What type of kitchen do you want, in your new home?

lavender_lassAugust 8, 2011

I'm curious about what kind of kitchen really appeals to people...since we all have different tastes and styles. As you plan your new home, what kind of kitchen would you like to include?

Many people choose an open floor plan, with the kitchen part of a larger space, which includes the dining and living areas. They all function as one great room space.

Other people like a kitchen open only to the dining room or family room, while keeping other areas separate. This keep the kitchen open to another space and shares light and views, but it's not a completely open plan.

Still others prefer a separate kitchen, possibly with a small eating or seating area, but not open to the main living and dining spaces.

So, what type do you prefer? How do you use your spaces? Do you fall somewhere in between?

Myself, I plan to have a kitchen that is open to the dining area (through an arch) while also including a small seating area for two, by a fireplace or wood stove. The living room (and TV) will be in a separate space, so baking, cooking, dining and conversation will be the emphasis. It's more of a cottage style (IMHO) and works well in our space.

What about you? Even if it's not what you have...but what you'd like to have :)

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Epiarch Designs

My kitchen and house design is based around use and function. Its no secrete everyone congregates in the kitchen. I think new kitchens need to account for that. Mine is designed to have specific spaces, so that each space does not overlap the other space. For example, i you are baking, you should not be in the way of someone cooking/using the stove or cleaning up. This even includes things like pans and ingredients. All baking related items are locations in the large island included spoons, bowls, mixers, pans, flour, sugar, etc. Then to take it a step further, there is the "congregating" issue and party issue. The island is wide enough to allow 4 people to sit at it while giving ample counter space to work on the other side. The fridge is located on the end to allow easy access for both kitchen use and easy use of people not in the kitchen to stay out of people in the kitchen's way. Then there is another space that is completely out of the "triangle" that is for wine, drinks, etc only that is becoming pretty typical in today's kitchens. Again, anyone can access this without being in anyone else's way. THe kitchen is definitely not huge, but its functional, which is the most important thing for me.

But to answer your question, since the kitchen is the congregating area, it is important to have it opened up to the family room. Men can sit there and watch sports, women can sit at the island and drink their wine sort of deal.
The basement has a completely separate family room/bar/pool table area.
The dining room had to be separate. Wife wanted it this way, which I also like. It is still open with 6' passage way openings, yet closed off enough it completely feels like its own room.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:13PM
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We are doing the open floor plan with great room, dinette and kitchen all in one large space. I have purposely chosen a U-Shaped kitchen to be able to join in the activity but keep my kids and guests out of my "U".

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:59PM
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Lzerarc- Women drink their wine and sort of deal? They don't watch sports, too? Don't they like NFL and Nascar? :)

Your basement area sounds like a wonderful alternative to the great room concept. Same idea, but you could decorate the whole thing in your favorite sports theme.

Janilyn- Your U-shape is a nice compromise...open but not inviting people in, who are not working. Good idea!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I wanted my kitchen large, and somewhat apart from the great room. For a couple reasons. I tend to create quite a mess when I cook, and I didn't want that to be the first thing people see when they come to our front door. In general, I don't like a kitchen that is viewed from the front door. My new kitchen is right next to the living area, with an archway connecting.

Dining area is very large and is open to the kitchen. The table opens to 16 1/2 feet, and when kids and grandkids are home, we utilize every inch. We have no formal dining room. I like having a more casual eating space. We haven't been in the house very long, so no "decorating" done yet.

DH and I usually eat at the kitchen counter, and quite often on trays in the family room. We also have a separate family area in the basement with large screen TV, etc. Great for grandkids and their friends.

I have to admit our kitchen really is too large. There was a mistake on our plans, and the kitchen ended up being a foot bigger in both directions. It's pretty much square, about 19' X 19', with a 5' X 7' island in the center. I'm gradually getting used to the big space, and organizing storage so it is more convenient. When the house is full, there can be 4 cooks in the kitchen each doing their own thing without interferring with others. It was wonderful when we had grandkids for a whole month this summer.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:26PM
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Lavendar_lass...Our kitchens sound similar and the style and the layout sounds almost identical to Lzerac! I really enjoyed reading your posts. This will be a great thread! And yes, I have a wine spot designated just for ME!!! And when visitors come, I will share wine and space :o)... I want my kitchen to have a casual feel...so while I chose a granite for the perimeter counter tops, I have chosen a butcher blcok for the island. And a plain ivory glossy subway tile for backsplash. We are in the middle of construction, so the design is set (no changes!). So far, I am pretty pleased. I wanted a space that we could share...so everyone could fit in the kitchen at the same time. We will have an island that seats four and then open to the kitchen is our dining room (nothing formal. Lots of space to eat and visit and also see the tv in the great room. I do cook and use the kitchen all the time, so function comes before form for sure. The only thing I am not pleased about (in terms of the overall design) is where the pull-out trash can ended up in relation to the sink. I am going to have to store a trash bin under the sink in addition to the pull-out, but it will work fine, I think. Maybe I will like it best there after all! Oh, and I want a ROHL faucet. Is that too much to ask for :o)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Epiarch Designs

Lav- the women we hang out with, yes, they like to sit there and sip their wine. Definitely not for me! However my wife does like college football, which is another reason to have the kitchen/"wine sipping" area open to the living room so she (and any other who might be interested in the kitchen) can still see what is going on and feel like they are all part of the action :)
BUT, the basement will have a ceiling recessed hd projection screen and bar........so I HIGHLY doubt the guys will be upstairs anyway ;)
It so hard to get my plans done since I can not seem to find the time at night to finish them. But I need to get them posted up here sometime. Focus was energy consumption and function.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:34PM
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I want the kitchen in the house we're building to be a separate room with space for a table for informal family dinners. The family room will have enough space for another table where we can eat with guests. Like Joyce, I can make a pretty big mess when I'm cooking.

We want doors on ours so we can keep the pets from sitting and staring longingly at what we're making. On the other hand, when they're "on duty" I never have to pick up any food that I drop on the floor! My dogs will eat raw broccoli if they think the cats might want it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:44PM
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We have two school-aged children, and in our previous home found that a kitchen, breakfast, family room that is open to each other was great for us. We still had a formal dining room and study at the front of the house, so it looked all "proper" and traditional...but we really lived in the back. In that house, we even added on a sunken playroom that was a step down from the family room and breakfast room...it was the perfect spot for the kids to play during playgroups while the mamas sat in the kitchen and talked.

In the house we are building (98% complete! Yeah!) we stayed with this concept...but just went bigger and laid out the kitchen much better. I still have my lovely formal spaces in the front...but the family room, kitchen and breakfast are pretty much all together (well...there is a beam with a *very* wide cased opening to differentiate the family room from the kitchen, but it is pretty much totally open except for that.) The focus of these rooms is the proximity to the outdoor entertaining area with accesses off the breakfast room and the family room. I do like separate rooms for some things (formal dining, study) but I really like my kitchen being part of the activity.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Hi All,

This is my first time posting, but I have been reading others' ideas and this seems like such a great forum for discussion.

Just wanted to ask those of you who are building or plan to build -- how do you organize your thoughts/ideas/photos/clippings as you build your house?

I am not the most detail-oriented person (although my husband is much better), and so I don't want to forget or miss important details as we go along...I really want an excellent method for organizing it all!

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Our first home had a small opening between the kitchen and family room. There was also enough room in the kitchen for a small table to seat 2. The pros of this arrangment is that the mess in the kitchen was not visible and the noise was somewhat contained. The con was that during parties/gatherings-everyone ended up in the kitchen no matter how much we tried to get them out to hang out in the family room or dining room. The dining room was never used except as a dumping room.

The house we rented while building had completely separate rooms. There was not even an eat in space in the kitchen. I hated this arrangment. Everything felt too choppy. It didn't work for a family with a young child.

Our new home has one really big room. The cons have been mentioned- the kitchen mess is visible by all. But it has forced me ot be neater. And if designed properply, there are way to contain the mess. Also noise is sometimes a problem if one person is cooking and someone else is trying to watch tv. We almost never watch tv during the day so it's not a frequent problem. Having the dining room between the kitchen and family room creates somewhat of a buffer.

The pros-it suites our lifestyle. We are prefer casual living and entertaining. All of our family live out of town and we have lots of people staying with us frequently. It's nice ot able to be together but have space to spread out. Plus I'm a women, but I love th NFL so it's awesome on Sundays.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:54AM
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Brad Edwards

Ours will be just a short halway off the garadge and laundry/mud room which is right across from a full bath/guest/oldest kid bathroom. I have a breakfast nook in the plans overlooking the living and a pool, with fridge on the end and sink on the other side with center island in the middle. past the fridge will be a walk in pantry after the pantry on the backside will be another hall to bedrooms and built in double oven, toaster, and microwave.

The center island will be for cooking, we cook a ton. "basically just take the product out of the fridge and go.

Underneath the island I want to have a low watt power strip with everyday appliances "crock pot, blender, etc" for quick use, I see to many people cluttering the heck out of there expensive granite counters, or having to always move them back and forth. I am all about easy clean etc. This will allow for us to go with less granite and save more $ and will allow for easy appliance cooking, especially with things like torilla makers, Home made bread maker "I only make HM bread", and many other appliances. We will be putting our 20' deep freeze in the pantry. Basically everything will be withing 7 steps in the kitchen while still being open and being able to hole 10 comfortably.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:45AM
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Brad Edwards

Forgot to add that we have 3 kids and love to grow vegetables and fruit, planning on a small orchard "already have some stuff ready to go in the greenhouse".

We decided to forgo the traditional dinning room in the front but are going to make it formal enough with chandelier and into a 5th bedroom "guest" with a very, very small closet allowing it to be either used by a large family in resale or someone who likes to have a formal dinning. There will be galley doors and across from that is a matching library 'in dimension'. I am all about practicality.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:49AM
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