New House - Kitchen Design

Landlord8544December 7, 2013

My wife and I are building a new house where we are to retire. I want the kitchen to be everything she ever wanted within "reason". She loves to cook and create in the kitchen and from experience we know it is where everybody hangs out when we have company. We have about 300 square feet to work with and have a pretty good grasp as to the layout. The last house we built was in 1997 and there is so much out there today in the way of cabinetry, surfaces, appliances, and just plain good functionality, that I am hoping to tap into peoples experiences both good and bad. What they love that they have done, wish they had done, and obviously mistakes made or wasted space and money on gimmicks or gadgets.

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Sounds like you're asking for advice regarding cabinet and appliance detials, but not kitchen layout, is that right? Assuming so, about the only thing that everybody agrees on is to include as many drawers as possible in the base cabs. Pretty much everything else is personal preference with pros and cons worth consideration. So your question is too broad. You'll get more useful information if you post proposed plan and ask folks to identify potential shortcomings.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Post your layout here. And post your entire home plan on Building a Home. People often don't understand about zone planning, and they often can miss important things that others who have been there can see clearer.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 1:01PM
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If this is your "forever" home, do not skimp on layout for the kitchen. The most important part of a kitchen is the design/layout - without a very good layout, it can look pretty but be a miserable place to work (or, at the very least, be a place where you make do with - and do you really want to spend the money on something that you will have to "make do with" or "get used to" or "adapt to"?)

Function first! Then work on other elements such as which appliance, what cabinets, countertop, etc.

Please, post your layout here b/f you commit to anything! I am so glad I did - I thought I had a pretty good layout but when I landed here while researching countertops, I realized it wasn't as functional as I thought. Now that I have a wonderfully functional (and aesthetically pleasing) kitchen, I shudder to think of what I might have had if I hadn't found this site!

I also recommend you check out the Kitchens FAQ Page. I've posted links below to the ones I think are pertinent to you right now:

FAQ: New To Kitchens? Read Me First!
FAQ: How do I ask for Layout Help and what information should I include?
FAQ: Kitchen work zones, what are they?
FAQ: Aisle widths, walkways, seating overhangs, work and landing space, and others
FAQ: How do I plan for storage? Types of Storage? What to Store Where?

FAQ: How do I post pictures? (for posting your layout)

Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about this project!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:44PM
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When I renovated the big thing I wish I had done was put in a 36" range. I had the space but didn't realize how much more baking and experiments in cooking I would do with a properly functioning kitchen.

I second the comment about putting in drawers for things like pots,pans, casserole dishes etc

Do your research on different counter tops and figure out what is best for your own usage. Try to go to kitchen showrooms which show the different types of counters.

Counter discussions can get a little heated! Granite vs quartz vs soapstone vs laminate vs corian vs....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Below are some ideas you can consider. Many could be already in use before 1997, but I'm not old enough to remember :))

Well, actually, I'm 57 years old, about 5' 9" tall (or used to be), and I find bending harder with each year. So I strongly recommend a raised dishwasher.

If you'll have upper cabinets, up lifting doors are great imo.

Also, check these links:

1, 2, 3, 4.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:51AM
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If you'll have upper cabinets, up lifting doors are great imo.

Depends on how tall you are! I'm short and while I can open upper cabinet lift-up doors, it's a lot harder to reach to close them, so they were a no-go for me.

When I did my last kitchen, about 7 years ago, I used a lot of drawers. For some stupid reason, that did not include the space below the cooktop, where I had pull-outs - Mistake!!. You lose space, and they're a pain to use.

My favorite things in that kitchen - dedicated 9" cabinet for a step stool, condiment pull-out next to the cooktop, both upper and lower vertical storage (lower for often used cookie sheets, cutting boards, upper for less often used trays and such), double trash pullout (in my case, both were used for recycling because we also had a trash the new kitchen, one will be for trash and one for recycling). Best of all was having a not-very-large kitchen with a proper layout where prep, cooking and cleaning zones did not interfere with each other. Oh, and great lighting over the prep areas.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Hi, Landlord. Congrats. My suggestion is to build in flexibility. For both changes in your lives and changes in technology. For instance, if you were planning one, don't have a breakfast area, have a space closely allied with the kitchen that can be used various ways, including casual dining, as well as being closed off if needed or used to reshape the kitchen.

If a line of standard 24" cabinets were backed by pantry space or bedroom closet, a new, 43" wide x 34" deep must-have "desktop printer" meal prepper could be fitted in without remodeling the whole room, or having to do without a great new convenience when you could really need it. Site your refrigerator with the idea that tomorrow's might need 48" because it's now part of a combo that does more than just sit there and be cold.

This is, BTW, an argument for planning for larger, currently standard appliance sizes, since efforts will be made to develop models within their footprints for those who won't remodel. Also an argument for simple door styles and standard sizes.

You never know what'll be coming along, only that it will. These days "retirement" can be a very long time, and the world will be changing all through it. You may come to love this house very much, and it'd be good to plan to never have to leave only because it can't meet your needs.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 3:48PM
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There are some good threads on "what would you do differently" or "what do you love most about your kitchen" etc that you can search out with google. Type in gardenweb kitchen and then the terms you would like. Here's a link to "if you had to do it all over again."

Here is a link that might be useful: If you had to do it all over again...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Thanks to all for their advise and leads for more. As requested here is a copy of the room layout. Nothing is labeled as to where the appliances are except the stove. Thought I would leave it that way to see what suggestions there might be. Also we are not having the (bar island). That will be a round table.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 3:33PM
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