Do you have a 'I'm so glad I changed this' feature?

lavender_lassDecember 21, 2010

After asking you all your biggest there anything in your kitchen that you were NOT going to do, but decided to add. A feature that you're so glad you changed, but originally, weren't going to have? Thanks for sharing :)

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My drawer MW! And the ceiling feature. Everything else I planned for.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 10:58AM
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A larger refrigerator. I gave up some cabinet space in the run, but I love having a freezer side that can hold everything I bring home.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 11:11AM
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Making a major change to layout much too deep in the process, we conceded to a new hole in the wall and a shortening of the walkpath between kitchen and dining room that our designer had recommended and drawn into his early plans. We moved the doorway 4 feet so it feeds directly into the dining room, not into an adjacent hall, resulting in all the dust, chaos, delay, and damage to the walls in hall and dining room that we had predicted and tried to avoid. And in tears, I had to sell my massive capacious irreplaceable sideboard-hutch that had defined the dining room. But this concession has made a more sensible layout and, in a few years when all the travail is forgotten, the house will function better for it.

[ Do you hear that, Don? You were right, right, right on this. ]

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 11:11AM
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5 things.

1) I didn't think I was going to have room for a walk-in pantry, but a relocation of the main floor bath gave me a better sewing area AND my precious walk-in pantry, which is priceless.

2) I was planning 2 bottom freezer refrigerators, and no full freezer in my kitchen. (Would've had to have that, most likely, in a storage area that meant going outside to get to.) When I saw the Electrolux all-fridge and all-freezer set, I moved my kitchen desk to the back hallway and fit an all-fridge and all-freezer in its spot. I'm glad to have all my refrigerator/freezer storage IN the house.

3) Having never cooked on gas, and not having natural gas in our area, I'd never considered a gas rangetop until the last minute. It was a good choice for us. It performs amazingly and was the only thing that made it so we could stay in our house during the last multi-day power outage.

4) I'd originally designed in the standard corner cabinets between my sink and stove runs. I'm much happier that we framed in that corner, so I gained better sizes and types of storage on each run, plus I love the shelf unit we inset into the framed corner. It adds specialized storage and character to the room.

5) Instead of a very long island, we have a smaller island and a smallish kitchen table. They serve separate and valuable purposes, and allow a path across the kitchen at a helpful spot, instead of a long route around the island.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Yes! I was originally set on having a two tier island. My island is also our eating space, so I thought I wanted a clear separation b/w prep area & eating area. My KD talked me into one large surface instead & I love it!! Not only for having a larger prep area for cooking, but for bringing in the groceries, school projects & wrapping gifts(which I am currently taking a break from to post this!). Love, love, love my big flat single tier island :)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:34PM
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Absolute #1 Biggest and Best change...We had a kitchen design that we were ready to finalize that included an island. I was ready to sign the contract and then I found this Forum (looking for info on engineered stone counters), screwed up my courage, and posted my design...and it was torn to shreds (see, that happened to me as well!!!)

Yes, like others, I originally tried to defend the layout (b/c I really wanted an island)...but when I sat back and looked at it objectively, I realized all the comments/criticisms were absolutely right about the lack of functionality, aisle clearances for seating, etc. In the end my design was completely and totally changed and it made my kitchen so much more functional! I love, love, love my kitchen (I tell my DH if we ever move it's going with us!)

I gained: much more counter space, a corner pantry, and a truly functional layout, (oh, and my AB granite counters that I love!)

(I actually shudder to think what my kitchen would have been like if we had gone with the original design!)

#2...counter-height window!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:46PM
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From a single oven with built in microwave above it to a double oven moving the microwave to a cabinet.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Mine is changing my windows. I was okay with them staying the way they were, but every workman who came into the house said that they had to go, and that the smaller one should be enlarged. So I posted here, and was told that they had to go and the small one (looks onto a fence) had to be enlarged, even though that meant losing my favorite sunbeam that shone into the dining room.

Love my new windows. :) It helped the flow and balance of the kitchen. And I gained an outside serving counter at the patio window. Miss my friend the sunbeam though...

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:59PM
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At the very last minute, literally, I had Mr. Amity pull the 15" base cab away from the end wall and switch places with the dishwasher.
My thought process was that the dishwasher would be at the end wall and I could easily have dear hubster DIY a cabinet around it and raise it.

His initial parakeet stare at me *blink blink blink*, and then the continuous eye-rolls just encouraged me further.

He's had occasion to clean up the kitchen (after Thanksgiving Dinner and several other large gatherings) and now, he will tell anyone who asks that the raised dishwasher was the best-ever decision "We" ever made!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 1:21PM
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I didn't even know about using drawer base cabinets until I came here. Boy am I glad I listened!! I LOVE having all drawers and no cabinets. It's probably one of my very favorite things.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 1:36PM
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By the time we met with a GC and cabinetmaker, I'd already been on this forum for months and learned so much about elements of great design/function. But there was one last minute change we made that I am very thankful for--raising the ceiling.

When our kitchen was first redone by POs in 1968, they claimed part of an outdoor porch to make the room larger; this part of the kitchen had a dropped ceiling about 11" lower than the rest of the room. Initially we thought this was necessary because of the roofline, but when DH was demo-ing the weekend before official work began, he peeked inside and saw it was empty. So we asked the GC if it could be raised and he said yes.

This was great for purely aesthetic reasons, but even better for structural ones--when the ceiling was removed, we saw that the roofline over the old porch was completely unsupported and that it had sagged over 3". Worse, our oldest son's BR was right on top of this section of the kitchen. So he could've ended up in our sink one day if this hadn't been discovered and fixed!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 5:01PM
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Like pillog - we changed some windows.

We opened up the space for our kitchen by demo-ing the powder room and laundry room (relocated them to the other side of the house. There was a window in each room. We didn't want to move them, but our KD insisted that we do it for symmetry AND that we would regret it forever if we didn't.

it cost $700 and we moved each window by only inches - but it was SO worth it.

The other thing was adding small halogen lights to the ceiling over the hood. At the last second, when the hood was being painted and the faux finish applied, my husband and I stepped back to look at it and realized that we couldn't see the beauty of it. it meant opening up the ceiling (again) and running another switch.
That was SO worth it.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 5:46PM
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My original budget kitchen was going to include the peninsula because it would mess up the floor by taking it out. My carpenter said not to worry. He'd patch it. Design it the way I wish it could be and he'd make it happen. So Good Bye Peninsula!! I hated that thing from the first day! It changed my kitchen from a C to a U. I'm SO glad he pushed me. It opened up the whole space.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 9:02PM
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My original plan was to replace my cabinets and appliances but stay within the 8'9" x 11'3" kitchen space. I would have gained better cabinet storage, but been left with the tiny counter area.

Then I posted my plans here and someone suggested opening the wall to the dining room. I fought the idea of doing that because part of reason I had bought this house was the separate dining room, even if it was very small - 10' x 11'3". The more I thought about it, I realized it would be foolish to go through the expense and disruption of a remodel without taking down the wall.

Taking 5" of wall and 9" from the dining room has made a huge impact on both areas. The storage and countertop gained from almost 5' of new base cabinets in the peninsula has been huge. While the dining room area is smaller, even with all of the furniture still in the room, it feels so much larger.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Upgrading from Kenmore Elite to Fivestar Range. Our range died a few weeks before the remodel so we decided to go for it/splurge. It put us over budget but really was worth it.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 10:49AM
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going with mostly drawers. I wish it was all drawers but Ikea didn't make any for the 21" base cabinet. It looks amazing and the function! Best advice, ever.

The real exhausting range hood, even the low CFM ikea one has been plenty powerful for all the searing and smoke.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 11:21AM
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I was planning on an island for years, then one day a KD finally said, "kitchens this size normally don't have an island." That was the day I re-evaluated. Now I am so glad I didn't go with an island.

I never heard of angled cabinets. The KD suggested an angled cabinet and I often think the angled cabinet idea is the best thing about my kitchen.

Without this forum I would not have discovered that you could put storage pullout cabinets behind fillers which are normally just wasted space.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 5:15PM
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I was going to do a gut remodel with white cabinets. I still love white kitchens but for this house, keeping the old gumwood (consistent with the rest of the house) was the best choice. I had even put a deposit on the white cabinets but I couldn't go through with it. This is better. And it saved a lot of money that enabled better appliances, tile, marble.

We had a worktable/island before -- it was too large. We're going to have a smaller one in the new kitchen.

Lastly -- I was going to go with Wolf for the range because I perceived it to be a more safe choice than the Blue Star. But I wanted the Blue Star and I'm glad I went with it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:01PM
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1) I didn't even think about custom cabinets as an option because I assumed they would be too expensive. When I received a quote for the semi-custom brand I planned to order, I was shocked at the cost, so decided to get a few custom cabinet quotes just to see. They were surprisingly close in price (some custom lines were actually much lower). Since I wasn't limited to specific sizes, it greatly improved my whole design, allowed me to get a bigger sink and some other custom options. It also changed the entire look of what I originally planned. I went from full overlay, raised panel to beaded inset, recessed panel doors. It's really more like the look I wanted all along.

2) After demo, we decided to move the main kitchen doorway over a few feet, which allowed us to include a buffet which will house a much needed appliance garage and provide a lot of extra storage.

3) One of the last minute changes was to a farmhouse sink. I had originally ruled it out based on the likeliness of it chipping, but someone on GW mentioned the video demo of the Kohler cast iron apron front sinks and I was sold.

4) One change early on in the planning stages involved the windows. We had a large, beautiful bay window where the kitchen table was and a very small window over the sink. There was no question we were going to change the sink window to three much larger windows, but I was playing around with the idea of eliminating the bay window altogether and extending the run of sink windows. We did that and it brought in so much more natural light and we gained so much more cabinet space. It greatly enlarged the whole kitchen area.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 7:37AM
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1. As with several others who have posted above, I had never heard of them before meeting with our cabinet guy but I love, love, love my lower cabinet drawers and wish I had done every lower cabinet that way (but did enough).

2. Never thought about double wall ovens, my sister strongly encouraged me and I do love them.

3. I also thank my cousin (in the design biz) for suggesting full granite backsplash (Volga Blue) - love it! Ironically, it was less $$ than the glass tile BS that I was considering to boot!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:16AM
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I was going to buy Silestone.

I learned from this forum that Silestone has triclosan.

I'm so glad I didn't buy it!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:27AM
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I'm so glad that I tossed out my original plan and kept tweaking things until I had something that actually worked with how we live. I've had at least three plans that I was totally "in love with" at one point in time, and now what I'm ending up with is different than them. Getting that preconceived "this is what I what" out of my head freed things up to get a kitchen that actually functions very well.

I also so, so glad I went with double ovens. That wasn't even a consideration until I fell in love with Induction and could not find a range I liked. Took a year to save up for them and the cooktop (had a good 6 year old range at the time). That is probably the #1 "so glad I changed" thing with my kitchen- and I've changed about everything after the walls and floor got finished.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:29AM
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I had a pretty dramatic kitchen transformation in 09 for a problemmatic apartment kitchen that hadn't been touched since the 80s. For budget and logistical reasons we painted vs replaced cabinets and didn't change the footprint. Replacing would have pushed our job beyond cosmetic and required city permits, plus hiring an architect (I am a certified interior designer and do my own architectural drawings) and increase a small kitchen reno disproportionately.

So I identified 7 major things that needed to be changed -- there are before/after pix on the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: 7 Things

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:46AM
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we have a small space.

We got used to having no fridge in the kitchen area when we gutted the space. Initially we had planned to keep the same footprint and almost the same layout. When the new fridge arrived it seemed like such a behemoth, a monster overlooking the whole kitchen. Even though we had planned to box it in and panel the box.

So we moved it to a closet 4' away. We moved the wall oven to the fridge space. That gave us more room where the wall oven would have gone. We put undercounter fridge drawers there and got a massive counter. Both fridges are great. Now we can buy as much as we want and store it a long time.

We recessed the wall oven and put 9" of counter in front of it.

The new fridge, that felt too big, was less than 24"w. It's a small space.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:59AM
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