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upper doors align with different base cabinet widths or made equal width?2/28
We are building a shaker kitchen with 3" rails and stiles. There is a 48" gaz range center in wall with 2 3 drawer cabinets of 27" each width on either side=54". My inclination is to divide that space in three for 3 18" doors. One 36" cabinet and an 18" cabinet on each side of hood. The two doors left and right of hood open away from hood,so that the doors do not get damaged when opening. The builder wants 4doors on each side of 13.5" or two cabinets of 27" width to line up with base cabinets. He doesnt care if the doors hit the hood when open. ( i know i can get a 90 degree stop for these doors). BUT, the issue is, he doesnt want NARROW doors!! Most of the designers i work with would go for the 3 wider doors and some that are anal retentive insist on even doors with bases and to hell with the damages that will occur to door.... Opinions please.
As a personal thing I'll always go for best function over designs destine to fail (get damaged in normal usage.) Skinny or over width doors are both undesirable. As for aligning with base cabinets, fine if it works out, not fine if it makes something less durable or useful. OK, there are two distinctly different uses for cabinets, purely decorative above all else or the other as a functional tool. I like to cook, I like my work area easily cleaned and efficient in the use of my time. If that doesn't describe your owner, let them make their own mistakes. Form should follow function, just need to decide what the function is.
I am 100% with you. In fact when it comes to base and upper cabinets that are separated by space, I give little concern to matching the opening sizes.
You mention this scenario is centered around a hood. Many times we design kitchens that have a hood/cook-top combination. A very common accessory for us is a pullout spice rack in the base cabinet immediately to the right or left of the cook-top. This opening only requires an 8 1/2" wide opening. Would it make sense to then leave an 8 1/2 wide opening in the upper cabinet immediately next to the hood? I would say no.
If I am designing a hutch style cabinet where the upper portion comes all the way down and rests on the counter top, then I am more likely to spend some time trying to get the top & bottom openings to match.