Hm - corner wall cabinets over 30" depth counter...

oldhomeplaceDecember 25, 2013

Smart people of GW...

Our GC recommended putting in a 30" deep counter just next to our fridge, for about 4 feet, into a corner. This is so the fridge looks a little more built-in (it's still 24" deep on the other side of the fridge). We're using Ikea cabinets so I had mocked up the drawing, and had a corner wall cabinet in that corner, plus 18" cabinets on either side - this is our dish/glass/mug/plate storage, since it's near the dishwasher.

I just realized that I won't be able to reach anything in the corner wall cabinet since the counter will be 30" deep. I'm thinking two regular cabinets will look and work better (see picture below). Any thoughts? Anyone have a set up like this? Should I keep the corner cabinet and get a good step stool? From Kitchen Layouts

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Couple of small things:

Generally speaking, the ref doors MUST be completely in front of the counter edge. I'm just making up a refrigerator here to use as an example. If the total to the front of the ref, without including handles, is 30", and the doors are 3" thick, that the counter can not be deeper than about 27".

This is because most refrigerator doors open to the side of the refrigerator and do not pivot in front of the body. In the drawing above, it's likely that the left door will not be able to be opened at all.

Be aware that a lot of french door refrigerators need to have the doors open more than 90". This also can restrict the depth of the counter.

Be sure your door will not run into the counter overhang on the perpendicular counter on the left side.

Consider changing the top cabinets to full depth cabinets instead of wall depth, and perhaps only have wall cabinets on the ref wall - cut the ones on the sink side. The depth makes a nice place to have a microwave and/or full depth appliance garage. The cabinet edges would be close to the counter edge. It would make a little visual breathing space around the window.

If you are right handed, there is no way to USE that counter for anything other than junque storage - elbows will hit the refrigerator.

Reaching back into the corner will be problematic no matter what the counter depth is. Having a lotta little doors will make it worse. Each door will need to be restricted to opening less than 90 degrees to avoid the handles hitting the other cabinet doors or the refrigerator side.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 9:42PM
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I would say no. Don't do it. it will cost you more in counter material, and think about the corner seam butting up a 30" deep to a 24" deep counter.

Other options"

1) remove the wall material behind the fridge and framing the fridge into the wall, this will give you an additional 4". A typical fridge is 29.5 inches deep not including the doors. This extra 4" will be enough to make the fridge look built in.

2) have the builder make a deeper box around the fridge and hang the over the fridge cabinet forward by 4".

on another note completely, I will recommend for the under sink cabinet to get the full height doors, not the shorter ones that look like fake drawers.

This post was edited by detroit_burb on Wed, Dec 25, 13 at 22:11

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Great advice and ideas - I'll add that we are planning to put the microwave and the toaster oven back in the corner on the counter.

Our ref wall is brick - is there still 4" of space to work with to recess the fridge on a brick wall too?


    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Sophie Wheeler

That's the worst possible location for a refrigerator. You never want to interrupt a section of counter with a tall obstacle. Plus, it will put traffic right through your prep zone. Move it to a perimeter location. Like maybe to the right of the stove. Most of the action in a kitchen takes place between the sink and stove. Keep that area open.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Totally agree with hollysprings. Also, I'd recommend you to move the DW to the other side of the sink and the under counter oven(?) to the right of the cooktop or to the island.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Right - should have included a sketch of the whole kitchen. We're a bit limited in where we put the fridge, unless we want to break up the cabinet runs or put it way on the other side of the prep area. The 'bottom' wall goes to the dining room - the right and left walls are full of windows and a door. Wall A has the ref and cooktop and is also an exterior wall. This sketch shows a 24" counter everywhere, with the fridge not recessed, and the straight run of wall cabinets in the corner we've been discussing, as suggested by bmorepanic. From Kitchen Layouts

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Skip turning the corner and create a better island with the prep sink there. You get a MUCH more usable and efficient kitchen with seating for 5 at the island.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 5:52PM
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depending on where you live and the type of construction is the answer of what you will find behind the wall.

What do you have there now? why not take a square out of the wall and take a peek inside? post some pics.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:00PM
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live_wire_oak - we had not considered a set up like this, but I think to our detriment! I just made a new mockup and DH really liked it. It makes the work triangle much better and keeps the kids out of the hot zone when they're setting the table or grabbing a snack. And we can do the 30" counters on the stove/ref/oven wall (and my oven and cooktop are finally reunited!).

We aren't island-seating people, and prefer to have the island as workspace, without a prep sink, but even losing the second sink this seems like a much more workable design. The only downside might be that we're opening the pantry door into the window, but with the Ikea pantries I know there are ways to configure the doors so that maybe we have an open shelf at window height, and doors below and above or something. I have a worktable in the design now but can make that an island with cabinets if we need the additional storage...need to mark up my design. :)

Thanks!! From Kitchen Layouts From Kitchen Layouts

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:10PM
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your latest layout looks much better. consider open shelving on the range wall instead of those cabinets, it will look more modern/fresh

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:57PM
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The reason I did the island with seating is that you have insufficient space with an island and a table. Even if you did a banquette attached to the island to eliminate one needed walkway, you don't have enough walkway for traffic patterns to pass through the space. With the small 3"x3" square table, you only have 2' at the bottom between the seating and the wall with the integrated banquette shown below. Not enough for a walkway. And definitely not enough to have a chair there and a walkway! No one could pass through the kitchen. A separate table would need double the clearance as an integrated banquette. You just don't have enough room for a table and an island and people.

With a large island with seating like that shown above, you get seating and storage combined. And there's plenty of room to pass through the space.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Thanks - I see the walkway problem. One thing that kept bothering me about the design as I slept on it though is that pantry door swinging into the window. That's our nice window into our garden (our main sink area right now, pre-remodel). It just seems awkward to have that door cutting off the window every time you grab something from the pantry.

Maybe if we make the prep table and the eating table smaller...we are just not island-seating people. Not to mention our toddler won't be able to manage a tall bar chair for many years.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding your concern about the pantry door. Are you planning to have a cab with door and shelves or a pull out?
I think you'll be fine with a pull out cab.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You aren't in a pantry constantly. Maybe 10 minutes out of the day. It's an overblown concern. Plus, you need it there because the fridge door won't open against a wall, and you are in a fridge constantly!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:32PM
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