Designing a kitchen is something like a Tetris game. Not just the cabinets, but also the appliances and countertops. You know, I worked for a tile and countertop fabricator for a while when I was in school. We would not template anything until the cabinets were installed. We wouldn’t take specs for appliances, either, until they went in. Only then could countertop work begin. I can see the reason for those rules now. 

These days, I still wait for everything physically there before installation. It’s too easy to miss something. Frankly, the permitting process took a lot of my attention during this project. So, at one point we had to order something else for the kitchen, and there ultimately was one piece we couldn’t use as planned. But we made it into another part. Frankly, it did not go smoothly! But that’s often the nature of the work. 

Ultimately, though, it could have been a lot worse. In the grand scheme of things, despite both the kitchen and the bath throwing us curveballs, the work only cost a bit more than projected. It took some figuring out to make things work, but fortunately — leaning on experience and creativity — it all worked out. 

  

Cabinetry life lessons

The main lesson from the cabinetry work s this: Trust the professionals, and also measure twice (or more) yourself. You can’t order everything and then improvise. Measurements are critical. Measuring may sound easy, or straightforward. It’s not. Sure, for some jobs there may not be much to it, but generally it’s a big deal. 

Even with that awareness, along the way to finishing this kitchen we overcame a lot of original obstacles, such as the bump out around the structural piece and dealing with the corners. With that top cabinet — the clear glass tower, you can see the corner and how it worked out.

So remember: One awkward piece can mess everything up. Too much room is better than not enough.

   

My fav topic: cabinet colors

Now let’s talk about something more pleasant: the greenish-gray cabinet color! I love this. It’s a Sherwin-Williams color that I’ve been admiring for some time… greenish gray, with a hint of warmth. 

It’s definitely a Colorado color — I knew we would use it when we decided to switch out the floors. The floors have a slightly rustic look. So I didn’t want it to be too modern, but I did want it looking updated. I like the warmer tones anyway. As with all things, it’s important to find a balance. 

I wanted something that was not all white like so many spaces today. It needed to be fresh, and a little modern, but not white. I’m also not a huge fan of the “all grey” look. So I was drawn to the green tones. I like that it has a little warmth to it while still being soothing to the eye.

 

The functional kitchen

My favorite part of the new kitchen is the glass-front tower. It looks really nice, and in fact came out even better than expected. It was a custom-designed piece with a drawer in the bottom that will be perfect for spices. Very handy.

The top part can display dishes. Actually, there’s a ton of storage space in the kitchen, so it could showcase decorative items as well.  

Mainly, though, I wanted it to be functional. I’d say at this point the kitchen in this home is perhaps more functional than my own kitchen! I definitely knew I wanted to place drawers next to the stove to make it easier to grab utensils while cooking, and we did that. I’m so happy with those.

What to do with your leftover corner space…. 

Now, with the corner units, those often represent a bit of wasted space in a kitchen, behind the area you can actually reach. It’s empty space.  I really wanted to — just for a future surprise — put a skeleton in there. It’s a handy tip I saw on Instagram. Maybe next time!