Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hardware placement, it's important

Anxious people should not reno/build homes. Especially anxious people who are not professionals in construction/design. I fall into the category of these anxious people. Also, into the category of masochists who keeps putting herself out there and into situations that will 100% cause anxiety.

But also, what is life without a little on-the-edge action. I just prefer to take mine in the form of making design choices.

Last time I wrote I was blissfully talking all about kitchen cabinets, today I have a progress photo to share:

When I first saw the kitchen without doors or hardware I was on cloud nine. Honestly, I was ecstatic! Than we went on holidays and the doors were installed and the hardware was on and I started stewing. 

Now, before I take apart the likes and dislikes of the kitchen, I feel it’s important to say the following:

1. In no way, shape or form will the look of the kitchen have impact on the nutritional value of food prepared here. Nor will it have impact on the messes we make, the late night chats we have or the wine we drink. This is the place for memories to happen, regardless of how it looks.
2. Hubs loves things as they are.
3. Now that's I'm writing this and looking at the images for 100th time, I'm actually completely in love and the things that bugged me a day ago are now accentic quirks that I'm finding endearing.

Now that we’ve got the important stuff out of the way, let’s get into the neurotic nitpicking.

I’ve read a few posts about how midway through a reno/install clients/owners begin to panic and second guess the vision. Yep, that’s been me and it’s an unpleasant experience to say the least. After spending a lot of time and money, you hope to be elated, not twitchy. 

That first night after seeing the kitchen I spent hours looking at all the photos I took, judging how I feel about the progress, reassuring myself that this is THE stage for panic, and reminding myself that if my biggest problem in life is kitchen hardware placement, I’ve got it made.

Having said that, things that bugged me on that first night:

1. Drawer pull style. I love them. And I’m not 100% content with them. The way they are installed, they feel small for the drawers. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this, I feel like such an idiot, honestly. BUT… BUT… we didn't want to do narrower drawers and these pulls didn’t come in a larger size. And I still LOVE THEM.

2. Drawer pull placement. So, kitchen design people don’t like it when you install two pulls on one large drawer, it screws with the tracks over time and they can’t guarantee the integrity of mechanisms. So, one pull it was, and I was happy with that because I’m not a fan of two pulls, not matter the size of the drawer. BUT, I should have specified the pull to be placed a little higher on those deep drawers. And I didn’t. ooops! 

3. The knobs… umm… I don’t know if I like their placement either. This is how the kitchen design company installs them standard. I guess I could have asked for them to be placed in the usual manner, closer to the corner, but I’m not sure that would be better.

I think overall things will look much more cohesive once counters, backsplash and appliances are in. Just installing the hood in that top portion of the cabinets will ground things and make much more sense.

4. My last area of discomfort is the sink wall. Just the sheer height of upper cabinets makes it feel… not right in some way. Breaking this up with glass doors would have been pointless, this is not a place for displaying things. This is the workhorse wall of the kitchen to house all the things that need to be hidden. Also, that little bump over the sink… But here, even more than on the range wall, dishwasher, counters and backsplash will make a huge difference.

NOW, lets talk about all the things I do like and I’m glad we went for:

1. Number one, most important thing: I’m super glad that my hubs loves the kitchen, it was his idea to get flat doors and gray colour and I’m very happy to know that he likes how the kitchen turned out. Seeing him happy makes me happy.

2. Those drawers! We have four banks of 36” drawers. Two framing the range and two in the island. I’m a really short person, and the upper cabinets are usually completely useless to me. Being able to have lots of smart storage where I can access it without a step stool was the most important thing for me. Considering we also have that huge pantry, I think my storage/access needs have been met.

3. The quality of craftsmanship is fantastic. For those who’ve been reading for a while, you know I LOVE Ikea. And I would say to anyone that an Ikea kitchen is a great investment. We loved our Ikea kitchen! But it is really nice to have custom sized cabinets, and it doesn’t hurt that the company installing the kitchen is local, everything was made here, in Ottawa, employing people in our community. And the quality is incredible. That makes the kitchen extra special.

4. Built in full depth fridge. Kids are going to love having cold water and ice on demand. I would even say our oldest is looking forward to this more than her new room or the backyard.

5. Have I mentioned how much I love those pulls?? The finish and the little swirly detail are fantastic. I also love that they feel very solid, very well made. Old school style. I love them even more in the ensuite bath! And totally dig their placement.

6. Glass doors were an afterthought. They were in our inspiration kitchen and I wanted them from the start, but worried that the doors would be too huge, being 24”by39”. We were also cautioned against installing glass so close to the range. BUT so far, without having fried so much as an egg on the non-existent range, I can say that they are awesome, I love them, and any inconveniences due to placement will be totally worth it. They MAKE the kitchen, IMHO. I’m glad I pushed for them. 

7. The legs on the island. (1) they extended the island by 3”, never a bad thing. (2) they give the open feel we need because the breakfast nook is super narrow (3) love that we got them the same colour as the rest of the kitchen. Small detail, but love it!

That’s all I’ve got so far. I’ve read every forum discussion on drawer pulls size for 36” drawer cabs, I’m agonized over the photos, I’ve compared photos to our inspiration kitchen and catalogued the differences. I’ve done all this because I’m crazy about these little things. But let’s not lose track of the fact that these things are small (very expensive, but small in the grand scheme of life and family), this is not life altering in any way, and I’m super grateful that I get to have these as my little pet worries.

Counters and sinks next!

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