Suggestions please on Cabinet Layout!

Skyangel23February 12, 2014

I am trying to finalize my cabinet layout. We are at blocking stage right now, so the peninsula stays, for better or worse. I asked my builder about changing to an island already, and it would just cost too much. Fridge and sink placement must stay, as plumbing is already done.

Generally, I don't mind where appliances are, but I would like suggestions on where to put drawers, pullouts, open shelves, glass cabinets, ect. ect. Also, I would like to do a range hood, which means the microwave must go somewhere. A microwave drawer is out of our budget, so I am looking for an upper cabinet cubby.

We are on a budget. The cabinets are Merillat Classic, either Spring Valley or Portrait in off-white, if that means anything. Cabinets are 42", 10 ft. ceiling.

We are a casual family, and I am looking for a kind of modern country feel. I would like to include:
-Desk. This is a keeper, but it can be shortened if needed. It is regular counter height.
-microwave cubby in upper cabinets
-at least two sets of drawers, maybe three. Depends on budget.
-at least one open shelf for pretty dishes and some of my beans/pasta/flour in pretty glass jars.
-at least two glass doors, no more than four.
- trash pull out
-I put in a narrow 12" broom closet next to fridge but if that needs to go to make room for microwave then so be it.
-either a spice pantry pullout or a row of small shelves underneath for spices in pretty glass jars. I will post a pic of this.

Any advice on how to make this an attractive kitchen on a budget is much appreciated.

If pics are unclear or should be redrawn or any other information, please let me know. Thank you!

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    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Last one.
And a picture of Merrillat cabinets w/ the under cab spice shelf:

Traditional Kitchen by Ann Arbor Cabinets & Cabinetry Merillat

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Ditch the desk and scoot the fridge down further. Make the pantry larger. Use the leftover desk space to make a hutch type cabinet that will house the coffeepot, toater, etc. Now it's easy access for breakfast makings out of the main work area.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:48PM
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I wouldn't have the DW b/w the sink and the range, it's your prep space. Even though plumbing is done I think you should swap the sink and DW (I'm no expert, it may be doable with the existing plumbing or may need little adjustment).

Any glass doors, open shelves, I'd consider as far from the range as possible, so they'd be easier to keep clean, and can be seen from FR/dr. MW can go somewhere on the fridge wall, maybe over the desk. If you move the DW to the other side of the sink you may need part of that desk area for plate, glass storage, so maybe the 12" broom can can be eliminated.

I keep my plates in uppers, but most prefer drawers for that. Since you can't have all drawers, I'd suggest using drawers for heavy things you have, A hutch as holly suggested would be very handy imo.

Spices,, somewhere b/w the sink and range, but if it's something reaching the counter, like the picture you posted, I'd have it on the other side of the range, so it wont interrupt prep space or affected from water spills.

Trash, next to sink on the range side, So if you move the DW to the other side of the sink you can use the trash both when prepping and cleanup, and it would also be close to the pantry and fridge.

edited re spice drawers

This post was edited by sena01 on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 12:01

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Hi Holly,
The desk is a must. It can be made smaller, but it's gotta stay. In previous homes, I just always had my laptop on the kitchen counter. :-( I am a freelancer, and I need easy and frequent access to my laptop, so it needs a home in the most frequently used space--the kitchen. Also, I don't let my young kids use the computer unsupervised and I don't plan too for a long time. So while it may not be the most idea, for our family, this works. And we do plan to be here for a long time. So I sacrifice other things. :-)

Sena, thank you for the advice. I was thinking of eliminating the broom closet. It's expensive and takes up space; plus my husband just reminded me he's getting me a Roomba. :-) I will see about moving the sink and dishwasher. I know there isn't enough room to leave the sink where it is and move dishwasher to other side; it's only 21", I think. So sink would need to be actually moved to the left 12-14" or so for that to work. Not sure if that is doable with a slab foundation or not. In previous homes, we have always had a small island that we did our prep and clean up on, so a peninsula only is new to me and I'm not sure how we will naturally work with it.

We aren't huge cooks, and use the microwave frequently. I was thinking I would probably both prep and clean up to the right of the sink, as it's easy to see the kids (and guests) at the table which is straight ahead of the peninsula, and the family room, which is open to the right. I was thinking I would do silverware, and everyday plates,bowls, and cups in the drawers on the angled end of the peninsula. maybe four drawers instead of three? At 27", I hope that'll be enough room.

Spices to right of stove, maybe, in the top drawer.

So how far is a good distance for a glass door? I was thinking of maybe making that corner after the range wall an angled cabinet with a glass door-- it would be two doors away from the range. The range hood will be modest, not a dramatic focal point.

So, microwave. Do you have any suggestions for how to lay that wall out? I have 80" after 36" for the fridge, plus there is still about 6" to the end of the wall after the cabinets. I don't know if I should take the cabinets right up to the corner or if they need a few or several inches. The Merillat microwave drawer is 27" wide x 18" high, with a 24" width interior, or 30" wide, with 27" interior. We have to get a new microwave anyway, so whichever one would work better. Their built-in microwave cabinet is only 36" high, including a small set of double doors, so I don't know how to fit that in with 42" cabinets. Grr.

Thank you so much for your help!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 12:39PM
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That corner can be a good place for glass doors. Never had one, but since the lower cab will be 90 degree an angled glass cab can be easier to clean, I think. But I know, divided glass cabs flanking the range are real headaches.

4 drawers may be better for plate, cup storage imo.

For the MW' maybe something like this?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:27PM
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I will avoid glass cabinets flanking the range! :-)
Thanks for the picture. I wonder if you know the answer to this question. In the Merillat cabinets specification book, it says all their microwave shelf needs to be reinforced and have cabinets or a wall on either side of the shelf.
If we do the wood panel on that exposed side of the refrigerator, would that be sufficient to meet the requirements?
Our builder is semi-custom, but more like a production builder in the fact that there is no KD. Any questions I have to ask the builder, who relays them to his rep who orders the cabinets, who then responds to the builder, who then tells us. After doing this a few times, I am pulling my hair out. I would rather gather all the information I need myself and get everything as close to final as possible before having to deal w/all that go-round again.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:58AM
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I have no idea, but found this on Houzz.

Traditional Kitchen by Cambridge General Contractors Charlie Allen Renovations, Inc.

I wonder if this can be considered a reinforcement. It can be something to hold a few files, books in your case (if you like it and something like that available, of course).

It may be better if you ask under a different tread here or appliances forum.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Appliance forum! Great idea. I will ask there.
Your picture is nice. I don't think Merillat carries anything like that, at least not in the classic line.
I will report back.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Make the drawers by the desk into a built-in file cabinet. I still have paper copies of a lot of things (tax receipts, insurance info, car repairs records, etc), and I love my file drawers.

You show doors on the 48" base cabinet between sink and range. Do you want to access the corner space? You could put a blind corner with access in half that space, and drawers in the other half - or close it off completely, and put drawers on both sides. With the pantry, and uppers going to the ceiling, do you need the space in the corner?

I understand that it's nice to have the MW close to the fridge, but I think a built-in on the fridge/desk wall really throws off the balance. Is it kitchen space, or desk space? Do you have to climb over the kid doing homework on the desk to get the green beans out of the MW? Do you want to use the desk as MW landing spot?

I have a cute little MW with a round back, that sits unobtrusively on the counter in a corner. My kitchen is smaller than yours, but I don't feel like I lose a lot of counter space with this arrangement.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 2:11PM
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