I ran into Reg Fleming a couple days ago and it reminded me of a discussion we had several years ago. I worked on the design of his house in 2002 and one of the ideas that I had was the idea to put in countertops that were deeper than the standard 24″ deep cabinets.
I’ve had this discussion with a number of clients about never having enough counter space because they always have line of stuff along the back of the counter. Jars, towels, spices, a bag of chips, a loaf of bread, etc. One solution is to either create a deeper counter, say 30″ that is level or to add an additional counter raised a few inches at the back. It seems like a great setup with a number of advantages but there are a few things that you’ll need to consider if you want to implement it.
First, the United States has standardized on a nominally 24″ deep countertop and base cabinet.
You can place the base cabinets several inches off the wall and install a ledge at the wall. This is also a valid strategy for under the counter appliances but not an above counter appliance like a range. You’ll need to look at a slide in or cooktop that is placed out from the wall. Refrigerators tend to be deeper than the counter so that should work.
Your countertops will be custom if they are deeper than normal. Some products like laminate can’t be made much deeper than the standard because of the common sizes in the manufacturing process. If you are using a higher grade material or installing a raised section behind a standard depth section you’ll have more options.
The other piece that isn’t immediately obvious is that your upper cabinets will still only be nominally 12″ deep so they’ll be several inches further away from you making them harder to access. Try standing 6″ back from your counter and see what it does to your reach. You can look at custom uppers but there will be cost involved. You may also consider mounting the upper cabinets a few inches lower.
In conclusion it is possible and may be beneficial to increase the depths of countertops but where you are working with off the shelf components there are some trade-offs and obstacles to overcome.