A Quick Vote, or Long Discussion, Anyone?

steph2000September 17, 2013

I recently posted a final layout thread. It's pretty wordy in there, so I'll leave it to the bored, verbose and tenacious to weed their way through it. (with much thanks, btw, I can still use input)

One piece of feedback that came out of it was to reconsider the range wall uppers. So, I started playing with it and am circling back to consider that option.

The only thing I totally care about for that wall is what LOOKS best. I know, I know, but we are NOT talking a lot of space, so I'm less concerned about storage than appearance here.

My partner REALLY needs me to decide on the range hood so he can complete the venting prior to snowfall (which could be any day, really). So I am creating a separate thread here in the hopes I can get lots of responses with a simple vote.

Here are the options:

The plan has been to avoid uppers in that small nook and tile it all the way to the ceiling, then put small floating shelves by the range on the side of the bump out we have there for frequently used spices. I was thinking it would help with tile dilemmas because the shape of the backsplash wouldn't echo the window BS we have on the other wall.

Minus, the shelves, that option looks kind of like this:

A finished kitchen with a similar look:

Farmhouse Kitchen by Philadelphia General Contractors Kenny Grono

We ended up making the bump out deep enough that upper cabinets can recess within their depth. So, here's the wall with uppers.

Do you prefer option 1 or 2? If you prefer option 2, do you think I'm going to have trouble finding a tile that will coordinate with the BS window?

Thanks so much for voting!

This post was edited by Steph2000 on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 15:55

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I would choose a combo of the two. I would add the uppers, but keep the hood in place of those two upper cabinets. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:52PM
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What about option 3? From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans

Is there not enough room for a free standing hood and any uppers?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I like it without uppers if you don't need them.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Holly- Kay

I like option one the best since you are focusing on the aesthetics rather than storage.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:24PM
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no uppers, again, if you are sure that you don't need the storage.

A slim spice cabinet might be an option on the bump out walls rather than open shelves.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:27PM
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I vote for option #2. You will be thankful for those uppers on either side of the range for storing spices, cooking oils, etc. for easy reach while you are cooking. I do like the option #3 that was submitted by lavender_lass (pictures 2 and 3) ... best of both worlds.

I am not a fan of open shelves in the kitchen, which is why I didn't go for option #1 (or lavender_lass's picture 1) ... they look great when they are "staged" for photographs, but I don't know how nice they'd be for everyday life. In MY everyday life, they'd look like hell.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I like option 1 best for aesthetics, but I'd make sure you have room for all your kitchen items in your other cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:35PM
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#2 definitely. Here's why: the chimney hood doesn't work well against that long adjacent cabinet run. It looks orphaned to me.

And I have a chimney hood against a tile wall and no uppers at all in my kitchen. But the end of the galley looks better to me with the consistency of the uppers.

I would suggest using glass doors on those cabinets to give it a lighter feeling. And another approach would be to lose the short center cabinets (which look a bit dated) and put a hood between. But I'd pick a really unconventional hood -- not the chimney which always look likes it's being pressed between two cabinets. zephyr has some very cool looking hoods that won't look as clunky as the classic chimneys on a narrow wall. If you like any of those it could look great and design-y.

Since the wall is bumped out enough to accommodate uppers and a vent hood there, it's by far the most balanced approach -- and hence the best looking.

If you had no uppers on the sink wall, or any combination of open shelving then the visuals would be much different.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:53PM
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If you do not need the storage, why is there no window over the sink? Why a peninsula instead of an island? Would an island give you more room for upper cabinets, on your range wall?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:59PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like #1. But who's gonna notice when you have that backsplash on your other wall? (Still a big fan of that window!)

But I think you needn't rush this decision--looks like the hood isn't moving so you can just vent it anyway.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:01PM
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I vote for cabinets on the range wall like picture 2 or 3 that lavanderlass posted. I would tile all the way up to the ceiling behind the range and venthood. I don't know what your countertop and cabinets choices are but your rendition looks contemporary to me. The backsplash tiles that are shown in lavenderlass's second picture would look nice in your space in a color that works with your finishes.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:33PM
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I vote for LL's solution #3 (sans shelves), or #2. I do think the hood looks orphaned in #1 and the whole wall asymmetrical. I'm not following how the backsplash coordinates with the window on the adjacent wall.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:45PM
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option one with no open shelves and obtain a spice drawer insert. You won't like the light hitting spices or oils anyway...and the full wall tile is a good counterpoint to the back wall which is heavy with cabinetry. the two different treatments will play off each other.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:45PM
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I vote for the 2nd option. The hood looks odd all by itself. That hood wall just looks out of proportion compared to the sink wall. LL's option 2 or 3 would be my preference .

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Option 1 but only if you can ditch the floating shelf idea, if you are really going for looks. Keep your spices in a peninsula drawer or in an upper on the right. If you don't have room for spices anywhere but on open shelves, then option 2 would look better IMO.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:43PM
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A huge NO to option 2! I like LL's options 3B and 3C.

Can you please explain again why you need the bumpout? I feel like this is throwing things off. Can it be used for recessed shelving by any chance?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:56PM
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It's needed because of something going on in the adjacent room behind.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:36PM
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I like option 1. Functional and open.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Have you thought about using a hood insert and enclosing it in a simple box and tiling the whole thing?

I agree that the stainless chimney range hood may look a little small, but I don't think higher cabinets over the range will look very "clean" --I like the simple rectangular shapes of the other wall.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:38PM
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    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Would you be inclined to pick a killer tile like in your example image? If so, option 1 (minus the spice thing, too clutterey for what you're doing) could remain interesting with a beefy enough range hood. I'd save that bump out wall for a giant piece of art.

Also like Lav's suggestions if you are more inclined to go with a less 'killer' tile.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:46PM
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I like option 3B best, followed by 3C and then 1.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I really like #2 or #3 in LL's post...you get some storage and it will look nice.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:11PM
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I like what you are doing. Simplicity. Clean and very functional. It works for me. Your similar 'inspiration' kitchen makes sense. A clean tiled wall. Not so crazy about the raised panel cabinets above your sink...clean flat front without hardware would be a simple bank of useful cabinets for above dishwasher, sink, and a nice frame for your window.
Your cooking 'wall', where the chef prepares the goods, could benefit from a clean simple shelf off both sides of the hood? A shallow shelf running the distance across and a deeper one off both side of the hood. Gives a minimal resting spot for a few plates, a few favorite coffee cups and a few spices, vinegars, oils, that are most often used. Some empty shelf areas that give a cook a place to rest prepped ingredients to free the counter...
(i'm always looking for a place to put prepped bowls and things off my counter so i can keep moving, as i cook from scratch from garden harvest)
Lovely and functional kitchen you will have. And social, with a partner or guest visiting on a stool.
Link below is not yours at all but might give an idea of how a chef functions with a few handy shelves. No need for all tools at hand but a shelf mostly empty is functional and easy to keep clean if not full of decoration.
I like your first choice. I think you have the storage you need at base level throughout your 'u' shape set-up with drawer storage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bittman NYTimes

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:23PM
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I like option 1 best for aesthetics, but I'd make sure you have room for all your kitchen items in your other cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:25PM
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I like #1 with floating shelves. I think the addition of the vertical element on that wall adds something. But there's nothing wrong with option 2-- it's gonna be great!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:37PM
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First, I *love* that backsplash window! Wowie! As for the range wall, I like lavenderlass' idea. I'm not a fan of open storage shelves, especially in a clean-lines kitchen. If you can have a hood and a few narrow enclosed cabinets, I think you will get both form and function.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:21AM
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I prefer one.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:51AM
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FYI-- That's not Mark's own kitchen on the link, nor is it Julie's. It's a studio kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:04AM
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I prefer 1. I like the clean horizontal line of the uppers ending at the range wall, rather than wrapping around. I think it works well with the long horizontal window BS. (I don't care for the diagonal corner upper.)

I like the look of just a hood on a wall of gorgeous tile. The hood in your mock-up looks too small in scale though. You should go with something 6" wider than your range, for both performance and visual balance. I also like Pal's idea of a tiled rectangular hood box with an insert.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm kind of suprised by how the voting is going so far, and the strength of people's reactions.

Still mulling and still very open to votes and input. It was hard to directly tally the votes as LL threw in 3 more options and some people kind of voted for more than one, so I gave a 1/2 pt for every choice when people voted for more than one option.

Option 1 - 12.5 votes, with the fewest split votes (11 solid votes and only 1 person voted for another choice)
Option 2 - 4 points total (with 2 people voting outright for it and 4 people giving it as one of several votes)
Option 3 - 9.5 total (with most people splitting their vote between option B and C and others just saying "one of these choices")

So...I guess that means 13.5 votes for some cabinets on the range wall, though most don't like the idea of a under-cabinet range hood and prefer some kind of chimney or something.

The thing that struck me is that some of the people who were against Option1 were so STRONGLY against it and saw it as looking "odd" and asymmetrical and imbalanced. Yikes, that's not what I want anyone's reaction to be for the new kitchen.

The space there IS small. That's why my inspiration pic for the "cooking nook tiled to ceiling" is seductive and dangerous - that kitchen has space that mine does not have. I couldn't really even put those pendants on the tiled wall and not have it look crammed and interfer with the cabinet on the side opening.

The wall there is 87 3/4 inches from corner to bumpout. So, minus 30 for the range hood minimum, plus a few inches on each side not to cram it in and that leaves 51 3/4. Minus another 13 from that for the cabinet on the exterior wall and that leaves 38" of bare wall for option 1 and close to the same if I do an upper corner cabinet, right?

I don't really love the look of range hoods, which is why I considered just going with a low-profile under the cabinet hood if I bring uppers around. I guess that is really not a really popular look! LOL I also am not mad about cramming a chimney range in tight with uppers, especially when I would have such small uppers surrounding the range but I can play with that.

Rococogirl - thanks for the zephyr link. Are there any range hoods you would recommend in particular? I'm more than glad to consider options, though that issue is further complicated by our short ceilings and desire to stay at 400 cfm to avoid the make-up air issue.

palimpsest - I like the picture you showed of a boxed in range hood that was all tiled. It surely is doable as my partner is in the trades and we are DYI'ing. However, the list is long and ugly for him to do. Do you think something like that would work ok in a transitional kitchen, kind of going for modern cottage here...I think Marcolo called it zen cottage, which I love the idea of but don't think I understand how to pull it off...

Cottagewithroses - Yes, all of that is true. We don't have a tall window at the sink because we have a BS window. I don't have an island because it would require 2 walkways into a small kitchen in a 1,000 SF house, leaving only room for a very small island that doesn't play as nice with the BS window. And no, an island would not give us any more space for uppers on the perimeter.

Oldbat - the bumpout is because the W/D is on the other side of that wall and juts 12" out into the hallway to the bathroom. Even with an apartment single-unit W/D. I consulted here and we felt it was important to fix that problem so we could have standard W/D and open up the hallway. In a small house like this, it always comes down to robbing Peter to pay Paul. There's no free inches... But, it turns out, we actually like the bump out - though I'd love more inches. It gets the kitchen away from the hallway area and defines things a bit. The peninsula will look nice off of it, I think, and I kind of like the idea of a cooking nook area.... Making the best with what we've got to work with here!

Sleevendog - I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about the cabinets and shelving. I hear what you are saying and we aren't comitted to materials yet. However, I'm leaning heavy to a simple shaker door at least on top. If we end up going IKEA, I might do the white abstract doors, which would take us much more modern. The horizontal pulls won't be nearly as huge as the option on the software I used for this, I was just playing with a 2-toned kitchen as I drafted this up.

In terms of shelving on the range wall, I really don't see there being a lot of room for that. I was just going to do narrow shelving on the side of the bump out for frequently used items. I see what people are saying, though, about how that could make things look squeezed on that side of the range hood. Maybe it's a non-starter...

I'll whip up a layout that has LL's idea so folks can see what we'd be looking at there. Unfortunately, it seems IKEA only offers a diagnonal corner cabinet, which I really do not want and it will probably throw the measurements off anyway. They don't even offer an upper blind cabinet that I can find.

Thanks so much for your votes and for your honesty. Lots to mull over!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Simple clean lines are what I think you are looking for. You can buy the inserts for the drawer base on the right for your spices, put a slim, glass fronted cabinet on either side of the open range hood and maybe some shelves, and still have a spectacular view down there. The tile to the ceiling goes along with the simplicity.
One thing I am concerned about though with open shelves. Yes, they LOOK great, open a room up, but what about grease? I rarely fry anything, but what little I do, makes the kitchen greasy after a bit, then the dust settles on said grease, and then you have a big mess. Even though I mentioned a slender glass cabinet (12") on each side of the hood, it too, will get greasy and dusty. Do people, regular people, wipe/clean the shelves like they should, daily? I have always wondered about that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:39PM
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I actually chose the first picture for the hood. Shelves were an option (along with glass door and solid uppers) but I thought the hood might look nice with the window backsplash :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:50PM
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I am really new at this so take the advice for what its worth..
I like Option 1 but with a large format tile or maybe even the sheets of glass with colored back(not sure what the proper term is). I think the scale of the lovely backsplash window and tile is off in your rendering. Ha, I see LL's Option 3 is somewhat similar to what I was suggesting.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Okay, so! I went back to the Lowe's software to find corner cabinets that I could actually live with.

The first attempt, with an actual 90 degrees corner cabinet made the symmetry look terrible - and the range hood tight:

But! The second option, with a small blind cabinet on that wall and a matching 12" upper next to the bump out is combined with a 36" range hood and seems liveable?

It also allows me to do 3 36" cabinets across the exterior uppers, which pleases my desire for using the same sized doors there with long horizontal pulls. It also allows for the sink to be centered on the aisle itself, which pleases my madness for the illusion of symmetry again. There would be the need for spacer between that run and the corner, as you can see.

My partner is not nuts about this option, but I see it as a valid option.

So, the 4 options are:
Option 1 from Original Post
Options 2 from OP
Option 3 - open with tiled range hood box as Palm suggested
Option 4 - the last 2 pics shown on this thread.


This post was edited by Steph2000 on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 14:35

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Yes! This one gets my new vote!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:24PM
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LL - My partner, too, prefers the glass canopies on the range hoods. I guess I prefer them to look a little more traditional if we have to do it. I also hear glass gets very messy and makes grease capture tricky? What do I know, though. Not much! My personal favorite of your 3 pics is the middle one that is kind of rounded. We are really trying to stay at 400 cfm or less with 89" ceilings - that leaves us basically 2 choices. Unless we build a box ourselves or something...

You make a good point, though, that the glass echoes the glass BS.

RoRo - I'm with you and others on the cleaning thing with shelving. That's why I was just going to do those narrow ones at the bump out side. But, I do think it also screws with the lack of symmetry and probably won't work. I'm iffy about glass cabinets on the range wall for a similar reason. Those tend to be the MESSIEST cabinets I have owned, especially small uppers that are holding spices, oils, soy sauce, flour, sugar, blah-blah-mess-mess. If I used it to display white serving bowls or something, though, that'd be much better.

vinudev_liny - thanks for weighing in! I appreciate the vote - and your participation and it's great to see newcomers or lurkers feel safe on my threads. I do model utter befuddlement, which hopefully reassures people! LOL I'm with you on the tile thing, I think. The tile options on these layout programs are very limited. I go back and forth between large glass tiles (bigger than subway) or something graphic and with character. I've thought that if I did black lowers and white uppers it would be fun to do a black and white graphic design on the tile to marry them but I might be nuts. On the totally opposite end, I love two-toned kitchens where the bottoms are dark and the counters, uppers and walls are just white to blend in. So, in that case, I'd probably consider a white subway or something, though apparently my house isn't supposed to really have them.

I haven't gotten to materials yet, which is actually going to be the hardest part for me. And, really, almost all of this is hard for me. I'm probably not the best candidate for DYI in that respect. And I really appreciate the support of GW as I stumble through it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:25PM
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That last set looks good to me. Best of the lot for sure.

Again, I'm not much for those single cabinets but they help balance in this particular space.

I do love the window splash. It's very MCM but really works in this kitchen.

The keys to this IMO is finding a perfect pairing of tile and hood. I would be very deliberate with the tile. Also, an unusual hood/highly styled could be showcased in this kitchen and look amazing.

Elicas have a super look and are different (though not perhaps budget friendly -- no idea).

Worth a look perhaps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Elica range hoods

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Yes, the last option looks great!!!! Very nice!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Thanks for the votes and feedback, folks.

I'm with you, rococogurl, that I am not crazy about those single cabinets, especially when they are tiny as these are. However, at least this combo does promote the illusion of symmetry on both the range and the sink wall...

Thanks also for the link to the funky range hoods. I have little doubt they are out of my price point. Probably too high with cfm, too. I'm not quite sure they are my taste, either. Trying to straddle modern and cottage, as I know I'll be happy with that look and it will fit the house, is difficult as I keep wanting to lean too far one direction or the other.

I can't imagine how hard tile is going to be. I'm in utter dread about picking out counters and cabinet materials... All this time and I STILL do not have a vision for this kitchen!!!

PS - Thanks for the vote of confidence in the BS window. I sure hope it ends up "working" with this kitchen and the other choices I pick work with it...

Majra - nice to see you here! Thanks, too, for the love for the BS window. I vacillate between loving it and defending it. lol

Teachertile - Thanks so much for the vote! I think it's probably the safest option and reflects the most common current approach.

This post was edited by Steph2000 on Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 10:44

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Like the small cabinets! Do you like them with some frosted glass and then a glass range hood like AngieDIY has? (I think the range hood looks a bit larger than it would... it gets fuzzy if I shrink it anymore)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:09AM
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Modern and cottage is tricky, even in the hands of a designer with years of experience.

An alternative to those two cabinets would be boxed open shelves but if you want a hint of cottage the glass doors are a very good option. Others may disagree but I think you nailed it.

I really do love the window -- but it immediately made me think you were going mid-century modern because that's one feature seen in 50s & 60s ranch houses, especially in CA, not usually seen elsewhere. Ditto for stone cladding on the bump out.

I know folks around here shop for tile and do backsplashes last. I have never understood that. IME backsplash tile is a major element of a kitchen. If it's chosen at the same time as countertop material and paint color it's easier to control the outcome. Last reno I did the paint scheme first, then took the paint samples for the kitchen with me when I went to choose options for the counter and tile. Much less agony involved.

Since the hood is a focal point, it's also going to be suggestive. Agreed, the Ellicas are unusual. There are plenty of choices at reasonable prices. Zephyr are affordable I believe. But others here can make good suggestions.

I think you're off to a great start. I'll be interested to watch your progress.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Of all the options, I prefer the latest, with the small cabs to the side, mostly because it looks more balanced and there isn't a hood just sitting on the wall. I'm not a total symmetry freak either and I live happily with a sink not centered under the window. :)

Something you said caught my eye:

I don't really love the look of range hoods, which is why I considered just going with a low-profile under the cabinet hood if I bring uppers around. I guess that is really not a really popular look!

Have you given that more thought? I'm not wild about them either. They're dandy looking in many homes, but it's just not a feature I seek or am willing to sink money into. I have a very efficient Zephyr Breeze under the cabinet hood. It looks like a hood, but it doesn't command any attention, i.e., it's not a feature of my kitchen, but a working appliance. Other than the occasional burger and browning meat, I rarely turn it on.

Anyway, just wondering if a prominent hood, which you're not crazy about anyway, is now in the driver's seat.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:04AM
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I like the small upper cabinets next to the range best. To me it feels most balanced.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Deedles - Hm, Hm, HM!

As I mentioned earlier, my partner prefers the glass range hoods while I tend to prefer the more traditional chimney if we have to have one (and we do, of course). I'm not really crazy about most of them and the ones I do get drawn to are too expensive and too powerful for my little kitchen.

I also worry about glass cabinets, especially with narrow cabinets by the range and a blind corner. Those just tend to be messy, messy cabinets! If I had the spare room and they were big enough that I could display bowls/serving dishes, though, I could live with it. People keep suggesting I am going to need more space for spices/oils, though.

It's great to see a rendering of this, though - and people can chime in. Does it help to bring the glass over to that wall or no?

That was so generous of you to take time to mock it up for me! Thanks so much!

Rococogurl - Well, it's validating to know modern cottage is tricky even for designers. I am constantly yanking myself away from too modern or too cottage. I just keep reminding myself to keep it simple overall. And, now it is worse because some of the cabinets I am considering are very furniture like for the lowers. Especially when they are used in applications like finished backpanels on islands and peninsulas. I really love the look but keep asking myself if I can have what I want or need to pare it down... or need to just pick different stains that don't interest me as much. If we go two-toned, I either want a stain as close to black as I can get, a dark brown or a walnut. The idea would be stained lowers, painted uppers.

I like that wood tone. But, even if I nix the legs and fancy parts and just have the paneled peninsula, is that too much for a modern cottage? *sigh* Probably...

We are sliding in the dangerous zone of materials, and I so hope you are around when I get there (and I need to start getting a direction on that like immediately!).

The window IS generally very MCM, though my aunt has put it in 2 very traditional kitchens in Florida and it works for her. It would definitely be safer with the window to go full-out MCM. However, while I am in a 1950's ranch, I'm in one that has these cottagy/traditional touches) - some by us and some by prior owners. We have paned french doors to the den and traditional white mantels on our 2-sided fireplace. On the den side, it is flanked by rather traditional white cabinets on the bottom. We also sided the house in vinyl shake with thick white trim - and put in windows with a grid on the front. A lot of the interior touches could get ripped out, but the project is already so darn huge and I do like modern cottages so I have been working with that idea. A lot of the kitchens I am drawn to are far more traditional than I could pull off here, though, and I have been warned to keep it simple.

The stacked stone is from an inspiration kitchen I considered replicating here, but people said it was neither cottage nor modern. And, then, of course, there's the issue of stacked stone so close to the range. lol Here's a pic:

(I liked how the stacked stone played with the large format glass tiles so it didn't feel so cold...)

Here's another kitchen that combines stacked stone with glass tile (and a slate, to boot, tiled under the island looking like stacked books IMHO - Marcolo had recommended I: "Think slate" at one point in this saga.)

And, this is a GW'er kitchen that I think does a great job with modern cottage. I might be able to have tall cabinets across the den with glass on top like that - and I picked out a drum pendant for the DR sort of like this, but with a little bling. I'd go with a different BS and I'll have frameless cabs, but I think this is a great kitchen. Do you see modern cottage?

If we went walnut/white, Majra's new kitchen is a great inspiration.

Ultimately, though, I agree with you. The cabinets I choose are going to narrow down tile and counter options. It seems those 3 decisions are best made together. And, that's going to prove very challenging for me... I have a hard time finding counters I love, so am considering spending a lot of money for a basic quartz that I think would work with my house but is a lot of money for simple... Tile overwhelms me with the countless choices. And, I'm totally drawn to 2-toned kitchens but am not sure I should go that way in my small, dark 50's ranch! Bleh!

I keep hoping I find an inspiration picture that just pulls it all together and I can point and say "I want that!". Problem is, I have that reaction to a billion pictures, and yet, none at all...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Linelle - I have given the whole issue of the darn range hood a lot of thought. I've never lived with a range hood. We had a microwave over the stove in our most recent kitchen and before that, I just lived in houses/apartments with a hood under a cabinet.

One of the things I also had in my last kitchen and DO NOT want again is short upper cabinets on one wall tying in with longer walls on the other. I really do not want that again. So, if I do a vent under a cabinet, it's going to have to bump up like in the original post. People just did NOT support that option much and it seems hard to make it look symmetrical/balanced...

I can keep playing with it, especially now that I came across that blind cabinet idea. I guess I resigned myself to needing a range hood and being glad it was in a little nook area... I do like tile to the ceiling so that was some solace.

Do you have specific ideas?

Thanks, pricklypearcactus. I really do appreciate the votes. I agree that it does look the most balanced.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Steph -- of the photos in your 11:28 post, most are what I'd call mid-century inspired. Java and black are going to pull modern/mid-century, especially with that long window in a ranch house. A stainless mosaic backsplash is modern. Must say, I don't see much cottage.

But... have you ever seen Pirula's kitchen? She's in a 60s ranch but the kitchen is a bit cottage though not too much. It's white and not sure if it's the blend you're looking for but your description made me think of it. See what you think.

I'm not so much for elaborate furniture details on the cabinets. Feet yes. Those turned pilasters and all, not so much. I think it would look hulky in a galley kitchen.

Stone around a range is a nightmare in my book -- it is a natural grease and stain absorber. If your heart is set on stone then that will become very dominant in the kitchen on that pillar. So if that's a yes, then move to paint that works with the stone and expect the rest to revolve around the stone color. The only other thing is that the stone can vary in color -- triple checking is needed on that.

If you don't go with stone, and decide to paint the bump out, then the tile will become more dominant on the range wall. From the rendering at least (it would be helpful to see pics of the actual space) there's a suggestion of glass tile on your splash. It would be very glittery and pretty, especially in small format.

Also could see light top cabinets all around (I would not do dark wood uppers) and dark on the bottom -- though I wouldn't go too dark.

I happen to be slightly obsessed with Caesarstone. I think those are beautiful for counters and so practical. Again, it's more of a modern look but it works with almost anything and for me far better than granite which can be so dominating.

Tile shopping can be overwhelming. There's so much. And if you go in having no idea what colorway or style you're going for -- or worse if the kitchen is built and nothing looks quite right -- it turns into a saga. That's why I suggested picking paint color and using that to coordinate counter color, cabinet color and tile. That in itself eliminates a lot of tile. But it also gives the flexibility to mix and match -- or make a larger change -- if you fall in love.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:27PM
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What happened? You go and march right back to ONE and start over, lol.
A swooping hood with glass detail may end up looking like 80's bad hair, fake stacked stone is just mini mc-mansion decoration. (it may be 'real' stone but the reason behind it is fake because it is not really stacked). Like a grand stove set into a ye olde world charm hearth tuscan style. (built in 20011).
I'm just kidding around. But best to save the thousand likes for the salad bar. It doesn't always taste good together.... just a 5dollar mistake.
Go back to simplicity and some of your earlier ideas. Your backsplash window is not decoration. It is embracing the outdoors. Soothing and comforting. Where the eyes rest.
You have a good layout, the first hurdle. Keep it calm and functional. Think of it as a frame
... your daily life and living and wonderful food and its prep and colors are the art.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:56AM
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LOL, sleevendog! Make sure you stick around while I turn to the saga of material choices. I am going to need your marching orders and reality checks!!!

And if you find inspiration pics that fit your vision for my kitchen, please pass them on. Given, um, you know, I either have a million visions or none at all...

Do you HATE the last rendition with the blind corner cabinet and little upper, sleevedog? I'm iffy on it - and think it is the safer (and more traditional) choice - but I do admit the symmetry it gives me on the sink and range wall is pretty appealing....

Rococogurl - Yep, leaning towards ceasarstone or one of the quartzs as I think they do tend to be appropriate for my house. I find a lot of granite heavy, dark and masculine. I love quartzite and marble, but doesn't fit the house.

What I worry about is that I am going to end up with bands of solid colors. A band of dark lowers. Band of white uppers. Band of BS glass. Band of solid color on the BS, especially if I go glass tile, which I am leaning toward. Band of quiet counter. Band of paint on the bumpout, which I am leaning towards. All of this is initial, but it seems that could get a bit...off.

So then I wonder if I should face my aversion of wallpaper and consider a fun wallpaper around the bumpout and down the short hallway wrapping around to the W/D nook. Something like the modern tone-on-tone zebra strip a GW'er did on her peninsula wall. Or that amazing birch tree wallpaper that floated around here for a while...

A lot of the two-toned kitchens I like have dark lowers, then white counters, tile and uppers. It definitely keeps it from being stripey. I just am unsure about the tile for the stove wall and it does seem like a chance to do something interesting, potentially, or do large format glass tiles in an earthy tone.

Bleh. It's so hard for me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Steph put me down for STRONG vote for your #1. It looks great!

The rest is details.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:32AM
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