Kitchen musings..... shelving vs. cabinets, notions of design....

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( RCM-ers.... skip down to the alum. plate section) (RW peeple -- stop whining..... yeah, I know, it's not wood, it's anti-wood, deal with it)
Awl --
Since ahm fixin up m'shop, The Wife is REALLY bitching about her kitchen.... tit for tat, I spose.... no pun intended.... but an excellent pun, eh?? LOL
With a hypocrisy worthy of the basest politician, I'm going thru the HD kitchen design route (or at least the motions), mostly to get familiar with the "process" of "new kitchening", not necessarily to actually let them do it. My fillings are already hurting....
Inyway, sumpn is not right in KitchenDee-zineLand...... 'sall beautiful, 'sall archy-tecky, but sumpn is just not right.
Stunning as all this HGTV stuff is (more like culinary dick-waving), I'll bet that only 1 out of a 100 of these McMansion kitchens are actually used to do any real cooking. I'm betting that with alladat 1.25" granite all over the place, the shitty li'l brats run in and toaster-up their PopTarts, and everyone else is re-microwaving yesterday's KFC and pizza.....
Oh, and old news: alladisshit is SUPER expensive..... *gratuitously* expensive (and complicated), in my deezine opinion.
This notion solidified when I happened on, iirc, a NYTimes-ish profile of a big-dick chef and his SoHo-ish home/loft kitchen, where I was struck by just how non-archy-tecky it was, yet a thoroughly functional and very funky-attractive kitchen.... a REAL kitchen?? Nothing matched in it, none of this bullshit HGTV ""design"", altho he was blessed with very high ceilings (*at least* 12 ft, it seemed), and a goodly large space.
Dats when my inkling that HGTV was 99% fullashit changed to 100% fullashit. A conjob, actually, like pretty much everything else on TV.
The Q at hand is how to juggle wall space, ito cabinetry vs. open shelving. Attractive as all these kitch cabinets are, I just never found them to be all that practical, except for mebbe dust protection.
Recently I discovered these http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU 572526&RN 4 (or google Oggi, flip-lid canisters), which are really very attractive, and *visually useful* ito of retrieving foods, assessing quantities, etc. These further make the case for more open shelving In addition, many kitchen appliances are attractive in their own right, as can be the dinnerware itself, utensils, etc. Ceiling pot racks, imo, are Da Bomb.
So the Q is, How to apportion trad'l cabinetry, with open shelving?
I am in a semi-unique position in that I have a design for, and have actually built, shelving out of 1/4" alum plate, super-elegant, minimalist, functional, versatile, and strong. The soon-to-arrive Haas GR510 gantry mill will make this plate work much more do-able, as well. This style shelving (wall mounted or freestanding) also lends itself to being very elegantly enclosed, with hingeless doors that pivot on pins. These g-d European hinges drive me crazy.... just how complicated can shit get????
So I can actually make a "themed" kitchen of open/enclosed storage, in a variety of textures, from anodized to brushed to polished (SS-like) alum..
Has anyone grappled with this aspect of design, closed vs. open storage? Any web sites that deal with this, and the notion of "strategy"?
The problem with (traditional) kitchen design is that there are no do-overs -- you are essentially stuck with the whole shebang. One thing I learnt with all this granite bullshit is that what looks good in a showroom or sample book may not fare so well over time, when yer eyes are just SATURATED with these visually complex granite patterns, which actually become otically numbing after a while, and do a good job of HIDING dirt, spills, grease, etc.
I learned this by raiding the dumpster of my local granite guy, who allowed me to take substantial pieces of granite, silestone, marble, which I spread throughout the existing kitchen as trial countertops. We realized that you had to be *really* careful in your choices, and that most choices would be regretted. We realized that if going the granite et al route, a single color/pattern would become visually oppressive.
Thusly, I have also come up with a design of anodized alum plate countertops, covered by simple 1/4" beveled glass. Or, for that matter, butcherblock-type motif, covered by 1/4" glass. If the glass ever breaks, cracks, no biggie, go to the glass store. Really a lot of design potential there. And economy. Fuck Granite.
Lastly, ito enclosures (cabinets), there is the notion of see-through or translucence of the doors. The leaded-glass effect is very nice, and can also be facilitated in a gantry mill, in wood or in 1/4" alum plate.
The Q is how to sift thru all of this. Oh, yeah, a bit of a hard sell to the Wife.... LOL Thoughts, idears, experiences?
--
EA




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On 2/21/2013 7:10 AM, Existential Angst wrote:

Snicker... When I redid the kitchen in our 1974 home - took it down to bare floors and stud walls - we stopped at Big Orange to get some ideas (perchance to buy) on cabinetry and what was available, price, etc.
We were politely informed by the kitchen lady (who apparently had been transferred over to that department from the now-closed for the season garden shop) that before they could take an order, THEIR "specialist" would have to come out and measure the kitchen to "insure you have the proper measurements and are ordering the right cabinets"<g>
I still wanted to see what the brands out there had to offer so I played along since we were already in the store. Sitting down with her and her catalogs and magic computer (that's how they make them experts, you know - a computer program that will amaze/amuse even a kindergartner)it quickly became apparent from her "deer in the headlights" look every time I asked a question that she had, indeed, come in from the garden center where she was more comfortable with plants since her IQ matched theirs.
After about the fifth, "Er, ah..." we got up and left basically telling her there was no way in hell we had any confidence in their product knowledge and would be buying elsewhere... and did.

This is the easy question, EZ. Haven't you seen that t-shirt? "If Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy!"
Don't sell her, let her take the lead and you just nod your head and follow along. If nothing else, you'll have the satisfaction of saying "I tried to tell you..." as she blames you for the problems with her new kitchen.<g>
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On Thu, 21 Feb 2013 07:35:21 -0600, Unquestionably Confused

Exactly. Then you simply ask, "Who was it who wanted to design a kitchen around a cannister set?" BTW, I gave my wife an expensive cannister set as a gift. Ceramic. She oohed and aahed, displayed them empty on the counter for maybe 2 months, then stored them in the basement. She's a professional chef. BTW, about 12 years later we started to give them to a daughter but found the "brass" hardware had corroded. Dumped them at Goodwill. The hardware will collect grease even if it doesn't corrode. As somebody else said, everything behind doors and flat surfaces makes for much easy kitchen cleaning.
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On 02/21/2013 06:29 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Same thing goes for the shop. I used to have tools and such hanging on pegboard. Now, I hung the cheapest HD cabinets over a 16' workbench/RAS saw and have much more storage with much less dust.
--
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure,the creed of ignorance, and the
gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"
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I would visit as many kitchen design shops as you can that are available in your area. They typically have various styles and systems on display. HD used to have their Expo design center locations that had a lot of kitchens on display with higher end stuff you don't see in their regular stores, but they closed them.
Also, going to open houses for homes that would have the class of kitchen you are looking at is a good idea. Today you can also see those houses online at the realtor websites. They almost always show the kitchens. That alone could give you ideas and if they have an open house, you could go see it too.
On the open shelving versus closed cabinets, a big factor is who is using the kitchen and if they are neat, disciplined, etc. Some open shelves with nice attractive containers like those in your link can look cool. But if you use those to just toss in random stuff, then it's going to look like hell without a door.
It all comes down to what's important to you and how much you want to spend. To some, functionality is more important than looks. To others, they want a balance. Some are concerned about resale and others intend to stay there for 50 years so it doesn't matter.
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Angst,
I'd not use shelves in a kitchen. Kitchen air has lots of dust and grease in it. Put things in cabinets and drawers to keep them clean. Expect to clean the cabinet surfaces fairly often, so stay away from ornate cabinets. No opinion on stone countertops.
Dave M.

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Hear, hear on the closed storage in a kitchen. and simple surfaces. Glass doors allow both the cleaning AND the contents' views.
Stay away from stainless steel appliances - TOO DIFFICULT TO KEEP CLEAN LOOKING.
Of the countertops we've lived with: 1. painted = NO WAY! 2. glass over painted - irritating deterioration occurs UNDER the glass and don't sit anything really heavy or hot on it. Nice to be able to put ANY paper patterning under the glass. However, the effect we had looked cheap, amateur do-it-yourself looking. 3. formica - NO WAY! chemicals EAT right through the tops of formica turning to white ANY color pattern and worse turning the surfaces into mush, bleach will do this to formica. 4. tile - NO WAY! all those little cracks [grouting] to keep clean! plus hairline cracks let liquid right through 5. stone - presently have patterned granite WOW! best surface EVER! Kitchen always looks great, for example, the crumbs from slicing a loaf of bread you can't even see them! [yes, one is stuck with the pattern]
Note on the color of a counter top: presently the countertops are a little darker than I like. I learned a long time ago that to make work on a top easier keep the color light. The darker the countertop, the more difficult it is to see what you're working on.
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On Thu, 21 Feb 2013 07:08:59 -0800 (PST), Robert Macy

<EA's illiterate rant snipped>

Glass doors are harder to keep clean than stainless appliances, which you seem to hate (below).

Not all stainless is the same. Our 'fridge is pretty easy to keep clean. Other appliances (contractor stuff hasn't been replaced yet), not so much.

Agreed. No way is paint hard enough for a surface. We saw one house that had a painted sink!

Have never seen that. Sounds dangerous.

They're cheap (throw away).

Agreed.

With you 100%. Granite is the end-all kitchen surface. It's great for baking, too. ;-)

Yep, I didn't much like the speckled top in our last house but it doesn't show *any* dirt. The counter in this house is darker (brown, about the color of toast, really) but still isn't bad. We'll never have kitchen counter tops other than granite, again. We'll probably change all the bathrooms to granite over the next couple of years.
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On Feb 21, 6:12 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

After fighting with various commercially available compounds, my wife discovered that the best cleaner for stainless steel of almost all types was ...Dial sanitizing liquid hand soap. Rubbed on and wiped dry actually polished to a sparkling beautiful finish. But alas someone changed the product and it doesn't work well now.
She gave up cleaning any glass surface. Windex streaked and streaked and streaked. However, I found Walmart brand of glass cleaner provides a great sprayer at $1.88 and the product cleans well and doesn't streak. Unless dries before removal. And of course, use cheap paper towels, else there are usually some type of lotion or such in them that streaks too. To check if a paper towel has 'additives' in it? Simply pour bleach on it. If it gets warm, or hot enough to burn you, it has additives that will streak when you clean.
After fighting SS cleaners, my wife has delegated me to be the custodian of all the glass and stainless steel cleaning in our home. I finally found the BEST cleaner ever! Clean well then ONLY clean with distilled water and cheap paper towels. Squeegee the bathroom mirrors in 20 seconds DONE! Inside/outside windows? Take about a minute each. I tell you distilled water is a MIRACLE product. Alas, it 'almost' works on SS kitchen apliances. Front surfaces stay cleaned for about a month. But, the fridge doors are a constant battle. We don't touch the SS with hands to prevent human oil blotting their surfaces, but even that doesn't work well. Have to clean that !@#@$#%^@$ !!!! fridge almost everyday. Shouldn't say clean, mean polish.
The manufacturers have solved the countertop problem with granite - robust and hides crumbs. But, they really need to work on finding a surface for appliances. Probably find some aerospace material works, like carbon composite with laminated granite?
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clipped

The Chinese have solved the problem for appliances...plastic, engineered to not last long enough to get dirty. Last time I went shopping, I tried to find something NOT made in China...all I could come up with was a picture frame made in Mexico.
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wrote:

You're either lying, illiterate, or lazy (didn't look for more than 10 minutes). I'm betting on all three.
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On 2/22/2013 12:58 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Well, dipshit, how about "just kidding"?
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wrote:

Like I said, lying, triturate, and lazy.
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On 2/22/2013 4:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Triturate? Amazing vocab!! Are you out in a group home, or still on the locked ward?
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On 2/22/2013 9:52 AM, Norminn wrote:

Take a look at the link. ^_^
http://www.americansworking.com/
TDD
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On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 12:15:02 -0600, The Daring Dufas

It's amazing. Those who whine most about Chinese crap are the same people who refuse to buy American when it is available.
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On Feb 22, 1:40 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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Define "buy American".
If I buy a product in which the $50 worth of parts were all made in the US and the final product was assembled in the US by a $1,000,000 robot that was made in Japan, does that constitute "buying American"?
This is an interesting site related to "Qualified 'Made in USA' claims":
http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus03-complying-made-usa-standard
Did I "buy American" if the label says:
"60% U.S. content." "Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts." "Couch assembled in USA from Italian Leather and Mexican Frame."
Buying American isn't as clear cut as it used to be, and certainly not as easy.
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On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:40:11 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Made in the USA with right-to-work labor. ;-)

Is it better than the product made in China with slave labor? The same people are whining about that (you), yet insist on buying it.

It should be easy? ...just because you're too lazy to do your research? Nah, you'll just buy the crap and whine anyway.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

When was that? There were stickers on TV chassis in the '60s to declare the percentage of the set was made in the US. Every 'American' brand had some imported parts. The worst were Mexican made inductors. they used a high acid flux and didn't clean the joints, so when a set was three years old in the Ohio valley the wire would finally corrode all the way through. Even the early Japanese electronics was better quality.
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On 2/22/2013 1:15 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

The section on "computer equipment" was real interesting.
If we blockade China for fooling (I've used "fuck" too many times today) with our networks, we won't have diddly-squat to make stuff with. Wonder what that would do for employment.
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