The Kitchen Plans

Just like choosing our paint colors, here's a look at another exciting yet long and tedious part of our home building process; planning the kitchen. In other words, the beast of all projects. Since the kitchen is "the woman's domain" in our household, Thane put the bulk of the planning on me (thanks and no thanks!). But thank goodness I've had four years to hem and haw over this. I'm not exactly known for my quick or assertive decision making skills (except when it came to our stairs, a fluke occurrence.) Throughout all of this crazy house building, one thing I've learned about myself is that I always come back to the original idea. I just like to painstakingly explore every single other option out there before pulling the trigger.

This photo was the original "inspiration kitchen" I picked at the start of our planning four years ago.

Oh espresso, you get me every time! There's something so warm and rich and coffee-esque about it. (I guess that's why they call it "espresso"). Is it just me, or can anyone else hear this kitchen saying "come, relax, enjoy a big mug of coffee in me"? So, with this photo in hand, we got quotes from two different custom cabinet suppliers; Showplace Wood and MidContinent Cabinetry. We had two people (representing the two companies) come out to the house to measure the kitchen and plan out the cabinetry, and we had blueprints drawn up to show the exact wall and cabinet measurements.
We went with MidContinent. The blueprints are important, but yawwwn, not very fun to look at. Never fear, there's more! Here are the very fun 3-D drawings of our cabinet and appliance plan. We chose the Concord cabinet style in espresso-stained maple.

Some fun features include dove-tail, no-slam drawers (sorry Asher), a Lazy Susan, and pull-out storage containers in the lower cabinets. These "containers" are wood and take the place of a standard stationary shelf so that you have easy access to all of your items and prevent losing what's in the back. Also, notice the cabinets above the fridge. They extend further than the standard cabinet and cover the entire top of the fridge. This is a feature I'd never seen before this planning process, and they do a great job at creating a seamless look. One big regret- we didn't plan a large picture window over the sink. Bummer, that would have been really nice.

The range hood cover is also neat (that's the triangular fixture over the stove top). Notice we opted for the non-traditional stove-oven combo. You see the stove top by itself in this picture, and the double ovens below. Note; Double ovens are pretty, but pricey. Fun in theory, but hard to stomach when making a real-life purchase. We considered reverting back to a traditional stove and oven, but we'd already had our electrician run our oven wiring twice over previous indecision. A third time would be too embarrassing. These ovens better be worth it in the long run.

Another fun feature; the built in bookcase to the left of the too-fancy-for-our-pocketbooks/what were we thinking? double ovens. The counter space below it will serve as a desk or workspace. We'll probably park one of our laptops here for convenient email checking and recipe look-up. There's a special spot for a microwave, which means more counter space for making that chocolate chip cookie dough! See the cabinets on the far right? Our version of a Super Chef. Not as big as others we've seen, but should do wonders compared to the kitchen storage space we've had up until this point.

Here's a close-up showing a glass-faced corner cabinet (there's a better picture below). We don't know if we'll be able to afford this now, but maybe down the road some day. It would create an angle that would make for a more natural and smoother end to the wall of cabinetry. Also, it would face into the dining room, so it would be a nice decorative element that you'd see while sitting down at the dining table. (You don't see it on this drawing, but our dining room door is to the right and opposite of the corner cabinet.)

And here's another 3-D drawing of pretty much the same plan. This wasn't intentional, but it looks like it's being shown with our bamboo flooring. Notice the painted island. We might wait on this for the sake of affordability, but we're interested in including a white or ivory element. I love the nice contrast against the dark wood cabinetry.

Here's a better representation of the angled corner cabinet

So, we're in the process of exploring a couple more options now; taller base cabinets (for us tall people), and a kitchenette for the basement that we hope to use as an apartment for family and friends and possibly for a hunting rental. And of course there's still the counter tops... We're still vacilating betweeen granite, Corian, and Quartz, and then within each of those there's the myriad of colors to chose from. I'm thinking a light, creamy color that will contrast nicely with the espresso. But I could be talked into something a little more coffee-inspired...time will tell. We're also still finalizing the hardware for the cabinetry. But we'll be ready to place the order for the cabinets soon! Finishing this kitchen is the last big step in getting the house ready for us to move in, so needless to say, it's exciting.

More to come on cost, appliances, counter tops, and other fun details as they unfold!


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