Am I over-thinking this? WWYD?

animacafeMay 24, 2013

Hi All -

Getting down to the final cabinet decisions here and am making myself crazy. Your input would be appreciated! Option A pictured below was the first elevation I received from the cabinetmaker. I noticed that the upper cabinet doors were a-symmetrical and asked about it. He said he was trying to give me the largest drawers he could on the right for pots and pans while keeping the stove centered more on the wall:

He sent me option B which allows for symmetry in the upper cabs, but then the stove is centered more on the cabinet run and right-of-center from an overall wall perspective. It also means no tray cabinet - which I think I can make up for elsewhere. (Cabinets will be white in both scenarios - they are green here just to make sure we don't confuse the images).

Since the stove wall will be a focal-point when you are seated in the dining room (which is the other side of the peninsula) it seems like these details will get noticed? I like the placement of the stove better in option A - but don't know if the cabinet door thing will bug me over time. Ugh! Can't wait until this is all over.

I don't think I would have made it this far without all the great input from GWers! Thank you all for your help!

For context - here is a 3-D view:

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I like B better. You read center-of-the-run because part of the wall is hidden behind the other run.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Option B without a doubt. Larger cabinets store more stuff than two small cabinets of the same overall dimension. Put a tray divider over the fridge instead.

One other thing I'd suggest for the fridge wall is to put the wall/base cabinet in the center between the two tall cabinets so it can act as landing space for both of them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Definitely B!! The asymmetry of the uppers in Plan A is much more noticeable than that of the stove placement in B.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:17PM
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B definitely. There is something slightly off about A. I want to take the whole wall and just shift it over slightly - which is what B does.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:21PM
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I would choose Plan B -- the asymmetry of the uppers in Plan A would bug me.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:50PM
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A looks busy and the use of cabinet space doesn't look so good to me. B looks better aesthetically and the wider drawers will be more useful.

I hope you will post your full plan here for review to make sure you are maximizing the space.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:38PM
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I put a tray cabinet next to my sink - because it made functional use of an otherwise awkward space (9" wide). In your case, the drawers beside the stove are much more functional. There isn't a logical reason for putting the tray cab in A.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Thanks everyone! I feel much better about it now!

For anyone interested - the kitchen plan involves taking out a wall between the Kitchen and DR and replacing it with a peninsula. I have asked him to fully remove the wall where the x is in the floorplan image below - otherwise it is accurate. The doorway to the family room is currently 30'' wide - and it will be widened to 48'' to open things up a little more and to provide room to maximize the peninsula.
Thoughts are welcome!

The other question I am wrestling with is how to incorporate a feeding station for the dog. End the peninsula with shelving and set the bowls in the bottom shelf? Or end the peninsula with table legs and shelter the bowls underneath? Or just have the counter overhang by enough to tuck the bowls under? Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:09PM
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More drawers ! Under microwave ? In peninsula ?

Where is pantry storage ?

Instead of the little lower & upper cabinets to left of fridge facing same direction as fridge, how about one full height full width cabinet facing towards entryway. Could be used for pantry, for cleaning supplies, for broom cabinet, for cookbooks . . . .

14 or 15" deep uppers where possible. Great to have uppers deep enough for the large salad serving bowls or mixing bowls etc. Also, great because this extra couple inches will give you space to store glasses 4 deep instead of 3 deep.

I assume that's trash pullout to right of sink ?

No advise on dog bowls. I would want them as hidden as possible, even to the point that they wouldn't be seen if possible.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 4:15AM
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Good call on the plan B. Could dog bowls be under an overhang on one side with paneling or shallow cabinets on the other side to shield the view from the living area? Please explain the term "over-thinking" there such a thing wrt kitchen renovation and if so would anyone here admit to it? :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Sophie Wheeler

OK, after seeing the plan, here's a suggestion. I think you may be taking down the wrong wall. Look at taking down the wall between the kitchen and family room rather than the kitchen and the dining room. Taking down the DR wall de-formalizes that room. You already abut a less formal room: the family room. Removing that wall would increase your connection to the family and still give you a casual place to snack while preserving a more formal room to have gatherings in. Everyone needs adult space, and a DR is a good place to have that.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 8:50AM
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@angela12345 - I know! I keep wishing my house were bigger - or I could steal some space from an adjacent room to get a proper pantry. Unfortunately - behind the range wall are two bathrooms - so no room there. The two cabs by the entry way are angled - the thought being that it will be less like walking through a little two foot tunnel into the kitchen. The existing kitchen has no cabinetry or appliances on the wall to the entry - or the wall to the DR. So at least I am doubling the cabinet space I have to work with.
LOVE the idea of 14 or 15" uppers - I will ask about that!

@kksmama - according to DH I overthink everything! It takes me months of looking at paint swatches hanging on walls to pick exactly the right shade of color. :) We re-sided the house last year with vinyl cedar-shake and I had six different colors tacked up on the front of the house for weeks.

@hollysprings - Thank you so much for challenging my thought process. DH doesn't want to talk about this at all and I don't have anyone to debate with b/c whenever I voice an idea to a KD or GC they pretty much yes me - what I really want is a debate so I can make the right decision. De-formalizing the DR has been a concern of mine too. The advantage to removing that wall is this light from the DR window:

This window was installed last summer - there had never been a window in the DR. I would love to open up to the FR - but face two constraints - 1. it is a load-bearing wall, and 2. It doesn't share a whole wall with the kitchen - part of it is exterior.

That's where I started evaluating moving into a different house instead of remodeling - but there isn't a lot out there and I like our location a lot.

@ everyone - Thank you all so much for being willing to discuss this with me! I feel like I have been doing this in a vacuum without constructive input.

The other thought I had to help with the de-formalization issue is to NOT put an overhang for seating on the peninsula. The DR table is right there anyway - and we mostly eat at that table since it is so close to the kitchen. By not having the seating I can finish the backside of the peninsula in a more formal fashion which might help? Your thoughts?

- animacafe

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Current ktichen from the DR doorway.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Holly- Kay

Anima,I can so relate to not having someone to bounce ideas off of. DH doesn't want to talk about my reno either. Thank goodness for GW!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 12:24PM
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I don't think you can over think it and need to continue working things. It seems like the lowers are not the greatest storage, meaning cabinets rather than drawers and drawers and cabinets that look rather narrow.

I would get other layouts and opinions on maximizing the space. I would want big drawers not awkward cabinets, the broom closet if possible, wider drawers than the small ones where possible, figure out where to feed the pets etc. The narrow cabinet to the left of the refrigerator looks wasteful, to me. I wonder if the lower area surrounding the sink could be better.

Don't be rushed! It's too important. Sales are always around and often extended.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sat, May 25, 13 at 14:39

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Drawers, drawers, drawer - where ever you can.

I can't read your measurements so please excuse anything that I mention if it doesn't work out size -wise.

What did you have planned for your peninsula? It doesn't look like you need it for prep work or clean-up. I can't read what is planned for that area. How wide is your peninsula including the overhang. What I'm wondering is if you have planned say 12"-15" overhang you could build that as a buffet on the DR side with cabinets that can be partially glass. Like you say - dress it up.

The fridge wall - what are your plans for the narrow cabinets to the left of the fridge. How wide is it going to be? The cabinet to the right of the micro-wave I would bring that down to the counter (that's the end of the peninsula right?) and then build the DR side into a lower buffet.

Instead of doing a lazy susan in that corner - have it open from the DR side.

Good for you for recognizing that your GC and KD were playing the "yes" game. You CANNOT over think planning a kitchen. It took me two years and probably 50 plans before I was ready to go. I mocked up this and that, I pretended I was cooking in the new kitchen to check aisle-widths and walking paths. Don't rush the process.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 2:40PM
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@ holly-kay - thanks for the support! I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

@snookums2 - very good points, thank you. Do you find that the drawer-depths are limiting at all? I was thinking they might be constraining when something doesn't fit. However - being 6' tall - things that roll-out when they are low are definitely an advantage!! I think I am getting caught up in the moment. I find that the more time I have to re-think things, the more re-thinking I will do - which often just leads to second-guessing. It is so hard to keep perspective!

@blfenton - Thank you for taking the time to respond!

I could certainly make the lower cabs in the peninsula into drawers - have you found the depth to be restrictive at all? The benefit of the peninsula is really the extra cabinet space and ability to use it as a buffet during large gatherings. It also seems like a great place to roll-out cookie dough at the holidays. :) Yes - the overhang is 15" - I was debating whether to put stools there or not. I like the idea of having a built-in buffet style storage on the DR side. I suppose I could also make that set of cabinets a different color - or stain them to feel more like a piece of furniture.

I don't really have any plans for the narrow cabinet left of the fridge. The idea was really to provide a softer transition into the room at the doorway - and maybe a place to toss keys and keep a notepad. It is a 12'' angled cabinet. I think I like the idea of a broom closet better - it will likely get more efficient use. I'm glad you said something about the orphan glass cabinet - I hadn't noticed that before. It would be better to extend it to the counter. Maybe even turn it to face the DR so it becomes a part of the hutch-like buffet?

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 4:30PM
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I would definitely do something different with that wall end of the peninsula. It is like a blind corner, except it is a blind counter! You won't see it from the kitchen, and doesn't seem particularly useful (or appealing) from the DR side.

Extending the cabinet to the counter seems like the best idea. The top shelves will be hard to reach though, won't they?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 4:56PM
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@ raee - I think if I turn the cabinet to face the DR and bring it down to the counter it will present better - plus it will be easier to reach the top. Maybe turn it to face the DR AND make it deeper? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you keep the same layout, why do you even need the peninsula? It's not in a good spot for any work to ever get done. I'd just do the wall of cabinets and then do a shallow "room divider" type double sided china cabinet/island to the ceiling that would let you have traffic paths on both sides into the DR.

I'm cogitating about a different layout. We'll see if that amounts to anything.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Thanks hollysprings - that is a very interesing 'out of the box' thought. I mocked this up on NKBA's planning tool - is that what you had in mind?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Sophie Wheeler

That's it, but glass on all sides so that it's open and closed at the same time. And you can see your dishes.

Like these double sided glass cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:02AM
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"We re-sided the house last year with vinyl cedar-shake and I had six different colors tacked up on the front of the house for weeks. "

I don't see a problem with this... over thinking a remodel would be hard to do. There is point you need to make decisions - but only after exploring all options!

I like the glass door cabs between kit and DR.
And having the peninsula corner cab open into the DR for DR storage - tablecloths, napkins, placemats, candles etc

the more drawers the better. Measure your 'stuff' to see what the tallest item(s) are. deep drawers on bottom w/ more shallow drawers above them should work for most things. You don't need to fill the bottom ones to the brim if you don't have a lot of tall stuff - but the room is there if ever needed.

my sister has an 'island' between her kit and DR. it has an overhang but is seldom used for seating area. She has 2 stools there for IF and when needed. That's most likely only when her kids come to visit from out of state.

It might be nice with a stool or 2 for someone just visiting while you're cooking, rolling out cookies etc.

will post some pics on fridge side cab and pet centers.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Although hollysprings idea is interesting I thought you wanted the kitchen to be more open to the DR because of the light you will get from the new window?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:14PM
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blfenton, I do, and after looking at it this isn't going to accomplish that - the room isn't big enough to refract enough light. I am always willing to look at things from a different perspective. I do have some concerns about de-formalizing my dining room - but I think the payoff from the added light and window view is going to be worth it. I also like the added countertop space - even though I don't have specific plans for it other than using it as a buffet at the holidays.

I am back to working out what to do with the "orphaned" glass cabinet and whether to go for drawers in the lower cabinets on the peninsula. Everyone raves about them - but they seem so specific to size - I worry if I make a mistake in measuring or decide to change where something is stored they will be too restrictive.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:30PM
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I was going to post a few pics but I guess I can't anymore.

attempting that is more thinking than I want to do.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Updated treatment of glass cabinet... does this work better?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 10:06AM
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I like that it comes to the counter. Another option is to turn the cabinet so that it faces the DR - especially if you add some storage under the overhang of the peninsula. When entering the cabinet you are then opening it facing you instead of slightly to the side.

You would have a solid 12" wall facing you which would match the other side of the fridge and if you were to put the same type of moulding on it (if any, I don't know what your plans are) then they would bookend the fridge/micro combo. It's just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I'm just going to address where you feed the dog. If it were at the end of the peninsula, even under a bit of an overhang, I'll bet I'd kick it at least once a day...and that's knowing it was there. I can see guests coming around the peninsula to help out and doing the same thing. I have two cat dishes and a water bowl that I put against the wall on the far side of my open-to-the-kitchen dining room. It's out of the way so the cats can have their own space and I don't kick it across the room when I'm not paying attention. I can always move them aside when I have people over for a meal, but that's not the norm. I'm fine with animal dishes in the kitchen, but the end of the peninsula is too high-traffic for that, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 2:02PM
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blfenton - I like that idea too. Either way it looks much better extended to the counter.

angela12345 - my upper cabinets will now be 15" deep - THANK YOU! Great suggestion!

linelle - I am glad you said that! My worry has been that they will get kicked over, and that the dog will be in the way when he is eating. For some reason I had it in my head that the bowls could not be in front of a cabinet - but now I am realizing that I could probably put them on the floor in front of the Microwave as long as they allow clearance for the cabinet door to swing open. Then I could just move them if we are entertaining. I think I may keep the bookshelf ending to the peninsula anyway - to store cookbooks etc.

Thank you all!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 2:51PM
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The cabinet looks better on the counter (I would raise it from being directly on the counter) but the landing area for the refrigerator and microwave do not look close enough to be comfortable, to me.

I still think you need to have a KD (not a cabinetmaker and/or GC) look at your kitchen plans.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Thanks snookums, I appreciate your comment. I have tried working with three CKDs. Two tied to cabinet distributors and one independent. None of them really gelled. One wanted me to rip out the hallway coat closet for aesthetic reasons! She didn't like the wall on the right as you walk in. I do worry about fridge landing space- but I don't see a way to achieve that. I think the microwave is ok because it is next to the peninsula as a landing space?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Then maybe one of the ones here can advise whether the layout is okay or not. It's too expensive to go through all this and end up with functional problems.

Seems like a lot of open space. You don't like islands? Seems like it would block easy access to the fridge though.

How long are the legs of your work triangle?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, May 29, 13 at 10:28

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Thanks again snookums! I do wish the kitchen were bigger and could support an island. Unfortunately the distance between sink cabs and fridge cabs is only 96''. I could squeeze in a narrow 24'' island - but I think it would be more in the way than useful - particularly since I am stuck with a diagonal traffic pattern crossing from the front entryway to the family room. One CKD I spoke with suggested a small rolling island - which I could always add later if I decide to.

The longest distance in the work triangle is 8' from the refrigerator to the sink. Everything else is within the suggested range of 4'-7'.

I appreciate you challenging my decisions - it really helps me determine whether I am on the right track or not! I am far from perfect and the more eyes that look at this, the more likely all the kinks will be caught before they get implemented!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Yay, 2 points for me ! ; )

I do like the glass cabinet coming down to the counter at the end of the run as well. Looks much better that way, IMO. You could even have the doors open both directions (to kitchen and dining). Maybe. Not sure what I think about that. Or, have glass facing both ways (glass front & glass side).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 7:02PM
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