HELP with Layout - Upper Cabinets!

blackchamoisOctober 6, 2013

I am trying to figure out the best cabinet configuration for my upper cabinets - those depicted in green.

The "problem area" that I am trying to work with is the angled wall joining my range wall and my sink wall.

A few things to mention ... 1) I cannot change the angled wall. I am in a condo and it's an outside wall of my entry way. 2) IâÂÂd like the upper cabinets to the left and right of the window to have glass doors. 3) I donâÂÂt want to do open shelves. (Thinking in terms of resale, I believe most would prefer cabinets.) 4) I am good with all other aspects of the layout (i.e. base cabinets, etc.) 5) Since I am focusing on the uppers, there are some things I have left off the sketch as itâÂÂs not relevant to my question (such as additional base cabs/peninsula to the left of the range).

If it werenâÂÂt for this wall there would be peace in my world! This dilemma is giving me a headache :(

The three options I have come up with are:

Option 1 ... Have the cabinets form a corner (from the exterior viewpoint). However, for the cabinets on the left side, the problem with this is that the interior of the cabinets would need to be angled to account for the wall. And with the one closest to the window having a glass door, I think that may look odd seeing an angle through the glass. (For the cabinet on the right IâÂÂm showing it w/a blind corner. I know that GWâÂÂers for the most part donâÂÂt like blind corners, but it really doesnâÂÂt bother me in this case.)

Option 2 ... Easy reach cabinet in both corners. The problem here is that the corner cabinet on the left will have a strange shaped shelf to account for the angled wall.

Option 3 ... Angled corner cabinets in both corners. I was trying to stay away from angled corner cabinets - IâÂÂm just not a huge fan, but I donâÂÂt know that I have another simple/practical choice.

My cabinet guy is coming over tomorrow to hopefully finalize the plans and I wanted to get your input prior to discussing with him.

Thank you!!

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I guess a 4th option would be a combination of #3 on the left and and either #1 or #2 on the right.

In the picture attached they have an angled cab on one side of the window but not on the other.

Or does that look horribly off balance?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I cannot see the pic in your first post.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Ugh! Thanks Angela. Not sure what happened. It showed up fine in the preview. It was a file I converted to .jpg.

Let me try again with a different file type.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:46AM
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I think the angled cabinets might provide the most useful storage while having the same look on each side. Those little cabinets next to the window look to be maybe 12 and 15 in? Those will be small and hard to use, especially if you are using framed cabinets.

What about stopping with the angled cabinets? Leaving a little room around the window might make it feel a lot more open, and losing those little cabinets won't lose much storage.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:11AM
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I would eliminate option 3 with the diagonal cabinets. With your fridge so close, it's going to feel really oppressive in that corner, and that's one third of your small kitchen. With option 2, you'd at least have some storage on the angled shelf. I wouldn't worry about what it looks like on the inside. I'm not crazy about featuring two unmatched cabinets with glass around the window. I think your focal point should look balanced.

Hope everything goes well for you this time, BlackChamois!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:39AM
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Option 1 for the left side and option 2 for the right, with (as much as possible) equal sized glass door cabs.

I don't think the angled part on the left would be noticed, after all, you won't leave the cab empty. The irregularity on the right would be hidden behind the fridge at a distance and as you get near the sink I think it would be hard to see both sides.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 4:04PM
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williamsem - Hmmm I see what you are saying about the cabinets being too small to be useful. I guess I figure any storage is better than none. (Did I mention I am in a small condo and storage is at a premium? :))

I think the angled cabs are usually 24" (my cabinet guy explained that you measure 24" out from each wall and that determines the width of the angled cab). He said instead of coming 24" out, he could do something less, such as 21" - which in turn would allow the cabinets flanking the angled cab to be wider and the angled cab to be less obtrusive. (Of course it still needs to be wide enough to get into! :)) What are your thoughts on that?

mayflowers - what do you think about the above re: reducing the size of the angled cabs? Also, when you say, "I'm not crazy about featuring two unmatched cabinets with glass around the window. I think your focal point should look balanced.", do you mean that both should be the same width?

sena01 - Thanks. I'll give that some thought.

The cabinet guy didn't come tonight but is coming over tomorrow. So keep the feedback coming.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:36PM
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I think using glass cabinets to flank the window may accentuate the different widths. You also have an off-centered sink and faucet, so I wouldn't call attention to the non-symmetrical elements of the window wall.
If I understand you correctly, he's suggesting you recess your angled corner cabinet between the adjacent ones? I wouldn't add any more odd angles to your kitchen. Try to keep it as clean and simple as you can.

My fridge location is like yours, with an 18" base cabinet between it and the range wall. I don't prep on the counter next to the fridge, but I do keep a large Breville toaster oven in the corner. I would not want a diagonal cabinet in my face. Will you keep a microwave in that corner?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Mayflowers - The angled cabs would not be recessed. I will try to mock up an illustration but it will need to wait until I get home from work since I'm not able to access GW from my work computer :( I will have an OTR microwave.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Oh, sorry, I saw "measuring out" and my brain didn't even register that that would be as deep as a base cab!

This post was edited by may_flowers on Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 13:26

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:20PM
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You mentioned making the corner length different, are these custom or locally made? If so, can those corners be extended to include an extra door, so it's one interior?

Like this?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:49PM
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mayflowers - Okay, going to give this a shot. Bear with me as I attempt to explain this! :)

So my cabinet maker was explaining that your standard angled cab size is determined by:
- starting in the corner (where the dot is) and measuring against the wall 12"
- then measure 24" perpendicular to that
- do this again from the corner going the other direction on the wall
- where the two end points are (the tips of the arrows) is the widith of the cab door.

In the illustration on the right, the same process is followed but instead of coming 24" out, you come out only 21", for example. Your end points are closer together, thus your door isn't as wide and the cabinet is smaller. The other two cabs on either side gain additional space (the shaded part on the illustration.)

So the angled cabinet is not recessed between the other two, just smaller.

Of course you don't want to make that angled door too narrow or you won't be able to get anything in/out. I think 21" is the minimum you could do.

I hope that makes sense.

Back to the drawing board as I still don't know what to do.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:33AM
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williamsem - Yes they will be custom. The cabinet maker is great and is really trying to come up with a solution. I have all other aspects of the layout finalized (well, except one minor thing) and would like to lock this down by Friday so he can get started. I can't go another Christmas without a kitchen.

I think Mayflowers mentioned trying to make the cabs on either side of the window the same size. Problem is the walls are different widths. Now in my old kitchen (pic attached) the cabs were different widths. I didn't think much about it then. Will it really look that bad to have them different? Is it just that it will be accentuated by the glass?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:49AM
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I think they need to be the same size on either side of the window if you go with glass. With a diagonal corner cabinet on the right side, would that give you a cabinet the size you need to match the one on the left? Forgetting the class cabinets, though, williamsen has provided you with a brilliant solution to maximize your wall cabinet space in such a small kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:07AM
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Three cheers for Williamsem! Work with your cabinet guy - see if you can get equal-sized glass doors on each side, but open up the interiors as suggested. The easy-reach on the left gives you some flexibility for sizing the glass door, as long as it is hinged on the right side.

I know my Cabinet Man can do absolutely anything, so I'm hopeful that yours can too.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:23AM
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ditto the equal sizes if glass.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:46AM
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robo (z6a)

Option 1 on the left with a 15" door and a little filler to the left of the door, which will help it open smoothly regardless. Option 2 on the right with a 15" cab and a 24" easy reach cab. Or if your cabinet maker can do an easy reach that is 22" along the window wall, back your cabs a few inches off the window and use less filler to the left of your cab to the left of the window.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:40AM
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I would not do the angled cabinet on the right in option 3 in any size (21" or 24"). The most amount of useful storage will be options 1 or 3 on the left and for the right options 1 or 2. I love williamsem's door idea.

Why are you doing glass on each side of the window ? I would think with a small condo kitchen with storage at a premium you would want as much as possible to be hidden so you don't have to keep the insides looking 'pretty'. I agree that the cabinets with glass doors to the left and right should be equal sizes, so adjust the cabinets on the right to leave the glass front cabinet matching the one on the left. Or, have only the cabinet on the right be glass front. One glass front cabinet may be your better choice.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:04AM
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I wasn't suggesting you make those cabs the same size--the cab on the right would stop short of the window.

You can't balance out the window wall whatever you do, so I would try to get as much storage as possible with the easiest access to it. I'd probably do option 1 because it gives you two large side cabinets which you can access through double doors. The cabinets flanking the window are larger than in the other options.

I'm not a fan of hinged doors, especially for frequently-accessed cabinets, which all of your cabinets will be. I know it's not popular to not use every square inch of storage, but I would close off the blind corner too. I had one in my small kitchen pre-remodel and never used it. Option 1 is also the least expensive choice.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Wow! So many variations! The combinations are endless (almost)! :) Thank you all for the great suggestions!

Williamsem - Thanks for the mock-up.The doors hinged as you suggested is one option we are discussing. I think if I were to do an easy reach cab, I would do the doors this way vs. the piano hinge method. If it weren't for the glass doors, the "all one" interior I get! However, with the glass on the one door, you'd be able to see through to the other part of the merged cabinet. Would this look odd?

I think I've completely ruled out the angled corner cabs (Option 3).

I also think that, on the left, Option 1 is the best choice.

On the right, if I were to do a version of Option 2, the question I have is this ... if both doors on the easy reach are not the same size, will this look strange? In particular, I think the left door of the easy reach would need to be pretty narrow in order for the glass cab on the left to be useable.

Also, not sure that this matters, but I may not have mentioned it before, I am doing a shaker door - so the frame portion is about 2.25" wide. I can't have the inset portion so small that it's just a sliver. What is too narrow when it comes to a shaker door? (Hope that makes sense.)

Angela - "Why are you doing glass on each side of the window?" The reason I was wanting to do glass cabs on either side of the window was because I thought the glass would add some interest and break up a bunch of all white. But glass on either side of the window? Well, somewhere, either here or on Houzz, someone said that it'd make my window seem larger ... and I guess that got stuck in my head. Nevertheless, I would like some glass somewhere, so if not there ... where?

mayflowers - Thank you! I just may go that route, but obviously still contemplating. Good thing tho', my cabinet maker won't charge me any extra regardless of the type of layout I go with here.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:59PM
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How about adding interest with a shelf over the fridge for decorative pottery and cookbooks? That's the wall you see as you enter, and there IS that large pantry cabinet contributing to the whiteness. IIRC, you're gaining storage in your peninsula, so maybe you can sacrifice the over-the-fridge cabs.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 20:27

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Thanks Mayflowers. Nice picture. I will have a bookshelf at the end of (as part of the base for) the peninsula that I will use for cook books / pottery etc. the cabs above the frig will extend out all the way over the frig and would be storage for cookie sheets and large platters/serving dishes etc and or holiday (infrequently used) items.

What about a single glass cab - the one to the right of the window, or maybe the cab to the left of the frig? But I'd want it to be visible from outside the kitchen (ie not hidden by a big appliance).

I do appreciate all the great suggestions just trying to get the right "fit".

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but If you don't expect to use the counter right next to the fridge much during prep, you might consider having deeper uppers there (option 1). Two sides of the window would still be not equal, however difference would be less.

Also, the area above the window, is it too small to have cabs there. Maybe with less depth and glass doors?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Please bear with me one last time!!!

Sounds like you are not in favor of the glass on both sides of the window if the cabs are different sizes.

Of these two options - is one preferable over the other?

Glass on just one side (right) of the window, or glass on the cab to the left of the frig?

Then my other question is, how wide is too wide for a glass (or non-glass for that matter) cabinet door? My doors will be shaker style. At what point do you split in two?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:18PM
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I'm still not crazy about the single glass cabinet near the window. The placement of the big cab with glass where it's out of the line of sight doesn't make sense as a focal point. I think you have enough interest in that part of the kitchen. As for the maximum width of a single door, in previous discussions I've read that 20" is the limit. You don't want the door to open in your face and make you step back.

Have you thought about putting glass in the upper portion of the pantry doors and drawers on the bottom? Your pantry looks around 24" wide. I have a 24" cabinet that would look nice with glass. It's Shaker with a 7 1/4" center panel. You could use a glass that obscures the contents. This is one of my favorite reeded glass cabinets, but there's dozens of ideas for glass-fronted pantries on Houzz.

Traditional Bathroom by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Kelly Scanlon Interior Design

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Mayflowers - First thank you so much for "sticking with me" on this. I probably sound like a broken record and like I am insistent on getting a glass cabinet in any way/shape/form if it kills me. I am not :) just trying to see if there is potential for it if possible. Otherwise I'll give it up. (I'm just about to! :))

In terms of making the cab to the left of the frig glass, I did want to mention that it's not totally out of sight. Sitting at the barstools at the peninsula (to the left of the range) looking into the kitchen, you would be able to see just about all of that cabinet. And standing in my living room you would see about 1/2 - 3/4 of it. Not sure if that makes a difference.

And for what it's worth, I did see this pic on Houzz. The cabs flanking the window are slightly different sizes, with the one on the right having the glass. I'm sure the fact that this kitchen is STUNNING is probably one reason that it's acceptable. But is it also because it is more balanced than mine (with the sink centered under the window, etc. - where mine would not be)? Or would you still not have done it, even in this beautiful kitchen?

I love the picture you attached of that bathroom. And I love that reeded glass! My pantry will store ALL my dry goods (the other cabs/drawers in the kitchen will hold dishes/pots/pans/utencils, etc.) so basically floor to ceiing with the upper portion of the cabinet for large, infrequently used items/entertaining pieces, etc.

Thank you again!!!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 4:00PM
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I tried to draw the options. I have 16" upper on the left and 24" on the right of the window. (As I'm no expert I just have a box on the diagonal wall, not a wall cab, so just imagine it as an upper cab).

Glass on both sides of window: (Not bad I think)

Just on the right: (not sure I'd prefer this)

Next to fridge: I like this.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:05PM
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Similar to mine and you can see how that cabinet looks tucked back in because of the fridge. I thought of glass but decided it wouldn't add much.

Photo is somewhat distorted, but the base cabinet is 16" with a 3" filler in the corner and the upper is 27". The fridge is a 36" CD.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:58PM
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sena01 - OMGoodness, thank you so so much! I really want to get the software and learn how to create those 3d drawings. It is extremely helpful in visualizing the space.

Now that I can see it this way, I agree with you that the glass cab just on the right doesn't look so great.

I thought about this alot today, and considered what everyone said (about the glass on both sides being the same size, drawing more attention to my already off-center layout, etc.) ... and now with the help of your drawings - I am leaning toward the glass to the left of the frig. In considering how/where I stored my 'pretty' (yet everyday) dishes, it would be in this cabinet.

I really can't thank you enough for taking the time to do that for me.

Mayflowers - Thanks for sharing the pic of your kitchen again. In comparison my base cab next to the frig will be about 24", and the upper about 35". I don't think it will be too squished. I'll keeping looking at it from all angles over the next few days before I decide for sure.

Can't thank you all enough!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Good luck and don't rush it! The last tweaking of the cabinets was the hardest for me, trying to get everything balanced in a small space. I spent months on my layout and then changed the peninsula the day we ordered and we missed something. Fortunately they were able to fix it after the install.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:49PM
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I'm glad it helps. In the drawing fridge is 35 3/4", 28" deep, and the upper next is 36".

I hope my amateurish renderings truly reflect what you're planning to have.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:49AM
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No real help here, but this kitchen made me think of yours. If someone would like to embed the photo that would be lovely :-)
see photo 5/10

Here is a link that might be useful: Teakwood builders gorgeous kitchen

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:53PM
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For those of you who need closure :) I wanted to make sure I followed up and let you know what I decided to do.

I choose to go with the glass cab to the left of the frig. I opted for white painted wood shelves (vs. glass) and would like to light them with LED strip lighting applied to the sides of cabinet behind the faceframe (see link below) Have any of you done it this way?

The cabinet maker was here this morning and we finalized the remaining open items on the layout so he is free to get started.

He said 6 weeks, but possibly even the week before Thanksgiving.

I think pulls/knobs are my next decision ... I feel another post coming on:)

Thanks again all for your help!!

Here is a link that might be useful: LED strip lighting behind faceframe

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 4:43PM
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