Layout review for a newbie!

design_botJanuary 16, 2014

We bought this house for the lot/location/schools/reasonable size and price. We did not buy it for the layout, anything at all about the kitchen -- or much about whole house for that matter.

So now it is time to renovate. Family of 4, 2 kids ages 10 and 5. I'm the mom, and I cook a fair amount. Right now, I chase everyone out when I cook, am hoping to open the layout enough to avoid that. We entertain in small groups but it is just a bad setup even with one or two more couples over here. I'm often the only cook. I had wanted a wall oven, but gave up on it due to the space constraints. I tend to collect kitchen 'stuff.' I have some pans just because they were pretty. My kids sometimes help cook, and with my youngest starting kindergarten, she'll likely do homework in the kitchen. We can clutter up a kitchen fast, so big sinks are important.

It is an interesting space. If our old house had sold for more, we would have added on, but now it looks like we need to work with what we have. So that means a kitchen stuck behind a staircase, with 4 entrances, a window, and an hvac vent running along one side. I'm hoping to turn the vent into a feature with reclaimed wood. The 'bar' in the new plan will have an eyepopping countertop.

I've spent most of the day learning a bit about Ikea's planner, and working something out, and would love comments/ideas/suggestions. I'm worried that I don't have enough counter space and that it is too disjointed. And almost no upper cabinets, not really sure how that would work out.

I didn't try to perfect the layout, due to not knowing all the specs. Hoping the wall between the range and bar can go or be reduced, not sure if my idea to support the ceiling with beams is feasible, etc. Need to find a contractor.

Also hoping to redesign the windows -- enlarging the kitchen, and adding some new ones in the dining room. We have an amazing wooded back lot that should be highlighted more in the house. Need to talk over that with a contractor or windows people too.

I'm spending a lot of time going over old discussions of budget choices for kitchens. Ikea is certainly a possibility, but perhaps something else too.

I absolutely adore the kitchen kraft thunder finish on cherry, and am trying to banish it from my brain! ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Old kitchen

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I'm a newbie too! Are the different areas (clockwise), family room, breakfast nook, kitchen, formal dining, living room?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 2:12AM
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The top left space is a den -- using it as a double office and hang out space. Kitchen top center, far right top: dining area. It is open to the living room below, the only division is Mr. Ugly Ductwork run. Both the living room and the den are family rooms -- we want all the living spaces to be useful. I would have put in better furniture, but limited to Ikea's kitchen choices. Anything in those spaces is just for reference.

I might play next with a kitchen extending into current dining area look, with dining area going in front of sliding doors. But it is such an odd space ... Plus that would be a much more expensive renovation ...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:30AM
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Did you read How do I ask for Layout Help and what information should I include?

Especially a drawing (can be hand drawn) showing measurements of walls, windows, doors/doorways and the distances b/w each, would get you more suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:53AM
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OK, I did read it, but thought there was enough info. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Where's primary prep? Most convenient space is counter between sink & cooktop.

I think you want a peninsula between the kitchen and dining room. We just added one and it's the bomb for serving, cleanup, cooking waffles on Sunday morning.

I'm thinking swap fridge & range, put range in box #12, and put DW in box #1.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 2:13PM
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Kathy Rivera

I'm sorry, but I'm really confused about this layout. In the plans did you already open up walls? Or this is what you want to do? Are those grey pillars already in the space and have to stay? And the walls between stove and those base cabinets are already there? And what is that light brown block over by the pantry? An island? No where near the prep space, so is it just another seating area? Seems like a second table?

We need to know if you want seating in your kitchen via an island or peninsula? For the whole family or a couple people at a time?

A blank layout might be a good idea. Label the DR, LR, FR etc and then people can start to think more.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:14PM
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Would you be willing to switch kitchen and dining?

If you did that you could do an L-shaped kitchen with possibly an island. I'm not clear yet what the actual dimensions are.

I created a rough sketch. Of course I'm not clear on what dimensions you have to work with.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Just a few suggestions...have you thought about switching the fridge and range? Maybe with a pull-out pantry next to the fridge? You have about 7 1/2' between the two cabinet runs, so having the range by the sink might be a good idea.

Also, if you scoot the island space over to the pantry area, that would give you the prep space you want and room for a few more stools. If you change the slider to a single patio door, you'll have more room for the range. Hope this helps :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 5:27PM
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Thanks for looking at it, you've given me food for thought! I think there is no way to do this without sacrificing something, I guess it is just figuring out the best sacrifice.

The deck is huge and centered on the house, so losing a door would be a sacrifice. Putting the kitchen in the dining area would be cramped I think, and I'd sacrifice the bit of privacy I have for messes. (Though my idea does open it up to a lesser degree too.)

I'm attaching a pic of the current kitchen showing some of what I want to eliminate. It is really awkward. Imagine people constantly crossing it to ask a parent a question, go check something on the computer, go to the back porch, etc. When the fridge is open, everything is blocked. Sigh. These are pics from the old listing.

This kitchen, I'm convinced, is why the house was on the market almost 2 years. We were just the ones crazy enough to tackle it.

The island in the kitchen in my idea is meant to be more of a prep area than seating. We'd use the 'bar' area and dining area for seating.

This post was edited by design_bot on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 18:45

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Looks a lot like ours did originally. Are you willing to consolidate to a single dining table? That nook table takes up a lot of space that I think could be put to better use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gordo's before & after

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 6:52PM
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I don't quite understand the purpose of that island in front of the sliding glass door. It's not convenient to prep work, there is no overhang - at least none that I can see - so it's not for dining. I also think you will *hate* having your range tucked between two walls, limiting your work area around it. There's too wide an aisle between sink and range. And your dining room looks as if it's tucked tightly up against two walls with minimal clearance around it (best to aim for the recommended minimum of 44" between table and wall so people can walk behind diners). Sorry if the above sounds blunt but IMO, your kitchen could be so much better than your first stab at its design provides.

As others have said, without knowing actual dimensions, all we can do is propose rough lay-outs and suggestions. And none of it will be very useful until you know exactly what walls you can remove and how that will affect design.

But in the meantime, here's an idea:

It's quite a change from what you have but since you're mostly dreaming at present, I figured we may as well dream big. ;-)

As you can see, I shifted your kitchen towards the family room.

I eliminated the slider door. Based on your two photos (which I could not get to enlarge so it was hard to see for sure) your deck extends beyond the opening towards the FR so you could put a door to the deck from that room. But I also added a new sliding door in your DR to give you additional access to your deck (provided it extends that far, that's another detail we need).

I tucked the fridge under the stairs. You should be able to do a standard depth 36" fridge and make it look built-in. The peninsula offers handing landing space for fridge items. I eliminated the cabinets between LR and kitchen to create better flow between the spaces.

The corner sink has a large window to provide views out to your wooded lot. The peninsula includes a 15" seating overhang with ample space for 2 seats at the counter.

You have a long stretch of counter for baking and cooking prep, with prep space on both sides of the range, plenty of space for more than one cook in the kitchen.

Across from the range are 24" deep pull-out pantry cabs. Couldn't tell how wide this wall was but if it offers enough storage, you may be able to eliminate an upper or two and add additional windows.

As I wrote above, this is all supposition and dreaming. You need to find out exactly what structural changes are doable and how they will affect the plan, then take accurate measurements of the space and come on back for kitchen plan review here to get more concrete lay-out advice.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 19:15

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Oops, I got interrupted while typing my post and didn't see your additional comments, design_bot, until after I posted.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:14PM
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Awesome job Gordo! Definite similarities. I want to transform our space as much as you did!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Borrowed some space from the den/office. Leaves some awkwardness with that entry, but would want to put windows at the top of the range wall that tied into the look of new windows elsewhere. Hoping that new wall supports ceiling enough.

Wondering about a rolling island or work table.

What I like: Friends could hang around inside with room to get around, even if they are congregating near snacks at the 'bar.' I could be cooking while family was getting themselves snacks or talking to me.

What I don't like: Distance of dishwasher, oddness of new wall. And breaking up open feel to den, especially sightlines to fireplace, which we have big plans for. However, covers up office clutter.

Hmmm ... thanks for sending me in this direction. Another one to ponder. Going to have to work on the dining turned kitchen idea tomorrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: ikea cleared space layout

This post was edited by design_bot on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 14:43

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Sorry but I don't think the above plan is an improvement. You'll be walking from end of your kitchen to the other just to put a meal on the table. Unless you plan on making cooking part of your daily exercise routine ;-) I think you'll find this kitchen as dysfunctional as your current kitchen. Look again at GauchoGordo1993's kitchen; you'll see that it's a very efficient lay-out.

Did you see the plans that lavender_lass and I drew up? It would be helpful if you told us what worked and what didn't, what you liked and what you didn't. You'll get the best results if you are open to suggestions. It's a process.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:03AM
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In addition to lisa_a's + lavender's suggestions, there is lyfia's of Jan 16, 14 at 16:33 which all have potentials IMO.

The sliding doors are placed differently in your drawings. In your drawing of your present kitchen it's more to the left and not covering the area across the hallway at the bottom.

Also, in your last layout, in addition to lisa's well-advised comments, I'm not sure how you can have an island perpendicular to the sliding doors and still keep reasonable aisles if you have only 9' 9" length there.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 4:59AM
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Kathy Rivera

I agree with lisa - your new plan with the stove way on the other side is not efficient either. I don't actually think your current kitchen is so odd - it's a typical U with a fridge/pantry across from the open end and an eating area. Very typical 60s-80s colonial. I think you want such a 'big change' that you are trying to put in a bunch of things you think a new kitchen should have (an island, a stove on different wall than the sink), but the choices you are making aren't good for flow.

Do you see in the 3 designs posted by the others that they got the stove closer to the sink? You need that for prepping/cooking function.

Also, in your latest plan, even if you put a prep sink in that island, any people you are trying to interact with are going to be WAY over in the dining room or sitting at that odd drawer bank between fridge and wall - you won't even see them.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:57AM
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I appreciate the time you guys have put in. Lisa_a, I think moving the sliding door that way opens up a host of more problems. It would open into a high drop. Moving the deck might damage it (replacing it would cost a LOT), would involve cutting down one or more trees, and would be awkward walking around it plus it would have to change a bit in height.

So I was trying to work with your (collective) idea of having the stove in that general area without changing the door. That door opening onto the deck is one of the nice things about the house, I'd like to eventually replace it with french doors when my kids are older. There is an openness about coming through the front door and being able to see all the way to the trees in the backyard. To me, having a physical island that can possibly roll around, is less intrusive on that openness.

One reason that I keep working towards that bar under the heating duct, is that to me the duct really subdivides the living/dining room a lot. Makes it feel cramped -- having a sightline to that new wonderful window in the kitchen and having the duct feel built in and deliberate would be a huge improvement to my enjoyment. I'd work in lighting to it and hopefully make it an eye-catching modern feature.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:59AM
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How about switching things around even more to give you more room to work with. Kitchen and dining in the room on the left, study and a sitting area on the right where current kitchen/dining are. It just doesn't look like you have room for an island in your current spot. Or give up on having an island. Of course again I don't know the dimensions properly to tell.

BTW you really need to post better dimensions. What width is the doors and the walls between windows and doors. How large are those posts and what is the distance between the duct posts etc. without the dimensions it is hard for people to make anything but more general suggestions.

I've included a picture with red arrows on what dimensions are needed. Info on window height would be helpful too.

This post was edited by lyfia on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 10:45

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:42AM
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BTW this is just me guessing that you have approximately 12 ft available from slider to opposite wall. This is just an idea to start playing with. Doesn't have the fridge placement in it though, but would make the ducts seem to make more sense and the sightline would be of more dining area than kitchen. Could extend the window down further too for more of a view.

Removes everybody having to walk through the work space too and you would have a good flow for people walking around between the rooms.

Again I don't know the exact dimensions.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Sena, I wasn't ignoring lyfia's contribution. The reason I didn't include it in my list of plans for design_bot to respond to was because she already had done so: "Putting the kitchen in the dining area would be cramped I think, and I'd sacrifice the bit of privacy I have for messes."

I have some additional ideas, design_bot, but I'm going to wait to draw them up until you provide the dimensions lyfia requested. It's a better use of time for all of us, you included.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 1:01PM
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here's something different

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 1:07PM
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OK, got the measurements as exact as possible. Walling up windows would be difficult due to aluminum siding -- possibly hard to match. But possible (more likely than us giving up the door space to the deck -- we're southern, bbq on the deck is a way of life.) The deck is `17 x 12, with 5 full length feet of steps -- if only I had that space to work with for the kitchen.
But I am considering something like a wraparound bay window if possible/affordable, that might give a smidge more room for the dining space. Maybe with built in bench(es).

This post was edited by design_bot on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 14:15

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:11PM
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I see, I missed the door. How about this?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Good triangle, but still traffic jam from dining area and too much unused space. Good flow to deck and den though. ty!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:53PM
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I don't like the range in the main traffic path between the rooms, but everybody is different. How about keeping it somewhat similar to what you have now, but moving the range in. Shouldn't shake up your budget.

You could make the corner cabinets accessible from the other side to not waste space.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:54PM
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Heh, this is a meant-in-fun response. We are a round and blobby people, though I do feel bad for my square headed child. :) :) :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 3:58PM
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    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Since you don't want to move the kitchen and I highly dislike walking 7 feet across to drain a pot of pasta with people in the kitchen and not have the potential of burning any of them along the way how about the below

Less than ideal with no landing space for fridge and pantry is further away, but there are multiple access points as in getting into the kitchen. Has multiple prep surfaces with access to the sink. All a trade off and you don't have to spend as much of the reno budget as it only involves a short wall removed. Maybe get your French doors, but I would do a swing out with your small space.

Also the portable island would have to be skinny to not create another of those obstacles you don't like or you won't be able to get by when anything is open. Ie if DW and fridge is open and you are using the skinny island then there is not different than what you have now. I would do away with the island, but trying to include it as you seemed set on having one based on your renditions

Just trying to throw some ideas at you that will open things up some and improve traffic flow, but you haven't given much on any of the other options to go on besides the last one. No input on sena's or lisa's feedback.

This post was edited by lyfia on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 17:06

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:04PM
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I understand the wall between kitchen and dining is load bearing but can you move the doorway? If so maybe something like this would work? The sink at an island directs traffic away from work area. This layout would need tweaking but just a quick idea. Provides stool seating for homework and workspace for kitchen helpers? I would do a cd fridge. The shallow pantries by the slider provide storage for your pan storage and food... It's not ideal, but since you are reluctant to relocate the kitchen to the den perhaps this will provide idea for compromise?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Trying to reconfigure a kitchen in your home with your space and personal restrictions is definitely testing my gray cells. ;-)

I've tried multiple ideas but I don't get very far before I hit an physical obstacle or butt up against a one of your stated no-nos, which puts the kabosh on the whole idea. I would love to give you a galley-type set up with an island that offered seating, too, but your space isn't wide enough for that, not without sacrificing aisle width and given what you wrote above, that wouldn't give you a kitchen that functions better than your current kitchen.

So even though you said you did not want to move the kitchen to the DR, I'm throwing out a plan that does just that. Bear with me, I've got good reasons and a plan to help hide any kitchen mess from the front door.

The dark brown denotes full height walls; tan denotes half walls (42" high, 12" higher than the counter). That will help hide any messes from the front door but still allow you to visit with company in the LR. You get oodles of counter, room for multiple cooks to work in your kitchen, counter space for kids to do homework while you cook dinner and a walk-in pantry under the stairs. That's where mine is and I'm able to store so much in it; I'd need at least 6' of pull-out pantries to equal what I store in my walk-in pantry (I'm assuming yours is deeper than just a standard closet. If not, you'll need to do a little structural work to access more of the space under the stairs.)

The fridge is a standard depth, 36" wide fridge. I pulled the cabinets forward 6" so that the fridge's depth won't be so obvious and to give you deeper counters along this run. The 30" denotes cab depth, not counter depth: that would be 1.5" more.

What I don't like about this plan is the tight quarters for your DR. It's below the minimum suggested aisles for walking behind seated diners (44") and that's even with a 36" wide table. But I went ahead anyway, thinking that perhaps down the road, you may be able to add on a couple feet to the back of the house to give you better room around the table.

I added another window to the kitchen and another sliding door, really opening that wall up to great views out to your wooded lot. Sliders won't impinge on your tight aisles so they are best, unless you can do out-swing French doors (not permitted by code everywhere, you'll need to check).

So that's my wild and crazy idea. Not great and until you talk to a contractor, you won't even know if it's possible but here it is for you to mull over.

I'll be frank: I really think you need to talk to a contractor sooner rather than later to find out what walls you can move, what supports you'll need to put in place, what windows and doors can move and how to repair/replace the siding and what those costs will be so that you have a more realistic idea of what kind of kitchen remodel is possible for you.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Fri, Jan 17, 14 at 20:19

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Would it be possible to steal a foot or two from your laundry/utility/powder room area? I don't know how that's configured or if it's possible but if that area can be reconfigured so that the wall can be moved to give your kitchen area a little more space, that would open up more possibilities. Would be cheaper than adding on to your home, too.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Wow thanks for the amazing job Lisa_a, I'm going to lay that out tomorrow, to see what it is like in 3d. The top of that utility space is hot water heater and air return and all the interior hvac equipment. Then narrow space with washer/dryer and hall to garage. So not much ability to move stuff.

I'm mostly excited about your use of windows. I can just see that wall of them.

I tweaked my galley idea -- various of the posts here made me realize that I could move the two rows of kitchen stuff closer to each other. So helpful!

I really appreciate the time all of you have put into this. I've lived here 6 months without knowing the exact direction to go in!

Does anyone like my new galley better than before?

Imagining something vaguely like this: but thinking it might feel weird fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea new galley

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:06PM
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Sorry I still think the idea of swapping dr and kitchen is the best like both Lyfia and Lisa a suggested. I love Lisa a's latest design.

The moveable island seems more in the way than useful. And the columns are distracting. Plus you mentioned your kids may help you more in the kitchen as time goes on, Lisa's plan provides multiple prep spaces an seems friendlier for multiple cooks.

Side note and apologies for hijacking but just wanted to say Lisa a designed my new kitchen and I'm in love with it. Functions better than we ever imagined.

Good luck it is a process and the more detailed info you can provide the experts such as budget restrictions, structural changes you're willing to make and definitely will not make based on hard budget restraints, etc will really help them help you.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:22PM
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Sena, I wasn't ignoring lyfia's contribution. The reason I didn't include it in my list of plans for design_bot to respond to was because she already had done so: "Putting the kitchen in the dining area would be cramped I think, and I'd sacrifice the bit of privacy I have for messes."

Lisa, I didn't mean to say you ignored it. I just thought the OP may reconsider it, since I believed and as your last layout showed that moving the kitchen to DR had potential.

design_bot, I think your latest galley is better than your other layouts, but I'd personally prefer lisa"s layout if it's doable. You may consider a bench or banquet for the dining area.One other thing, do you have 36" all the way under the stairs? Sometimes walls may not be straight, and it may be a good idea to check that beforehand.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:07AM
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Yeah, the space is big in that pantry area. Thanks Sena.

Here is Lisa_a's layout, which did stuff I didn't think possible in that width of space. The dining area would have to be creative, but at least there would be a couple of doors onto the deck. Debating the halfwall at the counter, not sure what the effect would be with it going towards the vent bulkhead above. Wondering if some sort of mod decorative glass panels, maybe movable, would work. Thanks again. Edit: maybe it could look something like this:

(And to the other people who suggested moving the kitchen in there.) It was my first thought when we were looking at the house, but I've had all these months to talk myself out of it. So you guys have helped me see it again.

Thanks, now I have ideas I can show a contractor/cabinet people/and I can estimate materials needed much better.

This post was edited by design_bot on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 11:16

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:59AM
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iheartgiantschnauzer, thanks for your kind words! I'm so glad you love your new kitchen. Did you do a reveal thread? If so, I missed it and I'd love to see it.

design_bot, I'm so glad my latest idea will work for you. As I wrote, I tried many other ideas but this was the only one that I thought was workable with only one drawback, the somewhat cramped DR area, while the others had so many issues.

The half wall serves more than one purpose. It helps hide kitchen clutter from the front door (works best for the counter right next to the wall, somewhat for counter farther away). However, it also provides wall space for outlets. You could put outlets on the backside of the cabinets but then you'd have cords dragging over the edge of the counter, plus you might have to go into the LR to plug things in. What a nuisance. The last purpose is that it is a cost saving measure. You won't need to have finished backs on your cabinets because the drywall will be their "backside."

Here are some images of half walls in kitchens. Notice the outlets located in the half walls.

Contemporary Kitchen by Portland Architects & Designers Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

Traditional Kitchen by Bethesda Kitchen & Bath Designers Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

The next image shows a half wall with sconce lighting for the LR:

Craftsman Kitchen by Mountain View General Contractors Harrell Remodeling

Another option for a half wall is to include shelving in the LR side like this:

Eclectic Living Room by Shallotte Home Builders Blue Sky Building Company

Do you know which way your floor joists run? If they run front to back, you may be able to cantilever a shallow addition to the DR area. Because you won't need to pour a foundation, a small addition would cost less and could possibly be doable for you. Even a 2' addition would make a huge difference to your DR. You could go with a 42" wide table and have 46.5" between table and wall and table and sliders.

I think you should also ask contractors whether it's possible to reconfigure your laundry/utility area to gain a bit more room for your DR. They may have ideas that aren't costly that will allow you to move that wall.

At this point, it's all about gathering ideas and estimates and then making decisions about how best to spend your reno dollars. If you can swing it, do the structural changes you want to do now, especially if those structural changes will affect flooring (didn't think of that when I suggested adding to your DR later). To save funds, you can opt for less costly cosmetic items, such as laminate counters over solid surface or stone (you could reuse your current sink, another cost savings for now) this time around and update them later.

btw, we have a 38" wide antique table in our kitchen. We swapped out our 42" wide, very beat up, table for it. I thought we'd really miss those extra 4" at meal time but it hasn't been an issue and I love having the few extra inches in aisle space around the table. We sat 5 at our 38" wide x 58" long table at Thanksgiving and it worked surprisingly well (helped that we used the nearby island as a sideboard). If I were to seat that many on a regular basis, however, I'd want a longer table to provide more elbow room for everyone.

(Thanks for explaining, Sena. That makes more sense.)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Yay! I'm glad you're reseeing the value of the kitchen dr flop. Good luck and keep us posted.

Sorry one more hijack- lisa. No reveal yet. I will do a reveal thread soon. Waiting on new fridge and cabinetry around fireplace in den. Were also busy planning a new kitchen in our new ski home. So I'll be asking for your advice again shortly. Just have to say you are so generous with knowledge and time and you really considered our needs and limitations with your design. Seems you did the same again for designbot. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:30PM
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iheartgiantschnauzer, you made my day, thank you!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:46PM
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We are on a concrete slab. I've been searching for months to see if there is a way to sister into concrete slab or brace onto it but my impression is that there isn't. That you would have to add on by pouring a new slab or some other new foundation. The funny thing is that it is an incredibly tall slab -- 3 ft to the ground in the back of the house, and I assume extending a fair way into the ground. We're on a hill. So I am guessing it would be quite a cost dealing with the foundation for even a small addition, sadly, to pour all those feet of concrete. I will confirm that though with contractors soon.

The slab is one reason I was trying to keep the plumbing in the same place. I am imagining when the floors are up that they'd drill a channel into it? But I suppose I am concerned that could weaken/crack the slab? The instructions I am seeing imply jackhammering all the way to dirt, but there is no way to do that with my foundation, I don't think. Another thing to discuss with a pro.

I can just barely imagine adding on a narrow window/door box onto the current deck. But that seems complicated and I can't see it looking right. The second set of sliding doors in Lisa_a's plan would wind up over the side steps and air, so I'm now imagining a three-part door, or door with 2 sidelights. Hopefully there aren't code issues regarding distance of door to side of deck/stairs.. We'd have to exit and enter closer to the current door. So I think I'd have to extend the dining area into the den somewhat, eliminating that half wall that does nothing right now while addressing the support issue there.

Well, faint-of-heart never won fair kitchen I suppose. ;)

I love all those pictures of half-walls by the way! I agree that a smaller table can be just fine. Ours is only 36 x 53" with the option to make it a foot longer. It was the table my husband bought for his bachelor apartment. We seat 4-6 easily, though I tend to serve food buffet style in the kitchen, rather than on the table. Another southern thing maybe.

I don't think I've ever in my life lived in a home with 4 ft. of clearance around the dining table! We had 2 ft. maybe at our old house though it was certainly cramped! ;) However, I did have the treat of seeing my husband's grandmother fit 25 people in her farmhouse kitchen a few times -- it was fun, if rather up close and personal.

This post was edited by design_bot on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 21:02

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Reworking of Lisa_a's vision to include barn doors. Wanna close out the kids/tv/guests? Shut them. Want light, views and a bigger space? Open. And it would let me buy a sectional, lol.

4 a.m. my time, so going to stop messing with the elements like stove and such. Imagining doors like this:

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:05AM
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