As I was working with our kitchen designer this week (more on that later), we determined that a major impediment to the range wall cabinets is the window on the short wall of the kitchen. Essentially it's too low or too left to let us extend the cabinets to the wall. I had thought about it when I was doing the preliminary kitchen layout on the Ikea Home Planner, but I dismissed the idea of moving the window because we didn't want things to get too messy or complicated (i.e. expensive) in here. I thought a floating section of two cabinets flanking the range, with space in between the wall and right cabinet, and the doorway and the left cabinet would be fine.
As we thought about it more though, taking those cabinets the whole length of the wall would give us about 36" more of cabinet and countertop space. That's a pretty big deal in a kitchen this size. I called up our contractor to get an estimate on moving the window up and he said no biggie. It's easy and cheap ($600-750) as long as we're not moving plumbing or electrical, which we wouldn't need to. So for a little over 1K (labor plus the cost of the additional cabinets/counter top), we have more storage space, more prep space, and a more built-in looking kitchen. This is the Ikea mock-up:
Pretty, right? The grout lines above are a lot thicker than these ones below:
And I think I like that. A slight variation that I want too, is to use the beveled white subway tiles. I like their pillowy look, and they are not that much pricier. These are about $5 a square foot, and the flat subways are around $2. I guess if we have another unexpected cost creep up, the bevel might have to go, but fingers crossed they can stay!