WWYD - cabinets flanking window asymmetrical?

spartans99February 11, 2014

Hello everyone!

We just reviewed our layout with the KD that had some minor changes. One of these changes included making the wall of cabinets on the refrigerator run 15" deep and running straight back to the sink run wall (without having a corner cabinet).

While I really like having the cabinets go straight to the wall on the fridge run (vs a corner cabinet), I think it looks a little odd when I see the sink run wall where the right side of the window has a cabinet almost against it and the left side of the window has much more wall space.

Does this asymmetrical design bother anyone else? Should we put a 90 degree cut corner cabinet at the end of the refrigerator run instead?

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated!

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Here is the view if the refrigerator run which is perpendicular (short end of L) to the sink run.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Corner cab.
That would make me ab.so.lut.ley. insane.

As a matter of fact, just starting to read your post, I heard this scared, concerned, quivering ooohhhoooohhh coming out of me.

Besides. That gives you even a little more storage.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:21AM
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Swap the fridge and the range. You get better workflow, and a better cabinet arrangement as well.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:37AM
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We have been going back and forth on the range and refrigerator placement. I thought we were settled on this layout but now I am questioning it again.

However, I really dislike the prep space when I swap the two because then I am doing a lot of prep in the corner which I do today and it drives me nuts.

Also if I swap the two, I don't think I can have 15" deep upper cabinets on that run and was looking forward to the additional space.

Finally, I am concerned about the kitchen feeling "cut off / boxed in" by having the refrigerator in the other position.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:43AM
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As drawn there are problems accessing that last cabinet unless the door swings are altered- if the left door opens toward you it blocks the cabinet- the right door gets to be a reach

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:54AM
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I have a U-shaped kitchen, only 10 feet wide, with a fridge at one end. With a window on the closed end, it doesn't feel boxed in to me - especially since it's almost 6 feet from the window wall to the fridge. With your big window, plus the patio door, you have a ton of light there.

Putting the range where the fridge keeps the corner from feeling closed in. And if you move the DW closer to the fridge, move the sink a bit to the right, you might gain enough space next to the sink for comfortable prep.

Why don't you think you could use 15" uppers if you moved the range?

Oh, and back to the original question - I would put an easy-reach upper cab in the corner.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:57AM
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I was worried about 15" depth uppers around the range area due to prep. Although I do a majority of cooking, DH does a bit on weekends and he is quite tall. I worry about us not having enough head room when standing over the counter to prep with 15" deep cabinets above us. Maybe I am wrong?

Also, I understood that cabinets directly next to the range good could only be a max of 13" depth due to fire code / something related to gas ranges(?). So I am having a hard time thinking of having cabinets on the same run w varying degrees of depth.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:02PM
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Add a sink faucet to your drawing and that area is going to look even more asymmetrical. For me, having things symmetrical around my window was extremely important. I started with that and worked my way around it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Have you posted your whole layout here? If not, maybe you'd get some different ideas. As it is in the pic, I would have to change that for some symmetry or go nutso looking at it. The point about adding in a faucet making it worse is right on, too.

Some kitchens have no symmetry on the window wall and look great and others, not so much.

As for the 15" uppers, I'm 5'8 and DH is 6'5 and our 15" deep uppers have never been an issue for either of us.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have posted my layout previously and worked into this layout given all the feedback.

After speaking with the KD, we are now including an easy reach corner cabinet so we are more balanced around the window. I was able to get an updated version of our plan (in color!) and while it isn't exact, it is much closer. (NOTE: these aren't the colors we have selected, but viewing it in color is extremely helpful vs black and white)

DH is also very irritated by the fact that the sink is not centered under the window. I am able to go down to a 30" sink base, and make the Super Susan in that corner asymmetrical 39x36. That would push the sink about 3" to the right - a little closer to center. I also suggested that we center the faucet on the window - so it will be on the right side of the sink, but maybe that will help? The picture doesn't show this change yet, but I hope that's it.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Another view...

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Where is your eating space in relation to the kitchen? On the stove end of the space, or through one of the doors in the image?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Eating space is in between the hutch and the doorwall to the deck. We have space for a 48" table with four chairs and no less than 42" between the table and any other point.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:15AM
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I think that's going to look much better. Any reason (plumbing?) your married to having your sink there, anyway?

I apologize for focusing so hard on the symmetry. I just can't stand it when something's odd. Even in my crazy designs of things that look like they're made of a million different elements, the hardware on one end cabinet matches the hardware on the other end, as well as the size of cabinet. Each one is either centered to be an individual piece or has a mirrored element. Not just cabinets, but in about everything I do.

You should see my gardens. My DH used to laugh that I had this minute sense of alignment. So one day I planted 23 Nandinas in a random pattern curving around the edge corner of my front yard. He came out and began to laugh so hard he couldn't speak. Evidently you could get out a protractor and measure the exact distance in a circle, to the nth degree of where I planted each shrub in relation to the other. He took me 3 steps forward and said, "Look to your right." I'll be d@mned if he wasn't right. They were perfectly lined up.

I'm a symmetrical force of nature.
And your kitchen is going to be beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:31AM
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It's a one person working kitchen as is. It would work better for two (or more) with the range/fridge swap. Right now, the cleanup zone is right in the middle of the prep zone and the two functions can't happen simultaneously. They key to a functional design is to separate those zones as much as possible. You can't do that with a DW between the sink and range. Swapping the two would have the food move from storage, to the water, to the prep zone, to the cooking zone. A logical progression of functions.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:33AM
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Have you considered putting your fridge on the wall where you have only the row of upper and lower cabinets now? Seems like you would get a lot more functional counter top space that way and it would also allow more space to move things around and center the sink under the window.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 12:54PM
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I was thinking the same thing as Jellytoast, esp. if your eating area is at the opposite end of the kitchen. The anyone could get a drink or whatever without coming into the work area and yeah, you'd sure gain some nice work space and could then easily move the DW out from b/w the sink and stove. Do you have your fridge already? Seems that wall of cabs is shallower, right?

Okay, went and found your old layout thread linked below. I do remember that angled peninsula and wow, you've really made changes from your initial idea haven't you? I did the same thing... my finished layout isn't anything like what I started out thinking that it would be but it's oh, so much better. Yours, too it seems.

Anyway, you spoke in that thread of a CD fridge... have you considered having the fridge on that wall where the shallower cabs are? I see your table is at the end of the kitchen in the old plan. Boy, it really seems like you'd gain a whole lot of working space and better layout by getting the fridge over there. You could sandwich the fridge with 2 tall shallow pantries or one pantry and then a short length of counter... beverage/coffee area anyone?

Here is a link that might be useful: old thread/layout

This post was edited by deedles on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 13:28

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:18PM
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I think an unsymmetrical kitchen can happen. Below is a houzz link for a kitchen that I supplied the cabinets for. The homeowner wanted a huge bookcase in her kitchen and she didn't want symmetry at all in her 1800's home. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the sink wall head on. I'll look for a rendering. I realize your kitchen is not as big as this, therefor somewhat more difficult to have assymetrical.

The Stone Studio is not me....that's who did the soapstone and granite. I just did the Plain & Fancy cabinetry. I need to get pictures for my own houzz site!

Also, I agree that the prep area and cleanup area will cause some issues, especially if not a one cook household. Can you post a floor plan?


Here is a link that might be useful: assymmetrical window area

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:27PM
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There is at least one long thread on this forum (not easy to find) on whether it is ok to have a dishwasher in the prep area and basically people divide into two camps: 1) The ones that clean as they prep, and 2) the ones that only clean after they prep. If you are in 1) you will be frustrated every day by that dishwasher placement. If you are in 2) you will be fine with the dishwasher in the prep area and may well have been prepping in front of your dishwasher without ever noticing it all these years.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:43PM
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deedles - you are correct that I have come a long way from my initial post. Unfortunately for many reasons, we are no longer taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We are working with the existing space we have in the kitchen and eat in space but trying to make a new layout that functions better for us.

I posted a new layout with these changes in mid-January this year to get new feedback since the plan had changed so dramatically (see link). From that feedback, I ended up with this plan. I am attaching the most recent 2D layout I have that was used to create the 3D drawings. The doorway on the bottom left - along the refrigerator run goes into the current dining room; doorway on bottom of page goes into the hallway and towards front of house; opening on right is completely open to the family room. The whole house plan is available in the link below / previous post as well.

I know the dishwasher between the sink and range is not optimal and thank you scrappy25 for reminding me of the long threads on this topic. I think I have read that one and others and it seems like there are varying opinions on this layout feature(?). I felt this was the best setup given our constraints.

jellytoast - With regard to moving the refrigerator, I certainly entertained the idea of moving it over to the other wall where the shallow set of uppers and lowers exist (calling that my "hutch"). However, when I do this, even with a counter depth fridge, two problems exist - 1) the room that is left for my eat in space is squished too tight for even a 42" round table plus 4 chairs between that and the opposite doorwall to the deck, and 2) I also worried that it was out of the main work triangle and couldn't wrap my head around that working for us. That said, maybe I need to reconsider?

I greatly appreciate everyone's feedback and since I have not yet purchased any appliances or cabinets everything is still game for change.

Here is a link that might be useful: Most recent thread with new layout

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:57PM
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No advice to give, but I think your kitchen looks lovely! I really like the 3D image. :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 5:31PM
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