We were pretty adamant that we wanted a table in the kitchen (one of our two design elements), and by the time the reno started, we had already bought a new one. This created a few design challenges as we wanted a table large enough for the three of us but also able to hold six people comfortably, and without crowding the rest of the kitchen. Often if we have guests, there are only 2 more to take it to 5, and we rarely go above 8 (us plus Andrea’s parents, and her sister’s family). The table we chose is perfect for that, but it presented some space limitations for the cupboards and the island.
One option was to put the fridge all the way to the left of that first picture, where a bunch of cupboards are showing now. However, the fridge would need a lot more swing space than the cupboards do, and that would have pushed the table too far out into the family room. I would have loved to blow out part of the wall to the left and extend the kitchen out even a few feet onto the deck, but that was a major cost option ($50K+ just for the wall extension, not including the actual kitchen work!). Not a viable option.
However, the main challenge was to the island space to the right of the picture…the end of the island was a bit close, and at one point we cut it back about 6 or 7 inches to make sure it didn’t crowd too much. I was kind of ticked that the builders, and their “designer with experience” didn’t catch these problems. Well, actually, perhaps they did — their solution was to get rid of the table completely. Not something we were willing to consider, so we had to compromise a bit elsewhere, still ending up with a great solution and fully functional.
The other design element they messed up was the cupboards all the way to the left. These are special “Ikea” cupboards in that they would have outer doors but the interiors would be drawers. Except they put the cupboard right to the wall, trying to give me more space at the other end where the fridge went (a whole other challenge), and thus the handles on the cupboard hit the side wall when the doors were open and then the drawers wouldn’t come out all the way. Ended up having to put just drawers there rather than the external cupboards, but wasn’t our preference. Not huge, just mildly annoying, yet not as annoying as their first solution of just living with it.