So we’re planning on taking the big kitchen cabinet leap soon. Soon-ish. Maybe this year sometime. Or, you know, I might just set up some sawhorses and plywood in there and call it a day.
Lowe’s is running their “$1500 off your cabinets” deal until the end of the month, so we are trying to figure out if we should pull the trigger now or wait until we get our geothermal tax credit in a few months. We’re tentatively hoping for a March move-in date, so…
So as usual, we have some decisions to make.
As a small refresher, I’ve come crying to the internet a couple of times for opinions about our kitchen in the last several months. First, when I was debating between black or white cabinets. (Black won.) And then when I was breaking out into cold sweats over the island lighting situation. (Still somewhat unresolved, but I have this gorgeous double pendant stashed in a box somewhere right now.)
I’ve also met a couple of times with a couple of different kitchen designers in the last eight months, and I fully expect to finalize my plans on Friday. For a slightly terrifying look at what that entails, this is the kitchen plan I’ve been working off of, plus a little red wine soaked into it for good measure.
This really is an accurate representation of what it’s like inside my head; Fuzzy pictures, random notes, and drenched in alcohol.
We’ll visit each of the areas of the kitchen in turn here shortly because believe me when I say, it gets worst than this.
Ironically the kitchen in real life is in a much cleaner and more organized state than the kitchen in my head.
Well… kind of.
The shot above is facing the stove/sink wall pictured at the top of the plan. This next view is facing the closets at the opposite end of the room.
It’s not a huge room, but it’s got an open layout and it’s a fair sight better than what it started out as…
Which was basically a hallway with a strip of cabinets. Just looking at this picture brings back the smell of 15 pounds of mouse poop we found under those babies when we ripped them out. Gak.
I need to cleanse my mental palette now by showing you a couple of the inspiration photos I’m working with:
I really just love the wood ceiling in this kitchen from Elle Decor (Elle Decor, really? I was shocked), but we also toyed with the idea of ditching the wall cabinets around the stove/range hood, and we liked the way this full-tile wall looked.
This house from Country Living also resonated, since I think we’re going with the distressed-black cabinet/ wood island combo.
Up Close and Personal
Here are some individual style elements I’m considering, though I’ve made my mind up on exactly none of them.
Starting with the sink, I’ve got my heart set on one of these convertible numbers, like the Kohler Stages, or the Blanco I just learned about in an article from Joseph @ CFT411.
To the right of the sink is the trouble area in the kitchen…
I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this wall, including: getting rid of the upper cabinets entirely and tiling (or putting stone) on that wall, getting rid of the range hood entirely and putting just a wall of cabinets up there, or making both wall cabinets open shelves for cookbooks and the like.
The image on the far right is my old kitchen (blue tile and stove, how I miss thee). I loved having the open shelves and with black cabinets in the new kitchen I want to make sure it doesn’t look like a cave. A library of cookbooks might be just the thing to brighten it up, don’t you think?
I’m hoping for a big industrial looking range hood to fit my rustic/industrial theme, but I’m trying to figure out how that would mesh with a tile backsplash. Right now I’m in love with the mini subway tile like the DIYNewlyweds used in their kitchen. I think the brown/cream colors will work great with the black cabinets, but I’m not sure about how that would work with the silver/black hood.
I also plan to have pots/pans drawers flanking the stove. In the old house I was all about hanging everything out in the open, but I find that requires more cleaning in the end. (What good is it to have a pot within arms reach if it’s full of dust and cat hair?)
Moving clockwise around the kitchen we come to the fridge…
The fridge space is built in to the wall. I considered for a while Jenn-Air’s line of bronze appliances, but when I saw this wood door fridge I knew I needed to go another direction. There was also an example in a (currently MIA) magazine of a couple who made their fridge look like a swinging barn door, and that is exactly what I’d like in the new kitchen.
So far this Jenn-Air fridge is the only one I’ve found that accepts a full custom panel and handle (not those ones that have the metal frame around the outside and take a cabinet insert.) It also costs the equivalent of two kidneys and a firstborn child. We could be fridge-less for a while.
The closet end of the kitchen is the wall causing me the least worry…
Because I don’t need to do anything with it right at the moment. The space was made for built-in cabinets, but I think we’re going to end up building a bulkier version of this Pottery Barn buffet/bar instead. I’d like to modify it so the shelves in the back will have glass doors and the depth of the piece is a full 24″ so it will make a nice buffet.
Completing the circuit of the outer wall of the kitchen is the dishwasher area…
There will be two double “trash bin” cabinets on the lower left for a total of 4 bins. We’re in the country where there is no trash pickup, which means everything gets separated into garbage, compost, burnables, and recyclables, and if you don’t have the proper space for this mess it will take over your kitchen. Those two cabinets are the most important feature in the house.
I’m considering a couple of different options for the upper cabinets. Again, I’m trying to avoid a wall of solid black, so I may add some glass into the doors… I love the way fabric was used in the picture to hide the clutter but keep the open feel.
And all of that brings us right here to the middle of the kitchen…
The island is going to be another DIY job. With an attached “table” and seating on one side of the work space, we’ll actually be able to fit more people than if we put my old dining room table in there. Well one more person, at least.
Under the island, I’m hoping to create a built-in space for the microwave and then I’m debating about something like the pull-out mixer stand, or just a really big storage area with sliding shelves for all of those miscellaneous appliances.
The chairs are a bit of a conundrum. For everyday use we’ll probably only have 4 at various spots around the island. Aesthetically I’d prefer bar stools like the CB2 Contact Stool (which is just the right look but unfortunately doesn’t come in counter-height), but for a nice sit-down meal, it seems like you’d want a back on your chair. The Anthropologie Redsmith chairs are appealing, but they also are not counter-height and I really think the high backs would clutter up the kitchen.
Since this is a long way off, I’m keeping my eyes open for the perfect thing.
And that concludes the tour around my brain hypothetical kitchen. With a pantry, two closets, and twice as many cabinets as I’ve ever had in a kitchen before, I feel pretty confident about our storage space, but I have a couple of large unresolved materials issues, including:
- Countertops. Originally I wanted butcher block on the outside and granite for the island. After researching the butcher-block further, I’m hesitant to put it around the sink and over the dishwasher. Other options include the reverse: Granite on the outside and wood over the island. Or some sort of granite/wood/tile combo… tile on the outside, wood on the inside, or granite on the outside, tile on the inside. This is like one of those math problems where you can carry the remainder on for infinity, so I’m just going to stop myself now.
- Cabinet style. I know I want distressed black, but I’m waffling between a traditional door style and a bead-board door style.
- Cabinet supplier. I’ve gotten quotes from a couple of different brick-and-mortar stores and Lowe’s has the best price, added to the fact that I bought Kraftmaid through them for my last house and it was an incredibly easy/smooth process. I’d like to find a half-off internet deal, but I’ll be honest… I’m leery. If any of you have had cabinet success on the internet, I’d love to hear about it.
I will say that even though it’s absolute insanity, I do feel like I’ve got a better handle on the kitchen than on any other room in the house at this point. What do you guys think? I’d love your opinion on anything I’m missing or haven’t thought of yet.