pics of my prelim cabinet layout- help requested for proportions

illinigirlSeptember 6, 2013

Hi, we are getting closer to our final kitchen layout. The cabinets are custom so I can get any dimensions I want. This is what the cabinet designer sent me as her ideas. I'll include the general layout, then then the range wall and fridge wall and island proposals.

Here are my specific questions (and any other comments are certainly welcome):

What cabinet heights (uppers, stacked portion, and crown) should i ask for? As far as crown goes I have no idea what it should be, it looks like standard is 3-4" . Our style is simple and unfussy. The cabinet door style isn't chosen but it's likely to be some kind of recessed panel with perhaps beveled molding.

On the range wall would it look ok with the 27" cabinets switched with the 18" cabinets so the wider banks have the drawer dividers for my pots/pans? Or would it look better to have them divided equally so all drawer banks on that wall have the same width (except the under the rangetop drawers of course). They would each be around 22" wide if divided equally.

The designer is suggesting all drawer stacks stay consistent in height throughout the kitchen but I don't think this will be the most functional. For example along the range wall I am thinking 6/9/15 but I don't think I need 15" high drawers over on my fridge wall so I'd like those to be maybe 6/12/12 or maybe something else entirely after I fully evaluate my storage needs. Would it look bad if drawers on two different walls had different drawer heights (I'd keep the top drawer consistent at 6")

What is the ideal drawer height for tupperware type storage? 9"? or 12"

For those of you with pullout tray (cookie sheet, half sheet, etc) storage, how wide to go for those and do you have drawer dividers or does it work fine without dividers?

On my 4 drawer stack in the island I don't like how she has it and I may go for 6/6/6/12. Are there any other spots you think would benefit from a 4 drawer stack? I have a second set of drawings that have all the storage identified for each upper and lower cabinet. I may include that later but it's kind of busy to look at.

thanks for inputs!





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here are the pictures of my planned storage so far:



    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 1:28PM
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lcskaisgir are so organized and prepared with the planning of your kitchen!!! I am so jealous!! I am about to order my cabinets and have gone through what I think I will put where but your plans have me scared a little!!! I may have to go back through everything and be more precise...

Sorry, I didn't have any actual advice for you:)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Hi illini - What do you plan on storing in your 4 drawer stack(s)? My layout is roughly (very roughly) similar to yours and I picture sandwich baggies, plastic storage (ziploc) containers, maybe paper plates in mine. Those items are driving me to want that stack close to the fridge and further from the stove/sink. I envision my kids/husband in there regularly for making lunches putting away left overs, etc.. I may possibly have it in the island on the end by the fridge or if not then the drawer stack closest to the fridge which is on the short side of the L.

So maybe think about it that way and it might help? I know you have kiddos but I can't recall their ages and what stage they are in for 'working' in the kitchen and making their own lunch or getting their own snacks but thought that angle might be helpful to you.

I agree with lcskaisgir - you are a long way to having a great kitchen! I have inventoried my stuff and the size cabinets they came out of but find that when I look at it all it's a bit overwhelming!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Hi Autumn,
I didn't put the island inventory page in my post but here is the plan for that:
top drawer- flatware (because i'm always dishing out flatware to the kids on the other side of our current peninsula at home)

second drawer- prep utensils (because I imagine most of my prep is going to be on the island next to the sink)

third drawer- ziplock baggies of all sizes (because like you said I imagine this is going to be a lunch making spot)

bottom fourth drawer- kitchen towels and microfiber cloths. I have a lot of them and use a lot of them!

For this I'm thinking 6/6/6/12

I still have to measure many of my items (tall stock pots, pitchers, baking sheets, muffin tins, etc to make sure they are all going to fit where I think they will.

There are some little goofs on the pictures of what items go where but too much hassle to fix them. (like the storage container drawers are not next to each other). Then there's the 30" wide drawer under the micro that has nothing but wax paper assigned to it! LOL!

It is a long road that's for sure. We are finally at the bid stage and are scheduled to get that back in less than 2 weeks! scary and exiting. how about you, I thought I saw that you are close to breaking ground in another post?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 5:47PM
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That is a LOT of wax paper, lol!

Interesting. I need to think about my island too. My sink and stove are situated as yours are but I was thinking the flatware/utensils would go next to the stove instead of the sink. Hmmm. Issue is I only have space for one drawer stack in the island and I was planning on it being on the fridge side but the DW and everyday dish storage is opposite (dining room side). So if I move my silverware I'd have people crossing the work zone. Enough about MY kitchen drama though!

I think 6" is a good depth (is that inside depth or outside?) and your 6/6/6/12 combination sounds good for those items. We are in a rental now with some interesting cabinets - definitely NOT standard in anyway so I have been measuring the drawers - no 2 of them are the same! There is one that is 6 3/8" (inside depth) and it's definitely deep enough for bags/wraps - even the larger economy sized baggie box.

Yes - we are close. We received our permit last week and the well went in today. We have the excavator and the poured wall guy lined up for the week of the 16th BUT we are waiting on the bank to send out the appraiser. She thought for sure it would be next week but we haven't heard anything firm.

We are gcing on our own (gulp). I am pretty sure we are in the same area - I'd venture to guess within 60 miles of each other (I recognized your plans said standale lumber and our house designer sits in their office). For us - the most costly things were windows (still undecided - that is DH's department), lumber and framing labor. Lumber is really high! I am hoping it takes even a slight dip before we order. The other surprise I'd say is the cost for painting. We are fine to paint our walls but wanted the trim and built in's sprayed and it was much more than we thought.

Quoting was....interesting. In this market which has picked up some but nothing like it was you'd think people would be prompt or at least say they aren't interested if they are too busy or whatever. Some were really prompt, some never responded at all. Others you kind of had to bug. Because we are gcing ourselves the ones that were prompt got a 'bonus point' from me because I don't need anyone too high maintenance. I realize we will need to follow up and keep close tabs but I don't need anyone to be excessively unresponsive from the start. I think my expectations might be a bit too high. Now that we've decided on our subs I feel a little bit more at ease.

Kitchen has been tough. That is my department. I have another meeting with one of the KD's on Monday. I need to prioritize my wants and get it figured out! :)

It is really exciting to actually be taking baby steps forward. Our permit is for 6 months - I am sure we will need an extension. I keep telling the boys we are one step closer than we've ever been.

Good luck! I can't wait to watch your build. I hope we both beat the snow!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 7:42PM
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wait. who is designing your home? The initials of our designer is KF. Is that the same by chance? We ARE probably very close to each other....Standale Lumber is on the other side of town, we are on the East side. Grand Rapids suburb.

Frustrating about lumber. Hoping it will drop as fall/colder weather set in. We are still on track to get started by end of Oct and our builder said if we go into November it's still ok.

Yes, the flatware would be crossing zones. If it's a problem I have an unassigned drawer near the everyday dish storage and I could put it there's just that the kids are always asking for a fork or a spoon and I'm always standing on the other side handing it to them so I thought it might be convenient for it to be right at the island. We'll see. Nothing is set in stone as long as we account for it in some drawer it can always be moved for better function later.

Good luck and I am also excited to follow your build- you are awesome for GC-ing yourselves and I wish you the best for it!

Where are you going for your kitchen design? I feel like I should get at least a second bid from a 'brand' of cabinets instead of custom. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Custom is flexible but the paint is catalyzed lacquer not the gold standard conversion varnish. So we'll see. I'd like to shop around a bit but it's tricky because the builder I think usually does the cabinetry and although I know we don't HAVE to use them I feel very confused about all the other brands out there and how to choose so in a way it's just simpler to go with what they have in place. Ugh. Anyways, tell me more about what you are planning for your kitchen cabs if you want.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Nope my designers initials are MP. :) We are in a rural area just outside of Holland. The Standale Lumber we visited is in Allendale.

I was told by someone else that also GC'd to have the lumber re-quoted as you near purchase time to be sure the price hadn't dropped between the initial quote and the time you are purchasing. I think we are extra antsy since we are doing a fair amount of work on our own I am expecting delays. I think once it's drywalled it will really slow down as we are painting and doing the wood and tile flooring ourselves all while working and doing kids homework, sports, etc.. I think I will be taking a bit of vacation to get it done!

When you mentioned always getting silverware from your current peninsula it struck a chord as the home we just sold was set up that way and YES, constantly grabbing something and handing it across the peninsula. My new kitchen will be 9x15. So it's a solid L instead of a broken L like you have (you have that doorway there). My short side has the fridge and MW and then a cabinet and the corner. I have a range so no separate ovens. My 'snack stay out of Mom's way' zone is that fridge and MW area. I have 4 foot of drawers there. I was thinking my 4 drawer stack might go there to keep them contained. The toaster and coffee pot will be over there also.

I started a thread over the weekend with my kitchen woes. I TRIED in earnest to have an apples to apples quote and it was nothing but a cluster! So I can totally relate to your confusion and draw to stick with the builders usual people. I'll attach the link to it at the bottom here if you want to read it. I did get some good advice/reassurance from the KD's and others here.

I will link the thread below so you can read it if you want. The KD I am interested in is actually in your neck of the woods. They are in GR (off of Cascade) and I had them quote Shiloh - they also carry Grabill cabinetry. I'm not sure what you are looking for but the Grabill are also very nice - their step up from Shiloh. I know Grabill does custom paint but I'm not sure what other customization they have - we didn't check into it. Shiloh offers 4 whites and 7 other colors as well as many stains. If you are interested let me know and I can e-mail you their information through gardenweb. It sounds like they may be close to you. I am meeting with them again Monday, 99% certain I will go with them for the kitchen.

Bonuses compared to the other line that was quoted (it was Diamond):
Shiloh doesn't upcharge for stains, glaze or highlights
They have a stock upper that goes down to counter
Framed cabinets-they don't upcharge for Inset
The uppers are also 13" deep as a standard

So for the set it and forget it bathroom and laundry room cabinets which do not take much thought to layout and are standard sizes I am hoping to use the local guy - his cabs were more economical for that sort of thing. Incidentally the line he quoted was Diamond and they carry them at Lowes but of course I go there and the style names are different which is fine but the color offerings aren't the same either, UGH!

I seriously tried to shorten this post several times! Sorry!

Here is my old thread. I am ready to get this part going so I can move on to paint colors. Because we have an open plan like yours they all have to play nice together. I feel like I need to pin down the kitchen cabinets so I can work on the rest of the house. At least we already know what siding we want. That's something!

Here is a link that might be useful: My cabinet/KD comparison thread

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 9:09PM
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that is VERY close to my house. please do tell me the kitchen place...I'm trying to think of one off of cascade road and I can't. oh wait, unless you mean Cascade and 28th. I forgot the name of it but it's next to Daylily Floral. Let me know. I'm not sure my email thing on GW works...I tried to set it up a couple times but it never worked.

I'm going to go read your thread now. thanks I didn't see it earlier.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 9:49PM
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Hi to both of you. I am a gardenwebber with a finished kitchen in the Chicago suburbs. I used, and so did loves2cook4six, a superb cabinet company called Ayr custom cabinet. They are in Napannee Indiana but easily travel to your parts of Michigan. They have shipped cabs to Ireland. Ken Miller is the brilliant kitchen designer and nothing is too difficult for him. Truly defines the word, 'custom'.

He will measure, suggest, give you ideas. Give him a call.

I am just a very satisfied customer, no relation or ties. Re price, loves2cook4six did check and felt that Ayr was in line with the big box stores. Loves' kitchen is probably on the finished kitchen blog. Google Ayr+gardenweb+kitchens and you should find several posts about this fabulous cabinet maker. My kitchen was finished 2.5 years ago and I am loving the high quality cabs and the incredibly functional layout, including pot drawers, toekick drawers, over the oven vertical shelving for cookie sheets, etc., all drawer lower cabinets with front to back vertical dividers so that contents are not nested but easily retrievable. Imagine pots filed so that you swoop down and pick one out!.

Oh yes, google my name+(use the + sign)+ Ayr. Just trying to help.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Check out the website-I think it is


    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Check out the website-I think it is


    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 1:13AM
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I emailed you. Let me know if you didn't get it.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:38AM
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About your drawer questions. Several people posted their drawer heights in the below thread "Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers". I literally posted everything I could think of about drawers in that thread. It's way too long, LOL.

The short answer is ... I think 9" with approx 7" useable interior is a good height for Tupperware. And, my drawers are not the same height around the kitchen. I went with what would be best function first, then worried about looks second.

Stacked cabinet heights - I have seen a thread on that recently. I'll see if I can find it. We used the least expensive crown they had. Not fussy, but looks very nice IMO. It looks like it is 3". On drawer widths, again I am function first. What widths do you need to store what you are going to store in those drawers ? For most things, the wider the better works best for me. You don't have wasted space being used up in cabinet boxes & frame. I store my cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc in a full depth cabinet above my fridge. I find I have more "stuff" for shallow drawers than deep drawers ... wraps and baggies, utensils, kitchen tools & gadgets - lots of those!, potholders, trivets, junk drawer(s), first aid drawer, knives, spices, etc. etc.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Here is one thread I found on double stacked cabinets heights. Not a very long one, but it does go into some detail.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Oh, I found lots of good threads on stacked cabinets !

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Illini Girl and Autumn4 I'm following with interest. Your kitchen plans are very similar to mine, although I wanted no tall end so moved my oven from end of counter to next to refrigerator on other leg of the L.
And I have a son living in Rockford. I'm from Traverse City, and over 3 years ago we sailed out of lake Macatawa to begin our great sailing adventure. Currently, and since May 2010, we live on a 45' sailboat and are actively cruising. Just wanted to say hello. I'll post our plans this weekend. I'm meeting with another KD on Tuesday. I too have a lot of same concerns re our new kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:13AM
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Illinigirl...are you interested in comments regarding your layout in general? I'm asking b/c...

This kitchen is designed to be a one-person kitchen. It crams all three primary work zones into one small space w/in the Kitchen. The Prep and Cleanup Zones are directly across from the Cooking Zone. So, if someone is cooking or prepping, no one else will be able to help prep and cook and no one will be able to cleanup or put dishes away. I can't tell the aisle width b/w the range/cooktop wall and the island - it's either 40" or 49", I think. Neither one, though, gives you enough room for two people to be working in that aisle. We have a 46" aisle b/w the end of one of our peninsula legs and the outside counter (our Cleanup Zone). The DW extends into that aisle a bit and it's just enough room for someone to pass by when the DW door is open - but it's not enough to have someone working there. Yes, your DW is offset from your range/cooktop (a good thing), but it's still in that cooking space to some degree. If the aisle is 40", the DW door will be a barrier b/w the refrigerator and everything else. If dish storage is to the left of the range, then you will have another place with "conflict".

From what I see in the layouts, you have a lot of wasted counterspace on the left - meaning it has little use b/c it's too far from essential items like water and the range/cooktop/rangetop. There's also an excessive amount on either side of the range/cooktop - especially on the left. With no water source on that side, there wont' be much prepping. Most prepping will occur on the island (after moving all the dirty dishes out of the way) and you will then turn to cook. You definitely need some space (at least 24"), but if that's not your main prep area, you don't need as much as you have there. Note that "extra" counterspace isn't a bad thing, but if you are cramming your main work zones elsewhere while the "extra" goes unused (except as a drop zone or junk collector), then it's not a good use of counterspace.

The MW is located too far from a water source - water is used in most MW'd foods. This isn't a major issue, but I thought I'd mention it.

One of the disadvantages of having the cleanup sink in an island is that dirty dishes are "front and center" with the focus on them when looking into the kitchen from another room (e.g., what I assume is the Family/Living Room "below" the kitchen). Even a raised counter only partially hides them - and only from someone sitting down. Anyone standing will see them just fine.

The island is verging on being a barrier island b/w the sink and refrigerator - in particular b/c the DW is in the way. It is a barrier b/w the MW and sink.

The Prep and Cleanup Zones will collide with one another - especially since the counter is open on the other side of the DW and you will want to be careful not to push dishes off the end of the counter - and 25.5" isn't much if you have to worry about that constantly. You will be moving dirty dishes around to make room for prepping.

In general, you should try to separate the Prep and Cleanup Zones. Yes, this can be done with the sink, but only if there is enough room on each side for each function. In small kitchens, there are compromises, but your kitchen is far from small!

Your seating overhang on the island looks to be approx 9.5" deep - far, far too shallow! The minimum recommended overhang for counter-height seating (and I hope that's what you have), is 15". Even if you have bar-height, the minimum recommended overhang is 12".
60" - 1.5" counter overhang - 24"D cabinets - 24"D cabinets - 1" doors on back of second set of cabinets = 9.5"

If the cabinets on the back row are shallower than 24", then you may be OK - but they need to be no deeper than 18.5" deep (not counting the door)...
1.5" counter overhang + 24"D cabinets + 18"D cabinets + 1" doors on back of second set of cabinets = 44.5"
That leaves 15.5" for the seating overhang.

Counter-height vs bar-height in this instance...

  1. If you have a raised counter (bar-height) for seating:

  2. It will be almost impossible for you to wipe down the lower counter...unless you have incredibly long arms. I have very long arms and I can reach around 42" - most people's limit is 30". You will have approx 50" of depth on the lower level - not even I can reach that far to wipe the back!

  3. The workspace behind the sink is pretty much useless for anything except a dust collector and splashing (and you won't be able to dust or wipe up the splashes very easily). If dishes get pushed back into that area, it will be difficult to get to them.

  1. If it's all one level (counter-height), then you should be OK with being able to reach the entire surface for cleaning.

  2. Because of the big sink in the middle of the island, a good portion of the island won't be very useful for prepping - not just b/c of the dirty dishes and competing w/the Cleanup Zone, but also b/c the space behind the sink won't be very accessible - the sink is in the way.

How about something like this?

Note that multiple people can work in this kitchen at the same time. The focal point is the island + rangetop/hood - with no dirty dishes in the view. Since 70% or more time spent in the kitchen is spent prepping, you will be working on the island most of the time - with a nice big, clear space for prepping, baking projects, crafts, school projects, science fair projects, gift wrapping, etc. The refrigerator is close to the dining area as well as a straight shot from the Family/Living Room w/o having to cross any kitchen work zones and for ease of access to the refrigerator during meals. I recommend you panel the refrigerator.

Zone map...note how there isn't any zone-crossing, the Cleanup Zone is separated from the Prep & Cooking Zones, and the primary Prep Zone is close to the Cooking Zone.

You have a generous size kitchen with good "bones" - I think you could do so much more with this kitchen! However, in the end, it's your kitchen and it's up to you!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:25PM
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thanks beuhl,
a lot of food for thought. you aren't the first person to suggest moving the cleanup sink over to that wall. I am having a very hard time with a sink facing a wall though. A couple of points of clarification:

the aisle in between the island and range wall is 49"
the counter overhang is 15" (I insisted on that)
the counter is all one height (no raised ledge)

I was definitely thinking that the sink was separating the cook and cleanup zones. dish storage is directly across the d/w to the left of the range, and drinking cups/mugs stored to the right of the fridge. So I was thinking someone would be emptying the d/w from the other side if I was at the sink or range.

I was also thinking that there were prep spaces to the left and right of the range, and at the sink in the island. Are you saying with a 49" aisle that's not possible or comfortable for more than one person to prep in 2 of those three locations at the same time?

As far as the fridge my thinking was anyone getting a snack could access the fridge from the perimeter, as well as the pantry, and the dish/glass storage without entering the prep or cook zone. Am I wrong about that?

Again, I'm having a lot of trouble with the idea of a sink against a wall. I've never seen that in person before, and I also fear that would be an issue with resale. Believe me I have given it a lot of thought and while I do see the negative of a sink taking up space in the island I think (think) the advantage of looking out into the living space for prep AND cleanup so far is tipping the scales for me. I will think on it some more though.....

thanks again for your input. Do you have any thoughts on the cabinet dimensions themselves as far as the upper and stacked portions of the upper cabinets? I believe as she has it now it's 34" upper with 15" stacked portion and about 3.5" crown.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Did you notice that the counters are 3" deeper than normal - 28.5" deep? Deeper counters will make a big difference when a sink is against a wall. I've seen some people put a mirror on that wall... Your kitchen is big enough that you could probably have 30" deep counters on that wall and still have plenty of aisle space. You have a little jog in the wall above, so I think the counter sticking into that doorway by a couple of inches would be OK.

In our old kitchen, the sink was against the wall and we had no problems with it. At first, we were going to leave it there. However, when we came up with a layout that let me have a separate area for the Prep & Cooking Zones, I jumped on it! Our cleanup sink is now in front of a window - and a big one. It was never a goal, though, to put the sink in front of a window - it just ended up that way. Honestly, if I could have arranged the kitchen so the Prep & Cooking Zones were in front of the window instead, that's what I would have done - and the cleanup sink would have remained against the wall. But, it wasn't to be... (The window is/was too big to let me have a cooktop + hood + workspace on the window wall - so it had to go to the interior wall.) I don't mind prepping in front of the wall - especially since our kitchen is now open on both ends. I think you would find the same thing about cleaning up - especially with the deeper counters - and you will spend far less time in front of that wall than I do in my kitchen!

I just think that your layout could be so much better if you were willing to move the Cleanup Zone to the perimeter. The hang up people have with putting a sink in front of a window stems from the 1950s and 1960s (and somewhat the 1970s) when most people did not have DWs. Back then, people spent far more time at the sink b/c they had to wash and dry dishes - now the DW does it for you! You don't even have to rinse off the dishes first - just a quick scrape and plop them into the DW and you're done! (Well, there is the wiping off of counters & table, but you get what I mean!) Personally, I think the "20% time spent cleaning up" is really down to 10% now.... If I had to guess, I think the #s today are more like 80% prep, 10% cook, 10% cleanup.

As to the stacked cabinets - I'm not sure right now. I usually let others who have software to mock it up handle these questions...I have to see it to tell what's the better configuration.

How tall are you and your family? I'm wondering if the top cabinets would be within reach....

Now that I'm thinking about it...I think I would do: 34" + 12" + 6.5" molding

Backsplash, Light Rail, and height of upper cabs...How tall is your backsplash, including light rail? You want to be sure you can fit your tallest appliance under the upper you need the height of your tallest appliance + 1/2" or so + light rail to determine how far off the finished floor your uppers are installed. Then, figure out how much vertical space you have b/w that installation point and the ceiling.

Crown molding...Unless your ceiling height is exactly the same throughout your kitchen, don't have such short crown. Most kitchens do not have the exact same ceiling height - it could vary by as little as 1/2" to as much as an inch or two. You want to be able to have a two- or three-piece crown molding so you can adjust it for the actual ceiling height. At the very least, it should consist of a "filler" piece + crown piece (the detailed part). It would be nice to have room for a "soffit" piece as well, but it's not always necessary. The crown and soffit pieces remain the same height throughout the kitchen. The filler piece, however, is cut to fit the actual if your ceiling is an inch shorter on one side of the kitchen, the filler piece will be 1" shorter on that side. When done, it will look like your kitchen is the same throughout. The crown and soffit pieces are the same everywhere, which is what people will see. The filler piece will be the piece that varies - but people won't notice it.

Here's the design my KD used in my kitchen:

The "Stock-S" piece is the "filler"piece I talk about above.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Autumn.4'. If you meant that you were sending me an email, didn't get it.

And it is fabulous that Buehl is helping,as she is the best kd on the planet. Her input represents many hours of her time. And she only wants to give back. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Autumn.4'. If you meant that you were sending me an email, didn't get it.

And it is fabulous that Buehl is helping,as she is the best kd on the planet. Her input represents many hours of her time. And she only wants to give back. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:13AM
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thanks Beuhl.

One other thing that for some reason isn't represented on the layout plan- the fridge is going to be recessed on that wall and can't be recessed on the other wall. In fact we are moving the entire kitchen over 4" to give double wall space behind the current fridge wall so we can accomplish the recessing of a full depth fridge. Sorry that wasn't shown, somehow the designer altered it, not sure why.

I just wanted to ask again because something you said wasn't making sense to me. You said that two people couldn't work together in an aisle 49" wide. Is that what you meant to say? What should my aisle width (between range wall and island) be then? We can move it to whatever works.

I very much appreciate the time you've take so far to give me advice. As much sense as it does make to completely separate the cleanup sink completely away from prep, I ran it by my husband and he's adamant we won't have a sink against a wall without a window.

In thinking about the things you wrote, it seems that the biggest issue (please confirm if true) is having the dishwasher located where it is WHEN IT IS OPEN. Am I understanding that it's just the opening/accessing of the dishwasher causing most of the trouble? Given a closed dishwasher do you think multiple people can prep and or cook at the same time in this proposed kitchen layout? Or do you still foresee big issues?

Thanks again, and also on the proportion advice you gave. It seems my current cabs aren't too far off from your recommendations. I think she had them 34" high with a combined upper/crown of 18.5" so I may need to adjust the crown to stacked portion a bit. I think the crown will look much nicer with some extra trim/moldings added.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:57AM
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bumping, hoping beuhl sees this one more time :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:12PM
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westsider-sorry no I sent illinigirl an email.

Thanks for the tip on ayr cabinetry though - I did check out their website. :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:53PM
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1) The thing I feel strongest about in terms of your layout is - your fridge and oven locations of Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 13:20 would be terrible for me.

The refrigerator = the appliance that needs to be the most convientely located relative to the main eating areas. You are giving the ovens that prime real estate.

We use the oven ~ 3x per week.
We use the fridge ~ 20x per DAY.

However, I very much like how you located the microwave immediately next to the fridge in general. Our mini meals are leftovers that go from fridge --> microwave especially now that football season is here!

I'd definitely move the fridge to where the ovens are.

2) Sink against a wall

If someone just puts a cleaning sink against the wall and doesn't do much 'special' around it, it looks blah to me.

The key is to make the area immediately above the sink unique and special via
- lighting via both direct and indirect
- backsplash (a change-up needed, even if very subtle, in backsplash immediately above the sink)
- art
- minimal cabinetry above the sinkmore for beauty than function

Ex: the kitchen on White Collar (tv series) has a gorgeous sink area against the wall

It has a beautiful narrow cabinet shelf run with under cab lighting under the shelf.

Moreover, since you'd have a MW drawer + sink on the island, if I were touring your kitchen, I wouldn't perceive that as "the only sink is against the wall" issue anyway.

Here's why, and the advantage to me of what Buehl did:
I'd love to have a MW drawer + my regular DW. The DW drawer would be most used for mini-meals. Then, cleanup for the 2-3x / week we cook for the rest of the week could happen immediately, instead of needing to clean in 2 waves while waiting for Dishwasher Cycle #1 to complete.

In addition to super-fast cleanups, when you entertain or have a bunch of people over for thanksgiving, you have a TON of space for all the dirty dishes away from the main areas . Before anyone starts cleaning up

3) Buehl is on my short list of people here who are geniuses when it comes to kitchen layouts.

I am merely opinionated about what I like and don't like, and made several mistakes in designing my own kitchen BEFORE learning about Gardenweb. Example consequence - I have a big kitchen but end out wanting to do all my prep within a small space.

If any of my feedback contradicts Buehl's, take Buehl's!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Thank you so much for the compliments WestSider40 and MareLuce!

Illinigirl...sorry that I did not answer your question about the aisle.

Aisles...No, 49" isn't quite there...54" is better if the aisle is intended to be a 2-person aisle regularly rather than a rare occurrence - and, in your layout it is. 5" may not seem that much, but it does make a big difference!

Refrigerator...with counters 3" deeper than normal (and could be deeper, if you'd like), you won't need to recess the refrigerator. The refrigerator can only be "recessed" up to an inch or so of the depth of the refrigerator carcass/box anyway; the doors and handles must stick out past all counters, cabinets, etc. to allow the doors to open fully. A standard depth refrigerator is usually 33" to 36" deep, including handles with the carcass/box approximately 28" to 30" deep - and that just happens to be the depth of the counters (29" or so) [OK, it didn't "just happen", I did it deliberately for two reasons - (1) to make the refrigerator look counter-depth and (2) give you more room at the sink.]

Just noticed, the label says "CD" I understand the confusion - I forgot to change the label to "Std Depth" - sorry!! Note that the "doors" stick out approx 6" from the counter - that's the depth of the doors + handles.

The cabinet above the refrigerator is also 3" deeper than normal (27"), but that may be a bit excessive for a cabinet that high...unless you install pullouts of some sort (I've seen wine glass pullouts in that cabinet - the wine glasses hang upside down. I've also seen a regular roll out tray shelf there.)

DW...Actually, it's when it's being used - to load/unload (even if open for a short time on and off) and when it's running. Trust me, you don't want to prep/work over a running DW (it gets hot - both on the counter above it and when the steam vents out the front). Been there; done that (my SIL has that setup). You can prep on the other side, but given how little counterspace you have for prepping near water, you will most likely be using that area as the secondary Prep Zone and overflow/landing area for the primary Prep Zone (assuming there aren't any dirty dishes in the way!)

It's too bad your DH isn't open to the sink against the makes such a difference in the functionality of this space. Has he actually seen a sink against the wall done well? Is he basing his adamant stance on experience or hearsay? As MareLuce said, if it's designed right, it will be pleasant to work at. And, remember, only 20% of your time is spent cleaning up (maybe even less since the addition of DWs in kitchens - it might be closer to 10% now, and part of that 10% is spent wiping down the table, counters, etc.)

What's on the other side of the left wall? Would a pass-through work there? It could be a "window" of sorts for the sink wall...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 1:51AM
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I looked at the White Collar kitchen, it is very nice. Here's a lifestyle difference which may explain my location choice for fridge- 90% of our meal eating is at the countertop (we currently have a peninsula instead of an island and the only time I sit at the table is when there's no chairs left for me at the island). So in MY mind the ovens are 'out of the way' and the fridge is 'prime real estate' lol. In my mind if I put the fridge over there I will have snackers walking through the prep/cook zone to access the fridge. (I am frequently cooking dinner as the kids get home from school, and I serve dinner a couple hours later, it just depends on what it is I am cooking. Even a casserole or lasagna I prep early and put it in the oven later)

thanks, I can move the aisle width. Is that 54" counter to counter or cabinet to cabinet?

Thanks for the clarification, I hadn't noticed the counters were extra deep along BOTH walls, I just noticed it on the sink wall in your diagram. Yes, I did know the fridge had to stick out a certain amount for door operation.

DW: I am familiar with prepping over a d/w as that is my current arrangement. Perhaps because we live in Michigan I don't mind the heat from it. Although I certainly won't be planning any prep over that 26" on the d/w side of the sink. I was planning for a 5foot prep space on the left side of the sink. Why does that seem too small of a prep space. On my diagram it's labeled 57" plus there will be 3" of counter at the sink because my sink is a 30" in a 36" base = 60" of prep space to the left of the sink. (left when I am facing the sink, so right as looking at the diagram on paper) Not enough?

Other lifestyle things that matter to me:
Toaster oven is an important appliance in our lives and we use it A LOT. One of our current bottle necks in our current kitchen is toaster oven close to the range. People trying to use the toaster oven to heat various items while I'm prepping dinner or breakfast. That is one reason I dedicated a good chunk of countertop for it (and the coffee maker). I really know that space will be used for secondary prep at least once a day while someone else is working at the other main prep area.

mw drawer- I'm tall and I hate the idea of cleaning out a mw drawer that is at counter height. My husband is NOTORIOUS for not putting a cover on his plate of food and so I'm stuck cleaning up the splatters. Other than that I'm not opposed to a m/w drawer.

As far as a pass through that's not possible- laundry room is on the other side (washer dryer back up immediately to that wall in fact).

Several times you have mentioned dirty dishes on the counter. I am just learning that is something people do. We never do that. The thought never even occurred to me. Typically I have the d/w empty before I start prep. If there is a conflict, then the dirty dishes go right into the sink and I hand wash them. I still spend a lot of time hand scrubbing my pots/pans because either they don't come as clean as I like in the d/w or because they are not d/w safe (cast iron, non stick).

Anyways, I'm going to continue to study your proposed layout. Maybe I'll even draw it out with chalk on our driveway. :) I'll show my husband some pictures of wall sinks.
The main thing I hope you will still answer for me is addressing the prep space on my island. I really thought 5' was enough and that because of the depth of the island at 60" that the seating side could still be used for the rare larger projects. Please advise.

much appreciated,

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:31AM
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ooh, last question:
if we decide to go with your layout of sink at wall, how come you have the aisle from range to island at 45"? Shouldn't we change that to 54" to accommodate more than one person in the aisle?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:51AM
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Not necessarily b/c now you have two areas to work - the left aisle and the top aisle - you won't have two people prepping in the same space like you do in the original layout.

If you will both still be prepping and cooking at the same time in the same aisle, then yes, I would increase it, but probably 51" may be enough in this instance b/c you won't have the potential issue of having to go around an open DW. But, with two sinks, you may find that the primary cook will use the island and the person assisting will use the cleanup sink - that's how it works in our family if two of us need a sink for prepping.

If you load the DW with dirty dishes as you go, that's great - but it also means the DW will periodically be opened during meal prep. If you put dirty dishes in the sink instead of on the counter, how does that affect you when you need the sink for prepping (washing/rinsing fruit/veggies, etc.)

If you both really feel your layout is right for you, then stick with it. It may be that your work style is very different than mine and will work just fine. If you can't convince your DH about the sink and end up with your design, I think with the wider aisle you will be OK. It may not be my idea of the best layout - but maybe it is the best layout for you....

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 8:49AM
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Thanks so much!

I want to make sure I get my aisle widths correct regardless of which layout we end up with- so please let me know if the measurements are cabinet to cabinet or countertop to countertop.

mainly as far as putting dirty dishes in the sink I meant if there's a lot of dishes after a meal. Any prep stuff I use isn't a lot and it can go in the sink without interference with using the water. cutting board, knife, garlic press, etc. it just sits in the bottom of the sink not taking up much space until i get it into the d/w. Same when I bake. I may use a lot of measuring cups/bowls but they stack neatly in the sink until loaded into the d/w.

I hope I'm not seeming stubborn in this- I really am taking your advice to heart and working through it. (as with all of the other posters who have given me advice as well). I'm not a very creative thinker and it's a struggle for me to work through the options and choose the best one for us.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:49AM
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