Monthly Archive: November 2011

Plan is evolving

Today I wanted to bring the blog up to date on how the kitchen plan has evolved over the past few weeks.
First, a reminder of the current layout:

… and a floorplan of the whole proposed first floor:
Now finally, the current kitchen proposal:
The big changes since last you saw these plans:
1. We’re not touching the foyer at all.  We’re not moving the wall between foyer & kitchen.
2. The coat closet will be in the little room off the half bath
3. I’ve narrowed the peninsula by 6 inches or so for better passage space and better access to the upper cabinets above the perch space
4. Some refinement of the arrangement on the sink/stove wall

I have actually come full circle on the location of the microwave (drawer beside fridge).  It spent some time over by the dishwasher, but this is just too good a spot for it.

I’m also still screwing up my courage to post the above plan for comment on the GardenWeb kitchen forum for comment.  Having the pics published on Parkercat is a good first step.

Contractor selected

We’ve chosen a contractor!  The company we’ve referred to as “Contractor 2” is the same company that remodeled the kitchen of friends of ours several years ago.  Their estimate was mostly in line with what we were expecting, and more importantly, they seem to really get what we’re after with this project.

Contractor 3, while I’m sure would have done a good job, didn’t seem to understand our scope and goals quite as well as who we selected.  It made our decision easy that Contractor 3’s estimate was at the very high end of what we’re willing to pay.

I want to tighten up our preliminary design — which the professionals we’ve talked with seem to think is reasonable — and post it to a rkitchen-remodeling forum I’ve been lurking on. GardenWeb’s kitchen forum has a wealth of ideas and experience, and is populated by people who are passionate about kitchens.  In the time I’ve been reading that forum, I’ve seen a lot of folks post their designs and get good feedback.  The people there are focused on functionality first and foremost.  They don’t know me, and don’t know our house, so may well be the source of some out-of-left-field idea that fits brilliantly.  Or I may get nothing out of it at all.  Either way, that’s a community of people who are remodeling their kitchens and so are going through the same stuff we are.  Making myself known to such a community certainly can’t hurt.


Gina was kind enough to go through my sketched layout and enter it into her system. It’s great to get a pro’s input, constrain the design to what’s easily available and typically done, etc. What I was not expecting is how useful the 3d renderings are in visualizing the space.  They’re by no means photorealistic and don’t reflect our choices for styles, materials, and finishes (which we haven’t made yet), but give a good impression of flow and visual impact.

In the first shot, we’re standing about where the new fridge is slated to go.

There are a few problems here — in particular, the right-hand end of this peninsula is not at all the bar / hang-out area we had in mind — but you can see the vast expanse of work space around the prep sink, accessible from 3 sides, and how it relates to the rest of the kitchen.


This second shot shows what it really means to this space to tear down the wall between these two rooms. You also catch a glimpse into the new, better-integrated pantry space (on the right).  I think the extreme perspective exaggerates how far away the fridge appears, but it’s worth checking into whether that’s going to be a problem.


Here’s an example of how useful these 3d views really are.  We’re looking at the cockpit of the new kitchen — the area just around the stove.  The idea is that the L on the left gives us more storage there, as well as more work surface accessible to the cook.  It’s clear from this picture that to accomplish the latter, the stove needs to move more to the left. As it stands, the perpendicular section of countertop is a little too far away to be useful as a landing area.  I could see putting a cookbook or laptop there, but not ingredients waiting to go into a stir-fry, or a turkey that’s just come out of the oven.

We’re having 2nd meetings with two contractors this coming week, so with luck we’ll have two rough estimates in hand and can choose a contractor the following week.  Then the design phase of the project can really start in earnest.