by Cindi 

Getting ready for professional kitchen design


I designed our kitchen on Main St., but I just cannot come up with a plan for this house. I’ve decided to get some help.

Our existing kitchen on Main St.

I think I did a good job on our existing kitchen. It’s been in place since about 1992 or so. I recently added the mason jar shelving and expect to expand on that at the new house, especially with our new neighbors, the country mice. Here is the information I will share with the designers. I’ll share the results when I get them back.

Mason jar storage for dry goods
Mason jar storage for dry goods
kitchen range area
A broader view of the kitchen
kitchen floor made of vinyl composition tile, VCT
The floor is VCT cut into 6″ squares and laid an Ohio Star pattern.

Our existing kitchen at this house

What it looked like after closing

Everything is on the counter because I refused to put anything inside. These cabinets never stood a chance. They were removed at our first opportunity.

South wall
South wall
West wall
West wall
West wall
West wall
Doorway to bathroom and livingroom on the north wall
Doorway to bathroom and livingroom on the north wall
Opening to closet under stairs on east wall
Opening to closet under stairs on east wall
Goodbye cabinets
Goodbye cabinets

After demo of cabinets and trim

Some of the photos were taken with a panoramic app and may be a bit distorted.

south wall
This is the wall that needs an exterior door. It can be in addition to the window, instead of the window or in a different location if needed.
West wall, window is 42″ from the floor, 34″ x 39″.
West wall, window is 42″ from the floor, 34″ x 39″.

We have already bought three cabinets, a 36″ three drawer cabinet, the 24″ sink cabinet to fit the Domsjo single sink and a 24″ cabinet. They are put together but just sitting in the room.

north wall
North wall showing the boarded up door to the bathroom and the opening to the livingroom.
east wall panaramic
East wall with the door way to the closet that is under the stairs. The tape shows the location of the ceiling line.
east wall
East wall with the livingroom opening on the left

I sorry about the quality of the photos. These are the best I could get. I fell and broke my knee cap into three pieces. Two weeks after knee surgery I am still not mobile.

Cabinets could be built into the east wall to take advantage of the space under the stairs. The photos below are from, my new obsession.


One thing that improved the floorplan of the kitchen and the bathroom was changing the location of the door to the bathroom. When we bought the house, the second door was at the end of the bathroom entering the kitchen. We did not want to eliminate the door completely because we wanted easy access from the bedroom. We’ll add a pocket door inside the bathroom to block off the toilet area creating a part-time power room for the studio. That will be convenient when I am teaching a class. If I don’t get around to doing dishes or vacuuming, my students are none the wiser. I just have to close two doors to isolate the studio from the rest of the house.

North is on the left, east is the top, south on the right and west at the bottom.
North is on the left, east is the top, south on the right and west at the bottom.

This floor plan was created using MagicPlan and my ipad. Just stand in the corner of the room and take a photo of each corner. Do this for each room and move the rooms into place and you have a floor plan as fast as you can take the photos. It gets some of the measurements wrong, but it is amazingly accurate. You can enter corrected measurements when you find errors. It has been so helpful to be able to bring up the measurements at any time with just a few taps — you know my ipad is always within arm’s reach.

Features I need in the new kitchen

*in no particular order


I teach traditional rug hooking and part of my job is to provide hand dyed wool. That requires over 1 hour of boiling per batch. I often do several batches in one day so the steam can be an issue. In the past, I’ve had an over-the-stove microwave which did not work at all. We now have an inexpensive range hood that is marginally better.

I don’t like the look of most conventional range hoods. Many only cover the back half of the stove top. I usually use the front burners because my pots are so large I can only use one burner on each side. The pots are quite tall so keeping them on the front burners is easier for me as I am only 5’4″. Are there other options that work?

Eating space for two

A large table will be in the studio for large family meals (see floorplan). It will be under the window by the front door and pushed up against the wall most of the time. We can pull it out for those special meals. For breakfast, however, I’d like seating for at least one, preferably two in the kitchen.

A home for our Berkey water filter

We own a Royal Berkey Water Filter that gives us terrific water. My husband who would never drink water before has increased the amount of water he drinks every day. It needs to be readily accessible but out of the way. An ideal feature would be a small shelf of some sort about 18″ below to rest large pots while I am filling them. The particular model is 9 1/2″ in diameter and 23″ tall. We will need another 18″ of clearance above it to remove the lid and fill it.

Back door

I need to add a back door, probably something with a large window like the photo below. It does not need to be 36″, a smaller size such as 32″ will do. It needs to go on the south wall because the septic tank is just beyond the west wall making a porch and steps difficult. It can replace the window if that location is ideal. I’m thinking about adding a transom top since I have 9′ ceilings.


I have a dog and two cats. I’d like to hide the cat box and bowls. If I don’t restrict access the dog will eat all the cat food. In our current home we have a pet door in the door to the basement so the cats can access the basement but the dog cannot. The laundry and major food storage is in the basement so I am down there daily. The basement in this house is not an option. It will hold the mechanical equipment only. The low area at the back of the pantry closet is a possible solution or the area below the steps but beyond the pantry wall. We could cut into that wall to utilize the space. If the area is contained by a drawer, clean out would not be difficult.

I keep the dog bowls in a base cupboard, off the floor and out of the way. A spot in the pantry would work for the dog bowls also but it must be out of the way so it does not get kicked.

Foor Storage

I hate to grocery shop so I stock up and buy large quantities when my favorite items are on sale. I’ll need as much space for canned goods and boxed goods as possible.


The room currently has a single overhead light in the center of the room. I have never lived in this house so it is hard to determine how much lighting will be needed. I’ll need advice on lighting. I have poor vision so lighting is very important. I love under cabinet lighting, but since I will not have many upper cabinets, the lights will have to go on the underside of a shelf. The house is getting completely rewired so outlets and switches can be placed as needed.

I do not want recessed lighting. I will probably use schoolhouse style fixtures such as these:

Create an area for the refrigerator

I do not want the refrigerator dominate the room. Out of view would be the best solution, such as on the north wall flanked with extra deep cupboards to make it look built in. I want to use a standard size refrigerator. I was able to create this on Main St. by building walls around it, similar to the photo below.

I love this thin storage on the side of the refrigerator. It would also work on the ends of base cabinets also.

A pull out shelf takes advantage of even the smallest space. Open shelves are a possibility also.

Toekick drawers

We will be installing the IKEA cabinets on a custom built platform instead of using the IKEA feet so we can add toekick drawers. A few of the cabinets will have to house the heating vents which are not installed yet.

No shelves, only drawers for accessibility

Pots and Pans

I want to store the pots and pans in a 36″ wide drawer cabinet. This is a great idea for lids.

Some “nice to have ideas”

A place to hide the toaster

Hide electrical outlets on any island or penninsula

Add a charging center to one of the cabinets

A way to keep clutter off the counters

Add this clever storage to a cabinet by the backdoor or near the door to the livingroom.

Decisions I’ve already made


I bought the IKEA Domsjo single sink the last time I found it in stock after checking several times and finding it out of stock. I didn’t want to take the chance of not being able to get it when I needed it.

Shelves instead of a lot of upper cabinets

I prefer simple shelving around the sink area similar to the photos below.

Some boring details

There is no trim of any kind right now but we intend to install a simple wide board about 5″ wide, similar to what is in our existing kitchen.

Ceilings are 9′ tall

No appliances have been purchased but we expect to buy a 30″ range, a standard simple refrigerator, such as IKEA’s Energisk or Kylig 18 and integrated dishwasher.

*Most of the photos came from It has been my version of Candy Crush.

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