Dining Room location

sadiectSeptember 28, 2011

The home we are in the early planning stages of building has the dining room set in between the family room and kitchen. I've never lived in a home where you had to walk around the dining table to get from the kitchen to family room and vice versa and was just wondering if this layout was something others have and if so do you like the setup?

The other option I'm considering would be an L shape with the family room and dining room at opposite ends and the kitchen in "middle" so to speak. I have a feeling I'm over thinking things, but it's hard to plan for something when you've never experienced it.

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Sadie, I have an acquaintance who has a new home with a layout very similar to yours. Instead of a kitchen island, however, she's got a peninsula counter that extends from the kitchen wall on the exterior side. Anyway, the times I've been there, I always think "why on earth did they design it this way? It's such a pain to go from the living room to the kitchen!" I think their dining room size is smaller than yours, but it's a pain no matter how it's sized.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:41AM
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I've seen layouts where there is a breakfast area in between the kitchen and the family room (could easily be a dining room as in your plans). However the table is not necessarily centered in the breakfast/dining room, so as to leave room for a straight path ("traffic flow", if you will) between the three rooms.

Will you eat all meals at your dining room table? Its a bit more awkward walking around something you only use a couple of times a year than something you use several times daily.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:40AM
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This looks to be your only dining room.
I have seen many houses similar to this layout. And, they work. They work better if they aren't there just for show most of the time (except holidays) and are a regularly used room of the house. And, like books, many of the houses I've been in with this layout have the door a little offset, and the table offset, for a more direct walking path--although, with an island, you will be walking around something one way or another.
That said, your alternative of putting the kitchen in the center doesn't seem to work with the rest of your "utility" layout. Your guests (and family), in order to get to your dining room, would have to walk through the kitchen every time. That would annoy me.
Also, will you use your study as a study?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:52AM
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We toured a Southern Living home at Lake Oconee years ago that had a similar layout. There was a partial wall between the kitchen and dining room. Access to dining and living rooms was via an aisle on either side. While the home was beautiful, I prefer a more open design. Maybe you could eliminate the wall between the dining and living rooms which would ease the access?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 12:25PM
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The idea of the plan is good, but the layout seems a little awkward. The powder room is only accessible from the kitchen or garage. There's no bath off the entry/living room, other than the master.

If you have kids in the upstairs bedrooms, they will have to walk downstairs, wind throught the living room and dining room, to come down for breakfast. Same thing to access the laundry area.

Maybe look for a plan with the master bedroom and bath in a similar location, but put the office in front, on the same side. Keep the great room in the back, but have the kitchen closer to the front, off the entry. You can still have your view out the back (from bedroom, great room and dining) but with a better layout.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 2:47PM
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I really appreciate all the feedback! This would be our only dining area, so it would be used multiple times daily. I wanted a room that was large enough to expand for holiday gatherings since we don't have a "formal" dining area as well. And yes the study is intended as a study only.

My goal was to have the best of both worlds with a pretty open layout but with the option to close off hence the double pocket doors b/w the living and dining.

Lavender- I like your idea of moving the office over to the other side and reconfiguring.

Back to the drawing board...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:51PM
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I have a Family room-dinnig room-kitchen layout and it works great. However, our island and dining table are the same size (8')and the opening to the family room is much bigger so you so you're not walking around the dining table. I'm assuming the sofa is going to be facing the fireplace so then you will have to walk around the sofa again. That would drive me nuts! Make the opening to the family roomn much bigger and it will work.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Sadie, I'm going to leave the discussion of the dining room to others. We did not opt for an open floor plan, and wanted the kitchen and eating areas to be separate from the family room. I do like your kitchen layout, and that nice big pantry.

You have a nice mudroom entrance and laundry area. However, I think Lavendar-Lass has a good idea about the location of the powder room. When we designed our home, we wanted the powder room easily accessible from all areas, but a bit private, too. We didn't want the family room to be the main traffic pattern, and I didn't want traffic from the garage to go through kitchen, dining, and family rooms. This is not our final plan, we did make a few minor changes, but this layout is working very well for us (empty nesters).

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:29AM
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We had a similar layout in our old house, except it was the breakfast room between the kitchen and family (there was another dining room at the front of the house. Anyway, it was originally built with a cased opening b/w the family and breakfast, and we ending up demo-ing that wall to open it up completely. It was great! Plenty of room for an aisle, so you weren't walking around the table, you just walked past it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 7:39PM
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We are building our house with that layout but with no divider wall...like pps7. We wanted an open layout and no formal dining room. We are bumping out the outer dining wall to make a window seat with tall hutches on either side also. Right now we're trying to figure out visual ceiling details to define the spaces but not separate them. I'd nix that divider wall. It will give you a much nicer flow.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 11:16PM
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We have a similar floor plan, but our powder room opens near the steps to the basement. I know chisue prefers powder rooms near the family entrance, but I feel strongly the other way--I don't want people to have to go near my laundry room or garage door entry to use the facilities.

Our "nook" is our only dining area. The room labeled "dining room" is really a second office. We don't have a wall between our family room and dining room, so we aren't really walking around the table, just passing it.

If we could do it over again, we'd make the powder room a little wider, put in cabinetry instead of a closet facing the nook, and possibly recess the refrigerator so we can have a full-depth fridge with a counter-depth look.

I know many people prefer an island to a peninsula, but I love my kitchen. We've had as many as 4 cooks in it working, and I love that only the cooks go in the kitchen--there are no "through kitchen" traffic patterns.

There are some changes to the master bath--if you're interested, they're elsewhere on the site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beth's house website

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 5:19PM
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