They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and nothing is truer than in my house. Its where parties are centred around, Sunday roasts are cooked (or would be cooked if I ever had the energy at the end of the weekend) and where the pre-packaged diet food competes with the full-fat milk, butter-laden toast and salt covered chips for cupboard space. Not to mention its also the location of the bar!
Dave and I like to have a plan, we did up our kitchen layout in excel before the Tender and World of Style meetings (Porter Davis warehouse where you pick all colours etc), so we knew the layout of what we wanted and how we expected it to flow.
This also helped us nut out what fitted where in the space and the flow from one mini zone to another.
I have mentioned before on my blog that I like a high bench top, we are going for a 950mm, not including the flooring, so about 930mm all said and done.
If you are going to look at raising the bench tops there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Adding thicker stone to your countertops will automatically raise the height.
- Matching your window heights to your countertop heights if you have a reveal picture window set into your countertop, you don’t want it to start a few centimetres too high or too low.
- Make sure all the benchtops are at the same height, you don’t want your Galley benchtop to be lower than your kitchen bench as it won’t look aesthetically pleasing.
- Do you have any other countertops insight of your kitchen? My Laundry leads off the Galley and you can be standing in the Dining room and look down through the Kitchen, past the Galley and into the Laundry, so they are all the same height as well as stone, colour, profile and Style to give consistency.
Its free, you just have to plan for it and know what you want before your Tender/WOS appointments.
While you consider your bench top height, spare a thought for your Rangehood height. Nothing hurts more than smacking your head on the corner of a rangehood when cooking dinner or cleaning the bench. I have walked through a few display homes and some of them have the rangehood so low, it’s in your working space and obstructs your field of vision, others are at temple height.
I want mine high enough that I won’t smack my head on its corner. 1870mm AFL is what I have had added to the plans, to ensure its installed at the correct height.
Another one of the things that are important to us, is the kickboard depth.
Dave does the dishes in our house and finds it uncomfortable to lean forward over the sink when the kickboard depth is too shallow. He likes to get his legs and hips in close to the cabinetry but also be standing straight up and down, not leaning forward with his hips out over the ankles. To do this, his feet need to be tucked in under the kickboard.
You may not notice it when the kitchen is set up correctly, but I’m sure you have been in houses and after spending time in the kitchen, grabbed the small of your back and said ‘man my back hurts’
At WOS we asked if we could have the Island kickboard recessed by 150mm all the way around our Island (all four sides). We were quoted $453.20 for this option.
We then enquired about only doing it along the front of the island – as that is the only area that Dave will be standing at washing the dishes and keeping the rest of the kickboards at a standard recess – approximately 20mm. Our Kitchen Culture Consultant at WOS let us know that this would be free of charge. Perfect – that’s the price that works for me.
Thinking about mini spaces in your kitchen, when you stand at the sink, what do you want to reach without moving. For us, it is the dishwasher, rubbish bin and dish towels. At the stovetop, it’s the cooking utensils, oils, pots and frypans, When at the bar its the tequila, limes, muddler and shaker.
So, Dave is standing at the kitchen sink, tucked in nicely with his recessed kickboard, (chain and shackle to be attached later) and he wants to have the dishwasher on one side and the rubbish bin and dish towels on the other.
Currently, our rubbish bin is under the sink and it’s very frustrating to get to when someone is at the sink. So a pull out rubbish bin is on the list of ‘must haves’
Beware, there are a few different models of rubbish bins, some only have short bins that leave you with a lot of wasted space underneath. We decided that the SC240D-W was the best size and fit for the space we had and the bins go all the way to the bottom.
Also on our list was a Cargo hideaway, this houses all the dishwashing liquids, drying towels, brushes and scrubbers that so often litter the bench top or get lost in the cupboard under the sink.
We saw the Hafele brand at the Home Show at Southwharf and thought it would just squeeze in nicely.
However, Kitchen Culture does not do Hafele, so the KC consultant went and got his phonebook-sized catalogue and we went hunting for options that they could source within the Hettich range.
A man walks into a bar…
Some people would say you don’t need to have 2 dozen bottles of wine on display in your kitchen – these people are not my friends.
Nothing beats a good bottle of cool Moscato on a summers day or a deep Red with your Roast Beef, you know, those non-existent Sunday roasts that someday a domestic goddess will cook for my husband. But I digress. A well-stocked wine rack and fridge is the only way to get through a build with Porter Davis and I’m not one for breaking a well-formed habit.
We have three benches in the kitchen area, plus the Galley. So we have turned our 2m long bench behind the Island into our bar – a mini zone.
An under bench wine fridge space has been provisioned for. We received a quote from Porter Davis to provide a Neil Perry wine fridge but quickly decided to do it post hand over and save ourselves a decent 250% markup.
I like the look of the Vintec 35 bottle wine fridge, but then I ‘ve been told I have expensive tastes. The one I have my eye on is at Harvey Norman, and when it comes on sale, I’ll pick it up.
Right, back to that wine rack, at the Aspect display in Greenvale, PD has a Waldorf Grange that has a great Galley, one side its standard cupboards and shelves and on the other is a Bar. When we saw the wine rack built in we thought it was a fantastic idea. We are not doing the cupboards above the wine shelf but instead have raised the height of it a little and will display my decanters on top.
Pinterest can be great for ideas, but it can also be costly. You see an idea and think – man that’s fantastic, I want to do that in my house.
Well, that’s what happened with my liquor cabinet. I saw this fantastic idea for a hidden pull out drawer that houses all the upright liquor bottles on Pinterest and thought, that is such a better idea then leaning into a cupboard and trying to pull out the bottle at the back, without knocking anything over at the front.
So after talking to my Kitchen Culture guy, I was thrilled to find out I could achieve the same hidden drawers in my Bar area.
An area for all the rest of the crap
I also have 3 drawers beside the wine fridge that will house all the cocktail paraphernalia like shakers, strainers, pourers, muddlers, Vinturi wine aerator… you know all the important stuff in life, but also stuff that does not need to be mixed up in the baking or cooking utensils drawers.
This set of drawers normally come in a 4 drawer configuration, however, I opted to keep the 3 drawer configuration that I have over on the kitchen oven bench, of one small and 2 medium drawer heights so that things like the shakers and glass mixers can stand upright. Also, I think I will keep the overflow of wine glasses in the bottom drawer so it needs to be tall enough for them.
Drawers at the front
When you stand looking at your set of drawers or cupboards that are at the end of a bench, there is two option you have that you may not know about.
You can have the side panel visible along with your frontage, or
You can have the front panel extended wider to cover the side panel.
I personally prefer the front drawers covering the side panel – especially on the kitchen island, I think it is a cleaner look.
I have chosen to do this next to the wine fridge for cleaner lines and I’m being cheap and putting a laminate panel next to the fridge – no one will see a shaker colour tech panel running back in that space.
This is also an option for cupboards, all PD do is change the style of hinges used so that the door can swing open wider.
I have also had this changed in all of our vanity units, to give a nice clean front profile. But also because in the bathrooms I am doing laminate sides and colour tech front doors with profiles, I don’t want the plastic laminate ends to take away from my Shaker V line front doors.
Take the time to plan
Spend time planning and thinking of the layout, it’s not every day you have someone build you a kitchen. Get the right mix of pot drawers, shallow drawers and cupboards that will work with how you cook and live your life. Look at your kitchen now and make sure you have a place for everything.
And don’t forget to allow for a drawer for all your plastic bags – we all have one.