‘Courting’ a kitchen design

kitchen court exterior

Almost 2 months after we first decided to renovate the kitchen, we have finally gotten to the big moment of seeing our kitchen design go from our heads onto paper.  Thanks to David and Alexis Courtney, of Kitchen Court, the design is coming to life.  Just 2 short weeks after meeting us at our home, discussing our ideas, and taking their measurements, David unveiled his elevation drawings for our kitchen.  The basic layout hasn’t changed from the one we came up with in February — after all, the space can’t get any larger and certain elements will only fit in one spot — but moving from a rudimentary plan view to elevations of drawers and cupboards is still a thrill.  (At least to me!)   Plus, like all good designers, David and Alexis were able to suggest the kind of finishing details that take the design from good to great.

KC presentation boards

In this room, more than any other in the house, form must follow function, and David and Alexis also nailed those details perfectly.  Knowing that all our ‘must-have’ functions will fit nicely into the plan is exciting:  a cupboard for brooms, mops and other awkward cleaning tools (no more running to the basement); a tilt-out cubby for sponges and scrubbers under the sink (no more mess around the sink); a pull-out with adjustable shelves, for corralling spices and oils (no more jumble in the drawer); big pull-out pantry cupboards (no more lost food at the back of the cupboards); lots of deep drawers for pots and appliances (no more emptying the cupboard to get just one pan); a retractable arm under the sink for dish towels (no more decorative draping over the oven handle); a garbage/recycling pullout that holds large bins (no more daily emptying of overflowing bins); a bookcase built into the end of our new peninsula (no more cookbooks spilling out of the closet).

mixer cupboard

The piece de resistance: a special cupboard with lift for my (still unpurchased) new KitchenAid mixer.

We  selected our cabinet door profile:

door profile

And we matched our graphite cabinet finish to a quartz countertop sample:

kitchen samples - floor, cabinet, countertop

Which we then matched to the flooring samples that I brought along to the meeting.

Our outstanding issues are few:

  • We need to decide how high to make the countertops. Standard height is 36″, but with 3 tall people in the house, this just feels too low, and the constant shoulder hunching is costing me big bucks in chiropractic bills.   David mocked up a height of 38″ for us, and it felt good.  The challenge is on the side of the kitchen that houses that range and peninsula.  Standard range height is 36″, to go with standard countertops, so how to compensate for a 2″ increase in counter height?  At the peninsula, we want a raised ‘eating’ bar to hide the countertop from view by folks in the front hall, but with a 38″ countertop and a 42″ bar, there isn’t much of a height differential.  I’m okay with 36″ counters on one side of the kitchen, and 38″ counters on the longer side of the kitchen, where I plan to do most of my prep work.   I just have to convince hubby that this is a good idea.  We are also considering raising the eating bar to 46″ or so, which may make it too high for some people to sit at, but will be just fine for standing and leaning.
  • We have to tweak the budget on the rest of the reno to accommodate the kitchen cost.  After all, this all started with the kitchen, and we are NOT sacrificing it.  We started with the flooring: when we got home and looked at the price of the sample we liked with wider, longer planks, we realized that we could save $2000 just by going with the same finish on the same species, in smaller planks.  I know some people wouldn’t be able to make this sacrifice, but we have very little open area in our house, where the plank sizes will be noticeable.  It’s important to us that we not sacrifice quality for the budget when a small design element can be changed without affecting the overall design.
  • We have to finalize our appliance selections.  We are 90% there.  We have discovered that there is a second all fridge/all freezer option that will give us the same function and quality at a lower price point.  We have a line of vent hoods that has the quality we want at a more reasonable price.  And we have narrowed our range selection to 2 contenders.
  • We have to select a sink and faucet — they are not included with the kitchen.
  • We need to find a backsplash tile that works with our cabinets and countertop.  I have purposely kept the countertop subdued in order to leave us more flexibility for the backsplash.   I like an interesting backsplash because it’s more noticeable than the countertops.

As an interior decorator, the kitchen finally feels like a reality now that I have seen the finishes and elevations coming together.   I can’t wait to get it out of my mind and into my home!


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