Open Cabinet Question

libraryhazApril 27, 2013

We are trying to finalize our design and are thinking of using open cabinets to the left of our sink because it seemed that closed cabinets felt a bit claustrophobic. I also want a place for my cookbooks. Our images show 3 open shelves but I am leaning towards just two. I envision half of each shelf being books and the other half either being heavily used glasses/dishes and/or a wicker basket with napkins or dishtowels.

Right now, the design has an open corner cabinet on the right side of the sink; I am not in love with this type of cabinet...

My questions are:
1) Does open cabinetry have to be symetrical? ie, does there have to be open cabinets on each side of the sink?
2) What can I do in place of that open corner cabinets?
3) Thoughts on the design as a whole?

Thanks for any and all thoughts.




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It's not balanced. I'd prefer to use an open cabinet there rather than open shelving if you want open storage. And eliminate the dinky shelves to the right. I'd also use an L shaped upper corner cabinet and not a diagonal one. And no OTR. Use a real vent instead. You've got enough room to put a MW elsewhere. And add light rail molding and under cabinet lights if you don't have it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Thanks live wire, I so appreciate your feedback. Yes, the imbalance bugs me too. My concern about the L upper is that it's hard to reach/access and isn't the most practical space, but I also am not over the moon about the diagonal in that spot. I have another one that mirrors angles in other places that I don't mind. We are going OTR due to cost...

Some other views of our current design (without open cabs or shelving...I thought of adding something open because it felt closed-in and I very much want a visible place for my cookbooks...). Maybe I keep it closed and deal with the claustrophobia and find another spot for books?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:19PM
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L shaped upper corner cabinets are easier to access than diagonal uppers. And diagonal corners in bases increase counter costs.

Try putting a glass doored cabinet to the left of the sink. To save costs, you can order it merely interior finished to match and cut for glass and then source the glass locally.

Is that a pantry there next to the angled cabinet? Not loving either of those as well. I'd prefer to switch the fridge and pantry and add a prep sink to the island, but understand if you're trying to limit costs and can't consider that. At the least I'd eliminate the angled cabinets. They cost a lot and add very little storage.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 6:49PM
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I like the round end of the island. Looks British.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Yes, I was thinking that the fridge and the pantry should be switched although the fridge is 36" and the pantry is 30". I can do it if I lose the drop zone/charging station/space for my bulletin board angled counter on the end.

My kitchen is definitely not big enough to warrant a prep sink--if I switch the fridge and oantry I can get to the sink in 3 steps. I also much prefer an uninterrupted island. Our Reno is in a 1977 split level house that is less than 1600 sq ft total. My main floor (of which the kitchen is part) is 20' x 26' (K, LR, DR) smaller than some GW kitchens! We are trying to keep costs as low as we can but want our new kitchen to be nice and livable since we spend our waking time at home in that main level space.

My layout priorities were to:
1) open up K to DR to make it a more unified space
2) counter seating for at least 4 that should be non-linear (ie, we are not all lined up in a row) -- we will eat there most of the time and I want the seating to be social, if that makes sense.
3) larger pantry space (I have 24", I wanted 30")
4) small drop zone/charging area to prevent the island from becoming just that.
5) an shelf for my cookbooks where I can easily see and access them
6) space for a narrow (30" wide) farmhouse-style dining table for when we need to feed more people.

I feel panicked that I am going to do this whole thing "wrong." But I also know that ANYTHING on the planet will be better than my current kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Heavily used dishes/glasses may be OK in shelves or open cabinets, but books may get sticky after a while. It may be better to store them farther from the stove.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:26PM
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usually,because of the deep return on the right side of fridge, a transitional wall cabinet of 18 or 15 in deep is placed, then transition to the 12 in deep wall cabs. With the open shelf you show, that can't really be implemented and the shelves look dwarfed by the structure to the left. try a double door or voided door cabinet at 15 inches deep, perhaps a 2 cabinet setup with the upper cab having doors similar to top of fridge doors,and a cabinet below that with no doors. How about shelves for cookbooks below counter on side of pantry on other side of room?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:33PM
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