need help with final kitchen design please!

hmgbrd5June 25, 2013

I've been obsessed with this site since I found it. There's so much information and recommendations here that it's helpful AND overwhelming at times! I LOVE the finished kitchen area and seeing all you guys have done!

We recently had a cast iron sewage line under our slab have to be torn out and replaced. We were about 10 years (when kids are out of the house and through or nearly through with college) away from a kitchen remodel, but since insurance is paying for the flooring & counters to be replaced and some other things, we figured we'd go on and try to do a frugal reno now (We can upgrade some items later).

Below is our kitchen layout now. Then the way we've planned to renovate. I'm keeping my black french door frig, replacing all other appliances with stainless/black.
I've planned for white cabinets and thought I wanted black countertops, but have recently began to question it and now I THINK I want white. I plan on buying a pickled blue hutch and to do the same treatment to the island with a butcher block top. Brick flooring.

I wanted copper accents, but am afraid copper is too much at this time. So I THOUGHT about having shiny copper pendants over the island and copper hardware on the cabinets. Will this look odd? Then I worried that I'm mixing traditional with rustic/french country/whatever and that the white counters are too formal and the copper will be out of place.
What are your ideas? Thanks!

This post was edited by hmgbrd5 on Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 16:06

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New design:

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Pickled blue hutch:
(as you can tell I can't figure out how to upload more than one pic in a post)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Looking at these copper pendant lights
But I also love seeded glass. I have myriad indecisions!

This post was edited by hmgbrd5 on Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 16:49

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Cross posting from Home Decorating:

Are you committed to that new plan now? I hadn't seen your post in kitchens. I don't open anywhere near all of them these days, but for me, there would be some issues with the layout. If you don't bake and don't often use the oven or micro for meals, it might not be as bad for you as it would be for me. At the very least, I would look at putting the your floor to ceiling cabinets next to the ovens so your dry food storage is near the fridge and you have counter space for working either side of your cooktop.

Think carefully about whether a hutch is more important than a table and chairs in a dining area. I'm not sure what you were planning , but your island is small and in a traffic path, backing up to ovens -- not great seating space, and it's too small to seat a group. I'm not sure how you are thinking you will place a table and two chairs in the breakfast room, but it strikes me as awkward and creating a lot of wasted space in what is typically the most expensive square footage in a house.

Seeing your light fixture in that post, as well as the piece you said you liked above, #2 is definitely the better choice. It might not be THE ONE, especially if you would like glass doors or more storage, and you might want to consider incorporating your hutch idea into some glass door cabinets -- perhaps either side of the cooktop.

I am going to post on kitchens too and see if bumping you up can get you some more comments.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Thank you! First - I have a dining area that opens to the living room that is separate from this area.
There are french doors that go out to the patio/pool so we already don't like going around a small table in the breakfast area to get to the patio (if that makes sense).
Also... I marked the direction of my front door. It is a hallway that goes to the front door, so it is very important to me that people don't see my stove (or other appliance) when they look in from my front door. (If that makes sense).
What it does tell me is I need to call a kitchen designer (especially if I can't get more direction here) because you are pointing out valid issues with my layout. Thank you for weighing in... it really helps.

This post was edited by hmgbrd5 on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 10:33

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 2:52PM
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I wonder, too, about the full-height cabinet. What will you use it for? Perhaps counterspace next to the cooktop would be more useful, and a lovely backsplash would make a nice view from the living room. Remember, the floor-to-ceiling cabinet would also block the cook-and-bottle-washer's view out the French doors.

The copper is cool. Our kitchen used to be blue wallpaper and blue/white/copper glass breakfast nook pendant with copper hardware. Over time and owners, all we have now are the pendant (I do like it though it doesn't match) and the copper hinges. Otherwise it's grey speckled counters and white cabinets/appliances, with yellow walls. I'm changing the walls to grey because while any 3 elements are good, the total isn't working, kind of like cooking side of the kitchen versus the dining side. Blue and cooper look so good together. I saw your hutch in the other thread, and love it (though as you fear, the dusting...) So I'm just thinking that with the black-white-blue-copper-butcherblock, maybe wood countertops would tie it all together?

With the kids still home, will you have enough family dining space, or do you usually eat in the dining room since it looks out to the pool? I would!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:39PM
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We normally eat in the living area and/or the dining area which you can see to the left of our last drawing. There is a wall of windows there, too.
We have not used the breakfast area as it is currently. Ever. Where the current hood is where the cooktop is, it is so low that no one can see through to the breakfast area so it feels like you're "banished" in that area!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Hi, Hmgbrd5. I really think the copper and blue would look wonderful, black counter not so much, but that's so subjective.

Don't get cranky at feedback. Information like the view through the kitchen, and that you never ate in the kitchen in the first place, is critical to understanding from this side of the screen. I didn't know about the view line on reading your post, for instance. Half the people coming here are have no problem with it, but keeping the view genuinely nice would actually be just as important to me as you.

And I really can see, now, the charming vignette of your blue hutch and table and chairs right by the doors to the garden. I like it a lot and my only thought for that area is how to make sure it develops into a beloved, very well used corner from mere vignette? Who do you believe will be using it? Do you have room for a table and chairs there? Would you set them diagonally? Would it be comfy enough for relaxing and chatting, or would a creaky, cushy old wicker chair do better (just DH and me here, and that would bring him in to keep him company while I worked)? In any case, since none of it's built in, it can develop over time.

Back to the real, built-in-type ssues. I always look for where work would be performed (i.e., would I want to work there?). In your space that's going to be somewhere along the typical refrigerator-sink-stove production line, which, of course, forms the usual "work triangle" in some shape.

What's good about your layout to me is that those three critical elements are very convenient to each other. The work triangle is entirely within your L-counter. Super. Except,

Where's the really good work space to stand at day after day putting meals together? Even if you devoted the largish counter to the right of your sink to scullery, you don't have enough prep room to its left. Yes, there's island counter, but it's across an aisle from your production line; your triangle doesn't cross it. The only reason to go over there would be that you didn't have enough room in your triangle.

NOT a good reason. You don't want to constantly be carrying stuff across to it from the refrigerator, over to the sink, back to the island, back to the stove. Or refrigerator to sink, then detouring to the island--when the stove was right there next to the sink.

But, I do like the general openness of your layout and would want to keep that if it were mine, the area left of the stove couldn't be a kitchen mess-view for me either, and I don't like useless islands cluttering everything up and getting in the way.

For me, the key to unlocking this puzzle would be giving your in-the-way island important function, literally becoming a self-contained work center of its own, by moving cleanup to it.

Back to the L-counter: Without cleanup sink and DW, you would then have a wonderfully spacious and, I think, delightful work area overlooking the garden. It's so spacious that you could establish a complete meal preparation triangle there by putting a prep sink in the corner near the refrigerator, where veggies, etc., are stored. Thus, your production line would move smoothly counterclockwise from fridge, to sink/large main prep area, to stove, with pivots to drop used bowls, pots, etc., in the sink or directly into the dishwasher in the island. (My island-to-DW-counter distance is 39-3/4"--just measured, which is enough to turn, open and dump, and you have even more.)

This would work very nicely for ME.... :)

(Came back to correct left-right. Hope I got it together.)

This post was edited by rosie on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 18:01

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Thanks for the input! I'm not sure where you got "cranky" but I've been very eager and thankful for the input here. There are many kitchens here that are envy-worthy!

We do have a sheetrock wall on the other side of the current wall oven. I have thought of leaving the peninsula (NOT enlarging the laundry area) but moving the wall ovens. Therefore shortening the peninsula (about 12 in past the cooktop) which would solve the issue of what you see from the front door and give me more counter space. In that scenario, we would lose the island and raise the vent hood so people could see through to the sitting area/current breakfast area.
I guess that will then be used more as a visit-while-I-cook because the kids to talk to me while cooking or we have friends over.
Or it can be just a breakfast area... we tend to eat in shifts in the mornings. For dinner, we have our dining area.

Everyone weighing in does help a lot... helps me think of flow that I didn't consider, space usage, etc.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I think you would really appreciate more than 8 inches on the side of your range. On the wall you marked for hutch consider built in's for pantry storage and have counter to the end. If the view from the front door is a concern keep something ornamental & pretty on the counter.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Yes, I think I need to nix the floor to ceiling cabinet near the stove. Maybe I'll do a glass front upper cabinet in that area above the counter?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Since you're seeing the cupboard from the front door, and you like seeded glass, maybe you could have your seeded glass there. It's pretty and blurs the contents from view.

The hutch is so pretty!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Yes, glass upper with some pretty & interesting serving pieces or a collection etc would be perfect. If you need the storage the F-C cab was going to give you do consider built in cabs with hutch like in the middle on the blank wall you planned the hutch. You could again use glass tops for your china display.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:51PM
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It's sounding better and better! With the moving of the pantry and the space gained there (we currently use the smaller pantry and food spills over into the next two upper cabinets) I THINK I won't need storage in F-t-C cabinents, I was mostly doing it for looks because I couldn't wrap my head around the view from the front door.
Thank you all for the opinions so far!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:00PM
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I don't think that white counter is too formal, to answer another of your questions. It all depends on pattern, and what you pair it with. Certainly white can look right in a "French country" inspired kitchen and would be nice with the brick and blue.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:04PM
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