Kitchen Layout from KD - Please Advise

CamGMay 3, 2013

Here is the layout I received from the kitchen designer. The kitchen sink faces out to the backyard; to the left is our only dining room, and then to the left of the dining is the family room; to the bottom is our living room. There is a counter-height island with a 15" overhang. The island cabs are just drawers over doors. To the lower left is a microwave cab and broom closet.

KD Plan:

KD's Elevation:

I must have miscalculated in my cabinet dimensions, but I originally had planned on having the following, which to make now would require another 6" of cabinets.

My Plan:

Now I'm wondering if the KD's plan does not make more sense. If I do my idea, I have to move the window to the right, which makes the uppers surrounding the window really asymmetrical. Further, it puts a lot of activity right between the fridge and sink--unloading the dishwasher, getting to the fridge, unloading flatware from the drawer base, etc.

If we keep the KD's plan, I want to modify it to put a trash pullout to the left of the sink--but that's too big of an space, isn't it? If I put an 18" trash pullout, then what do I do with the 12" left over? I don't see a better place for the pullout.

Finally, in this case, should I stagger the uppers? We'll have 9' ceilings. Not sure what finish for the cabs yet.

Thanks so much for any thoughts.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you double checked to be sure your refrigerator door has enough room to swing open far enough to maneuver stuff in and out of the freezer section? I can't really tell for sure what's next to it on the left.

On your island: why is there a half wall? It seems unnecessary. You should definitely use all drawer cabs under the island. The same for the cabinet to the left of the sink. Especially since you'll have a walk-in pantry, there is no need for a lower reach-in cabinet. Think how much you like squatting down and unloading your current cabinets to reach that thing you need in the back. No? Me either - go for lower drawers.

While your various height uppers are kind of interesting, I'd rather have to-the-ceiling uppers. If you do decide to go to the ceiling, you might want to go with your 36" height cabinets + a stacked one on top of that. Or you could do 42" cabs with significant moldings. (The pictured upper corner cab seems to be a 42"er.) If you stick with short-of-ceiling cabs, be sure to get one of those extension rod dusters so you can dust up there regularly.

Have you seriously considered what cabs you want for that inside corner? The solution shown is a common one, but there are other choices which you may like better. If you've chosen this corner by default, but would like to consider other configurations, search for corner cab threads. People have lots of opinions on what they chose and why they do or don't love what they have - and photos, lots of photos.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Suzannesl, thanks for the ideas. I don't think there is really a half wall on the island--I think that was a mistake for the KD. The builder is going to tile the back of the cabinets. I will make sure the KD is aware of this.

I will see about the price for drawers in the island. We're pretty close to max budget on this, but that may be workable. I'll see about what options the cabinet company has for corner cabinets, good idea.

Because of the budget, I think we'll skip cabs to ceiling or stacked cabs. I originally planed for 8' ceiling and 42" cabs to do that, but with a 9' ceiling, going to the ceiling would cost a lot for a look we're not particularly in love with.

What do you think about the placement of dishwasher/pullout trash?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the varying cab heights is distracting, rather than interesting. However, I am a "clean lines" kinda gal, so take that as you will.

If you do a trash on the sink wall, the 12" remaining is excellent for tray storage, cutting boards, etc. I would still try to put the DW to the left of the sink, between the sink and fridge, I realize that will take some work to get things looking symmetrical, but getting it out of the corner AND out of the prime prep zone would be worth it to me.

And while I agree with Suzanne that the angled corner cab is not my favorite choice, it may balance well with your angled walk-in pantry door. It is hard to tell without seeing elevations of that wall.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, I really like the upper corner cab. I'm ready to make that my coffee center, and I like how it looks. I thought the issue was with the lower lazy Susan.

I'm really not a fan of the staggered cabs, just not sure.

If we do my idea, should I increase the length of that run to fit an 18" drawer base or leave it for a 12" tray? That seems like pretty prime real estate for cookie sheets? Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 1:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

One thing that jumps out at me is I only see one set of drawers. The rest of the drawers are above base cabinets. Do the base cabinets include roll out shelves?

IMO you can never have enough drawers. It is one of the things that I am not happy with in my own plan. If your sink is not terribly deep you can use the below the sink area for your roll out trash and use the saved cabinet for drawers or a base cab with roll out shelves.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are considering putting roll-out shelves in some of the base cabinets. I certainly appreciate that we could always use more drawers, but again, budget is an issue. Once I get the layout regarding the dishwasher/sink right, we'll figure out what extras are within our budget, including roll-out shelves or perhaps drawers in more places.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Personally, I like the differing heights of the cabinets as it adds interest. We will be doing this in our upcoming remodel. We have 9 ft ceilings as well. The other issue for us was cost. It would have been more expensive for us to go with all taller uppers.

I do like your layout, with respect to having pullout waste baskets next to the sink, with the dishwasher on the other side. That is the same thing that we are doing in our layout. Scrape plates into the trash, rinse at the sink if needed, then load to the dishwasher.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, May 3, 13 at 14:51

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get drawers. I would change cabinet manufacturer before giving up drawers.

Lazy susans can be pricy. Our lower corner cabinet was about $450. With a lazy susan it would have been $850. I didn't want the lazy susan anyway. Think what exactly you will put in that lower cabinet. I have larger odd shaped items in there, so no LS for me.

Trim/molding can add alot to the price to check for savings there.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Because you have a walk-in pantry that can hold tall items, I would not have ANY lower cabinets that weren't all drawers (excepting sink and trash of course).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cam, get drawers now, prep on plywood for now. :)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good idea about eliminating the lazy susan. I'll see how much that would save.

We'll get as many drawers as we can afford. We're getting pretty cheap laminate, so no splurging on granite and skimping on cabs.

Here's a photoshop elevation of my idea, with trash on right side of sink:

The cabinet above the dishwasher is 42". Is that too big? Does this change make sense?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a similiar layout with trash on left and dishwasher on right side of sink. I would not put the DW on the left side because if the DW is open, person prepping can't get to fridge and person emptying the DW is standing at sink. So if you are a single person, this is not a problem, but for 2 or more, I think its going to be annoying.

In my similiar layout, I have the fridge where you show your MW and I prep on my island. Did you consider that?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@CamG - With a 42" cabinet, there may end up being a center stile. If you don't like that look (my DW hates center stiles) then consider two smaller cabinets instead of the large one.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kristen Hallock

I had a similar layout in my last house. Starting at your fridge I had 36" fridge, 24" pantry with pullout shelves, 24" 4-drawer base, 24" dishwasher, 36" sink, 36" super Susan, 30" range, 15" 3-drawer base. I had a long island and at the end near the range was a 21" pullout trash. I loved that location for the trash.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dilly, we did consider at length the idea of putting a fridge where the broom closet is, but that would put an island between the fridge and the sink. I'll have to measure but I think with an 18" cab between the fridge and the DW, we wouldn't hit when we open. I am nervous whether my layout allows for two people to do the dishes, though.

Gpraceman, we are okay with the stile. All our cabs have them now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"... DW on the left side...if the DW is open, person prepping can't get to fridge and person emptying the DW is standing at sink..."

No matter where the DW is, that will be a problem for the Prep Zone in general (the space b/w the sink/water source and range).

On the left: An open DW will block the aisle b/w the refrigerator and Prep Zone or range.

On the right: An open DW blocks access b/w the sink and the range - even worse! It also forces someone prepping there to step aside and wait while the DW is open.

I would rather have the DW on the left so it's not blocking access to Prep Zone and to the sink from the range.

In addition, several people here have said they dislike having only 12" b/w the DW and corner for unloading dishes. We had that in our old kitchen and it wasn't an issue - but you might want to think about that. Oh...and that would also mean if the DW is on the right someone emptying the DW will be completely blocking the Prep Zone (not just over the DW), the aisle b/w the sink or refrigerator and range and, possibly, the range itself.

One way to solve the problem is to be sure you have at least a 48" aisle b/w the island counter edge and the perimeter counter edge (I don't know what you have in your layout). This way, you'll have room for an open DW w/o blocking anyone's access. A wider aisle will also allow you to have someone working at the island while someone else is working at the sink.

CamG - I like your latest layout much better! But, I think I like the stacked cabs in your first layout gives you taller upper cabinets in some cases.

Drawers vs ROTS (roll out tray shelves)...check pricing in your cabinet line. In some cabinet lines cabinets with ROTS cost close to the same as drawers - especially when the drawer faces are slabs like yours.

One suggestion for saving money on the cabs: For the narrower cabs, don't get drawers (except the top drawer). Instead, get ones with the single shelf - but adjustable. Then, use the bottom of the cabinet for cutting boards, trays, cooling racks, etc. The shelf could then be close to the top for longer platters to be stored front-to-back. Since you don't have an oven stack, you will need that type of storage somewhere and vertical storage for trays, etc. is more useful than trying to store them flat.

So, I suggest drawers for the wider cabinets (21" & wider) and "regular" cabinets for the narrower one I see b/w the refrigerator and DW.

Corner (base)...I also recommend keeping the corner susan. Look into which is less expensive..."lazy" susan or "super" susan. Either one offers excellent pot & pan storage or small appliance storage. Another advantage of corner susans is that the contents are always right in front of you - spin the shelf until the item you want is in front. It's a simple matter of taking it out. Corner drawers are also nice, but they aren't "standard" and are usually only available with fully custom cabinets.

In our old kitchen, we stored all our pots & pans, colanders, and several serving dishes in a lazy susan. I really wanted another one in our new kitchen for small appliance storage, but I was thinking out loud one day about using a "straight" cabinet turned 90 degrees so it faced outside the kitchen and could hold dog food, treats, etc. and my DH heard me - he immediately latched onto the idea and I lost my small appliance storage! (They're in my rather small pantry now, taking up valuable space!)

[A "lazy" susan has a center pole and the door is often attached to the shelves so it rotates in when spinning the susan - no doors banging adjacent cabinets. A "super" susan has no center pole, rather, you have two "turntables" sitting on stationary shelves. The door cannot be attached in this case, so you have a door that swings out, but there's no center pole taking up space.]

Corner (upper)...consider an "easy reach" cabinet that has a 90-degree angle rather than the diagonal. It will open up that wall. If symmetry is important to you, the easy reach may be an issue....but try it to see.

One last the refrigerator against a wall? If so, is the wall no deeper than the depth of the refrigerator carcass/box? The doors must stick out past obstructions to open fully. If the wall is deeper, you will need filler or a cabinet b/w the wall and refrigerator.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@CamG - Keep in mind with stiles, if you want rollouts in a base cabinet or tall cabinet, you will end up with much narrower rollouts with dead space in the middle. That is why my DW insisted on no stiles. Our last home and our current home have cabinets with stiles and rollouts. The rollouts ended up being too narrow to hold many of the items that she wanted to put there. DW can't wait until her new cabinets are installed.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice.
I talked the cab guy, he said eliminating the lazy Susan doesn't save much cost. It is a super Susan without a pole. So we will keep that.

That's an interesting idea about wider drawers. I suppose we could make both the current drawer base into regular cabs, and make the two 36" cabs in the island all drawers? I don't know that I have ever seen a drawer base that is that big. Would it make sense to store flatware in such a big drawer? Seems like a big drawer to be opening and shutting constantly. Plus I was thinking the big cabinets would be great for things like skillets, woks, etc?

I think I'm pretty excited about our current upper corner. We stayed In a vacation home with one and it was the coffee center, which I loved, so I think the smaller door will be fine. To be honest, I feel like this kitchen will have way more storage than we could ever need--but maybe I need to expand my cooking methods!

The side of the fridge is open to the dinning room (with a finished cabinet end) so there's no problem with opening the doors. Plus, we do intend on having a 48" distance from counter to counter, although our standard depth fridge will stick out a bit. We could do CD, but we are getting black and really want a textured front which you can't find in CD. I am trying to convince my wife to let me paint the fridge w chalkboard paint for the kids, so that would make the smooth black finish easier to live with... :). (We will probably get a pantry door with a built in chalkboard if not.)

Gpraceman, I think the only cab that would need stiles is the 42" upper to the left of the sink, where we will store out glasses, so we are okay with that if necessary. I do agree that it will be nice to get away from stiles with the other cabs.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you questioning have a 36" drawer base? I have a 36" cabinet in my island with 3 drawers. Top is flatware, middle, all dinnerware and some mugs, bottom casseroles and misc.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can have two 18" drawers as the top row of a 36" drawer base. Here's a mid-reno photo of mine, and I do keep flatware in the left top drawer, cooking utensils in the other. 36" is a fine size for drawers; I don't think I'd want any bigger than that, though.
The drawer stack under the cooktop has two fake drawer faces on top, and I keep skillets in the drawers under it. Lower drawers instead of cabinets were one of my main goals, and if you search old threads on this forum, you will see that they are hugely popular on GW. No one has ever said, "Gee, I wish I still needed to get on my knees and unstack stuff to get the skillet out".

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We saw the wide drawers at Ikea and loved the idea. The front of our island will be all drawer cabinets, including a 37" one the cooktop will sit over. We plan on having our cookware in the deeper drawers. Since our cooktop it not too tall, we will have a working top drawer that we will use for cooking utensils.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Drawers, drawers, as many as possible! If you have an IKEA nearby, go explore and play. That really helped me realize how much I wanted/needed the drawers.

I also like the staggered height of your uppers! It's very pretty and adds interest to your space. Keep them!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 3:14PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Prep sink location
After a lot of talking on another thread, I took sena01...
Jennifer Weinman
karin_mt & Marble Owners Who Have Been Able to Remove Etching
I've read that some have been successful at removing...
Strategies for washing dishes in a large single sink vs double sink
Hi all, We have in our plans to get a large (33 inch)...
Old, Deep Cast Iron Sink or New Sink? I can't decide
Hello, would love to hear from those of you who have...
Cindy McMahon
Help needed with this beam!!!
We had part of a wall taken down in the kitchen &...
Sponsored Products
Alsace Five Light Foyer
$522.00 | Bellacor
Toscano Leather Dining Chairs (Set of 2) - Brighton Lemon Grass Yellow
Joybird Furniture
Savannah Gardens Tablecloth 90" Round
$139.90 | Horchow
Moooi | Paper Table Patchwork
Chintaly Teresa 5 Piece Dining Table Set - CTY1303
Table Top Hot Dog Steamer
$659.00 | FRONTGATE
WIRES Paper Towel Holder by Blomus
$17.09 | Lumens
Hanging Around Oak Cutting Board - Oval
$24.99 | Dot & Bo
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™