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Thread: New Kitchens / Remodels

  1. #81
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Has anyone used the undercounter drawer refrigerators? I'm short on space (720sqft loft), live in the middle of a city, shop like a euro, and am thinking I could come out way ahead by eliminating a big box and add workspace. I know they're expensive and small... but I'm wondering if there's something else that is either awesome or terrible about them. It seems like most will use one for extra cold storage in addition to a full fridge... but screw that.

    And I can pretend I'm back in my "pro" days with chillers under every prep and cook surface.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We rented a vacation place that had Fisher Paykel drawer fridge/freezer units. My impression is that for the freezer, it works. Everything is frozen, uncrushable, making organizing pretty easy. For the refrigerator, it basically makes the whole fridge into a crisper drawer. No matter what you do, there is always something buried at the bottom getting squashed and rotting, usually vegetables. And when something new comes into the house, you end up pulling a bunch of stuff out to fit the new thing in. The only way it would work for me is if I only had one layer of groceries in there at a time and/or I made a decent investment in stackable containers for pre-made or leftover things.

    When we lived in Prague we had a much better arrangement of a small under-counter fridge with standard door and small internal freezer unit. Something like this below, but ours was in a typical L-shaped kitchen with more space than this. They were made by Gorenje, a Slovakian appliance manufacturer. Given Euro-style grocery shopping, it had plenty of space.

    I do like drawer dishwashers though - they make sense, especially for 1-2 people. The photo below looks to have a Bosch model or similar in lower right of the cabinet. Edit: Nope, Fisher Paykel. That company loves drawers.

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  3. #83
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We are likely to end up with the wall oven / microwave separates using Thermador. The "deal" is too good to pass up and with a slide in cooktop I get a ton of room under the cooktop for storing large pots and pans.
    This business of educating myself on a million topics really is a PITA. Are we not liberal arts educated men and women? What a waste ;)

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    We are likely to end up with the wall oven / microwave separates using Thermador. The "deal" is too good to pass up and with a slide in cooktop I get a ton of room under the cooktop for storing large pots and pans.
    This business of educating myself on a million topics really is a PITA. Are we not liberal arts educated men and women? What a waste ;)
    Beware the built in microwave! My parents have had nothing but problems with their GE built in and are tied to the space/format of a built in microwave. I'm quite happy with our microwave shelf and $150 microwave that we already owned. Easy place to save $500.

    If you get a price quote that seems "just right" then expect it to be 10-15% under final cost when the project is done. Like many esteemed frame builders with their lead times, home contractors are much better at over promising and under delivering when it comes to cost and even timeline.

    Deep sinks suck. You already have to bend over at your height to reach down. Why exaggerate it? Get one that is nice and wide and average depth.

    I agree, sink in the island is muy mal if you want people sitting around it

    Why do a lower surface off the island for sitting? Why not keep a uniform surface height and use comfortable stools? No kids in your house.

    I hate pot drawers instead of cabinets. We rent a house designed that way each summer and it's a total pain. I prefer cabinet doors with pull out style drawers for the pots, pans, etc. Handles can hang over the edge better and you can see what you are looking for, and you can reach below 3 or 4 stacked bowls to take them out together as opposed to reaching in from above and struggling to get out a quantity of items at once. Plus, you can adjust the height of your pull out shelves if needed over time. A good example is at my parent's house where they have a pull out shelf that is all the way to the top of the cabinet that is just for tupperware lids. You could do the same for pot and pan lids. Then the pots/tupperware containers hang out in the pull out shelves below that lid shelf.

    A friend mentioned that he had three different contractors bid on a project for him. He took ideas from each of them and incorporated them in the final design. In other words, pick the brains of these contractors for ideas, even if you aren't going to choose them.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Stools are bad if you have family members who visit and are over 60+ years old. Or if you are going to be a family member over 60. So since they also don't work well for kids, might as well do chairs. For us, it was a factor in our purchase of the apartment, so I suspect it would be also for someone who might buy our apartment.
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by sine View Post
    edit



    Pretty much the norm from the vast majority of the design build firms in the D.C. metro area.
    And North Shore of Chicago area too, far as I can tell.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We just moved into our house 2 weeks ago. The kitchen was re-done by the previous owner in 2010. There is an island with a range. Having cooked 5-6 meals there, I am now an expert … in what I have no idea since I can’t even find measuring cups without asking my wife. A few ideas to consider:

    1) All the electrical outlets are under the cabinets and out of view. We have a pluthera of outlets to make even El Guapo jealous, but the backsplash is outlet free. All the counter space looks extremely clean and we have plenty of places to plugin.
    2) Its extremely convenient to cut on the island and move food over to the range. There is enough space on the island for a large cutting board on either side of the range and 4-6” on the far side. Its incredible how fast we use up the real estate around the range when cooking. You might not want to dominate a kitchen with an enormous island but make sure you have plentiful space around the appliances for bowls, knife blocks, the food you will use etc etc
    3) Every time we cook, I think about a sink in the island. To clean a knife or cutting board, to wash some food etc etc. Ideally, I’d like a range on one end, sink on the other, and prep space in the middle. If we redo the kitchen, this is high on my list.
    4) Our kitchen has a rectangular island that IMO is 90’ off. It seems like an idiot proof decision on which way to face the island. I am sure the previous owner thought it HAD to go the way it is. Upon a good ponder with a tape measure, they could have rotated the island 90’ and it would have been fabulous with respect to integration with the living room.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Another piece that I missed....a drawer near the wall oven (in this case below) for baking trays, cookie sheets, silicone pads, large rolling pins, etc. Ours is packed and used all of the time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #89
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    We're house hunting right now so this topic is relevant to my interests.

    Having lived in 4 different open plan places in the last 4 years, I highly recommend the open space concept, and have a few more opinions:
    - if you are going to congregate/entertain around the center island or peninsula, avoid putting the sink or cooktop there unless it absolutely has to be so.
    - my inlaws did the center island with slightly lower eating surface, like Jorn's photo above. awesome
    - my folks just built the house they're retiring to- Wolf range and Kitchen-Aid oven/convection oven. My wife, a better indoor cook than I, is completely sold on both.
    - if you are a coffee/tea snob, leave just a small stub of counter to one side or the other of the stove in order to house your grinder/kettle. even better, make your breakfast area one stop shopping and make sure to have 4 plugs so you can put your blender/vitamix there too.
    - they make two-plug outlets that also house 2 USB charge ports in the same space. these are useful at the office/junk drawer end of the kitchen
    - DEEP sinks!
    Always remember though that very open floor plans tend to be noisier and have more "echo" than spaces with walls to break up the sound travel.

    If you are going very open or wide open then plan now for how you are going to deaden or break up the sound travel or you may end up with the "school gymnasium" effect.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by roseyscot View Post
    [...]

    Deep sinks suck. You already have to bend over at your height to reach down. Why exaggerate it? Get one that is nice and wide and average depth.

    I agree, sink in the island is muy mal if you want people sitting around it

    Why do a lower surface off the island for sitting? Why not keep a uniform surface height and use comfortable stools? No kids in your house.

    I hate pot drawers instead of cabinets. [...]
    We're up to +4 for this post.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    TT...I'm a fan of Sarah Susanka and you might find inspiration in some of her ideas relating to your kitchen and its relationship to the balance of your living space.

    Sarah Susanka
    I'm a big fan too.

    She gives a house tour in this episode of This Old House,
    there are a lot of great concepts in this design.

    EPOst hoc ergo propter hoc

  12. #92
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    I miss MN houses.
    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    I'm a big fan too.

    She gives a house tour in this episode of This Old House,
    there are a lot of great concepts in this design.


  13. #93
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    Sound- wiring for speakers is a great idea. We use ours all the time. But if you prefer to use a wireless solution like Sonos or a bluetooth speaker make sure you have power wired to that location.
    If you don't have good sound in your kitchen, you have an inadequate kitchen.

    I can't do wired-in since I live in an apartment. While I haven't heard Sonos, every Bluetooth speaker I've ever heard sucks. Most substitute random boom for smooth, solid, rich bass, and sibilance for clear, crisp, transparent treble. Mids are many times a honky, tinny afterthought.

    I've found that I like my PC in the kitchen, and good PC sound is easy with powered nearfield studio monitors. If they're good enough for recording studios, they're good enough for me. I own a pair of Yamaha HS-5. The kitchen is now the best-sounding room in the place, which is good since I spend most of my time here.

    They'd plug into a kitchen laptop just as well. They need a nearby power outlet, and your friendly local guitar or pro-audio shop can rig up something nice for the cables, or even do installed.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    TT...we forgot to include undercounter lighting on your list. Not my kitchen, but you get the idea. Most dinners are cooked in the evening, right? Plus, there is this thing coming called Daylight Standard Time.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We have under cabinet halogens. They keep all the dishes in the cabinets above nice and warm. Not good in the summer. When I get around to it, I'll replacement with quality LCD "tape". Two strips the length of the cabinets will light everything.
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    TT...we forgot to include undercounter lighting on your list. Not my kitchen, but you get the idea. Most dinners are cooked in the evening, right? Plus, there is this thing coming called Daylight Standard Time.
    This is a nice feature. Our home inspector made multiple cracks about how the kitchen wiring runs into the basement for "no reason." What he did not get ... the lights under all the cabinets turn on with one switch. Its a nice touch.

    Also notice in this photo, no backsplash electrical outlets. It does mean vertical wires (mixer and coffee pot in photo) which some might not like. I like that the outlets are out of sight. If you put as many outlets as we have under the cabinets in the backsplash, you might think "why bother with the tile, just put in a few more outlets to finish it off." That said, I think we all know the value of having a receptacle for your cord(s).

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Some random thoughts from my non-expert experience. (I really don't cook much, but do spend time in my kitchen.)

    IMO the single biggest advantage of having an island that provides space to do whatever it is you spend most of your time doing (I assume that's either counter-top food prep or washing stuff in the sink, but it could also be at the cook-top) is that it allows you to do that without having to face a boring wall. Of course if you have an exterior wall then you can have windows (if you live up north be careful if you put a sink on an exterior wall - be sure both the water supply lines and the drain have lots of insulation to protect against freezing).

    Back to the main point - if you're working at an island you can look up and see something other than cabinets. In my case I look outside. Plus, if there are other people in the kitchen they can stand (or sit, if you have stools) on the other side of the island and you can have a somewhat normal conversation. If you're facing the wall they have to talk to your back and you talk to the wall. Nobody spends much time in front of the fridge or the oven, so those can go against a wall.

  18. #98
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Mab., to this end we redesigned the island with overhang everywhere except the portion with the stove. It is going to be partayyyy central ;).

    More good news, my design is in the hands of our cabinet shop.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by gt6267a View Post
    This is a nice feature. Our home inspector made multiple cracks about how the kitchen wiring runs into the basement for "no reason." What he did not get ... the lights under all the cabinets turn on with one switch. Its a nice touch.

    Also notice in this photo, no backsplash electrical outlets. It does mean vertical wires (mixer and coffee pot in photo) which some might not like. I like that the outlets are out of sight. If you put as many outlets as we have under the cabinets in the backsplash, you might think "why bother with the tile, just put in a few more outlets to finish it off." That said, I think we all know the value of having a receptacle for your cord(s).
    We have one main switch and individual switches (high/low) at each fixture...rarely use the individual switches. LED wasn't available back then so if I were doing it today, definitely LED if nothing else for the absence of heat gain as the halogens are bright but can get warm. I have yet to replace a bulb (knock on wood or MDF).

    Make sure that the bulb/lamp temperature (color) synchs with your color palette. I.e. warm lamp with warm colors, cool lamp with cool colors or your kitchen will look like crap when the lights are on. That's why many use halogens as the color is close to natural daylight.

    Venture Lighting, Lamp Technical Section - Color

    adorne® Under-Cabinet Lighting & iPod Docking Stations | by Legrand

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    My wife and I are working on the details of our first kitchen remodel.

    We just purchased a new home back in May and need some upgrades and more work space.

    My feelings about a kitchen should be that this is a place of work and tools. It's important
    to be in that space for a while and get an idea of what currently works and what doesn't.

    We've all but decided on most appliances and some of the layout. I'm still deciding on quarts counters or something different.

    Rev a Shelf came recommended by our builder. He has a friend that can do any cabinet you could dream
    but recommends this brand for modular designs with an almost custom feel.

    I wanted the following.

    In drawer lighting for utensils and commonly used tools.
    Pull out drawers for pots/pans/nesting bowls.
    We have city compost and recycling here so I needed a compost bin that could be pulled out close to the prep area.
    Mixed counter top surface. I'm having a nice piece of wood (teak maybe) installed for cutting surface instead of wood butcher blocks having to be stowed away.
    Thermador 5 burner range
    Bosh oven and dish washer. Looks like most recent Bosh dishwashers have gotten over the switchboard issues from 5 years ago.
    Stand alone microwave only because they are cheaper and easier to replace. Hate having one but man are they nice with kids around.
    Tiles from http://prattandlarson.com/out of Portland
    Leaning towards a Samsung refrigerator. Bottom freezers make sense but after owning 2 they are a real PITA to get stuff out off. Thinking french doors this go around plus they don't take up as much space when opened.
    Sinks are all about personal preference but we are going with an under the counter even though I don't like the look of them. Way more functional for clean up if you only have 1 sink.
    Instant hot water tap. Great for tea and americano's!

    Flooring is my only conundrum. I wanted to go concrete originally but it was going to be too much $$$ and I couldn't get a
    confirmation that it would sag over time in our 1952 home. So I'm on the hunt for something.....
    Not Riding!

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