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Old 08-09-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,875,960 times
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As to why one kitchen "flows" better than another, there is the "work triangle". There is a min/max amount of feet between the stove, fridge, and sink, and they should be arranged in a triangle. You can google this. My parents had an old house, and my mom used to say she thought they took whatever space was left over and called it a kitchen. I did some research on kitchens once and found out she was right! Homes built before WWII generally did not have a place for the fridge b/c they weren't mass produced until after that. And so on.

You can never get enough storage space. We had a cabinet in our old kitchen that was in a corner and very deep. We didn't use it much. When we remodeled, we got a lazy susan. It is great! I also agree with the pull-out drawers. Lighting is important as we get older. Get countertops that can withstand heat. They are a great help. We got silestone. There are many other products like that out there, including granite.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,447 posts, read 49,682,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothbear View Post
We totally re-did our kitchen here in PA about 10 years ago, and are actually upgrading a kitchen installed by the builders in our brand new house! There were just some things that I wouldn't live without and they weren't available from the builder. Here are some of my suggestions.

1. Go with the best quality cabinets you can afford. If you are the klutz you say you are, they will get dinged and banged. It is much easier to touch up wood than try to fix a laminate chip. And they are easy to clean with Murphy's oil soap and some wood polish twice a year or so. Most cabinet companies will send you a touch-up kit if you order a bunch of cabinets from them. Or you can order one as well.

2. Try to get a catalog of all the available sizes of cabinets. Go through and "flag" the stuff you like. Then sit down with a piece of graph paper and plot out the space you have. Include where your sink, stove and fridge are in the graph and work from there. Start from the corner (if you have one) and work out......much easier than trying to fit something small in at the corner. Check out the various websites of cabinets manufacturer's on the 'net. Most of them have great idea pages as well. A couple are www.kraftmaid.com and www.aristokraft.com . I'm sure there are also more. Even www.ikea.com has some interesting ideas even if you don't like their cabinets.

3. Personally, I disagree about the cabinet over the fridge. IMHO get the biggest one you can fit and still have room for the fridge. It's amazing the items you have that you only use a few times a year (turkey roaster???) that you can store up there out of your everyday life. And unless you are well over 6' tall, get a 24" deep one so that you can actually put a few things in front that you can reach. I keep my tupperware pitchers stored there as well as my hubby's lunchbox that he only uses about once a month. In fact, we just bought a brand new house that had a 12" deep and 12" high cabinet and we are replacing it with one that is 24" high and 24" deep.

4. Look at every nook and cranny as possible storage space. There are so many really great cabinet accessories out there. Take a look at Rev-A-Shelf's website at Rev-A-Shelf Your Worldwide Accessory Source (they carry this stuff at Lowe's and Home Depot). My absolute favorites are my pull out trashcan, my upright supports for trays and pizza pans, and my tilt-outs that go behind the usually dead space fronts right under the sink. Hubby just installed all of these in our new house. You can also usually order cabinets with these items already installed or have your installer do it. But they are pretty much easy enough for even a moderate do-it-yourselfer.

5. I triple agree with the pull out shelves on your bottom cabinets!!! Get as many of those as you absolutely can. I am in my mid-50's with arthritis in my back and those are an absolute God send to me. If I didn't have them I would have to get down on the floor to see what's in the back of my cabinets. They have also been put in our new kitchen.

6. Consider an "applicance garage". They come in both corner and straight styles. Basically this looks like a cabinet that goes clear down to your counter surface, but it has a roll-up door on it (hence, the name "garage"). You can store frequently used, or too big small appliances in there but they are out of site. I keep my smoothie maker, bread machine, and ice tea pot under there since they are too tall to fit in any of my other cabinets.

Those are my main suggestions, but the best thing you can do is just a lot of research before buying. It is a big purchase, but if you do it right it is worth every penny to you!
Would you like to work for me in my kitchen showroom?

The pay is good but I would never allow you to even mention IKEA. What junk that is.

Im teasing you.

Good post my friend.

The OP can also try Kitchen Cabinets and Bathroom Cabinets by Merillat, choose your cabinet style, plan your kitchen or bathroom spaces, find a Merillat cabinet storage product which has an online planning program. Kraftmaid and Merillat are all Masco companies. In fact Masco owns about 8 of the most popular cabinet companies now and most are pretty close to the same box. Just some different options door styles and colors.

One last thing. I have harped on this so many times on this very forum. DO NOT PAY LIST PRICE. DO NOT PAY LIST PRICE. If you go to Home Depot or Lowes you will get raped for full list price. Sears charges 25% over list price. If you were going to the new car dealer you would not pay sticker/list price would you? Then why would you go to a big box store and pay sticker price.

Do some digging. I did not notice where the OP was from but a little digging will find you a local dealer who sells less then list. My store has a giant banner that says 50% off list every day price. I get all tickly inside when people come in with estimates from Home Depot and Lowes and I chop it in half. The markup from wholesale to retail/list price is big but I cant tell you what it is.

The main advantage buying Merillat is you get your cabinets in 5 business days no matter where in the USA you live. No other cabinet company in the industry can come even close to that. Just ask Home Depot and Lowes how long it will take to get your cabinets. 12 to 16 weeks is accurate. If they tell you 8 to 10 weeks they are lying. I know where they come from and how the process works.

If I can see where you live I can send you to a dealer where you can buy your cabinets for less then list price.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:29 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 18,282,446 times
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I'm in Arkansas - west central part. You can direct message me if you'd like!

Oh, I'm always in for a penny, in for a pound...and bought the Chief Architect designer which is fabulous but takes some getting used to. It does show you 3D, which is really helpful for me...and I certainly am not averse to buying seconds, provided the ding doesn't show. I haunt the home supply stores frequently for bargains and am in no rush, which is probably my saving grace at this point!
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Here... for now
1,747 posts, read 3,013,930 times
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I didn't see this mentioned anywhere (forgive me if I missed it). Do remember to put in convenient landing areas. What do I mean by "landing areas"? I mean somewhere to put things down when you're transferring items from Point A to Point B. When you take items out of the fridge, have a spot for them to land that is within reach. When you take items out of the oven, have a nearby place to put them down.

I love our huge fridge. It's almost flush with the wall but it's just a hair over arm's length from the nearest countertop. When taking more than one item out, we have to either make multiple trips or try to do a balancing act, getting the item to a corner of the countertop then pushing until it's fully on there.

I echo what the others have suggested about rollout shelves. We had them installed in every lower cabinet in this kitchen and they are a godsend! No more sitting on the floor to fish stuff out of the bottom back!
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:08 PM
 
Location: On the East Coast
2,368 posts, read 4,877,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
Would you like to work for me in my kitchen showroom?

The pay is good but I would never allow you to even mention IKEA. What junk that is.

Im teasing you.

Good post my friend.
Hey......open a store south of Charlotte and I'm there! Once I move there the end of September I'll be looking. Actually I really need to get hired by Pulte Homes because you can tell whomever designs their kitchens NEVER works in there! I have told our QA person several times that it must have been designed by a man, because no woman would ever do some of the stupid things they did in those kitchens! No offense to the men out there that actually do some of the cooking! We have added roll outs, tilt outs, pull out trash, tray uprights, new fridge cabinet and appliance garage and new crown moulding! Also adding another set of lower drawers to the laundry room and putting in a full length countertop in there.

And I totally agree about the price. We have a home center about an hour from us where we get all our cabinets at WAY under retail. Our kitchen is KraftMaid as are some cabinets downstairs. Our bathroom is Merrillat......I knew that KraftMaid bought them out, but I didn't think they were even using the name anymore. The kitchen in the new house is Aristokraft, but luckily the home center could order those as well, they just don't carry them on a routine basis. We even ripped down a huge mirror in the new master bath and put up two medicine cabinets along with all the work in the kitchen. And all this before we even move in!
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Da Parish
1,127 posts, read 5,012,360 times
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Wow your kitchen sounds huge compared to our 9X11! I was so worried about getting max storage and keeping in budget that I sacrificed on symmetry. I wish that I had gone a few hundred dollars over budget to make the cabinets more symmetrical, but overall we're pleased.

BTW: We moved a door and put in a window and are thrilled with the result. I say go for the windows. Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,447 posts, read 49,682,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothbear View Post
Hey......open a store south of Charlotte and I'm there! Once I move there the end of September I'll be looking. Actually I really need to get hired by Pulte Homes because you can tell whomever designs their kitchens NEVER works in there! I have told our QA person several times that it must have been designed by a man, because no woman would ever do some of the stupid things they did in those kitchens! No offense to the men out there that actually do some of the cooking! We have added roll outs, tilt outs, pull out trash, tray uprights, new fridge cabinet and appliance garage and new crown moulding! Also adding another set of lower drawers to the laundry room and putting in a full length countertop in there.

And I totally agree about the price. We have a home center about an hour from us where we get all our cabinets at WAY under retail. Our kitchen is KraftMaid as are some cabinets downstairs. Our bathroom is Merrillat......I knew that KraftMaid bought them out, but I didn't think they were even using the name anymore. The kitchen in the new house is Aristokraft, but luckily the home center could order those as well, they just don't carry them on a routine basis. We even ripped down a huge mirror in the new master bath and put up two medicine cabinets along with all the work in the kitchen. And all this before we even move in!
Thanks for the compliment Rothbear. I know Pulte very well as they have a 27 year contract with Merillat. No matter where they build and whatever they build they must put Merillat in.

Kraftmaid didn't buy anyone out. Kraftmaid is just another product of Masco Industries as is Merillat, Quality, and about 5 others including the ol Mills Pride you used to see at Home Depot. Masco also has 90% of the world market in faucetts. They include American Shower and Bath. Aqua Glass, Delta, Heritage, Peerless and others. Chances are 90% you have a Masco product faucett in your home. Then comes Millgard windows and so on. Much of your home is from Masco.

Anyway....Merillat is the oldest and largest cabinet company in the world. The high end Merillat Masterpiece cabinets are made by Kraftmaid. just like Kenmore makes appliances for Sears and Sears puts their name on it, Kraftmaid makes the very high end cabinets for Merillat and Merillat stamps their name on it.

Now for you thoughts on who designs Pultes kitchens. The answer? Your right on. A certified NKBA kitchen designer does not. All builders have an Architect design the home. An Architect knows just enough about putting a kitchen in that the builder just lets him do it all. Just like a handyman plumber is not an expert on laying tiles but he knows enough to do it. The builders save money this way. That is why your kitchen is not perfect. I see builders all the time lay out kitchens with the fridge right next to the double wall oven. Man I learned in Kitchens 101 on the first day of school some 30 years ago that is a no no. But I see it even in high end kitchens in very large homes. How dumb !!

Thanks for mentioning your local home center that sells cabinets for under list price. I have several DMs I have to return with everyone asking where their local dealer is. Most people think of Home Depot and Lowes first but slowly the general public is learning how they are being raped by them. There are no bargains at those retail stores. None. That is why Home Depots run of new stores has turned to closing some.

We used to sell Merillat at every Conklin Lumber store in the country at 50% off list every day price. The marketing policies no longer jive so not anymore.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
6,048 posts, read 18,439,536 times
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You know those roll-out shelves where you open the cabinet door and pull out the shelf? I wanted those for the base cabinets in the kitchen of our new house. A cabinet guy said, "Why pay extra? Just order the base cabinets with drawers."
Best advice ever.
Also, I kept the work triangle as tight as possible. I can cook at the cooktop, turn around and open the fridge. The sink is 2 steps away.
Also, make sure you leave space next to the oven, and on either side of your cooktop, to set stuff. With my island, I actually have two places to set pans coming out of the oven.
The island (with the cooktop) was another thing I appreciate every day.
Worst advice? Wood floors. They scratch, they warp if something leaks. Vinyl may not be glamorous, but is sure is practical.
Good luck - and have fun!
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:41 PM
 
9,618 posts, read 27,362,057 times
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As a real estate agent, I go into a lot of badly remodeled kitchens. The ones I like focus on being practical and comfortable.
Moving a sink isn't necessarily going to be real expensive if it's adjacent to or directly above or below a water line.
We put in an openable skylight, which makes our kitchen less dark, and there is now a counter between the entry foyer and the kitchen, making the kitchen appear larger because the entry foyer has big windows and we can now see out those windows from the kitchen..and design as much counter space as you can. There's no such thing as too much counter space.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,447 posts, read 49,682,682 times
Reputation: 10616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
You know those roll-out shelves where you open the cabinet door and pull out the shelf? I wanted those for the base cabinets in the kitchen of our new house. A cabinet guy said, "Why pay extra? Just order the base cabinets with drawers."
Best advice ever.
Also, I kept the work triangle as tight as possible. I can cook at the cooktop, turn around and open the fridge. The sink is 2 steps away.
Also, make sure you leave space next to the oven, and on either side of your cooktop, to set stuff. With my island, I actually have two places to set pans coming out of the oven.
The island (with the cooktop) was another thing I appreciate every day.
Worst advice? Wood floors. They scratch, they warp if something leaks. Vinyl may not be glamorous, but is sure is practical.
Good luck - and have fun!
I hope your happy at whatever you installed but that cabinet guy was a dope. A kitchen with all drawers and no doors in the bases? The only thing worse then no pull out trays is a half depth shelf.

The only negative of pull out trays is you lose an inch for the drawer guides and another inch for the drawer sides whereby a shelf is full width so you are also utilizing behind the stile space. But the usable space you lose you gain more positive by greater accessability.

My sales pitch for selling top and bottom pull out trays is one I learned from a very old couple both having bad backs. When I asked how they liked their pull out trays the lady said: "oh I just put one hand on the countertop to balance myself, use my foot to pull out the tray, and I only barely have to lean over to take anything I wish with my other hand from the lower tray". I use this exact line while physicaly demonstrating this act. It sells every time.

You only need one drawer bank in a normal kitchen or one more wide one with deep drawers and full extension guides for pots and pans.

Since 80% of Americans have a bad back and the other 20% are from Europe, having double pull out trays should be mandatory.

What did some one say several threads back? Bending all the way down on both knees and reaching into a big dark space? That about explains it.
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