Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kitchen Design : the details

To make a long story short, Tim and I realized over the weekend (after attempting to demolish our linoleum floors) that completely overhauling the kitchen from floors to cabinets was way beyond our DIY skill level.  I’m not sure we could handle living in a demolition/construction zone for weeks (or maybe even months) while we try to renovate on weekends and in the evenings.  Not to mention, there’s three kids in the mix.  And I don’t do well with unorganized chaos for very long.
So now, we’re considering hiring a company that will pretty much do everything for us.  In the end, I don’t know if we will go with this particular company or someone else, but either way, I’m trying to settle on my kitchen design so that we can move forward in this process.  I’m tired of living in the disaster that is my kitchen right now.  (see photos above) 
So lets talk kitchen details today, okay?!
You probably already know this by now, but my must haves are white shaker style cabinets, butcher block countertops, farmhouse sink, open or glass cabinets, and white subway tile backsplash.
Here’s a little visual of what I like.
Butcher block counters
via here
Although I know the style of kitchen I want, the process of designing the actual kitchen, like how many cabinets and how many drawers and what sizes they will be and which cabinets should be glass or open and where exactly the appliances will go and how it will all fit together and be efficient and still give me the look and feel that I want is the part I’m kinda stressing over.
I’m working with a galley kitchen.  The sink is on one side of the kitchen and the oven and fridge are on the other.  There is not a lot of space to work with, so everything needs to be very functional and efficient.
With the help of a kitchen designer, this is the basic layout we’ve come up with for the sink side:
(I don’t know why the crown molding is black in the picture, but just ignore that.  I also don’t want anything that fancy up there.)
Up top, I wanted some closed cabinets, some glass cabinets, and some completely open shelves (cabinet doors will just be taken off).  I also wanted it to be symmetrical looking.  For the bottom, the farmhouse sink will go in the open space.  And instead of getting all cabinets with doors down below, I’ve decided on extra drawers.  And we moved the dishwasher from the left side of my sink to the right side, since I am right handed and it’s just easier that way.
Now we all know that I want a farmhouse sink, but I have been debating between the Ikea double bowl sink or the single bowl sink.
The Domsjo double bowl is 36” wide and 9” high
DOMSJÖ Double bowl IKEA 25-year Limited Warranty. Read about the terms in the Limited Warranty brochure.

The Domsjo single bowl is 25” wide and 7” high
DOMSJÖ Sink bowl with strainer/water-trap IKEA 25-year Limited Warranty. Read about the terms in the Limited Warranty brochure.

What do y’all think? Do any of you have a Ikea farmhouse sink?  If so, which one and do you like it?
Even if you don’t have a farmhouse sink, do you think one big sink is best (like for washing big pots) or two smaller sinks (one to thaw meet or soak dishes in while still being able to use the other side)?  I'm leaning towards the double sink right now, because it’s what we had in our last house and I found both sinks to be useful, but I would love to hear your thoughts. I also don’t have a ton of counter space, so if I opt for the bigger sink, then it means even less counter space.
Across from the sink side, is the range and refrigerator.
The first layout we designed looked like this:
(Again, dismiss the black crown molding.)

The main thing we’re working around here is the Praktfull Pro 36” gas range.
PRAKTFULL PRO A51 S Gas range with convection oven IKEA 5-year Limited Warranty. Read about the terms in the Limited Warranty brochure.

Most ranges are only 30”, so this one will take up more space, but I love it so we’re trying to make it work.  It still leaves me with 21” cabinet space on each side of the range, so hopefully there will be enough storage and counter space.
The problem I keep bumping into, is where to put the microwave.  My first choice would not be over the range.  I really like the look of a nice range with a hood over it, so I was trying not to put the microwave there.
Like this
hello and yes
via here
Plus over the range microwaves are typically 30”, so we’d need a trim kit to make it fit with our 36” range and I’m just not sure how that would look.
Here’s another option that we (with the help of our designer) worked up

In this layout, we scooted the range over 9” to the left and put the microwave in an open cabinet.  This also gives me a small cabinet for cookie sheets, muffin pans, etc, down below, which I really want.  But with the microwave so close to the range, I almost think what’s the point, lets just put it over the range.  Ya know?
I would love it to be tucked away nicely like this one below, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do that in my kitchen.  If I put it on the sink side, it totally messes up the symmetricalness of all the cabinets over there.

via here
What do you think… microwave over the range or somewhere else? Would it look weird over a 36” range? I kinda think it would take away from the look of the range w/the hood, but maybe not. What do you think? I almost feel like I have no other choice.
Moving on… one major problem with our kitchen right now is that there is no pantry.  We have some extra wall space in the eat-in kitchen area where we’re planning to add some additional cabinets with drawers.  This would give us a place to keep snacks and other pantry items.  (That space between the refrigerator and the extra cabinets is a door into the garage.) 

My idea is to add some open shelves up above those cabinets and store glass canisters with snacks, crackers, cereal, etc…  I also plan to put our Keurig on top of those cabinets, so it will be like a little coffee area with coffee mugs, k-cups, sugar etc..  I’ve thought about just putting a smaller counter top microwave over there, but I’m not sure if I want to take away the extra counter space.
What to do??
Alrighty, please offer all your opinions, suggestions, advice, tips, or ideas for me.  Especially if you’ve ever renovated a kitchen, is there anything you would definitely do differently if you had to do it all over again or anything that you would make sure to do again because you love it so much?
I’m all ears!


  1. I say, "who needs a microwave?! just get rid of it and you're problem is solved." ok, maybe not BUT...I do like where it's to the left of the sink in an empty cabinet like what you have pictured above (if you can figure out how/where to do that). I'm not crazy about them over the range either but if that's the only option, then that's the only option. It doesn't seem like there's enough room in your kitchen BUT is there enough room to put an island that could have a few drawers and house your microwave? Pinterest has some really cute ideas/layouts of the "coffee bar" like what you're describing. Good luck! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  2. I say no microwave over the range. Completely takes away from the look you are going for. It doesn't look bad how they have it on the side, it just takes away some of your cabinet space. I think that area to the right of the garage door needs to be an extension of the kitchen and look just like the end cabinets on the picture where you showed the range in someone else's kitchen. I love that aqua wall color too, hint hint. The single sink is WAY too small for a family your size. That's my two sense from someone who has never renovated at all!

  3. Oh Jaime...were should I begin??? First, I love all your ideas and the look you are going for in the kitchen. Matt & I updated our kitchen 4ish years ago. Our cabinets were in great shape and already white so we didn't even touch those (lucky I know). We did rip up our linoleum floor and install tile, add a dishwasher, butcher block countertops, subway tile back splash and a new sink. I will offer up my advice and opinions based on our experience.

    If you are considering tile flooring and your house is older (like ours) make sure you pick the right backer board for your sub-floor. If you are thinking of going this route let me know and I can get Matt to give you some more info. I will say that now I wish I would've considered more floor options (like the cork floors on younghouselove).

    I picked out a Kohler enameled cast iron sink...that I LOVE. It is very similar to the ones you listed. It has been great! I bought the Kohler basket things for the bottom of the sink too. I did NOT pay the listed price for the sink or the baskets! I got the sink from Lowe's ($250ish I think) and ordered the baskets on-line for about $30 each. Here are some links so you can read about the smart divide center of the sink. It's genius! I have 2 sink compartments but fill it with enough water and it becomes one big sink.

    *oh, the sink is very probably weighs more than you...seriously.*

    Next, I LOVE the range you picked!! I hope to upgrade our range soon. We originally installed an over the range microwave...and I hated it. It just looked so heavy. We have a vent hood now and it is so much better. The huge difference is the size of the microwave. The over the range microwave was so ginormous! We sold it and bought a much smaller microwave from Target. I love how the younghouselove people made a microwave cabinet for their normal sized microwave. I think putting it in the pantry area is a good idea if you are more concerned with the cabinet symmetry by the stove. Maybe you could put it on a shelf or something to get it off the counter.

    Installing the butcher block countertops was easy...once we made sure the measurements were perfect. You and Tim could totally diy this! We bought the Numerar contertop from IKEA and it has done wonderfully.

    The subway tile backsplash was surprisingly easy and fast (maybe we were still traumatized from the floors?). We still get compliments on it. This was also our first time to tile anything! So if we can do it, I know y'all can!!

    I hope at least some of this was helpful. You are doing a great job and I am sure it will come together beautifully!

  4. How often do you use a microwave? Want to see it all in person and discuss. I love talking and hashing through this stuff.

  5. Love all of your ideas, Jaime!! I can't wait to see it all start to come together! Regarding the microwave, I too think it takes away from the range over there. What if you did one 'tower' upper cabinet-like from the counter up-in the corner to conceal the microwave and a few non pretty appliances, and then have the rest of the space to the left open shelving? Or something like that, which might make it look more like a custom piece?
    Just thoughts....
    Lizzy B.
    keep up the fabulous work!

  6. Hi! i love the design. Here is what i think: i like the idea of the microwave over the counter and not the stove. I keep thinking about the radiation being so close to your head while cooking lol. i like the flow of cooking on one side and washing on the other.

    i also like one big sink. meat can always be thawed in smaller container in the sink. i have a BIG pasta/crab pot and its really hard to wash since i have the double sink.

    ok that's all :-) cant wait to read about the finished product!

    Rebecca Langston

  7. I'd put a microwave on your coffee-maker area, on the left side. I think you've got plenty of room for it there, still leaving space for cute coffee display. Love your kitchen ideas! I've spent more hours than I can count over the years trying to figure out how make my tiny kitchen work. My pantry cabinet is downstairs in the basement, which is a colossal pain in the neck.

  8. Also...I go around about the double vs single farmhouse Ikea sink, too. I have one normal sized sink now, and have a dish drainer on my 15" slice of countertop next to it. If you didn't have a double sink, where would you put drying dishes? (I haven't had a dishwasher in 23 years...)

  9. Interior designing is a crucial activity that requires innovative ideas and creative mind. My personal experience says overdoing might hamper the beauty of the house. So, keep it simple and sober and it will do wonder.