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Kitchen and laundry design

We've met with two kitchen companies this week, and as a result, we have some serious doubts about our budget. It is clear that we don't have enough money to fit out the kitchen, pantry, laundry and perhaps the walk-in-robe like we wanted.

We are planning for different appliances, including a larger fridge, new oven, new rangehood and our existing gas cooktop and microwave. We won't be buying them all soon, but instead over time. However, we need to ensure that the space we allow in the new cabinets is large enough - and for items like the fridge which aren't standard, that is a little tricky. We've reviewed catalogues with dimensions, and checked forums to get ideas.

An example of the problem is also our recently purchased washing machine. Its extra depth means that when opened, its lid is quite tall. In our now removed laundry, and in our current rental house, it didn't/doesn't fully open under the cabinets and wall mounted dryer that we have in each place. In our renovated laundry, we'll need to have the dryer mounted to one side, and no overhead cabinets that need regular access because they'll need to be mounted higher than normal.

Back in the kitchen, we have our walk-in-pantry. It was planned to have a work bench for appliances that don't need to be in the main kitchen, and as you'd expect, plenty of cupboards and drawers. We're now reconsidering the drawers, and it will certainly have a cheaper bench top. We're also thinking about the pro's and con's of 'soft close' drawers in the pantry and kitchen, with one argument being that their higher load rating and manufacturer's warranty are worthwhile. But for $60 per drawer...? Can standard drawer runners come with a higher load rating for less than $60 per drawer?

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