amanda_decaussinabbott

Help with kitchen layout..Uppers or no?

Amanda Abbott
last month
last modified: last month

Would the kitchen look unfinished if we got rid of the uppers? I don't love open shelving so I'm not sure what could possibly go on this wall between windows if we got rid of them. Or if we do keep them, which wall would be best? Or can we get rid of all of them? We have lots of storage and there is a pantry opposite the sink.


We will have a large coffee/beverage station on one wall where almost all of our glassware will be.

ideas? Here are a couple layout options from our preliminary designs. (navy lowers & island, white uppers)

Thanks :)










Comments (37)

  • PRO
    Celery. Visualization, Rendering images
    last month

    I vote for upper cabinets ( extra storage) and large island. #1


    Amanda Abbott thanked Celery. Visualization, Rendering images
  • Related Discussions

    HELP HELP HELP! Kitchen design Help! :)

    Q

    Comments (13)
    The 30" + 18" is a common configuration for transom cabinets and should be used with a 2 pc stacked crown to take it to the ceiling. Having a build up piece between the cabinet and crown helps to account for any out of level conditions that your ceiling may have. You also need to take into account any tall cabinets or appliances in the design when selecting the wall cabinet height. For example, a consumer grade refrigerator is 70" tall, whereas a built in will be 84". All of those elements must be considered in the overall design. This is the 30+18 transom that you are asking about in my Kemper cabinet line withe the wide shaker reverse raised panel Northrope door. The vignette simulates a 9' ceiling and the crown almost reaches that, but needs the buildup piece that I discussed above. Kemper is a similar mid grade line equal or better to KM in construction and options, but usually more affordable.
    ...See More

    Need ideas for kitchen cabinetry layout, upper cabs and blind corner

    Q

    Comments (1)
    I forgot to post a pic of the opposite side of the kitchen, which will stay the same for now.
    ...See More

    Kitchen layout help. Uppers or no uppers?

    Q

    Comments (15)
    Yeah, planning where everything will go will help you make the best decisions. It sounds like you have an amazing opportunity to have beautiful views too. I'm assuming the exterior wall you meant to maybe center the sink on is the same wall drawn with those upper cabinets? If it were me, I'd want the pretty views over the kitchen sink, and I don't like feeling boxed in while doing dishes. I currently have no upper cabinets on the wall that my range is on... and it's a big wall with a 60" range... however, it's pretty close to another wall that does have upper cabinetry and I can easily reach to the side for my spices without walking away from the range while cooking. I also have my dishwasher near where I keep most of my dishes and I like that for unloading the dishwasher. My glasses are not near my fridge, but it hasn't turned out to be inconvenient really like I was afraid it might be. Given a choice, I'd rather have my dishes near the dishwasher than my glasses near my fridge... I cannot have my fridge and dishwasher near each other. ;) my kitchen is essentially a large "L" But even more important IMO than having the dishes near the dishwasher is having the spices near the range. If you can fit your spices in a lower cabinet/drawer in a manner that is easy for you to use, then you wouldn't really need upper cabinets by the range I think.
    ...See More

    Kitchen designers to the rescue - need help with kitchen layout

    Q

    Comments (40)
    In my small countryhouse kitchen, the dishwasher and sink are in the island. I unload the dishwasher to the counter above, stacking the dishes. The cabinets for everyday stuff are on the wall right across from the dishwasher. Once everything is stacked, I just pick up each stack, pivot and place them in the cupboard. Having the dishware and glassware cabinets and silverware drawers right there makes everything convenient.
    ...See More
  • houssaon
    last month

    I have my glasses and dishes in the upper cabinets, so I like having them near the dishwasher. I also put the microwave in a cabinet. I made it 15 inches deep and installed a clock outlet. I keep the cabinet door open when it is running. I like that it isn't visible or taking up counter space.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    IMO no cabinets is asuch a nice thing on a wall with windows


    And no shelving.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @BethH. Yes we are removing the bulkhead for sure. I "like" the idea of a little open shelving simply for warmth really...But not for dishes..LOL. I have LOVED all of the L-shaped photos I have seen and am having a hard time picturing what the range wall would look like with a little l-shaped or a couple of short shelves like in the first photo. I would put cookbooks on them and some decor or something..but ugh..I suck at housekeeping..so there is a major downside to having them for me. I do like the photo that has artwork on it..Hmmmm


    For the window - it is 36" wide x 31.5H we will be replacing it (will still open) likely and of course changing out the trimwork, BUT not sure on how much it would cost to make it larger as that might blow the budget (plus we are in Canada $$$$). Maybe I will have a guy out to do an estimate. But I am planning on putting goosenecks above the window :) LOVE. Thank you for all of those amazing examples :)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    If you want no uppers at all, and a nice blue, do it like this. (but I'd still redo the window over the sink)



  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @houssaon our dishes will be in drawers and most of the glasses and mugs will be at the coffee station which is in the foreground on left in rendering. and YES to microwave not over the range. In Ontario we are not allowed to have anything plug-in in a cabinet. So no charging drawers or anything which is so sad to me :(

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @BethH. which wall would you suggest to do uppers on if we only had one wall? The range or window?

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @Patricia Colwell Consulting I totally agree..but I feel like blowing out walls and adding windows just like blew our budget...any idea of the ballpark on adding window or enlarging? We have a huge picture window as you can see in the rendering, but the one IN the kitchen is only 36Wx31H, so a little small.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    amanda, prob the window wall. Iposted a slew of pics on my first comment. Did you like any of those set ups w/the shelving on the left in an L shape? with a larger window?)

    I think #1, 2, 4 or 5 would be nice. and you could do some additional shelving on the right side of the window.

    (this is #2, butI love this window for your space. . you'd still have room on the right for more shelves


    getting a larger retrofit window shouldn't be too much. the windows themselves aren't that expensive. if you can find someone who can frame out the opening for you, it will be cheaper to do. and if going larger, you shouldn't have too much on the outside to deal with.

    are you hiring a GC to do the kitchen? as him the cost of getting a window like the one above^

    you can call around some local window places and get prices on just the windows.


    for instance we put in an almost 8' by 4.5' window with one stationary and two double hung. It was less than $700.


    this is an Anderson 400 double casement over the sink was just put in. It's black exterior and painted interior, so it was more money. I think it came in around 1500 or so.


  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I LOVED the l-shaped ones...Hmm..okay, talked to hubs and he said we can have a guy come out and give us an estimate on making window larger. :)


    OOOOhhh I LOVE that photo you posted for our space and it would go perfectly as we are doing glossy subway tile to the ceiling. I wonder how large that window is?

  • jalarse
    last month

    We have 6 large windows in our kitchen and only I up above cabinet and it has glass doors. I don’t miss up above cabinets in the least and love all the natural light.

  • Kat
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Curious with the coffee station idea.


    What all is included over there? It's by the dining area, correct? Is there a fridge over there for cream? Will you have to walk back and forth over there to put the mugs and other glassware away from the dishwasher?

    What about actual water for making the coffee?

    Looks fun, but will it be practical day to day to have it over there?


    We had a buffet kind of deal in one of our homes with a tiny sink and we put in a mini- fridge so I had the coffee machine over there, but it was still a pain with not having the dishes near dishwasher so moved my coffee maker back to next to the sink and d/w.


    Will you make the window wider on that wall if you go to no uppers? If so that would look nice and maybe a single narrow cabinet flanking each side of the range hood for oils or things like that.

    If you aren't making the window bigger than I think the wall will look boring with no cabinets or shelving.

  • RedRyder
    last month

    Making the window bigger and putting in some shelves sounds like the right idea. If you don’t want upper cabinets, you don’t need them.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @Kat great questions. In the renderings it is in the foreground on the left. It is actually opposite out patio door that leads to a large entertaining area and pool. So it will serve 2 purposes. Will have 1 or 2 beverage fridges, open shelving for some of our coffee cups and a sink. We currently have a buffet there now that serves as a coffee station, but the only thing that I have to carry back to the dishwasher is the odd spoon, as we obviously walk around the house or sit at the desk with coffee. Yes, we will have to walk back and forth for the dishwasher of clean mugs

    but we do that now and it doesn't bother me, but I get what you are saying, that could be a dealbreaker for some. I'll include 2 more pics...one is a rendering, not in stone, as we are moving the sink, and I think less upper cabinets. To the left is our step down family room and the door IN the kitchen next to range is to our dining room. The coffee station will be a narrow depth of about 15 or 16"


    In regards to the window, I just called a company and asked for a ballpark on making kitchen window wider and he said at least 5-6K...WHOA..welcome to Canada. But I also have a call into a second company...at the very least we will update the window with as much "glass" as possible. I totally agree that it will look bare if we leave the window as is...So I would probably do uppers on window wall and no uppers on range wall and tile all the way up with a stainless steel hood. I would still love to my oils off the counter and would love an open shelf for oils, vinegar, salt and pepper that I literally use every single day...Hmmm.


    @RedRyder hopefully we will be able to afford a wider window, but we just got a $5K estimate...so that's a no-go if that is what everyone quotes us. Otherwise sigh...I guess we will have uppers on the window wall...i don't want to get 2 huge open shelves to fill with chatkes. :(






  • Kat
    last month

    Sounds like you’ve thought the coffee bar through and with a sink and fridge I can see why you’d like it.

    That seems steep for one window even in Canada (Canadian now American haha) so definitely call around. Don’t be afraid to even try home improvement stores. They can surprise you sometimes.

    We pay more than double the regular price here for our windows living at the beach and needing impact resistant and replaced all our upstairs windows including installation for less than 12k.

  • ILoveMod
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have a kitchen with almost no uppers. it's the WORST. I despise this trend. all form and no function.

    the worst part for mine is that I don't have an easy to reach big drawer by the DW. so I have to march all over the entire kitchen putting stuff away. so if you must do open shelving, just don't do it near the DW.

    also, our exposed shelf is the only spot we can put our plates and bowls. whenever most dishes are in use, the shelf looks mostly bare, which looks like crap. of course that's about every other day.

    finally: our open shelf is near the stove, so it gets a light layer of grease from being too close to the cooking, and dust sticks to it. it's so hard to clean. if you used the shelf for decorative pitchers and stuff, you can't just dust them, you have to take them down and scrub them.

    so I guess what I'm saying is that open shelves are cute for decorative items, but be sure it's not too close to the stove or dishwasher. honestly, I think the old cabinet layout you had looks great, and that layout would still look good with updated cabinets.

  • decoenthusiaste
    last month

    To help you decide...


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    5K for ONE new window?? oh my. That's insane. My husband has installed new windows (over 10 of them) in an entire house for less than 10K. what's his price on the retrofit window? I'm telling you, call a window company that makes them in their own warehouse. they aren't that expensive.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @ILoveMod I totally understand how frustrating that could be. Currently I can't open my dishwasher and my garbage can at the same time and it kills me! I hate our current u-shape...i cannot wait for it to be an L with an island! it will totally open up the space! We will for sure put uppers on one wall. We had it in our last home too, but we had a HUGE kitchen and a walk in pantry. Here we have a ton of storage in the basement, so i don't like to store everything I own in my kitchen.


    @BethH., the 5k was to widen the window..which I still think was super steep. We have someone coming out to quote us a replacement window too AND a new etimate on how much to widen it.


    @Kat we will check out home improvement stores too, thanks for that detail! I am an American living in Canada (and now with dual citizenship)! :)

  • RedRyder
    last month

    I’m with Beth - keep getting estimates. 5k for one window - even with widening it - is insanely expensive. Window companies, home improvement places, etc may be more reasonable. Don’t give up because of one (ridiculous) number.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    oh that's ridiculous. it's a few hours work, if that. He prob doesn't want to do it so he quoted you an outrageous price.

  • Missi (4b IA)
    last month

    We’ve got a “butlers“ type pantry I guess you could call it, with uppers..which I hate bc even tho the ceiling is lower in there, I still can’t reach. I use salad tongs to get things down, and only if they’re right at the edge of the top shelf. ugh. The kitchen itself has no uppers, other than a section floor to ceiling,..it’s pretty, but again, not workable for me.—my husband is 6’ and doesnt Like to fart around mouthing stuff up there. My dad lost his MIND when I said I wasn’t doing uppers. Drama up the wazoo—-and when I told him I wanted a huge window...more drama up the wazoo. However—we’re still in the remodeling stage, and my dad thinks it looks fantastic. Everything looks so open.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @BethH. that is what I thought too. Honestly, over the phone I asked for a ballpark figure and that is what he gave us...and he told me it's 2 days of work...I don't think so at all,,..so that was my thought, he doesn't want to do the job.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    call in a few competent window companies (look on Yelp for good reviews) and see what price they give. Honestly, with demo, enlarging, new window, AND all of the finish work, it shouldn't be more than 2K. maybe 2.5. The window should cost no more than 400 or so. (depending what company and what brand you buy. The prices I'm quoting come straight from the window manufacturing place that I've used. You can go through Anderson or Marvin and pay 1500 for a window too! )

    If' it's a standard size, you may be able to find one already made at HD or Lowes, but don't use their install. they sub out and get paid for being the middle man


    the way you save money is doing everything yourself. it's a pain, but it's the cheaper way. removing that current window is a 10 min job. Cutting it (what's on the outside? stucco, brick, siding? ) to enlarge it may take a bit more to do.

  • PRO
    dezign interiors, llc
    last month

    Are you getting all new cabinets? If so, eliminate soffit if it's an option and keep the upper cabinets. However, the upper cabinets don't have to crowd the window. Open shelving is beautiful for photos, but impractical for everyday living. If you insist on them, use them to a minimum

  • Kat
    last month

    @Amanda Abbott They always say you should get three quotes minimum for most things and in my renovations we've done I've found that to be helpful.


    (Dual citizenship here as well:-)

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @dezign interiors, llc yes we are getting rid of the soffit. If we do any open shelves, yes it would maybe be in a corner for oils/cookbooks, etc...


    I am wondering how much light more light we would have if we got rid of the uppers on kitchen wall? Our kitchen is north facing and the whole back of the house has tons and windows, doors and sliders...so I'm definitely not hurting for natural light. Asthetically I feel like no uppers on window wall just looks better if we can make the window bigger. :)


    @BethH. we have a company coming tomorrow. And yep, we do a lot of stuff ourselves. We will be our own GC on this project. It just makes sense for us.

  • PRO
    dezign interiors, llc
    last month

    If you can widen your window, that's great! Sometimes it opens-up a can of worms depending on the outside material of your home. I noticed that you can definitely drop the window. You only need ~4" from the countertop. The other option, without giving up all your uppers, is not to crowd the window. Give a little breathing room between the window's trim and the start of the cabinetry. Maybe just some open shelves to the L&R of the window, and upper cabinets for the rest. Good luck!

  • PRO
    Altair
    last month

    Uppers are AWESOME! They add much needed storage space utilizing space that would otherwise go unused.

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Okay...I have found my ultimate inspo pic! What do you think? Gives me the open shelving in the corner..I would still likely do a stainless steel hood....And I would get rid of the pendants ;) I think I only have room for 2 cabinets to the left of my window :)


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    I love this. but I would not do a SS hood. just have a vent hood cover made (it's not that expensive) to fit over the vent insert.

    The way they have it in the picture is perfect.

  • Kat
    last month

    I really like this as well!

  • Leah Harvey
    last month

    I am all for minimal amounts of upper cabinets as I wanted the kitchen to feel like a bright, open space. We are doing 2 open shelves to the right of the sink - decorative, not for storage. So happy that I scrapped the rest of the uppers. If I ever change my mind, I can just have more uppers made and installed. It is great to get the opinions of others because they may offer an idea that you had not thought of, but, always go with what you think will work for you.


    With regards to the widening the window opening, some of the cost is going to depend on what the exterior of your home is made of. Mine is brick (100+ year old brick at that) and would require a brick mason as well as a carpenter, so it is not always just as simple as cutting through siding and installing a new header and jack studs.


    Good luck! It will be amazing!

    Kitchen 2020 · More Info


    Kitchen 2020 · More Info


  • RedRyder
    last month

    That’s a beautiful inspiration kitchen. As a short person, I would have trouble reaching those corner shelves, so make sure you consider what goes up there (unless you’re taller than me, which most people are). Good comprise!

  • Amanda Abbott
    Original Author
    last month

    @Leah Harvey your kitchen is absolutely stunning...I love all of your windows and I would have done the same thing..Our home is brick....which might be why the quotes are high...we are looking at somewhere between 2500 and 5k to widen a window a few inches, especially when there is a 4 x 6 window right next to it...so we are just going to get a new window and build out the sill as much as we can!


    @RedRyder for sure! The top shelf will likely be art and decor, the other 2 shelves will be for my oils and salts and peppers that I use every single day, freeing up an entire corner of my counter. I'll also put a few cookbooks on display up there as I am a book collector and NEED books in every single room in my house..LOL! :)


    I cannot wait for some final drawings as we get this project under way! I'm sure I'll be back here to get feedback on it :)