U-shaped kitchen cab layout

robo (z6a)February 5, 2013

Hi everyone! I have lurked here for forever. Both in gardens and kitchens. I love your amazing advice.

We are moving the kitchen in our 1950s trad 2-story. Architectural drawings below. Still at the planning stages. Moving everything (plumbing, electrical), taking down a wall, replacing a window and adding a patio door.

I came to this layout with much help from IKEAfans. But still nervous -- GWers - do you see any changes I should make to this layout?? Any major words of advice?? Right now we're still in the planning stages!

More background:

The new space is 14'9" x 10'10 with slightly vaulted ceilings and 2 skylights. It opens onto dining room and will open on to deck.

My must-have is seating in the kitchen. Husband's is lots of counter space. It's a 1.5 butt kitchen: he does most cooking, I prep & clean. I have bad feet so like to sit to prep. No baking. We entertain 1-2x per week, 2-10 people, and plan to have kids.

Function over form. Budget is medium-low - no double appliances, no stone, since we're wasting all our money on moving the darn room, but we are getting custom cabs (surprisingly cheaply) so are flexible with cab widths.

Couldn't figure out a way to squeeze an island in, so will likely have a u-shape, peninsula, breakfast bar. Raised bar because husband wants to hide mess. We're both biggish and clumsy so like nice wide aisles.

The one immovablish thing is the window over the sink -- it's visible from the street so want to have it centered on the exterior wall. Won't add windows to long exterior wall as it looks right down into neighbor's kitchen.

Current layout - living and kitchen face the street

New layout - kitchen moves to sun room, old kitchen becomes laundry

Sun room dimensions (had to do in excel - IKEA planner was down today!)

Proposed cab layout.

Some notes:

* Uppers will be about 40" and scribed to ceiling.

* Not sure about micro in pantry. We use about once a day. A little worried about being squeezed between fridge and wall to use micro. Husband wants OTR micro.

* I really want DW on same run as sink and will put up with sink cab off center to get it. This short run also means blind corner cabs on both corners - will fit out with half moon pullouts for bakeware and small appliances.

* Cab maker specced 13.5" glass front uppers to either side of window. I would keep glassware in them. Don't want to squeeze window too much but worry 13.5 is too small to be practical. Here I show 15" cabs.

* We will use laundry as sort of a butler's pantry as well, will have upright freezer in this room.

The prettier stuff --

I have moroccan tiles to go behind the stove. White shaker cabs. Talking to a fabricator about stainless counters for sink and stove runs (grey in photo). Maple butcher block counters on the bar and bottom leg of 'U' - surprisingly affordable from local craftsman. Wanted butcher block all over but we can't get Waterlox in Canada right now and I'm nervous of the sink area.

Bar will have 2 pendants, 2 pendants over sink as well -- although skylight is off centre to window which kind of worries me. I am vowing to ignore it. Under cab LED lighting and chandelier at peak of vaulted ceiling.

Awning window to countertop behind sink (our others are casements). Seeded glass cabs to either side of sink for glassware. Re: bar: there is enough room for 5' of bar PLUS post on the peninsula. The wall between the living and dining room will kind of "shelter" the bar stools so they aren't too in the way.

Why move the kitchen?? --

Old kitchen: isolated from rest of house, impossible to expand (hemmed in by mucho plumbing, fireplace, and stairs), has laundry in the kitchen and fridge in the hallway, no room for seating, structural post holding up second floor right in the middle of the room.

New kitchen is: accessible to dining and deck, larger, brighter, and not too horribly expensive to run stuff to because the ceilings in the basement are all open.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 21:55

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robo (z6a)

I do have a follow up question which is -- moving the kitchen leaves us kind of a biiiiig utility/laundry/pantry room near the front door (10x12). That's outsized compared to our house (2700 sf). Most people around here barely have a laundry closet.

Thinking of resale down the road (WELL down the road) -- do you think buyers will be turned off by such a big room? Should I make part of it something else like little home office?

This is what it looks like now...we will add a wall near where the fridge is now.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Here's my 2 points - others may not agree to #2.

1. W/ available space (in the middle), I would make the cabinets along the fridge wall extra deep, so that the standard depth fridge doesn't stick out too far.
Slide-in range or cooktop w/ oven under, so that a ?'normal' range w/ the high back doesn't look weird pulled out from the wall.
You will love the extra deep countertop. Some make extra deep uppers also.

2. I love love my big sink.
I would make the sink 36", shrinking the trash pull-out to 18" (can still fit 2 bins sideways), or w/ a 36" sink cab, can put the trash bins on 1 side of the sink. Which is what I did (but haven't move back into kitchen so haven't really seen it in action yet). I didn't have the space to dedicate to just trash, and I didn't want to waste the space under the sink.

3. Would definitely make the peninsula counter all 1 level. Your DH will LOVE that big span of countertop space!

4. is that little wall w/ the books required/load-bearing? if not, I would take it all the way back. It's your main way into kitchen/deck; 57" wide is better than 42" for traffic flow. (Before my reno, my main kitchen pathway = 28", so I now LOVE my 54" pathway!!!)

good luck,

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Wondering if you'd like your spices on a wall shelf as opposed to in a drawer? Maybe a pull out of some sort that is easy to reach when cooking? Also, where are you planning to keep appliances? Kitchen-aid? Cuisinart? Instead of one of the three drawer cabs, how about one with some roll-outs? Or an appliance lift? Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:40PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi Amanda! I love your 2+ points!

1. I could definitely get deeper lowers and uppers but worry about squeezing the sink run even more! I COULD just pull out the fridge and pantry...

2. I MAY be able to find 3" for the sink...that's what the cab designer had orig, but then he showed us this trash pullout that DH really liked that needed 21". Up in Nova Scotia we have 4 kinds of trash - garb, organics, recyclable, refundable, so we need a lot of containers.

3. I'm going to try to get him on board for 1 level!

4. Good point on the opening. We too LOVE big openings and we have lots of people milling around all the time! About 5" is needed for a post but the rest is free.

My dilemma is that I planned that cab as landing space for opening the door and going out on the deck with big trays of BBQ, which DH does on a regular basis! I don't want to interfere with the process of getting the BBQ to my plate.

Open door - thanks so much for your ideas! Spices could also go on shelf to L or R of stove. Is this more convenient than drawer?

No lifts (no kitchen aid) but I was thinking of keeping the blender, cuisinart, etc. on the half moon pullouts by the dishwasher. We don't use them super often so they don't need to be right by the stove. We also have some VERY little used appliances (fondue pot anyone?) I'll keep in the laundry room.

I'm hoping to keep the coffee and tea stuff to the left of the sink as well along with the toaster.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:52PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks SOO much for the feedback by the way! I really appreciate it.

Is it better to have a wider (48") doorway into the kitchen, or more drawer space?

I could take 3" off each drawer bank near dishwasher, shorten the peninsula, and widen the doorway?

24" drawers should still be sufficient to hold my dishes, which are now in a 21" upper...right? (I know technically no one can answer this question but me)

Bonus photo of future sink wall

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 10:14

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Would you be able to take down the small L wall between kitchen, living room, and dining room so it is even more open? Keep the base cabs and make a long peninsula. I agree with the wider sink idea.

I also think you should definitely make the new laundry room into something more...office sounds good.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:31AM
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robo (z6a)

amandasplit - that is REALLY thinking outside of the box! Incredible!

I had never, ever considered extending the opening into the living room. The room is formal & small so couldn't support bar seating. Opening it up would really modernize the house but that's not a bad thing. Budget concerns might be another matter.

Here is a photo giving some impression of the relationship between living, dining and kitchen (from the realtor, not our stuff). The wall with the pocket doors is coming down and kitchen will be behind.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Here's a quick sketch of an idea.
I walk with difficulty and would not like the large open area in the middle of the original plan. So, this is just a quick idea for you to evaluate:

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:44AM
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robo (z6a)

Bellsmom, thanks so much for taking the time! I never thought of combining the breakfast bar idea WITH an island idea. I love that you included the idea of sitting at the prep area!

For us, because we have kind of big badonkadonks, I think clearances with an island would feel quite tight. We had a u-shaped kitchen with 5' interior aisle before and even found that too small for two (mind you, it was a tiny kitchen). Stupid 11 foot deep rooms! Too big for cab runs and just that bit too small for islands!

BUT -- you're making me think we might be able to get a butcher block on wheels to help the cook out when he's at the stove.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 11:59

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Have you considered moving the sink and dishwasher to the peninsula and keeping the space under the window as a prep area? This would give you a large prep area between the two main work stations. And the refrigerator would be handy to both.

Your laundry area looks good. It might be handy to move the sink over and have a desk or craft area, under the window.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:56PM
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robo (z6a)

I was totally considering the craft area idea! Or desk. Great to know it could be attractive to people. I would need a new sink cab but I could probably cobble one together from what I have.

I did consider sink/dw on peninsula. The problem is the dining room is totally interior, very dark with no windows, so the "view" from the sink would be blah.

Now if I could take out the bit of the wall leading to the living room, that might be a different story! It has a huge window out to the street.

I feel my mortgage kicking in the womb right now, trying to grow bigger and bigger!

Three thing holding me back from opening into LR: 1) cost. 2) it's a formal living, we actually have a huge family room on the back of the house, so opening it up won't bring the kitchen that much more into the main living area. 3) It will really mess with the semi-trad thing the house has going on (arched doorways, rounded moldings, etc). But on the plus side it will really brighten up the dining room which trust me, it needs it!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 14:23

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:09PM
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robo (z6a)

Here's a less pressing question...what shape/size white backsplash tile would you pick to go with this 8" square Moroccan tile? It's somewhat glossy. I will put this behind the stove. It makes a cool starburst pattern when all together. We are all about color and I've loved tiles like this forever so not worried about how bold they are.

Keep with the square? Arabesque? Plain subways? Should this be a new thread?

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 19:37

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Will you have to go through the utility room, to reach your family room?

Another idea, if it's not too expensive, would be to place the dining area into the sun room. If you could move the powder room and laundry to the left side of your craft room, the kitchen could be in the entire space between the sun room and the family room.

You could have dish storage by the sun room dining space, rather like a butler's pantry. And then a galley style kitchen or maybe a long wall of appliances with sink on an island.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:52PM
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robo (z6a)

Cottage -- that sounds completely amazing. But also like a total budget buster! Definitely couldn't afford it unless I suddenly develop major DIY skills.

There is a doorway from dining to family so we are going to door off utility and keep it as sorta not public space - the other side of the house will have all the traffic.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:23PM
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I don't think removing the wall the extra few feet will be much more at all - I would think since you're already putting in a header it would just require a longer (maybe stronger, engineered one)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:08PM
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robo (z6a)

I floated the idea by DH and he is kind of intrigued by it! He doesn't think it would be a crazy amount of $$ either.
Apparently our life will be simplified, so says architect, because since it used to be an exterior wall, the foundation wall right below can obviously take the load, so we don't need to worry about pouring footers.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:22PM
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robo (z6a)

WWYD - keep the wall in the living room or take it down?

As is. Beyond the arch, the wall is coming down.

Terrible photoshop, shows arch down. Will it make my tiny triangular formal living feel like a hallway?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Hi Robotropolis,

Your plans are looking good!

I think you may be right about it feeling like a hallway. This would be your view from the front door, right?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Could you swap your living room and diningroom? Or if you have a big family room, do you need a living room at all? Yes, it seems like the traffic pattern in the living room is not ideal, but I can't really tell where the front door is. Is the door in living room a primary entrance, or more of a secondary door?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:50PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi TBB! Nice to see you! Thank you a million times for all your help earlier. You are so awesome. This is the view from the front door, yes.

Miz - I wouldn't switch for three reasons - 1. DH wouldn't stand for it 2. the DR is even more open to the kitchen. 3. We use the LR quite a bit as it has a nice fireplace in it and is cozy for small groups.

When the people before us renovated, they took out the central hall. There is no hallway on the first floor, instead it is set up as a circle (very confusing for first time visitors).

So the living room is already a major throughfare. Which is fine with us - we have it set up with a clear passageway.

Below is an overview of the main floor plan. The kitchen is moving to the room marked "den" on the plan.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 16:12

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Just have to say that is beautiful tile.

Have you seen this kitchen? I thought of this backsplash when I saw your tile.

Here is a link that might be useful: sexy mexy

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:24PM
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RoboT - I'm looking at your floor plan and the post in the current kitchen. What if you started at the post and put a wall moving to the right? Move the laundry equipment to the wall across from the powder room. Remove the wall the current stove is on and create a grand hall/library there. Then folks could proceed into the living room or the dining room, and the living room doesn't take on such a hall-like quality.

I had a family member with a turn-of-the-last-century house with a grand entry hall with this gorgeous secretary (piece of furniture secretary.) It gave a wonderful sense of entry - put down the mail, plop into a comfy chair, and regroup. Greet several car-fuls at once. The parlor was pretty small, but the whole house had this expansive feel because of that big entry hall.
Also a vestibule, reminiscent of yours.

This post was edited by tbb123 on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 18:16

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:36PM
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robo (z6a)

tbb123, I always appreciate your thoughtful advice. The grand entry sounds lovely.

We just got our first quote for kit n' kaboodle. It was a bit of an eyepopper (more quotes to come, but this is someone we have worked with and we know he is more than fair). So suffice it to say things are going to stay on the simpler side, especially in the utility area. I'm already putting together my clawback list!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 19:18

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:09PM
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robo (z6a)

Waiting on contractors for quotes. Why do they take so long? (rhetorical question). I'm ready for a start date!

Also when I have too long to think about things I try to change it all. Today I tried to turn the peninsula into an island.

On the plus side, all my lighting is here and faucet is on the way. I learned in my last bathroom reno that if I want cute bargain stuff from the internet, order in plenty of time so my contractor doesn't get cranky.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:19PM
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robo (z6a)

Here's another WWYD:

Ikea vs low priced local?

A contractor friend recommended a local semi custom cab company that did his kitchen. Blum hinges, metabox drawers, no soft close, painted finish, limited selection colours (but includes white, cobalt, turquoise). Custom width cabs, can get lots of lovely glass. All made here in ns. They gave us a shockingly low quote....so low that For the same price, I can get an Ikea kitchen delivered and installed.

Here's the thing: I trust ikea quality more. I trust my contractors (all three of whom quoting me now love ikea) to install it.

Local cheap cab company is probably lower overall quality. I've seen their kitchens installed and they seem fine and owners are happy (did read one negative review online). The advantage of having custom sizes and easy reach uppers is really making my life easier compared to ikea's limited range of sizes. I mean, 33 inch sink cab totally makes my day.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:16AM
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robo (z6a)

Just had to drop in and share my score of the week - a discontinued floor model Kindred worktop sink marked down to $400 from $2400! Now we can go ahead and use affordable butcherblock with impunity! Waiting on contractor to free up, this is taking forever, but I am distracting myself with outdoor projects.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:10PM
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What a terrific sink! There was nothing like that popping up when I needed it, or I'd show it to you installed in Ikea butcherblock. :)

What else is happening with your project?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:16PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi rosie! Thanks! Undermounting a sink in butcher block was my #1 fear for this project so I was psyched to come across this one--plus my husband loves it since he likes the industrial look.

As for what else is happening, nothing for now. We went on a four week vacation and our contractor is busy until July. But at least I got my husband to commit to a contractor!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Well, it's happening then. Look forward to seeing it come together. I really like your house, and that looks like a great space for a kitchen. Should be nice with the street view to keep you company while you work.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:43PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I love a bargain. My bridge faucet was the same kind of deal--d/c'd floor model. Congratulations on scoring such a great sink!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:39PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks ladies! I'm so ready to get this party started.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:16PM
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robo (z6a)

Quick update -- getting my husband to commit to a start date was like pulling teeth, but now we're on for January with a deposit to the contractor. Thank goodness! I will post some pics along the way.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Did you come up with a final layout yet? Are you incorporating the "grand hall" idea? Are you keeping the wall in the living room? Are these enough questions? ;)

Inquiring minds want to know...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 4:30PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi KB - I love questions!

No grand hall, too spendy. No wall down in living...too incongruous with character of living. Finalized layout...97% there...pretty much as above. I added a few inches here and took them away there. Now debating on whether to extend the peninsula another foot and ditch the shelves to the right of the doorway. Oh, also have 36" sink now so am making the bottom corner only 18" deep and pushing cabs even a bit farther into dining room.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 18:03

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Is it to late to change things? I think I would switch dining and kitchen. You will want lots of lighting in the kitchen anyways so it being on the interior wouldn't be as big of a deal and the dining would then have windows.

Anyways as to your plan it looks very functional, but have you made sure with the seating you have there that you have enough room to walk past with people sitting at the dining table too? Especially since you mentioned wanting wide aisles.

Also where is the sitting down prep space?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:06PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi Lyfia,

Thanks for your thoughts! It is not too late to change, however I am definitely a "windows in the kitchen" lady. In our previous place we had dining room exterior and kitchen interior and kitchen felt very cavelike to me. I spend a lot more time in kitchen than dining, especially during the day. I'm not happy our dining doesn't have windows--when we first moved in, I conducted a bit of a campaign to get dh to agree to move dr to the living room at front of house, but now I actually love and spend quite a bit of time in living room too!

I agree totally about checking aisle between peninsula and table. I forget the exact number but it's all good assuming I don't have people sitting in both places. If I do it will be a squeeze. -- Edited to add - just checked - it's 44" from countertop edge (overhang) to table edge when table is centred under my chandelier. So I permit walkby traffic only when people are seated at one OR the other. But during parties I have a good 20" I can shuffle the table over to make more room (and people can still sit on the other side of the table). So I think it's workable.

Sitting prep ... Peninsula. That way dh is in his cooking cockpit and I'm still able to bug him...I mean, talk to him.

From another thread, this is my mood board:

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 19:50

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Thanks for the update - will be looking for your progress pics in three months!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 7:30PM
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I love the tile and the dishes! Great colors! :)

I am REALLY late to this party...but just a quick (and probably expensive) question. What if you made the living room into the dining room (fireplace and windows!) and turned the dining room and den into the kitchen? Great space, easy access to dining and family room...and maybe a little seating area by the sunroom windows. Just a couple of chairs and ottoman?

This would give you so much storage, lots of light and room for stools and a few chairs. Would it be a possibility?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 8:03PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi LL,

I like this possibility and would be open to it! We tried to make it work with the architect. It seems so possible...but when you take into account all the doorways and walkways it didn't seem to come together. DH would be less into it -- we do use the living room quite a bit to gather around the fire.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 21:41

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:10PM
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I see what you mean...too many doorways! I thought I'd try something a little different, just to see how it looks. A movable island with stools, a banquette and windows on each side of the range. Oh, and for the banquette, wood/beadboard behind the back cushions with mirror at the top...almost like transom windows to bounce around the light. Just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 1:41AM
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robo (z6a)

How do people who install banquettes deal with having their room off centre? Like, would I swag over my chandelier to the side of the room?

My opening between kitchen and dining is max 10 feet so island doesn't work as well. Although it has some advantages.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:19AM
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Robo- I tried the banquette there for something different, due to all the doorways. Definitely more 'dining room' in feel, than breakfast room. Maybe something like this? From Farmhouse plans

As for the overhead light, yes, I'd swag it. The island is just another possibility. Since you can move it, you'd have a little more flexibility. If your deck isn't used year round, the island could move closer to the slider and you could have a path, between sink and island.

Your U-shape design looks great! I just wanted to try something else, in case it gave you any more ideas. I know a peninsula means a lot of walking around it (which is fine, if that's your best option) but for holidays, etc. it's nice to have the flexibility.

Also...not exactly sure of your room dimensions, but maybe you could move the island back, and slide the banquette table out for more people, just for larger gatherings. Maybe not, but it might be worth exploring...whether you had the banquette or regular table and chairs.

Congrats on starting your new kitchen! :)

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 13:50

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 12:46PM
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robo (z6a)

Definitely loving the banquette idea. It just makes sense. And the idea of panelling/mirrors would be lovely as well!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Robo- you mentioned above that you entertain once or twice a week and parties range from 4 (you,dh, and 2 guests) to 12 (10+ you and DH). Just wanted to play devil's advocate here. Are you sure you want the banquette to be your own dining option?

Don't get me wrong they can be perfect solutions. Look at 2yellowfishes kitchen for proof. We were so inspired by her kitchen that we went the banquette and circular extendable to oval table combination in our lake home. I'm glad we did! Love it. So comfortable for just the three of us. But if we have 10-12 and there are 4+ in the banquette, Ive noticed a few things. The banquette is usually the preferred seating for the two end spots ( or if only one person comes into grab a quick bite in the morning) however, the spots in the middle are usually the dreaded spots no one wants as many people fear bring trapped and having to ask others to get up in middle of meal etc.... I've noticed that it's not as conducive to the whole crowd lingering. I'm glad we do most big party entertaining on the screened porch or decks at the lake. If I were a big entertainer at home with large dinner crowds, I don't think I would chose the banquette... However if I had room just for a family breakfast nook, I definitely would repeat at our main house. Just something to consider.... Good luck with your project! When do you anticipate starting?

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 18:35

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 5:59PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks for those thoughtful words! The good news is since a banquette wouldn't require demo, I can do the kitchen and see how it works with the table, then if necessary can move to a banquette solution.

This is how the dining room looks now, doors lead to future kitchen on right, looking into living room on L.

Although I love those frosted doors....can't wait for them to be gone! Contractor is booked starting in January.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 18:14

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Okay...twelve people, you may have to move to the family room. Eight (maybe 10) would work though, if you moved the island over and turned the table and extended it. Just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Exciting! I love your tile. However, I too wonder about the pennisula. While iyou have a place to sit and talk to the cook, the peninsula may impede good flow for a party. Anyway, the kitchen layout seems functional. I'l be following your progress in the new year.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:48PM
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robo (z6a)

LL - I love your drawings ... they are super cute!!!

I'm thinking for circulation that I am going to widen the door into the kitchen to four feet wide. I'm hearing your concerns about circulation and totally get it. I may just be trying to justify my peninsula here, but I do think this house will never be that super-modern open plan that I totally want (but it has lots of other great points!) -- what I mean is, everywhere else people have to go through doorways to get to every room (living room arch being the largest "doorway") so it's not incongruous to have a "doorway" to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Thanks! I'm having too much fun with my paint program! LOL

The doorway to the kitchen makes sense! It will look great with your style of home...and if you have a really big party, you can dine in the family room :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Would a new window in your utility room across from the DR door bring more light to your DR? If W/D can be moved somewhere else in the utility and the walls on the sides can be removed a big window can be helpful.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:45PM
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robo (z6a)

I think a lot of light will come into DR from new kitchen, which has two skylights and will soon have a patio door letting light in to dining room. There's also a glass door at the bottom of the stairs right next to dining room, and big bright windows in the living. So I'm really not so worried about it. I think I'll paint it a darker color and go for "cozy." But I like the mirrors idea.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Going for cozy sounds perfect. I'm a windows person too, but allowing a space here or there to inward for a change can do wonderful things for the moods of all. IMO a dining room is a perfect candidate since that encourages focus on those around the table.

I love your choices, especially that "starburst" of tile going behind the stove, and am really looking forward to seeing it.What have you chosen for your background tile?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 8:53AM
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robo (z6a)

Hi rosie! I haven't made a choice yet.

The starburst is glossy tile.

I have these cheap 4x12 plain white tiles I used in my shower surround (unfortunately the only pic I have is of when my cat figured out how to open the shower door).

HOWEVER, they're matte. So I don't think they'll go.
Honestly I was thinking of going with a 4x4 or 8x8 gloss white ceram in an offset pattern.

Also I need to decide if I want pencil liner...around the stove? 2/3 of the way up the backsplash?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:21AM
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I think it's great and you will love it. Personally, I like U-shaped kitchen whout an island, but that's a minority opinion here!

For tile, are there any large-format glossy whites? Thinking of something almost monolithic that totally recedes into the background relative to the fabulous Moroccan tiles. Can't wait to see those installed.

I didn't see much lighting discussion after your initial post. I wasn't clear on the location of the chandelier, but it seems to me 4 pendants is already a lot of things hanging down. If you simplified the lighting over the sink (cans?) it would de-emphasize the asymmetry of the sink/window/skylight locations and let the other fixtures predominate.

I hope you're having fun-- I think it will be beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:39PM
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robo (z6a)

It's funny, my parents just moved into a kitchen with almost the same U dimensions. I liked working in it a lot - there was room for a crowd to pop in and out but the cook still had his corner between sink and stove to himself. Maybe I just like it better than my current "fridge in the hallway and post in center of room" situation.

I'm nervous about the pendants. My architect specced cans at first but I was reading lots of negatives about cans in exterior sloped ceilings. The chandy is actually the one you can see in the DR photo above -- very plain. I'm going to hang it almost semi-flush so it should be unobtrusive, in fact b/c the ceiling is peaked you won't see it from outside the kitchen.

So THEN I was going to go with sconces beside the sink, but actually there's no room for sconces unless I mount them on the cabs which is kind of the advanced class as far as I'm concerned. So now I ended up with pendants. Very plain pendants. That I may also hang up high. Or...not sure. I do now have two RH sconces sitting in the basement . Got a little too itchy with the trigger finger on ebay! Guess that means I'll just HAVE to remodel the other bathroom now.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:36PM
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robo (z6a)

5-foot or 6-foot wide patio sliding door? 6-foot will be a squeeze, like if I do a narrow trim it will come right up against the pantry on one side and a little cabinet on the other. 5-foot would give a little drywall strip of breathing space on either side.

Is the functionality of 6 feet way better?

Either way it's north facing so it won't let in a ton of sunlight.

Excited! Ordering the last bits before contractor starts end of January!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Dec 30, 13 at 11:17

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:16AM
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robo (z6a)

So my contractor came over last week and was like "I'm starting next Monday or I'm starting in April" so we're starting next Monday! Super excited/terrified I'll forget everything.

Had 2nd last meeting with cabinet company on Weds and it was a little difficult and disappointing. It's hard to know if I'm the stubborn illogical person that will end up with a non-functional kitchen or a determined person who will the kitchen that best fits our needs. The die is cast either way.

Some decisions:

Glass fronts (two small cabs): 'fluted' - looks like this wide reed

Lowers: black, uppers white

Floors: natural maple select hdwd.

Faucet: delta trinsic

Pulls: contemporary, plain

Counter: birch butcherblock (IKEA), but we also got a smokin deal on an offcut of Caesarstone to go on either side of the sink - Alpine Mist. it's a light green-grey, which is awesome since my entire first floor was already being painted light green-grey.

Quartz is causing its own problems since the two surfaces aren't the same height (30 mm vs 1.5")...but c'est la vie.

The cabinet lady tried to tell me that outlets inside upper cabinets 'weren't to code' -- I think she thought I was trying to put my code accessible countertop outlets in the uppers?

Anyways, I was like "what about people with OTR microwaves?" and she was like "that's different" and I was like "could we pretend I have an OTR microwave in my vent cabinet so I can get an outlet up there?" but it was at the end of a very long meeting so that idea didn't get much traction. So at the end of the day I have to rethink my under cabinet lighting.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 12:58

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:09AM
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I have an outlet, in addition to a transformer, for my UCL in an upper cabinets. I also have a set of outlets in a cabinet for charging. My electrician installed it; the city electrical inspector approved it. I think your cabinet lady is not an electrical expert.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:50AM
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robo (z6a)

I know! Ha! She was generally pretty good but that sounded ridiculous to me.

I think regardless, this cab company isn't exactly into accommodating electrical. So I'm going to talk to my contractor and his electrician for workarounds. I think I can get the vent cab with an open back for a junction box (that's how it was in my last condo kitchen) and do direct wire to the other side of the kitchen for the rest of the UCL.

Forgot to add, although I wanted to do 8" square plain tiles to match my fauxroccan behind-stove, husband strictly forbade square tiles, so we're going with 4x8" rectangular tiles instead:

Like this but glossy.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 12:57

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:06PM
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How exciting!!! I just saw this and wanted to say...I'm so happy for you! I can't wait to see your kitchen progress :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 4:05AM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks LL! Hard to believe my dining room wall will be gone on Monday!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:58AM
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I also have 30" in my prep corner and would recommend exploring whether you could push your stove down a little. I know it will change the perfect symmetry of your uppers and shorten your landing space for the fridge and stove. I think 15" is the minimum for landing space, and you'll still want balance on that wall. Can you steal a few inches from the pantry cabinet?

Either way, I'd switch your blind half-moon to the peninsula corner, giving you drawers to the left of the stove. I think the design always looks more upscale with cabinets on both sides of the stove, especially since you want to feature the Moroccan tiles. It won't look so good stuffed into a corner when you have acres of wall space to the right of the stove. Small appliances don't need to reside in primo cooking space, but I think you'll want your wraps and Tupperware by the stove for preparing leftovers, so you'll have an extra drawer stack for them, along with gadgets, pot holders, etc.

I don't see the need for a 9" tray cabinet (an expensive filler cab forced by the half-moon pull-out) since you're using the over-fridge cab for trays. With the half-moon near the peninsula, maybe you'll come up with a different idea.

The pantry--I see you have three drawers and the upper will just be a deep cabinet? I had a deep cabinet for a pantry in my old kitchen and did I hate it! Have you considered a pull-out pantry for the lower and a small cabinet for the upper? An 8-pack of paper towels fits very nicely in a deep overhead cabinet.

Good score on the Caesarstone! I have a similar pattern in a creamy color and I love it!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:38AM
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robo (z6a)

Mayflowers, thanks so much for your thoughts! What do you think of this plan but with 27" to right of stove and 21" cab to left? I could do 24" and 24" too, but that would shave 3" off the nkba recommendation for shared landing space, plus shave down my pots and pans drawers.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 10:59

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:55AM
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I think 24" would be enough landing space to the right of the stove for cooking since you have plenty of room to the left. I always land in my prep area, but the DR is on that side. Is 24" enough for bags of groceries? Are you doing a French door fridge? If so, you won't put groceries there since the door is in the way. It's easier to load a FD from the front, so you might walk things over from the peninsula--for your pantry too. The other question is whether 24" drawers are wide enough for your pots and pans, but you'd have four deep drawers in two 24" drawer bases.

Otherwise, could you steal 6" from the pantry? I have a 12" pull-out and it's plenty for two people. There's so much more storage in the cabs that go to the ceiling. You'll be surprised if you haven't had them before. I have one 28" cabinet for baking and oils (top shelves are empty), one 18" deep drawer for bread and snacks, a spice drawer, and the pantry for cereal, pasta, and canned goods. You have a few cabinets more than me.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Are you doing the Morrocan tiles on the sink wall as you show in your mood board? I think I might do the window wall with the tiles instead of the stove. I think the window could be a more natural focal point for your layout, even though it's not seen from the dining room. You already plan on glass cabs, so I'd keep the focus in one area. Would like to see some renderings of the window with the tile to the ceiling.

With the stove sharing the refrigerator wall and in a corner, it's not a spectacular focal point. I usually like murals and fancy tile when the stove has its own wall and/or the stove and hood are worthy of calling attention to. I'm not sure it's effective with a 30" stove, but I don't see what you have planned for your stove--maybe it is spectacular! I particularly think it's wasted on a glass cooktop. I see you switched to a chimney hood, which is a better hood for featuring tile. I thought I'd bring this up now in case you do rethink who gets the tiles because you wouldn't have to use a chimney hood and would need over-the hood cabs. It is a nice way to break up a wall of cabinets though. In our remodel, we replaced a 3 year old hood with a chimney just for that reason.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Dreary dining??? I thought we fixed that :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Not sure if you've thought about this yet, but here's more of my 2 cents:
1. consider doing a dead corner where your baking susan is.
So instead of the blind corner, use the 12" + 18" trays = 30 for a 3-drawer.
(what is that 3" next to the fridge"? can you use that next to this new 3-drawer base cab as filler so you can open the drawer)

Then on the other side, instead of the 12" trash (since you already have 18" trash under the sink), take that 12" + 12" from the baking susan = 24. But really 21" since you need space/filler to open it up.

I have 2 corners.
I am so glad that I dead-corner one of them so that I can put in a 3-drawer that is used daily/frequently.
The other corner, I did a blind corner and I RARELY use it. In fact, it's pretty empty because I do not like opening it.

Good luck!
Very exciting!

This is what I mean by dead-corner:

My layout: I dead-corner the left one under the label "KA mixer":

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Huango is suggesting what I suggested--switch the two corners so that you can have the full drawer stack near the stove. I have a blind corner between my stove and refrigerator walls so that I could have two full drawer bases at right angles. Someone here did the math once and found there is more usable storage in two drawer stacks with a blind corner vs. a lazy Susan and other types of corner pull-outs.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:24PM
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robo (z6a)

Hmm, how about something like this? This would solve a lot of problems in terms of aftermarket add ons (wouldn't need any) and countertop heights so I wouldn't mind bringing it to the table with cab designer when he gets here on Tuesday.

Husband is adamantly opposed to pull out pantry so this is as small as the pantry gets, I think. I now have it specced as (top to bottom) door matching height of over-fridge cab, open shallower shelves for cookbooks, then door concealing bank of roll out trays.

Trash under sink is ok but we have four different kinds of trash up here in NS so it's always a struggle finding places for it all.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 5:06PM
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My mom has a 'dead corner' with no lazy susan, but it can be reached through the lower cabinet next to it. She keeps her punch bowl and other items there, which she doesn't use very much. It's a nice compromise, since they would have to take up closet or pantry space otherwise...and she uses them about 4 times a year, so wants them handy for parties.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:09PM
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robo (z6a)

Wall is down, beam is up, and the cabinet company marked all the stuff. Pretty excited right now!

According to my contractor, the last homeowners neglected to put a header over their 64" french doors...the ones they punched into a two story load bearing wall...so, yeah.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Progress! It's nice to know once hidden problems are now being fixed. Good luck on the rest of the Reno. I look forward to seeing the evolution.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:39AM
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What did you decide for a layout?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:16PM
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robo (z6a)

thanks iheart!

may_flowers, thanks for asking! basically the one I posted above. I really liked the idea of having drawer stacks on both sides of the stove. Unfortunately could not sell DH on the pull out pantry much as I would have loved to shrink the pantry and add prep space. And -- he's the cook, so I really wanted to take his wishes into account, especially since I MAJORLY overruled him on the OTR microwave. That man loves OTR micros. His other dearest wish was the bar fridge. Something he always had growing up and wanted to have, so I gave him that one.

My contractor asked for detailed elevations before the cab company was able to provide them so I did these up (cab company is providing tomorrow, architect drawings were good for electrical/plumbing/code but not 100% specific on cabinetry sizes so gfi and stuff isn't marked on here).

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 13:46

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Nice! Don't you just love the drawings? I was amazed by how close they looked to my actual kitchen. Should be a beautiful kitchen!

I had a book shelf in my pantry just like yours in one of my renditions. Are they going to put a back on that opening so the books don't slide into the cavern?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:16PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks! Yes a shallower panel is planned, although I'm pondering because I definitely have enough cookbooks that I could stack the uglier ones in behind and leave the prettier ones in front...a problem I tend to have with books as well...

I forgot to mention I also sacrificed the EZ reach to get bigger glass cabs and a little more space around the window. A triumph of form over function. Also their EZ reach cabs were a very strange shape, like 24" x 38" so they were taking up a LOT of real estate and messing up my stove wall. So bottom line even though I thought they were a must-have, they didn't end up working out.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 15:56

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 3:53PM
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robo (z6a)

I have a kitchen door! This is the most exciting part of the whole process yet, except maybe the beam. I love the way you can see it as soon as you walk in my house.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:53PM
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robo (z6a)

(Old view)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:55PM
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robo (z6a)

Starting to look like a real kitchen!

Caesarstone Alpine Mist

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:38AM
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It's lookin' GOOD! How exciting. Thanks for sharing your progress reports. : ) I'd love to be able to work under those skylights. The light your kitchen is going to have. Ahhhhh.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:48AM
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That really is shaping up nicely! Isn't it fun to see all your thoughts and choices coming together (and looking good)?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:52AM
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robo (z6a)

My friend gave me the ultimate compliment last night - she said it looks like a true Nova Scotian party kitchen.

You might be from Nova Scotia if...


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Oh wow, how exciting! I love the cabinets, am partial to two tone myself, and that sink is fabulous!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:29AM
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I was wondering how things were going with you - it's really taking shape! Can't wait to see more "eye candy" (it's an industry term... ;))!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:09PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks all! Planning out what goes where...and tile layout. I think my husband is becoming allergic to stickies. Thanks to whatever genius suggested photocopying backsplash tile for layout, yet another sanity saving idea from GW!

Everything in this kitchen is 1" higher than my other kitchen (37" counters, 56" bottom of uppers, 55" bottom light rail). I love it but it feels really different for only an inch! Almost intimidating. .

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 10:23

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:06AM
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This looks amazing! I'm sorry but I'm late to the party, I was thinking why don't you put the recyclables in the big laundry/utility room you have now?

I live in Canada too and have the 4 types of garbage but I actually prefer to put my cans and paper recycle into the mud room. One of my pet peeves is when DH puts wet cans/yogurt containers into my small blue bin in the kitchen and mucks up the bottom of the bin. I usually keep the small bin on hand for scraps of dry paper stuff but the larger stuff goes into the big blue box in the mud room. Newspaper and flyers also go directly into the big bin.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:47AM
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It looks fantastic! I don't know if you ever noticed my post about your tile back on Jan. 18--I noticed the other day when you bumped your thread that you never responded. But don't you think the window wall would look gorgeous if you did the tile there instead of over the range? It's not a lot of tile and the window wall seems like more of a focal point to me. I'm not sure about that little bright pop behind the small range. What is the other tile?

More detailed explanation up there ^.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:57AM
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robo (z6a)

Hi may_flowers and jams, thanks for your suggestions!

jams, I think I'm with you. Although I might still keep small containers in the kitchen and larger ones in the mudroom.

may_flowers, thanks so much for your suggestion on the tile. The beauty of the photocopy is that I can try it both ways! I did try the tile on the sink wall but it looked somehow a little off to me, especially because I have a big switch and stuff there. And the Moroccan tile looks a little nicer next to the warmth of the wood. The rest of the BS is plain glossy white 4x8" 'subway.' Although I like the tile a lot, I don't want to run it throughout as it starts to have a wallpaper look that isn't what I'm going for.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 13:17

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Did you see where oldbat2b covered her switchplate with the photocopied tile and then shellacked it? It looks just like tile.

So do you think that tile on both walls would be too much?

Okay, saw your edit.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 13:21

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:19PM
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I think oldbat2be was the genius who first used the idea of using color photocopies to mock up a tile wall. I love your tile, especially with the wood countertops.

I'm intrigued by may_flowers idea about tiling around the window. I'll be watching to see how this wonderful kitchen develops. I think it's looking so beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:23PM
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robo (z6a)

If you hate the tile around the little range now, wait until I get my high backed non-slide-in range in there...the type my husband said to "assume we will have until the end of time." Grrr!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Lol, my DH is already starting to sound like that, and we haven't even started. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:01PM
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High-backed range with that tile? Gulp.

You don't think this is getting a little busy with all the different tiles, counters, and cabinet colors?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:44PM
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robo (z6a)

Nope! I love it! But I'm not a OTK or restrained type of person.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 16:37

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:33PM
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robo (z6a)

Caesarstone Alpine Mist and IKEA birch numerar. And Eddie. Really pleased with the Alpine Mist. The cobwebby 'veins' are long and the light grey appears slightly translucent so the material appears to have depth.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:31PM
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robo (z6a)

Double post.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 20:38

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:36PM
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