?

FYI Tall cupboards hold mostly pantry and oversized items. Extra pantry space is in the dining room. Grain bins and grinder are in our entry closet (not shown.)

p.s. The shelf labeled "curved, open" above the cleanup sink is wrong. I'm planning a 24" cupboard with an angled door instead. (At least I hope that works!)

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The mw will be on a shelf below the counter, is that right?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:06PM
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This kitchen could accommodate a lot of cooking and baking - with three sinks and, am I seeing double fridge/freezer? - but is there only the single 30" range?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Yes, MM will be on a shelf below the counter.

Yes, it's meant to accommodate a lot of cooking and baking for a family of 9. Maytag Gemini (double oven under rangetop) stove. Portable induction burner(s), portable griddle for the times extra cooktop space is needed. We will not do gas.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Have you ever used a mw like that? I saw someone use one in that position once and know I could not do it. They tried just bend over but that didn't work so they squated down. I would then not be able to get up.

Could you do a 36" range just for a little extra space on the cooktop and in the oven?

nice drawings!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:46PM
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I have a "below counter" MW. I find its position just perfect. I can't really imagine one anywhere else. My counters, though, are at 37.5" I think Maybe it was 37"? There's a little bit of bending over but for us-all, no big deal. The oldest one around here is 55 -- YMMV. So to speak ;)

I know a lot of people complain about low MWs, but it is a non-issue for at least some.

BTW, mine is actually an 240V "speed oven" - it allows the combining of MWs, convection and broiling. Works well, learning curve is looooong.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:10PM
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At first look: Good job!

As a mom of a similarly sized family, as you know, I worry about the Gemini 'double oven' being enough. They both seem so small. Will you fit a big turkey or precocious, high-rising loaves of bread? I'd like to see you plan at least one full-sized oven, probably where you show the microwave with the mw up above... I also thought of a range with a regular oven and then a speed oven, which could double as a microwave, but remember you can't do both at once then. Plus, most of those recommend being at 36" or higher, but I know others have placed them lower.

I'm also worried about the number of burners you have, because as my family grew, the standard 4 burners on a 30" range meant doing food in shifts, in order to use large pans. --I see now that you plan a portable induction unit for when you need more, but that will be often, and are you prepared for moving it in and out all the time, or leaving it out? --And you won't have a fan over the top.

Your cleanup zone is really lovely, but I don't think you can have those 2 deep drawers under the sink...?

Do you have something against gas, or is it impossible for some reason? I ask, because gas range cooktops can come in configurations that give you bigger burners, even though there are only 4.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Yes, we had an undercounter mw in a previous dwelling. We don't use it a ton, so I'm ok with it below counter. Hopefully, it'll keep me spry. ; ) I'm glad you like the drawings.

Oversized electric ranges are pretty slim pickings, unfortunately. They're overpriced and under-featured, as well.

Aliris, I'd thought about doing a convection/micro combo, too. Not a speed oven, per se (more dough than I want to spend...) but a combo deal. Only thing is, it looks like you give up wattage on those to gain the convection feature. I'm thinking we might be ahead to get a standard micro with a countertop convection oven, or down the line, put in an extra under counter stove.

Thanks, Rhome, for the "good job." That means a lot.

I'm wondering if our Gemini might be a bit more of a workhorse, at least oven wise, than you might realize. I just took some interior photos to post. It might be helpful for those researching these types of ranges if nothing else. The bottom oven is 16.5" tall inside, and easily does 6 loaves of bread on one rack. I stuck 2 9 x13 pans in there on the bottom just for fun. I'd already wrapped the bread up for the night, thus the plastic wrap. : )
The top oven has 5.5" between the rack and the top element. It easily holds 2 9x13 pans, or two muffin pans, or 1 big wilton cake pan. It's just a little too short to do bread loaves though. : ( But, in all honesty, this is our go-to oven. We use this one far more than the big one. The big one is used mainly for bread and pot roasts or turkeys, or cookies, can't forget those.

Even so, I'd already been trying to think through "will we need more oven space down the line?" We had a thought that maybe the left hand 33" double stack of drawers could give way to an undercounter wall oven if it's needed in a few years.

We really don't want gas. We don't like the smell. I don't like the cleanup. Breathing in the fumes is really bad for you; even a good vent fan is not going to take care of it all. I don't want the kids getting there hair caught on fire. I don't want to deal with the propane delivery. I truly wish the electric appliances would catch up to the versatility of the gas ones!!!

I'm torn on the induction location. I've thought about installing a hob right into the counter. We already own a 42" vent fan, so a 12" burner pair could go to the left of the stove pretty easily. I'm just not sure I want to give up another top cabinet to make it happen (there are so few already!) But, yeah, dragging it in and out could be a pain. On the other hand, if it dies, it's no big deal to replace it. Not so with a built-in.

Our cabinetmaker (DH) thinks he can make the sink drawers work. He has turned a few dressers into bathroom sink bases with functioning drawers that had cutouts built in to go around the plumbing, so this won't be all that much different.

A few questions:

1. Assuming we can build it ok, is putting silverware in a drawer under the cleanup sink really weird? I can't decide if I really like how easy it is to empty the DW into that drawer or whether it will be annoying to set the table while another person is at the sink.

2. Is 2 prep sinks too many? Or juuust right?

3. Is the MW ok so close to the fridge? That was my main concern, rather than over or under the counter.

4. Would a 2nd dw make more sense in the prep area of the island to catch all the bowls, whisks, measuring cups, pots, pans, etc, or should I keep the DW's together in the cleanup area? I ask, because it seems like we are always traipsing to the DW to retrieve a recently dirtied whisk, a measuring cup, etc. that got stuck in there when the DW hasn't been filled to run yet.

Yikes, if I started a thread for each of those questions, I'd overwhelm page 1!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:39PM
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1. I think yes, that sink vs silverware might be frustrating.
2. Maybe nice but not necessary IF you move the island prep sink to the fridge end. Then it serves the counter scross and leaves more prep space across from the stove. Win, win.
3. I think close to the fridge is a good place for the mw, as most everything going in it comes from fridge or freezer.
4. No, no, no! I split dishwashers once and it seemed so good in theory, but was horrible in practice. Having them on either side of the sink is better. Yes, sometimes a walk with utensils, but worth the trade. I could explsin more about the downsides of splitting them but am on the dumb little tablet with 1 finger typing.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:20AM
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Hey laughable -- what's the difference between a combo deal and a speed oven? I know about the Advantium and the Miele -- I think there may be an elux too? But I _think_ -- could be wrong! -- that the combo deal is what's speedy about the oven?

Just for future reference, be aware that the advantium is not wise to put undercounter because of hot air outflow. This is not a problem with the Miele. Not sure about giving up wattage for convection; I think most seem agreed around here that shelling out for the 240V is worth it, presumably for just this reason.

I hope any of this is correct or makes sense -- probably people will be helpful regarding all this on the appliances forum if you're interested in posting there. My Miele can accommodate 2 9x13 pans stacked. It's surprisingly commodious. just sayin, not pushing -- I get it that it's $$$$. And the speediness factor is really not particularly necessary with passels of kids around -- they take more time than cooking ever did (that is, it seems by the time everyone gets home and settled down for dinner there's been ample time to cook our food the 'slow' way).

I could never touch rhome's layout advice -- she did my kitchen!! (Thanks rhome410)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:40AM
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Any suggestions on alternate spot for silverware? We have LOTS. I bought a restaurant silverware bus tray for a drawer organizer that DH is really wanting to use. 2 DWs in a 7' run kind of wipes out lower storage.

DH has nearly convinced me to keep both prep sinks. He thinks they'd both be used enough to make it worth having them.

Ok, ok, gotcha-- keep the DW's together. ; ) Maybe we can buy extra measuring glasses and whisks instead of separating the DWs.

What is the difference between a speed oven and a convection micro? Pshaw, I haven't a clue. Maybe I can post the question over at appliances. I know the mw conv units are significantly less $$$.

Aliris, do you have a link to some of your kitchen pictures? I'd love to see it. : ) I looked on FKB and didn't see it in the alphabetic listing.

If it hadn't been for Rhome and a few others persistent prodding here, I might not have kept pushing and redrawing to get to this plan. There were many times I thought our layout might never get resolved.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Are you married to the microwave below the counter where it is? I ask because the obvious spot for alternate silverware is in a drawer where you currently have the micro, since that will make a nice little area for snack-making beside the fridge and so close to water and micro.

Is is possible to put the microwave above and drawer bank below? You could keep silverware in the top drawer, a bread drawer below, and maybe some extra snacking plateware below as well. In that case I'd like the sink closer to where you had it originally (erased) just to widen the snack-making area slightly.

Nice plan! It looks like a super functional kitchen!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Hey, laughable ... I haven't been "hanging out" at GW in a long while and when last I was "around", the FKB was having growing pains, big-time. And I just never - ahem - really ever did do a big reveal, much less heft things over to Starpooh for collating. I kind of figured everyone was sick of seeing my stuff anyway!

Here's a picture of the undercounter MW, and if you click on it, I'm pretty sure you will get to my photobucket acct and you can look at way, way, way too many pictures there for anyone's good. None of them is clean or neat or even does much of a good job of showing the darn kitchen -- photographing something like a static kitchen is way harder than you'd think. And I haven't figured it out yet, that's for sure!

Here's hoping I can even find a picture of the speed oven ... here we go, it's a "kitchen in action" pic:

And here's a better picture from a studious stand-point of that run -- it shows one of my more favorite bits, the cutting-board drawer. I have a lot of cutting boards. I like cutting boards. :) It also shows the open shelf which is great for the compost bucket. And colanders and very, very large cutting boards ;) . At the bottom is a super-large drawer that holds big mixing bowls - a good thing:

And please note well an exceptional addition wholly attributable to the guidance of the good folks at GW: if you do buy a speed oven or some contraption that requires the swapping of large awkward trays, by all means design a shallow drawer immediately adjacent to it, either vertical or horizontal, doesn't matter which, only that it's *right there*. Else it quickly becomes a pia to finagle the thing through its paces. As far as I'm concerned, that machine is useless without a landing spot for its trays, and shallow is just fine - shallow drawers hold a lot! Like I think I recall you mentioning, being close to the fridge seems to work well (mine is right across the aisle from the fridge). And below the shallow trays-drawer is a glass-MW-containers drawer, also really nice to have located right there.

Rhome mentioned you have comparably-sized families. Do you also have legions running around as does she? I can barely imagine what such a life must be like! (I have 2 and like stuff filling a closet, they've about stuffed up my life, but I'm sure were there more, things would rearrange accordingly).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:03AM
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I know it's not ideal, but I would like you to think through your dishwasher use. It would be best if the two were kept together, but the thought of the silverware drawer beneath the sink sounds totally impractical to me. I think there is a crying need for a 3 drawer bank to one side of the sink with a dish drawer beneath the silverware drawer. Move one dishwasher to the island for prep/cooking/storage items. The dishwasher by the table to be used for tableware/serving dishes. I would also consider putting a larger sink in the island to make it easier to hand wash large items as you work. Just some thoughts to mull over. Your plan looks lovely, can't wait to see it completed.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:19AM
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Any way to get silverware into the stack to the right? With all due respect, I sure wouldn't locate it across the room from the dishes and dishwasher.

Your table is already existing, right? So no hope of one with shallow drawers just under the table top?

Maybe your drawer under the sink is just the compromise you have to make in this plan. Maybe a different idea will occur to you as you use the kitchen. Maybe a cool storage container of some sort that sits on the counter or table? Just trying to brainstorm.

Both you and Aliris are downplaying your own work and strong ideas of what you wanted and how you needed them in your kitchens. But I appreciate the appreciation. :-) The whole idea, I think, is to keep working and trying every possibly reasonable option, so you don't have to worry later about those thoughts of "I wish we'd done ____" or "What if we'd taken more time and tried _____?" If you KNOW you tried it all and this is the best you could do, you can relax and enjoy, and will be happy to make whatever compromises that were necessary work for you.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Taggie, the snack center by the MW is a clever idea. I think I need to keep our "real" dishes close to the table, but I'll keep the MW area in mind for disposables. That'd make grabbing a quick snack nice and simple. I've never kept my bread in a drawer. I can be a "out of sight out of mind" kind of person, so I wonder if I would remember to use it before it started grow fuzzy in there? It'd be nice to have it off the counter, though! Hmmmmmmm....

Thanks for posting the pictures Aliris. It's always nice to see KIA shots. I like your open area for being able to get the collanders and compost containers (and cutting boards, too, LOL) quickly and easily.

7 kiddos means we are constantly cycling things out of the house. We don't have a big place or a lot of storage, so we have to make hard decisions on what to keep and what to let go.

I stopped at Sears last night and spent a good while reading through the manual to a Kenmore Micro-Convection combo unit that sells for about $300. (It was nice there was a rocker recliner across the aisle from the Micro display!) Frankly, I came away from it unimpressed. The chair was nice, but the combo deal took precious little time off the cook time, and it only had 1 (1!) bake rack, which was round. Bah.

Did find a Nesco 18 qt electric roaster on clearance there. Whoo-hoo. : ) That'll take care of roasting a turkey and a bunch of other big jobs, relieving pressure on our big oven.

Also, I found an Oster convection toaster oven (at Wal-Mart) that will toast 14 slices of bread at once (Cheers!) and it will fit 9 x 13 baking pans. It actually has 2 racks, too. More pressure off my ovens.

Rhome, it's funny you mention putting drawers under the table top. I was discussing the dilemma with my Dad yesterday and he suggested the same thing. : ) I've also wondered about bucket style containers that could be hung from the pegs under the uppers, or even those wicker syle containers that picnic plasicware goes in. I don't want to toss out this plan for lack of traditional flatware storage.

It certainly has been work getting this kitchen plan to develop. It was much harder than I ever imagined it would be. I appreciate the honest assessments of what works and what doesn't, even if those were hard to hear sometimes. Then I'd have to go and let it rattle around in my brain and try to format a plan with more of those qualifications in mind. Sometimes the criticisms ended up being the most constructive. : )

Question: Would it be a good idea to build a tall stack of 2' deep cabinets to the right of the top window? They would house the MW and Convection toaster (it's HUUGE, 21" across and about as deep), and then maybe tray storage above and some drawers below? This would shorten up the counter run by 2' and would help in substantially in cutting down the countertop cost. Good idea? Bad idea? Ambivalent? My reasoning follows:

[Somewhat related, I had posted about doing a DIY solide surface, but when I did the math and factored in the glues, gun, router bits, sanding supplies, yadda, yadda, it's still way up there in price (about 3k for the whole kitchen.) and still is susceptible to scratching and staining.]

If we keep the back counter to 6' or less, we can get a pre-made granite slab for around $200 for that spot. If we make it 8'long, then it would have to be custom from a fabricator shop, and the price jumps to $950.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I can see that counterspace to the right of sink #3 being good for things you want to leave out, like fruit, a mixer, a coffee pot, or whatever. That may seem trivial, but out-of-the-way counterspace that's in a handy spot for necessary clutter can be important...but you have the table, too, and maybe it's not a top priority. That spot is not really any good as workspace. So if it serves you better as a tall, full-depth stack, AND you get the counter you want for so much less, it seems it could have more good points than bad. If you were buying commercial cabinets instead of building them, you'd more than use the counter savings in cabinet expense, but since your dh is building them (I think?), go for it!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:52PM
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I would put at least a 36" range top with an oven under it in the island and move the main sink to under the window where the small one is now. I find it odd that the kitchen extends so far into the dining room. I would place a large hutch there, similar to your drawing for your dishes.

Do you really need all that refrigeration? I would put a smaller fridge there and have two full height pull out pantries on either side of it. You don't have much storage as it is.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:02PM
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