Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New kitchen design

Once we got a good look at the place after the demolition process began, we knew we wanted to open up the space between the kitchen an the dining room. So instead of rebuilding the wall the was it was, (see 2nd picture of 1st floor demo picture below- this sketch here is of of the other side of that wall) we want to widen the space of the door way to increase the flow. So far, it's just on paper, and as we know by now, anything can happen.


Amanda Moran said...

Aesthetically speaking, is the end of the fridge going to be exposed? I would like to see a pantry added to the end so you don't see the sides of the fridge, and everything slid down. Professional pet peeve.

The purpose of this would actually be twofold, the second reason being that my preference would be to have the wall cabinets on either side of the range hood be the same size.

You might think you are giving yourself one really big workspace to the left of the range, but you can actually make more messes if you have a decent workspace to the left and also to the right of the range.

Amanda Moran said...

Beyond that, it is basically a matter of upgrades, and what you can afford. Sky's the limit, as far as what you want to put into it.

Amanda Moran said...

I try to put a double trash pullout in every kitchen I do. The one I try to use is the Rev-a-Shelf 4WCTM-2150DM-2. It has two 50 quart cans and fits in a base cabinet 21" wide with a full height door (no drawer above-it's tall).

Have you ever been in someone's recently renovated kitchen and their trash pullout is sized for the cans you have at your desk at work? Gimme a break. 50 quart cans are what they size the tall kitchen trash bags to, so if you use those, you can actually fill the bags all the way up.

We actually have two trash pullouts in our kitchen: A double trash at our prep sink which is close to the fridge so I can use it for opening packages and chopping stuff, as well as when I clean out the fridge, as well as being close to the fridge so the beer bottles go in there. Then we have a single trash pullout at our cleanup sink. That one is a 4WCTM-1550DM-1 and it goes in a base cabinet 15" wide with a full-height door. It has a cute little caddy to hold the box of trash bags.

I mention what we have because our two kitchens are very similar.

Amanda Moran said...

The next upgrade I would suggest would be side panels for the fridge. The side panels would be 24" deep and go all the way up.

Whether you need one for both sides depends on whether or not you go for my idea of a pantry on the end like I mentioned proviously. =)

Now, once you put the end panel(s) in, the cabinet above the fridge can either stay 12" deep and just pull it forward so it has 12" of dead space behind it, or you can pay extra to get a cabinet that is 24" deep.

A 24" deep cabinet is great for the turkey roaster, cake stands, all that crazy stuff that you need but don't need often.

If you don't need that kind of storage, sometimes it is nice to outfit that cabinet with tray dividers so you can put cookie sheets, trays, and all your lasagna pans an the like standing on end so you don't have to unstack them every time you use them.

Amanda Moran said...

What type of fridge are you going to be using? Is it going to be a top/bottom or a left/right?

The reason I ask is for placement of the sink on the island.

If you are going to do a fridge top/freezer bottom or vice-versa, with one big hinged door for the fridge, probably hinged on the right, then you will be taking things out of the fridge and placing them most often on the counter to the left of the fridge.

If you will be using anything else, such as a freezer left/fridge right, or a french-door fridge top/freezer bottom, you will be taking stuff out of the fridge and placing it on the island, because the door will be swinging out in front of the adjacent counter and you won't be able to access it while the door is open.

So...if that is the case, you might want to put the sink in the part of the island closest to the corner of the kitchen, leaving a landing space nearest the fridge.

Amanda Moran said...

If the right end of the fridge is against the chimney, is the chimney all the way back in the corner, or is it actually on the side wall? How deep is it? Can you get a front frame and doors for a pantry cabinet and field-build it in front of the chimney? I have done this before and you can actually build little shelves in there for soup cans and the like, it will just be shallower.

Also watch your fridge door swing against something to the right, it may not open up enough to get the drawers inside open on the right if there isn't a wood filler piece to the right. I usually leave a 4-1/2" filler.

Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda.

Great call on the swing of the fridge. Also smart call on the garbage cans. H may have already thought of the size of the can under the island, but I hadn't. We did think of the benefits of multiple cans, though. I HATE schlepping nasty, drippy garbage across the span of my kitchen.

The chimney that must remain actually is just to the left of the door, basically to the right of the vantage point of graphic. Thus, it ends just a bit before the front of the fridge. As such, there will be a little 10-12" "alcove" to the right of the fridge. We'll keep the fridge a couple inches off the plane of the chimney, so we can get the drawers open, and that will also allow us to put hooks behind the fridge in the alcove to hide mop and broom and Findlay Market bags.

Two things we've changed were to a)scale down the island size so it's not a "hip banger" for those flowing into the living room, and b) we've moved the sink toward the LR on the island to give a better landing space for stuff from the fridge.

Two things we've got planned but that don't show are a mirror and an invisible dustpan.

We'll mount the mirror above the sink, so one can see into the living room when working. We did this in our current kitchen which allowed us to see the trees and birds outside, behind us.

What's an "invisible dustpan" you say? We're putting in a central vac system, and we'll put one those floor level vacuums so we can just turn it on when the cat walks by, or just sweep stuff close and it'll suck it right up.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Amanda-- a lot to respond to!

OK, first of all, the left side of the fridge will be exposed. The right side will be up against the wall. The left side being open and exposed is mandatory and a very key aspect of our functional kitchen design. You see, we LIVE in our kitchen. It must have form AND function, and in this case, the side of the fridge is our spice rack, right next to the stove.

We have magnetic tins (over 40 of them)labeled and filled with the herbs and spices that we use regularly. When one gets empty, we move it around to the front of the fridge as a reminder to restock.

We're very organized that way. It also addresses your comments about extra space causing messes. Just because there's a space, doesn't necessarily mean that it'll become a mess magnet. Hasn't happened to us yet, anyway.

And btw: we're planning on a french door, stainless steel, bottom freezer fridge. We've measured out the island, the distance between, and the door spans all in advance.

Also, the wall in front of the chimney needs to remain flat, no build outs, to preserve the spacing and the flow from the kitchen into the living room to the North.

Re: Trash bins. The island trash bin is only intended for cutting scraps. We have a full sized stainless steel step-operated kitchen garbage can for the regular stuff, and we use it! We also have the recycling bin separated. So in the final layout, we'll actually have three. Good thoughts, though.

Storage: All that extra storage under the island is planned for the sheet trays, romertopfs, and stock pots. Oddly enough, there really isn't much in the kitchen that we don't use, except maybe the blender, and it's neigh coming up on Margarita Season!! Heck, we just made that elusive turkey and stuffing dinner most people reserve for November for two great friends this past weekend.

OK, now to one of MY pet peeves: panels on everything.

I loathe the tiny itty bitty crevices and corners and corbel goo-gahs people love to build into their beautiful, but less than functional, kitchens. It's a disaster for any professional cook (if they want to pass code on sanitation) and a real PITA for anyone who actually cooks meals seven days a week in their kitchen. These crevices can attract spills, grease, oil, airborne spatterings of champagne on occasion (or Himalayan fur).... and that all creates an attractant to dust and even bugs.

Ever see panels or corbels in a restaurant kitchen?

And who has the time to clean all that mess every time you cook? Not me. I'd pay someone else to do it, but I've never been as satisfied with someone else's work as I am with my own obsessive compulsiveness.

So, no, not gonna happen, Amanda. You can put panels in my kitchen when you pull the dirty spatula from my cold dead hand. LOL!

OK, rant over. Whew!

Amanda Moran said...

The panel on the side of the fridge is more for keeping crumbs from falling over the side into the fridge niche when you are wiping the counters down.

That being said, it sounds like you know how to keep your house clean, so I'm sure it won't be a problem.

Sounds like you pretty much have it down then.

You'll be posting "after" images, right?

Amanda Moran said...

Every client is different, I have done kitchens for chef/restaurant owners as well as bored housewives who don't know how to turn an oven on.

There was a new construction job a few years ago where the people lived there for 4 years then sold the place, and the new people wanted to change from a freestanding 60" range to a cooktop and some wall ovens. The first owners literally had never used the range in 4 years and still had the manuals in one of the ovens. The second owners came in and almost set all that plastic wrapping on fire!!! So yeah, there are some kitchens that work hard, and some that have never seen the work. Fortunately the appliances have really kept up the pace and you no longer have to worry about the finishes of the cabinetry with them.

Every kitchen is different, because everyone cooks differently. Even if you try to do the same kitchen layout for 10 people, they will all make changes to the original design.

A good designer is merely an educator to show the client what is available for their space, the best creativity is used for the purpose of helping clients make their best decisions.

I usually tell people different ways to do something, or the 7 "pros" and 7 "cons" or however many I can think of. If the client is the decision maker, they are going to be happiest in the long run.

An example: kitchen base cabinet drawers vs. doors with rollout trays behind. Some people like drawers because they are a one-step motion, and can be opened while you have only one hand free. The only problem is they aren't adjustable. Rollouts, on the other hand, can be annoying because you have to first open the door and then pull out the rollout, which is two steps. However, you can adjust the heights of the rollouts so you have short stuff on the upper one, and tall stuff on the lower one. Which one is the correct one? It depends on the person. I prefer drawers,my boss prefers rollouts. I could argue until I'm blue in the face about why I feel particularly passionate about drawers, and my boss feels as passionate about rollouts. It can be a bit comical. On the other hand, if I tell a client the pros and cons of each, I soon find out if they are drawer or rollout people.