The Sweet Family Kitchen

A number of you have had to listen to my accounts of the trials and tribulations of building this kitchen. It is now essentially finished. I've added a number of new pictures to the gallery below.

Design Constraints

The former kitchen and breakfast area was 19' by 11', and had 4 doors: one from the front entry way, one to the dining room, one to the family room and a 6' sliding door to the back yard. In the remodel, we took out two of those door.

A room of approximately 200 square feet is a pretty good size for a kitchen, but the 11' dimension presented a problem. It is not wide enough to allow an island and is too wide to make a comfortable pullman style kitchen. We dealt with this in two ways: we have a peninsula, and all base cabinets are 4" deeper than standard. These 28" deep cabinets give us more counter space, less space between the opposite cabinets and incredibly deep drawers (all of which have full extension hardware). The upper cabinets are also 4" deeper than normal. We keep a stepladder in the broom closet next to the microwave; reaching the back of the upper shelves requires it.

Floor Plan

The kitchen is on the south side of the house. We enlarged the existing window and put in a 60° garden window. The view from the sink is improving daily; we're in the middle of a major relandscaping project and they are supposed to plant the second week of September. We have a pool, and one can see the entire pool from this window.


The cabinets are natural unstained cherry. As I've mentioned before, the base cabinets are 28" deep and the upper cabinets are 16" deep. The one exception is the cabinet under the peninsula. The peninsula is 3' by 5', with a 12" overhang on two sides, making the cabinet below it 2' by 4'. All of the base cabinets and pantry cabinets have pull out shelves with full extension hardware. There is cherry crown molding around the entire ceiling.

The counter tops are a grey/green granite called "Verde San Francisco." There are three extents of countertop: on either side of the range, and the peninsula. The granite extends out into the bay window. The only seams are on either side of the piece that sticks out into the bay. There is a 12" overhang on two sides of the peninsula. We will have stools "in six to eight weeks," whenever that will actually be.

The floor is 3/4" T&G red oak, with a light stain and urethane finish.

The range is a commercial unit with 6 open burners (24,000 BTU), and a convection oven base (30,000 BTU). To avoid arguments with the inspectors, I left 6" on either side of the oven. I filled in the space with hanging racks for skillets on both sides. The wall behind the range has fire wall rated sheetrock covered with stainless steel. The hood has an externally mounted blower with three speeds. The lowest speed is pretty quiet and the highest speed draws 1400 CFM (hold onto the kids).

The refrigerator is a SubZero bottom freezer 36" model. We have a large freezer and a small commercial refrigerator in the garage for extra capacity.

There is only one window (though it's pretty big), so there are lots of lights in the room: two fluorescent fixtures with 4 - 4' bulbs each (full spectrum bulbs); 6 can lights with halogen PAR bulbs, and more than a dozen small halogen "puck" lights under the counters. The counters have a double bottom, so no wires are visible.

Photo Gallery

Click on any small picture to get a larger image.


Early pictures before knobs on cabinets

 Southwest corner



A view of the southwest corner of the room, showing the range and hood. The cutting board to the left of the range is end grain alder. The southeast corner of the kitchen, showing the door to the dining room. The west wall, showing the refrigerator and the microwave. The broom closet next to the microwave holds a stepladder.




Closeup of the range and hood. The hood has 3 PAR floods in the front and two heat lamps in the back. Note the hanging racks on either side of the range. The upper cabinets on either side of the range have spice racks on the doors. Note the plexiglass strip that keeps the bottles from falling out. The corner base cabinets have lazy susan inserts that allows you find things in the back.




 The sink is an Elkay stainless single sink. The faucet on the left dispenses both refrigerated and "boiling hot" water. The view out the window will get better "any day now."  Showing one of the pullout drawers in the pantry cabinet next to the dining room door. We're still deciding what goes where.  The north wall contains a bookcase with room for cookbooks.

Later pictures




Another view out the Kitchen window now that the landscaping is further along.  We added a small compact stereo system with the speakers on the top bookshelf. The wiring for the speakers is inside the wall.


 Top down view of the peninsula showing the pattern of the granite. The bright spots are specular reflections from the down lights.





The stools for the peninsula. It's hard to capture the color. It is a rich hunter green fabric on an oak base.

 A couple of closeups of the knob. They are brushed nickel with a brass band around the outside.  
Let me know what you think.