Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
In case you aren't already convinced

Posted by annkh (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 12:13

The regulars on this forum have FAR more knowledge about how to design a functional kitchen than your average builder/KD - at least where I live.

I looked at real estate listings the other day, just to look at kitchen pictures. I started at the top - most expensive - meaning the homes were 3000 to 4000 sq ft or more, mostly less than 10 years old, some brand new.

Some of the kitchens I saw made me cry. Horrible flow; a half mile from sink to stove; one had all appliances crammed into a tiny corner, with a huge 2-level island 10 feet away. I don't think any had all drawers; few had cabinets to the ceiling (apparently staggered uppers are very popular here). Several had downdraft vented stoves on tiny islands.

I felt very smart about the functionality of my recent little kitchen remodel, and so grateful that this community exists to help people avoid so many of the mistakes I saw in those RE listings!

Keep up the good work, folks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

"like" :)


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I agree.

We may consider moving in a few years so I've been looking on line. Every single house I look at no matter what the price would need a completely new kitchen. Layouts and function are horrible.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Ditto - this group is very frank and will tell you what they think! It is not a rubber stamp group and I am glad to be part of it! And a recipient of much advice - even though I was underway before I found GW
Thanks


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

When I remodeled 7 years ago, I did it without the help of a professional KD - my KD was everyone here on GW, and I ended up with an almost-perfect layout (we were constrained by the walls and doors ---- had it not been for those constraints, the layout would have been 100% perfect).

(This time around, my husband and I did it ourselves, but with all the knowledge we had gained from the last remodel. It won't be done until early December, but I'm sure looking forward to it!)


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

There are just some real terrible kitchen designs out there for sure; I think a blog of bad kitchen design would be quite popular here. I see properties over $2M, even newly refurbished, with poor layouts (not constrained by walls, just bad planning) and choices that I can tell are not up to the level of the property. In these new build/flip perhaps the motivations are not the same -- it is just enough to get by, perhaps, rather that our skewed world at GW.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

The vast majority of kitchens in new construction are not designed by KDs, more often the house designer who cares less or better yet the contractor. Add to that the number where clients want what they want...


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

just curious, what are the "must haves" or are there definite dos and don'ts in kitchen design? i didn't realize one should have all drawers!


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I don't think it's fair to bash KDs for a bunch of kitchens that you have no idea were designed by KDs. Just because something is new construction or expensive doesn't mean a KD designed it. There are good and bad KDs just as there are good and bad GW kitchens.

Yes, you can get great advice on GW for designing a terrific kitchen without a KD. But it doesn't mean that the services of a good KD are less valuable. Many of us here were helped immeasurably by KDs.

It sounds like what you are saying is that most new build kitchens are poorly designed. From looking around in our area, I'd agree with that statement.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I am TOTALLY convinced! Our new house was a builder's house when this neighborhood was being developed. Houses here are large and are on or next to the Intracoastal Waterway. It has the original kitchen (vintage 1994) complete with down-drafted island cook top (a Thermador coil top with griddle), about 16 drawers (3/4 of which are wide enough for straws and extra drawer pulls), double-doored caverns that double as pot and pan storage, and a double sink wedged into a corner. The refrigerator is a bottom freezer model (which I generally like) that is a 32" fill-in for the replaced 42" SxS. It is right hinged, which means that it opens away from the cook. Nightmarish. We bought this house knowing full and well that we'd replace the whole thing, it just may be sooner rather than later!

Please folks, try to contain your jealousy:

 photo 832B18A6-D0FF-4EE9-8C84-5EA018E58B95-1084-000000B81B71F170_zps1d49fcfb.jpg

 photo 4F1409E8-B007-4935-AA99-D7C3A9D92C4C-1084-000000B821048ADB_zpsdc3ccab4.jpg


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

A lot of new builds are constrained by the architecture of the space. There simply isn't room to choose a super susan over a blind corner, for instance. A lot of the "mill" plans are like that. Usually with angles to boot. Let's make it "interestingly dysfunctional"!

What's amazing to me though, are the larger truly custom builds, with plenty of room, with the awful layouts. Either someone has spread all of the working points around like sprinkles on a cupcake, or they are all clustered together like it's a 10x10 space in an apartment.

And a lot of people are incapable of objectively analyzing their workflow pattern, so they resist better design because they've gotten used to bad design.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

"Let's make it "interestingly dysfunctional"!
love it


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

sas, you are right, of course - I didn't mean to dis all KD's. Thank you for the clarification.

Your statement "new build kitchens are poorly designed" is exactly my point!


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

AGK2003, I wouldn't say you automatically want ALL drawers. I'm planning a skinny traditional cabinet to hold cookie sheets and cooling racks on their side, and I'm planning a traditional cabinet that'll hold a pop-up mixer lift. But most people want MOSTLY drawers because they're more functional: It's easier to find things in the back of the drawer. Nothing gets buried in the back of a dark cabinet. The larger point, of course, is to know your options and make educated decisions based upon your actual needs.

As for how people can go so wrong, I think there are two big contributors:

- People who think about looks rather than function. You should not sacrifice one for the other.
- People who are stuck on "I want a big kitchen." No, big is not automatically better; likely what you want is an efficient kitchen. My kitchen is huge, and it has a laundry list of disfunctional issues.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

hollysprings And a lot of people are incapable of objectively analyzing their workflow pattern, so they resist better design because they've gotten used to bad design.

Very true.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

My wife is resistant to change of any kind, and it created all kinds of unnecessary conflicts during our kitchen remodel. Fortunately she's acknowledges it. We've even got a name for it - we call it "status quo bias" - and we've learned to deal with it, mostly by giving her time (measured in days, not minutes or hours) to digest new ideas before arguing about it.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

thanks Mrspete... what about cabinets with pull out drawers?


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Pull outs are more flexible than drawers because you can move them without changing the fronts, but they're also less convenient because you need to open the cabinet before pulling out the drawers. That's why most folks agree that drawers are best if the space they provide works for your stuff.

This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 19:38


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Cabinets weth pull-out drawers take more steps to get to your stuff compared to a drawer--open the cab, then pull out the shelf (and if it has double doors you have to open both).

I was thinking recently about the all-drawer preference here on the forum. You don't see all drawers in old kitchens because the drawer hardware wasn't up to snuff. I have a 100 year old kitchen, and believe me, you would never want an all-drawer kitchen with the old wooden drawer slides. And I don't think you would ever want them without full extension drawer slides--I don't know when those came on the market. But given that you can now get full extension slides that will hold 100 lbs of stuff, there's a lot of appeal to drawers.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I have 4 base cabinets with doors. One is narrow and houses cutting boards and cookie sheets. It has a couple shelves for my foil, parchment paper, etc. Another is 15" deep and holds my appliances. Another is 12" deep and holds cereal and snacks, and another is 12" deep and holds all my glasses. Most of these make up my island and are essentially wall cabinets on the floor (I have very few wall cabinets). The advantage to them is that I can adjust the shelf height. So while I love my drawers for most things, I wouldn't want all drawers.

My design was improved substantially by the people here, and the original kitchen design by the builder was a little hideous.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I would give anything to have my pullouts in my SC kitchen over the non existent anything in my "Pot Caverns", BUT, we have full base cabs with half shelf in the cabs in the new house and they are more than annoying. I would LOVE to have drawers everywhere, though. I had some in my old kitchen for pots and pans and absolutely loved them.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Another thing that has made all drawers more popular is kitchens are vastly bigger than they were. In larger kitchens economy of space is less important to folks.

In average sized kitchens I rarely use all drawers (actually I only do "all" by request as I can fit more with greater convenience ptherwise). Done properly drawers are more convenient for many things. I use a lot of them.

Drawers done poorly are slightly more convenient than rollouts. Opening a drawer to find a stack of pots when I need one in the middle is still two operations and marginally more convenient. I use a lot of drawers but also full pullout bases, a lot of dividers, only an occasional rollout unless there is a reason (and there are) but no little 9" tray cabinets,no empty bases.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I was in a home the other day -- this was a new build, and it was NOT cheap (a luxury home by our standards). House - 5000+ sq feet. Kitchen, I kid you not, about 10x10. No pantry. 36" aisles. Sink directly across from stove. Prep space 0. Storage space almost nil. COMPLETELY ridiculous compared to size of home. I think a 10x10 kitchen can work really well and be super functional -- but not this one! The poor homeowners could have made changes, but it was their first home and they just didn't realize what the dimensions on the stock plan would look like in real life.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

We have rented vacation properties that were homes built in the boom that never sold. Even the "nice" $2 million homes are so illogical in layout, design, and construction.

My husband and I say the best thing about ridiculous and often hideous McMansions built these days is that they are so crappy they will fall apart in 10 years. And in a dream world, the land will become forested again!


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I have one of those poorly designed kitchens. We did what we could and I may still be able to do some more, but am limited in space.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

AGK2003, there is TONS of information for you in this thread ...
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0722221917955.html

Also, there are a bunch of threads you can read for "must haves" in this thread ...
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0105344116836.html
(see the fourth post down)


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Kitchens should be the best they can be no matter what the budget or size. For me what is frustrating is when you see a kitchen where simple changes could have made it more functional. Changes that would do little to affect the cost. Good design doesn't have to cost more, just requires planning.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

We just bought a condo as a secondary residence. The realtors and my husband kept remarking on what a great kitchen it has. With my now-practiced GW eye, I saw only the dysfunctional layout. Prep space? Non-existant. Drawers? Ditto. Landing area for refrigerator and wall ovens? Not as such. Pretty granite counters just don't make up for functionality for me any more. I blame GW for that.

The funny thing is that we're buying the condo to replace a rental unit. The kitchen in the apartment had cheap cabinets and cheap formica counters, but was 100 times more functional -- a real pleasure to work in. I'm going to miss it!


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

I'm a KD and longtime Gardenwebber...since the mid 90s! I come here to learn just like the rest of you homeowners. Thanks Sas95 for sticking up for us KD's. :-)

I'd like to add to what Jakuvall has said. You wouldn't believe how many times I have to pull teeth to get people to change their kitchens to improve the layout. "But I like my diagonal corners with 9" wide cabinets on either side...I'm used to it" . Or....."No! I couldn't possibly move my dishwasher to the left hand side. I'm right handed and it NEEDS to STAY on the RIGHT!" Being right or left handed has nothing to do with where you place a DW. If you've had it on the right for 20 yrs, I promise, you WILL get used to it being on the left. I've had it on both sides in my last 4 houses and I didn't prefer it one way or another. What did matter was where I stored my dishes and silverware in relationship.

But anyway....There have been a few kitchens in my 30 year career where I have cringed to their requests and just hoped that none of their friends thought it was MY idea. I once did a kitchen in a $2Million Georgian home in the most elite neighborhood in our area. The homeowner insisted on doing two side by side free standing, double oven, ranges next to each other, instead of ONE 60" pro range. They got the kind where each range had two ovens....so she thought it was so cool to have four ovens. The rest of the kitchen was to die for....and then these ovens....ugh! Even KD's must let the homeowner have what they really want. I will suggest and urge...but not to the point of making my clients angry with me.

Some of the new build McMansions I've seen have horrible designs...they're intended to be re-designed by KD's. But you'd also be surprised to know that many people are too afraid to change it! It's what the ARCHITECT designed so it has to stay that way. I am so sick of seeing the super long double, angled peninsula with sink and dishwasher. There's usually NO convenient place to store the dishes nearby. I usually convince my client to go with dish drawer storage in an island.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Generally, on refrigerators you can flip the door to open the opposite direction. Not sure about yours, but when I've seen DH do it, it's a VERY easy fix. I know you're planning on tearing out, but if it's going to be longer than a month or so, you could at least change the door and it takes about 15 minutes.


 o
RE: In case you aren't already convinced

Generally, on refrigerators you can flip the door to open the opposite direction. Not sure about yours, but when I've seen DH do it, it's a VERY easy fix. I know you're planning on tearing out, but if it's going to be longer than a month or so, you could at least change the door and it takes about 15 minutes.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here