Friday, September 21, 2007

Did I get this right?

I received this email today regarding yesterday's post on Problem Kitchens.
I figured I might as well bring it over to the blog to answer.
That way more than just Mads will benefit.

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007
From: Mads
Subject: Did I get this right?

Hello. I was impressed by your website/blog. I designed and built my kitchen myself. I kinda just felt things out and prayed I'd measured things right (it came down to the millimeter as I was not aware of how much space tiles and the respective glue could take up!) But everyone seems to love it. Since you are an actual kitchen expert, it would be nice if you could give me your impressions. Thanks in advance for your time!
PS If it ends up on your list of Kitschy Kitchens, its feedback all the same...

This kitchen looks European Mads. In the US we would have a bit less space between the countertop and the upper cabinets. Either that or you are an architect:>o
They seem to like that effect.

In this image we have the left leg of a U-shaped kitchen:

You have cut the depth of the base cabinets to allow room enough for the dishwasher, sink and range at the top of the U. That makes your best countertop a bit shallower, but still usable.

The countertop looks like teak, very nice to work on and well away from water and the range. That's a plus. Also inexpensive compared to other choices...Or is it concrete???

Your choice of simple white cabinet doors is good in a small space. You seem to have chosen all doors for simplicity. Another architect "thing".

Ordinarily I would frown on brilliantly colored tile on the backsplash (because it tends to jump forward), but the overall impression of these tiny mosaics visually recedes, so that's good.

Looks like you used LED (I hope) puck lighting under the cabinets. A good choice for energy efficiency, although the five scallops on the tile are a bit distracting. Fluorescent strip lights, behind a light valance, would have been a bit better choice I think.

The fridge, on the left in shadows, looks like you managed to recess it into the wall behind. Good idea! Floor space in a small kitchen is too precious to waste.

The microwave takes up a bit of your precious counter space. I would have placed it up in the wall cabinets, suspended under one of them. It's in the right location for functionality though.

I love the stainless??? trim at the back of the counter. Very nice.

That dishwasher looks mighty close to the corner. I imagine that was a concern when you were putting the whole thing together.

The next images are the top of the U.
Here's where you broke the rules and qualify for "Kitschy Kitchen" status.
On the left we have our dishwasher. It actually looks like it obstructs the door around the corner...Probably a trick of the camera. I would have recommended a white one to integrate better with the cabinets and not draw the eye to it. I've yet to see a kitchen where it makes sense to make the dishwasher a focal point.

The integrated stainless sink with drainboard is a good idea. But I would have placed it over to the left with the drainboard under the wall cabinets and the sink away from the range. Having the sink bowl right next to the range is not dangerous, but it certainly provides no room for staging prepared food for cooking. Placing the dishwasher on the right of the sink would have also solved the dishwasher in the corner issues. An end panel between the dishwasher and range would then have been necessary to support the counter.

The faucet is great, but over scale for the room.

The six burner range, looks to be 30" or thereabouts, is also overkill for the size of the room. A 24" model would have been more suitable.

The best thing on this wall is the FABULOUS HOOD with the asymmetrical extension.
It's great that you sacrificed upper cabinets in favor of this beauty.
I also love your dishrack and other hanging accessories, as well as the sculptural bowls so lovingly arranged on top of the hood.

The tile going way up the wall is also great. Looks like you have very high ceilings in the kitchen...nice.

Here we see the right leg of the U.
Unfortunately you have a pipe chase obstruction in the corner so you lose valuable counter space next to the range. It does look as though you have enough clearance that it is not unsafe.
Interesting. That tall window tilts open at the top.
Again the cabinets around the corner are shallow depth to provide as much space to the range sink area as possible. I see two tiny drawers there, under the window. Those seem to be the only drawers in the kitchen unless you built some behind the doors. I certainly HOPE you did!

This view is of the opposite wall, I assume.
Here you have created an eating counter and some storage above, neatly obscuring a radiator underneath.
It's also your coffee station.
Not much fun eating facing a wall, but you've made it as cheerful as possible.

Overall I'd say you took lemons and made lemonade (except for the sink next to range issue).
Did you remodel at all to achieve this overall space?
Or is it as it was?
Did you take "before" pictures?
After all the work, if you had it to do over again with unlimited funds; would you do anything different?


Looks like discussion of MAd's kitchen is getting around the blogs.

MAds has his own:

Post Recontruction. A Tale of Life in Italy

Laurie Burke comments on Kitchen Design Notes.