Do Cabinets need to 'Line Up'?

mthouseAugust 4, 2009

Hi everyone! I have been lurking and reading for quite a while, but am new to posting on here.

My husband and I are building our first home, which also will be our forever home. So knowing that we have one chance to get it right has resulted in us over-thinking almost everything! :-)

I am currently working on the kitchen cabinet layout and would love your input. My primary concern is functionality. I have been working on the cabinet layout. What I am coming up with as being the most functional for where I want to put stuff doesn't result in the wall cabinets and base cabinets (mostly drawers) lining up very well. For example, in a 48" space I would have 2 24" wall cabinets above an 18" 3 drawer base and a 30" 3 drawer base. There would be examples like this in several areas of the kitchen. Does that make any sense? Do you think it would look funny? or Am I overthinking the whole issue?

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I wouldn't even attempt to make them line up, and didn't. Honestly, I didn't even think about that when planning my layout.

I just went and checked my 'inspiration' pics, and I'd say 9 times out of 10, they don't line up, so yup, I think you're over thinking :) It's okay, we all do it with some aspect during this crazy reno business!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:09PM
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I may try to create a focal point in one area by balancing the bases to the wall cabinets. ItÂs more important for the kitchen to be functional. Make sure the reveals around windows are equidistant. Cabinets above the range & sink must be centered. A good designer should always be able to create a custom looking kitchen with stock cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:38PM
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Don't try to match the lower widths with the upper widths.
It is best to create a nice balanced arrangement on the upper, independent of the lower. Think about a typical lower run, which might include a 33" sink base, an 18" trash pullout and a 24" DW. The upper would look a mess if you matched these varying widths.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 8:06PM
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I would say it's considered standard practice to try to have the vertical lines of the cabinets line up. So it's not so much that if you have a 24 and then a 12 below that you have to mirror that up top, but that it would be considered ideal to have a 36" on the wall. That helps to provide a cleaner line. I have very few upper cabinets but they do line up and I feel that ads to the flow. With my cabinet doors especially because they are 42" tall and have a strong vertical frame.

That said, I want to say that I consider that a TEENY part of the planning process. Part of where you weigh all the choices. There are numerous places I've been/worked on that don't have the line up that I feel totally great about. I also feel like with drawers rather than doors below it's much less of an issue.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Fori is not pleased

Hmm. Naw. Balance them but no need to line them up.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 2:00PM
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I strongly disagree with morgne. I think it's a very bad idea to try to get your upper cabinets to line up with your lower cabinets -- makes no sense functionally -- and it's definitely not standard practice with any of the kitchen designers that I know.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 2:01PM
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The upper cabinets and lowers are not on the same plane, since the upper cabinets are 12-13 and the lower are 24 deep. So, the run of upper cabinets, if the kitchen has any corners, is 12" longer than the lower run.

Obviously, related areas such as range to hood or the area around the sink will align, but for the rest of it, I think a nice rhythm of upper doors makes the most sense visually.

I have done two (contemporary) kitchens where the range hood is completely hidden, and the upper bank of cabinets is just four equally sized doors, which do not align perfectly with the range below, and no one has ever really noticed that, they just comment on the clean design.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 2:10PM
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Don't try to match them up, not even the vertical lines....that way leads to frustration & non-functional storage.

Palimpsest describes it well.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 3:40PM
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None of my cabinets line up, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Indeed, I would be wary of any kitchen "designer" that pushed for the lining up of upper and lower cabinets because it so greatly limits the utility of a kitchen. To me, that's a rookie error: something that looks good on your *paper* floorplan but limits functionality. In your finished kitchen, no one will notice whether they line up or not, so why give up so much to do it?

(BTW, I feel the same way about goofy shaped islands.)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 4:15PM
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Looks like I'm over ruled!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Thanks everyone for the input! Most of the kitchens I see around here do line up, so I think there is at least some following for Morgne's logic. However, nobody I know has ever used a KD. It is good to know that I don't have to limit myself by those restrictions because I really want a truly functional kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 11:34PM
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