Follow-up question to post on goals for redoing kitchen

Question: So you said you made your share of mistakes in redoing your kitchen? If you could get just one do-over, what would you ask for?

Answer: I think the one mistake I made with redoing my kitchen was that I was so focused on storage space that I totally forgot about where to place a table. I have a nice dining room table right off the kitchen I can eat at, and being it is “casual” it’s perfectly acceptable. Still, I’d like a small table in the kitchen. Instead I have cabinets lining both walls and really no good place to put a table.

Question 2: Did you hire someone to provide a kitchen layout or just sketch out yourself what you wanted and hire a contractor to bring that sketch to life?

Answer: I sketched out what I wanted and hired a contractor to bring that sketch to life. In hindsight hiring a kitchen designer to provide the layout might not have been a bad idea. But, a really good designer charges a lot of money. You can go to a place like Lowe’s or Home Depot and I believe their “designer” is included when your purchase the cabinets from them. However you are still left with a lot of decisions to make. My kitchen presented several problems which left me with several decisions, along with compromises, to make.

To start with, my house was built as a summer cottage in 1918, evolved into a year-round house, and at some point was added onto. There were several “oddities” in the house. For example, a small, very old, 28” refrigerator and an opening into the kitchen that was only 29”. In order to get a new refrigerator into the kitchen, the opening had to be expanded. I knew I wanted at least a 32” French door refrigerator. Expanding the opening and adding in a larger refrigerator resulted in cutting down cabinet space on one side of the kitchen.

Because my house lacked a pantry, I opted for cabinet pantries which resulted in “eating up” more space on that one wall. This further resulted in me having to give up the classic “L-shaped” kitchen design with the corner overhead cabinet and lazy-susan cabinet underneath. The corner overhead cabinet is always a good cabinet to have as it provides lots of storage space, but there was simply no way for me to incorporate it. Therefore I was quite limited in my options.

The question that usually arises is would one prefer form over function or vice-versa. In my situation I was battling both options. If I had unlimited funds I would have hired a kitchen designer, expanded the house and got the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, my funds, like most people, were limited. I was lucky to be able to update the kitchen. That is why a site like this that shows various options is a great alternative for the do-it-yourselfer with limited funds.

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