Layout Help for an Inexperienced Cook
Hi all, I'm a longtime reader, but I haven't posted before.
We have just had baby #3 (others are 5 and 2) and are putting on an addition to turn our current 1,300 sq. ft. 3BR/1.5 bath Colonial Revival (b. 1941) into a 2,300 sq. ft. 4BR/2.5 bath. The addition includes a family room, kitchen bumpout, and mudroom (labeled entry) on the main floor, and a master suite upstairs.
We are adding onto the kitchen as part of this project because when we looked at 4 BR houses in our area, all of them had kitchens much larger than our current 13' by 10' space, and right now I'm storing a lot of gadgets and bulk foods in our basement laundry room.
Barring a Powerball win or a financial setback, we'll be here for the next 20 years.
Right now I am the only cook and a SAHM.
I belong to the Peg Bracken "I Hate to Cook Cookbook" school, but can't use prepared foods or baked goods much due to my husband's and child's food allergies.
My husband will never take up cooking, although the kids may help when they are a bit older. For now it's a one-butt kitchen, with a lot of interfering little buttinskis ☺
We rarely entertain anyone but family, and they don't usually hang out in the kitchen.
So although this runs counter to everything buyers say on HGTV, I want to be able to shut people out of the kitchen.
Our current main floor has a loop the children chase each other around and they run right past my range, which is worrisome when I'm doing something like searing meat or deep frying. I'm also a messy cook, and right now you can see into our kitchen from our front door - so everyone sees the disorganization the moment they walk in.
As for storage, I cook and bake almost everything we eat. We buy in bulk and store a lot of flour, sugar, etc.
I also have to prepare all school lunches for my oldest who is underweight, so I do a lot of cutesy bento box stuff to see if she'll eat it. Storing all the tiny accessories for that is a problem now.
Between that and my habit of buying any new gadget that promises the ability to cook from scratch while spending less time in the kitchen, I need a lot of storage.
After reading many posts here, I have set up the new kitchen with task areas:
(1) Cleanup: the south wall with the sink will have the dishwasher, single-bowl sink and trash/recycling pullouts;
(2) Prep and cooking: the west wall with the range and microwave will have pots and pans in the corner lazy susan, plate and glassware storage in the cabinets to the left near the dishwasher and sink. Bakeware and spices will go in the wall cabinets above and to the right of the range. The base cabinet will hold cookie sheets and corningware/le creuset/pyrex;
(3) Baking and lunch prep: the north wall with the cabinets next to the refrigerator will have all the kids' snacks and lunch stuff in the base drawer cabinet next to the fridge, and all my specialty baking stuff (rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.) will be in the wall cabinets and other drawer base cabinet.
(4) Specialty appliance storage: on the east wall I have a large cabinet to hold the rice cooker, bread maker, slow cooker with sous vide gadget, and all the other gadgets I've bought imagining that just one more thing will turn me into an enthusiastic cook. The other three cabinets are a pantry for food.
(5) Island: Right now there is no island. I was thinking of just putting a 30" by 60" table in the middle, as I'd like the lower height because I'm short (5') and standard cabinet height isn't comfortable for me or my tiny kids. I would use it to serve breakfast and snacks, and for baking with the kids. Right now we do not have an eat-in-kitchen and eat all meals in the dining room.
Is there a better way to lay out my cleanup area? Should I swap the dishwasher and trash pullout?
Will I be sorry I used a table rather than an island?
Should I have a window on the west wall? The current plan has an 18" by 30" doublehung, which isn't standard. Given my height (5') I may turn that into a casement. The current kitchen benefits from the western light, but I'm concerned that it looks a bit wedged in now.
Is there anything else where the design could be improved?
Is there a cheaper way to do the pantries? The cabinet quotes I've gotten put the east wall cabs at 30-40% of my total cabinet costs
West wall (toward neighbors):
North wall (toward street):
East wall (toward neighbors):