Advice on our kitchen remodel - Round 2

emcsqNovember 30, 2012

What do you think about the layout for our kitchen remodel? About a week ago, we asked for advice. Based on your helpful suggestions, we've made some significant changes, and we think that it is coming along quite well. However, the IKEA sale ends this Sunday, and we need to finalize the design really soon. Below, we've described some of the issues that remain.

We have drawn the plan with a GE OTR Cafe Advantium microwave. We know that OTR hoods aren't great, but we can't find alternative for the microwave. We considered putting it to the left of the fridge, but several people pointed out that it would stick out too far. We can't put it to the left of the cooktop because it interferes with the corner cabinet. And we don't want to put it in a base cabinet because we desperately need storage and countertop space. So, we're open to further ideas of where to put the microwave, but we are leaning toward the OTR unless a fantastic alternative emerges.

We had counted on removing the soffit above the range and corner cabinet, but we have discovered that we can't. Additionally, we cannot remove the soffit above the fridge. We are bummed about it, but our proposed plan is to use the IKEA Ramsjo paneling to cover the soffit. We plan to make faux horizontal cabinets by cutting the soffit paneling to match the sizes of the wall cabinets and installing cabinet pulls. We're not entirely sure how this will look, but we really want to hide the soffit. Any thoughts on this problem or our strategy?

Several people had suggested that we move the range to the right to increase space between the sink and cooktop. We liked that idea, but we want to keep that 30" cabinet to the right of the cooktop. It will have pullout shelves for the pots & pans. The blind corner cabinet to the left of the oven will have a lazy susan with small appliances (blender, crockpot, etc.).

We read up on some of the drawbacks of the cooktop over oven, but after a lot of measuring and soul-searching, we don't think the lower height will bother us too much. With a small/tight kitchen, we want the clean, linear look of the cooktop. The view into our kitchen from the foyer is along the wall with the cooktop/oven, and the range we have now looks large and obtrusive.

Finally, we have debated about which cabinets should go to the left of the dishwasher. The current plan has a 24" cabinet directly to the left of the D/W (facing the chairs, obviously) and a 30" bank of drawers to start the peninsula. Our other option was a 2nd blind corner cabinet with a pull-out lazy susan. We figure that the drawers would be more useful to us (we plan on storing our baking dishes in the bottom drawer, "tupperware" in the middle, and various kitchen tools and utensils in the top drawer). We know that the blind corner/lazy susan would provide easier access, but we're not sure how to use that space effectively.

Thanks! ...

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Another picture...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Another picture... 3rd of 5

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Another picture... 4th of 5

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Last picture... 5th of 5

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Can you open the dishwasher without hitting the handles on the adjacent drawers? It looks a bit tight.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:02PM
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A GE spacemaker would fit next to your fridge and would not stick out.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Any thoughts about shrinking that countertop table? It seems to take up a lot of room and your space, especially sink to range is very tight. The way this is laid out there will be conflict between cooking and cleaning. If you do nothing more that reduce the size of the counter/table by.a foot would allow you more work options

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:41PM
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pretty good work finessing your small space. Have you thought about some upper glass doored cabs? have some folks at done that to soffits....did you, or are you getting some experienced tutorial about that? Just curious....

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Thanks everyone...

Dishwasher: I'm keenly aware of that issue. I'll make sure that I leave enough space to open the D/W. I even put the 30" cabinet closer to the D/W so that we could open the dishwasher and the drawers at the end (where we plan to store most of our dishes).

Microwave: we decided to get a M/W with convection so that we could get our toaster oven (which we use quite often) off the countertop... combining two functions into one device. There are 24" convection microwaves, but it would stick out about 6". I though about moving the base corner cabinet toward the door, but the path into the kitchen got too tight.

Soffits: We put a lot of thought into hiding the soffits. We definintely saw some photos of people hiding soffits with faux cabinet-fronts here and at, but I'm not sure that we saw this exact idea. We are still a bit concerned because the faux cabinet doors are only about 8" tall and won't have the trim on the regular Ramsjo doors.

Countertop Table: Part of our mission statement was seating for 5 at the countertop table. We wanted to make sure there was about 36" between the table and a step-down into our family room, so we made it as big as we could. With our design, we should be able to fit one seat on each side and three on the long side. I am also envisioning using the countertop table for projects with the kids or possibly baking with the kids. @felixnot, can you explain further how we could get more cooking space if we reduced the size of the countertop table? I can't visualized increasing the size of the main (U-shaped) workspace because of the sliding glass door beside the table. Please elaborate if I'm missing something.

Thanks again!

This post was edited by emcsq on Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 21:17

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:07PM
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A friend of mine has a similar layout. I know you were smart enough to plan for spacers near the DW so it can open, but make sure you post a reminder on the wall when you start. My friend did her own design too, and had the spacer, but when her contractor put everything in it got overlooked in the chaos and wasn't noticed until the counters were in. They also forgot to put the end panel on the peninsula before templating, so they could not add the filler back since the counter was already foo short (no overhang).

Now for some suggestions. I have no expertise other than what I learned here and through my own remodel still in progress, but more ideas are always better!

The peninsula cabinet next to the DW will be hard to access from the chair side. It looks like you have 24 inches or so overhang based on having a chair on the end. You will have to crawl under there to access that cabinet each time. I know if that we're my cabinet it wouldn't be too long before I stopped crawling under there and forgot what was living in it. I would consider adding spacers to be able to open the drawers on the kitchen side (obviously not when the DW is open), or make it a blind corner, or close that section off on both sides and make it a blind corner that opens to the hair side next to the wall, where the overhang is manageable.

For the Advantium, what about sliding the fridge to the right and removing that tall cabinet (pantry?). Then put a 30 inch cabinet where the small one is now. You could put the OTR model there over some countertop, or move up to a built in wall oven Advantium. Use the bottom for a pantry, there are great base cabinet pantry systems, or do 2 smaller short pull outs side by side. The built in models will allow a 9x13 dish to rotate inside, where the OTR model will not. I have a small space too, and I ultimately decided that if I was going to spend the money for an Advantium, I wanted one that could function as a full second oven, because if I ended up loving it I would be kicking myself every day for not getting the built in. That was a hard 30 inches of space to give up, won't know until May if it was worth it :-)

I think you have done a good job so far thinking of what you need. My kitchen has some challenges too, and I know those trade offs (like 30 in drawers instead of space between the sink and range) are hard and not made lightly.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:57PM
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