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Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window

by | Dec 13, 2016 | Decorating Inspiration, Kitchens, My Kitchen, My Small Kitchen Remodel

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Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window

Happy Tuesday! Excuse the dark grainy cell phone pics but I wanted to give you just a quick update. It’s hard to get into the kitchen with contractors here all day until it’s almost dark!

There much is going on around my house right now. Fun stuff, but lots of it! With Christmas just around the corner we are in fast drive trying to get some projects done so we’ll be ready for family to arrive on December 25th.

Our appliances will arrive Friday and the finishing work in the kitchen will be happening before and after that, hopefully to be complete (or mostly complete) by Christmas. We have the flooring, cabinets and countertops all in so we are getting so close! The kitchen will be painted (walls and ceiling) hopefully next week.

Besides the kitchen project, our new flooring is finally scheduled to be installed downstairs in the family room and new office this Wednesday and Thursday. Yay! But basically that means our entire house is a mess upstairs and down and we have only two weeks to pull it all together before guests arrive. :)

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window

I know most of us have Christmas on the mind, as we should, so I won’t be taking up a ton of your time talking about my kitchen until after Christmas! But since I’ve had several excited readers wanting an update, I thought I’d answer at least one of the questions we had about our galley kitchen layout.

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window

^ kitchen before ^

Many of you might remember many months ago when I considered moving the location of our sink. With a lovely view from the back window out to our backyard and the water and mountains beyond, it just seemed like it made sense to at least move the sink to the back wall. At least it did to me!

We had a lot of ideas for opening up the kitchen or even moving it into the existing dining room. But at some point I had an epiphany about some good reasons to not move the sink and leave the whole kitchen right where it was.

With a galley kitchen, we needed to use (and will use) every inch of our available space. One of my pet peeves in a small kitchen like mine is if the counters have to be broken up too often by the sink and appliances or various heights of counters.

We were able to add a really nice long span of countertops and lots of drawers around the room and right up under the window (where there used to be a low desk-type counter and a microwave stand). We really needed the storage, so it was a win-win on many fronts.  Now we can have a clean and unobstructed view out our windows and still have plenty of storage and counter space t0 bake or lay out plates or even just daydream.

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window

This is probably one of the worst pictures in the history of ever, but at least you can get the idea of the layout (and another little peek at the room!).

Remember, the walls and ceiling planks will be painted (I’ll discuss those elements in their own post!).

Sometimes we see a sunset (love that) out the back corner window, and sometimes we have to shield our eyes from the bright sun in the late afternoon of summer (it’s actually best to not have to stare straight out into the sun at that time, ha) or like this time of year, it’s dark before dinnertime. This photo was taken with my cell phone about 4:00 in December and it was almost totally dark within 20-30 minutes!

There are often dishes to load and unload from the dishwasher (which makes us turn our head to look out the window!), but there is also time dedicated to food prep, baking, entertaining, coffee-making, cleaning, and even just enjoying a clean kitchen. We can see out the window (and even through to the dining window!) during all of those activities and not just when we stand still at a sink.

It’s just a nice light and bright space to work in. With our sink on the side of the kitchen, we’ll be able to enjoy peaceful evenings with our guests in the living room without gazing at dirty dishes piled up on the stove or sink from dinner.

I can tell already I’m going to love the layout of our kitchen! We think this layout gives us the best of all worlds, the view, lots of light, function and style even in a small kitchen.

A window over a sink is a really pleasant experience, though. To make our sink wall feel like an extra special focal point, we changed out the existing average window with a round one. It fit right into the existing windows space and the window will be trimmed out to finish it. Don’t worry, you’ll get to see it all. Soon. Very soon. :)

Here are a couple of pretty inspiration photos that show a counter right up under a window (rather than a sink or upper cabinets!). It sure offers a nice clean view through the window.

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under WindowSabbe Interior Design

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under WindowNew England Home – Designer: Karen Swanson New England Design Works

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under Window
Elizabeth Kimberly / Northstar Builders, Inc.

Kitchen Remodel Update: Sink Location & Counters Under WindowHGTV

Related Posts:

My kitchen design board and more kitchen update posts

15 Gifts for the Kitchen Any Foodie Would Love {my article on eBay}

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing this update. Your kitchen is coming along nicely! I think you’ll be very happy that you didn’t put the sink in your direct line of view from the dining room.

  2. LB

    Thanks for the sneak peak :)
    Can’t wait to see the finished project and LOTS of great pictures!!!!!

  3. Carol

    I’m so excited for you – what a lovely space! Thanks for the sneak peek, I’ve been curious!!!

  4. Kay

    Today’s word is epiphany, which describes my style exactly.
    I’ve called it my “light bulb moment”.
    Anyway, I am green with envy over your view.
    Happy Christmas season!

  5. Joanne Hrycak

    Thanks for the kitchen update looking very good I might add. Are you going to paint the shiplap on the ceiling that is the question I am faced with now in my renovation of my kitchen which I might add looks very similar to yours :) (great designers are we) I believe we have the same sink also haha. thanks for sharing your life with us.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      :) Hi Joanne! Yes, we are painting the ceiling and adding more painted planks to the small amount of wall space we have (same color as our dining room planks, simply white Benjamin Moore). Hope that helps :).

  6. Anne

    Can I pleeeeease come and work in your kitchen – with that view!?!?!?!? :-)

  7. Linda Stoll

    How cool to have that uninterrupted expanse of countertop!

    With a view, no less!

  8. Kathy

    Looking forward to seeing the more of kitchen! Love the countertops, round window, and the VIEW!

  9. Susan

    Any possiblilty you can share the counters you used? I am in the midst of a remodel and I am still trying to figure out countertops :) yours are very pretty and look like quartz of some kind. I’m looking for a white quartz with some movement in it. If you can please share!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yes, sure! I will do a post on them but they are Quartz from DalTile, Carrara Gioia. :)

  10. Christi

    Thank you for the update. It’s all very exciting. With each post comes many more questions. I can’t imagine how busy you must be. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  11. Melinda Young

    It is just beautiful! What a great idea with the long counter under the window. It could act as a buffet for food too. What I really like is the sink and dishes are not in view from the rest of the house. Often when company is over I can be tempted to get up and clean the dishes off because I can see them (disadvantages of a great room), this layout keeps them out of view. The round window is just charming too! Getting excited for you!!

  12. Sallie

    So exciting – it’s looking SO good! Can’t wait for the finished product. You must be having trouble sleeping at night! I know I am – our bathroom is almost done, too. It’s so fun to have that new space to decorate and organize, isn’t it? Not to mention just looking at all the lovely scenery IN your kitchen and beyond! What a great space your family with be soon enjoying!! Hip Hip Hooray!

  13. Denise

    Oh, so so pretty! I’d climb right up on the counter and sit and dream. Merry Christmas!

  14. june

    It is coming along so nicely. It will be fun to see it completed and I bet you will be happy too:)
    I LOVE my deep drawers. I only have two large ones in my peninsula and I wish I could have
    put in more. They are my favorite storage place in the entire kitchen.

  15. Cathy

    So pretty! I love the thinner countertops- are they 2cm instead of 3? Did you have to do anything special to support them- it looks like they might just sit right on the cabinets?

  16. Tracie

    Stunning! I am loving all of your choices and seeing it come together.

  17. Melissa

    We have had our windows over the counter for 8 years and I LOVE it. It took me a while to find inspiration pictures because it’s just not done very often. Some people thought I was crazy to give up the upper cabinet storage but I think it’s worth it.

  18. Christie

    I love the long counters and clear views. Good choice to keep the sink where it is.

  19. Denise S

    Seriously, Not the worst picture ever!! That picture is inspiring and absolutely beautiful!!! Got a feeling you are going to make a lot of us look at kitchens a little differently now. The porthole window over your sink, genius!!!! Cannot wait to see the full reveal :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I’m glad you found the photo inspiring and that you are enjoying the kitchen remodel process (cell phone pics and all), too! Thank you so much, Denise.

  20. Carolyn C.

    What a beautiful kitchen. Love all the white and the accent colors. But most of all, the view of the
    water out of the large window. I don’t know how you will ever get any work done! Great job, so

  21. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

    I agree with having a long expanse of counters. I love how the counters wrap around to under the windows. You’re very lucky to have those windows and that great view!

  22. Debby

    Melissa, your kitchen is going to be gorgeous! I think that small kitchens can be easier to work in sometimes–and yours is laid out so thoughtfully. I agree that having the counter instead of a sink under the windows will hide dirty dishes from guests in the living and dining room, but also from you (so you don’t feel like jumping off the daybed in the middle of a good book just because the mess is reminding you to clean it up)! And what a great idea Melinda Y. brought up about using the under-window counter as a buffet for food, too. I wish I had your visionary ability as I struggle with replacing my own cabinet configuration! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh yes, Debby, you know me so well. I cannot relax or pay attention to guests if I can SEE the dishes waiting there in the kitchen. I think this layout is going to perfect for how we live. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas to you, too!

  23. shala

    Can you tell us about the cabinets and the ceiling planking?

    Mele Kalimaka

  24. Laura Parker

    I love your house. I moved into a much smaller home a few years ago, and I’m enjoying it so much. Although different families have different space and use needs, and I’m not knocking larger homes, I now have such an appreciation for this downsized, unprepossessing home you chose to suit your life, instead of making your life suit the home. Your design choices are spot on – I love the circular window in your kitchen! I’m looking forward to seeing your completed kitchen and the basement flooring, as well. Happy Holidays!

  25. Wicorel Koning

    It is going to be beautiful! Am a little bit jealous, but so happy for you and your family. Looking forward to your kitchen-remodel updates every day! Haven’t commented for ages, but I just had to. Lots of ‘courage’ with all the mess though…

  26. Madame Tut

    2nd question re: what are countertops? I should search your site to see if you’ve discussed pro’s/cons of various types of countertops. Or maybe you could link to your entries about this topic. Beautiful design.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      My countertops are Quartz. I maybe have talked about quartz before in my old kitchen but I definitely will do a post about my new counters. I love Quartz because it’s super strong and durable, but it also looks and feels amazing. It’s a great counter material!

  27. Peggy Oliphint

    So exciting! It all looks fantastic! You will love those dish drawers too! It’s my favorite thing we did in our kitchen remodel. Remodeling is always stressful, but especially as you approach that Christmas Day deadline. Hope all goes smoothly between now and then and that you can enjoy hosting your family in your gorgeous new kitchen!

  28. Jo Jo

    Oh, how I love the arch, the round window and the tons of lower cabinet drawers under that expanse of counter top under the corner window! Your vision is coming alive and you described your thru out the process so well that it is looking just like I envisioned it would be! Loving that you’re going to be able to see the lovely detail of your painted ceiling beading boards thru the arch! I can envision a nice potted herb garden under that window on the counter with the great light you receive thru it. I can’t wait to see the sparkling white farm sink with the glowing brass ( swoon!) faucet fixture!! I. Can. Not. Wait. to see the completed room and all your finishes!! Soon, very soon! So excited for you! ❤️

  29. Jo Jo

    It’s me again..LOL also I wanted to say ” Who needs an island?” Not you! Your long expanse of counter under that window allows you to really spread out for baking, prepping and even using it as a buffet for a party!! Great design choice!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      SO TRUE! No room for an island but thank goodness we found room for extra counter space! Truly it is going to be so helpful in a small kithcne. Thank you for your excitement and enthusiam and cheerleading, it makes sharing so fun when I see how excited my kindreds are! XOXO

  30. Mary Coakley

    Your kitchen update so far is great,you have so much more space,looking forward to the revel,I received my book “Love the Home you Have” thank you so much,I have dipped into bits of it,very interesting,looking forward to really reading it.

  31. Ann

    Beautiful! When I saw that you posted an update, I was almost (!!) as excited as if it were me. I just moved into a house that is not my dream house, but my “perfect for right now” house. I left a home that I loved just to have a more convenient location that is closer to our work and schools. It needs a lot of love and fixing, so I often think of you as I try to make it our own.

    Your kitchen looks awesome so far!

  32. Jan

    I love seeing your “bad” pictures (they aren’t, by the way!) It’s so exciting seeing everything come together, piece by piece,

  33. Diane @ An Extraordinary Day

    As a HUGE fan of big kitchen windows and large spans of counter… you rocked this design, Melissa!!
    Thanks for the “tour!!” You’ll be cooking in there in a flash… how amazingly good is that?!!

  34. Deanna Rabe

    I really love it, Melissa! So wonderful!

  35. Jessica Ibarguen

    Love it love it’!!!! Thanks for sharing!! I’ve been waiting in anticipation– almost as if it is my own!!

  36. Mari Dewberry

    What is the depth of your counters?

  37. Christine

    Very excited to see the finished kitchen. It looks like it is going to be lovely! so happy for you. Sorry I had not posted my comment yesterday. I just remembered this morning I had not done so. I just wanted to tell you that I love the kitchen and wish I could do that to mine. (but we rent, so….)

  38. Eliza

    It looks great! I would love uninterrupted counter space! Plus how inspired (!) To not move the sink to keep dishes out of sight! Brilliant. I always wonder about sinks in kitchen islands for the same reason. Mostly you’d be sharing your meal with a view of dishes. Not my favourite view!

  39. Petra

    Your snow is gone and it looks like summer! Loving the look of that round window. :-)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      It’s still FREEZING, but the sun was out and most of the snow melted, it’s been lovely! Thank you!

  40. Louise

    You go to the kitchen for a glass of water. You stand there drinking it. What do your eyeballs encounter? — The horizon. Very easy on the eyes! Lovely kitchen, Melissa!

  41. Linda P.

    Love not only the cabinets I was so eager to see, but also the way they wrap around under the back windows. The continuous sweep of counter you have now is so restful to the eye.

  42. Irma

    Im glad you decided to keep your kitchen where it is. Its a lot of money to move plumbing. And not that I’m judging but I really struggle with people spending tons of money b/c they don’t like something. I can see updating an older home to a degree but I think too many Christian North Americans have forgotten that He is calling us to a simple life. Where people are more important than beautiful things. I live in the church’s manse and even after them spending $20,000 on a new furnace with a/c, a brand new IKEA kitchen, the whole interior house was painted, with oak floors refinished, there are still things that need updating. But I love this big,airy home and can put up with the things they didn’t do. B/c at the end of the day, in reaching out to our community what does it matter?

  43. Jessica

    Hi Melissa – I’m new here and I’m so glad you’re sharing your experience with running new countertops in front of kitchen windows because it’s an obstacle I’m facing in planning my own kitchen renovation. And I hadn’t been able to find any guidance online until I came across your blog post – so thank you! Can you share any details of how the countertop and window sill meet? Looking forward to following along with the rest of your reno.

  44. Lacey

    Hey I love your kitchen .. we are doing shiplap in out kitchen as well and curious about how it is holding up without a backsplash behind the stove area? Are you happy with yours the way it is or are you constantly cleaning it?

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