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Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

Posted by elphaba (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 12:59

I am definitely not an expert but am the "designer" for my kitchen that is being totally remodeled with move of plumbing, new stove vent installed (wasn't one before), butcher block island with prep sink, cleanup sink along wall beneath new 7ft wide window, Ikea kitchen cabinets, Ikea induction cooktop.

Reason I'm posting is that my biggest fear now is about all the little things and ideas a real kitchen designer brings to the table that I don't know about. My contractor is wonderful but his design skills are basic.

Lots has been mentioned on the forum of course but I would like for anyone who has some feature of their kitchen that they LOVE but they wouldn't have gotten had it not been for the fact that the idea came from their kitchen designer (or an imaginative friend or forum post works too.)

background:
I have been lurking for a few years. Also, I have posted my kitchen layout before and got a few comments - basically I was glad that I didn't get hardly any criticism. Layout pretty standard. I'll post here again. Feel free to comment about layout but we have proceeded far enough so that hardly anything could be changed at this point. New window about to go in to be followed by drywall and electrical finishes such as outlets. Cabinets have been bought and delivered (though could be returned) and not yet assembled.

FYI - Thing I'm most worried about is aisle width - 39 inches on both sides of island (aisle not behind seating) but this is compromise I have made so I could have other stuff (sound familiar), too late too change. Also, I think my new counterdepth french door fridge will be too close too wall on one side so will need to pull it out a bit - that ship has sailed.

Here's a sketch - a few things have changed but this is mostly it. Again, I'm not asking for opinions on layout but if you want to voice them, I won't object and might find useful.

But I would prefer if you take time to post, if you could give me those extra little touches that make your kitchen so wonderful and that an amateur like me would not think of.
For example - I just read about the "air switch" which I plan to get.

And here is whole house since I know how everyone likes to see the context. More on context - two of us over 60, we don't have kids or grandkids but may entertain every once in a while, 4 times a year?
Retired and I love to cook and try exotic new things in the kitchen. I have some disability issues with feet pain so I have tried to make triangle as small as possible. Sketches are mine and I know have some problems here and there. Apologies.

More plans:

-silgranit sinks I learned about here (though I would like drainboard silgranit on island but can't find one that meets my criteria)
- quartz countertop on peripheral counter with butcherblock for island (and waterlox)
-oven under counter across from cleanup sink (we don't eat meat, we will not be baking turkeys)
-lots of counterspace for gadgets: slow cooker(s), dehydrator, pressure cooker, food processor, vitamix, smaller blender, spice grinder, coffee maker, toaster, toaster oven, etc. etc. Store some in lazy susan cabinet probably. Never had a lazy susan cabinet. Microwave in one of the pantries - don't use much.
- not much view out the window so hope to grow vines on outside
- in case it isn't obvious, back door/porch screws up layout but back porch is good place where I store recycles so it is a type of pantry and is handy.
- house is 75 years old, has a pier and beam foundation, I'll include kitchen demolition here too just for fun.


And here is a picture from the Ikea designer (whom I gave my sketches too for ordering cabinets - island looks funny without counter)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

I know you said the microwave will go in the pantry, but your plan shows a "micro drawer".

My last kitchen -- 1) recessing the full-depth fridge so it was a little less 'bulky' and enclosing it on all sides with cabinetry so it looked somewhat built-in; 2) having an easy-access step stool (I had a separate 9" cabinet for it in the island), 3) great lighting (halogen in my case) over the prep area, 4) a condiment pull-out next to the cooktop (my very favorite thing, which I am doing again in my new place); 5) all gadgets and utensils within easy reach, and a separate set of [cheap] silverware to use for prep and stored closer to the prep space as opposed to the silverware drawer which was closer to the cleanup space; 6) my beloved double-bin trash pullout, 7) prep sink between the refrigerator and the prep area, with disposal, 8) drawers, drawers and more drawers.


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

Thanks for the input. And yes, you found one of the changes since I made the last diagram of my kitchen. After much struggle and even having electrical put in for three different locations for the microwave since I couldn't make up my mind, I finally and definitely have decided to put it in one of the pantry cabinets. Luckily, there is an outlet inside (#4 microwave location) however, I have to check with the electrician to make sure my microwave won't trip the breaker at that spot).
My refrigerator was one of the hardest compromises I had to make. The good news is that I have room in the broom closet (if I put brooms somewhere else) to add a secondary fridge (though still quite small at less than 24 inches deep).
I particularly like your idea of a second set of silverware for the prep area. I have room for the step stool under/adjacent to the island - I will probably follow your example on that too since that will help me reach into the tall pantry cabinets especially. Thanks again!


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

I wouldn't be concerned with your 39 inch aisle space. Mine is about the same and I feel that it works perfectly for me. I had a table that was bigger than my island plopped in the middle of my kitchen for years and it never got in the way so I felt confident that I could use an island.

The only thing that I would have missed had it not been for GW is an over the range hood. I planned for an over the range micro and swapped it for a hood. I do think the otr micro would have worked fine because we really only use it for softening DH's ice cream or to reheat a quick plate from time to time.


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

If you haven't already, you may wish to check out the attached thread. Everyone has been posting really great ideas for designing a kitchen with aging or disabilities.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen design with aging, disabilities in mind


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

If you can't figre out a way to hide them altogether, then horizontal outlets.....some people prefer them to be low.......I wouldn't have thought of it myself (expert cited: gardenwebbers)


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

Remember there are no rules just guidelines! When you say a 39" aisle width do you mean from cabinet to cabinet or countertop edge to countertop edge? In our personal kitchen we have 39" from countertop to countertop in the work space and prefer it from the previous 45". I have consulted on several projects where 39" has never been a problem. Sometimes the narrower space won't work depending upon the overall layout and traffic patterns. Other times people read a "suggested" width of 42" and become fixated on that number. There is nothing magical about 42" and I believe if your 39" aisle width takes into account the countertop overhangs you will be just fine. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your progress.


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RE: Had it not been for "experts", what might you have left out?

Good luck on your project!

We had a local cabinet maker, so my options were virtually unlimited.

Do your cabinets go to the ceiling? In several of my upper cabinets, I ordered an extra shelf, so I can store more things without stacking (coffee mugs, canned goods, etc). I have a small kitchen, and needed to maximize storage space.

DH's favorite things in our new kitchen are a built-in cutting board between the sink and range, and a knife insert, so our knives go in a drawer instead of in blocks on the counter.

We have a spice rack mounted on the inside of a cabinet door, next to the range. It's wonderful!


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