Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Kitchen Design

After just over one month of intense kitchen planning, I am heading into the city later today to actually order our new kitchen for our new house!  This is such an exciting time for me as I have been dreaming about a new kitchen for a long time.  I thought I would share with you some of the important elements I wanted in my kitchen and why.

First of all, the kitchen needed to be large!  Our current kitchen is about 11'x9' from wall to wall but with it being an almost closed circle-shaped kitchen (one little aisle to enter/exit), the open space in the middle is only about 7' x 5 1/2' (into which the dishwasher door, oven door and fridge door all open so if any of those are open, it gets real small, real quick!).  The new kitchen is about 18' x 11' with lots of space to move around!  It is a U-shaped kitchen with a fairly good sized island.

Our current kitchen has very chopped up counter space so a long uninterrupted counter was vital.  The longest straight piece of counter in our kitchen now is 41" - suitable for only 2 people to work side by side, and that is very cozy side-by-side!  The longest uninterrupted counter in our new kitchen will be about 7' long!  Many hands can help with counter space like that!

An island was important to me so the new kitchen has an island that is about 6' x 4 1/2'.  In this island is a small prep sink which is at the opposite side of the kitchen as the other main sink.  With the amount of work happening at the sink in the kitchen, we can already see how helpful another smaller sink will be.  When I am washing dishes and someone wants to rinse some grapes or drain the potatoes, they can just use the other sink rather than me having to reorganize what I am doing.  I am most certainly not the only one in the kitchen  at our house - I have many helpers so another sink will certainly be more efficient!  The island will also have a space for bar stools.  However, since the island will be all one level with only a small prep sink in one corner, it will be a wonderfully large surface on which to prep food or serve food or make cookies with the kids or the many other things that could happen at that spot.  It will also be a great spot for guests to sit and chat with me while I continue to prepare food.

We have a bar counter in our kitchen now and we love it.  It is a raised counter and the kids eat most of their breakfasts and their lunches there (when it is cleaned off - it does become the dumping ground for things but that is another story!).  However, our bar counter only seats 4 people.  We have 5 kids.  It has become a source of arguments and contention to figure out who gets to sit at the bar counter and who has to sit at the table.  The next kitchen has a peninsula that is 11' long.  We should easily be able to get all 5 kids at that counter - hey, maybe there will even be a spot for me, too!  Plus, with the space at the island, we should easily get 9 or 10 people just at the peninsula and island, never mind at the dining room table!  Lots of seating was imperative.  Unlike our current kitchen, however, the peninsula will not have a raised bar counter.  It will be all one level, just like the island.  Though it will require me to keep the kitchen a bit tidier since I cannot hide the dirty dishes behind the raised counter, it will give another large workable counter area!

From a practical side, I really wanted to have a full refrigerator/full freezer in our kitchen.  Since we were able to find a scratch and dent set for an unbelievable price, we have already purchased them.  They will be so fantastic, offering plenty of convenient cooling/freezing space right in the kitchen.   Since I have a slight cookbook fetish, I really wanted a bookshelf in either the end of the island or the end of the peninsula.  It worked better with the plan for it to be in the peninsula so that is where it is.  I am looking forward to having the cookbooks in an easily accessible spot - maybe I would end up using them more often!  :)

From a design standpoint, I wanted to have windows on either side of my range hood, rather than a window by the corner sink.  It is not super common to have it that way but the few I have been able to find online I really love.  The kitchen will face into the backyard so it will be easy to keep an eye on the kids, if I needed.  Plus with them being north facing windows, I can sit some pretty orchids in front of those windows and have some plants in my kitchen!  I know, small detail that no one really cares about but I am already scheming!  :)

The cabinets themselves will reach up to our 9' ceilings so, though we don't have a tonne of upper storage, with the extra height, we should be able to store plenty of items in those cupboards.  Most of the upper cabinets have glass fronts and that should really give the kitchen a light and airy feel to it, as though there are more windows than there actually are.

The lower cabinets are almost all drawers rather than doors!  When I was growing up, my parents were able to piece together an oak floor model kitchen to fit into our space.  The one thing I remember about that kitchen is a couple of roll-out drawers for the pots.  When we built the kitchen in this house, I insisted on roll-out drawers wherever possible and I am not sorry I did.  They are the BEST solution for kitchen storage and make accessing items in the base cabinets so much easier.  Our new kitchen has roll-out drawers in every possible spot and I know I will love it.  I have already gone through our virtual kitchen and decided where all my dishes will go!  The roll-out drawers beside the stove will hold pots, pans, casserole dishes, pie plates, bread pans, etc, etc.  The roll-out drawers in the island (facing the stove) will hold the dishes I use for baking so Pyrex bowls, measuring cups and spoons, etc.  The bottom drawer will hold flour and sugar and maybe some other basic spices.  I have drawers for oven mitts and tea towels, utensils for cooking and utensils for eating.  Since there are 21 roll-out drawers,  I have drawers for most anything!

You will notice we don't have a tall pantry in our kitchen.  Since we have a large almost 11' x 6' walk-in pantry right behind the fridge/freezer, a pantry in the kitchen was unnecessary.  So, instead of always running downstairs to grab that can of soup or tuna or asking the kids to do it, I can just get it myself with just a few quick steps!

Finally, there is the decorative element to our kitchen.  For sheer beauty, I have incorporated 6 pillars into the kitchen.  Two are the legs for the island, 2 are legs for the peninsula and 2 flank the stove and will be hiding spice pull-outs.  Do we need pillars?  No.  Do I like pillars?  Very much!  The company we are using for our cabinets is Medallion Cabinetry. We are going with their Designer Gold series which means the entire kitchen is solid wood.  The doors themselves will be maple and the drawers and cabinets are plywood.  The drawers themselves are made with dovetail construction, are full extension drawers and have the soft close feature.  The style is called Brookhill.  As for the color, the upper and base cabinets will all be white with a dark glaze accenting it, called Morel Vintage.  The range hood and the island will be a black stain called Onyx.

Over all, I think this kitchen is, for me, a dream kitchen!  It will be large and spacious, it will have long counters, plenty of storage and seating, a full fridge/freezer, windows, tile back splash, a large hanging fixture over the island, storage for cookbooks in the peninsula and decorative items above the fridge/freezer, pull-out spice racks beside the range and a pretty range hood.  Mostly, this kitchen will be a dream since I will be able to work with my husband, my kids, my friends and my family without tripping over them, enjoying our time together in the kitchen, creating memories, sharing laughs and secrets, learning and loving, because, for us, the kitchen really is the heart of our home.


  1. I'm IN LOVE with your kitchen. Someday if I get to build my dream home I'm just going to borrow your plans. :)

  2. Your kitchen seems absolutely amazing. I can totally relate with wanting an island in the kitchen. A lot of people want to install them because it’s much easier to reach the rest of the kitchen from the center, as opposed to having to go from one end of the room to the next. But, its effectiveness depends on the configuration of the appliances and furniture, so you got to plan well.


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