Creative Combos

How many kitchens have you designed where an island absolutely must be squeezed in and you’re left staring at a floorplan that simply won’t allow it? Unfortunately, I haven’t invented a magical room stretcher (yet), but it leads me to another relative thought: Refining choices for storage and organization with your client can result in a very long list of inclusions, which many times are far greater than what will actually fit into the design. For this, I can offer some tips that are a little magical, but mostly practical!

As I mentioned in What’s in your Drawers, the top storage and organization wish list is a great guideline to work from, but also understanding what your client needs to fit into the cabinets is your top priority for the best possible design. After you’ve determined this, you can then define “what goes where” which may lead to an opportunity to consider clever cabinet combinations!

Built-in Benefits

Though they may be evident to those of you have utilized this concept, let’s walk through some of the benefits that are built when using combined cabinets:

  • Improves relationships (with your installer)
    One cabinet is better to install than two (most of the time for those of you who are thinking of that massive pantry that is difficult to get into the home) so your installer might just greet you with a hug, or at least a smile when you point out your clever combo!
  • Symmetrical solutions
    Most of our base cabinets with wood pullouts allow you to modify widths to the nearest ¼” increment. For example, if you have a 32 ¾” wide cabinet, you can specify a single cabinet with equal width fronts. If this were two separate cabinets, the ¾” dimension would need to fall to one of the cabinets rather than being divided equally.
  • Streamlines inset (Platinum) designs
    Combining cabinets lends to a more streamlined design, which is desirable especially for inset kitchens. It reduces the repetition of connected cabinets and subsequent seams, and once again makes installation easier.

Designed to Delight

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry PeppercornIn our Platinum Providence kitchen (above) we wanted to make the most functional use of the space. Harmonizing symmetry and storage, we created these clever combos:

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn
This base cabinet combines our tiered storage and pullout tray-divider into one 30 1/2″ wide configuration.
PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn
To balance the counter wall with lift-door appliance garage on the far right, we combined our counter wall drawer cabinet and our open plate rack for this unique arrangement.

Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass

Looking at our Bella-Mission kitchen, you will see the emphasis on linearity in the overall design. However, what you may not see is the use of specialty configurations within the cabinets to support the clients’ storage and organization needs.

Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass
Left and right of the refrigerator, we combined our base and tall pullouts and inverted the configuration. In part, we did this to improve access to the upper section of the cabinet, but also so we could use a full-width open cabinet across the top in lieu of a typical design that would fill the 102” overall height with cabinetry/doors.
Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass
This demi-height arrangement complements the open feel of the kitchen and allows for artistic personal décor.
Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass
Two deep drawers and an eye-level door section with tray dividers improves visibility and access to all three areas of this cabinet’s contents.
Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass
Mirroring the opposite side, we included two deep drawers here as well but changed the door section to include rollout trays, continuing with the theme of improved visibility and access.

Here is another of our creations, you may recognize it from our Dream Center display in Waconia:

Pots and pans combo base_door section
This combo includes our pullout pots-and-pans unit in the door section…
Pots and pans combo base_pull out work surface
…while the drawer contains a pull-out work surface – great for small kitchens and for someone who needs a lower prep height.

I’ve given you just a sampling of ideas and reasoning for using combined cabinets in your design, but another benefit to consider is that your unique combos can also give you an edge over the competition. You can create your own library of combos through our Custom Quote department and have them ready when the need arises.

More ideas!

I reached out to our Custom Quote Supervisor, Kyle, and asked if I could share some of what they see in their day-to-day requests. While these ideas are based on Platinum, the same could apply to Gold. Feel free to download these images for your library creation.

 

4 Comments

  1. Kellie Hancock

    Love this concept and have used it a bit but this takes it to a whole new level! I always shied away from platinum islands because of seams and this flawlessly creates a useful and beautiful island that no contractor could mess up! Also adore the oven set-up…been waiting for the right space to propose something like this since your last talk!

    Liked by 1 person

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