Kitchens Require Compromise, Even for Kitchen Designers!

Designing a kitchen requires making tradeoffs between costs, style, layout and function. Each choice will have an effect on your kitchen’s look and how easy it is to work in. For example, a large 48″ range needs to be placed on a long wall to look proportional and to function effectively. This could require the kitchen designer moving a doorway or even closing a window. Customers review 3D CAD drawings with kitchen designers to evaluate how any choice they make effects their design. After seeing all of their options it is unusual for everyone in a family to agree on what they like and, on the choices they prefer and so compromise becomes necessary.

When customers have trouble making the compromises needed to create a kitchen that everyone can be happy with, I often tell them a story about my own kitchen. Below is a photo of my simple but well-designed kitchen.

Natural wood with light granite counter top kitchen design

Here is the story:

After my wife Julie and I renovated our kitchen in 2015 we had a holiday party a short time afterwards. One of our friends who has known Julie since college and who’s kitchen I had designed a few years before was at our party and complimented me on our kitchen. She said “I love your kitchen. Is maple your favorite kind of wood?” I replied that I liked maple but alder, cherry, or a painted finish might have been my first choice. She smiled and prodded a little “Julie liked maple?… and I know you don’t like microwaves over the range, Julie wanted that too?” I answered that I had wanted a microwave drawer but that Julie preferred extra pots and pans drawers instead. I explained too that as long as the kitchen was well designed I was happy, and that everyone had to make compromises when designing a kitchen.

Just as I was finishing my comment Julie entered the room. Her good friend then followed up saying “If I was married to a successful professional kitchen designer I would do exactly what he recommended!” My wife who is privy to a great deal of what goes on in my business thought for a moment “Well…” she said pointedly, “my husband was YOUR kitchen designer and I KNOW you didn’t do half of what he recommended!”

Trying to mediate I reminded both women that kitchens are all about compromises and that no customer chooses to follow all my recommendations. Knowing this I certainly expected to make compromises on our kitchen. Thankfully this diffused the situation and the three of us then began discussing our new kitchen’s artwork including a print of a slice of cheese by artist Mike Geno who specializes in drawing cheeses.

Hoping you can make all the compromises needed to create a great kitchen.

And of course…

Bon Appetit!

Our cheese print


2 Replies to “Kitchens Require Compromise, Even for Kitchen Designers!”

  1. Nancy Calderwood

    Hi. I saw more pictures of your personal kitchen in your gallery. Lovely layout. Why did you choose to have the lazy susan to the left of the stove hinged on the stove side? I would have thought it might be better to have it open toward the dishwasher to avoid any interference with the stove. I have an identical setup to yours in my current redesign plan, except I have a bank of drawers where you have a dishwasher. My kitchen designer is recommending that I have it open away from the range – the opposite of yours – because of the stove. I much prefer the way yours opens.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Because there is a tray base cabinet between the range and the stove the hinging works and is more convenient to access. Without the tray base the cabinet would need to open in the other direction as the easy reach cabinet does on the right side of the range. Also just because this is my kitchen doesn’t mean I chose everything. For example I wanted a microwave drawer and a hood over the range but my wife wanted the microwave over the range. All kitchen designers must compromise on design features – even in their own kitchens.

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