The Kitchen Designer’s Plan

In last month’s post What’s a Kitchen Designer to Do? , Vestabul’s head designer was confronted with a major unexpected renovation cost. Asbestos was found in her home and the removal costs meant the dream kitchen plan was in jeopardy.  Since a big chunk of the renovation budget was now gone her kitchen plan had to be revamped. The tradespeople were coming to start the rest of the renovation soon, so the new kitchen plan needed to be finalized. Follow along to see the design solution she came up with.

Before Kitchen to New Kitchen Plan


To start the process, all of the existing cabinets were measured and the designer worked on design options to see how they could be reconfigured into a more functional layout. The final kitchen plan can be seen above on the right. Not all of the existing cabinets were used in the new layout and the designer decided it was worth the investment to order 2 new cabinets to maximize storage.

The plan became more functional by specifying a doorway from the kitchen to the hall. This would allow two entrances into the kitchen and avoid the bottlenecks of the original layout. The range, microwave hood and the sink were kept in their original locations so no major plumbing, venting or electrical work had to be done. Expanding the kitchen foot print along the back wall allowed the refrigerator to be relocated in the space. The two new cabinets formed a peninsula/island producing an updated modern layout.

As with all Vestabul designs, the Kitchen Zones were laid out as part of the design process. Here is where the designer placed them.

Food Storage Zone and Clean-up Zone

The Food Storage Zone has the refrigerator bookended by the two narrow pantries. The designer knew she would eventually want a wider refrigerator so an open shelf was specified for above a 36″ wide refrigerator space. This cabinet shelf could be built with extra panels not needed in the new layout.

The Clean-up Zone centers around the sink with the dishwasher moving to a much more convenient location to the left of it. A single door base cabinet was placed between the dishwasher and pantry to allow for a long expanse of countertop in this area. The designer decided not to include any upper cabinetry on this wall making the space feel much more open and airy. This is a good designer trick when there is no window above the sink.

Serving Zone and Cooking Zone

The Serving Zone is located between the corner and the range. It is located here because the reconfigured upper cabinetry will house the homeowners everyday dishes. The Vestabul designer had fun with the layout of the upper cabinetry in this area. She used all 30″ wide cabinets and stepped them up from left to right. The center flip-up cabinet door in the middle is actually a single door cabinet flipped on it side. A lift-stay hinge will be specified to hold up this door.  This whole upper section was “floated” away from the walls for a more modern feel. To complete the serving zone the original bank of 4 drawers in the kitchen was relocated to where the dishwasher use to live.

The Cooking Zone has the range and microwave in their original locations. The designer popped in a slide in range in the drawing, hoping that one day the old white appliances could be replaced with sleeker stainless steel models. (Fingers crossed). To the right of the range is an angled cabinet that provides a bit of usable counter space that had previously been cut off from the cook. The designer also specified the removal of the glass block that is currently in the “window” above this area.

Prep Zone

As stated above the designer specified two new cabinets for the kitchen plan. She was able to find a custom cabinet maker who could match them perfectly to the existing cabinets. The size she specified was 30″ wide and 33″ deep for each.  These wide banks of drawers would be the perfect addition to this new kitchen layout and the almost 15 square feet of  counter space would be wonderful. The wide deep drawers will be able to store everything from pots & pans to mixing bowls to plastic storage containers. The shallow wide upper drawers will also be a great addition to the kitchen. Locating the Prep Zone in this location allows the cook to take in the view and stay connected to the action in the great room beyond.

With the cabinet layout complete the designer produced some perspective renderings to check that everything looked good. (and it did!)






With the new layout confirmed it was time to produce the working drawings and pick finishes. And, oh yes, the designer also needed to carefully remove all of the existing cabinetry so that they could be re-install into the new configuration. Lot’s of work to get done! Check in next month to see her progress.


2 thoughts on “The Kitchen Designer’s Plan

  1. AvatarDarnella Armitage

    Exciting to see the progress made on the designer’s kitchen, the opening from the hallway…what a difference. I recall seeing the original plan and thought walking around through the dining area to get in the kitchen so inconvenient, but didn’t have any idea how this could be solved. Opening the kitchen to the (prep areas, etc.) to the great area, wonderful. I do like a window above a kitchen sink….but open to the idea in this design (no pun intended)…….I would have to see it before deciding if I like this concept above the sink. I’m assuming that the refrigerator opens on the right side into the kitchen. Looking forward to the next phase.

    1. Designer @ VestabulDesigner @ Vestabul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Darnella. There were a few plans put together before this one was decided on but we believe this was the best one. The future refrigerator planned for the space is a French Door style. It’s a bit pricey so hopefully it makes it into the final kitchen! Fingers crossed.

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