Finalizing Kitchen Plans in New Construction

snookers1999May 17, 2014

So, I posted the plans for my new house in the "New Build" forum and I had a few suggestions to post a picture of my kitchen/dinning/pantry area on this forum to help me decide if this is the best layout for my kitchen or not. This is my "Dream" home as well as my "Forever" home and I don't want to make a mistake I will regret later on, so any advice, good or bad, would be greatly appreciated.

My biggest concerns are where to put the microwave & the design of my hood above my cooktop. Should it be the same width as the 36" cooktop or wider than that?

Currently there is 36 inches of counter space on each side of the cooktop & 27 inches of counter space on either sides of the ovens. The aisle way between the Cooktop and Island will be 45" (48" if you don't count the overhang of the countertops. and 41.5" between the ovens and the Island (42" without overhang).

The current kitchen dimensions are:

Kitchen: 14'8" x 13'

Dining Area: 13' x 13

Pantry: 13' x 7'

The Island is 9' x 5'


Bosch 800 36 inch induction cooktop

Bosch 800 24 inch dishwasher

LG 32.5 Cubic Feet French Door Fridge (LFX33975ST)

GE Profile 30" Advantium Wall Oven (240V)

GE Profile 30" Convection Wall oven (PT7050SFSS)

The French doors in the dining area lead out to a 14' x 14' screened in porch.

Also I'm a big fan of symmetry in my house, so that is very important to me when it comes to my kitchen.

FYI, the area between the fridge and the wall is a full height pantry.

The area beyond the kitchen island opens up into a large great room.

The doorway in the kitchen leads to a hallway that connects to the garage.

Here's the URL for my entire house plans if you need them:

Here is a link that might be useful: I have a headache, please help me review my floor plan!

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I'm sure other with more design skills than I have will jump in but, at a glance, your traffic flow appears to have some fairly serious issues. The refrigerator is in a terrible place if there will ever be more then one person in the kitchen. The sink across from the range is somewhat hazardous and, should anyone try and go through that aisle to get a drink from the fridge they'll have to pass right through both your cooking zone and your cleanup zone. It's also not convenient to sear something on the cooktop and transfer it to the ovens.

I would seriously think about moving the refrigerator to the end of that cabinet run by the dining room, the oven stack to the same wall and the range to where the ovens are. Alternately move the fridge to the wall where the ovens are and the ovens to where the fridge is.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:23PM
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Wow! I guess I have a lot to learn. I hate to lose my recessed fridge, buy I understand why you would want to move it. The fridge was originally against the wall with the ovens, but it cut down on the aisle space so much between the island that we had to move it. (I refused to shorten my 9' x 5', I have dreamed of an island that size for years.)

I'm also a huge lover of symmetry and I just couldn't find a picture I liked that didn't have a sink directly across from the cooktop.

As far as the range being where the ovens are, call it personal preference, but I have never liked the cooktop on the shorter wall.

Thank you for your recommendations, I will have to do some serious thinking.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:54PM
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IMHO this kitchen doesn't function that well as is. As you like symmetry so much the first thing I would do would be to line your cooktop up with the fireplace in the great room. A nice hood there will provide a focal point at both ends of your large great room/kitchen space. Will also move it a little off center with you sink which will allow you to have more than one person in this space...I know you would lose that symmetry but think that the larger overall symmetry of the space would be more pleasing. Would definately move double ovens to where the fridge is now. Will function much better for cooking. I think the function of having the fridge against the wall where the double ovens currently are would work much better. It would allow everyone to access it without disturbing the cooking/cleaning zone. Would put it right next to the passage to the pantry so that you can have a longer expanse of counter next to it. That counter would make an excellent snack/breakfast prep zone. You could still have a full size just have to have your cabinetry built out from the wall 6". This will impact either the aisle or island by that amt but I dont think that you would miss that 6" if it will provide a much more functional space than it is currently having the fridge in the middle of your cooking zone. I would finish that short wall cabinet run with a short wall at the will provide several things...allow support to be put in so that you don't have to have quite as long a beam across that great room opening (longer the beam is the more expensive it gets!!), will hide the recess for the fridge, and will hide any kitchen clutter that may end up on that counter. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:20PM
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happyvalleyhome - I would love to move the fridge to the short wall, but the aisle would end up being only 32". I would have to cut my island length by a 10" if I did that, and I just love my current island dimensions. If I understood you correctly, you would also consider moving the fridge over by the doorway of the same wall? Would their be an issue with opening the fridge doors with a wall next to it or with the fridge doors blocking the entryway when it's open?

One thing I don't understand is why I should have more counter space on the surrounding walls. That's what the island is for, right?. I have had and island in my previous kitchen and I hardly ever prepped anywhere else but on my island. I guess I just like to prep somewhere that isn't facing a wall. Is anyone else like me?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:02AM
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Snookers...My advice was to have the fridge on the short wall near the door, not the long one. Since the island size is so important to you, it might not be the right choice but it would make the room function much there a reason like seating that requires the 9'...8'+ is still a pretty good size island to prep at. As far as having more counter space on the surrounding might work having your main prep area on the island but your kids are similar in age to mine and it is nice for them to have a spot to prepare some thing quick in another area that allows them not to get in my way. For this reason I also like the fridge out of my main prep/cooking zone as it allows easy access without us tripping over each other. Also, I do a fair amout of prepping on my island but like to have space on either side of my range for the actual cooking time. I also like to have my kitchen set up in functional zones...I have baking between double ovens and cooktop, all cooking prep/utensils on other side of cooktop, dishes near dishwasher and dining, snack & breakfast near fridge. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:09PM
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That is a nice overall layout.

With your love of symmetry, I strongly agree that the symmetry to focus on would be between an important element in the kitchen and the fireplace in the living room. Important element being a major window or stove hood.

Not a sink, for me at least. :) No matter how much one spends for a faucet, sinks are not a decorative element and they ARE through most of meal prep the major mess collector. It IS the modern scullery, after all. My preference is always to make it nice but understate it and design for the eye to bypass it entirely as much as possible. I love having a sink wide and deep enough (29 x 9) that I can quickly sweep a whole meal's mess into below counter level when needed.

Something else I'm not seeing having a compelling purpose is that hall to the right of the kitchen. It also splits the view from the living room in two uneven portions, but both open -- the kitchen and then the hall ending in a utility (pantry) door that is now outside the kitchen. Not horrible, but...lacking visual elegance?

If that wall isn't critical to support, I'd seriously consider making the kitchen a corridor open to the living room. That way the island would shift right and become an elegantly simple, unbroken line of a length that pleased you. It would allow more room for extending the dining table when needed. The back kitchen wall could be organized for visual balance and elegance, as well as function. That would create a work area that was less broken up and also eliminate that asymmetrical "opening" that brings the eye directly into the messy working area of the kitchen.

A lot of this is obviously about simplifying the view of a busy, working area. Everything not specifically attractive that could be moved below the counter line or into the pantry and still function well would be. Kitchens are messy most of the time people are actually looking AT them. In a fair world, inspiration pictures for kitchens that are part of one big living room would always be taken at the height of mess -- probably right as dinner is served and everyone tries to concentrate on the pretty table and ignore the cleanup waiting just feet away.

As stated before, the island would effectively be shifted right and could be shortened on both ends to create a proportion you like while improving its function as a work area. (Right now I'm not seeing one great work area anywhere in your kitchen, just four possible decent areas, one of which has to serve cleanup.) Ovens could go under the counter and/or be split, putting a backup oven in that large pantry. The pantry door could be recessed and designed to quietly echo the master suite entrance -- since you've lined them up, right?

I'd probably keep the refrigerator on the back wall for efficiency but move it as close to the corner as possible, panel it to "disappear," and balance its mass with something on the other end. I might make it narrow and put another in the pantry. Closing in the wall between the two ends would facilitate an architecturally special treatment for that area, which would now be well defined. No wondering "where to end the tile."

If you wanted to keep the wall creating the hall, I'd still move the appliances and sink as above, including the ovens, and make the storage on that wall to the right shallower and lay it out to be handsomely decorative and uncluttered by kitchen fuss. The stove wall could still be laid out symmetrical to the fireplace wall.

And since this is hopefully your "forever" house, I'd also have plumbing run to all walls and capped off, including available to the pantry. It would cost very little to add at this point, and the kitchen you wanted to update to 15 or 20 years from now could be laid out very differently. In fact, it very likely would change substantially, no matter how much you like this one for today. Change happens.New appliances are developed. Build in flexibility today.

Have fun.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Maybe something like this? Hope this helps :)

From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 3:23PM
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lavender_lass - Interesting idea, I hadn't thought about turning the island. I like ideas like this because at this point it is so hard for me to think outside of the box. Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:05PM
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I too am an island only prepper! And just one end of it even! I have perimeter counter space, but it mostly collects dirty dishes and clutter. Although we are doing better putting things away with the new kitchen...hope it lasts.

As for layout, I like my ovens near my cooktop. Easier (and safer) to move items that start in a fry pan and finish in an oven if they are nearby. And my cooktop adds a spot to land hot things from oven without pulling out a cutting board.

I would try to get fridge out of corner, just brings a lot of traffic into the corner. Everyone is always in the fridge at my house. Maybe you have a smaller household so that might not be an issue for you.

Have you considered putting pantry door in kitchen rather than off the hall? Just something to think about. My walk in pantry is around a corner and partway down a hall...those extra steps add up. Especially when I need something quick that I forgot to pull out ahead of time and I leave my flame to run and get it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Here's an idea for you:

I moved the fridge towards the nook area. Moving the fridge from the center of your kitchen to the perimeter prevents anyone coming from the nook area, the great room, or the outdoor areas from crossing the cook zone to get to the fridge. I bookended that run with the oven stack and centered the induction cooktop between these two to give you the symmetry you crave.

The fridge is not recessed into the wall - not possible to do with an exterior wall - but I bumped out the counter run to camouflage its bulk. The X behind the oven stack is a void space. You could also incorporate this into the pantry area.

The counters on each side of the cook top are 30" deep to match the depth of the fridge. The little box behind the cook top is a niche, like this

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis General Contractors Stonewood, LLC

but with sides similar to those on each side of the recess behind the range in this kitchen:

Transitional Kitchen by Boston Architects & Designers Meyer & Meyer, Inc.

I moved the clean-up sink and DW to the short wall facing the nook with the sink centered on that wall. Again, giving you the symmetry you desire.

The only thing that isn't centered is the prep sink. You could center this but if you can give up one thing to function over form, this is the place to do it, IMO.

The island is a foot narrower to allow for the full depth fridge. Yes, I know you didn't want to decrease its size but since the clean-up zone isn't on the island, that slight loss in depth shouldn't be an issue. Plus a slightly narrower island will make it easier to clean the counter.

What you gain is a kitchen that is much more functional, IMO, than your original lay-out.

Just had a thought. Since this is a new build, you might be able to cantilever a shallow bump-out to recess the fridge along the exterior wall. Worth asking your builder about this possibility.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 9:16PM
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I agree that the refrigerator has to move. You always want your refrigerator to be placed at the edge of your kitchen because it isn't something you access multiple times during cooking -- instead, it's a storage area; something into which you reach to get all your things, then you actually work in the prep area. I'd move it to the short run of cabinets on the right, and instead of recessing it, I'd make those cabinets slightly deep. It's an expense, but on that short area, it won't matter much. You'll have the island and the adjacent cabinets as "landing space".

Next, I'd ask you where you envision yourself doing your prep work -- for most people, this is the most time consuming of your cooking chores, and it requires some space. I personally MUCH PREFER to prep facing "out" instead of towards the wall, and I prefer to have a good light but nothing else hanging over my head. So ideally, I'd prep on the island. Since your drawing shows the sink eating up much of the island space, you can't do that "as is".

Here's how I'd get that prep space in this set-up: I'd downsize the range to a standard size, which would allow space for the sink and the range to share that longest run of cabinets. That'd leave the island free for prep work, and I'd have the two main appliances "behind me" while working.

I like that you have no corners in this kitchen. This is a BIG money saver in terms of cabinets, and it's more efficient than a can't-reach-that-deep corner or a lazy susan.

A whole different idea: How about losing the short run of cabinets . . . and enlarging the island, but taking it all the way to the wall. This essentially makes the kitchen into a galley. You'd still have traffic flow through the hallway to the right, and you'd have room for the sink AND prep space on the island . . . with the stove and range behind you.

OR a different whole new idea. Lose the short run of cabinets on the right . . . and enlarge the island but keep the walking space between the island and the wall.

Don't discount these two ideas until you've drawn them out on graph paper and walked through them. I think the first one's the best. I'm going to bed right now, but I have to go to a very boring meeting tomorrow, and I think I'll entertain myself by drawing out a sketch.

One final thought: If you look on the internet at basic kitchen layouts, this isn't any of them. Do go through them and consider what you like about each one -- they are standards, basics for a reason! They work! And don't look with confirmation bias; that is, the idea that you're trying to defend the thing you think you already want.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 10:01PM
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So obviously everyone is in agreement that the fridge needs to move, and I think the only way to do that is to decrease the size of my island. :(

MrsPete - You have very good ideas as well. I've posted a picture of what I think you were talking about (Sorry it's blurry, but you get the idea). I had to shorten the island to only 8', but the way you mentioned does give me more prep area. The island is still 5' long. The aisle between sink and island is 48" and between ovens to island is 42".

I don't think that I've ever seen a kitchen with the cooktop and sink on the same wall though. Does this look okay? Does anyone else have this set up and if you do, do you like it? I also added a large window above the sink and dishwasher, but the view isn't that great, it stares into my neighbors yard.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 5:36PM
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lisa_a - Thanks for the sketch, I like it. I really like that the sink is off of the island, but do people really like doing their dishes facing a wall? Also, putting the sink here doesn't really give me much counter space by the sink. Here's a picture of your sketch in my plan.

Of these two kitchens, which one do you guys all like best?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Lisa's layout is the most functional of all of them presented. The work zones are clear. There's no cross or through traffic, and the workspace on the island is along the long side of it, where it needs to be. It's the pick of the litter.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 5:38PM
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By my calculations, you'd have 21.5" on one side of a 36" sink cab and 26.5" on the other (1" end panel next to DW, 1.5" counter overhang). That's workable for a clean-up zone, IMO, especially because it's not doing double duty as your prep area. You've got a huge island for that (lucky you!). That said, is there a reason why you can't extend the clean-up sink wall a foot or two so that you could have at least 30" on each side of your sink?

Lots of GWers don't have their sink under a window and are quite happy with that set-up. Do a search for threads on the topic to learn more and to see pics of their kitchens. I've linked to one of the many threads below.

btw, studies show that most people spend the bulk of their time (I think it's 70%) doing meal prep. Moving the prep area to your island means that you'll have a nice view for that time-consuming task.

Just had a random thought: you could cut a hole in the wall above the sink for a "window." Perhaps something like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Wilton Design-Build Firms Country Club Homes

Thanks for the compliment, LWO!

Here is a link that might be useful: No window over sink

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:41PM
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Lisa- I like your plan! And I love this last would be wonderful to see the stairs and keep an eye on the kids IMHO, while doing the dishes...and it provides a sight line through the little window to the eating area and porch.

Well done! :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:38PM
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lisa_a - I think I'm liking your plan more and more. However, somehow you and I are getting different dimensions for the sink counter top run. Maybe we are counting different inches of wall space on either side of the door?

Here's my breakdown
25.5" for counter over dishwasher, 36" sink, 16.5" counter top next to sink, 6" of wall next to door, 36" door, 6" of wall on other side of door, 30" deep wall oven cabinet. Total = 156" or 13'. I'm I doing something different then you?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 2:50AM
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lisa_a - Oh, and I forgot to mention that extending that short wall is a good idea as well. Originally I was aligning the end of the short wall to that wall on the opposite end of the kitchen where the dining room begins. Do you think it would look funny not having those walls lined up? Would it look like the counter top was extending into the great room and not staying in the kitchen, if you know what I mean?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:04AM
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Okay, so here's a better picture of lisa_a's kitchen layout idea in my floor plan. I think I'm falling in love with it. I'm so excited to get the sink off of the counter and I've looked at several photos of sinks against walls without windows and I think I can make this look really great.

A few changes I made were:

(Also I'm basing these changes and measurements on my current kitchen plan that has a length of 14'8" and 13' wide. I am adding 11" to the sink wall though beyond the 13'.)

1. I think I should be able to still get a 9' x 4'6" Island? I am only adding 6" to the long run of cabinets to make it 30" so I should only have to take 6" off of my island's depth. (I know this will only make my space between fridge and island 42", but I think I would rather have the larger island, but what do you think?)

2. I increased the Length of the wall that the sink will be on. The total length of that counter top will be 26.5" on each side of the 36" sink which makes the run equal to 89". The wall the sink is on will increase by 11". (I was wondering though, should I put end panels at the end of each side off the countertops to keep the sink somewhat blocked from the great room? Just an idea.)

Everything else is the same as what lisa_a drew up.

Thank you lisa_a for your great idea!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I composed an answer to you earlier and then - idiot me - I forgot to post it (didn't sleep well so I was not thinking clearly this morning).

My initial drawing was based on the info you provided in your OP: 27" of counter on either side of the oven stack, which I assumed was 30". That's 84" total.

-36" sink cab
-24" DW
- 1" end cab piece
-1.5" counter overhang over DW
21.5" remaining, enough for a 20" cabinet with 1.5" counter overhang.

Keep in mind that you'll likely have about 2" of counter on each side of the sink to add to the counter widths (I'm assuming you are doing an undermount sink) so you'd have approx 28.5" and 23.5" of counter next to your sink.

But then I realized that that my numbers won't match yours because I did not shift the doorway over, as it seems you did in your more recent plans. So, yeah, that would make your sink run 6" less than I had envisioned.

I think increasing the wall span to make up for that is the right thing to do. Your FR looks large enough that a foot or so won't impact it at all. The only issue you might encounter would be if you will have different flooring - wood in one area, carpet in the other - in this large, open area. The threshold between these two floors would not line up with the DR wall as it initially did. I don't think that would be a huge deal but I'm not as keen on symmetry as you are.

If that's the case and it will be an issue for you, I see two solutions.

The first would be more costly overall. Increase the DR width by the same amount, which would impact the upstairs and roof line.

The 2nd is cheaper. Build a small bump-out in the exterior wall for the fridge's depth. Then that run stays the same depth, the door doesn't shift over and you would have 84" on the sink wall.

If your aisle is 42" from island counter edge to fridge door handles, that would be best. If it's 42" from island counter edge to fridge door, that would be second best. If it's 42" from island cabinets to fridge door, not so good, because your aisle will in actuality only be 40 1/2". That's not much more than the depth of your fridge so moving it in and out of place will be more difficult (heaven forbid it ever needs service but you should plan on that possibility), plus it creates a pinch point here. You have a large kitchen: don't cheat on clearances.

Oh, one last thing. Make sure you keep at least 42" between island counter edge and DR wall corner. 48" would be better. You do not want to create a pinch point here either. A few inches off the island will be much less missed than a few inches taken from that aisle or the one in front of your fridge.

I'm glad I was able to help you!

(Thanks, LL!)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 4:49PM
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lisa_a - You have been a lifesaver.

I don't mind bumping out the wall the sink will be on a little because my floors will all be the same throughout my kitchen/great room/entry way. So it won't be a huge deal if the walls don't line up.

As far as aisle clearances - yes, I will have 42" from the fridge handles to the island. 48" from cooktop counter to island. There will be 42" between sink and island, like you said. Also from the corner of the island to the dining room wall there is 44" currently. If I changed the island from 4'6" to 4', it would give me 48". That is definitely something to think about.

Oh, and my husband said he loved your idea of the opening above the sink, so kudos to you!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:05PM
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Wow, something I just discovered - Fridge clearance requirements.

Does anyone ever take in to account the aisle width when they are counting their entire fridge depth PLUS THE CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS IN BACK OF THE FRIDGE?

The fridge I wanted needs 2" of rear clearance, which makes the fridge I wanted stick out 38" into the aisle instead of 36", which decreases my aisle in front of the fridge to 40". Plus a 30" fridge cabinet will no longer suffice since the 30" case depth of the fridge just got pushed out 2" for the clearance requirements. So, if I'm doing my math right, if I don't want to see the "gray" sides of my fridge, I have to build a 32" deep fridge cabinet. Has anyone else had this same experience before?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:05PM
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How about a counter-depth fridge? Samsung makes a few models. I replaced my old Thermadore with one of these. It's great, and only the depth of the door itself sticks out past the counter (it would have to, so it can open).

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 4:16AM
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If you're going to follow the clearance instructions - always a good idea - you should take that into account when planning your aisle clearances because that will impact your aisle clearances IRL.

I echo mominHI's suggestion of looking at counter-depth fridges. If that doesn't suit, then I again suggest burying the extra depth of a full size fridge in a small bump-out in your exterior wall.

Glad your husband is on board with the interior window over the sink idea. I love it, too!

Best of luck with your build! Please come back to post finished pics of your kitchen once your home is built. I've helped quite a few people with their kitchen designs and sadly, few of them come back to post the finished result. It's kind of frustrating, like seeing only the beginning of a movie. We all love to drool over finished kitchens.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 2:07PM
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This is why no kitchen designer will do a design without the actual appliance specs. Inches matter. And specific clearances cannot be determined without specific appliances being plugged in.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Good point, GreenDesigns. That's why hubby and I plan to buy our appliances before we start our remodel so that we know they will fit the cabs designed for them.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 5:08PM
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GREAT observation Snookers.
>> Wow, something I just discovered - Fridge clearance requirements.

I'd suggest keeping the plan for a regular size fridge (vs counter-depth) and change pantry plans to accommodate the displacement back.

Then you have a un-interrupted path in that all important aisle.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 5:27PM
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