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Kitchen Plan Review

Posted by Sean_S (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 11:10

Hi All,

I posted my home plan on the Building a Home forum and someone suggested I put my Kitchen plan here for opinions. So here it is. This is for a family of 3 and pretty much doubles (or more) our current cabinet space. I like the look of having the some of the upper cabinets taller than the rest to give a little more character. I considered having all the uppers at 42 inches, but I figured my wife wouldn't be able to reach all top shelves. Any constructive comments or opinions welcomed. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

Here is a doll house rendering if this helps.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

Sean-concerning putting in 42" uppers. I am 5'3". In my previous kitchen I could only reach the bottom two shelves in the 30" cabinets. I always needed a chair or step stool for that top one. In our remodel we put in 39" upper cabinets and I just bought a taller step stool. I really love having the extra storage space right in the kitchen for some seasonal dishes and things only used once in a while.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

The different-height cabinets might be out-of-date--which isn't a guideline *I* personally care about, but some might!

I'd prefer all cabinets to be as tall as possible. Add glass fronts or stacked uppers if you want it more interesting. Even short people (me!) use the tops sometimes. And it's not like we aren't already climbing on things to get into the top shelves of 30" cabinets. We're climbing anyway. We don't mind. We're used to it. :)

If you're sure you won't want the space later, doesn't matter, but c'mon, it's SPACE!

Overall I like the shape of it. It's sensible, sized well, looks nice, and manages to avoid the over-the-topness that a lot of new builds have. Still, I might shuffle appliances/sink some.

I'd be tempted to put the sink in the middle of the long counter run, but I'm not that social. It's fine where it is if you slide over the dishwasher which is currently too close to the sink (I've had a similar arrangement and it works great with a bank of drawers between DW and sink).

I'm sure some will say that your fridge is in a location asking for trouble--it's more convenient to have it near where people eat so they don't bump the chef--but it's also nice to have it out of the way so it isn't always looming.

Where do all the doors and openings lead? That's probably relevant.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

How exciting, a kitchen remodel!

Okay, here are a few suggestions.

You need a 12" cabinet between sink and DW so that you can stand at the sink when the DW door is open.

I would definitely make all uppers 42". I'm just under 5'4" and we have 42" uppers in our kitchen. I store seldom used items in the upper shelves and use a step stool to reach them when necessary. I use *all* of that extra storage. Also, if 42" tall cabs reach the ceiling, you'll reduce your dusting chores. I'd rather get a step stool out for the rare times I need items from up there than haul out a step stool to dust the tops of cabinets.

Lastly, this plan routes all traffic in and out of the kitchen past the range. Is it possible to move the range to the lower wall and the sink and DW to the upper wall? That would make for a safer zone around the range (no need to worry about an open oven door blocking traffic through kitchen). If it's in the budget to do so, you could add a prep sink to the peninsula area to make the cooking zone even more functional.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

You could keep the stepstool between the sink and DW!

Okay, I've never used a stepstool in the kitchen unless I was painting it. There's a chair right there by the table! :P


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

Thanks for the input everyone. I definitely agree on moving the dishwasher. As much as I have tweaked this plan I'm surprised I never thought of that.

I will also look at going with 42s. I'm sure down the road we would like more space, but it's hard to imagine needing more than twice what we have now.

As for moving the sink, I don't think that's an option. My wife likes the location. She likes being able to be at the sink and still have a sight line to the living room. Besides, if we move the sink we would lose the uppers at the location we put it. I don't think we want to do that either.

By the way, the living room is on the other side of the wall the dishwasher is on, and the other opening is to the dining room.

I may consider making the cabinet to the right of the stove smaller to move the stove over to increase the pathway, but I'm not too worried about the occasions when the oven door is open.

thanks again for the help.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

I'd move the sink and make it a single. A corner sink cuts access for more than one person. Double sinks were more useful generally before dishwashers for rinsing when two were washing the dinners dishes. That's also why the sink was placed in front of a window.
A large single saves space over the two small bowls in a double.

This post was edited by dan1888 on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 18:45


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

I'd get the sink out of the corner. First, I agree with those who point out that it prevents two people from using the sink at once, and it complicates the adjacent dishwasher use.

Second, if you're like most of us, you spend more time on prep than anything else, and I MUCH PREFER to prep in an open space (i.e., where your sink is placed) rather than facing a wall. I'd keep that prime space open for chopping vegetables, etc., and I'd position my cutting board, knives, mixing bowls, etc. nearby.

I definitely second the post recommending a large single sink rather than a traditional double. Now that we all use dishwashers, it's a much more practical solution.

I like the placement of the refrigerator. Because you have a cabinet on its far side, you don't have the dreaded fridge-against-the-wall-and-the-door-won't-open-all-the-way issue.

I barely scrape the bottom edge of 5' tall, but I definitely like cabinets that reach the ceiling. Yeah, I can't access everyday items on those top shelves, but I have loads of things that are used only occasionally: Pretty but impractical glass pitchers, Christmas dishes, rarely-used bakeware. That space won't go un-used.

In my classroom I have cabinets that don't reach the ceilings, and I HATE THEM. My students throw gum and wrappers up there (okay, I hope that won't be a problem in your home), and dust up there is horrible. A couple years ago I cleaned the whole nasty thing thoroughly (it's like a 20' run of cabinets) and layered newspaper up there. Now twice a year I remove the top layer of newspaper, and the problem isn't as bad. Still, I HATE IT.

Two suggestions for your upper cabinets:

- Instead of going with 42", consider stacking a 30" and a 12". This provides for more visual interest, and it allows you to have glass on the bottom cabinets and solid doors in the uppermost positions. Also, all things being equal, 30" is less likely to warp after years of usage.

- Have your cabinet maker provide you with an extra shelf for each of your extra-tall cabinets. This will allow you to have a "short shelf" here and there, which will be useful for casserole dishes, etc. In my house, I have only two fixed shelves in my cabinets, so I use white plastic Walmart-purchased cabinet organizers to allow me to stack my things and use that "empty space", but I plan to do better in my new house.

In my family, we tend to do buffet meals or pot-luck meals. If this is your habit too, where would you set out your buffet? Where would you put out your drinks and desserts?

In addition to this, I would want a pantry.

I think you have traditional doors on your plan (I like the dollhouse view, but this detail is hard to see). Consider drawers. I think everyone here believes they're a better option.


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

Thanks, I think that makes sense on having a single compartment sink. As for moving the sink, I think it will stay. We don't want to lose the uppers if we move the sink and I think there is good prep area to the right of the sink.

The cabinet to the right of the refrigerator is a full height pantry cabinet so we should have plenty of room there.

We also have a full bank of drawers to the right of the stove. It is 30 inches. I'm wondering if this will be enough for pots and pans or would any of you recommend doing all drawers for the base cabinets on the left of the stove too. Thanks


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RE: Kitchen Plan Review

As for whether you have enough uppers /lowers /whatever, I suggest you inventory everything in your kitchen and go through your plan "assigning spaces" to the items. Then allow a little extra for new stuff you'll aquire. Sound like a lot of effort? Yeah, but isn't it better than realizing too late that you should've had more drawers and fewer cabinets, or whatever?

I am planning MOST of my cabinets to be drawers. I'm going to have one pop-up cabinet for my Kitchen Aid mixer and one skinny cabinet for stand-up cookie sheets and wire cooling racks . . . and that's it. No, no, I'm forgetting the sink cabinet -- it'll be a traditional cabinet too. Pretty much everything stores better in drawers. Of course, all my big stuff -- crock pots, canning equipment, deep fryer, soup pots, and more -- stores in the pantry. I'm not planning all that much cabinetry.

Speaking of which, are you sure you want a pantry cabinet? I have an 8x12 walk-in pantry and am planning a larger one for our new house. Pantry shelves are so much cheaper than storing things in expensive cabinetry topped by expensive countertops. It's so much easier to keep up with what you have, and you can stock up when sales are good. When you build a house, you have a chance to get it just right. Unless you keep very little food in the house, this seems impossibly small as your only food storage.

Prep space to the right of the sink? That little two-foot space? Really? If you spread out just the materials to chop up a good salad, you'd be frustrated by that small space. You DO have ample prep space to the left of the sink, but it faces the wall. I maintain that your best possible prep space is the area currently designated as the sink. It faces both a window and the family room. It's bright, and it's slightly wider than the wall-facing cabinet.


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