Something bugging me, need critical eyes plz

deedlesJanuary 31, 2014

So, while I've been looking at the range hood, I realize that something has been bugging me for awhile and I want to get a GW check on this.

The doorway and both pass-through windows are framed out at the same level across the top and it feels like the doorway should be taller than the windows? The trim guy is coming on Sunday and if it needs changing I have to decide soon. Figure the only fix would be to frame down the pass-through windows at the top... basically making each pass-through shorter.

Here is a view first of the way it is and second is with the pass-through lowered. (the wood showing behind the openings at the top is the edge of the ceiling in the other room, to be raised later)

What do you all think?

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Level looks better to me.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The ceiling in the other room will be raised? Above where the passthroughs currently stop? You may want to raise the header on all of those openings to be higher. Openings should be as high as possible in the walls.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I don't necessarily like to see things overly lined up either. Your space's design style is more relaxed than crisp. If you stagger them, I would make it more pronounced. Offset more than the small adjustment made in the second photo.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 23:50

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Um, I don't think it's going up very much really, not enough to justify tearing apart everything on the side we're now finishing. Also not enough to justify being strangled before my kitchen is done for even broaching it, lol.

What do you think Hollysprings, about the level of the doorway with the pass-through? Even or doorway higher?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Traditionally, windows are higher set in a wall than doors to provide greater light. Doors are never higher than windows. If you can't raise the passthroughs by the hood, then leave the door height alone.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:57PM
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Level is what I like. I think that uneven will drive you crazy looking at it for years to come.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:17AM
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snookums, guess it feels like the same height doorway is connecting the doorway to the stove wall when it doesn't need to be. A little too 'lined up' as you say.
I wonder if we could raise the top of the doorway a little? That wouldn't be too disruptive. Have to run it by committee in the morning, after enough coffee to be sure. Oh, never mind, the trim is bought and paid for and stacked. Guess the only thing would be to shrink the pass-through windows. boo.
Holly, Shainghaimom's kitchen is what inspired my pass-through wall and her doorway is (much) higher than the pass-through openings... I think it looks great. I get what you are saying about windows and doorways but since these aren't bonafide windows but rather openings...?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:22AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Hers make sense because they are just peepholes in the middle of the cabinetry. The cabinets above and below treat the openings more like glass cabinets than openings.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:39AM
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Can you take a shot from farther back or do you have an elevation drawing?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:45AM
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IS the doorway going to have a door in it or is it just an opening? Are the mouldings around the doorway and pass through windows going to be the same? I guess what I'm asking is will the finished heights be the same if the cut-outs are the same? Is that the plan.

What is on the other side of the pass-through on the right? Just wall or another doorway? You have very little wall space between the doorway and pass-through on the left - are you planning on fitting two sets of moulding in that space - one for the doorway and one for the pass-through?

Are there other doorways or windows in the space and if so what are their elevations?

I may have missed this discussion but what is the purpose or your reasoning for the pass-throughs? And a further back photo showing the whole wall is a good request.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 1:28AM
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I don't know what the answer is to this question, but Generally window height is Higher than door height, not Lower.

To me the second photo looks like a near miss though, the difference is not enough to look fully intentional. Of the two, lined up is better imo.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:08AM
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Sushipup and Hollysprings: both of your points taken. My DH agrees with you both, too.
Snookums: These are as far back as I can get and still get the whole area(s) into the frame. My back is against the fridge and/or I'm out into the entry.

blfenton: They were to be (and the trim is already made to be) the same around all of them and the trim is made for one piece between the doorway opening and the left p.t. because of the narrowness of that post between, as you mention.
They are all just openings and the reason for them is because we have a lovely view of the little river out the windows of the sitting porch and we wanted this kitchen/living room side of the house to be as open to that as possible. This porch is where we spend much of our time and when DH is out there and I'm in the kitchen, we'd like to be able to chat with each other. Another reason is the old kitchen had cabinets on that wall and it felt very dark and claustrophobic and I didn't like it. This is the best shot that I can find of the view through the porch windows (which will be the next thing to get renovated after we sell our current home)

Here is a shot of the old kitchen before we bought the house:


The input is appreciated. Spoke with DH about it and his POV is that it doesn't bother him at all, we don't have much to gain by raising the doorway as the ceiling in the porch is lower than the rest of the house and to be able to lift the header... he'd rather not AND he pointed out again that the trim is already made to fit the openings as they are. So, I guess if we've made an awful, clumsy looking wall with all 3 openings the same height the only thing we could do at this point is, as I said, lower the tops of the p.t. and add more framing to the doorway to be able to have separate trim and re-order the trim.

Ugh. This is not the time to be thinking about this stuff, is it? The water is going under the bridge already...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:41AM
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I'm worried that once trimmed, the slight-offset will look really weird--looks to me like you aren't going to have anything other than trim between window & door, right? Or is your trim really narrow? Guess mostly I'm suggesting visualizing it trimmed, not in this untrimmed state--makes a huge difference. You could even get the "more important" "less important" thing you are after by varying the trim if you really wanted, I suppose. Not sure I'd recommend it unless the rest of your house does that, though!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:41AM
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Don't beat yourself up about it! I made some decisions with my kitchen that I wish I'd thought out more ahead of time but it's also water under the bridge.

It's a great view and you'll love having it so open. The only think I wondered - could you make the door a little narrower? It seems pretty wide but that you might have a little room to play with if you want trim for door and opening. Or, any chance you'd want to remove the divider between the door and opening so it's just a big opening?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Hi browneyes, unfortunately the header was built to be on that post and is nailed and screwed in place. Oh crud. I think I'm trying to shut the barn door after the horse is already gone...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:39AM
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I didn't read everything, but I'd leave it as it is. I like the level look, it goes with your lighting too. The lower windows look odd, I think someone above called it a "near miss".

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:35AM
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deedles - I like the level look much more than bringing those windows down like you showed in your mock up - the decrease in the height isn't enough to make it look "purposeful" but instead looks more like someone mis-measured and just ran with it! I think that once it's trimmed out, you'll like it. :)

Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, there are a few things already in my kitchen (that still isn't complete) that I'm wishing in retrospect I did differently. Is the nature of doing this stuff, I'm afraid. Trust me though, your kitchen will look wonderful and it's likely that you will be the only one who will obsess over some of these details (well, you and the rest of us here who totally understand!)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:52AM
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I just looked up and see that my windows and door line up exactly in the "newer" part of the house. In the original part of our house (1926) the doorways are very slightly higher.

Either way will look fine.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Well, I guess I am sort of the odd man here, but I don't like the level look. It makes the divider between the opening and door seem awkward and unnecessary. If I were able to, I would seek to raise the top of the door a few inches. but you have to take into consideration the other side of the doorway & what that might affect.

If it is just too much to make the change, go for a 'fool the eye' effect with trim and paint, for example, make the trim above the door taller that that above the opening.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:41AM
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The view is beautiful & that's what you and certainly anyone visiting will be looking at. I read this last night when you originally posted & the two pictures looked so similar that I couldn't make a decision to comment either way.
I say leave it alone & quit torturing yourself.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Transom window over door?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Beautiful shot of the range area!

Maybe you could hang something over the door to disrupt the linear look.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:01PM
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OK, this is probably an over the top suggestion, but have you thought about redoing the shed roof over the porch area to start it at a higher point from the main roof with a greater pitch? That would raise the height of the attachment point between the two spaces, allowing the connection between to be taller in all respects. You might need to add a beam or two to do that, but the end result would be a much better view from the kitchen, and higher ceilings in the porch.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Interestingly the configuration looks really good during the daylight hours which is when you have the view. Thanks for showing the daylight photo and explaining your situation.

Are you putting in a backsplash under the pass-through and under the vent? I was thinking that in the evening that wall might become a little boring but a backsplash would give it some depth.

I have one wall that runs along the side of my sitting area and eating area that is window, sliding glass door and then window and they are all the same height.

I think you're good with the same height.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Okay, I'm obsessing. DH voted to leave it as is and it sounds like he meant it. Thanks for the input, I know most of you understand this tendency to 'contemplate your navel' with our kitchens. I appreciate the comment of the 'near miss'. Don't want that. I'll post a pic when the trim guy gets finished tomorrow so cross your fingers.

Live wire: we are going to do part of your suggestion but can only pull it off on the interior. The outside roof (metal) is one continuous slope from the peak down over the porch windows, and we aren't going to alter that but inside DH will be re-doing the ceiling to be sloped up from the outside window wall to the kitchen wall. How much we can go is TBD d/t adequate insulation needs. Maybe 6 or 8 inches, max. on the kitchen wall and probably less on the outside wall. I'm lobbying for a metal (smaller) header over the outside windows so we can get those puppies up as high as possible.

Yes, first world problems...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:34PM
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I think you have decided against lowering the windows, but maybe this will help convince you that this is the right decision.
Here is a quick sketch of lowering the windows enough to place the lights in line with the top of the doorway, as opposed to just lowering them a small (random) distance.
I think it looks squashed and much inferior to the windows and doorway tops in a straight line. I would REALLY miss the openness of the taller windows!

I also vote for the straight line.

And I really look forward to seeing your finished kitchen.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 11:47

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:41AM
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I love the vent fan over the toaster oven :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like it straight.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Hey there, Bellsmom: Whoa. I'm convinced, thank you. Makes my range hood look like a big monster with stainless arms or something. Yeesh. Trim guy is here right now and he's almost done with the ceiling so the pass-throughs are next! yippee!

Enduring: overkill, ya think? :)

Hi Fori, thanks for weighing in!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:25PM
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