KITCHEN DESIGN - MOUNT VALLEY PROJECT - NEW BUILD
KITCHEN DESIGN - MOUNT VALLEY PROJECT
When we got the plans for the Mount Valley Project, we immediately started trouble shooting, going from room to room to identify any potential problems with the floor plan. Because it is a semi-custom build, we needed to especially be judicious with any proposed changes, and to work closely with what was there.
BUILDING DESIGNER’S KITCHEN PLANS
Take a look at the building designer’s kitchen plan, and the notes I’ve included, pointing out the troubled areas.
IMPROVING THE PLAN
Starting with the range wall, we addressed the openings. Notice in the elevation below how the reveal around the door ways is now equal, allowing room for the trim work.
In a perfect world, I would have liked for the two arched openings to be equal in width due to the strong symmetry of the space. Unfortunately, what’s happening on the other side of that wall kept us from being able to do that. We actually had to narrow the opening leading into the kids’ homework / craft room so we could make that space the most functional it could be.
We also increased the width of the framing on the short walls, on each side of the arched openings so they didn’t look like tall, skinny pencils.
We increased the depth of the island by a few inches to provide additional storage (much of the wall space had already been allocated to appliances), and also to tighten the space, just a bit between the island and great room
With some finagling, we found a place for the microwave in the butler’s pantry.
FINAL KITCHEN PLANS
And here we go - the final plan, showing the revisions noted above.
Notice the two arched openings and how I’ve pointed out the different widths. Not bad - it’s going to work out just fine! And the best part is, there will be equal reveal on each side of the openings, with the exception of where the breakfast nook wall starts.
REFRIDGERATOR & BUTLER’S PANTRY WALL
In this project the butler’s pantry is essentially a pass-though between the kitchen and the dining room. Across from it is a large walk-in pantry. The building designer shows a sink in the middle of the counter.
In our plans we moved it to the side so we could fit the microwave in the middle. By doing this, it allowed for us to divide the cabinets into three, well-proportioned sections with the center one being wide enough to accommodate the width of a microwave.
We also brought the middle cabinet a couple of inches forward so the depth of the microwave would fit.
In the earlier sketches, we designed the island to have block legs but then later changed it to waterfall edges, as shown in the elevations below.
ARCHED VS SQUARE DOORWAYS
I think it’s worth mentioning that within our design options we included a square hood design, with square doorway openings. Either way, square or arched, I think its a win!
I know, arches have gotten the bum wrap over the last several years, due to resistance to having anything look reminiscent of the Tuscan Period, of 20 years ago, or so. What drove the final decision to go with the arches in this project, was primarily based on three things:
The clients found a beautiful concept photo of a fireplace that has a gentle curved edge, that they fell in love with - so that meant that the kitchen hood also needed to repeat the curved line.
The front porch has a beautiful, curved detail
Given the over-all stature of the home and strong geometry, the clients wanted to find places that it could be softened. Continuing the curved line introduced in the exterior was the perfect way to do that.
THE TAKE AWAY
It’s very difficult to catch every little nuance, and even some that aren’t so little in a floor plan, To really see what’s happening in plan view, it’s best to work simultaneously between both the plan and elevation views.
For instance, we always start with the floor plan, but then tweak as needed to accommodate the design shown in the vertical views. Before you start a construction project, elevations should be part of the initial design process.
As you can see from this project, small changes can make a world of difference!
An educated, skilled and experienced designer will be able to help flush out any potential problems. Be sure to include them on your design and construction projects.