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From the Forum – Need advice on kitchen project

by Prince Of Petworth November 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm 46 Comments


Need advice on kitchen project

“We’ve just bought a new house, it’s really nice! But it’s almost empty and we need to furnish it completely. But first we are going to start with the kitchen as it’s a priority for us:) I don’t want to hire a designer as it’s additional charge. But it would be great to have a modern and cosy kitchen with no needless staff, just most important things.

So, I’ve made a project using free demo of online software for kitchen construction to have a visual design of my would-be kitchen. When we finally decide about the furniture arrangement, colors and everything, we’ll try to find the similar furniture and wallpapers, but for now, I just want to share my kitchen project with you and have your comments.

All room measurements if needed, you can see in the program interface as well as you can move things there and show me the screenshot of something that you’ve changed in my project.

Thanks in advance!”

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  • anon

    Looks like half of your sink is inaccessible….

  • Anonymous

    Are you asking people to design your kitchen? Without knowing where your electrical, gas and water hookups are? You should probably take your dimensions and relevant information to Ikea and have them spec it out for you.

  • Frank

    Is that a fridge on the left? If so it looks way too narrow. You’re in DC, not in Belgium. Even if that’s what you want, you will have an extremely difficult time finding a fridge that narrow.

    I’d recommend hiring a proper interior designer and working with a general contractor. A kitchen is not something you want to mess around with.

    • Anonamom

      The link for the software is a “.eu” so it is most likely a European-sized fridge.

      OP, go to Ikea’s website, you can design a kitchen there too with actual products you can buy there.

    • Anon

      Even if you can purchase a fridge that size today, you may run into an issue several years from now when it dies and needs replaced. If you can’t find another one in that unusual size you may have to rip out cabinets to fit a standard sized fridge.


    I’d move that sink out of the corner. It seems awkward.

    • artemis

      I agree — you are losing access to half the sink.

  • Meg

    Congrats on the new house. If I were you, I’d take my cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Otherwise, it’s wasted space that catches dust. Also, agree with the comment that the sink in the corner seems like it would be hard to use.

    • jen

      +1 Go to the ceiling with longer cabinets. You’ll have more storage, a cleaner look, and no dust on the items stored above.

  • andie302

    I agree on the sink being in the corner. A few other things to consider:
    -Will you have a dishwasher?
    -The cabinet next to the fridge that’s floor to ceiling is eliminating some valuable prep space
    -Consider running your cabinets all the way to the ceiling (either by adding another row, or getting a larger upper cabinet)
    -You may have difficulty finding cabinetry to house that sink where it is (speaking from experience on this one)
    -I like the contrasting cabinets, but I’d do one wood and one painted (especially if you’re having wood flooring too…that’s a lot of different wood finishes)

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out! Ikea has a great kitchen planner and pretty standard sized cabinets where you can get a 3-D look at the space – it may be worth recreating this there.

    • textdoc

      Agreed on “The cabinet next to the fridge that’s floor to ceiling is eliminating some valuable prep space.” Even moving that cabinet to the other side of the fridge would help (though it would still eliminate prep space) — it seems like it would be a hassle to take things out of the fridge and not be able to set them on a countertop right next to the fridge.

    • andie302

      I’m surprised no one has mentioned this, but also get on pinterest or houzz and see if you can find kitchens similar to your size/style to model off of…it’s free and can give you some great additional ideas.

  • Anonymous

    After clicking on the link and moving the perspective, that sink isn’t a great idea. I could see an argument for making it a corner sink. I personally don’t like them but I know plenty who are happy with it.

    Also, I don’t see a microwave (yay!). But I would still consider adding an outlet to the pantry and putting a very small cheap microwave in there.

    And I can’t tell without exact measurements but it seems like the space between your counters and the bottom of the upper cabinets is very large. We ended up going a little below standard with 17 inches and we are very happy with it. We’ve seen houses with 24+ inches between the uppers and lowers and while it sometimes looks good functionally we just couldn’t do it.

    I don’t see a dishwasher.

    I’d also recommend shorter drawers in the upper part of your lower cabinets. I don’t see anywhere that would be reasonable at storing utensils/cooking equipment

  • Guillermo Brown

    I assume that is an dual microwave/oven under your cooktop? If not, you need to find space for a microwave in your wall cabinets. How about a dishwasher? And yes, that sink needs to move out of the corner.
    Designing a kitchen can be tricky, so I suggest you are careful with the measurements if you plan to renovate it yourself.

  • dat

    Based on what I’m seeing here, you really need to talk to an architect or kitchen designer. Even a kitchen layout person at Lowes or Home Depot would be able to help you out. For example, in addition to the issues others have pointed out, arranging things such that someone standing at the sink would trip over/fall into an open oven is less than ideal…

  • anonymous

    I would eliminate the cabinets/over on the right side wall. I would build and island with/without a breakfast bar. Then relocated the sink and add a dishwasher to the island and put the stove on the back wall.

  • Like others: a) move the sink (even though moving plumbing is expensive, I have never met a corner sink that was truly functional); b) bring cabinets all the way to the ceiling; c) a matter of taste, but that backsplash is busy compared to the modern feel you seem to be going with – consider bigger tiles that are visually lighter and much easier to clean.

    • textdoc

      OP, if you bring the cabinets all the way to the ceiling, make sure to do it either by adding cabinets on top of the existing mockup cabinets, OR by having the contractor add drywall between the ceiling and the cabinet tops.
      Do NOT do this by simply mounting the cabinets higher. The idiot responsible for my kitchen (I think the son of the previous owner) mounted the cabinets so high that I need a stepstool to reach most of them. (And I’m not even short.)
      Speaking of short: I don’t know how tall you are, how tall your partner is, or whether you have (or are planning to have) kids, but having cabinets that open from the bottom rather than the side (as shown for most of the cabinets in the mockup) looks like a hassle for shorter people. I’d strongly encourage you to have more traditional cabinets that open from the side — shorter people and kids might have trouble opening cabinets from the bottom and sliding the lid all the way back.

  • spookiness

    My personal advice. Plan where you are going to have a trash can and make sure it is convenient to your work space. I have worked in kitchens with those prissy little in-cabinet slide-out waste baskets. They fill up fast, and you do not want to be constantly opening and closing a cabinet door with gross hands. Also, I hate trash cans under the sink b/c they’re inconvenient if you are standing in front of the sink a lot.

  • anon

    if that’s open space and not just an L shaped galley you should consider a center island or peninsula. If the sink/dishwasher can fit there even better. it will more than compensate the space lost space by swapping in a normal sized refrigerator. I’d also recommend counter depth full sized fridge

    Agree with other PPs that you need to know placement of existing electrical and plumbing — anything can be moved, but it could add extraneous cost to do so.

    Disagree with PPs that you NEED a designer. Some people benefit from that input but it’s not that complicated to do on your own and there are tons of online resources/guides to learn. It also depends on your eye for design. Those wall cabinets look awfully high and inaccessible btw.

  • anonymous

    I would eliminate the right wall with the oven. I would build an island with/without a breakfast bar and house the sink and a dishwasher. Relocate the stove to the back wall. As others mentioned, get taller cabinets and make them ceiling height.

    • textdoc

      If you put the sink in any kind of island/peninsula, make sure to have some kind of short backsplash or barrier-type thing. Otherwise you will periodically knock your dishwashing detergent, etc. over the back, and you will find that droplets of soap and water also make their way over. (I speak from experience here.)

  • anonymous

    there are plenty of kitchen designers who won’t charge you for the design, and just take a commission on ordering the actual products. based on your awful layout (no offense), you really need one.

  • ExWalbridgeGuy

    As you’ve already got the plumbing hook up it looks like there’s plenty of room for an 8-person hot tub there. When the hot tub is closed you can use the cover as a bar/island/preparation space and put some bar stools around it. I’d suggest getting a square hot tub with either rounded or cut corners, and then you can mount a tiki torch in each of the corners (but get an LED tiki — don’t use a real open flame indoors!) Not sure exactly what’s above this space but definitely consider cutting a whole in the floor above for a fireman’s pole.

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      I meant hole, not whole. But actually, while we’re playing with the free online design software consider cutting off the whole floor and just making it a soaring 20-foot kitchen with some Juliet balconies and a waterslide.

  • 14th Street

    I agree with not having needless staff in your kitchen, but you will at least want to keep a butler and a couple of footmen, right?

  • jcm

    I think you should buy your cabinets from Ikea, and use their planner. You’re much more likely to come out with something usable.

    • +1, there are so many issues with this it’s beyond internet crowd-source fixing.

    • west_egg

      And isn’t their annual kitchen sale coming up in the next few months?

  • anon

    So, from what I can tell from the original website, the linked project (project #7) is one of the samples from the website itself, and has not been customized in any way by the OP. http://prodboard.eu/#jump1

    OP: is this your design? Or is this a mistake. We’d love to help but want to make sure we’re working on your specific project.

  • Planner

    I’d rethink the backsplash. That long narrow horizontal tile has been everywhere for the last couple of years and already looks dated. (Ditto: subway tile.) OR: what you have might look better in one consistent color (medium tone).

    • textdoc

      I don’t think subway tile looks dated, but I’ve never liked the super-busy backsplashes that seem to have been popular these past few years — and that’s a sufficiently distinct look that when it _does_ fall out of fashion, it’ll look dated. I second the recommendation for one consistent color.

  • jeffb

    Paying a designer can be expensive but I went the cheaper online route and it worked well. Only costs a couple hundred bucks and a consult in some other place will look at your photos and measurements and send you a design from afar. They will also recommend materials and suggest you buy them with their discount. Well worth the price. My designer was great except that he never made deadlines and caused me delays so I would recommend someone other than Keen Designs (based in upstate NY).

  • Concerned Citizen

    I’ll just point out that value engineering design and engineering out of what is an expensive home renovation project is probably *not* the best use of value engineering here.

  • js

    hire a designer. it’s not “just another cost”. they’re professionals who know what you need and how to get there, and will keep you from falling down even costlier holes.

  • zartan

    I designed our kitchen using the Ikea software, which is somewhat buggy but the finished product came out GREAT. The only mistake we made was opting for a narrower-than-usual sink, which is a huge pain in the ass because we have our trash beneath it and a narrow space for trash means we’re emptying it twice a day. Super annoying.
    The moral of my story is that if you’re going to deviate from conventional/typical in terms of functional arrangements, think long and hard about whether you really want to do so. The conventions are conventions for a reason and especially if you grew up in a typical mass-market American kitchen you’re going to deeply regret too much deviation. If you grew up in a 700 square foot coop in NYC you can go ahead and break convention.
    Also, I support the recommendation to run the cabinets all the way to the ceiling – the extra storage space is incredibly useful.
    Really impressed with the quality of the Ikea system relative to its cost – the soft-close drawers and doors are really great and the overall build quality is on point. Only drawback is the cabinets are made from laminated particleboard instead of wood, which doesn’t have any impact on usability or durability but which rubs some people the wrong way. When we compared the cost of wood cabinets to Ikea cabinets it was very clear that we’d rather spend that money on other items and deal with the white laminate interiors.

  • andy2

    I’d do a peninsula/return near the stove. It would double as a bar/dinning space and add valuable counter space.
    Also – get magazines, go to open houses in similar houses in DC and condos/apartments with similar dimensions. Free to do an open house and get ideas on what works and doesn’t.

  • Sue

    I’m so happy with a stove hood that vents to the outside. In the summer it pulls the heat right out of the kitchen.

    Install twice as many outlets as you think you need.

    If your refrigerator just fits, when you need to replace it, every refrigerator available will be a size that doesn’t fit.

    Good luck! It’s a big undertaking.

  • dunning-kruger

    If you want some free help I suggest Bill at the Rhode Island Ave Home Depot, I know the place leaves a lot to be desired but they do free kitchen design consultations. I was paying a guy at Reico but he was a bum so I checked out the designers at Home Depot because they were free. Ended up doing two very high quality kitchens with Bill.

    • dunning-kruger

      Forgot to add, I suggest you do get some professional help on it there are some errors/omissions just at a glance:
      1) no silverware drawer (unless that is it next to the range, in which case it is small and there should be another on the left for symmetry and to make up for the small size)
      2) no dishwasher?
      3) corner sinks are universally hated by pretty much everyone though I understand the temptation because corner cabinets are pretty useless so why not make it a sink base!
      4) door swing on base cab next to oven is wrong
      5) door swing on pantry is wrong
      6) door swing on sink base is wrong
      7) too many gigantic drawers (maybe one is an excessively deep silverware drawer?, not enough large base cabinet spaces if you intend to keep all your cookware in gigantic drawers make sure they are 3/4″ solid wood 1/2″ or MDF will not hold up
      8) trash, as others have mentioned make sure you have a plan, I have room for full sized kitchen bins for both recycling and trash inside a 18×24 base cabinet if that helps

      • ExWalbridgeGuy

        Memo to would-be kitchen designers: google this dude’s name

  • Keefer

    OP, I am an educated as an Architect and work in the renovation/ breaking up row houses into condos business and layout and specify somewhere around 20 kitchens a year, many placed in less than ideal little corners. My personal house was a gut renovation in DC and I used Ikea cabinets with some tricks I learned over the years to make them look like they are more custom, you can’t beat the price and you use some tricks to make them not immediately identifiable as Ikea. It involves buying a lot of extra pieces and and using them in ways Ikea didn’t really intend. If you want an hour or two of help I would gladly help you out for free just to make sure you don’t make the mistakes you are making in this design. Beyond the obvious problem of the sink in the corner there are a lot of other problems. That fridge can never sit tight to the wall like that, even if the door is hinged to open within its own space the handle would hit the wall before the door got to 90 degrees open and then you would have trouble with shelves and drawers in the fridge. If you wan to do an appliance garage type of cabinet, I keep my toaster and other things in mine to keep the counters clear, make it upper cabinet depth, 12″ and put it all the way in the corner where you presently have the sink, you will get some counters space to pull the appliances out of the cabinet to use them but you will not lose usable prep space. This Kitchen is also begging for an Island

    • Anonymous

      This kitchen is begging for a professional designer.

    • petworther

      If you want to share some hot tips on disguising Ikea cabinets, I think a lot of other folks here would like to know about that too!

  • Mimi

    I’ve done some serious gut & renovation projects, and my personal thought is you really get a lot of bang for your buck going Ikea!
    You get really cool, modern esthetics, functionality, ergonomics & affordability.
    However, unfortunately, their in store designers do less now in terms of helping you “design” your space as optimally as possible, therefore you should go in having a clear idea of what you want your space to be like. They’ll make sure everything fits properly within the dimensions.
    One last thing, like everything Ikea, it pays to have an Ikea authorized team to assemble the cabinets, that’s what makes or breaks their stuff, in other words, it’s the difference b/w rickety/shitty vs solid/attractive pieces.
    A good contractor can install them after installation.

  • dcd

    I have definite opinions about kitchens, having just designed (and redesigned, and redesigned) a complete gut job and created my dream kitchen (or pretty close to it, given our space constraints).
    – I echo comments about the sink – it needs to move. Moreover, after clicking on the link and changing the perspective, it appears that it isn’t really a large sink, but a smaller one with a built in trying area of some sore? That’s a mistake – either make it a smaller sink and give yourself more counter space, or a larger one for utilitarian purposes, and get a portable drying pad.
    – After you move the sink, there are some excellent half-moon cabinet innards that can make maximum use of that space. Also, think about an appliance garage in the corner after you move the sink – that is space that is hard to use well, and an appliance garage cuts down on the cluttered look and makes good use of the space.
    – Echo the comments above about a silverware drawer. Convert one of those upper drawers into two shallow drawers for silverware, small appliances, even some dishes.
    – Consider a drawer microwave – they are more expensive, but will save precious countertop space. If you do go that route, get a Sony – no matter what brand is on it, it is made by Sony, so cut out the middle man.
    – I don’t agree with the prior comment that the door swing on the pantry is wring – you want to be able to get into it from the main area of the kitchen, not circle around to the refrigerator.
    – Agree that the fridge is small and too tightly placed.
    – Agree that you should build or buy an island, if space and other layouts permit.
    – Absolutely agree that cabinets should read the ceiling.
    – On a general note, the person above who said convention is conventional for a reason is dead on. You don’t have to stick with convention, of course, but really think it through from a functionality perspective when you do vary. I had dozens of ideas for a kitchen that sounded great but really didn’t work, and I’m lucky I had a professional to tell me what would work and what wouldn’t.


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