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Kitchen cabinetry #1: Stumped on a double-blind corner, out of ideas

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Blog entry by Jake posted 12-09-2013 09:56 PM 1630 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Kitchen cabinetry series Part 2: Finishing a countertop (2" slab of Iroko) »

Hey everyone. I am fairly new to woodworking – only done a few serious projects but I have been lurking around LJ for a few months and you guys have been awesome, given me a lot of courage to try out new things. I have set up shop in our 300sqft ground floor and I plan to tackle my woodworking as a business, rather than a hobby. I won’t be selling anything any time soon – but for me looking at it as a business first really pushes to look at the best possible options. Because every project I make for my lovely wife and our home, is a project that in my mind has to also serve as an example of my craft and a possible showcase piece.

So after we bought our first home half a year ago I have been slowly doing small projects like a bar top, wardrobe, TV cabinet, A king size bed and a computer centre. But these have all been a piece of cake in comparison to what I am now trying to do.

I now need to tackle a full size kitchen cabinetry, but instead of a regualr dreaded blind corner I have what I have affectionally called a double-blind corner. Basically our kitchen is an L shape which turns back in the end. See pic for reference:

So here’s the thing, in the wood colours are the cabinets I am designing, in regular SU colours are the items that are placed, in the corner – standing proud at 50” is our refigertaor. It is the best place in our mind because we need to maximize our counter space. On the wall the in the corner the large box and smaller ones is our gas heating unit – this is the worst part, can’t move it due to regulations, so this has to stay put, there are a lot of tubes running along the wall as well, but these are not important at the moment. The gas heater stands 57” off the floor. Extending from the wall is also our bar tabletop which I made, it is movable, but there is no other place for it in our house, so only place to move it would be a fireplace..

So essentially what I have in the corner is a double whammy, a very narrow space to move into and not much I can even put in the cabinet from the front – at best i would be looking at 10” from the front. So my plan was to actually finish the cabinets as you can see in the drawing, then make the end blind cabinet higher by a thickness of the tabletop.

Then I would make that last part slideable on rails onto the lower tabletop, which would allow me to reach in the counter from the top, because I still will have about 20” from the tabletop to the gas heating unit. In that way I could use the blind corner as a trash can/storage for things I use onyl a few times in a year.

But now that I have had time to think about it I am not so sure, maybe I should let go of the idea of putting the refigerator in the corner, and leave it on the left side of the cabinets – which means I won’t be able to hide it and I will lose some counter top there. So I am truly stumped.

In short here are my options:
1. Make a sliding (or fold up of some kind) table top for the 2xblind corner, so I could still use the space form the top. (the blind cabinet would be 27” width)
2. Move my refigerator out of that blind corner into the beginning of the cabinets, lose some counter space, but compensate with being able to extend the cabinets to the end and making a pull-out table top into the blind corner, so I would still have room to work with, but culd reach the cabinet form the front.
3. Just frame the gas heater corner off and forget about it. (our kitchen is quite small, cabinet widths on pic are standard 24”)

You guys have seen a lot has anyone dealt with something like this? Because I have searched high and low and I have not found anything yet. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated, I really need a fresh look on this thing, because I have been staring at it, drawing and redrawing designs for 3 weeks now and I have all my materials ready as of last weekend. I would really like to make a new year present fro my lovely wife with a finished kitchen.

If you need any more info let me know, I would be glad to supply it.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.



13 comments so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#1 posted 12-09-2013 10:39 PM

Hmm its a bit diffcult to geat an idear of the problem from your drawing. Is it perhaps possible to ad some pictures? Then ill be happy to help!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View outsidethebox's profile

outsidethebox

27 posts in 1336 days


#2 posted 12-09-2013 10:53 PM

I agree, I’m having a little trouble trying to get a visual of what it is that you are looking for. A floor plan would be great!

-- Corey, Renville, MN

View Loren's profile

Loren

8309 posts in 3113 days


#3 posted 12-10-2013 04:04 AM

You’re losing me too. Keep working on your thinking
and get a Hafele catalog. There are some whacky things
in there for confined kitchens.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#4 posted 12-10-2013 05:19 AM

Glad I’m not the only one struggling with the picture. It needs more context, like the whole kitchen floorplan. Also I’m not sure what those rectangles are in the cubby… you mentioned a refrigerator and gas heater but the sizes seem to be off. And why is there a stove vent in the corner?

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1095 days


#5 posted 12-10-2013 05:59 AM

Here are some sketches, hopefully this clears things up. I will make a sketch kind of showing what I meant by the sliding top as well.
Top 2D view showing wall layout

Top 2D view with planned cabinetry and placement you saw on the very first post 3D

2D sketch of the main wall with correct distances.

Front 3D view of planned cabinetry without the blind corner cabinet and without bar tabletop (the heater unit is a bit off, it actually extends ~1” below the top cabinetry)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1095 days


#6 posted 12-10-2013 06:13 AM

Thanks all for the questions, that’s what happens when you’ve been flying solo – you forget that not everybody has seen it 300 times.. Anyhow, the vent can be changed, this is just how it is currently from the previous owners.

That’s why I started this blog, to get fresh perspective and feedback, and you guys are pretty much pros. Additional photos, that might clear things up, if it is still unclear, I can take a pic later when I get home tonight. Please excuse the mess.

Corner without the gas heater unit installed (We had it installed this november)

Corner with the heater installed (currently the water heater on the right is gone, our gas heater does it, but at the time the pic was taken the system was not hooked up yet.)

By the way the cabinets you see on the pic are going out, we loved them in the beginning, but they are not built well (look at the table top eek!) also now they don’t fit into our design. We are going for a shaker style with a solid 2” thick slab of Iroko Mahagony (poor mans Teak it is called I believe)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#7 posted 12-10-2013 07:52 AM

Much better. I hate to say it but I would start by getting rid of the bar because it closes off the kitchen. Otherwise this is a tough one and hopefully someone with more experience will have some ideas.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1095 days


#8 posted 12-10-2013 08:15 AM

This is a bastard, no doubt about it. Getting rid of the bar is the last resort, and I hope not to that. Main reasoning being that we don’t have a big dining room, so this is where we eat and be merry.

We probably will need to move the bar a bit further, make it overlap the chimney by 10” or so (currently the bar top is ~20”) That would give us 10”space at the kitchen. Which would be ergonomically better as well.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#9 posted 12-10-2013 10:26 AM

Year see that you got a challenge there..

I think that you perhaps have gotten a little “blind” staring at that rorner. Try to forget that for a second and focus on what kind of kitchen you like. Now depending on wether you cook seldom and need a “french tea kitchen” or the all in chef’s dream place ill suggest to consider these two options (or somewhere in the middle):

Small kitchen:
- Put the stove where the fridge is and build a cabinet around the heater (remember air vent).
- Get rid of the bar (sorry) and put the fridge at the chimney, perhaps inside a cabinet or with a nice countertop on…

Large kitchen:
- Bild a large cabinet over the whole corner and use it for cleaning gear etc
- Get rid of the bar (sorry again)
- Build a nice “island” out in the room w access on all 4 sides in order to activate the narrow space in the kitchen
- Consider having the fridge and stove in the island
- Perhaps the outside of the island could have a few bar stools to get the “bar feel” back?

Perhaps, in such a relatively small space, consider not making cabinets over the table but open shelves instead in order to give a more airy feeling
A few nice lamps and some good looking cooking gear around and you are cooking in style!

Hope this was usefull?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View MacB's profile

MacB

38 posts in 1105 days


#10 posted 12-10-2013 10:28 AM

I can help you layout your kitchen with some CAD drawings if you want. Just message me and I can help you design your kitchen with various design options. Just looking to help out a fellow wood worker.

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1095 days


#11 posted 12-10-2013 11:07 AM

Thanks Kaerli, this is extremely useful. As you correctly stated I have become very stuck with my initial thoughts. I have become blinded by the blind corner.

Fitting the fridge against the chimney, a cabinet around it and extening a ~25-30” shorter version of the bar top from there could be a great option. I will have to put it in a design.

The island can’t go too far from the chimeny, just because this part will extend into our living room, but the airy kitchen is also lucrative, Could be a good option, although 2 of the cabinets should house a washer machine and a dishwasher, so they can’t be open or moved around from the initial wall or blind corner. But you have given me a lot to think about. I hope to come up with a new design quickly.

Mac: I would hate to have you waste a lot of your precious time, but if you could help me and promise not to waste more than a few hours, I would be glad to see someone else’s design. I will send you info in a message.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#12 posted 12-10-2013 01:03 PM

For a narrow and flexible solution to the island, could someting like this work (with wheels on it): http://www.ikea.com/dk/da/catalog/products/14631607/ – Would keep some of the bar feeling as well

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1095 days


#13 posted 12-10-2013 01:31 PM

Might do, if I don’t extend the shelves all the way to the edge. Then i could still have some leg room on the kitchen side and also that would cover the bar from the living room side.

Thanks a lot for the ideas! I am slowly formulating a different plan and once I get there with the help of you guys I will put it up for additional ideas. :)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

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