We have been contemplating the kitchen renovation for quite some time – it was supposed to be our renovation project in 2021, but did not happen due to the high lumber prices and long lead time for materials. The silver lining of the wait is that we had more time to think it through – what do we want for the new kitchen? How will we use this space? And most importantly, how do we want to feel when walking into the kitchen? It is safe to say that when we arrived at the cabinet design appointment at our local Lowe’s, we had a pretty solid idea on our future heart of home. We knew we wanted a dishwasher. We need a place to sit. We crave a simpler layout, but with classic cabinets that fits the age of the house. And overall, we would like the kitchen to look more integrated, with visual symmetry from both front and back entry.
Above is my chicken-scratch of the floor space, which I submitted to Lowe’s cabinet Department prior to our design appointment. It included the measurement of the windows and doorways, and the location of the utilities. I also listed our hope for the future layout. The designer later said this was the most thorough measuring sheet she had seen, which certainly helped her to create a rough design before we even arrived. Once we confirmed the dimension of appliances, we made a few tweaks and quickly came up with the 3D rendering:
The stove between the windows
As you can see, we relocated the stove on the exterior wall. The new gas stove will be centered between the windows, which leaves enough space for two 12″ base cabinets on either side. These cabinets will be with fitted with pullout racks and used for spice and condiment storage. Unfortunately, there will not be enough room for a standard 24″ dishwasher on either side of the sink, so we decided to put the dishwasher on the wall to the left. A single bowl sink will be installed under the window.
For a cleaner look, we will not install any upper cabinets above the stove. Instead, we will tile the entire wall between the window from floor to the ceiling, and mount a 36″ wall-mount range hood here. Our gas stove is only 30″ wide, but I think a 36″ range hood will provide a more appropriate visual balance on this 52″ wide wall. After opening the kitchen to the living room, this exterior wall will be seen from the living space, I really want to keep it minimal and classy. Having the stove and range hood both centered between two windows will provide such a strong visual symmetry, that I think it will make the whole kitchen.
The corner cabinet
One thing we hoped to do with the new kitchen is to have a more functional corner cabinet. The one we currently have is a “blind corner cabinet“, which means there is a non-visible storage area when the door is opened:
To a small kitchen like ours, a blind corner cabinet is a big waste of space. When we first moved in, we did look into ways to recruit the corner space, such as installing organization caddies that can be rotated out, like the ones below:
However, these caddies still do not allow us to see the items stored in the blind corner. They are also very costly. For the new cabinet design, we strongly requested a corner cabinet with a Lazy Susan. We had one of those in our past rental and really liked it. At the end, by choosing a smaller (24″) sink and installing it slightly off center below the window, we were able to fit the corner cabinet we want with a 27″ wide sink cabinet to its right.
Like it is shown above, this new corner cabinet features a Lazy Susan and bi-fold doors with 9″ opening to the left and 6″ opening to the right, making the cabinet perfect for storing pots and pans. The 9″ door to the left also allows us to stand in front of the sink and open the cabinet to the left, which is important because there will be a trash pull-out.
The fridge/dishwasher wall
From the beginning, we were set on moving the fridge to where the hall closet is situated. With this new design, we are able to fit two 15″ base cabinets on either side of the dishwasher. As I mentioned above, the cabinet on the right of the dishwasher will be used for trash/recycle pull-out. Honestly, we did not think it was possible to fit both trash and recycle bins into our base cabinet due to limited floor space. But our designer made it work!
We really like the new location of all the appliances. This design truly maximized the counter space on this side of the kitchen, which will be 92″ uninterrupted space! Above this long countertop we will install an entire wall of upper cabinets. These uppers will be used for crockery and drinkware. With the dishwasher directly below, it will be really easy to put stuff away after wash. Naturally, the base cabinet on the left side of the dishwasher will be used to store utensils and baking supplies. I cannot think of a better layout for the dishwasher and plate storage for this kitchen.
The center island
In the center of the room, there will be an island composed of three base cabinets: a 36″ one facing the stove, with a big drawer on the top for cooking utensils and small kitchen tools, and two 24″ base cabinets facing each side as pantry storage.
The countertop on the island will have 12″ overhang on two sides of the cabinets, offering enough seating space for three people at the same time. And with the overhang, we will still have 3’6″ wide walk path around the island.
The cabinet color and style
During the design process, we entertained a few different colors, including sage green, green/gray, and blue/gray.
The final winner is Maritime, which you can see here. The cabinet pattern is Clarke in the Diamond series, which offer a recessed look with some beaded styling, I think the cabinet will look minimal yet classic.
Below is the final dimension of all the cabinets and appliances. Everything fits perfectly without wasting even an inch of space. We have to applaud our cabinet designer, Camille in our local Lowe’s for this difficult task! With the cabinet ordered and the layout set, this renovation is suddenly accelerated. We are ordering all the appliances this weekend, and the floor tiles will be picked up next week… This kitchen renovation will be here before we realize it!