Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blank Spaces

As I was puttering around the kitchen today a thought came to mind about a design feature that our builder and kitchen designer the woman who ordered our cabinets questioned. (The architect actually designed the layout of the kitchen quite well and we just made a few modifications to the plan. The woman at the cabinet place may think of herself as a designer, but she really did nothing for us and did not do any planning or foresee any potential issues that we ended up having later. In my mind something a skilled kitchen designer should take care of. More on that later...)

Anyway...back to the design issue. I wanted to put all drawers in our kitchen except under the sink where drawers weren't possible. I did not want any lazy susans in the corners though. This raised eyebrows with our builder and cabinet woman and all they saw was wasted space. All I could see was impractical space that was hard to access and ended up being useless to me. We lived in a house with a lazy susan and I had a tendency to overfill it and it seemed difficult to me to access its contents through the standard sized opening. (The best thing about it...we had a timid cat that used it as a place to hide when company came.) I've learned through the years that I need to have simple systems that work for me. Nothing fancy schmancy.

Here is the architect's version. It is very beautiful and I'm sure very functional. As much as I like the drawer pulls, I've also learned over the years that I have a tendency to open drawers with one hand and over time twist the drawers as a result. It's a personal preference, but I also do not like the mix of knobs and pulls.  The lazy susan here looks like one where the door spins with the unit which is better to me than the kind with a door that pulls open and then the unit inside spins. Often those end up with just one handle or knob on the side that opens and that visually drives me crazy.

Here is our version. We chose longer, deeper drawers with one long pull. No lazy susan!!! The drawer space is amazing and I'm quite happy with it. We did buy Omega cabinets that have very nice drawer slides but we actually lived in the house for over a month before we had the pulls so drawers would occasionally twist from us grabbing the side to open them up. I'm glad we went with our experiences and selected a pull we could grab with one hand.

Although there are doors under the sink we also decided we liked how it looked by placing those pulls horizontally instead of vertically. I had seen this in another kitchen while looking around for pull ideas and thought..of course! It actually works quite well, honestly better than if we had placed them vertically.

One *minor* hiccup....The cabinet lady assured Sean despite his concerns and repeated questioning that *everything was fine* with the slide in stove. Everything was *almost fine* except for there is very little clearance between the stove and the drawers.  The stove (sorry for the bad picture example) flares just a touch at the top and we were unable to open and close the top drawer on either side. The cabinet lady should have thought of spacers. Thankfully Sean was able to shave off the slightest bit of the drawer corner to make them work and you couldn't tell unless you knew the story.

So to sum it all up, as I was puttering around, I realized I am not missing that space, the drawers are very functional and I'll have even more space once we get our pantry shelves installed. I'm so glad I didn't get talked into something I didn't want. I've asked different folks what they think of lazy susans and the reviews are mixed. I think it's definitely a personal preference and when you are designing a kitchen it's important to know what you like.

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