Kitchen Planning

I thought I'd take a moment to tell you about our kitchen and how it came to be, or well, how it's coming along. On our first date Jon and I talked a lot about 2 things - food and home improvements. He talked up all the work he'd been doing and the plans he had for renovating his condo and hesitantly a week or so later invited me over to see the place. Apparently, this had not gone over so well with previous dates - they saw the holes in the walls, the piles of tools, the dust everywhere, and thought dealbreaker. But being a young architect who doesn't always get her way at work, it was like winning the lottery. Sure it's messy and kinda gross and I sure as hell am not taking a shower in that bathroom (his place was a true fixer upper). But there's so much potential! And unlike at work, I only have to convince one person that my ideas worth carrying out, one person who happens to really like me - score! Well, it's not quite that easy, Jon's very opinionated, but luckily we do agree on a lot of stuff, and we share a similar sense of style.

We also started planning long before we were ready to actually carry out our plans. Which has meant we've had plenty of time to second guess ourselves and change our plans. Originally we wanted whitewashed cabinets with dark granite counters and glass mosacis as a backsplash. But when we saw the mockup at the cabinetry design center with ebony cabinets in rift cut oak, we fell in love. Which then meant we wanted bright white counters. But we didn't fall in love with our orginial choice of cabinetry suppliers, and after much shopping around - everything from Home Depot to local craftsmen to European imports that started at 40,000 for the cabinets alone, we decided to just do it ourselves and go with ikea cabinets and the final bi colored cabinet scheme.

And the layout has changed a lot too. The kitchen, being in an urban condo, is well, kinda tight. And we soon discovered there actually wasn't all that much room to move things around. So we spent months thinking we were basically stuck with small variations on the original. But we hated how the upper cabinets over the peninsula blocked the awesome view (of lake union, the hills of queen anne and fremont, and the olympics in the distance - great for sunsets too) we have out past the dining room. Well, ok, being 5' tall, it didn't actually bother me, but for taller folks, the cabinets blocked the view and were a dangerous place to bump your head. So from the start, these would be scrapped. And we wanted to shorten the peninsula to open things up a bit and allow for a full height pantry wall that would make up for our loss of storage. But at that point, why even have the peninsula. It's small for a buffet or a bar area, it didn't really define the limits of the room anymore, it was just hanging out down there - a relic of the old design. So, we scrapped it, and thought, hmm, maybe we do have more flexibility than we thought. What if instead of the thin 12" deep pantry wall, we bump it out and put in a larger fridge on that wall, along with a pantry cabinet. We could get a more attractive fridge (it's hard to find a 30" fridge that stands out) and have more elbow room around the stove for food prep. So, that was our exciting new plan, that is, until the fridge came. We'd been a little concerned about the aisle room between the counter and the pantry wall, we'd even considered buying the pricier "counter depth" fridge, but that would only save a couple inches.

So we decided to change a few things around moving the fridge to the corner and decreasing the depth of the pantry wall to about 15". This opened up the floor space and gave us a great pantry wall with room for a small buffet in the middle. But it also meant the dishwasher we'd already purchased would no longer fit, and some of the lighting and electrical would have to be moved. It set us back about a week, but we're both really happy with the results.

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