Looking ahead… to the kitchen (cabinets)

Kitchen floor plan

This is the final production floor plan for our new kitchen cabinets. #1 cabinet is the one where the post from my previous entry is, and is a full height pantry cabinet (90 inches tall). #2 is the refrigerator, #3 is a tall single-oven unit, and #4 is another tall pantry unit, like #1. Cabinets #5 through #11 are all base units of various stripes: drawers, cabinets, sink unit (#8, under the window), dishwasher (#9).  #12 and #13 are actually horizontal wall cabinet units that we are hanging under the window and away from the wall on a frame that will be hidden by a piece of wood over top. Here’s the elevation of this wall to get a better sense of things:

East wall kitchen elevation

This diagram shows which cabinets are drawers vs. leaf doors, the placement of the windows (which are existing), and the bank of wall cabinets we will hang between the two windows. The house ends on the left-hand side of this diagram, so that short bank of cabinets (#12 and #13) are technically in the dining room.

Back to the floor plan, obviously the chunk of stuff in the middle is the new island!

Back when we began this grand adventure, we were really motivated to update the aesthetics of the kitchen.

The ugly old kitchen

There was a whole lot to hate about this kitchen, beginning with the “TV fly screen” granite counter tops. The blond veneer cabinet doors had seen better days, as had the white MDF cabinet units. Sometime last fall our oven died, and I’ve never been a fan of those open display shelves next to the window. And the giant out of place crown molding was an even worse eyesore when it was painted fetal pig beige. This photo spares us the hideous tile floor, which, sadly, was placed on top of sub-flooring, so there was never the option to pull it out and expose the existing hardwood.

What we DID like about this kitchen was the layout – for the most part. It’s a big kitchen, and all the important parts were in the right place. We did decide to move the cook top to the island in order to accommodate the full height pantries along that back wall, but that’s the only appliance that’s moving any significant distance. Oh! And the microwave, which will be (hallelujah!) hidden in the island. It’s been a lifelong wish of mine to get the microwave out of my line of sight. Love the convenience, detest the look.

Based on our desired floor plan, I managed to discover the most amazing inspiration photo online one day.

Our kitchen layout, basically

We are totally copying the layout of this kitchen, though we are hoping not to have a range hood drop down like it does here (and instead have a fan flush-mounted to the ceiling. Still checking code on this one).

The cabinets are (were? I think they may be finshed!) made by Viola Park, a new-ish company founded by drooltastic kitchen cabinet maker, HenryBuilt. Based and manufactured in Seattle, we are thrilled to have a beautiful USA-made product in our kitchen. Viola Park aims to fill the market gap between IKEA and high-end European. So far we think they have succeeded; click over to their Web site and let me know if you agree.

All of the cabinets along the walls are plain-front pigmented lacquer, like this – we chose these knobs, too:

Viola Park base cabinets

Our cabinet color will be close to this; it’s Snowfall:

Snowfall (Sherwin-Williams 6000)

It looks more gray on the Web than in real life.

And, yes, we are including one of those open-drawer units for wow-factor; this one is trimmed in bright green; ours is Marigold:

Marigold (Sheriwin-Williams 6664)

The island is made out of bamboo, stained a chestnut finish:

Chestnut Bamboo

The open-front drawers are made out of this, too.

Designing the kitchen cabinet layout was a good amount of work, but fun, too. It included a one-day trip with my mom up to the HenryBuilt showroom in Seattle so I could touch the materials and meet my New York-based designer, John, while he was in town.

HenryBuilt showroom, Seattle

Pretty stunning, eh? Most of this is the higher-end, custom, and pricey HenryBuilt — in the back there you can see a bright blue horizontal wall cabinet, which is part of one of the Viola Park installations. I took this trip on January 15, 2010. Within a few weeks John, Josh, and I had finalized our layout (all over phone and email); our cabinets are scheduled to arrive the week of May 10. I felt like we were decisive and motivated — and it was still a four-month process! So worth it, though.

This post is feeling long so I’ll stop here. Someday I’ll write about other kitchen components, like appliances, faucet, and wallpaper (yes!).

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One Response to Looking ahead… to the kitchen (cabinets)

  1. Pingback: Big change in the counter top department « Foghill Adventures

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