Planning/Design stage for new kitchen

Kristen HallockOctober 24, 2012

I think we are finally going to be able to go ahead and remodel our kitchen. Probably in the spring/early summer.

Our kitchen is 11' 7.5" x 16'. That doesnt include the table space. So its a pretty good sized kitchen I think.

Here are 2 pictures of it from a few years ago.

Basically we are just planning on refinishing the floors, getting new cabinets, I hate having a cooktop in the island and I want to put a 36" range on the wall where the current wall oven is. I also hate having the island on an angle (its very close to the fridge right now and its a pain). I would like a rectangular island. I think I want to put windows in on either side of the new range so that it brings more light into the kitchen. This might mean only having upper cabinets on the sink wall.

My *iffy* areas are where the current fridge is and that desk area on the back wall. I'd love it if we could make a fridge work where the desk is now. (Maybe sinking it back into that wall a bit?) There is a small closet behind that desk right now and pocket door from that back laundry/mud room into the 1/2 bath. We dont really need the pocket door to the bathroom. That room also houses the washer/dryer. We could move the laundry upstairs to a small room we have over the garage. The dryer is gas though so it would involve moving the gas line to hook up the dryer. If we got rid of the washer/dryer we could free up space for a mud room area. Right now that room (its tiny!) has a W&D, plus we kick off shoes and jackets, etc... so its a real mess. Another idea would be to use it as a pantry. But I think we'd make better use and enjoy it more if we had a spot to sit down and take our shoes off and hang up coats.

Here are some sketches I did. This one shows the design I am envisioning. I am unsure still about that mud/laundry room and also where the fridge should go and what should go to the left of the range. I free handed this drawing, but the measurements listed are correct.

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:-) I remember you and your plan... It's been a long time! I think this looks really good. I think your fridge could work quite well in either location.

Have you figured out where you'll have the microwave and things like coffee maker, toaster, mixer, etc? That may help determine if you need more counter or more pantry. Or you might want to keep the fridge where you have it and set up a coffee/breakfast/snack station where you have the pantry and fridge.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:53PM
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I think I'd move the fridge to the back wall and have some upper cabinets on each side of the new windows. I'd also make the prep sink accessible from the range side and the fridge side, of the island. Congrats on moving forward with the remodel! :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Kristen Hallock

rhome - Thanks!

I somehow lost that sketch you did for me with the remodel plans. Its been a few years and I'm hoping this year we actually can do it! I have no idea about the people put them under the cabinets now sometimes? That seems like a pain though. Maybe we could have space next to the fridge (if we put it on the back wall next to the bathroom door). I'd like it off the countertops and in a shelf on the upper cabinets I think.

Neither DH or I are coffee drinkers. So I really could care less about a coffee maker. We have one, but it only gets taken out for guests. Right now it lives in the lower corner cabinet to the left of the sink. My mixer stays on the counter top, but I am also good with putting it in a pantry. I dont use it that much. I would like a toaster oven that sits on the counter since we use that almost daily.

Lavendar Lass - Thank you! Would it look wierd to have the upper cabinets go around the corner from the sink to the new window and then stop? And then after the 2nd window(to the left of the range) have an upper cabinet and then maybe a tall pantry cabinet with roll out shelves?

I am not sure if things need to be symmetrical on either side of the range and the windows. It seems like we would have plenty of cabinet space with all of the lower cabinets and the ones in the island.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Did I do renderings for you? I think I did, so I'll see if I can find them.

What you'll probably want on the range wall is balance, so it'd be best to look at renderings or even do some drawings on graph paper of how that wall will look and how you want it.

Our microwave is in the lower shelf of a deeper-than-average upper cabinet. Another option, like you said is to build in a cubby of some sort on the wall by the fridge.

I just wanted you to think about what counterspace you want to use, and make sure it's where you need it most.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Looks like we tried a few different layouts with the fridge, microwave, and back wall.

I don't know why we put the fridge so far out so that it pushes the stove so far to the right in this one:

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Oh, I like that last drawing! It looks so balanced and cheerful...with the white cabinets and all those windows. It makes the range, rather than the fridge, the focus from the kitchen table. Very nice :)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Kristen Hallock

Rhome - Thank you!! I will save them to my PC right now. I like the 2nd and 4th ones the best. They are the same I think except for the cabinet color.

I would LOVE a white kitchen, but my husband is adamant against it. I am not going to win that battle. He wants natural maple. Which is ok with me I guess. We tend to get things pretty dirty. I have told him that white will be easier to clean since we will see the spots that need wiping.

We'll refinish our wood floors prior to the remodel. And this is a DIY project. DH and I have remodeled a kitchen in the past. We'll probably just go for Kraftmaid cabinets and do granite or cambria or soapstone countertops. I am undecided still. I do know I long for a 36" Wolf gas range though!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Kristen Hallock

Ok, I've thought of a question.

If we put the fridge on that back wall (where the desk currently is). How much space should that aisle have between the fridge and the island?

My kitchen is 192" wide. And I am estimating that the sink base cabinets + countertop overhand will be 25". The aisle between the sink & island will be 42", and the island (+ counter top overhang will be 50"). That leaves 75 inches for the fridge + whatever size aisle I will have between the fridge and island. I just looked at a LG French Door fridge and it says with handles it is 37.5 deep. So at the max I would have 37.5 inches left for that aisle where the fridge would go. The fridge usually needs some air circulation behind it too, right? Like an inch or 2?

I am just wondering if a layout like this would require us to have the sink/island isle be slightly smaller, like 40"? Or should I be looking at a counter-depth fridge? There is a possibility of my DH recessing it into the wall a bit. But he says that wall is load-bearing so I am not sure if he will want to do that. Or should I think about making my island smaller?


    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Well, you have all wood now...and it's nice, but white would be so much brighter! It will reflect the light and make the kitchen seem more airy.

From [Kitchen plans](

White cabinets/dark countertops...with darker island, for contrast.

From Kitchen plans

And if you decide on a wood finish...maybe somthing lighter?

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Kristen Hallock

Yes, I agree. White is the way to go. But my husband is convinced that with 2 small kids and 1 big black dog, 1 huge cat, and himself that white kitchen cabinets would look horrendous. I will try to eat away at him, but I've been talking about wanting white cabinets for years and he has never entertained the idea so I am pretty sure he will not go for it come renovation time either.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I like the idea of insetting the fridge if you want to stay with a full-depth model. Even in a load-bearing wall, it shouldn't be too tough... It'd be like building a doorway for it. It'll take a header and adequate framing under each end.

My cream island is much harder to keep looking clean than our fir cabinets. Can you and your hubby compromise with some painted and some wood? Maybe white uppers? Or another color on the bases and dh's maple on the top?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Kristen Hallock

Thanks. Sounds like setting the fridge in the wall a bit shouldn't be THAT bad. I think my DH probably said that because he thinks I'm creating more work for him. Which I am, but it will be worth it!!

Do you like the tall pantry next to the fridge or the microwave shelf + countertop space?

I am thinking microwave & counter just so there is some space next to the fridge to drop stuff. But I might like the look of the range wall with the microwave there better. I can always put stuff on the island when I am reaching in the fridge, right?

I guess since the plan is mostly done (thanks to you!) I should wait until its time to choose cabinets before I need more help.

I do love white but we are not really clean people and I work fulltime and have a 4 & 7 year old. Plus a black lab plus a 20 pound cat. The cat rubs up against the corners of things and after a while it leaves a black guck (oil from his hair?) on the corners. So maybe white cabs are not for me.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Especially if you have a French door fridge, the island would be the best 'landing space' anyway, since the opened door would block access to the counter beside it.

It might be convenient to have the microwave next to the fridge, because a lot of what goes in the microwave comes from the fridge or freezer, but the other location isn't that far away. I think it depends on where you want the counterspace, maybe more than where you want the microwave. Will it be better to have continuous counter over by the stove, or will it be beneficial to have a separated chunk of counter by the fridge?

Our dog rubs against the corner of our island, so I know about that oily residue that stays behind! Thankfully, it cleans off paint pretty easily.

Oh, and I never really answered your question about the aisle in front of your fridge. I think you'll do fine, especially with a Fr door, so it doesn't need so much door swing room. But I'd still want to go to a counter-depth model or recess it. Even with our counter depth fridges, we put in 26" deep end panels, so only the doors protrude into the room and there is an inch or two behind.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:03PM
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