Kitchen Progress – LOTS More Changes

posted by Andrea | 07/14/2012

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted any specifics about our kitchen renovation… and that’s because it’s been a few weeks since we’ve actually made any progress.

We had TWO full weeks where absolutely nothing happened in our kitchen. Our lack of progress was partially due to to our wedding road trip and the fact that my dad was busy with other projects, but also because we just couldn’t make up our minds about the kitchen layout.

You can see my first idea here.

And then read about my second idea here.

But we’re not going with either of them! 

I’m generally not an indecisive person… and neither is Dave. However, when we’re spending a significant amount of money to renovate a part of our home where we spend a significant amount of time… we won’t just go with a “pretty good plan” or a “so-so plan”.

We needed to have that “Ah-Ha Moment” when all our ideas came together and everything just worked. 

I vividly remember when we had that idea for our master bathroom. Dave and I looked at each other like “duh, why didn’t we think of that earlier” and then we immediately called my dad, who confirmed that our plan would work. Progress started up the next day again and we never looked back or questioned our decisions. We LOVE our new bathroom.

Our Kitchen “Ah-Ha Moment”

I’m happy to share that after a two-week lull {and tons of debating back and forth with our cabinet designer} we had our “Ah-Ha Moment” for the kitchen the other day… at about 11:30pm. Believe it or not, Dave actually played a pretty big part in our new game-plan.

Without going into too much detail, the main changes we’ve made are to close up the opening by our front door to give us more space in the dining area (the front door is still open to the living room) and create an additional opening in the kitchen — right next to the current opening to our living room.

Here’s a non-professional drawing of our original kitchen layout.

So basically, our kitchen and dining room will almost be completely open to our living room (with one 2 ft. wall holding up the 2nd floor.)

Doesn’t it look lovely! 

Yes, it does take away a bit of storage space in our kitchen, but things will ultimately feel MUCH more open (which I love) and our living room will actually feel larger too. Plus, we’ll have more room in our dining area for a larger table (more on this later) which means more space for entertaining, which was a big priority for me in this renovation.

Also, even with the larger opening to the living room, we still have significantly more storage space in our new kitchen just because we’re utilizing the space so much more efficiently.

Win-win-win = Ah-Ha Moment!

We’ve basically decided on the layout (praise the Lord) and are ready to order our cabinets — just a few final details to work out.

Oh, and I do realize that there will still be lots of opinions — but rest assured, Dave and I have put MONTHS of thought into how we want our kitchen to function for US. We’ve gotten advice from 2 professional kitchen cabinet designers; we’ve gotten input from several builders, engineers, and interior designers; and they have all given us the “green light” for this final design.

It’s simply impossible to explain the “whys” behind every detail in our kitchen… so I’m not going to!

It’s fine if you disagree with some or all of our choices… just know that this is the best design for our kitchen, our house, our lives, our cooking style, and the way we want to use our space.

So without further ado, here is our {almost} finalized kitchen design.

The dinning room is to the the right of the refrigerator in the picture above, and then the wall with the oven/stove is to the left. We will have lazy susans in both the bottom and top corner cabinets!

The picture above shows our stove/double-oven on the right and then the pantry area on the left. The curved opening in the middle leads to our laundry room, another full bathroom, the basement, and the garage.

You might be wondering why I eliminated the double wall oven from our plan… it’s because we just couldn’t figure out how to make it work without wasting TONS of space or putting it in a really awkward location.

However, one of the things I said I would NOT compromise in our new kitchen was to have a 5-burner gas cook-top and a double electric oven

Well, the other day, I was at the scratch and dent appliance store and I found this beauty.

I bought it!

It’s a 5-burner GAS cook top with a low profile (controls on the front instead of the back) so it looks more built in. Plus, it’s a double ELECTRIC oven — one full-size and one smaller. The larger oven also doubles as a convection oven.  The one we purchased actually has the large oven on top and a smaller oven drawer on the bottom (which I prefer because most of the time, I’ll be using the larger oven).

Anyway, we found this unit (normally EXTREMELY expensive) for a fraction of the price at the scratch and dent store… and it played a part in our ah-ha moment because it freed up the entire wall below for large pantry cabinets and tons more storage!

As you can see in the picture above, we now have a huge amount of extra storage (we had NO cabinets in that corner before).

Also, the small double-door cabinet in the corner (on top of the counter) is really deep, so we are putting a bunch of plugs inside the cabinet and will use that “hidden” space for our coffee maker, toaster, and other small appliances we use every day.

This is another look at the large pantry/storage area, as well as the double opening into our living room.

And finally, here is a sketched drawing of what it will look like with our island in the middle of everything. You can see that there are 2 columns to the left of the island — we would ideally like to have the space totally open, but because we’ve already taken down SO many walls, we had to put in columns to support the second floor (either that, or we’d have to dig a deeper foundation for our house!)

Oh, I can’t wait until it’s finished!! 

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22 comments

  1. Sarah

    07/14/2012

    Do you mind sharing what brand your oven is? Love it!!

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  2. Kim

    07/14/2012

    Looks FANTASTIC!!!

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  3. Jenn

    07/14/2012

    Andrea, it looks beautiful. I am so glad you stick to your guns and do what is best for you and your family. We remodeled last year and have a pantry like yours (love it!) which also has outlets inside at two locations as we were going to use it as a media/mail center. It is our mail center on the top but we haven’t used it to charge phones/devices. The thought was there, we just can’t break our habits. We also have an appliance garage with similar doors as I am not a fan of the tambour-style doors and am so happy with the decision. Our corner garage houses our coffee maker and stand mixer (measure height of your mixer before buying cabinet) and a second garage houses the toaster oven by the snack/breakfast area. Once morning meals are done, both slide back behind the doors and leave a clean look on the counter.

    You have a great blog and I read it daily. Can’t wait to see more progress on the kitchen.

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  4. Denise Z

    07/14/2012

    Smart move, eliminating the double ovens! I insisted on having them when we remodeled (they are a HUGE selling/re-sale item in our area) and I really thought I’d use them–I was always saying I needed two ovens when I used to have just the one. I use them, but not as often as I thought I would. (Fortunately, we had the space for them and it didn’t compromise our kitchen plan to put them in). But I think in the future, I’d go with a single oven or something like you’re using and get a counter-top roaster for those few times we cook something like a turkey and use the oven for side dishes, etc.

    Can’t wait to see how things progress in your kitchen!

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  5. Jessica

    07/14/2012

    Looks beautiful. I’m so glad to see that you cabinets extend all the way to the ceiling! Nothing annoys me more than the wasted space of a gap between the ceiling and top of the cabinets (we have one in our rental….ugh)
    I can’t wait until it’s finished and I’m sure y’all can’t either!

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  6. Audra

    07/14/2012

    What a wonderful kitchen/dining room you will have! I really like the new plan. Makes me wish I had a lazy susan in my bottom corner cabinet…drives me crazy to dig back in there for something. I love that little cabinet by the pantry with the double doors for small appliances. What a great idea…slide it out and use it and then hide it again! Bet you are itching now for it to get done. :)

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  7. Vicki

    07/14/2012

    Andrea I love your kitchen. I just want to throw my two cents in about your fridge. I love my freezer on the bottom, we just purchased our second one last year. However my first one was also double doors and that I will never have again! For one thing, what is the point? Unless your just going to grab the milk or whatever on the door. But when you got your hands full and only one hand to open the door and then the other door, well it didn’t take me long to realize how dumb it is! Rarely are you going to go to the fridge and only open one door! Just offering some info based on experience.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Good point Vicki, but we really need the space-saving aspect of the two shorter doors versus on longer door — otherwise it gets pretty cramped with our island on the other side of the fridge.

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  8. keri

    07/14/2012

    Just wanted to comment on the oven, is a GE Cafe? If so, I think I have the same one. Dual fuel, gas cooktop and electric oven, with a smaller baking drawer on the bottom. I LOVE it! I actually like to use the smaller drawer to keep food warm when we’re having guests and I’m making several dishes. Great choice!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, it is a GE — not 100% on the “cafe”though. It might be. It is a duel fuel with the baking drawer ont he bottom so it sounds like the same thing (the GE logo is a red circle).

    Glad to hear you like it… and yes, I was already planning to use the drawer as a warming drawer for big parties. So exciting!!

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  9. Ann

    07/14/2012

    So, I’m really curious what scratch and dent store you use and what brand name your new stove/oven is. I didn’t even know they actually made gas burners/electric oven in one unti. How ideal!

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    Andrea Reply:

    We always go to Elder’s Appliance in Wyoming/Grandville. And yes, I didn’t know they made the gas/electric combo until last week. It literally revolutionized our kitchen plan!

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  10. Michelle

    07/14/2012

    I love the change you’ve made to your front door entrance … walking into the dining room never seems right to me (that’s what we have at our current home).

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about your stove/oven when you start using it. It’s what we’d love to end up with one day … we have a 4 burner gas stove top/electric oven but I think the 5th burner and dual ovens would be awesome additions!

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    Andrea Reply:

    It’s a GE — not sure of the “series” though. It’s pretty sweet and we got an amazing deal — I’m sure I’ll have to do at least one full post about our appliances once the kitchen is finished :)

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  11. Evie

    07/14/2012

    Hi, Andrea. I love your kitchen ideas and can’t wait to see it progressing. Very exciting! Just for you to think about, I’ve got two little suggestions. First, what about a half door in the doorway to the basement and garage? Just thinking of Nora riding around that big area on a trike and you not having to worry about her zipping out that way into potential danger. The other thing is about your double door appliance cabinet. I was thinking, what if you were to hinge the two doors together where they meet in the middle and put them on a kind of track so that they could open and fold together against the wall instead of the left door sticking out and probably a bit in the way? Just some thoughts born of me wanting to live in your kitchen when it’s done! LOL Evie

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    Andrea Reply:

    Evie, there is already a door to our basement so we don’t have to worry about that… and I really like your idea about the “hinged” door for the appliance garage. I don’t think I’d want it to be on a track, but I might have to ask our cabinet designer about that!

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  12. Ann

    07/14/2012

    Don’t you just LOVE those AH-HA!! moments? They are the next best thing to a new completely remodeled KITCHEN!!! GOOD JOB, DAVE & ANDREA!

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  13. Debra

    07/15/2012

    It looks good from here. lol

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  14. Deb

    07/15/2012

    http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/refrigerators/RFG293HABP/XAA

    I just got a Samsung 29 c.f. refrigerator, it doesn’t take up any more room and it is HUGE. LOVE it. We have three teens, so the more room the better. I found an online price and our builder got them to match it locally. It was WAY cheaper than any price I could find in town, but with getting it locally, they delivered and set up the icemaker. I would never get an icemaker in the door, constant drips down the front and the filters are very pricey, but just my opinion.

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  15. Kristine

    07/15/2012

    I’m so excited for you! It is a break through! I have loved your plan all along, but this one just looks perfect! it seems to really flow…and everything I’ve read about you on your blog…It will be perfect for all your needs…cooking, baking and storing all your ‘deals!” Can’t wait to see it!!!! Get to work, I’m dying to see it finished!!! LOL!!! Thanks for keeping everyone up to date!

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  16. Kari

    07/16/2012

    I will admit that there were things in the original plans that weren’t for me, but it isn’t my kitchen. So I had to tell you that I LOVE your new plan. I like the wall change at the front door, appliance placement, storage, all of it. Great job! I hope you can start enjoying it in the not to distant future!

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  17. Ashley Klaus

    07/30/2012

    Hi Andrea!
    I absolutely love how you designed your kitchen. My husband and I are currently in the process of remodeling our newly purchased home. What a big job!! Check out my blog for some hilarious stories and pics of our adventures!
    I was wondering if you bought your cabinets, or are they custom built for your home?
    Good job and you are ALMOST there!!

    Our House to Home Blog:
    http://nickandashleyklaus.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

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