Planning the kitchen, Part Infinity

Not quite. I tallied up what’s in the archives and found that this is the 14th post about the kitchen and the 7th that’s more about planning it than building it. I figured that since the IKEA cabinet scare forced the issue this week, I may as well finish the job (of planning it). But first, a before photo. They called this an eat in kitchen in the listing. There was just a fridge, no other work space, on the other side. So there was room for a dinette set if opening the oven door and standing in front of it wasn’t a priority.

P1010258

And the soon to be after: the base cabinets are going to remain more or less identical to the way they were in that original 3D drawing I made. Except that now the room is just a little bit narrower, so I won’t have the bits of wall on either side of the patio door. Sad, but not devastating.

kitchen rendering

But the wall cabinets you see up there aren’t accurate at all. I don’t think the chimney hood looks right with cabinets so close to it and my kitchen is too small to sacrifice the upper cabinets. So I decided that I should just put up an unsexy over-the-range microwave. After all, the primary purpose of my kitchen is to give me space and equipment to make food. Secondary to that is space to store things that this food will be cooked, served, and eaten in. And it’s only third, a pretty distant third, that sexiness comes into play.

Also, I have enough height for 48 inches of wall cabinets. I figured that this would mean 18 inch cabinets stacked on top of 30 inch cabinets. But where I have appliances, there’s not enough height to stack them. So in the  end, the stove/fridge wall is going to look like this.

Elevation Stove Side

I like the way staked cabinets look, but wasn’t sure about how it would look to have some stacked and some not. But then, having 18 inch tall cabinets stacked over 12 inch cabinets above the fridge and stove would just be dumb.

On the other side of the room, I considered open shelving, but again decided on regular closed cabinets with doors that will hide my chipped, stained, and scratched everyday dishes and the reused plastic food containers I’ll have instead of Tupperware. The width isn’t decided yet. I’m putting up the trim around the window and then I’ll cut the cabinets to whatever custom size looks good around it. Function may win most parts of my kitchen, but woodwork trumps all. And these Craftsman casings (I’m copying the originals) need room to breathe.

P1010286

So there we have it. I think I want stacked doors rather than running them 4 feet tall. I can wait on that choice, but if I decided now that I want

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17 thoughts on “Planning the kitchen, Part Infinity

  1. infinitequery

    I probably missed a post -but I have to ask -what is or rather what was wrong with the Kitchen as it was? Seems quite nice but obviously there was a problem or you wouldn’t have given up your life to change it. I mean Life as in-no dust,labor,agravation,decisions. And lots of Money.

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      The plumbing was bad, the walls and ceiling were poorly done, there was no insulation, and I didn’t want the refrigerator on the side that I could open to the living room. I actually planned to reinstall what came with the house, but the cabinets were nailed and glued to the walls (!!!) and didn’t survive being removed intact. I also couldn’t figure out a way to keep the 33 inch sink base and add a dishwasher. Then the cabinets were in decent condition but basically the flimsiest junk you can buy. Just like everything else in my house, I thought the kitchen was ok and then eventually gave up on saving it.

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    2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      And the patio door… it wasn’t necessary, but it was a huge improvement in both looks and layout. And I wanted to get it over with and be finished with dust forever. It was a now or never thing and I chose now.

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  2. acroteria

    I think the sketch of the cabinet arrangement looks fine. I think the “right” style of door/drawer fronts will make the bigger difference. The only style I don’t care for is the raised panel, faux French Renaissance style (whatever they call it) because it can’t be refinished/repainted and create a different look.

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  3. Mary Elizabeth

    I really like the balance created by the stacked cabinets alternating with the ones over the fridge and stove. Of course, you’re pretty tall, I think, so it won’t be a problem getting to the top ones, although using a stepping stool might help you see what’s there.. Probably you’ll use the top ones for the infrequently used stuff, such as large platters, baking supplies, etc.

    Not sure about the microwave over the stove. Does it have any venting at all? If not, you’ll have to put a proper vent somewhere, or you’ll be setting off the smoke alarm every time you turn on the oven or fry an egg. (Believe me, I lived for two years like that, and it isn’t a fun and exciting as you might think.) Fans that recirculate just don’t cut it, in my experience. Over-range hoods are meant to fit between cabinets on either side, so I don’t think it looks funky. Just get the most minimal one you can find. a Microwave can be mounted under any cabinet, or if you’re looking for more counterspace, just have one cabinet shorter than the others.

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    1. infinitequery

      We have a Samsung microwave with a 4 speed fan and n Electrolux gas stove and the fan is sufficient even when I have smoke from drips in the oven I don’t like microwaves on the counter-less room but I think the drawer style might be nice

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      1. Mary Elizabeth

        The question in my mind is whether the fan can be made to vent to the outside. Also, If Chad is going to get the microwave, he ought to take the advice of people like you who have used them when choosing a brand. Not sure if Consumer Reports has covered the vent issue, but I would look there also.

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      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        I’m not a fan of the touch buttons either. Most ovens have up and down touch buttons to reset the temperature, which I particularly hate. I could probably write a whole blog post about just how much I hate them.

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    2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      All the over-the-range microwaves today are made so they can either be vented outside or fitted with a charcoal filter. I have no interest in the latter and it doesn’t meet code today even if I did. So the over-the-range microwave is a way to get two things in one. My parents have one that vents out and also functions as a convection oven. Not a wonderful convection oven, but it’s handy for crisping rolls and stuff like that.

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  4. Jill

    Hi. Longtime reader, first time poster. I have a friend who has a tiny kitchen, maybe 6 feet by 8 feet. She put a chimney vent hood in between her cabinets. They are close and it doesn’t look bad. Quite the opposite. I love it. So maybe you could make it work?

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I’ve considered it but then there is the problem of placing the microwave somewhere. It’s not under any circumstances going on the counter, and I don’t know if I want to throw off the symmetry. That leaves me with putting it inside the cabinet above the fridge. But that would discriminate against short people.

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  5. Mary Elizabeth

    Chad, I have a folding plastic stool that lets me get to the upper cabinets. It is stored in a utility closet (or you could use a corner of a bottom cabinet).

    Sounds like the microwave with the outside vent is ideal for your situation. Two birds, one stone, that sort of thing.

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