March 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm #43997Lynn HinmanSpectator
I come from the furniture design and build background. I have some general questions about design related to cabinets.
In furniture, I use the golden ratio (fibonacci series) and the Greek classic orders, to develop and define my furniture. While I know that we have standardized the dimensions for the heights of cabinets, what about the width dimensions? I know that I have to make my cabinets fit within the space allowed; with the story stick, I can draw two large cabinets in the place of three and they may not look right. Again, I know that cabinet widths come is standard sizes in 2″ increments, it is the overall aesthetics I am looking for.
Also how does the standard settings, related to drawer size, compare to the Hambridge progression I would use to define drawer heights in a chest of drawers? I know I must look at functionality as a key aspect; can I also make it a work of art/piece of furniture and apply the rules I use in furniture design?
Again, I am not a cabinet designer and have questions because of my furniture background. I just do not know which is the correct way to look at it.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
This is one of those topics that could easily be added for everyone to read if this was submitted as a help desk ticket.
LynnMarch 10, 2020 at 9:49 am #44010
I am probably not the person to answer this question, but I will offer my 2 cents worth of opinion.
My background too is furniture design and woodworking. I have used the golden ratio on a number of occasions in my designs and it definitely helps create a pleasing look. But I didn’t get carried away with it, and while I am not an architect or professional cabinetmaker, I don’t think the golden ratio plays a big roll in cabinet design. First of all you are restricted by any number of standards: height of a counter top, width of dishwashers, ovens, trash baskets, refrigerators etc. Not to mention the f act that a lot of kitchen hardware widths are dictated by cabinet width in 2 inch increments. Further, wall lengths are random and long relative to counter top heights, already destroying the golden ratio. Kitchen design is mostly driven by functionality. So while the golden ratio and other architectural tools are useful when the situation permits, I don’t think they play a big role. It is important to remember that the nautilus shell wasn’t designed using the golden ratio. Rather nature created a beautiful design, and millions of years later we humans discovered a rectangle that occurs in a geometric way. So while it is a tool, it is not definitive.
Joe….March 10, 2020 at 10:24 am #44020cabwriterKeymaster
This one is definitely out of my league; I’m more cabinets than furniture. I agree with Joe that there are just too many constraints in cabinet design to be able to rely on something like the golden ratio. Whenever I’ve used it for other stuff in the past, it hasn’t been as pleasing to me as other proportions, but I understand it’s significance. It’s definitely a good discussion and would be interested to hear what others have to say…
GregMarch 11, 2020 at 7:44 am #44092Lynn HinmanSpectator
Joe & Greg,
Thank you for the feedback. In furniture, proportions are everything. Not being a cabinet designer, I did not know if there were any rules or hard standards that helped me design the layout into a more pleasing appearance. I am teaching a class on design to our woodworking guild in a couple of months and started looking at our kitchen cabinets and the kitchen you used in the comprehensive videos. As George Walker talks about dimensions and Jim Tolpin used his workbench as and example; not everything needs to follow the standard proportions, but you still follow design procedures that we know for our inner sight that is programmed in us by seeing nature.
In my current house, we have one end cabinet that is larger than the others; it has two pullout drawers on full extension slides. It is very functional and my wife loves it because it serves her storage requirements for the pots and pans, but when I sit back and look at it, it seems out of portion to every other cabinet against the wall.
We are building a new house so that I can bring my mother to live with us. While she can walk, most of the time she is in a wheel chair. My wife and I visited a house that was designed to meet the requirements for her and we are planning on aging in place there. With my Army service and the units I was in, it will be a rambler because I know eventually I will be in a wheel chair. With my wife being short, we are going to build the island split like you did in the Martha LaBelle Kitchen so that she can use that surface for her food preparation. Also, my wife asked for two upper cabinets to come down all the way to the base cabinet top. The reason is because she cannot reach above the 2nd shelf and that is a design concept that they use in South Korea (think of a china hutch concept). That was the first thing she talked about when she got back from her last visit. All of this got me thinking about kitchen design and proportions.
Joe, while I knew cabinets came in two inch increments, I did not think about our appliances yet. My wife has already bought them and they are sitting in the warehouse waiting for delivery. I will have to get those measurements to ensure I incorporate them into my design. I have thought about the exhaust hood because I will be building a cabinet/hood cover around it to match the overall design. Thank you for your input.
Greg as you said, I look forward to feedback from the community. For those that use the program and do kitchens on a regular basis, please let me know your thoughts and experience. It would definitely help me in my design for the new house.
LynnMarch 11, 2020 at 11:15 am #44093
Designing a house customized to your personal tastes is pretty exciting. Especially if you are a woodworker and your spouse is involved. Look forward to seeing some pics and CabWriter models.
Joe….March 11, 2020 at 11:41 am #44094
There is one design concept that you might want to look at and study if you have never heard about it. Google ‘The Kitchen Triangle’. You will find lots of information on the subject.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.