Revised kitchen layout drawings are here! Feedback is welcome.

tl1969December 7, 2012

My new drawings arrived from my KD and there are some issues. I don't know why the prep sink is not at the end of the island, opposite the cooktop, with the trash next to it, so it pulls out towards the clean up sink. Perhaps because she made the cabinets on the end of the island only 21 inches deep? I also don't know why there is only 40 inches between the island and the pantry doors. When I measure, I have 51.5 inches between the island and the pantry doors, since there is a total of 171 inches from the doorway to the sunroom to the threshold of the pantry. But, before I call her with my changes I wanted to have some of you weigh in with your sage advice.

Also, I don't understand what she means by the sides are too thin, and things not being balanced, so if you know what she is talking about, please illuminate for me. Oh yeah, the bar is supposed to be 48 inches wide not 72 inches and the bar sink is tiny, Franke's ARX 1106, which only requires 12 inches of cabinet. She also made the stool area only 12 inches deep, and the bar area 24 inches deep, which is not what I drew, and agree it looks funny the way she has it drawn. Without further ado, here it is:

and to refresh your memory, here is the drawing I sent to her to give her my suggested changes to the layout:

Although I sent her a drawing (above) that has the ovens and fridge recessed 12 inches from the pantry doors, when we spoke I asked her if we could make the wall flush, with the ovens and fridge and countertop meeting up with the pantry doors, and have the 36 inch wide baking counter be framed to allow a hideaway 12 inches of countertops for an appliance garage (but still have 24 inches of depth to the countertop for working space.) She either forgot that I requested that, or decided it was not good design. What do you think of that idea? I essentially lose 12 inches behind the ovens and the fridge, but re-gain it where it counts, with the baking area and having room for the appliances that are out of the way but convenient to use.

I will post her additional pictures of the space shortly, which I hope will help explain the design further.

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Here are the drawings to flesh out the look of the kitchen.

First is a sketch of the hutch/clean up sink wall with the big wall opening to the sunroom and the stools to sit on:

And here is a sketch of the cooktop wall with uneven cabinetry, and the doorway to the right that leads to the wine fridge on the right:

And finally the wall with from left to right, fridge, 36 inch baking counter, wall ovens and pantry with a desk to the far side (desk juts out 22.5 inches from the pantry wall):

Thanks for reading this far. What do you think?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:54AM
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I am guessing, but maybe the KD means that the hutch shown with 12" sides on the uppers (pull outs?) looks too elongated and thin relative to the hutch size as a whole.

As for the space next to the sink, I am not sure about the depth, but I have a 36" countertop next to my fridge and it is bordered on the right side by a wall that protrudes beyond the countertop and is the side of a coat closet (which is the end of my original house pre extension and could not be eliminated). Anyway, it is a similair set up to your fridge, 36" countertop / baking area / pantry design. I wouldn't use this space for baking. It seems closed in and too narrow, especially considering I have an island to use with alot more countertop. Also, this is a busy area for traffic with everyone going into the fridge and using the walk way. I thought I would show you this picture to help you visualize.

Maybe you could make the 36" between the fridge and pantry a command center or beverage center. If you made it your command center, you could have the desk space for a larger hutch. Just an idea.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Why doesn't she 'balance' the cabinets on either side of the stove, so they're the same size? Isn't that part of design? Where does the wall end to the left of the stove? Does it go all the way to the back side of the sink run? If so, I think I'd add cabinets there to balance the entire wall. But I don't see a reason to have the cabinets flanking the hood and stove to be different sizes.

I agree that the hutch design isn't good. I wouldn't do the thin cabinets on either side of center on the top or the bottom. Was this design your instruction to her?

I think the problem with the fridge wall is the drop of the upper over the cabinet. I don't think it's necessary, and all should be level, and the doors designed to look nice together. I agree that 36" would be narrow for baking, but for using the mixer in order to use the island across as main baking workspace, it serves an important purpose.

There is no reason those cabinets facing the stove can't be 24" deep so that your sink is in the right spot. Your work triangle would be GREAT if the sink was put where you asked. Maybe the other cabinet sizes need to be adjusted.

She has now insisted on charging you by the hour, instead of the original agreed fee, right? And has given you plans that need revision and more time... You've reported that she has given you argument and attitude previously, and I think she still might be...

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Yes, it is possible that the KD is just giving me grief and messing with me. But, in her defense I sent her photos of items that I thought would work in the revised sketch, such as this hutch:

And I also sent along the cooktop with a clean, minimal look above:

And a pantry that I thought would work with my ALREADY EXISTING pantry, with a deep storage area on the right side that could have some pullouts:

And yes, there is 36 inches of wall space remaining, if you go all the way to the backsplash on the sink wall. That is, 36 inches of wall space to the left of the upper cabinet that she has to the left of the cooktop. What would you do there?

I know she disagrees with my decision to move things around at this late date. I just feel like she is not even attempting to make it look aesthetically pleasing, as far as making the design look good. What should I do?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:12PM
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At some point, you cut your losses and move on. After paying the fee, trying to work with the KD, and not getting what we were looking for, the last straw was when she said her latest drawings were as I "directed." So pleased with the other local custom company we went with,,,it was a true partnership in finalizing the design and seeing it come to life.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:46PM
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The upper cabinets she put up aren't that minimal look by the stove. If you want that minimalist look, I wouldn't add cabinets, but would come up with a plan for balancing the whole wall, not just immediately around the stove. They get away with that in the inspiration pic, because there are cabinets and shelves on the adjacent wall that narrow the view.

Your inspiration hutch is way larger scale than what you have room to accomplish, so the proportions won't work. I'm guessing it's 8 1/2' or so. You'd be better served to find something closer to what you have room for, so you're not having this fight with her. Maybe even get out some graph paper and draw something that pleases you. Those little squares are wonderfully helpful for getting things to scale.

If you give her no room to play games, because you know exactly what you want, then it might save you time and aggravation. Not what you should have to do, maybe, but at this point...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:01PM
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I don't understand why you need a kitchen designer, when you are the one essentially designing the kitchen anyway?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:07PM
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I am not trying to bash my KD. I like the cabinet maker she partners with, and the construction company she aligns herself with, so I am happy to have given her a shot at the kitchen design. I am just trying to come up with the best design for the space, functional/efficient/pretty, and not too costly. I could have very easily have signed on for one of her earlier designs, and been done with it, but I decided to check in with all of you to see what could be improved. I am just worried that she is being passive-aggresive with me by submitting these drawings, which were a week late, and did not incorporate my changes as written. Thanks rhome410 for your advice, I will study hutches and find something that is within the 48-50 inches that I have room for, and send her a picture!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I am just worried that she is being passive-aggresive with me by submitting these drawings, which were a week late, and did not incorporate my changes as written.

If you're now paying her by the hour, this is not cool, professional, or acceptable. You should have the best you can for your space, and it seems she is offended by you not accepting her first effort. It's your kitchen, and her bruised ego shouldn't get in the way of the best possible final product. Deedles is right that you are now designing more than she is.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Good news, I found two hutches that I like, that are much simpler in proportion. One goes to the ceiling

And the other stops shy of the ceiling:

I presume drawers are better than doors on the undercounter portion of the hutch. That way you can stack dishes.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:16PM
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I think those are much better, more appropriate for the space, choices. I love the drawers under my hutch, for the reason you specified.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 1:50PM
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