Help! I need somebody to help me with my layout.

NYMKJanuary 7, 2013

Hi! My kitchen is approximately 11ft and 8 inches by 11 ft and 9 inches and is an L shape. Currently, it is an eat in kitchen and the table sits four. I would like to continue to have seating for four in the kitchen. In my new kitchen, I desperately need counterspace and a few more drawers. My kids 11 and 10 are often in the kitchen when I am there. I prefer not to move the window but it is not out of the question. I have an extra refrigerator in my basement so I do not feel the need to get a bigger refrigerator and loose counterspace (Oh, and my current frig is a side by side). I do stock up on food but I also have shelving in the basement for all the extra food that I can not fit upstairs so I would forgo a bigger pantry for more counterspace. I am seriously considering removing the wall between my kitchen and my dining room but am not set on this. I do not want to remove the wall between my kitchen and my living room. I cook a lot and am always running out the door for the next activity. I'm not the neatest person in the world so I would like to avoid people seeing my mess. I currently have a kitchen door leading out to my deck. However, a few years ago, I put in sliding glass doors out to my deck in my dining room so I no longer need the kitchen door. We also have one foot soffits running the entire L shape. We need to get a contractor to come in a punch a hole to see if we can remove it (or shorten it).

So far the only things I know for sure is that I am planning on white kitchen cabinets. Also, I plan on keeping my current refrigerator and possibly my stove to save a couple of bucks on this renovation. I've included a draft of my layout.

1) First, my biggest issue. Where or where do I put my microwave? I really want a vent but it looks like there is no place to put my microwave so I may be stuck with an OTR microwave. I need room on my counter for a coffee machine and toaster (because I use those every day). I thought if I had the space for a peninsula, I could put in a microwave drawer, but I can't seem to figure out a layout which would allow for that in my kitchen and continue to offer seating for 4 people.
2) Do I have room to put in a peninsula with seating for four? Probably counterheight so I would need a 15 inch overhang? Do I need 15 inches?
3) Should I remove the wall between my kitchen and dining room? If I put in a peninsula with seating, I think I have to in order for it to accomodate the seating. Also, I plan on removing my kitchen door since there is a sliding glass door in my dining room (about 2 feet away). The problem is that the kitchen door has glass in it and lets light into my kitchen. So if I remove it, I need to get more natural light in my kitchen somehow. If I do not remove the wall between the kitchen and DR, what about making a 1/2 wall or cut out?
4) For my 24 inch drawers, do you think I should do four drawers or five? what is more useful?
5) How much space is needed between the hood vent and the upper cabinets? I currently have two 33 inch cabinets flanking the vent hood, but it will decrease when I figure out how much room needs to be left between them.
6) For my upper corner, I plan on doing an asymetrical easy reach corner. Does anyone see a problem with have it longer on the first piece (28 inches) vs the second piece of the cabinet door that attaches to the cabinet (24 inches).

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for taking the time out to give me your thoughts.

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Here is the layout of my current kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:29AM
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how/why would the space need more windows with 41 in window and patio door on same wall. Removal of the small door sounds like will happen.Remember,you will upgrade your lighting package with a remodel.STILL need another window? this should be determined[windows are labor and line item expense-heavy].Second, I'd like the dining room wall removed,as you mention,but it depends on the feel as well...does this suit the home...will you then use the dining room more,making it too casual for the home? etc....with that wall removed, an island or peninsula would be adjacent to the dining room-does that work? Maybe show an overhead of dining room and connecting spaces-generally.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Herbflavor, thanks for responding. I wasn't planning on putting in an additional window. I am just concerned that I am taking away natural light. If I keep the kitchen/DR wall in place, then not that much light would come in from the DR sliding glass door. I know this because I covered the glass portion of my kitchen door (door is definitely going to be removed) and the room was darker and had a different feel. I know I will be adding additional lights in my reno, but in my opinion, nothing beats natural light. So that is why I thought if I did not remove the kitchen/DR wall, an alternative would be to create a half wall or a cut out.

I would love to add a peninsula but it is important for my husband to have seating in the kitchen (he does not want to eat all his meals in the DR). And when I do the math, unless I find a place for a microwave in the L Shape, I can't swing seating for 4 and the MW in the peninsula. If I don't have to put the MW in the peninsula, I think we can swing the peninsula with seating for four.

My DR is more formal. The furniture is from my mother and I do not want to replace it because of sentimental reasons. However, I can do some things to make it less formal (which I will if I remove the kitchen/DR wall).

Any suggestions for where to put the microwave? I think I need to solve that first and then work from there.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:48AM
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In the current kitchen layout then,keep pantry and fridge down in right corner- pantry at 12 or 15 in with the 2 arms of an L,calculate with door removed what the options are....peninsula or island,actually. the husbands wishes have to translate to graph paper and type of seating he wants and what would be the best for your overall design and budget-islands can have really good seating. You don't need a peninsula for a island would give you extra sides to install appliances. I would just keep the bulky fridge down in the current location-set a foot or so from the side wall....and the middle of the floorspace is cleared to do something.[more light from patio door will flow with fridge down in lower corner as well].

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:21PM
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You can put a microwave in the bottom of an upper cabinet. GE spacesavers fit right in. how about over the DW area?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I have a GE Spacesaver that is about 13" x 24" and have found it to be more than sufficient size-wise, and it avoids the over the range/hood combo configuration.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Attached is a current thread. Scroll down and there is a photo of what i'm talking about. I have a ge spacemaker but I'm putting mine on an open shelf. Not built yet.

Others on GW have built in MWs or ones on shelves. Google and you will find some photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: microwave

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 4:03PM
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You could do as others said and use a GE spacesaver microwave in the cabinet to the right of your refrigerator:

Traditional Kitchen design by Boston Kitchen And Bath Divine Kitchens LLC

Then, you could store your toaster and coffee maker underneath it on the counter (either exposed or concealed in an appliance garage).

For seating in your kitchen, I would widen the opening between the kitchen and dining room but leave about a 48"-54" half wall. I'd then make an banquette area for seating for four similar to this one:

Traditional Kitchen design by San Francisco Interior Designer Kathleen Burke Design

You may still have room in the kitchen for a small island similar to this one:

Traditional Kitchen design by San Francisco Architect Mahoney Architects & Interiors

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 4:29PM
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So instead of going back on GW last night, I got sucked into watching the Notebook (again). I have a love/hate relationship with that movie. I hate that I love it.

Thank you for taking out the time to respond. I dream about kitchens at night and it really is wonderful to get some help.

Microwave - looks like everyone agrees that a GE Spacesaver is the way to go. I agree. Now, where to place it? Should I keep the frig where I currently have it and put it next to there? Or should I have the frig where I have it in my proposed layout and keep it next to there (above the DW)? Someone told me I should keep the cabinet above the DW for dishes coming out of the DW. But it also makes sense to have the MW right next to the frig.

Banquette - StacyLH - love the idea. That's what I thought of originally but changed my mind because a lot of people said it was uncomfortable. After reading the threads on them on GW, I guess the trick is to make sure to do the banquette right so it is comfortable. I will do another search on GW to see if there is any guidance on dimensions, material, etc. on it (I spent 30 minutes on it this morning but haven't had a chance to read all the threads on it). Stacylh, I actually love the photo you found of the banquette. It looks perfect my kitchen and it also looks comfortable. I also need to see if I can get DH on board with it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:46AM
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I think banquettes work then there are at least 2 chairs. That way someone can use the chair if they don't want to sit at the bench.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:01AM
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For banquettes, if it is about 54 inches long on both sides of the L, will that be sufficient room for at least one person (or two kids if they have friends over) to sit on each side?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Remember if you put the MW in a cabinet, you will have to make the cabinet deeper. You can also put it in the pantry cabinet, if you make it a bit wider. The GE box is 24x13 but needs ventilation and plug clearance (check the specs).

People are probably familiar with small banquettes with unpadded, really vertical seats. The padded ones with angled seats are much more comfortable. You can also build in storage. You can also use a settee or loveseat, if you don't want to build one in.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:05PM
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I would think that 54" would easily accommodate 2 children, but probably only 1 adult.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Round 2 of my layout is posted. I think I nailed the layout .... I think is the operative word. If you have time, check out my new post. Harsh comments are welcome and so is any advice. Thanks! See the link below for Round 2 (ok, we all know that really means I'm on my 10th layout but I've only uploaded 2, right).

Here is a link that might be useful: Layout - Round 2

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:35AM
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