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Architects/ Designers-Vestibule opening width-have to decide today!

Ann Lane
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

The architect originally planned to do a pocket door, 36" wide opening (the pocket door itself is 36" wide) with no trim, for a flush opening look. Each side of the cabinet is flanked by 24" deep cabinets, basically creating a vestibule. Now that they put up the refrigerator cabinet, my architect thinks the 36" opening might be too pinched when he did a site visit. We ordered a 36" pocket door months ago based on this original design (it pockets behind the oven cabinets). Now he's thinking to increase the opening by adding casing (which also involves redoing the side panels of the refrigerator and oven cabinets). We need to maintain at least 38" of wall behind the oven cabinet the pocket door mechanism in the wall.

OPTION 1 - Go with the original design, but make a cased opening with casing 2" - 2.5" thick either side (architect said going wider like 3.5" - 4" will feel like a post coming out of the panel), for a 40 or 41" opening with a 36" door. It seems we would have to remake the panels anyway because the cabinet maker didn't make the panels the same size (the back stile on the oven cabinet is much bigger to accommodate the pocket door. The book case might get a bit skinner (5" opening instead of 6").





OPTION 2 - Do the above, but modify the oven cabinetry so that the top cabinet door is wider to match the width of the refrigerator cabinet, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about having my ovens look off center in the cabinet. The book case gets shortened.



I have to tell the cabinet maker by tomorrow morning!! Thanks for any thoughts; I am too overwhelmed and the architect just brought this up to me a few days ago, and I still don't know what to do. I just don't know what would feel/ look best.

Comments (67)

  • hemina
    3 years ago

    Oh man...laundry, mud room, garage. That’s a lot of stuff and people traipsing through a busy area of your kitchen. Not sure what’s behind the oven cabinet, but I would think that would be a slightly better option for the opening.

  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago

    If it were me, at this point, I'd make the doorway as wide as possible, and do away with the "bookshelves". Who needs bookshelves in kitchen anyway...and right next to the oven?

    Yes, you can get a new door, but that's not much money. Wider openings feel better anyway. I hope you enjoy your new kitchen!!

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  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    hemina, we thought about that, but it would mean extra steps from the garage, turning the corner and then into the kitchen. We have 4 kids, so that's a lot of groceries. This seemed like a straighter shot from the door to the garage. Since the door is in the same area as our old door, we liked being able to peek over and see who just came home, while in the kitchen. Also, there are pantry cabinets behind the oven cabinets, so unfortunately that won't work.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Mrs. S., that's my inclination too. We do have a lot of cookbooks (although I know everything is going online now), so we thought it would be nice to put those here. If we did get rid of the bookcase, do you think it would feel lopsided, cabinet wise, between the refrigerator cabinet and the oven cabinet? Also, the architect's point is, if we went wider, we would have to get wider casing, and that's when it would feel like posts are coming out of the wall, instead of casing/ jamb.


    I think it's a choice between cabinetry fronts. Whether to do the offset top cabinet bigger above the oven to "match" the refrigerator cabinet. He's convinced that would look better, but I can't wrap my head around that look. I looked for pictures, and just can't find anyone who has done something like that.

  • chispa
    3 years ago

    I wouldn't worry about matching the cabinet widths. Symmetry can be overrated sometimes. No one is going to notice. Most of us assume that a fridge cabinet will be larger than an oven cabinet, so no one will see a problem there. Your architect seems to be stuck on a "small" detail and not seeing the big picture.

  • hemina
    3 years ago

    Symmetry is overrated especially if it comes at the cost of function. I don’t think you’ll care about that top part of the cabinet matching the fridge. Looking at something on paper and having it look symmetrical is one thing, but you’re not standing in one spot of your house staring straight at the fridge/oven, and then think...”my that looks off!” If it was my house, I’d make the opening as wide as possible. With 4 kids, garage, laundry, mud room, seems like the worst place to use a 24” deep x 5” wide bookcase. Why not at least make a side opening cabinet there? For brooms? Or Or a pullout? Or something to store your baking sheets or serving trays? If you must have the symmetry. But I think your side panels will thank you to have the space a little wider.

    Ann Lane thanked hemina
  • Andrea C
    3 years ago

    What about hemina's idea, but the other way (shifting the refrigerator to the right)? It would be an even straighter shot from the garage. What's behind the refrigerator now? When coming in from the mudroom, you would feel less of coming into a tunnel, since only one side would be full height panel and the oven would be more out of the way of entry traffic.

  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago

    No, no one's going to care about "lopsided". One of those things that goes away when you start living in the new kitchen.

  • 3onthetree
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    So who will be paying for the architect's change of mind? Did you get the pocket door frame issue resolved, I still see the jerry-rigged frame?

    Regarding to case the door or not:

    So to explain myself better, I pulled photos from your other threads. When I mentally pictured your pocket door within the framework of 2 adjacent large cabinets, I thought the intent was to "hide" the door as part of the millwork. This early rendering would support what I thought, with the panel above the "vestibule," the millwork of the pantry cabinets in the Mudroom through the door, and I believe paneled sides (end panels) for the ref+ovens to match. In this case eliminating the casing would fit that intent with a solid, paneled door.



    Later, you have this rendering where the door has lites and goes the 9' to ceiling. If this is the current situation, IMO you could go either way. Since the door slab mirrors the design of the "clean/simple" lines and frames of the cabinet faces, having no casing would be part of that language. On the other hand, having a casing might work better if the door head is unresolved with millwork (the cab crown connects the ref+oven, but what's at the wall), or when retracted the cabinet transitions to the wall and Pantry cabinet behind is messy.



    As far as reworking the oven cabinet's top door width to equal the ref cabinet's width, that IMO has little influence on the pocket door casing/no casing issue. But, I do like the hand sketch better than full-height book shelves.

  • wilson853
    3 years ago

    We have a 36" pocket door with trim that comes into our kitchen from our back hallway. Whether or not you trim it out, your opening is still 36". Might he be bringing this up now because he realizes that having the door hit your oven cabinet is not a great idea? I would leave everything as is, and if possible use a barn door. You can always sell or donate the pocket door.

  • chispa
    3 years ago

    wilson853, the OP is using a pocket door, so no issues with door swing.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    3 years ago

    Who's paying for the architect's change? Presumably this adds labor and material costs to your job. If the architect is not picking up the tab for changing his mind after everything has been ordered, the additional cost should be on him.


    I'd leave it be, at this point.


  • itsourcasa
    3 years ago

    What's behind where the wall ovens are going? Can you move the wall ovens over next to the fridge and the doorway where the wall ovens would be? Or move the doorway so it goes into the butler's pantry and not straight into the kitchen?

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Wow, thanks for all of these thoughts!!

    Chispa, hemina, Ms. S - Ok, so it seems that everyone thinks the symmetry is overrated. That's what I was thinking, especially since it was never going to look the same anyways with a refrigerator and an oven stack. Maybe if I had two refrigerators, but I don't! I'm glad all of you chimed in, because he seemed so adamant about this top cabinet and it just seemed maybe too unusual for me. And I've learned that unusual is not good (exhibit 1 - very tall pocket door).

    Andrea C, yes, that's actually where our door was before. But the architect thought the refrigerator would be too close to the "L" portion of our kitchen, and was trying to slide it down to get more counter space next to the fridge. So that's why we were trying not to move it too far down the wall.

    itsourcasa - we have pantry cabinets behind the oven cabinet (that face towards the kitchen door), so can't slide them over. There's a soffit for HVAC and all sorts of stuff there, so not easy to configure that space behind the oven. Also why we didn't go straight into the butler's pantry.

    About the opening, the walls on the refrigerator side panel is going to be 4" wider (visually) than the panel on the oven side, so that's part of the reason why the architect wants to change it.

    Wilson 853, is your pocket door flanked by tall cabinets? If so, I'd be curious how that feels. I think the architect is realizing there's a short "tunnel" effect, and widening the door might alleviate that. I think a 36" wide door is plenty wide, too. It's the tall cabinets on either side of the door that's creating the problem.

    He was going for a flush look, but now it looks like we'll be accentuating our door with casing, which is what we thought to avoid. Should've gotten a 42" wide door! But we're not going to wait 3 months for that.

    I'm pretty sure I'm paying for the labor/ materials (and one week time to rebuild panels), but I'm glad he said something if he really thinks it's a problem.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    3onthetree, thank you for looking at my old threads and your well considered thoughts! You can see how this pocket door has loomed large over a lot of things. We had no idea how complicated it was, especially since we have them upstairs and it seemed like no big deal when we did our addition. I think the big lesson here is - standard is good. Going tall didn't help, or wider either. And no casing, since most people don't try for the flush look. I guess it also didn't help that it didn't get framed right in the first place. Good news is, the right framing has arrived and it's going up in the next few days. Yay!


    The later rendering is the plan we went with. And yes, the header would come down and interfere with the current panel, which is part of the reason why the architect wants to do the casing. He says it solves a lot of problems (aesthetically). And when retracted, the architect thinks it will look messy because the two panels (fridge and oven), won't be the same width. Even when closed, he says it will look messy because the door closes on the back stile of the refrigerator cabinet, and not even in the middle of that stile. I guess it's just a sudden switch for me to go from the flush, "there's no door here really" look to the cased, "here we have a door!" look.



  • wilson853
    3 years ago

    @Ann Lane, I have tall cabinets on one side and base with upper on the other side. I don't think that the tall cabinets flanking the doorway are the issue. After all, it is only 24" deep. My concern would be having the door slam into the refrigerator side panel instead of a proper jamb. I think that I would eliminate the bookcase, move the oven cabinet to the right and trim out the door.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Yes, and I think I found a picture of something similar. It would look something like this. Except our casing would have a pocket door opening on one side and at the top for the track. And our casing would have a 2" reveal; that casing also looks to be smaller, like a reveal of 1". Funnily enough, our pantry cabinets would be just like that, behind the kitchen, facing the same direction, also recessed back a bit. We don't have a cabinet over the doorway though. And that doorway looks to be wider, maybe 42"?




  • wilson853
    3 years ago

    There's probably not a door here, but I do like the trim around the opening that sets the refrigerator and ovens back a bit from the doorway.

    Elbow Park {10th} · More Info


    Ann Lane thanked wilson853
  • 3onthetree
    3 years ago

    That example pic is what I would call "no casing" around the door. There is a jamb and head, but they can be considered like another stile in the paneling, as that is what the eye sees blended in.


    Hard to see, but this would be casing, where there is no mistake on where the wall behind the cabinet is:



    Ann Lane thanked 3onthetree
  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    wilson853 and 3onthetree, thank you for these fantastic pictures! wilson853, your picture looks like if we did a thicker casing. The architect thought it would look like a post growing out of the panel, but it doesn't bother me in the picture. Maybe it helps that they recessed the crown and don't have a ceiling panel. Maybe we should get rid of our straight line crown and ceiling panel too between these two cabinets. And 3onthetree, that picture is really helpful to see what we don't want. You're right, we can try to keep the "flush" look by treating it as a "no casing" look, like more stiles in the paneling. You've hit the nail on the head. I feel much better about the casing now. I know the architect doesn't like the thicker casing, but it looks pretty good in wilson853's picture.

  • hemina
    3 years ago

    Glad you found a solution!
    Assuming there’s another door between the garage and mud room area? Was wondering how often you were thinking of keeping the pocket door closed vs open. Open normally, and closed for company? My kids/husband constantly leave the door between our garage and house open and it drives me crazy! I can’t imagine them ever closing a pocket door!

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Solutions are good! Thanks to all of you, I feel better about doing the casing. (or "no casing" as 3onthetree would call it). Now, just how thick . . . 2" or 3" . . . . After seeing wilson853's picture, 3" doesn't bother me. Although, maybe it's because they have that nice panel at the top (which we don't have room for) or they recessed the crown to the door instead of going straight across. Hmm, it's all in the details. @3onthetree, any thoughts on thickness since you picked right up on the "no casing" look?

    hemina, there's only one door to the garage, no door between the pocket door and that door to the exterior. We would probably keep the door open 98% of the time. We would close it for fancy dinner parties (not that we have a lot, but we do entertain) and when I can't stand the sound of the washing machine because I'm on the phone or something. We do a lot more casual entertaining, like dinner with friends, and my kids always have friends over (well, during normal times). Now that I think about it, all our guests end up in the kitchen, even during fancy dinners, which is probably why I want it to look nice (and have a door to the mudroom!).

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Update: The carpenter figured out a way to make the pocket door mechanism fit behind the oven cabinet without the bookshelf option to serve as "filler." But that means growing the casing to 4.75" wide, which the architect warns might looks a bit clunky. That would give us a 45" opening with a 36" door. He also suggests it might be a bit "grand" going into the mud room/ laundry/ garage, but we are thinking it might be better to have a bigger entrance than the skinny bookshelf/ wine cubbies unit (which we only put there as "filler" in the first place to fit the pocket door mechanism). Ditch the bookcase and symmetry between the fridge/ oven cabinets, and go for the 45" opening? Or stick to the 2" casing for a 40" opening, with bookshelves/ wine cubbies on the oven side, for more visual "balance"?

    45" opening (with 4.75" casing), 35" door, no wine cubbies


    40" opening (with 2" casing), 36" door, with wine cubbies


  • hemina
    3 years ago

    Ok-I must be missing something. From what I understood from your description above, I’m seeing a 1” difference between the two. Not sure if I get what you mean by casing. Architect sounds like a PITA...

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hi Hemina, unfortunately I think this area was not given enough attention, which is why we were we are. He liked the flush hallway look, but it's not turning out like we all thought it would because 36" between the two panels feels like it would be tight after they put one of the panels up. At least to me, and at his site visit, he agreed. Also, especially in comparison with our 5' wide kitchen aisles. The cabinet maker has to remake the panels anyway, because he didn't make them the same width because he skipped the casing. Although, I'm glad to fix it now, while we still can.


    Basically, he's trying to avoid a "filler" of some sort. Ideally, we would do a 42" or 43" opening (which I've learned now is more typical) between the two tall cabinets with the 36" wide door. We need a certain amount of oven wall space to fit the pocket door mechanism, so the minimum the oven wall can be is 37" (that's with shaving down our door 1", but we can't shave more). So, we either put all of the extra space into the space between the cabinets (with casing, to help hide the pocket mechanism) or split the difference, with a 2" casing/ 40" spacing between cabinets and turning the bookcase into skinny wine cubby, for the pocket door mechanism to fit. The original plan had all the "extra" space needed for the pocket mechanism going into the bookshelf (at 6.5" wide opening), with a 36" door/ space between the panels, but we know now that it feels pinched.


    Architect thinks the 40" space between the tall cabinets will feel like enough, and his first choice is to do the 40" with wine cubby, but now I just don't know anymore. That's only 4" more than what we have now, which feels tight, and not the typical 42" width I seem to see in so many pictures for doorway openings. He thought 36" was fine in November, so that's why I'm hesitant to agree about the 40". My husband doesn't know which way to go either, but he wonders if it might be just safer to put all the extra space into the doorway, and that the skinny bookcase/ wine cubbies might have looked awkward anyway. He thinks it's more likely that we would say, "Wish we had a wider doorway" than "Wish we had that wine cubby/ bookcase/ symmetry between our tall cabinets." I just don't know anymore.



  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago

    I'm not trying to be unkind, but your "architect" doesn't sound like an... actual architect. Are you certain this person has all of the actual credentials?

  • Suki Mom
    3 years ago

    I would go with the wider doorway!

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Mrs. S. and hemina, Yes, he's even gotten recognition from the American Institute of Architects! Maybe my project is too small (just a kitchen?). Truly, I have no idea how this became a mistake. We even talked about this. I said, "You don't think 36" is too small?" and he said, "Not for 30 inches of walk through!"

    Suki, thanks for the vote! He thinks 40" will feel much better than the 36" we have planned now, but he did think 36" would feel fine too in November. And while he thinks 45" will feel even better, it's at the loss of the wine cubbies, which he really likes because of the whole symmetry, visual interest kind of thing (wine cubbies will be trimmed out in the white oak). That's why I'm lost!

  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    If it were me, I'd lose the wine cubbies. Where are they anyway? They don't need to be in the kitchen, and if they're near the oven..... isn't wine supposed to be kept cool and dry? I honestly don't know--not a wine drinker.

    The function you're going to notice on a daily basis, is how easy it is to get stuff in and out your kitchen. You have to go through a doorway (you mentioned main entrance), with packages, groceries, laundry hampers(?). Wouldn't you want to have a wide opening? It seems to me, you would notice a tight passage multiple times a day. Ease of travel and traffic patterns through a home is paramount in architecture! Wine cubbies are a nice touch I suppose, but not nearly as functional as a wide entrance, given the already unusual constraints in the design.

    As for "symmetry," I don't think you'll notice it later as much as you think you will. Experts and remodelers are generally concerned about the kitchen triangle, safety, drawers on most lower cabinets, how their stuff will fit (baking sheets, spice racks), and venting.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Mrs. S. - Wine cubbies are next to the oven (see second picture - instead of bookshelf, they would be skinnier wine cubbies).


    That's what we are thinking. But the architect is convinced that we could get both; that the 40" will feel wide enough and we can have the visual interest of the wine cubbies. Frankly, we are not big wine drinkers either. It would be purely from an aesthetic standpoint to put them in. But we are feeling that it might be a tad risky to trust his "40 inches will feel wide enough" since he thought 36" felt wide enough several months ago.


    I guess that's the real question - is 40" really wide enough? Or just go with 45", which we know is more than wide enough, and lose the nice touch of the wine cubbies?

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Learned that I'm being billed for this. :( And for guidance that I wonder about. I know everyone makes mistakes, but . . . . I'd like to avoid another!! That's why I'm a little hesitant to do his #1 choice (the 40" opening with wine cubbies). Sounds good in theory, but so did the 36" wide flush opening! My gut is to do the wider opening too, and forego the architectural detail of the wine cubby in oak. Although, my husband just pointed out to me that maybe it's not a good idea to ignore professional design advice, which is why we hired an architect in the first place. But it's hard when you no longer have confidence in the professional advice or your gut says function over aesthetics. I appreciate all of your chiming in, professional opinions or not! I guess mileage varies on having an architect or any kind of design professional.

    I would just think an architect would normally say, "You need 42 inches of space for a walkway," especially when we had the space to do it. After everything I've read, it seems that's fairly standard. Just disappointed to be let down by a professional.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Ok, his revision proposes also changing the crown detail so that it doesn't go all the way across, but returns back to the door, terminating on the flat of the casing. Given that we want to ditch the wine cubbies, he thinks just doing a simple return will be better (like wilson853's picture above, except we won't have the panel on the wall above the door because our door is full height and we won't have any wall space above our door). He wants to know if that's okay, or if we would like to keep the crown straight across (as shown in the drawing) with the raised panel ceiling between the oven cabinet and fridge cabinet. He said that option would be "fussier" given the addition of our new casing. I didn't see this part of his email after I got distracted with the bill part. I hate to keep second guessing him and stressing about this, but after all that has happened . . . Plus, he says it'll take him 4 hours to draw out both options for the crown with the new casing and side panel details. That's $$$.

    What do you all think? I'm too confused with all of these last minute changes to envision this. And I have to decide soon to keep the kitchen moving (it's been two months!).

  • Suki Mom
    3 years ago

    I vote to keep the crown molding all the way across. It looks nice and connects the two sides.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the vote, Suki! I found a picture that might help to visualize the crown that goes straight across, but it's not the best because it has a double crown. I think wilson853's picture is still the best for showing what the architect now envisions, with the return crown. Hard to tell which is better, although it looks like the straight across crown lowers the ceiling somewhat, which might not be a good thing.




  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    4 hours? You would’ve been better off with a kitchen designer, seriously. To be quite frank with you, this “architect“ seems to me (I’m no expert) to be amateurish. I mean, I’m working with an architect right now, and he can take many comments over a 2 hour zoom conference, and modify plans in real time, 3-D, right on the conference call. . I think you are throwing good money after bad. I get that you are beyond halfway through the project, but why would you need to see drawn up alternate designs? Just make a decision! To me, all this stuff is a 15 minute phone call!! Look at some photos of kitchens, with the alternate moldings, and move forward.


    have you asked him why wine cubbies are a good idea next to an oven? Is he charging you for suddenly realizing his earlier plans with a smaller doorway were suddenly too small? This whole thing, with his back and forth starting to seem preposterous... almost, made-up. Why does he not know how to do this?

  • taliaferro
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I would ditch the wine or book cubbies next to the oven stack. I don’t think this feature makes sense. I’ve been in your shoes working with an interior designer: indecisive, stuck on a detail, lost in a rabbit hole. It was a huge waste of time and treasure - for me. It was lucrative for the designer.




  • 3onthetree
    3 years ago



  • Suki Mom
    3 years ago

    Actually a vestibule ceiling that is lower makes going into a room with a higher ceiling more interesting!

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thank you for all of these helpful comments. Mrs. S, yes, he is charging me for these revisions. He said he would make some sort of accommodation after I raised the issue, but he said I was on board with the original design, and it could still work, but just not as well. I feel extremely let down by the architect, and almost a little sick over it, since we spent so much based on his design/ comments. He seemed so sure about it in the beginning, and now that things are coming together, I spend sleepless nights worrying about some decisions we made based on what he said earlier. And it's not making me feel good about the new kitchen. Like our 60" deep island. I kept asking, "don't you think this is too deep?" And he said, "No! It will become the hub of your home, you'll appreciate all that storage, counter space, you'll still have space on the counters after people leave their stuff on it, etc." But now that the cabinets are here (and the counters are not even in, which makes me think they'll look even bigger), I've been having sleepless nights that it's too deep.

    Taliaferro, you are exactly right. I am down a rabbit hole, and in the middle of construction frustration, architectural confusion, I can't see clearly anymore. And it doesn't help that I don't trust my architect anymore, which is why I am grateful for all of you as a second set of detached, objective eyes. Truly. Renovation wears you down! And I've been in it for 2 months now already amidst a number of other bumps in the road. It was only supposed to take 6 weeks (cabinet maker was slow, etc.).

    Wine cubbies are purely aesthetic. Since they are the same white oak as the other parts of the kitchen, he likes that they "relate" back to the main part of the kitchen since this part of the kitchen is white. He seemed a little disappointed when I said we would ditch the wine cubbies, but he said that the oven cabinet by itself was a "good second choice" and would look fine too, which is why he sketched that as an alternative.

    This 4 hours is to sketch up the crown detail with the casing for the cabinet maker. If we return the crown onto the flat casing and delete the ceiling panel, then I don't think he needs to draw anything complicated. He says it simplifies things a lot. This 4 hour drawing session is to explore how the raised ceiling panel would work in conjunction with the thicker casing and our crown. Maybe we just ditch the straight crown and raised ceiling panel, even though I've already paid for the ceiling panel with the cabinet maker. I'd be spending more money just to see if it works with the new casing, and according to him, it might be "fussy" now with this new thicker casing, but maybe he could make it work (thus, the drawing time).

    What do you all think? I know I don't have a good design sense, which is why we hired an architect in the first place. Clearly the renovation and sleepless nights have addled my mind.

  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago

    Again, I want to express that I am no expert. I REALLY wish the experts had chimed in on this thread. What does your general contractor say about needing those drawings? Are they necessary?

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Yes, I really hope some experts chime in too because mine is not helping!!! The cabinet maker wants the detail/ direction because it is a busy area with the crown, thick casing and panels meeting and he would probably rather the architect determine how this works out.

    Maybe @3onthetree? Help! 3onthetree seems to speak architect language and understands these concepts right away. 3onthetree also called the unresolved crown/ casing issue a few posts up, which I just realized!

  • wilson853
    3 years ago

    @Ann Lane, Really sorry that your architect is driving you crazy. I have no idea if this will be of any help but here is a picture of our cabinet crown returning over the doorway. Our ceilings are 9'. The door is 36" but the space from cabinet to cabinet is 48". The architect shouldn't charge you for his mistake.



  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thank you, wilson853, for the picture!! That is really, really helpful. And you have a 36" pocket door with 9' ceilings like us! (and love your beaded, inset cabinetry by the way!). That makes me feel much better about a number of things - the crown return, AND ditching the wine cubbies for 45" of space. I like how yours looks, open and gracious. 40" would have DEFINITELY been too tight and not worth the aesthetic of the wine cubby. You're lucky that your architect knew what he was doing! I really, really appreciate the support, as this remodel has been riddled with issues. This just confirms that wider openings are the norm/ better, and not worth sacrificing for symmetry or aesthetics! We'll see what modifications the architect makes on his next bill - hopefully it will be fair.

  • Suki Mom
    3 years ago

    Please post a picture when this area is finished!

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I will! I am so grateful for all of the help you all have given me in these crazy remodeling moments! I'm crossing my fingers it will turn out decent after all of the drama/ trauma. At least we avoided one definite mistake! :)

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I hope so! This has been WAY more stressful than I thought, even with all of the advance planning and professional help I received. It's been expensive and of dubious quality, which adds more stress to an already stressful process when someone you relied on suddenly doesn't seem so reliable. In some ways, the real life opinions of all of you have been more helpful. Thank you for helping me to see more clearly with an architect whose spatial sense I am beginning to realize (a bit too late) may not match my own.

  • 3onthetree
    3 years ago

    I think you really have to be there to see what has been framed to make the decisions. There is the 2x head of the (open portion) of pocket door that the framer mounted under the floor joists to accept the rail, so it sticks down maybe 1" (verify)? Don't know if that is staying or if you are still waiting for that Johnson metal frame. So that means you probably need some sort of crown or lowered vestibule ceiling to cover that. And not sure how the pantry cabs on the backside of this pocket door are transitioning here. So not quite sure here with the millwork of what stage it's at and what the cabinet guy is supposed to remake.

    But if I am picturing this kitchen correct, the ref+ovens are "isolated" in that they are white cabinets amongst a kitchen of stained faces. So I'm thinking I would want this ref+oven to appear visually as a "unit," meaning tie them together. So crown, cabinet, lowered ceiling, whatever to give that "proportionate heft" of 1 unit to compete with all the other kitchen cabinets that are tied together visually with each other.

    I also can't comment on the architect as I don't know what parameters were given him and what your contract says. But he is caring about the project enough to try and get it right and as architects are, everything can be done better or differently at any time, while simultaneously vascillating, digging into your pocketbook, and pushing the timeline.

  • Ann Lane
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thank you, @3onthetree, for chiming in!! The pocket door framing has arrived! And the carpenter is going to attach it directly to the joist after taking down the 2x that's currently mounted. Cabinet maker is going to remake the oven and fridge side panels and make the casing (wasn't in the original plan). They will transition to similar panels on the other side (entire pantry will have panels, some serving as doors to cabinets). He is suggesting the casing have a 1" reveal on the pantry wall side to transition to the panels on those walls, but that seems really thick to me. I looked at other elements in my house and no moulding sticks out more than 3/4" from the wall.

    He did send me these drawings earlier today as options to connect the fridge and oven cabinets - return the crown or keep the recessed ceiling panel. He now wants to return the crown and delete the originally planned recessed panel, but he drew both with the casing to see both scenarios. He also created this cove detail on the vertical casing to keep it from looking too thick at 4.75". I can't tell if his first choice will look good (returning the crown), and I want to go with whatever he recommends, but that's how we ended up with a 36" opening in the first place, which he recommended months ago (and even just a few days ago, a 40" opening with smaller casing, which I now know would have still felt tight, especially in my house, which is not an old home and I don't live in New York City!).





  • Suki Mom
    3 years ago

    I really like the crown connecting the cabinets!