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Kitchen Design: If This, Not That

Some kitchen design features are mutually exclusive.

Most of our customers come to us with a kitchen wish list. Many also do not understand that certain features preclude others. Here are the top 5:

1. Cabinetry reaching the ceiling without a two-piece crown molding system, or for contemporary cabinet styles, a one-piece flat molding to level the cabinetry.

Wall cabinetry and tall pantry cabinetry can never be put all the way to the ceiling without some way to level the cabinetry and even stand up the tall cabinets in the room. In an overzealous attempt to gain every last inch of storage, amateur designers often try to use 42″ wall cabinets and 96″ tall cabinets in a room 96″ high. The results are always disastrous.

2. Large hoods and large doorway features.

Many customers want large hoods or hearths over and surrounding their range or cooktop. To look proportional wider hoods, need longer walls to make the wall cabinetry on either side of the hood also look proportional and not too skimpy. Leaving larger doorways on the same wall detracts from the look of the hood and can even make them look silly.

Large hood with plenty of room left on either side

3. Squeezing an island into a space that’s too tight.

Nearly every customer wants an island in their kitchen. Generally, the bigger the better. Often customers have seen islands they like online in kitchens far larger than theirs that they want to replicate in their own kitchen. If you want a functional and attractive kitchen there are set distances that must be followed to leave the proper space around any island. Ignoring these design rules can actually destroy the value of the renovation you are undertaking.

white kitchen with blue island
A large island that fits

4. Top of the line appliances are not always the best features.

Professional appliances are not only very expensive, but they are generally larger and require a lot of additional space. For example, the cost difference between a 42″ SubZero refrigerator and a 36″ counter depth refrigerator might be 6 or 7 thousand dollars. Not only is 6 inches of space lost in the kitchen as both refrigerators have the same storage capacity, but the added investment is often better spent on construction changes or other features. Removing a wall or soffit, moving a doorway, or enlarging windows can be far more dramatic than the upscale refrigerator.

white kitchen with blue island
More appliances but with enough room

5. Adding a powder room to increase the value of a home only works if the doorway does NOT open into the kitchen or dining area.

Some people may chuckle at how obvious this is, but we are regularly amazed how often customers are considering this. Additionally, this is against building code. Good designers can usually find a better location for a “must have” powder room.

Happy New Year! . . .and of course . . .

Bon Appetit!


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