OK, we are in the middle of a kitchen remodel. I have a contractor who is telling me that we should hang the cabinets 2" lower than normal because my wife is short. He says that he does this sort of thing all the time. But then the kitchen design guy is telling me not to do that due to the convenience of having the extra room between the counter top and the upper cabinets. Then there is the issue of light, if you hang the cabinets 2" lower you get more of a shadow on the counter top.
I am going crazy with all of these little detail decisions. Any help would be great.
1. Get her a short step stool or 2" high heels. You won't always own the house and the new buyers will be stuck with low cabinets ... That detracts from resale.
2. Wire the kitchen for under-cabinet LED task lighting. Long life, low energy usage, perfect for removing shadow lines no matter where you set your cabinets. This video shows how easy the lights are to install:
They are your cabinets. If you are planning to stay in the house then I say make them the height you want them. I know someone who made their bathroom cabinets 3" higher than standard because they are both tall people.
Tall is better because people are taller than they were 40 to 100 years ago when traditions dictated heights.
I hate bending over older kitchen counters. I love the one bathroom with a comfort height toilet. I am not really tall, but it lets me stand and move around properly. I absolutely hated the kitchen in my 1917 "architecturally significant" home and tore out the kitchen and left every other room as it was.
I had this same discussion the other day with a guy working at the building center. I asked him if he knew why kitchen counters are a different height than bathroom counters? He said is this a trick question? I'm putting in a kitchen height in the bathroom I'm doing as we are both tall and when I do see some advantages to a bathroom being lower I see more reasons I would like it higher. In our new kitchen I raised the counter height 1 inch and the stove island I raised 2 inches and all the uppers are 2 inches higher than normal. the eating island and seating is 1 inch higher but I'm thinking of going 2 there also.
I know a woman that was quite short and her husband quite tall and they lowered her whole kitchen 4 inches for her needs and added one high counter for him to work at. I asked her about resale and she couldn't care in the least as they were planning to be there a long time and comfort and ergonomics was what she wanted.
The length of time you are likely to live there would be the factor I would look at.
We are at just over 16" due to 46" cabinets and durock under our tile. It works for us, but at 15" we would not be able to fit the blender under the cabinet. Consider 16" as your minimum.
Under counter lights are nice! We have them. Pricey, but worth it.
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