On Kitchen Design
Kitchens, and their design, seem to provoke more questions than any other space. I tried to field a number of them last night at a friend's house, and woke this morning with the goal of walking through with my readers how I put a kitchen together.
It first is the "Am I paying too much?" question. All in, a kitchen with new cabinets, new countertops and professional grade appliances will run $125 to $250K. The spread is primarily in the cabinets and the remodeling work to make the space ready for cabinets--think lighting and kitchen exhaust fan.
The second is "Why are cabinets so expensive". OK, let's back up.
Let's start with the question that should be asked: What will be the primary functions of this space?
Family food preparation, entertainment, refuel and go ops? gathering place? Morning, evening, weekends?
How do I plan the kitchen zones? Julius Blum, a German manufacturer of cabinets and hardware, has a great online zone planner that helps you understand the dynamics of planning for a kitchen that works. Great helpful hints.
Then budget. Professional appliances will run $25 to $75K for a complete complement and retail prices are set by the manufacturer--so not a lot of leeway. My recommendations are
- gas cooktop (we cook on a Viking and can recommend it),
- convection ovens, and
- a kitchen exhaust fan size and location that works.
Everything else is personal preference.
Upper and lower <strong>cabinetry</strong> runs from $500 per lineal foot (IKEA) to $1500PLF for custom built.
I have been unimpressed with the imported european cabinets. Timing (twelve to fourteen week lead time and they missed the delivery date forcing us to air ship the boxes), the quality, and the final installed appearance were underwhelming. TO their credit they do an impressive sales job--If its good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, its good enough for you--but on a recent job, the cabinets (again airshipped from Germany) were the wrong size and it took them seven weeks to replace them on a critical path job. For 20% more, we could have had a completely custom kitchen with furniture grade finishes--on time without the hassle.
Stone countertops run from $80 to $300 per lineal foot of countertop, based primarily on the type of stone.
Kitchen exhaust fans need to be sized to remove 100 to 150 CFM per square foot of cooktop, 28" to 32" (70 to 85cm) above the surface of the cooktop.
Lighting, particularly with California's new energy codes--50% of total wattage in a kitchen to be fluorescent--is a critical area. Island lighting, task lighting, ambient lighting.