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Friday, September 1, 2006

Brooklyn Garden Apartment: Kitchen Plan

Open-frame cabinets in high gloss finish look sleek and modern.
You can't imagine my disappoint when I learned that I can't use Ikea cabinets in our kitchen. They don't come in enough size increments for me to be able to make good use of every inch of space in this small kitchen.

My main sticking point is the corner sink cabinet. All of Ikea's corner sink cabinets are L-shaped with a lazy suzan in the blind corner. While I applaud this innovative thinking, it's simply too big for our space. And having a corner sink is key to my design. It's the only layout that will give me enough room to fit all the appliances we need and locate the refrigerator in the one place that will not block the line of site.

In addition, Ikea doesn't make 12" high cabinets. In order to make use of every inch of vertical space, I plan to use the longest available cabinet, 39" plus another 12" row of cabinets above it along the refrigerator side that be perpendicular to the other wall's soffit, which is exactly 12".

It's too bad. I really love Ikea kitchens, and it's not just the cost savings, though that is significant. I love the drawer organizers. And I like the look of their new European style glossy doors.

As prefab sizes are out of the question, I had to turn to semi-custom.

Semi-custom cabinets are the midway offering between stock and custom. Where custom cabinets can be ordered in any size you dream up, semi-custom come in 3" increments. And that will do just fine for our needs – at a savings of about $1,000 off custom.

I found what I was looking for at Kraftmaid – a new line they introduced called Venicia. The kitchen planner at Home Depot did a double take when I said I wanted to use them in my kitchen. Apparently they were designed for offices – like dental and medical offices or hair salons, he says.

I think they are beautiful. Look at the glossy finish on the doors. And I especially love the built-in horizontal chrome pulls.

Kraftmaid Venicia in "Chianti"

Do you like this lipstick red? I am a big fan of red, however, I think I would tire of it in a kitchen over time. I went with a glossy white called "Bianco". White will make the kitchen appear bigger as it melds into our white walls. Plus, if resale becomes a consideration, white will appeal to more tastes and it will better withstand the test of time. (Colors date decor faster than any other design choice – who can forget the avocado and goldenrod appliances of the '70s?)

So, I sat down with the kitchen planner and for a $150 deposit, which will be credited back to my order once I've placed it, he laid out my design.

We hit a rough moment when he resisted adding the 12" high cabinets above the refrigerator, insisting that I build in extra inches in case my measurements are off. But I stood firm. For one thing, I need that extra foot of space for storage. And for another, I know my measurements are not off!

He made me sign a release saying I am ignoring the design software warning at my own risk.

You can see here how the corner sink allows just enough room for the tall skinny refrigerator by Liebherr to fit along the short wall of the L. Out of the line of site. Were I to put it anywhere but here, the kitchen would look cramped not spacious and open.

The red arrows show the 12" tall cabinets.

Here is the cooktop span, so you can see the soffit.

There is just enough room to accommodate a 24" Gaggneau cooktop, an 18" Miele dishwasher (I have to have that upper cutlery sprayer and tray!) and a 24" LG Combo W/D.

The most exciting thing about laying out the kitchen was this 2D view.

Kitchen Plan -2D view

It's all coming together!