top of page

Kitchen Confidential

Hello lovely people! Today I am going to talk about the things I know for sure I want to happen in the kitchen design that are different than the architect's plans and in the next few posts I will work through the decor schemes. I have had white cabinets in the three kitchens I have done from start to finish in my houses (houses two, three, and five) and in my first house the cabinets were already white when we moved in and in house number four they we slightly off white and we never changed them. I love white kitchens, I am viscerally drawn to them, I am not sure yet though how I feel about the kitchen cabinetry in this house being all or mostly white. I'm torn and will hopefully be able to fully commit once we look at the options I'm pondering.

Before we look at those options, it seemed to make sense to talk about the layout in a bit more detail than we did in the renovation plan since the main elements will remain regardless of the cabinet and counter top choices, and no matter the fabric choices for the stools and bench. So, here goes!

For starters, this is what we have as furniture for the kitchen. It's not much!

We have the four stools that we bought for our kitchen in Grosse Pointe when we moved in and the desk that my dad bought for me, also when we lived in Grosse Pointe. I purchased the stools, which originally came with a black vinyl ("pleather") cover, because I knew I could unscrew the seats and easily recover them myself with a piece of fabric and a staple gun. I have recovered them countless times and they will need to be recovered, I'm sure, many times again in this house, I'm planning to keep using them until they are unusable. They spin and everyone seems to love that around here :-). The desk currently has a metal apothecary type stool and I would like to potentially change that out. The desk is such a fixture in our kitchen though, I do not think we could do without it. I specifically designed the kitchen in Holland with a space for the desk and I have done the same here.

Let's start with the final architect drawings and then we'll move on to the revisions I have been making as I walk through the space and look at inspiration photos.

Here is the overall floor plan of the room:

The Range Wall:

The refrigerator wall:

The cabinet/bench walls:

The bench side of the island:

The refrigerator wall side of the island. For some reason this image the architect did is reversed so I have written in the actual locations.

The oven (narrow) side of the island:

The overall layout of the kitchen will stay the same. As I imagine living in the space and continue to brainstorm, I have made some tweaks though. Starting with the range wall:

I have decided that I do not want the entire space to be open around the range. I want to have narrow, long cabinets that extend to the countertop on each side of the range to house all of the spices, oils, etc. that I use when cooking. If these cabinets only come out twelve inches, like an upper cabinet would, there will still be some counter space in front of them and if they are only twelve (to fourteen) inches wide there will still be (sixteen to) eighteen inches of full counter space on each side of the range. It does seem narrow, we had a ten inch cabinet that you pulled out with shelving in our last kitchen though and it's amazing how much could fit in there! I think it will be just the right amount of space.

I also love range alcoves like these, with or without built in "nook storage":

I know with the amount I cook and the way I cook though that I need to have things put away to make sure the space is easier to clean. Here is an image I cut out from a magazine a bit ago with narrow counter top cabinets next to the stove. I will have to figure out the right dimensions. The drawings for our kitchen are based on a four foot range which is still the plan.

Moving on now to the refrigerator wall:

I want to have a slightly larger refrigerator than the plans include right now. In our last two kitchens we have had three foot wide refrigerators. One with a bottom drawer freezer and the other side by side. I definitely prefer the side by side. When we had our side by side we also had freezer drawers built into the cabinetry though that were well used. We are not planning on having those in this house so I think we would really benefit from the larger forty-two inch wide refrigerator.

The cabinetry next to the fridge will house all of our dishes and glass ware. It is right next to the entrance to the dining room and directly across from the dishwasher. Perfect placement. This is an idea of what I want it to be like, glass cabinets on top that go to the ceiling and drawers on the bottom:

This begs the question of whether the refrigerator should have cabinet door fronts or stainless. Something to consider in the next posts!

The pantry cabinet next to the bench:

I have decided I would rather have two doors that slide in than a set of three. If the cabinet comes out from the wall twenty-eight inches instead of the standard twenty-four there is enough room for the doors to slide in on the sides. Since the cabinet will be next to the bench, this should not be an issue at all. I want the cabinet to house the microwave and toaster oven since there is almost no counter space in this kitchen with the exception of the island.

Here is an idea of what the inside of the cabinet could be like. These doors do not slide back like ours will, the inside is similar to what I am thinking though:

I also would like the exterior to have drawers at the bottom rather than cabinets to mirror the china cabinet on the other side of the kitchen:

Moving on to the island. If you thought you would make it through this post without a graph paper design, no such luck! As you know, I am a big fan of symmetry and the more I looked at the island layout the more I wanted to change it so here is my over head graph paper configuration of the island:

I know myself, and if I am sitting on the bench in the kitchen, I want to have the face of the island I'm looking at as symmetrical as possible so I removed the trash from the left side and put in three sets of same size drawers to fill the space. I also know that if I am sitting on the bench and can see the faucet I want that faucet to be centered on the drawers I am looking at so I changed the sink to be thirty inches wide and centered it with the middle thirty-six inch wide drawer on the other side. This allows for the dishwasher to be on the right of the sink and a same size cabinet to the left of the sink, each flanked by fifteen inch cabinets. I moved the trash to be in the center of the island directly across from the stove. I am used to having to walk to the trash from the sink because none of my kitchens have ever had the trash next to the sink. I foresee using the island counter space across from the range as the primary prep space in the kitchen so the trash here seems like the perfect spot.

Here are the marked up drawings of my symmetrical desires.

Bench side of island with three sets of drawers:

Refrigerator side of island with sink and cabinetry reconfigured:

Range side of island:

Lastly, the floor plan marked up with changes:

Alrighty, there you have it! These elements will remain consistent in the space. Next we need to figure out the pretty parts! Thank you so much for following along!

See you next time,




Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

bottom of page